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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
How do you begin building a website?
The majority of developers probably start from scratch or pull in a few resources from previous sites. The more organized among us have developed a custom toolbox from which to begin a site that proves to be an essential part of their workflow.
Today we’ll discuss why you should consider building your own front end package to serve as a starting point for every single site you create.
Recently we discussed how to find work as a designer, today we’re going to discuss what to do if that search is a little too successful.
Getting noticed in an industry as competitive and overcrowded as web design is no mean feat. In order to stand out, first impressions need to be both targeted and executed to perfection.
To provide an insight into how it should be done, we’ve compiled a list of 25 of the most beautifully designed web agency sites. These amazing sites all have that “wow factor”, displaying cutting edge design alongside marketing savoir-faire. They are conscious of their target clientele, whether it’s large corporations or personal clients, presenting an understanding of their needs.
Boring paperwork is one of the necessary evils of being a freelance designer.
There’s simply no way around it, if you want to track and manage payments from clients, you’re going to have to setup an invoicing system. It’s not all bad news though; the fun part is that you actually get to design a custom invoice.
Today we’ll walk through designing an invoice from scratch. I’ll be as in-depth as possible and include everything you need to know from the absolute basics to advanced features and even a little design theory.