I haven’t been updating my web contents for a while, because I am quite busy and currently working on a big project – update my website, in both the layout design and php code design. The main motivation is to make my website look more professional and easier to maintain. I am a pure programmer, which means I have no ability in the website layout design (don’t know how to use Photoshop). I have asked my friend to give me some ideas, he then gave me an image file of a website layout and some web URLs for free web designs.
The new design (given by friend) looks quite professional, so I started to transfer it to html page. But later on I actually found the design from layout4free website, the design is completely free, so I can just download the whole design in CSS and XHTML format, and change it accordingly to fit my needs.
Before I actually start changing my whole website, I need to make sure that the new design is really better compared to the current design. So I did the mockup and ask my main visitors. I was expecting that all of them should say that the new design is definitely better; however, the result is quite interesting. I have asked 10 people, and 6 out of them said the new one is more professional than the old one, and recommend me to change it (and it included one of our great designer Jimmy), and 2 out of them said they didn’t understand why people would like grey color for website (the new website is designed using grey color), they don’t like GREY, and the last two, can you guess? Right, they are in the middle, saying both OK for them, but one of them suggested me to use more active colors, grey looks quite sad.
I do reconsider the new design based on the survey result. And after looking at the grey website for a while, I started to have the same feeling that grey is not very good for personal website, it doesn’t reflect the happiness. I think I will keep the layout and change the color to a bit to light green, which would be better. OK, consider that there are still some users do like my current website, I am thinking to change my website so that I will offer users to choose the layout they like, either the new one or old one (default will be the new design), as well as English vs. Chinese options (existing in my current system).
The decision is made, and I am now completely rewriting my php code for my website. I will change the whole code base, including using more Object Oriented designs as well as web directory structures updates, make it more flexible and clean, so that it will be easier to maintain.
Hopefully my new website will be live very soon. I will inform all of my users using e-Newsletter to keep them up-to-date.