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For web designers, having successful client projects leads to happy clients, more referrals, a proven track record, and valuable experience and knowledge that can be used in future projects. But there is a lot that goes into making a project a success, and simply completing the design on time is not enough. In this article we’ll take a look at 10 things you can do to make your projects more successful.

1. Truly Get to Know the Client and Their Customers/Visitors

In order to create a website that maximizes its potential for your client, you’ll first have to get a clear understanding of the client, how they do business, how they brand themselves, and you’ll also need to become familiar with their target market. Depending on your familiarity with the client and their industry, this may require a considerable amount of time and effort. The better understanding you have, the more likely you will be to create a site that meets the needs of the client and their users.

A common mistake, especially for new designers, is to jump right into the design process without dedicating time to getting familiar with the client. This often leads to a site that may look good on the surface, but doesn’t effectively fit the needs and personality of the client.

Different designers have their own methods for getting to know their clients, so do whatever works best for you. Some designers have a standard intake questionare or form that they have clients fill out to get information about their business and their customers. Others meet with clients, discuss and observe. Whatever your process, be sure that you prioritize the need to get to know your clients, and account for this in your estimates and scheduling of projects.

2. Have a Clear Set of Goals for the Project

Some clients will want a website just because it is the thing to do, but they don’t really know what they specifically hope to get out of having a website. Others will want to re-design their existing site because it is outdated or because they don’t like the look anymore, but they may not know exactly what they want to improve about the website. Having goals for the project will help to get a clear determination of what will make the project a success, and it will help to keep the project focused on what is most important.

Take the time to talk to clients about what is most important to them, and together you can establish a few specific goals for the project. It’s best to focus on a small number of things rather than having too many goals and getting distracted by things that are not as important. This process will assist you by getting your clients to think and communicate with you about the most important reasons for going through with the project, and it will give you some methods for measuring the project to gauge its success.

3. Clearly Define the Scope of the Project

... Read more »

Category: TECH NEWS | Views: 544 | Added by: kc | Date: 2011-06-26 | Comments (0)

Over the past several years, there has been a big divide between designers: those who work in print distribution and those in digital distribution. The irony is that, despite the disputes, name-calling and flat-out arguments between the two camps, their techniques and methods are far more common than many believe. Both sides of this communications field are heavily influenced by each other. Grid systems and typography now play a strong role in Web-based design, and usability and user experience play a big part in developing print material.

Adobe InDesign is the primary application of print designers for laying out multiple pages and assembling print documents. This article gives you, the Web-based developer, a look at some of the tools in InDesign that translate directly into what you currently use. We’ll look at how the terminology in the two fields compare and how to apply your expertise to this other industry.

Jumping Right In

Folder Structure

As with any Web development project, organizing from the start ensures that you will have minimal problems with the files later on. Similar to many website root folders, InDesign gives you a main document folder and a resources folder:

Folder-Structures in A Web Developer’s Guide To Adobe InDesign

Above on the left is my folder structure for InDesign, and on the right the folder structure for my website. They are so similar that, if not for the different file extensions (.indd and .html), they would be practically the same.

Setting Up the Document

Setting up an InDesign document is similar to setting up a mobile website. You specify the height, width and purpose of the document. For print-based items, set the "Intent” to "Print.” If you will be using the file for an eBook or digital publication, then specify "Web.” If you will be using the document for both, then specify "Print” to ensure that the colors are maintained properly.

InDesign-New-Document in A Web Developer’s Guide To Adobe InDesign

The margins in InDesign are guidelines that are positioned on the page and are not like Web margins that affect objects on the page.

Your Main Tools

If you’re familiar with Photoshop and Illustrator, then you are used to finding the main group of tools on the left side of the workspace, at least by default. InDesign is the same. The way you interact with and build objects on the page, though, works slightly different than Adobe’s other design software. Containers are needed in order to place images, vector objects and textual content on the page.

You can import vector objects directly into the document, but you will usually be importing files into content boxes that you position in the layout. This should come easily to you because Web design operates on the same principle: creating DOMs that contain images or text, and then positioning them in the layout. The one major difference is that, while objects are positioned in a Web document relative to their structure (unless otherwise styled), objects on an InDesign layout are always given an x and y position based on the overall page (by default, the top-left corner, similar to absolute positioning).

Because we are working with a vector- and object-based layout, one of the main tools you will use for the majority of your editing is the Selection tool Tool Selection in A Web Developer’s Guide To Adobe InDesign, which gives you control of position and size. It also is used to select an object in order to change its properties. This is quite different from Photoshop, in which you edit individual layers. To change the color of an object, you need to select it first using the Selection tool, and then adjust it using one of the various ways to change color.

These content boxes can be created with various tools. The Type tool Tool Text in A Web Developer’s Guide To Adobe InDesign enables you to create a box for text. The Rectangle Frame tool Tool Frame in A Web Developer’s Guide To Adobe InDesign creates a box to add an image or linked resource. The Rectangle tool Tool Rect in A Web Developer’s Guide To Adobe InDesign is not assigned to any particular kind of content. These three frame types allow you to build the layout any way you want.

In spite of both the Rectangle and Rectangle Frame tools, many designers who were trained on older software use only the Frame tool. The one difference between them is that the Frame tool shows a placeholder (an x). The Rectangle tool merely allows for a cleaner workspace but does not affect the final output.

Context-Bars in A Web Developer’s Guide To Adobe InDesign ... Read more »

Category: TECH NEWS | Views: 599 | Added by: kc | Date: 2011-06-26 | Comments (0)

PHP is one of the most widely used open-source server-side scripting languages that exist today. With over 20 million indexed domains using PHP, including major websites like Facebook, Digg and WordPress, there are good reasons why many Web developers prefer it to other server-side scripting languages, such as Python and Ruby.

PHP is faster (updated), and it is the most used scripting language in practice; it has detailed documentation, a huge community, numerous ready-to-use scripts and well-supported frameworks; and most importantly, it’s much easier to get started with PHP than with other scripting languages (Python, for example). That’s why it makes perfect sense to provide the huge community of PHP developers with an overview of useful tools and resources that can make their development process easier and more effective.

This post presents 50 useful PHP tools that can significantly improve your programming workflow. Among other things, you’ll find a plethora of libraries and classes that aid in debugging, testing, profiling and code-authoring in PHP.

You may also want to take a look at the following related posts:

Category: TECH NEWS | Views: 541 | Added by: kc | Date: 2011-06-26 | Comments (0)

This week facebook has unveiled a new feature that allows you todownload a copy of your information. This is great because, until now, we did not have a way to download information from the site.

For now it seems that the new feature Download Your Information has not been rolled out to everybody. So, the steps and screenshots in this article are from the facebook video that shows how the feature works.

Now, if for any reason you want to download a copy of your information of your  ... Read more »

Category: TECH NEWS | Views: 682 | Added by: kc | Date: 2011-06-26 | Comments (0)