Gaming Websites

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I talked about children’s websites, tourist sites, political campaign sites, and even websites for vegans. Now I decided to look at gaming websites, and what makes their design so perfect for their audience – gamers.

I took a look at Hawken, which is said to be the best game website out there in terms of design, and it brings a somewhat different approach to video game websites because it blurs a video game site with a community website. This site features an great looking slider, a blog, video portal and community driven pages. Hawken’s website truly brings a unique experience.

Dead Island: Riptide is the next on the list, which is a pretty impressively designed site because it has great “flowing” animation to it, with a few unique features that can be played around with using your cursor. As you navigate through the website you will find that the animation and graphics are really tailored to the user’s viewing experience.

A popular gaming site, Halo: WayPoint is the third best designed.  Waypoint brings the creativity and the style of the Halo games right into the website with its design, menu and beautiful fonts. It features a slider with a fresh Halo look and Halo styled video players, which allows for easy and simplified user engagement. This site brings the Halo experience online with leaderboards, game stats, forums and blogs.

One I am familiar with, Animal Crossings: New Leaf, is the fifth on the list. This magical life simulation children’s game has a colorful and artistic design with music, animation, guided tours and even has a built-in community website. As you navigate through this website you may just get inspired to create a unique colorful, animated website design of your own.

And finally, one I know most people have played, Plants vs. Zombies, is also on the list. This website really brings all the information and content you really need on one page; no need to navigate through unnecessary pages. The website also has integrated the actual game on the homepage with links and images linking to full versions to the game.

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App Design

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I wonder about app design frequently because I think that one day everything will be on our phones. Since everything is becoming more and more fast-paced, I researched the best design tool apps, in case I want to follow a career path in designing them.

First, there is Evernote. Evernote is one of the all-time best apps out there for keeping organized. It works across devices – smartphone, tablet and desktop over the cloud, so once you save something you can retrieve it anywhere. And with extra add-ons like Web Clipper and Skitch you can “save” webpages to a personal file and then mark them up for reference. It is a great way to bookmark and create reading lists that you can go back to at any time. Evernote also offers a paid, premium account that offers added functionality such as shared notes and files. Evernote is available for desktops (Windows or Apple), iPad/iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

Photoshop Express sounds perfect! We can all agree that very little intense editing is being done on tablets and phones right now. But for simple touchups and edits, Adobe Photoshop Express is a great tool. For those already using Adobe products, there is a very small learning curve and it looks and works as you would expect. Simple tools are included with the download and a few more advance features are offered in-app. There are fun tools for added effects, giving you more control than Instagram and sharing is made easy too. Adobe Photoshop Express is available for iPad/iPhone and Android.

Beehance is a familiar name. I didn’t know they had an app! The Behance app allows you to have your portfolio at your fingertips. Show off your portfolio in seconds and use the app to browse for ideas. It has all of the functionality of the full website in a portable format.

And of course, how can I live without a color palette generator? The Color Schemer app is a fun little tool that lets you create color palettes or browse some of the ones created by other users. The app helps you create great RGB or HEX color pairings using photos, or with the built-in color wheel.