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What Makes a Good Icon Design? (Part II)

Last time we talked a little bit about the mistakes that people often make in icon design. Yes, even art can contain mistakes—particularly in the field of icon design, where the whole point of a professional icon is to enhance functionality and the user experience.

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This week, we’ll continue our discussion of good icon design by focusing on what makes a design effective. This time our tips come from PSDTUTS.com, a blog/website that offers Photoshop tutorials. In “7 Principles of Effective Design,” Sean Hodge touches on some of the same ideas as the Turbomilk article, but he also notes the importance of using consistent lighting and a limited perspective. Read more of Sean’s tips here. To view a professionally produced icon library, visit www.professional-icons.com.

What Makes a Good Icon Design? (Part I)

Icon design is deceptively simple. Professional web icons translate well because they’ve specifically been designed to do so while still complementing the user interface. An effective icon is, among other things, clear, sized appropriately, and consistent with other icons.

icons

Turbomilk, a Russian visual interface design company, has posted “10 Mistakes in Icon Design” on its eponymous blog. Number one is, of course, not enough differentiation between icons, even stock icons. Due to the small size, it’s easy to confuse similar icons for one another, which can frustrate the user’s experience. Other interesting observations include overcrowding icons with too many images, adding unnecessary perspective and shadows, and not accounting for national/cultural differences in objects (such as a mailbox).

Sites for sore eyes demand a dose of simplicity

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Their designers may think they’re masterpieces but many Web pages are actually as ugly as a bucketful of hammers.
A couple of times this year I have written about innovative Australian Web design companies. On each occasion I was deluged with emails from other Web designers. Now, I can’t write about everyone, but there are a lot of people doing some very good things with Web design. But there are a lot of people who aren’t. I surf the Web a fair bit, and I’m also in the middle of editing a book about e-commerce and the use of the Internet for business. It amazes me the number of lousy Web sites there are, many of them from large organisations capable of much better. Read More “Sites for sore eyes demand a dose of simplicity”

Net profit

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The dot com crash doesn’t mean the end of Web design prospects, writes Natasha Skrivankova.
A few years ago, if you had even a slightly creative bent, and knew what HTML stood for, you were on the autobahn of Web design the cyber expressway to big bikkies and online cred. Read More “Net profit”

Web Design: Join The Gold Rush

It is not surprising that the Internet revolution is often likened to the Gold Rush. The stampede into Internet business has created a whole new industry made up of companies and individuals with wildly varying experience and backgrounds.

 Web design is one of the most explosive areas of this new territory, and, as with other areas of Internet consultancy, it is not necessarily the design fraternity that is reaping the most rewards. Read More “Web Design: Join The Gold Rush”