The design dilemma & feature creep

The design dilemma & feature creep web View Project

Jun 18, 2014

So, there's a problem I've been running into a lot while I continue my work on this new portfolio. I should probably mention that this current incarnation of the website is the third. The previous one is live while I write this, and full of terrible design choices because it's the first website I ever created. The one after that was actually started as a Python project, but I ran into problems when I realized I didn't actually know Python.

Of course, now that I've actually got somewhat of a handle on the Laravel version of this project, it now suffers from what developers call feature creep. This is why it's taken at least a year to get even to this - quite limited - point. Laziness is also a factor (working from home is not my strong point).

Then, yesterday I ran into a rather sudden realization. After changing the design of this website at least three times, not including the previous attempts I just mentioned, I still hate the design.

This is almost funny, because I thought I did like it for a while. Unfortunately, while I've gotten in some great practice with designing business websites, artistic websites are much more difficult. They are a whole other monster, because you get no guidelines to start with. Looking for a website design for a travel business? Yeah, sure, I can spit one out in a couple hours. Artistic websites? Heh, good luck.

Freedom is a curse, especially when it comes to web design. One the one hand, I have to try to show off what I can do. This is complicated by the fact that I'm a web designer and artist. Somehow I have to mesh those two together, and that's a lot harder than it sounds; I'm used to designing boring websites for traditional businesses. Designing for an artist requires thinking outside of the box, and for web design, that's something you get trained to stop doing after having such designs rejected. "Don't reinvent the wheel" is the first thing you learn as any type of designer, but you have to step outside your comfort zone just a few steps to make something awesome.

Then again, step too far and you'll end up with the pile of poo I had the first time around. That was just sad.

This has lead to the sad mixture that is my current website. 
Rather than redoing all of it, I'm trying my hardest to actually finish the thing so that I can at least present it to people. Anything is better than my live website.