Category: Inspiration

Popular tags in this category: Freebies, Web Design, Techniques, Inspiration, Business

The Story Of Scandinavian Design: Combining Function and Aesthetics

For a long time, art has been heavily influenced by the social and political landscape. Searching through history, we find that while the social views of a certain period may no longer be relevant, the art and design of that time often are. Designers today constantly draw inspiration from history, consciously and unconsciously. Being aware of that history and knowing what has come before in your field can help you better convey the meaning in your work and forge deeper connections to your environment (artistic, social, political, etc.).

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Looking back to the beginning of the 20th century and the styles and movements that ruled the art world at that time, we will look for influences and ideas that have evolved into what has been known since the mid-20th century as “Scandinavian design”. This article also offers some thoughts on how to incorporate its principles in your work today.

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Web Designers, Get Out There and Make Something!

When people ask me what I do, I tell them I make websites. They usually smile and nod and then ask whom I might make these sites for. I’ll ramble off a random list of clients I perceive to be most impressive. They, again, smile and nod. The conversation moves on. This has happened to me somewhere north of one hundred times. It always feels a little disingenuous.

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My day job and clients aren’t the issue. I enjoy most of the projects I get to work on. My coworkers and clients are smart people, with good ideas, who usually have a reasonable expectation and goal for their campaigns.

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We Can Do Better: The Overlooked Importance of Professional Journalism

The Web is a galaxy of information that is rapidly expanding. Blogs and online magazines are helping shape the future of this Information Age that we live in. Those of us who read, write and design blogs and online magazines possess extraordinary power and potential. How will we choose to use it?

Newsstand by Ruth Orkin

If you use your website to publish news, events, opinions or interviews, you should familiarize yourself with the basics of journalism. These tools can help us develop and share information that is exciting, intelligent, and responsible. They can provide guidance and support as you pursue a career or hobby writing online.

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Showcase of Beautiful (or Creative) E-Commerce Websites

Designers are constantly striving to create eye-catching designs without losing the usability features that add significant importance to the experience of online shopping. Today's showcase presents a variety of websites with elegant design solutions and innovative design techniques. We have analyzed the designs and now discuss their advantages and disadvantages in this review. We also suggest improvements and further ideas that could help improve shopping experience on these sites. Hopefully, you can learn something useful from our thoughts.

Oi Polloi is small retail store based in the Northern Quarter, Manchester, UK. This website has a retro style, supported by the typewriter-style typograph and old print-style textures. They capture the Oi Polloi brand well. The navigation menu is a good old drop-down which doesn’t quite work, especially because the page has six of them on top. This requires a bit more clicks than you’re used to on an e-commerce website. When you roll over an item on a product page, a tooltip provides details about available (and unavailable) colours and sizes. It might be useful including these options in the search as well.

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Creative Use of Video in Web Design: Background Videos

Since its early days, video has been one of the most powerful and efficient tools of visual communication. It is able to deliver a direct and clear message to a broad audience as well as focus viewers on something particular. A visually appealing video is an excellent way to present a product, service or brand and take user experience to a much more interactive level. For this reason, elegant, creative and professional videos are becoming increasingly popular in Web design today.

Bulgari B.Zero1 in Background Video Showcase

Some designers go even further, creating Bluray-like experience in the browser, with interactive navigation menus, soft transitions and exceptional visual effects — all supported with background videos. This can be done with Flash or HTML5, however, most websites incorporate background videos using only Flash. To enable the rich cross-device experience, it is worth considering adding fallback-videos for those users who have a browser that does not support Flash. Nevertheless, we didn't want to go into technical details just yet and wanted to see what actual approaches designers take within their websites.

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The Designer’s Cross-Training Toolkit

I watched a TV documentary the other day about a professional soccer player. As well as his normal soccer training he mixed in training in other sports like boxing and yoga and I thought this sounded a bit odd. Why would somebody that earns his (considerable) daily bread playing soccer spend time learning and training in areas that are not directly related to his profession?

A selection of smartphones

Well, it turns out that they are related in a round-about way. The athlete and his coaches went on to explain that training in other sports and physical activities, as well as regular soccer training keep certain parts of the brain active and stimulated, and this in turn improves soccer performance and prevents the brain and body slowing down.

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Designing Memorable Websites: Showcase of Creative Designs

One of the main goals of having a website, whether it be a portfolio website or a business website, is to declare your presence on the Web. There are thousands upon thousands of websites out there; it's pretty well established that you are competing for your audience's interest and attention. To this end, it’s important to make those few seconds count when making a first impression.

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There are many things happening in web design today. One of the interesting developments is the emergence of responsive web design, in which fluid grids, flexible images, and CSS media queries are used to create more adaptive layouts and hence more elegant user experiences. These designs can adapt to the browser's viewport, completely changing the layout or the overall design of the page altogether, to fit the available space.

We also see a rising popularity of soft :hover and :active/:focus-effects, where buttons, navigation items and links feel more responsive and engaging as well. The transitions are smooth, and often subtly or vividly animated. Another important development is of course the rich web typography, made possible with the emergence of font embedding services. We have much more freedom for our typographic decisions which is an opportunity to create more diverse, unique and therefore memorable designs.

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