Topic: Design Tips for sites heavy on tabular data
I'm a programmer; I write code. Graphic design is decidedly NOT one of my talents. But, like many of you other programmers out there, I don't have the luxury of a designer at my disposal so the task of putting together a user interface falls to me.
Despite being bad at it, web page design techniques are actually a pretty interesting topic to me. I've read a ton of stuff out there on that there intraweb on the subject. I've looked at countless layout templates and always try to quantify to myself what exactly appeals to me when I come across a web site with a design I like.
But I've got a problem: The knowledge I've absorbed is almost never applicable to my own projects. You see, when you come across those design sites they nearly always focus on how to present paragraphs of text. They show you blogs, news sites, etc. My two primary web application projects don't fit that mold. Each page of my application is typically presenting tabular data. I'm talking at least 6-7 columns of data wide. Mostly numeric. The blocks of text in these pages are typically limited to brief blurbs describing what you're seeing the table.
I haven't found anything out there that talks about effective ways of presenting stuff like this. Anything that gives actual design examples of such. Something I can look at to get ideas and inspiration and *cough*steal*cough*.
So I appeal to you. Have you come across anything like I'm looking for? Do you have your own tips, tricks, and techniques that you'd like to share? I would love to hear them because I'm sick of looking at my hard work and feeling like I'm back in 1998.