Digital Web

User Experience Designer vs Developer/ Engineer

User Experience (UX) Designers combine their research and graphic design skills together to understand the user needs and produce concepts/solutions/designs that people want to use. This requires a focus on human behaviors, psychology and understanding why people do what they do. It’s all the soft squishy, creative stuff on the right-side of the brain. Most UI Designers can tell you what it should do and why it should do it, but can’t actually build something that works.

User Experience (UX) Engineers fill in the middle ground by combining both design sensibilities and technical skills together. They are skilled at making something both look good and function in a browser/device at the same time. They have the production skills to be able to produce visual designs in Sketch or Photoshop and turn them in to HTML/CSS code. This requires in-depth understanding of how browser rendering engines behave to be able to implement design for the web that renders correctly on all browsers and devices and get all those pixels perfect placed.

I offer both UX design and development, marrying the left and right brain. Contact me today to work on your project.

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2014 Web Design Trends

Trends we can expect to see this year for web development and design. Building on what became popular in 2013, here are some web design trends you can expect to see more and more in 2014.

1. Creative approaches to navigation – gone are the sidebars and the expected menu bar of years past. This year, you can expect to see more sites with creative navigation, tabs, layers, and animation. Off canvas User Interfaces seem to be on trend.

2. Simple and clean colours – more sites than ever are employing a monochromatic look with a pop of a single, usually bright, colour. This draws the viewer’s eye directly to the most important information.

3. Hero image – as the web becomes more and more visual, images are taking the place of content as “king” of the internet. As such, websites that feature large hero images on the home page are becoming more popular.

4. Unexpected typography – hand drawn and energetic fonts are something we will see more of in 2014 as we did last year. Look for combinations of unique font faces with clean text to create an eye-catching juxtaposition.

5. Video in place of text – videos are a great way to engage with your audience and add new depth to your search engine optimization. Now, we are beginning to see video used in place of lengthy text on the home page to eliminate clutter and enable viewers to interact with the brand in a dynamic way. Videos as backgrounds for pages is on trend.

6. Long scrolling page and parallax elements – we’re starting to see long scrolling becoming the norm for shallow sites with little need for navigation. For service-based clients, a long scrolling site may be ideal, especially if you are in a visual industry. As seen on my homepage, images in the background can scroll at different rates giving a layered look.

7. Image Filters – manipulating images for use on sites is a trend I expect to continue into the future. With the popularity of apps like Instagram, and the integration of photo effects into iOS7, we know that altered and filtered images are here to stay.

8. Responsive web design – it’s important to define your target market clearly and determine if a mobile responsive website is necessary for your particular brand. In most cases, it’s a great idea to have this from the beginning. A mobile first approach seems to be the way to go.

Curious as to what I can do to make your site better using these cool techniques? Contact me today for a quote.