[UPHPU] html design templates
jtaber at johntaber.net
Sun Mar 4 16:20:33 MST 2007
Victor Villa wrote:
>> From: uphpu-bounces at uphpu.org [mailto:uphpu-bounces at uphpu.org] On Behalf Of
>> Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2007 2:49 PM
>> To: UPHPU List
>> Subject: [UPHPU] html design templates
>> Everyone else seems to have nice web pages but our html page designs are
>> pretty ugly (probably due to a real lack of artistic talent). I'm
>> talking of things like nice menu tabs, buttons, gradient color
>> schemes. It's not like any of these can't be hand built, but building
>> components like a shaded button image just consumes too much time. I'm
>> convinced there must be templates or design tools that every else is
>> using or they have all spent lots of money to hire designers that can
>> whip this stuff out. Word Press has a bunch of good looking templates
>> to choose from - I guess that's what I'm thinking of. Here's what I see
>> as our options:
>> 1) Download free source templates that we can just incorporate into our
>> applications and on our site. This would be cheapest, fastest, and
>> easiest approach. Is anyone else doing this ?
>> 2) Use a design tool that has a bunch of pre made stuff like buttons,
>> menus, ....I guess Dreamweaver does this but since we are on linux that
>> doesn't work. Or is Dreamweaver that good that and we should go buy a
>> Macbook to run it on ? (we have no desire to use Windows).
>> 3) Hire or outsource a designer - while this might deliver the most
>> flexibility or original designs we don't want to spend that much.
>> any thoughts?
> Dojo has buttons in its toolkit that have gradients and a nice professional
> looking mouseover effect. Not too flash, but just right.
> That said, you had 3 very interesting questions that I wanted to opine on.
> 1) I did / do pro bono work for the State of Utah CERT program. For that,
> I used a free template as there was no budget and not a lot of time. In
> that case, speed to deploy was most important. I found oswd.org by chance
> several months ago, but as Richard mentioned, found them to be a great
> resource. The HTML and CSS is all right there for you to use and generally
> speaking the code is good. I spent just a couple of hours rewriting the
> HTML/CSS , but it was worth it for the quality of the site design.
> 2) Now I'm going to go out on a limb for you here, cause this statement is
> sure to negatively impact my rep, but not only am I an NT sysop, but I'm
> also a dreamweaver user. Now, while I've used dreamweaver for years, I've
> never found designing a new site design easy or effective in dreamweaver,
> nor speedy! My suggestion on this is to not use dreamweaver, but use
> Photoshop or Fireworks or Gimp. These programs will allow you to mock up
> your design very quickly. Want to move an element? Just click on it and
> drag it where you want to. It's easy and quick and doesn't require recoding
> the CSS. Now that said, I think you'll find that Fireworks is the easiest
> to design websites in. It has most of the functionality of Photoshop, but
> without all the confusion. Gimp I've never used so can't speak to its use,
> but I have heard very good things about Gimp.
> http://www.webdesignfromscratch.com/current-style.cfm has some great site
> design ideas if your going to travel this path.
> 3) If you hire a graphic designer, check their portfolio to make sure what
> the type of design they make is what you're. If you're looking for
> somebody, I'd probably ask Mac Newbold for a name. I'm assuming here, but
> I'd imagine he has a rolodex of graphic designers his company has used and
> could probably recommend somebody who does good cheap work.
> As you can tell, I've done all 3 paths in some form or other (never spoke
> with Mac, but have used a GD for design). And each path is effective for
> your intent. So I guess the big question is, what is it you intend?
> Is this a company website that you're going to use to represent your
> business or to solicit business? If so, I'd go graphic designer without
> question. In my mind, a business is too important to just scrap something
> together. And if possible, I'd make sure the gd was good at design AND web
> usability. The last thing you need is a website that looks beautiful, but
> provides no useful information to your clients, nor lends itself as to where
> your clients should go to get what they are after.
> If it is something less than business, I use some mixture of 1 and 2
> depending on the available time and resources.
> PS - In my defense about Dreamweaver, I like dreamweaver because of how it
> allows me to interact easily with my code. Forms are in yellow, visible
> text is black, HTML is blue, links green, etc. The graphical design portion
> of DW is lost to me as my code is more complex than the design portion can
> handle, so all I use is code view.
> I think most coders here that use DW will prolly say the same thing. Like
> Richard, it's not worth buying a new compy just for dreamweave, I'm sure
> there is an OSS option in linux that allows for descent code markup and
> built in FTP.
Thanks for some good feedback - while it is for my businesses and web
apps, hiring a GD is probably not in the cards - easy to say it is the
must approach until you have to sign checks or make spending decisions.
Right now, we're trying to save cash.
I've played around a little mocking up stuff in Inkscape - better than
Gimp or Photoshop since it is "Scalable" - and actually the SVG can be
displayed in a browser (even IE with adobe svg plugin). It's too bad
there isn't a magic button to push and pop out corresponding html - but
has me thinking since SVG is XML. Inkscape on a tablet computer would
be really nice...
Also thks for the oswd site - took an hour and quickly looked thru 2000
and found 10 to work from. Also thks for the "Bulletproof Web Design" -
I really liked their Bread web site - attractive and clean.
I'm really impressed with Dojo as well and looking at using it in our
web apps but now since we're using Rails will have to check into it
since Rails is more integrated with Prototype.
I also agree that content is king - why I'm trying to minimize design
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