Designing websites is a time-consuming and often tedious process. It takes patience, attention to the most minute details, and the ability to surrender control, accepting that your creation is an evolving organism that will never fit perfectly into your carefully-crafted mold.
Just like any creative endeavor that requires a balance of expertise, problem-solving skills, and raw intuition, sometimes the mysterious process of creation gets curiously derailed. And regardless of whether you’re tackling a new project or you’re weeks or months into a complex one, Designer’s Block—the feeling of being completely out of ideas—is frustrating and inconvenient.
One of the things I love about working on the small-but-stealth Vassar Web team is that while each of us has areas of specialization, we all still wear many hats. None of us is just a designer or just a developer, and the planning of sites is just as much our responsibility. This means that when we’re leading a project, we handle all facets of the process: the information architecture (IA), user experience design (UX), content organization, and so on. We also have the freedom to choose the techniques and processes that work best for us individually.
This makes me very happy. Why? Because just as much as I love design and development, I also love the puzzle that is website planning More
I’ve come a long way from the days when my primary design tools were Photoshop and Illustrator. As I develop new methods, refine my processes, and figure out what works and what doesn’t, I usually get to the point where I need something that my existing software doesn’t do. At this stage, I’ve grown to rely on a wide variety of programs and utilities: apps for design, development, communication, and organization.
I’ve found the following three apps to be especially useful. Maybe they’ll be useful to you too.
Earlier this spring, I was asked to take a critical eye to the Library’s homepage. The Vassar library is not only one of the most beautiful and historically-rich buildings on campus, it’s also an important resource (and second home, perhaps!) to Vassar students.
The library’s website is one of the largest and most complex on campus, bringing together numerous search tools, catalogs, and a wellspring of resources and information. It’s absolutely essential that the homepage helps visitors More
Jakob Nielson’s recent study Scrolling and Attention shows, “Web users spend 80% of their time looking at information above the page fold. Although users do scroll, they allocate only 20% of their attention below the fold.”
Font Squirrel – Handpicked free fonts for graphic designers with commercial-use licenses. Check out the @font-face Kit tab!