Photoshop WebDesigner Toolbox: All the Resources You’ll Ever Need

Posted in Tools, Web Design • Posted on 16 Comments

If you’re using Photoshop daily it’s essential to have an asset library. Having a pre made toolbox or asset library can be extremely handy. Having the right toolbox can save you a whale of a time and provide you with nifty resources. If you’re a web designer, your asset library will probably differ from a photographers library, however there are things which should be found in every Photoshop user’s toolbox. While you could spend countless hours making your own resources, usually there’s no need to do that. Nowadays the web is full of pre made high-quality resources. I’ve collected various resources, sites and tools that can considerably boost your workflow, free up some time on your agenda and simply enhance your projects. If you don’t see your favourite resource/site/tool, please, feel free to mention it in comments because  maybe I’ve missed something great and noteworthy.

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Three Types of Friends Everybody Should Have: Mentor, Peer, and Protegé

Posted in Freelance, Web Design • Posted on 9 Comments

Every writer, blogger, designer, developer, singer, actor, at some point started out confused in their chosen career. Not knowing where to go, what to do, and how to react to the things that happen. Look at where you are now: successful, or still working to become successful, but surely you owe what you are now to someone who went out of their way to teach you the basics and guide you whenever you needed a little bit of help.

As a break from the usual articles that give tips, resources, tutorials, and whatnot, why don’t we spend some time together and think of the three types of friends that helped (and are still helping) us through our chosen careers? I am certain that all of us have these people, at least two of them for now. So, are you ready?

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Self-Publishing

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 12 Comments

With the use of the Internet, self-publishing has become easier. This article is for writers, illustrators, and almost anyone who dreams of publishing their work.

This is a product of my research and understanding of things about self-publishing. I do not have any published material out there that you can buy, at least not yet. So you see, this topic is really of great interest to me, and I hope you share the same sentiments. If the thought of self-publishing is new to you, I am hoping that by the end of this article you will want to explore this topic more. Throughout the article, you will read “books and magazines,” but don’t let that put you off if you’re a musician or an illustrator since the same points apply to every creative.

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What You Need to Know About Usability

Posted in Tips, Tools, Usability, Web Design • Posted on 19 Comments

Having good structure and navigation with poor layout does not provide a bright future for your website or application. However, having good layout design with poor structure and navigation does not provide a future at all.

Aesthetics is an important factor, but keep in mind that usability must be number one on your list. When I started designing websites and interfaces, my main, and probably only, concern was to make something beautiful that would catch the user’s attention – I had no idea about how wrong I was. If the user does not know where to go or how to proceed, he will close the page within 5 to 10 seconds.

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How to Take a Sick Leave as a Freelancer

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 9 Comments

I’m going to let you in on a little secret which will shock, dismay and maybe even anger you.

You’re not invincible. Some day or other you’re going to get sick and will be unable to meet a deadline. When that happens, the world won’t fall apart and neither will your or your client’s business. No matter how much you believe it would.

I can see from your expressions that you’re stupified. Horrified. Even terrified.

So was I the first time I realized that. I was ill and wasn’t going to be able to meet deadlines and *gasp* the freelancing world as I knew it didn’t end!

My clients all understood, my reputation remained intact and my business didn’t suffer at all!

The thing with a freelance business is that there isn’t any paid leave. There are also no sick days and no vacation time. Many freelancers end up panicking when they fall ill. Who is going to complete the project? I can barely stand on my feet, how will I meet the deadline?

Unfortunately, cold and flu don’t give a warning before attacking. You may wake up feeling fine in the morning but by the afternoon, your throat would be aching so much you can hardly swallow and your eyes would be burning. And as much as you want to continue working, you simply can’t.

To avoid the panic, you need to have a backup plan. A system you can put into place soon as you feel the first sniffles. Schedule your work around the possibility that you may fall ill.

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15 Most Influential People in Web Design

Posted in Web Design • Posted on 56 Comments

The web design industry is continuously changing and there are many people who are setting the bar higher every day with their incredible work and contribution to the web design community. Here is a list of just a few of the people who are responsible for changing the meaning of web design with their awesome work and concepts. All designers listed here are equally amazing, this isn’t mean to be a ‘Top Ten’ type list, we’re not ranking them, just listing innovators in web design.

Also, with this list I have shared their Facebook, Twitter, Dribbble & LinkedIn information so you can always stay connected and get inspired by their work.

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Which Niche Should You Focus On in Design School?

Posted in Tips, Web Design • Posted on 8 Comments

For those of you who aren’t self-taught designers and prefer the rigors of a solid education to jumpstart your career, there are a number of great schools worldwide to receive a thorough education in the design industry. When investing your time and money it’s best to assess each school programs and discover just what area of design interests you the most. The design world is ever changing and a ‘Graphic Design’ major definitely  has its usefulness in the business world, but there are a number of other concentrations within the design world that may spark your interest. In this article I will present some up and coming design concentrations that may have you thinking more clearly on what area you would like to focus on in design school.

Whether you’re just starting out and wish to pursue your Bachelors or looking to explore the possibilities of an MFA, there are very notable design schools based in the U.S. – each offering their own unique perspective, content, and approach in their programs. One thing they all have in common is they all offer a valuable experience that impacts professional lives and the society we live in.

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A Short Introduction to Reddit

Posted in Social Media, Web Design • Posted on 12 Comments

Reddit is a social bookmarking website owned by Conde Nast. It has over 1 billion page views monthly and has more than 600 thousand registered users. It is a multi-channeled website where almost everything that can be talked about has its own channel. Reddit is a place where professionals and experts of different fields of technology and sciences gather and discuss content they find on the internet. It is a place filled with both serious topics and humor.

Many of the current users migrated from Digg when they changed their site design, like what happened to the Gawker network.

Last April Fools Reddit admins introduced Reddit Mold which ran for a whole day. Redditors sent molds to other users, and the user who got “molded” was banned from using specific letters. The more molds, the more letters were disabled. Many Redditors resorted to using Braille. So I guess that gives you an overview of how Reddit works. The design is not that great, but that’s what makes it great.

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The Origins of User Interface Terms

Posted in Usability, Web Design • Posted on 13 Comments

“The way that you accomplish tasks with a product – what you do and how it responds – that’s the interface” – The genius HCI expert Jef Raskin defines an interface this way!”

Being a UX Enthusiast working mostly on the web, the web UI terminologies and interactions patterns are obviously a part of my daily work life, where I build user experiences by creating wireframes and interfaces which help the user accomplish a task easily. The various interaction patterns have always fascinated me and have left me wondering how closely a human-computer interaction is being related to some obvious real-time objects that we interact with, in real-time – enter the metaphors in Human-computer interaction.

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Using Social Media To Establish Your Brand Online

Posted in Social Media, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 9 Comments

Everyone has a brand, including you. You’re a freelancer, that right there is the start of your brand. If you are involved in social media at any level, whether personal or professional, you have a brand. Think about it, every time you interact with someone or say something in public, you’re establishing your brand.

Did you help someone out? You just established yourself as a helpful person and that adds to your brand. Do you complain a lot? You’ll become known as a whiner. Are you the go to guy in your field of work? That’ll add to your brand too.

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