Category Archives: Design

A new way to look at color: HSL versus Hex

Have you heard of HSL? HSL stands for “hue-saturation-lightness” and it is a another fantastic way of conceptualizing and implementing color in your web design. Take a look at this quick tutorial at demosthenes.info. The system is quite elegant & it may come in handy as you tweak your theme! It may just make you want to throw away anything you ever knew about Hex values!

 

Microdata and Schema.org

This morning I partook in a webinar on metadata for publishing through Digital Book World. One of the websites mentioned at the end of the webinar was schema.org

Here is an excerpt from their homepage:

Many applications, especially search engines, can benefit greatly from direct access to this structured data. On-page markup enables search engines to understand the information on web pages and provide richer search results in order to make it easier for users to find relevant information on the web. […] A shared markup vocabulary makes it easier for webmasters to decide on a markup schema and get the maximum benefit for their efforts. So, in the spirit of sitemaps.org, search engines have come together to provide a shared collection of schemas that webmasters can use.

I am posting this here in the hopes that maybe Kathy can help explain it to the class, but also as Continue reading

Organizing your blog with an editorial calendar

An editorial calendar is a great place where you can see all of your content in a single place, you can lay out your entire content publishing plan. Here are some of the benefits of using editorial calendars.

  • Gives you a visual view of your content plan. You can lay out your publications by date and time to better organize your blog posts.
  • Provides a canvas for blog post ideas and topics. Let’s say you want to publish one recipe per week and one post about a wellness topic. This allowed you to see that in one simple format.
  • This is also a great management platform for editorial tasks and team members, if you have multiple authors.
  • Some plugins give you Drag-and-drop simplicity for adjusting your schedule.

For any blogger who is looking to get their content more organized and editorial calendar may be the best place to start (and possibly keep) on the site!

A.I. Design

There’s a hot new website design in town, and it called itself, The Grid. Still in it’s beta phase, The Grid boasts a new way to design your website without the dusty rigid use of templates, and they call this feature the filter. They boast a design invention that thinks for you, and claims that instead of uploading, arranging, and tinkering with content within a selected layout, the filter, a cloud based service, will use an algorithmic science to decide what your content is, and where it should be placed. Here’s a bit more of an in depth look, via The Grid:

Sounds fun, like most new things. Sounds easy to use if you’re diametrically opposed to having to work with ANY design feature within a template. But what The Grid sounds like to me, if a fancy new way to call a template, something else. The actually originality in looks sounds minimal, especially in this early phase. I imagine a slew of homogenous websites and blogs, especially if they’re publishing similar content. But I don’t know what else to expect from a company that calls itself, THE GRID, and brings to mind all the connotations of an ’80s-’90s dystopian film.

But, you can check it out for yourself, at an introductory price if you’re interested, and be backer #135489651, because apparently we’re all automatons existing on a grid.

 

Source

10 Web Design Trends

The team at Elegant Themes has created an article that summarizes the ten most popular web design themes to look out for in 2015 (which is not very far away now!).

While the article is written as a plug for their Devi theme, they include terminology that is new to me, such as “card design” (as you see in Pinterest) or “flat design” (Windows 8). Now that I know what the industry is calling these design styles, I can be better equipped to keep my eye out for them when I am theme hunting.

A few of the ideas in this article are less appealing, such as suggesting that cookies track user data. My site is not going to be Netflix and I’d rather not pry on my readers’ and customers’ privacy.

I hope you find this article useful as you consider how you want to design your project sites!

One general rule and the “F” pattern

Last week I had some laughs browsing the gallery of bad design choices featured on Boing Boing. What makes humor the byproduct of bad design? Like in any joke: misunderstanding, poor communication. That means that the essence of any good design is good communication.
Well performed information exchange. Designers should be able to pass on all the necessary information while adding even more in a discrete and subtle way. And when I say more, I mean more positive and relevant information. Not that one can’t spell, or can’t come up with a fresh idea. In that case less information is much preferable.

Designing for web, means designing in time. Having in mind that the recipient may skip and skim and leave your page before he had a chance to see all that important stuff. That means that alongside all the other rules of good communication design, one must follow the rule of designing for inpatient public. There’s a simple rule mentioned on Shortie Design (alongside 9 other handy principles):

Eye tracking studies have identified that people scan computer screens in an “F” pattern. Most of what people see is in the top and left of the screen and the right side of the screen is rarely seen. Rather than trying to force the viewer’s visual flow, effectively designed websites will work with a reader’s natural behaviour and display information in order of importance (left to right, and top to bottom).

Three major points to look at when considering a web design

In an article I read on wired.com the author talks about how mobile devices are changing web design. As he explains, and we already know to be true, the consumer and people in general spend a lot of time on their mobile phones. They depend on their phones and perform multiple tasks a day, from ordering food, to online shopping and communicating with one another. The importance of the mobile devices should not be overlooked but always be taken under serious consideration when planning or designing a website or blog.

The author, Ronn Torossian, gives us three major points to consider:

Continue reading