Monday, January 28, 2008

Webpage design process

from stopdesign, A Design Process Revealed

Some excerpts:
1. Research & Discovery

Jumping into any design project before examining the problem or task at hand might spin the wheels, but won’t get you very far. Any project, no matter how big or small, can benefit from research and planning before the work begins.

2. Competitive Analysis

Another helpful task in the process involves looking at pre-existing ideas and executions created by peers, mentors, heros, and/or competitors. Competitive analysis identifies the strengths and weaknesses of those existing designs.

3. Exploration

When tackling a design project with limitless creative boundaries, I like to begin by creating lists of relevant words, topics, and phrases. By creating these lists, I try to gain a broadened perspective of the problem I’m attempting to solve, and often uncover additional ideas and concepts which weren’t so obvious at the outset.

4. Thumbnail Sketching

Once I exhausted the idea branching, I started drawing thumbnail sketches on a pad of paper. Thumbnails are small sketches which can literally be as small as your thumbnail, or as big as a couple inches in width and/or height.

5. Typography

To me, typography is a crucial element in setting the formalness or informality of a design. Evocations of different typefaces are subliminal to most people, but a designer will go to great lengths to ensure the selection and construction of type complements the mood of the piece.

6. Imagery

Imagery is not always necessary in design. In fact, some of the most beautiful designs use type alone. However, selectively chosen photography or illustration can create enormous visual impact for a design, adding dimension, implication, and a deeper level of understanding far beyond a well-written headline or paragraph of text.

7. Execution & Implementation

I started writing the CSS for the design at a high-level, focusing on the layout structure, major backgrounds, and large regions of the page. Groups of elements were positioned in correct locations.

8. And More
The ever-changing design process does not end here. This summary is not an exhaustive one. Additional review and approval cycles, more design iterations, and frequent user testing all may be inserted anywhere into this process.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Present like Steve Jobs

Business Week writes Deliver a Presentation like Steve Jobs

1. Set the theme.

2. Demonstrate enthusiasm.

3. Provide an outline.

4. Make numbers meaningful.

5. Try for an unforgettable moment.

6. Create visual slides.

7. Give 'em a show.

8. Don't sweat the small stuff.

9. Sell the benefit.

10. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Designing webpages

Ben Hunt writes on the principles of web design

The Golden Rule
Everything that goes into your web site must have a purpose.
Every single element and decision must help users achieve their goals and support the site's goals.

How people use web pages
They move quickly because they don't like looking at the screen
They're impatient - they tend to click the first promising link, and often don't wait for pages to finish loading
They don't like to read, scanning text quickly for clues
They're looking for things to help them do what they want to do

Ideal web design process
1. Know what you're doing
2. Know what the site needs to do
3. Know what the site's visitors want
4. Get a good picture of the personality and style of the web site
5. Sketch out highly successful scenarios
6. Organise views into a site map
7. Sketch the essential features & look
8. Map your visitors' attention
9. Arrange the visual elements to work together