Articles tagged as ‘Design’

40 Free Serif Fonts for Digital Designers

Having an arsenal of quality fonts is essential for web and graphic designers. In this post we’ll feature 40 free serif fonts made for web and graphic design projects. Browse through these featured fonts and click on any of the thumbnails be led to the font source for download. As always when you are using […]

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Blog Design: What Should Be Above the Fold?

When designing any type of website, you need to keep in mind what visitors will see immediately upon arriving at the site. Whatever is visible without scrolling down is said to be “above the fold.” The content and design elements that are above the fold will of course draw the first attention from visitors, and […]

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Having a Long-Term Purpose as a Freelance Designer

Freelance designers are often so focused on the present and the immediate future that a long-term career plan is non-existent, or at least under appreciated. What needs to be done in order to complete that big project? Where will the next client come from?

Many don’t want to deal with the stress and unpredictability of freelancing forever. Without a long-term plan you may earn a decent living, but down the road you’re likely to find yourself wishing you had been more prepared. Some freelancers are comfortable enough in their careers that they would like to continue to freelance for the foreseeable future. Others would like to eventually expand their business and limit the amount of client work that they must do.

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The Anatomy of a Minimalistic Web Design

Judging by the amount of interest created by two galleries, 25 Beautiful, Minimalistic Website Designs and 25 Beautiful, Minimalistic Website Designs – Part 2 , many of you have an appreciation for an attractive, yet simple, design. As a result, I’ve taken a look at what makes minimalistic designs successful and I’d like to share my thoughts here. I know that not everyone likes these types of designs, so your opinions of what is good design may differ from mine.

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9 Tips To Designing Converting Forms For Your Business

Conversion rate is the most important statistic to any online business. Conversions mean that users and site visitors are buying what the business is selling, so a higher conversion rate means more business, more revenue, and access to a larger market.

Wordstream released findings in the spring of 2014 that showed the average conversion rate for websites is only 2.35%, yet the top 10% of websites with the highest conversion rates average at 11.45%. So how can you enter the top tier and nearly quintuple your conversion rate?

A large part of increasing conversions is effective web design. If users have a hard time finding and interacting with content, they’ll be less likely to sign up and continue using a product. So the first step is to hire a talented designer. Luckily, even if you don’t know much about design, there are plenty of resources out there to help you find the skill set you’re looking for.

Once you have a designer, you should reconsider the design of your website, but specifically your conversion form. After all, if you want more people to sign up, they’ll end up at your signup form eventually, and like all things, some forms are better than others. In order to increase your conversion rate, here are 9 tips to optimize the design of your converting forms…

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Planning a New Website – Part 2

After you’ve completed the first part of the planning process you now have a good understanding of what you really want out of your website and what content you want it to contain. At this point you’re already doing better than most people that launch a new site, but there’s still a little bit more […]

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Planning a New Website – Part 1

Businesses that are building a new website or redesigning an existing one should allocate the proper time and resources into planning. By just jumping into the project without the necessary planning, there may be any number of ways that the final product does not maximize its potential. Planning is common for large-scale corporate projects, but […]

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9 Ways to Gauge Your Visitors’ Experience

One of the most important factors in the success of a website is the visitors’ opinions and experiences. A site that is liked by visitors will typically be successful, while those that aren’t liked by visitors will struggle. A challenge that all website owners face is determining how visitors feel about their experience on the […]

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75+ Sets of Free Photoshop Brushes

Photoshop brushes can be extremely useful for designers who need to implement different effects, textures, and elements into a design. There are lots of brush sets out there but sometimes it can be difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for. To help narrow the search I’ve collected over 75 sets of free Photoshop brushes categorized […]

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Retail Web Design and the Human Experience

Online retailers are always looking for how to best provide an enjoyable online shopping experience for their customers. The online competition is fierce. With so many options, how does a retailer make sure to retain its customers, acquire new customers, and continue to increase conversions? In short, a retail web design must provide a human experience. Web designers must go beyond basic usability to create a user experience akin to human interactions….

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21 Ways Websites Communicate with Visitors

One of the most important responsibilities of a website is to communicate with its visitors. Regardless of whether the site is a blog, a portfolio site, a corporate site, or an e-commerce site, it exists to communicate with visitors. The communication in some cases is two ways (blog comments are an example), but in many […]

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Signs that a Website is Underperforming

Every website will need at least some occasional analysis and maybe a few tweaks to keep it performing as it should. Fortunately, there are some typical signs that can indicate trouble and less-than-stellar performance. All of these items can be fixed or improved in order to give the site a boost and to generate better results.

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Communicating with Indecisive Clients

Web designers will get to work with all different types of clients. While that’s one of the nice things that keeps the job from getting too monotonous, we also have to be able to communicate effectively with people who are coming from a variety of circumstances.

Some clients will know exactly what they want and they’ll communicate it to you clear and up front. Others will struggle to give much input on your ideas and they may have difficulty making certain decisions about the direction of the project. From my experience this is much more common among clients who just don’t have much knowledge of web design or how websites need to function. If you’re dealing heavily with small businesses this could be a big portion of you clientele…

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Ultimate Roundup of Photoshop Custom Shapes

Photoshop presets like brushes and patterns get plenty of attention, but custom shapes can be equally as useful. Because custom shapes are vectors they can be scaled to larger sizes with no decrease in quality. In this post we’ll cover some of the best Photoshop custom shapes that you can download for free. As always […]

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The Most Beautiful Landing Pages of 2015

What makes a landing page appealing? It needs to be aesthetically pleasing, sure, but it also needs to be easy to navigate and show off the site’s content in a way that the visitor can quickly understand. The details of those elements change, as trends always do. This year, web design trends include everything from Google’s Material Design, background images and embedded video, gestures replacing clicks, to little details like Ghost Buttons and SVG graphics.

But a website that incorporates trending elements without an eye for how they interact with each other won’t create a beautiful web site. It’s about how you incorporate those elements into a whole that matters, and heck you can make a beautiful site without using anything the masses describe as “trending.” Design is like art in that you don’t need to follow standards to create something beautiful. For your viewing pleasure, check out 24 of the most beautiful landing pages of 2015…

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25 Free Grunge Fonts for Your Design Projects

If you’re looking to make incredible designs with a grunge style then font choice plays a big role in the creative process. While you can add texture and grunge typography effects manually, another option is to simply use a font that has been designed in a grungy style.

Here we’ll showcase 25 grunge fonts that you can download for free. These fonts all make it quick and easy to create your own designs/graphics with a rough and grungy style…

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How to Increase Your Creativity in Web Design

For all types of designers inspiration and creativity are vital to success. If you read many blogs in the web design community I’m sure you’re familiar with posts of inspirational designs. While it’s productive and helpful to see excellent examples of work from other web designers, basing too much of your inspiration on other sites […]

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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 […]

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Challenging Yourself as a Designer

Web design is a profession that requires constant growth and development of abilities in order to remain competitive. Technology is obviously changing constantly, and design trends certainly do not stand still either. A designer who is not committed to improvement will eventually become a designer that is searching for work.

A few weeks ago I published a post that examined a number of different skills that web designers can work to improve, including coding, graphic design, project management, SEO, marketing, communication, and more. If you haven’t seen that post there are links to some great resources that you may want to check out. Taking that idea of constant improvement a step further, putting yourself in challenging situations is a great way to promote growth. Sure, challenges are sometimes uncomfortable, but if you are actively seeking out the right types of challenges you can drastically improve your marketable skills as a designer.

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GIMP 2.9.2 Released with Better GEGL Support

GIMP, the popular open source image editing application, recently released its latest version: GIMP 2.9.2 This version of GIMP brings several new features to the table, such as better color management tools, enhanced support for file formats and image metadata, as well as layers blending. Beyond that, GIMP 2.9.2 also comes with improvements to existing […]

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10 Realities of Designing Websites for Clients

As a designer, working for clients is much different than designing a site for yourself. There are obviously pros and cons, but here are ten things that I have found to be true.
1. No Two Clients are the Same

Some clients will know exactly what they want and they will expect you to create it precisely in that manner. Others will have no clue what they want and they’ll leave most decisions up to you. Some clients will be a pleasure to work with, others will make you want to pursue a different career. Each client will be unique and will present new challenges and present new opportunities.

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Adobe is Finally Dropping the Flash Name

Ever since HTML5 was released, Flash fell out of favor with web designers and developers alike. Everything that Flash could do, HTML5 could manage better, and quicker. As such, it was not a surprise when more and more users began to give up on Flash, and Google Chrome even went a step ahead and decided to […]

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5 Steps to a More Engaging Website

The internet has become a very interactive environment for users. Websites need to be specifically built in a way that captures the attention of visitors and keeps them coming back, or they will quickly leave to go somewhere else. Here are 5 steps to creating a website that will effectively engage your visitors.

1. Avoid Clutter

By keeping your design free of clutter, you will make it easier for visitors to know what is most important, and there will be nothing else to distract them. Clutter can be excessive advertisements, images that don’t add anything to the page, text that is crammed in with very little white space, or anything else that unnecessarily causes a distraction for visitors.

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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 […]

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21 Factors that Influence the First Impression of Your Website’s Visitors

When a new visitor comes to your website for the first time an initial impression will be formed pretty quickly. A good first impression will drastically increase the chances of that visitor returning again, and a bad first impression will be difficult to overcome.

This list looks at 21 factors that will influence your visitor’s impression within moments of arriving at your site. These are just some of the factors, not a comprehensive list. Feel free to list some others in the comments that you think should be included. Here they are, in no particular order…

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5 Skills That Boost Your Design Career

This is a guest post from Chris Garrett. Chris is an internet marketing consultant from the UK. You can read more at his blog, chrisg.com – Subscribe and receive a free ebook. While I have never been a web designer, over the years I have commissioned a good deal of web design and worked very […]

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