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    Hey guys

    A friend of mine who is a Pianist wants me to create a website for him, he has given me a few examples of what he has in mind, in particular he is fond of this [website]( “”).

    The website to me looks cool, and I would love to be able to recreate something similar, but I have NEVER took on a project like this.

    Anyway, I have started on the project and I have ended up [with this]( “”) so far…

    Every time I progress with it, I feel like I need to scrap it and start again, [the websites I create]( “”) are very simple and minimilistic, nowhere near as graphically based like the other one.

    I feel out of my depth and I kinda’ feel crappy that I am struggling with this…has any one ever took on a project like this? Any advice I need specifically?


    Frankly the example site you linked looks very busy to me and very last decade.

    I would be looking to reduce the clutter as well and I think with a few more touches what you have already created is more in keeping with current..ahem..trends.

    I’m not fan of the background you have there (wood?)..something a lot darker with an image related to his profession would feel better to me. Perhaps music notes or a piano?

    Image ideas:


    Break it in to chunks, don’t think of it as developing a page, but developing modules for the page.

    For example you could think of it like this (going off your design)

    * I need a container,

    * I need a header,
    * I need a logo section,
    * I need a nav section.

    For the main content I need

    * a blog section on the left,
    * a sidebar,
    * the blog section needs a title
    * each post needs 3 sections, title, content, read more

    On the sidebar I need

    * a title
    * 3 sections for links
    * a section for “my videos”

    You mark all this up before you start styling anything.

    Then start thinking about things that will use the same styles

    * titles
    * sidebar links
    * etc.

    Essentially, break the site down. It is easier to work on smaller things towards a final product than it is to work on the grand scheme.

    as Paulie_D says, try to de-clutter it as much as possible. But if you break it down in to chunks as I suggested, you may find it less intimidating.


    >Essentially, break the site down. It is easier to work on smaller things towards a final product than it is to work on the grand scheme.

    I don’t agree. He’s not developing a page…he’s designing a site **look**.

    You have to have an overall design in mind first. An actual **look** and that’s what is being designed here as can be seen that it’s a photoshop design.

    Once you have the design…you get to work with the HTML/CSS.


    > You have to have an overall design in mind first. An actual look and that’s what is being designed here as can be seen that it’s a photoshop design.

    Oh I agree, the design and idea of the site’s design and look should be well thought out beforehand. It was my understanding that the issue was actually tackling putting together the site after designing it.

    I may be wrong in my understanding of what he said, but I totally agree about having the design in mind before tacking the html/css. I just meant once you have the design, mark it up in HTML before you tackle the css, and then work in chunks.

    I was probably not clear enough in my post about having the design before marking it up.


    From the OP I got the impression that he wasn’t happy with his design and this was asking for a critique before actually building it out.

    Personally, I prefer a more minimalistic look to the example link which, as I said felt dated to me.

    I confess I prefer darker websites to brighter ones but for an artist such as a pianist (the client) I would think that something “moody” (something to draw me in) would be more effective than a bright page such as Mr Watson has now.

    My 2c anyway! :)


    @Paulie_D is correct, I am basically looking for critique as I don’t feel it’s anywhere near the way my friend wants it if he is comparing to the example site.

    I honestly prefer clean designs also with soft greys and simple highlights but the website he likes isn’t kind of what I usually create so it feels rather…odd.

    I think I will play around with the background and see how a darker pattern will look.


    I struggle with this issue myself often — creating/designing something, and then after a while you’re so “used” to it, that it doesn’t look fresh anymore and BAM I start over.

    To me, that is the clear indication that design is so much different from development. When I develop a site for someone who came up with the design, I just do it without worrying about the design itself. When I develop a site and I’m also working on the design, I worry too often that it’s not creative enough. Or clear enough. Or flashy enough. Or clean enough. Or ______ enough (you fill it in). But I do think it’s just the result of staring at it for so long all the time.


    Oops, my misunderstanding.


    I think your example site has way too much going on. The design you have started is better in my opinion. If you’re wanting to emulate some the example sites look/feel, do so in small, subtle steps to avoid the cluttered mess shown in the example.


    Thanks very much to everyone who has commented so far, I should really see this as an opportunity to design something different and unique, I will be meeting up with him soon enough to discuss the design further to find out what exactly he wants.

    I think the main thing he wanted after looking at the example site, is the interactivity more so than the design, I have added a disc to my design that when hovered over, it will look like it has spun a few degrees etc.

    I will keep working on it :) thanks again…


    @deeve007 What I understood from that, including some horrible examples you gave, is going back into the “texture” trend that we’ve seen for, at least, the past 4 to 5 years. The only one that makes sense is Hollister. It’s a part of their brand.


    > 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.


    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 :).


    > 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.

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