Author:

Kayla Knight is a full-time freelance web designer and developer, and likes to blog a lot too. She also created and runs Freelance Mingle, a social network for freelancers.

Twitter: Follow Kayla Knight on Twitter

Planning And Implementing Website Navigation

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.”

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Responsive Web Design: What It Is and How To Use It

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.

Responsive Web Design

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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?

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Five Useful Design Techniques and Coding Solutions For Web Designers

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.

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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.

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Redesign: When To Relaunch The Site and Best Practices

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.

Realigning

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.

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Offline Inspiration: How To Find It and Get The Most Out Of It

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.

Neoclassical Art

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:

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CSS Wishlist: New Ideas, Debates and Solutions

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.

Less CSS

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:

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The Roadmap To Becoming A Professional Freelance Web Designer

Becoming a freelance web designer is a common dream among many designers, although it takes quite a bit of talent, business savvy, committment, and time. With all there is to consider when becoming self-employed, one can become overwhelmed — enough to deter themselves from trying at all.

Manilla PSD Template

Realizing many Smashing readers probably already have a head-start into the world of professional and freelance web design, this post is meant to act as not only a step-by-step guide, but also as a checklist for those who have already started their career. Hopefully this guide can cover all aspects of becoming a professional and freelance web designer, from business aspect and working with clients, to creating an effective portfolio and advertising one's work.

Also consider our previous articles:

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