Engage Web Steven, Author at Engage Web

Making colours count

Posted on February 22, 2014

Colours are an important part of any web design project, and getting the right combination can be a difficult task. Often, the client can visualise the colour in their heads, but translating that to any usable information for a (more…)

Posted by Steven

Facebook opens up origami offering

Posted on February 15, 2014

Facebook has decided to offer up something quite interesting for app designers free of charge; a piece of software called Origami.

It’s a design prototyping toolkit that can be used to (more…)

Posted by Steven

Hello Ruby

Posted on February 8, 2014

I’ve previously mentioned how the BBC is launching an initiative to get schools teaching programming to teenagers. With apps and web services becoming increasingly important, this is a great way to (more…)

Posted by Steven

Backlighting in the spotlight

Posted on February 1, 2014

Since the advent of Lightbox, the standard background for displaying an image has always been a black, translucent panel, which would set the image apart from the (more…)

Posted by Steven

Gaining inspiration from the random

Posted on January 24, 2014

Sometimes, inspiration can come from the most unusual sources. With logic being the enemy of creativity, a website named The Thinkerbot has come up with a novel idea to help inspire.

It gathers what it (more…)

Posted by Steven

There’s an app for that… but should there be?

Posted on January 18, 2014

As the mobile and tablet users gain a bigger percentage of your site’s total of visitors, there is always someone who will suggest “we should have an app”. This is becoming the default answer for companies when it comes to them (more…)

Posted by Steven

Fontastic icons – Efficient customised icon sets

Posted on January 9, 2014

Icons have always been a great usability addition to any website or application, giving the user an at-a-glance idea of what their function would be. Traditionally, these would have been designed in Photoshop, and if the designer/developer was particularly clever they would create them in a pixel map to save additional calls to the server for hover/rollover images. This is a common practice.

However, there is another solution that is a lot more efficient in both time and bandwidth, and is offered by icon fontsets such as fontawesome and Foundation Icons. These are custom fonts that could be presented to the user using the @fontface CSS declaration, and contain icons instead of alphanumeric characters. They can be displayed at any size without any noticeable reduction in quality, just as fonts can be. This in itself is a great solution and offers the designer more flexibility when it comes to defining and changing the icon colour and size without having to open up Photoshop each time; they just need a small change to CSS. With the increasing use of smart phones and HTMLl 5 coded applications, the need to trim down bandwidth use and load times has become even more important. The idea of having to download a complete font set when you are only using a select few of those characters in your application becomes a less attractive prospect.

Fontastic has offered a solution to this problem. You can cherry pick from an array of fonts and icons, mapping them to a character and downloading it as a usable webfont. This means you can trim and optimise your icon set to minimise the bandwidth cost for your website or app. Any increase in efficiency with regards to a website is a major leap forward – quicker load times and more responsive sites mean happier users.

Posted by Steven

The true colours of the web

Posted on January 4, 2014

Each and every website out there has its own look and feel – its own personality, if you like. One of the biggest contributors to this is the website’s colour scheme.

Colours can make a substantial difference to the (more…)

Posted by Steven
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