So, as she’s finally managed to figure out where the ON switch is (although I think quarsan might have had something to do with it) I can confirm that yes, I am the evil genius behind the new design over at My Boyfriend Is A Twat. It’s still under going some final tweaks, but it’s almost there.
Whilst the design is hardly ground breaking I think I probably got more out of the experience than Zoë did. It’s very easy to design a website for yourself, as you intimately know your own likes and dislikes. Designing for a “client” is, of course, completely different. Not only do their tastes sometimes clash with your own, but they have a certain way of working which, again, is usually completely different from yours.
It’s almost like getting the chance to wander round someone’s house. On one level everything is the same, they have a kitchen, I have a kitchen, they have a navigation section, I have a navigation section, but if you take in the detail you suddenly realise that it is ALL completely different – why DO they keep their knives in there?
I’ve read a lot of articles aimed at people starting out in web design, and I now start to see what the bulk of those articles were discussing. The need to set scope, the need to investigate and discuss HOW the site is used as opposed to how the client WANTS it used, negiotiating whether or not a certain feature is required, or whether something in the content could be changed to aid the design.
Specific example, I designed a template page for the photo gallery, Zoë didn’t want the navigation so I removed it as she thought it cluttered the page. In my book that’s a no-no as you lose consistency of navigation AND in this case branding as the site logo is gone as well but having looked at it again, I think it works better as it is now.
Client 1 – Would-be-designer 0.
Anyway, it WAS fun (honest Zoë!) and if nothing else the drunken emails – “oh YES – WONDERBRA! i think i’m pissed … he agrees and he’s not pixssed – it’s FANNNTABLOODYSTIC. i owe yoou several” – made it all worthwhile.