Responsive Web Design (as if there is another type)

I realize that when my students first start out building basic, single-page HTML and CSS websites, they are not fully responsive web pages, but looking at it from an industry stand point, I am surprised that we haven’t dropped the “responsive” from the front of this phrase yet. I mean, shouldn’t all modern sites be built with responsive web design in mind? I am not sure where it would come into play that anyone would desire a non-responsive site with the constantly changing sizes of smart phones, tablets, and laptop screens.

So, I decided to gather together some articles/videos on responsive web design into a single resource page.

First, Video: Responsive Web Design In Photoshop – A Mindset Not Just Technique
In this video they explore how to design in Photoshop with a responsive mindset and grid at your disposal. I realize that many think that designing with a grid structure hinders creative web design and for certain sites that push the boundary, I am sure that is true, but when you look at how diverse the layout grid can be with a system such as Unsemantic, there are few shapes within a layout that you can’t use.

responsive web design with a grid

 

Admittedly, it is not as freeform as a mindmap or freeflow design style, but with a little creativity, you can bend the grid layout to meet your design aspirations.

Secondly, according to Google, responsive web design factors into search results now. Therefore responsiveness is even more important if poor responsive design knocks you out of google search rankings. What is the use of a great site, if it can’t be found in a search? We can definitely knock Google for using search engine priority to force the hand of designers, but it is their tool and if we want to be found, there isn’t much of a way around optimizing. Read more about how responsive web design effects Google rankings here- What Is A Mobile-Friendly Website, And Why Does It Matter? There is a tool in Google developers that can test your site for mobile-friendliness (according to their algorithms) which can be found here- https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ Remember to check multiple pages on your site, not just the home page!

Finally, as we head into the last few weeks of 2015, did responsive web design change at the pace we expected back in January of this year-The State of Responsive Web Design 2015? Were the predictions accurate? Any new players on the field that we weren’t expecting? What will the 2016 bring that changes the way we look at responsive web design moving forward?

Web development is an exciting field to be a part of, but you better buckle up because it doesn’t slow down!

 

Entrepreneurial opportunities with The DEN

The DEN logoThe value of entrepreneurial opportunities for Clemson students really can’t be underestimated. Clemson GC has a brand new section of The DEN, which stands for the Design and Entrepreneurship Network, this Fall semester in partnership with the Bioengineering and mechanical engineering divisions. I am hoping to see other departmental divisions pop up around campus and join in the excitement next semester.

The DEN was started by PhD student, Bre Przestrzelski and Bioengineering faculty lead, Dr. John Desjardin. Throughout the semester, students get to participate in a network of activities, mentors, cross-disciplinary student groups, guest speakers, and field trips which pave a new path for student entrepreneurs. Continue…

Data is necessary for design decisions

Netflix redesign relies on dataAs graphic designers, we often feel like we know instinctually how to best design a website, logo, or brochure. It is true that the more practice you have in any art, the more you develop keen instincts on how to create better artwork, but it is probably a little dangerous to rely solely on instinct when designing successful client projects.

Have you noticed how often Google services change the layout of their products? Sometimes the constant changes are enough to drive you crazy, but sometimes you go to the page and think “wow, they must have heard my thoughts, this site is so much easier to use now!” Continue…

Guerilla marketing gets attention

Guerilla marketing need not be expensive, just incredibly creative

Guerilla marketing need not be expensive, just incredibly creative

We all have heard the story from a friend or family member trying to market their new start-up company- Advertising is too expensive, I can’t get in front of my audience. Well this article challenges that thought process by saying if we think outside the box and come up with something unique, it need not be expensive to be effective at reaching your market. Some may consider these examples gimmicky, but I say that the mere fact that people photograph the advertisements and post them online means that they are effective at grabbing attention.

From the article:

If you don’t know what Guerilla Marketing is, it is a term coined by Jay Conrad Levinson from his 1984 book, “Guerilla Marketing.”  According to good ‘ol Wikipedia, Guerilla Marketing is the following:

“An advertising strategy in which low-cost unconventional means (graffiti, sticker bombing, flash mobs) are utilized, often in a localized fashion or large network of individual cells, to convey or promote a product or an idea.” Continue…

The 3rd Industrial Revolution

Have you ever thought about the possibility of a 3rd industrial revolution? Now for a bit of history.

The 1st industrial revolution started in the mid-1700s when people moved from hand production of products to machine production. Imagine making each individual shirt or pair of socks, one by one by one. It would definitely be an incredible boost to productivity to be able to use machines to produce multiple shirts simultaneously. The 1st industrial revolution was based new iron production processes, improved use of water power and steam power, and the change from wood to coal as a source of energy.

Continue…

Visual guide to Adobe keyboard shortcuts

At ClemsonGC, we are constantly moving between the Adobe Creative Suite programs. One of the more frustrating aspects of using all of the programs is the lack of continuity between the programs in regards to keyboard shortcuts. I was thrilled when I came across this great visual guide from Going Home to Roost and I look forward to printing out these to hang above my desk.

Regularly using Adobe shortcuts can drastically reduce the amount of time spent working on a project and therefore earn you more time playing out in the sunshine or spending time with your buds. So don’t miss the chance to print these out and increase your productivity as a designer today!

Adobe keyboard shortcuts Continue…

Typography is not just pretty fonts

Web typography is not just pretty fonts

Web typography is not just pretty fonts

A student found passed this article along to me and I think it is a fantastic article dealing with typography on the web. For years web designers were stuck with minimal choices for fonts in order to ensure display compatibility for many end users. Then along came font squirrel and google fonts and now web designers can rejoice in the freedom of their non-web designer counterparts!

But this article hits on some really important points that should be considered by all designers including both print and web. We can’t just fall in love with a font and use it under any circumstances. Typography is an art and as such, thought and deep consideration should be involved when choosing the best font for a specific job.

Simply put, typography is the art and technique of arranging type. It encompasses every possible element that can affect web design, including choice of typeface, color palette, line length, point size, layout, and design integration.”

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@ClemsonGC, are you tired of explaining color?

Couldn’t resist reposting this infographic on #color. As many GC majors before have complained, sometimes it is just really difficult to explain what we do and why we do it and this is definitely true when discussing color. My son was 4 when I was in the GC program and he came home from elementary school one day and told me that they were teaching the wrong colors in class. Growing up hearing “GC speak” he was familiar with additive and subtractive colors and how they work to create the spectrum.

color infographic

Enjoy this infographic explaining color from a designer and printer’s perspective

Well, if you have ever gotten odd looks in the grocery store as you look at packaging to see if they printed in process or spot or ever had a hard time explaining the difference between the two and when you should use one over the other, this infographic is the perfect tool for you! Continue…