Author:

Ben Gremillion is a Web designer who solves communication problems with better design.

Twitter: Follow Ben Gremillion on Twitter

Mobile Design’s Wake-Up CallPreparing Websites For The Unexpected

Designing websites for smartphones is easy compared to retrofitting those already in place. More than that, it’s embarrassing how, almost eight years after CSS gained practical acceptance, a lack of foresight haunts those of us who write HTML.

Preparing Websites For The Unexpected

Converting older websites to responsive design causes headaches not because small screens are difficult, but because most HTML documents were written under an assumption about screen size.

Read more...

“My Hard Drive Crashed…” (And What I Learned From It)

The most valuable part of a computer is also its most fragile: Data are the wealth of a digital lifestyle, a currency of which many notes are irreplaceable. At least, that’s how I felt staring at a “Confirm you want to wipe your hard disk” message, my finger poised over the mouse.

Backblaze's drop-down menu controls

During an emergency is a bad time to plan for one. It’s the feeling one might get jumping from a plane before checking one’s parachute. That’s one experience I’d rather avoid, but it happened. Not the skydiving part. My OS was dying, and I wasn’t prepared.

People who make websites face a triple threat: Live websites need backups; test environments need backups, especially when they double as backups for live websites. Subversion and Git provide safety nets in case of data loss. But there are also support files: Photoshop files, fonts, reusable jQuery snippets — not to mention music collections, an essential part of many creative processes.

Read more...

Hex ColorsThe Code Side Of Color

The trouble with a color’s name is that it never really is perceived as the exact same color to two different individuals — especially if they have a stake in a website’s emotional impact. Name a color, and you’re most likely to give a misleading impression. Even something like “blue” is uncertain. To be more precise, it could be "sky blue", "ocean blue", "jeans blue" or even "arc welder blue".

The Code Side Of Color

Descriptions vary with personal taste and in context with other colors. We label them "indigo", "jade", "olive", "tangerine", "scarlet" or "cabaret". What exactly is "electric lime"? Names and precise shades vary — unless you’re a computer.

Read more...

Adopting A Responsive WordPress Theme Is More Than Install-And-Go

As iOS, Android, and Windows 8 take the Web to smaller screens, designers are adopting techniques to make their websites usable on handheld devices.

Adopting A Responsive WordPress Theme Is More Than Install-And-Go

Responsive Web designs present different formatting and layout to suit the device on which their pages are displayed. Browsers choose the appropriate styles on page load, freeing website owners from having to maintain different sets of pages for different display scenarios.

Read more...

Test Usability By Embracing Other Viewpoints

As Web technology improves, users expect Web-based widgets to be useful, content to be relevant and interfaces to be snappy. They want to feel confident navigating a website and using its functionality. They crave being able to get things done with little friction and on demand. And demand they do.

Various layouts, any of which might work

[fblike]

People are picky. When a website gives them problems, they are less inclined to use it. From a design perspective, testing for a good user experience entails making improvements based as much on critical feedback as on design expertise. As long as your website is around, offering a good user experience is critical. And like the website itself, improving the user experience doesn’t end when the website launches.

Read more...

Passing The Holy Milestone: How To Meet Deadlines

For too many projects, there comes a time when every action taken, every decision and sacrifice made, is spurred on by pressure to finish. Tempers seem to shrink along with the available days, talk about “high standards” gives way to “good enough,” and people realize that deadlines are aptly named. During the last-minute crunch, someone may well wonder, how did it come to this? Could it have been prevented?

deadline-extends-past-estimate

Every Web project has deadlines. But not every designer or developer deals with them the same way. Because a deadline marks the end of a project, everyone involved in the project must understand the deadline’s role. Most projects follow a schedule or have an estimated date by which they must be completed. The concept is simple then: when the work takes longer than expected, deadlines get missed.

Read more...
1

↑ Back to top