sheen effect image

Tze-chiu Lei

Web Developer

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Improved look-n-feel

Biggest bang-for-the-buck I ever had with just an image swap!  The new background not only refreshed the look, but also enhanced the feel — it added depth to the look, and made the feel much more engaging.

I’m very pleasantly surprised at how much better the site looks now, with my recent updates to the background and layout.

"Tze1.com homepage"

The old background was tiled with a canvas-textured image, which looked fine when I rushed the site out the door for my job interviews last year.  Over time though, it started looking a bit stale, and by last month, I was actually finding the tan color a little revolting — how familiarity breeds contempt!  😀

I spent several days Googling for background image tiles to replace the tired tan canvas, but didn’t find any that suited my tastes.  Then I remembered how great BlackSwanArchery.com looked after I made the entire layout look like a photo portal, so I started searching for stock photos instead.

I tried photos of the sky, the ocean, landscapes of national parks, city skylines, and even office environments, and although I didn’t particularly liked any single option, I noticed that the photo backgrounds immediately added a sense of depth to the look-n-feel.  The “page” no longer looked like a page, and the site felt more like a true environment than a flat screen.

I continued my search for the perfect photo, one that provided a sense not only of depth but of environment.  Office photos were out, once I realized I didn’t want to feel like I was still stuck at work.  The sky, the ocean, and the national parks gave a nice sense of grandeur, but didn’t feel relevant.  Then it dawned on me…

I had always wanted viewers to judge my work as art, because for me it’s more important to showcase my design talents than to illustrate my technical skills.  Yes, showcase — that was the operative term here.  And where do you usually find works of art on display?

That’s how I ultimately chose the interior of the Guggenheim Museum of Art in New York City for my background.  It evokes all the sensations I want for my site: depth, environment, and art-meets-tech.  Plus, I’ve always admired the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, and my father’s a retired architect, so this choice felt very much like a sentimental favorite.

Hope you like it too!  As always, chime in and let me know what your think!

P.S.  While I was tweaking the layout for the new background, I thought I might as well add rounded corners to the homepage’s portfolio images.  Now the layout looks perfect…  At least for now.  😀

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