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What is responsive web design all about?

August 10, 2014 | by Dale | category Graphic Design, Web Design

You have probably heard about terms such as responsive design, html5, and so on in the past. This is the recent trend in web design and a great leap forward in terms of support for multiple devices, native multimedia playback without the need for additional plugins and so on. In the next couple of sections, we will break down responsive web design and the technologies that have made it possible.

Responsive Design 101

responsive-web-design-300x207In the past, designing a website that would be accessed from both mobile devices and computers was quite a hurdle. A different version of the site had to be built for each screen layout and most of the time, two different sites needed to be build. The mobile site was accessed through a different address such as m.website.com while the desktop version would be accessed through the usual www.website.com. There had to be a different team on each version of the website especially for sites that needed constant maintenance and updates.

Responsive design came along to solve the headache that web designers had been facing for years. With this form of web design, you only need to make one version of the website and it will adapt itself automatically to fit the specifications of the device it is being accessed. This way, both mobile and desktop can access www.website.com and receive the version of the website that best fit their devices. Responsive design makes use of new technologies such as html5, css3 and JavaScript. Let us take a brief look at these technologies.

HTML5

This version of html has been a huge step forward in the world of web design. A lot of new features were introduced in this feature making it possible to watch videos and listen to audio content natively inside the browser without having to install third party plugins. The new tags that were introduced in this version have also made it much easier to get a website up and running with the minimal amount of effort.

CSS3

Disadvantages-of-Responsive-Web-DesignThis is the technology that brings all the beauty to responsive web design. Through the use of media queries, a site can determine the specifications of the device you are accessing it from and format it to make the best use of things such as screen size and processing power. This is all done automatically in the background and ensures a consistent user experience between different devices.

JavaScript

Last but not least, JavaScript can be considered to be the engine that powers websites that are responsive. It is responsible for things such as animations and can be used together with CSS3 to ensure a smooth and consistent user experience on a website. It is also used to build web applications that are fast and responsive.

The three technologies put together are what makes responsive web design what it has become today. They work hand in hand to ensure that you get a consistent, fluid and fast experience when visiting a website regardless of the device that you are using. Even though there are other developments being made in this field, responsive web design has proven to be a life saver for every web designer, website owner and online business.

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The Link Between Web Design and Graphic Design

April 2, 2014 | by Dale | category Graphic Design, Web Design

Is-a-web-design-degree-worth-it-245x300While web design and graphic design may have their differences, they are not completely like chalk and cheese because they do share a lot of things in common! When you understand the differences between these two, you will be able to approach your design correctly. In order to understand the differences and to grasp the similarities between the two better, it is necessary to have a clear idea of the two.

The term ‘graphic’ design is concerned with the process of presenting ideas through typography, images, graphics and so on. Therefore these apply to the print industry mostly. Such designers are generally involved in branding materials such as posters, brochures, print work or artwork used on websites. The term ‘web design’ on the other hand refers to the process of presenting ideas on the World Wide Web through the websites. Unlike graphic designers, web designers have to be careful about the screen resolution and size of the graphics, at times even compress them in order to ensure that the website is not weighed down by the graphics.

How Graphic Design and Web Design Are Related

web-design-tipsWhile these two may not be the same thing, they do share a lot of similarities and are not completely distinct from one another. Precisely speaking, these two are interlinked with one another in a variety of ways. Out of the two, graphic designing is definitely harder because it is a more complex process. Nevertheless, both graphic designing and web designing use typography and they swear by JPEG images in order to create the desired effect. What makes JPEGs so useful is the fact that these can display millions of different colors; so these are ideal for graphic designers to create print designs. Also, JPEG is a format that is widely supported by all internet browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer, Firefox and so on, therefore even web designers like to work with JPEGs.

Another major similarity between the two is the fact that both make use of color tone in designs in order to create the right mood. Apart from colors, both graphic and web designers value the art of choosing the right font in order to make an exceptional design. Whether it is the print designs or the website ones, one shouldn’t take chances with fonts. In the field of graphic designing, the most commonly used fonts are Verdana, Arial and Times new Roman. So, you will find a lot of graphic designers and web designers using these fonts for their outputs.

Although web design and graphic design are said to be dependent on the creativity of the designer in question, these still have to observe certain rules, principles and trends in order to produce a good quality design. Also, both these processes require the designer to identify and understand the flaws pertaining to their designs from the viewpoint of the audience so that their designs would be able to successfully influence the prospective customers and target audience.