As many of you already know, Self-Portrait Day was discovered by CSS Beauty yesterday. We didn’t even have to submit the site, it just appeared. When Michael wrote me to tell me that SPD was up there, I have to admit, I smiled. I was pretty pleased with this news.
Over the past 3 weeks, every time SPD has been linked from a message board, the main criticism I have received (or played lurker to) has been that the header is HUGE. (HUGE is usually written in all caps). And you know something? It IS huge especially given what users and creators are used to seeing on the Internet.
The site was designed and built in less than one week. That said, we weren’t able to go back and forth on its design and at the same time make sure everything still worked and Toby Joe had time to build it. All I was worried about at that time was making sure it was pushed live. After all, there were 21 people waiting on week one, should I go back on my words, 21 people could be pretty pissed off. Should I miss THEIR deadline, 21 people would turn into 42 people, 42 into 84, soon the ENTIRE internet would hate me and I couldn’t have that. Usually, when I say I’m going to do something, I do it, graphic design project deadlines included.
But now that it’s live and seems to be working (besides the fact that some folks don’t seem to be answering the questions or following ALL the instructions and that sort of saddens me. I guess, sometimes, I am actually a control freak.) we have noticed that there are design elements that may need to change.
Last night, after reading through the comments we have received via email, as well as the comments we have received after being linked to message boards, design forums, and photoblogs, I decided that I do need to do something about the HUGE header. I think Toby Joe summed up why, well. He said, “This site isn’t about SPD and the brand. It’s about the people who are featured every week. That said you really should try and push some of these portraits to fall above the fold.”
So we tried in the little time we had last night. It’s about 56 pixels smaller. That’s not much, but it makes a difference.
Some of the other criticism isn’t something I can fix. In other words, it’s criticism stemmed from one’s personal taste.
I have been a designer for so long. I have heard everything negative from professors to clients, from peers to online self-acclaimed wizards, to bosses, to people on the street, to unknowing guys name Steve or Jeff hiding behind HTML. But for some reason last night, I started to really think about what people were saying, criticism and all. I’m tossing and turning between “It doesn’t matter what they say. I can’t please everyone.” and “I want to make everyone happy because EVERYONE is who the site is for.”
I’m writing today to ask people for more feedback. I want to know if the site has done anything for you (if you’ve been featured). I want to know if you find the design bulky and ugly and WHY you find it to be that way or ways I might change it should my first question come back with a big fat YES. I want to know what your thoughts are on the way people are loaded as currently, since we’re still going by email submissions from the very first day, I am loading them in in the order I receive them. After that, I’m not entirely sure what we will do. I might have to play the roll of Almighty Creator and feature each row in a way that looks good.
I’m looking for constructive criticism. Let me have it!
(If you don’t like leaving comments, please feel free to email me at michele at this domain dot com.)