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Site Graphics and Multimedia Design Forum

Header image for the website

 1:42 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I need your advice. I am creating web applications to experiment with my research in Information Retrieval.
I do not spend much time to web design.
However my sites appearance was criticized many times, like it is boring, etc. and I want to do something easy to make it better. Usually I have header, content and footer parts. No images, pure HTML.
Probably I need to make a nice image for the header. I probably need a simple tool to create images. Any advice?



 1:54 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Gimp..( it's free ).


 6:03 am on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Embellish all you want, but take this

sites appearance was criticized many times, like it is boring, etc.

Needs to be taken with grain of salt (okay, a 6 lb block of it, at times.)

A professional will comment on a site's "boringness" with specific details, like

"I don't think the header graphics is appropriate for the topic, it's about widgets but it has an image of a car."


"The text is too heavy and there's nothing to compel the viewer to spend a minute of their precious time to read it. You might draw interest with a pic of a thumbnail by the widget paragraph, this gives a visual connection to what the text is about and may draw their interest."

If someone's only comment is "it's boring" it's likely they don't have the skills to make a comment that is of any real value simply because, in absence of the knowledge of what makes web sites work, they don't have the words to describe their reaction in detail.

The question you should ask immediately is "what should you do to make it less boring?" If their response is anything like

"I donno, it's just dead, it just sits there. It needs things flashing or moving, like animations."

"You need more colors, it's only blues and golds" (which is a perfect example of a complimentary color scheme, and is a good choice based on color THEORY.) "You need more colors, like every other link should be a different color, that makes it exciting."

These are two real responses from my "customer memorable quotes" file and they are making comments based on **their** life experiences without a single clue as to what makes web sites work. Typical participants are employees, co workers, "friends" and others, many of which have no clue how to build a web site and are often reacting out of a hidden jealousy - I can't do it, so I must poo poo on what you've done here, if I can't do it, it must suck.

So be cautious about making such changes without understanding the motivations. Find someone who knows their stuff, has experience in it, pay them to be honest and you may get a more clear assessment.

No images, pure HTML.

One word: craigslist.org. "Beauty" is not always the most important thing.


 3:08 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I appreciate you response and actually it is very much in sync with how I see it.

On the one hand my applications are not commercial and serve more to research experimental purposes. On the other of course I want them to attract attention without spending much time to graphics and sophisticated HTML and JavaScript tricks.

Is there any chance to ask you to look at some of them and make your judgment?


 7:19 pm on Feb 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

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