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    Administration Area Layout


    What do you think of this?
    I'm a programmer and really suck at design, so I'd like others' opinions and ideas to improve. Thanks

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    looks nice and simple.
    one thing is the links at the top. the colours of the text are very similar to the background - design wise this is a big no no as it renders the text hard to read for some people. i would see what you can do with this... maybe use the green??
    good design though.

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    Simple and basic, does the job. No problem!

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    Maybe left align your tabs. It looks good though.

    Thanks,
    Minnow

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    http://www.minnowwebdesign.com - Web Design for the small business and non-profits.
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    Here is an updated version showing a data table.
    The top row is highlighted/checked. The middle row is an alternate color. The bottom row is mouseover. Plain rows have a white bg.
    Got any suggestions for the table? thanks


    And here is the plain version that doesn't show selected or mouseover colors:
    Last edited by simshaun; January 30th, 2009 at 05:08 PM.
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    looks nice. i would say loose the blue text, it doesnt fit with your colour scheme.
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    Originally Posted by eddie21leeds
    looks nice. i would say loose the blue text, it doesnt fit with your colour scheme.
    What color should I make it? Blue text is for links. Black is plain-text.
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    what about using the colours from the top of the page?

    this is just my opinion based on uni work i've done on colours...

    i mean it might also look good if you keep the blue and lose the beige row.
    the thing is you want to try and keep the colours simple and make sure they compliment each other.
    just try differnet combinations until your happy

    *edit:
    on having looked at it again i think the blue is ok because youve used it for the rows aswell so it's not 'alone'. howver the beige is 'alone' and looks a bit out of place...

    just to be picky... i would use the same colour (cream) for both of the top menus - this just makes it a bit more usable.

    hope this helps!
    Last edited by eddie21leeds; January 31st, 2009 at 05:08 PM. Reason: second thoughts
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    I definitely see his point with the different tab row colors. They represent a hierarchy,

    Option
    -Sub-option
    --Content

    which simshaun has opted to style differently to distinguish.

    However, the multiple rows of tabs can be jarring when not aligned (as in the above images) - further, I'm seeing at least five colors, not counting images, and with this much going on within the page I feel your initial reaction towards the blue was wholly warranted - unless it shows up in another key element somewhere else on the page such as a logo he would be better off losing it entirely.

    I think the cream-to-dark-brown palette range for main elements and the green for accents is a nice balance, and you should stick with that, simshaun. As for your tabs, I would recommend finding an alternative means to display the options. Instead of a second layer of tabs for your pages within the categories, perhaps you could use a row of text in the same color but of a smaller size, or put them in a list format and float them off to the side somewhere.

    Overall, though, the impression is very good, especially for someone who is "just a programmer".

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    This will sound silly, but I'm color blind and I may not be thinking of the same thing when you say beige and cream.
    So, I'll assume cream is the color of the fourth row in the table.
    Beige would be the 5th row, right? I'll experiment with making the nav a cream color instead of gray. The more I think about it, the more I think it might work and help to reduce the "dark" look of the page.

    I agree the tabs are confusing. It takes me a couple seconds to understand my own navigation, and that's bad. Floating the subnav off to the side would not be a bad idea, but I purposely didn't because I need the content area to span the whole screen.

    Originally Posted by thehardway
    further, I'm seeing at least five colors, not counting images, and with this much going on within the page I feel your initial reaction towards the blue was wholly warranted..

    Overall, though, the impression is very good, especially for someone who is "just a programmer".
    What is a good number of colors to stick to? and thanks... I'm definitely not a designer. Thanks for all the input so far guys. I'll be back as soon as I make some changes.
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    Technically that was a little harsh, as most of the "colors" are of the same hue and you can get away with this when used tastefully. There really is no set limit on colors but if you start using multiple hues, especially ones which are not complimentary (green and blue, I get, but blue and brown is not really a good combination with the specific colors you used for each here). And for us people who see colors, there is no gray in this layout, just a drabber, slightly lighter version of the brown - usually not the most appealing choice of colors, but working very well in this design.

    If floating sub-menues to the left does not work for your design, try my other suggestion, to have the second row of links as plain text styled the same way as the active tab (if maybe a bit smaller to distinguish them.

    Ultimately you'll have to take a little responsibility for your design and make some decisions for yourself, too. Above all, try to remember the purpose of the overall site and specific page and build from your experience to create something that fits the site's target audience and the functions that page is supposed to perform. There are really no golden ratios in this business, as the number of imitators is sure to detract from the appeal of even the most appealing designs as they get copy-pasted all over the net.
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    Well here are my attempts to make it more user-friendly and easy on the eye.

    Plain Table:


    Selected Rows (Not quite sure I like this):


    Hover Row:


    I think the selected rows ought to be darker. Would that not make more sense to you?

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    • thehardway agrees : This is showing great progress
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    Originally Posted by simshaun
    I think the selected rows ought to be darker. Would that not make more sense to you?
    dark rows are good but you need to be careful not to drown out the text. to be honest we could go on like this forever!! there is no 'right way' to do things you just need to follow a few basic ideas.

    what you have got is a definate improvement on what you started with.

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    • thehardway agrees : Good job bringing this back down to earth
    Last edited by eddie21leeds; February 2nd, 2009 at 09:18 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Yes, this has definitely taken a huge step in the right direction, and from a good start, too.

    There is one thing I want to to roll around in your head, though. What's going to draw the eye more, a darker area that's almost the same color as the background, or a lighter area that is clearly distinguished from the background?

    Believe it or not, real art and psychology do sneak into web design every once in a while. Definitely don't obsess over the details, but be clear on what you need, know what you should -never- do, and bring a few good principles and ideas into every new project.
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    Thanks for all the help and pointing me in the right direction.
    I'm pretty comfortable with what I have now, but will definitely ask my clients for their opinions as well as soon as I'm finished.
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