posted Oct 13, 2012
in Administrative, Bloviation

I surrender.

Many years ago, I set myself a simple task. I would create a blog layout for myself, and it would have some sort of color in it. It would not simply be a white background.

After all, the best way to learn something is to force yourself to do it, right?

Unfortunately, I failed. The resulting design could be charitably described as "quirky" and accurately described as "ugly". What's more, the design you may have seen was the best of at least a dozen or so attempts! It turns out I can take a very sensible and aesthetic design from a standard template site, and in three small changes, utterly destroy it.

I think what finally tipped me into giving up was a recent experience at work. After implementing a serviceable-but-utilitarian interface for a particular project, my boss told me and a designer at work that it really needs to look a lot nicer, and I've got about 24 hours to do it. To be clear, this was acknowledged to be a bit of a short-notice request and it wasn't a "job on the line" request or anything, but still, it was important.

In 24 hours, all I could have done would be to iterate through the equivalent of perhaps 2 or 3 of the aforementioned dozen designs I tried on this blog.

In three hours flat, the designer completely reworked the interface into something that looked great. Perhaps not "amazing",but you looked at it and just got that good feeling, like, this is something put together by a professional. It got scattered oohs and ahhs from the ~75 people in attendance when it was unveiled, and there's certainly nothing I could have done to get that effect.

It's time to face up to the fact that I'm just not going to ever have that level of skill, nor anything approximating it. It's time to write off color design.

What remaining traces of color there are on this site are now just holdovers from the old design that happened to work in this context, so hey, they can come along. But welcome aboard, off-white background and plain text.

 

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