Design Techniques
*Image above is from the redesigned South Haven Speakers Series website in which I used a combination of flat design with some Skeuomorphic design elements. I added drop shadows to text over the lighthouse image, a Skeuomorphic design element, to separate the text from the background.

Design techniques is the topic for this Tips & Tricks eNewsletter.

Note: I use flat design mostly these days, and actually have always leaned in that direction. Even before they ever said the words flat design, I think I was doing it.

1) Material Design: Developed by Google, (code-named Quantum Paper) is a design language developed in 2014 by Google. Expanding upon the "card" motifs that debuted in Google Now, Material Design makes more liberal use of grid-based layouts, responsive animations and transitions, padding, and depth effects such as lighting and shadows. Very mobile-friendly.

2) Flat design is a style of web design without any stylistic elements that give the illusion of three dimensions (such as excessive use of drop shadows, gradients or textures) and is focused on a minimalist use of simple elements, typography and flat colors.

3) Minimalist design has been described as design at its most basic, stripped of superfluous elements, colors, shapes and textures. Its purpose is to make the content stand out and be the focal point. From a visual standpoint, minimalist design is meant to be calming and to bring the mind down to the basics.

4) Realistic design is still with us, but has been flattened out a bit by the new design trends above. Some think that realistic design helped assist our minds with the transition between actual reality and digital reality. Also called Skeuomorphic design, in the web design world, skeuomorphism refers to the look of a graphical interface that imitates, as much as possible, a real life element.

On the left skeuomorphic design, on the right flat design.
Skeuomorphic vs. Flat Design →
I love Flat Design
For a website, flat design makes the site fast, and readable. It gives site visitors the information they are looking for as quickly and easily as it can. No frills to distract the eye from the content.

Works well for heavy program generated content websites to enable them to continue to function well as they add data. I just created a website in conjunction with the town's non-profit community, South Haven's Cultural Calendar. The website uses a very minimal, flat design and employs a complex calendar plugin. Both live harmoniously together and help each other.
View the Calendar Website →
Tips & Tricks
Answers to questions that I hear often and basic tech guidance.
Don't EVER open a zip file. Not if you don't know what it is. Not if it even might be spam. I get these often: UPS, USPS, FedEx do not send zip files.
What's a Sitemap?
Google Webmaster Tools, free with my premium hosting, enables webmasters to upload a Sitemap: XML meta list of all content.
Website Update
Stylish Redesign
The Speakers Series uses their website in an innovative, community concerned way: They record the speakers and share them.
Visit SHSS →   |   forward to a friend
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