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Planning your project

From: Illustrator for Web Design

Video: Planning your project

The step in any web design process is to plan out the project itself. This means determining exactly what you are building, where it's going, and who the intended audience will be. Going forward, that will be your driving force throughout the entire design process, and the planning stage is very important, although it might be a little bit tedious. But it can also be really simple. Take this example that I have here onscreen for instance. I made this small sketch markup using a tablet application called Adobe Ideas, which is available from the Apple App Store.

Planning your project

The step in any web design process is to plan out the project itself. This means determining exactly what you are building, where it's going, and who the intended audience will be. Going forward, that will be your driving force throughout the entire design process, and the planning stage is very important, although it might be a little bit tedious. But it can also be really simple. Take this example that I have here onscreen for instance. I made this small sketch markup using a tablet application called Adobe Ideas, which is available from the Apple App Store.

This is a great application which allows me to free-hand draw using my finger or a stylus and easily mark up ideas as they come to me. I can then export those out and place them into file in Illustrator and then use that as basis for my design going forward. Let's assume here that I am designing a WordPress theme inside of Adobe Illustrator. As you can see in this markup, I have a header piece; I'll have a content slider, several video thumbnails, a bit of text, an image flush right, and then a footer at the bottom.

Now this isn't the end of the planning stage. Once I get the sketch into Illustrator, I have to determine a lot of things about the project. How wide is the overall web site I going to be? How much space does the slider take up in the overall scheme of things? How big are the thumbnails? Does the text overtake more of the image, or does the image overshadow the text? The footer, is it full-width footer? Does it just encompass the area of the theme? I have a lot of things that I have to decide, but at least I have this sketch to go from in order to keep things organized in my mind. Once I have a sketch inside of Illustrator, I keep it open, but then I start to create a brand-new document.

That document then turns into my mockup, which then becomes my full-blown design. So without this starting point here, I might not ever get where I need to go. Again, the planning phase is totally up to you on how you do it. You can sketch things out on paper, you can use a tablet application. Whatever you do, find something that allows you to get the ideas out of your head and into usable form, so you can bring it in the Illustrator and then start mapping out the remaining parts of your project. So now, I am ready to create a new document. I'll go to the File menu and choose New.

Once I am inside the New Document dialog box, I am going to call this Blank Mockup. For the Size I am going to leave Width at 1280. For the Height I am going to increase this to 2000 pixels. I want to make sure that my color mode is RGB, PPI is 72, and Align to Pixel Grade is set to Yes, so that everything is nice, crisp, and clean. Once I have that done, I will hit OK. I now have a new blank document which I can go and use throughout my entire design process for the rest of this WordPress theme that I might be mocking up.

From here, my task is to define the overall size and dimensions of all of the different aspects that are within this sketch that I created earlier. In order to do that, I am going to utilize shapes, grids, and even some guides here inside of Illustrator.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator for Web Design
Illustrator for Web Design

67 video lessons · 24397 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 13s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 43m 51s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 57s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      2m 40s
    3. Exploring the Illustrator to HTML workflow
      3m 42s
    4. Setting up Illustrator for web work
      6m 55s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      6m 25s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      3m 31s
    7. Using artboards for responsive layouts
      7m 42s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      4m 31s
    9. Working with Pixel Preview and anti-aliasing
      6m 28s
  3. 25m 28s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      6m 47s
    2. Understanding web color
      3m 47s
    3. Creating a color palette
      5m 4s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      4m 50s
    5. Working with fills and strokes
      5m 0s
  4. 13m 15s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      5m 21s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 54s
  5. 24m 5s
    1. Drawing simple shapes
      4m 16s
    2. Working with Pathfinder
      5m 4s
    3. Using the Shape Builder tool
      4m 33s
    4. Creating symbols
      6m 24s
    5. Editing and replacing symbols
      3m 48s
  6. 20m 22s
    1. Planning your project
      2m 56s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      5m 56s
    3. Developing a layout with shapes
      6m 21s
    4. Using a grid system
      5m 9s
  7. 25m 53s
    1. Exploring the rules of typography
      4m 1s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      3m 37s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      1m 46s
    4. Creating and using paragraph styles
      5m 16s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      3m 2s
    6. Simulating the CSS box model
      8m 11s
  8. 21m 17s
    1. Understanding object appearance
      4m 43s
    2. Applying and editing live effects
      3m 34s
    3. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 13s
    4. Creating more flexible rounded rectangles
      3m 17s
    5. Saving appearance as graphic styles
      6m 30s
  9. 35m 57s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      5m 23s
    2. Adding master elements
      6m 45s
    3. Creating navigation buttons
      13m 34s
    4. Working with photographs
      5m 50s
    5. Simulating pages with artboards
      4m 25s
  10. 54m 45s
    1. Creating video placeholders
      10m 33s
    2. Creating buttons
      13m 1s
    3. Creating form fields
      8m 15s
    4. Creating radio boxes and checkboxes
      5m 11s
    5. Creating progress bars
      10m 12s
    6. Creating tabbed interfaces
      7m 33s
  11. 35m 28s
    1. Understanding slicing
      3m 26s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      3m 6s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      5m 33s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      3m 50s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 29s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 43s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      3m 46s
    8. Exporting SVG graphics
      6m 35s
  12. 9m 29s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      3m 4s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      4m 36s
    3. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 49s
  13. 15m 29s
    1. Placing Illustrator Smart Objects
      3m 22s
    2. Sharing color swatches between apps
      2m 9s
    3. Exporting Illustrator artwork as a PSD
      3m 49s
    4. Importing artwork into Fireworks
      2m 41s
    5. Exporting HTML from Illustrator
      3m 28s
  14. 1m 19s
    1. Taking the next step
      1m 1s
    2. Goodbye
      18s

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