I have a varied history in basic web design probably on my 6th site. I have designed my own sites and worked with designers to design sites for me to code. I am very critical of myself. I feel like my designs are always missing something. I would personally rate them about 6/10, based on design itself.
For example this website I am designing atm http://www.treeheritage.com/preview/index.html
Discalimer: This code is untidy, incomplete, and not cross-browser friendly. It is not SEOptimised. I am just looking at design qualities.
This website feel ok but not great. I cant figure out what it is exactly that makes it feel amateurish, I find myself regarding my sites as amateurish A LOT.
The crux of the issue: Do you think that I could learn to be better at design, or is being creative something you just are born with or without?
I don’t really understand your response, could you go into more detail?
Creativity or a natural talent for design that you’re born with is 75% myth in my opinion. There are actually many, many well documented rules about layout & composition, colour theory and typography. If you studied those rules, and paid close attention to detail you could design a very attractive website without requiring much creativity or outside-the-square thinking at all.
Some people certainly have better taste by default, but a huge portion of it can be learned. Easier said that done though.
No one is a born a surgeon. They slowly acquire a vast array of knowledge and skills. I guarantee that if a typical non-designer put 20% of the effort that a medical student does into becoming a surgeon they’d be a very competent designer.
I think the crucial part of the your statement is the “easier said than done” part.
I have read articles online and even gone so far as to buy and thoroughly read SitePoint’s Priciples of Beautiful Web Design.
The problem is in the execution as you can see from that page I designed.
I would say a good 80% of small scale business designs on the internet show signs of knowing the theory and terrible execution.
Is there anything you could suggest to improve the execution?
I already bookmark sites I like the look of and refer back to them for inspiration.
Also I have a problem with most inspiration sites, as that they are impractical for most small businesses applications. For example I get work from builders, double glazing firms, nurseries, decorators, etc.
off course you can learn web design, just practice and do self study… no one learn web design in just one day.
I think, absolutely. Part of the difficulty of “learning” design is that a lot of it has to do with your taste. Taste is all about what you like, and what inspires you, and that is what is really difficult to change if your taste isn’t taking you in a good direction. I think the other big component is attention to detail. Why does one site look better than the other? Sometimes the most miniscule details make all the difference in the world. Lastly, I’d say like bad taste, bad habits are hard to break. If you have a design process that isn’t working, you need to take a different approach. Do you start out your designs the same way every time? Try building some mood boards, or mixing up your design process a little.
I taught myself everything I know. From 8th grade until now. It’s been a growing process and I continue to learn everyday. I criticize my own creations and tend to get down because of it. What I envision sometimes I do not know how to create. Don’t give up, just keep learning. Using free samples and scripts can teach you a lot on how to make certain things. This forum is also very helpful.
You can improve for skills for sure! Tutorials, courses, books, conferences are there for this!
You can also “improve your creativity” with different techniques and strategies! Seek inspiration and new concepts as you go!
Sure you can learn a effective design that the word better…Hard work in our niche makes us a popular deisnger
ebooks, tutorials and other sources helps us to learn…
You can learn to improve your design abilities, but there’s a different between being a good designer with the ability to copy styles and stuff from other designers, which will keep you in business don’t get me wrong, and being able to thing up new and innovative designs that will have those who can’t copying you lol
Basically, you can learn to become a better designer, there are millions of resources online to help you become a better web designer. Takes a bit of creativity to make the best designs though