Some Thoughts on Web Design
There are now over 150 Million web sites and several billion pages of content housed on the web. The designs of those sites ranges from very simple and clean to fairly outrageous. I think that there is a place for both, but I also think that many pages could be dressed up a bit and still be functional.
A strictly business web site needs to conduct its business without the design of the site overwhelming the purpose. A personal web site has much more room for personnalization. A site for a more mature audience may be best served by a conservative design, whereas a youth oriented or kids site can be more radical.
I am really a hobbist in web design and web site building. Maybe that is a factor in the opinions that I express here. I am also a hobbist in photography and the uses of computers.
I am a bit facinated with the computer and resisted getting one for several years. I assembled the computer that I now use, having graduated from the University of Dell. I follow the techinical press a bit. I am interested in the volume and ease of access of information available on the web.
I combined several of these interests in the building of this web site. Many of the images are produced from pictures that I have taken. I do some digital processing on the computer and end up with a product that is of interest to me. I have used these images in several other projects and know of at least one other site that has used one of my background images.
On to the thoughts on web design. I like some texture in the background rather than a plain solid color. I prefer that the content area be centered in the screen rather that offset to the left. I suppose that it is just the symmetry that appeals to me, but I am never quite comfortable with the offset sites.
I have discovered recently that an ornate background can be distracting if it scrolls with the content, so I have begun to make the fancy backgrounds that I tend to use fixed and let the content area scroll above them. In addition I noticed that since the backgrounds are symmetrical that the page balances best if the background image is set to center.
I would not call the use of a plain design a bad design decision, but I think that there is a place for a little more excitement in web design.