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Posts tagged with Design

16 alternative lorem ipsum generators to spice up your filler text

If you've ever wireframed webpages then you might have found the need to use some dummy text. Traditionally that meant searching for 'lorem ipsum' on Google and copying and pasting a bunch of Latin. 

Nowadays, we have a few more options. I have collected some lorem ipsum variants for you to use the next time you need some placeholder text.

Choose your weapon wisely! And be warned, some of these tools are a little sweary, or non-PC, so if you're easily offended I suggest you stick to using Latin.

Enjoy!

10 comments

Why site optimisation is necessary before, during and after site redesigns

Say the words ‘site re-design’ and if you listen really, really hard you can probably hear a collective shudder from IT and marketing teams around the world.

Anyone who has ever been involved in a site re-design will know it’s a huge project and requires coordination of a number of parties involved.

With resources constantly under pressure, testing can often be forgotten. However, this can actually cause more problems in the long run!

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HTML5 / CSS3 logos

14 creative HTML5 websites built for digital agencies

If you run a digital agency, especially one that designs and builds websites, then what better way of showing off your talents than to build a wonderful website for your own company?

In the past couple of years many agencies have rebuilt and relaunched their websites using HTML5 and CSS3. The results can be eye-opening, highly engaging, and built to work on all kinds of devices.

It's not all good news though. Sometimes the use of HTML5 can be downright annoying: just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Does it matter that some of these websites take half a minute to load? Personally I think fast loading times really matter, but I've heard arguments that people are prepared to wait for certain types of website. You can decide for yourself. 

At any rate, there is plenty to admire here, and perhaps there is an acceptable trade off between optimal usability and the overall user / brand experience. Certainly it's always interesting to watch web design evolve, and agencies are naturally inclined to push the boundaries.

The following examples show what can be achieved, and mercifully not all of them are addicted to loading icons. Tuck in and see what you think.

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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.

5 comments

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?

6 comments