Hard Work: What’s It Good For?

A meme has been floating around for some time now about hard work – and how it is overrated. I’ve come across a number of “How I Work” articles by prominent entrepreneurs that talk about the merits of “sometimes” heading into the office, watching lots of television, and questioning the need for a 40-hour workweek.
Many of these articles profile people who have built multi-million dollar businesses – companies that required a 24/7 work ethic during the start-up phase. No doubt, in the early days, these same folks had rigorous schedules, spent long nights overcoming major technical challenges, and developed loyal communities – user by user – through ceaseless efforts.

So why all this talk about chilling out from those who must have worked tirelessly to get where they are? Something doesn’t add up. This trendy new approach to work seems absent of the ambition and relentless drive necessary to make ideas happen.
Seguir leyendo “Hard Work: What’s It Good For?”

Banner Ads: Excellent Examples for Inspiration

by Andy Johnson

Banner Ads: Excellent Examples for Inspiration

Advertising is everywhere, especially on the Web. Most websites I visit have some sort of web banner advertisements on them. For some websites, such as big design blogs, advertising is the main source of income.

With that in mind, it’s clear that website owners need to think very carefully about how their ads are displayed and where they are placed in relation to other elements on their site.

I have put together a showcase of different ways that a few websites show their ads, which might be helpful when it’s time to place banner ads on your site. Some are bang in your face while others are more subtle, blending in with the web design.

CSS Remix

The ads on CSS Remix are displayed along the top of the site and blend in well with the site listings.

CSS Remix

Seguir leyendo “Banner Ads: Excellent Examples for Inspiration”

The State of HTML5 Apps

by Alex Kessinger

The State of HTML5 Apps

We’re at the brink of shifts in the way we do things. The monks who have been toiling away on these new pieces of machinery are coming out of the monolith and starting to spread the word to the people. You might have seen my tutorial on creating an HTML5 iPhone app, highlighting the possibilities of open standards, client-side applications that leverage technologies we’ve traditionally used for websites and web apps.

Recently, Apple announced its HTML5 expose (however failed). Respected web design consultant and author, Eric Meyer, has started talking about the concept of Web Stacks — and we’re in a situation not unlike the beginnings of Ajax: A few people are already doing it, but we haven’t fully put it out in the open yet, and we certainly don’t know what to call what we’re doing.

My own HTML5 projects have been presenting their own questions, and I felt like I needed to take a step back and set a stage so that I could make sure that I understand where all these disparate pieces fit. Seguir leyendo “The State of HTML5 Apps”

Quiero ser Community Manager!

Mucha es la gente que me lo dice y que te pregunta cómo y dónde, pues después de ver el panorama le diría que, entre el anuncio de Fanta y los cursos especializados, todavía hay una gama de grises por construir sobre la profesión infinita.

Como nueva e indefinida, queda todo un territorio semivirgen y en blanco por y para trabajar, de hecho con ejemplos como el de MTV ya se ve como el perfil puede y tiende a categorizarse, con especialidades acorde, DJ, economista, arquitecto, coolhunter, experto en moda….

Por tanto, el día que surge la frase de “yo quiero ser community manager” uno donde se va a estudiar????, el de 18 o 19 años qué hace?? dónde busca?? por dónde empieza??…

Lo lógico sería asociarlo a las carreras vinculadas a la comunicación, pero como experta en todas ellas, te paras a pensar y no puede estar en una sino está en otra, o da para carrera nueva (Comunicación experto en Redes Sociales) o troncal a todas, al de audiovisual porque en menos de nada necesita tirar de un twitter y/o de un canal en foursquare para sus programas (MTV en twitter y en foursquare) además de gestionar los youtubes y el futuro Google TV, el periodista lo necesita para la gestión de reputación, la suya, mover su blog, si lo tiene y  hacerse su autopromo y la de sus representados en casos de gabinetes de prensa y al de publicidad, ni que decir, para saber movilizar y gestionar sus marcas y eventos en la red…por tanto da para una titulación completa??? Seguir leyendo “Quiero ser Community Manager!”

The Best Website Designs of the 2010 World Cup

The World Cup is currently taking place in South Africa and people all over the world are glued to television sets at home, in bars and in town squares, to watch their country play.

The World Cup is actually everywhere one looks – all over TV, the Internet and even supermarket products.

A lot of interesting graphic design is coming out of the World Cup, so we’ve put together a compilation of some of the best designed World Cup 2010 websites. We’ve also included a few African websites for more inspiration.

Drop us a comment and let us know which of these websites you like the best, and if you know of any other inspirational World Cup sites ones that we may have missed. Seguir leyendo “The Best Website Designs of the 2010 World Cup”

Could Your Social Networking Activity Be Violating Your Employment Agreement?

linkedin200The question raised in a recent lawsuit involving a former employee’s use of LinkedIn delves into uncharted legal territory: does the mere act of connecting with other professionals on a social networking site constitute a violation of non-compete and non-solicitation agreements?

After leaving her position at an IT staffing firm, a former employee of a recruiting company has been accused of violating the terms of the noncompete clause included in her original employment agreement by her conduct on the professional networking site LinkedIn. In a lawsuit filed in Minnesota this week by TEKsystems Inc., Brelyn Hammernik was charged with soliciting her former company’s clients using LinkedIn. Seguir leyendo “Could Your Social Networking Activity Be Violating Your Employment Agreement?”

Place Important Windows 7 Shortcuts Within Reach Of Every User

Windows 7 is relatively a new operating system. Applications are still being developed for it that explore and push its boundaries. If you are a Windows 7 user, you already appreciate its improvement over Windows Vista. But while 7 provides a great margin of user convenience, things can always be improved by third party applications. This brings to our today’s application – Preme.

Preme is a freeware program that helps place important Windows 7 shortcuts within reach of every user. There are a number of handy shortcuts provided by Preme which make 7’s usage a lot easier; for instance, you will be able to view all minimized windows in 3D style by just moving your mouse cursor to the top left corner. You can choose the view to be displayed in Flip 3D or Alt-Tab style.

Preme Seguir leyendo “Place Important Windows 7 Shortcuts Within Reach Of Every User”

The Lunch Interview: 10 Ways to Survive a Full Plate of Anxiety

If you are new to the job search or a recent college graduate, it is highly likely that you’ll be invited to interview over a meal – breakfast, lunch or dinner.  If so, you may (with good reason) be nervous.  Your potential employer is interested in getting to know you better, anxious to see how you behave in a public setting and lastly, hoping that you will meet their high expectations.

Before you get too anxious about which fork to use, this etiquette refresher will help. My colleagues and  I have witnessed some of the poorest manners by some of the most well- qualified candidates.  For example, there was the candidate who brought her own breakfast to the “breakfast interview” and confused the table when she declined to order from the menu.  It all made sense when she brought the muffin out of her purse, and placed it on the plate to eat after we’d all ordered breakfast. There is the story about the almost-CEO that talked constantly with his mouth full of food, the woman who reapplied her lipstick twice, and the young man texting while others were talking at the table.  Given these examples, I am going to remind my readers of good etiquette: Seguir leyendo “The Lunch Interview: 10 Ways to Survive a Full Plate of Anxiety”

You and Your Rockstar Resume

I admit that I have spent way too much time trying to find the “best post” for today, and after a long weekend, I am feeling overwhelmed by all my choices and ideas.  So, I’m finally done talking, and have chosen to write about two alternative resume formats including  a “Social Resume” and VisualCV – both are online tools aimed at helping candidates tell their best story through personal branding.  These shouldn’t replace your “old school” resume format, but they may provide additional networking opportunities:

The Social Resume: Our friends at the Brazen Careerist Network launched a new platform this past March, aimed specifically at Generation Y‘ers (those born after 1978). This tool is intended to get conversation started online in “real time” and bring the younger set to the forefront of ideas, strategy and thought. If you’re an entry to mid-level career person, this site is for you. The Social Resume is a one-of-a-kind, interactive showcase of your top ideas from around the web. According to Brazen, “this online tool provides a place to organize your thoughts and ideas so that employers, colleagues and friends don’t forget just how smart your really are.”  Geared to the post 1978 crowd, the Brazen Careerist site attracts recruiters to its site as thousands of potential employees showcase their potential, strategic thinking and online branding effort. Seguir leyendo “You and Your Rockstar Resume”

Keeping Up with the Joneses – 10 Ways to Stay Upwardly Mobile

The best part of my work involves talking directly to candidates, professionals and others searching for their next, best gig.  I spend a lot of time listening carefully, asking questions, pushing for details and of course, encouraging job seekers to push the envelope whenever possible. Many times, people have one foot out the door before they should.

Are you preparing your resume and anxiously looking for your next job because you think opportunities are slim, advancement is limited or there is little room for professional growth? If so, this post is for you!  I speak from experience when I give this advice – I once left a great job because I thought I had hit the wall with few chances for advancement. Seguir leyendo “Keeping Up with the Joneses – 10 Ways to Stay Upwardly Mobile”

Building A Cross-Cultural Web Design For A Wider Audience

// //

Thanks to the democratizing influence of the internet, the world is becoming a smaller place. This doesn’t mean, though, that the world is becoming a more homogenous place – on the contrary, the more people go online, the more the web becomes a tasty Gumbo of multilingual pages. In fact, right now native English speakers account for less than one third of all web surfers, and that percentage is going to become less and less with time.

Building A Cross-cultural Web Design For A Wider Audience
Image credit: gabeisbored

This means that when it comes to building websites, designers now have to take more into account than simply following current design trends and optimizing for search engines – you should be taking into account the full range of people who’ll be accessing your site. Seguir leyendo “Building A Cross-Cultural Web Design For A Wider Audience”

A Designer and Developer’s Dilemma: 9 Detestable “Requests”

When the Internet was a new trend there was no such thing as a professional Web Designer or Developer. Individuals interested in making their simple sites prettier and more interesting can be considered the pioneer Web Designers and Developers. Because it wasn’t a popular or well developed profession at the time, everyone just needed to roll with the punches and do their best to design and develop their own websites with the software they could get their hands on.

9 Detestable Requests

Today, the web industry has blossomed and grown so rapidly that more and more people have noticed this niche trade. This rapid growth and progression have further shown the important role the web has in each individual’s lives today. The Internet is the new cash on card; you can’t leave home without it.

When the Internet was still new and young, upcoming designers and developers would often have to work for free just to have the opportunity to gain more experience, build your professional portfolio, and to exercise the skills you’ve picked up. Each opportunity to “work with clients” was a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

As the industry stabilized and you’ve gained more experience in the field you decide to take the leap of faith and go down this career path as a long term decision. By this time, you would have already felt the toil of slogging in trenches. However, once you’ve decided that this is your passion, don’t let yourself throw in the towel and give up without a good fight.

All decisions we make have consequences; good or bad, you must face the consequences and know that every bump in the road will only make you stronger and you will come out of it a stronger and wiser person. Don’t make mistakes in vain, learn from them and march on! Seguir leyendo “A Designer and Developer’s Dilemma: 9 Detestable “Requests””

Graphic Design Theory: 50 Resources and Articles

As designers, we often focus on the practical aspects of design above all else. We focus on what works, with little regard for why it works. And in our day-to-day work, that outlook serves us well. It lets us get our work done in an efficient, professional manner, and generally nets good results.

But spending some time on the theory behind the graphic design principles we use every day can expand our design horizons. It can open up new avenues of creativity and experimentation that can lead our designs from just good, to fantastic. On that note, below are 50 excellent resources and articles that discuss graphic design theory, including layout, color theory, and typography. Feel free to share additional resources and articles in the comments.

General Design Theory

Graphicdesign1 in Graphic Design Theory: 50 Resources and  Articles

There are a lot of general design theories and principles out there that apply to all forms of design, whether in digital or print mediums. These include things like balance and scale, as well as more abstract topics like emotion and what makes for “good” design.

The Principles of Design
This article from Digital Web Magazine covers the basics of design theory, including balance, rhythm, proportion, dominance, and unity. It’s fully illustrated and makes each principle easy to understand.

Principlesofdesign in Graphic Design Theory: 50 Resources and  Articles Seguir leyendo “Graphic Design Theory: 50 Resources and Articles”

Coffee ‘n Email

According to a new study by ExactTarget, based on more than 1,500 consumer interviews, 58% of U.S. online consumers begin their day interacting with companies on Email, compared to 20% who start their day on search engines and 11% on Facebook. Consumers’ early morning online preferences reflect key differences in their motivations for interacting with companies across email and social media, observes the report.

Morgan Stewart, principal, ExactTarget’s research and education group, says: Seguir leyendo “Coffee ‘n Email”

Calidad de vida laboral, una forma de pensar sobre las personas y las organizaciones

En general, asociamos calidad de vida laboral con pocas presiones en el trabajo, o disposición de tiempo libre conservando un buen nivel económico. Pero, ¿qué hay más allá?
Por Fabiana Gadow

En general, asociamos calidad de vida laboral con pocas presiones y bajo estrés en el trabajo, o disposición de tiempo libre conservando un buen nivel económico. Pero la investigación y la experiencia demuestran que es más que eso.

Muchas y variadas son las definiciones surgidas en los últimos años que apuntan, con diferentes énfasis, a la satisfacción y salud mental de los individuos, mejoras organizacionales, enriquecimiento y humanización del trabajo con su consecuencia en la eficiencia, efectividad y resultados.

David Nadler y Edward Lawler, por ejemplo, definen la calidad de vida como la forma de pensar sobre las personas, el trabajo y las organizaciones. Sus elementos distintivos tienen que ver con (1) el impacto del trabajo sobre las personas y sobre la eficacia organizacional, y (2) la participación en la solución de problemas y toma de decisiones organizacionales. Seguir leyendo “Calidad de vida laboral, una forma de pensar sobre las personas y las organizaciones”