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Category: Design

This category features articles on general design principles, Web design, typography, user interface design and related topics. It also presents design showcases and practical pieces on the business side of design. Curated by Alma Hoffmann.

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How I Work: IDEO’s Duane Bray On Creating Great Digital Experiences

Welcome to another interview in the series called “How I Work.” These interviews revolve around how leading thinkers and creators in the Web world design, code and create.

How I Work: IDEO's Duane Bray On Creating Great Digital Experiences

The goal is not to get into the specific nuances of their craft (as that information already exists online), but rather step back and learn a bit about their habits, philosophies and workflow for producing great work.

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Content Knowledge Is Power

“Content matters!” “Comp with real copy!” “Have a plan!” By now, you’ve probably heard the refrain: making mobile work is hard if you don’t consider your content. But content knowledge isn’t just about ditching lorem ipsum in a couple of comps.

Content Knowledge Is Power

Countless organizations now have a decade or two’s worth of Web content — content that’s shoved somewhere underneath their redesigned-nine-times home page. Content that’s stuck in the crannies of some sub-sub-subnavigation. Content that’s clogging up a CMS with WYSIWYG-generated markup.

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How To Maintain Hierarchy Through Content Choreography

One of the issues we need to be concerned with in responsive design is how to maintain hierarchy as elements on the screen are resized and reflowed. Trent Walton first called attention to the issue with his post “Content Choreography,” which showed how visual hierarchy gets lost when columns are dropped below one another.

Maintaining Hierarchy Through Content Choreography

While techniques exist to help with part of the problem, the solution also requires conscious thought in how you structure blocks of content in your HTML. You need to think about how you’ll want to rearrange blocks of content as your design moves from single to multiple columns.

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Repurposing Photoshop For The Web

Like any overzealous teenager aspiring to be a Web designer back in 1999, I found myself in an “Electronic Design” class, behind the wheel of one of those old-school aqua iMacs. If you found yourself in a similar situation, chances are you were given Adobe Photoshop as your vehicle for designing the Web.

Repurposing Photoshop For The Web

For me, it was version 6.0. No matter which version you had, undoubtedly you know someone who can “trump” you by having adopted an earlier version. We designers take much pride in this, in case you hadn’t noticed.

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Listen, Watch And Share!

With a phone or tablet in your pocket, you get instant access to a huge variety of podcasts — both audio and video. They keep you entertained while you’re commuting or on a long plane ride, and they provide useful information that you can integrate into your daily routine as a Web professional.

Listen, Watch And Share!

Keeping track of the ever-changing selection and finding quality podcasts that feature exactly the topics you are interested in can be painful. That’s where we come in. We have put together an extensive list that includes your soon-to-be favorite podcast — whether you are a developer looking for coding advice, a designer seeking inspiration or a startup businessperson. So, tune in, stay informed and learn new skills!

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Making Sense Of Type Classification (Part 1)

In my previous article on Smashing Magazine (“Understanding the Difference Between Typography and Lettering”), I wrote about how understanding type terminology can help us better appreciate the arts of typography and lettering.

Making Sense Of Type Classification, Part 1

This article again deals with terminology, probably more specifically than most designers are used to, and the title gets to the heart of what I’m communicating in this article. Everyone knows their serifs and sans, slabs and scripts, but most classifications go much deeper than that.

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Navigation For Mega-Sites

For most websites, navigation is not particularly challenging. A primary navigation bar, supported by sub-navigation, is often enough. Typically, sub-navigation displays the parent, siblings and children of the current page.

Navigation For Mega-Sites

A persistent primary navigation bar shows top-level pages, allowing users to move between sections. However, there is one class of website for which this traditional form of navigation falls short. It is what I refer to as a "mega-site".

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Best Practices And Examples Designing A Better Mobile Checkout Process

A record number of shoppers are turning to their smartphones to research potential purchases. Meanwhile, the bigger question — are those same users willing to complete the purchases on their mobile device? — is quickly being answered.

Designing A Better Mobile Checkout Process

The US, for example, saw an 81% spike in mobile e-commerce (m-commerce) sales in 2012, comprising a $25 billion market. And it’s not just apps. By a landslide, users prefer mobile websites to apps for shopping.

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Creating Wireframes And Prototypes With InDesign

Hundreds of tools may be available for interaction designers, but there is still no industry standard for interaction design the way Photoshop and Illustrator are to graphic design. Popular programs are out there, but many of them have considerable drawbacks, which has led me to explore alternative apps.

Creating Wireframes And Prototypes With InDesign

I eventually chose Adobe InDesign for much of my preliminary interaction design work. Yes, you read that correctly: InDesign, a desktop publishing app originally created for designing books and magazines, is currently my tool of choice for designing low- to medium-fidelity wireframes and interactive prototypes.

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