Goals of the Re-Design Process

Re-designing a website is more than just giving it an improved new look. The successes and shortcomings of the existing site are invaluable in knowing how to truly improve the site and make the re-design worth the time, effort, and cost.

Like any site design/development, a clear set of goals and purposes should be established to direct the project. Without knowing specifically why the site is being re-designed or what needs to be improved, you may wind up with a better looking design, but it is unlikely to be more effective for the business or for the users.

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FlashEff Giveaway: 3 Premium Unlimited Licenses to Readers!

FlashEff

The people at FlashEff and Jumpeye Components are giving away 3 FlashEff Premium Unlimited licenses to readers of Vandelay Design! If you’re not familiar with FlashEff, it’s a great resource for quickly and easily creating Flash animation without coding.

FlashEff Premium is the first flash 3rd party AS3.0 component that is 100% compatible with both Flash CS3 and Flash CS4! FlashEff can be used by anyone who knows a little Flash from a total beginner to a Flash guru.

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35+ Websites with Minimal Color Schemes

The color scheme of a website is obviously one of the most significant design decisions that needs to be made. When it comes to color schemes, there are all kinds of possibilities. Some use a bright, colorful scheme to create an attractive website. The sites that are featured in this post are using a simple color scheme of mostly black, white and gray.

Monochromatic color schemes can be used with any color, not just black and white, but we’ll be focusing on black and white here. Most of these sites use other colors sparingly, which can be extremely effective for making certain elements stand out. Also, because the element of color has been reduced in these designs, many of them rely heavily on typography and layout structure, as you will see in those being featured.

The New Yorker

The New Yorker

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Top 10 Blogs for the WordPress Community

One of the great things about the WordPress platform is the excellent community surrounding it. Whether you are looking for help with a specific problem or if you’re just interested in finding some blogs to follow for occasional tutorials, there are plenty of resources available. Here is a look at 10 of the best sites for WordPress users and theme designers.

Weblog Tools Collection

There is probably no better resource for staying up-to-date with theme and plugin releases than Weblog Tools Collection. Whether you want to find new themes and plugins from others or get some exposure for your own, Weblog Tools Collection is a great resource. In addition, it’s a great resource for general WP news.

Weblog Tools Collection

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Avatars in Blog Comment Design

Comment design can either help to give a blog theme a creative look, or it can be an afterthought that doesn’t get much attention during theme design and development. Avatars are now being used by a lot of bloggers (partly due to easy integration with WordPress) to make the comment section more personal and to encourage discussion.

In this post we’ll look at about 20 examples of blogs that are using avatars in the comments. Hopefully, these examples will give you some ideas in case you want to use avatars in your own work.

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Elegant Themes Giveaway!

If you’re looking for a new theme for your WordPress blog or website, you’re in luck. Nick Roach of Elegant Themes has offered to give four one-year memberships to readers of Vandelay Design.

I’m sure many of you are already familiar with Elegant Themes, but you may or may not be aware of their business model and how it differs from most premium themes. With Elegant Themes you can pay $19.95 per year for unlimited access to their marketplace of themes. There are currently 16 themes available, some with multiple color schemes to choose from, and more themes are being developed.

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Interview with Brian Gardner of Revolution Two

Those of you who have been around the WordPress community for a while are no doubt familiar with Brian Gardner and his popular line of Revolution themes. The Revolution themes have been incredibly well-liked by bloggers, website owners and designers, and they’re probably the most recognizable of the premium WordPress themes.

In recent weeks Brian and Jason Schuller have taken some bold steps with the new generation of Revolution themes, Revolution Two. These high quality themes are now free and open source (the original Revolution themes are no longer available). Since WordPress is an open source platform, the idea was to align the focus of Revolution with that of WordPress in general.

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21 Ways Websites Communicate with Visitors

One of the most important responsibilities of a website is to communicate with its visitors. Regardless of whether the site is a blog, a portfolio site, a corporate site, or an e-commerce site, it exists to communicate with visitors.

The communication in some cases is two ways (blog comments are an example), but in many ways the website is communicating to visitors before they even offer their feedback. In order for the site to communicate effectively the designer and site owner need to clear purpose of what messages should be evident to visitors.

In my opinion, improving the communication is an ongoing process. As I evaluate my own sites, or those of clients, these are some of the factors that I consider.

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