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Hey treyrust,

Here’s what I think, plain and simple, you decide how constructive it is…

Your code.

Its decent. It’s surprisingly readable, although i’d suggest some indentation for more readability. There’s some issues with paragraphs inside of list items or improper usage of header tags. In this regard i’d suggest looking at w3schools for what each tags purpose is. As well as work on your layouts. You also say on your site that you know html5, but there is no use of it. Same thing for css3, except in this case, just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should, use what you need.

Your Design.

It’s bad. I don’t want to say it’s terrible, it’s not, but there’s just so many things lacking that I’m not sure how to help you improve any of them. The only thing I applaud you for is wanting to be different. Funny thing about that is when you try to be different you end up with a design that is outside of the box, but also outside of good design. People are inside of the box for a reason, because it works. I suggest if you want to be different think on the edge of the box and only be a little different. Besides that you definitely need to improve your design skills. Try these sites:

These are just some sites that I myself read. You may ask how I read them all? Two words… Feed aggregator. I have a mac so i use Reeder. It helps immensely in reading lots of blogs quickly.

One more quick tip on your designs in general, for your site at least. Your going for a portfolio site, so the one page, dynamically loaded content just doesn’t work well at all for that. Try not to push away the html conventions that are standard. And with that thought, standards compliance is also very important.

Okay! So now you know what I think, how about what I think you should do… again you choose if you want to follow these or not…

Steps to becoming an awesome designer in a few short months (perhaps less)…

  1. Read all of the links I listed as well as search for more. Do this for about a month. Reading all of these can be difficult, so get a feed aggregator to simplify it.
  2. With your new found knowledge, start practicing. Make sample sites to demonstrate what you’ve learned. Then show them to people. Not your family, they’ll tell you it’s great no matter if it’s totally awesome or a horse’s rear. Instead try friends first, then try online. This forum will work or any good web design forum.
  3. Once you and those other people are sure your skills have improved, try and do your site again. (I know you’ve done it over and over again, but if you really want to be a great web designer that’s what it takes. If that’s not what you want to do, maybe your on the wrong career path).
  4. When your done with the redesign show it off to those same people. If it’s not great, repeat the previous step again until it is. Once it is then your ready.
  5. Now your ready to do small sites. I know you want to do big awesome sites. But everyone starts out small. So go to local places and offer to redo their website for free. Yes free, with no true experience, they won’t pay you no matter how much skill you say you have. It’s about show not tell in this biz. So do at least five local sites, i’d suggest places that don’t even have sites or have very old sites. Elementary schools are a good example.
  6. After you start doing these sites, where hopefully they will at least be good looking and function as promised (Function on the web is more important than design), add them to your portfolio as images, the more the merrier.
  7. Finally once you’ve filled up your portfolio with ONLY the best of your designs. You can now start charging. But again, start small, choose small places at first and charge in small increments as your skills and design prowess increases.

* As a side note to this list, consider a niche market, no one is a master at everything and focusing your skills on one area will bank you more business as well as make you look more professional.

And just to cheer you up… a few years ago I knew absolutely nothing… about web design, of course.

Finally, be professional, if you want to make money in this business, you got to treat it like one.


Scubasteve :)

Your friendly neighborhood helper!