40+ Awesome Keynote and PowerPoint Templates and Resources

By Cameron Chapman

Keynote (part of Apple’s iWork office suite) and PowerPoint (part of Microsoft’s Office suite) are likely the two most commonly used presentation software programs out there. PowerPoint is more likely to be found in the corporate world, whereas Keynote may be more popular in creative fields (due to the proliferation of Macs in the design field). Creating presentations in either program is a similar process, though.

Finding good resources for creating presentations isn’t always easy. There’s a definite lack of quality free presentation templates for both PowerPoint and Keynote, though it’s definitely more pronounced with PowerPoint. The good news is that there’s plenty of premium templates available, many for very low cost. And creating your own templates is as easy as creating a slide (just save it as a template file instead of a regular presentation file).

Free Keynote Templates

Free templates for Keynote abound, though not all are of particularly high quality. Here are some that are:

This Green template would be perfect for an eco-friendly business. It has a simple green and white color scheme with leaf graphics.

Greenstartyourdoc in 40+ Awesome Keynote and PowerPoint Templates and Resources Seguir leyendo “40+ Awesome Keynote and PowerPoint Templates and Resources”

First-Generation iPad: The Perfect Hack for Focus?

Article by Jocelyn K. Glei

When Apple released the iPad this spring, one of the biggest complaints from early adopters centered on its inability to multitask. That is, the current operating system won’t allow you to toggle between apps, email, and browser windows as we are so accustomed to doing on our laptop and desktop computers.

When multitasking finally came to the iPhone this summer, we wondered how we ever lived without it. Now, it’s set to debut on the iPad with the release of iOS 4.2 in November. But this time around we’re wondering: Is multitasking really a good thing?In the months since the iPad’s release, a growing volume of committed users have noted that the power of the tablet as a productivity device comes not in spite of the lack of multitasking but as a result of the lack of multitasking. You must use it in a single-minded manner – you have no choice.

Think about it. We know that multitasking does not work (with the exception of a select group of “super-taskers”). It has been proven again and again and again. Still, we are addicted to it. As a result, much of the current writing on productivity focuses on ways to increase self-discipline (or trick ourselves) so that we can suppress the urge to multitask.

The first-generation iPad has the unique benefit of being a beautiful device that forces you to uni-task. A recent WIRED article touted the tablet as a great learning device, commenting: “On the iPad, any application you run takes over the full screen. So, when you launch your note-taking app for class it’s the ONLY thing you see. It improves focus and makes it more difficult for our easily-distractable students and employees to browse away to Facebook.” Seguir leyendo “First-Generation iPad: The Perfect Hack for Focus?”

30+ Freelance Work Websites and Resources You Should Know

Written by SmashingShare

Have you ever thought what happen if you lose your job tomorrow? Or your company closes due to some reason? The situation could be anything. Many faced this problem in last few months. What should be your option to handle this situation? Do you know about Freelance Work Websites and Resources where you could survive in this situation?

Today I am gonna share Freelance Work Websites and Freelance Resources with SmashingShare readers, which could benefit  when the time goes wrong. Also I am gonna share my latest experience here with you people about freelancing.

!! Recession !!

Yes recession hit hard the booming city “Dubai” (where I live and work) and my company (where i used to work 9 to 6) was also affected by this. I lost my job in September 2008.

How I survived in Recession?

I never knew about Freelance Work Websites and Resources before September 2008. I came to know about 99designs through one of my friend. After losing my job, dedicated myself to this great Freelance Work Marketplace. I never knew this would help me like hell. I won 15 contest on 99designs in just 7 months only and there was also some big amount prizes included in this list. You can see my profile here on 99designs. I was able to survive in such an expensive city (Dubai) without any job for seven to eight months. Thanks to God and 99designs

There are a lot of other Freelance Work Websites and Resources but never tried any of them excpet 99designs and CrowdSpring.

I would suggest all designers (specially who are new to this niche) to experiement 99designs once. I have enjoyed been there and had good experience. If you have passion and creativity, you would never be disappointed.

Don’t forget to leave your comments what you liked and what not. Also you might be interested to Be the first to know the latest happenings at SmashingShare.

Kindly find below the list of “Freelance Website and Resources“. Seguir leyendo “30+ Freelance Work Websites and Resources You Should Know”

Where to hold client meetings when you design from home

Being a freelance designer is a blast! You get to spend time working on your business and working in your business. You get to be the designer, the customer service representative, the accountant, the creative director, and more. One of the most enjoyable parts of being a freelance designer is meeting with clients, establishing solid relationships with them, and getting to know them and their company.
You meet with clients so you can better meet their needs, establish goals, or report on progress. But if you work from home, which many freelance designers do, it can be difficult to find a good place to meet with your clients. This article will offer a list of creative places to hold client meetings when you design from home. I’m sure there are a number of other places I haven’t even thought of, so please feel free to share your favorite places/ideas in the comments. Seguir leyendo “Where to hold client meetings when you design from home”

Principles of Great Design: Craftsmanship

Brought to you by Richard Glover

Design Craftsmanship

I love beautiful things. There’s very little in the world that takes my breath away quite like an object that was lovingly crafted, built with care and passion, and presented with the sort of pride that befits a marvelously well-made item.

That which is beautiful is increasingly difficult to come by in a world where a premium is placed on speed, and things are made to be disposable. We often sacrifice real craftsmanship at the altar of expediency. While we are still capable of recognizing the value of something that has been expertly constructed, we often choose the cheap and easy option instead.

For years, I shaved my face with a disposable razor. It did the job just fine. It was straightforward and easy. It even looked flashy. And every few weeks I’d pop off the disposable end, throw it away, and replace it with a ridiculously expensive new cartridge. I blew hundreds of dollars on razor cartridges over the years. And I never got shaves that I felt were perfect. Seguir leyendo “Principles of Great Design: Craftsmanship”

¿Donde estaban las mujeres?

Dos libros recientes sobre las mujeres en los negocios destacan la notable ausencia de nombres femeninos entre la larga lista de empresarios corruptos de los últimos años. Harriet Rubin, autora de “Maquiavelo para mujeres”, coincide en líneas generales con otro libro, publicado por Sally Helgesen y Julie Johnson titulado “La visión femenina”, del cual lo que sigue es un extracto.

Sea por desgaste, por descarrilamiento o por la persistencia del techo de cristal, lo cierto es que las mujeres estuvieron subrepresentadas en las posiciones jerárquicas de las empresas implicadas en la crisis financiera — en Wall Street, y también en Londres, Sydney, Reykjavik, Dublin, Ginebra y Dubai. También estuvieron totalmente ausentes en las listas de los beneficiados con contratos millonarios, de los reyes de fusiones y adquisiciones, de los artistas de la compra hostil y de los emprendedores de los fondos de cobertura, cuyo acceso al capital había transformado la naturaleza de las finanzas en la década anterior al colapso. Seguir leyendo “¿Donde estaban las mujeres?”

Finding Alternative Sources Of Typographic Layout In Our Surroundings

The Framework Of Sources For Typographic Layout

According to Wucius Wong in his book Principles of Form and Design (page 42), point, line and plane can be considered conceptual design elements because, although they are not always explicit or visible, they seem to be present by implication. He explains how an angle, for example, implies the existence of a point and how lines, by marking the contour of an object, imply the presence of a plane.

In most art and design classes, students are asked to analyze the structure of a painting or design in order to better understand principles of organization. These linear studies usually have no relevance to the student outside of the class. But these exercises hold an important lesson, which is about learning to abstract images — and even our surroundings — into linear structures in order to learn about layout organization.

Learning To Abstract What We See

Most of us live in a relatively static environment, whether urban or rural. Recognizing that this environment is framed by points, lines and planes will help us abstract the environment. Let’s consider a photo of an urban environment. Below is a photo of a city escape in Chicago:

Buildings1bw1 in Finding Alternative Sources Of Typographic Layout In Our Surroundings
(Photo courtesy of the Urban Studies Department, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.)

Here we have a worm’s-eye view of buildings. We can already discern interesting spatial relationships. The white space in and of it self has interesting shapes. These shapes alone give us creative ways to apply copy. Let’s see an example of how this space could be abstracted:

Abstraction in Finding Alternative Sources Of Typographic Layout In Our Surroundings
Linear abstraction.

Here, the city escape photo has been abstracted to simple lines. The lines converge at a conceptual point. The lines enclose spaces to create a conceptual plane. Although I did not mark the plane as such, lines that converge at any four points or angles become a plane. Abstracting spaces can, of course, be done in infinite variation. There is no right or wrong. Feel free to experiment!

In looking at the linear abstraction above, we see several lines converge at a certain point, which is towards the right and a bit off center. We can call this a point of hierarchy. Let’s clean up the abstraction and take another look.

Linearabstraction2 in Finding Alternative Sources Of Typographic Layout In Our Surroundings
Linear abstraction #2.

Now we have a cleaner and clearer version of the first abstraction, perhaps making it a bit easier to start thinking about a possible typographic layout. So, let’s experiment with type placement.

Linearabstractiontext in Finding Alternative Sources Of Typographic Layout In Our Surroundings
Typographic layout using the linear abstraction as a grid.

As you can imagine, we could do hundreds of variations of this. We can also play with the intersection of some of the lines and points in the layout:

Linearabstraction3 in Finding Alternative Sources Of Typographic Layout In Our Surroundings
Typographic layout using the linear abstraction as a grid and as visual punctuation.

These simple exercises in layout composition help us see how a photo of an urban landscape holds unexpected inspiration. Now, how do we use this for other applications? What if an article that we need to design does not have interesting or arresting photographs? One way to solve this is to think about the subject matter and find your own sources for inspiration. Seguir leyendo “Finding Alternative Sources Of Typographic Layout In Our Surroundings”

Conscious Awareness

17th century representation of the 'third eye'...

(…) Via
by Venessa Miemis

A recent article in the New York Times, Building One Big Brain, prompted me to write up the next skill in this 12 part series. The piece quotes Nicholas Carr’s opinions about how the Internet is reducing the “capacity for concentration and contemplation,” scattering our attention and reducing our ability to focus.

It goes on to posit that “technology is weaving humans into electronic webs that resemble big brains.” (It’s nice to see this concept going mainstream… we talked about that idea here last November in the ‘Twitter’s Intelligent, Welcome to Web 3.0‘ post ). The next stage in the line of thinking is that this process is part of our species evolution:

Could it be that, in some sense, the point of evolution – both the biological evolution that created an intelligent species and the technological evolution that a sufficiently intelligent species is bound to unleash – has been to create these social brains, and maybe even to weave them into a giant, loosely organized planetary brain? Kind of in the way that the point of the maturation of an organism is to create an adult organism?

The article didn’t treat the evolution of technology as something that was going to happen outside of us, such as a machine intelligence that will outpace us, as the technological singularity implies. (which may also happen, though). Rather, it suggests something more akin to a process of evolutionary development, in which interconnectivity and cooperation will indicate a move towards higher intelligence. The ideas reminded me of the work being done by John Stewart and the Evolution, Complexity and Cognition Research Group on intentional evolution. Check his Evolutionary Manifesto.

As someone who spends much of my time online, both of the premises of the article – decreased focused attention and increased potential for a distributed consciousness – do resonate. But, I do wonder if an intelligent planetary brain is going to emerge without some intention and conscious awareness on our part. Seguir leyendo “Conscious Awareness”

The New Twitter.Com – It’s All About Monetization

Author of The New Twitter.Com – It’s All About Monetization
by Niall Harbison in Twitter

Copyright © 2010 – Simply Zesty

So late last night Twitter launched a brand new version of their website. Big news as even though many of us use different fancy applications the vast majority of people head over to Twitter.com to view the site.

The new site is rolling out to users all over the world over the next couple of weeks and although Twitter are dressing this up as some sort of great new user it experience (it will improve things) I personally think it has a lot more to do with monetizing the platform and allowing branded content to reach the masses.

Here are some of the interesting early points I had around the all new Twitter.com…

It’s All About The Money

If there is one thing that I have picked up from watching Facebook over the last year it is that any time they talk about making the user experience better and changing the width of columns it really actually means they are making more room for monetization or adding in adverts and I’m pretty sure that is what you are seeing here with Twitter. They have been claimimg back everything from the reweet buttons to iPhone apps over the last 6 months and thats all about having the control to place the ads in to the stream. Having a wider space on the right hand side of the screen opens up all sorts of possibilities for branded content and engagement ads through promoted tweets. Although there is no doubt about the fact that this will be a vastly improved product this move is ultimately about making lots of cash. Seguir leyendo “The New Twitter.Com – It’s All About Monetization”

Social Media Tip 2 – How To Tag People And Pages On Facebook

Author of Social Media Tip 2 – How To Tag People And Pages On Facebook

by Niall Harbison

Copyright © 2010 – Simply Zesty

The second in our series of social media tips today shows you how to tag people and pages on Facebook. This is a handy little feature that has been around for a good while now but many people are surprised when they actually see it and just how useful it actually is.

It’s a great way of linking to your own pages so as people can click through directly and it also allows means that when you tag somebody it shows up in their stream. 

Seguir leyendo “Social Media Tip 2 – How To Tag People And Pages On Facebook”

To Freelance or Not To Freelance, That’s The Question

Copyright © 2009 – 2010 Onextrapixel.com. All Rights Reserved.
By: Hilde Torbjornsen

Being a freelancer is serious business. This is why we’ve decided to make a collection of pro’s and con’s for you to help out a bit. Deciding if you’re going to keep that 9-5 job or dive into the world of freelancing can be quite tricky to figure out. There are many things speaking both for and against this. Many times, the positive aspects seem to be many, while the more “negative” or challenging sides can be more hidden to you until you’re actually facing them.

Here’s a list of 15 pro’s and 15 con’s of freelancing. We hope these tips can help you decide what to do, and also help you be better prepared for the future!

The Pro’s

Being positive human beings, we’re going to show you what we think are 15 of the biggest pro’s in choosing a freelance career.

Creative Freedom

Many freelancers best motivation to start up often is the chance to get full creative freedom. No boss to look over your shoulder and no co-workers that take all the best jobs. As a freelancer you will be able to choose what direction your work will take. It will be you and the client without anyone else. There have been studies to show that many people in creative jobs would actually accept a lower pay for the same amount of work given they get full creative freedom. This proves that it’s definitely important to many of us.

Image credit: .lollo.

Setting Your Own Work Hours Seguir leyendo “To Freelance or Not To Freelance, That’s The Question”

15 Bad Habits That Could Kill Your Design Career


Graphic work

This article was written exclusively for Webdesigner Depot by Preston D Lee, a web designer and lover of all things web and tech. Preston manages GraphicDesignBlender.com, where designers go to master the business of design. You can follow Preston on Twitter (@prestondlee) or visit his personal website, prestondlee.com.

Being a designer has never been easy. Working with clients, creative directors, marketing managers and other designers can take a toll on your patience and passion.

It’s important, as a professional designer, to avoid practices that could hurt your career or the company you work for.Whether you work as a freelance designer or in a firm, avoid the following 15 bad habits that might be killing your design career.

What other habits do you think should be avoided in your design career? Please let us know in the comments section.

1. Poor People Skills

Few things will kill your design business faster than poor people skills. Clients want a friendly face to greet them and someone who is enthusiastic about their project. Avoid complaining, bad-mouthing, whining and making excuses.

Maybe you’re a whiz at social media, and maybe you’ve got a fancy email signature, but sometimes being able to interact professionally with people online just doesn’t cut it. In order to succeed as a designer, you must have strong people skills: you must be able to communicate a thought, frustration or message clearly and efficiently.

Learn how to handle difficult clients, overbearing creative directors and pestering marketing departments—you’ll have to do it all, while managing the inevitable stress of deadlines.

2. Not Setting Boundaries With Clients

If you work on a per-project basis, avoid excessive revisions proposed by clients. If you fail to set limitations, your clients will request frequent revisions, which can eat away at your time and patience.

Allowing clients to request anything might seem like a good policy, but you’ll come off as more professional by setting limits with them during the design process. These should be outlined in your terms of agreement or contract.

3. Complacency

I once worked with a designer who insisted on using tables in the design process. We all know that tables have a place in the work flow, but we were dealing with a layout and style that could have been achieved with some pretty simple CSS. This designer had become complacent; following the same path will kill your own design career.

Begin by identifying aspects of the job that you’ve grown complacent about. Perhaps you are satisfied with your current number of clients, so you make little effort to market your business. Perhaps your standards have fallen, and you’ve stopped giving your best and care to do only enough to get paid.

Whatever you’re complacent about, conquer it. Start caring. Shift your paradigm, and arouse in yourself a desire to always do your best.Killing Your Design Business

Seguir leyendo “15 Bad Habits That Could Kill Your Design Career”

10 Usability Tips Based on Research Studies [Excellent]

vector version of this image

by Cameron Chapman | Six Revisions

We hear plenty usability tips and techniques from an incalculable number of sources. Many of the ones we take seriously have sound logic, but it’s even more validating when we find actual data and reports to back up their theories and conjectures.

1. Forget the “Three-Click Rule”

The idea that users will get frustrated if they have to click more than three times to find a piece of content on your website has been around for ages. In 2001, Jeffrey Zeldman, a recognized authority in the web design industry, wrote that the three-click rule “can help you create sites with intuitive, logical hierarchical structures” in his book, Taking Your Talent to the Web.

Logically, it makes sense. Of course, users will be frustrated if they spend a lot of time clicking around to find what they need.

But why the arbitrary three-click limit? Is there any indication that web users will suddenly give up if it takes them three clicks to get to what the want?

In fact, most users won’t give up just because they’ve hit some magical number. The number of clicks they have to make isn’t related to user frustration.

A study conducted by Joshua Porter published on User Interface Engineering found out that users aren’t more likely to resign to failure after three clicks versus a higher number such as 12 clicks. “Hardly anybody gave up after three clicks,” Porter said.

Source: User Interface Engineering

The focus, then, shouldn’t be on reducing the number of clicks to some magically arrived number, but rather on the ease of utility. If you can construct a user interface that’s easy and pleasurable to use, but takes like 15 clicks (e.g. 5 times more than the three-click rule) to achieve a particular task — don’t let the arbitrary three-click rule stop you.

Sources and Further Reading

2. Enable Content Skimming By Using an F-Shaped Pattern

Dr. Jakob Nielsen, a pioneer in the field of usability, conducted an eye tracking study on the reading habits of web users comprising of over 230 participants. What the research study displayed was that participants exhibited an F-shaped pattern when scanning web content.

F-Shaped PatternSource: Alertbox

A similar study, by search marketing firms Enquiro and Did-it in collaboration with eye-tracking research firm Eyetools, witnessed a similar pattern when they evaluated Google’s search engine results page with an eye tracking study that included 50 participants. Dubbed the “Google Golden Triangle” because the concentration of eye gazes tended to be top and left, the results are congruent with the F-shaped pattern seen in Nielsen’s independent research.

Google Golden TriangleSource: Clickr Media

For designers and web copywriters, these results suggest that content you want to be seen should be placed towards the left, and also that the use of content that fits an F-shaped pattern (such as headings followed by paragraphs or bullet points) increases the likelihood that they will be encountered by a user who is skimming a web page. Seguir leyendo “10 Usability Tips Based on Research Studies [Excellent]”