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Colleague trying to do his own website.

He's bugging me every other hour now....

     
8:44 pm on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It's so ugly. Sooooo ugly. Animated GIF's. Huge, texturized backgrounds. Use of obscure Windows fonts. Background music. He made virtually EVERY design- and useability error you could probably think of!

And then he keeps coming for this and that, and he wants FEEDBACK on the site, the pride haloing around him.

What can I do? My eyes grow sore and I'm really pissed. WHAT CAN I DO?

9:09 pm on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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He's probably not terribly web savy (with a design like that) so you could say that some browsers don't allow animated gifs (ture... I block them) and that they are sometimes frowned upon by users. You could say that not all browsers will support his fonts, and that texturized backgrounds can look bad on other screen resolutions. Then lead him to other sites as design examples.

I don't envy your situation... been there before. The best way is to lead him to his own ideas. Suggest things and then let him morph them so they become "his" ideas. Do your best to save his ego, because to him, it was a big accomplishment.

If you don't like him, tell him the site's perfect and to buzz off. :)

9:18 pm on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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How much are you charging for your advice?
9:19 pm on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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By example might help. There are sites out there which highlight exactly what bad design really is.

You could also try being honest with him. Provide reference which speak to the unholyness of background textures and midis. Show him what a decent page is like and then measure his against that standard.

I feel your pain, but damn the torpedoes...full speed ahead.

10:22 pm on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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In the end should he fail to heed your advice you could always submit it to worst of the web or similar website.
11:29 pm on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Buy him a copy of Son of Web Pages that Suck for his birthday.
12:54 am on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Everybody would have made a site like that when they were starting out. Most of the time people just get excited and try to put everything they can on the page.

Be as calm and rational as possible when giving advice otherwise they may take it as an insult.

There are some people who are not gun site designers, but still want to have a go. Try not to step on their feelings.

Thanks.

1:18 am on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Send him to a template site...for "ideas". Then, maybe he'll see something simple that just might override his terrible taste.
11:15 am on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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By example might help. There are sites out there which highlight exactly what bad design really is.

You could get his site listed on one of those sites, and then show him :)

8:24 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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He's not one of my buddies, but it's not that I dislike him. He's just a colleague. I can't even read what his site is about since he's of different nationality than I am.

Yes, maybe it's the pride. Yes, maybe my first site looked the same. Well, it didn't, since animated GIF's and Midi's and frames where not yet used then. But point taken.

The best suggestion from a keep-a-calm-working-environment perspective is actually the one about template sites. The one I like best though is the worst-of-the-web suggestion...

9:36 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The best suggestion from a keep-a-calm-working-environment perspective is actually the one about template sites. The one I like best though is the worst-of-the-web suggestion...

Well you can always do both...
9:55 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hmmmm..... tempting.
10:51 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Actually timchuma has the right approach. Your colleague has learned a lot of techniques. You should praise him for learning them, then somehow slip in the notion that less is more, and that he needs to move on to the next step. That's where worst-of-the-web and web-pages-that-suck will help.

We all have to go through a learning curve, so be patient with him. Perhaps point him in the direction of this forum to take the heat off you. I'm sure we could give him some good advice (although, of course, we wouldn't do a site review).

7:13 am on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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MY first web site was just like this, its stil up 5 years later and I cringe when I see it.

Go easy on the critcal statements, just suggest what may better in general terms like removing GIFs because they slow page download etc etc

He'll get the point

10:28 am on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I would tell him that designing webpages takes time and that there are a lot of theory in the subject. Then hand him a book about webdesign, Jacob Nielsen or something similar.

Tell him that reading the book is very important before designing websites and that he will get a lot of tips and information from the book.

He would probably sit down with the book, hopefully read it and realize that his first site wasn't that great. Also he hopefully will be greatful that you showed patience and guided him. Best of all he won't bug you that much since now he has a book he can consult :)

10:47 am on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Tell him it's the funniest thing you've ever seen, and you're grateful for him sharing the joke with you.