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Distinctive Design: A Practical Guide to a Useful, Beautiful Web by Alexander Dawson

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Chapter 2: Designing for Different Devices

The hardware and software that demand your attention

The manner by which designers create designs for the web has evolved through changes in how humans use the Internet. Standards have evolved; new methods of attaching functionality are being explored (such as frameworks); and new browsers, devices, and hardware reach the public at ever increasing rates. In addition, presenting information in both digital and analog formats (for the web and otherwise) have made our attempts to stand out challenging.

In this chapter, I explore the rapidly changing market to see how distinction differs between virtual and tactile environments. I also examine how extensible tools, such as Flash and PDFs, impact your work as well as the importance of applications — both browser based and independently coded. To round out the chapter nicely, I conclude with some important information about the influence of print on distinctive design and why print still matters.

Designing for More than Desktops

Designing for the web presents a unique mixture of opportunities and problems that you need to address in order to maintain a useful interface. Because sites aren’t tangible objects and are rendered on the fly rather than fixed upon a piece of paper, you are limited in the amount of control you might wish to hold over visitors and how they experience your site. How you approach distinctive design must therefore resolve pitfalls by using a design methodology that is ...

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