Welcome to Peak Experience
Hi! I am Ron Kelly and welcome to Peak Experience. I started out this blog to help out web designers to be brave and start out a businessI will be giving out training about web design, tips on getting clients, even building out the business from scratch. I will try to be with you on every step of the way
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First of all, let’s explain what is HTML. It stands for Hypertext Markup Language which enables programmers to organize and create the web site pages. It is “highly structured” meaning that it has clearly defined structure, rules and procedures that must be applied in order to create a responsive and effective web page. HTML enables:
-publishing online files that contain headings, tables, photos, text, lists and other
– retrieving information by hypertext links
-various templates and design forms that conduct transactions or perform search results
-reproduction of video clips, music or other applications.
All of these combined together create and present a website (or better say a virtual place) that offers a certain service or product.
What Is CSS?
CSS is language that describes the look of a web page: colors, layouts and fonts. CSS is responsible for the adaptation of the websites for different screens, whether we are talking about 23-inch IPS monitor or a 5-inch smartphone. CSS does not depend on HTML; it finds its use in other XML-based languages. This separation is precisely what gives developers space for more comfortable maintaining of the existing websites, as well as for the development in different environments.
How To Learn HTML And CSS?
You can start with simple Youtube videos to get familiar with the language. I recommend you to start with HTML since it is easier to understand CSS when you already mastered HTML. After you get familiar with basics and you become able to create a decent website, then start with reading advanced tutorials and books that are written by the acknowledgeable webmaster.
How Important Are HTML And CSS In Web Design?
As someone who understands the web design, I feel like I have a duty to explain the difference between these, often mistaken, two completely different things. When I need to explain someone who is not familiar with web world what I do for a living, I usually say that I am a web designer. But when I talk to a someone who is a part of the web industry, a web designer is not a precise keyword to describe my work. Each website has two parts – graphical and developmental and I will clarify these things a bit better so you could differ web design from web development.
What Does Web Design Represent?
As you know the word “design”, you could get a hint of what we are speaking about here. This term refers to a process of graphics editing of a website. The colors, background, buttons, pages, posts and many other things are part of web designing process. A good web designer knows what colors to pick for different buttons or actions, how to design user interface (UI) that will enable a functional interaction between the website and potential customers.
Web Development As The Skeleton For Website
It is a background part of a website, technically speaking. Web development splits in two parts – front-end development and back-end development. Depending on the type of website, it can happen that you don’t even need a back-end-development. It is often the case with simple websites or blogs.
The focus of BED is to deal with complex programming, ensuring the functionality of the website, or creating scripts that perform a certain action. For example, a back-end-developer may have to create a shopping cart on the website and connect it to online payment systems.
Blurring the line
People often make mistake when they speak about web design, forgetting the difference between these two things. There is a strict line between visual and under-the-hood part of website development. However, in practical terms, back and front-end developers work together on creating a stunning website and sometimes they mix their job duties in order to launch a flawless website that serves its customers.
Vector graphics editing is not always easy and fun but Adobe Illustrator has been one of my favorite apps for vector graphics, especially when sketching up the logo or even creating it completely. It is a very demanding software in terms of knowledge, taking you a lot of time for learning (for me, Photoshop is far easier to learn). No need to say that you MUST sign up for a certified course if you want to learn vector graphics and how to use Adobe Illustrator; I’m giving you here simple tips that you should utilize in the process of learning and creating your logo.
Practice With Pen Tool
As it was to me in the beginning, the pen tool can be a bit confusing and boring to a beginner. Taking the time to master this tool gives you endless possibilities for creating almost you have on your mind. You can still work on your graphic without using this tool (yes, you can!) but way better things can be performed with this fantastic Illustrator’s tool.
Get Familiar With Clipping Masks
Opacity masks and clipping masks must be mastered in order to reach the maximum potential of your work; you will often face situations when clients want a change. You make a change, and then he suddenly decides to go with the previous version of the graphic. Clipping masks make sure you group a certain area of a drawing and make changes, and then hide it if necessary; in a nutshell. They save time incredibly.
Master The Appearance Panel
Once you learn how to use the Appearance panel, you will not duplicate the same shapes to add different fills on top of each other. This panel was a bit complicated when it was implemented but over the time, users embraced it and used the maximum potential out of it. Using only one shape, you can create kiwi for example. That is the power of this panel.
Experiment With Patterns
The process of pattern creation is fun even to rookies designers who have not had many chances to work with patterns. Patterns give the overall look more complexity with the textures that you can create and apply. A lot of pattern tutorials have been made so you will not lack any material.
Keep Practicing With Logo Creation
Every work becomes more natural after you master it. To learn something, you need to understand it and repeat until you can convey the message and achieve the ability to transfer it to someone else. It is the same with logo creation – keep practicing until you understand how to create a perfect logo for your company that attracts people and keeps their attention.
Web design is always about being unique while giving your customers exactly what they need. Sometimes when you are starting a business, you face design issues where you need to be unique when choosing a logo for your company. Of course, you can always hire a professional designer to animate your ideas and offer but if you want to keep things on a budget, as well as to try your logo designing skills, keep reading this short article where I will give few tips for logo creation.
Know What You Offer With Logo
You need to understand your brand and its ideology. The logo is not just an image that represents your company but rather a perfect shape of your thoughts, plans and actions that you and your colleagues share and strive to. Be sure to check your competitors for a hint, but stay within your unique graphic representation to support your service and product. You can look at Wikipedia’s logo – it is a simple incomplete sphere covered in puzzle pieces with various glyphs from common languages. The key is in simplicity that represents the field of your work in combination with catchy detail that points to your purpose and ability to prove the level of quality you offer. Hard to explain using words but the point is evident.
Match All Colors Well On Your Logo
Brand’s personality, but also its purpose at the same time, dictates the color set. Your background, headings, text, or buttons should match with the theme and other colors you set; generally, more than 70% of users focus attention to colors and the design of the website they visit. Bright colors are often more appealing but not appropriate for every niche. The psychology of colors in logo design explains how logo colors affect users. For example, the green color is perfect for websites that are related to the organic growth of plants, or to tutoring or tutorial workshops. If you want to design something that is out of the box, the perfect balance of colors is what you need to achieve in the first place when it comes to logo creation.
Understand The Rarity Of Your Brand
What does distinguish CocaCola among other brands? Their unique name, so they created a uniquely rare font and wrote CocaCola. When you work with generic names, you don’t have that freedom. However, you can use already designed fonts, combine it with negative space to achieve unique design for your logo. If you want to be 100% authentic, then you should create your font and tweak it, combine with picture and inspire people to get what they need from you.
Being a full-stack developer, I have developed a strong passion for laptops which can sometimes escalate to several-hours-long discussion. I often have a debate with my colleagues about the best laptop for web design that can offer the maximum performance for the price you are paying and the conclusion is always hard to reach. There are many factors that must be taken into account when you pick the best laptop for web design. I will try to make it easier for you by giving you short reviews on several laptops.
For this occasion, we have prepared several laptop reviews that can help you with choosing the right laptop for your web development tasks. Note that each of them basically can perform the majority of things you could need, but the quality of the performance in, for example, executing multiple tasks at the same time, depends on a lot more details that make laptop the best for the desired needs.
HP Envy 17t
If you are looking for a good laptop for web design that could potentially replace your PC , then you should go with HP Envy 17t. It offers 250 GB or 500GB of SSD storage, 17-inch display, 2GB NVIDIA GeForce graphic card and the latest technology of 77 processors, with speed of 2.7 GHz up to 3.5 GHz. The battery life is fantastic – it provides up to 7 hours of battery life with constant WiFi turned on. It is a bit robust laptop so it is not convenient for traveling. Also costs a bit more but it is worth it.
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW (Signature Edition)
Since I very often use Linux, I have to praise this fantastic laptop for its code-friendly adjustments that enable Linux environment. With 15-inch display, 16 GB of RAM, powerful i7 6700 HQ CPU, 500 GB of SSD and NVIDIA GTX 960M 4G DDR5 VRAM, this laptop easily deserves the title for the second best laptop for web design purpose. Be aware of the fact that its battery life is not remarkable, lasting only up to few hours.
Apple MacBook Pro MJLT2LL/A
Even though I am not a big fan of OS X, I consider this MacBook as the best laptop for web design since it offers everything that web developer/designer would need. I recommend this laptop to frond-end developers since they have much bigger freedom in terms of graphic tools. The smooth and quiet performance is ensured by the sixth generation of Intel Skylake Core i& Quad Core up to 3.5 GHZ, 15-inch 4K HD display, NVIDIA GTX 960M 2GB and 16 GB of DDR4 RAM.
Best Budget Laptop For Web Design
Dell Inspiron i7359-5984SLV is 13-inch notebook by Dell company that offers a solid performance considering its price tag. 2.5 GHz i7 6500U Intel processor, with 8GBs of RAM, will definitely compile your code quickly and smoothly but have in mind that this laptop does not come with SSD drive technology so if you are looking for a quicker data access, this might not be your choice. However, it is a budget-friendly laptop that fulfills the majority requirements for an average web developer or designer.
Adobe Photoshop has been representing the number one place in the category of the best web design software for the past 10 years. It is software that is used largely in web design, digital art, and general image editing. Thomas and John Knoll back in 1988 created this piece of art that became one of the best tools for raster graphics. Its use of layers allows you create more depth in the editing process, which enables you to produce about anything when combined with the right tools. The file extension is .PSD (Photoshop Document) and each file can contain up to 30,000, whereas the size of the file cannot exceed 2 gigabytes.
What are the Adobe Photoshop Updates?
These updates are like any other updates for applications and software. They are simple features that make the overall graphic-design experience better with the exception that you will not be able to use them if you don’t have a genuine license for Adobe Photoshop.
Since digital art has been advancing, Photoshop has an ace in its sleeve every year when it comes to new updates and features. The latest version has to offer few updates so let’s check these out.
OpenType Variable Font Support
This feature comes in handy especially when you work on your unique style of font. OpenType font format supports the following attributes: weight, width, slant, and optical size among other. What it means is that you easily customize the style of the font by a simple move of sliders. The feature spices up the whole thing, creating room for unique style and design, enhanced by your font. It can be a bit confusing to beginners, but it is worth learning so you could make your style.
Three New Brush Control Updates
Pulled string mode
Pulled string mode is the first feature that might be very useful when you need to paint a straight line. The painting works only when the string is straight or tight while smoothing radius leaves flawless lines.
Stroke catch up
This feature has not been seen earlier – it continues to paint in the direction where your cursor is even when you stop your cursor. You can disable this feature but not that the painting stops as soon as you stop the cursor.
Catch up on Stroke End
It paints from the point where you clicked to the point where you have released the mouse button. Showed great usefulness for quick sketch ups and drafts.
Editing 360-degree content
We will close this article with one of the coolest updates in PS franchise. You can write your panoramic photos, work on motion and interactive design and create super cool 3D images that will blow your mind!
- It is an opportunity for self-employment with no time bounds; a designer can work at their convenient time.
- Website design has place mobility which is solely dependent on the availability of internet; it can be done from anywhere.
- It is a well-paying venture, depending on an individual’s skill and competence.
- Website design provides a world of opportunities for jobs in various industries; it does not confine an individual to any particular business type.
- It is a great employment opportunity with limited requirements. All it takes is ones hard work and risk taking ability.
- Website design is a business from which one can receive instant feedback. This is evident from the level of visitor interaction on the site.
- The nature of website design work requires the designer to sit for long hours in front of a computer. This gives rise to fatigue and other health risks.
- Unlike conventional jobs, website design has no time frame, and hence it may be required of a designer to work at odd hours to service the ever impatient clients.
- Learning for website designers is endless. This is as a result of the ever changing internet technologies. An individual must seek always to be up to speed with the trends and coding updates.
- Multitasking is a mandatory skill that is necessary for website design. This is true since the designer works on various projects from a wide scope of industries.
- The content of the work done by designers may not always be interesting. Certain jobs may be downright boring, but they must be done.
CHARACTERISTICS OF WEB DESIGN
The features of a web design business can be discussed in the below categories;
- Mobile compatibility.
- Loading time.
- Browser consistency.
- Markups and code.
- Color schemes.
- Mobile compatibility
Mobile compatibility refers to the ability to access your website on mobile platforms, including all handheld devices like tablet and Smartphone. With the increasing use of mobile devices to access the internet services, it is therefore important for the website you develop to be support access by mobile devices.
Mobile compatibility can be achieved by making the website responsive to any device used to access it. Mobile compatibility of a website is also important in making it rank highly among search engines.
Any website design need to address different client needs, including the needs for the elderly, blind and the physically disabled. The website should therefore support different ways of information access; including text and audio assistance. It should also allow for magnification of content where necessary. Specific website techniques must be employed to ensure the website can be accessed by on-screen readers and to as many other individuals as possible.
In this case, the organization of a website is discussed in the context of website content’s presentation and layout. Well presented webpage and content makes it easy for website visitors to easily navigate through the website. Website organization should also focus on proper categorization of content for easy access by its target users.
Formatting involves the appropriate use of titles, subtitles, paragraphs, bullets and lists to subdivide webpage text; for easy reading. More often than not, website visitors do not go through a whole text line or text blocks to determine its relevance to their subject of interest. For this reason, Websites need to be designed in a way that ensures its visitors can skim through text and pick out vital information at a glance.
- Loading time
Loading time refers to the amount of time it takes for a website visitor to access a website, from the time they initiate a website access request to actual time they are able to access the website. Most website visitors cancel website access requests due to the slow loading speed of the site. Website design needs to ensure that it’s a standard loading time preferably 4-6 seconds. Loading time has been proven to be one of the main contributing factors to the effective usability of a website.
- Browser consistency
Browser consistency is the identical appearance of a website as interpreted by different browsers. A professionally designed website must exhibit consistency across major browsers such as Firefox, opera, chrome and internet explorer.
Navigation defines the ease with which a user can work through a website. It includes navigation menu, internal linking, means of content exploration, headers and footers and search features.
- Markup and code
There are standard practices of website design which must be adhered to by designers to ensure a robust and dependable website. These practices ensure the website can load faster and is consistent in appearance across the leading browsers. Further, the stipulated practices enable easy location and troubleshooting when necessary.
- Color schemes
A suitable contrast between the websites background and the contents is an essential detail that must not be overlooked in website design. A good contrast makes the content of the website legible and easy to read.
The general definition of a business is an entity which provides goods and services to consumers in exchange for money, other goods and services (batter trade) or other forms of exchange that have intrinsic monetary value. Web design as a business defines the creation of websites for clients at a fee which is agreed upon by the designer and the client. A website design business is a self-employment opportunity which allows an individual the liberty of working from the comfort of their homes. It is a highly profitable business venture and requires one to answer questions on;
- The type of software and hardware one requires when starting the business.
- The means of obtaining a stable clientele and the most suitable means of handling communication with the clients.
- The need of contracts, and if need be, the terms of the contract.
- How one ensures they get paid at a rate proportionate to the job done
- For one to ensure maximum profitability while running a web design business they must offer premium services to the best customers.
To avoid overworking yourself while running a web design business, you need to know the following;
- The basic principles of the business
- How to decide upon the type of work to take up including work on bidding sites, cold call or work on your site
- Effective communication with clients; involves taking care not to give unnecessary information, and the timing of your communication to your clients.
- Fee structure (Charging rates) for the services offered.
- l How to venture into other sub-branches of design including logo design, marketing services, and print design as a way to expand your business.
- Deciding upon a field to specialize in. Making a decision on your web design niche or scope is essential in branding the business.
When it comes to choosing a good color scheme for your website, things can be a little bit tricky. For a skilled designer, there will be no hassle about the colors, but beginners could stumble upon one of the first problems in the process of website creation. There two outcomes in choosing the right colors for the right niche: It is either a beautiful sight that is appealing to your eyes, user-friendly and appealing to look, or an unbalanced mix of different colors that do not match and make everything look messy and unprofessional.
Different niches have different colors
You will never see any gaming website that has a pink theme or that is significantly painted in pink color. Some things don’t go together, and you need to learn to spot things like that. This is something that comes in as a feeling after many websites that you create. For a gaming site for example, a great background color could be a variation of black color, painted with a unique white brush, rounded with a space-futuristic theme that reflects the technology and gaming world news of the website. For eco-friendly sites, the combination of green and white is a perfect score that keeps user’s attention and initiates the potential client.
Choosing the right dominant and background color
The right dominant color on your website or logo ensures you are doing the good design. The dominant color represents your emotion that is behind the work or product you offer. Also, it needs to provoke an action from the user that is visiting your site and therefore, the action buttons should be painted in the dominant color of your website. The background color should relax but also match with the niche of your website and the product you are offering. Of course, take into account that you have to be very careful when it comes to e-commerce sites. E-commerce site requires a bit different approach, which I will explain in one of my upcoming articles.
Always Have A Peek Onto Your Competitors
All designers regularly look for ideas in other places, so why shouldn’t you? Do not be a plagiarist and copy color code from a competitor’s site but rather a designer that knows how to redesign. Sometimes a little bit of redesign can make a huge difference.