I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

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Entries about web-design

Nov 1, 2007

Khoi Vinh & Mark Boulton: Grids are Good

Are you grappling with how to design websites using a grid-based layout? Check out Khoi Vinh and Mark Boulton’s excellent design tutorial, Grids are Good. The presentation starts with a brief history of grids, then walks you through a step-by-step example of redesigning a large portal-type site using a grid. The portal example is especially […]

Sep 4, 2007

Tip: Don't design site navigation like ads

Designing navigation may be one of the most critical parts of a web layout. Yet it always surprises me how many websites seem to put little effort into their navigation. Even websites that put every element together just right except for the navigation will have a hard time creating a positive experience for the user. […]

Jul 25, 2007

10 portfolios that get right to the point

I’m not a fan of online portfolios. Why? Because most sites bury the actual work under layers of splash pages, flash animations, clunky page navigation, and jargony copywriting. These gimmicks show technical prowess and cleverness but reek of overcompensation. When designing your next online portfolio, don’t get too fancy. Just get to the point, and […]

Aug 29, 2006

Everything a web developer might need on one page

On my way to becoming a web designer, I am constantly searching for techniques, tutorials, and other resources. The Web Developer’s handbook is a hefty database of links on a range of subjects pertinent to web development and design—all on one page. The list is a bit intimidating at first, but you are sure to […]

Aug 16, 2006

Designster: social networking and portfolio hosting for designers

The design world is getter closer together with Designster, a social networking site for designers to network for jobs, show off work, or just make new friends. It was created by my former teacher, David Karam, and his San Francisco design studio, Post Tool. Although still in development, Designster looks quite promising. I like the […]

Aug 3, 2006

Ah hah! Build easier, more efficient web pages with Server Side Includes

After posting Design like a pro: 20 web design tips last week, I began to put some of those tips into practice myself. Today, I discovered Server Side Includes (SSI)—a technique so simple, I’m offended no one told me about it. SSI allows you to reuse a piece of code without having to hand code […]

Jul 26, 2006

The Elements of Style = The Elements of Design

I love simple tips that help me become a better designer. Today, I love Christina Wodtke from Boxes and Arrows. Christina has translated a “List of Reminders” from Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style into tips for designers to keep in mind. It seems that good style is universal. Christina says: “…what is good […]

Jul 25, 2006

Design like a pro: 20 web design tips

.net magazine offers 20 pro tips to help neophyte web designers do it like the pro’s. The tips emphasize writing clean, organized code yourself, rather than using a WYSIWYG editor like DreamWeaver or GoLive. .net magazine’s 20 pro tips: Planning Do it by hand Stylesheets: importing vs linking Smarter gradient backgrounds Commenting Use simple PHP […]

Jul 19, 2006

How to accurately layout your website

Khoi Vinh details how to get accurate alignment on web pages. The technique uses a background image of columns that sits behind all the page elements. The visible columns make it easier to see when elements aren’t lining up, allowing you to precisely make adjustments. Once everything is aligned, you can turn off the background. […]

Jul 13, 2006

How to design grid systems in 5 simple steps

The brief, vague introduction to grid systems I received in school left me puzzled. These invisible “underlying structures” seemed more like arcane runes than rational design tools. Thirsty for understanding, I googled and found Mark Boulton’s fantastic series of articles on the basics of grid systems. I had always thought that things looked nicer and […]

Jul 12, 2006

Firefox turns 2.0! (almost)

A public beta release of Firefox 2.0 is just around the corner. But for those impatient (nerdy) souls who just can’t wait any longer, go ahead and check out the current beta release candidate available now from Mozilla. Notable new features include: The ability to undo closing a tab A built in real-time spell checker […]

Jun 30, 2006

Better typography without (or in spite of) design school

There are two types of people in the world: those who can tell the difference between Helvetica and Arial, and those who can’t. If you fall in the latter category, and are typographically-challenged, you are not alone. Based on portfolios I reviewed for the AIGA’s Portfolio Day recently, even many design schools fail to teach […]

Jun 29, 2006

Fail early, fail often: my first experience with rapid prototyping

This summer, I’m interning at Dubberly Design Office, an interaction design studio in San Francisco. My first week consisted mostly of 10-hour days manning the copier in preparation for a week-long interaction design workshop we were putting together for Samsung’s design group. The next week, I got the incredible opportunity to assist with and sit […]

Jun 24, 2006

Mark James makes free icons to pleasure your eyes and soul

Modern operating systems like Mac OS X and Windows Vista are obsessed with large photorealistic icons that ooze gloss and libido. Sure, they’re pretty to look at, but I’ll never give up my love for tiny icons that say a lot in a small space. The love for small icons is also not dead for […]