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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Do You Want to Learn - Types of Impact and Non-Impact Printers- Let's Study

Do You Want to Learn - Types of Impact and Non-Impact Printers- Let's Study

Do You Want to Learn Types of Impact and Non-Impact Printers- Let's Study

 

Impact Printers

These create text or image by physically making the print head press the ink ribbon and cause the ink deposition on the paper in desired form. They are quite louder in nature when compared to other types of printers. They are famous for their unique features, commonly used in businesses where multi-part forms are printed. The following are different types of printers in impact printing:
  • Dot Matrix
  • Daisy Wheel
  • Line
  • Line Matrix



Dot-Matrix Printers


A dot matrix printer or impact matrix printer is a type of printer with a print head that runs back and forth, or in an up and down motion, on the page and prints by impact- striking an ink-soaked cloth ribbon against the paper. Letters are drawn out of a dot matrix, and thus, varied fonts and arbitrary graphics can be produced. The printing involves mechanical pressure and as a result these printers can create carbon and carbonless copies.Each dot is produced by a tiny metal rod, also called a "wire" or"pin", which is driven forward by the power of a tiny electromagnet or solenoid, either directly or through small levers (pawls). Facing the ribbon and the paper is a small guide plate pierced with holes to serve as guides for the pins.

Advantages

One advantage of dot matrix printers over most other printer types is that the paper is completely connected. This allows you to print long banners that span across several sheets of paper.

Disadvantages

The primary disadvantage of dot matrix printers is the speed it takes for them to print. Each dot is individually printed so a significant amount of time is required to print even one page of paper.Unless they are huge commercial models, dot matrix printers generally produce low-quality print, particularly for pictures.Any type of printer can jam, but dot matrix printers are more prone to jamming, and their jams are more difficult to clear. This is because paper is fed in using two wheels and holes set into the paper. A small tear on the side of a sheet can create a jam and the bits of paper between the wheels make it tedious to fix.
Dot-Matrix Printers

Daisy Wheel Printers


A daisy wheel printer is a printer that uses a wheel with all the characters on it to produce output. This earlier print mechanism used a plastic or metal hub with spokes like an old-fashioned wagon wheel minus the outer rim. At the end of each spoke is the carved image of a type character. The shape of printer wheel resembles the petals of a daisy flower and hence, it is named daisy wheel printer. To print a character, the daisy wheel rotates so that the required character is positioned just in front of the printer ribbon. The spoke containing the required character is hit by a hammer and strikes the ribbon leaving an impression on the paper placed behind the ribbon. Movement of all these parts is controlled by microprocessor in the printer.

Advantages

The main advantage of using a daisy wheel printer is that the print quality is high because the exact shape of the character hits the ribbon to leave and impression on the paper.

Disadvantages

Daisy Wheel printers are very noisy, slow and the ribbon must be changed frequently.
Daisy Wheel Printers

Line Printers


The line printer is a form of high speed impact printer in which one line of type is printed at a time instead of printing each character individually. The line printer is typically enclosed in a cabinet that completely seals the unit from the outside world. This used to be essential when line printers were extremely noisy. The two surviving line printer technologies are band printers and line matrix printers. Line printers are still widely used in data centers and in industrial environments and can print multi-part forms at a very rapid rate. High speed line printers print 1000-2000 lines per minute and are therefore useful to print large amounts of address labels, payroll checks, statements or bills.

Advantages

Line printers can print multi-part forms at a very rapid rate. Line printers do not print each character individually. The line printer is typically enclosed in a cabinet to minimize noise level.

Disadvantages

The standard line printer can only use pin feed paper and they can only print black ink.
Line Printers

Line Matrix Printers


A line matrix printer is a computer printer that is a compromise between a line printer and a dot matrix printer. Basically, it prints a page-wide line of dots. It builds up a line of text by printing lines of dots. Line matrix printers are used for high-speed printing applications in industries such as manufacturing, banking, supply chain and back office environments. In these high-volume printing industries, line matrix printers are used to produce invoices, bank statements, product shipment and transportation documentation. Line matrix printers can print text, bar codes and graphics.

Advantages

When implemented as impact printers, they can be the least expensive to operate per page. Line matrix printers can print text, bar codes and graphics. Line Matrix Printers are the preferred solutions for high-reliability, lowest total cost of ownership and environmental benefits.

Disadvantages

Line Matrix printers have similar disadvantages as Dot Matrix Printers and Line Printers.
Line Matrix Printers

 

Non-Impact Printers

These produce text or images on paper without striking the paper physically. These are not loud compared to other types of printers. The technologies commonly used in modern and personal home-based are non-impact type. These technologies can print in both mono chrome and colour. The following can be classified under non-impact printing.
  • Toner based (Laser)
  • Liquid ink(Inkjet)
  • Solid ink
  • Dye-sublimation
  • Thermal
  • Bubble jet

Laser Printers


Originally,toner-based printers are only able to print text and images in black and white. It was only recently that coloured toners have been manufactured allowing these printers to print text and images in black and white and coloured. Toners are a kind of powder that is made out of either carbon or synthetic polymers. There are two kinds of toner-based printers that are available in the market today: Laser Printer and LED Printer. The most common is the laser printer. These use laser beams that preciely lights the drum surface during the printing process. Because of this, it is able to produce high quality text and images.

An electrostatic charge is distributed evenly around a light-sensitive device in the printer called a drum. The image or text that is to be printed on the paper is then projected on the drum through some form of light source. This light source keeps the static charge on the drum to stay on the drum. Any portion of the drum that is not lighted will loose the electrostatic charge that was distributed when the printer was started. The paper is then fed. The toner,being in powder form, is immediately caught on the drum and then transferred onto the paper. The toner is then fused on the paper through heat brought about by the light source and the pressure of the roller as it passes out of the printer.

Advantages

One of the advantages of using laser printers is their ability to print on both pages of the paper, allowing many users to cut their paper usage by half. This ability has also lessened the bulkiness of the end printing materials like reports and manuals. Another advantage of laser printers is that they are not prone to water damage that is normally experienced by users of liquid inkjet printers.

Disadvantages

Many health experts have stated that using laser printers, or toner based printers in general, can cause a number of health problems which is not experienced by those that use other kinds of printers. Studies have released that long-term exposure to toners, because of using the printers or replacing the toner cartridges, can cause respiration problems. Laser printers are bulky and heavy, making them difficult to transport. This is due to the additional components the printer needs to carry, which includes an imaging drum and laser beam technology. It is also more costly to replace cartridges for a laser printer.
Laser Printer


Inkjet Printers


An inkjet printer is a peripheral device that places extremely small droplets of ink onto paper to create animage. The dots are extremely small (usually between 50 and 60 microns indiameter). The dots are positioned very precisely, with resolutions of up to1440x720 dots per inch.


In the inkjet printing mechanism, the print head has several tiny nozzles, also called jets. As the paper moves past the print head, the nozzles spray ink onto it,forming the characters and images. An inkjet printer can produce from 100 to several hundred pages, depending on the nature of the hard copy, before the ink cartridges must be replaced.

Advantages

The principal advantage of inkjet printers is the fact that most of them are inexpensive. Even the cheapest inkjet printers are satisfactory for most of the needs of personal computer users. High-end inkjet printers can render digital images on special paper with great quality. The copy from an inkjet printer needs a little time to dry. Another advantage of inkjet printers is their lightweight and modest desktop footprint. Many models are easy to transport.

Disadvantages

Paper designed especially for inkjet printers is heavier than the paper used with laser printers or photocopiers and is somewhat more expensive. Another disadvantage is the fact that most inkjet printers are slow and they are not designed for high-volume print jobs. Inkjet printers are expensive to operate over time compared with a laser printer. It is wiser to use a laser printer to make hundreds of copies per day or thousands of copies per week, than to use an inkjet printer.
Laser Printer


Solid Ink Printers


A solid ink printer is a laser-class printer that uses solid wax inks that are melted into a liquid before it enters the plumbing of the print head.

The maintenance kit prepares the drum before each print job. It clears off any ink left on the drum and then applies a thick layer of silicone oil onto the drum. The print head then begins spraying ink drops on to the rotating drum. All the colors are applied to the drum at the same time. Once the ink is exposed to the drum, it becomes a soft semi-solid. To transfer the ink to paper, the printer sends it through the pre-heater and then the paper passes between the drum and the pressure roller. The ink cools and sets on contact. Because the ink returns to its solid form, there is no drying time. So each print that comes out of the printer is ready to use.

Advantages

The major advantage of solid ink printers is that they produced less waste which is better for the environment. Another advantage is the ability to print on several paper varieties. The shape of the cartridges make them simple to install and replace, the print quality is consistently superior to that of a laser printer, and there are many affordable third-party alternatives to brand-name inks. Solid ink printers also tend to be less expensive to purchase and are smaller in size, which makes them easier to transport.

Disadvantages

Despite many advantages to solid ink printers, there are also anumber of disadvantages. Since the ink needs to be heated, a considerable amount of energy (approximately 50 watts) is required to run the printer.Additionally, the printed ink isn't very durable. It can be scraped off of the paper simply with a sharp edge, like a fingernail, and exposure to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time can cause fading. Another disadvantage is that the print heads clog frequently. In order to get the heads unclogged a significant amount of ink is wasted. These printers are also notorious for being noisy and pages printed on an ink printer require time to dry otherwise the ink may smear.

Solid Ink Printer

Dye Sublimation Printers


A dye-sublimation printer (or dye-sub printer) is a computer printer which employs a printing process that uses heat to transfer dye onto medium materials such as a plastic card, paper, or fabric. The sublimation name is applied because the dye transitions between the solid and gas states without going through a liquid stage.

During the printing cycle, the printer rollers will move the medium and one of the coloured panels together under a thermal printing head, which is usually the same width as the shorter dimension of the print medium. Tiny heating elements on the head change temperature rapidly, laying different amounts of dye depending on the amount of heat applied. After being heated into a gas, the dye diffuses onto the printing medium and solidifies. After the printer finishes covering the medium in one colour, it winds the ribbon on to the next colour panel and partially ejects the medium from the printer to prepare for the next cycle. The entire process is repeated four times in total: the first three lay the colours onto the medium to form a complete image, while the last one lays the laminate over top. This layer protects the dye from re-sublimating when handled or exposed to warm conditions.

Advantages

Traditionally,the advantage of dye-sublimation printing has been the fact that it is a continuous-tone technology, where each dot can be any colour. Consequently, a dye-sublimation printer produces true continuous tones appearing much like a chemical photograph. The prints are dry and ready to handle as soon as they exit the printer. Since the thermal head doesn't have to sweep back and forth over the print media, there are fewer moving parts that can break down. As the dye never enters a liquid phase, the whole printing cycle is extremely clean; there are no liquid inks to clean up.

Disadvantages

Each of the coloured panels of the ribbons, and the thermal head itself, must match the size of the media that is being printed on and only specially coated paper can accept the sublimated ink. This means that dye-sublimation printers cannot print on a wide range of media. Print heads can also get clogged. Because the sublimated ink is a gas, it does diffuse a small amount before being absorbed by the paper. Consequently, prints are not razor-sharp. For photographs, this produces very natural prints, but for other uses such as graphic design this slight blurriness is a disadvantage. The amount of wasted dye per page is also very high; most of the dye in the four panels may be wasted for a typical print. Once a panel has been used, even to just print a single dot, the remaining dye on that panel cannot be reused for another print without leaving a blank spot where the dye was used previously.
Dye Sublimation Printers


Thermal Printers


A thermal printer is a low-to-medium resolution printer that produces a printed image by selectively heating coated thermal paper, when the paper passes over the thermal print head. It comprises of these key components:
  • Thermal head — generates heat; prints on paper

  • Platen — a rubber roller that feeds paper

  • Spring — applies pressure to the thermal head, causing it to contact the thermo-sensitive paper

  • Controller boards — for controlling the mechanism

In order to print,thermo-sensitive paper is inserted between the thermal head and the platen. The printer sends an electrical current to the heating elements of the thermal head, which generate heat. The heat activates the thermo-sensitive coloring layer of the thermo-sensitive paper, which changes colour where heated. Such a printing mechanism is known as a thermal system or direct system. The coating turns black in the areas where it is heated, producing an image.Two-colour direct thermal printers can print both black and an additional colour(often red) by applying heat at two different temperatures. The heating elements are usually arranged as a matrix of small closely spaced dots—thermal printers are actually dot-matrix printers, though they are not so called.

Advantages

One advantage is that a direct thermal printer does not make use of ribbons.Instead of ribbons, it uses a special thermal paper. Without use of ribbons,toners and inks, the direct thermal printer cuts down the cost significantly,thereby making the entire process cost --effective as opposed to other form of printing technologies. Another advantage of a thermal printer would be the relative affordability of the machine and its quietness when printing.The greatest advantage of a direct thermal printer is that it can not only print labels in batches but also can print individually. Therefore, there is no extra supply of labels and no waste. Also, an advantage of this printer is that small number of labels can be easily printed out in perfect quality and at high speed. A variety of data can be processed without lowering the speed. Therefore, in case of very large supplies, it can also be done without any problem.

Disadvantages

One disadvantage of direct thermal label printers is that it is more expensive than other types of printers but considering the overall cost reduction on ink,ribbon and toners, it is more advisable to invest a greater amount of money on the purchases of a direct thermal printer. They are sometimes considered to be inefficient since too much heat would mean too much ink is used on an image. This could mean that the image would smudge before the ink dried. Another disadvantage is that the images produced are of poor quality (that is,generally grainy and blotchy), since thermal printers are unable to vary the intensity and dot sizes that make up the produced images.
Thermal Printer


Bubble Jet Printers


A bubble jet printer is a sister technology to ink-jet technology and in many ways is very similar, which is why the terms are often used interchangeably. However, there are some important differences between bubble jet printers and ink jet printers.The major difference lies in what is used to propel the tiny droplets of ink through the nozzles. Ink jet printers use crystals to fire the ink and bubble jet printers use heat.

In a bubble jet printer, tiny resistors create heat, and this heat vaporizes ink to create a bubble. The expansion that creates the bubble causes a droplet to form and eject from the print head. A typical bubble jet print head has 64 or 128 tiny nozzles, and all of them can fire a droplet simultaneously.

Advantages

Like Ink jet printers, bubble jet printers are very quiet and can produce beautiful coloured images with photographic quality. Another advantage is their relatively low price when compared to other printer types, such as laser printers.


Disadvantages

The heating elements are under much more stress in bubble jet printers than are the crystals in ink jet printers and are prone to early failure. Whenever any substance is heated to high temperatures, it leaves behind a residue; that residue can eventually clog the tiny openings in nozzles and cause build upa round them which can misdirect the ink droplets. There is no way to clean the nozzles on ink cartridges so there will be a build up of residue on both refurbished and refilled bubble jet cartridges.
Bubble Jet Printer

Monday, August 22, 2016

Tips to Create an User Friendly and Attractive Website




Good website is a rewarding outcome of several important elements encompassing design, content, navigation and functionality. Nowadays running a business website is one of the most important facets in the life of a company and therefore has to be intuitive, not overly complicated and engaging. Keeping your website user-friendly will greatly improve its performance, entice more prospects and boost sales for your business. 

The Web is growing every day and your competitors are getting smarter. A key law of marketing is to differentiate yourself from your savvy competitors. If you’re in an industry which has lots of vendor choices, then you have to ask to yourself how you can make your company get noticed, stand out, and attract attention of your target market.


Creativity in website is all about taking the ideas and the spirit of your company to the ladder of success and creating a powerful impact on your target market. Everything has to be just right: the logo, the icons, the color palette, the imagery, the graphics, the design of the page, the eye trail, etc. When all these elements are combined creatively you produce a powerful emotional impact on your visitors capable of improving your sales rate and revenue.

User friendly website is nothing but a website which is easy accessible and comfortable for a user to operate. The main reason for making a website user friendly is that it helps in increasing traffic on the website, which in turn leads to improvement of the site ranking. Making a website attractive is not enough to attract the people, the usability should also be good, otherwise the visitor will go from your website and switch to your competitor’s site. Just visiting and leaving the site in few seconds, this kind of traffic is of no good use. So making a website user friendly is very important because it is the face of your business especially if it is an online product purchasing company.

Some of the usable tips which should be kept in mind for making a website user friendly and attractive are as follows:

Implement a Smart Choice Of Colors
Colors play a significant role in making a website attractive and amazing. Each color has its own impact on each page. You should know the value and meaning of each color before you choose the right ones for your website. Never choose colors, which are unsuitable for the spirit of your business.

Colors plays a very important role in the website appearance, each color have its own meaning and value, analyse and read about each and every colour and accordingly decide your theme of website and colours which are to be exhibit on the website. Your website is certain to look attractive when you have used right combination of colors.

Keep Your Content More Simpler and Informative
It is important that you provide only simple and informative contents to your viewers. Do not test their knowledge of language or grammar through your content. People can identify your brand through your contents, so keep it simple and easy for them so that they can have a clear picture about your service or products through the same. Explain your services and products which your customers wish for, in a simply language, provide description with the help of pictures so that they can understand it easily. Using appropriate white space is also important, your content should not be very clumsy, it should have some appropriate white spaces which differentiates the words so that the content looks clean and proficient.


Create Something Well-Organized
Always try to keep your website well-organized. Make sure that your viewers can get all information easily on your website and do not need to dive under the sea to get some simple information. If the viewers find that everything is on its place, and they can reach all of them easily, then they would appreciate your effort.

Online visitors wanted to visit those website which is more organized and provide each and every information which they are seeking for. It’s a fact that the average page visit of a user lasts a little less than a minute. As the user is in rush so he will just visit your site and take a glimpse of your website, if he founds out that the website is more organized and everything is on its place then he gets the confidence that he can find out the correct information which he is seeking for.

The first 10 seconds of a visit is very critical because at that time a user decides that whether he wants to stay on the existing page or leave. Users have seen many poor Web pages hence they act accordingly, so unless and until if a web page is not extraordinary and would not be able to develop an outstanding image on the mind of user then he will not at all stay for a longer time on the website and will switch to the competitor’s website.

Make Your URL Name Easy to Remember
The one of the most important factor is to make aware your customers about you, so you should select such a name for your website which is easy to remember and which makes a meaningful relation with your name.

Make Your Website Mobile Compatible
Nowadays visitors browse the websites with mobile too so it is very important to make your website mobile compatible. This can be done using responsive web design, which is nothing but your website is designed such a way that it fits exactly to the screen of any size giving whole view of the website. Responsive web designs helps in increasing traffic due to increase in percentage of users browsing in mobiles.

Error Handling
There should be proper error handling at the time of coding which keeps the website bug free. While coding for an online application make sure you give proper error messages, so that even if the user while filling the form makes some error it should be clearly shown on the screen where the user has gone wrong. This makes website user friendly and makes website more bug free.


Regular Updates Is Required
According to the changes in the market there arises a need to update the websites, The technology changes day by day and you have to remain updated with the technology and so do your website too.It is essential that you update your website at regular intervals. This will help you to recognize the errors of your portal as well as your users can find something new and fresh after a regular interval.

Search engines like updated websites – Search engines record how often you update your website. The more you update your website, the more it will rank its web pages and the more people will find you on search engines.

Your customers will visit it more often – An important part of updating your website is to keep your customers informed and give them updates. Whether it is news, a sale, an event, a change in policy, etc. all of this is valuable information that your customers want and can use. It will also help attract potential customers and convert them into regular customers.

Speed/Loading Time
Make sure that your website takes a nominal time to be uploaded because viewers hate to visit pages with longer loading time.No one prefers to wait for web pages to load. Therefore, always ensure that your website uses the least codes possible. If your website takes long time to load, chances are that your customers will get bored and leave without reading what you want them to.

Include Contact Information
Never forget to give the contact details of your company so that the viewers can trust you. Try to give some physical address to enhance your reputation.

Providing contact information creates confidence and offers comfort to users since they know that there is a real company behind a business website. This will have a potential impact on the goal conversion, specifically if you are selling products and/or services directly online. Thus the visitor can convert from a visitor to customer easily. Always provide easy contact mechanisms like contact forms, customer service numbers and addresses along with pin codes and phone numbers. Hence potential customers who want to find more about your products or services can reach you at the click of a button or phone call easily.

Social Media Sharing
Include the option of social media sharing on your website so that they viewers can feel it easy to access your website and get connected with their social media profiles through the same.

Social Media in this generation have become so much important and necessary for promoting each and every business, Do include blogs on your website and social media sharing options, people are seeking for the new information and likes to share it on social media platforms, By including social media option on your website gives users the comfort of sharing information without even going away from the website.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY 2016

On 15 August, India celebrating its 70th Independence Day.

{WISH YOU ALL } 

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

MAY OUR COUNTRY PROGRESS IN EVERYWHERE AND IN EVERYTHING
SO THAT THE WHOLE WORLD SHOULD HAVE PROUD ON US.


HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY



HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY


HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY


HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

Friday, August 12, 2016

Tips for Responsive Website Design

Responsive design has become the new web standard. Many companies have accepted the challenge and have created specific design solutions (such as mobile only) or have attempted to address the issue cross-platform. In this article we look at several tips to help with your design process and make it more efficient.  

One such program is Adobe Edge Reflow, which allows you to make use of media queries, set breakpoints within the program and design your layouts to fit desktop, tablet and mobile. You can then copy the CSS into another program such as Adobe Dreamweaver or other HTML editor to further refine your design.

Consider a Mobile First Strategy: This is where you build the mobile site first, then scale up and build the tablet and desktop designs. One of the major concerns for all three is the logo and/or text. If the text is easy to read on the mobile device then you shouldn’t  have any issues with the tablet or desktop.
  


Beware of Navigation: If your site has only 2-3 navigational menus, you could include those in a simple menu on the screen. If there are more menu elements, you might want to consider creating a single icon that opens into a drop down menu of additional menu items.

other option is to make use of an icon menu style as one would see with a GoMobi site.

Build the Look and Feel of Your Site(s) First: Some companies, like Jiffy Software, build the entire layout of the interface first, before doing any coding. This ensures they have the look and feel the client wants before they do any coding. When building a layout for a mobile site, one very important consideration is making the buttons large enough for a fingertip. Another consideration is keeping the design both simple, yet functional. Many designers tend to add too much to a mobile interface, which can cause design and usability problems. When in doubt, keep it simple.  

  

Be Prepared to Use Many Software Programs: For many users, using a template with WordPress will be enough but if you want to build a complex design, you might have to use custom programs and you might have to code each site individually.
As an example, if your layout is fairly straightforward you might use a template such as Moboom but for a more complex layout you might need to use programs such as Adobe Dreamweaver for the desktop and a standalone program such as GoMobi for the mobile layout. 


Images: When building responsive design layouts, create optimized images for each layout. This reduces scaling and bandwidth issues. Make use of JPEG, GIF and PNG-8 file formats. Never use PNG because it can bloat your files sizes by 5-10 times.

Use Exact Measurements with Images: (i.e. 500x350px at 100ppi) and set image dimensions to match. This will eliminate scaling and will also preserve the resolution and quality of your images. If your images scale this could cause color depth and resolution problems.

 Must Read: Quick Tips to Improve Your Web Design Skills


Use Parallax Scrolling: Here is a tutorial on how to make your site responsive. As with many design elements, the effect can be overdone, so here are some examples of several sites which use the technique well. 

About Updates: If your site is to be a one-off production then updates won’t be an issue but if you plan to build the site then hand it off to others for updates, make sure that it’s easy to do so. Include instructions for those who come after you. Make sure you place comments in the code along with written documentation so those who come after you can see what you’ve done. This will make it easier for them to make updates/changes as necessary. 



Limit the Use of Text on Mobile Devices: Only use what’s necessary, rather than trying to reproduce your desktop site on mobile device. The latter tends to create long scrolling pages, which can cause you to lose viewers.
  
Take Advantage of Google Design Standards: On this page, you will learn what Google recommends when designing sites for use with smartphones. Among other things, you’ll find out what you need to do to make your smartphone pages load quickly.

Test Code Snippets and Templates: As in some of our earlier articles on the use of API’s, be careful. You might accidentally slow down the performance of your site. If in doubt, test the components, first.






Build a toolkit of Frameworks: One fast way of creating responsive designs is to build on what is already there, using existing themes (such as Genesis or Thesis) and use these to create custom child themes. This will save an enormous amount of time since you won’t have to build a new layout from scratch. 

Clean Design: This is especially important with responsive design. Make sure you strip away all non-essentials when designing your site(s). This will improve page loading time.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Quick Tips to Improve Your Web Design Skills

Every web designer has a secret or two. Hard-won workflows, hidden hacks, and insider knowledge that are the mark of true experience and the stuff that separates great web design training from good.
Here, we've managed to persuade some of the web's busiest devs and designers to part with their most closely guarded tricks and tips. It's quite a collection.
Packed with professional know-how, you'll discover secret features of well known tools, the beta services that the design industry is buzzing about and CSS tricks that make page design for multiple platforms easy. So whether you're a beginner at online design or a web veteran, you're bound to uncover one or two tips here that will change the way you work.

Design in shades of gray, then add color

If your web designer creates wireframes prior to visual designs, then you know the value of starting with shades of gray.  Turn your wireframe into a grayscale visual design, add your photography, then carefully add color to design elements one at a time.  
This will prevent an “overdesigned” website and help to place prominence on just the items that need it.

Use Keynote (Mac) to create rapid page prototypes

You don’t need Photoshop to create rapid prototypes of web pages, landing pages, call to actions or other web interface elements.  There’s an entire underground movement around using Keynote (that’s Apple’s version of PowerPoint) to create mockups.

There’s even an online repository containing user interface design templates for wireframing, prototyping and testing mobile and web apps in Keynote.

Add web fonts to your corporate style guide

It’s 2015, and if your corporate style guide doesn’t include web fonts, then you need to look into adding those so your website has the same governance that corporate documents and collateral does.
If you haven’t looked into this yet, Google Fonts is a great place to start. Find a suitable web font and define usage in your corporate style guide so you use it consistently online

Remove sidebars

The sidebar has been an especially popular web design trend for the last ten years, especially on blogs. Many companies are finding that when they remove sidebars from their blogs, it encourages reader attention to the article and the call to action at the end.
Removing the sidebar on our company blog has increased the number of clicks on call to action graphics over 35%.

Get color inspiration from nature

Struggling to find the perfect color combination for your website or a call to action graphic? Get your inspiration from nature. You can either use your own camera to photograph natural wonders around you or find landscape photos on the web, the use a color picker to select a color. Nature’s color palette never fails.

Step away from the computer

Good design starts with great planning. Getting your ideas down on paper or on a whiteboard can help you iterate through a design, refining it and adding detail as you go along. Drawing on a whiteboard can also make the design process collaborative and allow other team members to give input.

It’s also easy to erase pencil from paper or marker from a whiteboard and make quick changes, and once you have something concrete to work with, snap a photo with your mobile phone and get to work on screen.

Use Pinterest to create mood boards

When you’re putting together inspiration and ideas for a new website, or you’re redesigning part of your website, you need a way to collect your inspiration in one place for future reference.
Did you know that you can use Pinterest to create a mood board of your favorite images, colors, layouts, patterns, sample websites and concept material? Another great advantage of using Pinterest is that other designers create and share mood boards too, and they’ve already curated a ton of resources that you can use.
Bury those social media icons
You did all that work to get people to your website, and yet you’re inviting them to leave? That’s what you’re doing when you place social media icons in a prominent location of your website, like in the header. Bury the icons in the footer.
If people are on your website, you want them to stay, learn and perhaps inquire about your services, not check out company picnic photos and bowling outings on Facebook. Social media should send people to your website, not vice versa.

Ditch the slideshow/carousel
When the homepage slideshow/image carousel came into fashion, it was a way to get lots of information on the first page of your website. The problem is that most people don’t stay on the page long enough to experience all of the tiles/messages.  
What’s more is that the messages and images usually aren’t relevant to your prospect’s first visit. What’s the one thing a visitor should take away from their website visit? Promote that one thing -- usually what your company does in layman’s terms -- and ditch the rest.

Simplify navigation

Reducing your visitors’ options might seem counter intuitive, but it can actually help guide people to your most productive content. Rather than overwhelming your website visitors with links to every page, simplify your navigation.
Eliminate dropdown menus and especially multi-tier dropdown navigation that only the most skilled mouse user can navigate, and go a step further by reducing the number of links in the header or sidebar of your website.


Increase your font size

Typography is incredibly important in web design. Text is hard enough to read on a computer screen, so you have to make the important things stand out.
One way to do this is to increase your font sizes, especially for headings and important blocks of text. Consider increasing the size of your normal font, too.

Use white space

It may be hard to believe that using whitespace is a hack, but I evaluate websites every day that could use more whitespace. Not every blank area of the screen needs to be filled.
Even though whitespace and simplicity are in style right now, too many companies try to cram everything into a small space, or worse yet, “above the fold.”  Give your design room to breathe, and your website visitors will be able to find things easier.

Use the squint test

Want a quick way to learn what’s most prominent on your website? Back away from your computer screen and squint.  Most everything will become blurry, and only the larger, colorful, more prominent features will be noticeable.