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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.

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11 Almost Perfect Business Layouts

Business companies tend to impress visitors with solid site structures, precise navigation and the credibility of presented content. Therefore business layouts are usually quite unspectacular, mostly informative, but not attractive. It's an appropriate approach if you want to inform your visitors, but what should you do if you want to attract users' attention? How to combine serious tone with attractive design? We've decided to figure it out. And selected 11 almost perfect business designs / layouts used by companies from different countries of the world.

What does perfect mean?

Different tastes result in different understandings of a perfect layout. The examples we've selected stand out, because
  • they are clean. It concerns both code, text and graphics.
  • they have a balanced layout, all site elements have their own place and are consistently placed on all pages
  • they pay attention to small details; the smallest things such as link colors and headings are well thought-out
  • they make use of white space, which places special emphasis on design and content
  • they use modern design elements, but remain moderate, without extreme use of graphics
  • they use intuitive color schemes and high contrasts to make sure the legibility of the text and the perception of visual elements are optimal
  • not all of them are gorgeous, but they don't have to. All of them are descriptive and they work, and that's what really matters.

14 Tab-Based Interface Techniques

The popularity of tabs, well-known from tabbed document interfaces (TDI), is rapidly growing, challenging the creativity of both developers and designers. The development of efficient and user-friendly interfaces is quite hard to deal with, and tabs can guarantee a quick access to information without need to open and close dozens of windows at the same time. Tabs-based interfaces allow multiple documents to be contained within a single window and tabs can be used to navigate between them. And exactly this idea is being used more frequently recently.


However, it doesn't have to be that complex. Using modern approaches, you can create and improve tab-based interfaces in few minutes. With CSS, JavaScript, DHTML and XMLHttpRequest (alltogether Ajax) almost everything is possible. Information isn't loaded in new windows, but loaded instantly with Ajax-based techniques. You can also use Back-button without worrying about losing your data.

Let's take a look at some of the most interesting techniques we've found in the Web, searching for tab-based interface techniques.


Online Converters

Online converters always come in handy. Once you need to perform some operation with your files, they can save your time achieving the same results online, without installing some specific software. In fact, there are many online tools, which convert formats, files and code snippets for free. Some of them are quite specific tools aimed for developers, but some are common "all-rounders", which manage to convert almost every format to a more popular one. Using them, you can generate .pdf-documents out of images, images out of texts or RSS-feeds out of web-sites. You can also convert any audio- and video-files immediately - the results can be received via e-mail.

So what can you use? What should you use?

This overview of online-converters for users and developers might give you some useful starting points and improve your productivity.


Adobe Dreamweaver Tutorials

With the growing popularity of CMS, Wikis and Weblogs, WYSIWIG-editors lose their users. However, many of those editors offer many advantages, such as Integration of SVN, FTP Clients, Developer's extensions and programming environments. Using them, you can save your time and increase your efficiency. Not every code has to be written in Notepad, not every problem has to be solved manually. Therefore some good starting points for improving your WYSIWYG-skills can be useful.

Adobe Dreamweaver Tutorials

In the list below we tried to cover some of the most useful references, tutorials, ideas and sketches related to Adobe Dreamweaver (initially called Macromedia Dreamweaver).

You might be willing to use at least some of them for your next projects. Particularly video-tutorials are amazing, don't forget to check them out.

PS: You might also be interested in

we've reviewed recently.


Inspire Yourself: More Creative Favicons

Recently we've selected 50 Remarkable Favicons you can inspire yourself from. This follow-up is supposed to give you some more ideas for fresh, inspiring and creative favicon design.

Favicons, mini graphics for a particular web-site, can be displayed in the browser's URL bar, next to the site's name in lists of bookmarks, and next to the page's title in a tabbed document interface. To be recognized immediately, favicons have to be visually appealing and fit to the design or logo of a given page.

Below you'll find over 45 more beautiful favicons, which can serve as a nice source for inspiration. You can click on favicons - they lead to the page, which uses the image as a page icon.


42 Design/Tech Magazines To Read

Regardless of what it is that you're selling, in order to remain competitive, you have to know exactly, what's going on in the field you're working in. More than that - actually, you have to know what happens next, which trends are coming up and which technologies will become big in the future. Achieving that is a solid foundation for successul development and right decisions at the right time.

What is right for business, is also right for online business. To catch up with the latest developments in design, development and web-related areas, it's reasonable to read design/tech-related online-magazines. However, the choice is huge, and the quality of magazines isn't always as good as you'd probably like it to be. Therefore decent references can be extremely useful, particularly if you don't know where to start from.

This overview of over 40 established international design/tech-related sources is supposed to give you an overview of magazines you should read or at least scan from time to time. Some of the sources are well-known by (almost) everybody; hopefully not all of them.


Inspire Yourself: 58 Creative Logos

Logotypes stand for Corporate Identity. The better a logo is designed, the greater is the probability that your potential clients will remember your CI and get back to you once your service is needed. Consequence: designers have to be creative and put many efforts in designing beautiful, unique and catchy logos. And the results they come out with are sometimes stunning and spectacular. Both in graphic design and web design.

This isn't just another collection of logotypes. These are 58 creative logos you can inspire yourself from. Nevermind how different the logos are - they show the current trend in modern logo design. The logos we've selected below have been created and optimized for Web.


Web 2.0 Tutorials Round-Up

Web 2.0 can be beautiful. In fact, many designers manage to create really amazing, particularly dark and fresh web-designs, which are visually appealing and make a great first impression. However, if you are planning on designing a web 2.0-project, you probably should know how and where to start from. Badges, Gradients, Mirror and Shadow Effects as well as Shiny and Glassy buttons are trendy. But do you know exactly how to design them?

We've collected over 65 tutorials, references and related resources, which are supposed to help you to create graphics in Web 2.0-Look. It's nice to have them ready to hand if you need them. It's nice to be able to look at them if you need a source of inspiration.


IT/Tech Job Boards

If you are a freelancer, you know exactly, how hard it can be to build up your reputation and find a good job in a good company with good financial perspectives. If you are a company seeking for IT-professionals, particularly developers and designers, you know exactly, how hard it can be to find some good ones, the ones you could rely on and get well-done job from.

In fact, it's important to keep an eye on some job openings and/or job seekers, who/which might help you to improve your financial situation or make another important step in your career. The list below delivers 47 good starting points you could begin your search for new IT job opportunities from.

Keep in mind, that most of the sites offer RSS-subscription to new job offerings; some "fresh" sites listed below present not so many job offerings yet, but they were included in this post, because they might become popular in the future.


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