WHAT MAKES A GOOD WEB DESIGN?
The answer today is different than it was only months ago. Technology and user experience demand that websites undergo constant changes and updates. The only way to stay current is to know what’s leading the next design trend.
Some people have the ability to forecast what’s coming. Others take those trends and write the code to make it happen. They’re known as influencers.
Here’s a list of Web design influencers that are generous enough to share what’s coming. Follow them and ride the wave of current web design. What you’ll learn is good for website visitors, and even better for your business.
Why he’s an influencer: Zeldman was dubbed “King of Web Standards” by Business Week. He was the first person to be inducted into the SXSW Interactive Hall of Fame in 2012. Follow his blog to see which current industry design trends to take seriously. He’s quick to point out what’s important, and what’s just a fad.
Friedman is the editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine, where he writes about what makes content beautiful. Look for his posts on Smashing Magazine if you want insight on UX, front-end, and performance issues. Vitaly also runs online Web design workshops.
If it has to do with design generated by CSS, Chris Coyier is on it. He likes to hang out and contribute at CodePen. He founded the website with Alex Vazquez and Tim Sabat. Check out this site if you want help getting the bugs out of your code.
The vivid images that greet you at Mule Design are proof that this group is serious about web design. The Mule contributors write about design with the same enthusiasm. This is Mike’s design company, and he’s one of the main contributors. Don’t expect to see tutorials. Mike and his fellow writers focus on the experience of designing for the web.
Spooner started this blog to help people improve their design skills. You’ll find 3 main types of content. His articles are written to share theory and inspiration. Written and video tutorials provide step-by-step guides. There are also generous freebies to use in your own designs.
“I don’t design sites,” says Walsh, “I make them work.” He shows you how on his blog, where he invites you to come along with him as he writes about experiments in design. David’s expertise comes from time spent as Mozilla’s senior web developer. You’ll find demos and tutorials, as well as his blog posts.
What do you do with the experience gained from working on projects for Google, CNet, and New York University? If you’re generous like Dave Shea, you share it with others. He’s collected his projects and sorts them by subject. You’ll want to focus on his two most recent and ongoing subjects. They are most relevant to design.
Few websites are as generous with the tools you need to make your online business success. Steven Snell and team use the blog and other areas to offer design advice. You’ll also find resources ranging from design templates to code. Use the navigation at the top to browse all topics.
Bien is the CEO and founder of the Naldz Graphics website. Over 41,000 followers come to the website for advice and tutorials on web design. Ronald and a team of writers cover the whole field of design, but they do have a focus on WordPress themes. Articles are filled with graphics examples, and the writing isn’t filled with jargon.
Jason Santa Maria
This is the personal website of Vox Media’s executive design director. Jason believes that content should dictate design. His website is an experiment in art direction online. He’s a fan of traditional print design, so his website has a conservative feel. Don’t let that fool you. Jason and his guest writers tackle all of the latest design topics.
Talk about a pedigree. Bowman was Google’s visual design lead, and then Twitter’s creative director. Today, he’s the head of Stopdesign. He uses his blog to writing about design, typography, and the necessary tools to do it on the Web. Most posts are about the design solutions and results he and his team have come up with for clients.
You’ll have much in common with Mark Ford if you’re a bootstrapping entrepreneur. That’s the way he got started back in 2007 with his first online business. Today, he has over 1,000 customers using his website services. Mark uses his blog to share what his company has learned about website design. Use the navigation at the top to search for specific topics.
All work and no play turn us all into drones. Take a break from your design efforts and enjoy a bit of playfulness. Cameron Moll creates a design from type. He has little to say on his website. It’s all about images created with stylized text. You can buy much of what he displays on his site. Some of the more popular pieces are sold out.
Felton was one of the lead designers of Facebook’s timeline. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have profiled him in their publications. All this attention is because of Felton’s talent for translating data into meaningful design. Visit his website to see his collection of work for clients. Some of it is part of the permanent collection of MoMA.
Marcotte is a prolific author of books and articles. He also writes a blog called Unstoppable Robot Ninja, the Online Web-Thing of Ethan Marcotte. The articles you’ll find on his website and blog can help you with the intersection of code and design. He believes both have to be elegant.
McGrane has been working on websites since 1995. She was the first information architect hired at Razorfish. Then she moved up through the ranks to become the vice president and national lead for the company’s user experience division. Today, she’s the founder and head of Bond Art + Science. Karen’s blog is all about what it’s like to be a website designer. Head here if you want insight.
Cederholm is the co-founder and designer of Dribbble. He’s written 5 books, 3 of which are about CSS. Dan uses his blog to write about design, CSS, markup, and web standards. If there’s a theme to his writing, it’s that he believes in standards-based Web design.
Clarke is one of the UK’s best-known web designers. He’s written two books on website design. He also has a podcast besides the posts he contributes to his website design studio’s blog.
.net Magazine named her Designer of the Year in 2011. Sarah is a multitalented individual. She writes about website design and co-hosts a popular weekly design podcast. If that’s not enough, she’s also a professional singer and actress. Her blog posts are entertaining and conversational. You’ll learn about design, and the professional world of web designers.
Boag offers his design talents mostly to nonprofit organizations. He’s a user experience expert who’s helped organizations such as the European Commission, UCAS, and Doctors Without Borders adapt to our changing digital world. Paul doesn’t mince words. His advice is relevant, and he’s not afraid to give his opinion.
Frost is a successful mobile web strategist and front-end designer. You’ve seen his work if you’ve ever been to the Entertainment Weekly mobile site. He’s also designed mobile elements for MasterCard, Verizon, and Nike. Brad loves to blog, and many of his recent posts treat you to snippets of his upcoming new book, Atomic Design.
If you use Google’s Chrome browser, you’ve used some of Paul’s work. He’s a front-end developer who has a self-professed loved for making slick, sexy mobile websites. Paul’s blog dispenses with small talk. He gets right into the code behind the design. It’s not a good place for beginners to start. You’ll be in heaven if you’re familiar and comfortable with CSS coding or WebKit.
Snook has lent his user experience talents to Xero, Shopify, and Yahoo! Now he prefers to work for himself. When he’s not consulting with clients, he shares design tips and tricks on his blog. Use his archive link to find specific topics.
Find him online at: SNOOK Follow him: @snookca
Heilmann is another blogger who isn’t afraid to call it as he sees it. He’s passionate about HTML5. Many of his posts are snippets of code he’s offering up for a better user experience. Christian is also an avid YouTube poster. Many of these contributions are related to web design. And, if you just can’t get enough of his blog posts and videos, he also is amenable to sharing his life in photos.
Keith is a cofounder of the UK-based Clearleft Web design agency. Companies from the BBC to Mozilla have used his design expertise. Jeremy keeps a blog that’s part life journal, and part Web design advice.
Follow, learn, and profit!
These influencers keep their eyes and ears open for new design trends, so you don’t have to. Their advice, tutorials, and examples are invaluable. What you learn can position your website at the forefront of performance and design.
The resources they offer are free. Subscribe to their blogs or connect with them on Twitter.