Design 101?

It what seems to be an ongoing frustration, I am still unhappy with my RACC design. It still has a bit of a thrown-together look to some elements that I can't stand to look at. I think the problem stems from my process. I usually open up Photoshop and start choosing colours and drawing boxes, a method most real designs would laugh out loud in hearing.

So this time, I turned off the computer and did what I should have done in the first place... picked up my sketch pad and just jammed out a bunch of layout ideas. While doing so, I worried less about the content and data I actually had access to just doodled the site as I wanted it to be. I didn't want to not explore an idea just because I might not have the resources to implement it... after all, even if I don't build it that way exactly, there may be elements that I would not have discovered if I hadn't at least peeked down that path.

RACC Layouts 1

RACC Layouts 2

RACC Layouts 3

RACC Layouts 4

Some of the thinking that went into this? 

Less worrying about how the site looks on my iPad specifically. More focus on going from the current issue to the next or previous. Some thinking about a short author profile, not that I want to turn this into a mini-social-network. Some short profiles on imprints. Bouncing back and forth on making the issue number or the posted date more important. Less worrying about what to do with comments or meta news posts (though I did drift into those content areas in a few thumbnails) and concentrating on issues.

You can click on any of the images before to jump to my Flickr account, where I've added more specific notes to each thumbnail.

I think I'll do another round of thumbnails soon, nail down some of these ideas into a solid plan.