There is a thin line between design and development, and as we move into a new decade, this line is becoming extremely blurry. Is it enough to draw beautiful mock ups in Photoshop? Maybe 5 years ago. These days, the average internet user requires more. All beauty, with no substance, gets boring after a while. If your only goal is to impress a community of fellow designers with your flashy designs, you’ll find yourself quickly beneath the tide. 2011 is not about beauty, it’s about function. The trends for this new year and emerging decade are responsive design, constant connection and virtual reality.
Long before you officially take the profession of graphic or web designer, your friends and family will support your ambitions by developing your talent. At first, your loved ones inspect your work and if they like what they see, you’ll get flooded with their requests for one page flyers, t-shirt designs, logos, and company websites. When you are just starting out, you welcome their requests because it gives you a chance to grow your skill set as a designer. After all, it’s almost like dealing with real clients, right?
The drama comes when you actually become a full time designer. The friends and family who drew upon your talent during your newbie years are still standing around with their hands out, and now you also must contend with two more groups of favor askers: clients and anonymous foreigners who contact you through Twitter.
You are the most important person in the world. Wow, I got you to read the second sentence. Your interest is now piqued and you want to read more. If you do read this article, you will learn exactly how important it is to create compelling web copy. Between you and me, most readers just scan, but if you find a way to hook them in the first sentence and reel them in on the second sentence, you have a good chance that they will read the third. They may even read the entire article. (more…)
Advertisements are everywhere. Consumers have a need and advertisements direct the consumer to the company that has a solution for their need. For years, we have tried in vain to escape advertisements, but aggressive advertisement companies have stepped up their creativity. These days, instead of relying on the simple goodness of lemonade and children’s laughter, ads have taken a decidedly more provocative turn. Gone are the nostalgic days of skipping through wheat fields. These days, ads venture on the irreverent. They cater to your physical senses and bend your mind to what is possible. Here are some of the most insanely good advertisements of recent memory, broken down into ambient, billboards, commercials and print. (more…)
Horizontal websites have become an underground phenomenon. A horizontal website is a lot like your artsy younger sister who dresses weirdly and doesn’t seem to acknowledge a world outside of her own imagination. Since horizontal websites are not universally embraced by the web design community, those who design in this genre must live with a hope that they are advancing design in some small way.
With a new year on the horizon, it’s time to pack away the old, worn web designs and prepare for the brave, new face of tomorrow. Although trends don’t start and stop on January 1st, there is a definite shift from what we craved at the beginning of the year to what we are seeking tutorials for at the end of the year. Most of the time, this shift is subtle. It’s a perfection or re-interpretation of a currently hot trend. Trends help us evolve as designers. As we master the skills of design aesthetic, we continue to push forward to what’s next or what needs to be fully discovered. (more…)
No one likes seeing the dreaded error page on a website. It usually occurs when a link is bad. Error pages, also known by their street name as 404 pages, are depressing. They make you feel sad and confused and angry at the web designer. Perhaps all of this is irrational, but it happens. As a way to defuse any ill feelings, many web designers came up with a simple yet smart solution– customizing a 404 error page. As simple as it may seem, a customized error page will make a visitor feel like you care about their user experience on your website. (more…)
The year is 1999. You’ve just watched the Matrix, and it’s blown your mind. You sit down in front of your computer to work on a web design and then create or download an animated Matrix background for your Geocities website. You’re so cool. Fast forward 10 years, and you say to yourself, yikes, what was I thinking?! We’ve all been there. As a matter of fact, I’m personally guilty of copying many of following trends. (more…)
One of the most important and least used aspects of any website is the “About Me” page. It’s not enough to have an interesting site and great product if your visitor can’t find a way to relate to you. Never under-estimate the power of personality. The internet isn’t a cold, sterile environment. As a matter of fact, within the last 15 years, it’s developed into a community addicted to interactivity, and communication. (more…)