Lab Follow us on twitter RSS Feed

Random Resources - April

04/20/10  Posted by Brandon 

We've put together another good collection of random resources from around the web.

Content Strategy

Content Strategy is making sure all the stuff you put on your website has some actual thought behind it. Like who do you want using your site? What do you want them to understand? How can you help them?

If this sounds too daunting, here's a great article on how thinking of it like a mixed tape might help:
http://blog.braintraffic.com/2010/04/content-strategy-or-let%E2%80%99s-make-a-mixtape/

Design Inspiration

It's always interesting to view galleries of design focusing on unique methods and aesthetics. This helps open up your design sensibilities and consider multiple perspectives. Here are some of our recent favorites:

Single Page websites
Thinking about displaying a design and content on a single page adds a constraint that demands a lot of creativity:
http://www.noupe.com/design/single-page-websites-examples-and-good-practices.html

Vertical Navigation
We almost go with horizontal navigation for various usability reasons, but sometimes the right site map can really work great with a vertical navigation. Here are some great examples:
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/04/19/showcase-of-beautiful-vertical-navigation-designs/

Clean and Light Designs:
With so many designs bogged down with gradient and effects overload, it's really refreshing to view a great collection of clean and subtle designs:
http://sixrevisions.com/design-showcase-inspiration/60-beautiful-clean-and-light-web-designs-for-inspiration/

Workspace Inspiration:

Need to invigorate your workspace? Check out some of these creative office designs from around the world. Hopefully you're not viewing these from a drab cubicle farm:
http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/creative-modern-office-designs/

Stop sending annoyingly large email attachments!

04/13/10  Posted by Brandon 

We all get them and we're all annoyed as we sit there waiting for our email to un-clog as we wait for some 20 MB attachment to download.

So stop sending them! There are plenty of good free options for uploading your files to the web and emailing a link instead.

http://www.yousendit.com
This is a tool just for emailing large files. You simply upload to their server and they send the email with all the links ready to go. It's pretty simple.

http://www.dropbox.com
This is primarily a file backup system that works with your local hard-drive, but they also have great options for creating shared folders you can post files to for others to upload.

Random Resources - March 02

03/02/10  Posted by Brandon 

We're always noting links and resources across the interwebs that are loaded with web design goodies. We'll be posting randomly whenever we get a good collection. Here's our first:

Footer Designs

Footers have become a major element of modern web design, with some becoming virtual mini-sites. This is a good article on tips, examples, and issues to keep note of when considering footer design.
http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2010/03/how-to-build-a-footer-that-doesn%E2%80%99t-stink/

Call-to-action buttons

Call-to-action buttons are IMPORTANT. See how I used caps there to emphasize that? Your website has a goal, and it usually requires clicking on something to get there, so you better make sure that something is going to be effective. This is a good post on examples.
http://designshack.co.uk/articles/inspiration/25-examples-of-convincing-call-to-action-buttons

Free Icons!

http://spyrestudios.com/freebie-detailed-3d-icon-set-from-medialoot/
http://designm.ag/resources/blogging-social-media-icons/
http://webdesignledger.com/freebies/20-fresh-sets-of-free-icons-for-web-designers

Free Fonts!

Typography is key to strong web design, so use some strong fonts.
http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/resources/free-fonts-best-for-business-logos/
http://speckyboy.com/2010/02/24/top-20-free-fonts-for-distinctive-headlines/

Stand Out With Hand-Drawn Style

02/26/10  Posted by Brandon 

After doing so many websites we're constantly on prowl for inspiration on what makes a website design stand out from the crowd. We'll be posting examples as we find them in the blog.

The image below represesents a great example from http://www.rednoseday.com/.

The first thing that strikes you is th playful, hand-drawn style they are using through out the design. It looks very personal and unique, especially compared with all the straight lines and slick graphics that dominate web design.

This is a great fit with Red Nose Day's incorporation of humor as their main theme. When you have a potential match like that then using this personal, hand-drawn style is a great way to stand out.

The Red Nose Day homepage

Welcome to the Lab

02/11/10  Posted by Brandon 

we'll miss you, cute farm animals.

Hello and welcome to our brand new website!

Yes, we know you've heard that before. In fact, 5 times in the past 5 years. What can we say? We like updating our look and trying new things.

We had a lot of great feedback from our old site, and we've already heard some laments over the loss of our cutesy farm animals. But we wanted a site that was better at handling more information.

And, we wanted to do a "Lab".

We won't be doing much ground-breaking product development here, but we did want a place where we could experiment with different technologies, share the things that inspire us, and post articles on SEO, social media, and online marketing.

Our ultimate goal is to make this a resource. Not only for our clients, but for anyone looking to make their website better.

Of course, this will only be successful with YOUR involvement. Please let us know how we can make this a better resource. Is there a topic you'd like us to cover in our Learning section? Let us know. Comment on everything. Get involved.

So, yes, you'll probably hear another "welcome to our brand new website" in about a year. But whatever that site will look like, the Lab will still be a part of it. So let's start experimenting!