Author: Sven Lennartz
Sven is the co-founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. He's now writing at his Conterest Blog, where he focuses on blogs, content strategy and publishing — all in German.
Every day you visit one of them. The pages, which don't exist any longer, have moved to a new server or have never existed at all. Once you've missed your intended destination, either through a bad or outdated link, or a typo in the page you were hoping to reach, you'll hopefully get an internal error message from the server. However, by default these messages aren't that helpful - after all, you are looking for the information, not for the reason you can't find this information.
Good news - it doesn't have to be this way. You can style server error messages just the way you style any other pages. It's not only a more elegant way to deal with errors, but is also extremely useful for keeping users on your web-site, finding new clients or communicating with the old ones.
We'd like you to create a beautiful, functional and user-friendly 404 error page for your own web-site. We'll collect the most creative, usable and elegant solutions and review them in one of our next posts.Read more...
We all love beautiful, usable and impressive web designs. To achieve them, web developers need to focus on many aspects, but basically it all boils down to the question, how well the content is presented and how easily the information can be perceived. Harmonic color schemes are as important as solid and consistent typography. Precise visual structure and intuitive navigation are essential for both usability and accessibility. In fact, mostly it's a keen attention to small details which gives web-sites a profound and enduring nature.
We've selected some more of them. Over 60 elegant, usable and impressive designs with a well thought-out color scheme, typography and visual structure. Their beauty lies in the way the information is presented. Their usability lies in the way they communicate presented data. That's what makes them different.
Next week we'll present the .pdf-version of this showcase. You might be willing to check out further showcasese we've presented before.
A thought-out domain name can save you a lot of time and bring you a lot of traffic. Search engines love topic-related domain names and they seem to be an important aspect which is being used to evaluate web-pages. Besides, if you have a popular web-site with enviable reputation, you might be willing to make sure that your visitors don't get to some surprising web-sites mistyping your site's URL. An overview of related resources is therefore both useful, handy and time-saving. Apart from that: apparently, domain names handling can also be a successful business, you just need to know what trends are coming and which terms will be important in the future.
Let's take a look at essential, hand-picked domain-related tools, articles and resources we've found in the Web during our research.Read more...
Sometimes it's just amazing to see, how developers use creative approaches to design amazing layouts, based upon a simple Wordpress template. Every now and again we take a look around, and select Wordpress themes, which offer thought-out design, flexible template structure and conform to the basic principles of usability. The choice is big enough, but the search is worth it. We invest our time, browsing through dozens of web-sites, news aggregators and design-communities and put enhanced solutions together, so you don't have to.
Let's take a look at
21 23 fresh, usable, simple and and elegant WordPress themes, which have been released over the last few months. Among other things, we've also selected some of the new minimalistic solutions - all of them make use of clear and precise typography. They're definitely worth a look.
You can also take a look at
Web-developers can create amazing web-applications with AJAX. Stikkit, Netvibes, GMail and dozens of further web-projects offer a new level of interactivity we've used to give up the idea of. Modern web-applications can be designed with enhanced user interfaces and functionalities, which used to be the privelege of professional desktop-applications. AJAX makes it possible to create more interactive, more responsive and more flexible web-solutions. And it's the first step towards rich internet applications of the future.
We love creative favicons. Their beauty lies in the approach a designer has chosen to put something really unique inside of the 16x16px box. Designing favicons, it's necessary to work with miniature images, and every extra pixel can be the wrong one. A good favicon is original, beautiful and - in best case - fits to the logotype and color schemes used in the web-site. Creating them is a challenge not every designer is able to cope with. It's hard, but not impossible. In fact, many creative solutions are possible, but it's damn hard to come up with some of them once you need them.
Sometimes it's enough to rescale the logo to an appropriate size, as shown by Xpanity Favicon:
If rescaling doesn't provide optimal results, you can try to extract some parts of your logo and bundle them together, like Kijiji did.
We've collected some of them - 40 gorgeous, creative and visually appealing favicons you can use as a source of inspiration, e.g. if you have a creativity block. Images are linked; to visit the page with the favicon you like, just click on it.
You can find further favicon-showcases in the posts we've published before:Read more...
Visual design elements can considerably improve the readability of the page. Using them, you can make it easier for your users to scan the presented content and find the information they're actually looking for. Icons can draw reader's attention to the key aspects of the article and visualize the topic of the post. Buttons can be used to motivate users to some particular actions; and templates are supposed to help designers to create user-friendly interface elements right away. And whatever aim you'd like to achieve, free visual design elements are always useful - simply because they can give your text content a better visual appearance.
We've selected fresh high quality icons, buttons, vector graphics, templates and layouts. You might know some of them, but hopefully not all of them. Not all listed freebies can be used for commercial projects, however you can use all of them in your private projects of for you personal purposes. Please read the disclaimers carefully before using icons - they're changing from time to time.
You can also scan through the icons-related articles we've published before:Read more...