Blog Design Madness Final Round: Cast Your Vote to Determine the Champion!

The Blog Design Madness tournament has reached the final round! The remaining two competitors have made it through five rounds of head-to-head matchups with some of the best blog designs you will find anywhere. The two Final Four matchups couldn’t have been any tighter. N. Design Studio squeaked past Blog Design Blog 57 to 56, and Elliot Jay Stocks edged Kineda 45 to 44. (You can go back through the past rounds here.) Thanks to everyone who has been voting throughout the tournament. Please take a moment to vote and determine the champion! The poll is set to close at 11:59 PM Saturday, Eastern Time (US).

N. Design Studio

N. Design Studio

Elliot Jay Stocks

Elliot Jay Stocks

[poll=64]

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Sitemaps, Their Purpose, and Some Helpful Resources to Create Your Own

Sitemaps are a great tool for both web designers and visitors. Of course, there are two different types of sitemaps, 1) XML sitemaps (also known as Google sitemaps) and 2) HTML sitemaps. Each type serves its own purpose.

An HTML sitemap can be used effectively to increase the usability of a website by providing a page that links out to every page on the site (or at least to the major pages, depending on the size of the site). Navigation is of course one of the most important aspects to creating a user-friendly site, and when visitors aren’t able to easily find what they are looking for, many will turn to a sitemap. As a result, the HTML sitemap can help to keep visitors on your site by showing them where to find specific information. Additionally, because the sitemap links to all of the other pages on the website, they can be helpful to search engine spiders as they are crawling through the site.

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Ranking 80 of the Top CSS Galleries

Web design and CSS galleries are a great source of inspiration for designers, and they are also an outstanding resource for designers to get exposure for their work. Getting a site featured in some of the most popular galleries can bring thousands of visitors and some valuable inbound links.

There are so many different galleries that it’s hard to know which ones are worth the time it takes to submit your site for inclusion. If you’re going to take the time to submit one of your designs to some galleries you might as well submit to those that will give you the best results.

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Which Social Networks Provide the Best Design-Related Content?

For those of us that enjoy and appreciate reading great articles on web design and development, we’re fortunate to have access to a vast amount of quality information. Of course, subscribing to blogs is one of the best ways to stay up-to-date with the best content available, but most of us can’t manage a feed reader full of every post on web design.

Social networking and social media sites are a great alternative, as they give you an opportunity to quickly find information that other users have submitted and appreciated. But with so many social media sites to choose from, monitoring them can be just as time consuming as subscribing to hundreds of blog feeds.

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Blog Design Madness: Round 3

We’re down to just 16 competitors in the Blog Design Madness competition! The voting for this round will be open until Wednesday at 9:00 PM Eastern (US), so please take a moment to vote for the designs that you like best. Thanks to everyone that has been voting and commenting on the other rounds. Stay tuned over the next few days as the tournament will be winding down. (You can see the results from round 2 here)

GROUP 1

Freelance Switch

Freelance Switch

9513

9513

[poll=50]

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65 Resources for Grid-Based Design

Resources for Grid-Based Design

Grid-based design is obviously a popular approach in modern web design. Ford designers that use grids, this post includes links to useful tools that can improve your efficiency and effectiveness, as well as some articles for advanced techniques. For those of you who are not as familiar with the details of grid-based design, there are plenty of articles and learning resources here.

Articles:

Grids Are Good – Presentation in a PDF document

Grid (page layout) – Wikipedia

Why Use a Grid – Mark Boulton

5 Simple Steps to Designing Grid Systems: Preface – Mark Boulton

5 Simple Steps to Designing Grid Systems: Part 1 – Mark Boulton

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Blog Design Madness – Round Two

Thank you very much to everyone who participated last week in the first round of our Blog Design Madness tournament. Today round two begins, with 32 blogs still remaining. The voting will close Monday night at 9:00 PM Eastern (US). As always, please take a moment to vote for your favorite designs (if you’re reading in a feed reader or email you will need to click-through to the post to vote). The rest of the tournament will be completed within the next 10 days, so be sure to come back and see how your favorites are doing. If you want to make sure you don’t miss a chance to vote, please subscribe to the feed if you haven’t already. Thanks for voting!

GROUP 1

Freelance Switch

Freelance Switch

Vocino.com

Vocino

[poll=34]

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March's Best Links

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that I used to do a roundup of the best links from each week. A few weeks ago I decided to change that from every week to every month (you can read my reasoning here). So, here are many of the articles that I have really enjoyed this month.

Web Design and Development:

5 Most Common Web Standards Misconceptions – from CSS Globe.

11 Accessibility Tips – from CSS Globe.

Create a Digg-like FAQ Page Using mootools – from Six Revisions.

How to Create an Effective Web Design Questionnaire – from Six Revisions.

How to Completely Test Your Website – from Digital Inspiration.

5 Useful URL Rewriting Examples Using .htaccess – from Roshan’s Blog.

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