15 Brilliant Website Design Examples To Inspire You. 7 Steps To Awesomeness

brilliant website design

Creating a brilliant website design can be a daunting task sometimes. Not just because of all the steps involved in this process, but also because of all things you should take into consideration and the direction your website design should take on.  

And a good website, which accommodates effectively plenty of content with an excellent user experience is often a tricky balancing act to pull off.  Should you attempt to present the user the whole information in a clean, organized manner, or you should reveal it bit-by-bit, to create an engaging trip that tugs the visitor on the road to the enlightenment?

If you get it wrong, and you will overwhelm your visitors, they’ll leave your website without retaining anything from what they’ve just read.  And maybe they will not come back again, as long as their experience on your website was not exactly what they expected.

But if you get it right, you’ll gain a new audience, who not only understand your message, but they will come back again and again, and even bring few friends with them.

If there is one thing true about the website design, it’s that it is always evolving. The design is dynamic, and it must adjust to accommodate the form and the function. And because of its ever-changing nature, it can be a challenge not only to keep up with the newest design trends but also to follow few principles that should live in every website design.

  1. Color – the site’s color should always match your brand’s color scheme and have consistency through the site. Colors evoke emotions for your website visitors and sustain your brand messages. Therefore you should take it into consideration when choosing the colors for your website.  Also, you keep in mind that the colors on your website should be easy to read and pleasant to the eyes.
  2. White Space – by using the white space for your website design, you will allow the content and the visitors’ eyes room to breathe   
  3. Font – the site’s font doesn’t necessary match your logo but it should fit in your brand. Aside from this, making sure that the font is legible, is one of the most important things. You can vary and mix different fonts through the site, to increase the visual intrigue and add visual appeal, but make sure they complement each other well. Also, keeping the body font consistent across the whole site is essential.
  4. Simplicity – the simpler, the better. Keeping your website design simple allows that “clean” look your visitors are looking for.
  5. Consistency – keep the design consistent. The website colors, fonts, button styles, heading and subheading sizes and styles, image styles and sizes and backgrounds are among the pieces to keep your site consistent.
  6. Usability – make the functionality the key of your website. An appealing visual website shouldn’t sacrifice the ease of usage for a better visual. Creating user-friendly websites with easy to understand navigation and page layout is what determines how your visitors will interact with your website.
  7. Visual hierarchy – the relative importance of different content areas and elements can be visually implied in many ways, ranging from the typography (headlines, sub-headings, body text, quotes, etc.) to image size, style, and saturation, placement, etc.   

We gathered 15 website designs for your inspiration. Some of them are new, some of them you’ve seen before. In all of them, you’ll see some of the best practices mentioned before. These sites are, in my humble opinion, well-designed for their clearness, usability, aesthetics and user experience and for sure, they will give you inspiration for the next project you’ll be working on.

 

  • Bienville Capital Management

bienvillecapital website

http://www.bienvillecapital.com

This is a very simple responsive design that transitions to mobile perfectly. They kept the information concise and focused, taking into consideration that you don’t need walls of text for attracting and engaging your visitors. Give them the most important information first. In the same time, the navigation menu is very friendly, letting you drive easily through the website.

 

  • Brooklyn Soap Company

bklynsoap website

http://bklynsoap.com/

One of my favorites in the list. The website design is clean and bold, using the white space very well and allowing the visitor’s eyes to rest. The company makes quality products and they don’t need to astonish with a lot of sparkly or complicated graphics and animation to get your interest. Both the website and soaps have an undeniable classy feel, underlined by the black and white color scheme.   

 

  • Emblem

    emblem website

http://emblemip.com/

This website is entirely funky and funny. The visitor’s curiosity is caused by bright, vivid and sparkly colors, lots of eye-catching imagery, icons, and fonts you wouldn’t usually find in a law company’s website. In the same time, they offer a great user experience, especially with the services section. And guess what? It’s responsive!  

 

  • Auger

auger website

http://www.auger.co.uk/

I like this mostly flat website, which is responsive and looks good on any device. The solid bold and contrasting colors, combined with vector images and the photos from this website seamlessly melt between devices.  

 

  • Falve

 

http://www.falve.co.nz/

This site is a carousel of color-rich full pages images, combined with a lot of white space and clean serif font. The general design is clean, bold and simple, and the overall feeling modern and undoubtedly classy. A site where you are welcomed from the homepage and which implores you to stay.

 

  • Brave People

brave people website

http://www.falve.co.nz/

Check out this website, and you will be rewarded with a brave experience! Simple, clean and bold design, color-rich photography are complemented nicely by the simplicity of the typography. The last, but not the least, the videos from this site tell you the story of this fast-growing digital creative agency in a way you can’t resist!   

 

  • GC Watches

    gcwatch website

http://gcwatches.com/

Take a look on this website, and you’ll convince yourself (if it was still necessary) that timeless designs always stand out! Clear copy next to bold and vivid images, in a white and black color scheme, pass the test of the time and become more valuable over the time. Besides, the website is responsive, and its usability gives a great user experience to the visitors.  

 

 

http://feedmusic.com/

Feed presents us an interesting concept, with a stunning execution that challenges our understanding of what could be possible on the internet. Using the contrast in the best way possible and blending creatively animation and video, the site provides the users a very engaging experience. A totally atypical site, which contains several unique usability elements, including a navigation that doubles as a scroll progress bar.   

 

  • ETQ

 

etq website

http://etq-amsterdam.com/

ETQ takes a minimalistic approach to e-commerce with their clear and bold website, with big and compelling visuals for their products. Simple, flat, mixing the powerful and endless elegance of the white and black visuals with a color-based background, the imagery is accompanied by strong and simple typography that helps users to focus on what they want to see: shoes.     

 

  • World of Swiss

world of swiss website

http://world-of-swiss.com/

Swiss Airlines built a thrilling website that tells their story and describes how it’s like to fly with them in a powerful and engaging way, by captivating their visitors from the first glance. The strong visuals and animation introduce the users to the different sections of the site, which are packed in an unusual sales and marketing pitch.      

 

  • IWC Schaffhausen

iwc schaffhausen website

http://iwc.com/

A timeless classic elegance, perfect for this premium brand. That’s what IWC Schaffhausen’s website offers to their visitors through a refreshingly clean and unexpected design for a watch manufacturer. A simple, clear and bold design, determined by the strong contrast between the neutral colors of the background and the rich-colors photography.

 

  • Jack Daniels

    jack daniels website

http://jackdaniels.com/

Once you pass the age verification, the Jack Daniels’ website offers you an incredible experience and tells a great story! A stunning design, rich in colors and contrasts. Once you open the “Our History” page, you are transposed in a world full of history and passion. And you experience the same feelings while you are greeted with a carousel featuring different varieties of whiskey.

 

  • Juliana Bicycles

juliana bicycles websites

http://www.julianabicycles.com/

If you prefer a photography-infused web design, you should take your inspiration from this site! It is a good inspiration for people who are both goods in photography and web design, as the photos are exquisite and manifest the magnificence in the simplest way possible. Also, like many other websites, this is a responsive one, which makes it good also for tablets and smart phones.     

 

  • JOHO’s Bean

joho's bean website design

http://johos.at/

This website tells the story of a coffee bean’s journey in a compelling, emotional and engaging way. Storytelling, incredible imagery, animation, interactivity, visual design and sound engineering (which you find out from the very first moment you came up on the home page). These all come together and offer the users a unique experience.  

 

  • Ogilvy One Worldwide

OgilvyOneWorldwide website

http://adayinbigdata.com/

The simplicity of this website is amazing, the main focus being on the content and how it could be delivered in the simplest yet prettiest way. The flat design and the minimalistic approach present the content in a readable and logical way, while the very easy navigation makes it better.  All these ensure that the content is properly delivered and understood by the user. The site is also responsive, and this makes it even more beautiful and friendly.     

Bonus: Here are 8 names every graphic designer should know.

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Color Theory for Web Designers – How to Choose the Right Color Scheme for Your Website

You have decided to create a website. One of the first questions that you will face sounds like “What colors should I choose to make it professional and at the same time visually appealing?” This is not surprising because color is the first things that attract your visitors’ attention, that’s why a color scheme is considered to be the foremost thing every designer should know.

Color affects not only the appearance of a website, but also its effectiveness. It means that an average time spent on site, a number of returned visitors, and even conversion depend on the choice of the color scheme. Moreover, taking into account visualization of modern technologies, color plays one of the main roles on the Internet. And you shouldn’t forget this rule when you start your own website.

However, some of us can hardly pick up a t-shirt that matches the color of the jeans, so it’s not always entirely clear how to choose the right color scheme for your website. But don’t give up, because the theory of color comes to the rescue. Having studied its basics, you will be able to create beautiful and effective color combinations. All experienced web designers rely on the theory, which means that you can do that too! Let’s talk about its main principles, and you will see that everything is much easier than it seems.

Your Working Tool

A color wheel is a basic element of the color theory. We think you all saw him, but if not, here you are:

 

Color circle is your main working tool, clearly demonstrating how colors are created and combined. They are divided into three basic ones – red, blue and yellow, that can be used to create additional colors like green, orange, and purple.
However, circle does not always consist of six sectors, they can include twelve or more variations. In this case, six colors are added as a result of primary and secondary colors mixing. Those are yellow-green, green-blue, blue-violet, violet-red, red-orange and orange-yellow. There are circles that contain 24 sectors with even more additional hues.

Warm and Cool Colors

All color wheels can be divided into two halves. One of them includes warm colors like yellow, orange and red (most shades of brown also belong to the warm color palette). Cool colors are: blue, green, purple and all shades of gray. And here goes the question “Which colors are better – warm or cool?” The answer is obvious – there is no “better” color. Your choice should depend on the effect you are going to achieve and on associations with a particular feeling or idea. Warm colors are considered to be cheerful, friendly and stimulating; cold colors are in most cases calming and relaxing.

As a result, the choice of color depends on your corporate style, needs, and an atmosphere you want to create. If you like experimenting, and you probably do :), you can mix warm and cool colors, the main thing here is to know how to do that right, and in the next part, we will show that to you.

Color Mixing Basics

There are several working color schemes based on the position of colors in the circle. Let’s start with the simplest one, and then move on to more complicated schemes:

Complementary color scheme

According to this scheme, you can combine two contrasting colors located opposite to each other. For example, you can use red and green, or yellow and purple. For a more elegant combination, it is recommended to add neutral additional shades – beige, light brown, light gray, black or white. Those can be the background colors, for instance.

Analogous color scheme

According to this scheme, three colors located next to each other are used. Examples: orange, yellow-orange and yellow, or purple, blue-violet and blue. All these colors will be well combined with each other because of their close neighborhood in the color circle.

Color triad

Speaking about this scheme it will be necessary to remind you some basic geometric rules. Do not be afraid, there is nothing complicated: you take any three colors equidistant from each other. If you connect them using lines, you will get an equilateral triangle. Possible combinations are: yellow-green, orange-red and violet-blue; yellow-orange, red-violet and blue-green. This is a very rich, contrasting scheme, so you will need to find a balance and choose one color as the main one, and make the other two additional.

Split-complementary color scheme

In this scheme, you select a color as the main one and combine it with the other two, that are standing close to its complementary color on the color wheel. If you connect the selected colors with lines, you will get an isosceles triangle. Possible options are: red, yellow-green and blue-green, or purple, yellow-orange and yellow-green. This is a rather contrasting scheme, that has less tension than a complementary one.

Rectangle color scheme

Here you need to choose two pairs of complementary colors. If you connect them with lines, you will get a rectangle. Example: yellow-orange, yellow green, blue-violet and red-violet. This scheme is a perfect option for unusual combinations and creative websites. Though, if you are afraid of creating a color chaos on your website you can choose one color as the basic, and use the other three to make accents.

Monochromatic color scheme

It is clear from the name that this scheme combines shades of the same color. You can both mix dark and light shades, and choose either dark or light variations.

From Theory to Practice

Congrats! Now you know the main color schemes and understand their pros and cons. Let’s see how to use this knowledge in practice. Here are some premium WordPress themes with different color schemes created by TemplateMonster. I think they can be good examples and a source of inspiration. If you have carefully read through the theory and are ready to show your knowledge – guess which color schemes were used in each of the websites and comment below.

Houston Business WordPress Template

Details |  Demo

Bright Print Shop WordPress Design

Details |  Demo

Fast Cleaning Service WordPress Theme

Details |  Demo

Bellaina – Realtor Services WordPress Template

Details |  Demo

Sweet Cakes and Bakery WordPress Theme

Details |  Demo

Wine Store WooCommerce Theme

Details |  Demo

Fashionable Apparel WooCommerce Website

Details |  Demo

Sketchfield – Web Design WordPress Site

Details |  Demo

SEO Agency WordPress Theme

Details |  Demo

Elegant Photography WP Design

Details |  Demo

WordPress Theme for Professional Designer

Details |  Demo

Reliable Financial Company WordPress Theme

Details |  Demo

Bright and Fashionable WordPress Template

Details |  Demo

Vegetarian Restaurant WordPress Theme

Details |  Demo

Best Event Planner WordPress Design

Details | Demo

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Top 14 Companies To Work For In 2017 As a Graphic Designer

A completely satisfactory career that ensures both personal growth and financial fulfillment is the aim of most of working people, although, unfortunately, only few can attain this seemingly impossible goal.

According to management and motivation specialists, job satisfaction is triggered by a series of factors, like: achievement, recognition (rewards), responsibility, advancement, low stress, work-life balance, and company culture (the way employees find common values and ideas among their peers and supervisors).

According to Fortune, World Economic Forum or Forbes, there is a small list of companies that offer employees all of the above. These are the top 15 companies most graphic designers would love to work for in 2017 and here’s also why:

Facebook

The tech giant offers its workers openness to diversity, different perks, and a great lifestyle.  Facebookers are happy (studies showed an employee satisfaction rating of 93%), they feel free (because they are often encouraged to question and criticize their managers) and they make even more money than Google employees (an experienced employee at Facebook makes $135,000 compared to $133,000 at Google). Great place to work at, I guess.

Google

Certainly one of the best places to work at in the world, Google is trying to motivate its employees by constantly innovating, experimenting, and making things fun. They also offer fully paid 18 weeks maternity leave, on-site childcare, free meals, laundry and fitness facilities. This is as good as it gets, in my opinion.

LinkedIn

One of the main reasons the company is very attractive for employees is the fact that they invest in their professional development. Also, managers always make sure everybody is in the right role and that people are happy with their work. Most importantly, the company offers fantastic benefits. I’ll send them my resume, for sure.

Adobe

One of the greatest company of the moment, Adobe offers great benefits to its employees, and the overall atmosphere at work is great. People are open, professional and aware that there is so much room for personal advancement as long as they’re serious and dedicated. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Salesforce

According to employees, this is a place where you can meet smart, motivated, talented people. The company also makes sure its employees are enjoying working there. Salesforce believes in quality and not quantity, so they don’t encourage workers to do extra hours, but rather to focus and do a better job in less time.

NVIDIA

According to NVIDIA workers, this is an exciting, fun place to work, where people are intelligent, driven, and passionate about what they do. NVIDIA looks for the best talents, and provides them with the opportunity to reach their full potential. There’s no better place to work at if you are a game addict☺

Deloitte

The main reasons why people love working for Deloitte are the sabbaticals and the most generous maternity leave the company offers to its employees. The attractive salary, the benefits, the company culture&values (meritocracy, professionalism, diversity, international growth) etc. are also important reasons you would want to be hired by the tax, audit and advisory giant.

Ikea

One of the world’s top furniture retailers, the Scandinavian-style home furnishings company sells housewares in about 330 stores in some 40 countries. Employees are delighted with the company culture: it’s a great place to grow and nurture your profession and person. According to recent studies, almost 80% of workers feel inspired at work.   

Microsoft

Apart from the great salary and benefits (the average pay in 2016 was $138,000), diversity in work and influence, at Microsoft you get to work with wonderful people. The stress level was reduced when the company culture shifted from individual competitor to successful teamwork.

Airbnb

Working at Airbnb could be summed up in a few words: great development opportunities and a great company culture encouraging teamwork, brainstorming and open-mindedness. Who could turn down such a job offer?

Adidas Group

Just like all the other big companies, the group offers great career opportunities, learning opportunities, a collaborative culture, smart teams and a lot of great benefits. Enough for me, I may say.

Shopify

Extremely caring towards their employees as well as their customers, Shopify offers numerous benefits to its employees. Starting wages are a lot higher here than they used to be and they get higher every year. In case you are driven, always looking to learn new things and a hard worker, this is just the type of person Shopify is looking for.

Fast Enterprises

Fast Enterprises is a big family and this relaxed, cozy atmosphere makes working together as a team satisfying and successful. Employees only have great words about the management and the working conditions: people are ethical and they trust each other, the company listens to employee’s concerns and co-workers celebrate success together.

Twitter

About 3,600 workers are employed by the social media giant, the majority of which are based out of its Bay Area headquarters. Like many other tech players, Twitter offers employees scores of benefits, from unlimited vacation days to free healthy food.

If you think the working conditions offered by these giants are attractive, you could just send them your resume. Who knows, maybe one day you will be spoiled with all the benefits mentioned above. I have already sent some applications.

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My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #17

My name is Mason Ellwood, and I’m currently working on Flatiron School’s Online Full Stack Web Development Program. Each week, I’ll be writing about my experience, what I’m learning, and tips on learning to code.

In this post I am going to be skipping through a lot of material that was covered within The Flatiron School, this mainly entailing Object Oriented Ruby. At this point, or if you are following along with me learning Ruby you should have a basic understanding of what OO Ruby is and what it entails. If not be at the point that it will be easy to pick up where I left off on your own. Doing this will allow me to write about the current material I am working through and allow you to quickly catch up to where I am in the school, giving you a better understanding of what the school offers in terms of material covered as a whole.

So here we go!

What the heck is SQL:

SQL is a structured data language that is used for managing data in a database. Its sole purpose is for talking with the database. You may also people talking about SQL in terms of a special purpose or domain specific programming language.

SQL has taken a few forms as MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQLite which for this course we will be using. And as a web developer, you will be working closely with databases to manage data that is associated with your application. But how do we create a database and access information?

First you have to make sure that SQLite is installed. Because I am using a Mac, this makes this process much easier, and a majority of the time unnecessary because it comes preinstalled on your machine. In your terminal create a new folder that will hold you database file. Then in your terminal navigate to that folder and type sqlite3. This should return something along the line of what is shown below.

This below tells you that there is a version of SQLite downloaded on your machine. If you receive an alternative message or error, please visit homebrew and download their gem package, this will install SQLite on your machine and create the appropriate result. To create a database now that you know that SQLite is live, run (SQLite test_sqlite.db). Within the (sqlite>) prompt not accessible to you, type (create table test_table(id);) and then (.quit). Then open up the folder that you creates your database by using (open .).

This will then create a database for you that you will now be able to operate on. Keep in mind that all SQL statements that you write in your terminal, inside of SQLite prompt must be terminated with a semicolon, though this excludes .quit.

SQL Database Basics:

A relational database like SQLite stores data in a structure we refer to as a table. A table in a database if a lot like a spreadsheet. When defining columns in out table, then we can store related data in those columns. This stored data is referred to as records, which are placed in rows within columns in our database.

Keep in mind though with everything there is the convention of typing. Column names follow simple rules, such as always use lower case and when column names are multiple words, use snake case.

So let’s start from the beginning. Let’s create a database and define its schema.

Once the database has been initiated, you then need to define your table. Running something like CREATE TABLE cats; will result in error. This is because SQLite expects definitions of the structure being created. When we create database tables, we need to specify some column names, along with the type of data we are planning to store in each column.

Capitalization is arbitrary but rather convention for visually separating SQL commands from names. This will save you time later, cutting time down through debugging.

End Notes:

Awesome! So now you know how to create and add columns to your table, within your newly created database. SQL so far has been surprisingly fun, and learning to query a database is a great skill to be acquainted with. In the next post, I will get into how to operate, add and subtract from your database.

Please leave comments or questions below, and I will answer them as well as I can.

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The 9 Web Design Trends You Need to Be Aware of In 2017

The Web is a rapidly growing space. Year over year, we see new technologies and development techniques, which allow much more freedom and creativity in terms of designing interfaces and interactions. In this space that has become more competitive than ever, the designers continue to keep up with the technology and expand the design trends, in their persistence to provide remarkable and modern websites.

In the same time, the communication between companies and their customers has also evolved, redefining the way the people interact with another as well as with brands. As a result, every ambitious business owner strives to provide a great user experience to his website visitors. Therefore, we need to look into the future and know the latest design trends that allow us to be one step ahead of the competition.  

Speaking about trends, we should keep in our minds that all they are influenced by different industries, such as art, fashion, media, technologies and cultures. Moreover, this is a never-ending process, as long as they don’t emerge sudden and disappear to nowhere, but it takes some time to peak, change their forms, eventually become overused and replaced by other trends.      

Below is a list of web design trends you should be aware and keep in mind for 2017. Some of them are new; others have gained their popularity or became popular during the last years.

1. Colors

 

Choosing color is extremely important for website design, because they influence positively or negatively the visitor’s emotions, feelings, thoughts and perceptions and ultimately influence the conversion rate.    

Pantone 2017 color of the year is Greenery. A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic for new beginnings and it is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality. According to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose”.

Well, I don’t expect (and I wouldn’t want) to see all the new launched websites in 2017 to be green.☺ But I’m sure it will inspire many people who will design or redesign their websites.    

If you are looking for some inspiration color combinations, you can visit the Color of 2017 Pantone page, to see their pairing colors recommendations.

Due to the popularity of Google’s Material Design, the colors and color combinations recommended in those design guidelines are likely to become more popular in 2017. The colors are bright and bold and they will be always a trend, because the vibrant colors are a design element that stands the test of time.

On the other hand, duotone was the hottest design trend in 2016 and I would expect to see it becoming more popular this year.  

Sites such as Spotify, Adison Partners, Doers or The Art of Travel have made great use of duotone within their websites design.   

Adisson Partners

Spotify

Doers

The Art of Travel

 

 

2. Bold, creative typography

 

Because in the online world our focus should be on content, more and more website designers use creative typography just as big and bold as the statement itself.

Nurture Digital

As you see in the screenshots listed above, in terms of “big” and “bold”, it’s not about the size and weight of the font, but rather about dedicating significant space to a simple, yet all-encompassing statement about the product or service.   

LittleLines

This trend is not new, but 2017 is likely to continue to push of boundaries of what designers will do with the type and we’ll expect so see not just more space on the screen, but also more creative typeface as we were used to see on the web.

3. Authentic photography

 

In the last years, we’ve all heard about delivering trust. But this is not just about the copy we publish on the website, but also about imagery we use. The time of general stock photos is gone. If we talk about products, we want to see them in action. We want to see them in a natural light, integrated in the environment they are supposed to be used. And as much details as we can. We want to imagine ourselves using the products. If we are talking about services, we want to see the real people who use them. Therefore, more and more companies, from the largest to the smallest brands, are opting for authenticity when it comes to photos used for their websites. If the content is the king, the photos are its queen.

4. Retro modern style

 

Whether it is pixel art, vintage typography or 80s or 90s inspired imagery, retro look with a modern twist has been a trend for few years and has become more and more popular in a variety of web design contexts.  Regardless if it’s about online shops, portfolios, corporate website or blogs, when apply “old-style” elements to their work, the designers produce creative and appealing designs that make their websites stand out and look really different.

For example, Black Market has opted for a vintage look combined with modern modular layout, getting that rustic appeal, which works very well with what the company offers.      

Black Market

Sweet Magnolia Gelato has gone for a retro look, but also has used some eye-catching animations. This combination gives the site a sleek modern feel, while it is still keeping an older style charm and is helping the business owners telling their story.   

Sweet Magnolia Gelato

5. Modular design

 

Modular design isn’t new, but it has gained popularity in the last few years, because It provides a better organization and structure appearance of the web page and it looks nice and clean on any screen size. Even if modular design has attracted the designers’ interest since 2011, and could be considered pretty “old”, I would expect it to continue in 2017, especially for heavy content based websites.    

Build in Amsterdam have created a very nice modular design website, which has helped them to define clearly each content element.

Build in Amsterdam

6. Mobile-first design

 

There no news that the use of mobile platforms and handheld services has increased so dramatically in the last few years, that mobile-first is no longer a feature. It’s vital. Additionally, Google favors mobile-friendly websites and rank them much higher in the search results. Therefore, not just major brands, but also the small companies, have already adopted this, in order to offer a better user experience and avoid losing potential customers. It’s true that just designing a responsive website, the people will not engage and  it will not lead to a higher conversion rate. But not having a mobile ready website leaves you missing all the action. In addition, be ready to follow age-responsive design, which allows adapting to a specific age competency of the user.

7. Explainer videos

 

Product explainer videos and video background have increased in popularity in the last few years and continue to grow, as long as they are an alternative to reading a lot of content the user may not read. More and more videos appear to make the website content much valuable, add some dynamic to the website static imagery and catch the eye of your visitors in a more efficient way. In fact, a recent report from Google predicts that 74% of all web traffic in 2017 will come from video. So, the websites will feature more full-screen glossy videos, as long as three-quarters of all web traffic will be generated through video content.

8. Advanced animation and GIFs

 

Rich, clever and advanced video animation is another great way to make your website to stand out from your competition. It seems to be a never-ending trend in the web design game, because of what you can accomplish through their simplicity. If it’s used properly, the animations grab the visitors’ attention, enhance the users interaction and turn the web page into a great and outstanding one. Therefore, I’m expecting to see more animation and GIFs in 2017, and not just from the major brands. 

9. Virtual reality

 

VR finally went mainstream in 2016, as numerous gaming headsets have been released and 360 video has increased in search interest. It’s really interesting to see how virtual reality’s popularity grows, as the medium and matter are closer to what we know. The UI challenges with VR are both more complex and easier to understand than conversational interfaces, so I expect the designers are going to think of interesting ways to incorporate 360 video into websites during 2017. If you aren’t already aware, Google’s VR View is a JavaScript API that easily allows you to add 360 video experiences to your own website.

You can view this interactive, 360 web VR experience, which was created for the new Blair Witch movie on mobile, using a VR headset for your mobile.

Blair Witch

Bottom line:

As a successful business owner or a website designer, you need to keep up with all the latest web design trends if you want to succeed in this virtual market. But you don’t need to use all of them. In fact, before using any of these trendy elements, you should put into your target audience’s shoes and then start working with trends. Because all these hot web design elements have only the mission to add some engagement and real value to your business presence online and make it stand out from competitors.   

Read More at The 9 Web Design Trends You Need to Be Aware of In 2017

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Teaching Code in the Classroom – my TV interview!

I finally got around to getting this video of me on television, talking about the importance of students learning to code. It comes down to two big reasons:

  1. Accessing the huge number of high paying jobs in programming and coding.
  2. Brain training: learning to code is like pushups for the mind!

Watch my interview to learn more:

If you want to learn more about learning or teaching code, check out StudioWeb.com

Thanks!

Stefan Mischook
StudioWeb.com

The post Teaching Code in the Classroom – my TV interview! appeared first on How to Build Websites.

20 Free Beautiful Shopping Bag Mockups to Download

A Shopping bag can be a great advertising placement for the store where the products were bought from. It’s a perfect place to put your advertising, logo, motto or other elements to draw people’s attention. If you’re working on branding for some company, shopping bag could be a hassle-free way to show your design on a real thing.

Here we have put together free shopping bag mockups which can be easily downloaded and edited as you like. You’ll see paper bag mockups on a nice background as well as shopping bags in a person’s hand.

Paper Shopping Bag Mockup

pink-background-shopping-bag

Woman carrying Shopping Bag Mockup

street-shopping-bag

Paper Shopping Bag Mockup

white-grey-shopping-bag

Bag and t-shirt mockup Free Psd

mockup-bag-and-t-shirt

Shopping Bag Mockup

hand-shopping-bag-mockup

Take away coffee cup and bag mock up design Free Psd

coffee-shopping-bag-mockup

Shopping Bags Mockups

different-shopping-bag-mockups

Woman with black Shopping Bag Mockup

woman-with-black-shopping-bag-mockup

Clean Paper Shopping Bag Mockup

clean-paper-shopping-bag

Freebie Shopping Bag Mockup

one-more-shopping-bag-mockup

Free Tote Bag Mockups Vol. 1

white-shopping-bag-mockup

Free Shopping Bag Mockup

just-another-shopping-bag-mockup

Free Shopping Bag Mockup PSD

boy-hand-shopping-bag-mockup

Shopping Bag Mockup (Smart Object / Psd)

free-shopping-bag-mockup-orange

Brown Paper Bag Mockup

brown-paper-bag-mockup-two

Shopping bags mockup Free Vector

freepik-shopping-bag-grey

Luxury Box & Bag Mockups

pink-background-bag-mockup

Paper Bag Mockup

paper-bag-mockup-green

Free Premium Shopping Bag Mock-up PSD File

red-paper-bag-mockup

Brown Paper Bag MockUp

brown-bag

 

Bonus: Here are more awesome mockups. 20 free magazine mockups to use in your future design

Read More at 20 Free Beautiful Shopping Bag Mockups to Download

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My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #16

My name is Mason Ellwood, and I’m currently working on Flatiron School’s Online Full Stack Web Development Program. Each week, I’ll be writing about my experience, what I’m learning, and tips on learning to code.

With this article we are going to take a few steps backward. Even though we are going to still be speaking within Object Oriented Ruby, we need to talk about a useful tool that makes the movement of information incredibly easy. With the use of Regex, you as the developer, can easily pull and place data from large libraries into the program or application you are building. We use a regular expression to encode patterns for matching, searching, and substitution.

RegEx came out in the 1950’s in various forms. Ken Thompson, who created the the first version of Regex in the editor QED as a means to match patterns to text files. Since then there have been multiple various implementations of regular expressions developed. But for this example and more importantly for this course we will be using Ruby regular expression.

Regular expression is a powerful way to search through strings and blocks to find and extract for specific patterns. They can be used for data validation, searching, mass file renaming, and finding records in a database.

One great place to test Ruby Regex is Rubular (http://rubular.com/). This site allows you to test RegEx against text that you define.

In Ruby, regular expressions are generally written between forward slashes.

  • /Your RegEx/

For example, when writing /mason/ this will find all the instances of the mason string. With the use of metacharacters, this allows you to use pre-defined shorthand to match specific characters.

  • d – will match any digit in your text
  • w – will match any word character (letters, numbers, characters)
  • W – to match non-word characters in your text

There are much more metacharacters than these listed, but I will leave that up to you to explore.

With these metacharacters and the use of RegEx, you can then integrate them into Ruby methods.

Using defined Ruby methods before your implementation of RegEx will export different effects. For example:

  • .scan – returns an array of all the items in your string that match a given Regular Expression.
  • .match – returns the first item in your string that matches a given Regular Expression as a match data object.
  • .grep – Grep is an enumerable method for pattern searching in arrays and hashes.

Using these defined Ruby methods in congruence with RegEx will allow you to quickly sift through large or small groups of text to pull only pertinent information. Learning and understanding RegEx allowed me to see and better understand the movement of information from location to location.

Read More at My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #16

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Best 2017 Apps to Boost Your Productivity

Like most professional web designers, you’re looking for ways to work faster and better. Learning how improve your designs takes study, experience, and using the best tools. The same is true for boosting your productivity.

Apps have been created to address a vast number of needs and uses. Most of these apps will help you to perform a certain activity more easily or better. What it boils down to, is greater productivity.

One of the productivity apps described below helps you speed up your design work by building a special tool.

The project management apps on the other hand, take care of mundane or repetitive tasks for you. Tasks that are important, but can take valuable time away from your design activities.

Other apps encourage team collaboration or help small businesses manage their affairs or grow sales.

These apps along with several useful tips and techniques will increase your productivity even more.

 

Active Collab

Active Collab is a project management software that will appeal to web designers and design teams. It’s easy to use and understand and doesn’t need to be hand-fed with data to keep project status up-to-date. It allows team leaders to spend less time managing projects and more time delivering results to clients.

Active Collab is loved for its flexible project overview. There are multiple options for displaying team workload and assignments – you can lay your projects out on a Gantt-like timeline, and then organize your tasks like cards on a Kanban board. Active Collab also lets everyone see what is being worked on and track project progress. Even your clients can be added to projects ( with the appropriate permissions).

Active Collab is a valuable asset to more than 200.000 of its users, many of which are design teams and creative agencies. With Active Collab, you have a complete control over your work: you can easily keep track of time spent on tasks, generate custom reports, and invoice your work in just a couple of seconds.

Try it free for 30 days!

 

Wake

If sharing your work becomes a source of anxiety and disruption, Wake has the answer. This design collaboration platform allows you to easily share screenshots, sketches, or other important work without having to leave Sketch, Photoshop, or Illustrator.

You can also instantly share notebook content or whiteboard drawings with your colleagues using Wake’s iOS app. Just snap a picture and send it off. The iOS app also allows you to keep informed of feedback and communicate with others while on the go.

The ability to share your work and thoughts without having to worry about workflow interruptions makes the entire design process more transparent; which allows your team to work more closely.

Sign up for a 30-day free trial, and find out how you can simplify sharing and create better design work as a team.

 

Proto.io

 

 

 

An interactive and working prototype is crucial when designing apps and websites. That is the type of prototyping Proto.io does best.

Proto.io’s professionally-crafted iOS and Android components will give your productivity a boost by speeding up your design process. Or, you can import design files from Sketch or Photoshop. Either way, it takes little time to create a prototype that is hard to distinguish from the real thing. Proto.io allows you to test your prototypes on real devices, get user feedback, and share your ideas with collaborators.

This web app also gives you the tools needed to record how users experience and respond to your prototype. And thanks to its integration with Dropbox, collaboration with your team and clients is faster than ever. Proto.io has also added an excellent interactive Material Design library to its many features.

 

MeisterTask

Two things that MeisterTask’s users like best are the way its flexible project boards can be adjusted to fit their workflows, and its customizable dashboard. These two features give you a project management tool that is easy to set up, and allows you to see at a glance what is happening, and/or what has happened during your absence.

The dashboard is also a great help for focusing on the upcoming day’s activities.

 

Salesmate

This productivity app is a great tool for small businesses looking to streamline and improve their sales activities. Salesmate is all-in-one process automation, business acceleration, and sales management software solution, that assists a business’s sales team in many ways.

It provides a real-time view of the business’s sales funnel, including tracking sales progress and performance, tracking deals, and evaluating team performance.

 

Minterapp

Minterapp is an online productivity app that provides time tracking and invoicing functionality for small businesses. Time tracked can automatically be converted to custom invoices for online delivery to clients. Minterapp can also be used to create detailed estimates for clients. This productivity solution easily ties into Mailchimp, PayPal, and basecamp, and can also be used as a Chrome extension. It can be set up to accommodate an unlimited number of uses.

 

Productivity Tips and Tricks

Plan Your Day

If you work without a plan, you can’t always expect to receive high marks for efficiency or productivity. And, if you work without a plan, the busier you get, the more difficult it becomes to avoid being snowed under. When this happens, you’ll suddenly find yourself grasping for solutions without taking the time to understand the problems.

The message is simple: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

The best time to plan a day’s activities is at the end of the preceding day. If, the next morning, your plan still makes sense – stick to it.

Take Time to Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

The operative word here is “shortcuts”. The time you set aside to learn these shortcuts will be time well spent. Some keyboard shortcuts take the place of a series of “find and click” maneuvers and tend to be relatively error-free operations. Adding up a few seconds saved here and there during a day’s work, will make you a more productive designer.

Standardize Naming Conventions, and Assign Tags

Standardizing your file names is another way of planning ahead. By doing so, you’ll find it much easier to organize your assets and make things easier for those you collaborate with or submit your design files to. Tagging your files will also reduce your search time on the computer.

Use Time Tracking

Time tracking gives you an excellent opportunity to learn more about your own work habits. It will help you zero in on wasted or redundant efforts, and highlight time lost due to procrastination.

There are plenty of time tracking apps on the market, including an excellent one listed here. Once you’re into the habit of tracking your time, you should notice a definite uptick in your productivity; something your clients are sure to take note of.

Customize Your Workspace for Speed

Instead of using applications just as they come out of the box, take some time to study them, find any potential workflow shortcuts, and then customize your workspace for speed and efficiency. When every tool you need is at your fingertips, or just a click away, you’ll be amazed at how dramatically you can boost your productivity.

Good examples of this are the preset workspaces common in Adobe applications. These presets are designed to make an application easier to use, but they can often be customized to make your work even easier and more productive.

Read More at Best 2017 Apps to Boost Your Productivity

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Interview with Andre Ribeiro. Redesigning the Squarespace website.

squarespace redesign

The popular website builder Squarespace got a brand new look and we got the chance to ask them a few questions about the design process. Squarespace frontside team lead, Andre Ribeiro is here to tell us about their adventure in redesigning the website and the challenges that came with it.

1. What was the biggest challenge in redesigning the website?

 

Our biggest challenge was our deadline. At the end of 2016, we realized we wanted to start the year with a fresh homepage to reflect our new strategic positioning and product offerings.

The goal was to have something up and running by the first week of January 2017 in order to see how our customers interacted with the new designs before our Super Bowl campaign featuring John Malkovich. Since we get an incredibly high amount of traffic during the game, it’s important to exhaustively test any big changes in advance.

We had to rethink everything, including our messaging approach, site structure, UX; and craft both copy and visuals from scratch in just a few months. And of course, we had to implement and QA all breakpoints in only a few weeks.

squarespace redesign

2. What was the main reason why you made the decision of redesigning your website?

 

We wanted to simplify the onboarding experience by giving new users just two entry points: they can either start by registering a Domain or they can pick a template in order to create a Website. We also sought to improve the overall user experience on mobile. That led us to rethink the following areas:

Domain first onboarding — After offering domain registration as one of Squarespace’s main services, we were preparing to launch a Super Bowl campaign that focused on promoting our new product offering.

 We wanted to create a quick and prominent way for our users to search for a domain straight from our landing page. The result was a simple but powerful domain search takeover that includes most of the content and functionality we originally had on our Domains page.

A reimagined shopping experience — We also overhauled the Template Store completely. After some user tests and insights gathered by our customer support team, we realized that a simpler but more powerful way of browsing through the templates was needed.

Putting our customers front and center  — Squarespace has some of the best customers in the world, including John Malkovich, Leon Bridges, Sophia Amoruso, and Roy Choi, just to name a few. All those customers have such powerful and compelling stories that we felt it would be a missed opportunity to not put them on a pedestal and feature them on our homepage hero.


squarespace website design

 

3. In your view what was the biggest priority in redesigning the website?

 

One of our mains goals was to have a marketing page that reflected our new strategy and messaging—a page that could talk in depth about all of our feature offerings without confusing or overwhelming new users. We wanted to refresh both the visuals and the language, as well as try out different ways of presenting information and marketing content. Our focus was to elevate our customers’ experience.


Squarespace redesign features

 

4. Details do matter. What are your favorite details and design features of the redesign?

 

A few things we really love about the new designs:

Homepage — One of the most elegant aspects of the new homepage is our new method of displaying selected customers and their websites. These customer portraits are paired with their website screenshots, creating the feeling that their sites are an extension of their personalities. Having quick access to videos about each featured customer adds depth and color to their stories.

 

Template Store — After listening to user feedback, we decided to add a few features to improve the Template Store. We added more effective ways to filter the designs, and also brought short descriptions of the templates into the grid view. Now, users can “heart” their favorite templates and browse through them later. And these changes are just the beginning. We are soon adding preview videos when a customer hovers over template options, and we are also bringing the ability to filter templates by special features (e.g., parallax effect, search bars, etc.). Finally, we’re looking to build richer and more bespoke template detail pages. The Template Store refresh was a simple but successful example of a redesign that takes into consideration user pain points and iterates upon their needs and feature requests.

Squarespace redesign templates

Mobile – During the design of the new Homepage, the Domains takeover, as well as the new Template Store we had the chance to start things from scratch and to drastically improve the user experience on mobile. Searching for a Domain on your device is now simple but powerful. The same convenience also applies when you’re browsing through our templates.

5. Has the redesigned menu affected the website’s performance or conversions?

 

The strategic shift of unifying our website products allowed us to simplify our navigation, and therefore play with different ideas. Instead of having the traditional “Domains, Websites, and Online Stores” navigation items, we realized we could rely solely on the “Get Started” button as the main entry point to the website shopping experience. The new “Search For Your Domain” input field became the main way of searching for a domain. That way we could simplify the onboarding experience by routing the customers to just two main areas: either the domains search or the template store.

 

We had some good results: after launching this new navigation paradigm we saw a significant increase in people both searching for and buying domains with us.

6. Have you received feedback from your users regarding the redesign?

 

Yes we did. Apart from the many A/B tests we often run, we also conducted an in-depth user test a couple of weeks after the launch. We got some minor design feedback, which we addressed and tested promptly. The new website was overall well received by our community and prospective customers, with users mentioning how visually appealing, informative, and easy to use it was.

Both the new homepage and the new Template Store created better user experiences than any of our previous designs, both on desktop and mobile devices.

Read More at Interview with Andre Ribeiro. Redesigning the Squarespace website.

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