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Design Dilemma: Do You Invoice for Everything?

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Bill B. writes:  A client asked why I was charging for small things that he thinks only took a few minutes. He thought I was being “cheap” and not “valuing the professional relationship (we) have.” I feel it all adds up to more than an hour but I’m a bit afraid of insisting on getting paid for everything I do. Am I wrong?

That’s a good question and one many designers ask. I’m going to use some answers people wrote on a similar question posted on the LinkedIn Graphic Artists Guild group. Join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

June 26th, 2013 Posted in Design Dilemma
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5 Premium WordPress Themes Up for Grabs

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We’re excited to let you know that we have 5 premium WordPress themes up for grabs this week from TemplateMonster. Entering is easy, and the lucky winners will be able to choose any theme from a library of over 1,600 WordPress themes (including over 200 responsive templates).

Read on to find out how to enter, and be in a chance with winning your own theme — complete with 24/7 support from TemplateMonster!

June 25th, 2013 Posted in Competitions
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How to Design a Resume That Stands Out

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Resumes are everywhere. They can be good, bad or downright embarrassing. But one thing is certain — if you want a job, yours must stand out in a good way. The design needs to reflect your personality, and the information needs to be organized, relevant and spot-on.

More often than not in today’s job market, you may even have several versions of your resume; one tailored toward different types of companies, one for potential clients or another as a showcase piece in your portfolio.

June 24th, 2013 Posted in Business
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What the Heck Is CSS Specificity?

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CSS specificity is a topic that many new front end coders avoid for as long as possible. It sounds complicated, there are all of these rules, you might even have to do some math! How lame is that?

Ultimately, you can only avoid it for so long. Specificity is an essential concept that you need to grasp to be an effective developer. Today I’ll walk you through the concepts of specificity in a simple and easy to understand manner. It’s easier than you think!

June 21st, 2013 Posted in CSS
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Understanding Agile Design and Why It’s Important

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It’s no secret that the agile development process has been hurtling through the development world for several years now, swatting aside the older, clunkier waterfall development method. To be fair, whether it was agile or something else, waterfall really had it coming, as its risk-averse, top down approach just can’t keep pace with the demands of today’s marketplace.

While similar changes are occurring in the design world, the agile design process should necessarily look and feel a little different than agile development; they are, after all, different disciplines. Let’s take a deeper look first at what agile development is, and then at a few great ways to adapt the process to the design world.

June 19th, 2013 Posted in Business
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Create a Simple Autocomplete With HTML5 & jQuery

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A quick Google search will yield plenty of handy autocomplete plugins — there’s even an option shared by jQuery UI which comes bundled with the library. However today I want to look into an alternative solution. The jQuery Autocomplete plugin released by DevBridge has the exact functionality that I find most appealing.

The styles will automatically highlight words as you are typing, and results appear in the dropdown menu at the bottom. This tutorial is a brief introduction to using the plugin by loading content from a JavaScript array. It is possible to load Ajax content from a backend file or from content out of the database, however for this tutorial it is easier to work with local data. Check out my sample demo to get an idea of what we are trying to build.

June 17th, 2013 Posted in JavaScript
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Design Dilemma: Which Is Better — Staff or Freelance?

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Jill K. writes: I’m graduating art school (yay!) and can’t decide if I should freelance or take a staff position. Which one is better?

Well, congratulations, Jill! I’m guessing none of your teachers discussed the possibilities of a future in the industry. Yet another art school fail. But, the question is valid although you may not have a choice as a new graduate. Let me go over the strengths of each, as well as the pitfalls, and discuss what you will find are your immediate options.

June 12th, 2013 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Do I Need to Design With SEO in Mind? A Guide for Designers

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You’re probably tired of hearing it, but search engine optimization is important. It can dictate and influence who visits a site, and how many people make it through to see your beautiful design work.

It should be a part of the design process from the planning stages forward. So designers, unplug your ears and make it a priority to learn how you can start thinking about SEO in the design process. Let’s dive into the topic a little more today.

June 10th, 2013 Posted in Business
Building CSS3 Notification Boxes With Fade Animations

Building CSS3 Notification Boxes With Fade Animations

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Modern web design techniques have allowed developers to quickly implement animations supported by most browsers. I think alert messages are very commonplace, because the default JavaScript alert boxes tend to be pretty intrusive and poorly designed. This leads developers down a path to figure out which solutions would work out better for a more user-friendly interface.

For this tutorial I want to explain how we can put together CSS3 notification boxes which appear at the top of the page body. Users may then click on the notifications to have them fade away and eventually remove them from the DOM. As a fun added feature, I have also included buttons where you may click to append a new alert box into the top of the page. Check out my sample demo to get a better idea of what we’ll be making.

June 6th, 2013 Posted in CSS
30+ Innovative New jQuery Plugins

30+ Innovative New jQuery Plugins

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Many web developers are jumping into the sea of open source code projects. New plugins and frameworks are released almost every day. And when you are busy at work it can be tough keeping up with all the newest releases.

In this showcase I have put together over 30 different jQuery plugins worth a mention to all web developers. Developing a website interface can be tough and certainly requires careful precision. Developing on top of any open source project means that you are not reinventing the wheel. Plus you’re not the only one left to catch bugs in the code. And since jQuery is one of the most stable JavaScript libraries available, these plugins often work hand-in-hand to provide a seamless user experience.

June 4th, 2013 Posted in Freebies
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