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CSS: Page Layouts
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Page design workflow


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CSS: Page Layouts

with James Williamson

Video: Page design workflow

In this chapter I want to focus on the process of designing page layouts and creating the initial structure of your page. Now unlike the rest of this course, many of the movies in this chapter will not be hands-on; rather, they're going to focus on the overall concepts of page-design workflow. One of the biggest misconceptions about a web design is that web designers spend most of their time working in code. Now the reality is that on most sites designers spend the majority of their time in the planning and design process. Now not all processes are the same, and designer workflows are going to very widely based on the personal preferences of the designer, the size of the team, client type, or specific site requirements.
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  1. 4m 20s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. How to use the exercise files
      3m 26s
  2. 1h 39m
    1. Box model review
      8m 47s
    2. Calculating element dimensions
      11m 11s
    3. Understanding margin collapse
      7m 59s
    4. Calculating em values
      7m 41s
    5. Calculating percentage values
      7m 51s
    6. Normal document flow
      13m 3s
    7. Controlling element display
      8m 53s
    8. Using CSS Resets
      7m 11s
    9. Fixed, fluid, and responsive layouts
      9m 9s
    10. CSS debugging tools
      6m 46s
    11. Using the Firebug Inspector and the WebKit Web Inspector
      11m 5s
  3. 53m 15s
    1. Page design workflow
      3m 6s
    2. Page design tools
      4m 56s
    3. Determining page structure
      7m 18s
    4. Creating image assets
      8m 58s
    5. Creating initial page structure
      7m 3s
    6. Adding meaning with classes and IDs
      5m 23s
    7. Structuring content with HTML5
      6m 6s
    8. Building internal structure
      10m 25s
  4. 1h 36m
    1. Floating elements
      7m 50s
    2. Clearing floats
      7m 28s
    3. Containing floats
      7m 50s
    4. Clearfix technique
      10m 38s
    5. Floating inline elements
      14m 34s
    6. Two-column floated layouts
      8m 17s
    7. Three-column floated layouts
      11m 30s
    8. Column height considerations
      7m 3s
    9. Creating equal-height columns
      10m 42s
    10. Floats: Lab
      5m 25s
    11. Floats: Solution
      5m 21s
  5. 51m 42s
    1. Relative positioning
      7m 59s
    2. Absolute positioning
      8m 59s
    3. Fixed positioning
      4m 23s
    4. Controlling stacking order
      8m 31s
    5. Clipping content
      8m 21s
    6. Controlling content overflow
      5m 38s
    7. Positioning elements: Lab
      3m 59s
    8. Positioning elements: Solution
      3m 52s
  6. 48m 46s
    1. Design considerations for fixed layouts
      3m 28s
    2. Establishing the layout grid
      7m 57s
    3. Defining column spacing
      9m 30s
    4. Applying the grid through CSS
      8m 56s
    5. Creating grid-based assets
      8m 26s
    6. Grid design resources
      6m 22s
    7. Building fixed layouts: Lab
      4m 7s
  7. 44m 35s
    1. Designing for flexible layouts
      2m 30s
    2. Calculating percentage values
      8m 45s
    3. Setting flexible width values
      6m 6s
    4. Making images flexible
      8m 10s
    5. Setting minimum and maximum widths
      7m 24s
    6. Building flexible layouts: Lab
      4m 53s
    7. Building flexible layouts: Solution
      6m 47s
  8. 49m 36s
    1. Responsive layout overview
      3m 49s
    2. Using media queries
      7m 16s
    3. Organizing styles
      8m 39s
    4. Making content responsive
      8m 33s
    5. Mobile design considerations
      7m 32s
    6. Building responsive layouts: Lab
      4m 23s
    7. Building responsive layouts: Solution
      9m 24s
  9. 1h 22m
    1. Creating multi-column text
      6m 36s
    2. Using borders to enhance design
      13m 59s
    3. Rounding corners
      6m 56s
    4. Adding drop shadows
      10m 35s
    5. Working with opacity
      6m 8s
    6. Utilizing the background property
      15m 5s
    7. Working with CSS sprites
      7m 58s
    8. Enhancing page design: Lab
      6m 22s
    9. Enhancing page design: Solution
      8m 38s
  10. 6m 25s
    1. Additional resources
      6m 25s

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CSS: Page Layouts
8h 57m Beginner Feb 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

CSS: Page Layouts introduces basic layout concepts, gives advice on how to create properly structured HTML based on prototypes and mockups, and goes into critical page layout skills such as floats and positioning. Author James Williamson shows how to combine these techniques to create fixed, fluid, and responsive layouts. Designers are also shown how to enhance their pages through the creative use of CSS techniques like multi-column text, opacity, and the background property. Exercise files are included with this course.

Topics include:
  • Reviewing the box model
  • Calculating em and percentage values
  • Controlling how elements display
  • Creating fixed, fluid, and responsive layouts
  • Structuring content with HTML5
  • Floating elements
  • Using relative, absolute, or fixed positioning
  • Defining column spacing
  • Creating grid-based assets and layouts
  • Considering mobile-design-specific issues
  • Working with multi-column text
  • Enhancing page design CSS Sprites
Subjects:
Web Web Design
Software:
CSS
Author:
James Williamson

Page design workflow

In this chapter I want to focus on the process of designing page layouts and creating the initial structure of your page. Now unlike the rest of this course, many of the movies in this chapter will not be hands-on; rather, they're going to focus on the overall concepts of page-design workflow. One of the biggest misconceptions about a web design is that web designers spend most of their time working in code. Now the reality is that on most sites designers spend the majority of their time in the planning and design process. Now not all processes are the same, and designer workflows are going to very widely based on the personal preferences of the designer, the size of the team, client type, or specific site requirements.

But with these variables in mind, I want to take a moment to discuss my own personal workflow and the tools that I use. Your own overflow is likely to differ from mine, but if you're new to designing web sites, this should give you a few things to consider when creating your own workflow. First I take on what I refer to as the discovery phase. In this phase I'm interacting with the client to identify what the goals of the site are, what users should expect from the site, what type of functionality the site will require, and what the site's content is going to be.

Now I then use this information to begin to create wireframes and prototypes. Depending up on the site, this might range from simple sketches all the way to fully realized prototypes. The idea in this phase is to make sure the site architecture is sound, that content is organized within the site properly, and the site functionality has been thought through to make it is as usable as possible for the target audience. Around this time I'll also start working on color and type treatments for the site. Now color and typography are critically important to communicating brand and establishing the proper emotional response from users, so I'll usually play around with establishing typographic rules for the site, such as which fonts are going to be used and when and how headings and body copy should relate to each other.

With color I'll establish primary colors and secondary colors and begin to set rules for how the colors are used within the site. If I'm working with a client, once I'm sure that the decisions on functionality, site structure, and color, and type are finalized, I'll begin to generate page mockups. In some cases I'll simply generate quick sketches that give me an idea of how page design will look, but most of the time I like to generate very detailed page mockups in programs like Fireworks, Illustrator, or Photoshop. Now these mockups give me several advantages.

They allow me to refine the design with the client without having to generate code, and they give me the ability to create site assets directly from the mockup with pixel-level precision. I can export out things like images and icons while having a precise design that allows me to plan page structure and styles. In fact, most of the time I know what my HTML and CSS will be before I ever start working in a code editor. Now obviously this is a very high-level overview of the page-design process, and it's certainly not going to be the same for everyone. What you need to do is develop a process that works for you, supports your design aesthetic, and ultimately meets the needs of your clients and the site's users.

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