Using Character Development for Better Website Design

Posted in Tips, Web Design2 years ago • Written by 4 Comments

The ability to add true personality to the design of a website is the attribute that separates professionals from hobbyists. Since the aim of the majority of websites is to persuade a visitor into an action, and the best persuasion comes when there is a personal attachment, this is a vital ability for a lasting career.

The use of this practice will transform a website into something more of a presentation, an informative journey of discovery. So why give visitors only one chapter of the journey to view? Is that fair to them, or better yet, their understanding of what you’re trying to get them to grow an attachment for?

For this very reason, we are going to explore the use of incorporating character development into your web design process.

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Paper Prototyping and 5 Analog Tools for Web and Mobile Designers

Posted in Tips, Tools, Web Design2 years ago • Written by 8 Comments

Designers love analog tools. No wonder. These tools lets us physically interact with interfaces and speed up the design process, like paper prototyping. What takes hours in the digital world can be sketched out in a matter of minutes.

That’s why analog methods of prototyping are especially valuable right at the beginning of projects – when speed matters the most. Working with paper, or perhaps a whiteboard, can accelerate the speed of our learning loops. Sketch, feedback, sketch, feedback, sketch feedback – you can go through dozens of iterations in one day and you’ll set solid foundations for the rest of the work. Consider it kind of premium insurance. Getting rough feedback quickly can save you a lot of work.

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How to Build a Killer User Experience Team

Posted in Tips, Usability, Web Design2 years ago • Written by 11 Comments

We are in an era where the term ‘User Experience’ is still evolving and enterprises are still figuring out how to fit this piece of the puzzle into their organization’s structure. The field is new and filled with lots of uncertainties for the decision makers of an organization, but it is definitely promising and filled with tremendous opportunities!

Being a User Experience designer right now is an interesting and rewarding experience for the fact that the scope of exploring unknown lands is infinite and I feel proud to be one. The Internet obviously has a major role to play in the upkeep and growth of this field, and it has lived beyond its expectations up to now. There is a lot of stuff happening around UX nowadays. There are UX conferences, more blog posts explaining the need of User Centered design, and people surely are getting a better picture of the topic, day by day.

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6 Tips for Budding Designers to Earn While Building a Portfolio

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Design2 years ago • Written by 13 Comments

Design is one of the more unusual industries to work in because it’s one of the few that often involves working for free, especially for those who are just starting out in a design career. Working for free is starting to become more and more commonplace for those new to particular industries – as this article from The Guardian shows – but for designers, who actually create something, it doesn’t need to be this way. The dangers of spec work are well-known, and this post in particular does a brilliant job of explaining why it’s harmful. The premise is that a client offers money for designers to compete with each other. One designer gets paid, the other designers don’t. It’s not fair, and it’s not rewarding.

But when you’re just starting out in a career in design, you may be tempted to work for free in order to build your portfolio. You know that you can design but you need to get clients on board, you need a good portfolio to show people and, when your portfolio is on the small side, clients may ask you to work for free with the benefit being that you get to showcase the work that you do on your site.

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How to Get the Most out of Your Design Degree

Posted in Tips, Web Design2 years ago • Written by 17 Comments

Studying design might not be the hardest thing a person can do on Earth. Studying design is actually quite easy – it’s very practice-oriented, every piece of theory is applied and there is no wrong answer. If you have good reasons for everything you do, there is no way somebody will be able to tell you that you are wrong. Hey, it might actually be one of the funniest degrees possible.

However, getting the most out of your education is something not many are good at, and especially in our business where everybody thinks they know something, finishing high and then getting a good job is something only a handful of people from each class manage to do throughout their life. So you might ask yourself how do others manage to get that dream job of theirs when they have the same education as you – the same degree that hasn’t landed you anything more than poorly paid jobs and difficult clients to handle.

Like any other business, you only hear about the successful ones, but the majority of people in the web industry are the ones who don’t really make it anywhere. Focusing on education is the only way to avoid being one of them and to have a successful design career.

There are two kinds of education in the industry: a traditional one and a practice-oriented one.

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Responsive Web’s Message to Mobile Website Creators: “Rest in Peace”

Posted in 1WD Features, Usability, Web Design2 years ago • Written by 15 Comments

If I were to begin this article by telling you that the mobile web has arrived, and it has taken our world by a storm, and it will most likely change the way we create and use websites, it’ll probably be a waste of time and effort. We all know that the future of the internet lies in mobile – if your website does not cater to mobile solutions or devices and focuses entirely on desktops, you are sure to lose a good deal of visitors. Whether or not we decide to give up our desktops and laptops, at some point of time in our daily routine, we do surf the internet via our smartphones and tablets, and trust me, nothing is more annoying than having to browse a non-mobile friendly website on a cramped screen.

One may ask, if mobile is the future of the internet, mobile website creation software must be selling like hot-cakes, right?

Actually, no.

There used to be a time when mobile website creation tools were very popular. In fact, a lot of premium software for mobile website creation had become synonymous with web design itself. However, as of late, they have fallen out of favor.

Why?

Well, this is what we shall be exploring in this article.

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5 Easy Things Designers can do to Generate Extra Income

Posted in Tips, Tools, Web Design2 years ago • Written by 22 Comments

There are many designers who earn extra income while having a full-time job and most of the time this extra income doesn’t even require 10 hours a week.

I know a lot of designers, for both print and the web, that are looking for different ways to fully utilize their skills to earn more. The problem is they don’t know where to start. It’s a good thing there are services and people out there that can help solve their problems.

Looking for a sideline?
Do you want to earn extra cash using your design skills but you don’t have enough time because of your full-time job?

Fret not. I’ll provide 5 easy solutions that can get you started right this instant. Most of these solutions will only take 5 hours a week to accomplish, I know you have the talent to do it.

Are you ready? Show me your war faces! Roar!

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Will Handheld Devices Replace Your Laptop?

Posted in 1WD Features, Tools, Web Design2 years ago • Written by 21 Comments

It has been quite some time since the era of handheld devices dawned upon us. Smartphones, tablets, eBook readers – you name it! With each passing day, it seems as if the gadgets we use and the technology we employ is shrinking in size.

So, how many of these super portable handheld beauties do you own? An iPad? Amazon Kindle? MS Zune?

Something? Anything? Everything?

And as with any new trend in technology, debate is in the air – will this new trend kill the old one?

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Jumpstarting Your Startup Idea – Let’s Make Your Dream Business Come True!

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Design2 years ago • Written by 20 Comments

I have been doing a lot of reading lately about online startups and I thought I should share it with 1WD’s readers. Quite a lot of startups from two years ago have now taken off and made it into the mainstream, like Pinterest (Mar 2010), Codecademy (Aug 2011), Instagram (Oct 2010), and a lot more. You’d be surprised how many of your favorite online services started from just a tiny idea and now are million dollar ideas.

Do you have a startup idea that you think will definitely be your way to stardom?

What are the requirements? Should you spend thousands of dollars? How about looking for a partner?

In this post you will learn:

  • how to find the perfect idea if you don’t have one
  • the checklist before actually spending time building your startup
  • skills you need to have
  • tools to help your startup (from beta testers to launching)

So, are you ready? Show me your war faces!

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An Interview With Chris Coyier – Founder of CSS-Tricks

Posted in 1WD Features, Interviews, Web Design2 years ago • Written by 17 Comments

Chris Coyier is a web designer and developer who not only builds websites, but also helps other people make their websites better. He’s the founder of CSS-Tricks and co-author of the famous book “Digging Into WordPress”. Chris is also involved in a few other projects, such as CodePen and ShopTalk Show.

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