Articles Archive

7 Convincing Reasons to Try Designing in the Open

7 Convincing Reasons to Try Designing in the Open

Designing out in the open can be quite intimidating.

You’re basically swinging the doors open wide and hanging up a huge sign that says “Harsh Criticism Wanted.” However, the benefits of utilizing this particularly transparent method of design can often outweigh the grievances.

Today we’ll look at seven reasons to consider designing your next project in the open.

March 5th, 2010 Posted in Graphics, HTML, Inspiration
Winner Announced: Competition: Win a Copy of LittleSnapper

Winner Announced: Competition: Win a Copy of LittleSnapper

Congratulations to @torstennn, the winner of our LittleSnapper competition! We hope you enjoy the free software. Thanks for entering everyone, check back soon for more competitions!

This week’s giveaway includes the best Mac application around for cataloging screenshots and online inspiration.

Read on to find out how you can win a copy of the amazing LittleSnapper from RealMac Software (a $35 value!).

March 4th, 2010 Posted in Competitions
How and When to Integrate Ads Into Your Site

How and When to Integrate Ads Into Your Site

Due to the success stories of mega blogs like Smashing Magazine, the professional blogging world has really exploded in recent years. There is a thriving network of free content online spanning nearly every hobby or profession you can imagine. Driving virtually all of these sites (or at least those focused on profitability) is one thing: ad revenue. Consistent and rewarding ad revenue is the holy grail among the blogging world.

Knowing when and how to integrate ads into your site can be quite difficult. Today we’ll look at some tips to help you know if the time is right for you to jump into the world of advertising and what your options are for doing so.

March 3rd, 2010 Posted in Business
10 Tips for Effective Creative Brainstorming

10 Tips for Effective Creative Brainstorming

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Brainstorming can either be a creative gold mine or a time wasting disaster.

Brainstorming is often discussed in relation to a business environment. In college, nearly every one of my business school textbooks had an entire chapter dedicated to the concept. Though creative brainstorming is in many ways a different beast due to its visual nature, many of the same concepts apply.

Today we’ll take a look at ten tips to consider before you pull your creative team into a brainstorming session. When applied properly, they can drastically increase productivity and quality of results.

February 28th, 2010 Posted in Business, Inspiration
In Depth With Vitaly Friedman: A Smashing Success

In Depth With Vitaly Friedman: A Smashing Success

We’re continuing our interview series today, spending some time talking to Vitaly Friedman of Smashing Magazine. Vitaly has been one of the leading minds behind the web’s largest design blog, and is a fascinating web designer and entrepreneur.

We’ll be discussing Vitaly’s background, the early days of Smashing Magazine, taking a look at a typical day in his life, and investigating some of the design trends we’re likely to see over the next 12 months!

February 26th, 2010 Posted in Interviews
25 Examples of Convincing Call-to-Action Buttons

25 Examples of Convincing Call-to-Action Buttons

Despite what many people will tell you, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to call-to-action buttons. Yes, it’s true that large, colorful buttons, surrounded by plenty of space are usually the most successful, but it’s important that you tailor each button to the primary task of the web page in question, whether it’s to Signup, Checkout, Register or anything else. As a designer, it’s your job to make it as easy as possible for visitors to achieve these tasks and call-to-action buttons are the most powerful tools at your disposal, so use them wisely.

February 24th, 2010 Posted in Inspiration
25 Designs Inspired by the Natural Environment

25 Designs Inspired by the Natural Environment

Need an idea for your new site design?

Why not look to nature for your inspiration? Today we’ll look at 25 sites either loosely or strictly inspired by some facet of the natural world.

Along the way we’ll discuss four popular trends that most nature inspired sites fit into.

February 20th, 2010 Posted in Inspiration, Layouts
Creating an Inspiring and Inviting Workspace

Creating an Inspiring and Inviting Workspace

Does your workspace inspire you to greatness?

If you’re a designer, one of the best things you can do to stay productive and prevent creative stagnation is to craft your workspace into a place that you will be excited to work in everyday. Below you’ll find a few tips and a bunch of examples to help you create the ultimate working environment.

February 19th, 2010 Posted in Articles, Inspiration
Why Are Children’s Books Good for Designers?

Why Are Children’s Books Good for Designers?

Children’s books are a great gift to the world, and are often credited with developing children’s minds and talents. Despite their moniker, however, simple stories can be inspirational for adults as well, and designers and illustrators in particular. The simplicity and fresh perspectives that quality children’s literature gives can seldom be found elsewhere.

February 17th, 2010 Posted in Inspiration
10 Productive and Inspiring Things to Do With No Internet Connection

10 Productive and Inspiring Things to Do With No Internet Connection

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It happens to all of us. You’re cruising along pretending to work while perusing design blogs when all of a sudden your Internet connection disappears.

The first thing you do is give in to your natural reaction to any semi-significant event: tweet about it. Unfortunately, you quickly realize this requires the Internet; blast. Then you start to Google the phone number to your ISP only to realize that this too requires a connection to the web; curse you technological revolution!

You look around for a phone book in vain, knowing for certain that you haven’t used one since Clinton was in office. Finally, you remember that the last time this happened you wrote the number on a piece of paper and put it somewhere on or around your desk.

After no small amount of scrounging and wondering aloud why you didn’t put the number into your phone’s address book, you discover the note and dial the number of your service provider who then informs you that you will be without the Internet for the better part of the day. Now what?

February 16th, 2010 Posted in Articles, Inspiration
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