Photoshop Web Tip: Use guides in Photoshop to plan your layout

No matter how creatively you plan your web site design, the underlying structure of (X)HTML is grid based. Even if you aren't laying out your site using tables (you aren't right? good) you can think of multiple DIVs, headings, paragraphs, and images as a piece of your grid. So, if you're creating your web site mockups in Photoshop, dragging out some grid lines should be the first move you make. First, create a new document for your web site mockup. If I'm doing 800 x 600 resolution, I like to use 760 x 480. If I get to use 1024 x 768 resolution, I create my mockup at 960 x 480. Once you have your new document created and ready to work on, make sure that you have your rulers turned on by going to View -> Rulers or pressing Command + R (or Control + R on a PC). Now, if the numbers on your ruler don't match up to the size of the document you created, your ruler units are not set to pixel... [More]

How To Hide Optional Fields on Long Web Forms

Do you have a long form on your web site that might be intimidating to users? After all, you only require about half of the fields on your form? Now you can use XHTML and JavaScript to allow your users to hide the optional fields and only fill out what is required of them. Heck, you could even hide the optional fields by default. To begin, we'll need a properly formatted XHTML form example: <form id="form" method="post" action="" > <fieldset> <legend>Personal information</legend> <div class="required"> <label for="first">First name:</label> <input name="first" id="first" type="text" /> </div> <div class="optional"> <label for="mid">Middle name:</label> <input id="mid" name="mid" type="text" /> </div> <div class="required"> <label for="last"&... [More]

Recreating Low Resolution Logo Scans as Print Ready Vector Graphics

From time to time we come across a client who does not have any digital files for their branding. The original designer or printer (sometimes one in the same) never delivered the source files or they were lost after being created several years ago. Many times all we have to work with is a scan from a business card or brochure.

All is not lost, because with a few simple tricks in Illustrator, we can recreate the logo in a much easier format to work with. All in less time than it takes to make a phone call to the original designer (who has probably lost the files anyway). [More]

E-commerce 101: The Essentials Every E-commerce Site Must Have

Most shopping cart systems offer the basic functionality that allows customers to add products to their carts and checkout. To convert more visitors into customers and keep customers coming back, make sure that your e-commerce software offers these features [More]

Evaluating Your Website Like a Job Applicant

When hiring new employees, you likely form a first and lasting impression of applicants based on their appearance, and whether they appear to "have it all together" during the interview. If applicants look sharp, and offer all the right answers, you're likely to hire them.

The way customers "interview" and select a financial institution, retailer or any entity with which they want to do business isn't much different. What is different is that many businesses today do not have web sites whose appearance, content and usability accurately reflect the high quality of the institution behind the site.

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A blog by InetSolution about programming, security, design and marketing for banks, credit unions and e-commerce.

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