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28 December 2012 @ 01:16 pm
web design redux  
Most of you will probably not care about this. :)

I am told that the Genesis framework can support that two-column header that I want. I'm happy enough to buy the framework for somebody to work from, but I have accepted the brutal truth that I just don't want to be the one trying to make it work. In terms of things being set in stone for what I want, the two column header and the color scheme are the things not to mess with. With that in mind, the following:

My mockup for the basic shape I would like mizkit.com to have:

Mockup with column commentary:

This is fairly functional. It's not terribly pretty. I would *like* it to be prettier, ideally somehow thematically with me as a writer but anything with a sense of wonder/fun/something, I don't know. My old theme incorporated my Take A Chance comic's first splash image, and I liked that enough to keep it for years.

The body layout, which I like a lot, is borrowed from this theme, which is utterly beautiful but totally useless in terms of content delivery, with that huge flipping graphic there. I would like something like that body layout, though the focus for the above-the-fold right-hand navigation column would be like the one on CE Murphy.Net instead of recent posts, etc.

Bonus points to anybody who could incorporate my new sassy lady in an attractive and organic way.

My budget is limited. I'd like to keep it around $250, but I have no idea if that's reality-based. I mean, several people have volunteered to do it for free, but I don't know if this is within anybody's free skill set :), so should I end up *hiring* someone, I don't know how badly I'm off-mark. (Probably miles, because I know what design work cost back when I was doing it, and that was a long time ago. OTOH, I really can't help my budget, so we'll see.)

What's anybody think?
Chrysoulachrysoula on December 28th, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
I absolutely love mini-slider, all half-width in the header. Also like the header double column being wider and off-balance with bottom double column.

_really_ love the mini-slider. It seems ideal for a writer with books to sell but mainly words to share. I'd pay double digits (but cannot afford more) myself, as a note to any designers reading who might be thinking of designing something new and putting it up for sale uncustomized. Or a child theme for Genesis or whatever. (I have paid for premade themes before. This is intended to establish there is a market for what Catie wants broader than Catie herself, rather than piggyback on her $250 budget.)

Not going to be able to stop thinking about mini sliders now for Dreamfarmer, even if I end up having to buy Genesis and sob over it myself. I think I had something in mind for the eventual Senyaza website, ( where I collect all the blog posts and extra material I've produced for (hollow laughing) promotional blog tours) that did work with the modern dumbass magazine style thing, although I have no idea what I expected to do for art. Sometimes I think graphic designers assume everybody is as visual and handy with a camera or other visual elements as themselves... So MANY picture-focused themes, and the 'plain text' ones are so boring and simple. I've had two different paid subscriptions to theme sites, lured in by pretty and realizing when considering implementation that I'd need a fricking portfolio of artwork to keep the pretty.

Sorry to whine and rant, I had a hard night and I still feel a little wild.
Laura Anne Gilmansuricattus on December 28th, 2012 06:09 pm (UTC)
oh yeah. We could totally pass the hat for someone to design an (easily) customizable generic....
kitmizkit on December 28th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
The half-header is seriously the only way I can see that's practical for having easily customized "what's new!" information that doesn't take up half the fucking page.

It's not that graphic designers assume everyone is visual etc etc (tho they might) so much as there is *nobody* stopping them from focusing on the Super Super Pretty and making them focus on content delivery. You are utterly right: plain-text ones are almost all super boring, and as somebody who used to do this job, god damn it, I want it done Right. I want attractive and content-bearing. It shouldn't be that hard. It *isn't* that hard, except my skills are a rusty decade out of date.
Thirzahthirzah on December 29th, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
Um, finding time on my hands... I've put together a *very* plain child theme to twentytwelve (the wordpress default theme) with a split header and a scroller thingy for featured posts.

Note: seriously plain - but the scroller bit, at least, should be functional and could be easily tweaked by those that.. you know, do pretty stuff :)