Dreamweaver: Tips and Tricks!

Over the past couple of weeks, I have spent some time in Adobe’s Dreamweaver crafting my first websites.

It has certainly been a crazy learning experience!  This program can do so much and I am quite sure there is no way that any person could learn everything it can do in a classroom setting — I think it’s all about trial and error and working on your own to truly find out what this program can do.

I have put together a list of some (what I find to be) helpful tips and tricks that I have discovered: whether it be by accident, through my reading of design blogs online, as well as reading of my textbook.

 

  1. This one is simple: make sure that the “view” you are working with is “Live View”.  This window will split the Dreamweaver screen into two parts — one will be the window that you type the code into, and the other screen will show you what your website will look like!  Very cool feature and is a must-use.
  2. Live View’s best friend; Live Code.  This feature will update your code automatically as you click, drag & drop, and interact with the elements in the Live View window.  Love this one!
  3. Just another reason to just bite the bullet and pay the money for Creative Cloud:  all of the typefaces that we have access to with Dreamweaver!  The great thing about this is that there are so many options, and as a member of Creative Cloud, we can use the fonts and not worry about copyright infringement issues if we use those fonts.  (Of course, double check and make sure that there are no restrictions on the font in the way that we can use it, but the options are still pretty great with Creative Cloud).
  4. No matter how much we (as designers) will try to smartly name our files; sometimes it can get confusing when we are dealing with a lot of pictures.  Well, an awesome feature of Dreamweaver is that it will create a pop-up thumbnail for any <img src> attribute.  There is no question what picture you’re working with when you’re only looking at the code.
  5. Naturally, Dreamweaver works wonderfully well with Photoshop.  It is nice to display images on websites in different shapes than just the typical rectangle that we work with in Photoshop.  Instead of using a mask in Photoshop to change the shape of the image — we can do the same thing in Dreamweaver!  Under the insert panel, there is a component that allows us to insert a special class, like ing-circle to the <img> tag.  This is much easier than going back into Photoshop and adjusting the image.

These are just a few things that I have discovered that I like!  This list is (of course) changes each day as I learn more about Dreamweaver.  Good luck and happy designing!

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Web Design Trends for 2017

Being that I am a newbie when it comes to web design, I have done some reading to see what is going on in the [very] vast world of web design.  Some of the things that always seem to be discussed concerning graphic design are what the “trends” for the current and upcoming year are.  Web design is certainly not an exception — people in the industry are always anticipating what could be happening next!

The following list are some of the things that I am excited about:

  • Layouts that let content shine:  it is amazing how much technology and web design have changed, even just over the past couple of years.  A shift recently has occurred; causing the focus to not be just having a “pretty” website for consumers to look at, but a website that goes back to what the actual function of a website is:  to consume the information that the website communicates.  The result has become a more minimalist approach to the design (which I rather like), and this allows for the information to really take center stage.
  • Big and Bold type:  along with the concept of letting the content take the spotlight, another concept that is being utilized is using large fonts to communicate the information the website holds.  This is another simple concept but I like that it truly makes a bold statement about what the goal of the website is when the visitor goes to the landing page.
  • More of Bright colors: continuing with the concept of simple design, another trend that we could see more of this year is the use of bright color more often.  Bright colors certainly make a statement, and that is a step that the client should want to take, should this be utilized.  Going even further into this concept; people seem to be losing their minds over the observation that some websites observed are not only utilizing bright colors, they are using lots of gradients to show different shades of bright colors.  Now, I like a good gradient as much as the next guy, but I think that they must be used with discretion.  I think that gradients are like a good spice: just the perfect amount and you’re golden,  but use too much and you’ve ruined the dish.
  • Unique layouts:  another way that web designers see to be finding creative ways to present information to readers is with unique layouts!  Specifically, this is happening with broken grids.  Some ways that designers are utilizing this concept in their designs are through overlapping typographic and graphic elements and [seeming[ to randomly combine text and images.  I really love seeing these things because it breaks the website up visually, and it is aesthetically pleasing because it produces a bit of a surprise for the viewer, but not too much to where it makes the material difficult to read.

These are just some of the things that people are talking about to look out for in web design for 2017.  Of course, these are all just speculation and only time will tell exactly what the popular web design things end up being for this year!