Web Design Tips, Tutorials & More!

Websites are like machines in the sense they are constantly emerging, and designers are building more and more functions into them.  Arguably, machines such as stereos and applications such as Photoshop and MS Office,  have more and more features built into them with each new version.  Is this a true step forward, or do the products become less usable as a result? Can it be argued that web design is mirroring this trend?  Well with the development of new web technologies such as CSS and WordPress, the reverse effect seems to be true.  Both are praised at how easy they are to use, and to update.  This is an element that makes them so appealing to users.  Also, they are both well supported should any …

Read Post

It is everyone web designers dream to become a freelance web designer.  The prospect of starting your own business, working for you and not a company or shareholder, makes all the difference.  It has all the ingredients of something that will bring in success, which is what it is all about. Clients, and how you handle them will make all the difference to your freelance web designer endeavours.  Handle them well and word of mouth will lead to more work and better revenue, handle them badly, and your freelance career will be very, very, short. It is essential to remember that there in essence you have clients that no what they want and clients who have a vague idea, but are not quite sure how …

Read Post

CSS is an amazing web tool, but it can easily get messy or sloppy.  To get the best out of it, you must stay organised.  So no more sloppy code, or unrecorded hacks.  Your education in organising your CSS code is about to begin. Keep organized.  Rather than dropping in classes and id’s at random, try and keep things structured.  Declare generic items first, followed by the not so generic items, and keep to that pattern.  That way other developers are going to be able to follow the code, which is one of the great advantages of using CSS. Title, sign, date.  Ensure that people know it was you that did the design.  This is helpful if another designer needs to clarify something with your …

Read Post

Web design has crafted its own set of rules, many of which have been crafted for a reason. That reason being the users experience. There is however, some web designers that dare to be different and break the mould when the spirit of inspiration or design calls for it. Do not have a horizontal bar. We all know that mouse wheels do not run from left to right, so the rule has developed that content is shown on a page and never steps outside of this, at least left or right anyway. The logic is clear as the web rules are easy to follow and designed for users. Take a look at these websites however, as they have stepped outside the box on this one, …

Read Post

Assessing how usable your site is crucial to its success.  Is it easy to use? Does it have the right content? Are people hanging around or clicking away in their droves?  All these questions help you to gauge exactly how good your website is. The concept of doing all this though is a daunting one, and many believe that real thorough testing is an expensive process.  It can be, but as we saw in our previous article there are many tools around that can keep the cost of usability testing to a minimum.  As we know about five more tools that are cheap and easy to use, here is a rundown of them. Google Website Optimiser.  This is a free to use tool and is …

Read Post

Tips and tools to improve usability of your web design. Usability testing can sound like a daunting concept especially if you are on a tight budget.  The idea of paying lots of people to try and find problems with your recently finished masterpiece is not that appealing.  Did you know that, according to many well placed sources, that you only need five users to uncover 85% of any problems your site may have? Also, remember that as you designed the site you know exactly how it works.  Other users will not have that advantage so here are some tools you can use to ensure the usability of your website, is as it should be. Userfly allows you to track a users movements from mouse clicks …

Read Post

We all know that search engine optimization is crucial for business and organizations to get their sites on the first page of Google. Search engine optimization is a vast concept and many tools and applications have been written to help designers, copywriters, and webmasters get their heads around SEO. As there is no real key to search engine optimization from a web developer point of view, but lots of little ones, subsequently, there are many tools you may need to get a website high up on the rankings of Google, Yahoo and all the rest. These tools have been developed to allow you to do that. They range from checking page ranks, back links, to whether or not your site has been banned by the …

Read Post

In part 1 of our tips for laying out content in web design, we showed you four ways to display content in a web design.  Though these tips are very useful in their own right, we have another four that we wish to bring to your attention, and we are going to start with a technique called progressive design. Progressive Design:  The idea behind this technique is that a user follows a natural flow over several pages to obtain the information he or she needs.  This is normally navigated by buttons like “click next”, and so on and so fourth, and is often used for completing forms, where sections are displayed one after another.  Another use is if your site wants to demonstrate to the …

Read Post

Content is King in web design, a fact we all know.  As more and more websites of all natures, require more innovative ways to present content, your role as a web designer, is to come up with as many ingenious ways to present content that is meaningful, fashionable, and aesthetically pleasing as possible. These tips for laying out content in web design, should give you a better understanding of the concept and therefore, make improve your designs. Sliders and Carousels:  These are particularly handy, if you have content that you need displayed but only to the users who are interested in seeing it.  As each product or picture scrolls through a box, you can display any number of items, without having them fill up whole …

Read Post

The development of web 2.0, or at least the use of the term begs the question what will be developed for web 3.0?  What developments are hidden round the corner, and what will you need to know as a web designer to incorporate what web 3.0 will be about. As web 3.0 is at the moment speculation, lets look at the definition of web 2.0 as stated in Wikipedia. “Web 2.0? refers to a perceived second generation of web development and design, that facilitates communication, secure information sharing, interoperability, and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Web 2.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities, hosted services, and applications; such as social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies.” One of …

Read Post