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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex UX, front-end and performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.
If you want to maximize the revenue of your service you need to maximize completion rates of your web forms. Unless you have some revolutionary ideas to impress your visitors at first glance, it is not enough to simply enable users to sign up on your site. To make it possible for the service to reach a maximal exposure we, designers, need to provide users with a good user experience. We need to invite them, describe to them how the service works, explain to them why they should fill in the form and suggests the benefits they'll get in return. And, of course, we should also make it extremely easy for them to participate.
However, designing effective web forms isn't easy. And it has one simple reason: nobody likes to fill in forms — neither offline nor online. Therefore, as designers, we need to figure out sound design decisions to make the form completion easy, intuitive and painless.
But how exactly can we figure out these decisions? Where should the link to the form be placed in the layout? How should we design it? How should we highlight the labels and how should we align them? How do web form design patterns look like in modern web-sites? These were exactly the questions we've asked ourselves. And to get the answers we've conducted a survey.
Below we present findings of our survey of current web form design patterns — the results of an analysis of 100 popular web-sites where web-forms (should) matter. We have decided to start with sign-up forms first. We present the first part of our findings below; the second part of the survey results will be published next week.
No, they shouldn't. At first glance the decision to open links in new windows or not depends on the given site and the preferences of its visitors. Visitors of the sites with heavy linking are more willing to have links opened in new windows than open dozens of links in new windows manually. Visitors of less-heavy-linkage-sites are more likely to open some specific link in new window to remain on the site and continue to browse through it afterwards. However, this is not true.
Users also don't like to deal with dozens of opened tabs and some visitors tend to quickly become angry with the disabled back-button. Furthermore, some visitors may not even realize that a new window was opened and hit the back-button mercilessly — without any result. That's not user-friendly and that's not a good user experience we, web designers, strive for.
How many creative solutions for calendar design are out there? If you take a look around you'll find out that most calendars are designed in a "standard" linear fashion. Calendar cards usually have the same structure: the month is designed in bold while the days are placed below within a rigid grid structure. Well, it doesn't have to be like this. In fact, there are a number of creative approaches one can consider when designing calendars.
Indeed, designers sometimes risk unique design solutions. However, unusual design is not necessarily a good design. It is important that your calendar design reveals function and remains usable. Function is more important than the design. In fact, some designs listed below may be not that user-friendly, but they may serve as a nice starting point and give you some fresh ideas for your future designs.
This post showcases creative examples of calendar design. We have tried to include creative, visually appealing and interesting design solutions. Hopefully, everybody will find something interesting and unusual for herself or himself.
Please notice: this post is rather about information visualization than nice graphics design. Some nice calendar graphic designs have already beencollected. Our goal was different: to present some creative concepts for calendar designs and calendar systems.
In corporate design brochures and booklets are a standard tool for promotion and advertising. They are tiny books or magazines which lay around in conference halls, offices and waiting rooms. Sometimes they contain an annual report of the company or showcase the portfolio of an artist. Brochures can also be included in CDs and DVDs; however, usually they are given away as freebies (e.g. they may contain a calendar or some poster inside).
In either case, booklets serve advertising purposes and since they are usually short (max. 25-30 pages) they need to look good and be informative in order to focus users' attention and effectively convey the message. Unfortunately, only few brochures are indeed designed with close attention to details. However, there are a number of options for creative and appealing booklet and brochure design.
This post showcases beautiful examples of brochure and booklet design. We have tried to include creative, visually appealing and interesting design solutions; the booklets presented below are nice to have in the hand and take with you. Hopefully, everybody will find something interesting and unusual for herself or himself.
Every now and again we take a look around, select “fresh” high-quality free fonts and present them to you in a brief overview. The choice is enormous, so the time you need to find them is usually the time you should be investing in your current projects. We search for them and we find them, so you don’t have to.
This month we are glad to present you the updated Anivers, Gentium family and Fresco Semi Bold. Please read the license agreements carefully — they can change from time to time.
Free Fonts Of May features Freebooter Script, Cora Basic Regular, Walkway and Karabine.
You can find over 80 more free fonts in our section Fonts.
If you've been following Smashing Magazine for a while, you know that almost all posts from the Monday Inspiration series are pretty colorful and eye-catching. This post is an exception. Compared to colorful designs where catchy colors help the design to stand out, in black-and-white designs the ability to stand out depends only on its ability to communicate rather than on its appealing visual presentation.
Indeed, beautiful black and white photography doesn't attract with its play of colors. Here close attention to composition, lighting, perspective and the context it is shot in are important. Hence, before considering the photos presented below please prepare some patience and time. This post presents some truly excellent examples of beautiful black-and-white photography.
Notice: this post isn't supposed to showcase the best black-and-white-photos of world's best photographers; please see it as a modest attempt to inspire designers for experimenting with black and white instead of using a variety of vibrant colors all the time. Hopefully, everybody will find something interesting and unusual for herself or himself.
Packaging design has the primary goal to attract customers' attention. For this purpose, package designs can not simply inform the customers, but also provoke feelings and communicate emotions. An effective packaging looks attractive, impresses with its creativity and is just nice to have on the shelf.
As an ongoing part of our monday inspiration series today we present excellent examples of beautiful, attractive and communicative packaging design. We have also tried to present creative and unusual ideas which you could use for your projects. Below the gallery you will also find some further references to blogs and resources related to packaging design.
Effective web design doesn't have to be pretty and colorful — it has to be clear and intuitive; in fact, we have analyzed the principles of effective design in our previousposts. However, how can you achieve a clear and intuitive design solution? Well, there are a number of options — for instance, you can use grids, you can prefer the simplest solutions or you can focus on usability. However, in each of these cases you need to make sure your visitors have some natural sense of order, harmony, balance and comfort. And this is exactly where the so-called Divine proportion becomes important.
This article explains what is the Divine proportion and what is the Rule of Thirds and describes how you can apply both of them effectively to your designs. Of course, there are many possibilities. Hopefully, this post will help you to find your way to more effective and beautiful web designs or at least provide some good starting points you can build upon or develop further.
Successful product design manages to reveal useful functionality beyond its appealing form. No matter how excellent a design looks like, most customers aren't likely to spend money on something they won't be able to use. On the other hand, most people are likely to buy something useful despite the design it has.
Yet the key to a truly successful product design lies in designer's ability to combine both beautiful design and functionality making it obvious to the customers how the product can be used and which benefits it delivers. However, one can combine the beauty of design with the utility it is supposed to provide.
Most products fail to pass this test and never reach the production stage; some products do manage to get to the stores. In the overview below you'll find an overview of some beautiful and original product designs which will hopefully make the cut and will be available in the next years. Some of them are already available today.