Author: Kayla Knight
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The thing that makes navigation difficult to work with in Web design is that it can be so versatile. Navigation can be simple or complex: a few main pages or a multi-level architecture; one set of content for logged-in users and another for logged-out users; and so on. Because navigation can vary so much between websites, there are no set guidelines or how-to’s for organizing navigation.
Designing navigation is an art in itself, and designers become better at it with experience. It’s all about using good information architecture: “the art of expressing a model or concept of information used in activities that require explicit details of complex systems.”Read more...
Almost every new client these days wants a mobile version of their website. It’s practically essential after all: one design for the BlackBerry, another for the iPhone, the iPad, netbook, Kindle — and all screen resolutions must be compatible, too. In the next five years, we’ll likely need to design for a number of additional inventions. When will the madness stop? It won’t, of course.
In the field of Web design and development, we’re quickly getting to the point of being unable to keep up with the endless new resolutions and devices. For many websites, creating a website version for each resolution and new device would be impossible, or at least impractical. Should we just suffer the consequences of losing visitors from one device, for the benefit of gaining visitors from another? Or is there another option?Read more...
Since the beginning of CSS3, Web designers have begun experimenting with different code-based solutions to add to design, and even to make up a design entirely. Even with older versions of CSS there are many design solutions that can be done with 100% code, no images necessary.
In this article, we're going to take a look at some design solutions that are now possible with CSS, whether it be with the new, more advanced CSS3 or with prior versions. Everything from small details to entire features can be created with CSS and a bit of markup, and it's amazing to see the solutions created and advancements made in just the last few years.
Despite some of the interesting things we can do with CSS, how practical is it? We'll also take into consideration the practicality of some of these uses, and whether they should just be for fun and experimentation, or perhaps someday a real part of Web design. It's intriguing to think about what kind of imagery and Photoshop-inspired effects could soon be completely replaced with only code, and how this will affect the future of Web development.Read more...
As designers, we have to create an intuitive user experience, solve design problems and provide a beautiful and functional user interfaces. Unlike print design, we don't have the luxury of designing in a static area; rather, our canvas is ever-changing in its content, browser width, page length and more. We do need to be able to code to some extent and be able to build a design around a structure of code. Yet, with these complications comes an opportunity for unique functionality, interactive effects and better user experience.
In this article, we'll look at five useful coding solutions that we've stumble upon recently. All of these solutions enhance a website's design, not just the code. These solutions affect the user interface and the user's interaction with the design, and they can make for a more usable and interactive website.Read more...
Redesigning a website is a big job (needless to say) and should be handled with care. Many of us with a portfolio, blog or other website have probably thought about a redesign or at least know we need one. For many designers, though, that redesign never comes. As big and important as it is, the job can turn into a hugely daunting task that we put straight on the backburner of our to-do list.
Why is doing a simple redesign so daunting? Why is it so difficult to follow through, even when we've decided to do it? How can we work on designing our clients' websites successfully every day and then perpetually neglect our own?
The problem is both a lack of correct planning and a lack of understanding of the root need for the redesign. Once we've identified these elements, we're set for success. In this article, we'll discuss how to plan and execute a redesign, and how to find the perfect timing for it.Read more...
Inspiration is vital for any designer. This is why so many CSS galleries, design galleries and artistic showcases are floating around on the Web. Designers use these at certain times for a quick fix of inspiration, especially when the pressure of deadlines prevent them from seeking out offline, or "alternative," forms of inspiration, as important as they are.
No designer should ever feel that taking time to find true inspiration is time wasted. This article explores offline sources of inspiration and discusses how they can be treated as a part of the design process. Furthermore, we'll look into a few methods of deriving this inspiration, so it becomes an active part of creativity and be done more effectively.
Also consider our previous articles:
The future of CSS is arriving fast, and many tools, languages, and solutions have been developed that make CSS a job not just for Web designers but developers, too. In many ways, the job could become more complex and confusing, but in many other ways, the new changes will provide more opportunity and better technology for the future of the Web.
CSS will get a number of new changes. Among them are alternative syntaxes, CSS programming concepts and the ability to allow more common design techniques without using images. In this article, we'll go over some current solutions, what we'd like to see in the future and the pros and cons of them all.
Also consider our previous articles: