FastTrack Design Links
Posted on Saturday, December 13th, 2008
Sometimes it can be hard to come up with design inspiration. CSS galleries are a great place to get design inspiration and they can also be leveraged as a great source of traffic. If you can get your design on these galleries it can drive thousands of visitors to your website.
Designing with web standards is a great way to keep your code clean and search engine friendly. Why design a site with a 1000 lines of code when it can be done in 100 lines of code.
Developing With Web Standards – This document explains how and why using web standards will let you build websites in a way that saves time and money for the developer and provides a better experience for the visitor. Also discussed are other methods, guidelines and best practices that will help produce high-quality websites that are accessible to as many as possible.
Roadmap to Standards
Web Standards Project – The Web Standards Project is a grassroots coalition fighting for standards which ensure simple, affordable access to web technologies for all.
Web Standards Checklist
Importance of Web Standards
Now that you know all about web standards, here are some tools that can help check if your site is compliant. These tools will also help you find errors in your code.
Usability is probably the most important factor in a website design. Making your website usable can help improve the experience for your visitors as well as help improve your conversion rate.
What is usability
Usability First – An approach to web design which emphasizes usability.
Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes – Blogs are often too internally focused and ignore key usability issues, making it hard for new readers to understand the site and trust the author.
Web Design & Usability Guidelines – An 18 part online book that goes over usability and design guidelines.
Web usability – the basics
The Culture of Usability – How to spend less and get more from your usability-testing program.
90% of All Usability Testing is Useless
Ten deadly sins of web design – A list of ten huge mistakes no web designer or developer should be caught making.
Information architecture resources
Usability Views – Usability with a twist.
Blogs are a great resource for up-to-date information on design and usability. Here is a list of blogs that you may want to subscribe to or read on a regular basis.
Signal vs. Noise Blog – A design and usability blog by 37signals.
Digital Web Magazine – Digital Web Magazine is an online magazine intended for professional web designers, web developers and information architects. The magazine consists primarily of work contributed by web authors, as well as by others who occasionally delve into the web realm. We put emphasis on and provide recognition for contributed work. The Magazine is recognized by nearly all of the major web design agencies in the industry.
A List Apart – A List Apart explores the design, development, and meaning of web content, with a special focus on web standards and best practices.
456 Berea Street – This is a site by Roger Johansson who writes articles on web standards, accessibility, or usability in one way or another.
mezzoblue – A semi-daily expository and exploratory on all things web, design, and typographic. It is also a personal portfolio site with works in any creative discipline the owner feels fit to publicize.
Jesse James Garrett – The blog of the founder of Adaptive Path.
IxDG Resource Library – A repository of information about interaction design.
Apples to Oranges – A blog by Ryan Nichols.
Demystifying Usability – A blog by Frank Spillers, a usability consultant.
Color is an important factor in design. Color can separate your site from your competition and it can also convey a specific message to your visitors. If you provide a personalized service you may want to choose colors that are soft and personal or if you want a corporate look and feel you may want to pick hard colors. Here are several resources that I use to help me make color decisions.
Color Schemer – Online color scheme generator.
Color Meaning – An article that explains the symbolism and meaning of different color types.
The Meaning of Color in Web Design – How colors influence audiences when marketing products through the Internet.
Symbolism of Color
Color Matters – Explore how color affects emotions, appetite, vision, sexuality, design, and art.
There are many different types of fonts and they can greatly affect how readable your site is, so choose wisely.
1001 Free Fonts – A large selection of true type fonts for Windows and Macintosh.
The Anatomy of Web Fonts
Typetester – Typetester is an online application for comparison of the fonts for the screen. Its’ primary role is to make web designer’s life easier.
Here are some more small business website resource links that may interest you.