Web Design

I am happy to announce that the new site of Melon Design & Marketing has gone live today!!

screenshot of Melon's new site

Melon Design & Marketing is a creative communication agency based near Milton Keynes, between Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire, specialising in a number of sectors such as branding & corporate identity, graphic design, website design & development, advertising and e-marketing, print management, photography and copywriting.

You can read more about all their services here, and about their in-house CMS Engine on this page.

Flash Development, Web Design, Web development

So you have finally done it, you are a freelancer or have set up your own little design agency and you have your first clients with jobs coming in. And now comes the time that a project comes to the point where money is involved, be it just before the first 1/3 of the project is done or towards the end of the project. But what do you need to look out for? Where to go for resources if anything goes wrong?

Continue reading after the break for some strategies on how to invoice for your web design or web development work… Continue Reading

Rants, Web Design

Over the last couple of months (or maybe already since the beginning of 2008) more on more upcoming design studios are having a “pricing” page of sorts on their website explaining their pricing structure, what they charge for, sometimes already with a PayPal button.

I can but wonder what went through the mind of a design studio at that time…maybe it was like this:

Designer A: “Hey you know what, let’s make loads of money by adding the prices right there on the site! They will come in flocks!
Designer B: “You sure?
Designer A: “Of course I am, everyone does it these days!

As a matter of fact I am trying to find anyone in the top 100 or top 200 web design studios in Europe which showed a price for their work. And here is why you shouldn’t… Continue Reading

Information Architecture, Usability & Accessibility, Web Design

On Link usability - the art of keeping call to actions consistent Not so long ago I was asked by a client, if it was possible to change a couple of sections within their site as they just updated their product structure: the client was expanding their products to list two more categories. To make them stand out, their marketing team was thinking of using different colours throughout the main content area so that is looks much more consistent, which included changing all link colours and buttons to these new colours.

As a designer you have probably faced a similar situation before – can I or can I not change the link colours on certain pages to keep a consistent look and feel?

Yes, you can, but you shouldn’t ever. Here is why… Continue Reading

Web Design, Web development

On outsourcing work in the design industry - whatwasithinking.co.ukNot so long ago I received an email from a former student of mine who has just started up his own design studio asking whether or not outsourcing work to contractors, freelancers or studios makes sense and what to look out for.

Especially for upcoming design studios or companies / agencies who are lacking in a certain area (such as developers or Flash animators) it makes sense looking to outsource work to keep employment costs low and not having to worry about whether or not there will be enough work to keep someone (or a whole team) employed.

Read after the fold what to look out for… Continue Reading

Flash Development, Web Design, Web development

On Flash - map integration with Yahoo Maps and ActionScript (part2)If you followed my entry about Map integration with Yahoo Maps and ActionScript you will probably be wondering what I have to report about the progress. As you may remember, this mash-up is about offering a client a new spin on travel bogging: being able to log in to the client’s website from anywhere in the world and give other users (and family and friends) the opportunity to see where you are going and what you are doing there.

Last time I wrote about this Yahoo / Flash mashup I connected the Yahoo map’s API through Flash and PHP to a MySQL database and was able to write / read from the entries. My next goals were to integrate a user-login, adding links, implementing moderation and a Flash image uploader script. Continue Reading

Rants, Usability & Accessibility, Web Design, Web development

Please display PDF links properly! - Whatwasithinking.co.ukOver the last couple of months I have been working on a great number of design, usability and accessibility reports for clients of mine. Some of the sites I worked on are pretty good, and all you can recommend is maybe tightening up their call-to-actions or look at a couple of points of Section 508 to validate properly. Then there are some that need a bit more help than that. That is natural, some of the sites have been up for years and could do with a new design or will need some more development work.

But what gets me going of late is the inability of some websites to display their PDFs properly…

Continue Reading

Web Design, Web development

Installing FireFox 2 alongside FireFox 3 - Whatwasithinking.co.ukWith the arrival of FireFox 3 (and its record-breaking amount of downloads in its first 24h) more and more of us web architects and web developers are getting rid of their beloved FireFox 2 installation and are moving all their bookmarks, themes and extensions to version 3 of the popular browser. And rightfully so, version 3 is faster, much more stable and its updated Gecko engine is displaying your website creations in the best possible way… or is it?

I came across a couple of odd bits when developing a website – it seems like Firefox 3 is displaying a floated element’s width of 100% correctly, whereas FF2 would not fully acknoledge the width unless the element was previously set to “clear: both;” (or something along those lines, unfortunately I am still relatively new to the CSS cut-up world.

So we decided to install FireFox 2 again on the design-machines next to an existing FireFox 3 installation without causing any issues with the extensions or other settings between the browsers. I got it to work pretty much instantly on the first go, but since colleagues and friends were asking about how to get FireFox 2 to work with FireFox 3, here is a quick step-by-step guide after the break. Continue Reading