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Website Design tips - Graphic Design tips

Website design and graphic design tips tricks rules help to create special effects within your web pages.

Updated: 2018-03-07T15:08:42.017-08:00


Best character design tips


Character design can be a tricky beast to tackle, because although many of the classic characters familiar to us all through cartoons, entertainment and advertising look simple, that simplicity usually belies the many hours of work that have gone into their development.Getting started can be the trickiest part in any character development project, but once you’ve got some ideas these tips will help you breath life into your creation…1: Research and evaluateIt can be helpful to try and deconstruct why certain characters and their characteristics work and why some don’t. There’s no shortage of research material to be found, with illustrated characters appearing everywhere: on TV commercials, cereal boxes, shop signs, stickers on fruit, animations on mobile phones, and more. Study these characters and think about what makes some successful and what in particular you like about them.2: Design and planWhere will the character be seen and in what medium? This will have a direct bearing on how you go about your design. For example, if the character is for a mobile-phone screen, there’s no point designing it to have a lot of intricate details and features. Nathan Jurevicius says, regardless of the format, “The process of thinking up concepts always starts the same: paper, pencil, green tea... lots of thumbnails, written ideas, scratches and sketches over sketches.”3: Who is it aimed at ?Think about your audience. Characters aimed at young children, for example, are typically designed around basic shapes and bright colours. If you’re working for a client, the character’s target audience is usually predetermined, as Nathan Jurevicius explains: “Commissioned characters are usually more restrictive but no less creative. Clients have specific needs but also want me to do my ‘thing’. Usually, I’ll break down the core features and personality. For example, if the eyes are important then I’ll focus the whole design around the face, making this the key feature that stands out.”4: Visual impactWhether you’re creating a monkey, robot or monster, you can guarantee there are going to be a hundred other similar creations out there. Your character needs to be strong and interesting in a visual sense to get people’s attention. When devising The Simpsons, Matt Groening knew he had to offer the viewers something different. He reckoned that when viewers were flicking through TV channels and came across the show, the characters’ unusually bright yellow skin colour would grab their attention.5: Line qualities and stylesThe drawn lines of which your character is composed can go some way to describing it. Thick, even, soft and round lines may suggest an approachable, cute character, whereas sharp, scratchy and uneven lines might point to an uneasy and erratic character. Sune Ehlers characters are bold and seem to dance on the page, which echoes his approach to drawing them. He explains: “Drawing a doodle is about decisive pen-manoeuvring. A strong line for me comes from strength and rhythm.”6: Exaggerated characteristicsExaggerating the defining features of your character will help it appear larger than life. Exaggerated features will also help viewers to identif y the character’s key qualities. Exaggeration is key in cartoon caricatures and helps emphasise certain personality traits. If your character is strong, don’t just give it normal-sized bulging arms, soup them up so that they’re five times as big as they should be!7: Colour me badColours can help communicate a character’s personality. Typically, dark colours such as black, purples and greys depict baddies with malevolent intentions. Light colours such as white, blues, pinks and yellows express innocence, good and purity. Comic-book reds, yellows and blues might go some way to giving hero qualities to a character.8: Adding accessoriesProps and clothing can help to emphasise character traits and their background. For example, scruffy clothes can be used for poor characters, and lots of diamonds and bling for tasteless rich ones. Accessories can als[...]

Great Poster Design & Summer illustrations design


27 most refreshing summer illustrations and poster designs for you. They have listed here because of their creative illustrations, attractive preview, bright colors, nice presentation, mind blowing imagination, cool combinations and top of all because they showed the feel refreshment in summer. [...]

Modern Menu Design



1. Open a new document 500x40px and fill it with black.

2. Draw 5 straight lines similar to these((image) ) measuring 1 px in height on the top of the canvas(on a new layer).

3. Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool and draw a shape similar to this one and then right click -> New layer. Fill this new layer with the following gradient:



4. Do the same rectangle shape again above this one but under the lines that were made at 2. and fill it with this gradient:


5. Draw a small rectangle shape with the Rectangular Marquee Tool, create a new layer as in the previous procedure and then go to Select - Modify - Smooth - 1px and after that Layer - Add layer mask - Reveal selection. After doing that right click on the layer in the layer palette and select Blending Options. Use the following options:







6. You can now duplicate the shape and add text and maybe an icon to it and you have a modern menu.


Successful Print Design


1 – Don’t crowd your limited space with too many elements. This is particularly true for marketing collaterals that only have a small space to work with (e.g. postcards, business cards, flyers, etc.). Leave ample space for your target audience to rest their eyes (this is what you call white space). More elements will only distract rather than enhance your message, which is the most important aspect of your marketing collateral.

2 - Consider using large images and pictures instead of small ones. They attract higher readership and appreciation.

3 – More visuals tend to attract more than words. Hence, use your illustrations and print design to enhance and emphasize your message. If you can, produce an image that is almost half the size of your entire page to prove your point.

4 – Consider designing a layout that your target audience would actually read through. Don’t let a space or text go unread. Strategically place your print design and text to help you scatter your target reader’s viewing all over your print ad.

5 – Be careful with how you use your fonts and types. For an effective communication tool, avoid using too many capital letters. Your text would come off as very stiff and loud. Our eyes tend to be more appreciative of lower case letters that’s why you have to provide normal writing to your marketing collateral for easy reading.

6 – Consistency is key. Placing your information in the same place where your target readers expect them can make for a better reading material that can be easily remembered.

7 – Again consistency must be present in your page layout and other design elements.

Source : What To Remember For Successful Print Designs

Social Media sites for Web Designers


If you are a web designer, there are a number of niche sites that you should be aware of. Here are five with a brief description of each. 1. DZone DZone is a community of web developers and software developers, and it probably provides the most technical content of any of the sites listed here. As the largest community listed, DZone also has the potential to send more traffic than any of the others. How it works: You create an account.Users can submit a link to an article that is development-related.Members can vote up or down for the articles.Anyone can subscribe to the RSS feed.Currently, there are over 9,000 subscribers to the feed of popular links.Currently, there are over 1,000 subscribers to the feed of new links. A submitted link doesn’t need to get that many votes in order to be made popular, but votes don’t come easily. The content is highly targeted, and anything non-developer related will be shot down and probably deleted. If one of your links makes it to the front page (and gets sent out to the 9,000+ subscribers) you can easily receive 500 or more visitors in a day. The DZone community seems to include a large number of users as I have had several posts rack up bookmarks and make it to the front page of immediately following traffic from DZone. 2. CSS Globe CSS Globe is not a typical social media site where members vote on submissions. It specializes in web standards and design-related content. How it works: Members create an account (have to be approved).Members can submit links with brief descriptions.The links go out to CSS Globes RSS subscribers. So essentially CSS Globe is more of a user-controlled blog than a social media website. But it sends links with descriptions rather than full blog posts. Links can receive as much as 200 or more visitors in a day from CSS Globe. Actually, this week I’ve had over 400 visitors in a day from CSS Globe. If you have quality design-related content and a good headline, CSS Globe is easy traffic. 3. Pixel Groovy Pixel Groovy is a user-controlled tutorial directory. Topics include CSS, PHP, JavaScript, Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more. How it works: Members create an account.Members submit links to tutorials/articles.Submissions are voted up and down by users. Pixel Groovy’s RSS feed currently has over 1200 subscribers. I’m not sure how much traffic it sends to top stories because I have not used it very much. 4. Design Float Design Float is a Digg-Style social media site that focuses on design related content, as opposed to Digg’s general approach. How it works: Members create accounts.Members can submit links and vote (actually “float”) on other submissions.Much like Digg, users can add friends.Top stories are posted on the front page. I’ve submitted to articles to Design Float and been pleasantly surprised with the results (100 - 200 visitors to each). It appears to be an up-and-coming community for designers. 5. DevelopersNiche Like Design Float, DevelopersNiche is a Digg-style site, with a niche focus. It works exactly the same as Design Float, so I won’t re-write that information. DevelopersNiche is the smallest community of the sites listed here and will send the least amount of traffic. However, that means it is easier to get your submissions to the front page and get a little bit of exposure.Source : 5 Niche Social media sites for Web Designers[...]

CSS based Design - Website Design Tips


53 CSS-based techniques you should always have ready to hand if you develop web-sites.1. CSS Based Navigation 2. Navigation Matrix Reloaded 3. CSS Tabs 4. CSS Bar Graphs (CSS For Bar Graphs) 5. Collapsing Tables: An Example 6. Adam’s Radio & Checkbox Customisation Method 7. CSS Image Replacement 8. CSS Shadows (CSS Shadows Roundup) 9. CSS Rounded Corners Roundup (Nifty Corners) 10. Drop Cap - Capital Letters with CSS 11. Define Image Opacity with CSS 12. How to Create a Block Hover Effect for a List of Links 13. Pullquotes with CSS (Automatic Pullquotes with JavaScript and CSS 14. CSS Diagrams 15. CSS Curves 16. Footer Stick allows for the footer of a Web page to appear either at the bottom of the browser window or the bottom of the Web page content – whichever is visually lowest. 17. CSS Image Map 18. CSS Image Pop-Up 19. CSS Image Preloader 20. CSS Image Replacement for Buttons 21. Link Thumbnail 22. CSS Map Pop 23. PHP-based CSS Style Switcher 24. CSS Unordered List Calender (CSS Styled Calender) 25. CSS-Based Forms: Techniques 26. CSS-Based Tables: Techniques 27. Printing Web-Documents and CSS 28. Improved Links-Display for Print-Layouts with CSS 29. CSS-Submit Buttons 30. CSS Teaser Box 31. CSS Tricks for Custom Bullets 32. Ticked Off Links Reloaded 33. CSS Zooming 34. Creating a Star Rater using CSS 35. The ways to style visited Links 36. PDF, ZIP, DOC Links Labeling 37. Displaying Percentages with CSS 38. Image Floats without the Text Wrap 39. Let visitors decide, whether or not will they open link in a new window 40. Simple accessible external links 41. Zebra Table with JavaScript and CSS 42. Vertical Centering with CSS (Horizontal and Vertical Centering with CSS 43. Unobtrusive Sidenotes 44. Image Caption with CSS (Styled Images with Caption) 45. Dynamic Piechart with CSS 46. Format Footnotes with CSS 47. Hierarchical Sitemap with CSS 48. Snook’s Resizable Underlines 49. Switchy McLayout: An Adaptive Layout Technique 50. StyleMap: CSS+HTML Visual Sitemap 51. Custom Reading Width 52. CSS Alert Message 53. CSS Production Notes Read More CSS based techniques[...]

Stupid HTML Email Design Mistakes


Ben Chestnut make focus of web Designers at silly design mistakes when they try to create HTML emails.

Mistake #1: Not designing for preview panes
Mistake #2: Assuming images will work
Mistake #3: Too many images, not enough text
Mistake #4: Not testing in different email programs
Mistake #5: Neglecting your footer
Mistake #6: Too fancy-schmancy

He also give Tips to deal with these Design mistakes.
Read at HTML Email Design Mistakes. Web designer need to pay special attention to the tips Ben gives to avoid each of these mistakes.

17 New Rules / Tips for Successful E-Commerce Websites


E-commerce has, for the most part, evolved far beyond the late 1990's cliches of hair-wrenching, sanity-shattering slogs through yet another "clever" designer's take on how shopping on the web should be. Standards prevailed, usability won out, and we're now free to spend our collective $107 billion ( e-commerce stats) per annum.That said... It can still get better. Online shopping is in, if not infancy, at least a toddler stage. The advances that brought us here have made the process simpler and easier than ever, but some sites still haven't caught on. Since I've been doing an inordinate amount of online shopping recently (thanks to the theft last weekend and my upcoming lengthy trip to China), I feel uniquely qualified to share a few e-commerce site design tips - 17 tips, actually._ _ #1 - Tell Me Where I AmWhenever a user is navigating inside a store with more than 1 sub-level of navigation, it's critical to show them where in the site structure they are. This should be accomplished with headlines, sub-headers (when necessary) and breadcrumbs (e.g. Home > Category > Sub-cat > Product). #2 - Let Me Remove Narrowing OptionsWhen a user starts to "narrow" their navigation inside a particular category (in this case by selecting the designer "Ted Baker"), it's only right to allow them to remove those navigation selections rather than forcing the use of repetitive "back button" clicks. #3 - Allow Me to Sort Every Which WayThe standards are "Price - low to high," "Price - high to low," "Popularity," aka "Best Selling," "Featured," "User Rating" (or "Editor Rating" if you don't have users rate products), and "New" or "Latest." You can eliminate "Featured" if you've got nothing to push, but all the other sorting options must exist (assuming it's possible to do so). #4 - Show Me the ProductsUnless you've got more than 200 products total in a sub-category, it's only right to offer the user the option of seeing every product on one page. Broadband has rendered the load time argument nearly irrelevant and I personally (along with Mystery Guest) can't stand sites lacking the feature. #5 - Refining Options Bring JoyIf you can provide the user with a useful refinement option, you've made their experience better. In the instance of sizing, this is particularly important, as users loathe finding that "perfect" piece of apparel, only to discover you don't carry it in their size. #6 - The More Specifics, the BetterRule #6 is so worthwhile, I'm repeating it. Actually, #7 serves to illustrate a substantive difference between refining your browsing in a section (as #6 shows) vs. navigating to a new sub-category. Offering the latter as an option where relevant and valuable (and when the number of items warrants it) is a wise decision.#7 - Tell Me What it Costs & What I'm SavingSome product category pages shows items without the detail users are craving. It's particularly important for discount sites (anything off MSRP helps conversions) to show pricing, but nearly every website can benefit from providing an extra bit of detail before the click to the product page. Tell them materials, give a tiny description or list the sizes/colors/options you have in stock._ _ #8 - Keep the Search Bar in Easy ReachWhen a search has been performed, don't just show the search and the results, do like the engines and make the search bar front and center, while maintaining the user's query in the box for potential modification. #9 - Give Me Search Refinement OptionsIf you have an advanced searching system, or can allow users to select prices, options, colors, sizes, models, etc, do it. Your bottom line will thank you - users often rate "search" as the most frustrating part of many e-commerce sites (apologies for not having the study to cite here). #10 - Get as Close As You Can Get (while staying relevant)In the example above, eB[...]

7 Website Design Mistakes to Avoid


1. Not planning your website

Before you start creating your website design, you must know, and be very clear about your purposes and goals for your website.

* Who your website is intended for
* What benefits can your website give to the intended group
* What you want the intended group to do as a result of visiting your website

Only with a well-defined purposes and goals, then you can clearly and directly convey your message to your intended group through your website.

2. Using too many colors and font styles

Keep your website design to no more than 3 colors and font styles. Using too many colors and font styles confuse your website visitors.

Think through these:

* How long would a confuse visitor stay in your website?
* What is the chance of this visitor returning to your website?
* Will this visitor recommend your website to his friends?

Your website design has to be pleasant to the eyes of your visitors to keep them surfing in your website.

3. Contact information not placed in an easily seen location

The 100% safe way is to use a ‘contact us’ button. The ‘contact us’ button is used so commonly that hardly any visitor can miss it. Place the ‘contact us’ button on all your web pages. If you are selling, offer your visitors multiple ways to connect to connect to you at their convenience.

* Through phone
* Through email
* Through on-line support
* Your office address

4. Information out of date

When your visitors see any out of date information in your website, it reflects poorly on you. Your website is a direct reflection of you and your credibility. When they see your website as good, they are inclined to trust your website.
Every single bit of information counts. Always update your website promptly whenever information changes. Do not run the risk of losing the trust of your visitors unnecessary.

5. Broken Links

Broken links is a hyperlink that leads to web page that does not exist. In most cases when you click a broken link you will see the Error 404 page.

Test-run your website and fix-up any broken links. When you do an update to your website, test-check your website to ensure all links works.

6. Orphan Pages

Orphan pages are web pages with no links pointing to them.
One quick and easy way to solve this problem is to put a link to ‘Home’ on all your web pages.

7. Slow loading times

Do not overload your website with images and applets. Not only does it slow down your web pages loading time, it turns away your visitors.

Source : Tips & Tricks: Website Design tips & mistakes

The top 10 top 10 tips for ecommerce web site design


1 Think about designMake sure all aspects of your design matches your customers expectations, not just how it looks.Ten Top Tips for a good Web Site .. has the wisdomRed On Blue Isn't GoodI Don't Like Your Java ClockPopup Window? I'm Leaving!..but they then split the advice onto two pages, making it impossible to print. They also use blue text for headers which look a little too much like links for my liking.10 Most Important Web Design Tips.. contains tips such as..Simple navigation.Helpful and useful information.Good quality content and images... which I agree with but they then go on to use arbitrary animations and sound in their web page. I'm not so sure about those design choices. Because "simple navigation" is actually very subjective it can be extremely hard to acheive. Designing "simplicity" takes real skill and artistry.Top 10 Tips For Web SitesI like the tips from this site because the tips are easily measured and can be implemented. Anybody can validate their site's HTML or check the 404 page. A simple "tick the box" checklist that will genuinely help.Ensure Your Web Site Complies With HTML StandardsMake Use Of CSS - And Ensure The CSS Is CompliantProvide A Search Facility For Your Web SiteEnsure Your 404 Error Page Is TailoredTop Ten Digital Photography TipsOne of the most common problems with small to medium sites is overlooking the use of imagery. Bad cropping, poor photography can all be helped by spending a little time playing with your camera and learning what it can and can't do.Warm Up Those TonesSunglasses PolarizerOutdoor Portraits That Shine2. Use the best technologyUnderstanding what the technology is capable of will help you make the best technology choice. Make sure you find a partner who can leave the jargon at the door and can clearly explain their technology choices.10 Important Tips for a fast loading web siteAgain, these tips could be more explicit, maybe showing examples of how to optimize code.Optimize your HTML code:Effective Table designAt the OTHER media we would recommend that any site should not contain tables, ironically, to make you page faster to load and meet all accessibility guidelines.10 Tips for CM SuccessFocus on the content, not the delivery mechanism. Create a system that can be flexible and can change over time.Remember that not everybody is technically inclined - make the site easy to use.3. Plan your marketingThere is more than one way to promote your site and a lot of common sense advice on things you may have missed.Top Ten Small Business Web Site Marketing TipsThese tips contain some wisdom that contradicts the tips many SEO companies will happily recommend.Content is keyKeep it currentDon't try to outsmart the Search Engines - Eventually you'll looseLinks both in and our must be releventTen marketing tips to help promote your small businessBecause ten is such a small number, finding one Top Ten that has all you need to know isn't possible. You many have to shop around a bit.Word of mouth is the most cost-effective, powerful form of promotion.Business cards need to stand out from the crowd.Testimonials support your credibility.2 useful hints about affiliate/referral associate programsI was attracted to this Top Ten because it contains "Harness Your Passion". It also suggests that you ......Select your targetBecome interested in a hot topicYou need lots of trafficRule number 1: Go for qualityThings You can Do to Increase Visitor ResponseGetting people to your site is only half the battle, if that. This site has some challenging tips you may or may not agree with.Whatever you are selling for retail online, "Lifestyle graphics" work best!Most people come to a Web page in search of information.Let your mind think outside of what is already being done or what has been done before.The use of humor at times is very powerful.4. Plan y[...]

Current trends in graphic design


People are changing the way that they consume online information so nature of the Website brings with it an expectation of interaction with information and modern Web design are become work of web designer

Current trends in graphic design include using fonts of different sizes in headlines and pull quotes or using a very small font in the margins of magazine articles. You see this especially in magazines where designers have broken many rules in order to achieve “innovative” design. These trends then trickle down to marketing design where they are seen in ads, direct mailers, on web sites, etc.

Such design elements are eye catching and nice to look at, but they can also be difficult to read, lowering reader comprehension. Which means, if people aren't reading your expensively designed marketing collateral, they probably aren't going to respond to it either. If you are putting together an ad, web site or a direct mail piece, consider these following time-tested design rules:

1. Use alternate forms of navigation including the ability to browse by user, tag clouds, tabbed navigation etc

1. In the US, serif typefaces are the easiest to read. In Europe though, people find sans serif easiest to read.

2. Make your web site easy to read by using typefaces that were designed to be easy to read on a computer screen. Some examples are: Georgia (serif) and Trebuchet or Verdana (sans serif).

3. Reverse type (white type on a black background) is much harder to read. Rather than not using this design devise, which can be attention getting, you can assist the reader by keeping the amount of text short and/or the point size large.

4. Engage the attention of Web users by drawing their eye to what is important, rather than trying to provide them with everything under the sun.

Source :

Hot multimedia tips


Some of Howwired's best web developers and graphic designers have converged to share their techniques to create effective audio, video and animation in the web. Here are excerpts from the pool's tips, tricks and wizardry to help you optimize your multimedia efforts.

· Use layers as often as you want to. Using a liberal dose of layers will make it much easier later when it's time to re-edit and animate. In addition, it doesn't add much to the overall file size.

· Save copies of the file as you work when using Flash. This is especially helpful when you're using a Mac. This will come in handy when you suddenly experience problems in opening a Flash file you've been slaving your days with.

· Use color outline layers and guide layers liberally. Both are found under the layer pulldown menu. The color outline layers show a layer in its outline form--- great for getting quick and precise positioning particularly with scanned drawings. Guide layers are for positioning bitmap guides or for testing layers you may want to remove from your final version. They allow you to keep a layer from exporting.

· Mix and match programs and media to get better results. Experiment and try combinations such as flat color vectors with photographic bitmaps for an interesting and rich output.

· For additional depth and color to vector images, use gradients; but don't overuse so as to avoid adding to the file size and speeds.

· Don't overdo your media. Your audience will definitely get indigestion from your web site.

· Never make your audience wait. Downloading an image that takes millions of years to finish will definitely make your audience cranky. They'd probably clicked to another site even before your banner finished downloading itself. "If people have to wait, be sure it's really worth their while," says HotWired's resident interface designer.

· Design delays that cover the loading process. Flash features full attributes that helps in keeping the audience occupied while that giant sound file is loading in the background. Flash's Bandwidth Profiler is said to provide a big help on this.

· Use the knowledge and wisdom of your friends and colleagues. A good multimedia comes from a diverse source of skills found in people. The adage that two minds are better than one definitely applies here. Talk to other multimedia designers or join groups and mailing lists to share ideas and knowledge. What you think is trash for you might be a goldmine for another artist.

Written by Sally

Source : Creative graphic designs

The Importance Of Sound Website Design & Search Spiders To Internet Marketers


When designing your website you must incorporate structural website design principals that elicit search engine friendliness.

An astute marketer should also desire to see how search engines see his or her site. This may be accomplished by a Lynx Viewer which is a text-mode web browser. Additionally, a Lynx Viewer can help you determine if your web pages are accessible to the vision impaired. A quick search in Google for "Lynx Viewer" will yield numerous sources from which you can download this important tool for your use.

Even though you must design your website with your visitors in mind first, it is crucial that you accord the search engines top level priority too, since the vast majority of these visitors will arrive via search engines. Practice good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but not at the expense of your visitors' experience -- it is a balancing act that must be accomplished with prudence.

Web browser standards are not yet fully harmonized. A web page that looks great in Internet Explorer might look atrocious in a Mozilla based browser like Firefox or Netscape. A marketer must therefore be conversant with the intricacies of cross-browser design -- designing for one browser (IE) is no longer ideal, as the Google backed FireFox is eating up Microsoft's browser turf at an alarming rate.

Anybody can "whip up" a web page in FrontPage without sufficient knowledge of HTML, but may not be able detect and correct the messy code that FrontPage generates underneath the page, some of which is proprietary to Microsoft. Consequently a website that looks superb in Microsoft Internet Explorer may look and load dreadfully in Opera and/or some other browser, denying you visitor traffic.

Never use a Word Processor to design your website. Word Processing software generate tremendous amounts of code that is not search engine friendly. If you cannot hand-code using a text editor then it is necessary that you use authentic and industry standard web design software that incorporate the most up to date design principles. Macromedia's Dreamweaver and the latest version of Microsoft FrontPage are good candidates with Dreamweaver getting my partisan nod.

A first-rate design strategy should include the use of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and valid XHTML, the most current in the HTML generation of standards. Websites designed in strict W3C standards tend to be lighter, faster and cross-browser compatible. This is not to insinuate that table based design is going anywhere anytime soon, for it is my humble disputation that if strict W3C standards were to be enforced in browsers, 95% percent of websites would go out of business, furthermore the lack of inter-browser synchronization just worsens things.

Read more at The Importance Of Sound Website Design & Search Spiders To Internet Marketers

Details Rule tips in Website Design


(image) Written by Jamie Kiley

When it comes to websites, the details matter. Although many website owners believe the important thing is merely to get a website up, that's only a small part of the job. Effective sites take a lot of planning--and a lot of concentration on the details.

Is it crystal clear to visitors what they are supposed to do on your site? It's critical to ensure that you've provided straight-forward directions to visitors as to what they should do on your website.

Have you answered all the objections visitors might raise ? Visitors will have questions and hesitations at various points throughout the process of making a decision to buy. Are you answering those concerns at the points where they are likely to come up ?

Have you emphasized the benefits of your services, not just the features ?

Is your website organization clear and straightforward, and is it oriented around visitors' needs and priorities ? This is one question website owners continually fail to consider. Consider things from a visitor's point of view, and organize around your visitors' priorities, not your internal company structure. The same goes for individual page layouts, not just the website organization as a whole.

Do the graphics on your website visually emphasize the most important items on each page ? Take a long hard look at your pages and figure out which elements really stand out. Are you visually drawing attention to the important stuff?

Does your website draw along a path to an end goal ? Every website should be a process geared toward getting visitors to take certain actions. It's your responsibility as a website owner to figure out the details of how that process should work and which steps happen where.

Have you considered everything from a visitor's point of view, not just a website owner's point of view?

If you want to create an effective website, get intimately acquainted with your visitors' mindset. Learn to identify with your visitors' feelings all the way through from the very beginning of the process to the very end. Understand their specific needs, their concerns, and the benefits that speak to their hearts.

After you've done that, analyze the details of your site. The answers you've determined for the above questions will affect the fine points of your graphic design, of your page layouts, and of your overall site organization. Purposely evaluate why each element of the page is placed the way it is and identify what purpose every item serves.

It's not enough to just launch a website. You have to make the details count !

Does your site have the essential ingredients that make customers buy? Jamie Kiley can help you find out exactly how your site needs to be improved. Sign up for a site review today at

Read more at :

Tips on How to Redesign a Large (Dynamic) Website


Redesigning large dynamic websites can either be easy or problematic. Read how you can redesign your large website easily and efficiently.

Before you actually make any changes to a site know the several types of large sites:

1. large static sites using pages with .html extension
2. large sites with Server Side Includes without a CMS
3. sites with a content management system

-using templates for layout

-using built-in layout

These site types are different in terms of how easy it is to change the site look. Let's see how exactly it works for them.

Static sites

Large static sites, usually on HTML, are quite rare. If you want to change such a site easily, you'll have to use Server Side Includes and any programming, if needed.

To redesign your site with SSI to the site, you'll have to do the following:

1. Create a new layout, which includes all necessary design blocks and content
2. Divide the page into parts: the includes
3. Introduce the Server Side Includes code into every page on your site.It is required for the site to be edited easily.

You can always install a CMS for an often updated website: it'll require putting all the content in the database, though.

Sites without CMS

To change the site design, you just need to create a design and divide it between includes. Most likely, you'll need to create the includes from scratch and readjust the pages accordingly.

Large sites with CMS

Large sites require extensive efforts to maintain them. There are a lot of CMS's, but, generally, they can be divided into two groups: customizable and non-customizable.

Sites with customizable CMS

Some use templates (default visual layouts, used for different types of pages), some change the page look with the help of a user interface. Basically, it may be best to use a CMS on templates to be able to customize the layout. To redesign such a site, simply redesign the templates your CMS uses to change the site appearance.

Sites with non-customizable CMS

Steps on CMS that can not change visual layout should be best redesigned with the help of a better CMS, or, if the site is small enough, just with Server Side Includes. This simply means that the site layout needs to be designed from scratch and the site owner has gained a chance of setting up an easily-customizable back-end solution for his website.

Summing up

In short, how a large site can be redesigned depends on how it was built. If it is possible to adjust a template layout, so much the better. However, if a CMS can't change the site appearance, it'd be best to replace the CMS with an easily customizable CMS, which is also web standards compliant (on CSS).

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Top 7 Things I Wish I'd Known About Web Design



Written by Jamie Kiley

1. Reading is incredibly valuable

In my opinion, both books and online newsletters are very valuable. Books are more methodical than newsletters, but newsletters are free and can cover more up-to-date topics. Personally, I try to read on a variety of subjects.

2. It's imperative to understand the target audience and the primary goal
for every client.

In order to design a site that truly meets a client's needs, the designer must understand what the site is supposed to accomplish, and what kind of visitor they will be working with.

3. A basic understanding of search engine optimization and copywriting is imperative.

Although you can design a website without knowledge in these areas, it's pretty hard to design a GOOD site without knowing at least something about SEO and copywriting. Designers have to realize their craft revolves around their ability to communicate a message-and that is dependent on the site's copy and visibility. Without any content or traffic, a designer's work doesn't do any good.

4. It helps immensely to narrow your own target market as a designer.

It means restricting your focus to e-commerce sites, or single pages for sales letters, or B2B sites, or sites in a specific industry, focus is key. It allows you to become specialized in one area and to develop real expertise in that niche.

5. Web designers should be marketers, first and foremost.
If a web designer does not understand the mindset of a marketer or a salesperson, they won't understand the logic of how to create pages that sell.

6. The point of graphic design is to increase functionality, NOT to create something that looks pretty.

As soon as designers begin treating appearance (and graphic design) as an end in itself, functionality starts to suffer. Instead, graphic designers have to recognize that every line of text, every photo, every button, and every other element on the page should be designed to make the page more functional.

7. Knowing the rules is good, and knowing when to break them is better.

You learn the rules and principles that underlie good design, you're a step ahead of the crowd. But if you have skill in knowing how to apply (and when NOT to apply) those rules and principles, you're leaps and bounds ahead. Knowing (and following) the basic conventions of the web is very important, but it's even more important to be able to think through the logic of a given situation.

Want to Know in Detail then Read Top 7 Things I Wish I'd Known About Web Design

eCommerce Site Design: What do you Really Think?


Take some time to research your competitor's websites. What seems to work on their site? What have they done really well? How does this information stack up with your site? What have you learned ?

Many ecommerce sites will phase in new site designs every two years or so. There are always new techniques and software applications to assist in the development of something that catches attention and is highly functional.

Have friends and associates try a beta version of the site to bring to light any flaws in the design. There is nothing worse than pushing a new site design that is riddled with flaws and broken links.

Many sites have enjoyed using Flash design in site development only to discover search engines don't access the information in Flash. While the functionality of Flash is a positive for visitors it may be best to develop a Flash and Non-Flash version of your site so search engines can read your site content.

Want to read more eCommerce Site Design: What do you Really Think ?

News Article Design: 20 Tips For Good Web Copy



Submitted by Jason Lee Miller

Clean is better. Eye-tracking studies say so.Web copy should be bulleted,concise,easy. Photos should be informative, not decorative. White space is good. And guys like looking at George Brett's protective cup.

For more Click at News Article Design: 20 Tips For Good Web Copy

How C.R.A.P is Your Site Design ?


Author : Mike Rundle9RulesThe four golden rules of site design. Simply follow them and watch the accolades come flooding in. Eons ago when I was taking the Freshman web design course in college (okay, it was only 4 years ago) I was taught about the acronym of all acronyms, the one by which all other web design acronyms were judged. We learned that good design is based on the C.R.A.P. principles where C.R.A.P. stands for Contrast Repetition Alignment Proximity, and when Creative Directors tell you that your design is crap, they’re actually giving you positive reinforcement. Okay, that last part was made up, sorry. “Crappy work” is probably not a term of endearment but rather an indication that your pixels smell.There are various examples of what C.R.A.P. means on the web (Robin Williams first coined the acronym), but for me it’s this:ContrastElements that aren’t the same should be very different so they stand out, making them “slightly different” confuses the user into seeing a relation that doesn’t exist. Strong contrast between page elements allows the user’s eye to flow from one to another down the page instead of creating a sea of similarity that’s boring and not communicative. RepetitionRepeat styles down the page for a cohesive feel — if you style related elements the same way in one area, continue that trend for other areas for consistency. AlignmentEverything on the page needs to be visually connected to something else, nothing should be out of place or distinct from all other design elements. ProximityProximity creates related meaning: elements that are related should be grouped together, whereas separate design elements should have enough space in between to communicate they are different. In this article I’ll go into further depth about each specific principle, and show examples of design that are either C.R.A.P. or just crap. Let’s go!ContrastGood contrast can make sites appear crisp and organized, whereas poor contrast blends it all into an incoherent mass of RGB values. Contrasting elements allow for the user to figure out which page areas are related and which are totally separate, so make sure to differentiate your elements and page sections.One of my favorite designers, Jason Csizmadi, runs the killer design weblog and his blog is a great example of what good contrast can do for the layout of a page. Here’s a screenshot:and links to other sites. The stark contrast between the left and right columns really brings cohesion to the similar areas while defining the boundaries between different types of content.Good contrast separates main areas on a page and allows readers not to be distracted by similar elements on other sections. In my opinion poor contrast on a site makes for poor design. And example of this is Northrop Grumman’s Capabilities page.This screenshot is a good example of bad contrast on the web. They had the right idea with the shaded right column background, however the light yellow doesn’t separate it enough visually, and using the exact same typeface for all body copy and headings within the two columns compounds the problem. The main section headers are merely emboldened versions of the text underneath, and this slight change doesn’t separate the sections enough. I think that if Grumman changed their section headings to a larger size (with more padding), and made the right column background more distinct, better visual contrast would be achieved.RepetitionIf you’ve ever designed a weblog before, you know about repetition. Typical weblogs have all the sam[...]

10 Tips on designing a fast loading web site


Tips and tricks on effective web designThe Number 1 rule that every web designer should follow is to create a fast loading web site. You might have a great design but very few people are going to see it if it takes a long time to load. While designing a web site always think about how long it will take to load. Try out our tips to build a great looking web site that also loads fast1. Minimize the use of images - The key to a fast loading web site is to minimize the use of images. Images do enhance a page but don't make 80% of your web site only images. Instead break it down as much as possible to simple HTML. Notice the popular sites like Yahoo, Google, Ebay, Amazon etc., they have very few images because the load time is more important. Very often simple designs are the best.2. Optimize images for the web - Once you have decided on the images that you need on your site, make sure that it is optimized for the web. They should be in the gif or jpeg format. You can also minimize the size of the image by choosing the number of colors you need, from the color palette. The less the colors you choose, the less the size of the image. You can also use online tools like Gif Wizard to optimize your images or to get a recommendation on how to cut down the size of an image.3. Use Tables creatively - You can get some great looking designs by using tables creatively . Tables load very fast because it is just HTML code. Tables can be used in the homepage, menus or anywhere you like. Read more on Using HTML Tables Creatively4. Cut down the use of animated gifs - Don't use animated gifs unless it is necessary. Animated gifs take a long time to load and can also be very irritating. But since they catch your attention you could use small animated gifs to draw a visitor's attention to a particular section of your site.5. Design simple icons - Instead of using big, bulky images use simple and small icons that add a little color and draw the attention of a visitor. 6. Use background images instead of big images whenever possible - Use background images whenever possible. This is usually a very useful tip for headers and footers. Instead of using an image of width 580 which is a uniform design you can use just a part of that as a background fill. This reduces the size of the web page as the image is small. The code will look like this : 7. Try out CSS Styles - Have fun with CSS styles to get some cool text effects. Again, a CSS Style is simple HTML code so it loads very fast. You can create cool rollovers using CSS Styles. Check out our CSS Styles tutorial for more cool tips on CSS Styles8. Use Flash sparingly - There seems to be a lot of hype about Flash but I recommend that you minimize the use of Flash on a site. Don't make entire sites using Flash. It may look great but it takes hours to load and can really put off visitors. If you do want to use Flash use it within an HTML site and make sure it loads fast.9. Design most of your site in HTML - As much as possible try to design your site using HTML. You can create great designs by just using HTML code. Use tables, CSS Styles and simple fonts to design your site. Minimize the use of animated gifs, Flash, bulky images etc.10. Keep checking your load time - Last but not least, before you decide on the final design of your web site, check its load time on NetMechanic. This site gives you a free analysis of your web site which is extremely useful.[...]

How to Avoid the 12 Common Web Design Mistakes


Are people visiting your web site but not buying? This may be asign and the time to do some redesign of your web site. Oftenyou are so close to what you have created, that you can’t seeobvious design mistakes. I often do the same when writing anarticle – everything looks fine when I have finished, yet when Ireview it the next day and I’m amazed at how many mistakes Ihave made. Let’s look at some of the most common Web Design mistakes: 1. Sloppy Web Site Copy – your heading and first paragraph shouldclearly indicate the purpose of your web site. “Content is King”on the Net, so make sure there is plenty of focused informationfor your visitors. The content should draw the visitor throughthe site to take action in the end. Include contact informationon every page in case people have questions. 2. Bad Color Coordination – avoid using dark text on a darkbackground. Use dark text on a light background, such as blackon white. Use colors that blend well together – observe natureor look at paintings to get some idea of good colorcombinations. 3. Pages Load Too Slowly – using too many images or insertinglarge images on a web page, slow down the loading time of yourweb page. Optimize your images (reduce their size) before youinsert them on your site, otherwise your visitors will leavebefore your site is loaded. 4. Poor Navigation – this means visitors can’t easily find theinformation. They experience broken links, error pages ordiscover too many moving objects (animations, flash, scrollingtext, marquees) – all these will annoy the visitor and cause himto click elsewhere. Keep your navigation simple by creatingclear links on all web pages. 5. Orphan Pages – these are pages other than your homepage, wherethe visitor has no idea how it fits in with the overallstructure of your web site. You should always have a link to thehomepage, so visitors know where they are on your web site. 6. Long Scrolling – the visitor has to scroll horizontally, ormany pages vertically to view the whole web page. Create thewidth of your web page to fit on one screen, to avoid horizontalscrolling and have a maximum of 3 pages to be scrolledvertically. 7. Meta Tags Missing – without optimizing your web page with adescription or keywords, people can’t find you on the searchengines. Research key words or phrases relevant to your sitecontent. Include them in your title, description and Web Sitecopy. 8. Lack of Marketing Strategy – a beautiful lawn without sun orwater will soon die. A Web Site without visitors will soon diealso. They are the life blood for your website. Create numerousmarketing strategies to attract visitors to your web site – younever know which one will be the most effective. 9. Poor Layout and Design – create an aesthetically pleasingdesign to keep the visitors on your site. Create enough whitespace between your text and images by using margins. Don’toverlap text and images and avoid capitalizing all text – itgives the impression you are shouting at your visitors. Usefont type such as Arial or Verdana to make it easier to read onyour computer screen. 10. Avoid Using Frames – frames don’t allow you to bookmark thepage or return to it and sometimes the URLS stop working. 11. No Cross Browser Compatibility – you may be losing manycustomers if your Web Site is not compatible to the browsersmost people are using. Internet Explorer (IE 4, 5, 6) iscurrently the dominant browser, and most users are displaying800x600 pixels or more, with a color depth of at least 65[...]

Annoying Website Design


Have you ever considered that your website may be annoying? When it’s comes to website design, knowing what visitors hate most is a must, unless you don’t want them to visit you again. This article describes what you should exclude from your website. If you know about an annoying website, feel free to send this article to its webmaster. A few weeks ago I received an email from a colleague asking me to check one of the website he had developed. He is a web designer and his client wanted a nice attractive flash header. The flash header was great. You can’t miss it at all. Some nice graphics elements were flying in while sound effects created just the right atmosphere. However, after starting to explore the website, the header became very annoying because every time you clicked on the website the header restarted. What was pleasant initially became very annoying very quickly, disturbing your concentration and making it difficult to read what was on the page. He is not the first to create what I like to call – "annoying website design". Many webmasters, especially new webmasters are totally “in love” with their ideas and tend to go overboard with their design in one way or another. It’s nice to have an attractive header, but is it really necessary to assault the visitor’s mind with it? In my opinion, absolutely not! Webmasters sometimes forget that their website design should send a message to the visitor that should reflect the website topic and not the programmer’s skill level. Is Your Website Design Annoying ? Well…. It’s not that hard to be annoying. However, some webmasters are much better than others at annoying their visitors. Check my top 5 list and decide for yourself whether you have been annoying your visitors. Background music – Unless you are operating an online internet radio station or sell music CDs, why play a midi/wav file in the background continuously on every page? Huge font size – If you are designing a website for people with a disability then you are doing the right thing, but if not then you are shouting. People don’t like it when someone shouts at them. Small font size – Do you want to be heard? Keep a normal tone, don’t shout but "speak" in a reasonable volume. Overlapping layers – Layers can be very useful up to the point. But not when they are being used to put an annoying message in the visitor’s face. Don’t try to force your visitor to read your messages. Try persuasion instead of brute force. Popup windows – Even though popup windows are now blocked by many add on tools, webmasters keep using them. The annoying part of popups is sometimes we actually miss important information because of those anti popup tools. Haven't you heard the old phrase "if you can’t beat him, join him”? Don’t use pop up windows. Put your important messages in a central place on your website. Most likely each one of us has our own private top five lists. You probably have many more annoying design cases in mind. Well, you’re right, the list is much longer then that. I just wanted to describe some of the highlights in order to bring this important subject your attention. Some of you are probably reading those lines and smiling while some others have a feeling a deja-vu. Keep in your mind that as a webmaster the last thing you want to do is put lots of effort into your website and then find out that your visitors hate it. It's not a matter of taste, it's more about being the same polite person we all try to be w[...]

The 7 Deadly Sins Of Web Design


Sin 1 - Starfield backgrounds

You know the sort – zillions of tiny white pixels glinting back at you from behind the text. Beautiful. Not! In a galaxy far, far away, in a time long, long ago people thought this was cool. It’s not. It sucks and people who use it should be shot.

Sin 2 - Anything that moves.

Okay, that’s maybe a little bit harsh – let me zero in on something more specific - animated cursors. I know 12 year-old kids that think they’re crap. Wise up and lose the Homer Simpson cursor that leaves a wake of donut crumbs behind it as it moves across the screen. Please, I beg you, destroy them all!

Sin 3 - Fading Page Changes.

You’ve not seen these? Oh honestly – they’re wonderful. You click on a link to get to your chosen section and then suddenly the whole ass of the website morphs up into itself before re-appearing like a re-constituting Captain Kirk being beamed back into existence. Supreme. Whoever invented this deserves a medal. Ideally a medal that is extremely heavy, irremovable and is presented during a mid-ocean ceremony..

Sin 4 - Wide Load Websites.

You know the ones. You’re just getting into a sentence and then suddenly you realise that the last quarter of the sentence is not on your monitor – it’s extended into your kitchen somewhere and you need scrollbar shenanigans of Herculean proportions just to get to it. Wide load websites? Give them a wide berth.

Sin 5 - Designed By The Criminally Insane.

Words escape me:

Sin 6 - Reflective Ripple Effects.

Absolute classic this one, I would be doing the Internet world a disservice if I left it out. You must have seen these in action – you come across a website (usually a personal one on free webspace) and there’s a picture depicting a tranquil scene, normally, though not always, containing a river or lake in it. And then the really tacky bit – the owner has lifted a bit of code from somewhere that makes the lower portion of the image appear as if it is rippling. The effect makes you feel like you’re having a water cannon loaded with chocolate ice-cream fired down your throat – it’s quite amusing and good fun for the first 2 seconds but you soon start to feel sick and dizzy wondering if there’s an off-button within reach…

Sin 7 - “Catch-Me-If-You-Can” Navigation.

Truly an invention of the devil this one. You can’t make head nor tail of what the little blobs on the navigation bar are supposed to be so you hover your mouse over them. But oh no – getting a description or hover-over clue now would be too easy. So instead the whole navigation bar starts scrolling past your mouse.
The more you move your cursor to catch up with the section you wanted to click on the faster everything starts spinning. Before you know it you’ve got a migraine, a sore wrist from moving your mouse too much and one less hour of your life left. If you’ve never witnessed scrolling, moving, “Catch-Me-If-You-Can” navigation just thank your lucky starfield backgrounds..

So remember people – don’t have nightmares and don’t commit any of the above cardinal sins!

Author : Matt Frenk
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Affordable Website Design


How do we know if a web design is affordable? Affordable website design is when there will be an obvious return on investment, over a set term. But the costs do not just stop at the website build itself. One has to look at whole expected life cycle of the website. Here are some ways that you can have a more affordable web site design development at the initial purchase stage.

The initial meetings usually get drafted into the cost of the website. Traveling to a client takes time and money so preparation is the key here. Find someone local, and get a minimum of three quotes. It may take more than one meeting to decide who to choose so here is where your preparation pays off. Know what you want, know how it should be achieved and reduce the number of meetings needed.

The actual design of a website can be very costly or very affordable, if you know what you want then it is more affordable. There are plenty of templates out there and even more websites, so if you leave it to a designer to build from scratch it will cost. The current trend is for simplistic design and since you have your own logo it should not be too hard to sketch together a style of your liking, simplistic design should not cost a lot of money. The important part for us is the content of the website so make sure that the design does not crowd this content.

The website has to be hosted somewhere and web hosting comes in various forms. Make sure that it suits what you need. If you have a ten page website which you aim to grow to a hundred page website, and one page averages at 110KB, then you should be looking at a web space of around 11MB. Take into account additional or larger images so triple it to be safe to start with at around 35MB. ? Do not pay for a 500MB website hosting when you only need 35MB.

Are they building the site from scratch or are they using open source software. If they build it from scratch, it is highly likely that the costs will be very high due to testing and development. Also, the support costs will be high as it is bespoke. Open source software is developed by the community and supported by the community. More than one web Design Company can take over a website built from open source software and support it without problem. If you use open source then there will probably also be pre built training packages on how to use it. Again reducing the cost and making the website more affordable.

Open source software is free software which web design companies can use and manipulate to suit their needs. The web designers still put in a lot of effort to make it look and behave as you like it but the engine of the website is normally already been and can be adapted to various situations.

So, as a starting point to a more affordable website design, have a good idea of the design you want. Try and opt for open source software. Have a guess at your web hosting needs and question if you think it is too much.

Neil MacLeod runs providing web site and web marketing services in Buckinghamshire, UK.
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Web Site Design - Easy Steps to Web Site Designing


One of the widely used ways to advertise a business or a product is through a personalized web site that tells all the stories about their product. It is indeed a powerful form of advertisement but a lot of web site owners fail in this aspect. What can be wrong? Its design. Yes, the site design can also bring horrifying failures to your business. So what are the key components that you must remember in web site designing ?

• Do not overload your site with information. Remember, the reason why online users go into the net is because they do not have the luxury of time. Now if you drown them with a novel-like advertisement on a site, then your site design is ruined.

• Go direct. In consonance with the short information, make sure that even when they are short, it gives what consumers want. Place information that answers the questions of consumers. In short, make your information relevant and direct.

• When you put information, make sure that it gives answers to the 4w’s and 1 H’s. The what, when, who, where, and how are all questions that most consumers have in mind. Make sure that the site concisely answers all.

• Follow coherence. It is not good to be reading about an article that does not show logical sequence. Make sure that your paragraphs are coherently done.

• Make a solid format. Learn what you are writing. Do not incorporate things that are out of bound.

• If your site is a menu based one, come up with detailed menu headings. Make sure that menu title is not too generalized. It makes it difficult for consumers to actually determine what choices it gives.

• Lastly, when a visitor logs in, make a follow up. This gives an air of importance to consumers. Knowing that their visit is given an importance makes a lot of difference.

Do you want to learn more about how I do it? I have just completed my brand new guide to generating massive traffic ‘Triple Your Traffic Fast'

Raymond Nesa is an experienced web marketer specializing in article marketing, traffic generation, and list building.
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