Tag Archives: Design

Embracing The Digital Canvas

I teach a course in digital publishing at a university, and one of the main points that I try to impress upon students is the freedom provided by content management systems, particularly WordPress. You see, for a designer, having someone hand you a set of sizes and shapes for your work can at first seem very limiting. But in truth, having a team of coders proactively accommodate all of the web’s many (many) idiosyncrasies is incredibly freeing. Rather than worry about how your design looks on a tablet versus a phone, you can spend your energy building a powerful design, at ease that WordPress is taking care of all the formatting voodoo on your behalf.

In many ways, a CMS like WordPress puts you in a similar position as the greatest artists and designers of all time. Van Gogh had a canvas, Helmut Krone had the size and shape of a newspaper ad – great designers don’t see those dimensions as limitations, but rather as an opportunity to work with abandon without having to spend resources on minutiae. Without having to think about the rules, we can instead think about the artwork itself. Inside the universe created by WordPress, we have the ultimate power, confident that no matter what we choose to design, everyone will be able to see, use and enjoy it.

Some students embrace the idea, others chafe – constantly struggling against the boundaries imposed by the internet and its arcane code. The most successful of the bunch take the CMS and transform it into a thing of beauty, a medium for the delivery of communication that is both strategic and surprising. I’m proud to say that our clients very often hit this sweet spot as well, empowered by our programmers who understand that above all, the very best websites combine a sense of purpose with a sense of wonder.

Find your true potential on the internet. We can help.

Web Design Trends

It seems that all the web talk lately has been centered on the mobile user. Well, there’s good reason for it. The trend is pointed solidly down the mobile road with no going back. With that in mind, the single most polarizing issue in web development today may be the need for responsive sites (specially programmed sites that automatically conform to mobile browsers).

The big question is this: how will the mobile landscape affect the design process. It’s a question we address every day here at {code} Roadies. The trick is to find a balance between flexibility and productivity, a sweet spot that can often be addressed with a responsive site – but not always. As it is with most things in life, the decision is unique to each unique client. The good news, of course, is that {code} Roadies can help. From a basic consultation to a full blown project, we can assist your organization in making well educated design choices.

Trends to Check Out

Below are some of our favorite design trends. This is by no means an all inclusive list. We’ve also included some sites so you can see these trends in action (we don’t necessarily endorse any products listed on the sites, we just think they’re good examples of the trend listed).

SINGLE PAGE SITES

Less is trending. The idea that people aren’t willing to scroll below the fold is disappearing.
http://www.agcchicago.org/netpositive/

DEEPER SOCIAL MEDIA INTEGRATION

It’s not enough to simply put an icon on your site pointing people to your Facebook page anymore. Sites have to create ways to smoothly integrate their social media offerings.
http://assets.wwf.org.uk/custom/foodstory/

MOBILE COMPATIBILITY

As the mobile trend continues to grow with no end in sight, your web offering should be mobile or “fat finger friendly” or else users will simply go elsewhere.
http://mediaqueri.es/

FIXED POSITION NAVIGATION

This is a trend that we at {code} Roadies embrace and encourage our clients to embrace as well. It’s not a good idea to frustrate visitors.
http://www.loyselstoy.com/

INFOGRAPHICS

Why infographics? They provide information in a fun way. What’s better than getting some valuable information in an appealing format? OK, maybe a good rock concert (but still).
http://pinterest.com/LogoDesignGuru1/infographics/

OVER-SIZED IMAGES

Images are the new content! So why not give your users an over-sized image? Just remember to consider image quality!
http://www.timberland.com/