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I've gotten myself to a point where I can make my webpages work from the server side ... but, from the client side, they all look terrible.

I don't really have the hang of colors and themes and such (I know HTML and CSS, but cannot apply them), are there any good tutorials that cover this sort of stuff?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 24 '11 at 6:16

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Nettuts has many good tutorials on web design :


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I'm in the same boat, having a slight passion for back-end development over front-end. However, as a web developer you will need the knowledge sooner or later. Here's a few links to great articles for you:

http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/sessions/web-design-theory/ http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/10/05/mastering-css-coding-getting-started/#CSS-Basics1 http://psd.tutsplus.com/articles/web/50-totally-free-lessons-in-graphic-design-theory/

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Take a look at: http://themeforest.net/

You can buy a template and adapt it to you app.

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I know your pain.


This site may give you a head start.

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My advice is to keep things simple. Worry about UI, how the user will interact with data, not colors/borders/line-height etc..., and slowly add colors and style.

For colors you can use Kulor, it's Adobe's application to coordinate colors. What I have found is that doing little changes at a time, day by day, instead of working on a whole design at once makes managing themes easier.

Otherwise I tend to get OCD about everything think and unless you are a designer that really isn't your role in the long run as there is usually a designer and developer for each project.

So to sum it up use the scaffolding methods to get you started with tables, and when you have got most of your app up and going start to clean it up with divs and proper css layouts through small iterations. I think most developers keep things simple with colors and realize that it's not our role to go crazy over it, although we do, and always keep in mind that unless you are both a designer/developer someone else will probably come along later and make everything look much better.

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There are a million of them, but the best way is to hunt up example web site templates, find ones you like the look of, and modify those. Frankly, I almost never do static HTML work anymore. There are so many good and free Content Management Systems that get you started with advanced skinning and all the basic security and boiler plate functionality already in there so you don't have to reinvent the wheel. For Ruby, look into Zena, Slate, Locomotive, Casein, etc. Seems like Ruby has more CMS than just about any environment.

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