I’d forgotten for quite some time how much fun it can be to design and build a website. I had gotten to the point where even thinking about web design sickened me, and the idea of having to do it for a living made me wonder why I ever started designing web pages in the first place.
But right now I have a full time job designing a website, and I’m having a lot of fun.
I’m doing it in PHP and CSS; I’m actually using PHP to create dynamic navigation. I’ve learned a lot in just the week I’ve been working on it. A major focus for me has, of course, been reusability–if, in the future, a new design is needed, I’d like to just apply a new CSS stylesheet rather than rebuild from scratch. My current design is close to that level, but not quite there.
I’ve actually found myself borrowing a lot from what I remember about WordPress themes and templates. Those nice clean PHP layouts were quite the inspiration. I hope I’ve done them justice.
A lot of my web design experience involves throwing out some code and seeing if it does what I think it’ll do…and then debugging the hell out of it when it doesn’t work. It’s fun and I learn a lot that way. Obviously, I’m not one of those programmers who can tell if it’ll “compile” before I even “run” it. I guess my working style could be considered sloppy, which is part of why I gave up on being a computer programmer back in high school. Web design is a nice middle ground, because it requires both technical knowledge and creativity. Since I have reasonable abilities in both, there’s no disconnect between designer and coder, so it works out pretty well.
I think what has made this particular project enjoyable for me is the fact that I’m proud of the work I’m doing. I’m not just half-assing something to fling up and forget about. I’m invested in this project, and I want to see it succeed.
It also helps that my client loves the design ;)
Of course, when I get really involved in web design, I always learn something new, which means I always go back and think about my existing websites and how I can improve them. You never know, this might lead to a flurry of activity from me…