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Thread: stuck in a rut... front end design

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    49

    Question stuck in a rut... front end design

    I've been brewing a little project for myself past 2 months... core elements are nearly complete, and now I'm at a point where I need to decide on the front end design..... which has been my greatest concern since day 1....

    I've been fooling around with ideas in PS for few days, but i still cannot come to grips with what I want... whatever I do, all my efforts come out looking like same old same old...

    while it's been my intention to differ from 'norm', the fact that it will be a community site keeps forcing me to compromise everything, with each iteration of my designs coming out looking like, well, plain old boring.

    since the target audience of the site will be those between 16-20, I think I can be a tad bit more adventurous when it comes to interface design...
    can you guys help me out, perhaps throw out a few layout/interface ideas that will work well for a community site?

    thnx

  2. #2
    Señor member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Huddersfield, UK
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    1,819
    I know your pain, I'm in the middle of trying to redevelop my site and basically drive more traffic through the parts of the site outside the forums and yes in many cases you do need to consider a more "traditional" audience in terms of usability.

    I can't immediately think of a site that might act as suitable inspiration because I only really visit a few community sites and ultrashock apart, most are straight up html with what you'd consider more usable design than cutting edge.

    Why not post up the designs you're playing with, it can sometimes be the case that you've simply looked at them for too long and no matter what you do, they won't look right
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  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    49
    I dont have anything near completion to post here, but a few rough sketches and doodles on paper, really, of what goes where, etc... I've been labouring over this for over a month now...


    it's one of the my weaknesses.... I just can't seem to nail it down when it comes to drawing, designing.... that's exactly why I always work on backend first, LOL...

    well, I'm making a site that's essentially a dating service site.. haha
    I've studied the layouts of the 'competitors' such as match.com, lavalife.com, yahoo personals, datecam.com americansingles.com, etc etc... and I've come to a conclusion that they are all pretty much the same old same old... and couldnt be more boring... seems every one of these sites played it safe when it came to front-end... they are, for the most part, very much methodical, down and dirty all business.... aside from few elements from match.com, and datecam.com's claim of videochat using flash remoting, there seems to be a big void of anything playful on these dating service sites....

    Now I'm not saying I want to plaster the pages with flying shapes and disorienting text effects... haha... what I really want to do is to infuse humour, and perhaps sense of REAL community, in what really is a collection of pictures and names... and I WANT MY FRONT END to be able to convey those ideas, and do it effciently and effortlessly...

    one big advantage I have now is that I plan to keep the service free... which means I do not have to impose restrictions on communications between users...

    anyhow, I'm still stuck in a rut... recommend any more remedy? this is frustrating....

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    249
    spend a few hours surfing and noting what you like/don't like, etc. plenty of inspiration out there.

    if you want your site to be successful perhaps learning from the already established dating sites is not such a bad idea?

    if you're better on the back-end you should maybe hire a designer?

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