Articles

In this category you will find articles about web design, web development and related topics. Here we also feature inspirational collections, opinions and articles about best practices.

Be More Creative through Design Constraints

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For a lot of designers constraints are kryptonite or a barbed wire fence that is a prison for their design freedom. But design constraints shouldn’t be viewed as problems to be overcome, rather, constraints or restrictions are probably the best tool for creativity. Constraints are good: they give you direction and they challenge you to be better. Constraints force you to try new things and to experiment more.

Developing Unity in Web Design

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In the previous “Developing {blank} in Web Design” articles I’ve discussed Rhythm, Balance and Emphasis. But we are missing the last main principle of design — Unity. It’s a very important concept in design and one that is actually pretty easy to achieve. Unity is simply that, the unification of objects within a composition. Unity is the measure of how objects or elements fit together — or don’t for that matter. Its really just a matter of linking elements together to create harmony.

Architecture in Web Design: Applying Vitruvius’ Principles

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Let’s make a real world comparison: buildings are very much like web sites. So are we (web designers and developers) essentially just architects? When you compare web design with any other major form of art, fine art, print design, music, sculpture, architecture, it almost directly compares itself to architecture. Web design, like architecture, is an art form that has many differing interests. Web sites and buildings have users, clients, companies, products, information, technology, structure and design.

Mobile: The Web’s New Minimalist Movement

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Is it just me or is the popularity of mobile devices pushing a new minimalist movement in web design? Web design trends come and go from time to time: the dancing babies, suckerfish menus, rounded corners and ribbons have all graced the web with enthusiastic glee. But these are all more superficial things, style things. There is a movement growing in the web design community for a more minimal web, a user friendly web, a more semantic web where things have a purpose and reason for their existence. And the new mobile revolution is taking us there.

Developing Emphasis in Web Design

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Developing emphasis in web design can be tricky in that it all depends on what you want to accomplish with it. For the most part, whatever the product is, is what will be our focal point and in most cases it’s not the picture of the product but how to get the product that becomes the focal point – the call to action.

Is There Room for Negative Space in Web Design?

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Negative space is most commonly associated with logos or compositions where the empty space creates a unique shape or represents something – like the arrow in the FedEx logo. But negative space in web design may not be that cool or sexy, but its still very important to the over all design. Just remember that you don’t want your design to feel cramped or cluttered, you want your users to enjoy the experience. If anything, just add a little bit more padding.

Developing Balance in Web Design

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Your design should be inviting and allow your users to sit down, relax, hang out and maybe look around a bit and the best way to achieve this is through visual balance. Visual balance is basically just balancing design elements off of each other – as if your design elements are sitting on a teeter-totter.

Developing Visual Rhythm in Web Design

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In design, rhythm is created by simply repeating elements in predictable patterns. This repetition is a natural thing that occurs everywhere in our world. As people, we are driven everyday by predictable, timed events. The sun comes up every day and sets every day, the seasons cycle in predictable patterns every year, and we all know that the World Cup happens every four years. Rhythm in design is just re-creating that, re-creating these predictable timed patterns, creating a sub-conscience relationship with ourselves and creating comfort or familiarity.

Living a Dual Life – A View on the Coding Designers Debate

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Lately I’ve noticed some great discussions in web design forums, on Linkedin and Twitter about the role of a web designer and what skills a web designer should have. The question that keeps getting brought up time and time again is whether it is necessary for web designers to have the ability to develop designs: should designers code?

25 Examples of Inspiring Product Display in Web Design

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Choosing the best way to display products is a really important step of web design, since the way you display your products can drive attention to it and make users interested in what you are selling, or can drive users away. It’s like when you are walking in a mall, the most creative, elegant or stylish window displays will get your attention while super colorful and busy ones will drive you away.

25 Examples of Creative Thumbnail Usage in Web Design

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Wikipedia tells us that “thumbnails are reduced-size versions of pictures, used to help in recognizing and organizing them, serving the same role for images as a normal text index does for words.” And as we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words, so using an image in a nice and beautiful form can give your layout a very neat look.

Great Daily Tools for Freelancers

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Designing and developing a web project is difficult enough, but adding project management, invoicing, hosting, file sharing, and staying on task to the mix? That’s exactly what freelancers do though. There are a ton of tools and apps out there designed to help freelancers complete projects and stay organized. Here is a few of my favorite apps and tools that I use on a daily basis.

7 Steps for the Perfect Landing Page

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When I design landing pages I don’t try to cram everything above the fold and clutter up the top 500 pixels of my design, but I do like to design so that images, headlines or text teeter on the line. This creates a ‘teaser’ for the user to scroll down more and check out the rest of the page.