Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category
There have always been many design trends which determined the most popular aspects of web design. Today we’ll focus our attention on the diverse texture patterns being applied to website designs.
We all know that textures now are extremely common and popular, though it’s a long way already that they have been commonly employed. The designers currently have put various textured patterns to even greater use, eventually accomplishing completely different, seamlessly tiling website styles.
But what is the point of such an insane popularity? It may well be that the textures give the websites completely different feel with all those subtle undertones which are rendered within each particular pattern. The websites with a textured look can easily articulate various messages the designer wanted to imply. Plus, the texture usually sets the overall mood of the website creating truly unique and individual foundation.
When it comes down to the applying aspect, texture patterns can be differently accomplished to a web design. In some cases textures can be used to emphasize a particular part of the design. More often they are tailored in combination with many other design elements. Throughout the layout, the textures usually remain in the background to support the tone of the design and make the website content easier to perceive. We may also spot the textured samples in headers, sidebars, footers, or other content areas – it actually depends.
In this post we’re featuring the variety of 150 awesomely textured websites sorted by certain motifs – that is the texture pattern used in each particular set. Make sure, there are lots of design options to find inspirational and useful. In this stunning showcase you may also discover TemplateMonster templates where textures have been as well applied to the design. Ok, now it’s high time to get started:
Wood Texture Set
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Japan is known for being… Ehmm… Being not like the rest of the world. So are some of the landing pages – they’re known for sometimes being the designers’ nightmares (or vicious dreams of web design’s evil geniuses). We’re sure you understand why, we’ve all seen those long landing pages overloaded with “buy now” buttons, testimonials and other tricky design elements.
We’re not here to judge though and you’re the ones who is supposed to decide whether or not these designs and promo methods are ‘kosher’. All we want to say is that Japan has turned this design direction into arts (as it usually does) and Japanese landing pages appear to be really ass-kicking.
So as someone who’s constantly broadening your horizons TemplateMonster is proud to present the 30 of the most mind-blowing (and thus inspirational) Japanese landing page designs.
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We’re sure there are a lot of you guys out there who have done a great job of customizing the templates you’ve purchased from TemplateMonster. And we’re sure you would love to show it all off a little bit. As a matter of fact, we would love that too! Besides, there were several people who – either via blog comments or by mailing us – have gave us a hint that they have something to share.
Well, you know us – there’s no way we could resist this sort of temptation and this month we start gathering the examples of your customizations. We will monthly publish top 5 of them and give away gifts to the ones who sent those items. To be precise, the winner will get a free template from us (at non-unique price), 2nd place gets 50% discount for templates purchases, 3rd place – 40%, 4th place – 30% discount and finally 5th place will get the 20% discount for any TemplateMonster order (also for non-unique purchases). Here’s how exactly it will all work:
1. Sit back and think about what you’ve done… to the template you’ve purchased from us.
This means you have to make sure that you really want to share your design customization and that you know (or that you remember) what exactly has been changed there – e.g. color scheme, Flash animations, images etc.
2. Gather all the data we need from you for the showcase.
We’re going to need the ID of the template you initially bought and some screenshots of your website that is based on that template (and the website URL). Plus some short comments about the process of customization.
Plus, try to mail us from the email address that you have used for the template purchase. We need that info to make sure you really are the person who made the purchase and that you’re not submitting someone else’s design work. If you no longer have access to that email account think of other ways you can prove us you were the actual buyer of the template. These are all required pieces of your design puzzle.
In case you’re a design agency please send us your company name, company website URL. Also please be sure that the customized website that you’re submitting for the contest is live at the moment of your submission and that its design is actually based on the template from TemplateMonster.
3. Send all the info mentioned to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure not to miss anything, only the complete sets of information are allowed for this monthly contest.
The winners will be chosen by the TemplateMonster designers’ team and later announced on the blog by posting their customizations.
That’s it for the moment, now hurry up to send us those designs!
Hang on to your screens – for it is Japanese web design art to be featured today! We’ll show you some of the best showcase sites meant to introduce the variety of web design styles typical for Japanese culture.
Below we’ve rounded up such designs filled with plenty of individuality and creativity. Follow the general concept of this web art to perceive its rhythm and catch sight of the unique design aspects. Plus, we were lucky to know several Japanese web design showcase websites that gather the eternal beauty of Japan’s most spectacular websites. Here are these websites and the websites featured there:
What’s good there:
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Folks, this time we’ve put together a great roundup of perfectly tuned website made with TemplateMonster Flash CMS Templates. Guess everybody is curious what is there – behind the purchase! So today we are to unveil the huge potential of our world-beating designs powered by strong and mighty Flash CMS. We’ll show you the ways on how these brilliant templates can be successfully implemented!
Such Flash CMS websites, though using some sort of predefined or established style, are just excellent being adapted to suit a personal aesthetic ideal and the needs of a certain project. These sites lend a feeling of healthy design vision and help their visitors focus on each particular brand communication.
Having plenty of room for creativity and individual expression, the owners of such Flash CMS websites contrived lots of design hallmarks with every single element becoming vitally important. They add a sense of order and structure to a design. There are even more life and depth in each version compared to the initial templates. This all has become a huge asset to artistically manifest our beloved Flash CMS Templates.
Now take a look at this showcase we have come up for you:
When the holiday season in full swing, let’s mention something that’ll for sure glue your eyes open! This time we’re featuring famous websites and the ways they altered their Christmas custom designs within the years of functioning.
Having searched for Christmas season customizations, we’ve compiled the set of websites that’ll take you to the nature of festive customization options and give the background of the symbolic Christmas imaging.
In fact there are endless sights to enjoy within the pages presented. You may spot for instance various holiday treasures including vast known Christmas attributes, decorating, tips for shopping and gifts, and on the whole unique craft ideas. Quite often there are little Christmas style effects, objects, or holiday pictures to be found. You may even come across the hidden Christmas hints throughout the web page. The whole point is that it all gets us in the holiday mood and crowns with gorgeous, one-of-a-kind personalized rendering that is undeniably catchy.
So let’s brighten up our Christmas for there are a wide variety of holiday skins we’ve gathered to pep up your imagination:
Web design has a lot of trends that are constantly changing, the old ones get away, the new ones emerge in an endless process of design evolution. So no wonder that there are endless discussions of web design trends going on and on all over the Internet – even we have published the web design of 2009 trends review. So now we’re after something that’s currently popular. We have even managed to find a couple or reviews of top trends for 2010 done by WebDesignLedger and DesignTutorials4U. These guys have done a great job but we feel like we have a couple of ideas to add.
By the way, all of the trends are illustrated with our own templates’ designs. After all, we do not only talk about trends, we actually follow them. Enjoy!
1. Social Icons
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Trend description: Social network icons are getting bigger and bigger (just as their value grows). Besides, they often get customized according to the general website style.
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Ok, here we go with the results of our research – as you know it, in this research we were kindly assisted by our audience. So it appears to be that in our first Halloween research post we were right and wrong at the same time. We were right about the fact that there are not much websites that really pay attention to the Halloween design customizations. Come one, 40 websites or so suggested by thousands of our audience… That’s not as many as we expected.
On the other hand judging from what we have received, there’s more that we were able to find initially. Anyways, it’s good to know that our audience really did help us without making us look like idiots that didn’t see something obvious
Plus, we have already started contacting the participants who’ve been suggesting the customized websites and delivering the prizes to them. In case you didn’t know, the prizes are 10 free unlimited hosting accounts from JustHost, 5 free templates from TemplateMonster as well as significant discounts both from TemplateMonster and JustHost. By the way, we want to address the participants (and the winners) – guys, please allow 2 business days for the prizes to be delivered, ok? No one will be forgotten.
Ok, enough of talking. It’s time for some rating. Please welcome the Top 20!
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Halloween Customizations, guys, is a useful experience we should say. In fact it brings lots of benefits to the site owners attracting the greater customer pool and consequently the amount of profits. If you take care about wonderful foundation to your site visual look, someone will surely notice you.
But as previously, in case of hosting sites, we have encountered with the absence of good Halloween customization examples in a sufficient number. Or else, we may suppose that they do exist, but are thoroughly hidden.
Update: Ok, we assume you might have seen some decent halloween website design customizations. So let us know of those and enter your chance to win the killing Halloween treats from TemplateMonster.com and JustHost.com including free website templates and free unlimited hosting packages. Please see more details in the promo post.
And what we have as a result? The great mass of websites does not have enough serious approach towards customization issue. And in the long run, we see Halloween customizations that, in terms of design execution, leave much to be desired. Many thanks for them even! At least someone undertakes the festive actions for the holiday. By the way, TM home page Halloween customization design is upcoming, shortly (or maybe it’s there as you are reading this).
Have a look at the rest of the bravehearts:
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By the way, this particular customization made by Enom is the best we’ve seen while searching. The elements of customization perfectly fit the design. Way to go, Enom!
Read the rest of this entry »
Many times in your life you have probably seen these petrifying 404 error pages which meant nothing but that you’ve lost your way surfing the web in your pursuance of certain objectives. The 404 error declares that the user’s request was able to communicate with the server, but the server couldn’t find what was requested. And that is probably the only useful information you would find reaching the “zero between fours” dead-end default pages.
TemplateMonster.com shares the point of view that it’s not always supposed to be that way. The 404 error pages must be your light out of the trouble but surely not a common state of “welcome, you’re in Deadlock”. 404 pages should contain helpful information for example Main Page or Site Map links or what’s better – widgets that endeavor to find the correct web page the user required. The visual representation of 404 pages is a question of substantial importance. It’s essential that when someone is looking for something for relatively long period of time without any success he gets rather annoyed with 404s but smart appealing visual elements might cheer him up.
Here are some more useful advices for you to think over your four-Oh!-fours:
Set up your navigation system.
As it was mentioned above, you should provide alternatives for navigating user’s way out of a 404 error page. These could be widgets that find the correct web page, links to your home page, site map, help info, search tabs, assumption lists(e.g. “Perhaps you’ve meant”, “Maybe you would like to …” ), etc.
The Medium is the Message.
Do not forget that even through 404 error page you are communicating with your visitors. Think over the message you would display.
Be careful! Linguistic tips.
Displaying the list of probable errors never put misspelling error or any other assumptions, accusing the user of being sloppy or inattentive, first. Leave them to end your list and better present them in a rather smooth way.
Brevi manu! (latin for ‘Brevity is the soul of wit’ ).
Stay informative and at the same time do not provide too much information. Give the users appropriate amount of suggestions to help them find their way out.
Spread some friendly mood on your ‘route 404′. Cross out sever “Error 404. Page Not Found” and change it for more amicable “Ooops!…” or “Sorry…” or else.
Creativity is the key.
Think different! Find unconventional ideas to present your 404 error page. Thus you’ll make your visitors remember your page.
In case you’ve got really excited with this topic we recommend you to visit SmashingMagazine.com 404 error pages review (as well as part I of their best 404 pages review and part II which also rocks). Plus there’s a similar review of 60 best 404 error pages made by hongkiat.com – all these guys have done a great job of collecting these pages and popularising the “404 Error pages” topic. Here are some excellent examples of creative 404 error pages:
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