Never Satisfied With Your Work

Hey guys,

Is it just me, or do you also never feel satisfied with your web design? You may think “Oh! That looks awesome!” one minute, then a few minutes later completely change your mind “That doesn’t look so good actually…”.

It’s very frustrating and it causes me to take forever to develop a design. I don’t believe I am good at Graphic design and constantly have trouble making things look good together (colors, fonts, shapes, sizes, borders, etc.).

Can somebody perhaps offer a good link or book for the graphic design side of web design (making things look pretty and appealing)? I am set with my coding, it’s just the looks that I am bad with.

Happens to everyone, I’m sure. I console myself by remembering that I’m the only one who cares: everyone else just wants the information to be clear and readable.

This book is worth a look: The Principles of Beautiful Web Design, Second Edition by Jason Beaird

IMHO if you aren’t completely disgusted with your own work of just a year past, you’re in the wrong profession so far as doing ANY sort of coding is concerned. It is truly the mark of a good developer to always think you can do it better/cleaner/faster.

satisfaction comes with honesty…:shifty:

You just need to look at the attitudes to redesigning. Web designers are usually keen to redesign a site quickly, because they are looking at the existing design all the time, they notice any tiny detail that isn’t quite right, and they get bored with the design. Regular users, on the other hand, are generally perfectly happy if it works reasonably well and looks clean and tidy, and would rather designers didn’t keep fiddling and changing the things that they’re used to…

If you’re not satisfied with your design work after some time, it’s likely because it’s either underdeveloped or overstylized.

Underdeveloped - This is a common case in design where designers get lazy with a simple concept that doesn’t properly think all of the elements through, and implement too simple of a final product. Every element of a work of art should support the overall concept. If every detail is not thought out, the overall work will feel lacking. I am often guilty of this. Easy fix - go clean up the sloppy details.

Overstylized - Popular style in web design shifts quickly. If you too strongly stylize your designs to match what’s hot now, they will be pinned to a very specific era of design, and will get dated very quickly. If you try not to follow any prevailing movement of design, and stick to solid principles of usability and objective beauty, then your site will not date as quickly (if ever). Draw a metaphor to automotive design. Cars today get “dated” only 4-5 years after they’re introduced, because they’re getting more and more stylized with each new generation. But if you look at a BMW Z8, a Shelby Cobra, a Ferrari 250, or a Mercedes 300 SL, you can’t argue that they’re beautiful in any era, and transcend style, because they were designed to be simple and beautiful. The only modern car that does the same (imo) is the Aston Martin Vantage. It will not date (as the Z8 from11 years ago didn’t). Try to avoid superfluous use of style in your web designs, and focus on making objectively beautiful work, and it too will have a more lasting beauty.

IMHO, there have been quite a few nice-looking cars in recent times, and it astounds me when the manufacturers go and ruin the design with the next model. Seems to change for change’s sake. I just don’t understand fashions. :nono:

I agree. Mercedes SL 550 last gen was gorgeous - the new gen is clunked up with elements that don’t fit into the original design (e.g. the SLS headlights are awkwardly slapped on to the front). Z3-to-Z4 WTF? Z3 was a near-perfect car, only needed a few tweaks (head/taillights mainly). Audi TT was an icon - needed absolutely nothing, but got changed up anyway. All of these were stylistic downgrades imo.


I much prefer the more aggressive style of the Z4, which is why I bought one. Add to that the noticeable extra power of the base engine and the full-decade-newer suspension design. The Z3 is more go-kart like - the Z4 is more stable, which I prefer. Haven’t regretted my choice for a second (though when I moved back to snow country, I had to grab a ‘98 Forester to serve as the foul weather fallback!). Just sayin’…[/ot]

Off Topic:

Which is a funny comparison since to me 99% of cars on the road since 1990 look identical, I can’t tell them apart other than their ‘class’… for example a four door sedan no matter who makes it pretty much all look the same now – and that remaining 1% that do look different are nothing more than fist-full of ugly.

See my laughing at all the rice-rod alleged “performance” cars that to me look like 1984 Escorts… NO, that’s not a compliment.

Can’t disagree with that, but there are cars that stand out and will become timeless classics based on exceptional execution of design.

Few of my favorites:

Can’t disagree with that, but there are cars that stand out and will become timeless classics based on exceptional execution of design.

Few of my favorites (sorry for the image posts… tried as links, but it wouldn’t take them… got a proxy error, i think from vB attempting to get header data):

Great Pics :slight_smile:

But can we get back to helping the OP now :slight_smile:

(Or I can move the cars posts to the general chat forum if you want to talk more about them ?)

Off Topic:

Agree with all except the last one, which to me looks like every other blasted car on the road.

But then, my all time favorite is the Muira…

Yeah, that stupid waste of bandwidth and server time garbage is really starting to piss me off too. Me, I’d rather see the damned URL than the heading tag – I’m actually starting to get in the habit of just putting the URL in twice just so it doesn’t do that crap.

Just more pointless useless bloated bull to make page loads bigger, overload servers, and go “gee, aint this neat?”

When I design for clients, I don’t run into that problem too much. Usually, it’s just a matter of refinement.

However, when it comes to my own sites, I never seem to be happy with them and can’t ever seem to “get it right”. I am my own worst client! :rolleyes:

I think I was trying to help the O.P… in my own overly-abstract anectdotal way… Sorry, Paul, I’m a car guy, can’t help taking advantage when the opportunity arises to use cars metaphorically in some other context… :smiley:

Off Topic:

If you like the Miura, you must also love the old-school Bizzarrinis… those were some of the most gorgeous cars ever, imo

It would be helpful to see this guys work to give him something more than generic advice.

How about a link to your latest work in question?

satisfaction and contentment are the keys to avoid this kind of scenario. Or you can avoid too much experimentation, remember that the simpler the better.

No wonder I could never create my portfolio site. I kept trashing it because I was dissatisfied. Very frustrating!