Web Design Using Grids: Tools and Inspiration

Posted in Tips, Tools, Web Design • Posted on 14 Comments

When I started this web designing thing all my work just didn’t look “professional”. It was pretty, nice colors, nice fonts, nice bevel/emboss effects…but something was annoying and I didn’t know what.

Then I found out.

Grids are one of the smallest differences between good and great design. It is quite easy to find a way to realign aspects of the design that give it a completely different look. Of course we have also other spacing adjustments but when you put things inside grids everything tends to look much better.

Today we’ll find out together why they make such a difference, who is doing it right, and which tools you can use to have a better grid.

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How the Web Industry is Changing STEM’s Perception

Posted in Tips, Web Design • Posted on 4 Comments

It’s hard to take a look at the career path options of recent years and not clearly see which have had the most influence. The society we live in is in a rapidly progressing state, with a focus on technology as a means for that advancement. Because of this, it is those career choices that have shaped the world we live in and will continue to do so in the future. These influential careers can all be classified under the collective category of STEM. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, these being the subject matters that comprise STEM.

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12 Best iPad Applications for Designers

Posted in Tools, Web Design • Posted on 15 Comments

Everyone in the cyberworld knows the news about Steve Jobs having resigned as CEO of Apple. He will be missed, for he surely left a legacy, making Apple one of the best brands of the century. The iPad is one of the last innovations he introduced to the world.

The iPad was initially met with much skepticism and mocking, but now there is no doubt that this is one of the best, most ingenius gadgets of the 21st century. It’s handy and lightweight, thus it’s so easy to carry around anywhere. This makes us, as designers, more efficient and maybe more creative with our work.

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6 Secret Techniques You Can Use To Become A Great Headline Writer

Posted in Blogging, Web Design • Posted on 8 Comments

Bob Stone, one of the best known copywriters once said, “Your first 15 words count more than the 15,000 words that follow!”

A  great headline is similar to the trailer before the movie. It whets the appetite and gives the reader a taste of what is to come. The purpose of a headline is to compel the reader to continue on to the next step (read your copy).

Ever glance over at the magazines strategically placed in front of you while you are waiting to check out at the supermarket? The first thing you will notice is the headline. Cosmopolitan, Star and many other worldwide magazines use headlines on their covers to lure consumers to buy their issues.

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Guidelines to Building a Useful Coming Soon Page

Posted in Tips, Web Design • Posted on 7 Comments

When you plan on launching a website for your company or business, it is always a good idea to have a Coming Soon page as a teaser. Buying the domain two months in advance and investing some money in it pays off most of the time, because it gets the visitors interested and hooks them until the official release of the website. You can also get a database of potential clients from such a page, but I am getting a bit ahead of myself.

Today we take a look at some tips for designing Coming Soon pages and how to actually make them effective and visually appealing, so that visitors will remember them over time and come back. In the end we will take a look at a showcase of good Coming Soon page examples.

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Setup Surveys and Capture Data with Google Forms

Posted in HowTos, Tools, Tutorials, Web Design, WordPress • Posted on 5 Comments

Are you looking to learn more about your website visitors? If so, Google has your back. Google Docs is an excellent free online tool that allows you to create forms (surveys) for the purpose of capturing data from your online community. Google Docs allows you to create very professional looking forms, with over 60 different themes to choose from. You can customize the questions you want to ask and the answer choices you want visitors to choose from. Once the form is setup you can easily embed the form in your website or e-mail it out to a list. Feedback is captured automatically and reports can be charted and graphed for accurate analysis. Sound good so far? Let’s dig into how the process works.

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Top 5 Ways to Increase Your Website’s Conversion Rate

Posted in Tools, Web Design • Posted on 12 Comments

A beautiful website with fantastic design and colorful displays is wonderful, but if you are not making a profit, your hard work will be in vain.  How can you convert your website visitors into profits? There are many ways you can increase your conversions, but it’s important to know where to start.

Before we discuss the top 5 ways to increase conversions, you must understand what action you want your visitors to take. Are you leading them to opt in to your list? Buy a product? Become a Facebook fan? The goal of website conversions is to lead your visitors to an intended action, so it’s important to know what that action is. Once you know, you can target your strategy to that end.

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Introduction to Defensive Web Design

Posted in Tips, Web Design • Posted on 11 Comments

There are several types of design and every web designer decides for himself which approach he takes, but today we take a look at a particular one of them, called Defensive web design. What does it mean? The defensive design is also called contingency design and refers to the idea that the interface has to be designed in such a way that potential failures will not force the user away from your webpage, but will keep him there.

The contingency design can contribute a lot to your success, because all designers know there is not a product without flaws, therefore getting the best out of these flaws will help you keep your visitors close. Contingency design is familiar to a context that happens a lot in the stores. When the client goes and asks for something that is not in stock, he will not get rejected. The shop assistant will most of the time recommend another product. The defensive design does the same thing: takes the client’s mind away from the problem and helps him with information or makes him try again.

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Top 10 Places to Put an Opt-In Form

Posted in Tips, Web Design • Posted on 10 Comments

An email list is the lifeblood of any internet based business. If you are running a blog or website for the sake of making money, an opt-in list is an absolute necessity. After all, “the money is in the list.” But after you design an opt-in form, one of your main decisions becomes where to actually place the form. Here is a list of 10 places that are great for an opt-in form (and remember, you can choose more than one).

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Grow Your Business or Stay Solo?

Posted in Tips, Web Design • Posted on 9 Comments

Freedom is one of the major reasons to become a freelancer. Freedom from a stupid boss, malicious co-workers, and the whole office politics circle. However, soon you discover that working solo is not that good either.

It comes to your mind that if you grow your business and start hiring people, life will be awesome. Could be but more often than not, growing your business not in the right time and not in the right way brings so much trouble that you wish you knew all this in advance. Failure as a manager isn’t fun!

Common sense says that the purpose of every business is to grow, grow, grow. However, as life proves, growth for growth’s sake is disaster in its purest form. It would have been much better if you hadn’t taken the expansion road but who knew this? If you don’t want to end in a situation like the one above, before you start growing your business, you need to analyze the pros and cons of this. Here are some thoughts in this direction.

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