Author: Fekete György
György Fekete is a Web developer with 5 years of experience in Web design and development. He is the founder of Primal Skill Ltd., an established Romanian Web design and development studio.
We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. upcoming SmashingConf New York, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.
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.
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).Read more...
Pricing tables play an important role for every company that offers products or services. They are a challenge from both a design and usability standpoint. They must be simple but at the same time clearly differentiate between features and prices of different products and services.
A pricing table should help users pick the most appropriate plan for them. A company should carefully examine its product portfolio and pick the most important features to present in its pricing plans. Visitors should be given only the information they would be interested in: available features, options and costs. The rule of thumb is: every unnecessary cell in your pricing table increases the probability of losing potential customers, because you make it more difficult for them to compare various plans and select the best one.
Once you have identified the most important features, go ahead and create a more detailed list of features for users who are interested in a particular plan. Users must know what kind of a product they are spending their money on and all of the features associated with it.Read more...
It’s hard to define design. We have a broad range of definitions to choose from: design refers not only to graphic design, but to design strategy, too. It is used in a variety of industries, such as engineering, architecture and Web design.
This means that design is not just graphical in nature (which is a form of visual artistic representation), but also the planning of processes to achieve certain goals. Large corporations clearly understand this and incorporate every form of design into their strategy to achieve success.
For a good corporate design, we need to be aware of two main elements, which can be further broken down into a total of seven “ingredients”: design, as in artistic representation (logo, typography, colors), and design strategy (brand, quality, community, culture).Read more...