A designer! A designer! My Kingdom for a designer!

On the 6th of Jan, I sent out a request on twitter asking people to give me feedback on IMayBeLate.com. I had done the design of the site myself and, to be honest, I was feeling pretty smug. And boy-oh-boy did I get a kick in the proverbial pants!

The tweet I sent was this:

@tomasmcguinness: Looking for some quick, honest feedback on design of http://www.imaybelate.com like or hate?


Over the course of about an hour, I got some responses. Even @shanselmantook the time to reply to my tweet!

“@ev2000: Concept good – but really needs a designer’s finesse….”

“@NathanGloyn: I get that its supposed to be like the tube, the sign up looks cramped, it should be a call to action nice and clear”

“@keith_d99: Looks good Tom – I like it!”

“@shanselman: subway concept is great, as a concept. Execution is jarring.”

“@TaraTWalsh: quite like it, it’s busy but I think it fits 😀 well done”

“@eslsys: the basic concept is pretty good but the execution is poor,too much clutter and fonts,colours wrong “

“@paults89: header looks good, but body needs a bit of a re-design, the sign up section looks squashed when using iPhone browser.”

Whilst there are a few kind comments in there, the overall feedback was “terrible design”. This did, I’ll admit, upset me. I had put a lot of effort into the design and even more into the crafting of the CSS. However, I’m a big boy, so I decided on the advice of @shanselman that I should hire a designer – http://www.hanselman.com/blog/HireAndPayADesignerAndBeHappy.aspx

Enter http://www.99designs.co.uk.

This site was recommended to me by my fiancé (who is a graphic designer, but let’s not go there). I uploaded a brief and one week later I have a new design that I’m very happy with. It hasn’t cost me the earth either (another motive for doing this myself was to save money). I’m still waiting for final sign-off, but that should happen in the next day or two.

This is one instance of the old adage – surround yourself with people who are good at things you aren’t.

I hope it pays off!