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Category Archives: Web Design

Stop Redesigning And Start Tuning Your Site Instead


  

In my nearly two decades as an information architect, I’ve seen my clients flush away millions upon millions of dollars on worthless, pointless, “fix it once and for all” website redesigns. All types of organizations are guilty: large government agencies, Fortune 500s, not-for-profits and (especially) institutions of higher education.

Stop Redesigning And Start Tuning Your Site

Worst of all, these offending organizations are prone to repeating the redesign process every few years like spendthrift amnesiacs. Sadly, redesigns rarely solve actual problems faced by end users. I’m frustrated because it really doesn’t have to be this way. Let’s look at why redesigns happen, and some straightforward and inexpensive ways we might avoid them.

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Peepcode Play by Play

I sat down for a while with the excellent PeepCode folks and recorded a Play by Play — a real time video of me solving a design problem. A bit terrifying, a bit fun. Check it out if you’d like to see me bumble around.

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Zocial Button Set: 72 CSS3 Buttons


  

The idea behind this project was to produce a consistent set of buttons that could be used for the range of social actions frequently taken in Web applications. These actions are often important goals for users, such as connecting third-party accounts or sharing content to third-party platforms, so their appearance has to be attractive and clear.

Zocial Button Set: 72 CSS3 Buttons

The standard buttons provided by third parties (such as Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud) vary in size, style and interactivity. A consistent button set could reduce a lot of that visual noise and inconsistency. Furthermore, having it in CSS format means that changing the text for certain actions would be a breeze for developers, and it also allows administrators of non-English websites to translate labels into their native languages.

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Smashing Daily #1: Mobile Device Lab, Browsers and Animated GIFs


  

Editor’s Note: This post is the first in the new Smashing Daily series on Smashing Magazine, where we highlight items to help you stay on the top of what’s going on in the industry. Vasilis van Gemert will carefully pick the most interesting discussions, tools, techniques and articles that were published recently and present them in a nice compact overview. Smashing Daily #2 is now published, too.

Smashing Daily #1: Mobile Device Lab, Browsers and Animated GIFs

Vasilis goes through dozens of RSS feeds and hundreds of tweets so that you don’t have to. Do you find the new series interesting? What would you like to have? And what wouldn’t you like to see? Let us know! We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!

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The Font Wars: A Story On Rivalry Between Type Foundries


  

I had thought terms like “intellectual property” and “intellectual theft” were of fairly recent provenance, so my eye was caught by the latter’s use in a headline of a 1930 edition of the US trade journal The American Printer.

The Font Wars: A Story On Rivalry Between Type Foundries

The article it headed proved to be equally intriguing, a response by the president of American Type Founders (ATF) to a June 1929 article in the German journal Gebrauchsgraphik by the designer Rudolf Koch, calling the ATF a “highway robber of German intellectual property.” At issue was a typeface marketed by the ATF earlier in 1929 called Rivoli.

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Taming The Wild Mind


  

Myths have developed around and researchers have studied how the human brain juggles creativity and organization. Popular theory tells us that the left brain is structured and logical, while the right brain is artistic and imaginative, and that all human beings use predominantly one side of the other.

Taming The Wild Mind

Working in a creative field means challenging that theory, or else challenging the schedules and deadlines that managers impose on writers, designers and other creatives. As a project manager in a UX design agency, as well as a writer, I believe it is necessary to challenge both the assumptions about schedules and the belief that creativity implies disorganization.

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