Today in Design = CSS

CSS or Cascading Style Sheets are used as a part of web design outside of html, although they are closely related.  CSS is connected to html via a link in the coding that allows for a transfer of rules that are set on the CSS page.

Rules range from anything between, fonts, colors, font size, etc.  The “!important” rule always takes precedent over other rules that may have been inserted into code, if any overlapping occurs, the !important rule is the override.

Every html page that you want to use the CSS must have a link statement in the head.  Such as <link href=”default.css” type=”text/css” rel=”style sheet”/>

I myself am new to CSS but, so far so good!
CSS

The Digital Age Evolution

Since the late 80’s and into the early 90’s there has been a nonstop timeline of digital evolution.  From calculators, computers, cell phones, MP3 players and Ipods to HDTV’s, laptops and beyond our digital world has grown exponentially in the last twenty years.  Today the average college student probably owns at least a handful of digital items, many of us cannot go without a cell phone for even one day and with assignments and tests being put online and course lectures utilizing digital media; almost everything has become digital to the point of complete dependence.

As younger generations develop and grow older, eventually they will become the students in colleges across the country.  For these students their lives and coursework will most likely be completely dependent on digital media, whether it be e-mail, angel, or really anything involving advanced technology. This is not necessarily good news, as we all know technology cannot always be depended on to perform.  I worry that our culture may become so attached to our devices that we forget how to actually interact within a normal human society.

20 years ago e-mail was something that revolutionized the internet and life as we know it.  Today, e-mail is just a minute detail of the all-encompassing internet yet nearly everyone has an e-mail address.  This has become a trend in the digital world, whereas something becomes extremely popular and widespread only to be trumped by the next big thing.  This cycle is happening faster and faster as technology becomes more advanced and widespread across the globe.  The advent of Google Glass has now taken smartphone technology and the digital world to an even greater level as users use voice commands to navigate the smart-glass.  The IWatch is similar in that it uses smartphone technology but as a watch.

Digital technology is here for the long haul, and the next 20 years is going to show us a lot and it will be interesting to see where we as a society end up in this digital age.

Which is more important? Webpage Design or Organization?

Tricky question right?

They both have their advantages and disadvantages, which is why having both would really create a great webpage, but if you had to choose one… I’d choose organization every time.

An organized webpage will trump a well-designed webpage because the content is always more important than the look (in life as well).  If you create a webpage with the best design elements, pictures, videos etc, but there’s no way to find any of it then what’s the point?  Having a plain page with no elements but readily available content will still allow users to find what they need quickly and easily.

The best way to organize a webpage is through links, tabs and lists which can separate different ideas or subjects.  Angel is a great example of a webpage that has minimal design elements but is extremely organized.  Students can easily find their courses at the top left and announcements in the center, scroll down and you’ll find your e-mail as well.  The design elements of the page include a simple header with the school emblem and a simple green and white color scheme.

In few cases design may actually be more important than organization.  Typically when a website isn’t content heavy and may rely on entertainment or gameplay webpage deign can take precedent.

Ranking the Top 4 Social Networks by Design

Here is a list of the most popular social networking sites ordered by their layout and design features:

#1 – Twitter 

Twitter is recognized as one of the social networking sites with some of the most traffic.  There are millions of users that use Twitter everyday.  It’s website is easily navigable with few ads, smooth design and minimal clutter.

A user is allowed to create a personalized background and font color to spice up their webpage.  The online website also translates almost identically to the mobile version, which is good for commonalities.

#2 – Facebook

Facebook has had so many different designs over the years, it’s hard to keep track.  The layout has been simplified over the years to include pretty much everything you need on the homepage.  A list of friends who’re online, groups, events and posts are all available at your fingertips.

#3- Instagram

Of all the sites, Instagram probably has the most simple website of all.  A smooth scroll down the page displays all the photos the people you follow post. There is a link to your profile but that’s about it.  The mobile version contains much more, with an “Explore” tab and of course the photo/video features.

#4 – Reddit

Okay Reddit is just awful.  There’s no organization at all it’s like they just post whatever they want with no visual keys or design elements other than a picture next to a link.  It’s very cluttered and hard to find specific items.  Reddit has a good premise, but the website looks like trash.

Typography Examples

These are 3 elements of typography that I have chosen and believe to be very interesting and compelling components of web design:

Permanent Marker Pro – Font

T3425_04

This font is a very interesting and new look.  It adds a look that a normal computer font, such as Times New Roman, doesn’t, with the look of permanent marker.  This would be a good choice for art websites or music, something where a permanent marker may actually be in use a great deal of the time.

Timber 02 – Vectors

E0713_03

This collection of natural tree images is great for the nature lover or websites pertaining to trees, arbor day, nature, wildlife or really; anything.  This collection provides a calming, cool feel to any webpage.

Wormhole – Videos

http://www.youworkforthem.com/video/V0402/wormhole

These types of videos are great for music websites, the arts, and of course science. These videos give the feel of a fast-pace, immediate nature to them, which is something you may want to convey on your website.  On top of that, they look really cool.

Reddit.com Webpage Design

 

The Reddit.com logo

The Reddit.com logo 

     Reddit is a news and social networking website that provides links to pictures, videos, stories and pretty much anything else of interest on the internet.  The problem with it though is not its premise, it’s its design which is unorganized, sloppy, and filled with advertisements.

     Instead of ranking the various links on one page, it would be smart to organize the links by category so one can browse much faster when looking for something specifically.  Also the website is very wordy; use of images should be more incorporated to invite more browsers.  The ranking system is something I personally believe should be done with; instead of ranking them you can still count the number of views and shares and possibly sort the links by these categories.

Overall the design aspect of reddit is very bad,  there’s really not much too it.  The important components of the site are hard to find (login box, register link) and its layout is simply boring.  Although it’s not all bad, the subreddits area provides numerous links to different categories such as sports, science and food, and of course the search bar helps a great deal. 

 

The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek: A New York Times Multimedia Story

Elyse Saugstad, a professional skier, survived her battle with the Tunnel Creek Avalanche.

Elyse Saugstad, a professional skier, survived her battle with the Tunnel Creek Avalanche.

The New York Times story on the Tunnel Creek incident is a story of mother nature and how it can show its strength at some of the most unexpected times.

The story is written with good use of language and writing but more specifically the layout and media is key to making this a success.

Video interviews, packages, pictures, and background images are all included in the story helping to give the story some life and personality.  Also it helps the story read better, giving the reader an opportunity to get background information, in one click.

Since “Page One” the New York Times has realized that in this ADD society we live in today, people don’t have the patience to read full length story with the multimedia to support it.

The Times uses this multi-platform technique very well.  The images and video of people from the actual incident really give the story a more dramatic feel without taking away from the writing.

Here’s a video by the New York Times that goes along with the story: