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30

Do you really need to follow the trend? Don't ever do something because it's a trend. Do things because they're good for the user's experience because that is what's best for your company and your design. Think really hard about the implications that adding a large image to your site will have and weigh the other options you have. You don't have to use this ...


26

I always prefer a very dark grey to pure #000. The choice might look personal, but here's the theory behind it: There are very little 100% black things in nature. All black objects you see have some for of light reflected on them, shadows are never completely black. When you #000 in a design, it overpowers the other colors. It attracts too much ...


21

These are all interesting answers, but a tad esoteric. The reason is rather simple. Contrast is good for readability, but too much can be considered unnecessary at best, and detrimental at worst. Nearly all printed text is black on white paper...but rarely is it pure white paper. It's often an off-white. And even then, because it's printed, it's using ...


18

Normally I wouldn't post in a question that has been answered as succinctly as this one, but I do think there is a bit of information to add here. Coming from a graphic design background, there is also the concept of "warm" and "cool" grays. These are grays that have a higher presence of warm or cool colours in their mix respectively. #111, #222, #333 - ...


18

I will start by saying I have negative social skills with a seasoning of Aspie on them. So, taking that into account, here I go. Based on my Spock-like field work I have learnt that my non-creative clients (I have creative clients as well) tend to be problem solving oriented. They tend to focus on the problems they have and are very interested on how you ...


16

For me, it's always the why. I've run into many situations where a client is initially uneasy about my work. Not because they outright dislike it, but because they don't think it fits with "what they've seen." When clients are accustomed to seeing the same thing over and over from themselves as well as any competitors, it can be a challenge to get them to ...


12

Dreamweaver does not make you a better designer. In the end, Dreamweaver is merely a tool and like any tool, you may or may not find it useful, but it never improves one's own aesthetic sense of design. I've found no reason to use Dreamweaver over a solid text editor (BBEdit) and a browser. Throw in a bit of PHP and a server for testing and there's really ...


12

Good question, for I too have been a lifetime fan of Fireworks (their entire lifetime). Have you heard of Sketch? I can tell you that it's the only thing that comes close. (It's a perfect mashup of Illustrator and Fireworks, but SO MUCH closer to FW). Your transition should be seamless, and you will quickly be in love. Personally, I'll still use FW until ...


12

Where should the responsibility of designing a responsive website fall? Typically on management. Smart management will realize it's a team project so everyone needs to be coordinated and working in tandem. This would include (but not limited to) visual design, UX, UI dev, back end dev, content team, marketing, etc. Agile development is a good way to ...


11

Do you really need to follow the trend? Don't ever do something because it's a trend. Do things because they're good for the user's experience because that is what's best for your company and your design. Think really hard about the implications that adding a large video to your site will have and weigh the other options you have. You don't have to use this ...


9

Any well skilled designer is always going to be interested in implementation to a degree. Perhaps not in an "I can build it" aspect, but at least in a "that's not possible" aspect. Whether a designer hits the far right side of your graph or not, they should always know what they can and can't do in any given medium. You can't design well for print if you ...


7

The underlying challenge to your question is that of cross-level communication. 'Dumb down' your language about your work, but don't sounds condescending or pedantic at the same time. Rather than the existing, good answers, I'd like to give some general rules of thumb when talking about design with 'outsiders'. I've found that some of these help in making ...


7

Before I give a direct answer, I think it's helpful to give a general definition of what we, as designers, do. Namely we design, defined by Oxford's dictionary as The purpose, planning, or intention that exists or is thought to exist behind an action, fact, or material object. In other words, design is being intentional. We have a thought or desire ...


6

While I agree with the mentality in DA01's answer, I think there is more to the question than just what he addresses. The simple fact is that companies are organized in different ways due to the fact that they have people with different skills and vary in number of employees in each division. Each company needs to approach this decision with care and their ...


6

Here is my take as an outsider, that is I'm not a designer as you perceive it but rather a mechanical designer that designs machines. Though I have done graphic design work in the past. Most people indeed cannot understand the process. This is hardly surprising, not many people understand mechanical design, plumbing, ikebana or whatever. The thing is this ...


5

Short answer: Google is much faster than you hosting it yourself. Long Answer: Putting it on your own server might seem like a good idea to improve load times. After all, the files are closer to your webpage. But, no. After all, when a user goes to your website, initially they just get some HTML. Here we have references to other files: Images, JS, CSS, and, ...


5

I have very little to add to @Matt's answer but here is my nugget. Personally, I have prohibited myself from using WYSIWYG editors (like Dreamweaver) because I think they make me a worse web designer. These are the reasons. They make me go rusty, lazy and outdated very quickly. You would me amazed to see what code related knowledge was second nature for me ...


5

Probably the initial step is more planning than Photoshop's. 1) Do I need an image file? Or can I use something else Background-color. A css gradient. 2) Do I need that file dimensions? or can I use A lower dimension upscaled. Mask the low resolution with something? a pattern over it, a blur, darken it. A pattern. Is the image really worth it to have ...


4

One huge recent change is the shift to vector graphics. SVG is now a stable requirement for new websites. A good web designer needs to use Illustrator or Inkscape for icons and other re-scalable vector SVG graphics, as well as using Photoshop or GIMP for the photographic, detailed, not-so-re-scalable raster graphics. I'm not sure if Fireworks would have ...


4

Colours Tune the clarity, vibrancy, and saturation to a similar level across the entire collection of images as much as possible by eye Your images look a bit washed out/desaturated to me, but this isn't a critique. Just try to make them each share similar levels of vibrancy, saturation, and clarity. I tend to mask out the original skies in collections of ...


4

People subconsciously perceive details they do not consciously notice. A very slight sheen of a certain colour is perceived and can reinforce a colour scheme and thus a 'feel', a message or a mood. You could ask the same question for why some papers are off-white, or for the use of different 'rich blacks' in print, and my answer would be similar.


4

Visual editors or WYSIWYG editors are terrible.. The only true way to view a website is through the medium which is a browser. In regards to Dreamweaver I hate it and there are many reasons why: If you're just learning code the best way to learn how to code is through something like notepad or Textedit which you say you're doing. For me when I code a ...


4

Before delivering your final website design, you really should optimise the images with tools that are more focused towards and dedicated to optimising images. Photoshop does okay, but I've seen many people comment that other tools do a better job. From what I hear, ImageMagick is pretty good for this purpose. However, as a command-line-noob I need to spend ...


3

In my experience, the best approach to have when explaining your work to clients (or other non-creative types) is to focus on what the job of the product is that you’re working on rather than focusing on what job you’re doing. If you’re focused on what the product is supposed to do then you can explain how your graphic decisions help the product do it's job. ...


3

Oh, there are ways. Here are some options in order asc from shitty and easy, to less shitty and hard. Rely entirely on this one article and make sure to always use serif or sans-serif as the final font in your list. Check out the OS font stack for OSX on wikipedia. Google around for type specimens for those fonts, and trust that it looks ok in your usage. ...


3

Saw this question as I was searching for Adobe alternatives. Finally had enough of their hands in my pocket and around my throat about 6 months ago. I'm keeping my (paid for) Fireworks CS6 until it dies, but Xara Designer Pro X10 is similar to Fireworks but can do a lot more. I'm not sure why it doesn't get much publicity but I'm really starting to like it a ...


2

Ultimately, when technology dies it is replaced by nothing. The alternatives are often not existing. This is because even a small change in workflow disrupts you too much. Whenever i see a replacement question, I see a failure to understand that this is a opportunity to learn new tricks. Sometimes these tricks are worse. But recognize that in fact the ...


2

You probably need to think first on the proportion. The classical proportion The classical (oldie) porportion for desktops is 4:3 for example. 1024x768 1280x960 1600x1200 Some pads use this same proportion for example the ipad uses: 2048x1536 Vertical orientatnion This takes us that this pads used in vertical orientation gives us a 3:4 proportion ...


2

Loading files from third party servers (google) can slow down loading time since the browser has to make a request to a different machine. Basically loading everything from one domain should be faster than loading files from different webservers. However – chances are that the google font is already in the visitor's cache file. This again would speed things ...


2

There are some great answers here, but this really isn't that complicated. Bottom line: The design team (whether one or many) is responsible for every permutation of a view or template. Do not ask the developer to fill in the blanks or lean on a framework. Do your best at the outset and then shadow the dev as things progress. You'll have to make ...



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