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Web Design and Development – HTML5, CSS3, jQuery – Design Tutorials, Tools Tutorials

Web design and development is a product of skillful application in many disciplines. They begin from production of websites at first, and then reach up to their maintenance. Web designing is a massive field requiring creativity and innovation on every corner and step. Almost all businesses require websites, which are not just a means of advertisement; they’re also their identity and a means for people to understand what a company can do. You may have logged onto hundreds of thousands of websites and would have witnessed the inundation of information on them. Websites are resources of knowledge, they are the new book, and are here to stay!

Web designing requires rigorous homework and application in many different areas. Of course, creativity and innovation are a must, but the task force behind every website requires specialized skills attainment in graphic design, interfacing, standardized coding and proprietary software. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an up and coming discipline where a lot of work is being put in. Right application of resources in SEO ensures your website to remain on top of the pile of search engine results. This is precisely why Pizza Hut wins the battle when you type ‘pizza’ on Google. Sophisticated web designing aimed at achieving its utmost potential will also keep into consideration the users’ design experience. The user experience design aims at improving users’ satisfaction by enhancing their interaction with the products. A good human-computer interface (HCI) can ensure this by increasing the viewers’ pleasure with respect to their perception of a product or service. Key elements of enhancing user experience include visual design and information architecture.

Visual design is concerned with the aesthetics of a website. The look and feel, and the way a website communicates- its graphic design and its visual communication all encompass the website’s stylistic aspects. The whole and soul intention of visual design is to use color, symbols and images to relay the message to the spectators. On the other hand, working on the usability and find ability from the reader’s perspective forms the basis of information architecture. Information architecture organizes and structures the data and information on websites, products and services to make it easily approachable to the reader. Labeling data, removing data redundancy, augmenting find ability and providing easy navigation means can lead to successful information architecture. However, if the users have to employ the search bar to look for something they wish to find then this renders the information architecture void.

HTML 5 and its role in web development and design

Last couple of years have seen HTML 5 rise in popularity significantly. With changes in internet taking place thick and fast, HTML 5 seems to be the main reason behind these up to date modifications. Something which began taking form in 2004, HTML 5 has engulfed everything from your smartphone’s browser to your personal computer’s web browser. So if you’re seeking the knowledge of web design and development, then the knowledge of HTML 5 shall be your bible! The key thing about HTML 5 is the high level functions they allow you to access. The power of HTML 5 allows you to easily execute audio and video in a mere two lines of code, instead of individually defining multimedia objects as either audio or video. So HTML really is the new evolution in the domain of Hypertext Markup Language with new behaviors, attributes and elements. A greater set of technologies accompanies it which adds variety to the myriad of websites around today. HTML 5 is all about the countless tools that come associated with it. From semantics, that allows you to describe your content better, to styling, which allows expression of sophisticated themes, everything in the HTML 5 is a marvel when it comes to making the user’s experience worthwhile.Apart from that, there is improved connectivity- efficient means of communicating with the server, storage- offline data storing means from the client’s end to retrieve it more swiftly next time around, 2D and 3D graphics-allowing for interactive and versatile presentations and demonstrations, device access- compatibility with countless input and output devices, and last but not the least integration and performance- accounting for exceptional speed and hardware optimization. A multitude of HTML 5 editors is now available in the market today which can help you craft amazing websites at will. The benefit of these editors is that they give you compatibility not just with HTML, but also with CSS, XML, JavaScript and ECMA Script. One such editor is the Aptana Studio 3, which is an open source development tool and allows developers to check their apps with just a single setting. Apart from the common browser technologies, Aptana also supports Python, Rails, Ruby and CSS3. It comes with an incorporated debugger, GIF integration, IDE customization and operation wizard. Another brilliant editing firmware is Blue Griffon, with a brand new WYSIWYG editor it was made primarily as the next generation HTML 5 web editor. It is a freeware and can be downloaded on Windows, Linux and Mac. Along with HTML 5 it can aid in creating HTML 5 documents too. Moreover, Blue Griffon allows users to make creative webpages and exquisite user interfaces easily.With support for more than nine languages, Blue Griffon makes for one really big shot web designer amongst freeware.

Understanding the Cascading Style Sheets language (CSS)

After spending nine years in the industry, CSS level 2 finally reached Recommendation Status in 2011. Later on CSS3 came in as the latest upgrade in the cascading style sheets category of languages, which is aimed as an extension for CSS 2 . 1. A number of new features come accompanied with it such as animations, transitions, shadows and rounded corners along with new layouts such as grid layouts and multi columns. Unlike previous versions of CSS, CSS3 is divided into different small modules with respect to its specifications. In addition to extending CSS2 features, CSS3 also holds backward compatibility for the previous versions of the language. This cascading style of representing a document written in a markup language is famous for its use as a cornerstone technology in website needing heavy visual graphics. It is also used to write the user interface of many web and mobile applications. The modular approach of the language also aids the developers to design a content rich website with light coding. Attractive visuals, faster page loading and better UIs have to express popularity for CSS3. Selectors, Box Model, Text effects, Backgrounds, Animations and Image values are a few of its many modules. They were meant to make web designing simpler and easier, however, at the beginning not many browsers supported it. But, with the passage of time and changing technologies all browsers now have CSS3 support. The web browsers find it easy to incorporate CSS3 support due its modular build up which demands only the modules to be incorporated one by one rather than tampering with the browsers’ code bases. The modules of CSS3 have an additional advantage that they possess new capabilities which do not hamper those of the previous stable versions. Although there are about fifty different modules, there are four formal recommendations of the CSS3 system. The four main features are Media Queries, Namespaces, Selectors and Color. First of all, what are media queries?It is the most important supplement to the CSS3 engine. It performs the simple function of making the websites quicker, in terms of loading, giving real-time response to the user by allowing the application of particular conditions to individual style sheets. This also remarkably ensures that the websites fit different screen sizes. This means you can cater your webpage to different resolutions without fiddling with the content.

jQuery and its existence in the contemporary world

When John Resign created jQuery in 2006, he launched it with the motto of ‘write less, do more’. It is basically a JavaScript library that is fast and full of features. It employs an easy to use API that makes event handling, animation and HTML document manipulation much simpler and user friendly across many web browsers. Again, the intent was to make JavaScript easier to implement on one’s webpage. An ingenious functioning allows jQuery to master the length commands of JavaScript in such a way that groups of them can be called together- much like a subroutine in Visual Basic. You will JavaScript frameworks everywhere around you, but none as popular as jQuery itself. Google, Netflix, Microsoft and IBM, all use jQuery. Let’s take a look at a few of jQuery’s features in detail. It makes DOM manipulation easier than ever before by allowing simple traversal, selection and modification of DOM elements through the help of an open source selector- Sizzle. Sizzle also works cross-border, which supplements its pros further. Then there is event handling- capture events easily, such as the user’s click on a link, without perturbing the HTML code. Animations- an abundance of these are built in, which you can use within your web design. Next up, a library of 19 Kb is a real advantage. Lastly, jQuery is compatible with any browser you use today; be it the Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox or the ever famous Google Chrome. The advances in technology also help in the inculcation of CSS3 selectors.

The power of Photoshop and Illustrator

It is quite evident that CSS3 and HTML5 are the big guns in the field of web designing and hold the monopoly. However, Photoshop and Illustrator just provide a different dimension to web designing. Their easy reach to common man and the simplicity of their use makes them easy to learn and evokes the interest of common man into the field. Web developers have time and again reiterated the fact that Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop allow the making of simple startup designs to the most complex and responsive web interfaces. Resolution independence, picture format support, CSS extraction, symbols, icons, fonts and pixel perfection are a few of the many exciting features of the Illustrator. So how do these features really help? Let’s find out. First, the resolution independence of the Illustrator enables infinite scaling of artwork without causing pixelation. This in turn allows your website to look good on any device. Secondly, illustrator supports all picture format supports including SVG, JPG, PNG and GIF without any hassle. Thirdly, you can work with fonts and icons already built-in to the system whichever way you want. Apart from these, the ‘Extract CSS’ option is a little marvel on its own, which can be good foundation stone when making a new site inspired by another one. Coming to Photoshop- it was invented, of course, as an image editing software. However, with increasing implications of graphics on the internet and the web, it increasingly became popular as a good platform for web design. Many tutorials are available easily on the internet regarding Photoshop’s use in web designing. Some even claiming to teach you the extraordinary in a mere 60 seconds! So explore your household image editor, Photoshop, to the fullest and may be, one day you’ll end up designing your own website.

Author Bio: The author of this blog post, Miesha Tate, is an Ivy League graduate in the Graphic Design discipline earning tremendous laurels in college and industry. Aussie Assignment Services is indebted to his invaluable insight in the field of web designing.

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