Open Source Web Design

So it’s not like I’m in the most beautiful city in the world or anything, so some of the exciting things I’ve been doing include pulling a bunch of people’s weblogs into WordPress. (OK, OK, and I did take the night mode on Andrew’s digicam for a spin.)

Then this evening I was looking at my website and thinking “time for a change” and decided to head over to Open Source Web Design with the idea that if I ran out of inspiration I could pinch a design and remodel it.

It turns out OSWD’s designs are… really unspeakable awful.

They have a ‘hot or not’ rating system. Here’s my rating criteria:

  1. I would close the browser window immediately if presented with this design.
  2. I would wince and enlarge the font several times, as well as upping the contrast on my monitor, when presented with this design.
  3. This design looks kind of like the rest of the web, except all the really bad bits, which it only resembles in part.
  4. This design is quite good.
  5. Upon seeing this design I would immediately plot to steal it for my own site, held back only by the fear of looking like a big thief, and also someone who can’t do their own web design. (Not that I can do my own web design, it’s just that at the moment I do it anyway.)

I gave nothing a score above three. Andrew was sitting next to me, and he gave nothing above a three either, despite several designs making extensive use of techniques designed to appeal to his demographic. (A demographic consisting of people who love the colour purple.)

If there really are people out there doing free high quality web designs for the fun of it, I’d appreciate some Google terms.