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Steven Snell is a Web designer and blogger. In addition to maintaining his own blog and writing for a number of other top design blogs, he also manages an online shop that offers premium graphic design resources.

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Clear And Effective Communication In Web Design

Communication is one of the foundational elements of a good website. It is essential for a positive user experience and for a successful website that truly benefits its owners. All types of websites are affected by the need for good communication in one way or another. Regardless of whether the website in question is an e-commerce website, a blog, a portfolio website, an information website for a service company, a government website or any other type of website, there is a significant need to communicate effectively with visitors.

Because of the significance of communication with visitors, it is an essential consideration for every designer and website owner and the responsibility of both. Unfortunately, communication is sometimes overlooked and takes a backseat to the visual attractiveness of a website. Ideally, the design and other elements that do the communicating work together to create a clear, unified message to visitors.

Umbrella Today?

In this article, we'll take a broad look at the subject of clear communication in Web design. We'll start with a discussion of the primary methods of communication for websites and typical challenges that designers face. From there, we'll move on to look at what specifically should be communicated to visitors and tips for implementing this in your own work. At the end, we'll look at some of the goals that should be established in terms of communication when developing websites, as well as some of the results of having a website that communicates effectively.

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Colors In Corporate Branding And Design

Color is a major consideration in any Web design. Whether for an individual, small company, or major corporation, color scheme is one of the most significant factors in the overall look and appearance of a website. In some cases, the designer may have the sole discretion in making color choices, but many times a color scheme has already been established and needs to be followed. In situations where a company already has a strong brand, color usage for the website can either build or take away from this.

Best Buy

In this article, we'll take a look at the impact that website color schemes have on the overall branding of a company, and we'll also look at plenty of examples. We won't be going into the subjects of color choices for branding or the psychology of colors, but rather we'll look at established companies to see if the colors in their website branding are consistent with the rest of their marketing.

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35 Free High-Quality E-Commerce Templates

For website owners who are evaluating e-commerce solutions, there are several good options for powering websites and shopping carts. Regardless of which option you chose, deciding on a design brings with it even more decisions to make. Of course, a custom design is always an option, but for those who want to keep costs down, templates are a popular choice. Premium e-commerce themes are easy to find, but they can be expensive. Free e-commerce templates are difficult to find, and quality free templates are even harder to find.

Screenshot

We've done the research for you, and in this post we present 35 of the highest-quality free e-commerce templates available. There are templates specifically for WordPress, Prestashop, osCommerce, Magento, Zen Cart, CubeCart, and CRE Loaded, as well as a number of general e-commerce templates. Please notice that these templates aren't intended to be used 1:1, but should rather be used as a skeleton for your own shop and hence saves a lot of work, because otherwise you would have to start from scratch.

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The Ultimate Collection Of Free Vector Packs

Designers love freebies that make life easier and help them create higher-quality work. Free vectors are useful, free vector packs even more so. Fortunately, there are plenty of talented graphic designers who are willing to give away their work (or samples of it) to benefit the rest of us. In this post, we feature 60 of the best and most useful free vector packs.

Live Music Vectors

Many of the vectors featured here would be useful for particular styles of design and specific types of websites. Take a few moments to browse through them, and you may find something that's perfect for a current or upcoming project. Before you use any of the freebies, be sure to check the license designated by the creator to stay within the stated guidelines.

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Mobile Web Design Trends For 2009

Web designers know that the industry involves plenty of change, and continuous adaption and development of skills is required in order to stay up-to-date. In the past few years one of the biggest areas of change has been the amount of internet users that are accessing websites via phones and mobile devices. As a result, web designers have a growing need to be educated in this area and be ready for designing sites that will accommodate this audience.

Digg

Because designing websites for mobile devices brings some unique situations and challenges into play, the subject requires a strategic approach from the designer/developer. In this article we'll look at the subject as a whole, including current trends, challenges, tips and a showcase of example mobile websites. Plenty of helpful resources and articles are also linked to throughout the post, so if you're interested in learning more about designing for mobiles, you should have plenty of information at your fingertips.

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Textures In Modern Web Design

If you look around at well-designed websites in CSS galleries or any other source of design inspiration, you'll see that texture is extremely common in modern Web design. One of the reasons it's so popular is because of its versatility. Textures can be used in countless different ways and in a wide variety of design styles. As you look around, you'll see how textures can be used in so many different ways by Web designers.

Jobs on the Wall

Textures in Web design can be very subtle, so that the visitor hardly notices, or they can be a focal point of the design. In some cases, textures are used to emphasize certain parts of the design. Because of the versatility of textures, they can be used in combination with many other design elements, such as typography, lighting and colors.

When examining exemplary Web designs that employ textures, you'll notice that textures are used in background images, headers, footers, sidebars, content areas and even fonts. Although texture is sometimes associated with a grunge style of design, its reach extends far beyond just grungy websites. Texture adds dimension to virtually any style of design, if applied properly. In this post, we'll look at 50 examples of websites that use textures in different ways.

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Joomla Developer’s Toolbox

Joomla is a popular free and open-source content management system (CMS) that can be used to power all kinds of websites. After we published developer's toolboxes for a variety of other CMS', many readers requested a collection of resources for Joomla users and developers, so here it is. Joomla grew out of the Mambo CMS and has since built a large and loyal group of users, much like the other popular open-source options. What this means for users and developers is that there is a wealth of information and resources available, and in this post we'll take a look at many of the best.

Joomla

Other developer's toolboxes from Smashing Magazine:

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