Category: Layouts

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Business / 10 Apr 2017

Good Design Starts With Real Content

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king.” Cliches aside, it really is. When it comes to website design, quality content is the cog that powers usability, user flow and conversions.

You need real and authentic elements to create a connection with users to engage them. The best designs start with content that is close to the final product, and designers should be reluctant to work with anything less. But what is real content anyway? Here’s a guide to get you started.

Layouts / 22 Mar 2017

Design Trend: Experimental Navigation Patterns

Long gone is the idea that navigation menus must be fixed at the top of a website design. While many designers opt for the safe, consistency of all caps navigation across the top of the screen with sans serif typography, more designs are breaking out of this pattern.

Experimental navigation patterns can be fun and interesting if they are intuitive enough for users to understand reasonably quickly. Different navigation styles can add interest to websites that are small, don’t have a lot of content or want users to move around in a specific way.

While experimental navigation isn’t for every design, it can be a fun alternative for the right project.

Graphics / 15 Mar 2017

4K Video: How to Use It & Where to Find It

Video on the web just keeps getting better. It’s an in-demand feature that everyone wants in their design for good reason. Moving images are engaging, and feel more interactive. A video clip can grab (and hold) the attention of a user quicker and for a longer time frame than just an image alone.

To celebrate a new offering from iStock, we’re looking at the newest trend in website video — 4K. This high-resolution video is a must if you are using video for a website design. Screens are so good and users are so accustomed to top quality visuals that if you aren’t thinking about 4K video, chances are that you might get left behind.

Here are a few ways to use it, and tips for finding great 4K video options to use in your projects.

Graphics / 20 Feb 2017

10 Ways to Simplify Your Design

It’s no secret that simple is often better when it comes to website design. An interface that’s simple to understand and just as simple to use is more likely to turn visitors into active users that will return to your site later.

But how do you simplify your website? Even if you aren’t building something new from scratch, the trick is to set goals and then look at the path to reaching them for users. Anything that gets in the way of that path should be eliminated. Anything that makes understanding what users are supposed to do should be removed from the design.

That’s what we’re going to look at today – a few tricks that you can use to simplify your website design. And these ideas work for existing sites and new builds. (This article features examples of stellar simple designs, visit each site for even more inspiration.)

Graphics / 18 Jan 2017

7 Rules for Creating a Simple Design

Keep it simple, stupid. This concept dates to 1960 when the U.S. Navy implemented the KISS principle, which maintains that most systems work best if they are simple, rather than complicated. The same is true of pretty much any design project as well.

Most graphic designers learn about KISS early in their careers. So how can you do it? Creating a simple design is a little more complicated than you might think. Here are seven rules to design by, that help you cut away all the clutter and create a beautifully simple account.

Layouts / 16 Jan 2017

How to Break the Grid Without Making a Mess

A grid is the foundation of almost any website design. These invisible lines help create rhythmic space and visual flow, so each project carries a sense of organization and harmony.

But you don’t have to stick to the grid 100 percent of the time. You can even break the grid from time to time without making a total mess. Here’s how you do it, while still keeping a website that’s a pleasure to use!

Layouts / 30 Nov 2016

How Does a User See Design?

There’s often a disconnect between the way a designer looks at a website or brochure or package and the way users see it. As a designer, you can appreciate trends and attention to typography and details in a way that the common user might not.

Users only know whether they understand something when they interact with it. The details of how that interaction happens or why it is pleasing are often lost. It’s a pretty harsh reality.

But there’s a nugget of wisdom in understanding that disconnect. If you think about what users are thinking, you will be a better designer. (Even if you don’t particularly like their thoughts on design.)

Layouts / 22 Nov 2016

How to Design for Long-Form Content

Forget what you think about user attention spans. Long-form content can be a valuable part of your design strategy (and doesn’t have to be a boring block of ongoing text). Users love a good story and long-form content is a great way to create an immersive and engaging experience.

To keep users interested – and scrolling – you have to design interactions that are visually pleasing and create a consistent experience from the first glimpse to the final act. Here are a few ways to design long-form content that meets those goals with a few examples that are anything but boring.

Graphics / 31 Oct 2016

Choosing the Right Display Typeface: 5 Tips for Success

One of the biggest trends in web design is a large hero image or video at the top of a page with a few words to guide users into the site. This kind of aesthetic puts a lot of pressure on the designer to come up with just the right display typeface to pull the design together.

With so many typefaces to choose from, this can be a bit of a daunting task. But you can find a great typeface with a little planning and luck. Here are five tips to get started with a few beautiful examples of display typography.

Graphics / 10 Oct 2016

7 Tips for Creating a Memorable Design

It’s the goal of pretty much anyone with a website: to have users that come back again and again. They share your content; they engage with you regularly; they tell others about the website. They remember the website.

It doesn’t happen by accident. A memorable design is a tool that will help create this user connection. Here, we’re going to look at seven ways to create a lasting impression with seven stunning examples of how to do it. Learn how to create a design that sticks in the long term, and doesn’t fly under the radar!

Graphics / 19 Sep 2016

Design Trend: What’s Up With All Those Tiny Corner Logos?

Have you noticed how small logos seem to be increasingly popular on websites? For a while, it seemed the focus in design was to “make it bigger.” That has shifted — in terms of logo size and placement anyway.

The biggest trend in website design right now is the use of the tiny corner logo. We’re going to break down the trend and look at a few great examples. Maybe you’ll find the inspiration to shrink the logo in your next project. Or maybe you’ll decide to keep it big and bold!

Graphics / 12 Sep 2016

How to Create a Timeless Design: 7 Tips

The best designs never really go out of style. These classics are often rooted deep in design theory and have that certain something that helps them withstand the test of time. You know some of them – brands such as Nike and Coca-Cola have logos, colors and overall design personalities that have stood for decades.

Thankfully, that timeless concept is something you can apply to almost any project. You might not have the same visual recognition as the Swoosh, but you can create an aesthetic that can work for you for years to come. Here’s how to do it.