Posts Tagged ‘Showcases’

We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with ‘Showcases’.

50 Beautiful And User-Friendly Navigation Menus

Usability is an essential goal of any website, and usable navigation is something every website needs. It determines where users are led and how they interact with the website. Without usable navigation, content becomes all but useless. Menus need to be simple enough for the user to understand, but also contain the elements necessary to guide the user through the website — with some creativity and good design thrown in.

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Below we present over 50 excellent navigation menus — we feature CSS-based design solutions, CSS+JavaScript-based menus and Flash-designs. However, they all have something in common: they are user-friendly yet creative and perfectly fit to the style of their respective websites.

Please also consider our previous articles:

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404 Error Pages, One More Time

The design of 404 error pages is often overlooked and underestimated. However, designed carefully, these pages can make a random visitor stay on your website, take a look around and eventually find the information he or she was looking for in the first place. Effective 404 error pages communicate why a particular page couldn't be displayed and what users can do next. A search box and list of useful resources (possibly related to the missing page) could be helpful in this case.

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We've already covered the design of 404 error pages in previous posts. In them, we also covered some interesting and useful ideas for designing 404 pages. Now, it's time for a fresh dose of 404-error inspiration. This article presents 50 more examples of beautiful and original 404 error designs. Some of them are beautiful but not user-friendly, others are user-friendly but not really beautiful. Please use these examples as a source of inspiration; hopefully, this showcase has something for everybody.

Also note that some examples used in this post were suggested by our Twitter followers: please follow us on Twitter to vote on which article gets published next, discuss new ideas, get fresh updates and suggest great ideas for our next posts. Thank you.

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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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Designing The Holy Search Box: Examples And Best Practices

On content-heavy websites, the search box is often the most frequently used design element. From a usability point of view, irritated users use the search function as a last option when looking for specific information on a website. If a website's content is not organized properly, an efficient search engine is not only helpful but crucial, even for basic website navigation. In fact, search is the user's lifeline to mastering complex websites. The best designs offer a simple search box on the home page and play down advanced search and scoping.

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Search box

Search box

In practice, websites tend to grow over time, adding new content and, more importantly for us, adding new navigation options, such as additional content sections. However, these new content islands do not necessarily fit the whole information architecture that was well-designed and thoroughly structured when the website was initially designed. The consequence is a poor navigation scheme that is more irritating than helpful, because the content appears to be scattered all over the place instead of contained in separate, very distinct folders (in fact, this is a problem we encountered here at Smashing Magazine recently).

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50 Beautiful And Creative Portfolio Designs

Design portfolios come in various forms. Traditionally they have been print-based and something you would carry to a client pitch or meeting to showcase what you've done and how you do it. Today, many designers take advantage of the nature of the internet to publish and showcase their work via their online portfolios. Having your work displayed online removes the geographical restraints that traditional portfolios impose on you.

Rob Young screen shot.

In this showcase, you'll find a variety of beautiful, unique, and highly-creative portfolio designs. The aim here is to stimulate your creativity and to inspire you to create your own portfolio or re-think your existing one. You'll get to see portfolios from a wide range of fields including web design, product design, illustration, photography, and even animation. Without further ado, we present to you 50 beautiful and creative portfolio designs.

You may also want to take a look at the following related articles:

  • Creating A Successful Online Portfolio
    In this article we’ll review 5 pitfalls that commonly plague portfolio design. Then we’ll cover Portfolio Tips that if carefully considered and well executed will deliver quality results for your portfolio.
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Billboard Top 40 Design Showcase

When searching for web design inspiration it's easy to get caught up looking at the same portfolios, blogs and the typical sites that appeal to fellow designers. However, as a designer there is a strong need to be able to create a website that truly works for the client and their visitors, not simply a site that fits into our ideals.

From time-to-time it's helpful to step out from the familiar sources of design inspiration to see what is being used in a particular industry. The music industry is obviously big business, and as artists and record labels struggle to make the transition from declining CD sales to more profitable uses of technology, examining band and artist websites can be a practical learning experience.

Katy Perry

You can tell a lot about the band or artist's target market based on the style of design. You'll see in the screenshots below that even for those bands with whom you are not familiar, you could probably identify the audience fairly accurately based on the style of the site. Whether the style appeals to us as designers or not is of course not nearly as important as if it appeals to its target audience.

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Favicons, Episode 8

Every now and again we showcase beautiful favicons — tiny pieces of art you’ll usually find in your browser’s address bar or when searching through your bookmarks. Favicons are important as they provide visual indicators to visitors and help them to easily associate the content with a bookmark in their browser. Besides, favicons are just nice to look at and there are way too many sites which don’t make use of them. We like to change things. Which is why here is the 8th episode of the favicons series. For a change a small article with very small images and a quick loading time.

Favicons

Please notice that the favicons weren’t chosen simply because of their beauty; it’s been important to us that the favicon perfectly fits to the overall site design. Pay close attention to the small details of the design. All favicons are linked to the sites where they are used — you can click on them to get more insights into how favicon design can be related to the layout design. All favicons are listed without a particular order. All images are linked - of course, if the page that contained the favicon still exists.

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