10 Tips to Create a More Usable Web Whether it’s your portfolio, a blog, a marketing web site, or a collection of games, we all want to attract visitors to our website and to ensure that they have a pleasant experience. Usability measures the level of a user’s experience and can be characterized by how easily a given task can be completed; whether it’s done with prior knowledge, or by having the user learn a new way to interact. I think Jakob Nielson probably explained it best when he said: “Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. The word “usability” also refers to methods for improving ease–of–use during the design process.” In this article I hope to give you some form of a usability checklist, covering topics from form design to simple navigation tips that you can apply to any Web project. 1. Letting the user know what section of the site they’re in, or what category they’re navigating through can be give a huge usability boost to any site. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Top 10 Programming Fonts Sunday, 17 May 2009 • Permalink Update: This post was written back in 2009, and much has changed since then. I’ve also written a few subsequent posts about alternative programming fonts, like this one about Anonymous Pro. I’m a typeface geek, and when it comes to selecting a font I’ll stare at all day, I tend to be pretty picky. What follows is a round-up of the top 10 readily-available monospace fonts. A note about anti-aliasing In the past, we’ve had to decide between tiny monospace fonts or jagged edges. If you have any doubt that anti-aliased fonts are apropos for code, note that even the venerable BBEdit — which for years has shipped with un-aliased Monaco 9 set as the default — has made the jump. Unless otherwise noted, I’ve used a larger size font, 15-point in fact, for the examples here to illustrate their legibility at larger sizes and with anti-aliasing turned on. 10. Figure 1 Courier New 9. Figure 2 Andale Mono 8. Figure 3 Monaco Figure 4 Monaco 9-point, without anti-aliasing 7. 6.
Coding Clean and Semantic Templates If you are the guy who uses <div> tag for everything, this post is for you. It focuses on how you can write clean HTML code by using semantic markups and minimize the use of <div> tag. Have you ever edited someone's templates, don't those messy tags drive you crazy? 1. I've seen a lot of people wrap a <div> tag around the <form> or <ul> menu list. Example 1: The example below shows how you can drop the <div> tag and declare the styling to the form selector. Example 2: Sometimes we wrap the content with an extra <div> tag strictly for spacing purposes. 2. You should always use semantic markups to code HTML documents (ie. Example: The image below compares the rendering differences between <div> markups and semantic markups with no css supported. 3. Have you seen the messy templates where <div> tags are everywhere and they drive you crazy? Instead of using <div> tag for breadcrumb navigation, it makes more sense to use <p> tag. 4. 5. When coding for platform templates (ie. Conclusion
HTML Entity Character Lookup › Left Logic Created by Left Logic Using HTML entities is the right way to ensure all the characters on your page are validated. However, often finding the right entity code requires scanning through 250 rows of characters. This lookup allows you to quickly find the entity based on how it looks, e.g. like an < or the letter c. Features Search for entity characters based on how they look (taken from the W3C list of entities) Switch between standard and compressed views Copy the HTML entity to the clipboard Add your own keyword terms and characters to entities Settings stored in a browser cookie Available as a Firefox plugin - thanks to Yining To reset the keywords, clear your cookies for this page and the default keyword dictionary. How it works The lookup searches the html entities for matches to the searched character based on how your character looks. There's no clever logic behind this, only the most powerful computer known to man - man's own brain.
77 Resources to Simplify Your Life as a Web Designer << Vandelay Website Design As a web designer, achieving efficiency in your workflow will have a significant impact on your success. Fortunately, there are a number of great resources that have been created with the intent of making your life easier and your work quicker and more effective. Color Tools Choosing the right color combination can be a difficult task. For more color-related tools, see Find the Perfect Colors for Your Website. Free CSS Navigation Menus CSS-based navigation menus are used by most websites now, but they don’t need to be created from scratch. DHTML Navigation Menus Xtreeme DHTML Menu Studio is a great tool for quickly creating dynamic navigation menus (cost: $49). Photos for Your Website Quality images greatly enhance the look and appearance of a website. Stock.Xchng – free stock photos.Stock Expert – Low cost stock photography.iStockphoto – Low cost stock photography.Big Stock Photo – Low cost stock photography. Icons Blank WordPress Templates CSS-Based Design Templates Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor
20 Email Design Best Practices and Resources for Beginners Even for experience designers, building email newsletters isn't easy. You receive a lovely looking design, and you crack on with the development. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work as it should in every email clients. Styles don't display, images aren't visible, etc. This is where these twenty best practices come in handy. 1: Keep the Design Simple Emails are not like complex website designs; they should be nicely designed, but somewhat basic. The cleaner the design, the easier it will be to code, and the less chance of any abnormalities happening between various browsers and email clients. 2: Use Tables Email clients live in the past, so all emails must be built using tables for layout. Not Accepted Accepted 3: Have Web Browsers at the Ready Make sure you have as many web browsers as possible available to you. At the very least, use these: Internet Explorer 6Internet Explorer 7Internet Explorer 8Mozilla Firefox 3Apple Safari 3Google Chrome 4: Sign Up for all the Major Email Clients No Alt Tags
Formalize – A CSS Framework For Consistent Form Elements We all know that forms look different in every operating system, browser and even some browser versions. Formalize is a CSS framework that aims to bring a solution to this issue by providing more consistent styling and functionality for them. It doesn't make them look all the same, rather, keeps some characteristic differences but focuses on finding the medium by picking the best parts from each. These include a slight inset on items, similar looking buttons (including the button tag), light blue :focus border and more. Also, the HTML5 placeholder and autofocus attributes work for browsers that doesn't support them with the help of jQuery.
Ivana Jurčić – Lilit » Blog Archive » A Collection of Printable Sketch Templates and Sketch Books for Wireframing At the beginning of a web (or application) development project I always create the sketches first. While sketching can be done on a blank paper, it’s much better to use a sketch template. For me that is the best and most productive way to work on and improve my ideas before application development begins (and things get more complicated :-)). This way I won’t pay too much attention to some details that should be taken care of later, but stay focused on general layout and functionality. Below you will find more than 20 resources that you can use in sketching phase of application development. And, of course, don’t forget to share your wireframes on I ♥ wireframes :-) Printable sketch templates for websites These are some pretty good, printable sketch templates for website design. Browser Sketch Pad (PDF) Browser Sketch Pad by Design Commission — see original source 960 grid template 960 grid template by Nathan Smith — see original source 960 Sketch PDF template Graph paper Paper browser Notepod