Articles Archive

foodsites-00

Learn by Example: 6 Lessons for Designing Restaurant & Food Websites

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Today’s topic is a delicious one: restaurant and food websites. Small businesses pay the bills for freelance designers and local restaurants can serve as a major source of revenue. If you’re embarking on your first restaurant site design though, there are a few things that you should know.

In this article, we’ll learn by example as we take a look at lots of mouthwatering food and restaurant websites. By examining what these designers got right, you’ll help ensure your own success in this area.

November 22nd, 2013 Posted in Graphics
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Creating a Custom HTML5 Audio Element UI

tutorial screenshot customize html5 audio user interface css3 mediaelement

HTML5 has made many things simpler in web development, one of which is using embedded audio. Today, we’re going to work through the process of completely customising the HTML5 audio player element, which can adapt to older browsers with fallbacks. It’s a simple method that’s easy to build upon and tweak.

The open source project MediaElement.js is wildly popular, and has even been built into the core of WordPress since version 3.6. It allows you to embed any HTML5 audio or video using a native player interface which can dynamically adapt into a Flash/Silverlight player when needed. I was really impressed to see all the features and it seems to be one of the more advanced solutions for handling legacy browsers. We’ll be using that as a starting point!

November 20th, 2013 Posted in CSS
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10 Crucial Elements for Any Website Design

website elements

While every designer may have a different plan when it comes to building a website, they do have a common checklist. No matter how you try to avoid it, there are a few elements every website should (and usually does!) include.

From plenty of whitespace and great images, to search functionality and clear calls-to-action, these common elements are the things that users expect when it comes to using a site with ease. Today we’re taking a look at ten elements you should prioritise on your website, perfectly designed examples of each, and tips on how to use each in your next website design project. As the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.”

November 19th, 2013 Posted in Layouts
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Build a Super Easy CSS Slider With Thumbnails

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Today’s project is another exploration of the types of practical applications that you can achieve with a little ingenuity and some fairly basic CSS. You’ll be blown away by how much you can achieve with just a few lines of code.

The final result with be a great way to display a strip of small image thumbnails that the user can hover to see larger images. Let’s dive in and see how it works.

November 15th, 2013 Posted in CSS
everythingwrong

Design Dilemma: When You Just Can’t Do Anything Right

everythingwrong

Have you ever worked at a place where no matter what you do, whatever you design, or whatever you suggest, you’re wrong, but they don’t fire you? There’s a good reason why, and here are some funny (but odd) reasons, along with advice no one would think of to ease the tension.

An interesting email was sent to me from a young designer who is ready to quit design because her boss keeps putting down her design abilities, and it’s making her very depressed. It’s a very common problem in the design industry, so, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

November 13th, 2013 Posted in Design Dilemma
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How to Create Unique Block-Style Radio Inputs With jQuery

tutorial screenshot digg block radio input links howto jquery

Input buttons are used in web forms where a user needs to select one option from a larger collection. This often happens with unique values like newsletter subscriptions, profile settings, and submission categories. I have always liked the old-school Digg-style input buttons where you click a link to choose your story category.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how we can build a similar interface using CSS3 and jQuery. All of the input radio buttons are still present within the form itself, but they are hidden on the page. Instead we update the selected choice using JavaScript and even have the possibility to display this value in HTML (or return it to a backend script). Check out my sample demo to get an idea for what we are building.

November 11th, 2013 Posted in CSS
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Build a Freaking Awesome Pure CSS Accordion

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Who has two thumbs and loves to push the bounds of CSS? This guy. Let’s jump into a project that does just that. It’s pretty experimental and won’t pass the semantic police, but it’ll teach you a heck of a lot about advanced CSS tactics and will be tons of fun.

What we’re going to build is a pure CSS horizontal accordion slider. You’ll be able to insert as many slides as you want, each with unique content and each accessible via a click event, all without a lick of JavaScript. Impossible you say? Never!

November 8th, 2013 Posted in CSS
whig

Food-Based Web Design Tips to Make Visitors Hungry

food design

It’s the same routine every date night: “where are we heading for dinner?” To the web we go, looking for restaurants around us that whet our appetites. And the places we always seem to hit after this dinner search are the locations with websites that just make us hungry.

Certain techniques, from color to photos to imagery, are common among the best food-based websites. These sites employ a specific strategy designed to make you hungry. Today we’ll look at how photography, colors, shapes, vivid copy and simple design are used to make mouths of website visitors water.

November 7th, 2013 Posted in Business
growapair

Design Dilemma: Dainty Designers — Grow a Pair!

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There are some designers who just can’t say “no!” to a client. While it’s painful to hear their stories, do they affect the industry for others? Do you need to develop some iron clad nerve to protect yourself?

This is the story of a designer who keeps being called into endless meetings by a client who picks her brain for a new line of product packaging, but still hasn’t committed to her as the designer on the project, nor has the client paid her for her time. I gave her some advice, so perhaps she’ll follow it? Join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

November 5th, 2013 Posted in Design Dilemma
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How and Why to Build Your Own Design Calculators

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Design is a complex beast, web design doubly so. There’s a lot more than visual harmony and balance to consider, it’s often the case that you have to dig in and perform some real life mathematics (gasp!).

Oddly enough, I love thinking about this stuff, so much so that I actually build my own calculators rather than use the tools available from other developers. Today I’ll show you how and why to build your own design calculators so that you can master the numbers behind your designs.

November 1st, 2013 Posted in CSS
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