Usability isn’t an exact science. What one visitor considers helpful another considers annoying. Despite this uncertainty and complexity, you should always strive to make your site as accessible as possible to the people you’re trying to reach. You’ll find that a little bit of catering to the special needs of a minority of users can drastically improve the function of your site for all users. Here’s our list of twelve accessibility pitfalls to avoid along with some examples showcasing sites that either excel or fail miserably in these areas.November 18th, 2009 Posted in Accessibility
As a designer, color management should be an integral part of your workflow. A website’s color scheme helps shape its identity and therefore should not be carelessly thrown together. Here are 25 online, desktop and iPhone applications to help you live and breathe color management no matter where you are.November 16th, 2009 Posted in Graphics, Inspiration
Once upon a time I was in a rock band. When I was building our website, I naturally wanted to put some music up so visitors could listen before purchasing our songs on iTunes. After a bit of research I found out that there are a million ways you could go about it, some better than others. Sadly, after two albums and lots of good times, my band The Van Buren Regulars no longer exists. Fortunately, what I learned about embedding music lives on and is easy enough to pass along.
Design Shack started out as a simple CSS gallery, featuring well designed websites that caught my eye. Tens of thousands of designs have been submitted over the past few years, and each one has been considered carefully for inclusion. The sad fact is that only around 5% of submissions stand out from the crowd.
This could be due to any number of factors; the site didn’t get the basics right, didn’t have anything remarkable to show, or (occasionally) was let down by content. This guide will walk you through how to make sure you stand a great chance of inclusion, avoiding all the pitfalls so commonly stumbled into by designers. At each stage, we’ll take a look at one great example, and one that’s not so good.November 3rd, 2009 Posted in Business, Inspiration
A few good textures can take a boring design and turn into something stunning. As a designer, you should seek to build a library of all kinds of textures to complement a range of styles. Here are 50 completely free and ready to download textures to get you started.November 2nd, 2009 Posted in Graphics, Inspiration
A trip to your local book store’s magazine rack used to be the quickest, easiest way to find rich, diverse inspiration without a significant fee. Recently, the web has completely changed the way designers, developers, artists, writers and photographers search for influence. Now anyone with an internet connection can access a virtually unending stream of content that saturates the senses and breeds innovation. The best part: most of it is free.October 30th, 2009 Posted in Inspiration
jQuery has quickly made it’s way into nearly every web developer’s bag of tricks. The simplicity with which jQuery allows us to handle complicated events and perform smooth animations makes it the perfect tool for both beginners and experienced developers to add professional flair to their sites.
This will be the final article in our series on HTML5. This go around we’ll have a brief look at which new HTML5 technologies major browsers are officially supporting and go over some techniques you can use to take advantage of the new elements in your coding today. Finally, we’ll discuss how you should start preparing to support HTML5 in all the sites you build from here forward.October 26th, 2009 Posted in HTML, Web Standards