Category Archive for: in web design

rfp-robotRFP ROBOT: Website Request for Proposal Generator

The time has come for a new website (or website redesign), which means you need to write a website request for proposal or web RFP. A Google search produces a few examples, but they vary wildly and don’t seem to speak really to your goals for developing or redesigning a new website. You need to write a website RFP that will clearly articulate your needs and generate responses from the best website designers and developers out there. But how?

Have no fear, RFP Robot is here. He will walk you through a step-by-step process to help you work through the details of your project and create a PDF formatted website design RFP that will provide the information vendors need to write an accurate bid. RFP Robot will tell you what info you should include, point out pitfalls, and give examples.


CSS Basics: Using Fallback Colors

Something you very much want to avoid in web design is unreadable text. That can happen when the background color of an element is too close or exactly the color of the text. For instance: .header { background-color: white; color: white; } Which could lead to text that’s there, but invisible. This is … very bad. You’d never do that on purpose of course! The trouble is it can sneak up on you. For one thing, the default background-color is transparent, so without setting any background the background of an element is probably white. More commonly, you’re using a background-image that makes the background a different color, and you’re setting white text on top of that. header { background-image: url(plants.jpg); color: white; } Under perfect circumstances, this is all good: But let’s take a look at what it looks like while the website is loading over a very common “Slow…

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Five Design Fears to Vanquish With CSS Grid

CSS grid, along with a handful of other new CSS properties, are revolutionizing web design. Unfortunately, the industry hasn’t embraced that revolution yet and a lot of it is centered around fear that we can trace back to problems with the current state of CSS grid tutorials. The majority of them fall into one of two categories: Re-creating classic web design patterns. Grid is great at replicating classic web design patterns like card grids and “holy grail” pages. Playing around. Grid is also great for creating fun things like Monopoly boards or video game interfaces. These types of tutorials are important for new technology. They’re a starting point. Now is the time, as Jen Simmons says, to get out of our ruts. To do that, we must cast off our design fears. Fear 1: Asymmetry We’ve been trained in the era of frameworks that symmetric and orderly designs are better.…

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The Changing Face of Web Design in 2018

Inspired Magazine Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily One of the interesting recent developments in web design trends is actually the trend away from trends… or in other word what is happening is a kind of regression to simpler ways, at least from those in the know. On the other side of the coin, there’s a big shift happening in certain types of corporate sites, especially some British and American media sites, where there’s a tendency to overload pages with so much extraneous content that it can severely impact on the ability of the user to see the content they actually arrived to see. If the first two paragraphs sound hopeless tangled, well that’s a very succinct allegory for the state of web development in 2018… tangled. It’s a problem we need to sort out, because it won’t be good for anyone if web standards continue to slip. We’ll…

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Make Your Website Fresh Again With These 7 Tips

Back in the day when websites were all about content, web design wasn’t too much of an issue. As long as you had amazing content, the overall look of your website wouldn’t matter. Of course, times are a-changin’, and keeping your website fresh and updated is now a default strategy for any site owner. Site visitors have become more meticulous in choosing the company and brand to patronize, based on the websites that they visit. More than textual content and aesthetically pleasing web design, keeping your website fresh is of utmost importance to retain customers and encourage potential clients. If your website has been around for a while – and you’ve been using the same design and theme for years – maybe it’s time for a little upgrading. Especially when your site begins to get a steady increase in traffic, returning visitors may want to see the same outstanding features…

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Make Your Website Fresh Again With These 7 Tips

Back in the day when websites were all about content, web design wasn’t too much of an issue. As long as you had amazing content, the overall look of your website wouldn’t matter. Of course, times are a-changin’, and keeping your website fresh and updated is now a default strategy for any site owner. Site visitors have become more meticulous in choosing the company and brand to patronize, based on the websites that they visit. More than textual content and aesthetically pleasing web design, keeping your website fresh is of utmost importance to retain customers and encourage potential clients. If your website has been around for a while – and you’ve been using the same design and theme for years – maybe it’s time for a little upgrading. Especially when your site begins to get a steady increase in traffic, returning visitors may want to see the same outstanding features…

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Are You Designing for Macro and Micro Conversions?

Designing for conversions is nothing new, but the way marketers create and measure conversions is changing. Until recently, we’ve only really been able to measure user actions individually and do our best to build up a picture of the consumer journey they take. However, with technology like Google Attribution we can now build up a more accurate picture of the actions users take across different channels, devices and sessions. This is changing the way we look at conversions and the different types of actions consumers take long the buying process. Your clients are now measuring macro and micro conversions, which means you probably need to start designing for them. Why should I care about macro, micro conversions? Essentially, it comes down to guiding users along the consumer journey and being able to measure their progress. People rarely land on a website and head straight for the buy button. They learn more about products, compare…

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Are You Designing for Macro and Micro Conversions?

Designing for conversions is nothing new, but the way marketers create and measure conversions is changing. Until recently, we’ve only really been able to measure user actions individually and do our best to build up a picture of the consumer journey they take. However, with technology like Google Attribution we can now build up a more accurate picture of the actions users take across different channels, devices and sessions. This is changing the way we look at conversions and the different types of actions consumers take long the buying process. Your clients are now measuring macro and micro conversions, which means you probably need to start designing for them. Why should I care about macro, micro conversions? Essentially, it comes down to guiding users along the consumer journey and being able to measure their progress. People rarely land on a website and head straight for the buy button. They learn more about products, compare…

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Benefits of Sliders and How To Use Them Correctly in Web Design

In web design, sliders have become effective tools for inserting slideshows on pages. To make a page look more organized – especially those with a large number of photos – sliders can continuously run or play the series of photos without the need to click anything on the part of the site visitor. This website design tool helps to create an organized and more interactive page. This early, let’s get one thing clear: sliders are not recommended for all types of websites. The best types of websites that sliders can be applied to are those that would like to show specific locations or features of an area – say, a real estate business, a hotel, or a vacation hotspot. It’s also amazing to see in websites that need to show variants of a given product, especially if you want to show different colors and sizes of a given design. Since…

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UX Design Practices That Kill the User Experience

UX design, as the name suggests, is supposed to create better experiences for the end user. There’s nothing new about this concept, but the rise of mobile forced web designers to adopt a new kind of UX mantra. It didn’t end with web design though; now, marketers, business owners and anyone with a domain name understand the principle of creating better experiences. On the one hand, this is a good thing because it means the importance of user experience is well-known. But we’ve also ended up with this “everyone’s a UX designer” mentality, which leads to some UX design practices that actually end up harming the user experience. I’ve been guilty of this as much as anyone over the years, learning (the hard way) that you can’t make any assumptions when it comes to users’ best interests.   The trap of UX design best practices These things are everywhere. From mobile navigation…

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Form Validation with Web Audio

I’ve been thinking about sound on websites for a while now. When we talk about using sound on websites, most of us grimace and think of the old days, when blaring background music played when the website loaded. Today this isn’t and needn’t be a thing. We can get clever with sound. We have the Web Audio API now and it gives us a great deal of control over how we design sound to be used within our web applications. In this article, we’ll experiment with just one simple example: a form. What if when you were filling out a form it gave you auditory feedback as well as visual feedback. I can see your grimacing faces! But give me a moment. We already have a lot of auditory feedback within the digital products we use. The keyboard on a phone produces a tapping sound. Even if you have “message…

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Tips In Choosing Website Color Schemes (With BONUS Online Tools)

When you create a website, one of the first things that you need to focus on is web design. Aside from picking the right layout for your pages, your choice of color schemes can make or break the whole package. Color scheme is about considering the interplay of colors in three major aspects: complementation, contrast, and vibrancy. Choosing the right colors is one of the most difficult phases in web designing and the process can be very challenging especially for those who are new in the field. You should not worry too much, though, because there are available online tools that you can use to help you select the perfect color schemes to use for your page. What is the importance of colors in websites? Here are some of the reasons why choosing the right color schemes is extremely important: 1. Creates an emotional connection Colors generally trigger moods or…

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9 Simple Ways To Get Better At Design

Design is always subject to appreciation or criticism. As a web designer, you might feel that your designs are poor or that you can do better. Well, there’s no need to worry. There are various things you can do to improve. Here, we’ll be taking a look at some of the simplest ways to get better at design. 1. Be Organised Organisation is a key aspect in helping you become great at designing. First and foremost, make sure that your workstation is clean and provides a fitting environment for you to work in. This will make you feel relaxed and make it easier for you to work more efficiently. The files in your computer should also be organised. Ensure that you group similar projects together to make them easily accessible. You could also create three areas where you can place files that are pending, current and processed for both physical…

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Why Are Cinemagraphs Trending in Web Design?

Do you still remember the time when animated GIFs were all the rage in websites? Although web design standards have drastically changed since then, the attraction potential of moving images cannot be denied. That’s why a lot of websites continue to use animation, and one awesome web design trend these days is the use of cinemagraphs. What are Cinemagraphs? Cinemagraphs have been making significant noise lately, and are being used across several websites and social media campaigns. A lot of companies have joined the bandwagon of integrating cinemagraphs into their website, such as Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Chanel, Netflix, and Wal-Mart, to name a few. In a nutshell, a cinemagraph is a still photo but with subtle movements being looped continuously. The technique was the brainchild of American photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, who set out to animate photographs starting in 2011. By Johan Blomström, CC BY 2.0, Link Cinemagraphs hit…

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Stay Away From These User Interface Design Mistakes

The importance of creating a functional site should not be ignored. No matter how the website is beautifully made, yet does not create interest in the site visitors, the website is doomed from the start. In other words, every aspect of the website must engage the visitor, and it all starts with great user interface design. The Importance of User Interface Design for Business Websites Web designers should always keep in mind to provide a functional site that can easily generate interest among the website visitors to create a steady traffic influx. The type of user interface design plays a significant role in driving in a high volume of web traffic. Therefore, carefully deciding which design to use should be of utmost concern. In this day and age, e-commerce has been enjoying a steady growth, raking in sales worth billions of dollars each year. This is the reason why a…

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Is It Time to Finally Kill Off the Homepage?

As with most things in web design, the homepage has been branded dead or dying many times over the years. They’ve been replaced by magazine-style front page designs, bypassed by landing pages and cut out entirely by social media. Except none of these things killed the homepage. Instead, they joined it as part of a more intricate set of interactions with visitors – each one playing an important role in a more complex web. Now, the latest person calling for the head of homepages is Optimizely’s Cara Harsham, who wrote for the Moz blog last week, claiming her company has “successfully killed THE homepage”. Well folks, looks like it’s time to get those funeral suits pressed again. Personalization killed the homepage The crux of Cara Harsham’s article is that brands need to show users customised content based on their needs and previous interactions, thereby making the generic homepage irrelevant. Her article makes a lot of…

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Easing Linear Gradients

Linear gradients are easy to create in CSS and are extremely useful. As we’ll go through in this article, we can make them visually much smoother by creating them with non-linear gradients. Well, non-linear in the easing sense, anyway! Here’s an example that shows how harsh a standard linear-gradient() can be compared to how smooth we can make it by easing it: Screencap from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” with gradients overlaid. Il buono (the good): Smooth gradients in CSS that blends into their context. Il cattivo (the bad): No text protection (bad accessibility). Il brutto (the ugly): Standard linear gradients with sharp edges. In this article, we’ll focus on how we can turn Il brutto into Il buono. The Frustrating Sharp Edges of background: linear-gradient() Lately, I’ve been fiddling with gradients at work. I got frustrated with plain linear gradients because they looked like Il cattivo above.…

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Are ‘Skeleton Screens’ the Answer to Your Loading Time Problems?

One of the biggest challenges in web design and development is building sites fast enough to meet user demands. We face a constant battle of delivering richer content and experiences in a way that doesn’t leave users waiting around for things to happen. There’s nothing worse than staring at a blank screen and this is where so many designers rely on spinners, progress bars and other animations to give users feedback. However, a new trend has gained a lot of traction over the last couple of years – using “skeleton screens” to quickly load the template of a page and progressively add content as it downloads. Could this be the answer to our loading time problems or are we missing the point when it comes to optimising for performance?   Skeleton screens in action Skeleton screens aren’t exactly new and you’ll almost certainly have seen some of these in action. The most…

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