Good Design is Easy, Great Design is Hard

I spent a good seven or eight hours today working on Domain Pigeon.

The last week has been very busy so I haven’t been able to make much progress, but with a full day to work I got a lot done. The site now has a registration system and a semi-well done home page. One of the designs that I put together two weeks ago (that took several hours) I completely scrapped today in favor of another. I get this feel like I’ll scrape this one in time too, but, hey, the more I iterations I go over the more I learn what doesn’t work.

After spending a lot of time playing with different layouts and color schemes I’ve come to two conclusions: 1) It isn’t very hard to make a site that looks OK. 2) It’s a lot harder to design something that looks great. I base this on the fact that the majority of websites are designed with very little attention for usability, color schemes, overall layout, navigation. Most are, well, ugly. But every now and then you stumble upon a site that just flows. You get the feeling that if you asked the designer what the padding is between two adjacent elements, he or she will be able to tell you off the top of his head. Quality matters.

Esquire has an amazingly well designed magazine. Everything just seems to fit. Inc and FastCompany too. I’ve been perusing them looking for ideas and I suggest anyone who is stuck just pay the magazine section at the local book store a visit for some inspiration.

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