Articles by ‘Jake Rocheleau’

URL Encode/Decode Webapp with jQuery

Most developers will know of URL encoding as UTF-8 encoding. This converts non-ASCII characters into a syntax of %NN where N stands for a unique numeric format. For example, an empty space converts to %20 when encoded. Nobody wants to do this by hand so developers have made encoding tools for convenience. This is all […]

Read More »

Best Websites to Find Free Stock Photography

The process of locating free stock photography has always been a grueling task. Only recently have multiple resources popped up online offering freely-available high resolution photography at the click of a button. Note that many of these resources use the CC0 license which allows you to download, edit modify, and publish without attribution. These are […]

Read More »

Best Icons and Iconsets for Web Designers

The field of web design is loaded with talented designers, many of whom release their work for free online. Icons are one of the most sought after resources because not all designers know how to create icons. A free iconset will add quality accents into any layout design. This post includes some of the best […]

Read More »

Top Resources for Abstract Background Design

Hundreds of design resources can be found online to improve any web or mobile UI project. You can find everything from vector graphics to tileable textures and even quality resources for abstract background design. Custom abstract backgrounds give a more creative feeling to a website while still placing content front-and-center. Learning how to make abstract […]

Read More »

Awesome Backgrounds for Web Design Inspiration

Every website has its own unique style and relevant design properties. Unique backgrounds aren’t often found in minimalist designs, but other styles use some incredible website backgrounds with bold design techniques. I’ve cataloged a handful of these awesome backgrounds to help designers find ideas for their own background designs. Whether you’re looking for vector backgrounds […]

Read More »

Applying Paper Texture to UI Design Work

Many designers freely release their own paper texture resources to the design community. This allows anyone to craft interfaces with texture without having to scan or build your own patterns from scratch. But just because you have the resources doesn’t mean execution always works as planned. So to help with creative ideas I’ve put together […]

Read More »

404 Error Page Design: Examples & Usability Trends

Every great website features a number of common pages with similar usability techniques. One of the most common yet unrecognized pages that every site should have is the 404 error page. This guides visitors away from missing pages or broken links so they can continue browsing the site. It doesn’t take much effort to craft […]

Read More »

Interactive Maps used in Website Layouts

There’s value to be found in static websites such as portfolios or landing pages. But interactive websites have become the norm as more people grow accustomed to digital interactions on the web. When you consider all the moving parts of a social network or web forum you realize there’s a lot that goes into a […]

Read More »

Top Photoshop Plugins for UI Designers

Adobe Photoshop is still the premiere editing suite for most graphic designers. It’s been around for over 20 years and has a massive library of Photoshop plugins for all types of creative work.

But of all the graphic design disciplines it seems UI design is one of the fastest-growing markets. This is why I’ve collected the most significant Photoshop plugins as they pertain to interface designers for web & mobile apps. You’ll find 20 recommendations of both free and premium plugins to dramatically improve your typical Photoshop UI design workflow.

Also if you’re a Sketch user then take a look at our list of Sketch plugins made specifically for UI designers…

Read More »

The Ultimate Roundup of Resources, Tools, and Print Design Tutorials

It may seem like the design world is all digital but there’s still a tremendous demand for print work. Graphic designers commonly jump around to various print jobs or even shift into digital interface design. But it’s slightly less common to see an interface designer move into print design – however this doesn’t mean print work is any less desirable or less valuable.

In fact, you can earn a good living by juggling print work at an agency or running your own freelance studio. But if you’re a general web/graphic designer who hasn’t really looked into print design, this can be a confusing area to learn.

I’d like to share a collection of helpful resources, tools and print design tutorials for designers who want to make the leap into print design. You may not brand yourself solely as a “print designer” but these skills will give you more leverage to adorn your resume & portfolio with a few print work samples…

Read More »

The Ultimate Guide on How to Create a Font

Every digital typeface from free to a $1,000 font pack goes through a similar design process. It’s rigorous for a beginner and does require an understanding of foundational typographic principles. But for what it’s worth, learning how to create a font from scratch is one of the most fulfilling creative endeavors in digital design.

Professional font design takes years to master, but this shouldn’t dissuade you from learning the process. Once you understand the steps needed to create a new font you may be surprised how easily they can be replicated.

This guide is meant for hobbyists and typographers who want to get into the world of font design. Bear in mind I won’t be covering specific techniques in font creation software, but rather the steps necessary to go from initial idea to completed font. At some point you will need a font creation program and I’ll cover the most popular choices to guide you along the way…

Read More »

Trends & Examples of SVG Animation in Web Design

Animation on the web has transformed radically over the past 5 years. SVG animation is one of the newest techniques to manipulate graphics on a webpage. Although SVG has been supported for a long time, it only recently gained support in a majority of web browsers.

With greater support comes a greater audience and more safety for developers to test out cool ideas. Over time these ideas turn into common trends as they’re adopted by hundreds of designers. I’ve picked out a few examples that best demonstrate these SVG animation effects and how they can be applied to website layouts…

Read More »

30 Trendy Calligraphy & Cursive Fonts

Many designers would attest contempt their rather crude handwriting. Unfortunately it’s one of those things you really need to practice & develop – otherwise it’s chicken scratches all the way to the grave. Calligraphers are people who not only love handwriting, but love it so much they turn it into a career.

Hand-drawn calligraphy is incredibly beautiful and ripe for digital reproduction. I’ve scoured the net in search of the most dazzling calligraphy and cursive fonts to use in graphic & web design projects. This collection features 30 of the most outstanding free and premium font families.

Each calligraphic style is unique with varying intricacies including ligatures, x-heights, and typographic variants. The vast majority of these fonts also come as a webfont to be used in website layouts. If you need a trendy calligraphic font to spruce up your design work these suggestions will get you on the right track…

Read More »

Elements of Design: How to Find the Right Composition for Your Web Design

All elements of design – from typography to iconography – relate to the overall composition. Each full webpage offers an intimate feeling to visitors before they even notice smaller details. In this way, compositional design techniques are some of the most important things to learn regarding web design. To internalize composition, you’ll need to practice. A […]

Read More »

The Guide to Understanding Micro and Macro White Space in Web Design

Digital interface design follows many of the same rules as print design. Composition refers to the overall layout and white space plays a big role. Many things help to define a composition, but white space is one of the most important concepts to understand.

Learning to use white space is more about hands-on practice and experience. But you can absorb plenty of great ideas by studying how other websites are put together. I’ve organized some tips and general ideas to clarify the overall picture of white space and how it defines composition for website layouts…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »
Page 1 of 212