Another task that I have been tackling in the last few weeks, has been the pruning and replanting of my landscape website. Its been a project that I have been working on bit by bit for the last year or so, but I felt that it was time to make a concerted effort to finish it.
As I've gotten it closer to where I want it, I've realised how similar creating a website is to landscaping a garden:
- Its essential to have a plan of what you want the finished garden/website to look like.
- Before you start figure out who will be experiencing the website/landscape.
- Use the best tools you can afford.
- Its important to have a theme that brings everything together. In a garden, you could have more than one theme depending on the size of the garden, but if you do, it could leave the visitor confused.
- Figure out the structure first, and build onto and around that.
- Simpler is often better.
- Don't make the landscape/site too busy or distracting, it leaves you feeling unsettled and less likely to enjoy the experience.
- Repetition of certain elements throughout the site/garden is important to give the eye some familiarity
- When its looking messy, and you're feeling a little overwhelmed, don't give up. Its usually just on the other side that you'll start to see the end in sight.
- Look at your use of colours carefully - complimentary colours are really restful and harmonious, contrasting colours are bold and exciting.
- Make sure you do as much research as possible before you start, and if you're unsure of any code/application/plant, do some more research.
- Experimenting is how you learn. Place the plant/code in your website, and see how it looks. If it doesn't look right, be ruthless and pull it out - it'll get harder to do when you build other plants/code around it. If you feel bad about pulling it out, you can always give it to a friend - a gift of 'html code' is always welcome. (ok, maybe I'm pushing the similarities too far there.)
- Ask experts for advice (if you can afford it - hire a professional to do it for you), and get feedback from friends, but trust your instincts too.
- Have fun doing it, but don't let it consume you - everybody needs a hobby, no-one needs an obsession.