design-portfilio

Site Usability through Navigation Design

UX Design

 

Exploring ease of use

Exploring through a site ought to be straightforward and proficient. The route is one of the key determinants of a website’s ease of use. Ease of use alludes to the convenience and learning concerning sites. It can allude to the adequacy and briskness of the route structure of the site to have the capacity to exhibit relevant data to the surfers.

The Issue of Usability

Ease of use is considered to be imperative regarding web improvement today. Sites are made with the aim of making the devices for individuals in doing their day by day errands. Creating complex sites which don’t help individuals in viable doing their undertakings would have neither rhyme nor reason.

Individuals with handicaps are keeping on developing in number. In the United States alone, one-fifth of the populace is irritated by some sort of incapacity. This is the principle motivation behind why many individuals are equipping towards making sites more usable. The Internet has turned into a principal instrument for these individuals to have the capacity to experience their lives.

The ease of use of a site is reliant on a few unique elements, for example, availability, content quality and coherence and general introduction, notwithstanding, many web designers would state that the convenience of a site is about the route. This article tries to set out some essential tips which ought to manage a designer on the best way to make a site more usable through the change of its navigational structure.

Here are a few tips on the best way to make a website’s route more easy to use:

Avoidance of unessential connections

One of the principal errors of web engineers in building sites is that they add more disarray to the guest instead of killing it. This is the consequence of putting a lot of connections that are not by any means required by the guests.

Having excessively numerous connections to alternate parts of the site is plainly a sign that the navigational structure of the site is not taking care of business. Let’s look at a speculative site in order to give us an approach to talking about the distinctive things to dodge and do in planning a website’s route structure. Let’s say that we are building an open closeout site (one like E-narrows).

On the off chance that a surfer would need to purchase PC adornments, the site ought not to contain immaterial connections to different parts of the site, for example, putting an immediate connection towards the area on purchasing garments. In the event that the said individual is keen on purchasing garments after he has looked for the PC frill that he needs, he will discover his way to the garments area. Putting these sorts of connections will chafe a greater number of individuals than fulfilling more individuals. It’s like putting an area of PC frill and a segment of attire ideal next to each other in a retail chain it has neither rhyme nor reason.

Standardize symbols

A review has uncovered that 39% of customers didn’t seek after in purchasing certain things from the Internet since they observed the destinations to be too difficult to explore. This implied a great deal of misfortune for the organizations, however, this can be maintained a strategic distance from.

One of the approaches to enhance route is to utilize institutionalized symbols for connecting pages. Symbols were made to have the capacity to speak to something that is identified with it. The utilization of irregular symbols will mean the disarray with respect to the route. Additionally, designers shouldn’t over-clarify the symbol since symbols are there to have the capacity to give non-content data about the connection. A short clarification ought to be given, however, it ought to be kept brief and succinct.

Sitemap

The arrangement of a sitemap will help individuals to successfully explore the site. A sitemap gives a skeleton structure of the site in a solitary page. Every one of the connections and substance is shown in a sitemap along these lines making the route a much less demanding procedure.

Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumb joins give linkage to the significant pages of a site. These are especially valuable for individuals since they give simple access to the significant pages.

Avoid covering data

Exploring through a site require not be an adventure through a sea. A straightforward general guideline is that all the site pages in the site ought to be available from each other not more than 3 ticks away.

These are recently a portion of the routes on the most proficient method to enhance the convenience of a site through the change of route. These means ought to be done as an inseparable unit with alternate methods for enhancing a websiteвђ™s convenience.

Understanding typefaces on the web

Understanding typefaces on the web

UX Design

Text styles for the web

Do you work a site, convey electronic pamphlets or email battles? Have you ever explored different avenues regarding the diverse textual styles (typefaces) accessible? In the event that you have, you most likely found there are various textual styles accessible on your PC at times 100-200 or more. How then do you choose which text style to utilize?

This article will give you a concise review of picking text styles for the web so that the following electronic bit of data you send accomplishes the fancied impact.

Where Do the Font We Start?

To start with, despite the fact that there are a large number of textual styles accessible to us, every PC generally just has a hundred or so introduced for utilize. Distinctive working frameworks and different documents or projects you get can introduce different textual styles on your PC and add to that number. Those textual styles are normally good crosswise over projects, which means you will have the capacity to utilize the greater part of your framework textual styles in any program. Let’s say your PC came pre-introduced with 150 text styles. At that point, you purchased a typical programming program that adds 50 more textual styles to your PC. You now have 200 text styles you will have the capacity to use in any program that is intended to permit textual style choice.

Isn’t that extraordinary? You in a split second have more textual styles to look over. In the event that you’re working in print materials or representation, then you really do have the flexibility to pick whatever textual styles you need. In any case, in the event that you are not printing the last form but rather conveying your material by means of the web, regardless of whether it be on a site, by email, or some other sort of electronic media, you don’t really have as much flexibility as you may think. There are a few elements to mull over that could impact your decision, including observation, ease of use and accessibility.

Observation

The typeface that you select requirements to precisely mirror the mindset of your message. Do you need the tone passed on to your peruser to be formal or casual, benevolent or genuine, proficient or perky? In the event that the message is an expert and formal nature, then your text style ought to precisely depict that. Be that as it may, if the message is a gathering of companions welcoming them to a gathering, you can have some good times and adopt a more casual strategy with your textual styles. Continuously consider the group of onlookers for which the piece is expected, and afterward, pick a text style that accomplishes the observation you fancy.

Convenience

After you have set up the target group for your message, ensure they can really read it! Numerous text styles are difficult to peruse just on the grounds that they are so little in size (like 8 points or 10 points). Cursive and italic textual styles can be no picnic for the eyes and are unequivocally disheartened for the motivations behind principle collections of content. Italics ought to just be utilized for accentuation or as graphical components. You additionally don’t need your textual style too huge, as this can make it troublesome for the eyes to check for an expansive assortment of content. There are numerous textual styles accessible proposed particularly for headings and logo message that would be improper for the primary body of a message. To expand ease of use, make a point to pick a text style that is clear and simple on the eyes.

Accessibility

This is the most not entirely obvious part of textual style determination and can bring about totally sudden outcomes. To safeguard the beneficiary sees a similar message style you made, the textual styles you utilize must be accessible on their PC. When you make a site, for instance, the HTML code will call the text style that should be shown. This tells your program what text style it ought to show on that specific page. Despite the fact that you may have 200 text styles introduced on your PC and you see your textual styles okay, that doesn’t imply that the individual on the flip side review your site has precisely the same as you. For a situation where he doesn’t, his program will substitute an alternate textual style of its own picking, which could totally change their view of your planned message. In any event, they may think you were messy in assembling your material. Email programs, and electronic pamphlets, all work a similar way. So main concern, you have to utilize textual styles that you are certain your whole web group of onlookers will have access on their PC. We call these “Web-Safe” textual styles.

With a huge number of textual styles out there, you’re presumably considering, no major ordeal, there are still a lot of choices. All things considered, I would rather not be the unwanted messenger, however, there are just 9. Yes, you read that effectively, there are just NINE web-safe text styles that you can be guaranteed are on each and every PC out there! Those text styles are Arial, Arial Black, Courier New, Comic Sans, Georgia, Impact, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Trebuchet, and Verdana. Let’s take a few minutes to comprehend the distinctions in these textual styles.

There are two fundamental sorts of text styles; serif or sans serif. Serif by definition has a barely recognizable difference completing off the primary strokes of a letter, or letters may end with an adjusted tip. So on account of sans serif, it would be without those scarce differences. The most widely recognized serif text style is Times New Roman and the most well-known sans serif textual style is Arial, both of which are web-safe text styles. Of the nine web-safe textual styles there are just 3 serif textual styles; Courier New, Georgia and Times New Roman. Serif textual styles in little content sizes can be difficult to peruse, in this manner alert ought to be utilized while selecting those for little print.

Arial

Arial was presented as the default typeface for Windows 3.1 when it was discharged by Microsoft in the mid-1990s. It is not hard to peruse unless utilized as a part of little sizes, and it is the most well known sans serif text style today. It is however very plain, and individuals have a tendency to get exhausted of Arial in light of the fact that they see it all over. Be that as it may, since it’s so broadly accessible, simple to peruse, and the default for Microsoft items, it is an incredible textual style to use for principle content zones of your promoting materials, pamphlets, sites, and so on.

Arial Black

Arial Black is one of the numerous variants of Arial, discharged with Internet Explorer 3. It is a bolder textual style than Arial and is extraordinary for headings and short segments of content that require accentuation.

Messenger New

Messenger New, a serif text style, was fundamentally a textual style utilized as a part of old typewriters. Not regularly utilized as fundamental collections of content, it is still used to show code in reports or when the essayist needs the out-dated look in their archive.

Comic Sans

Comic Sans began shipping with Windows 95 as a preinstalled textual style. Intended to look like comic book lettering, the textual style was made for the casual duplicate. Viewed today as amateurish, this sans serif text style is not prescribed for materials of an expert sort. Comic Sans turned into a more famous textual style when it began being utilized as the content inside the labels on Beanie Babies!

Georgia

Georgia, a serif text style, was made by Microsoft in 1993 to give a perfect textual style to use on the web that would show well even in little sizes. Georgia textual style letters are taller than most other web-safe text styles, making them simpler to peruse when utilized as a part of littler sizes. Georgia is an extraordinary option when you’re tired of conventional Times New Roman, yet at the same time need a serif textual style.

Affect

Affect is an exceptionally striking sans serif text style. By its name, it was intended to affect the per-user and is in this way prescribed just for headings, little pieces of content, zones on the page that you need to snatch the perusers eye. On account of its thick piece style, Impact looks best when there is a lot of space around it else it looks messed.

Tahoma

Tahoma, a nearby cousin of Verdana, was outlined in 1999 for Microsoft. It is so like Verdana that numerous don’t see the distinction in the text styles. For the most part, Tahoma keeps its lettering more tightly with the goal that content does not spread out the extent that Verdana does. Tahoma is an extraordinary textual style choice for those requiring a sans serif textual style however who are getting exhausted of Arial.

Times New Roman

Times New Roman is the most broadly utilized serif textual style, created in 1931 for use by The Times daily paper in London. It has remained an extremely prevalent textual style for setting sort in books, magazines, daily papers, and so forth. The U. S. State Department has been utilizing Times New Roman 14 point on every single conciliatory report since 1994, supplanting their old text style of decision Courier New 12 point.

Trebuchet

The trebuchet was composed in 1996 for Microsoft and is a mainstream sans serif textual style for those exhausted with the plain appearance of Arial. Having an unmistakable style all it’s possess, Trebuchet is anything but difficult to peruse for huge or little sort and functions admirably for primary assortments of content. Because of its novel styling, however, it can be viewed as a female textual style and if your gathering of people is all men they may not relate well to that textual style.

Verdana

Verdana, intended for Microsoft in 1996 is presumably the most simple to peruse web-safe sans serif textual style accessible. With its taller lettering, and all the more equitably dispersed letters it can be effortlessly perused in bigger sizes and in addition little sizes. It extends the width of content on a page, so it’s extraordinary for a filling plan that has a ton of space with a little measure of duplicate.

What Font do YOU Want?

Since you comprehend the contrasts between the 9 web-safe textual styles, which one will you decide for your web correspondences? On the off chance that you’re searching for a serif text style, then Georgia is our suggestion. It is the clearest serif text style on the web since it was intended for quite recently that reason. In the event that you are searching for a sans serif text style, Verdana is the clearest on-screen textual style for intelligibility and is our main suggestion, with great old Arial pulling up a nearby second.

5 Ultimate Graphic Design Mistakes

5 Ultimate Graphic Design Mistakes

UX Design

Things that graphic designers should avoid at all costs!

1. Using web graphics on printed material.

With many young designers coming from a pre-dominantly web design background the transfer over from web design to traditional design for print can bring with it a multitude of design sins. Images supplied at 72dpi and crunched down to load fast on a website are going to reproduce very badly in print you can get away with small thumbnails but blowing things up to any appreciable size is going to be pushing your luck. There are a number of online sites offering free or very cheap quality hi-resolution images which are a good source for suitable imagery.

2. Forgetting about or not allowing enough bleed.

A very common error is to send to print a document or flattened image that has no bleed at all. Generally speaking, you should allow at least 3mm around every cut off edge. Failing to do so will give the printers no leeway and will either crop off the side of the page or give you a white border. It is always a good idea when supplying image files to save layered Photoshop Tips and Tricks files then if things need extending or cropping you can do this on the background layer and hopefully cut down your work

3. Using obscure fonts and not embedding or outlining them for output.

We’ve all been guilty of this at some point and things are generally fine if you are going to be the only person accessing your artwork or documents. However, if someone else needs to amend the files or use your vector logo on one of there publications. Unless you package up the used fonts, they are not going to be able to open the files correctly and some software programs may replace any unknown fonts with a default. This is a particular problem when you need to dig out stuff that was created several years previously and you no longer have your old fonts installed.

4. Supplying print ready artwork using spot colors or RGB.

There are valid reasons for using spot colors in artwork, logos that need to reference particular Pantone colors for example. In general design work, however, the most print is sent through on 4 color presses CMYK with occasional 5th color for luminous or metallic color or for spot UV varnish. It is very common for lazy designers to just place RGB images into files and expect the vibrant colors seen on screen to reproduce in print.

5. Allowing design illiterate clients to lead you round the houses.

The customer is always right, goes the old adage. However, it is often said with gritted teeth and a sense of patience that recognizes that these morons will at some stage be handing over a fat check for your troubles. It is often a good idea when first submitting visuals to throw in a couple of stinkers to hopefully get them to appreciate the design you would like them to accept. There is the very real danger of course of them loving the piece of absolute arsewipe that you knocked up in five minutes to make them think you’ve been earning your money. Still, it’s a living.

Why does everyone think they are a graphic designer?

Why does everyone think they are a graphic designer?

UX Design

 

Anyone can be considered a graphic designer

It seems to be the norm these days that just about anyone can be considered a graphic designer to some degree or another. With so many programs being built right into digital camera software, greeting card programs and the standards that come with computer packages these days, it makes it really easy for people to get creative and experiment with their design skills. Many are at home designing and saving money by creating their own wedding invitations, holiday newsletters, calendars, advertisements and much more with borders, clip art, funky fonts and all kinds of themes and color schemes that can be achieved with just a click or two of the mouse.

Photoshop

Pictures can also be easily incorporated into designs of any media type, print or web, with one of the many software programs on the market today. But when it comes to pictures and images, a favorite among most graphic designers is definitely Photoshop. This program is manufactured by Adobe and has tons of amazing features and tools that can make any picture into a work of art with very little effort. It also enables you to touch up photos that might have been damaged or become worn over time, in addition to having the capability to add text and all kinds of cool effects to artistic projects. Adobe Photoshop does tend to be on the more expensive side, but if purchased in a bundled package, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll also get a few other really great design programs that Adobe also develops and sells right along with it – then you can really get crazy going to town with your artistic abilities!

Results will vary, of course, depending on an individual’s degree of experience, education in design and length of time working in this area, but even just a basic knowledge of a graphic design program can lead to some very imaginative results either on a personal or professional level.

When Is the Right Time to Redesign?

When Is the Right Time to Redesign?

UX Design

 

Are you thinking of a redesign?

If you run a website, chances are you often wonder whether it is the right time to do a total redesign of the layout of your website. Here are some points to consider:

Are you thinking of a redesign just for the sake of it? If you answered yes to that question, it is not yet the right time to do a redesign. Remember, a design serves a specific purpose. If you are not sure whether to do an overhaul of your site, keep in mind that your current design might have a specific purpose that you might not know about. You will lose that function if you do a redesign.

On the other hand, if your website has had the same website design since 1990, perhaps it is high time to do a redesign. The last thing you would ever want to happen to your site is when visitors leave your site without taking a look at your content just because the design is old-fashioned. If this is your case, here are some points to ponder before doing a redesign.

Redesigning your website

Redesigning your website is like performing plastic surgery on it. Your website loses its current identity (for the better or worse) and your regular visitors might not recognize your new design at first glance. You risk losing them just because they thought they landed on the wrong page. Hence, it is very important that you retain a characteristic feature from your old layout. Perhaps it is the logo of your site; perhaps it is the same text style for the title for your site.

To play it safe, put a poll on your site to let your visitors do the talking. If they think it is necessary for the website to have a fresh look, give it to them!

Website Customization: What can we do?

Website Customization: What can we do?

UX Design

Professional Looking Websites

Nowadays, in this trendy world, people get very uptight when they do not look entirely presentable. This would also be the case in web designing. Every individual would definitely want their website to look custom, if not, to the best they can. Here are a few things we could look out for when wanting to create a custom looking webpage.

Color Schemes, Themes, Fonts and Pictures

When designing, always choose matching colors. An example of a matching color would be to have a dark background, with visible words and designs. With the dark theme, try not to mix too many bright colors into the design. What we should NEVER do, is to mix two very different colors, such as purple and yellow. Now, of course, it would depend on the purpose of the website, but those two colors are too striking for one who wants it to look more professional.

Themes

Themes must always suit the company or rather, the organization / etc. If the website was made to cater for a food company, it would be wise to stick to that particular category, rather than to revert to a different theme, such as machinery.

Fonts

Fonts should be used in regard to the formality of the website. A simple sans-serif font would suffice in most cases. Exceptional cases such as design and art groups might want to use fanciful designs and fonts. Of course, that’s only if you know what you’re doing.

Visitors

Finally, we must always try to think of our visitors, see the way they see. The resolutions and file sizes of the pictures must not be too large in terms of size. This is to allow maximum compatibility and cater our visitor’s needs.

So, planning is something we should always do, before attempting something.

Using Icons for a Better User Interface (UI)

Using Icons for a Better User Interface (UI)

UX Design

Self-explanatory icons

Today’s applications – either for the Web or standalone – are starting to focus more and more on the user interface. The time when you had to write lines and lines of commands or go through several menus to execute a certain task has passed. Developers have now implemented simple wizards, with on-screen help near each important element of the application, which will make even the most complicated task look like a walk in the park. And the easiest and most efficient way to create user-friendly interfaces is to add self-explanatory icons. These small images that take a couple dozens of pixels will most of the times have more meaning than a full paragraph of text. It’s more comfortable and efficient to insert an icon than it is to write some text explaining a certain function.

Icons are very important to the user-interface. People want to use an application’s features to the maximum and don’t like it when they can’t find how to complete a specific task. This is why developers should always create shortcuts to the main tasks that can be accomplished using their application. These shortcut items must catch the user’s attention, so adding icons will do the trick in most of the cases. The icons must be related to that certain task, so, for example, a disk icon would be a great visual enhancement for a “Save” button, as a printer icon would fit perfectly inside a “Print” button. A good set of icons in the interface will greatly improve the communication between the user and the application. Icons are colorful and, in most cases, larger than the description text of the application feature they relate to; this way, they are a lot easier to be spotted.

Applications use icons

Most of today’s applications use icons, even though pretty much all developers don’t bother to implement custom designed icons into their applications. Actually, settling with the operating system’s default stock icons is not such a bad thing as some people might think. Computer users might sometimes have some problems adapting to new applications, especially if they have different interfaces than the applications already installed on the users’ computers. What happens if you want to save and you’re looking for a disk icon, but you can’t find it because the developer decided to use a star icon? If so, there will be a poor communication between the user and the application, because the interface’s icons are different from the ones the user is used to. Application developers should not fall into this trap just because they like some other icons and they don’t want to use the same old default system icons because it would do more bad than good. The default system icons are preferred because most applications use them, so users will learn to use your application a lot faster. The functions and commands will be easier to understand because users will be able to faster identify the iconic symbols.

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If a developer wants to give their application a distinct look, they should use professional, custom-made icons, specially designed for their application. Today, such services are affordable, and you will be able to tell the designer how you want the icons to look like. In most cases, you shouldn’t go with a completely different look than the system’s icons (for the reasons described above), but you should try to give them a unique, personal touch; the application will stand out from the crowd and will look a lot better than the other ones, thus attracting more users. Changing colors, for example, is the easiest way to get new, yet similar icons.

Predict all problems

To have a good communication between the user and the application, developers must predict all the possible problems that the interface could cause its users. Are the buttons too small? Are they too big? Can the toolbars be moved around the screen? How about the menus, can users add new items to them? Also, can they replace the icons and other graphics with some of their own? How about users with special needs?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of developers that disregard such problems and create rigid interfaces, which cannot be changed by the users to better suit them. A simple answer to this problem is to create multiple skins, with different colors and different icons. The application should have a “standard” skin to start with, and then a few different skins, for example, a minimalistic skin with only a few main buttons and large icons, or an “expanded” skin with many toolbars and buttons, each with their own small icon.

Also, a skin with high contrast colors and icons will be very appreciated by the users with eye problems. Apart from all these, developers should also allow users to create their own custom skin and use different icons. There are multiple benefits from using icons in an application interface. No matter whether an application uses the operating system’s default icons or has custom-made icons designed especially for it, there must be some form of graphics in it, otherwise, people might find it harder to use. This may happen because most of the today’s application use icons to ease the learning of the application. Because most applications use similar icons in certain tasks – for example, a printer icon for printing or a disk button for saving files – it’s a lot faster for users to click on those buttons, therefore they will remember it next time they use that application or any other application for that matter. Even if later on advanced users will choose to use shortcut keys on the keyboard instead of clicking with the mouse on buttons in the toolbars, it’s really important that for starters they will use the toolbar, so icons will be very important in the communication with the application.

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Web Design Tips And Techniques For Site Usability

Web Design Tips And Techniques For Site Usability

UX Design

Website design is most important

If you are a web designer or a UI designer, website design is one of the most important tasks you do. In designing a site, you need to create a design that is easy for users to use, is compatible with different systems, and is search engine friendly.

Making a site that is user-friendly:

In some ways, creating a user-friendly site is just common sense – other aspects are not so obvious, though. Obviously, you’ll want to make the text easy to read, the navigation links easy to find, etc. Here are a few other tips:

  • Put contact information on every page.
  • Make it obvious what you want the user to do after reading a page.
  • Make it easy for the user to reach your homepage from any other page

Making a site that is cross-platform compatible:

The main factors you need to consider in platform compatibility are the user’s browser, screen resolution, color depth, and plugins.

Browser compatibility is easy – just test your site in various browsers, and fix any incompatibilities. The same for screen resolution – just be sure that your site looks good and is easily navigated with any common screen resolution. Color depth is also relatively simple. Just restrict your design to using web safe colors.

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Plug-ins can be a little more complicated. If at all possible, try to use media that is compatible with most versions of a plugin. For example, try not to use a flash movie that requires the latest version of a flash player.

Making a site that is search engine friendly:

The biggest thing you can do to make your site friendly to the search engines is to give it a good link structure. Be sure that each page on your site is linked to from at least two other pages with a plain text link. Image links are OK, but not as good as optimized text links. Javascript and flash links are very bad for search engine usability.

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Web Design, Development And Testing

Web Design, Development And Testing

UX Design

Building web applications

Many organizations are interested in building web applications for their business but are unaware of the various steps that are needed to build a compelling web application. In this article, I will attempt to put together the various pieces of the puzzle. Application development involves several distinct efforts that need to come together to build a compelling end product. A compelling end product is the combination of design, development architecture, development implementation, automated regression and functional testing and performance and load testing.

Design:

People often confuse design with development. Moreover, even within the design, user interface design is often confused with graphics design. Web user interface design involves the design of the flow of the website and the layout of the specific web pages within the website. The web user interface designer concentrates on the usability of the application. The user interface designer will typically develop “wireframes” using tools like Adobe Photoshop to convey the design. These are often initially developed as prototypes and usability testing is carried with user groups out to ensure that the web application will be intuitive and easy to use. Graphics design, on the other hand, relates to the aesthetics of the page. The graphics designer is responsible for the aesthetic layout of the pages and the creation of the various graphical objects inside the pages such as images and flash objects. The graphics Designer will typically use a combination of tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Captivate to create the actual graphics objects. A designer will need to work closely with other groups to make sure the design process does not compromise the performance of the application by making sure that the graphics objects are small thus ensuring that the various web performance metrics are unaffected.

Development:

This involves converting the design into an actual application. The development typically involves an architectural phase where the underlying modules that make up the application are scoped out. If persistent data storage is needed, a database schema should be designed to accommodate the data storage needs. The choice of the operating system (e.g. Windows, or Linux ) where the web application will run, the web server (e.g. Microsoft IIS, Apache or Tomcat) which will run the web application and the back end database (e.g. Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL or MongoDB) which stores the data will need to be made. Various development frameworks are available to build web applications. The most common ones are ASP,  JSP, PHP, and Perl that are open source. The choice of the application framework is typically dictated by the strengths of the members of the development team. The architectural phase is followed by the implementation phase. This is typically the longest part of the project and during this phase, the actual code is written using the design specifications and graphics objects developed by the design team. The programming will typically be done using a combination of the application frameworks mentioned earlier together with HTML, JavaScript and CSS style sheets.

Quality Assurance and Testing:

A surprising number of people are of the view that quality assurance and testing is desirable but is not actually needed. Unfortunately, this view has its roots in total ignorance of the process that is needed to build a good end product. Regardless of how pretty or slick we make the application, if it does not work as expected, users will reject it. Quality assurance and testing involve two different kinds of tasks. Functional and regression testing is used to verify that the developed application is doing what it is supposed to do. This is achieved by test automation using a functional testing tool. Load and Performance testing is used to ensure that the application performs as intended when it is subjected to the typical load of a production environment. Load testing is practically speaking impossible to perform without using an automated load testing tool since it involves the simulation of a large number of concurrent virtual users. This effect cannot really be achieved manually and needs the assistance of an application that is designed to subject the application to a specified load and then measure its performance when it is subjected to that load. Quality Assurance teams will need to track the bugs or defects in the application using bug tracking tools. Such tools will allow defects to be tracked by all members of the team.

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The three groups mentioned above tend to be specialized for their skill set. As an example, people often make the mistake of using developers as quality assurance testers. This is not a wise strategy because most developers who are good at writing software are quite poor at finding bugs or defects in their own software.

Writing good and compelling web applications requires an understanding of all phases of the process, design, development and quality assurance. Skipping phases or taking shortcuts will result in low-quality software that will generally cost more in the long run.

Top 3 Most Used Tools in Photoshop

Top 3 Most Used Tools in Photoshop

UX Design

Most used tools in Photoshop

In this article, I will show how to use the Top 3 most used tools in Photoshop (Magic Wand Tool, Move Tool, and the Crop Tool) and once mastered you’ll never be without them.

1. Magic Wand:

The Magic Wand Tool (W) selects areas of similar color You can change the tolerance (how close the color values should be to the sampled color in order to be selected) of a Magic Wand selection, and choose whether you want the selection to be contiguous (pixels that are touching) or not (in which case, matching colors across the entire document will be selected)

Tips and Shortcuts for the Magic Wand:

  • Hold the Shift key to add another selection to the first.
  • Hold the Alt key (Option key on a Mac) to subtract your new selection from the first.
  • Hold Shift-Alt (Shift-Option) to select the intersection of your first and second selections.
  • Use the arrow keys to move the selection pixel by pixel  If you feel that this doesn’t move your selection quickly enough, hold down Shift and use the arrow keys to move the selection ten pixels at a time.
  • Press Ctrl-J (Command-J on a Mac) to copy the selection into its own layer.
  • To cut the selection into its own layer, press Shift-Ctrl-J (Shift-Command-J)
  • If this seems familiar to you, it’s because I mentioned earlier how to copy a layer using the same keyboard shortcut  Now that you know that not selecting anything sometimes means that everything is selected, it makes sense that simply by selecting a layer in the Layers palette, you can copy the entire layer by pressing Ctrl-J (Command-J)
  • To deselect a selected area, click outside of it with one of the Marquee tools, or press Ctrl-D (Command-D on a Mac)
  • To reactivate your last selection, press Shift-Ctrl-D (Shift-Command-D)

2. The Move Tool:

The Move Tool (V) moves a selected area or an entire layer. You can invoke the Move Tool temporarily when using most other tools by holding down the Ctrl key (Command key on a Mac)

Tips and Shortcuts for the Move Tool:

  • For most tools, holding Ctrl-Alt (Command-Option on a Mac) and dragging a selected area will temporarily invoke the Move Tool, allowing you to move and duplicate the selected layer quickly
  • You can also duplicate a layer by holding down the Alt key (Option key on a Mac) while using the Move Tool.

3. The Crop Tool:

The Crop Tool (C) is used to trim images Create a selection using the Crop Tool, then double-click the center of the selection or press Enter, to crop the image to the size of the selection To cancel without cropping, select another tool or press the Esc key

Tips and Shortcuts for the Crop Tool:

  • You can use the Crop Tool to resize your canvas  Expand your document window so that it’s larger than the image area, and create a crop selection that includes the image and extends onto the gray areas “outside” the image  Applying this crop will resize your canvas to include those extended boundaries, making your canvas larger.