Designer Guidelines

Being Organized is Key

Here are some best practices and tips for Photoshop users—particularly, as the title suggests, Designers. These guidelines can make transferring and working with other people’s PSD files much easier.

It’s essential to start outside the Photoshop Document, aiming at better external file management. If you can’t get your files organized outside of Photoshop, then it’s doubly hard keeping track of things within your PSD. A good designer is always an organized designer.

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Guidelines in Creating a New Design Document

01

Name your layers accurately

  • Be as descriptive as possible on every layer. “Layer o copy copy” isn’t gonna cut it.
02

Use folders and structure your layers logically

  • Grouping layers makes it easy to show and hide various areas quickly.
  • Make use of folders to organize objects by sections within your design.
03

Delete unnecessary Layers

  • Removing unused layers from your PSD saves computing power and space.
04

Web safe fonts

  • Use the standard web safe fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana, Times.
  • We recommend using Google Fonts. Visit http://www.google.com/fonts/
05

Designer-friendly layers

  • Use non-destructive layers such as Smart Objects Layers, Adjustment Layers, and Smart Shapes.
  • Convert high resolution images into smart object to maintain the original resolution even when resizing images.
06

Bootstrap 3 & Grids

  • Use Bootstrap 3 as your primary web design foundation.
  • This isn’t just for the web, use proper grids and bleed margins for your print layouts.
07

File naming convention

  • Follow this format for project files. [Project-Name]-[Page-Name]-[Version] [Extension-name] (e.g. ProjectA-Home-A.PSD)
  • Keep all versions using this file naming convention.

Tips for File Location and Archives

  • As a general rule of thumb, all archives should be placed on the local back up drive ‘Time Capsule’. A folder location named ‘Clients’ should be the default repository.
  • Production files for client turnover will be sent over cloud based storage such as Dropbox and GoogleDrive.
  • Designer files should be placed in one parent folder named “Projects”. All project files will be stored under its own Project folder name. 

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Managing Creative Assets

Here in August 99, we have our standard Creative Assets located on our local network drive. Alternately, we have the Epic bundle (a collection of design assets) stored on every Designer Mac drive.

To keep up with the new trends in design, a list of bookmarks below offers daily updates of fresh content and ideas.

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  • Stock photo source
    unsplash.com
    deathbystockphoto.com
    SXC.hu
    veezzle.com
    littlevisuals.co
    hiresstock.com
    gratisography.com
    picjumbo.com
    getrefe.tumblr.com
    pixabay.com
    superfamous.com
    foodiesfeed.com
    picography.co
    stocksnap.io
  • Font Source
    Google Fonts
    dafont.com
    myfonts.com
  • Design inspiration
    awwwards.com
    canva.com
    dribbble.com
    pinterest.com
    PatternTap.com
    DesignModo.com
    99Designs.com
    SmashingMagazine.com
    WebDesignServed.com
    logolounge.com
    LogoPond.com
    LogoSpire.com
    fastcodesign.com

Guide to User Interface and Experience

  • Simplicity
    Visitors aren’t coming to your site to evaluate how slick the design is. Instead, they’re coming to your site to view information, interact with the content or purchase a product or service. Make it easy for users to do just that.
  • Visual Hierarchy
    Arrange and organize your website elements so that visitors naturally gravitate toward the most important elements first.
  • Navigability
    Again, user experience is key. Your priority is to help site users find what they’re looking for in just a few scrolls or clicks.
  • Consistency
    Being consistent in your design can have a positive impact on usability and UX.
  • Accessibility
    Make sure that the site that you’re designing displays beautifully on different devices (and operating systems, and browsers).
  • Conventionality
    In order to provide the best experience possible for site users, take advantage of the fact that you already know what types of web experiences they’re familiar with.

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Browsing Behaviors of a Site Visitor

  • Appreciates credibility and site security
  • Scans content instead of reading 
  • Impatient and likes instant gratification
  • Appreciates unique content
  • Likes familiar user experience
  • Wants to have control