Mascots: Where Are They Heading?

Posted in Social Media, Tips, Web Design3 years ago • Written by 4 Comments

Many companies use a virtual mascot or avatar to represent their product or service on the Web. At first glance it seems so simple, just follow the well-known guidelines and voilà, you have a cool mascot that keeps people engaged with your site. But is it really that easy? After doing some research I ended up noting that most of the popular mascots and avatars are of rather the same type – there is some personality but not much movement. That raised questions: How much room is there for development and why are mascots so popular?

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A Brief Overview of Responsive Design

Posted in Tips, Web Design3 years ago • Written by 17 Comments

The ever-changing landscape of the web and the technologies that access it demand for shifts in how we view websites. Most recently a trend called ‘Responsive Design’ has emerged, which allow for users viewing websites on mobile devices to access them in a user-friendly manner. Accommodating these users is something everyone should take into account for their web strategies in the future, as it enhances the overall viewing experience for mobile visitors.

Many clients may demand a mobile version of their website – one for the Blackberry, another for the iPhone, the iPad, netbook, and even the Kindle. How does one accommodate this growing population? In this article I will describe the growing prevalence of Responsive Design and factors you should consider when designing for mobile visitors.

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Personal Networking Sites: Path, Fridge, and Google+

Posted in Social Media, Web Design3 years ago • Written by 5 Comments

So you have your Twitter and Facebook, why do you need to join a private/personal social network? Ask yourself first if you’re really connecting to the people close to you, like your family and close friends, not just an acquaintance or a friend of a friend. Path, Fridge, and Google+ seem to have found a solution: developing a private network for people. No worries about your boss seeing things he shouldn’t see.

Another reason to join one of the three? For freelancers, social media people, and other readers of 1stwebdesigner, I’m pretty sure that your feeds are so filled with updates from websites you are subscribed to that it no longer looks like a social networking site but a feed reader. Then there are people who’d add you as a contact even if you’ve just met once or twice, it’s a little awkward to just reject or ignore them (at least for some) right? Worry no more, read on!

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How to Author a Super Accessible Website

Posted in Usability, Web Design3 years ago • Written by 15 Comments

Helen Keller, the deaf-blind and renowned American author and lecturer, who became world-famous for her passion towards preaching the importance of living a good life, conveyed an important message to the world through her life by overcoming the odds of sight and hearing deprivation. Hers was truly an outstanding case of determination and confidence. There are thousands of Helen Keller’s with hearing, sight, movement and cognitive disabilities out there in the world, dreaming and striving to lead a normal life as others.

With internet now becoming a necessity in the modern life, it’s really important to create applications that are easy to use for all equally – yes those Helen Kellers too. As a web designer we create experiences for the users and put them in the front seat, with our decisions relating to the interface. Equally important as following best practices and standards is to design UI for systems that are accessible to all types of users – Accessible Design, is what we should be aiming for.

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5 Simple Tips for Creating an Effective FAQ Page

Posted in Tips, Web Design3 years ago • Written by 6 Comments

A Frequently Asked Questions page is necessary if you’re selling something, providing a service, or giving information about a complex subject. It takes the guesswork away from your visitors who may have questions, and makes the experience that much easier. When designing a FAQ page, usability should be at the top of the list of criteria to meet – after all you don’t want it to turn into a black hole of information. In this article I will present effective techniques and solutions to designing a FAQ page, with consideration given to how visitors will use the page.

Remember that a FAQ should supplement good content, with answers to those questions also found elsewhere on the site. It’s a section of questions that visitors genuinely ask and should be arranged with care. Above all, keep it simple! Your user is more interested in finding specific information than anything else. Read on to discover how to best present a FAQ page.

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20 Most Inspiring Interview Statements

Posted in Freelance, Interviews, Tips, Web Design3 years ago • Written by 4 Comments

In one of my latest posts - 9 Tips on How To Improve Yourself as a Web Designer, I made a quick reference to the fact that reading interviews is as important as reading magazines and books. That’s because in interviews you get straight and direct answers from the best in the field. For the purpose of this article, I’ve selected some of the best interview statements of several different professionals.

Interviews give you great insights about how a person thinks, works and feels about his job and life. If you don’t usually read interviews, this is an opportunity to get an idea about how reading them can be an extremely useful learning method. Let’s get started!

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Traits Every Small Business Website Should Have

Posted in Tips, Web Design3 years ago • Written by 13 Comments

There is always vast room for improvement with any website, and small business websites are no exception. With the phone book a communication tool of the past, establishing a solid online presence is at the forefront of a lot of small businesses.

If you’re a small business owner, your website is a pivotal part of your marketing and branding, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s integral to not just focus on appearance – but usability – as this will play a major role in how long your customers stay around.

In this article I will address the areas that factor into whether a small business website is ultimately successful or not.  Pay careful attention to these areas in your next design for a small business, as they will reap benefits for your clients in the long run.

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Why Facebook is King: Success and Competitors

Posted in Social Media, Web Design3 years ago • Written by 11 Comments

We all know what Facebook is. Most of the people we know use it to connect and to entertain themselves through games. What made it popular and successful is how it revolutionized social media, sharing of information and online entertainment. Facebook users range from civilians to politicians, actors and actresses, music bands and charity organizations, and just about anybody that can use a computer and has internet access.

Of course Facebook has its issues with user information being used in advertisements and tons of privacy and security issues, but let’s not dwell on the dark side and see why Facebook is hot. You know, ignorance is bliss.

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Bridging the Designer-Developer Gap

Posted in Tips, Web Design3 years ago • Written by 7 Comments

How are ‘Right brainers’ different from ‘Left Brainers’?

Well, this is not a zoology question being thrown at you. If you are working on a team dealing with websites / apps, and if there is a design team working with a team of developers, you probably would be witnessing the answer to this question every single day you work!

This is an inevitable fact, and it is this difference that makes the two communities thrive, and the best team is the one which finds a way to converge the collective wisdom of both these ‘species’ into the final stage of their deliverable – An ideal human-machine interaction experience, filled with life and satisfaction.

But in reality, most of the teams stumble at this moment, when the ideologies of both of them should be given weight and injected into the final product, and this shortcoming, is the whole essence of this article.

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20 Reasons Why Your Website Design Sucks Part 2

Posted in Tips, Web Design3 years ago • Written by 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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