Category: "Design"

Application Delivery Networks - An Excellent Application of

The link above suggests integrating diverse, externally hosted applications with polished designs. This is an excellent use of, because the volume of design translation may be massive.

The basic approach would be to identify those CSS files related to color, get the color attributes, and apply new colors using robots.wizard. You could skin many applications, very quickly, even if their original color schemes were very different.

The key to success will be to limit the skin colors, and augment them with images. If you have a very complex, colorful, comp, the variation in target application color schemes may make it difficult to get a consistent color set out of robots.wizard. You can remove colors from the image, without modifying it, in Step 1 of robots.wizard.

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.

Dare to push the envelope ...

In today’s economic climate, traditional design, code, integrate with applications will become too costly.

The companies that will be most successful will identify opportunities to reduce the cost of labor for mechanical tasks like applying colors to skins so they can use their talented professionals to deliver better solutions to their clients.

Cost-Effective Design Strategies

  • Start with a skin, purchasing skins is almost always worth the investment. The layout of the skin is more important than the colors. If a skin isn’t available, have the design team build one that is flexible enough for most clients.
  • Develop a starting point and process to reskin it, even if it is just a list of manual operations. It may be more cost-effective to have an engineer do this than a designer.
  • Try to use supporting graphics with neutral colors, to reduce the number of images that have to be recolored.
  • Distribute the tasks to the lowest level possible. For example, recoloring images with image software can be performed by someone with limited technical experience.
  • Don’t expect to be able to fully automate the process.
  • Identify areas that are likely to be overlooked and ensure quality assurance is aware of them.
  • Check the log files to find any missing image calls.
  • Explain the cost savings and benefits to the client. Be sure they understand the limitations.

Skin an Old Site with New Colors

Many times, the existing HTML site cannot be abandoned quickly, but updating the colors can help reinvigorate the pages.

If the code has alot of inline colors and styles, automating the recoloring makes it possible to preserve the existing investment, but still apply new colors.

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