Robin Good: Oli Gardner at unbounce.com has put together a really fantastic collection of great landing pages examples (all created with the Unbounce landing page creation service) that can provide not only great inspiration, but actual examples of the components and layout you need to use to make your pages look truly "professional".
In this curated collection, you will not only find large-sized screenshots of the selected landing pages but also some very valuable comments about each sample, alongside a curated list of what are the key components on each of the landing pages that makes them work so well and key suggestions on how to further improve them.
Functional web typography is, of course, key to the usabilty of any website. But functional does not mean boring. Big, loud and attention grabbing typography does have the presence and magnificence to truly grab the attention of your visitors.
If you are looking for a web design solution that sits in between amateurish self-made work and the professional high-price designer layout, you can give a look to 99designs.com which offers the opportunity to get your design need crowdsourced out to many interested designers.
How it works:
1) You submit your "design brief" for a logo, business card or web site.
2) You decide how much you want to pay for it.
3) 99designs publishes your project as a call for participation.
4) From that moment on dozen of designers submit their work proposals to get your work.
5) You give feedback to improve the ones you like and you finally chose your preferred one.
6) If you are not satisfied with any of the proposals, you get your money back.
If you are looking for WordPress design themes and templates alternatives, here is a curated list of 14 different theme-shops cut specifically for this, alongside a short description and some indicative price references.
The navigation bar is one of the most important design elements on a web site.
Not only does it guide users to pages beyond the homepage, but it’s also the main key for users to get a sense of orientation.
With this in mind, it’s important to adhere to time-tested design and usability conventions also when designing your navigation elements and structure.
When choosing a navigation bar type, start simple.
Evaluate your content thoroughly and ask yourself what your users need to access quickly.
More often than not, a complex navigation system is an indicator you need better content planning and organization.
If you absolutely need to give your users so many options directly inside the navigation bar menu, follow the principles mentioned in this article to create an efficient and enjoyable experience for your users.
In essence, what kind of navigation do you need to design to ensure that your users are able to quickly and easily find the information they need?
Designers pride themselves on the interfaces they design. It's natural to think what one is working on is important. But sometimes designers can get so lost in the interface they forget that it's for the user, not them.
Irene Pereyra, director of UX and strategy at digital agency Fantasy Interactive, rounds up 10 top tips to help you deliver an amazing interactive user experience...
These days, building websites or applications that attract and retain customers has become somewhat of a science. For people who aren’t well versed in the digital space, I often compare the work that I do as a UX designer to an architect. Like the architect who builds your home, my UX team builds a comprehensive blueprint, which outlines every single detail of the site’s features and functionality....
Excellent analysis and review of why the new Microsoft user interface design direction may have a a strong impact on the future of its products.
"Thanks to some talented (and presumably new) user interface designers, Microsoft’s about to see a 2012 where everything it offers is exceptionally pretty – a 2012 where it could very well claw the ‘coolness’ top spot of tech status symbols away from Apple for the first time ever.
In April next year, Microsoft will be offering a PC and tablet operating system, a smartphone platform and a games console interface that all bear a striking resemblance to one-another.
It’s a cross-platform aesthetic that’ll mean you’ll instantly be able to recognise a product as belonging to Microsoft.
It’ll be the first time that’s ever happened and it’ll be a revolutionary step in the right direction for a company that’s historically put far more focus on function than form."
Robin Good: If you are looking for good design inspiration as well as for specific references for UI development work, you will appreciate the curated collection of resources that Speckyboy has pulled together in this guide.
From the best patterns collections to the top UI public design guides, this 25-item collection has indeed all of the best resources you can tap into for any type of web or GUI design related work.
Here is a free and downloadable GUI components and icons library, which can be used for any web or mobile design project. It is free for every use, even for commercial projects, as long as you credit and link back to the source page.
• A flexible GUI elements library for Illustrator and a pixel-precise icon collection created for interface designers and web designers.
• These icons are easy to adapt to your own needs.
You can easily resize, color or tweak their appearance.
• They are based on a precise 16 pixels grid, which means that they stay clear and have crispy look even at small sizes.
• 200 graphic styles for buttons, navigations menus or panels.
• 330 swatches harmonized with graphic styles for backgrounds, typography and other GUI interface elements.
"Successful design in publishing, advertising, web design, illustration and anything else that ties together elements depends on drawing in the reader and leading their eyes across the page.
Some people think it’s not a big deal and that designing a page comes naturally because of cultural lessons we learn growing up and looking at design from childhood yet few, if any understand why it works the way it does."
In reality things are not simple, natural or obvious, especially if, you are in the group of those who do not just want to follow the mainstream standards but who like to break out of conventions and innovate while bringing greater value.
But how do you achieve that, unless you are already a great designer?
What are the rules that can be broken?
This good article by Speider Schneider provides some good basic advice, on what is needed to head properly in this direction.
"The goal that you should strive for, when employing minimalism in your designs, is to enhance readability, improve navigation and usability, and, as always, create the most pleasant user experience possible.
In web design, minimalism translates to producing a site from the basics.
Instead of including everything but the kitchen sink and then paring it down to only the necessary features, a better approach would be to start with a blank slate and only include the essentials.
Minimalism is an exercise in restraint, with the eventual goal being a design that helps the user focus and accomplish their tasks as quickly as possible."
Dieter Rams in one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. Born in 1932, Dieter Rams has made of his name a synonim with integrity in design. Passionate about the true functional role of what needed to be designed, Dieter Rams has been the paladin of essential, no-waste, no-fashion design.
But better than anything speak these TEN commandments to good design which he compiled in the early 80's.
A fantastic site that organizes models, examples, patterns and recommendations for the effective use of visual transitions and motion graphics in the design of interactive content pages or online / mobile applications.
"It documents transitions in a clustered way to show at which point transitions can be a helpful extension to a static user interface, because of cognitive benefits to enhance the user experience.
All transitions are divided into six categories in order to differentiate between their application.
The aim is to present a scaleable collection of existing transitions.
The transitions are shown in an abstract visualization to clarify their purposes, these visualizations also contain concrete examples."
If you are looking into the idea of re-designing or singificantly improving the legibility, design and overall user experience of your web site, this illustrated article-guide by Rian van der Merwe, will provide you with some useful guidelines.
Starting from the principles of data-ink ratio, originally conceived by information design guru Edward Tufte, the author attempts to transfer those same ideas, step by step, to the web design process.
Read the full article here: http://uxdesign.smashingmagazine.com/2011/11/15/data-pixel-approach-improving-user-experience/
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.