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These Myths About Web Design Are Actually Terrible Ideas

It’s not uncommon for inexperienced designers to make mistakes early in their careers. You may have to follow what people tell you until your own learning curve shows you what really works and what doesn’t. Most designers who trust their instincts tend to find that many common design “tricks” are actually myths. Here are some of the most widespread examples…

Making your home page the priority

Home pages don’t serve the same function they used to. Originally they served as an introduction to a website and a means of navigating to the specific page you wanted to find. Today, people don’t need to be told how to use the internet, they just want to reach the product, service or content being offered. Consistent navigation menus and individual pages ranked on search engines often allow people to bypass the home page altogether. Pages where people actually convert or consume content should be the top focus.

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How To Get Work As A Designer For A Big Brand

Most people would love to work for an iconic, established brand name and make their mark on the world by designing things that will reach a global audience. This may seem like a pipe dream, but of course, everyone started somewhere. To get into that small group of exceptionally talented individuals and earn your dream job, you will need to follow a few basic steps.

Focus on your portfolio

For any design job, a portfolio is really crucial. Anyone can describe their skills and sound good on paper, but proof is going to be essential when you want to stand out from the crowd. Your work needs to show your passion for design, so make it clear that you went beyond what was asked of you. A small number of fantastic examples may be enough, so remember not to make your portfolio into a drawn-out affair.

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5 Design Trends You Need To Know About

Design trends are always changing, sometimes due to shifting tastes and fashions which are only temporary. However, many other design trends are driven primarily by functional and technological factors. There are the most important ones you need to consider.

1) Longer pages

Short pages used to be preferable, because scrolling was considered a nuisance and loading times would be affected. Now, faster internet speeds and users getting increasingly comfortable with mobile browsing have brought long pages back. Infinite scrolling is one of the most popular ways to keep delivering more and more relevant content with minimal effort for the user.

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Is Using A CMS A Good Idea?

A content management system (CMS) provides the infrastructure you need to create your website and update it easily on a regular basis, with little technical expertise required. You can use a CMS to add, edit and update pages via a straightforward, user-friendly interface.

These are extremely popular among businesses, plus other people who really need to make use of a website but don’t have the coding knowledge to do everything from scratch. However, there isn’t just one solution for everyone, and you might want to consider alternatives.

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The Main Differences Between Web Design & App Design

Designers tend to specialise in one specific area, and even when an individual has a wealth of experience across different platforms, types of coding and so on, it’s rare that they won’t be more comfortable with producing either a website or an application. Many aspects of these distinct areas may be related, but there are some important differences.

Catering to screen sizes

Although applications (even for mobile devices) and websites may both be accessed by users with various screen resolutions and dimensions, they will be presented in very different ways for the most part. A website needs to be more responsive and adaptive in today’s market, while an application can usually be optimised for a particular device.

User context

When you build a website, you can assume that someone is taking the time to sit and thoroughly examine it. This affects the way you present information and media, since you need to capture attention but you can go into greater detail. With an app, functionality and convenience are likely to be a higher priority, so information and instructions will be tucked away while greater emphasis is placed on the user interface.

Integrated features

An application, being designed for a particular type of device, is more likely to make use of features built into that device. This will be especially true for things like mobile games which can use the accelerometers, cameras and other sensors built into smartphones and tablets to add to the user’s experience. This requires significantly more advanced experience on the part of the developer when compared to a website, which will typically have none of these functions since it’s more universal.

Customer journey

This is one of the biggest distinctions. Someone using your website is probably at a very different point in their “journey”, if you’re a business. You might also be referring to this as a funnel or a conversion chain. Whatever you call it, we refer to the step-by-step process that customers follow, starting with the moment they become aware of your brand and continuing until they make a purchase, sign up or whatever else it is you want them to do. The journey can go even further than this, when customers decide to promote you or stay in touch with your business, perhaps by downloading and using an app.

Designers will have to consider this entire journey and make sure the design of their website or app is entirely focused on delivering what the customer needs at this point in their process. A website is probably tasked with selling the product or service to the customer and persuading them. An application is more commonly used as a means of delivering said product or service, and probably comes later in the process, so its design should reflect that. However, in different situations, these roles can very or even be reversed. One thing you’ll know for sure is that your website and app will always be quite different, and it will take different skills to perfect each of them.

Top Hosting Choices For Website Designers

Web designers will typically deal with dozens, hundreds or even many more clients throughout their careers, and many of those clients will be looking for a website expert to help them with every aspect of creating website. Web hosting is an element of this that many people overlook or simply know nothing about, so it can be a point of contention when it comes to web design work.

In any case, it’s pretty much essential for a web designer to be knowledgeable about web hosting for this exact reason. If you are a designer, you may also offer or resell web hosting services, but even if you don’t, you may need to have somewhere to refer your clients to. You will also need a good understanding of what their hosting requirements will be, and this has to be factored into your design from the beginning.

There are actually many free hosting services on the market offering fantastic value, and in some cases this may be enough for a web design client of yours. They should be more than grateful if you’re able to recommend a great free hosting provider, so it’s worth looking into this.

Of course, free services will tend to have fairly low limits on what you can do with your hosting account. Paying on a monthly or annual basis raises the limit on many important factors. The actual requirements of any client will vary greatly, depending on their website as well as external factors such as how much traffic they get, whether they sell products through the site and much more. However, as a guide, most web designers agree the following ranges are normal for cheap hosting packages.

  • Between 50GB to 300GB web storage
  • At least 500GB per month data transfer
  • Around 25 to 100 MySQL databases
  • Around 25-150 FTP accounts

At least 500 email accounts

Additional subdomains

It shouldn’t be difficult to find good value packages that offer these kind of benefits at the lower end of the market, and most providers will also offer good value upgrades for businesses and professionals who need additional features, security benefits and so on. It’s normally a good idea to start by looking at free hosting and working your way up until you find an option that meets your client’s needs.

Also you might be interested in:

https://torrentfreak.com/hosting-companies-dragged-into-piracy-lawsuit-alongside-cloudflare-161126/Hosting Companies Dragged into Piracy Lawsuit Alongside Cloudflare – TorrentFreak Hosting Companies Dragged into Piracy Lawsuit Alongside CloudflareA lawsuit that accuses Cloudflare of providing services to alleged ‘pirate’ sites has been expanded.

 

How To Save Money On Your Website Design Projects

Let’s face it, web design projects can get quite costly. There is a lot of initial work as well as the ongoing maintenance costs, and generally much more to consider than the up-front price you may have been quoted by a designer. Fortunately taking a few simple steps at the beginning of your planning process can cut down on unexpected costs and complications.

1. Find an experienced professional

Saving money should definitely not come down to who’s offering the job for the cheapest price. Sub-standard work will cost more in the future, so compare the experience level of each designer when you have a few different quotes to think about, not just the bottom line. “Designers with less understanding take longer to complete tasks and may bloat your website with over-complicated code, so you’re actually paying more in the long run in many cases,” says Daniel Carr, web designer for Luminous Design in Colchester.

2. Do your research carefully

Without having to fully get your head round the technical work your developer does for you, there are a few things to bear in mind which will help you understand their methods. For example, what kind of coding do they specialise in and is this appropriate for your site? Do they leave comments in the code so you or another developer can understand how things work? It’s always important to see examples of similar projects they have done before, which will help you imagine how your finished site will look and check the capabilities of your designer. (more…)

web design

Web Design: From the 90s to Today

This year marks the 25th anniversary since the first website ever was published online, something we can now look back on with a fuller appreciation of what it meant for our future. That first website, despite consisting entirely on text with no images, interactivity or other media content, meant the beginning of a whole new field of design. Let’s have a look back at the journey web design has taken since the early 90s right up until today.

Originally, constraints on web design were placed by the speed of the Internet we had access to. With the first dial-up modems, data transfer was so minimal that any attempt at an interesting layout or design scheme was nearly impossible. Sites had to be comprised of just text, links and a few tags that were supported by the earliest forms of HTML.

By around 1995, opportunities to make websites more structured and unique began to evolve. It became possible to organise content in tables, and graphics in highly compressed formats could be implemented. As soon as animated GIFs became possible additions, they exploded in popularity with most websites featuring rudimentary animations. This is particularly interesting when you look at social media today; GIFs have come full circle! (more…)

E-commerce Website Design Trends

E-commerce is a rapidly changing field, with new developments coming in every day to make yesterday’s cutting edge ideas seem redundant. As a web designer it can be difficult to judge the importance of each new trend and establish a direction for your own website that’s going to stand the test of time.

In order to make this decision and come up with some solid web design ideas for your online shop, a good place to start is reading up on current trends. Even better, let’s take a look at what the rest of this year has in store for the world of e-commerce.

  1. Material Design

Since Google introduced it in 2014, Material Design has proven itself to be a versatile and popular design language. It’s perfect for e-commerce sites as it lends itself well to a broad range of products, tying together unrelated content smoothly and emphasising the most important visuals. Material Design makes your website look professional and sleek without distracting from the products you need to sell. (more…)

How To Stop Users Making Stupid Mistakes

Something not everybody thinks about when designing a website is how to avoid user errors. If someone makes a mistake navigating or understanding the function of the website, is it their own fault, or the designer’s?

The answer is it doesn’t matter. The web designer needs to solve the problem, or the website is going to lose business due to people getting frustrated and giving up. Solving the issue at the top level and making everything work for the benefit of the user is going to result in your site getting a more favourable reaction from people, and make it easier for them to spend money with you. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate these fixes from the beginning.

  1. Use familiar design patterns
    Make use of frameworks that are already in use around the Internet, because people are already naturally comfortable around things that feel familiar. If someone can navigate round your site intuitively because you’ve taken an existing layout and improved it rather than inventing something unique for the sake of it, errors are likely to be minimised. A consistent horizontal menu bar providing access to all areas of the site is a great example of how to make users feel at home.

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