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More Than Scaling: How to Make the Leap From Mobile to Desktop
Mobile / 30 Aug 2011

More Than Scaling: How to Make the Leap From Mobile to Desktop

In the last decade, much discussion time has been given to how both interfaces and user experiences translate from desktops to smaller mobile devices. Recently however, the conversation has switched and we’re now seeing trends begin in the mobile environment and make the leap back to the desktop.

This leap is deceptively simple and merits significant inspection as to the fundamental differences between mobile and desktop platforms and how that can and should affect how interfaces and experiences are crafted.

Why Adobe Doesn’t Understand Web Designers
Software / 18 Aug 2011

Why Adobe Doesn’t Understand Web Designers

Earlier this week Adobe launched a preview of a WYSISYG web design project currently codenamed “Muse.” Though it looked promising, disappointed and even angry reactions from the web community are already all over the web.

With all the time, effort and money that Adobe spends on creating a “code free” solution for designing websites, you’d think that they would be able to create something decently usable by now. So what’s holding them back? Today we’ll take a brief walk down memory lane, starting all the way back at PageMill, to see if we can discover any reoccurring themes in Adobe’s history with web designers.

Adobe Illustrator 101: 10 Things You Should Know About Ai
Software / 15 Jun 2011

Adobe Illustrator 101: 10 Things You Should Know About Ai

Adobe Illustrator is one of my absolute favorite applications. For vector work, Illustrator simply can’t be beat and you should really set your reservations aside and give it a shot. Even if you’re commonly creating raster graphics for the web, there are a number of things that Illustrator simply does better than Photoshop so getting to know both apps and their strengths/weaknesses is a must.

Today’s article is for the extreme Illustrator newbies. You have the Adobe Creative Suite installed on your computer and have seen Illustrator sitting there quietly begging to be played with but you’ve never jumped in. We’ll go over ten basic things you should know before starting.

Apply Graphics to Textured Surfaces With Displacement Maps
Software / 31 Mar 2011

Apply Graphics to Textured Surfaces With Displacement Maps

Do you ever wonder how Photoshop masters create such realistic compositions? Seemingly simple tasks such as throwing some text onto a brick wall can easily lead to lackluster results if you don’t know what you’re doing.

So what sets you apart from the pros? Why are their final results so believable while yours reek of Photoshop? The simple answer is that they know more tricks than you! Let’s fix that.

25 Professional and Incredibly Powerful Photoshop Plugins
Software / 10 Mar 2011

25 Professional and Incredibly Powerful Photoshop Plugins

Freebies are awesome, and design blogs are full of them, but sometimes you need a professional tool to handle professional tasks. There are a wealth of extremely powerful and high quality photoshop tools that can dramatically improve your workflow and are worth every penny you have to spend to get them.

Today we’ll look at a number of the best tools available for making color adjustments, adjusting focus, enlarging images, transforming layers in 3D, reducing noise, creating textures, applying complex masks, and even taking that PSD into full-blown HTML.

10 Fresh Mac Apps With Beautiful Interfaces (and What We Can Learn From Them)
Software / 16 Dec 2010

10 Fresh Mac Apps With Beautiful Interfaces (and What We Can Learn From Them)

Interface design is a valuable skill to possess. Every decision you make, be it something as major as a color scheme or as minor as a stroke width, can potentially have a huge impact on whether or not people decide to use the application, website, etc. We designers know this better than anyone because we tend to be interface snobs, meaning we flat out refuse to use an app with poor design, even if the functionality is stellar.

The next time you’re faced with the task of designing an interface, why not learn from those who have already succeeded? Below we’ll take a look at the interfaces of ten beautiful and fairly new Mac applications and discuss what went right.

Mastering Variable Width Strokes in Illustrator CS5
Software / 8 Oct 2010

Mastering Variable Width Strokes in Illustrator CS5

Photoshop CS5’s fancy new feature set has garnered a lot of attention and tutorials, but Photoshop was by no means the only app to gain a little awesomeness. Illustrator CS5 has a few really stellar new features that make it even easier to create complicated vector art.

Today we’ll go over how to use one the many new features in Illustrator CS5: variable width strokes. With the new “Width Tool” you can make complex line shapes in seconds using only a few quick click and drag motions.

50 CMS Alternatives to WordPress
Software / 5 Oct 2010

50 CMS Alternatives to WordPress

Is WordPress a CMS? Many developers say “no” while countless others continue to use WordPress as a content management system regardless of its definition or intended use as a blogging platform.

Regardless of which camp you fall into, you should know that there are a lot of robust and powerful alternative CMS options that have been built from the ground up to help you manage the content on your site. Below you’ll find 50 content management systems perfect for designers, end users, churches, media sites and more!

Mastering Photoshop History and Layer Comps
Software / 9 Sep 2010

Mastering Photoshop History and Layer Comps

Sometimes the key to moving ahead in Photoshop is to look back.

There are a number of different tools, features and methods in Photoshop that you can and should be using to track and manipulate the history of your designs as they progress.

Today we’ll take an in-depth look at the Photoshop history palette and how it can help you diversify your designs and keep track of various ideas. We’ll also learn how to use the History Brush and those incredibly handy but difficult to figure out Layer Comps.

15 in-Depth Examples of Addictive User Experience
Graphics / 7 May 2010

15 in-Depth Examples of Addictive User Experience

Today we are going to examine 15 bits of user interface and experience design that really heighten the experience of using a site or application.

Use these website, iPhone and desktop application examples as inspiration for creating your own uniquely addicting user experiences.

Photoshop CS5: A Sneak Peek
Software / 26 Mar 2010

Photoshop CS5: A Sneak Peek

In the last few days there has been a lot of online buzz about the upcoming launch of Adobe’s next Creative Suite (aka CS5) in April 2010. Today I want to briefly run down some of the new features we’ll be seeing in the most beloved of the applications in the suite: Photoshop.

Take Part in the BaseKit Beta
Articles / 12 Dec 2009

Take Part in the BaseKit Beta

Various services are available for converting PSD files to HTML code, all competing from a different angle. Some offer a very quick turn-around, others a ridiculously low price. Whilst some designers regularly use them as part of their working process, there are various advantages to completing the process yourself.

BaseKit is a new web service that allows you to maintain control over this process, easily moving from a PSD to a fully marked up website. It’s still in Beta, but we have 50 invite codes to give away. Read on for a preview video of the service in action, and information on how to apply for an invite.