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Feel out of my comfort zone…

  • # June 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    I see far more “minimalist/clean” looks than texture over past couple of years.

    Good design shouldn’t follow any trend anyway, it should address the client’s requirements and needs. This client would seem to want some sort of texture in their site rather than following the trendy minimalist crowd.

    # June 7, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    > I see far more “minimalist/clean” looks than texture over past couple of years.

    That’s a bad thing?

    > Good design shouldn’t follow any trend anyway, it should address the client’s requirements and needs.

    That’s what minimalism is supposed to be about. Client requirements are not always appropriate and that’s our job to teach them.

    # June 7, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Looking at the site he said he likes, it seems that what he is really look for is skewed about as far down the skewmorphic scale as you can go. For most of us, our starting point when we design is a logo, background texture, content layout, ect. All items that are specific to the web medium. If he is really likes the style of the example you gave him, it make help to take a step back and look at physical examples first. Paper textures or worn down fences and the like and go from there. It might even help to look at some posters people put up concerts/music events for some deisgn ideas.

    The last time someone asked me for help with something like this, for an art supply store, I first told them I personally didn’t like the idea, which is kind of neither here nor there, but still something to consider. Then we literally tore up little pieces of construction paper, wrote down things like “social media icons” and “buy now call to action” on them and laid out his website in a physical medium. Once he was happy with that, I blocked everything out and started adding in backgrounds, textures, and textured borders to match it relatively closely. When we finished, I hated pretty much everything about it, but the client loved it.

    Anyway, take it or leave it, just an idea :).

    # June 7, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    >That’s a bad thing?

    If it’s following a trend rather than addressing the project requirements, yes.

    >That’s what minimalism is supposed to be about.

    Ahh, so minimalism is the best design solution for all projects?

    Yes, as professionals it is our job to advise the client if they are asking for something that is not the optimal solution for what they’re trying to achieve. But equally it’s our job to listen to what the client wants, what their target audience may prefer, and incorporate that into what the “best” solution is. Just as clients can can be blinkered to what they want v what their audience actually wants, so many designers are blinkered to thinking they always know best without taking into consideration what the client’s preferences are. Some of the comments in this thread reinforce this.

    # June 7, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    > If it’s following a trend rather than addressing the project requirements, yes.

    Well, I think that goes without saying. But even if the requirements are met, every site I’ve ever come across have used a trend in one way or another. Even yours.

    > Ahh, so minimalism is the best design solution for all projects?

    Those are your words, not mine.

    # June 7, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    >every site I’ve ever come across have used a trend in one way or another. Even yours.

    But all my designs don’t follow the same/similar trend. Unfortunately there are some designers who’s designs do.

    >Those are your words, not mine.

    Seemed more like yours:

    me: it should address the client’s requirements and needs.

    you: That’s what minimalism is supposed to be about.

    Basically this whole thread is about the OP explaining what the client is after, and a whole bunch of responses saying that the client is wrong, rather than providing suggestions on how to incorporate the client’s preferences into an improved solution.

    # June 7, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    > But all my designs don’t follow the same/similar trend.

    I have to say, your position doesn’t seem to be quite clear. Following the latest trend is wrong but following various is right?

    > me: it should address the client’s requirements and needs.
    you: That’s what minimalism is supposed to be about.

    You misunderstood and *I think* you have this misconception that minimalism is boring or lacks design, at least from the way I interpreted your writing. Minimalism is about the core information and leaving out the distractions.

    # June 7, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    >Following the latest trend is wrong but following various is right?

    Your words not mine. I never sort to follow any trend with any design I’ve done, hence why I think they’re of varied styles. I let the client & audience requirements guide the style of site I design, as most decent designers I know do.

    >I think you have this misconception that minimalism is boring or lacks design

    Incorrect. Minimalism has it’s place when appropriate, as other styles do in the appropriate circumstances.

    # June 7, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    > I never sort to follow any trend with any design I’ve done

    But the work that is displayed on your site shows otherwise (including your old website). And this is why I become confused to your opinion. Your initial comment was describing unfavorably how every other site is minimal in regards to design. But your own site is designed that way.

    > I let the client & audience requirements guide the style of site I design, as most decent designers I know do.

    That certainly sounds great in writing.

    > Minimalism has it’s place when appropriate, as other styles do in the appropriate circumstances.

    To conclude my part in this discussion, I think the following tweet holds some truth:

    # June 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    >But the work that is displayed on your site shows otherwise (including your old website).

    Subjective at best. Though I do find your idea that a body of work displaying a range of different styles means that work is following “all” the trends quite humorous. But I digress, and would suggest we avoid opening the can of worms that it would be if forum members started commenting uninvited on other members’ work.

    >That certainly sounds great in writing.

    It’s what a designer’s job _should_ be.

    Ignoring a client’s preferences is the issue here. No one has provided suggestions of how to incorporate the client’s apparent preferences into the new site. That is the issue with the majority of comments in this thread, they’re basically suggesting the OP should simply ignore what the client wants. It’s completely irrelevant if _you_ don’t like the example sites I posted, if it’s the type of style the client is after, and would be appropriate for their target audience, then they’re valid examples the OP could use to elicit further details about the client’s preferences and/or use to guide his own attempts to create something appropriate.

    # June 8, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    > Subjective at best.

    The facts are clearly objective.

    > Though I do find your idea that a body of work displaying a range of different styles means that work is following “all” the trends quite humorous.

    Even though you put in quotes, “all”, that’s simply a fabrication. That isn’t my opinion if you read what I’ve written nor is it my “idea”.

    Listen, my position to all of this is simply that it doesn’t make sense to knock down trends if you’re using those exact trends yourself. I think anyone would agree to that.

    > But I digress, and would suggest we avoid opening the can of worms that it would be if forum members started commenting uninvited on other members’ work.

    You wrote an opinion and everyone’s opinions become fair game for others to counter, disagree with and criticize as soon as they’re published. It’s a public forum.

    > It’s what a designer’s job should be.

    The reason I wrote that it sounds good in writing: some clients have ridiculous agendas/opinions. Not all requirements are possible. I’d rather educate them when it comes to these issues, not ignore them.

    > Ignoring a client’s preferences is the issue here. No one has provided suggestions of how to incorporate the client’s apparent preferences into the new site. That is the issue with the majority of comments in this thread, they’re basically suggesting the OP should simply ignore what the client wants.

    I disagree, I think @JoshWhite said it well.

    No one is suggesting for Steven to ignore the client. He should have sat down with this person to understand their overall goals, understand their identity. Just knowing the person is a Pianist really says nothing to me besides that they play a piano.

    You stated that websites should not be based on personal tastes, I disagree. Requirements can factor into one’s personal taste. Many of us are hired based upon it. Although, I agree with you 110% when it comes to those who basically create the same site for every client.

    > It’s completely irrelevant if you don’t like the example sites I posted

    It isn’t when some of those examples you implied were good examples actually have UX issues.

    @Watson90 Do you have all the content for this site?

    # June 8, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    >You wrote an opinion and everyone’s opinions become fair game for others to counter, disagree with and criticize as soon as they’re published. It’s a public forum.

    Your subjective opinion on my work has nothing to do with this discussion since you have no knowledge of what the various clients requested, nor of any audience research that might have lead to the style of design. It was uninvited and in all honesty highly unprofessional if not outright rude. And as I said, start opening that can of worms and this forum would soon sink into a place of negativity very quickly.

    > I think anyone would agree to that.

    I would also recommend avoiding the belief you speak for anyone other than yourself.

    >It isn’t when some of those examples you implied were good examples actually have UX issues.

    You didn’t make a comment on the UX of the sites. Any style of site can have UX issues, so as I said, whether you like their design style or not is completely irrelevant to this discussion. I would advise you to stick to the actual discussion to avoid this or any other thread from becoming a subjective slanging match.

    # June 9, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Sometimes the busier sites are exactly what the client wants — and what’s appropriate for their market.

    Not all companies want to appear trendy or “clean”.

    I struggle with this as well… but getting out of a comfort zone is almost always necessary for growth.

    Enjoy being more creative graphically as you may not get another chance for a while!

    # June 9, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Watch out Janet, apparently you’ve now invited one and all to trawl your portfolio and publicly pass personal judgement on your work! ;o)

    # June 9, 2013 at 1:08 am

    @deeve007, @chrisburton

    I think seven rounds is enough, don’t you?

    > Watch out Janet, …

    please don’t try to suck other people into this. There’s no reason for this debate to even exist.

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