Findings from the A LIST APART Survey, 2009

Once again, A List Apart and you have teamed up to shed light on precisely who creates websites. Where do we live? What kind of work do we do? What are our job titles? How well or how poorly are we paid? How satisfied are we, and where do we see ourselves going?

Once again, we present our findings on the web, with XHTML table data converted to beauteous charts care of CSS, Jason Santa Maria, and Eric Meyer. Others who worked on these findings include editor Krista Stevens and publisher Jeffrey Zeldman.

Analyses contained in this report should be considered primarily descriptive; no attempt was made to assess causality among survey variables. In plain English, be careful not to extrapolate the observations that follow into predictive or causal relationships.


http://aneventapart.com/alasurvey2009/

Once again, A List Apart and you have teamed up to shed light on precisely who creates websites. Where do we live? What kind of work do we do? What are our job titles? How well or how poorly are we paid? How satisfied are we, and where do we see ourselves going?

Once again, we present our findings on the web, with XHTML table data converted to beauteous charts care of CSS, Jason Santa Maria, and Eric Meyer. Others who worked on these findings include editor Krista Stevens and publisher Jeffrey Zeldman.

Analyses contained in this report should be considered primarily descriptive; no attempt was made to assess causality among survey variables. In plain English, be careful not to extrapolate the observations that follow into predictive or causal relationships.

Who are you?

Come here often? What’s your sign?…. Leer más “Findings from the A LIST APART Survey, 2009”

The Next Level of Design: Being Unique

In a world filled with CSS galleries and showcase websites, everything starts to look the same.

Gradients, rounded corners, drop shadows, it’s extremely hard to get away from the strongest of trends in our industry.

Each year however, some people manage to set themselves totally apart from everyone else and produce stunning designs with inspiration seemingly flowing directly out of their fingers and into their work.

In this post, we’ll take a look at a few of those people and some of the things which they do to be unique from everyone else.
What Constitutes Being Unique?

It’s all well and good suggesting that you should be unique and different from the competition, but what does that really mean? There are so many websites and great designers out there, what individual elements constitute being unique?

Well, in simple terms being unique just means doing something differently. You don’t have to create a design with the navigation in the footer and the copyright information up where the logo would normally be just for the sake of standing out. It’s about not just following what everyone else is doing and coming up with your very own way of displaying the information and the message which you are trying to get across to the user.

How many sites have you seen with a full width header (with a gradient), followed by a full width navigation bar, then a content section and a sidebar, then a full width footer? Hundreds? Thousands? If your focus is going to be being unique, then this is probably a design recipe which you should steer clear of. It’s too easy to create yet another site like that. Don’t get me wrong, they are popular because they are effective and easy to create… but they don’t stand out.

Being unique is largely about doing small things differently to everyone else rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. Of course you also have to accept that the time period for which it remains unique will be limited. If you do a great job, then unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) it’s going to be copied by many, many people. That being said, innovation is almost always remembered.


thumbIn a world filled with CSS galleries and showcase websites, everything starts to look the same.

Gradients, rounded corners, drop shadows, it’s extremely hard to get away from the strongest of trends in our industry.

Each year however, some people manage to set themselves totally apart from everyone else and produce stunning designs with inspiration seemingly flowing directly out of their fingers and into their work.

In this post, we’ll take a look at a few of those people and some of the things which they do to be unique from everyone else.

What Constitutes Being Unique?

It’s all well and good suggesting that you should be unique and different from the competition, but what does that really mean? There are so many websites and great designers out there, what individual elements constitute being unique?

Well, in simple terms being unique just means doing something differently. You don’t have to create a design with the navigation in the footer and the copyright information up where the logo would normally be just for the sake of standing out. It’s about not just following what everyone else is doing and coming up with your very own way of displaying the information and the message which you are trying to get across to the user.

How many sites have you seen with a full width header (with a gradient), followed by a full width navigation bar, then a content section and a sidebar, then a full width footer? Hundreds? Thousands? If your focus is going to be being unique, then this is probably a design recipe which you should steer clear of. It’s too easy to create yet another site like that. Don’t get me wrong, they are popular because they are effective and easy to create… but they don’t stand out.

Being unique is largely about doing small things differently to everyone else rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. Of course you also have to accept that the time period for which it remains unique will be limited. If you do a great job, then unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) it’s going to be copied by many, many people. That being said, innovation is almost always remembered.

Leer más “The Next Level of Design: Being Unique”

Breaking the Rules: How to Effectively Break the “Rules” of Good Web Design

By Cameron Chapman

We’ve all seen articles devoted to the various web desing “rules” out there. In fact, they’ve probably been drilled into all of our heads ad nauseum. And for many, they serve as a comforting set of guidelines that make our lives easier, at least when it comes to design.

But what about those occasions when you have an idea that doesn’t quite fit in the rules? Or what if you’re just sick and tired of doing everything by the book and you want to challenge yourself creatively? Are the rules really set in stone?

The answer to that is of course not. For one thing, a lot of the rules are outdated. So while they might have been true at one time, they’re not anymore. The other thing is that there are almost always circumstances that demand that the rules be bent or broken entirely. And as designers, we need to learn to recognize those times.

Below are a bunch of commonly-accepted web design rules, along with the reasons you might want to break them, and how to do so effectively. We’ve also included examples for each and the one unbreakable rule.
Your Web Page Layout and Design Should be Consistent Throughout the Site

Consistency can help make your visitors feel at home on your site right away. This makes them more likely to look around and spend more time there. Comfort is a good thing. Most of the time.

But there are two problems with this rule. First, some designers interpret it to mean that every page should be virtually identical. They use the same basic template for every page on your site, regardless of the content present. This almost always results in a site that’s boring and no fun to look at.

The other problem is that different content often calls for different design treatment. Removing most of the consistency on your site can make for a much more interesting user experience. Note that I said “most” of the consistency, though. You’ll want to choose one or two anchor points to keep your visitor from feeling like they’re visiting a different site entirely every time they go to a different page. Consider keeping either a design element like your header or color scheme or something as simple as your logo the same on every page on your site.
Case in Point: Jason Santa Maria

Jason Santa Maria’s website uses a different page design for a large number of his articles. It’s refreshing and shows just how much thought he puts into the content he provides. At the same time, it’s worth clicking through to multiple posts just for the designs alone. Always a good thing if you’re looking for deep engagement from your visitors.

The unifying element that keeps you feeling like you’re on the same site is the top navigation.


By Cameron Chapman

We’ve all seen articles devoted to the various web desing “rules” out there. In fact, they’ve probably been drilled into all of our heads ad nauseum. And for many, they serve as a comforting set of guidelines that make our lives easier, at least when it comes to design.

But what about those occasions when you have an idea that doesn’t quite fit in the rules? Or what if you’re just sick and tired of doing everything by the book and you want to challenge yourself creatively? Are the rules really set in stone?

The answer to that is of course not. For one thing, a lot of the rules are outdated. So while they might have been true at one time, they’re not anymore. The other thing is that there are almost always circumstances that demand that the rules be bent or broken entirely. And as designers, we need to learn to recognize those times.

Below are a bunch of commonly-accepted web design rules, along with the reasons you might want to break them, and how to do so effectively. We’ve also included examples for each and the one unbreakable rule.

Your Web Page Layout and Design Should be Consistent Throughout the Site

Consistency can help make your visitors feel at home on your site right away. This makes them more likely to look around and spend more time there. Comfort is a good thing. Most of the time.

But there are two problems with this rule. First, some designers interpret it to mean that every page should be virtually identical. They use the same basic template for every page on your site, regardless of the content present. This almost always results in a site that’s boring and no fun to look at.

The other problem is that different content often calls for different design treatment. Removing most of the consistency on your site can make for a much more interesting user experience. Note that I said “most” of the consistency, though. You’ll want to choose one or two anchor points to keep your visitor from feeling like they’re visiting a different site entirely every time they go to a different page. Consider keeping either a design element like your header or color scheme or something as simple as your logo the same on every page on your site.

Case in Point: Jason Santa Maria

Jason Santa Maria’s website uses a different page design for a large number of his articles. It’s refreshing and shows just how much thought he puts into the content he provides. At the same time, it’s worth clicking through to multiple posts just for the designs alone. Always a good thing if you’re looking for deep engagement from your visitors.

The unifying element that keeps you feeling like you’re on the same site is the top navigation.

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