Forum: Ruby on Rails I need more bling!

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David M. (Guest)
on 2006-02-24 08:49
(Received via mailing list)
Hello everyone,

I just showed a friend a prototype of a site offering a service I'm
trying to sell (sorry, not on the Internet yet - he saw it at my
house).

His comment: "Looks like it does everything, but also looks pretty
ugly.  You're not going to wow anybody with that".  Sitting back and
thinking about it, he's dead right - it needs some bling to make it
sell itself, rather than have me trying to convince people to use it.
Functionality-wise, it hits every button there is, but it looks like
crap.

Not having a visual design bone in my body, I'm stumped to know how to
proceed.  Sure, I've looked at the Ajax APIs for Rails and I can see
that using them could add the bling, but I just don't have the bling
gene.

Side note - I'm sitting here typing this in bare feet, old shorts with
>1 hole and >1 torn pocket and a T-shirt with torn collar & no logo in
a dull grey/green/olive sort of color.  My watch is a Casio; my
toothbrush is cheap and electric; my car is dented; my OS is Gentoo;
my office is piled high with stuff that looks totally random except to
me; advertisers stop me in the street to ask me to pose as the "Before
using..." person for products they're trying to sell.  I am, however,
brave, honest and true.  My core, my life experience, my very being,
is robustly anti-bling.

Where does a guy like me turn to learn how to *use* these cool Ajax-y
things, without making something that looks ridiculous?  I understand
the technology side of things; it's the "make it look stylishly
enticing" part of things I'm struggling with.  I have a graphic
designer friend I could call on, but she's not across Web 2.0 stuff at
all and I don't think we actually speak a common language when it
comes to design vs. functionality.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions

Regards

Dave M.
Pat M. (Guest)
on 2006-02-24 09:07
(Received via mailing list)
Clearly you're a hacker and not a designer.  Hire someone to design
the site for you.

I don't know what your hourly rate is, but I save a ridiculous amount
of money by subcontracting the design work to someone else.  It lets
me do what I'm good at - write code - while wasting no hours visually
designing the thing.

Pat
Howard R. (Guest)
on 2006-02-24 09:22
(Received via mailing list)
On 2/24/06, David M. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
>
> Hello everyone,
>
> I just showed a friend a prototype of a site offering a service I'm
> trying to sell (sorry, not on the Internet yet - he saw it at my
> house).
>
> His comment: "Looks like it does everything, but also looks pretty
> ugly.  You're not going to wow anybody with that".




Not having a visual design bone in my body, I'm stumped to know how to
> proceed.  Sure, I've looked at the Ajax APIs for Rails and I can see
> that using them could add the bling, but I just don't have the bling
> gene.


Hi David, I can totally relate :)   I've always valued function over
forum
to a fault.
Old school Web design stressed that where 'bling' is concerned, less is
more, for two reasons: 1) Visual overload and 2) slow dial-up
connections
resulting in slow page loads.
AFAIC, #1 still very much applies, but technology has somewhat mitigated
#2.
As things changed over the years I found myself struggling to 'catch-up'
a
bit and come into the modern world. Not knowing anything about your
design
background, I'll toss www.webstyleguide.com out to you, just in case you
might find it helpful.

Where does a guy like me turn to learn how to *use* these cool Ajax-y
> things, without making something that looks ridiculous?  I understand
> the technology side of things; it's the "make it look stylishly
> enticing" part of things I'm struggling with.


Whoa, horsey! Before you go getting all jiggy for the AJAX, you haven't
mentioned a thing about you're CSS, partials and layouts. I'd look long
and
hard at them before you move on to trying to trying to ajax up your
site.
When you do though, I'd suggest you make sure you've read the Curt H.
OnLamp tutorial on AJAX at
www.onlamp.com/pub/a/onlamp/2005/06/09/rails_ajax.html, The
script.aculo.ussite, and Chad F.s new Rails Recipes book from
Pragmatic Programmers.

HTH,
Dean
Mark Reginald J. (Guest)
on 2006-02-24 10:19
(Received via mailing list)
David M. wrote:

> designer friend I could call on, but she's not across Web 2.0 stuff at
> all and I don't think we actually speak a common language when it
> comes to design vs. functionality.

Don't conflate usabilty and visual design.  You may be better off
contracting out your look, but you may have good skills when it comes
to feel, which is the domain of AJAX and JavaScript.  You can get some
potential users to test your user-interface design even before much of
the bling is added.


--
We develop, watch us RoR, in numbers too big to ignore.
Martin (Guest)
on 2006-02-24 10:47
When i'm lazy i just borrow something from http://openwebdesign.org/ .
I can implement a design pretty fast, so changing it later should not be
a big problem.
David M. (Guest)
on 2006-02-24 11:29
(Received via mailing list)
Thanks guys for your suggestions.

I think the biggest problem is that what I'm presenting is 90% rows of
data out of tables (duh), and it looks like ... rows of data out of
tables, with a bunch of links thrown in for each row.  I've got the
alternating colors going for each row, but it really doesn't look that
great.  I haven't got embedded "font" stuff in HTML - it's all CSS -
but that doesn't make me a Web designer by a long stretch!

I've got my graphic artist friend looking at it at the moment, in
exchange for pizza, beer and watching football later on - lots of
giggles, which may or may not be a good sign...

There *must* be a market for teaching color- and taste-blind people
like me how to make minimally nice-looking sites.  If you know anyone
capable of doing this, tell them to get into business doing it sooner
rather than later - they'll clean up financially.

Regards

Dave M.
Anthony G. (Guest)
on 2006-02-24 15:45
>
> His comment: "Looks like it does everything, but also looks pretty
> ugly.  You're not going to wow anybody with that".  Sitting back and
> thinking about it, he's dead right - it needs some bling to make it
> sell itself, rather than have me trying to convince people to use it.
> Functionality-wise, it hits every button there is, but it looks like
> crap.

One word - 'Myspace'

Total ****
Thousands of users
Sold for $$$$$

If they want it they will come.

_T
Adam F. (Guest)
on 2006-02-24 16:12
(Received via mailing list)
On Fri, Feb 24, 2006 at 05:48:47PM +1100, David M. wrote:
>  my OS is Gentoo

One of these things is not like the others.

--
				- Adam

** Expert Technical Project and Business Management
**** System Performance Analysis and Architecture
****** [ http://www.everylastounce.com ]

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Tom M. (Guest)
on 2006-02-24 22:48
(Received via mailing list)
On Feb 23, 2006, at 10:48 PM, David M. wrote:

>
> Not having a visual design bone in my body, I'm stumped to know how to
> proceed.  Sure, I've looked at the Ajax APIs for Rails and I can see
> that using them could add the bling, but I just don't have the bling
> gene.

Yes, that's *exactly* true.

Hoping to gain the bling gene is like an artist hoping to become a
programmer.

Now, admittedly, some can do both. But, I think we can all agree that
generally speaking you don't want engineers creating bling, just as you
don't want artists creating code.

--
-- Tom M.
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