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Posts tagged with Design

Style and substance: two (accessible) websites which have it all

My last blog for Econsultancy aimed to dispel the myth that accessible websites must compromise on aesthetics.

It elicited quite a response with many readers agreeing and a number asking for examples of sites that combine both elements.

Before I point you in the direction of two websites that are both highly accessible and attractively designed, it’s important to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Furthermore, the aesthetics is the result of the final product. When broken down into its components the beauty is difficult to see. It’s only when those parts all come together that the beauty is evident.

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Tape measure, by http://www.flickr.com/photos/robynlou8/

A helpful image sizing guide for social media profiles

I spotted this surprisingly useful infographic yesterday, over at Visually. It should come in handy for anybody who creates image-based content to add to their social profiles.

Five of the biggest social media platforms are covered, and it will help you to understand the various sizes needed for your profile pictures, cover images, backgrounds, and so on.

if you're anything like me you'll be yearning for some kind of cross-site standardisation in the future. For example, all of the profile pictures are different sizes, and one is a different shape. We can but dream!

Anyhow, it should make for a handy cut-out-and-keep guide for you...

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10 great examples of responsive design from around the world

Responsive design as a standard feature on a website is growing quickly.

There is no longer much of a debate over whether brands need a mobile site, as consumer demand dictates that sites need to be optimised for small screens.

The choice now is between a dedicated mobile site, an app, or responsive design. 

So to show how responsive design can be applied in practice, here are 10 examples from around the world...

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Making websites accessible without sacrificing aesthetics

Fifteen years after the Web Accessibility Initiative was launched, which aimed to improve web usability for those with disabilities, online accessibility is still widely ignored.

Far too often there is a belief that a compromise must be made between accessibility and an attractive design.

As a result, a myriad of misconceptions have emerged, often preventing people from making a determined effort to integrate accessibility into their websites. 

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24 beautifully-designed web dashboards that data geeks will love

We live in a world of big (and little) data, and many people have to make sense of numbers as part of their job. The trouble is that there can be a lot of friction involved when mining the data. 

This is where dashboards come into play: a well-designed dashboard can save huge amounts of time, helping people to quickly identify the numbers that matter, in order to make insightful observations or to compile reports. 

Dashboard design is a tricky business. The challenge is to communicate the key numbers in a straightforward way, while allowing users to drill down into the specifics. It is about avoiding clutter, about catering for personalisation, and about the prioritisation of the right metrics. It's difficult to get right, but I think many of these examples have lots of good things going for them. 

I have a few ideas for web apps based around dashboards, so in part this post constitutes a kind of note to self. It is also a call for further suggestions... if you have seen other beautiful / functional / clever dashboards then do leave a comment below. And if you're a data geek who doesn't love some of these, then be sure to say why!

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A day in the life of a... Lead Digital Creative

Will Aslett is Lead Digital Creative at The Good Agency, based in London. Here he explains what he does for a living, and what a typical day looks like.

If you like the sound of Will's role then do check out the range of design and production jobs we have on our digital jobs site

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Using human motivation to assess website optimization

When evaluating the influence and quality of your website, sometimes it helps to take a step back and prioritize the site’s fundamental needs from the ground up.

Often times we get so entangled in optimization tactics that we don’t realize that the most vital elements of our websites can be what’s hindering its performance.

Before you start investing a lot of time and energy into improving advanced characteristics of the website, it’s important to ensure the most basic needs are met.

Mapping web optimization priorities in an anthropomorphic manner can help to understand the best way to prioritize website improvements.

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14 lousy web design trends that are making a comeback

I was on the verge of writing a post about the joys of HTML5, which when combined with CSS3 and Javascript can do some very impressive things. However, having visited a bunch of ‘inspiring’ HTML5 websites I’ve ended up with a slight headache. The truth is that many of these sites leave a lot to be desired.

It’s a case of déjà vu. A decade ago the rise in popularity of Flash steered many web designers down the wrong path. It wasn’t the fault of the technology, but of the people using the technology. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. I'm all for innovation, but innovation should not be regressive.

Make no bones about it, HTML5 design is a massive, musty elephant in the room, and it is about to charge. In its path lies a flailing, unarmed Jakob Nielsen, backed up with legions of user experience professionals, who are gently sobbing. GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons, the noted elephant slayer, is nowhere to be seen. 

So, below are some examples of user experience badness. The irony is that I spotted many of these examples in posts like this one, dedicated to ‘fresh HTML5 design inspiration’. For the purposes of clarity I am not pointing the finger of blame at HTML5 itself, but the 'HTML5 design' themes seen on lots of sites which suffer from the issues outlined below.

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Do you like the new news feed?

Facebook changes its look for U&I

The interwebs have been ablaze with news of Facebook’s newest change for a good week. Today, they made their official announcement about upcoming changes to the News Feed.

We knew it was coming, but what does it mean?

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Five steps for working successfully with creative teams

Want to get the best from your design studio?

Whether they’re newly hired or long-standing partners, here are five top tips, based on 15 years of agency-side experience, that will get you results, rapport and respect (and possibly even access to their stash of brightly-coloured confectionery).

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Three essentials of Android design DNA

For many years since its release, the Android OS has been behaving like a teenager in the grip of raging hormones. Growth has been nothing short of explosive and the changes have been sweeping and profound.

With the release of Ice-Cream Sandwich OS, the UI standards and design elements have changed dramatically and the platform has really matured and even stabilized somewhat.

Nevertheless, the OS has retained it’s rebellious hacker DNA with unique features that are authentically Android. 

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Embarrassing predictions: a foray into mobile and tablet optimisation: part two

In my last blog I looked at why mobile and tablet optimisation was imperative to businesses.

In the second blog of the series I’ll explore why the time is now to optimise and I will also provide you with two of my top four considerations for tablet and mobile optimisation.

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