CSS3 is a hot topic these days. Designers and developers are starting to widely utilize CSS3 and new tutorials are popping up nearly everyday. As a designer it is an exciting time to be at the forefront of it’s development. There are, however, many designers and developers that see browser support for CSS3 as insufficient. In their defense, not all clients are open to letting their websites look moderately different from browser to browser.
Thankfully Faruk Ateş, Paul Irish and Alex Sexton have developed a script, Modernizr, that detects CSS3, as well as HTML5, browser support and allows us to take advantage of CSS3 in compatible browsers while providing alternative fallbacks to incompatible browsers. The script adds a unique class to the html element of a page specific to each CSS3 property supported. As an example, in browsers that support CSS3 border radius a class of borderradius will be added to the html element, while in browsers without support for CSS3 border radius a class of no-borderradius will be added to the html element. This opens up a world of opportunities, giving us just what we need to fully implement CSS3 without worrying about incompatible browsers.
As with any inquisitive web designer or developer I am always looking for ways to experiment with the latest HTML and CSS source. This past spring I got engaged and set off to create a wedding website, providing me just the opportunity to play with CSS3 transforms, transitions, and animations.
My fiancé loves owls so my idea was to have an owl that moved his eyes every so often and when hovered over would raise his wings while a few light rays would spin in the background. A little excessive? Probably. Necessary? Nope. However, exactly what I was looking to do with CSS3 transforms, transitions, and animations.
With CSS3 gaining popularity so are CSS attribute selectors. CSS attribute selectors have been around for some time however CSS3 adds more selectors to the mix bringing new light to subject. Increased browser support, with nearly every major browser currently supporting attribute selectors (Internet Explorer 6 still struggles), has also added to the popularity.
So what benefit do CSS attribute selectors have to adding style to document links? CSS attribute selectors allow you to quickly and easily add styles to document links while keeping your code clean and clutter free. Ultimately, the more attractive looking your links are the more clicks they will receive.
When it comes to designing a website, content is often overlooked, but why? Very rarely do users browse the web looking for a good design or decent experience. Users come for the content. Not giving them what they want with poorly written content will frustrate users. Not only does it waste their time, but your time as well.
Writing for the Web: The Right Strategy presented by Shay Howe
One of the most valuable resources you have is sitting right under your nose and you may not even know it. What is this indispensable resource you may ask? Email marketing. For those of you who are currently practicing email marketing you may already know of the potential benefits at hand. For those of you who are not, please take note, this may greatly increase the performance of your business.
Many companies are profitable simply from their email marketing campaigns alone. With help of these time tested methods and a touch of your own fine-tuning you too can earn extra profit as well. Broken down here are the two parts to smart email marketing: Sending and Ensuring Delivery of Emails, as well as, Considerations for Designing Emails.
Sending and Ensuring Delivery of Emails
Send Emails on a Consistent Time Table
When you send your emails on a regular basis you create a pattern of which readers will become familiar with. The less likely you are to catch readers by surprise the lower your non-subscription rate will be. Internet service providers (ISPs) will also take note of regular sending patterns and credit you accordingly.
When it comes to online copy content is king. And this king is one of the determining factors in how successful your website is. Simply enough, if your copy is not up to par users will not read your content nor will they do business with you. Furthermore they are likely to never return to your website. Having good content will make a world of difference.
Qualities of Great Web Content
1. Give Users a Summary
Before diving into the nitty-gritty give users a summary of what they are about to read. This will allow them to make sure your topic is worth their time. If you have written your summary successfully they will continue to read.
These days finding inspiration is easy with help from hundreds of design blogs. With a few simple clicks you have an endless supply of inspiration right at your fingertips. The real trick is finding motivation and, further more, staying motivated. Please do not get the wrong idea. Inspiration can serve as great motivation, however there is more to it. Staying motivated is a practice and requires more effort than ambiguously cruising for inspiration.
As a web designer you are bound and determined to at one point and time come across a troublesome client. There are know-it-all clients, the low-tech clients, the day-late clients, and many more. No matter what their nature may be they exist and seem to come by all too often. Learning how to communicate with these clients can immensely change the outcome of your day-to-day productivity as well as your overall success.
Above All, Communication is Key
1. Start With a Fresh Slate
Carrying an attitude with clients is quickly going to ruin your career. Every time you approach a discussion, email, or call from a client you should do so with a good attitude and a positive mindset. Working with a bad attitude is only going to produce bad results and further fuel the flames. Keep your head up!
The checkout process has become widely known over the years on the internet and making purchases online is fairly common for most households. With such popularity you would think the checkout process has been nearly perfected, however astonishingly 59% of all users abandon the checkout process. This could be for a number of reasons but the most important being users are not given a clear direction through the process. This leads users to get confused, frustrated, and abandon the process. Ideally an easier, friendlier, and dependable checkout process will do the trick and increase conversions.
Checkout processes are fairly dynamic and span across multiple pages. Making a change to one step may affect another. While designing a checkout process it is important that you take all of the steps into consideration and design the checkout process all the way through, not skipping any steps in-between. A few design suggestions to take into account include:
Acknowledge common checkout process goals.
While the checkout process is most commonly used for the exchange of money for goods or services, it can also be used to accept donations, take membership payments, or to even transfer money into a virtual equivalent. Make sure you know the primary goal and function of your checkout process.
Forms are the biggest areas of abandonment on the internet. Reason being they are boring, ask for too many personal details, and are only a step toward the end. However much of the internet is widely based around forms including everything from login to contact forms and online purchase to social networking comment forms. All in all the more satisfying forms you design and the easier they are for users to complete the better results you will see.
Forms are supposed to be practical and serviceable, not an artistic expression. The main purpose behind designing a form is solving a problem including how to get users to input their information in the easiest way possible. It is not to say that forms should not be pretty, they should. It is all a matter of putting everything together. A few suggestions to follow when putting together a form include:
Acknowledge common form goals.
The main goal for any form is to be filled out and submitted. Different forms will have different specific goals, for example a newsletter subscription form has the primary goal of obtaining marketing information, especially an email address. Be aware of the forms broad and specific goals.