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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How to Improve your Web Designing Ability

Designing the web is tough!

How many times have you found yourself stuck for ideas on how something should look, or whether you should put those colors together? In this article I’m going to confront a few ideas that I’ve had rummaging around in my head on what web design really is, and how we can all work towards a better looking web. I think this is especially important if you’re a programmer. It can be hard to let your artistically creative side out. Hopefully after this you’ll have a starting point from which you can move forward.

Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration. – @zeldman

Start thinking of Web Design as an art.

It is very easy to get caught up in the mathematic side of web design. For example, grids are a great example of something web designers use to align all their content properly. Rightfully so one might say, seeing as web design has its roots in a strictly mathematical idea: computer programming. I’m sure you’ve all seen early web designs. A lot of those people weren’t artists, they were programmers Since those days of colorless, bleak design and Times Roman text the web has become a lot more than a bunch of niche topics and ugly borders. Web design cannot always be brought down to logical and congruent ideas, sometimes you have to treat it as an art.

That is perhaps key to making a great website. The design is an art form. It is crafting a creative and unique holder for the content, so people will perhaps think of looking twice. Treat it as art, rather than something mechanical like coding. Remember that art is about creating a feeling, about making someone stop and notice, but perhaps most of important of all, it’s about letting people interpret for themselves what it all means.

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I realise there are a lot of people who design websites who aren’t artists, heck, I’m one of them. Everyone has the ability to create. Sometimes I feel more comfortable designing a website in CSS than I do in Photoshop, and that’s okay. Do what feels natural to you, don’t get pulled down by the status quo.

Then again, can we define web design as just an art?

Okay, so we’ve started treating our websites as pieces of art, but is web design all just art? Well the simple answer to that is “no”. You can make something beautiful, something truly unique, but if it’s hard to use it wasn’t even worth your time. Never forget the fundamentals: Content, Coding, Usability and Design. Before launch, test a few routes you think a user will take through your website. If you can navigate easily, then you’re good to go.

Physically record ideas.

Ever consider not starting your design in photoshop? Perhaps totally unthinkable to a web designer, but sometimes it’s a good idea to grab a physical piece of paper and record ideas whenever you come across them. Sketch designs and feel whats right rather than awkwardly trying with the pen tool in photoshop. You can also practice more ideas this way, making you at least a little more efficient. You might even want to do something to get the artistic juices flowing, like drawing or painting.

Look for inspiration

Look around you! There are so many designs and so many years of people refining and recreating objects to make them attractive, or even to make them easier to use. Now try looking outside. The world is pretty darn beautiful. Take inspiration from the things you see. You might even want to take a picture or do a sketch of a great idea. If that still doesn’t help you might want to check out two of our roundup posts: Website Trends: 5 Things Web Designers are Doing and 15 Websites That Make Great Use of Typography.

Practice always makes perfect

A great way to learn new techniques is to mimic other designers (not in a real design, that’s plagiarism!) and to learn techniques. You can also visit some great tutorial websites such as:

Use a Grid System

I know earlier I begrudged the idea of grids, when comparing it to a more “mechanical” form of web design rather than artistic, but really, a grid is a great way to control your web designs. It’s not about caging your ideas, but moreover making them align correctly so you can produce content that feels ‘right’ to the user.

One of the best and most well known grid systems is known as 960. Seriously consider using it on your next project. A grid can really help you improve how your web designs look and feel. While on the topic of the math behind web design, don’t forget about the golden ratio. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a number seen throughout nature and was even used by the greeks when they created The Pantheon! The golden ratio is roughly 1:1.6. In other words, a simple two column web design that is 960 would have a 600 wide main column, and a 460 wide sidebar. This can sometimes look better than picking arbitrary numbers for your columns.

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Color Coordination

Choosing colors is at least the part of designing that I find most difficult. Fortunately for you, there are a lot of great services which can help you. Don’t forget how important color coordination is. Colors invoke feelings in people, and the colors you pick can really determine whether or not a user will click on a link.

The Two Main Color Scheme Services:

Both of these will really help you out if you should get stuck on your color scheme. Another great way to pick a color scheme is to take a photo or picture you have, and sampling random colors on it. For example, take the lightning photo we had earlier. I did some sampling in photoshop and came up with this:

Of course, I’m sure you can do much better with your own pictures and color schemes! Keep these tips in mind next time you open Photoshop or try to think of an idea. Creativity doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Things Designers Should Teach Their Clients

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When starting as a designer, you might encounter some issues along the way, especially in the relationships you develop with your clients. This happens mainly because the clients quite often have the wrong idea of what we actually do and think that “anybody can design a website”. In their opinion it is as easy as opening Photoshop and drawing something, then writing three lines of code and there you go, you have developed a website.

We all know the reality of is totally different, but until we explain this to our clients, they will not start understanding us and will not value our work any more than they currently do.

The way of improving their opinion is trying to give teach them different lessons, either by telling them directly or by letting them understand through your collaboration. However, it is more likely to help if you do it before signing a contract, because your working relationship will change and will be clear to them from the beginning. This way you can set some expectations and they will better understand who they’re collaborating with.

1. You are an artist, not a laborer
It is good to start with this one. Explain to them from the beginning that what you do is called creative work. Tell them designers need talent, skills and experience to be able to deliver highly-rated products. Like any other kind of tradesperson, designers/artists know how to do their jobs. Nobody tells doctors how to do their jobs and this is because people know that their doctor knows much more than they do about their health. It should be the same with designers. Just because clients know that blue and red make purple or what an anchor or container is, doesn’t make them experts.

Tell your clients that regardless of what they may think, design is not easy, that’s the best designers are paid to make it look easy. Explain to them that even though you accept feedback (we will talk about this a bit more down the road), you are the expert and you’ll only do what you believe is better for the final product, even if they may disagree with you.

Image by toomas

This happens mostly with freelance designers. If you work in a studio, you will most likely be left to do the job the way you want it. The situation changes for freelancers, however. Clients think that because you’re a freelancer and don’t have an office or work 9-5 Monday to Friday (which many of them do, by the way), you are not a professional. Tell your client that you have working hours like everybody else and don’t allow him to call you at 10:30 at night asking for a one final small adjustment before the flyers go to print the next morning. By setting these boundaries clients will also be more cautious and will think twice before calling you too often or outside of your office hours.

2. You are the expert, not them

This is a huge one and I tell you this because there have been many times that a client has called me and told me how to do my job. The bottom line is that you know the web better than they do and they should not doubt that. They shouldn’t come and give you lessons about social media, usability and design, because you already know those – and most likely he or she doesn’t know them better than you.

Many people think that just because they know how to open Illustrator or made a nice wedding invitation in Microsoft Word once that they are designers. Establish from the beginning who is the expert, but be careful about how you tell people this, you don’t want to sound harsh or arrogant. How you can handle your clients depends on so many things that I can’t tell you how to properly explain this to them, but here are some ideas:

Try to explain all the reasons behind the major decisions you make. By hearing that you did something with a clear purpose they will realize you know what you are doing.
Showing data or research to support things you say is very powerful. Google this and use it if you can, clients will always believe in your solution when they will see that many other people do.
You could also use books, design rules and principles or even academic discussions or files to show that the way you do things is industry standard (or truly ground breaking and different).
The power of example is very useful if you know how to use it; show your clients other important web sites using the same technique or principles. By showing him that “big players” use it, he will ask for it himself.

Image by sachyn

There might be some other stuff you could use, such as showing up on time to client meetings, dressing appropriately, being organized, writing professional and well-thought e-mails and, obviously, meeting deadlines. The most important is to be taken seriously by the client and you can’t do this if you don’t follow these simple rules.

3. Feedback is taken into consideration, impositions are not accepted

This is another important one, especially when everybody thinks they can be a designer. Feedback should always be accepted and considered, because others might have better ideas. They might also have some ideas that will improve the final results. Moreover, if the web page you make heads in a direction that the client doesn’t want, this is not really good for your reputation, so always accept feedback.

There is a clear difference between feedback and imposition. If a client starts giving you guidelines and ideas on how to do everything, you should stop him and explain that you know what you’re doing. Assure him of the fact that the final result is going to be actually better than the one he wants, because you are the expert, as mentioned above.

However, it is a really difficult to explain your clients, so take care about not being too harsh. Take some time in the beginning to listen to their questions and answer them as accurately and precisely as you can. Most of the clients will feel that their need to be involved in the project is lower once you have a talk with them about it. Explain in the beginning that you would like feedback from him up until the deadline, but you will be the one who makes the final decision.

4. Communication is crucial

It is very important to have a good relationship with your client during the project and also after it. Therefore try to maintain close contact with the client while you work together. This is also important because it is the only way you can find out what your client thinks and wants. Don’t just show up after three weeks with the final product done for delivery. Even if you respect the deadline and work within the budget, the client might still not be happy because he was not involved in the development process at all.

Image by YOdesigner

Many clients tend to be too involved in their projects so many designers try to stay away and only show up on the delivery date with the project, charge the money and leave. This is rather likely to end your relationship on neutral terms and the client will never come back to you for more work.

If you involve the client a bit, he will feel that he is part of the project and that he is the one who makes the decisions – although we know it is not like that. Explaining from the beginning or better yet specifying in the contract that you will ask for client meetings a few times is a good idea to make the client feel he will be part of the development process more than he actually is. Including clients usually means they have a great appreciation for the work you do as they see it develop from basic idea to final product.

5. Web is not print

There is a general misconception out there that web and print are very similar. Well, they’re not and we know it, but how do we explain this to our clients that are mostly familiar with print? They might want a web site that looks like a brochure – while you don’t. It is important to take the time and explain to your clients that the web is very different from print (even though I think we can all agree that until you know the difference it’s easy to understand why people think they’re almost the same) and there are different rules. We just decided upon who is the expert, so why not show you are one and educate your clients? You don’t need to read them a whole design book, just explain some basic principles and provide examples – clients will be more than happy to accept you as the expert when you show them and act like you are one.

6. “One small final change” does not exist

If you have even the smallest bit of experience you’ve heard this quote already. Another problem is that this usually comes at the last minute before the deadline and it affects the whole process, including the probability of you meeting the deadline. Even the simple process of changing a color might be complicated, because you need to go back and re-export the files, change the stylesheet and even make general design changes to complement the new set of colors.

In my opinion one the most important clauses you need to stipulate in a contract is the revision clause. Explain to the client in detail that for every change from one point in time on, he will have to pay extra. Allow them one or two revisions (depending on the size of the project) and charge money from then on. They will think twice before calling you with four hours before the deadline with a small, minor final change.

7. Set reasonable deadlines

We know that all the clients want the product as fast as possible, but some clients don’t understand the time it can take for even a simple website (for example our first lesson) and set difficult or impossible deadlines. Explain to them that a web site can’t be designed, developed and deployed in two days and don’t sign the contract if the deadline is not reasonable. It’s better to avoid these clients than work for them and not get paid, or get paid less because you didn’t deliver by their difficult deadline.

This is not easy to explain either, but you can actually come with a schedule draft and explain to the client what will you use each hour for. There is a high probability that he will understand. Another tip is to never deliver a schedule draft that you think is just enough for that kind of project. “Just enough” is never enough. Double or triple the time you think you need – the client doesn’t know how much the design phase takes anyway. Now I’m not saying to scam the clients into paying you more than you work for, but you need to make sure you have enough time for those minor, small changes and for the emergencies you might encounter.

Another good thing about setting such a deadline is that clients will always be happy to get the product earlier than expected. I always say: “Under promise, but always over deliver.” This makes clients think you worked more on their project than you should have and they will be happy to pay you at the end of the collaboration and even hire you again some time soon.

8. The contract is not just for fun

We’re not playing the designer – client game. This is serious business and the contract you sign with the client has to be respected. It is important to have a strong contract, but regardless of what kind of deal it is, always turn back to it if needed. Moreover, tell the client from the beginning that the contract is important and you want it to be respected. He will actually get a good impression about you and will see that you are serious and professional about what you do.

To give you some ideas about what should the contract include I made a list for you, as it follows:

Client meetings
Work hours
Contact hours
Licensing (who owns the product at the end of the project)
Payment rules
Revising rule

This is not everything, but those are some of the most important clauses you want to include in a contract with a client.

Keep in mind that this tip is not about having a contract (we shouldn’t even talk about this), but about revising it together with the client. Make sure he knows what’s written there. Nobody reads contracts nowadays, especially with banks, car rentals and many, many others. Therefore keep it short and force the client into revising it by being there when he signs it.

Bottom line

Being a designer or developer is not easy and I am not saying this only because of the amount of skills you need, but because you need to work with people and they are always different. You will never have two clients or projects that are the same. Challenges and difficulties in communicating with them always appear and it’s up to you to solve them. It is not easy to stand up to someone who pays you, but it is worth doing. They will respect you more after you do it and most of them will just accept the rules. Don’t be afraid to share these lessons with your clients, only be aware of how you do it.

Have you encountered these issues with your clients? How did you solve them, or you just worked without working anything out?


Sunday, January 8, 2012

How to use Google Analytics to Drive more Traffic to Your Website

There are probably thousands of articles on the web talking about Google Analytics, such as how to use the free reporting tool, how to set up Google Analytics for your website, and what Google Analytics reports you can take advantage of. This is all great information, especially for novice website designers. What I think is missing is the most critical piece of information, which is “How do I analyze these Google Analytics reports in order to actually make impactful changes to my website?” In this article we are going to answer that question, as well as, provide you with some examples of taking certain data from Google Analytics, analyzing it, and then using it to make changes to your website and/or website marketing.

Analyze Your Website on a Quarterly Basis

Tools like Google Analytics allow you to check your website traffic data as frequently as you’d like. I definitely recommend keeping an eye on your Google Analytics reports daily or weekly. With that said, we all know that checking your reports and actually taking time to analyze them are two different tasks. This is why I recommend that every website owner take a full day each quarter to analyze their reports and implement any needed changes to their website based on what the data is showing.

It’s easy to get lost in Google Analytics. There is SO much data that you can analyze. Not only is there a ton of data, but the ways in which you can slice it up seem almost endless. Every website owner is going to have different reports to focus on, but there are a few main data points that all website owners should be aware of during their quarterly reviews:

Traffic Sources – Keywords: Knowing which keywords are driving the most quality visitors to your website is crucial. You can begin optimizing more of your website around these keywords in order to capitalize on those searches.
Traffic Sources – Referring Sites: Understanding which websites are sending the most quality traffic to your website will allow you to focus more effort and time on those sites, and less of your time on under performing websites, moving forward.
Visitors Overview: How much of your website traffic is new visitors versus returning visitors? Knowing this might help you phrase content different or run certain marketing programs geared towards one type of visitor versus the other.
Content Overview – Top Pages: Having an idea of what pages are performing best will tell you what content your visitors are interested in. Produce more of that!
Visits: What days do you have the most traffic to your website? Knowing what days visitors are coming to your website allows you to publish new content or launch promotions on those days in order to capture the most attention.

Now that we have an understanding of some of the most important reports to analyze for your website, let’s dig into each of them to provide examples on how you can use the data to make real impactful changes to your website and website marketing.

Use Keyword Reports to Optimize Your Website

Knowing which keywords to optimize your website with is crucial in attracting the right visitors. Here’s how you can utilize the Keyword reports in Google Analytics:

  • Go into the Traffic Sources Overview section of Google Analytics
  • Find your Top ten performing keywords and make a list of those keywords
  • Go back through your website and begin infusing them into your website content
  • Use them as anchor text for your URLs
  • Name your images with your top ten keywords
  • Add title tags and Alt tags to your images using your top ten keywords
  • Create a list of new blog topics that you want to write about and be sure to infuse your top ten keywords into those articles

By analyzing your Traffic Sources – Keywords report and following the steps above you will significantly increase your website traffic for those specific keywords.

Once you have completed this first main Keyword optimization during your Quarterly review, go BACK through your Keyword report and sort the results by Average Time on Site. Find five keywords that might not be driving a lot of traffic to your website right now, but the traffic that is coming to your site from those keywords tends to spend a lot of time on your site. These are your “growth keywords”. Repeat the steps above using these keywords to see if with a little more use throughout your website they can produce more traffic.

Spend more Time on the Websites that Refer the most Traffic to Your Website

Knowing which websites (or social media channels) around the web that are referring the most traffic to your website is critical. As a website owner you only have so much time in the day to market your site. It’s best to use that time wisely. Follow these steps in order to analyze your traffic sources and make impactful changes to your website marketing:
  • Go into your Traffic Sources report within Google Analytics and review the Top Referring Sites data
  • Ask yourself, are these the websites that I assumed would be near the top? Are these the websites I’m spending the most time using in order to drive traffic to my website?
  • Start trying to figure out why some sites are near the top of this list, while others are near the bottom. Perhaps one of the websites near the top is a site that you recently wrote a guest blog article for. Contact the owner of that site and see if you can write another article for them.
  • Is LinkedIn outperforming Facebook? If so, you may want to tweak the amount of time you spend on both social media sites, with more time being devoted to LinkedIn next quarter instead of Facebook. This strategy can be repeated for all social media sites that you use.
  • Is Banner Ad ‘A’ outperforming Banner Ad ‘B’? If so, perhaps you want to cancel Banner Ad ‘B’ and ask for more space on the website that’s hosting Banner Ad ‘A’.
  • Is there a website that you don’t recognize that’s currently sending a lot of traffic to your website? Reach out to the owner of that website and see if you can partner with them in some way in order to capitalize even more on all of the traffic they are sending your way.
Using the Referral Sources report in Google Analytics will help you become more efficient with your marketing time and more effective at driving traffic to your website.

Run a Contest for New Visitors, Say ‘Thank You’ to Returning Visitors

Analyzing your Visitor Profile through the Visitors Overview report in Google Analytics will let you know how much of your traffic is composed of ‘New Visitors’ and how much of your traffic is composed of ‘Repeat Visitors’. You want to encourage new visitors to become return visitors, as well as, continue to attract even more new visitors. Here are a few ways that you can take your data from the Visitors Overview report and actually use it to improve your website:

  • Post some sort of a ’Thank You’ message somewhere prominent on your website for returning visitors OR send out the periodic ‘Thank You’ email to your email list just letting your supporters know you appreciate them.
  • Do you have an e-Commerce website? Give repeat customers a discount on their next purchase.
  • Create a ‘FAQ’ page to help new visitors quickly understand your website and how to use it.
  • Make the ‘Contact Us’ page as prevalent as possible in case new visitors have questions and need to contact you.
  • Create a survey for returning customers to capture information that you think will help you provide more value to them in the future.
  • Run a contest to encourage new customers to get engaged with your website/brand.

Produce More of the Content Your Visitors Like

Understanding what content is resonating with your visitors will help you come up with new content topics for the next quarter.

Go into the Content Overview section of Google Analytics and navigate to the Top Pages report
Find the top 5-6 pages visited over the past 3-6 months
Think about what information is displayed on each of those pages and determine what information the majority of your visitors are looking for
Develop a Content Plan for the next quarter, comprised of topics that you think are most relevant based on your findings above. A few ideas might be:
  • Write blog articles around popular topics
  • Focus social media efforts in promoting those top pages or discussing those top topics
  • Write an eBook expanding on some of those topics that your visitors are finding valuable
  • Shoot YouTube videos around those topics and embed them into your Top Pages
Producing more of the content that your visitors are finding valuable will keep them coming back, get them to share your website with their friends, and attract new visitors.

Publish New Content, Contests, and General Website Updates on High Traffic Days

Are the weekends a popular time for your website or do most people visit your website during the week? Knowing what days are high traffic days for your website and what days are low traffic days for your website allows you to be much more strategic in regards to publishing new updates to your website. By analyzing the Visits report in Google Analytics you can see which days seem to generate the most traffic. Make a list of your high traffic days and then start taking advantage of those high traffic days in the following ways:
  • Publish blog articles on those days
  • Begin and end contests on high traffic days
  • Spend time on social media during those days
  • Publish events to your website
  • Make architecture or functionality updates on low traffic days

Knowing when, and when not to, publish new information to your website can drastically alter the number of views your new updates receive. Be smart about when you publish new content, news, events, etc. Use the Visits report in Google Analytics as your guide.

Turn Google Analytics Reports Into Impactful Changes for Your Website

Google Analytics is great. The website data provided by Google Analytics can help website owners learn a ton about their website. With that said, unless website owners take time to review and analyze their reports on a regular basis, and then take time to use that data to make changes to their website, they are missing out on the biggest advantage that Google Analytics provides. Google Analytics provides you with a blueprint for giving your visitors what they want, when they want it. Be sure to take advantage of that.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Put Your Customers First

No doubt you've wrestled with products that are impossible to pry open, electronic device tags that can’t be removed with anything short of napalm, and clothing labels that are so scratchy they result in bodily harm.
Why do companies put you through that? Because they’re so focused on what’s important to the company that they don’t consider what’s important to you.

Here’s an example. We called a mobile-phone company about an accounting issue, and they told us we had to go in to a store to solve the problem. What? You can’t do business by phone with a phone company? If the company was more interested in what’s convenient for me, not what’s convenient for them, I’d be a lot happier.

In fact, all the devices sold by mobile-phone companies are made by someone else. Sure, they provide a network, but what are they really selling? They are selling service. Yet, they repeatedly earn among the lowest retailer customer-service ratings.

So how do you keep your business from falling into the “it’s all about me” trap? Here’s how.

Make it easy for me to understand what you sell

I’ve been investigating dashboard software that can make brain-numbing spreadsheets more understandable. I downloaded a demo, and was immediately contacted by one of the company’s “customer success representatives.” A little pushy but, so far so good.

When the demo didn’t work (as in “at all”), I contacted her, but received no response. So I went to the website and watched what was described as an introductory video. It explained how to change the colors of the user interface. When I signed up to download a tutorial, I didn’t receive a download link. I managed to find a set of instructions billed as “First Steps” but the very first step didn’t work. I gave up.

Make it easy for me to do business with you

Every company struggles to find ways to attract customers, and some do an amazingly good job. But many could flush the money they spend on ads down the toilet for all the good it does them. They make it so difficult for hard-earned prospects to do business with them that would-be customers simply go elsewhere.

Websites have broken links or links to the wrong places.
Every company struggles to find ways to attract customers, and some do an amazingly good job. But many could flush the money they spend on ads down the toilet for all the good it does them. They make it so difficult for hard-earned prospects to do business with them that would-be customers simply go elsewhere.

Websites have broken links or links to the wrong places.

Ads and websites don’t provide contact information, maps or directions.

Web forms don’t fill in city and state when a zip code is provided.

Telephone systems require endless navigation to reach an operator who spends the first five minutes asking questions (like verifying your address) that solve their problems, not mine. Why not start with, “How can I help you?” and solve the customer’s problems before solving the company’s?

Apple has made it so easy for you to do business with them. They even let you use your iPhone to pay for accessories in their stores. The Apple Store app lets you scan a UPC code, touch a few buttons, and just walk out of the store with the product. It’s so easy some say it feels as if they’re shoplifting.

Make it easy for me to return your products

From an odd sort of perspective, one of the important ways to make people happy to do business with you is to make it easy for them not to do business with you.

There are plenty of apocryphal stories about people who have been allowed to return products to Nordstrom and Home Depot that, in all likelihood, weren’t purchased there. Costco will accept returns without question on almost every product they sell. Zappos is famous for paying shipping both ways, as they put it, so you can’t not buy from them.

The message? If they treat unhappy, non-customers so well, imagine what they’ll do for you.

Where to start

If you think about it, the golden rule is a pretty good place to start thinking about customer satisfaction. Ask yourself, would you like your business to do unto you as you do unto your customers?

Tom Harnish is a serial entrepreneur. Always on the bleeding edge of technology, he learned what works (and what doesn't) by leading projects, products and companies to success (mostly). He can't play a lot of musical instruments.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Best Design Tutorials in 2011 for any Web Designer

Web designing has become a very integral part of the internet. Web designing is used world wide to design mock-ups that later on are transformed to a practical and efficient HTML / CSS template and makes a website look more attractive and appealing. Photoshop is a technique which is generally used by the web designers while designing as it gives fabulous outcomes. Web layout is a very essential part of web designing and Photoshop is always used in creating these layouts irrespective of whether it a simple one or a sophisticated one.

Photoshop helps in creating these web layouts to a great extend and with the rise of demand, there are more and new sorts of layouts in Photoshop being developed every day. Everyone wants to learn the new stuffs available, there are many way in which you can learn Photoshop, but the best way to improve on your Photoshop skills is by taking tutorials. Some of the best design tutorials created throughout 2011 are given below.

1. Creating an expressive painting using a freestyle method in Photoshop

This tutorial was developed in the month of February this year and it shares the new process called freestyle expressive painting in Photoshop. This tutorial is more of an experimentation based on your imaginative powers and involves the trial and error method. This is not a technique meant for creating a master piece or something of that sort. But it is a technique meant for creating something that is very fresh and raw straight out of your imaginations.

2. Creating a 3D portfolio layout in Photoshop

With the increase in popularity of 3D, this was a new technique developed in 2011 to design web layouts in 3D. This is a tutorial which helps in learning how to use simple techniques to create a portfolio layout with a 3D look to it. The 3D look that this tutorial provides is not very high profile; it is done only by using some simple shadows and light.

3. Creating a flaming car in Photoshop by Lincoln Soares

This Photoshop technique has become quite popular this year. The tutorial will show how to create a car in flames. The effect that we see by using this technique is very good and looks attractive and it is equally simple to do it. You can always try this on various other objects and give them an attractive look.

4. Creating a comic book themed layout in Photoshop

This tutorial is meant for the die hard comic fans. This Photoshop technique gives you the freedom of designing a web layout in the form of a comic book. This tutorial helps you in picking up the simple techniques by which you will be able to create this web layout and the outcome is really awesome.

5. Creating a sports car layout in Photoshop

Every one fantasies about sports cars and this is Photoshop layout basically meant for all sports car lovers out there. This tutorial will teach you new and exciting stuff and how to create a sports car web layout in Photoshop.

6. Creating a sweet donut icon in Photoshop from scratch

This tutorial will teach you how to create a sweet and tasty donut icon from an initial sketch. The entire process is very simple and exciting and you get to learn new things.

7. Yummy cookies typography in Photoshop

With the help of this technique you can actually create texts in a cookies texture. This tutorial will give you a brief idea about the entire process of creating a really nice text effect using the cookies layer styles and texture. The entire process is very simple and the outcome is very attractive.

8. Creating a trendy wordpress themed layout in Photoshop

This tutorial shows you how to create a trendy wordpress themed layout in Photoshop. By the help of this technique web designers can design a simple yet sophisticated web page. The entire process is quite simple as well and doesn’t take much time.

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9. Creating a warm and cheerful website interface in adobe Photoshop

The layout designed by the help of this technique is very colorful and warm and looks very appealing to the naked eye. This tutorial helps you learning the process in which you can create a warm and cheerful interface in adobe Photoshop.

10. Creating an exploding light text effect in Photoshop

This is yet another technique in which you can present a text. By the help of this tutorial you can learn how to create and exploding text effect. You can add several other effects and make the entire layout look more dramatic and attention grabbing.

These are the 10 best design tutorials in 2011 for any web designer and are sure to help them enhance their creations.

About the Author: The above article is composed and edited by RP. She is associated with many technology and logo design communities as their freelance writer and adviser. In her free time she writes articles related to technology, business logo design, etc.


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