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.

 

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Websites for Kids

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After all my research on websites for businesses and portfolios, I didn’t think about kids as an audience. I thought about what designs are trending for children, and how do designers know what to add? Smashing Magazine has the answers.

According to them, websites designed for children have been largely overlooked in Web design articles, “but there are many beautiful and interesting design elements and layouts presented on children’s websites that are worthy of discussion and analysis.” The first step to designing a site for a kid is thinking about the 5 senses. “Humans are mentally stimulated by a number of factors, and this is especially true with children.” This means that successful children’s websites use a number of elements and design principles that create an environment suited for a child’s personality and interests. Such as bright, vivid colors, or the characters’ body language on the screen. Something I never thought of was to add elements of nature, “because children’s experiences in life are limited, some of the things they are most familiar with are found in nature.” Natural elements such as trees, water, snow, and animals are used in a lot of children’s websites. Smashing Magazine also notes that i many cases nature elements are overemphasized through size or simplicity of design. Another thing to consider is large fonts and images. “Large design elements have proved to be effective in all types of Web design, demonstrated by the fact that large typography, large buttons, and large call-to-action areas have become commonplace in modern design.” This means that because children are naturally drawn to simple and obvious objects websites designed for children will increase their effectiveness through the use of large design elements. This seems like a fun task, maybe I’ll make my next project one for kids.