All About Web & Graphic Design

Website basics, website design projects, website tips, improving your website, and graphic design

In web design, there really is no fold.

The phrase, "above the fold" is still used quite a bit in website design and layout. Keeping important content above this imaginary "fold" is something many people have heard and continue to believe, even though the phrase is an old newspaper term for keeping the main story headline or important photograph at the top half of the paper, above where the paper is folded in half. To me, there never was and never will be a "fold" in a website. Semantics aside, this article explores why even the notion of a "fold" is misleading and a better way to approach the inherent issue when creating or redesigning a website.

A Professional Perspective on Design Contests

In the past week, via Facebook, I happened to spot 3 different companies advertising for design contests. These contests ranged from a design to be printed on a book bag, to a full website. I should also note that some of these did not have cash "prizes". These types of contests are nothing like the type of design contest that seeks to award designers for outstanding work on a particular project (think: Webby Awards, Davey Awards, AIGA contests, etc.). While many people think these type of design contests are perfectly okay and a positive thing, professional designers like myself have a different perspective.

The real ROI on paying for professional web development.

We've written a number of articles on the pitfalls of believing that you can cut costs by doing your design and marketing on your own, but we haven't written an article specifically discussing what the actual return on investment (ROI) for professional design and web development is. Read on as we explain what may be currently holding you back, why professional design is an investment (and not just an expense), and of course, what the return on that investment is.

Stock Photography and Bad Form

Bad form, simply defined as behavior that people do not like because it breaks a social rule. How does this apply to stock photography you might ask? The top faux pas in my book is using stock photography but claiming the person in the stock to be an otherwise real person. This would be similar to posting a not-real photo of yourself on a social networking site and claiming that's the real you.

How to use Information Architecture to Make Website Better

I recently read an article in a popular design magazine. It was a discussion of information architecture and how it relates to building websites. Information architecture, in a nutshell, is the organizing and labeling of websites to support usability. On a website, you are presented with options (for example, links or buttons), you make choices, and then you are presented with what you were seeking. In so doing, you're completing a series of steps that were all laid out by a designer.

Why not seeing exactly what you want in a designer’s portfolio is a good thing.

I recently received a response back from a proposal we had out. The client said the proposal was great, the price was just right, but they went with another firm because they, "felt that the portfolio of work of the company we finally chose was closer to our current needs". So basically, they did not see exactly what they wanted in our portfolio. As part of our on-going series on "client education" I'd like to take a closer look at this line of thinking and reasons why making it the number one deciding factor on choosing a designer might not be your best bet.

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