Despite my unemployed status right now, I’m actually working on a controversial web design project for an adult store in Thompson called Double D’s Adult Novelties. I have pressures coming from the looming deadline of the end of the month, as well as my concerns about delivering a versatile e-commerce framework. I am using pre-established frameworks like WordPress and several plugins to get the backend working in due time, and while I do sometimes have concerns regarding the result, it’s the least of my problems (in fact, I’ve been doing web development for years, but I digress). The design process is my largest worry. Using resources from so many pros out there, I’ve delivered the client a site brief, sitemap, and wireframes. All that’s left to do is the mock-up and mark-up.
I’m not afraid to admit it, but I am just a beginner at design. Yet I want to deliver a design that will fulfill all the requirements set forth in the brief. I have always admired people with design skills – they seemed to be untouchable people that I could never reach nor stand next to.
However, if there was a talent I had that gave me an edge over other people with the same weakness in art as I, it was that I had a good eye for it. I knew it if I saw a good piece of art, photography, or design. As Smashing Magazine mentioned today, I have DesignDAR. The only problem I had up until recently was actually knowing what made design good. I never understood why visiting certain websites evoked emotional responses in me up until last year, when I bought The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin Williams. That book changed the way I looked at design; I was finally able to look at design and understand what made it work. It was like the first time I acquired my glasses and was able to see the world clearly.
Several web resources and approximately $500 worth of books later, I’m at the point where I’m writing this, realizing that I’ve come a long way from being a spectator to a participant. I know more about the design process and I’m doing my utmost best to follow those principles the right way. I’m reading design blogs and continually making note of beautiful websites, but subconsciously adding their design techniques to my arsenal. I’m not a web designer yet, but I’m definitely on the same road as them; not standing next to these talented people, but walking awkwardly around them like a sober person trying to blend in with all the drunk people in a crowded bar (which oftentimes is also me). My way of thinking has changed from, “I wish I could design like so-and-so,” to, “I need to top that design somehow.” Not bad, right?
Now, if only I could figure out this Photoshop thing and find my artistic zen.