Beautiful designs

For this week, let me just share with you some really great samples of infographics and website pages that hit quite a mark with me.

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10 Humorous Infographics Beautifully Designed

Like many web surfers, I could waste a lot of time browsing through infographics, especially if they are insightful or funny. In fact, infographics are becoming a popular way of providing information, creating awareness, or simply attracting attention with some humor. As such, infographics are a design speciality that should be added to any designer’s list of skills. The benefit? You will always find businesses needing an infographic for their blog. The drawback? Infographics can take a long time to create.

However, just as with any other design skill, becoming faster and better at creating infographics is as simple as researching and practicing. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a little fun along the way. So, here for both your entertainment and education are 10 humorous infographics that are quite beautifully designed. Some are thigh-smacking hilarious, a few clever, and others a little odd in a funny way. Take a look, enjoy, and be sure to let us know which of these are your favorite.

More on ‘humorous infographics’ here.

Use infographics to win your target market

Infographics are effective because most people are visual learners.

Aside from being colourful and interesting to look at, people in general tend to remember pictures better than they remember groups of words.

In the last two years, infographic searches have increased by 800% and publishers have increased their website traffic by at least 12%.

More on the effectiveness of infographics here.

Designing the Very Best “About” Page Possible

Ahhhh, the old “about” page. It’s been around since the very beginning of the mainstream Internet, offering site visitors all sorts of useful information and pointless tidbits alike! Whether you have an eCommerce site, a news site or just run a personal site simply for kicks, you’ll have an “about” page, for sure. It’s as commonplace as a site map or social-media buttons.

For something that’s as typical as this, you’d be surprised at how horrendously bad some companies’ and people’s “about” pages actually are! We’ve seen everything from lifeless, boring biographies to cases of too much information being present! That naturally means that there’s an actual science to creating an “about” page that doesn’t stink. Not everything you think is interesting about you will be interesting to your site visitors – that’s the truth.

Learn to ‘make the best about page’ here.

40 Amazing Shopify Themes for E-Commerce Websites

If you’re looking for an e-commerce platform to use for an upcoming website, Shopify is an excellent choice. Shopify is a hosted system that makes it easy to get your online shop up and running very quickly. Part of the appeal of Shopify is the selection of beautifully-designed themes that are available. Although custom design is always an option, it’s not a necessity with the quality templates that are available for reasonable prices.

Shopify includes a wide variety of features, including a powerful content management system, blogging engine, integration with more than 70 payment gateways, unlimited hosting, coupon codes, and more. They also offer 24/7 support and since they provide the hosting you won’t have to worry about things like security and PCI compliance.

Check out the ‘shopify themes for e-commerce websites’ here.

First impressions last on the web especially if that first impression is a great visual experience. So keep these samples on your list and check them out when inspiration needs to hit.

(via Vandelay Design)

 

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A little web design education

So you’re a web designer who needs a more stable income. What do you do? Where do you start? Surely there are ways…and there are! Here’s something that can help you and some other blogs that may help renew your perspective.

A Guide to Passive and Recurring Income for Designers

There are a number of different ways to earn a living as a designer or developer. Of course, you could work as an employee for a design studio, you could work as an in-house designer for a company, you could freelance, or you could start your own studio or agency. While those are the most common approaches, they are not the only options. With loads of competition for client work, a growing number of designers are actually using a combination of a few different sources of income in order to earn a living.

You may have heard or read about earn passive income as a designer. In this article we’ll take a detailed look at the opportunities to use your design skills for passive or recurring income.

Continue reading this ‘Guide to passive and recurring income for designers’ here.

Learning Web Design: Self Taught vs. a Formal Education

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f you’re looking to get into the web design/development industry there are loads of resources and courses to help with your education, but deciding which route to pursue is not easy. There are two basic approaches: going to a university for a formal education, or taking a self-taught approach and learning on your own. In recent years a growing number of colleges and universities have added degrees specifically for web design and development, and of course a graphic design/arts degree is also an option.

In this article we’ll take a look at the arguments for both approaches, and we’ll also provide information on plenty of resources to help you get started with learning on your own if that is the route that you choose. If you’re considering a career as a web designer/developer, you’ll want to take some time to educate yourself on the options that are available and see what is the best fit for you personally. There is no right or wrong 

Learn more about ‘self taught and formal education in web design’ here.

Udemy Online Courses: Effective Online Training

Udemy offers the best in online education for creative professionals. Whether you want to get promoted, break into a new industry, start a company, further a passion, or just accelerate your life, Udemy helps you learn from the amazing instructors around the world, enabling you to get there faster.

Udemy’s team recruits the world’s top experts, including New York Times best-selling authors, CEOs, celebrities, and Ivy League professors. These instructors have taught over 500,000 students on Udemy, helping them learn everything from programming to photography to design to yoga and more. Founded in 2010, Udemy is funded by Insight Venture Partners, Lightbank, MHS Capital, 500 Startups and other investors who previously foresaw the internet giants YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Groupon and Yelp. Udemy is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

See ‘Udemy Online Courses’ here.

Don’t Ignore the Tablet Users

tablet-199224_640When you design a website it is more important than ever to ensure you’re reaching your audience. Many website owners are neglecting the needs of tablet owners which is a costly mistake.

Tablets are selling in huge numbers. Over half the homes in America own a tablet according to research conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates.

In the UK tablets are forecast to overtake desktop PC’s by the end of 2013 and in Ireland more than 1.2million homes will own a tablet. The figures speak for themselves. With so many people now using tablets to browse online, make purchases and research all websites need to be tablet friendly.

Know ‘why you shouldn’t ignore tablet users’. Click here.

If tablet is a trend, it’s a long lingering trend. It gives you great advantage as a web designer if you know your way around it. The opportunities are everywhere. Keep you mind, ears and eyes open.

Produce results with your websites

What’s the purpose of our website? Seriously, why’d you put it up? Don’t set one up for the heck of it. Do it to bring your business to the next level.

Is a minimalist website right for your business?

MINIMALIST design

You may have come across the term “minimalist design” and wondered if this is the right one for your business.

Minimalist design is currently a popular trend in web design, and if executed properly may be an effective way to present your brand and business online.

Creating a minimalist website simply means taking out elements such as apps, buttons, text, additional options and features that your website can do without and keeping only the bare essentials that will allow it to function online.

Understand the dynamics of a ‘minimalist website design’ here.

Why Many Websites Don’t Produce Results

Is your website producing the results you want? If not, you may want to re-think your strategy because your site may have been created with the wrong vision.

YOU CAN’T JUST KICK THE TIRES.

The primary reason many websites fail to produce desired results is that they focus on features rather than benefits. Most organizations purchase a website like they purchase a car.  They have a required set of features and a desired level of quality they want, so they search for the vendor who can deliver it all as quickly and as inexpensively as possible.  Features are things you can touch; it’s easy to know when they are delivered. Yet features by themselves don’t produce results.

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO MONEY.

The second problem is how web projects are budgeted. Most websites are treated as cost centers or as a necessary evil of modern business. Every company must have one in order to be competitive.  Conversely, with a results-oriented approach, websites are treated as profit centers that leverage the opportunities of the online world to bolster returns and provide a competitive advantage.

Interested to read more on ‘why websites don’t produce results’? Go here.

Using Content Management Systems To Build Results-Oriented Websites

Virtually every organization has a website, yet few truly stand out among the millions of sites on the Internet today. Most websites are missing one or more essential components needed to build a successful web presence, thus they fail to achieve any real returns. 

Traditionally, building a website was a highly technical endeavor. Now there is a class of software called content management systems (CMS) that enables non-technical people to build sophisticated websites using just their web browser. If you are unfamiliar with what a CMS is, the most recognizable CMS on the market is WordPress, but of course we would argue that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best

Click here for more on ‘using content management systems to build results-oriented websites’.

 

5 Free Tools you can Use in Analyzing Your Online Competitor’s Website

If you have a website, being ahead of your competition is an important part of having a good online marketing strategy. You should be aware of what they are doing at all times.

Luckily for us, there are plenty of tools to help us do that. Some even include multiple different tools to help us with all types of SEO related stuff. If you are unaware of some of those tools and are having a hard time finding some good ones to use, then don’t worry.

We are going to cover incredible options for you. Some of these programs have premium versions, but they will all be able to provide you with at least a free trial so you can get some free information and try out the tools.

Read more about these 5 free tools to analyzing your online competitor’s website here.

When we check out competitors, it’s really more than just checking to see if they’re more successful than us. We learn from them and why what they do is effective and why some aren’t too hot.
So go ahead and study them up. Who knows what new things you can pick up?

(via LevelTen Interactive)

 

All about ‘Responsive’

Responsive_Web_DesignThis week, I thought I’d study up on responsive and so I went through some stuff on it on the net and I’m sharing them to you.

How to Create Responsive WordPress Web Design?

With millions of users around the world, WordPress is the most widely used content management system. However, there has still been a lot of talk on how to do responsive Web design on WordPress sites.

That is not surprising, really. While WordPress makes adding content and overall management of your site very easy, creating a responsive Web design is rather different. Responsive Web design helps you display your site perfectly on the ever-growing number of devices and different screen sizes that exist now.

Read more on ‘Responsive WordPress Web Design’ here.

Responsive Design Books for Smarter Design

Responsive design is an obvious trend in our day and age. Well, if you don’t live under the rock. Moreover, it has been a trend for about two years now. And I’m sure that it will be even more popular for a bunch of years. As a cool web developer, you should make responsive web sites in the right way.

To show you how to do it, I’ve put together these awesome books on responsive web design. Do not hesitate to invest in your education, because knowledge is power!

Of course, you can find some cool responsive templates and use them for your web site (for example TemplateMonster and ThemeForest have a huge number of such templates). But! If you really wanna deal with responsive design, these books will be in a great use for you. Hands down 🙂


See the recommended ‘books on responsive design’ here.

All About Responsive Iconography

This article is the third in a three-part series showing the new approaches to iconography Iconic will be delivering. If you like what you see in this article, please consider backing Iconic on Kickstarter

What is Responsive Iconography?

Responsive iconography is the approach of displaying icons of appropriate fidelity based on an icon’s display size to ensure optimal legibility.


Why This is Relevant

The content we create is viewed in more permutations than ever. Device, screen density, resolution, platform, browser. So many variables—all of which have an impact (to varying degrees) on our content’s legibility. Icons in particular can be quite sensitive to the size in which they are displayed.

Click here for more on ‘responsive iconography’.

The Relationship Between HTML5 and Responsive Web Design

If you have already realized the value of having a mobile Web site or of having your existing Web site optimized for mobile viewing, then you would have heard of both responsive Web design and HTML5.

These two platforms are almost always mentioned when it comes to designing mobile Web sites as both are geared primarily for mobile. It is easy for the uninitiated to confuse one with another.

More on HTML5 and Responsive Web Design here. 

Hope these bunch of links led you to some new discoveries, if not, some good reviewing. Have a great week ahead!

Jumping in with the web design trends

Smart professionals of all fields are always aware of the trends – past to present in their industry. And why shouldn’t you? Even though you don’t have to always follow the trend, trends still define your next move.

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All About Trends in Web Design

As long as the web has been around there have been certain design trends which have popped up from time to time. Some of these trends have stuck around and, over time, some have disappeared. Think back to the time of Geocities, to the time of ‘Web 2.0’ designs and closer to home, with the “flat design” trend that’s popular now.

Now, in 2013, the web industry is changing as rapidly as ever. New techniques, or ways of working, pop up every month, if not every week.

Continue reading about ‘trends in web design’ here.

19 Simple and Clean Logos

Logo design is certainly really challenging and requires creativity and talent to be able to deliver a logo that strongly represents a brand.

Today have here simple and clean logos to inspire you and to show that simple logos can still get a lot of attention. Remember to click on the images to know more about each piece and its designer.

Check out these examples of simple and clean logos.

45 Amazing and Free Photoshop Actions

Photoshop actions allow designers and photographers to automate common sequences for increased efficiency. If you do much work with photo editing you can certainly benefit from the time saved by having a good library of Photoshop actions. There are so many different types of actions that you can use from vintage effects, to black and white, to HDR and much more.

There are countless actions available that can be downloaded for free, and in this post we’ll feature 45 of them. Some of these are individual actions and others are sets that include multiple actions. These actions have been created by various designers and photographers and have been made available for free download.

Keep in mind that while Photoshop actions can be extremely useful and helpful, the results will vary from one photo to the next. Not every photo will look great with every action. Experiment with them and you’ll get a good feel for which actions work best with certain types of photos.

Here’s a good vid on retouching using photoshop:

Check out the rest of this reposted article here.

Embracing Technology for Better Experiences

In the beginning there was an idea. And the idea was formless and void, and it needed so much to be forged into a real project. And all the strategists, creatives, designers, project managers and techies were moving over the surface of it and spoke already different languages.

You already know the story. It is about a downslope, leading from a brilliant idea to a mediocre final result. It is about misunderstanding and not checking feasibility. It is about not putting all the parts together, and trying to push a round peg into a square hole.

The ideas are much valuable but always need to be confronted with constraints. What does an idea need to be completed? Is it even feasible? In the world of digital projects, various factors need to be considered. One of these, and maybe the most obvious one, is technology.

Click here for the rest of this article.

The two most destructive attitude towards technology are: One, you avoid it; and two, go overboard with it. The best way to go about it is simply to embrace it and use it as a tool to push forward.

(via Vandelay Design)

Of fonts and web designs

I don’t know about you but Pepsi’s font mistake on their latest ad is red light enough to be extra careful with the fonts that we use. With that in mind, I’m starting off with 8 new fonts that you can go over for your designs:

8 Fresh Free Fonts for your Designs

To keep your library fresh and diverse, today we gathered eight beautiful free fonts for your designs. If you were in need of something fresh, creative and different, look no further, you just found the fonts you were searching for.

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See fresh free fonts and more here.

25 Beautiful Minimalistic Website Designs

Minimalism is a style appreciated by many designers. While it is not appropriate for every web design project, when a minimal design is done well it can be clean, striking, and it keeps the focus on the most important content.

A design with a minimalist style seems like it would be easy, but many designers find it to be very challenging to create a minimal design that looks great. White space, balance, and typography are all important elements for pulling off this look. Many minimal designs use simple color schemes, but as you’ll see below there are some exceptions.

See the minimalistic designs here.

17 Clean Web Designs for Your Inspiration

A clean web design is one that is uncluttered, has good whitespace, and of course has solid typography. This doesn’t mean that a web site has to be void of color and design elements to be considered clean, but you will notice in most cases clean web designs use both sparingly. For your inspiration, we’ve gathered a collection of web sites that are good examples of what clean design is all about.

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Check out the 17 clean web designs here.

25 Colorful Website Designs that Stand Out

Deciding on a color scheme for a website design can be one of the most difficult decisions during the design process. Not only is it a challenge, but it also has a huge impact on the end result. Color decisions can make or break a design.

It’s very common for designers to use subtle colors and to avoid extreme use of color when designing a website, but sometimes the use of extra color can be a great decision. If you’re looking for a way to make a design pop or stand out from the crowd, the use of color is one option.

In this blog post we’ll showcase 25 example websites that are colorful and attention grabbing. Hopefully these examples will provide you with some ideas and inspiration that can be put to use in your own work.

Look at the gallery of colorful website designs here.
I always say this – design is an art. Sure, lots of people can probably learn the processes but it takes more than just a good eye for detail to be one; in designing, passion comes into play. Without it is like milk chocolate, we term it chocolate but there’s nothing chocolate about it.

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.