View Full Version : rant - web sites

17-06-2003, 11:50 PM
I believe there is a huge difference between having a web site and having a good web site. In fact I believe that a bad web site is worse than no web site at all.

The quality of design from certain sites posted on this forum is less than average, and the average web site on the internet is not good. It does seem as though the creation of web sites only goes as far as a service in exchange for cash and that the 'designers' have no interest in design beyond that.

I know I'm opening myself up for a huge hate campaign but I can't keep coming back to this forum and seeing the work that I see without saying anything. I'm curious whether any other forum users who are not from a design background feel this way too. I can't really look at this from a Joe Bloggs public point of view as I'm involved in the graphics industry.

What do you think is a good site and what do you think is a bad one?

The one redeeming feature is that they are cheap.

Your thoughts on this subject are much appreciated.

18-06-2003, 12:39 AM

Welcome to the forum. I dont think its fair for you to say the above things about website designers.

Your websites look really really good and yes i think they are very impressive you certainly seem that you know what your doing. However im sure your sites dont come cheap!

We would all love to have really professional looking sites but most of us on this forum are not the beatles! we are small companies battling against all odds to make a living and make our mark in life.

As with everything you get Ferraris and you get scodas. You pay for what you get and we are all allowed to choose who we want to do business. You either wear top shop or Versace its just the way things go.

All start ups have to start somewhere and you would be amazed at what some of the people on this forum have achieved with very little money and the help of designers who sometimes offer their work for next to nothing in order to gain experience.

Lets motivate each other to better ourselves rather than make negative remarks. Otherwise this forum will be like many others.


18-06-2003, 09:44 AM
Yes! I agree with Elena, we are trying to achieve our goals in life don't start a flame war! ok, so alot of 'so-called' web designers haven't much experience this is true, but there is really no reason why you should slate someones 'design perspective' after all isn't that what 'design' is all about? to express yourself? we all have different perspectives, just because you don't like something doesn't mean others won't be happy with it, at the end of the day it's what the customer wants, if there happy with it, then so be it!

to be honest though, your website isn't really anything special, a few tables, graphics, and hey presto!

instead of diminishing peoples confidence why don't you use your skills to help them, after-all knowledge should be shared! that's how we humans progress - Ideological Collabration!

Although I appreciate criticism, and I believe that criticism does help oneself to improve, you should try 'constructive criticism'.

18-06-2003, 09:56 AM
thanks for the reply elena.

I am a regular at this forum, though I read a lot more than I post. I am very willing to support any start up business as I know how hard it is. I don't want to put anyone down, in fact people who start up their own businesses have a lot of respect from me.

It's specifically the design element I'm talking about. One thing I've learnt over the years is that you can make a good job of any project. I've worked on a massive range of projects but I've always put as much effort and thought into the expensive ones as I have into the cheaper ones. At the end of the day it's going in my portfolio! Just because you don't have much money to spend as a start up doesn't mean to say you have to settle for bad design (not you personally!).

I don't think I'm expensive but just because you've seen my designs you think you can't afford me. To be honest business isn't great at the moment so maybe I should create worse designs so people think they can afford me? Maybe then I'll get some more business.

I understand where you're coming from with the Ferrari and Skoda thing. But lets take two brand new models from each factory. Sure the Ferrari is amazing, but I still think the Skoda is good too. There is a minimum standard we should accept, and just because we [you] don't know much about the design industry doesn't mean we should accept less.

What concerns me is that just because people have a copy of photoshop they think they're designers. Just because I own a paint brush, doesn't make me an artist.

It does, as with many trades, take a lot of training to understand design. I know I still have a lot to learn, please don't think I sitting on my high horse. There are minimum standards which EVERYONE is entitled to - including start ups, that's all I'm saying.

Elena, I agree we should motivate each other to better ourselves. That's what I'm doing, I'm telling you that you do not have to accept less and why not make uncomfortable remarks? It's honest, isn't it? There's no point lying about something that can seriously affect business just to spare feelings. If I came up with something **** I would appreciate people telling me so.

I hope my posting doesn't offend anyone, that is not my intention.

18-06-2003, 10:01 AM
I don't mind criticism at all - and I'd be more than happy for you to post what you think of beautiful things (http://www.beautifulthings.co.uk) , positive or negative. However, I agree with Elena and Xoid - there are ways of saying things and being encouraging and helpful, rather than just inflammatory!!

I think one of the main problems for start-ups is that great designers don't always have marketing knowledge, so the site can look great, but won't do the job. And this of course works both ways. But new businesses can't afford to outsource everything.

Finally - I want to say I think there are also some brilliant designers on this forum and some great websites too - but of course people will welcome your input, if you genuinely believe there are ways some sites could be improved!

www.beautifulthings.co.uk (http://www.beautifulthings.co.uk)

18-06-2003, 10:05 AM
hey Xoid.
I agree my web site is nothing special. I'm not here to say 'look at me, I'm wonderfull'. Also, I am more than willing to help people out. I'm already involved in working for media charities giving my design skills for free. Anyone on this forum is welcome to contact me for advice - though after this I doubt that'll happen.

As for 'constructive criticism', Xoid, just 2 paragraphs above that comment you managed to slate my site with no positive feedback, not sure being consistent on that one.

I'm not having a dig at anyone in particular, I'm just concerned about the quality of web sites out there and I'm just saying there is more to be had.

I don't want to post my thoughts on any particular web site as I'm trying to tackle the issue in general.

I agree marketing is a whole new subject. I don't consider myself to have marketing skills. It is design that I'm talking about. I understand that sometimes start ups have to everything them selves. Fine, I would be more than happy to help a start up that was creating their own web site to send me their designs and I'll send them back my take on it, which they can have for nothing.

I understand that I'm being (unintentionally) inflammatory, sorry. I am not targeting anyone in particular here, so don't take it personally. If you do take it personally then maybe that says more about what you think of your own designs.

Again, it's not my intention to cause offence.

18-06-2003, 10:16 AM
oh well... I suppose we all 'contradict' ourselves sometimes! the beauty of being human.

let's not fight, life is too short, let's start over;

let me introduce myself, I'm Xoid, nice to meet you :)

18-06-2003, 10:35 AM
Xoid - he he he! I'm certainly not taking anything personally - not arguing - just worried that you weren't understanding some of the issues for non-designers!


www.beautifulthings.co.uk (http://www.beautifulthings.co.uk)

c stewart
18-06-2003, 05:41 PM
im appreciative of critisim, and agree that the standard of alot of sites on the forum . INCLUDING my own, fall short of the mark.

design is based on process and evaluation and as designers we should always be in the process of redevelopment,
with regards to the issue of what makes a good site.

i feel that a balance of design issues againest simple functionalilty makes a good start.

but as in all business the bottom line is the dolla bill. So there are often many cases in which the final product will be a balance of design process againest finances and time. hence large design firms having the ability to demand higher fees.
each of us have varied levels of design knowledge and therefore are able resolve the clients brief to different standards.
but if we all follow the fundamental principals of design then any end product should always be recognised as "good design"

always tryin to make sense of it all

19-06-2003, 03:01 PM
"Good Design" - Who defines what good design is?

come on, open your mind people, design is based on ones perspective not someone elses!!!

19-06-2003, 03:10 PM
I agree with you Xoid, but if you're trying to appeal to a mass market, then your own opinions don't really count for much - you have to be objective, and in a marketing/sales context I suppose there is such a thing as 'good design'.

www.beautifulthings.co.uk (http://www.beautifulthings.co.uk)

c stewart
19-06-2003, 03:50 PM
na i dont agree . good design can be quantified xoid.

what i meant is that when any design can be evaluated according to the fundamentals of the process.
good design will be that which holds fast to the process . that nothing to to with creativity , which is i agree all based on the perspective of the designer.

to be continued>>>>>or concluded.


19-06-2003, 05:00 PM
LOL, your minds are still connected to 'THE SYSTEM' FREE YOUR MIND :p hehe.

c stewart
19-06-2003, 07:13 PM
I ve freed my mind . you ass should follow. LOL :)

c stewart
19-06-2003, 07:13 PM
i meant YOUR ASS should follow. dam typos

19-06-2003, 07:34 PM
yeah, yeah, the former was fairly accurate ;)

20-06-2003, 01:09 PM
I think the definition of good design is one that works - a site generally has a purpose, that purpose for everyone on this forum (nearly/probably) is to make money.

If the site is making money, then I say there is nothing wrong with the design as it is achieving its objective.

Design is in the eye of the beholder, and that beholder is your target market - you know if you have designed well for your target market if the sales are coming in.



20-06-2003, 01:37 PM
if it's a product that the people want the site will make money. just because you have a well designed site or a badly designed site doesn't make the product good or bad.

however, once that product is sold on another site (at the same price) which is far nicer looking than yours - then the design will heavily influence the customer.

I'm not sure I entirely knew where I was going with this post when I started it but after hearing what you all have to say I think I have a better idea. I agree that some people will not like a certain design and some will. There is no universal 'good design'. There is, however, a universal good quality of design. Though you may look at it and think it's not your stile you can still feel/see/appreciate the quality, thought, training and experience that has gone into it.

20-06-2003, 01:45 PM
I agree that there is a univeral 'good quality' of design, which I personally define as - at least fairly visually pleasing, easy to navigate, works well in common/most browsers, downloads at reasonable speed for majority of users, easy to read.

We can't all agree on what designs are more visually pleasing than others because thats just the same debate as 'who is the best artist'....its in the eye of the beholder.

My web developer and I are always arguing about what is and what is not an attractive and professional site as we have such different tastes - he is a web developer and so gets caught up with the perfection of the site, being a creative person I love a very attractive and interesting site and don't care if every graphic is perfectly sharp :-)) and so on, also content is vital.



20-06-2003, 02:11 PM
Content is what ever the content is. We, as designers, have no control over that unless it's our own portfolio.

I personally care about every last pixel on any project I work on. I think your developer friend is right to care about perfection. My clients have always been happy with the work I've done for them (they're not always the best judge of what's good/bad - that's what they pay me for), but more importantly I've been happy with the work I've produced. You have to care about design to be good at it. The minute you're just in it for the cash you'll churn out any old tat - and that's bad design.