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  • #1212651
    ajkeal
    Member
    • Total posts: 14

    I believe it’s due to the nature of responsive web design. The vast majority of websites are using Bootstrap or Foundation grid systems.

    Essentially, there are 12 invisible columns to place content on the site. As the screen size gets smaller, these columns collapse on top of each other. This pushes designers to design with that in mind, which generally results in sites that are quite “blocky”.

    Essentially, it comes down to efficiency. Working this way means that even custom designed sites fold down easily. If you disregard the grid, and think outside of the box a bit, theres a lot more work in figuring out how the site behaves on all screen sizes.

    My 2c :)

    #1212652
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    ajkeal, post: 254889, member: 102243 wrote:
    I believe it’s due to the nature of responsive web design. The vast majority of websites are using Bootstrap or Foundation grid systems.

    Essentially, there are 12 invisible columns to place content on the site. As the screen size gets smaller, these columns collapse on top of each other. This pushes designers to design with that in mind, which generally results in sites that are quite “blocky”.

    Essentially, it comes down to efficiency. Working this way means that even custom designed sites fold down easily. If you disregard the grid, and think outside of the box a bit, theres a lot more work in figuring out how the site behaves on all screen sizes.

    My 2c :)

    I’d agree with all of that but I think it’s changing rapidly, especially if as a designer or developer you’re looking to break out of the “cookie cutter” model.

    A combination of Flexbox and CSS Grid has pretty much killed off the need for a grid at all.

    Even Bootstrap itself has gone to Flexbox and having fought with it for few days trying to bend it to my needs (total failure)…I’ve found it’s actually easier to write Flexbox than fight with an opinionated grid system.

    I’ve just read this article by Rachel Andrews in Smashing Magazine (which she edits)…she argues that in many circumstances even “media queries” are totally unnecessary using modern layout techniques.

    https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/02/media-queries-responsive-design-2018/

    Maybe a bit techie for some but imo every line of code is starting to count…especially on mobile (if that’s your target market).

    With Google announcing July this year is the kick off for marking back slow mobile viewing/usability, I’m paying attention.

    Their current benchmark for “good” is no more than 3 seconds on 3G (not 4G).

    I wonder what will happen to sites over or even at 3/4 seconds on 4G…probably doesn’t matter if you’re customers are sitting at a desktop/notebook/tablet (where they still do plenty of final purchases) but if they don’t even find you on mobile (where a LOT of initial searching/scanning takes place).

    What’s your percentage loss caused by a slow loading “all you can eat” frontend framework?

    #1212659
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    El Arish Tropical Exotics, post: 255476, member: 6734 wrote:
    Geez, you have a very high opinion of your clients!

    Fair comment.

    But the OP, who seems to have disappeared did make a point that has some validity.

    Clients who’ve had a website or two usually understand a lot more about how the whole thing works e.g. functionality, clear messages, work with the audience..while spinning whizzing widgets don’t.

    imo experience first timers think it’s all about the visual display, they think the more widgets they have, the better the site.

    Designers are a bit guilty too sometimes, because the quickest way to “sell” a site to a newbie is some parallax, having everything “fade in or out” (the more directions the better), ad in a triple somersaulting menu or slider and they’re sold.

    I also think regardless of industry ‘educating” clients is a big part of the gig…and often a pain in the arse.

    #1212660
    El Arish Tropical Exotics
    Member
    • Total posts: 227

    I agree Greg but as a customer I can say some designers like to do the same thing over and over because it works so it goes both ways.

    At the end of the day someone with good communication skills that convey their ideas is going to have a better relationship with clients and create trust over someone who carries too much baggage from the ghosts of clients past. As you say, it’s part of the gig.

    As a client right now I would love to get some work done on my Neto site but my last experience with custom work from Neto sucked. They may be great at coding but they are terrible at customer service/interpersonal skills, like a bunch of 24 yr olds hopped up on V silicon valley wantabee’s too busy playing Ping-Pong to listen or explain to the client and follow through. I guess that’s why I personally found the post disturbing. I’ve been on the receiving end of that sort of contemptuous attitude. It loses money, not makes it.

    #1212661
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    El Arish Tropical Exotics, post: 255734, member: 6734 wrote:
    I agree Greg but as a customer I can say some designers like to do the same thing over and over because it works so it goes both ways.

    At the end of the day someone with good communication skills that convey their ideas is going to have a better relationship with clients and create trust over someone who carries too much baggage from the ghosts of clients past. As you say, it’s part of the gig.

    As a client right now I would love to get some work done on my Neto site but my last experience with custom work from Neto sucked. They may be great at coding but they are terrible at customer service/interpersonal skills, like a bunch of 24 yr olds hopped up on V silicon valley wantabee’s too busy playing Ping-Pong to listen or explain to the client and follow through. I guess that’s why I personally found the post disturbing. I’ve been on the receiving end of that sort of contemptuous attitude. It loses money, not makes it.

    What you’re saying kind of sums up how I got (fell) into, and continue to get work in the web space.

    Relationships with clients is the beginning and end of how I’ve done business all my life and if you’re a small operator it’s the only thing that works long term.

    So much so (where web development is concerned) that I’ve had no shortage of demand over the last 10 years, at least 8 of them without even having a website of my own…

    Your Neto experience is typical, not just the egos but also a lack of understanding about “real” business processes…brilliant usually at the sort of stuff they use and like (usually variations on a social media theme, or the latest design layout hype)…add in your typically naive newish to the web business owner and you have a recipe for disaster.

    I was stirring the possum a little with the original post, but behind it is an understanding of how little knowledge the average business owner has of how they’re often being ‘done over’ by many designer/developers who are really only “one trick ponies” running on ego and not much else.

    I’d actually agree that many off the shelf layouts are fine, and I use them myself…BUT if all that can be done with that layout is add a blog (or dodgy plugins) what real use is it?

    Just my opinion, but I have a few clients that agree with me.

    #1212662
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    El Arish Tropical Exotics, post: 255734, member: 6734 wrote:
    I agree Greg but as a customer I can say some designers like to do the same thing over and over because it works so it goes both ways.

    At the end of the day someone with good communication skills that convey their ideas is going to have a better relationship with clients and create trust over someone who carries too much baggage from the ghosts of clients past. As you say, it’s part of the gig.

    As a client right now I would love to get some work done on my Neto site but my last experience with custom work from Neto sucked. They may be great at coding but they are terrible at customer service/interpersonal skills, like a bunch of 24 yr olds hopped up on V silicon valley wantabee’s too busy playing Ping-Pong to listen or explain to the client and follow through. I guess that’s why I personally found the post disturbing. I’ve been on the receiving end of that sort of contemptuous attitude. It loses money, not makes it.

    Slightly off topic, but I’m a little surprised you can’t get what you want done on a Neto store.

    I’m not really familiar with the platform but I had a quick look, and it looks pretty good at a glance.

    The big one is, they give you full access to the front end code (Squarespace does too)…so I can’t see a lot of reasons why you can’t get exactly what you want…databases (which you can’t access) are dumb, they should only store and retrieve what you build on the frontend.

    So, a “good’ frontend developer should be able to make it ” talk”…

    #1212663
    El Arish Tropical Exotics
    Member
    • Total posts: 227
    Greg_M, post: 255736, member: 38207 wrote:
    Slightly off topic, but I’m a little surprised you can’t get what you want done on a Neto store.

    I’m not really familiar with the platform but I had a quick look, and it looks pretty good at a glance.

    The big one is, they give you full access to the front end code (Squarespace does too)…so I can’t see a lot of reasons why you can’t get exactly what you want…databases (which you can’t access) are dumb, they should only store and retrieve what you build on the frontend.

    So, a “good’ frontend developer should be able to make it ” talk”…

    The software is fantastic, the people who you deal with and the way the company is set up not so much.

    They way they used to be set up is one person within the organization quotes on the job and then distributes the work to other web developers. There is a lot lost in translation (even with things in writing), support is super slow and because the company has grown so much in the last few years no one knows how to use all of the software or cares, they just pass you on.

    A simple example amongst several thousand I have is getting a “sales” tag on items. When I asked why none of my items on sales had the little “sale” tag I was told I’d need to pay for custom design. I asked why then was it shown on a template. Ended up paying for custom work, still didn’t work.

    Eventually a new person actually looked into 6 months down the track it was because in order for the “sale” tag to work there needs to be a price in RRP. When I had paid to have my products imported over they left RRP blank. It’s pass the buck central with no project management. Neto design staff is young mentally and as you mentioned have no idea what they do is attached to a working business or that you are a client. You’re reduced to be a 2hr job in this department, 1hr somewhere else.

    Recently stopped Ebaying called to find out how to delete the Ebay module off so I wasn’t paying for it. Customer service tells me, well it’s part of your contract, you can’t get rid of it. I was so stunned by his tone (that inferred I was an idiot) I forgot that one of their selling points is that you have not contract! You just pick up and drop modules that you use! Eventually deleted off but that seems like basic stuff to me.

    I could go on an on about my dislike for the company (and love of the software) but in a nutshell it’s too painful for me to go back for more. I need to find an independent designer that is familiar with their software. I will never, ever pay for them to do anything again. I need a drink. Just thinking about them gives me flashbacks. If you read their google reviews you’ll see it’s pretty split between love and loathing. NDS (Neto Distress Syndrome) is pretty common amongst users.

    #1212664
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    El Arish Tropical Exotics, post: 255737, member: 6734 wrote:
    The software is fantastic, the people who you deal with and the way the company is set up not so much.

    They way they used to be set up is one person within the organization quotes on the job and then distributes the work to other web developers. There is a lot lost in translation (even with things in writing), support is super slow and because the company has grown so much in the last few years no one knows how to use all of the software or cares, they just pass you on.

    A simple example amongst several thousand I have is getting a “sales” tag on items. When I asked why none of my items on sales had the little “sale” tag I was told I’d need to pay for custom design. I asked why then was it shown on a template. Ended up paying for custom work, still didn’t work.

    Eventually a new person actually looked into 6 months down the track it was because in order for the “sale” tag to work there needs to be a price in RRP. When I had paid to have my products imported over they left RRP blank. It’s pass the buck central with no project management. Neto design staff is young mentally and as you mentioned have no idea what they do is attached to a working business or that you are a client. You’re reduced to be a 2hr job in this department, 1hr somewhere else.

    Recently stopped Ebaying called to find out how to delete the Ebay module off so I wasn’t paying for it. Customer service tells me, well it’s part of your contract, you can’t get rid of it. I was so stunned by his tone (that inferred I was an idiot) I forgot that one of their selling points is that you have not contract! You just pick up and drop modules that you use! Eventually deleted off but that seems like basic stuff to me.

    I could go on an on about my dislike for the company (and love of the software) but in a nutshell it’s too painful for me to go back for more. I need to find an independent designer that is familiar with their software. I will never, ever pay for them to do anything again. I need a drink. Just thinking about them gives me flashbacks. If you read their google reviews you’ll see it’s pretty split between love and loathing. NDS (Neto Distress Syndrome) is pretty common amongst users.

    Oh dear, my comment wasn’t designed to drive you to drink.

    I think the issues you’ve experienced are all too common in a lot of software…a very big gap between sales and marketing, features etc. and the actual ability to deliver them.

    I had a look at their API’s and templating language and from a purely technical point of view I’m no longer as impressed by their product…as mentioned many times here the end user is bored stiff by how it all works works, just that it does…so I wont go there.

    It might sound like I’m splitting hairs, but having had a look under the hood I think you need more than an average “designer” going forward.

    Some things they’d need to demonstrate to me (and explain in plain English) is a thorough understanding of the internal templating language. It also seems to have Bootsrap as it’s core for templating…not bad in itself but without a lot of Bootsrap expertise I’ll bet it’s not hard to hit a few issues. I’d also be looking for someone with high level JQuery and Jquery UI skills as they are a non negotiable part of their system…which surprised me a bit.

    They’re not advertising for developers (and most of the best ones are always looking) so I don’t think you’ll see any big changes soon…they are looking for a financial controller which speaks volumes imo.

    Hope you find the right fit because I am impressed by your site and business.

    Cheers

    #1212665
    El Arish Tropical Exotics
    Member
    • Total posts: 227
    Greg_M, post: 255740, member: 38207 wrote:
    Oh dear, my comment wasn’t designed to drive you to drink.

    I think the issues you’ve experienced are all too common in a lot of software…a very big gap between sales and marketing, features etc. and the actual ability to deliver them.

    I had a look at their API’s and templating language and from a purely technical point of view I’m no longer as impressed by their product…as mentioned many times here the end user is bored stiff by how it all works works, just that it does…so I wont go there.

    It might sound like I’m splitting hairs, but having had a look under the hood I think you need more than an average “designer” going forward.

    Some things they’d need to demonstrate to me (and explain in plain English) is a thorough understanding of the internal templating language. It also seems to have Bootsrap as it’s core for templating…not bad in itself but without a lot of Bootsrap expertise I’ll bet it’s not hard to hit a few issues. I’d also be looking for someone with high level JQuery and Jquery UI skills as they are a non negotiable part of their system…which surprised me a bit.

    They’re not advertising for developers (and most of the best ones are always looking) so I don’t think you’ll see any big changes soon…they are looking for a financial controller which speaks volumes imo.

    Hope you find the right fit because I am impressed by your site and business.

    Cheers

    Greg, thank you for taking the time to have a look. Your insights are spot on. I’ve printed out what you’ve written so they I can look for those qualities in anyone I have work on my site. Who knows, maybe a JQuery zenmaster or Jquery UI whisperer will read this thread and contact me. Your comments have sort of confirmed my feelings that I could be opening Pandora’s Box if I start messing around. I’m not in any sort of major rush, things are ticking over and I don’t want to screw things up. There are definitely things I could do better on the site but there are also things I could be doing better that I have more control over. I think working on those are my main priority at this point.

    And thank you for the lovely compliment! I hold you in high regard so what you said about our business means a lot to me :)

    Enjoy Your weekend, Ann

    #1212666
    Peter – FS Administrator
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,889

    Just had another read through this and it’s such a great discussion, in a space where the tech is changing at 100mph, but the core principles for success remain the same – or get even more important – imho :)

    #1212667
    anferneec
    Member
    • Total posts: 36
    Greg_M, post: 254129, member: 38207 wrote:
    And here’s one from the same article and a growing trend apparently in breaking the mould…

    http://brutalistwebsites.com/

    I love it…but it’d be pretty hard to sell a client on it (mine anyway).

    I don’t like it at all. Doesn’t look professional to me, and it’s not optimised for mobile. Also, I’m having problems loading it on my android device. Getting a “can’t open this page” error.

    [USER=34615]@Zava Design[/USER] I agree with your point about what users have come to expect, and designers having to listen to what their clients want and expect.

    As an online marketing consultant, the part that I usually remind people about is getting clear on the outcome they’re wanting from their site and making sure their site actually does that.

    I’ve come across far too many visually-appealing (and expensive) sites that are missing important things like compelling & well written content, lead magnets and opt-in forms i.e. ways for site visitors to become customers.

    #1212669
    stufly
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
    Greg_M, post: 254123, member: 38207 wrote:
    There’s been quite a bit of discussion on the boards recently about costs etc associated with web design and increasingly I’ve seen a “sameness” appearing in many sites that’s started to get very predictable regardless of budget.

    This morning while reading an article on web design trends for 2018 I came across the following link…for the uninitiated “Bootsrap” is a clever toolbox of stuff designed to speed up web design and development…

    http://adventurega.me/bootstrap/

    A bit of fun but worth checking out before you hand over your money for a unique design.

    P.S.
    Any visual designer’s reading this, that think they can break this mould I’d be happy to hear from you for a chat (no coding knowledge required).

    I also found this very frustrating when I started to look into web design. I’m a graphic designer and hated how my original ideas for web pages with interesting design lines and curves, animation etc , fueled by old school websites were being compromised by the responsive model that is so much more important today. Unfortunately the responsive model of websites that work on multiple screens does restrict how a website is structured and built. But I’ve come to the realization that communication is the most important factor in any website. There is a way around getting a cool and unique looking website though. It costs a bit more but the trick is to build 2 sets of modules within the site that work alongside each other. Page designs that will look different when viewed by phone or desktop. I found a good builder in WordPress that does a great job at not only modifying every component of the design but also allows easy tweaking of modules for phone or desktop. The DIVI builder is great for designers. It’s intuitive and doesn’t require any coding. Check out some of my sites…they are all quite different.

    #1212670
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    stufly, post: 255858, member: 104880 wrote:
    I also found this very frustrating when I started to look into web design. I’m a graphic designer and hated how my original ideas for web pages with interesting design lines and curves, animation etc , fueled by old school websites were being compromised by the responsive model that is so much more important today. Unfortunately the responsive model of websites that work on multiple screens does restrict how a website is structured and built. But I’ve come to the realization that communication is the most important factor in any website. There is a way around getting a cool and unique looking website though. It costs a bit more but the trick is to build 2 sets of modules within the site that work alongside each other. Page designs that will look different when viewed by phone or desktop. I found a good builder in WordPress that does a great job at not only modifying every component of the design but also allows easy tweaking of modules for phone or desktop. The DIVI builder is great for designers. It’s intuitive and doesn’t require any coding. Check out some of my sites here..they are all quite different. Stu Flynn – Logo Design – Word Press Design.

    I personally don’t think designers “get it” when it comes to web design for most small businesses.

    The primary device for initial web searches is now MOBILE, not the desktop or even an iPad.

    The true test of good web design now is how well you design for the mobile space (a real test imo). And true “mobile first design” requires starting at that screen size, developing design elements that work…then building “out” to larger screen sizes adding elements that enhance the basic content, using @media queries…there’s no need to build another module, just design it right in the first place.

    The demand I have for websites comes from your typical small/micro business and most don’t give a rip what the design does at the desktop they, and their clients alike just don’t use them anymore (maybe they do their tax on them).

    Performance is now a big factor on mobile, in fact, from July this year Google will start marking back sites that are slow (plus a few other factors)…Wordpress is too slow without significant optimisation by someone that really knows what they’re doing (rare) to compete.

    If there’s anyone out there that can design without hacking Divi or any other shortcode reliant work process I like to hear from them.

    Might be cruel but I don’t think rearranging boxes and altering fonts in Divi et al is actually designing at all…it’s a rapid prototyping tool chain for turning out websites with the minimum of input.

    #1212671
    stufly
    Member
    • Total posts: 5

    This is something I found made with Divi. The Photoshop makes it a bit more original than your average site and works well on mobile and desktop. Original WordPress design

    For something not derived from a template you really need coding and a designer to work side by side.

    #1212672
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    stufly, post: 255861, member: 104880 wrote:
    This is something I found made with Divi. The Photoshop makes it a bit more original than your average site and works well on mobile and desktop. Original WordPress design

    For something not derived from a template you really need coding and a designer to work side by side.

    That’s a very nice site and it does work well on at mobile….BUT

    This is what Googles new performance testing tool thinks of it…this is only part of the full report…it get’s worse. BTW the progressive web app score is irrelevant unless that’s what you’re building.

    [ATTACH=full]1565[/ATTACH]

    I know I’ll never win an argument on this forum bagging WP, but for now I’ll stick by my claim that it won’t make the cut on mobile without serious
    optimisation.

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