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February 12 2014


Save the Internet: Learn About Net Neutrality

Neutrality is a philosophy where vested interest, or favoring of sides, is absent from a situation. As one of the original guiding principles of the Internet, net neutrality gives people all around the globe a platform for sharing and appreciating ideas with respect for their fellow person. However, would that be the case if your Internet service provider(ISP) had a say in how you use the Internet?

On September 9, 2013 the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia(DC) Circuit began hearing the case of Verizon vs. the Federal Communications Commission(FCC). This case was then decided upon in favor of Verizon on January 14, 2014. This is commonly referred to now as the ruling against Net Neutrality.

To have a true understanding of the present, there needs to be some knowledge of its past. So instead of digging right into this case, let’s take a step back and look at the events prior to this case that play apart in where we are now.

Comcast Corp. vs FCC

Courtesy of Flickr account cubicleman

Courtesy of Flickr account cubicleman

In 2007, several subscribers to Comcast’s high speed Internet service discovered Comcast was interfering with their use of peer-to-peer applications. To further escalate this situation, two advocacy agencies, Free Press and Public Knowledge, and a number of public interest groups filed a complaint with the FCC.

In these complaints, the premise was that Comcast’s actions here violated the FCC’s Internet Policy Statement, commonly referred to as the FCC Open Internet Order of 2010. The complaints were based on inclusion of consumers’ entitlement to access any lawful Internet content of their choice:

adopt[ed] the . . . principles” that “consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice . . . [and] to run applications and use services of their choice.

In Comcast’s defense, it stated that its interaction was an attempt to manage scarce network capacity.

After some time, filled with public commentary, 2008 saw the FCC responding by affirming its jurisdiction over Comcast’s network management and that their method of network activity discrimination was unjust:

significantly impeded consumers’ ability to access the content and use the applications of their choice,” id. at 13,054, ¶ 44, and that because Comcast “ha[d] several available options it could use to manage network traffic without discriminating” against peer-to-peer communications, id. at 13,057, ¶ 49, its method of bandwidth management “contravene[d] . . . federal policy.

In addition, the FCC concluded that there were several more acceptable alternatives to network management. Comcast would eventually comply with the FCC, but only to later challenge their grounds on three claims, targeting the FCC’s granted authority from the Communications Act of 1934. These claims being:

  • First, it contends that the Commission has failed to justify exercising jurisdiction over its network management practices
  • Second, it argues that the Commission’s adjudicatory action was procedurally flawed because it circumvented the rule-making requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act and violated the notice requirements of the Due Process Clause.
  • Finally, it asserts that parts of the Order are so poorly reasoned as to be arbitrary and capricious.

Comcast Corp. would eventually take the FCC to court on January 8, 2010 to dispute their ruling on these three claims. The case was then decided on April 6th of the year in favor of Comcast. This ruling vacated the FCC’s 2008 ruling on the matter, and maintained that the FCC does not have authority over Comcast in how it manages its Internet services.

In closing of the case, the courts gave their reasoning on the grounds that the FCC did not provide enough information to assert its ancillary authority over the matter.

“Congress gave the [Commission] broad and adaptable jurisdiction so that it can keep pace with rapidly evolving communications technologies.” Resp’t’s Br. 19. It is also true that “[t]he Internet is such a technology,” id., indeed, “arguably the most important innovation in communications in a generation,” id. at 30.

Yet notwithstanding the “difficult regulatory problem of rapid technological change” posed by the communications industry, “the allowance of wide latitude in the exercise of delegated powers is not the equivalent of untrammeled freedom to regulate activities over which the statute fails to confer . . . Commission authority.

More information on the case and its preceding can be found in its court brief.

Comparing How Verizon and Comcast Corp. Won

Courtesy of Flickr account: archeon

Courtesy of Flickr account: archeon

Due to the high volume of quality articles available on the Verizon case at the moment, I won’t be spending more time going over it for the millionth time. However, I will drill down for you the reasoning for the ruling in both cases.

In the Comcast Corp. vs FCC case, it was the interpretation of the Communication Act of 1934 where the case’s decision rested. The preceding judge found that this act did not give the FCC the ancillary authority, the right to regulate a jurisdiction; however, an agency sees fit, to regulate over Internet service providers’ networks.

There ancillary authority was unproven on the grounds of American Library Association vs. FCC. This proceeding states,

“A commission may exercise ancillary authority only if “(1) the Commission’s general jurisdictional granted under Title I [of the Communications Act] covers the regulated subject and (2) the regulations are reasonably ancillary to the Commission’s effective performance of its statutorily mandated responsibilities.”

In the Verizon case, the main act under review here was the Telecommunications Act of 1996. After around four months of deliberation, the ruling favored Verizon on the grounds that the act in question failed to explicitly classify broadband providers as telecommunications services instead of their regular classification as information services.

So in short, the FCC lost these pivotal cases because of a lack established jurisdiction authority and failure to identify broadband providers as telecommunication services instead of information services.

What is Net Neutrality

After all that back story on how companies are starting to attack Net Neutrality, by now, you’re wondering what exactly defines this philosophy. In conjunction with that, the bigger question would be: if its gone, how will things change for me?

Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally. This principle removes the option for discrimination of services based on user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.

This way of being on the Internet is now in jeopardy because the verdicts in both the Verizon and Comcast Corp. cases was critical in defining regulation limitations on ISPs (Internet Service Providers) .

How Things Could Change

Courtesy of Flickr account: atbartlett

Courtesy of Flickr account: atbartlett

In the near future, you can definitely expect many more ISPs taking the FCC to court, but that most definitely won’t be all. Here are a few examples of how things could change:

  • Companies start paying ISPs a premium to not count bandwidth used in conjunction with their web services
  • Increase in discriminatory network management tactics from ISP
  • Higher priced service packages being offered to consumers for limiting discriminatory activities from ISP providers
  • Set of overcharge fees for using network technologies that are viewed as bandwidth drainers
  • Increase in screening and recording of Internet activity that is readily available to the government at anytime

Wait, the government gains something here? I thought the FCC was an independent agency of the U.S. government, something’s missing here. That is right, there is something not adding up with that!


Back in 2012, SOPA and PIPA took the world by storm, and had every big player on the Internet doing their part to help prevent these laws from being passed. Due to the high outcry from the Internet, the House and Congress decided to halt progress to give more time to work on them.

I’ve already written a well explained article on the matter, so I won’t detail it here. However, what if I told you that one of the companies supporting SOPA and PIPA was Comcast. Funny how a company supporting acts like these two would also take to court the FCC regarding how it regulates its network management discrimination policies. My apologies, I meant network management protocols and not discrimination policies. Slip of the keyboard.

CISPA on the other hand is lesser known than the other two, but its still important. CISPA stands for Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, and was first introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011. CISPA was passed in the House in 2012 and 2013; it has been recently stalled and not voted on in the Senate in its recent trip there.

A brief definition of this law is that, if passed, it would allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and technology and manufacturing companies. Key supporters of this include: AT&T, IBM, Intel, Oracle Corporation, Symantec, TechNet(includes executives from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.) and Verizon.

What You Can Do!

After all that reading, the first thing you should be feeling like doing is reading some more! Despite the positive outcome of the stop SOPA and PIPA campaign a couple of years ago, there was one real problem I noticed. NOBODY WAS REALLY INFORMED!

Everybody was ready to spread the word, but probably no more than 10% at best actually knew what they were talking about. In addition, this lack of information lead to many misleading blog articles, stating that SOPA and PIPA were defeated. Well, they weren’t! They were sent into a state of further review, meaning they easily will come back in another form again.

So if this article got you interested in saving Net Neutrality, then first read the two core court cases setting up its future attacks.

Also, go back and get informed about SOPA and PIPA with my original piece on it. If nothing is concrete enough for you there, then, there are plenty of resources to be found regardless.

After getting some concrete facts on the matter for yourself, take your fury over to Fight for the Future to help them and 85 other organizations to aid in the fight. Why should we all live in a world where the one sole place meant to be free for the citizens of the world to openly collaborate become as discriminated as the world we all complain about.

Today you also will notice there is popup on 1stWebDesigner today, because today whole Internet is protesting against mass surveillance! We support this protest and invite you to join in! We are enjoying freedom on Internet and now is the time to help protect it! You can read more about this protest here and check out site, who is organising this event.  - Note from Dainis Graveris, founder of 1WD

February 11 2014


High Resolution Painted Wood Textures For Designers

Textures give life to very visual presentation as everything in nature is textured. All designer who are after something realistic needs a make-belief effect that’ll be something that makes the visual be questioned, is it real or graphics? A perfect texture is the answer. Easier said than done one might say as not all of us are artist so we could create them on our own.

Most commonly used and favored amongst designers and even viewers is Wood Texture, for it gives the most welcoming effect. First impression is “like”! If you’re at designing a nature based theme, you’ll automatically pop on the wooden texture, as it’s a universal element representing earth, nature and life.

There are many resources online for textures but obtaining a right one is a challenging task. Here we have a High-Res Collection of Painted Wood Texture, most believable, beautiful and in variety that you’ll love collecting. Have a go at them!

Dilapidated Red Wood


Red ainted wood


Old Paint_Wood Free Texture


Painted and Stripped Texture


Chipped paint texture


Peeling Paint on Wood Floor


Painted Wood


Scratched Paint On Desk Texture


Moldy Paint on Wood


Peeling Paint


Silver Spray Paint on Rough Wood


Texture Painted Wood


Pink Painted Wood Surface


February 10 2014


11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

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It’s easy to see that more an more designers are embracing the minimalistic approach to web design. Now there are websites that eliminate unnecessary elements and keep only what really matters, designs that are clean and intuitive, like the ones we will show here today. We have different examples of clean and minimal sites with beautiful navigation, neat menus and nice type to keep you inspired, take a look.

Cactus for Mac

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration


11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

Studio Dobra

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

Mike Kus

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

Roman Kirichik

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

Darrin Higgins

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

R&Co. Design

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration


11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration

Another Pony

11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration


11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration


11 Clean & Minimalist Websites for your Inspiration


February 07 2014


15 Smartphone Apps You Should Have

With smartphones now enabling more mobile Internet accessibility, you are given limitless opportunities- and smartphone apps you should have on your smartphone. The mobilization of the Internet access has provided people with unlimited opportunities.

Imagine these scenarios: You’re in café and you suddenly wanted to check an e-mail? Pick your iPad or tablet PC, and voila, you could read what the e-mail is. You’re on a bus trip to the other side of the States and your best friend told you to check out his new Facebook photo. You pick your iOS7 phone and start browsing. You want to tweet in a conference, your Android phone is yours for the taking. With a readily available Internet connection, it has become easier to browse the Web.

Live View (iOS) – A great graphic designing and prototyping tool that allows a remote screen view.

What the Font (iOS)  – Want to know what font your favorite brand is using? Take a picture of it and let this tool do the magic.

Palletes (iOS)  – Create charming color schemes anywhere, anytime. You can also determine the color of a particular image and use it on your website. Just open the app,  pick a color from a photo or website that you like and add it to your color palettes for future use.

HTTP Status Codes Free  (iOS) – Troubleshoot your webpages by identifying the HTTP error codes.


Coffee Script at Once (iOS)  – Develop HTML, CSS and JS languages using your phone or tablet.

IOS-APPS-for-designers-10 IOS-APPS-for-designers-11
Free WiFi Finder (iOS)  – Use it to locate WiFi hotspots closer to you. Great for outdoor browsing!

iFreelancer (iOS)– Are you a freelancer? This app will help you search, save and apply for freelancing opportunities out there!

HTML5 & CSS Quick Look Guide (Android) – This will provide you with the basic training you need in CSS and HTML5!

android-apps-for-web-deisngers02 android-apps-for-web-deisngers01
920 Text Editor (Android) – Want a text editor that is e-reader enabled, multilingual, particularly easy to use? 920 Text Editor is the one for you. You’ll never know when that coding itch bugs you.

Sketcher (Android) – Do your page layout or simple graphics anytime, anywhere. With Sketcher now saved on your phone’s memory, you will easily sleep at night and not worry if the computer has a virus or something. And, you can sketch all you want!


WordPress for Android (Android) – Love WordPress? This is the best app for you. You can blog anytime or anywhere. Perfect for travel bloggers!

VT View Source  (Android) –  A fully functional app, compatible with all browsers, that allows you to view the underlying HTML code of the website

Magic Color Picker (Android) – Sometimes we are too engrossed in designing and we find it necessary to look for the color hexes of things. This one is made to do it. So in case you want to know what kind of orange does an orange have, this one is perfect.

android-apps-for-web-deisngers07 android-apps-for-web-deisngers08
Fontroid (Android) – So, I heard you like fonts? Maybe you’ll want to make one right? Try this!

Adobe Photoshop Express (Android) – Edit photos wherever you are using your mobile phone. Experience the power of Adobe Photoshop right at your fingertips. Editing your selfies has never been better with this app!

android-apps-for-web-deisngers11 android-apps-for-web-deisngers12


With all these apps available over the Internet, I’m pretty sure web designers can never be happier. It’s possible that, someday, we’ll even be able to actually design a website using our mobile devices. And that is not a far shot. But for now, let’s indulge ourselves with these. Easy to access, mobile and equally powerful applications that will make our good lives, better.


What White Space Can Do For You

White space is a powerful tool that can take your designs to the next level. When used strategically, that is.

Debunking the Myth: White Space is Wasted Space

Way back in 1930, groundbreaking Swiss designer and typographer Jan Tschichold wrote that white space "is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background."

Long ago, Tschichold could see that white space was not simply dead space or wasted space, but rather, a design element in and of itself.

Let’s talk about some things that can be improved using white space.


Internet users don’t read, they scan. This just means there’s a lot more scanning going on than there is reading word for word.

Since it’s in the nature of people to scan content, we want to make sure we make it as easy for them as possible.

Good use of white space helps readers scan pages and information to pick up the most important key points.

A study carried out by Wichita State University showed that with optimal leading and margins — white space between and around text — comprehension improved.  The study fundamentally demonstrates that white space affects the reading experience.

Many designs can be improved simply by increasing the leading of text. The analog of leading in web design is the line-height CSS property.

For web designs, a popular line-height to font-size ratio is 150%. For example, if the font-size is 20px, then the line-height would be 30px.

The 150% ratio will vary depending on the font you’re using, but it’s a good starting point.

Compare the two paragraphs below. The text content and font-size is the same, but the line-height and padding properties are different. Which version is easier and more pleasant to read?

CSS properties of Version 1:

font-size: 16px
line-height: 16px
padding-left: 3px
padding-right: 3px

CSS property of Version 2:

font-size: 16px
line-height: 24px
padding-left: 15px
padding-right: 15px

By having sufficient white space in the form of line-height and padding, we can improve readability quite drastically.


White space can make designs more pleasant to look at.

Check out the following example from an article about white space at A List Apart:


Both versions have the same text content. However, the one on the right has significantly more white space and is thus more comfortable to read. In contrast, the version on the left is visually jarring and busier.

Eye Flow

White space is a great tool for guiding users to chief focal points in a design.

Look at how white space is effectively used in the Apple iMac web page:

Even with a big and colorful competing image of the iMac on its right, your eyes will still flow onto the product name and tagline because of the strategic use of white space around it.


On every design, there will always be elements that are more important than others.

Using white space is one of the easiest ways to make your principal elements garner more attention. This is in essence due to having fewer competing visuals in close proximity to them.

For example, your calls-to-action are important. To make them stand out even when there’s plenty of other information on the page, you can surround them with white space.

Take for example the call-to-action button on the Marketcircle site screenshot below.

Because of the button’s visual weight and the white space surrounding it, the button is hard to miss even if the page has a lot of other elements.


Let’s have a look at the following example. By simply adding in white space between the list items, we instantly create logical groupings within our list without having tax our brains:

All we have done with the list is add a little white space; we didn’t change colors, font sizes, add text effects or anything complicated.


As we have seen in the examples, white space can be a very potent tool in our designs.

Readability, comfort, eye flow, emphasis, and grouping are just some of the things that can be enhanced if we use white space as an active element.

Additional Reading on White Space

These will help you learn how to use white space more effectively:

Related Content

About the Author

John Macpherson is a freelance web designer and marketer based in the beautiful Aberdeen, Scotland. Web Payload is a design resource he’ll be launching soon, follow them on Twitter @webpayload. His personal ramblings can be found at @johneemac.

The post What White Space Can Do For You appeared first on Six Revisions.

Tags: Web Design

February 06 2014


45 Awesome Freebies For Web Designers

In this session, we have collected some of the awesome freebies for the web designers that have been released recently. Having a good supply of fresh resources, useful tools and downloadable freebies make the job much more easier. Moreover, keeping oneself up to date with the latest tools and resources being introduced in the industry is very important for the web designers.

Keeping this in mind, we thought to compile a collection of some useful freebies for the web designers. Here we are listing down 45 awesome freebie that include icons, user interface kits, mobile ui, and much more.

Metro UI kit

Flat Login and Register Form

iPad Air PSD Mockup

Perspective Tablet Mock-Up 2

iPhone calendar concept PSD

App UI

Map Control UI

Got Wood UI Kit 2

Clean and Simple Social Icons

Nokia Lumia 1020 colourful mockups

Adore – Free icon set for iPhone (Theme)

iOS7 gradients and colours

Table / Chart Freebie

Flat Credit Card Icons Set PSD

WireKit – App Prototyping with Photoshop

Flat dashboard. Free UI kit PSD

Origin – Free UI Kit

Light Bulb Icon Set

Minimal Login Box

Compact Music Player

UI Kit

Leica Raw Edition iOS icon

Themezilla Relaunch


iOS Icon

Origin UI Kit

Animated 3D opening type effect

Social App Interface

Price Tag PSD Templates

Flat Toggles and Sliders

Responsive Showcase PSD Mockups

Letterpress Logo Mockup (PSD)

Flat Long Shadow Login & Register UI PSD

Abstract Backgrounds Set 3

Radar Icon

Dark Portfolio PSD Template

Create a Flat iOS 7 App Icon in Photoshop

Corporate Identity PSD Mockup


iPhone5S – Flat design mockup

Play Music Player UI

Free flat devices PSD

Flat Sticky Note

Newsletter PSD Template Set 1

Vanilla Cream Web Kit

February 05 2014


The Importance of Breadcrumbs in e-Commerce Website Design

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Breadcrumbs, or breadcrumb navigation, is a type of navigation that shows the user’s location in a website. They are horizontally arranged text links separated usually by the “greater than” symbol (>) which will show where the user is based in the hierarchy of the site. The term breadcrumbs comes from the tale Hansel and Gretel, where Hansel and Gretel leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way back home. Just like the real breadcrumbs that were suppose to help the kids to find their way home, breadcrumbs in web design help the users to find their way around a website.

A lot of times breadcrumb navigation is overlooked in the design process, since a lot of people still see it as something unnecessary. But the true is that this type of navigation can certainly increase usability of a site. For websites with a lot of pages, for instance, breadcrumbs will make it easier for the user to find their way around. Specially because with this type of navigation the user can count on a alternative navigation method and won’t need to click the back button, they just need to check the breadcrumb path and navigate around with fewer clicks, using the given path to navigate from place to place. You can find bellow a simple example of breadcrumb navigation at Google’s news support page.

The Importance of Breadcrumbs in e-Commerce Website Design

Breadcrumb navigation will enhance navigation experience by making clear to user where they are in a website. This is why breadcrumb is a great option for e-commerce websites, specially the ones with logical categories of products. A website with clear hierarchy and logical categories can take full advantage of breadcrumb navigation by showing exactly the path the user took to get where they are. And also allowing the user to navigate their path effortlessly. The main gain from breadcrumbs is that you can pinpoint the user inside the hierarchy of your page. So if you have several different levels of product, this is a good way to makes things easier for your users.

The Importance of Breadcrumbs in e-Commerce Website Design
Image via Shutterstock

Remember that the breadcrumb navigation is an auxiliary navigation system, they compliment the primary navigation of website and should never replace primary navigation. Think of breadcrumbs as a visual aid to show your user’s location. Think of it as a simple way to position your user within sections and pages of your site. Here are a few examples of breadcrumb navigation in e-commerce websites.


The Importance of Breadcrumbs in e-Commerce Website Design


The Importance of Breadcrumbs in e-Commerce Website Design


The Importance of Breadcrumbs in e-Commerce Website Design

Best Buy

The Importance of Breadcrumbs in e-Commerce Website Design

Oak Street Bootmakers

The Importance of Breadcrumbs in e-Commerce Website Design

Breadcrumbs are really important to e-commerce because without them sometimes it is difficult for the user to easily browse a collection of products. With breadcrumbs users can seamlessly navigate a website. Specially when the they land on an internal page on your site coming from an external source, breadcrumbs will allow them to see where they are within the hierarchy of your site. This way they can navigate to higher level effortlessly.

For e-commerce websites it is important to retain users and convert visits into sale. This is why breadcrumbs can help facilitate navigation and make it easier for the user to know their way around and find what they are looking for. A lot of times navigation in e-commerce websites are frustrating and users give up to find what they are looking for.

Here are a few bullet points for you to give breadcrumbs a try:

  • Improved usability
  • Eliminates additional clicks
  • Shows hierarchy
  • Reduces bounce rates

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Terrible Web Design Trends

From puka shell necklaces to planking, the power of trends is undeniable. In a digital age dominated by social media, memes, and an audience with an ever-shortening attention span, trends have become a part of Internet life.

And as the Web continues to adolesce, web design is subjected to rapidly changing trends as well.

Continuously developing design and development technologies mean that trends in our industry quickly come and go.

I’ll discuss some of the worst web design trends we have seen throughout the Internet’s history, many of which are — thankfully — not that common anymore.

Splash Pages

We’ve all seen a site that loads with sliding photography, illuminating status bars, and a cacophony of visual excess. The thought behind a splash page is "Watch this long ‘short intro’ video to discover how wickedly-awesome our website is!"

Hoping for a strong first impression, sites that adopt this practice of showing a splash page definitely make an impact. Unfortunately, it’s usually an overly negative one.

Splash pages waste time and delay people from accessing the content of the website. Site users just flock to the "click to skip" link, or, in some cases, can’t even find it and decide to bounce instead of waiting.

Conclusion: A good homepage, information architecture and content strategy are all you need. Don’t waste precious time by showing users pointless filler content.

Web 2.0 Design

Rounded corners, reflections, drop shadows and gradients say one thing: 2005.

As the Web moves toward a flatter, harder-edged aesthetic, don’t let your site get stuck with an outdated look.

These days, dimensionality and drop-shadowing look soft and tentative. Skeuomorphism for skeuomorphism’s sake doesn’t really accomplish anything, other than potentially confusing your viewer with an overcomplicated design.

You can do better. Simplify your designs to make your interfaces more user-friendly and to improve UX.

Conclusion: Though some argue that flat is not the right direction, with major tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and others going flat, the reality is that this is what Web users will come to expect.

Stock Photos

Good stock photos don’t actually look like a stock photo, but they can be astronomically expensive.

So, instead, we’re often shown cold, lifeless photos of people who are smiling on the outside, but crying on the inside.

(Visit Awkward Stock Photos if you’d like to explore to dark, twisted world of stock photography.)

Conclusion: If photos are needed on your site, try and produce them yourself. If this is not an option, be selective with your stock photography. Use a critical eye to determine if adding the photo is actually going to improve the look of your site or make it look like a joke.


In the mid-2000s, the average Web-savvy user was defined by the amount of personalization on their MySpace profile.

Some designers picked up on this trend, over-designing their sites to the point of complete chaos, whether the site was designed by a team of 10 different people, or 1 eager-beaver designer wanting to prove their worth by adding every kind of design element/texture/animation/etc. into one page.


Conclusion: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Less is more.

Flash Sites

The strength of Flash is also its weakness. Though animations and movement enhance the look of your site and definitely get attention, they are also incompatible with many Web devices (such as those that use, ahem, iOS).

What good is a large amount of visually-stimulating content if many of your users can’t even see it?

Who doesn’t hate seeing web pages like this?:

With the maturation of CSS3 transitions and HTML5 standards, we can create impressive animated sites without the use of proprietary, closed-source software.

Even the company that owns Flash agrees that it’s an outdated technology and that HTML5/CSS3 is the future.

If you’re still in the Flash bandwagon and are wanting to jump off, these posts might inspire you to take the plunge:

Conclusion: It’s time to stop relying on Flash and get on board HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript which accomplish many of the same things as Flash with less compatibility and performance issues.

Background Music

Some web designers want to engage their viewers’ senses, so they add some tunes to help build a connection.

If you’re considering this, keep in mind two things: 1) some of your viewers have their sound muted and will thus miss out on your awesome jams, and 2) those that do have the sound on are likely listening to something else or looking to hear something specific.

Not to mention the potential issues with site loading speed, licensing, user experience, etc.

Conclusion: Unless you’re a DJ company or a radio station, skip the music.

Popup Windows

We’ve all experienced the frustration of loading a webpage and immediately being bombarded with a gazillion un-closable pop-up windows. It truly harms our experience on the site and makes us wary of coming back.

Unfortunately, today, popup windows are being reincarnated in the form of modal window overlays that open automatically and interrupt our reading experience. Check out Tab Closed; Didn’t Read to see a showcase of disruptive window overlays.


Conclusion: Ads are a part of life, and they’re an important way for many sites to generate revenue. That being said, no one likes an ad that’s overly disruptive.

Wrapping Up

Like any trend, what’s popular in web design comes and goes with the times. If you have a robust development and design team, incorporating current trends can make your site look fresh and relevant.

Just remember that trends have a shelf-life, and be prepared when it’s time to make a change. What’s hot right now could soon go the way of sparkly mouse pointers and site visitor counters.

For those who are more risk-averse (or strapped for time), it’s best to focus on more evergreen design ideas that will always look professional and be effective.

[Some images courtesy of Picjumbo.]

Related Content

About the Author

Rick Debus is the founder and CEO of, a national e-commerce printing company based in Dallas, Texas. With over 15 years of web design and development experience, he’s passionate about bringing unique and innovative solutions to the Internet. Connect with him on Google+.

The post Terrible Web Design Trends appeared first on Six Revisions.

Tags: Web Design

February 04 2014


How to Improve Your Web Design Workflow

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Everyone aims for a high rate of productivity, especially when it comes to web design. In reality, however, projects tend to take a lot longer than you at first planned thanks to unexpected coding issues and poorly set up workspaces (not to mention changing customer demands). While you can’t predict what whims of fancy your client may follow, you can make the most of your time and earn more money, and faster, by improving your web design workflow. Using these few simple tips you may find some of them actually take longer to learn at the outset, but once you have a handle on them you’ll see your progress increase dramatically. Practice makes productive.

Invest in New Skills

Again, developing new talents and learning new skills will initially slow you down as you navigate foreign software or practice currently unnatural methods, but once you’ve nailed the new technique your output should increase exponentially. Think about where your talents lag; are you terrible at planning or outlining? Do you stick with one type of program because it’s easier even if it’s not the best one? Do you try and make every element unique when you could streamline with an organized folder of tools or icons? Think about where you can improve, and work to do it.

How to Improve Your Web Design WorkflowImage by Taly Emmanuela

Plan Ahead

Easily the most important part of any web design project is planning. Diving into the process can be invigorating, but it may also take twice as long to finish as you lose sight of the end goal in favor of playing around with a few separate ideas. Before you even open your laptop make sure you’ve done the following: defined success, defined the content, defined the features, defined the ideal customer, done the research and organized and prioritized the layout. Now you not only know where to start, you know where to be every step of the way.

Customize Your Workspace and Tools

It should go without saying that having an organized workspace customized to your needs will help speed up your progress on every piece of design you make, but plenty of people still don’t bother. Programs like Photoshop come with basic templates, but it’s a few minutes work to adapt these to individual needs based on a single project or an ongoing or repeating one. Take a few minutes or an hour to create tool palettes, folders and panels so they have everything you need in an easy to find location. While this may only reduce your work time by a few minutes each day, those minutes add up to hours in a week surprisingly quickly.

How to Improve Your Web Design WorkflowImage by SoftFacade

Learn or Make Shortcuts

Most programs have built in shortcuts, and if you’re not using them you’re missing out a fantastic way to increase productivity. Again, this may seem like arguing over a few second or minutes of extra work, but they add up. Plus, once you have a rhythm when working, using keyboard shortcuts can allow a smooth experience from start to finish, while constantly stopping to click or use a mouse may jar you out of your routine. If there isn’t a shortcut already available, try and make one for any process you use repeatedly.

How to Improve Your Web Design WorkflowImage by SoftFacade

While there are tons of more specific tips and tricks for increasing productivity with regards to web design depending on the task at hand, including using pre-made graphics or templates, these beginner’s steps are often overlooked as unnecessary to even the best designers. Don’t forget the basics when looking for ways to speed up your work. You may find the best solutions are the ones you learned first in school (or never bothered to if you’re self-taught).

February 03 2014


13 Examples of Beautiful Photos in Web Design

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As the saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and here at WDL we do agree that photos communicate to us in a higher level. The good thing is that a lot of web designers also agree with this saying, specially if you pay attention to the amount of websites using big and beautiful photos in their layouts. From huge background images to big thumbnails, we have a lot of different examples to show you how images can create an emotional connection with the viewer while grabbing their attention.


13 Examples of Beautiful Photos in Web Design

New Zealand Opera

13 Examples of Beautiful Photos in Web Design


13 Examples of Beautiful Photos in Web Design


13 Examples of Beautiful Photos in Web Design

The Gilder

13 Examples of Beautiful Photos in Web Design

Big Bite Creative

13 Examples of Beautiful Photos in Web Design

Lars Tornoe

13 Examples of Beautiful Photos in Web Design

20Jeans x DSTLD

13 Examples of Beautiful Photos in Web Design

Oak Street Bootmakers

13 Examples of Beautiful Photos in Web Design

Two Arms Inc.

13 Examples of Beautiful Photos in Web Design


13 Examples of Beautiful Photos in Web Design


13 Examples of Beautiful Photos in Web Design


13 Examples of Beautiful Photos in Web Design


January 31 2014


Examples Of Inspiring 404 Error Pages For Inspiration

The most irritating part of web browsing, when we suddenly come across a broken link and get a 404 error on our screens. It’s a dead end to a surfing tour which hits the user’s nerves to the extent of exiting your webpage, sometimes, forever. However, error 404 is something unavoidable. They occur and we just have to live with them.

But some folks have found a way to have fun with them. Where 404 is an imminent flaw, it’s also a perfect device to increase your tendency at creativity. Designers are now having fun with customizing error pages, making them acceptable with a fun message and imagery to guide back to home-page. Thus error pages are now a fun part of web designing and creativity.And they are indeed fun enough; here are some recommended examples of Inspiring 404 Error Pages for inspiration kick!

Juicy Graphics


Lissa Sleeckx


Heads vs Tails App


Cool Apps (E)


Is it WordPress?




Red Monkey Goo


Welike Small


Harris Farm


Time Life


Graphite Digital




Mail Chimp




Brand Crowd


ACM Interiors


Cofa Media




Royal Armouries Shop


Vancouver Aquarium




Peapod Studios


Park Place Dealerships




Crew You






Damian Muti


Kochatelier Berlin



Interview With Designer Anthony Burrill: “Work Hard And Be Nice To People”


Anthony Burrill is one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary graphic design, known for his thought-provoking posters, printed traditionally in letterpress. He has never worked for another design firm, and his first studio was at home — at his kitchen table.

Upon graduating in 1991, he has worked independently in loose collaboration with friends, designers, artists and a number of institutions such as the Design Museum. Some of his most famous work is self-published making graphic design, a standalone discipline in itself.

Anthony BurrillI first came across Anthony’s work in the early 2000s, traveling by the London Underground, and I was impressed by the timeless quality of those posters, projecting a sophisticated approach to travel safety. Those posters made a strong impact and had almost grim undertones that made them very memorable.

Anthony’s work echoes Bauhaus: simple compositions of type, primary colors and geometric shapes that convey a message in a very direct way. In the following interview, conducted at a Typo London conference, Anthony speaks about the integrity of making work by hand and the importance of reaching out to people.

Anthony Burrill at Typo London in 2012. (Image credit: Gerhard Kassner)

Q: It’s been 20 years that you’ve been working in graphic design. Do you remember what art college was like for you?

I suppose it was quite traditional back then. Although, in the degree course I was in, the borders were quite blurred between printmaking, illustration, graphic design and typography. You could do anything really. And then I got to the Royal College, and that was more about ideas and more about the context than the craft.

Q: Was there a big difference between undergrad and grad school?

Yes, I think so, because for post-graduate you had to be more determined and able to write your own brief. And actually the postgraduate encouraged me to go off and do it on my own really.

Q: Your education was in the pre-digital era; so, not many computers involved.

Analog, yeah, definitely.

Q: Did you intentionally carry that aesthetic on?

Because I am traditionally trained to make camera-ready artwork and to produce work using a photocopy machine, that [aesthetic] is very much hand-crafted. So, when computers came along, I kind of resisted them for a while; I thought I could carry on doing it the traditional way. It took a long time for me to embrace the technology. But now I still use technology with that analogue mindset. I like things that are physically produced.

Q: Did you ever think, when computers came along and you could do things so much more easily — was that a barrier or did it feel strange in a way?

In the early days, computers were hard to use. There weren’t the easier programs like now. I think computers are incredible tools, but they don’t have the soul, that quality, that human quality.

Q: Nowadays, I suppose you split your work between analogue and digital?

It depends on the situation, because I spend a lot of time setting type, making very traditional posters. But there is also technology like Instagram and Twitter. I think it’s about using the best things from each medium really.

A series of simple geometric drawings of some of Anthony’s favorite things, inspired by a technical drawing manual. (Self-published as limited-edition giclée prints, 2004)

Q: Sounds like you’re quite comfortable with digital then.

Yes, it depends on how it gets used in the end. Whether it’s a print or a film, you can do things now that were impossible twenty years ago, definitely. Well, it affects the work, but I think I am always looking for that thing that’s got soul.

Q: Could you tell me the story about the lady at Sainsbury’s who inspired your poster, “Work hard and be nice to people”? How did you come up with this poster?

I was just in the supermarket where I always go, and that lady was in the queue and said the secret to a happy life: Work hard and be nice to people. And it was just one of those phrases. You know, I try to remember things that people say that have a nice ring to them, nice honesty, really. It was one of the things that, at the time, I didn’t realize would be that popular.

Q: Was that a highlight for your studio?

Yes, I think so. It’s the thing that people know me for best. And that’s fine by me, because it’s positive. After that, I thought I could carry on doing more work like this.

Q: Seems like you’ve become a curator of phrases in a way.

Yes, it’s almost like the graphic design becomes less and less important. Like, I feel now that I am going beyond graphic design, because I’ve been doing it for twenty years. Now it’s more about reaching out to people, communicating. It’s about being social, as we all are.

Possibly one of the breakthrough posters of Anthony Burrill, a simple message he heard from a lady in a supermarket queue. The poster was produced using traditional woodblock techniques. It is part of an ongoing poster series and was self-published (2004 – 2011).

Q: What’s the part of the process you enjoy the most?

It’s when you pick up on something that you think other people will pick up on. It’s almost like finding something that everyone gets, at a certain time.

Q: Do you have an example that hasn’t worked for people?

I made that poster that said, “It’s OK for me to have everything I want,” and I thought it was an interesting phrase. But I put it out there and I saw people started saying, “Yeah, I can have everything I want.” But that not what I meant! There was a twist to it, so I stopped doing it. You realize you have to be careful about the phrases you use and consider the way people can read them.

Q: Does it depend on the context?

I think so. When you’re talking to the designers, they appreciate the typography, letterpress, things like that. But to the broader range of people, you have to realize that people can read things in ways you wouldn’t expect really. Definitely, you have to think about it.

Q: Speaking of posters, how do you see the future of the poster?

I think the poster will always be powerful, but it has to exist in the world that we’re in, whether that’s through social media or other means. If the statement and the tension are strong enough, then it is still going to be relevant. Good design is about understanding and it is about the people. It is not about throwing things out there to see what happens. Design is about having integrity. People will always respond to those things.

Q: Are you optimistic about the poster?

I think it’s always about the message, and the way that that is communicated is irrelevant sometimes. People also always like to have objects, to give things to each other, to their children, and these have more of a longevity. Who knows where we’re going to be in twenty years — things are changing so rapidly — but I think there’s always a place if something has integrity and value.

Ten-day studio residency, including graphic art workshops and daily collaborations with fellow designers, musicians and photographers. (Pick Me Up Contemporary Graphic Art Fair at Somerset House, 2011)

Q: Do you think there’s a comeback to basic tactile things?

Things are much more connected now. There’s a kind of shared humanity, and I think people want authenticity, they want things that are real. There is so much stuff that isn’t real and that’s just irrelevant. The real things are human relationships.

Q: You have moved out of London, living in the country. How do you find the move from the big town out to the fields?

I think it gives you a broader understanding and also, being close to nature, in a very rural place, gives you a kind of grounding. As you get older, you want things at a slower pace.

Q: Where do you find inspiration in a place where design talk isn’t an everyday thing? Is it good or bad that you don’t have daily chats with peers?

I think that’s a good thing! Events like today (at Typo London) are fantastic. You get to meet people and see interesting things. But I like to have time for reflection, to not be constantly bombarded. So, living down in Kent, I can switch the computer off, not look at it all weekend.

Q: Your posters are quite typographic. What’s the relationship between the type and the meaning.

The wood type that I use is always especially bold, and it fits. I mean what I’m saying, and I want it to be pretty strong, simple and non-designed, really. Because, the way it works with the letterpress printers, we work together. It’s as much their work as it is mine.

Q: So, in selecting the appropriate type, is it about the selection or about type as a found object?

Yes, it is like a found object, because it already has a weight to it, because it’s made physically. So, it’s almost that you can pretty much say anything and print it beautifully. But people do that and it doesn’t work, because you‘ve got to mean it. People do know when you don’t mean it.

Q: Getting back to the idea of curating words and letters…

Because I am always qing my design technique and skills, I like to use pre-existing things. If I’ve only got a blank page, there’s no reference, no starting point, nothing to hang anything onto. But when you find things that exist already or a system or a nice piece of wood type, there’s already something that you can work on.

A series of public safety posters commissioned by the London Underground (2001 – 2002)

This reminds me that graphic design is about the editing process, about selecting and putting things next to each other — because nothing is created in a vacuum. There’re always reference points, always things you want to draw into. Whether that’s history, tips that are repeated then technology pacman things that people instantly understand.

Q: I suppose your inspiration doesn’t come from the [design] discipline itself.

Yes, it’s from the real world, being a human in the world. Everyone’s an individual; we have our own way of doing things, our own history and perception of how the world is. It’s about reaching those things that are universal.

Related Resources

(al, il, ea)

© Spyros Zevelakis for Smashing Magazine, 2014.


January 29 2014


Free Minimal Responsive WordPress Themes

Slow websites, tough in navigation and delayed load time due to heavy graphics results in irritation. Rich graphics websites used to be fun which is a long gone story today. Now people look for better alternatives to suit the picture of “simple yet productive” approach. Basically, what is acceptable to clients today is easy to navigate website with less loading hassles, great productive potential and dynamic in outlook.

Is that too much to ask? “Wordpress themes” says a loud, “no!” to that. WordPress is one of the most widely utilized blogging/website platforms.Its popularity has a big reason that it’s availability of themes, plugins and convenient handling. Large varieties of themes are available with dynamic outlooks yet very much simple perfectly fitting the “simple yet effective” approach. Saying “simplicity is beauty,”Wordpress adds another feature to it that“simplicity is fast”! Proving thus,including here a collection of Free Minimal Responsive WordPress Themes.

Simplest designs, attractive and elegant,will surely prove your success in making fast paced websites that will make your client a very happy person!

Grid Theme Responsive




Pilot Fish


Beauty & Clean


Just Lucid




Unique Theme Responsive


Auto Focus
















January 28 2014


14 Fresh And Free PSDs Of Website Templates

In this collection, we are showcasing 14 fresh and amazing PSD files of website templates. Designing the website theme is very tough and hectic job and it takes lots of time too. This is the reason that designers always prefer PSD files because PSD files are ready-made, save time and effort. Website visitors appreciate and like those websites which are easy to use and have nice and appealing website theme.

Web designers always welcome the PSD collections with warm and open hands because PSD files are the great help for them and make their work easier for them. Web designers will definitely get help from this collection. So, this is another PSD collection for the designers. Check out these PSD website templates and download your best pick without paying any money. Do let us know what do you think about this collection. I Hope you like this collection and please do share your valuable suggestions and comments with us via our comment section below.

Free Hotel Web Template


Free Hosting Web Design Free PSD

Award The Inspired clean PSD website

Dublin iPad & iPhone Apps

Free Flat Design PSD Template

LaunchPad Free Website Layout



Paradise Hotel Redesigned

Website Template for Community Website

Metronom Theme



26 Examples of Fullscreen Video Backgrounds in Web Design

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The notable trend of fullscreen media has exploded on the web. Images require less bandwidth and also provide a means for rotating backgrounds. However videos provide a very rich user experience – they provide something to immediately captivate the visitor and draw them deeper into a website.

Online creative studios and digital agencies often utilize fullscreen video backgrounds to convey a small piece of their message. This gallery is focused on 26 prime examples of websites utilizing fullscreen videos. Some are built using Adobe Flash while others are embedded using JavaScript. Either way these video effects are unique, enlivening, and definitely on the rise amongst modern-day web designers.


august beta website artists musicians creatives


core4 video background website design layout


bradient downtown los angeles web design agency

Scooma Design

scooma design fullscreen video background

Coulee Creative

coulee creative fullscreen background videos homepage

Joe San Clothing

joe san clothing background video website design

Bienville Capital Management

new york city nyc bienville capital


whiteboard is background fullscreen video webdesign

Risk Everything

homepage fullscreen video background risk everything

Squat Design

squat design homepage studio video background


sketchin homepage fullscreen background video design


spry digital interactive agency website video bg

Various Ways

various ways creating engaging experiences


russian design agency monsorro background video


bkwld video background ui design homepage effect

Story & Heart

story and heart website fullscreen video design


whiteroom design agency video fullscreen effect


net forest background video japanese layout design


aldo shoe getaway fullscreen video landing page


pinkanova video studio production company fullscreen video

Kickstarter Team

kickstarter startup team webpage video background

L’attrape Reve

lattrape reve gallery inspiring video design

Marisa Passos

marisa passos video background ux ui design

theQ Camera

theq camera website fullscreen video design

Pool House Digital

website fullscreen background layout poolhouse digital

Positive Advertising

positive advertising web design video background

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January 27 2014


42 Mockup And Wireframing Tools For Developers

Wireframing and mockup tools are very important for the developers as they make the process of creating a cloud computing based SaaS app or website fundamentally easier. They are the most crucial tools when it comes to communicating a prototype’s usability and functionality to clients. Therefore, almost all developers spend loads of their time in searching good and high quality mockup and wireframing tools.

Below, we have put together top 42 mockup and wireframing tools for developers. With these tools, they can provide their clients a streamlined and uncluttered visual to supplement verbalized ideas and designs. Check this out and get to pick one!

Do let us know what you feel about this round up.

Free Tools


Lightweight online tool for creating and sharing mockups (wireframes). Easy, fast and free in use.


Millions of people use XMind to clarify thinking, manage complex information, run brainstorming and get work organize.


The only cloud-based platform with visual development tools and integrated backend services.


Lumzy is a Quick Mockup and Prototyping tool. Runs on the browser.

iPhone Mockup

Pick “Illustration” or “Pencil” to create a new iPhone Mockup.

Pencil Project

Pencil is built for the purpose of providing a free and open-source GUI prototyping tool that people can easily install and use to create mockups in popular desktop platforms.

Cog Tool

CogTool is a general purpose UI prototyping tool with a difference – it automatically evaluates your design with a predictive human performance model (a “cognitive crash dummy”).


iPlotz allows you to rapidly create clickable, navigable mockups and wireframes for prototyping websites and software applications.


Cacoo is a user friendly online drawing tool that allows you to create a variety of diagrams such as site map, flowchart, mind map, wire frame, UML diagram and network diagram. Cacoo can be used free of charge.


DENIM is a system that helps web site designers in the early stages of design. DENIM supports sketching input, allows design at different refinement levels, and unifies the levels through zooming.


Pidoco is a web-based prototyping software for rapidly creating clickable wireframes and UI prototypes for web, mobile and enterprise applications. It’s easy to use with smart sharing and collaboration features, a convenient specification generator, exports and much more.

Mix Low fidelity and High fidelity. Link sketches to build prototypes. Dashboards and Charts builder.


Easily draw diagrams online using Creately’s online diagramming tool. Diagram software packed with templates and features.


MockNow is easy, fast, (Drag & Drop) and totaly free web based online Mockups (Wireframe) Creating and Sharing tool for website and ready to publish in minutes.

Flair Builder

FlairBuilder is a prototyping tool that lets you create interactive wireframes for websites and mobile applications. It’s easy to learn and use, and comes with lots of options.


UXPin: UX Design & Wireframing Tools As Beautiful As Your Work.

Omni Graffle

OmniGraffle can help you make eye-popping graphic documents—quickly—by providing powerful styling tools, keeping lines connected to shapes even when they’re moved, and magically organizing diagrams with just one click.


Professional-quality flowcharts,org charts,UML diagrams,network diagrams,wireframes,technical drawings and more.Gliffy works directly in your browser!


Silly-fast mobile prototyping. Create fully-interactive high-fidelity prototypes in minutes that look and work exactly like your app should.

Premium Tools

Mockup Builder

Mockup Builder is a prototyping solution that helps design software or websites while reducing the time and cost spent on the negotiation stage. Identify your requirements and get the job done right!


WireframeSketcher is a wireframing tool that helps designers, developers and product managers quickly create wireframes, mockups and prototypes for desktop, web and mobile applications.




Mockup Designer




A prototyping tool for animation and interaction on desktop and mobile.




Create and share hosted prototypes with HTML, CSS, Javascript, Coffeescript, Less and Markdown.

Verify App

Verify lets you test screenshots of your design work to gain valuable insights on your users’ expectations and reactions to your apps and websites before writing a single line of code. Your team will love the great-looking, actionable, reports that will help them make informed design decisions.

Concept Feedback


Create surveys and polls that match your brand, budget, and vision.

Hot Gloo


Five Second Test


Usability Tools

Tech Smith


Visual WebSite Optimizer

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