Designing web pages is a pretty annoying task for most web programmers I’ve met, including myself. I’ll be first to admit it, I’m not too hot when it comes to web design. I haven’t even bothered changing the default theme for the blog engine I’m using.
What would be really slick is a sort of Web Design for Programmers book, ala Joel’s User Interface Design for Programmers writings and book. I’ve read quite a few books on web design that try to go over basics, but in the end for some reason it always feels like as a programmer, I’m missing those creative juices that result in an unique and interesting website.
There’s a fairly nice series with this exact title over at PeachPit.com that goes over some of the fundamentals. What I think would be ideal, is a website entirely devoted to this topic, with examples and layouts that are good starting points for your own web projects.
I searched around on Google quite a bit, and only came up with the PeachPit articles I cited above. A List Apart is a rather nice site to learn specific web design techniques, but doesn’t really focus on application of the techniques as related to the website on the whole. This part is left up to the designer, which doesn’t help a programmer much.
Having a beautiful website, or even just an aesthetically pleasing one can make a big difference even to other programmers, whether they want to acknowledge it or not. One of the clearest examples of this I’ve seen is with web frameworks and toolkits. A great looking website can get people into a toolkit/framework that might’ve otherwise moved onto a site that looked more “interesting”.