Ruben D'Oliveira

I am a Portuguese UI/UX designer, visual designer and writer. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology and Multimedia and I'm addicted to web technologies and design. Feel free to check my work on Behance or Dribbble. You can also follow me on Twitter.

20 Reasons Why Your Website Design Sucks Part 2

Posted in Tips, Web Design • Posted on 22 Comments

In 20 Reasons Why Your Website Design Sucks part 1, I’ve started with a short introduction about why clients should be just clients, and why some self-proclaimed web designers shouldn’t be “designing” at all. We then explored important concepts which you need to know before you start designing and planning a website. A thorough knowledge of concepts like balance, white-space, and overflow make the difference between a good and a bad design.

Like the previous article, we’re focusing on another 10 mistakes that can transform your website design into an unpleasant place to be. However, this time I won’t show you extremely bad layouts that make you laugh, we are now on the next level and will focus on bigger mistakes that good designers make.

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9 Tips on How To Improve Yourself as a Web Designer

Posted in Tips, Web Design • Posted on 58 Comments

There are times in life where everything goes well, people like your work and you get more and more clients. But sometimes the “business” stops, work flow decreases, you get bored and uninspired, and you stagnate. The reasons behind this can vary, but mostly it’s just because you’re feeling uninspired and have lost your drive. It’s very easy to lose inspiration, when we are not surrounded by a learning and inspirational community.

You know you love what you do, so don’t quit. In order to counteract the situation, you need to go further, learn new things, and adopt new work methods. You will find out that maybe you just need a push or build your own motivation and energy to go forward, or that maybe you are just afraid to step up.

So grab a pen and get ready for new resolutions.

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Tips and Considerations for Self-Promotion

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 14 Comments

The number of freelancers is rising at a really fast pace, and like everything else you need to stand out in order to stay competitive. Standing out is no easy task, your work needs to be attractive to a lot of people, but especially to your clients. Unfortunately, being good is not enough in today’s world, you also need to tell the world you are here and you are capable of good design.

The best designers and developers are the ones we don’t know about, the only difference is that they don’t need, don’t know or don’t care about self-promotion, or promotion at all. But if you value your work, you should value the way you are presenting it to the world. So before you sell a product, you need to sell yourself. Tell them why you deserve to be chosen, why you.

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Pros And Cons Of Using Frameworks

Posted in Tips, Tools, Web Design • Posted on 28 Comments

Sometimes you should ask yourself, why you need to do the same thing everyday when there’s a new bridge to shorten the path. Think of a framework as a bridge that will help you code faster and easier. Did you notice I didn’t include the word “better” in the last sentence? Faster and easier doesn’t always mean better, but we will get to that later.

First things first, so what is a framework really? It actually depends on the context it is used. It can be defined as an abstraction tool that makes it easier to develop applications and reuse code.

“The framework aims to alleviate the overhead associated with common activities performed in Web development… and they often promote code reuse.”

Like everything else, when it comes to its use, a framework has advantages and downsides. Below is a list of some important facts you should consider, before you decide to start learning or using one.

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20 Reasons Why Your Website Design Sucks Part 1

Posted in Tips, Web Design • Posted on 75 Comments

We all have or have heard about those clients from hell, those that really love pink pages with red text. Even worse, what about those people who call themselves “web designers” with expensive prices and services listed on their really messy, horrible and amateur portfolios, just because they made their uncle’s business page and they liked it. Unfortunately, many people believe that web design is all about personal style and smart IDE’s with pre-built buttons. Let me tell you something – they are wrong. I love to play football, but that doesn’t make me a professional player, and Dreamweaver does not make you a professional web developer. Web Design and development demands knowledge, practice, daily effort to learn and study, and passion, like professional football players. (Design conventions: Necessary guidelines in order to improve a specific design.) No matter how good or bad personal style is, the truth is that everyone has one. However, when design conventions are left out of a project, the result will be a bad or uninteresting design. That is exactly what happens with those terrible clients, when they try to implement their personal style without knowing anything about design conventions.

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What You Need to Know About Usability

Posted in Tips, Tools, Usability, Web Design • Posted on 19 Comments

Having good structure and navigation with poor layout does not provide a bright future for your website or application. However, having good layout design with poor structure and navigation does not provide a future at all.

Aesthetics is an important factor, but keep in mind that usability must be number one on your list. When I started designing websites and interfaces, my main, and probably only, concern was to make something beautiful that would catch the user’s attention – I had no idea about how wrong I was. If the user does not know where to go or how to proceed, he will close the page within 5 to 10 seconds.

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Preparing For a Web Design Project

Posted in Tips, Web Design • Posted on 18 Comments

There are several stages during the process of a web design project, and every stage is important to achieve a positive end result. In order to proceed to the research phase, you need to gather information and know what the project is about, which technology is required, the target audience, goals, content, etc.

There are great articles out there explaining theory aspects of a web design process, stages, and how you should proceed. Those articles (which I recommend reading) can give you a good understanding of this matter and they are usually very theoretical, which is not the purpose of this article.

Do you ever felt curious about how other designers build their web sites? How do they organize things while working? What tools do they use beside Photoshop?

Every professional designer or developer work in different ways, however, the goal is to give you good insights about how you can prepare and deal with some practical aspects of a web design project.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Better CSS and HTML

Posted in HTML & CSS, Tips, Tutorials • Posted on 34 Comments

CSS and HTML are key languages to begin with, when you decide to invest your time in web design and development. They are powerful languages and most of the time may seem simple to work with.

However, every single one of us, beginners, or advanced developers, have committed basic or major mistakes working with both these languages. With this in mind, I believe it is extremely important and always welcome to learn some good tips and practices which I hope will help you improve your skills and experience.

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