We’ve hosted Design Shack with Media Temple for years. So we were very pleased when they came to us, and asked us to take a look at their new managed WordPress hosting solution.
Media Temple’s new full-featured WordPress hosting solution features four new, customizable and scalable plans. Whether you’re a photographer, web designer or creative agency, there’s a plan that should work for you. Today we’re taking a look at this new hosting product, to see how it stacks up!April 13th, 2015 Posted in Business
Let’s welcome the class of 2015 to the design marketplace. It’s a bright, big, new and scary world out there for the thousands of design grads grasping their diplomas wondering what to do next. (Get a job!)
As we look forward to the new talent entering the marketplace, we also have a few bits of advice for every young designer looking to make his or her mark. It’s a tough and wonderful world out there; welcome to the adventure.April 8th, 2015 Posted in Business
The dreaded project kickoff meeting. It’s on your calendar. You can’t avoid it. But you can make it a more memorable event that helps generate creativity among the members of your team.
The start of every project should be marked with excitement and anticipation. It’s the time when you and your team get to learn about a new client or idea and really get to go back to the basics of brainstorming and idea generation. It can, and should, be one of the most important parts of a design project and it needs to be anything but boring.April 7th, 2015 Posted in Business
Almost every business or individual working in today’s market has a website. Sadly, a large number of these websites are poorly designed or come straight from a WordPress template; this is not going to help you stand out or get ahead.
Good website design is a must in today’s highly visual market. The way your site looks tells users whether they want to interact or do business with you in just a fraction of a second. One glance can turn someone into a customer, or force that person to click away. (As a bonus, today’s post is filled with website design inspiration from the Design Shack gallery. Enjoy!)March 27th, 2015 Posted in Business
Many designers dream about the freelance lifestyle. What’s not to love about taking only projects you love, or working in your pajamas, or being your own boss? But it can be a hard road. Many freelancers break off on their own only to later return to a firm or company because it can be tough to make enough money to support your lifestyle.
Building a reputable freelancer business takes time, work and a lot of dedication. While the pay is not always steady, you can earn a living off freelance projects.March 23rd, 2015 Posted in Business, Freelancing 101
Regardless of when your company’s fiscal year ends, you probably want to start thinking about the dreaded annual report today. Yes, “dreaded.” But it does not have to be. While annual reports are often seen as a design drag, there are plenty of ways to turn this report into a fun and memorable design project. And with better design comes more reading and retention, two positives for your brand.
You need to start thinking about it now. Don’t wait until the report hits your desk to determine a design strategy. Start talking to your team about your story for the year and how to create an annual report that will get people talking.March 19th, 2015 Posted in Business, Layouts
Designers, by nature, are problem-solvers. Every project is a problem or challenge that involves helping other people understand something. Designers have to see through all the fog and clutter to create a solution.
This creative type of problem solving comes naturally in part, but some of the actions are learned. Have you ever stopped to think about how you work to solve problems? Here we will examine 10 ways that designers do just that with a collection of abstract images to inspire some of that problem-solving thinking.February 2nd, 2015 Posted in Business
Nothing brings you closer to the functionality of the final product than prototyping. While wireframes sketch out the blueprint and mockups show the feel and texture of the design, it is the prototype that brings to life the “experience” behind “user experience.” That beautiful call-to-action may look great on the screen, but you won’t know if it works on end users until the clickable prototype. Not only do prototypes help provide proof of concept, they more importantly expose any usability flaws behind the wireframes and mockups.
So how do we actually put into the practice this safeguard against emergency stakeholder meetings, endless revisions, and painful late nights in the development phase? While we previously touched upon proper prototyping in the Guide to UX Design Process & Documentation, let’s dive deeper into how prototyping can make or break a product’s success. In this piece, we’ll begin by looking at the most compelling reasons to prototype and how prototypes improve collaboration, design, and usability testing.January 26th, 2015 Posted in Business, Graphics
If you are a freelancer or self-employed professional, you are probably always on the lookout for tools that can make life easier. There’s just not enough time to get all your work done and then follow up with paperwork.
17hats, a new cloud software tool, takes a lot of the work out of that paperwork. It integrates contracts, invoices, questionnaires, e-mail, to-do lists, time tracking, bookkeeping, calendars and more into a single login. Here’s a look at the tool, some of the key features, pricing and information on how to try it out.January 13th, 2015 Posted in Business
They’re on hundreds of websites, in advertisements, and fill the airwaves – fictional characters that help you relate to a brand or company. These personas are representations of the type of people who use products or services, and are designed to relate to potential users or buyers.
A persona is more than just a face in the design. It is a well-planned and thought-out part of the design process. Designers have to think about the persona during all aspects of a project so that the personality matches the brand and design. From copy and how the persona “talks” to color, typeface choices and other design elements, creating a persona can be an important part of design projects.December 1st, 2014 Posted in Business, Inspiration