Posts Tagged ‘design’

Web Tip: Use Graphics Wisely to Improve Website Usability

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Design is one of the defining element that attract Internet user to your a site.  A major deterrent that keeps someone for staying on a site is the lack of appealing graphics.  The challenge for a Web Designer is the create a site that not only is attractive to the user but to keep them interested as well

Just putting graphics on a website isn’t the only factor to consider.  Graphic must be used correctly.  If the graphic cause the user to turn away because they are just plain bad or they are overwhelmed that’s not good at all.

It is important to have an attractive design.  It it the choice of design that needs consideration.  And the main consideration to be concerned with the the final user.  A successful design that is attractive and functional is one that reached its goal.

Graphic on the Web is considered of of the element of multimedia.  When using several design elements like text, sound, animation and graphics your goal is to really a message to the user.  When using multimedia in a web site it is vital that it is integral to the content.  It must reinforce and support the message of the page content.

Using graphic can increase learning in a positive way.  That is only if the image is being used properly.   The concept is to remove all barriers to communication and increase understanding.

To help illustrate this point I’ve put together this short list of things to consider when using graphics on your website.

1. Make sure have to have the graphic

Don’t add a graphic for the sake of having a graphic.  Make sure it serves a positive function to the content.  It is easy to overuse graphics on a page.  The real down side is that large unnecessary graphic slow down page load time.  Remember time is important to your user.  All graphic therefore must support the message and have relevance to its meaning.

2. Repetitiveness

Repeating a message or concept over and over increases retention.   This can be true of graphic elements as well.  A logo used consistently on your site will increase brand identity.   Button with similar graphic elements are useful in usability.

3. Keep it Consistent

Keep thing it their place.  If your logo is located at the top left it needs to be there at the same place on each and every page.  The same with your navigation graphics.  Don’t move things around this will confuse and frustrate your user.  The same goes with the use of color.  Find a theme and stick to it.

4. Media Loading Priority

As a page loads certain elements get loaded as the browser loads the page.  Try to have the markup done is such a way as to load text before graphics.   This will help the user know if the information is pertinent to there quest for information.

5. Page Loading

Keep in mind that graphics load much slower than text.   The goal is less than 5 seconds.  The maximum amount of time should be no more than 15 seconds.   Also, with more people using High Speed Connections this frees you to add more multimedia to your site.  Just make sure that your target users is up to speed.

6. Optimize Speed

Images need to processed to optimize speed.  The web world is much more different than the print world.  In the print world Hi-Res images are the standard.  However Hi-Res does not work on the web.   By optimizing the image you will save time for your visitors.  Here are some thing to consider when optimizing for speed.

  • Make the graphic size a small as possible. Don’t use the browser to resize
  • Decrease image resolution.  If your image is 600dpi you must reduce it to 72dpi
  • Limit the colors that will be used for the images.
  • Limit the use of animation in the graphic.

In web design there can be a conflict between total control of the look of the page and the needs allowed by the user.  This is the great balance of design.  A good design accomplishes both ends.  It take a lot of effort to create an attractive and effective web site.  By following the guidelines here the results will be better.   But first is to satisfy the user above anything else.

Need A Web Site?

Custom Web Design for Small Businesses by professional and experienced web designer and developer.

Here is what I can do for you…

  • Innovative Web Design
  • Graphic Design Logos
  • Maintain Your Website
  • Data Driven Content
  • Flash Applications
  • Build Shopping Carts for Ecommerce
  • Custom PHP Applications and Programming
  • WordPress Installation & Customization

Get an affordable, attractive great website today. Hire Me For Your Web Design Solution. View my portfolio at

One sheet of paper

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Entries for an art contest at the Hirshorn Modern Art Gallery in DC.

The rule: the artist could use only one sheet of paper.

Paper Butterflies

“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”
– Theodore Levitt


“Genius means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.”
– William James

Ballet Dancer Paper

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
– Mary Lou Cook

Paper Bridge

“Creativity is seeing something that doesn’t exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God.”
– Michele Shea

Paper Art Footprints

“God is really another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things.”
– Pablo Picasso

Paper Art Snowball Avalance House by Lake

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
– Vincent van Gogh

Paper Art Cutout Person Laying down

“I began by tinkering around with some old tunes I knew. Then, just to try something different, I set to putting some music to the rhythm that I used in jerking ice-cream sodas at the Poodle Dog. I fooled around with the tune more and more until at last, lo and behold, I had completed my first piece of finished music. ”
– Duke Ellington

Sitting Skeleton Paper Cutout

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”
– Albert Einstein


“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”
– Edward de Bono

Spider on a Flower

“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”
– Jack London

Daddy Long Legs Spider

“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”
– Edward de Bono

Spider and Butterfly

“Creative power, is that receptive attitude of expectancy which makes a mold into which the plastic and as yet undifferentiated substance can flow and take the desired form.”
– Thomas Troward

Humming Bird and Flower Paper Cutout Art

“Every day is an opportunity to be creative … the canvas is your mind, the brushes and colours are your thoughts and feelings, the panorama is your story, the complete picture is a work of art called, ‘my life’. Be careful what you put on the canvas of your mind today … it matters.”
– Innerspace

Skeleton Cross Spooky Tomb

There is no use trying,” said Alice. “One can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
– Lewis Carroll

Water Fountain Ray of Hope Dove

“When you are describing, A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don’t state the matter plainly, But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things, With a sort of mental squint.”
–Lewis Carroll

flowers house

“Life is trying things to see if they work.”
– Ray Bradbury

Wedding Dress

“An artist paints, dances, draws, writes, designs, or acts at the expanding edge of consciousness. We press into the unknown rather than the known. This makes life lovely and lively.”
– Julia Cameron

Boat Canoe River Paper Art

When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
-Buckminster Fuller

Tall Tower Building

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt

Tree in Frame

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
-Pablo Picasso

Hang On I've Got You

“Genius means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way. ”
-William James

Man Stand Skeleton Shadow Paper Cut out Art

“The best way to get a good idea is to get a lot of ideas.”
– Linus Pauling

Clouds Sheep

“Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.”
– Rita Mae Brown


“You become more divine as you become more creative. All the religions of the world have said God is the creator. I don’t know whether he is the creator or not, but one thing I know: the more creative you become, the more godly you become. When your creativity comes to a climax, when your whole life becomes creative, you live in God. So he must be the creator because people who have been creative have been closest to him. Love what you do. Be meditative while you are doing it – whatsoever it is!”
– Osho

Man Standing in Fractured Landscape

“Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem.”
– Rollo May

Paper Cutout Castle

Eight Steps in the Design Process

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

The following step can be used in nearly any creative activity.  It can be used in writing a song, creating a logo or building a web site.  It is a basic road map to follow that will provide greater clarity in the creation and design project.

Identify the Problem

The beginning of the the design process requires that you identify the problem you want to solve.  Once you have a clear picture, idea or concept of the problem it will be easier to come up with viable solutions.

Brainstorm Preliminary Ideas

Once you have defined the problem brainstorm as many way possible that will solve the problem.  When brainstorming do not edit your thoughts and ideas.  Let them flow freely.  Ideas that don’t make sense can create a bridge that will lead to a fresh new way of approaching a solution to the problem.  It is important that you allow free association to occur when brainstorming.  Do not discount or edit your ideas, that will be dealt with next.

Make Refinements

Now that you have many ideas an ways that can solve your problem, take a look at a few of the ideas and elaborate on them.  Start to polish your ideas.  Now is the time to make changes and edits.  You can even get rid of ideas that don’t appear to work in the current situation.   In this step you will begin to narrow down your ideas.


Okay, you’ve started to refine and narrow down a solution to your problem.  Now take some time to analyze the various solutions to your problem.  Think each idea through.  Experiment with each idea. Figure out how the idea will work in a real life situation.

Decide the Best Solution

After you analyze each of your ideas it is time to make a decision.   By this point you should have fairly good sense of what will work best.  Make a choice.

Make it Happen

Finally, now that you have decided what is the best solution to your problem it is time to implement the solution.  Since the problem is well defined and you’ve explored many different solutions it is time to put it into real life situation.


After your idea is implemented it will need to be fine tuned.  Adjustment may need to be made to make it better.  Sometime you will never know the quirk until it is used in a real life situation.  You need to leave room for improvement and this step allows you the opportunity to make necessary changes


This step forces you to look at the success or failure of the project and the solution to your original problem.  If the idea is successful you may be able to apply it to other applications.  If is dosen’t work that okay.  You may need to start the design process all over from the beginning.