Print to Web Series: Digital Magazines

Posted on: December 4th, 2012 by patrick No Comments


One niche in print graphic design that’s been hit hard by the digitization of information is the news industry—and we’re going to focus on a subset of this: magazines. Although printed magazines clearly continue to sell, their sales have been on the decline. And while it might be tempting to suggest that digital versions of these magazines have displaced them, this is not true across the board (though it might be in individual cases).

The reality is that magazine sales and circulation are overall on the decline. (My opinion is that readers are simply going elsewhere for information, particularly on the web.) Despite this, there’s real opportunity for magazines to find a new home in the digital era. And no, it doesn’t include 300MB downloads with layouts that simulate the page-turning experience—an old-fashioned design approach that ignores the real possibilities of the web. Following are some great examples of online publications that marry great magazine content and great user experience design.

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Print to Web Series: Product Catalogs Go Digital

Posted on: November 16th, 2012 by patrick No Comments


With the holiday shopping season looming over us like a calm before the storm, there’s one thing we can count on: Our mailboxes getting stuffed with an explosion of product catalogs. For some, these are a welcome sight; for others, an obnoxious nuisance. From a marketing perspective, there’s nothing like putting a product catalog in front of people; it lets you guide their attention, giving them key products to focus on that will hopefully draw them to your (bricks-and-mortar or online) store and entice them to buy.

So, how does this mailbox spam translate to the web? At a basic level, a product catalog is a guide to a retail store. It highlights key items, shows products in context (like an outfit or a room setting) and allows customers to scan the offerings. This sort of approach is difficult in the online world. When customers land on the homepage for a large retailer, they have to choose product categories and then see tens or hundreds of items in a grid. So it makes sense that retailers would translate the “guided tour” experience that a print catalog offers customers to the web. In fact, retailers are increasingly moving in this direction.

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Web Hosting 101, part 3: Hosting Services & Plans

Posted on: November 13th, 2012 by patrick No Comments


In this final article in my 3 part series on web hosting I finally talk about the actual web host! If you find yourself confused by all of the options and lingo surrounding hosts, this should finally clarify things for you. In this I focus on clarifying the types of hosts including shared hosting, dedicated servers and cloud hosting.

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Web Hosting 101, part 2: Domain Name Services

Posted on: November 9th, 2012 by patrick No Comments


Here I continue my three part series on the fundamentals of web hosting. In this particular piece I focus on some basic elements of working with DNS. And though this is a very technical topic I have worked extremely hard to make sure it is easily digested by anyone, including those with zero knowledge of the topic.

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Web Hosting 101, part 1: Registering a Domain

Posted on: October 26th, 2012 by patrick No Comments


As a result of my presentation at the HOW Interactive conference I have started a three part series on the HOW ID blog about web hosting. This designer friendly guide to the world of web hosting should serve as a nice foundation for understanding the nuances of domain names, DNS and web hosts. Part one is on registering a domain name. I encourage you to dig in and check it out.

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Web Hosting 101 – As presented at HOW ID 2012

Posted on: September 27th, 2012 by patrick No Comments


I am happy to share with you here my presentation from the 2012 HOW Interactive Design Conference. My presentation was an introduction to web hosting. This included a primer on domain names, DNS and web hosts. You can view the slide show here or on slideshare.


A Crash Course on Responsive Web Design

Posted on: July 31st, 2012 by patrick No Comments


Have you heard all the buzz about responsive web design but felt hopelessly behind? I know how you feel—every wave of new technology brings a flood of new stuff to learn. But responsive design is a revolutionary approach to web design that can’t be ignored: It impacts the industry in every way, from the way we sell sites to the entire design and development process.

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39 Cutting-Edge Web Typography Tools

Posted on: May 24th, 2012 by patrick No Comments


A lot of the current hype about web typography is centered around the ways of embedding custom type in websites. But there’s much more going on to be excited about. Developers are building lots of incredible things, and I’ve collected here what I believe are best web type tools around. If you’re a designer new to the web, this resource can help you capitalize on the progress the industry is making. (And only learn JavaScript if you really want to.) Long gone are the days of web-safe fonts. Consider yourself typographically liberated.

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5 Great Examples of Simple Web Animations

Posted on: March 15th, 2012 by patrick No Comments


It can be tempting to go over the top with web animation when you have the skills. At the same time, animation can be easy to forget about when you’re working on more down-to-earth projects. But I believe simple animation can work in just about any web design and really bring it to life. I’ve found five great examples of animation in web design that are subtle, classy and effective.

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The 4 Habits of Successful Web Designers

Posted on: February 27th, 2012 by patrick No Comments


For the last year I’ve spent countless hours training graphic designers to work on the web. That’s included writing a book targeted at this audience called The Designer’s Web Handbook (out April 30!), teaching a web course at my old school, the University of Missouri St. Louis, speaking at the HOW Interactive Design Conference, and writing and teaching interactive design courses through HOW Design University.

My goal though all of this has been to teach people how the web workshow to design for the webhow to codeand ultimately how to the make the most of working with the medium. Amid all of this, I keep coming back to one confounding question: Are designers really prepared to go all in?

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