All about the web designer

Web designers and developers have got to be the kings of the future. With every business and individual jumping online, you just know the world is currently running by the web. So if you’re a web designer or a dev, or aspiring to be one…this one’s for you.

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SO, YOU’RE A WEB DESIGNER, RIGHT?

THE WEB OF YESTERDAY

When I started doing this we were what you’d call a petit-comitè. I called myself a developer and worked with a great graphic designer, one of a kind. Our roles were crystal clear back then.

Seasons came, seasons went and we started getting deeper and deeper into it. As our imagination kept moving forward, our websites grew more and more complicated. We soon found ourselves in a crossroads and we were forced to rethink our whole model.

My journey into design started with typography, perhaps the only field where my man Felipe was not stunningly fluid. I never called myself ‘designer’, though, until I cut off from Adobe’sCreative Suite cold-turkey. Slowly but steadily my role evolved on to designing for functionality and interactivity, copywriting, structuring content, making layouts responsive, building strange custom web applications… Then I was designing. Felipe’s role evolved too, as he started getting gradually into development, my former side of things. It was from working together that we both expanded our notions and eventually our process. We were naturally responding to a new kind of situation.

Click here for the ‘web of today and web of tomorrow’.

20 Resources for Beginner Designers & Developers

Getting started in the world of design can be both thrilling and intimidating. Sometimes, you feel like you just don’t have the tools or skills you need to complete even the most basic projects. At other times, your mind is just buzzing with a multitude of ideas, but you may not have the best way to organize them. Yet, throughout the process of becoming a designer you will grow and expand both as a person, artist and designer.

Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions; there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated. – Paul Rand

The key to starting out a successful career in design, is creating your own toolkit. This toolkit should be an array of design resources that help you transform a blank canvas into something incredible. Today, we’ve compiled 20 of the best design resources out there for anyone starting out in the world of design. Here you’ll find design tools, as well as useful websites to help you complete design projects, gain inspiration, and become an awesome designer.

Get the list of resources for beginner designers and developers here.

24+ Reasons Why Blogging Is Good for Freelance Web Designers and Other Freelancers

Should freelancers blog?

In my opinion, this shouldn’t even be a question. There are so many business benefits to blogging that it only makes sense for most web designers and other freelancers to take part. The benefits of blogging far outweigh the disadvantages.

Yet, it seems like every so often someone influential makes the statement that they think blogging is dead. They claim blogging is no longer a good idea for small business. It’s a waste of time, they say. Social media is all the exposure you need, they go on to say.

Wanna know why blogging is good for freelance web designers and freelancers? Click here.

22+ Bad Habits That May Wreak Havoc with Your Design Business (and How to Break Them)

Many of the struggles that web designers and other freelancers face are of their own making. I’m convinced that many designers and freelancers know the right things to do (at least intellectually we do), but our bad habits get in the way of us doing them.

It’s easy to get caught up in a bad habit. When you do, you end up making the same mistake over and over–sometimes without even realizing it.

Bad habits can cost you money. They can take up your time. They can cause you to lose a client. They can even make you sick.

More on ‘bad habits that will wreak your design business’ here.

One of the biggest mistakes made by many is relying on skills but overseeing the habits that you need to develop. It should be a good balance of both. You can be king, but to keep the throne, you need to know how to rule your world.

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Clean, consistent and minimalist designs

Some designs are commonly appreciated, while others are what one would refer to as ‘acquired taste’. I, however, like clean web designs that capitalize on content.

15 Fresh Examples of Clean and Minimal Web Designs

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As a designer, it can be tempting to use a lot of unnecessary design elements or a complex color palette to make a website stand out.

Doing this will often result in a web site that looks over designed and distracts from what’s most important: the content.

Most of the time, you’ll discover that it’s much better to take a minimalistic approach. So for today, we gathered 15 Fresh Examples of Clean and Minimal Web Designs to inspire your for your next project.

See the examples of clean and minimal web designs here.

Building Consistency and Relationships into Your Designs

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First up, one of your main aims with any website should be to build the relationship between the user and the website. The reason being to create trust with the user, so that they feel comfortable with navigating and interacting with the website. Through design and functionality, you can then offer your users a better experience.

Building consistency in your designs also helps to strengthen your brand and keep a brand’s message clear. For a client, it’s important for their business that their brand’s message (whether online, offline, or in any other medium) is consistent as that will again build trust with their customer base. If a brand’s message is inconsistent, confusing or difficult to understand, this can be off-putting to customers and can even affect sales and enquiries, ultimately having a detrimental effect on your client’s businesses.

Even yourself, as an individual, need to understand the importance of consistency in your brand. You, yourself, are a brand. Even if you have a personal blog, you are putting yourself on the web and should care about your brand and image. Sometimes, particularly in the web industry, it’s even more important to build a brand consistency for yourself, as it helps to set you apart and make you unique.

Click here for more on ‘consistency and relationships in design’.

Creative and Inspiring Print Ads

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From web to print and TV, we believe that you can find inspirations in all kinds of mediums! With that in mind, and also considering that advertisement is a great place to find cool artworks, we decided to gather some creative and inspiring print ads to show you how designers approach colors, textures, type and composition in a different medium.

Remember to click the images to learn more about each campaign.

One of the reasons I love ads is because they have to communicate a whole idea in only a few words and a striking image, capturing the viewer’s attention while being memorable – and certainly inspiring.

More of ‘creative and inspiring print ads’ here.

Sell online

A complete website design package gives small and medium businesses a fixed-price solution to make the most of online opportunities. With contemporary design and easy navigation we focus on the purpose of your website within your business.

Your site can include a full-featured e-commerce store for selling online. This can include secure credit card payments, paypal, stock control, sales reports, automatic delivery of downloadable products and more.

And just like the main part of your site, the product listings are easy to edit so you can change prices or update a photo any time you like.

Need help to make your website able to transact online? Click here.

(via Tuts+)
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Designing in and out web agencies

Designing for clients is more than just having all these ideas in your head, especially when you’re working in a web agency. It’s more organization and team work and focus. Here’s a very helpful article that offers solutions to some of the challenges you’ll encounter:

Top Challenges of Working with a Web Agency (and how we solve them)

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Working with an agency can feel a bit overwhelming, perhaps more that you initially thought. For those not really into the technical side of web sites, discussions can quickly become filled with jargon and concepts that are difficult to translate. In listening to clients, I have found a short, albeit core, list of recurring pain points. Here are those points and how our team solves these problems.

BUDGET

How much is it going to cost? Everyone wants to know this and for good reason. There is a lot of debate among the web community as to what is the best practice for charging on projects. Generally you see either an hourly cost model (you are charged by the hours of labor it takes to develop your product), or a fixed price model (you are charged by the type of product you receive).

Both have merits and drawbacks from a customer perspective. It’s important to note that many projects may be difficult to estimate, depending on complexity and what systems may be involved. That said, whomever you work with should still be able to give a good idea how much a project is going to cost, along with a procedure if it begins to go over budget. The less experienced agencies or freelancers may have no idea how to answer your questions. The less answers you receive, the more red flags you should have in your mind.

Want to know the solution on budget? Click here.

Should I Become a Freelancer? An In-Depth Look at the World of FreelanceDesign

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The life of a freelancer is often desired by designers who work as employees. The usual assumption is that a freelancer designer has the freedom to sleep in and take time off whenever they need or want to. In reality, we all know that freelancers have to work hard in order to be successful, but things tend to look a little bit better from the outside.

If you’re thinking about leaving full time employment to go out on your own as a freelancer or to start your own design studio there are a number of things that you should consider before making a decision. From my own experience, leaving full-time employment was probably the best decision I ever made for my career, so I would certainly not discourage others from going out on their own. But I do think it is important that an informed decision is made rather than a rash decision.

Continue reading ‘Should I become a freelancer?’ here.

Facebook campaigns for a cheaper knowledge economy

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Facebook chas helped in the creation of the ‘Open Compute Project’ which invites and encourages other industry leaders to contribute obtainable, affordable, but high-quality designs that will improve internet delivery systems.

Globally, partners will invest in projects that seek to enhance internet technology at lower costs.

Lower infrastructure rates mean lower subscription fees.

Want to know what ‘Open Compute Project’ is for? Continue here.

Interviewing Humans

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The goal of interviewing users is to learn about everything that might influence how the users might use what you’re creating. Good interviewing is a skill you develop with practice. The great myth is that you need to be a good talker. Conducting a good interview is actually about shutting up. This can be very hard, especially when you’re enthusiastic about the topic.

Remember, the people you’re interviewing want to be liked. They want to demonstrate their smarts. When you’re interviewing someone you know nothing. You’re learning a completely new and fascinating subject: that person.

More tips on ‘interviewing humans’ here.

http://alistapart.com/article/interviewing-humans

I threw that last one there as a bonus. Just to remind us that everything we do online, no matter how purrrrrty, wherever we are, if no depth or substance, has no significance.

(via Choc Chip Digital)

The human side of design

Have you ever taken art classes as a kid? I did. One of the things I was taught to do was make grid on my paper and on the picture that I’m going to copy and makes some on my paper too. I didn’t understand it at first until I started drawing by the squares…

 Using Alignment to Improve Your Designs

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Alignment is one of those things that comes hand-in-hand when working with grid systems. The subject of alignment isn’t simply a matter of choosing whether or not you want to align text or images to the left or right of a design (though those decisions obviously still matter), instead, we employ alignment to improve our designs. Proper alignment in your designs will make them visually more appealing and will also make it easier for users to scan over a page, sub-consciously also offering a calmer reading experience.

All of the elements in your design will have to be aligned in some way, whether this is just plain text on your page, images mixed within the text (or even header or hero images), videos, buttons and call-to-actions, links (within the text or in modules such as a navigation section) or any other elements you might have.

 Continue reading about ‘using alignment to improve your design’ here.

How Human Centric Web Design Improves Your Workflow

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First of all, why does human-centered web design matter? In general, either as designer or developer, it seems that we’re doing a pretty good job at what we do. We build websites, mainly for clients, and we get paid for that. Sounds neat, right? I personally look at human-centered webdesign as a method of getting a better grip on projects.

It’s not just something which we should do, such as so many aspects in webdesign, but it really improves your workflow. It’s a feasible process to guide you.

The underlying idea is using specific approaches on making your workflow as smooth as possible. Besides which, it’s a great asset in helping you connect with clients, transform concepts to achievable ideas and increase the speed and effectiveness of deploying those concepts.

Click here to know more about how ‘human centric web design improves your workflow’

Tips and Tools to Help You Protect Your Online Reputation

tools editYour clients talk. They talk about all kinds of things. They talk about their business. They talk about their likes and dislikes. And sometimes, they talk about you and the work you did for them.

Word-of-mouth can be a powerful marketing force if it’s positive. Unfortunately, sometimes word-of-mouth is less than helpful. Sometimes information about your design business that is incorrect or misleading gets spread around.

The Internet has transformed word-of-mouth into a major force that can reach around the globe. Clients from halfway around the world can post comments and share information that influences clients right in your own town.

Read the ‘tips and tools to protect your online reputation’ here.

Complete Website Design

Are you looking for web designers to transform your ideas into a website? Choc Chip Digital’s team of experienced web developers and designers can help.

Your site can include a full-featured e-commerce store for selling online. This can include secure credit card payments, paypal, stock control, sales reports, automatic delivery of downloadable products and more.

And just like the main part of your site, the product listings are easy to edit so you can change prices or update a photo any time you like.

 Learn more on what the team can do here.

Let me leave you with all these great write-ups and if something comes up on your end, do share on our page. Have a good weekend!

(via Vandelay Design)