More Cost-Effective Design Strategies

  • Work within application design architectures. In other words, try to use as much of their HTML and CSS as possible, or replace just the CSS. Most good applications have a nice hierarchical CSS and template organization. Learn to work with it. Many application allow the addition and removal of widgets and tools from the admin interface. Accomodate that and support it. Its is extremely valuable.
  • Use icon sets. They will allow you to provide a beautiful interface in a fraction of the time. Support these projects if possible, ask your employer.
  • Use toolkits, but carefully. If it is a simple feature, code it yourself. If it is complex, find a toolkit or javascript library.
  • Keep the layout and colors separate in the CSS. That way, you can reskin an application in different ways, easily. Use browser specific overrides where necessary.
  • If you are building an application use a hierarchical template structure and create components that can support the whole system, instead of just one page.