Well, it seems I’m still working on this. It seems after nearly a month and half of no PC, lots of laziness, learning new skills, reading books on design, web coding and just all around making things and scrapping them I’m still working on it.
However I’m very close to being done, and before I do that I need some final critiqueing on this.
After reviewing much of this with some friends and the pastor it was decided we needed to add “people” to the page.
So after communicating with another member of the church, a professional photographer named Laszlo Bencze (http://www.lbencze.com/) it was arranged that he would spend a few sundays taking photos. This guys work is incredible and I’m honored to be able to work with it.
I had a meeting with him about using the photos and he basically laid down a few stipulations (all artistic in nature which is understandable), the images shouldn’t be covered up, faded, heavily cropped or changed much. And very little flash work. I’m hoping that what’s on there now is OK, though it’s still under construction.
My problem now though is how to use the photos elsewhere on the website (not the front page). The only place that makes any sense and doesn’t absolutely destroy the design heirarchy seems more like a kludge than a real solution. (see current page for kludged position)
The only places I can think of using them are item headers. Since the images have a lot of contrast and visual “noise” they tend to gravitate user’s eyes. In turn this can serve as a negative distraction (visual cruft if you will) which makes the page harder to read. It makes it much more difficult for someone to discover the page hierarchy. Likewise if they’re used as an element to support the hierarchy, like placing them in headers and the like they can serve a much less malignant purpose. However doing so requries that I heavily crop the image and cover it up with text, as well as fade it out a bit. Which I might not be able to do.
Is there anything I can do to make this look any better, without making the images so large that dial-up users can’t view the site, or without going against the photographers wishs?
Am I being too hard on myself, or does it really suck that bad? I’ve been working on this thing for so long that I’m just plain tired of it. Hopefully in the next 2-3 weeks it will be done and I can put it behind me.
I’ll take any critiques on the design as well.