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Posts Tagged ‘Showcases’.

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

RSS: Best Design Practices And Icons

RSS is extremely simple and yet so powerful. Not only does every weblog need it for content syndication; the number of RSS subscribers is a metric for weblog's popularity and its success in the blogosphere. However, although millions do use RSS, hundreds of millions don't. That's no good news, since RSS offers a bunch of advantages that can boost your productivity and improve your information consumption in a quite elegant and easy-to-use way.

In this article we give an overview of what RSS is and present best design and usability-practices for design and placement of RSS-buttons on a web site. We also showcase dozens of free RSS-icons and provide you with references to related tutorials and how-tos.

Screenshot - RSS

Please notice that


Smashing Pumpkins and Halloween Redesigns

Right, it's the 31st of October. In spirit of the coming Halloween parties we'd like to spark some design flavour by showcasing Halloween redesigns we've stumbled upon over the last few days. Pumpkins, skeletons, dark colors and spiders can be found almost in every Halloween design. In some cases designers replace some of the logo elements by visual elements (images or Flash-movies); other designers tend to add dark background colors and an according Halloween theme to the web-site's header. And sometimes the whole design is completely replaced with a Halloween theme.

Halloween Screenshot

Last week we've presented some beautiful wallpapers and tutorials in our Halloween Roundup: Wallpapers And Tutorials and asked our readers to send us their redesigns of our Smashing Magazine logo. As a result we've got a number of Smashing Pumpkings which we'd like to present in this post as well. And we've also replaced our logo with the Halloween logo designed by Marian Buhnici (first logo in the list below).


65 Excellent Flash Designs

With Flash you can do more than just displaying videos. You can create stunning visual experience and offer your visitors incredible user interaction. Although Flash is definitely not the favourite medium for usability and accessibility advocates, it has its advantages and it empowers the Web with functionalities which make it an incredibly interactive medium. With Flash designers can achieve results which simply aren't possible with (X)HTML and CSS.

The results can be creative, impressive, beautiful and fascinating. Under two conditions: 1) if designers find the right mixture between graphics, animation, video and sound and 2) if designers follow the guidelines of usability and user interaction.

However, since there is a number of things that can go wrong in Flash, it's easy to get it wrong. In fact, there are thousands of examples where it is the case. In Flash any experiments with navigation and layouts are possible and in most cases it's extremely hard to find a creative yet intuitive approach. Flash is commonly used by designers, agencies, advertisers and interactive web sites, and not on the sites where simplicity and quick access to information are important.


Flash Screenshot

In this post we present 65 examples of outstanding Flash designs with excellent use of graphics, visual elements, interface design and graphics motion. This showcase (mostly) presents "pure" web designs; we've tried to avoid Flash-based games and advertising.


Matt Stuart

Can you shoot photos of things that don't really exist? Matt Stuart is a professional photographer. He lives in England and is fascinated about people and the way they live their lives. But what is really interesting is that Matt shots photos from perspectives which create an illusion of objects and situations that don't exist in reality.

Matt Stuart Portfolio


Creative Favicons: Tiny Artwork

Since visual elements are easier to remember, they can be used to draw visitors' attention to the brand identity of the site. As visual indicators, favicons can establish the communication with visitors and make a web-site easier to remember and get back to once you need it - for instance, once the visitors look for the site in their bookmarks. Still most sites don't make use of them - just like 404-error-pages, favicons are often forgotten or simply ignored. It's time to change that, folks. Every once and again we present some of the most creative and beautiful favicons — to prompt you to design them for your sites. In fact, we are willing to do that until the trend is finally established. The design of favicons might look like a simple task; however to
  • make the design recognizable,
  • keep it simple and
  • combine visual identity with
  • visual clarity
  • within a 16x16 rectangle
is a creative challenge you shouldn't underestimate. The details build the foundation of a successful logo, and to take care of the smallest details is extremely important for a usable and visually appealing favicon. The images below can be clicked - apparently, they lead to the sites from which the favicons have been taken. The examples show not only how a well-designed favicon might look like, but also which creative approaches can be used to give a favicon the freshness and clarity it deserves. The examples also demonstrate how favicons can support the overall design of the site it is being used on. You can find further favicon-showcases and some more information in the posts we’ve published before:

45 Excellent Blog Designs

Designing a blog is easy. Whatever engine you are using and whatever style you prefer, you'll always find a number of templates you can apply to your weblog in seconds. No styling is necessary, no playing with colors is needed and no mind jogging about content presentation is required. However, not every weblog should look like a typical blog. After all, not every blogger wants his or her site to look exactly like hundreds of other ones. In fact, there is a small bunch of creative, outstanding and individually designed from scratch blogs.


In this post we didn't try to showcase some eye-candy (although sometimes eye-candy is indeed offered); the designs listed below were selected for their attention to small details. Pretty and colourful header-graphics doesn't make a good blog. The blog needs a solid visual structure, a profound hierarchy of site elements; it also has to be able to build some kind of a bridge between the content and its presentation. To do this, you need to think about precision, minimalism and sound use of illustration. These criteria were the ones we've used to select the designs listed below. All these aspects make the designs we've selected look... well, not always beautiful, but outstanding, almost excellent in their own kind. Mostly it's the idea the designers used to make the weblog as usable as possible - not the implementation of this idea - which we've been after.


Below you'll find 45 excellent blog designs which impress with creative approaches and attention to details; hopefully you'll find new ideas you can develop further in your own designs.

Notice that the screenshots we've provided may give you a wrong impression about the whole design of the sites; in doubt you should take a closer look at headers, footers, comment-areas, site structure and further site elements. Please also notice that you can click on screenshots to get to the sites from which the screenshots have been taken.

We've missed something? Definitely! Let us know in the comments!


Exploring Design: Outstanding Start Pages

Designers have only a fraction of a second to attract users’ eye and win over their loyalty. Clear visual structure, thought-out typography and moderate use of images are extremely important - as they can drastically improve the scanning process for the users. Consequently, to achieve a lasting positive impression, it’s common to make use of basic rules of usability.
However, classical solutions can be boring; creative solutions can be appealing. Therefore to impress visitors, designers risk unusual and innovative approaches. After all, between standards and creativity there is a lot of room for design experiments. We observe these experiments. We explore new approaches. And we collect them, so you don’t have to.
And since no page is equally important as the start page, it’s interesting to know, which approaches designers come up with, developing an innovative design for start pages. Let's take a look. Unusual, remarkable and outstanding start pages - in a brief overview. Read more...

Inspiration Package: 60+ Usable & Elegant Designs

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.

Beautiful Designs - Oaktree Creative: The pixels, prose and portfolio of Chuck Mallott

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.

Beautiful Designs - 31Three - The Design Studio of Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain

Next week we'll present the .pdf-version of this showcase. You might be willing to check out further showcasese we've presented before.


60 Elegant and Visually Appealing Designs

It's quite easy to get stuck in creativity blocks, but it's damn hard to get out of them. Particularly if you are out of time and don't want to compromise your professional principles selecting the first "quick-n-dirty" solution you can think of. To get things done, you need inspiration and creative thinking. You need fresh ideas and elegant approaches. And you need to be able to find them as quick as it is possible. Handy references and examples are therefore both useful and enjoyable - after all, who can resist gorgeous, professional, elegant and visually appealling designs?

Solid and Serious Designs - The Big Noob

We've selected some of them. In an overview below you'll find 60 fresh, elegant, professional and visually appealling designs, which pay close attention to details and manage to remain simple, user-friendly and nice-looking.

You might be interested in taking a look at design showcases we've published before:

Please feel free to comment upon the selected designs: nothing is more important to us than constructive criticism from your side.


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.

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