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Reason: The internet landscape changes very fast, especially at this age and time. You can expect the internet ecosystem to continue growing in leaps and bounds in the near future. As such, you have to stay ahead of the curve at all times. And these ten 10 absolutely free ebooks will show you the way.
Getting Real Put together by 37Signals — a leading agency — Getting Real is exactly what you need to start creating web applications. Web Design Book Of Trends, — At the beginning of this post, we said you must keep learning as a web designer. Web Design Book of Trends will reveal over ten 10 web design trends in a series of visually appealing samples. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.
Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. Time Management for Creative People offers you 32 pages of great time management principles. The UX designer takes a more holistic view ensuring the entire experience with the site is favorable.
UX design is based on a solid understanding of users and their needs based on observations and interviews. According to Donald Norman who coined the term , user experience design includes all aspects of the user s interaction with the product: how it is perceived, learned, and used.
The experience must be in line with the organization s brand and business goals in order to be successful. Some of the documents an IxD, UI, or UX designer might produce include: User research and testing reports Understanding the needs, desires, and limitations of users is central to the success of the design of the site or web application.
This approach of designing around the user s needs is referred to as User Centered Design UCD , and it is central to contemporary design. Site designs often start with user research, including interviews and observations, in order to gain a better understanding of how the site can solve problems or how it will be used. It is typical for designers to do a round of user testing at each phase of the design process to ensure the usability of their designs.
If users are having a hard time figuring out where to find content or how to move to the next step in a process, then it s back to the drawing board.
Wireframe diagrams A wireframe diagram shows the structure of a web page using only outlines for each content type and widget Figure The purpose of a wireframe diagram is to indicate how the screen real estate is divided and indicate where functionality and content such as navigation, search boxes, form elements, and so on, are placed, without any decoration or graphic design.
They are usually annotated with instructions for how things should work so the development team knows what to build. Site diagram A site diagram indicates the structure of the site as a whole and how individual pages relate to one another.
Web Design eBooks
Figure shows a very simple site diagram. Some site diagrams fill entire walls!
Wireframe diagram. Figure A simple site diagram. Storyboards and user flow charts A storyboard traces the path through a site or application from the point of view of a typical user a persona in UX lingo.
It usually includes a script and scenes consisting of screen views or the user interacting with the screen.
The storyboard aims to demonstrate the steps it takes to accomplish tasks, possible options, and also introduces some standard page types. Figure shows a simple storyboard. A user flow chart is another method for showing how the parts of a site or application are connected that tends to focus on technical details rather than telling a story.
For example, when the user does this, it triggers that function on the server. It is common for designers to create a user flow chart for the steps in a process such as member registration or online payments. A typical storyboard [courtesy of Adaptive Path; drawn by Brandon Schauer]. Visual graphic design Because the Web is a visual medium, web pages require attention to presentation and design. A graphic designer creates the look and feel of the site logos, graphics, type, colors, layout, etc.
Visual designers typically generate sketches of the way the site might look, as shown in Figure They may also be responsible for producing the graphic files in a way that is optimized for delivery over the Web see Chapter 21, Lean and Mean Web Graphics for image optimization techniques.
If you are interested in doing the visual design of commercial sites professionally, I strongly recommend graphic design training as well as a strong proficiency in Adobe Photoshop the industry standard or Adobe Fireworks. Look and feel sketches for a simple site. Chapter 1, Where Do I Start? Style Tiles Another approach to capturing the look and feel of a site is to create style tiles, which give examples of color schemes, branding elements, content and UI treatments, and mood boards without applying them to a specific page layout.
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The idea is to agree upon a consistent visual language for the site. For more on this technique, read the article Style Tiles and How They Work, by Samantha Warren and visit her excellent site where you can download a template at styletil. If you are already a graphic designer, you will be able to adapt your skills to the Web easily, although this will not excuse you from acquiring a solid understanding of HTML, CSS, and other web technologies. Because most sites have at least a few images, even hobbyist web designers will need to know how to create and edit images, at minimum.
Again, I want to note that all of these responsibilities may fall into the hands of one designer who creates both the look and the functionality of a site. But for larger sites with bigger budgets, there is an opportunity to find your own special niche in the design process. Development A fair amount of the web design process involves the creation and troubleshooting of the documents, style sheets, scripts, and images that make up a site.
At web design firms, the team that handles the creation of the files that make up the website or templates for pages that get assembled dynamically is usually called the development or production department. Web developers may not design the look or structure of the site themselves, but they do need to communicate well with designers and understand the intended site goals so they may suggest solutions that meet those goals.
If you want a job as a web developer, you need to have an intricate knowledge of HTML and how it functions on various browsers and devices. The HTML specification is constantly evolving, which means you ll need to keep up with the latest best practices and opportunities as well as bugs and limitations.
The good news is, it s not difficult to get started, and from there, you can gradually increase your skills. In fact, there is a popular argument that in order to call yourself a web designer, you must be able to build your designs yourself, and nearly everyone agrees that your job prospects will be better if you are able to code as well as design.
Again, if you are interested in working in web development, knowing your way around CSS and how it is supported or not supported by browsers is guaranteed to be part of your job description. Scripting and programming As the Web has evolved into a platform of applications for getting stuff done, programming has never been more important.
While many web programmers have degrees in computer science, it is also common for developers to be self-taught. A few developers I know started by copying and adapting existing scripts, then gradually added to their programming skills with each new project.
Still, if you have no experience with programming languages, the initial learning curve may be a bit steep. Teaching web programming is beyond the scope of this book. It is possible to turn out content-rich, welldesigned sites without the need for programming, so hobbyist web designers should not be discouraged. However, once you get into collecting information via forms or serving information on demand, it is usually necessary to have a programmer on the team.
You may also ask your hosting company if they offer the functionality you are looking for in an easy-to-use, canned service. Frontend Versus Backend You may hear web designers and developers say that they specialize in either the frontend or backend of website creation.
Frontend design Frontend refers to any aspect of the design process that appears in or relates directly to the browser.
Learning Web Design, 3rd Edition
In general, backend web development falls in the hands of experienced programmers, but it is good for all web designers to be familiar with backend functionality. Content strategy and creation Third on our list, though ideally first in the actual website creation process, is the critical matter of the site s content itself.
Anyone who uses the title web designer needs to be aware that everything we do supports the process of getting the content, message, or functionality to our users. Furthermore, good writing can help the user interfaces we create be more effective. Of course, someone needs to create the content and maintain it don t underestimate the resources required to do this successfully.
In addition, I want to call your attention to two content-related specialists on the modern web development team: the Content Strategist and Information Architect IA. When the content isn t written right, the site can t be fully effective. A Content Strategist makes sure that every bit of text on a site, from long explanatory text down to the labels on buttons, supports the brand identity and marketing goals of the company.
Content strategy may also extend to data modeling and content management on a large and ongoing scale, such as planning for content reuse and update schedules.
An Information Architect also called an Information Designer organizes the content logically and for ease of findability. She may be responsible for search functionality, site diagrams, and how the content and data is organized on the server. Information architecture is inevitably entwined with UX and UI design, and it is not uncommon for a single person or team to perform all roles.
Multimedia One of the cool things about the Web is that you can add multimedia elements to a site, including sound, video, animation, and even interactive games. You may decide to add multimedia skills, such as audio and video editing or Flash development see the A Little More About Flash sidebar , to your web design tool belt, or you may decide to go all in and become a multimedia specialist.
If you are not interested in becoming a multimedia developer, you can always hire one. Web development companies usually look for people who have mastered the standard multimedia tools, and have a good visual sensibility and an instinct for intuitive and creative multimedia design. Adobe Flash previously Macromedia Flash, previously FutureSplash is a multimedia format created especially for the Web.
Flash is used for create full-screen animation, interactive graphics, integrated audio and video clips, and even scriptable games and applications, all at remarkably small file sizes. However, recently Flash use has been on the decline due to a number of developments, including: y Apple s decision not to support Flash on its iphones and ipads in favor of non-proprietary HTML5 methods.
For example, who wants to sit through a movie and soundtrack on a restaurant site when all you really want to know is whether they are open on Sunday?
Web Design in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition by Jennifer Robbins
A Little More About Flash In fact, it is not uncommon to hear web professionals cite that Flash is dead, but despite suddenly becoming the underdog, Flash still has some advantages if used the right way: y Because it uses vector graphics, Flash files are small and can be resized without loss of detail.Now you can get everything with O'Reilly Online Learning.
Learn solid graphic design theory that you… By: Elliot Jay Stocks Sexy Web Design is an easy-to-follow guide that reveals the secrets of how to build your own breathtaking web interfaces from scratch. In This Chapter Where do I start? For more on this technique, read the article Style Tiles and How They Work, by Samantha Warren and visit her excellent site where you can download a template at styletil. You can start your own blog or personal journal site using one of the free or inexpensive blog hosting services.
While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein.
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