After the design

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So I’ve basically only been covering design theories and how a site should look based on the audience. However, I wanted to search words that designers/web creators should and should not use on their site. I found a site that talks about certain words that could possibly increase web activity!

First, for companies that are selling a product, these are words that, according to research, increase web traffic.

  1. alleviate
  2. avoid
  3. bargain
  4. best
  5. bonus
  6. coupon
  7. gain
  8. get rid of
  9. heal
  10. new
  11. prevent
  12. restore
  13. reviews
  14. training
  15. scam

According to orbitmedia, “As Google evolves, search results are based less on specific phrases and based more on general meanings. This benefits websites that have sections of many pages relevant to the wider topic, all related and interlinked. Creating several pages using buyer keywords helps indicate that your site is relevant for the broader, semantic meaning.” This means that as a designer, it is important to know certain keywords and phrases that can attract attention.

Another piece of information that can help people when designing their site is thinking about clever headlines. According to orbitmedia, these are a few words that have created viral posts.

  1. smart
  2. surprising
  3. science
  4. history
  5. hacks
  6. huge
  7. critical

The article goes on to talk about words that can help gain retweets on Twitter, or what a subject line should look like for an email. It’s crazy to think how certain words can change the game.

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Best Designed Apps

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I just went over the best apps for design tools, but what about the best designed apps? Let’s see what there is out there that comes out on top.

First is the Arles Festival App. Clarity is one of the essential elements of a good UI design. It should not confuse your users nor give them a hard time figuring out how to use your interface. And you can find that in this app designed especially for the Arles Festival, which has around a hundred thousand recorded visitors annually since its inception.

Next is the Eda.ua – Food Delivery iPhone App. This mobile design version for an existing website is designed by a group of designers from the Ukraine. The app has both an iOS and Android version with a very friendly UI designed especially for the food delivery business. In order to meet usability standards, the designers conducted intensive market research and took note of various offbeat ideas. Then, they created and tested an interactive prototype with over 100 wireframes to ensure that the app design meets the needs of the client’s business.

Third is the Workout Book App. Unlike other workout apps, the Workout Book easily records your workouts and lets you see all the necessary information at a glance right on the home screen. Create your own workout with just a flick of your fingers and press save. Customize, set the day, and the targeted area you want to work on. Each workout has a color tag so you can easily look over them and monitor what you have missed.

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.

 

Designer Videos

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I want to keep some videos on file that I can come back to to learn how to use design tools on programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Below are a few Youtubers who have the skills!

Stephen is the creator of the Graphic Designer Tips YouTube channel, which is one of the best online resources for learning Adobe Muse, and Adobe Illustrator, as well as the overall Logo Design and Print Layout Design process. What makes Stephen’s channel unique are his series. Stephen has multiple 20 video deep playlist walking you through projects from start to finish. (https://youtu.be/KkK8_DsJEIw?list=PL9k8t41FVBP70wl9cyyYNVYOE7hLXZvaN)

Shawn Barry has created some of the most in depth and well-produced content for learning the principles of Graphic Design. Shawn is a Designer from Canada and has been an agency Creative Director and brings that experience to the table through his content. Shawn’s design lectures are a must for anyone trying to build a strong foundation of design knowledge and develop a true eye for design and visual communication. (https://youtu.be/owZvImgo57s)

Logo designer Will Paterson is a very popular and easygoing UK Design YouTube creator who primarily focuses on logo design, Brand Identity and Adobe Illustrator. Will’s videos inject a lot of humor in addition to great information that is easy to consume and understand regardless of your experience level. His personality has made him a favorite channel for many designers. (https://youtu.be/dPpZxq0fJRo)

Media Websites

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After researching different websites for audiences like children and american voters, I thought about media websites as well, mostly news publications. I decided to analyze some of these and find out why their design works. According to the poynter.org, these guys got it right.

  1. Identity.
    1. It’s important, according to poynter, that a news’ website know who they are and reflect their parent products’ brands.
      1. EX: The New York Times, MSNBC, USA TODAY
  2. Reader-Friendly
    1. Having a welcoming, and easy-to-read content is necessary for designing a news website.
      1. EX: CNN, Christian Science Monitor, International Herald Tribune
      2. The Christian Science Monitor has a very pleasing balance and hierarchy to its design. This comes from the use of space between items, a clear distinction between the main story headline and other story heads, and not using too many icons. This is a great example of why white space aids readability and creates balance. A dedicated section for ads is placed slightly downpage. The ads have a consistent width and enough space between them that they don’t get lost.

        CNN has a nice short left navigation bar, and picks the top headlines for each section displayed down page.

        The International Herald Tribune has headline with a short paragraph of text highlights the top stories, while the simple navigation points you to a section or region in an easy-to-use drop-down menu. On story pages, you have the option of adjusting the type size and layout so it is most comfortable for you to read. The one weakness is its obvious lack of photography on stories that need that reference to give the reader a complete picture.

  3. Beauty
    1. As you can tell from above, The International Herald Tribune wins this one.
  4. Simplicity
  5. Misc.
    1. BBC, The Washington Post
    2. The center section of the BBC News site has nice, chunky promos highlighting the day’s big stories, and a fairly simple navigation bar on the left. But, the right rail looks like it gets the leftovers thrown at it because of the inconsistencies in color palette and a sea of random images.

      What I like so much about the Washington Post site is that it has its own identity apart from the printed edition. It remains to be seen if that is positive or negative, but it does give it its own credibility. Check out the Camera Works section. It’s the best photo-driven section on the Web.

One-Page Wonder

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So I started to create my website a bit too late, it’s due tonight. This made me think of creative ways to design a portfolio. I wanted to make a one-page portfolio, similar to a design I saw when I was comparing weebly, wix and squarespace. According to elegantthemes.com, Divi’s single-page sidebar navigation makes it easy. When you create a new page, you can easily enable “Divi’s Single Page” navigation option, giving any visitors a visual and clickable representation of their progress on the page. You can also use custom anchor links and Section ID’s to create one-page menus for the complete One-Page package. Enabling a one-page navigation is actually easy, and it can be done on a per-page basis. Whenever you create or edit a page, I have to go to the “Divi Settings” box to the right of the text editor. Within this box is a side navigation option. I just need to select “On” from the dropdown menu, and then save the page. Now there is a floating navigation bar has been added to the right side of the page.

The side navigation bar automatically adds a clickable link to each section on the page. When I want to add a new section, a new circle link will be added automatically to the floating side nav. Users can click the circles to skip to different sections on the page. It also makes it easier to identify where the visitor is on the page, makes long-format pages easier to understand and navigation!

Vegan Websites

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As a recent vegan, I wonder about where they go to find the best recipes and ideas to keep up with their diet. Maybe there are well-designed websites out there that accommodate. Let’s find out.

Due to my research, most of the sites I found are blogs by other vegans. This is how great websites start, though! I found http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/ , which uses flat-designed eggplant as their icon, titled “Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.” She uses the purple in the eggplant in her font as well, and light blues on top of a white background. This is specifically for vegan recipes, with images and a “read more.”

http://www.rickiheller.com/ “Diet, Desserts, and Dogs,” is a website with a host, Ricki Heller. She posts almost daily about her healthy lifestyle, whether it be tricks and tips or whether it’s ok to cheat on diets. We can clearly see her excited face in each of her videos. This already gives off a welcoming, friendly vibe. I’m interested in hearing what she has to say about being vegan because she clearly takes a lot of time out of her day to share her insight. My only issue is her colors, a blue and orange theme, as well as the horrendous amount of ads on the sides.

http://veganyumyum.com/

This is more of a food journal, which I like because it shows a picture of the food the blogger is trying herself, and giving us a review on it. She also adds some of her personality to her entries, which again, I enjoy because it feels more personal.