Business Archive

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The Brutally Honest Tale of My First Web Design Meetup

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You should connect with the web design community in your area. At least, that’s what you keep thinking. It’s one of those bucket list items that you always mean to do but never really get around to pursuing. As someone tirelessly dedicated to brining you the scoop on all things design related, I took the plunge for you.

I researched local gatherings of web designers, chose a group, made the drive and talked to real people face to face about their pursuits in web design. I’ll walk you through the entire experience, including that inevitable part where you’ll simply decide not to go, so you can follow in my footsteps and do something similar in your area. Was it difficult to find a meeting to attend? Was the entire experience a socially awkward nightmare? Do I recommend it? Will I go back? Read on to find out.

February 21st, 2012 Posted in Business
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Addictive UX: Why Pinterest Is So Dang Amazing

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Today we’re going to examine a very specific example of good design and discuss what makes it so successful. Along the way we’ll discover the importance of good design and how to structure experiences that turn users into addicts.

We’ll hone our sights in on Pinterest and perform a seriously in-depth analysis to see why this seemingly generic idea seems to stand so far out from the competition. The ultimate conclusions will equip you to design experiences that your users will absolute love.

January 25th, 2012 Posted in Business
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Is It Time for Your Business Cards to Go Digital?

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Are traditional paper business cards becoming obsolete? Have you considered a digital option? The type of card you use and how it looks can say a lot about you and your work. The style of card – from simple embossed text on a white card to ornate colors and fonts – can be a client’s first impression of your work.

You want to use a card that represents your style and works with the kind of clients you work with. When looking for a business card, consider both digital and paper options and integrate your digital self into paper cards. A business card does more than provide your contact information, it is a gateway to your portfolio as well.

January 10th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Business, Layouts
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Know Your Weaknesses: How to Improve Your Creative Review Process

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Every designer has to answer to someone. Freelancers turn their work in to a client, company guys hand theirs over to a team or supervisor, there’s always someone next in the chain of command that gets to take a look and offer an opinion. It’s at this point that the initial draft ends and the creative review begins.

This critical point can have a dramatic effect on the future of the project. Sometimes this is a good process that takes the piece to new heights that it could’ve never reached without some fresh insight. Other times the creative review process kills the genius of the initial draft and results in a misguided final product. One factor that plays a key role in this is the size of the review team. How many people should review a design and offer ideas? Should it be a small team? What are the pros and cons of each? Let’s discuss.

January 5th, 2012 Posted in Business
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10 Tips for Managing Creative People

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Today’s workplace is filled with different personality styles. Understanding those differences and how they affect your workforce can make you a more effective manager.

Working with “left-brained” (more analytical) versus “right-brained” (more creative) employees has its own set of rules. Most creative workers use the right-brain style of learning and working, which is a visual, random, emotional and somewhat impulsive style of learning, according to data compiled at Western Michigan University. Right brain people like to work with sound in the background (note all those ear buds around the office), like to move about while thinking about concepts and generally start with a big idea and narrow it to the details. Left-brained workers and more verbal and logical, like things in order and prefer a formal workplace.

Take a look at your staff. How many right-brain workers are in the room? My guess it the number is pretty high among designers. Here are a few tips for managing your creative people in a way they can relate to.

December 16th, 2011 Posted in Business
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The Ten Commandments of Writing Copy That Wins Clients

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Web design companies and freelancers should never underestimate the power of good copy. Likewise, they should never doubt how much bad copy can hurt their chances of winning clients.

Follow along as we discuss then ten commandments of writing simple and effective copy that will convince your potential clients that you can successfully meet their needs and blow away their expectations.

November 17th, 2011 Posted in Business
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Going Global: Leveraging Cultural Dimensions for Better Design

The world is a widely varied place and it’s naive to imagine that a design that resonates well with one group of people will be equally effective with another group on the other side of the globe.

Today we’ll show you how to wield Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions to better tailor your designs to different cultures through a basic understanding of the values that they tend to pursue.

November 14th, 2011 Posted in Business
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How to Develop Task Management Skills as a Freelancer

The life of a freelance web designer varies in many ways to that of a corporate entity. Software firms and design studios are able to work together on big budget projects to earn a lot more than the average freelancer would. This often means when going solo you’ll work with a larger number of clients and have to divide your time up into unfair portions.

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For anybody in the industry it’s absolutely essential to understand task management. Timing, repetition, sleep, nutrition, and a lot of other factors play a role in your work attitude. And by synchronizing yourself with natural rhythms and an upbeat schedule you’ll feel more productive throughout the day.

October 28th, 2011 Posted in Business
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Running Your Internet Business With Google Products

Google has become a powerhouse industry for digital professionals. It seems just a decade ago Gmail was still a newcomer to the field. And now in-browser webmail is commonplace, along with IM Chat and file storage/upload in your browser as well!

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For the average webmaster these tools provide a very powerful and free resource to setup as your backend. Google can be used to fuel your company and track visitor stats, revenue, plus tons of other metrics! We have gone over some of the most prosperous services and how you may benefit from them. With just a single Google account you have access to all of their apps completely 100% free. Talk about a sweet business deal.

October 17th, 2011 Posted in Business
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Is This Spec Work? Should Designers Be Asked to Prove Their Worth?

Let’s discuss a topic that gets your blood boiling: spec work. What is it and why do designers hate it? This will give us a foundation to discuss some legitimate practices that many are labeling as spec work hiring tactics.

Do you think a designer should be asked to prove himself/herself before being hired? Is this debate an example of employers going too far or designers not willing to go far enough? Let’s find out.

October 13th, 2011 Posted in Business
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