If you’re a designer who works on websites for smaller businesses or clients, chances are you receive similar requests for website features over and over again. Perhaps you’ll hear your photographer clients saying “I want a photo gallery”; perhaps you get a lot of clients who want to control their content; perhaps you get all of these requests and more.
Over time, most designers try a few different methods to implement various features; inevitably, some are better than others. In this article, I’ll be outlining the most frequently requested features for client websites and the tools we like to use to implement them; aka the 8 Tools for Common Client Web Design Requests.
Most clients who have a product or service to sell will want to showcase that product (eg. custom t-shirts) or service (eg. interior design, say with before/after photos). There are a million and one ways to do this on a website – one could make a unique page for each photo, or a static gallery of larger images displayed in a grid, or any other combination. However, a slick way to display images (or video, or music, or html) is with a jQuery overlay plugin like Zoombox.
With just a few lines of code, you can insert a gallery overlay into your website design. There a tons of iterations of this script out there – the original Lightbox, Thickbox, thisbox & thatbox – but I generally use Zoombox because it was one of the first ones I found that allowed various types of media inside of it. The gallery is launched by an anchor link, so the design possibilities are limitless: buttons, text links, thumbnails or anything else that can be wrapped in an anchor link can be used to launch the gallery.
Recommended use: image galleries, videos, extra content (eg. a “Help” link).
Sliders are a relatively new feature when it comes to web design, but they are quickly gaining ground due to their aesthetic appeal, ease of use, and their ability to display lots of content in a small space. One of the easiest versions of this jQuery plugin is the Automatic Image Slider.
Again, there are a ton of these guys out there – the one we use on our site is the EasySlider plugin - but this version has good documentation and a nice control scheme. Sliders are great for any sort of “Featured” content section – fire it into your next web design & impress your clients.
Hit the jump for more awesome tools for common website design requests! Read the whole article >