Articles by ‘Jake Rocheleau’

11 Handy Shortcuts for Customizing Any Selectable UI Element

Online forms are some of the most common interfaces for user interaction. Many web fields rely on user input from the keyboard, but others have pre-filled answers waiting to be selected. These may include checkboxes, file inputs, or even select dropdowns.

Although select menus are fantastic they can also be a little boring. All web design should be functional, but great web design incorporates pleasant aesthetics too.

The following ideas center around dropdown select menus for website layouts. Web designers often like to design their own custom fields which best-suit the project at hand. Select menus and similar inputs can be tricky to customize, but modern techniques make the process a whole lot easier. Check out these plugins and code snippets which can be perfect for customizing any form field…

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How Speed Up Your Front End Web Development Process

Web design is often lumped together with a lot of other ideas like UX design and web development. Although these areas do overlap, the skill sets are not interchangeable and not all designers know how to code (or vice-versa).

But those who do code websites are often very task-oriented with a focus on the final outcome. This means it’s a good idea to work with best practices to speed up the whole development cycle. It’s not an easy task, but there are plenty of free resources out there to help.

This article includes some handy tips and resources for a more expeditious development process. As with most projects, why should work take longer than it needs to? Those who reinvent the wheel often have a good reason for doing so–but it’s not the best choice 100% of the time. Instead utilize these resources to improve the speed and efficiency of your own frontend workflow…

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How to Improve UX Design with A/B Testing

If you’ve kept up with design news the past 5-6 years then you should know about A/B testing. This is where two or more page designs are created and offered to a split percentage of visitors. Various metrics are tracked and designers can select a design style based on which features perform the best. It’s a wonderful technique for designers but does require some practice to fully understand.

These tips are geared towards designers who want to learn more about A/B testing as it relates to web design. Every designer is constantly trying to better himself or herself, but self-betterment takes work. You need to be confident with your existing skills and push forward to learn more about user experience design. A/B testing is just one of these skillsets which can improve your value as a web designer…

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The Top Tips & Trends for Contact Page Design

Crafting a brand new layout from scratch requires a lot of smaller pieces along the way. Internal pages don’t all look the same and these pages require some extra work to organize great designs. While the homepage is often seen as the most important mockup, internal page mockups prove quite useful when it comes time to start development.

The following examples and ideas should be invaluable to any designers working on a new contact page design. This may be for your own portfolio or even a large corporate website. I want to focus on specific trends and design techniques which can be used to create a stunning contact page with all the useful tidbits and knick-knacks…

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Communicating UX Goals Through Interface Design

Modern websites are expected to be much more interactive than previous decades. Website design isn’t just about content anymore. It’s about clean user interactivity for reading and browsing through content. Web designers have to consider the behavior of visitors and how design can affect that behavior.

This post catalogs a few clarification methods which can be employed during the interface design process. It’s wise to formulate a plan before even starting a design mockup. This way you’ll have a finely-tuned direction for the website and its interactive elements. Once you understand more about design clarification you’ll have an easier time focusing on the bigger picture of user experience…

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Merging Responsive Web Design Ideas for Desktop & Mobile

Web designers have taken on many more roles in just the past few years. It’s now quite common to find designers who also specialize in frontend development, UX design, and even some backend development. One of the newest trends of responsive design is crafting a single base of HTML/CSS code which can fit properly into any browser window.

There is an intricate balance between desktop and mobile web browsers. Now more than ever it’s crucial that web designers find a balance for all users in every major website. Responsive web design is more than just supporting mobile devices – It’s truly about creating flexible layouts with page elements that can shift and rearrange themselves according to the current viewport.

In this post I’ll explore some responsive web design ideas to help get your creative juices flowing and hopefully leave you feeling ready to make some changes to your sites if needed…

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12 Excellent Font Identifier Tools To Speed Up Your WorkFlow

Designers have a need for relevant fonts in all creative mediums. Both print and digital design follow a similar track when choosing and composing typography. But there’s always the nuance of actually choosing which font to use. While on the search for a terrific typeface it’s all-too-common to bump into a great font that’s also hard to identify.

Thankfully in our modern high-tech era there are plenty of font identifier tools which can help. All of these tools can be accessed using a web browser and they’re a lot more accurate than you might assume.

The following resources are meant for designers and developers who often need to identify a particular font. Up until recently this was an arduous task which required hours of research and letter matching. But nowadays you can find the exact font family(or at least related choices) in just a matter of minutes…

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Top 25 OS X Sketch Plugins for Designers

Bohemian Coding is a software company most notably recognized for creating the OS X application Sketch. It allows designers to work with both vector and raster images in the same document. As you might imagine, this program has caught widespread attention from web & graphic designers all over the world. And if you design on a Mac then it’s worth testing out Sketch just to see what all the fuss is about.

For this post I’ve collected 25 free & useful Sketch plugins meant for all types of design. Whether you create icons, interfaces, or anything else, these plugins will surely improve your workflow.

Mastering Sketch takes time and lots of practice. Since the program is still new there isn’t as much information online compared to other programs like Photoshop. But sticking with a routine of continual practice will yield amazing results – and these plugins can prove to be quite beneficial along the way…

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Ultimate Guide to Designing Brand Guidelines

Whether sculpting a new identity or working with an existing one, brand guidelines can be exceedingly important to the whole creative process. A branding guide (also known as a style guide or brand book) offers a set of rules about a company’s brand to anyone who may need them. To whom might these rules be directed?

Basically anyone who may need a company’s branding added into their own work. Authors, editors, copywriters, marketers, web designers and/or graphics designers are just a few examples. The purpose of a branding guide is to offer a step-by-step process for duplicating the company’s identity.

Although it may seem like a rudimentary process, brand guidelines need to be super clear and relatively specific. Each company will make up their own rules based on how their identity should be used out in the wild. Since this type of project can easily lapse into a state of disarray I’ve put together this handy guide for designers. You’ll find a metric ton of great examples along with practical tips which can be applied into your own branding guide…

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30 Best Free Calendar & Datepicker jQuery Plugins

Some might assume that an Internet loaded with free code would breed indolence. Yet it seems developers are willing to contribute their help to projects more than ever before. JavaScript libraries are a microcosm of the larger open source community – specifically jQuery with its ever-growing popularity and easy learning curve.

One such area of broadened potential would be jQuery-based calendars for websites. Although date & calendar interfaces have sparse usage, they come in handy for very specific circumstances. And when building a site that requires this type of interface you’ll be happy to know there are dozens of open source plugins available.

I’ve catalogued the 30 best free jQuery plugins that offer datetime functionality. Some are more developed than others and each plugin has its own set of benefits. The best part about using open source code is that it’s easy to customize for your own purpose. So peruse through this collection and take a look at any plugins which pique your curiosity…

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