creating a clean, easily navigated
and atheistically pleasing website
is never a simple process
However, designing a website is indeed a process. Sometimes the initial ideas work perfectly. At other times, they help the client and/or the designer re-think the content. We begin with what we've envisioned is a great design, but the further we get into the process, the site seems to take on a character of its own. It's almost as if the site begins to direct the designer.
The initial design ideas may have been based upon something as simple as a desired color or an existing logo, but as the pages go online for viewing, it becomes apparent something is lacking. Sometimes a different logo is designed or a logo is merged into a photo and the site begins to move toward something new. It's an interesting process for the designer and the client.
Sometimes a random photo captured amongst many seemingly 'have to' photos is the one that rises to the surface and looks so striking it becomes the focal point of the site. Are you getting a glimpse of the difference between web design and plug-in templates? If so, then you're beginning to see the finest web sites are 'designed'.
design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose