A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Advice for the Inexperienced Web Designer

Website software and templates have made it easier for inexperienced website designers to create and maintain their own websites. Prior to the development of such items, if you wanted a website for your company you had to retain a reputable website design firm to create a website for you. Website development is not an easy procedure, but if you decide to undertake the process yourself, there are a few simple strategies that can make the process of creating a high-quality website a little bit easier.

Haig, Anders. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Advice


Client’s Needs, Client’s Wants and Finding the Balance

Since a healthy percentage of Reencoded readers deal directly with clents, it’s time we take a closer look at how to deal with them. It’s not uncommon for a client’s wants and a client’s needs to head in completely different directions. Hopefully these tips will help you draw the two back together and provide the client with a product or service that they’re happy with and that suits their requirements.

Praschan, Mark. ReEncoded (2008). Careers>Consulting>Web Design


Create Your Own Style and Flair with Custom Fonts

Are you tired of those same boring fonts for your web applications and print projects? Do you know most fonts are licensed and can’t be added to web applications? Well, you can solve that problem by creating your own fonts with FontStruct, a slick flash application that allows you to create nice fonts right from your browser and save them to your computer or server.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Typography


Creating a Grunge Effect Using Only Photoshop

This tutorial will teach you how to quickly create a 'grunge' effect for your photos using ONLY Photoshop. And while you might not need a grunge image, it will show you how to create a vector mask which will give you a tool to create numerous effects easily.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Design>Graphic Design>Software>Adobe Photoshop


Creating Killer Forms with CSS

So you’ve been to about a million websites at this point in your cyber life. There’s a little bit of everything in the online jungle, with every different imaginable style, color, and layout. Everyone is trying to be different, trying to separate themselves from the pack. So why is it that nearly every website, from the coolest of the cool to the worst of the worst, seem to still be using the same, ugly form fields that are default. Well, that’s about to change, at least on your website. I’m going to give you some quick and easy tips to spice up your form fields and set your website apart from the rest.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>CSS>Forms


Creating Usable, Search Engine Friendly URLs

There are many reasons to use mod_rewrite to create informative, useful URLs for your website. Most dynamic websites use some form of PHP or ASP to pull the data from the database and often times use that data in the URL as a string. This is not only a potential security flaw, it also gives the user and search engine alike a very uninformative destination for your website.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Search Engine Optimization>Usability


The CSS Resource Guide: Getting Rid of Table Layouts Forever

If you are still using table based layouts for your web developement projects, you’re getting left behind. CSS/XHMTL design layouts are not only en vouge, they are imperative. And they are much easier to use than you think! So you don’t know where to start? Here’s 5 can’t miss CSS resources for every designer and developer.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Resources>Web Design>CSS


Fifty-Six Free Resources for Web Designers

The following is a collection of free resources for web designers. Whether your in need of advanced HTML tools or free fonts, you will find them in the following article, as well as resources for free wordpress themes, icons, templates and tools. You will also find a variety of tutorials to help you improve and expand your web design skills.

ReEncoded (2008). Resources>Web Design


Firefox 3: The Webmasters Portal to the Internet

So now, you have absolutely no excuse! Firefox’s newest release, version 3, takes everyone’s favorite open source web browser to a level unparalleled by any of the competition. While Firefox has always been the browser of choice for most web developers, designers, and internet geeks, the new features have taken it to a completely different level for user experience. So you’re a web developer or graphic designer and don’t use Firefox? Why not? Firefox makes being a webmaster much less of a chore. With hundreds of useful extensions, Firefox allows webmasters to customize their browser to meet their needs. Need some examples? Here’s a few I use on a daily basis.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Standards>Web Browsers


The (Free) Script That Saved My Website

I recently purchased a music streaming website, powered by MySQL database full of links to the musical content. In order to transfer the website to my hosting I was going to need to import the database. Unfortunately, I host with GoDaddy.com. GoDaddy offers phpMyAdmin to control your databases which is a great program but it limits imports to 2MBs. My database was over 70MB. I tried it anyways with my fingers crossed but as expected, it wasn’t going to work.

Haig, Anders. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Databases


Guide to Buying Traffic

While many niches depend on PPC search traffic, there’s a wide group of sites that benifit from bought traffic from individual sites. Often times you can get very high quality traffic that converts very well from niches that tend to deal in a more direct site to site type traffic deal, rather than 3rd party ad networks. This guide is mostly to be used when buying traffic from forums, from individual websites, and from “plug” type packages, yet there are many things that transfer over to more traditional PPC outlets.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Search Engine Optimization>E Commerce


Make Your Content Work for You: Creating and Promoting Viral Content

With the cost of quality traffic rising and reaching and maintaining top search engine position becoming more and more difficult as EVERYONE is moving to the net, viral content blows up one of the most spouted off cliche of all time… “NOTHING IS FREE”. The exposure and added traffic that an amazing piece of content can generate is free. That’s the beauty… with a truly viral piece of content, everyone else does your promotion for you, letting you sit back and enjoy the ride.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Writing>Rhetoric


Make Your Designs ‘POP’

Admit it, effects are cool. Drop shadows, gradients, glows, bevels and the like can be a lot of fun and are ridiculously easy to apply to your designs. However, once you discover the powerful effects waiting inside today’s graphics suites, it’s easy to get carried away.

Praschan, Mark. ReEncoded (2008). Design>Graphic Design>Web Design


Remembering Your Reader in Web Design

Technology advancements have allowed for many improvements and enhancements in web design. Drastic changes have been made concerning programming, development, and available features. From flash animations, to blog pages, forums, and live chat, website designers have a multitude of design elements that can be added to their websites. Multimedia products such as audio, video, and podcasts are some of the other advancements in web design. One thing that has not changed, however, is the website readers. Successful website developers know and understand this concept, and apply it to every website that they design.

Haig, Anders. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Rhetoric>Audience Analysis


SEO for Dummies (well, and Web Developers)

Sometime Search Engine Optimization (SEO) seems to have morphed into a mystical creature. Most people, even those who design and develop websites for a living, know they need it, but don’t know exactly what it is. They have been feed so much rheteric and sales speaches that they seem to have given up on SEO long ago.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Search Engine Optimization


Stop Stealing!?!? Affordable, High Quality Photos are Within Your Reach

Are you a designer and wonder where to find high quality images? Are you using unlicensed pictures and images because you don’t know what else to do? High quality images aren’t nearly as expensive as you think! Some very talented photographers are leaving mainstream outlets and submitting their photographs to sites that sell directly to the end user. Artwork, photographs, images, background… every type of graphic you need are available in multiple sizes and file types.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Design>Web Design>Graphic Design


Ten Ways to Speed Up Website Building

As a freelance web developer, time is money. I use many different tricks to increase my productivity and these are my top selections for saving time.

ReEncoded. Design>Web Design>Project Management


Twelve Great CSS Resources: From Inspiration to Implementation

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, which is a style sheet language used to present a document written in a markup language. CSS is often used to update and change web sites written in HTML or XHTML. These are a few sites that have a excellent start up information to help someone use CSS.

Haig, Anders. ReEncoded (2008). Resources>Web Design>CSS


Twenty Best Simple and Inspirational CSS Web Designs

After looking through hundreds, maybe even thousands of websites, I’ve compiled the top 20 CSS websites for clean and simple design. What do these designs have in common? They all have clean simple interfaces and remain uncluttered and easy to read. Many of the designs display a good deal of illustrion or photorealism, two of my favorite current trends that can contribute a lot to a design.

Haig, Anders. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Graphic Design>CSS


Twenty of The Best Uses of Color in Current Web Design

Many sites “play it safe” when choosing colors. Brilliant colors have to be carefully controlled to avoid looking amateur. I’ve selected these 20 sites for excellent use of color along with their overall web design. Quality of CSS, features, ease of use all come into play as well.

Haig, Anders. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Graphic Design>Color


A Useful Addition to any Business Website

I’ve used this code in a large amount of business websites I’ve produced. It allows users to see at a glance whether a business is open or closed. If the time is within the specified hours, it will display an open image, if it any other time, it will display the closed image. It is easy to implement and looks great on a store hours page. It goes by the time of your server however so if your server is in a different timezone, adjust the hours accordingly.

Haig, Anders. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Business Communication


Want to know what’s RED HOT? Adobe Flex

I am not going to insult your intellence and try to teach you how to use Adobe Flex because frankly, I am just learning. Over the past few months, every major project and intitiative I’ve heard about has components built using Adobe Flex. With the emergence of Flash as a usable technology and ActionScript as a top notch coding language, Adobe Flex has quickly become the hottest new tool in ubertrendy web development circles.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Flash>Interaction Design


Web Development Trends

So we’re in the middle of Web 2.0, the first real movement in web development since it’s interception. New technologies, most notably AJAX and the enhanced knowledge and usage of CSS, has allowed for amazing, innovative websites that would have never been created in the not so distant past.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Ajax


Web Security Isn't Scary!

Security is the lifeblood of any web application and every online business. No matter how hard you work designing a great site, creating high-end content, building a lively traffic stream, and improving every aspect of your online business, it can easily be stolen away if you aren’t protected. Protecting your web presence seems like a daunting task, but there are simple solutions that any webmaster can do to increase security of their applications.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Security


What We Can Learn from Microsoft Mojave

A pretty interface doesn’t make an application or website. Even the early releases of Microsoft Vista looked amazing. The graphics, interface, and 'look' of the system were much more impressive than XP. But looks alone don’t make the package. It lacked in usability, creating error messages and not having a standard navigation schema. Users didn’t know if they were to click a button, an image, or text to complete their task. It is important to create a standardized and intuitive interface, as well as nice looking, so that users can navigate your site or application.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>User Interface>Human Computer Interaction>Microsoft Windows

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