Brian,

I have designed web sites part time for years, and I've also been a 
professional artist. The single point I'd make to you is that good 
visual design is about aesthetics. There is, of course, a huge 
functional aspect to any human interface. But you're addressing "visual 
appeal".

There is no quick path to having a better aesthetic sense. It takes 
years, and real work. So, work at it. Take a beginning design course at 
your local university. Look at as many web sites as you can, and keep 
copies of the ones you like. Interrogate yourself as to why you like 
them. Keep looking.

If you're looking to apply recipes out of a book - well, this is 
probably better than NOT doing anything at all, but it won't give you an 
aesthetic sense. People who are good at visual design have a developed 
sense of how the visual part of the brain works, although few would 
likely put it that way.

I suggest you peruse the books available on visual design for web 
designers. Find one that interests you, that you think you can learn 
from, and really WORK its content. Then grab another and do the same 
thing. You'll get what you pay for, with your own effort. I know no 
other way. Good artists, just like good musicians, work at it daily, for 
hours.

Best of luck - this should be a fun journey for you, much of the time.

t.

Brian Candler wrote:
> Sorry for the OT, but I figure there must be other people on this list
> who have been in the same boat as me.
>
> I'm looking for resources on good web *design* - by which I mean
> designing a website which is visually appealing.
>
> I can make functional websites, and I have a pretty good understanding
> of HTML/HAML and CSS/SASS, but it's pretty gutting when the *error page*
> from Phusion Passenger looks 10 times better than the website I'm
> deploying :-)
>
> A paper book with lots of examples would be good, and I'm quite happy to
> pay for one, but would appreciate some ideas for which ones are worth
> seeking out. Good online resources are fine too, of course.
>
> Many thanks,
>
> Brian.
>   


-- 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tom Cloyd, MS MA, LMHC - Private practice Psychotherapist
Bellingham, Washington, U.S.A: (360) 920-1226
<< tc / tomcloyd.com >> (email)
<< TomCloyd.com >> (website) 
<< sleightmind.wordpress.com >> (mental health weblog)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~