Tag Archives: Design

Design Spotlight: Mactropolis

Mactropolis is a Mac community blog and forum with a nice style to it. The site was designed by Adii and company, and it was from his Twitter stream that I discovered the site a few months ago.

Mactropolis

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Twitter Background Design

Spoon Graphics has a new post on how to stand out on Twitter: Twitter Background Design How-To and Best Practices.

With Twitter quickly becoming the hottest site to be seen on, everyone wants to stand out from the crowd. There has already been a range of quality designs showcased on various sites, which has shown an emergence of trends such as the ‘sidebar’. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices around Twitter background design and get to work creating our own.

It covers how to make a striking Twitter background, teaches best practices, and includes plenty of examples and inspiration. If you’re at all into Twitter, it’s definitely worth a look.

Several approaches are mentioned, and there are plenty of tips and suggestions throughout the article.

If you have a copy of Photoshop, or a similarly equipped graphics editor, you should be able to follow the tutorial portion and end up with a background that will set you apart from the masses of pre-built themes and badly-tiled background graphics.

Design Spotlight: LyricSift

LyricSift Orange

Shifted Frequency has put out another cool little web site. This one is called LyricSift. It’s a quote engine that displays random music lyrics along with the title, album, and artist.

Lyric lovers, rejoice! LyricSift is a great way to discover new music, based on inspiring lyrics submitted by lyric lovers just like you.

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14 More Professional WordPress Themes

Following up the hugely popular (and still relevant) 31 Professional WordPress Themes, Webmaster-Source brings you fourteen more high-quality, professional themes for WordPress blogs.

Pick one out, customize it, and get back to blogging.

Agregado

Agregado Theme

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Design Spotlight: Newspond

Newspond

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Best WordPress Design Award

WordPress Design Award: Clean & MinimalistWPWebHost is currently running the Best WordPress Design Award. The wp-centric hosting company will choose their top 10 picks from the five categories, and then let people vote for the final results. The winners will recieve (in addition to the oft-cited glory and publicity) $200 apiece, and if you’re not already a customer, “a life-time hosting sponsorship offer.”

It sounded like a neat idea, and I’m always up for a bit of glory and cash. :) So, I am entering under the “Best Clean & Minimalist” category.

If you’d like a bit of recognition for your mad design skills, click over to WPWebHost and enter.

Lorem Ipsum: Dummy Text For Design

When you’re putting together the design for a website, or something of that sort, it’s often helpful to put “dummy text” where content would eventually go. This allows you to get a better picture of what it will look like when you finish.

The most common dummy text is a pseudo-Latin paragraph beginning with “Lorem ipsum.” It looks something like this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus magna. Cras in mi at felis aliquet congue. Ut a est eget ligula molestie gravida. Curabitur massa.

Nonsensical, yes, but that’s the point. Since the 1500s or so, typesetters have used Lorem Ipsum text because it has fairly realistic spacing, rather than just repeating “This is filler text” over and over again and ending up with a block of text that doesn’t look quite natural, and because the text is nonsensical enough that the content won’t pose as a distraction from the design of the letters.

There are plenty of places to get dummy text. A couple of may favorites are

  • HTML Ipsum – Several snippets ready for copy/paste.
  • Lorem Ipsum – A dummy text generator. Pick the amount of text you need, and how it should be formatted, then copy/paste the result.

When Should You Use a CSS Framework?

The web has been abuzz lately about CSS frameworks, such as 960gs and Blueprint. There have been tutorials springing up right and left, and articles discussing the merits and problems with them.

What is a CSS framework? Wikipedia defines it as:

A CSS framework is a pre-prepared library that is meant to allow for easier, more standards-compliant styling of a webpage using the Cascading Style Sheets language. Just like programming and scripting language libraries, CSS frameworks (usually packaged as external .css sheets inserted into the header) package a number of ready-made options for designing and outlaying a webpage.

There is plenty of debate over whether it’s a good idea to use frameworks or not. Many complain that they aren’t semantically correct, since they often work by using predefined classes, such as “grid_12,” to create the visual page structure. I admit to having been skeptical of them until recently, but I’m starting to see cases where they may be useful.

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Design Your Way to More Blog Comments

StylizedWeb has an interesting post up on increasing the number of comments on your posts. It covers a lot of ground, and has some tips worth trying.

Engaging Readers, Design Your Way to More Blog Comments

First the post explains why people comment, and then moves on cover some theory and tips on how to maximize commenting by providing more incentive.

The primary reason anyone is going to leave a comment on a blog is they believe that their will be some pay off that is worth their time to formulate their response, edit it, etc… In most cases it is because they have a feeling about the content to the point where they feel the need to get their thoughts off of their chest, or maybe the author is well known enough where the idea of talking with them would be the reward.

Design Spotlight: Usability Post

Usability Post has undergone its first major redesign. The new theme looks good, having a somewhat more unique look than the old one.

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