Odd, but Honest Question


#1

I have seen all the great sites people have created here using Blocs. I have seen and know what makes a great site, even what makes a site stand out from the best of the best. I understand how to use the great app that Blocs is. So how do you take that knowledge and make your own stunner of a site?
Starting to believe that I am to old, and polluted by the good old, bad old days of the web when a 1440 modem was state of the art and an animated gif was the nearest thing to web based video lol.

Any ideas on how to bring me in to the new world of web design would be appreciated. I am fed up of knowing what is is good, having the tools to create great, but producing dated content.


#2

My first suggestion is to stop making excuses because of your age. Whether any of us can achieve what we want is not down to some age-related number and talking as though it is gives some people a reason to discount older people for no good reason. Don’t be part of that problem. Don’t build your own barrier with age as an excuse. You can suck at web design at 25 or at 65. Or vice versa.

Spend lots of time looking at other sites. Spend lots of time looking at design-oriented sites where web design is discussed. Work out what is good and bad.


Make websites. Expect to make mistakes. We all do - even the best.

Using the software is the easy bit. Design of any kind involves care and an “eye”. I don’t have a strong design eye, but looking at other people’s designs and what is considered good design allows me to do passable work and often see where I think people are making mistakes.

Simplicity trumps complication. Using only a couple of fonts is better than using many. Simplify your colour pallette. These are general principles. The truly great design people break them. https://thefwa.com/

Good luck.


#3

@pauland you always have great links for information. Age is only a number but I can see @MartinC point. I also think that design can be subject to the user and client.

I try and research the competition in the area of what my client is looking for. I try to see what I like about good sites. Maybe take one or two things from these sites and apply them to my ideas.

Thanks
Casey


#4

Thank you Paul, Casey. Great links and advice. Now let’s see if I can take them and drag my work in to the now (thankfully, I only do this for fun :slight_smile: ). Thanks again,


#5

If anyone says “I’m age XX and I don’t know if I’m too old to be doing YY” they are setting themselves up with a reason for failure before they begin. Whatever XX is and whatever YY is they betray all the people aged XX who are very capable of YY by telling the world that being age XX is a reason why someone cannot do activity YY.

There is a reason why countries have age-discrimination legislation and having age as a reason for lack of competence is part of it.

Trump is 71 years old and while many of us may doubt many of his abilities, I would never ascribe his age as a reason for any difficulties that he has. Teresa May is 60 years old and similarly I would say any difficulties she has I would not put down to age.

So why do people think it’s OK to put forward age as a reason for self-doubt so easily and make it more difficult for everyone else at whatever age?

The age-discrimination thing exists at all extremes of the spectrum. We have very bright and capable children founding companies before they leave school and I have an elderly relative, who at 100 is just as bright mentally as I ever remember.

So as people get older it may be more likely that their capabilities may be waning, but giving age as a reason makes the life of capable people more difficult. I doubt Donald Trump will be expressing doubt because of his age anytime soon, nor Stephen Hawking (75), or Jeremy Corbyn (68).

So when you see someone older doing a job, do you imagine they are ready to be offering up excuses for their problems because of their age or do they find adapting to new technology and thinking? Imagine the everyday changes they will have adapted to in the same way that everyone else does.

Don’t get me wrong, age does affect some people, but the truth is that people can be looking for a change as they get older, they can be subject to heath issues at any age.

I remember once when I was very young, an engineer arriving to fix a computer I thought he was ancient and how could he possibly do that work. He was 40. How stupid was I?

I will step away from my soap box. Martin may or may not be able to be a great web designer, but his age won’t be the reason for his success, or lack of success. They say similar things about developers not being able to design ( right side vs. left side of the brain ) but they conveniently forget about Leonardo ( Da Vinci, not the turtle ). The Williams Sisters and Roger Federer seem to have forgotten the age thing too.

Check out the free design course here: https://getflywheel.com/design-trends/ (I haven’t tried it)


#6

Martin,

Absolutely go for it. You can post links to what you make and get benevolent feedback here.

You may surprise yourself.

At school I gave up on doing artwork. It was a massive mistake because having an understanding of composition, typography and colour would have been very beneficial today. I intend to put that right.

How many people spend their lives saying they can’t draw and paint, but then retire and find out how wrong they are?

Everyone that succeeds has a string of failures behind them - I should know. I am still on that improvement path. We are all on an improvement path.

Go for it Martin.

Paul


#7

:slight_smile: Thanks Paul,

I feel suitably charged and ready to challenge myself.


#8

Great response @pauland.

I just turned 60, I myself feel that the only limitations one has is measured by the passion in which you have. If you really have a passion for anything you can do anything.

Blocs App is a great example. Look at the passion @norm has developing the app?

I will say people discriminate on many levels. Some are purposely thought out and some just happen.

I had a recent experience on my last non-profit web-site. I completed the site and was meeting with the person in charge of providing me updated information and teaching him about Mailchimp and Facebook posting.

I pulled up in my Harley, opened my trunk and grabbed my hat and laptop. As I walked through the door he looked at my and said “wow, I was looking for this little long haired, thick glassed geeky guy”

Enough said
Casey


#9

LOL, Love it. Keep them on the back foot.


#10

On one job, I had been there for about a month (as a freelance). All of my co-workers were probably sub-30, aside from management. It was my first ever “proper” exposure to Macs. I had a skill at that time that nobody in their organisation had.

I said that I would be leaving a little earlier ( usually people left at about 6.30 ) because it was my daughter’s birthday.

One of the managers asked “How old is she?”.
Me: “18”

Manager ( with jaw on the floor ) asks slowly: "You have a daughter aged 18?!"
Me: “Yes”.

I decided not to mention her brother who is three years older.

I don’t discuss the “good old days”. I try and know as much, if not more, about current stuff than the people I work with. I don’t always succeed, but I can always engage in conversation with them.

Interestingly, my daughter is pursuing a career in Art. I’ve always been amazed at how her mind makes those creative jumps - far better than ever I could, at any age. She still comes to me for advice about graphical composition.

Don’t ever go about with one foot in the grave before you have to. Try and keep part of your mind in your 20’s. Don’t dwell on the past. Try and do some goofy stuff.


#11

Advice for creative kick-starting in general:

Scour the Internet for cool stuff. For site design, you’ll find a bunch of sites listing X number of cool website designs. You can also find inspiration in things that might seem to be totally unrelated, such as custom designed furniture, concept products, and interface design.

One great resource for ideas in various media and disciplines is Behance.net. Lots of good idea there.

https://www.behance.net/galleries?tracking_source=Interaction

It might sound a bit corny, but there is a quote by George Bernard Shaw (altered a bit and used to great effect by Bobby Kennedy) that demonstrates the right mindset: “You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’” Figure out what you want, then figure out how you can achieve it. If the tools, as provided, are not up to the task, figure out how to work around this.

For example: There is a way to create a row of five boxes in Blocks, even though the rules say your can’t (one box containing three boxes next to a second box containing two boxes).

BTW, the “making excuses” line in other comments misses the mark. If you were making excuses, you wouldn’t have posted your comment. You’re looking for ideas. As the adage states, Youth do not ask for suggestions because they know everything. Those who make it to the high side of thirty know that know that they don’t.


#12

Thanks for the guidance and sites. Love the quote too :slight_smile:


#13

Anyone mentioning their age as a reason for failure is lining up an excuse for failure. So many times I’ve heard people explain that they can’t do something (they usually can) because they are too old.

Age can be a problem because of deteriorating health and faculties, but it’s not the age that is an issue it’s the individuals own capabilities that is the important factor.

I stand by the comment, and I’m really pleased that Martin is not going to be deterred by his longevity.

Great GBS quote!