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Things Every Web Designer Should Know

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Web design is much more than layout and effects. There are so many areas and things every web designer should know. The profession itself requires a fundamental understanding of business, the craft itself, and technology. Employment in this profession requires skills in areas other than design. Many a creative web designer has come to realize that web design isn’t just about the latest visual effects and a creative design.

Those that are willing to learn the other skills involved in web design will find themselves with a long and successful career. Those not willing will soon find they can’t advance in the profession. Agencies are looking for much more than simply design skills today. Therefore, I would like to address several things every web designer should know when entering the profession.

Communication and Interaction

Web design is a form of communication and as such, it is imperative that the web designer understand human interaction. This requires an understanding of speech, psychology, and human behavior.

Web designers must have the ability to hold a conversation. They will be required to interact with clients, colleagues, and business managers. They must be able to speak competently to a room full of executives. Designers spend a great deal of time simply communicating with their clients in order to understand their needs and earn their trust.

It is important to have a rich vocabulary and is an area you can continue to improve upon forever. A broad vocabulary will allow you to communicate with any client and will give an impression of professionalism.

You must have the ability to get your ideas across to your clients and be able to explain and defend your reasoning behind any design decisions without becoming defensive. A good designer must be able to get their point across without offending the client.

Much communication today is done through the written word including email and other written correspondence. Proper grammar, appropriate punctuation, and a clear organization of ideas will portray a high degree of professionalism to your clients. If you are unable to present yourself well through your written communications, you may find yourself losing clients.

Human Behavior

Understanding how people are affected by others and how they respond to specific situations drives your design decisions and determines how you interact professionally with our clients.

Understanding human behavior will allow you to gain the trust and respect of your clients. It will also allow you to present your clients with information in the most effective way. Understanding the behavior of others will also serve you well when working with colleagues.

Knowledge of business etiquette is an area of human behavior required of any business professional. Understand the fundamentals of appropriate business interactions and use them whenever placed in a situation in which business is at stake.

The Craft of Web Design

A thorough understanding of your craft will portray an aura of competence to your clients. Designers are skilled craftspeople and as such, it is necessary to understand the issues and challenges associated with web design.

Study the artistic elements involved, such as form, texture, balance, and harmony to understand how they interact with the human mind. Design is much more than a natural creative ability. It requires a thorough understanding of the elements involved as well.

Understand issues associated with legibility, have the ability to sketch ideas to demonstrate a design, and understand issues associated with web usability and context. These are fundamental components of your craft.

Study the various types of browsers, form interaction, XHTML and CSS coding, and other areas involved in web design. You should be aware of the differences associated with diverse operating systems and understand how using different systems and browsers affect a user’s web experience.

The web designer must have skills in XHTML and CSS to construct functional web pages. Visual editors are popular but it is also important to have these basic coding skills or you will find yourself limited in your designs.

It will help if you have an understanding of various elements of Flash and JavaScript. These dynamic media components interact with XHTML and CSS so you should know how they fit with your design.

Business

Most creative folks would rather not deal with this area. However, there are some essential skills needed that are necessary and just can’t be avoided. You should understand the fundamentals associated with business such as budgeting and accounting, marketing and branding, and project management.

An understanding of budgeting and finance will assist you in making sure you have more money coming in than going out each month. It will also help you with record keeping. Understanding what receipts and documents you will need at the end of the end of the year will help you know what you need to keep track of. Every good businessperson should have a fundamental understanding of finance even if using an accountant.

Marketing and branding are an important part of your business. Marketing is what brings clients in. Understanding the various concepts such as push and pull, will allow you choose the methods most appropriate for your business model. It will also help you avoid spending money on methods that don’t provide results. Remember, your brand is your identity and it should be carefully nurtured and portray a high degree of professionalism. A strong brand identity will help gain the trust of your customers. Know how to build your brand and how it affects your customers.

Having skills in basic project management concepts will help you keep your design projects on track. Scheduling, risk management, phases, and communication planning, all have a profound impact on customer satisfaction and show your customers that you are a professional.

Remember, it is not the tools that make a good web designer. It is the skills and abilities of the designer. Know the basics and, once you have mastered them, add to them as you mature and grow in your work. Web design is a profession in which it is important to continue learning. Never stop building on the foundation you have built and you will never find yourself without a job or customers.

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My name is Foxy, and my job is to sniff out the good guest bloggers from the ones who aren't. This post was written by a contributing author to Blogging Tips. If you would like to learn more about becoming a writer (not one-time guest blogging) for BloggingTips.com, please contact us.

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Fotor Photo Editor – The Perfect Graphic Design Tool for Bloggers

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As bloggers and content creators, it’s important to always have visual content built within our best articles and site designs. Infographics, clip art, stock photos and more… but customized and original images will always grab the most attention.

When it comes to actually creating such visuals, you will have many different options to choose from. Whether you are looking for a free application, one that is browser-based, or even if it’s a premium software you need to download and pay for — it’s important to know what’s out there.

Today we are going to be looking at Fotor photo editor which is a free and powerful tool that lets anyone get started with their own graphic design in just a few short minutes.

This tool allows anyone to start using it through a web browser or even with their mobile application. Whether you need to edit a photo, make a collage, or create a custom and original design, it can all be done through the power of Fotor.

The most popular features of this tool are it’s one click filters and fixes that allowed anyone to make their images pop and stand out like never before.

Let’s take a look at some of the many benefits to using Fotor photo editor for your website, blog, or just everyday life.

With most people looking to customize their mobile screenshots on photos with a few simple click of a button, and this is exactly what fotor photo editor will allow you to do. It will also allow you to create custom YouTube banners that can be used to liven up your channel as well.

You can see a few of these examples in the screenshot below.

When comparing Fotor to other graphic design applications like Photoshop, you are going to find many similarities, but it’s also important to note that premium applications like Photoshop are much more advanced, but also more costly in the process. The software is free to use, you can upgrade to Fotor Pro and find even more upgrade and options available.

What makes this design application and tool great for site owners and bloggers, is that it has a unique set of design tools and features — which are what most content creators are looking. In short, it provides users with what they need, while not overwhelming them in the process.

Fotor also offers a nice selection of design templates to choose from, which makes the process of creating new and original content even easier. These template designs scale across the many different design themes, sizes, and concepts on the site.

In addition to everything else mentioned, there is also a nice collection of resources, guides, and tutorials that can be found on their site blog. Such resources will provide users what the information and walk-through processes to get the most out of Fotor.

If you are currently looking for a new design editor to improve the look and feel of visual content on your site, be sure to give Fotor a try.

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4 Essential Elements of Web Design (No.3 Will Shock You!)

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If you’re a small business owner take note of these four elements of web design. They’re essential for boosting your online presence. Click here for more info!

Have you ever wondered why most business websites tend to look the same? It’s like you’ve seen one and you’ve seen them all.

The truth is a lot of business owners prefer the easy route. That means going for a website builder, which offers templated designs.

If you want something different, you’ll have to go custom. But that takes a lot of time. Plus, you’ll have to look for a skilled designer/developer.

Whatever route you choose, you need to understand the elements of web design. After all, it’s your website. If you choose to hire a pro, you need to know what to ask for.

And if you opt to DIY it, then you can steer clear of cringe-worthy web design. That said, here are 4 web design elements that will help boost your online presence.

1. User Journey

You can scroll through countless website design guides and you’ll never see one that says, “ignore what users think.”

Consider mobile apps. Would you download something that’s hard to use and has a lot of annoying ads?

When you design your website, put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. Is your website hard to navigate? Does it load fast?

But how do you know if your user interface is good? Aside from consistency, it has to be simple, intuitive, responsive, and flexible.

This is why it’s good to test different designs first before committing to one. It saves time and eliminates the need for major changes later on.

2. Content

Designing for the web doesn’t stop when you have a “pretty” website. Sure, your target customers will appreciate nifty graphics and all. But if your content doesn’t offer value, users will leave your website.

Now, this doesn’t mean huge blocks of text that will drown your visitors with information. Opt for conciseness. Give your target audience content that’s easy to digest so they can process it better.

Depending on what CMS you are using, content creation is usually the easy part. This is especially the case when using platforms like Weebly, WordPress or Wix. Since most of these platforms are drag and drop, it’s simply a matter of getting familiar with each platform, and knowing how to create great content. There are no programming or design skills required.

3. Accessibility

Did you just check the title again? If yes, you may be wondering why this would be shocking. Shouldn’t this be part of any website designing guide?

The thing is there are plenty of websites that use low contrast for text because it’s trendy. But you have to take into account users who have vision problems.

There has to be enough contrast between text and background. And you also need to choose your colors well. You don’t want to alienate color-blind and blind users who use assistive technologies.

4. SEO

Some people approach website design as a separate entity from search engine optimization. But there’s a way to be strategic about the process so that design elements improve the SEO of your site.

The easiest way would be to outsource to an all-in-one design company such as https://www.databerry.com/. When they build your site, they also take care of the backend coding stuff. This ensures your title tags, meta tags, etc work for better search ranking.

Want to Know More About the Elements of Web Design?

Knowing the elements of web design is your first step to a website that looks and functions well. But getting them all right takes a bit of trial and error.

For more web design tips, don’t forget to check out our other blog posts.

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Design & Coding

Defining the Best Colors, Style and Design for Your Brand Logo

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Have you ever thought about why some companies and brands are more successful and well-known than others? In many cases, it comes down to the products or services they offer, but the actual look and feel of the company brand can play a huge part in this as well.

A great example of this would be every brand that currently has a well-known logo design or identity, even though it doesn’t have the actual name of the company within the logo. Names like Nike, Target, Apple, Microsoft, and Starbucks come to mind. Billions of people from around the world can recognize these brands simply by seeing their logo… and they don’t even need to see a name associated with it. You can see some of the most popular brand logo designs and changes they’ve made over the years in this famous logos reference guide.

With all of that in mind, it’s important to create a logo design for your business that not only represents what you do but also one that resonates with your audience as well. To give another example of the many different ways an industry can influence the way logo are created to relate and brand with an audience, let’s take a look at some of the top online survey sites from a site like SurveyClarity.

What do you notice about each of the popular survey logo designs below? Not only are they mostly text-based, they are all different variations of GREEN! WebPageFX.com says the following about the color green in logo design:

Green is Youthful and Earth-Friendly: Health – Tranquility – Freshness. Green represents growth, and evokes a feeling of relaxation and healing. It is the color of healthy vegetation, so it reminds viewers of nature and health. It is also associated with money and wealth.

This is something you will see in many different markets. Another great example is the banking or make money space. Many of the banks will have a green or blue feeling to them — which both represent calm, financial, and fresh feelings and emotions. However, many other brands like Twitter and Dell are using BLUE to represent their compani\y logo and brand as well.

Now that you likely have a better understanding of what different colors are being used in logo designs today, you might be thinking about the different styles, variations, and colors you can use within your own company or site design and branding.

Thanks to the “What Type of Logo is Right for You?” infographic below (provided by Designhill), we are going to break down the many components and choices of logo design, and how to best represent your brand.

To get started with the process, you should first decide on if you want a font-based logo or a graphic design. No matter which option you choose, you can tweak both design types to work with whatever style you’d like to go with.

A “Word Mark” logo design is one that is made up of a stylized type font, yet is also original in design. A few good examples of this would be the HBO, NASA and CNN logo. At their core, they are text fonts — but also with a unique and custom design in the process.

After you’ve given some thought to the different colors, design types, and styles of logos you can create, we recommend you take a look at the new AI-powered logo maker from Designhill. Not only is the tool free to use, it can create an unlimited number of logo designs for you to choose from. Keep scrolling through the designs until you find one that you like, then complete the process by purchasing the fulicensednced version of your logo design, which also comes in a wide range of file types.

How to Find the Right Logo Design for Your Band

As shown in the infographic below, we can answer a few simple questions to see what type of logo you might want to focus your efforts on for your brand. Depending on how you answer each of these questions, you will find a different result for your brand identity.

  • Is your business well established?
  • Is your business internationally known?
  • Do you plan to remain a small business?
  • Does your company have a long name?
  • Do your company contain a unique word?
Of the many different types of logos you can choose from, the most popular are emblems. However, you will also see a popular occurrence of word marks, pictorial marks, abstract marks and letter marks.
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