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.


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.


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.


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.
The Key to Better Website Navigation

The Key to Better Website Navigation

UX Design

Importance of the latter:

One of the primary implications of a well-organized / good website is to keep your visitors on the website. A website is definitely created for a purpose unless intended for personal use, which is the minority. For example, a portfolio website would want to be visited and it’s content viewed. For companies and internet businesses, your website certainly aims to provide product information, to make sales, or somewhat similar. However, most individuals undoubtedly prefer visually captivating designs, so on and so forth. It is undeniable that this causes no harm, but one must put himself/herself in other people’s shoes, as to understand how a visitor to the website might think, do and react.

The Navigation Situations:

As I said, a web designer has to learn how to think the way your visitors think.

Situation A: Website with good navigation (2-3 hyperlinks to target page ), well planned in terms of placement, and design.

Situation B: Website with poor navigation ( takes forever for the visitor to reach his/her target page ), hard-to-read navigation fonts and poor placement of the navigation buttons/bar.

In Situation A, a visitor will always want to be able to access his/her target page. For example, the individual comes across your website, and is interested in the product sold, but wants to find more information. He/she finds the navigation with no trouble and enters the particular product information page.

As for Situation B, a visitor stumbles into the website, and would also like to find out more information about the product. Unfortunately, due to bad placement and fanciful font-types, the visitor takes forever or even fails to find the navigation bar. Even when he/she does so, links to the product information are nowhere to be found, (example: home > about > products > product image > etc…[a few more clicks] > product information ).






In both situations, wouldn’t a website with characteristics similar to the Situation A be more rewarding ergo better?

10 Tips To Design The Most Creative Website

10 Tips To Design The Most Creative Website

UX Design

Website first impression

If we would like to develop your company on the web, then it’s necessary to create the most creative website, so people can visit your website and want to take the information about your services and products. It is said that the first impression is the last impression and your website is the first impression to your target prospective clients. The impression should be developed by your creative website in visitor’s mind so it’s essential to create a more creative website for the first impression on our client’s mentality so they want to visit our site again. To design the most creative website, follow below tips.

1. About Pages

If you want to get the ideas of your visitors, then feedback is necessary. Contact us page is also advisable to start a relationship with you and your clients. You must give a contact form so visitors can contact you directly and you can give support completely. About us, the web page must be included to provide the information about your company. The information can be the year of establishment, your growth, and the name of the country from where you operate. Homepage must be included with links to all the other Web Pages. All web pages must be given and the link to home page.

2. Attractive

Your website should be attractive. The color selection for the pages has to look nice. The color of background has to be light and design has to be attracted by visitor first look.

3. Professional

Your website should be professional, in proper title pages. The content must be placed and unnecessary content must be avoided in a proper way. At first sight, it should be able to show the visitor’s interest in continuing your website.

4. Small size of web pages

Web Pages should also be good looking and creative as well. Web Pages must not be very comprehensive. Surfing of these types of websites will be simply avoided.

5. Content

Content is not an issue; the issue is to look at expressions in Web Pages. The background of the web page should be light and text should be dark, it will be impressive. To read the text easily, the background should not be dark. All the fonts of the Web Pages should be chosen properly which are easily available on every computer. In this case, visitors do not need to install new fonts in the computer to read your text of your webpage. They can surf and read your site easily.

6. Headers: H1, H2, H3

To separate content and if you want to emphasize something, you should use header tags. Don’t use header tags in every sentence, it is hard to read.

7. Grammar

You should not be careless in the text which is written on the webpage. You must not make any mistakes which may prove your ineffectiveness. Before finalizing the text of your Web Pages, you must check it. Any grammatical mistakes must not be made.

8. Background Images

You should keep minimum background images. Generally, it makes your pages harder to view and read.

9. Image Formats

Generally, designers are using two types of formats GIF and JPEG. Let’s know the difference between both formats. GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. For different types of images, this format is better with only some different colors like drawing, black and white images and little content that will be little pixels high. It is also supporting transparency. JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. It supports 16 million colors which are the best suited for photographs and complex graphics. It does not work well online drawings, lettering or simple graphics.

10. Frames

When you are using frames on your website, it makes website ugly, confusing and more complicated. Thus, the expert web designing companies have the best skills to design and online marketing skill and know that how to develop a website that should be one of the most favorable advertising tools in the biggest market in the world.


Photoshop is Changing The World

Photoshop is Changing The World

UX Design

Adobe Photoshop

“To see is to believe” is what most people say. However, this old adage, like so many others, has been negated by technology. Today, with Adobe Photoshop, you can create any image you want and share it with other people. This way, Adobe Photoshop is changing the whole world’s perspective on reality.

For those who do not know, Adobe Photoshop is a program designed to let people edit various images on their computers. Its primary purpose is to let people perform touch-ups on pictures before printing them. Of course, each succeeding version of Adobe Photoshop included more and more tools which let people add effects and do various other things to their photographs. The Adobe Photoshop of today actually allows people to add sound and animation to their photographs for sharing on the internet.

Beyond image editing

In the past, people who took bad pictures were stuck with them. A lot of things can go wrong in a picture. There’s the usual red-eye, skewed angles, shaky focus, and others. Adobe Photoshop was the tool that made all of these things disappear. With Adobe Photoshop, people can take pictures like amateurs and still produce images like pros!

However, Adobe Photoshop today has gone beyond image editing. Today, the software is labeled as an image manipulation tool. This somehow gives people the impression that Adobe Photoshop actually gives them a greater degree of freedom than other image-editing programs available today. In fact, it actually does.

If the sight is the reality, then Adobe Photoshop can help you create any reality that you want. With Adobe Photoshop, you will be able to create images of other worlds. You will be able to capture the beauty of the universe inside a glass jar. Your creativity will be unleashed. That’s how much Adobe Photoshop can change your life.

Photoshopping something

In the world today, one can easily observe the impact that Adobe Photoshop has wrought on culture. Just like Google, Adobe Photoshop is now being used by people as a verb. When a person is said to be photoshopping something, it is always assumed that the person is editing an image of some sort, whether he or she is actually using Adobe Photoshop or not.

Adobe Photoshop has also led to a whole new level of art and animation. Did you know that tablets were developed specifically with Adobe Photoshop in mind? Artists of today have gone beyond using paints and a canvas. Today’s painters make use of tablet sensors and Adobe Photoshop to produce their masterpieces. With the technology of Adobe Photoshop, people are able to take the art of drawing, add a bit of computer technology, and come up with a whole new genre of animation.

In the past, images had to be saved as specific file types in order to be usable for Adobe Photoshop. However, because of the proliferation of digital cameras and camera phones today, Adobe Photoshop can actually import the photographs directly from the sources. This means that the gap between taking the picture and sharing it is reduced.

Adobe Photoshop might just be a tool for some people. However, you should know that tools, when used by enough people can change history. In this age where everything is defined by computers, Adobe Photoshop is just another tool which, in the right hands, can change the world!

6 Basic Website Design Tips

6 Basic Website Design Tips

UX Design

6 Simple website design tips

1. Use CSS (cascading attraction sheets).

If you follow through not apperceive CSS, ferret out it. CSS allows you to maintain the formatting of your town (e.g. the color or size of a blonde of text) on a disparate at variance page – a CSS document. Thus, with CSS you can impinge the formatting of a common-element by simply updating one piece of code on one page, rather than updating all the pages of your site. For example, if you want to change the background color of your website, you could just change your one CSS sheet and your entire website’s background color would change. Another great aspect of CSS is that you can use it to set the default properties of HTML tags. This can be used to counter browser compatibility problem – that different browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, etc.) use different default settings.

2. Test your website in all browsers.

Just now your website displays a singular rubric in one browser, doesn’t cruel it commit an act that disposal in an also browser. You should permit that your website displays properly in all of the primary following browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Google Chrome, and Opera.

3. Use opens source scripts if you need to plunge into an energizing website.

Even if you undergo influential languages (such as JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL) absolutely enough to lead your receive software and features, you do not want to do that if you are a beginner. There’s no reason to create your own dynamic scripts (e.g. shopping carts, chat-rooms, etc.) if you can find full-functioning customizable open source scripts. A great benefit of this method is that the customization options will separate the code that changes your website’s look and feel from the functioning code. If you design the code yourself, you’ll be tempted to mix the look and feel with the functioning aspects. So, if later you want to update the look and feel, you’ll have to dig through the long software scripts. If you’re going to be using freeware or any other code that you didn’t design yourself, you should still be familiar with that language.

4. Don’t benediction for free or tasteless web-hosting.

Okay, this isn’t necessarily a star tip. However, hosting is the twin to design. Free hosts may emit your website with awkward ads. So, you won’t be adequate to task your region as is. Also, free and cheap hosts often don’t support dynamic websites. Unless your website is supposed to be a joke, don’t use a free host.

5. Don’t compose your email superscription on your website.

If you have a mailing directions that your customers can betterment to discharge you or your business, make public that on your website. Website’s with a phone embrace or mailing directions loom much more reliable and honest than websites without contact information. However, don’t publish your email address, because spammers will use web-crawlers will to pick it up. Instead, design a form on your website that customers can use to send messages or questions without giving your email address.

6. Take it slow.

Unfortunately, the own disposal to alter to a brilliant designer is considering experience, but your vim can’t render sloppy pages. Don’t go to generate confused and dynamic websites without the ability. If you try to design a code, but find it hard and the code begins to come out sloppy, don’t hesitate to just throw it out. It’s better to have a simple, sleek, and functional website than to have a complex, sloppy, dysfunctional website.

Where to Find Graphic Design Jobs

Where to Find Graphic Design Jobs

UX Design

Good graphic design jobs abound

Whether you are just out of school or simply feeling ready for something new, good graphic design jobs abound. We are living in a visual society; most of us spend hours on the internet perusing site after site.  Every one of these sites has visuals, and those visuals were designed by someone.  That someone could be you.  And even if you don’t want to explore graphic design jobs centered around the web, there are so many other areas, packaging, print design, advertising, marketing and within all of these areas there are graphic design jobs that you may be able to fill.

Where do I start?

Start looking on the internet. Enter “graphic design jobs” into your favorite search engine and start exploring. You’ll find many different types of sites – almost all involve job searches by type of job and location.  If you want to apply for any of these jobs you will need your resume and portfolio. So be ready.  Some will be standard job search sites and others will be professional organizations. Spend some time just looking through the sites and saving sites that you will want to return to. I recommend making a “graphic design jobs search” folder in the “favorites” or “bookmarks” section of your browser. Use this when you save the links you want to return to.

If you are a member of a professional organization this is a great place to go first.  As a student, you can join reasonably. Often there are o associate memberships that are also economical.   Being a member of a professional organization also looks good and adds credibility to your resume.

Preparing for your graphic design jobs search.

You know where you want to go.  Now you need to get ready.  Is your resume ready?  You can find sites on the internet that show you how to write resumes and give you guidelines for assessing the one you currently have.  If you think you need more experience to include in your resume, volunteer to do some jobs for non-profit organizations.  Make sure you do an excellent job and ask them if they will be a reference you can include on your resume.

You will also need a portfolio in your search for graphic design jobs.  There are several kinds of portfolios – paper, web and DVD/CD portfolios.  Again, you can learn a lot about refining your portfolio by searching the internet for information about designing a portfolio.  Many of the job search sites, especially professional organizations allow you to upload your portfolio to their site, along with your resume.  With others, you can post your resume, but not the portfolio.

It may be worth the time and money to have your own website so that you can put a link to your portfolio in your resume.  If your search for graphic design jobs includes web design, then make sure that your website is a reflection of the work that you can do in this area.  Take time with it.  Keep refining and changing it.  Ask people to view it and give you comments, especially past instructors or mentors.  In fact, it’s a good idea to have your present or past instructors or mentors review all your job search materials, resume, portfolio, DVD/CD, and website.

Now, you are ready to find graphic design jobs that fit your skills and talent.

Photoshop Tips And Tricks To Get Creative

Photoshop Tips And Tricks To Get Creative

UX Design

Photoshop software

Cutting and painting can only go so far. If that’s all you wanted to do with your photos, you shouldn’t have bothered purchasing Adobe Photoshop. This software is very powerful, and it would be such a waste if you don’t allow your knowledge and skills to grow with it. If it’s your first time to use any Photoshop software, you might as well start with the best.

The Pixelate Function

Look for the Filter section in the tool menu situated on top of your screen. There are various options under the Filter category, and you can start playing with images with the pixelate function. The pixelate function allows you to modify images and turn them into different artistic styles. Remember when your art appreciation class required you to do a mosaic all by yourself and with your own two hands? It was hard work, wasn’t it? Now imagine being able to do that with any photo or image saved on your computer with just one click! And yes, you can do that just by clicking on pixelating and mosaic next.

Other artistic styles included under pixelate are crystallize, fragment, facet, color halftone, pointillism, and mezzotint.

How to Get Rid of Blemishes

Are you afraid of having your photos taken in close range because you don’t want to make your blemishes – acne, scars, and so forth – too visible? If that’s your only problem, Photoshop can certainly eliminate such worries. There are various ways to accomplish that, but the easiest and basic strategy – which is where you should start as well – you could use is the blur function.

The blur function is still in the Filter category. Select the area that you wish to fade away into oblivion and then start clicking the blur function. Keep clicking blur or pressing Ctrl F until the area’s properly invisible. If the area’s too big, blurring the area would be definitely noticeable. But if they’re as small as dots on your face, rest assured that you could, later on, enjoy a blemish-free face from here on forward in all your images.

The Importance of Layers

You hear about how important layering is in various aspects. Layering is important when applying fragrance to your skin or when you’re wearing clothes for fashion, winter, and sports. But layering is important in enhancing images as well, and you could learn how and why through Photoshop.

Now, in the previous version of Photoshop, using the Layer opacity affects all the layers you have in your image. Changing or modifying the effects of Layer opacity is slightly complicated, however…until the arrival of the Fill opacity of Photoshop, that is. With the Fill opacity, only the layer you specified will be affected when you make certain changes.

Why the Magic Wand is Magical Indeed

Let’s say that you have a photo of — Barney the purple dinosaur in a garden background. Now, you want to get only the outline of Barney and nothing else. In the old days, you’d have to painstakingly cut it part by part. But in Photoshop, all you have to do is click the outline of Barney with the magic wand and voila! Mission accomplished. If it can’t be done with one click, you could just add everything to a selection until you complete Barney’s image.

Practice, practice, practice is all you need to do to master Photoshop. Good luck!

Graphic Design Firms Can Make a Difference

Graphic Design Firms Can Make a Difference

UX Design

The need for change in the world

More and more our attention is turning to helping those in more need than ourselves.  A number of millionaires have been in the news with their funding of good works around the globe.  The Gates has set up a foundation to help with AIDS in Africa.  Warren Buffet donated billions to the Gates Foundation.  Oprah has started a Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa and now she’s doing a reality TV show creating a competition of multiplying people’s efforts to make a difference. These are just a few examples.

How can you make a difference in the world?

Do you have a desire to contribute, but not the budget that would make that possible? There’s plenty of ways you can make a change in what you see around you. Donating your time and skills is one of those ways.

Graphic design firms all over the country are seeing that their skills are an important donation.  Non-profit organizations are very much in need of graphic design. Firms like yours are signing on to provide all the skills that non-profits use to get their message out — logos, print advertisements, posters, invitations for fundraisers, multi-media presentations, newsletters, photography and other needs.  Do you have skills you are willing to donate?

How do you decide who, what, where and how?

First, answer this question.  What’s important to you, what would you like to see change?  Is literacy important to you?  How about finding homes for the homeless?  Or, making sure people have enough to eat?  Providing job training for homeless people or ex-addicts trying to get back on their feet might be another cause you feel strongly about.  (You do need to feel strongly about it, or you’re not going to like the hours you’re putting in without pay.)  For every idea mentioned above, there’s probably at least one and more than likely several non-profits in your community providing these services.  And, most of them are operating on limited budgets.  Their flows of Federal and State monies have been cut dramatically in the last few years and more and more they need to depend on private donations.

Decide what you are willing to do and how much time you have.  Be sure to be realistic.  This is one area where you don’t want to back yourself into a corner.

Think you don’t have enough time?

Put together a consortium of graphic design firms to make the contribution.  Each one of you can take a different piece of the graphics pie that needs to be produced.    With multiple skills from several graphic design firms, you’ll be able to make a substantial contribution to a non-profit of your choice.  And, you’ll likely multiply the value of our contribution.  Especially if that contribution involves the design of invitations for a fund-raiser, or a multi-media presentation designed to raise funds for the organization.

See, you and other graphic design firms like yourself can make a huge difference in the world.  So, what are you waiting for?  Who’s going to receive your volunteer services?

4 Benefits Of A Professional Web Design

4 Benefits Of A Professional Web Design

UX Design

Professional web design

A professional web design is essential to internet success. This is especially true for businesses. While there are many software programs, tutorials, and do-it-yourself websites available across the internet, nothing can compare to a professional web design, for so many reasons. Here, we are going to show you the top four benefits of a professional web design and why no business should take a chance on anything but professionalism.

Benefit #1 – First Impressions DO Count

Surely, you remember your mother telling you, the first impression is all you get in life. This still holds true in life and on the internet. Your website is your access to a world of customers and your customer’s access to you. It is a proven fact that you have no more than six seconds, that is right six (6) seconds, to grab a potential customer’s attention. If your website is not professionally designed in an appealing nature with easy navigation, fresh content, and believability, you will have lost them almost instantly.

Benefit #2 – More Sales = Greater Profit

It is yet another proven fact that the right design will increase your sales. If you are new to website design and fail to include the fundamental aspects of your website, there is a great chance that your sales and profit will suffer as a result. With professional web design, the designers, project managers, and any person that works with the company knows just what it takes to create a profitable website, which will increase sales, and ultimately your profit.

Benefit #3 – Product Highlights

No matter if you offer 1 product or 5,000 products, a professional web designer will know just what it takes to highlight the right products. They have a good idea of your targeted audience, what they are looking for, and how to properly highlight products for increased sales. The same applies to services as well. It is necessary to show the best of what you have to offer in order to convert visitors into paying customers.

Benefit #4 – Unique

Perhaps one of the best things about a professional web design is the fact that your website will be yours and only yours. There will not be another website on the internet that looks like yours. When you use templates found on the internet or WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors, there is a good chance that hundreds of other webmasters, just like you, have the same template. Potential customers want to see something new, fresh, and unique. They definitely do not want to see the same website over and over again.

There you have it the top four benefits of a professional web design. There are so many more benefits, but the above four are the top reasons why you should be choosing a professional design company.