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Vicky Peterson | 28 May 2013 | 3 comments

color theory image

...a design that can adapt to the constraints of the browser window or device that renders it…
Ethan Marcotte

In the beginning, web design just followed traditional print design formatting, where the viewer’s eye was drawn into a page, through vital information and lead to the Call-to-Action, usually contact info of some sort. But as we’ve discovered through the years, the web can do so much more to stimulate the audience’s need for visually rich, interactive and kinetic experiences.
With the advent of usability testing, mobile devices and innovative ideas, Responsive Web design has emerged. It is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform...

Reshma Kumar | 30 Apr 2013 | 2 comments

There has been a lot of discussion recently around Apple's reported push towards flatter designs. Others, such as Microsoft are already said to be bucking this trend with it's Window's Phone metro design, along with Facebook and it's new 'f' icon design.

Designs with more 3-D and life-like appeal have been popular for some time. Such designs were highly popularized by Apple for their skeuomorphic qualities. This approach added more realism, richness, and familiarity to design elements and helped bridge the gap between the physical and virtual worlds for users.

The trend and chatter now seems to be revolving around the antiquity of this approach and suggests that it is potentially not meeting the needs of today's modern users. For instance...

Gary_Davis | 26 Apr 2013 | 1 comment

Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) are rapidly and dynamically evolving into technological and informational savvy businesses. The technology and free flow of information creates tremendous opportunities for these businesses, but also creates great risk.

At risk, is their data.  If it is lost, it can be disastrous for a small business owner and all the people they employ.

Symantec’s new SMB site is designed to help SMBs navigate through solutions to protect their critical information. From studies, we’ve found that there is a process by which SMBs evaluate new products. They first strive to understand, then once they’re comfortable with it, they like to try, and then buy.

The new SMB site was designed with this in mind. We’ve designed the site to focus on understanding right up-front. This greatly differs from the previous site where the user was dropped...

Vicky Peterson | 18 Apr 2013 | 1 comment

color theory imageAll the colors together make black – yes.
All the colors together make white – yes

How can they both be true?

First we need to understand what color is.
We see a color when light of a specific range of wavelengths hits the cone receptors in the back of our eyes. We have only 3 different cone receptors: those that receive red, blue and green wavelengths. All the other colors we “see” are our brain’s interpretation of the varying wavelengths in between the 3 primary colors. For example: what we see as yellow is both the green and red cones being activated, cyan is when both green and blue cones are triggered, and magenta is when the red and blue cones are simultaneously affected.

So what is happening when we see white?
Simple, when all three of the...

Sumi Rhee | 27 Mar 2013 | 1 comment

We recently launched a redesign of our mobile website.

With the redesign, users can now enjoy a more consistent look and feel on the mobile site as on the desktop version of the site. The visual execution and user interface elements are more closely aligned from web to mobile thereby, providing a more familiar and recognizable experience for users from one form factor to the next.

Some of the main changes include:

  • the addition of a quiet site selector at the top of the site which matches our desktop design
  • the inclusion of a side-scrolling carousel for site-wide promotions
  • visual responses to taps/clicks
  • a minimized display of links which contains options to “show more/show less”
  • “jump to top” at the bottom of each page to minimize scrolling
  • increased leading for improved readability
  • larger targets for ease of access

While the site still...

Vicky Peterson | 11 Mar 2013 | 2 comments

mobile app design imageOne question that constantly comes up in conversations about mobile web design is how to deal with images. There are several considerations when including images into a mobile web design; resolution, size, and image complexity.


Since there are constantly new mobile devices, with bigger & better displays being introduced, image resolution (also known as pixel density) is a moving target. Currently, the highest resolution mobile device is the HTC One at a resolution of 460 pixels per inch (ppi). That will of course change; so, the visual designer needs to always be vigilant. Mobile resolutions are much higher than the good old 72ppi desktop, so although an image from a desktop site will look OK on a mobile device, the smaller ones may not look very good when the user chooses to zoom in. To prevent low quality and blurry images, multiple size...

Reshma Kumar | 14 Feb 2013 | 1 comment

Much like fashion, what's old is new again in tech. The NYTimes had an interesting article on the resurging popularity of GIFs. There has been a fair amount of chatter on the subject of GIFs in the last few months signalling it's renewed trendiness.

GIF was the Oxford Dictionary's word of the year in 2012, and it has apparently also established its historic place in the Museum of the Moving Image.

GIFs or Graphics Interchange Format go way back to the Web 1.0 days and are a relic in Internet years. At the time, GIFs were popular because they were lightweight compared to JPGs, they supported transparency, and they could be animated. Well, none of that changed but competition did come in the Web 2.0 era for GIFs in the form of PNGs (Portable Network Graphics) which do all of the above and more including compressing better.

So, why the resurgence...

Vicky Peterson | 08 Feb 2013 | 2 comments

If you are a design professional, chances are one of the Apple computers was where you first learned your trade. You would also be somewhat familiar with one of the original men behind the design of Apple’s legendary products, Steve Jobs.  I just finished reading his biography, and learned that so many things relevant to this field were the direct result of his constant attention to detail and push for perfection.

Steve grew up not only in the heart of Silicon Valley, but also during its inception, when new technology companies were turning the industry on its ears and actual engineers were running the companies. This product-driven business model was proving to be quite successful. He also grew up in an era of free expression within a very open and tolerant culture. His favorite subject in college was typography; he really connected with how fonts influenced the content and audience....

Erin Eng | 30 Jan 2013 | 1 comment

Does your company, startup, or agency have a patterns library? ‘No, not yet’ you're thinking to yourself?! Well, a pattern library is a resource for your team/company that can contain design patterns, HTML & CSS, usage scenarios, images, sample links, and more.

When building a design pattern library, it's surprising how much work it requires to build a library and maintain it. Within Symantec's Corporate Design Group, we spent several months gathering requirements, compiling, and putting together a design library which houses various items necessary for consistency, collaboration, and efficiency within a large organization with cross-functional teams. It's a powerful resource an entire team can use to efficiently create consistent user experiences for your website. It cuts-out repetitive design work allowing teams to focus on creating new user experiences, and it creates a common UI language for a team, reducing communication...

Reshma Kumar | 28 Jan 2013 | 3 comments

2013It's a new year and with it comes new opportunities for design evolution on the web.

Looking forward, there are three trends I think we can expect to see more of this year.

1. Mobile no longer an after-thought.
There has been and will continue to be an increased and hyper-focus on mobile. There is still a lot of upside growth in the mobile web space to be had. Consequently, it can't be ignored and what we can expect to see is more inclusion and integration of mobile in website planning. There will be less of sites being thought of in silos based on desktop or mobile. Instead, there will be more of a holistic approach to web presences where desktop, smartphone, and tablet instances will be thought of collectively. This will manifest itself in more sites being built responsively, more hybrid sites that are built for desktop but with mobile support, and specific...