5 Things to Keep in Mind When Moving From Graphic Design to Web Design

Who is a graphic designer?

Graphic designers combine text and images to create designs and layouts. It is their responsibility to create interesting designs which attract the viewers’ attention and effectively communicate the message. The message may be meant for both offline as well as online audiences. To put it in brief, graphic designers deal with how objects look. It is all about making static designs as visually appealing as possible. There are many branches of graphic design and many designers specialise in creating one category of work – such as Film poster designer Raj Khatri – while others prefer to do a little bit of everything.

Who is a web designer?

Web designers are broadly divided into UI and UX designers. User Interface designers are responsible for the way the layout of an application or a website i.e. the interface looks to the audience. While user experience designers are more concerned with what happens when one interacts with the interface. Together, they both work towards how the product feels. Their goal is to maximize product simplicity. They refine and iterate to create the best possible experience for the users.

As you can see, graphic designers are different from UI/UX designers in terms of both their process as well as the final result. There’s no doubt that currently UI/UX designers are in the greatest demand in India. They bridge the gap between how things look and how they work; and are at the forefront of creating fantastic products for people in the technological age. On the other hand, the graphic designer market has fallen a bit stagnant and the job market is shrinking for them compared to more technologically relevant designers.

Lots of graphic designers are in fact, making the switch over to becoming web designers. Are you too looking forward to making the switch? Here are five tips to keep in mind when moving from Graphic Design to Web Design;

1. Don’t be the Expert

The best web designers are the ones that don’t have all the answers. Huh, what? The key is to understand that all clients are different and one solution will not work for them all. You need to understand what designs they need, exactly and create it for them. Often, giving them an answer won’t be enough. You will have to research and give the clients reasons why your answer is right. Be prepared to get stumped every day and having to work hard for every single change that you make, because you’ll need to be accommodating of the clients’ needs in your designs.

Good web designers always start with the basic, always plan ahead while working and create rough wireframes for your designs. Rough is the key word here, as many designers often put too much effort in making their wireframes look pretty and lose focus on their purpose. This is a very important point for graphic designers as aesthetics take a backseat when it comes to creating wireframes. This doesn’t mean that you need to throw away your creativity but you need to learn to focus it and use it in the right places.

2. It’s a Science as much as an Art

Being a web designer, you must embrace product thinking. Being a web designer means understanding that designs overlap with product management, as no one can design an intuitive user interface for a product that they don’t have a clue about.

User research and testing is a big part of web design. Your intuition as well as all kinds of biases should never get in the way of the design process. This means that you’ll have to conduct interviews, studies, inquiries and testing to validate your design and ensure it’s intuitive to your users.

It’s a scientific approach, and you should understand that in web design the definition of beautiful is what makes users feel good while navigating through your interfaces and not what is just easy on the eyes. To achieve that you should not only be good at the art, you need to understand the science behind it all as well.

3. Design for Information

One of the most important aspects of good web design doesn’t deal so much with pixels, colours or typography, as does with the content that is inside your designs. People use websites and apps not for their beautiful designs, but because they want easy access to the content. While making the switch from graphic design to web design, one must keep this aspect in mind and make sure one’s designs are as simplistic as possible. It is very important to make it as easy as possible for the users to find the content that they need. The entire interface must be logical in its arrangement and easy to access for the end user.

4. Follow guidelines, don’t invent your own

“Wait, you want me to follow convention!” Although this sounds like cyanide to graphic designers, it makes perfect sense when it comes to web design. Like programming, UI/UX design has guidelines, such as Google’s Material Design for Android or Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines. And following those is critical to ensure your design doesn’t cause any confusion in the mind of the users.

If you break completely from already established patterns, you might experience a steeper learning curve for new users. Many of them will not bother to figure out your design patterns and will move to another website or application which fits into what they already know.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have no space for customisation and offbeat design solutions. You do to some extent, but unless you work at Apple or Google, it’s not recommended to reinvent entire design patterns that your users have already got used to. It’s not creativity but usability that is important in this field.

5. Play Around

While it is but obvious that you will need to research and read up as much as possible on the world of web design, one thing often missed out on is that as a web designer, you should just visit as many websites as possible. Many graphic designers feel that using a reference throws off their intrinsic creativity and so they avoid using references for what they create.

Note down what you like about them and what you don’t. What makes them different from their competitors? What makes accessing content easier for you? Do you like that additional menu bar? How many clicks or actions does it take to reach from one section of the website to another? All of this will help you out a lot when you are designing your own websites as you can then learn from what others have done and avoid the mistakes that they’ve made.

Conclusion

If you are thinking of switching to web design, keep in mind that there will be radical shifts in your work process and mindset. The hardest part in this transition might be changing your perception of design and its goal.

So before sketching your first interface, try to get into the shoes of the user to understand what they are looking for in the product and what are their goals. Then think of design as a way to help them accomplish those. From now on, that’s your goal!

The Impact of Technology in the Classroom

How has the use of technology impacted teaching and learning in the PK-16 classroom?When is comes to behaviorism technology has made it even easier. It used to be just like Pavlov’s dog, when the student does something right they get praised verbally or with a good grade versus a treat or a scratch behind the ear. Shaping behavior is important and we need to ensure there is a baseline. Technology almost guarantees that specific learning will take place as the objectives are determined by the teacher. Teachers can set specific goals and the students will know what they need to do to get there. Benjamin Bloom first came up with the idea that the student will succeed in learning the task if they are given a specific time to do it. Technology allows for you to more easily chunk lessons into specific times. Students will perform better, especially when they succeed and get the praise of the teacher. Although the stimulus is provided by the teacher, it will do no good if the students do not receive it equally. (Snowman & Biehler, 2003)
Other ways computers assist is that they offer the ability for repetition and feedback to the student. Teachers can also incorporate the appropriate enforcer’s to the lesson whether it is text, video or audio. The student does the task right they can get a smiley face , text telling them they are “Correct” or audio saying “Good Job!”. (Parkay & Stanford 2004)Social Learning is learning occurs when students learn from each other whether it be through modeling, imitation or observing within the social context. How can you do that with technology? Normally the students work on their own computer, but you can have them do a group project. When students do a project together they will observe how other groups are proceeding and imitate them if it is working well. The teacher usually also models what they are requiring the students to accomplish. Even when working individually the students will assist each other as one knows more than another.There are cognitive factors in social learning as well as behaviorism. There is a clear line between learning by observation and student imitation. The cognitive process maintains that the attention of the student is the critical factor in the learning process. The expectations and consequences that are reinforced will bring about similar future behavior. (Ornstien & Lasley 2000)
Cognitive learning is learning that occurs when a learner process information. This is similar to behaviorism but the student has more input to accomplish how they reach the planned outcome. The teacher can model a project but the student may have other information that will aid them in accomplishing the outcome. An example would be how I instructed my students how to set up an Excel spreadsheet. I had them set up a basic spreadsheet showing how much their parents spent on them in a month. This was relevant to the students and caught their interest. They went beyond the initial project and had boarders, colors, etc. on their spreadsheets. The students who did this were praised aloud and the other students wanted to know what they did and how. This tied in the social learning as well as the behaviorism theory (Didn’t even realize it at the time).When is comes to designing and developing lessons to incorporate technology the constructionist have the nod. Seymour Papert of the MIT Media Lab stated,”Constructionism holds that children learn best when they are in the active role of the designer and constructor.” When the student is actively involved they have the buy-in to the success of the project or assignment. The students will be more apt to complete and learn more from it when they have some ownership. The students in turn will share their new found information when doing the assignment with the other students allowing for the constructionist learning. This form of teaching eliminates the grade and goes more with a go, no go process. Teachers assess the students by the completion of the assignment or lack of completion. This is better because of students being able to play a greater role in the process and assessing their own progress.We teach ourselves how to learn. This is the constructivism theory on how we learn. With technology this couldn’t be truer. Most students have a basic understanding of the computer. They can download songs, play games and set up Myspace web page. What they can not do is build a spreadsheet or power point presentation. The teacher will give them a basic understanding but the students will learn from trial and error and construct their own learning.History of the computer use in the classroom started off slow. Saloman and Globerson (1987) suggested that underachievement in schools is because of the lower expectations on the part of the teachers, parents, and society. That was because the teachers themselves really hadn’t been exposed to the marvels of what a computer and the associated software could do for them. The Commodore 64, Apple II along with the Macintosh began their strong emergence in the early 80′s. Software programmers had a vision about the computer and how it could be used in the classroom. They developed software that teachers could use along with their instruction. Apple began teaching the teachers and Macintosh soon followed suit. This was the beginning of incorporating the use of computers in the classroom. (Jonassen 2000)Using computers in the classroom allows for all the learning theories to come to fruition. A computer allows for the cognitive process to bloom and brings about the social learning as well. When a student is given an assignment or project on the computer they will strive to complete it. The different things they learn they will share with other students especially if they think it is the bomb, cool or whack. On the flip side it can inhibit learning if the student is completely computer illiterate as frustration sets in as they cannot proceed as well as others. The computer also allows the teacher to develop lessons for all the multiple intelligences.With the advances computers and programs are taking on a daily basis, it is allowing for more interaction in the classroom(s). It is even allowing students from different schools to interact. Technology also allows for time to be better utilized, the outcomes of the objectives to be more easily determined and goals easy to implement and automate.

Add Fun to Your Gaming by Playing Social Games Online

People all around the world play games online or have interest in playing different games while sitting online in front of the computer screens. Usually the online games people play is through Facebook apps or other social networking web sites. Playing online game is a very interesting and entertaining time pass and helps kill the boredom when there is nothing to do.Online gaming websites are the best platforms for people who enjoy playing online games. It is not a few games that you will get to play every day but there is a vast variety of quality online games such as action, adventure, and strategy. If you think to add more fun to it then you will be glad to know that you can socialize with your friends while playing these games as well. People are looking to socialize with each other through every way possible there have been a lot of social networking sites made to keep people all around the world connected. Usually this every day interaction and dull chats someday get dry and boring and start to fade out.Therefore, just to keep the fun and charm alive in the socializing, these networking channels started adding applications and online social games so that the users can interact with each other through online social games, too. Now playing games together is much more fun than just sitting in front of a wall post or messenger box and posting silly lines. It adds some sort of charm to the socializing and keeps the fun alive between users.The social game online site usually includes about more than a thousands of games, categorized under different tabs. There are action games, which include many games like shooting and war, etc. There are role-playing games and puzzle games and a lot more games under one web channel.Most popular social games are the Farmville on Facebook and the Poker. People from all around the world play games like that, build their own farm, and add neighbors. It is a very interesting and entertaining way to interact with your friends through a game like that when you ask if they could visit your farm once so you can get experience points.New the interesting part about the social game online site is that you can connect to your Facebook account and play with your friends or invite them to the game and get them started as well. If you are looking free games then this platform is one of the best to find free games online. The site includes lots and many games and free with a vast variety of categories to play in as well.If you are new to sites like that and have never played before then you can get started without any registration or entry. You will not have to pay from your credit card to start playing games because they are free and you can open your page, connect from your Facebook account, and start playing whenever you want to.