Today, too many websites are still inaccessible. In our new book Inclusive Design Patterns, we explore how to craft flexible front-end design patterns and make future-proof and accessible interfaces without extra effort. Hardcover, 312 pages. Get the book now →
Matt Cronin is an avid graphic designer, web designer/developer, Cocoa programmer, photographer, digital artist, and the like. He also enjoys writing, and does quite a bit of writing for Smashing Magazine. He is currently working on a startup called VAEOU, which will have new services coming soon.
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Corporate Web design has certain elements designed to attract customers. One of those elements is the introduction. The page or website introduction does what you would think: it introduces the website or page to the user and entices them to visit more of the website.
Using an introduction has several benefits. The first is that introductions can coax the user further into the website. If the introduction is colorful, well-designed and has a good title, the user will be interested in the rest of the content. The other advantage is that you can provide quick information about your business or website to new users. Read more...
Website designs have so many different elements that work together to convey information in a usable and organized manner. For a website to be effective, every element on the page, from the header to the footer, needs to add to its overall usability and readability.
In this article, we'll take a look at the footer and see what exactly makes for a good website footer. Keep in mind that just because the footer is at the bottom of the page doesn't mean you should slack off with good design practice.
We'll look here at what to include in footers, the importance of site maps, usability practices and styling ideas and trends. We've also compiled almost 50 well-designed footers to give you ideas and inspiration for your own footer designs. Read more...
The main function of a good user interface is to provide users with an intuitive mapping between user's intention and application's function that manages to provide a solution to the given task. Basically, user interface describes the way people interact with a site and the way users can access its functions. In fact, usability is a biproduct of a good user interface and it determines how easily a user can perform all of the functions provided by the site. Usability is a crucial part of every design, especially on websites with a large amount of functions and users.
This article goes over crucial features of the user interfaces of social media and social networking sites. It discusses important features, techniques and concepts behind these designs and explains why they are important, with examples from top sites. These easy and general usability strategies can be applied almost anywhere and to almost any type of user interface.
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Web design is essentially the organization of information into a readable, usable, functional and accessible format. Good organization of content is crucial, and you need a strong layout that you can build a website upon. You can use numerous interface elements and structures to organize content, such as jQuery-based content sliders and modal windows, which are basically windows that float above the page.
The modal window has many advantages. For example, when a modal window contains a smaller element, the user doesn't need to load an entirely new page just to access it (another way to achieve the same effect is e.g. by using AJAX-based tabs). By providing modal windows, you improve the usability of your website. Having to load pages over and over will annoy most users, so avoiding that is definitely a good thing. Modal windows also allow you to save space by getting rid of large elements that don't need to be on the main page. For example, rather than putting a full video on a page, you can just provide a link, thumbnail or button of some sort.
In this article, we'll go over best practices and trends for working with and building modal windows. We'll also provide numerous examples of well-constructed modal windows and a few scripts to get you started with building them. Read more...
The organization of content is probably one of the most important and influential aspects of any good web design. Organizing information into a well-built layout is the basis of a website, and should always come before styling concerns. Without a good layout, the website doesn't seem to flow correctly, and nothing connects the way it should.
In this article, we'll discuss 8 useful layout solutions and techniques that will help you create a clean and organized content layout. The 8 techniques include sliders, tabs, progressive layouts, structured grids, modal windows, rollover elements, accordions and mega drop-down-menus.
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When designing a website, the most important thing is to make it as usable and convenient as possible. On a website on which users could possibly get confused, it is best to include help elements. Help elements come in all different shapes and sizes: an entire page, a suggestion box or a quick tip. But they all have one thing in common: besides doing the obvious (i.e. helping the user), help elements provide an extra convenience that brings the website closer to that sought-after usability.
With the number of forms, search functions and other navigational elements on websites these days, using them can occasionally become confusing for some users. Providing help elements in as many places as possible can be a great way to make the user's experience more pleasurable. The better the experience of the user, the more likely the user will buy your product, come back to the website and fulfill the goal that the website was built to achieve.
Below is a compilation of best practices for help elements, an explanation of when to use them and a showcase of excellent help elements.
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In print design, typography is one of the more crucial aspects. Typography is essential the practice of organizing, arranging, and modifying type. The typography techniques uesed in print has a direct impact on how the reader is able to receive the image. In print, typography doesn't have to be plain and boring. It can be beautiful, creative, and colorful. There are a number of ways to liven up typography, such as creative and original layouts, using color variations, use of fancy fonts, and much more.
This showcase will focus mostly on the layout and organization schemes. Below are about 40 different typographic layouts used in different fields of print such as brochure design, editorial design, and poster design.
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Last week we already presented our first selection of beautiful, clever and creative logo designs. This post presents the second part of our selection, featuring even more beautiful and creative logos that will hopefully inspire you or at least give you the idea of what the current logo design trends look like.
Just as last time, we focused on logos that use creative methods to represent the brand through color, shapes, and typography. Every design presented below tells you something about the company that it is supposed to represent. Also note the brilliant color palletes and unique patterns used in many of these. Finally, pay attention to the typography, especially font selection and coloring.
Below you'll find a collection of 40 more beautiful and creative logo designs to inspire you. Browsing through the showcase, you will notice many trends. Some of these include the usage of simple shapes to create something complex, origami shapes, coloring and transparency trends, and many more. You may want to take a look at the post Logo Design Trends 2009 for further reference. Read more...
There are an extensive amount of roads you can take in web design, specifically in navigation. Here, we will talk about one specific navigation technique, tab-based navigation. If properly carried out, tabbed navigation can be very clean and organized within a web layout.
So what is tabbed navigation? Well, it is essentially a set of buttons most often set horizontally. Tabs generally follow numerous different styling guidelines. First, a tab set usually is attached to or slightly protrudes from a container, like in the example below. Also, notice how the open tab matches the background color of the container, and the other buttons are darker. This is another common styling guideline.
When you look at tabbed navigations, you will also notice many styling trends. First, many tabs will have rounded corners on buttons. This helps to create a clean look. Also helping to make a clean look is the use of separation between buttons. Most designs use space to separate buttons, but a bevel, single line, or background color contrast will also look nicely. Read more...