Browse our articles, inspiration, news, and tips for the design community.

Graphics / 6 Mar 2017

Design Trend: Innovative Hover Effects

Everywhere you look, there’s a cool new animated effect. If animation was the must-have design element of 2016, then innovated hover effects are the up and coming design trend of 2017.

Thanks in part to the popularity of Material Design and Apple’s animation guidelines with a focus on small movements, hover effects are making a comeback. But instead of the tacky, flashing, bouncing and spinning effects of the past, animations are simple, sharp and delightful. The best hover effects help the user and enhance the experience.

Hover effects can range from motion that has an impact on the entire screen to something as small as a directional cue or navigation element.

Graphics / 2 Mar 2017

How to Customize an iPhone or iPad Mockup

It’s crunch time, and a client wants to see their design as it would look on an iPhone or iPad. Don’t fret; there are a number of ready-to-use mockups on the market waiting for your customization.

Customizing a mockup is an easy way to show off a design project in a realistic environment that’s sure to impress clients. Using a mockup can help others better visualize how the design will actually look with some idea of scale. (Sometimes it’s easy to forget not everyone sees and imagines a project in the same way you do.)

If you’ve never customized a mockup, it can be a little intimidating at first, but we’ll walk through the process.

Reviews / 1 Mar 2017

Zarget: Analytics for Designers – Settle Design Debates With Data

Do you ever wonder if you are getting the most out of your website design? While asking peers about the design is great, there is a more data-driven, scientific way to evaluate website conversions.

Zarget is all-in-one conversion rate optimization software. It offers a suite of analytics tools that help observe, track and drive visitor behavior on websites to optimize conversions. Tools include A/B testing, heatmaps, funnel analysis, form analytics, polls and feedback. Here, we’ll take a look at Zarget, it’s features and how you can use the tools to more successfully evaluate and shape your website design into something that users can’t help but interact with.

Accessibility / 27 Feb 2017

Attention Spans Are Short: Here’s How to Hook Users

A goldfish has a longer attention span than you do. Let that sink in for a moment. Now, what are you going to do about it?

As a designer, it is your job to create something that people will stop and interact with. It takes a design and user experience that will hook visitors and keep them clicking and tapping. Combat short attention spans with smart design.

Business / 22 Feb 2017

How to Customize a Resume or CV Template

You only get one chance to make a first impression. When you apply for a job, that first impression is often in the form of a resume or CV. The document is a potential employer’s glimpse into your career, and can determine whether you become a viable candidate or not!

That’s a lot of pressure for a single document. It’s important that you have a resume that stands out and shows some of your best assets at a glance. Here, we’ll walk through some resume-building best practices as well as how to customise a resume or CV template in no time.

Graphics / 20 Feb 2017

10 Ways to Simplify Your Design

It’s no secret that simple is often better when it comes to website design. An interface that’s simple to understand and just as simple to use is more likely to turn visitors into active users that will return to your site later.

But how do you simplify your website? Even if you aren’t building something new from scratch, the trick is to set goals and then look at the path to reaching them for users. Anything that gets in the way of that path should be eliminated. Anything that makes understanding what users are supposed to do should be removed from the design.

That’s what we’re going to look at today – a few tricks that you can use to simplify your website design. And these ideas work for existing sites and new builds. (This article features examples of stellar simple designs, visit each site for even more inspiration.)

Typography / 15 Feb 2017

Tips for Using Contrast to Enhance Readability

Good design is readable design. Without a clear message, displayed in an easy-to-digest way, it’s easy to lose the meaning of any piece of design work. That’s why it’s so crucial that any design must be easy to read.

Designing for readability is a lesson in typography, but also in contrast. Contrast is the key to enhancing readability, and helping create a flow through the text in a logical manner so that users understand exactly what you want to say.

Graphics / 13 Feb 2017

How to Install & Apply a Lightroom Preset

Whether you are a photographer or designer with a need to edit photos, Adobe Lightroom can be a great tool. Designed for photo editing, it allows batch work that can be cumbersome in programs such as Photoshop.

One of the most popular elements of Lightroom are the number of presets available. These tools within the tool are super filters that allow you to enhance photos, add creative effects and add functionality to your design workflow. If you’ve used any Adobe product, the feel of Lightroom is familiar and easy to learn. Get started by installing and using a few cool presets. Here’s how to do it.

Graphics / 8 Feb 2017

Designing an Infographic? 5 Elements You Must Include

Designing an infographic is just like designing a website. It starts with a concept, goals and even a wireframe.

The big difference is that all the information for an infographic is contained in one unit, whereas a website has multiple pages and ways to engage users. You can almost think of an infographic as a flat, or static, mini-website. You can also design a one-page website as an infographic!

Here are five essential elements to help you make the most of your next infographic design.

Mobile / 6 Feb 2017

How to Design One-Tap Microinteractions

Microinteractions are the “secret sauce” that make apps and websites shine for users. These tiny details make it easy to set an alarm, press a button or simply better understand how to work with a digital product.

The secret is that the best microinteractions are elements that the user probably doesn’t even think about. They happen in an instant – often with just one tap on a mobile screen. Despite the small nature of the interaction, hence “micro,” the value is immense to users as these engagements become more integrated with daily activity.

How do you design one-tap microinteractions that will delight users? Here are a few ideas.

UX Design / 1 Feb 2017

7 Common UX Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Content

A successful project is a combination of good design, killer content and a little bit of luck. Too often a design is derailed by simple UX mistakes that ruin the content and muddle the intended actions of the interface.

Users can easily lose track of why they are there, and what they are supposed to do. Thankfully, many of these design mistakes are easy to identify and correct. (As a bonus, the examples in this post are doing things right; use them as a guide!)

Business / 30 Jan 2017

What Are Design Ethics? (And Why Are They Important?)

Are you an ethical designer? Is that something you even think about when taking on projects? Design ethics come in many forms – from how you choose projects, to how you work with clients, to copyrights and legal protection.

These written and unwritten codes help shape the way graphic design professionals interact, communicate and do business. It’s something you probably do need to think about, because you know and understand the bigger rules. But any time you stop and ask “should I do this or that?” design ethics are part of the conversation.