May 24, 2012

“A skin by any other name...”

(No, this is not a zombie post.)

Regardless of what you call it: homepage takeover skin, wallpapers, wrappers, gutter ads, left & right rails, when you’re trying to educate yourself on how to create one, there’s shockingly scant information out there in the interwebs.

Which is why we were happy (and you should be too), that our friend Rick Byrne, who came up with the web standards for CBS Interactive, has just written an incredibly detailed Takeover Skins 101 post over at his Design Career site.

Working with one of the early adopters of skins, CNET Networks, Rick’s been working on skins daily for more than five years, so we consider him an awesome source of info. And now that skins are popping up everywhere, it’s a great time to do a little self education on the subject.

Hot tips include:

  • Keep your audience happy, whatever kind of audience you have
  • Think of skins as part UX design and part advertising
  • Avoid repetition
  • Keep the key imagery within a dedicated “safe area”
  • Design tips for logos, scrolling and static skins, page shadows and background

Plus he’s got a lot of very nice reference links if you’re looking to further your education.

Heck who needs school?

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