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Stitched PanoramaWeb design has more in common with print design than we like to admit. While the web offers endless opportunities and unique design possibilities, print design has been evolving for over 500 years and much of how we approach content of all kinds comes from our longstanding use of print and paper.

Design is really all about connecting with the public and sharing information in an attractive form, whether it be in books, images, or videos. Noupe offered some print design rules that apply in every medium you want to use.

Less is More

Print has always been very aware of size constraints. If you go over the size limit, it means adding more space, which meant using more paper, which means higher costs. The web has the opposite problem. We are given endless space and some designers take that space and try to use as much of it as possible to bombard viewers with everything they have to offer.

When you throw too much at the audience all at once however, you face clutter problems as well as just overwhelming and putting off your audience. Consider a memo or press release, and how corporate designers aim to immediately grab the viewer’s attention with economic design. You can put out information with a strong central theme or message without attacking your audience all at once.

Make Scanning Easy

Very few people read every word on anything. We are skimmers, who jump to and from text littered all throughout or life, and we expect the things we read to make this easy for us. People don’t want to have to search extensively for what they’re looking for. They want the content to be broken up in a way where sections and different types of information are immediately obvious.

Following a typographical hierarchy is one of the best ways to keep your content organized for scanners to find what they are looking for. Headlines and sub-headings guide the eyes and announce the main topic of content sections, while bold and italics draw attention to important areas.

Functionality is More Important Than Style

Managing print functionality doesn’t seem like that much of a task, but part of that comes from our long history of streamlining text into its most legible forms from the birth of the print press. Consider every aspect of print design that keeps text legible; text color, layout, font choice, and even text alignment all have to be considered in order to keep the print “functional” or able to convey the information you’re trying to share.

In web design, functionality is much more of an overt issue, yet the rule remains the same. Some designers try to hard to create lavish sights rich with animation and high quality images, but they sacrifice usability, sped, and practicality in favor of style. Any site that doesn’t work for users isn’t a successful site because people won’t care about fancy design if they can’t use it.

retinize-it

Making “retina-ready” images isn’t exactly difficult, but it is definitely tiresome and far from fun. No one likes looking back on all of their website’s images and having to painstakingly go through and rescale and resave individual images all day. That’s exactly why web design tools are so popular. Designers aren’t quite lazy, but boy do we hate doing tedious tasks.

Artiom Dashinsky from Tel-Aviv was the designer who decided this issue needed a free tool to speed up creating high definition images for high density “retina” screens. His creation, “Retinize It” is an automated set of two Photoshop actions.

As Noupe explains, the first action slices a selected layer or group into a single image, then opens the dialog for saving the image for the web. The second one does the same, scaled the sliced area up 200-percent, and reopens “Save for Web” so that you end up with two differently scaled versions of the same image almost automatically.

Before you use Retinize It, you should always make sure your image relies on shapes or has been turned into a smart object. Traditional pictures will just be pixelated by the simple upscaling.

Dashinsky’s tool is far from revolutionary, and won’t accomplish much that any competent designer wouldn’t be able to do for themselves, but it cuts down on wasted time spent manually reworking individual images.

These days, everyone has an app. Apple has over 800,000 apps in their store, and Android is close behind. Search for anything you need an app for, and there is little chance you won’t find an option delivering the solution, quite possibly even for free.

With that many apps out there, making one of your own has more than a few risks. How do you attract users? How do you find a market not already covered? How do you improve over the already available options? You’re trying to get people to flock to your application when, according to Noupe, over 60-percent of apps in Apple’s store have not been downloaded a single time.

The truth is, getting your app in front of others’ eyes requires creating a quality product, then optimizing the heck out of it. App stores work just like search engines, and there is plenty of App Store Optimization to be done.

However, just like with SEO, simply optimizing a bad product isn’t going to get you far. There are numerous concerns you must address if you want your own app to stand a chance before you even get to the optimization stage. New Relic, an analytics service, recently released a new product specifically for Apps, and they accompanied the release with an infographic any App designer would be smart to keep around for their next project.

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