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Designing yourself into obscurity

By shane.perran in : CSS and Usability, General, SharePoint 2007 // Jul 13 2006

Just to show that I hate all technologies equally, I decided to touch briefly on an issue which in my opinion is becoming epedemic across design-land. That is the utter lack of creativity with websites.

From blogs which do nothing but point to existing content to templated platforms like community server, the lack of design is becoming more and more evident. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of community server – I sat through a BOF with Rob Howard and Sean in Boston, great bunch of guys, but I have to agree with Andrew on the lack of creativity.

This is most evident across the land of CSS, where every second site looks exactly the same. Guys, it’s “not” cool to put 1/2 the content in the footer and you don’t have to use the same color pallette.

It seems people have forgotten about design and content usability. I cannot help but wonder how big a factor RSS plays in all this? Why design when your content is 80% consumed through RSS aggregators? Where’s the business value?

One thing that I know for certain is that the more one design is based off the last the less it stands out. For those wise enough to get the message, it should be really easy for you to make your sites unique and stand out.

About the Author

shane.perran has written 606 articles for SharePoint Nation.

5 Responses to "Designing yourself into obscurity"

  1. Hagrin July 13, 2006 7:32 pm

    While I do agree with you, I do find it a little ironic that this post about blog design is posted on a default WordPress template. :)

  2. shane July 14, 2006 3:05 am

    I couldn’t possibly agree with you more. The truth of the matter is I had originally had my site entirely customized using the moveable type engine but afterthe site/database was hacked and corrupt I moved over here a little while back to try wordpress and have not been able to customize it yet.

    Very good point though :)

  3. AC [MVP MCMS] July 14, 2006 5:56 am

    Oh the irony! Shane, if you look at the comments on my post, you’ll see that Rob Howard said there are more skins coming in the next release of Community Server. While I wish everyone looked a little different, the last thing we need is a ton of “developer-designed” sites. Hence the reason this developer looked to a designer to get skinned :)

  4. Hagrin July 14, 2006 8:00 am

    AC -

    Have to say, I do find your site’s design very unique. Well done and resources well spent to find that designer.

  5. Jim Duncan July 14, 2006 9:34 pm

    I too looked to a designer to do the ‘look and feel’ for the Collutions site. Once they had the design finished. I did the actual build in FrontPage (since they didn’t know SharePoint customization)…

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