There are two things you can add to just about any site to increase readership: drop caps and hero shots. These aren’t anything new, and they’re by no means “secrets”. But a lot of designers don’t realize that they’re used for more than just aesthetic reasons. Today I’m going to explain why they work—and show you to best implement them.
Just before I dive in, a word of warning. Using these elements will increase readership rates. That is, more people will read your copy. But if your copy is poor, using drop caps and hero shots will also decrease response rates. So you need to have strong copy to use these elements effectively. Otherwise you’ll actually get fewer conversions. You can check out my previous article here at Design Shack for a quick-start guide to spotting and writing persuasive copy.September 15th, 2010 Posted in Layouts
Photography is the best thing to hit design since typography. A quality photograph can make a poor designer look good and a good designer look great. It can convey emotion, bring in color, provide and provide a strong focal point.
Today we’ll look at a few tips, techniques and ideas for designing around great photography.July 20th, 2010 Posted in Graphics, Layouts
Today we’ll take a look at Boks, an awesome little tool that will help you spec out a basic site layout in no time flat.
We’ll go through what it is and how you can use it to speed up your development as well as what the limitations and downsides are that you’ll want to be aware of before you download the app.July 13th, 2010 Posted in CSS, HTML, Layouts
Sometimes outside opinions can offer invaluable insight into the strengths and weaknesses in your designs. Unfortunately, obtaining professional advice can be expensive and risky due to the uncertainty of the quality of feedback you’ll receive for your money.
However, there are plenty of resources available for you to receive completely free feedback on your designs. Though the quality of information you receive will vary widely across the options below, you’re won’t lose a penny by trying!May 15th, 2010 Posted in Graphics, Layouts
Today we are going to examine 15 bits of user interface and experience design that really heighten the experience of using a site or application.
Use these website, iPhone and desktop application examples as inspiration for creating your own uniquely addicting user experiences.May 7th, 2010 Posted in Graphics, Inspiration, Layouts, Software
Sometimes the navigation menu can be one of trickiest parts of the design process. This single area can set the tone for the usability of the entire site.
Looking outside of your area of focus is an excellent way to learn a thing or two about design. Today we’ll see what value thinking like a print designer can bring to your website building skills.
Whether you’ve ever engaged in print design or not, these tips will provide you with some great ideas, ready to be applied to your next design.April 27th, 2010 Posted in Inspiration, Layouts
Sometimes you look at a site that may be attractive enough, but something is missing. It has great colors, nice graphics, perfect alignment and clever copy, but there’s just something a bit bland about it. Though everything looks nice, nothing is really coming through vividly on a greater level than anything else. This solution to this problem is visual hierarchy.
Designers are often intuitive enough to give the elements on the page a clear hierarchy without even thinking, other times the lack of intention in this area leads to a design like the one described above. This article will examine some of the basic principles of designing with a visual hierarchy of information in mind.April 17th, 2010 Posted in Graphics, Layouts
Minimalism is a trend that will never die.
No matter how many times we are left in awe by impressively intricate designs, there will always be something about simplicity that leaves us just as captured. Today we’ll look at some of the key aspects of minimalism in web design along with some examples from designers who got it right.March 30th, 2010 Posted in Graphics, Inspiration, Layouts
Last year mobile web usage increased 148% worldwide. In the near future as smarthpones become more and more ubiquitous this number will continue to shoot up. As a developer, the time has arrived for you to seriously consider whether you should begin accommodating your mobile audience.
Today we’ll look at a few quick ways to make your site a little friendlier for mobile devices.March 23rd, 2010 Posted in CSS, HTML, Layouts