The List for Web Designers
OK, so this one is stretching our web design A-Z list a bit. However, keywords do play their part in search engine optimization and web marketing, which relates to web design. Marketing has an unbelievable level of influence on the success of the website projects you build.
While marketing may appear like child’s play, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Advertising, SEO, conferences, meet-ups, sponsorship, social networking, viral promotions, PPC, optimizing your site’s markup, distributing freebies that provide a link back to your site, and many other methods exist. Knowing about keywords, and about SEO and marketing, gives you a leg up. These things, though, are intrinsically going to be a part of the sites you build if you follow web design and web development best practices.
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Back in the early days of the internet, web pages were static. We have evolved past that boring era, and now we have pages filled with stuff that moves, responds to user actions, and provides rich components for our visitors that improve their experience (e.g. web forms and real-time information widgets). Interaction design focuses on the philosophy that websites should be utilitarian.
Whether you use polls, have contact forms, or host a forum — knowing solid interaction design principles is a worthwhile pursuit.
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Let’s face it, your site’s most important component are the visitors who spend their time browsing your pages. The subjects of Ethnography and, to a greater extent, sociology, are based around the need to understand your audience. It involves collecting meaningful data through studies and research in order to determine the optimal design for a site.
While you may think people are all relatively the same, the cultural differences within us have effects in the way our designs are perceived. It’s worth learning about sociology, even in just a fundamental level.
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Sometimes your code doesn’t work in the way that you intended. The need for debugging has only increased with the range of web languages we now use, the more complex styles of designs we produce, and the chaotic amount of browsers — that now includes the Mobile Web — we need to support. Ensuring that your code works (and works well) has become a skill that all designers should possess.
Being able to surgically resolve rendering issues requires a deep and insightful knowledge of the languages you work with, patience, experience, and critical thinking skills.
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CSS is the primary method of styling HTML elements. It’s what makes a boring page look visually stunning.
Cross-browser compatibility is an issue with CSS — so it’s important that you validate your code, know all of the selectors, properties and values you can work with, and consider the browsers’ needs. If you’re thinking of expanding your knowledge of CSS for future-standards-compliant browsers like Chrome, Safari and Firefox, now is a good time to learn about how you can progressively enhance your web designs with CSS3.
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Every internet-enabled device has software that makes those lovely pages of yours viewable by users. The browser is that software, and it is among the most vital elements of the web experience. Most browsers these days render sites uniformly, but old browsers like IE6 may give you issues.
While hundreds of browsers exist, there are at least five major browsers that you should be concerned about: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Opera. A web designer having all of these browsers installed on their work machine for testing purposes is not a bad idea. In addition, testing on mobile devices (using their native browsers) is also recommended.
Hits - 145Synonyms - prospect, shopper, window-shopper buyer, correspondent, purchaser, vendee bargainer, haggler consumer, end user, user regular
Accessibility is one of the most critical aspects of our job, as many individuals browse the web with impairments that require non-traditional means of website access, such as screen readers and input-assistive devices. Accessibility, though, is also about universal design; designs that can be used through various situations such as mobile devices or older browsers. While there is no clear definition as to how far accessibility extends, a range of best practices to help certain conditions (such as visual, aural, and motor impairments) have been produced. If you’re not already aware of such issues, it’s well worth investigating further.
Laws in many countries influence the need for web-accessible websites as a result of governments seeking to give its citizens equal access to information technology. Most web designers can implement accessibility standards at a basic level just by following web standards and best practices, and these implementations often improve the quality of the site produced, even for able-bodied site visitors. Web accessibility is quite an intricate subject, and will require time and experience to learn fully, but knowing that your products provide universal access makes it worth the extra effort.
Hits - 143Synonyms - approachable, reachable. easily approached. come-at-able, get-at-able, getatable. capable of being reached or attained. handy, ready to hand.