25 Inspiring Motion Graphic Sequences

By Matthew Heidenreich

Motion graphics bring life to our boring, static lives, and add movement to keep our always wandering eyes fixated on what they would like to present you.  You are bombarded with motion graphics throughout your everyday life.  Maybe it is a commercial on tv, or even an introduction sequence to your favorite tv show, you can’t escape it.  Today I am sharing with you 25 inspiring motion graphic sequences.*click image to view video


AXN Bumper Package

BrotherSister “Still Run”

Seguir leyendo “25 Inspiring Motion Graphic Sequences”

Craft An Irresistible Price By Focusing On Your Users

Price influences behavior. In order to craft an excellent user experience, the price — and how your users interact with that price — must be central to the development of the product, especially applications. No user will welcome an application if the cost is prohibitive. This makes price every bit as important as design, information architecture and wireframing, and it goes deeper than just getting people to click “Buy.” By focusing on users in setting and maintaining a price, you will increase revenue, lower overhead and, most importantly, significantly improve the user’s (read customer’s) experience.

For just about a year now, between designing and developing client’s websites, I have been running a little app that I created with co-workers. In that time, we have launched, added features, raised the price, added more features and just now begun the early stages of marketing the product. So far, we have done all of this without borrowing a cent, and we have managed to at least cover our costs, if not generate some modest profit. I have no doubt that this success comes from our choices of model and price point.

This article is not about “How to price your app.” There are plenty of good resources for learning how to find the right number. Pricing for use is a framework for continually adjusting your price, when needed, to suit your profit goals and the experience of your users.

Nail2 in Craft An Irresistible Price By Focusing On Your Users
Your price is the nail from which you hang your masterpiece. Image source

[Offtopic: by the way, did you know that there is a Smashing eBook Series? Book #1 is Professional Web Design, 242 pages for just $9,90.]

Me First

In any pricing endeavor, think of yourself first. Many people think that apps have no overhead. They basically believe that “selling an app is free money, pure profit!” (ahem, Mr. Anderson). As a professional who has been running a application for just under a year now, I can tell you, this is patently untrue.

Digital goods and services have a very tangible overhead: time — time to innovate over competitors, time for customer support and time to cultivate your unique point of view. Each of these requires constant effort if you want to succeed. If you cannot afford this time, you will sacrifice your product, and possibly your livelihood.

Keeping the app running is the only imperative in pricing, so first make sure that your price covers your costs. After that, pricing is really a matter of how much you can gain — and not just in profit, although that will affect your bottom line.

User-Centric Pricing

Matt Linderman of 37signals said it best: “Pricing can be usable, too.” I would only add that pricing not only can be but should be usable. Predict (or just ask) what price point would feel reasonable to your target users, and when they will want to pay for your product. You already agonize over how users interact with your product; why not agonize about how they interact with you at so sensitive a time as when money is involved?

With so much being offered for free these days, paying for an app can be considered an annoyance. Ease this pain as much as possible by making it simple for customers to work payment into the flow of their lives. This could be as basic as setting up an automatic payment system, or it could require a complete re-evaluation of your pricing model.

An Attractive Price

Somewhere between covering overhead and your zeal for profit (Go on, admit it), there is a sweet spot of what you can realistically charge for your product. This is where it gets dangerous — and where many tend to undervalue. Set your price too low and you leave money behind that could be used for growth and reinvestment. Too high a price could be an insurmountable barrier to potential customers.

Ask yourself, “Does this price feel right?” Feel plays a major role here, and intuition is the perfect barrier to push against. If the price feels right, the product will feel right. In Human Action, Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises writes that prices are social phenomena. According to him, “the ultimate source of the determination of prices is the value judgment of the consumers.” So, what would a reasonable customer pay for your product? Seguir leyendo “Craft An Irresistible Price By Focusing On Your Users”

Looking to reach consumers in the healthcare space? Consider tuning into YouTube

by Kevin Silverman

A prominent trend over the past few years has been the massive growth of the online video sharing platform YouTube. Consumers have been turning to YouTube more and more, which is demonstrated by its becoming the second most popular search engine in April, behind its parent, Google.[i] What I find most interesting is how consumers are using YouTube.

YouTube has shed its reputation of being strictly an entertainment site. Sure, people still tune in  to see popular videos such as David after the dentist, the wedding entrance dance to Chris Brown’s Forever, and the most recent Lady Gaga video (who still has the most viewed videos on YouTube as of this posting), but recent data show s consumer are also turning to YouTube for health information, providing new opportunities for healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies to engage patients, caregivers and even prescribers. Seguir leyendo “Looking to reach consumers in the healthcare space? Consider tuning into YouTube”

Reductionism in Web Design

August 5th, 2010 by Alexander Dawson

Reductionism in Web Design

In the field of design, the phrase “complexity is the enemy” speaks to how keeping things simple makes our work more functional.

With the modern crop of technologies that dole out increasing amounts of functionality, it’s important that we take the time to ensure a balanced level between oversimplification to the level that insults our visitor’s sense of competency and extreme complexity which endangers their experience.

In this article, I want to talk about the idea of reductionism — a process that improves the efficacy of our designs as well as the time we spend making and maintaining them.

Going “back to basics” and challenging the way we design, write code and produce content will de-clutter our interfaces, improve the readability of our web copy, speed up deployment,  make things easier to use, and reduce our maintenance requirements.

Reductionism in Web Design

It’s important to define what reductionism is in the context of web design. While ideas towards reductionism vary depending on who you ask, a simple definition is that reductionist methods boil down complex things to simpler things, which might include modularizing the system into more digestible components; all of this while avoiding losses in value (fidelity) and usefulness.

Essentially, it means that if you have something that’s bloated, heavy or complex — removing some bulk will improve your work. Seguir leyendo “Reductionism in Web Design”

4 Keys to a Great Non-Profit Website


Too often, NGOs settle for web presences that merely check-the-box without regard to whether or not the site is capable of meeting the organization’s goals.  After all, every dollar not spent on programming is a dollar that isn’t directly contributing to the core mission.  Furthermore, because the immediate ROI of a web presence is hard to calculate, unlike, say, events and mailers, justifying the expense can be difficult.

Regardless, a stand out website is an absolutely critical tool for any modern non-profit.  It is often the only opportunity for the organization to explain their story and activate their supporters.  If your site can’t demonstrate the power of your mission – if it can’t push a stranger over the hump of inertia to contribute their time, their money, or their voice, then it isn’t helping the cause.

Given the importance of the website, it’s important that it is done right. To help, we’ve narrowed down the key needs for any non-profit site and provided some best-in-class examples of sites that do a great job delivering against them.

1. Story

How do you get people excited about the mission?

No one needs to support a charity; they do it out of their personal morality and conviction.  Obviously, there are many worthy causes competing for their resources so donors must select the ones they feel are most worthy.  This process is largely an emotional decision, not a rational one.  Since stories are how we communicate complex emotions and ideas, it is absolutely critical to make sure that your story comes across in an impactful way.  Visitors need to feel the emotional force behind your cause.

Who are you trying to help? Why do they need you?  Why have you, the charity or the founder, taken up this gauntlet?

FallingWhistles, a non-profit dedicated to speaking out against the Congolese war and the use of child soldiers does an excellent job communicating their story.  Not only does the site open with a powerfully directed short film, but also an entire section is dedicated to the founder’s journal, a powerful first-hand account of his horrific journey through the Congo.

Falling Whistles uses an actual whistle as a symbol of both the plight of child soldiers and the group’s action to stop it.

Falling Whistles uses an actual whistle as a symbol of both the plight of child soldiers and the group's action to stop it. Seguir leyendo “4 Keys to a Great Non-Profit Website”

On Twitter, It’s Follower Quality Not Quantity that Matters

By Mike Melanson<!– –>

You see it everywhere: your friend on Facebook trying to get you to “like” their employer’s new page while another friend pleads for you to follow such-and-such account on Twitter. It doesn’t matter that you’re a 20-something and they’re tweeting about how to make the most of retired life – everyone knows that the more followers you have, the more influence you’ll have, right? Whoever has the most followers wins, right?

Wrong. According to the latest research from HP Labs, it’s not necessarily how many followers you have, but how passive or active they are in spreading the word. Seguir leyendo “On Twitter, It’s Follower Quality Not Quantity that Matters”

80+ Useful PSD Templates For Web Designers


Reinventing the wheel is rarely a good idea, and this is especially true when it comes to creative activities such as design. The less time you spend on tedious tasks, the more time you have for expressing your ideas and being original. Fortunatel,y the design community is very generous in this regard, huge amounts of resources are freely available online, from simple design templates to complex illustrations. This collection brings you 80+ amazing customizable PSD files to help you out with your future projects, either by directly applying them in your designs or just for learning purposes.

While most of these files can be used for most of your projects, as with any freebie, make sure you read the description about the usage or contact the author if it’s not clear. With that said, we hope you’ll find this collection useful for both your personal and professional work!

Icons, buttons & badges

Glass Video Playback Buttons
via Birofunk

Design Ps Templates 2 in 80+ Useful PSD Templates For Web Designers
Windows buttons PSD
via Vicing

Design Ps Templates 3 in 80+ Useful PSD Templates For Web Designers
via Vathanx

Design Ps Templates 4 in 80+ Useful PSD Templates For Web Designers Seguir leyendo “80+ Useful PSD Templates For Web Designers”

Create a Gmail Filter to Focus on your Most Important Emails

Your Gmail Inbox is overflowing with email messages. Some are newsletters that you are subscribed to, some are messages from friends and colleagues that you would like to read as soon as they arrive while the rest could be spam that managed to trick the built-in Gmail filters.

Focus on the Most Important Emails First!

When you only have a limited amount of time to process that long queue of unread messages, it is important that you prioritize your emails and defer reading stuff that is not very important and can wait (like those newsletters).

Here are two simple Gmail filters that will automatically move out all the low-priority emails out of your Inbox so that you can focus on the important ones. They should also come handy when you are checking emails on the go – the high-priority items will be delivered to your mobile device while everything else will stay in your Gmail account for you to follow up later. Seguir leyendo “Create a Gmail Filter to Focus on your Most Important Emails”

A Beautiful Replacement for your Notepad

Notepad for WindowsNotepad, a light-weight text editor that is included with every copy of Microsoft Windows, is also the most basic program on your computer with an extremely simple UI and limited functionality.

This probably explains why there is almost an avalanche of notepad replacements in the market – applications that aren’t just better than the default notepad program but most of them are free as well.

Today I had an opportunity to try another notepad replacement and after spending a couple of minutes with the program, I am convinced that it is going to be my new default text editor replacing Notepad. The program is called Bend.

notepad replacement Seguir leyendo “A Beautiful Replacement for your Notepad”

What Can Entrepreneurs Learn From Mad Mens Christina Hendricks?

by jeremywaite

This month sees the launch of “From those wonderful folks who gave you Pearl Harbour : Front-Line Dispatches From The Advertising War” by Jerry Della Femina (the original Mad Man).  His book has just been republished in order to piggyback on the success of the TV phenomenon Mad Men, which it inspired.  The book lovingly describes the inner machinations of Madison Avenue in the Sixties, and is a delicious gossip-heavy read about the golden age of advertising (the title refers to the tongue-in-cheek slogan proposed by Della Femina for Panasonic during a particularly unproductive brainstorming session).

According to Della Femina, the reality of working in an ad agency in the Sixties was actually much worse than what we are seeing on Mad Men. Apparently, in the business climate of the late Fifties and early Sixties, sex was a forbidden subject – everyone did it and yet no one talked about it.  But by 1965, the sexual revolution had enveloped much of North America and the advertising industry responded in kind.  It either grew its hair or let it down, started drinking in the morning and generally went wild.

Della Femina actually encouraged wayward behaviour in his agency because he figured out that nothing got creative people to come in early and leave late better than the prospect of sexual adventure. Seguir leyendo “What Can Entrepreneurs Learn From Mad Mens Christina Hendricks?”

The Long-Term Jobless: Left Behind

Workers in technology, telecom, and finance are at greatest risk because skills in the fast-changing industries can quickly become obsolete

By Timothy R. Homan and Zachary Tracer

To understand the potential consequences of long-term unemployment, consider the job prospects of Sheldon Fisher and Douglas Lawson. In January, Fisher, 53, was dismissed from a software company in Washington State. Lawson, 34, lost his job in October with a builder in South Carolina. Now the technology industry is bouncing back while construction remains in the dumps, and Washington’s jobless rate is 8.9 percent, vs. South Carolina’s 10.7 percent. Still, Lawson’s prospects may be better than Fisher’s.

That’s because being jobless for a long time hurts workers in some industries far more than in others. The technology sector is known for such rapid change that those out of work for even a few months can find themselves with out-of-date skills. Construction skills are far less likely to grow stale. “I never forget what I know. … I’m not worried about doing the work once I get it,” says Lawson, who has applied for about 30 jobs so far. Fisher, by contrast, is considering leaving information technology altogether, though he says he’s not sure what else he’s qualified to do. After applying for about 100 jobs in his first half-year out of work, Fisher began to worry that employers might think he was getting rusty. “Then everything after six months just makes it worse,” he says.

The average duration of unemployment in the U.S. jumped to a record 35.2 weeks in June, up from 16.5 weeks when the recession began in December 2007, according to the Labor Dept. Today, almost half of unemployed Americans have been out of work for 27 weeks or more (the official definition of long-term unemployment), vs. 30 percent in June 2009.

Perishable Skills

Industries with highly perishable skill sets include health-care technology, telecommunications, and finance, where regulations have changed dramatically in the past year. The toughest, though, may be information technology. Companies in that sector have cut payrolls for 32 of the last 33 months, through June, for a cumulative loss of some 312,000 jobs, or about 10 percent. In technology, “if you’ve been out of work for a year or two, you’re probably somewhat outdated,” says Shami Khorana, president of HCL America, the U.S. arm of New Delhi-based HCL Technologies, which employs about 5,000 workers in the U.S. He plans to hire at least an additional 600 people as the economy improves and anticipates retraining some candidates with obsolete skills.

Unemployed workers in construction, retail, low-level health-care jobs, and teaching are more likely to be attractive to employers once hiring picks up because such jobs don’t change as quickly, experts say. “You don’t get the sense that residential construction has changed that much in the past decade,” says Harry J. Holzer, an economist at Georgetown University and the Urban Institute in Washington. The skills needed to work at a grocery or clothing store—running the cash register, for instance—are “rudimentary,” he says. Seguir leyendo “The Long-Term Jobless: Left Behind”

YouSendIt Express Solves The “Too Big to E-Mail” Problem

Sally Wiener Grotta and Daniel Grotta, PC World


Sending files–especially sizable art or photo files–to clients and editors can be problematic. Corporate firewalls simply don’t like large e-mail attachments (or, in some cases, any attachments). And, yet, we’re not about to spend the time or the expense to ship the files via a physical courier service. Our solution? We use an online service called YouSendIt (various pricing; a free plan exists). And, to make matters even easier, we use their free download software, YouSendIt Express.

YouSendIt Express screenshotYouSendIt Express looks like a typical e-mail message–but when you send files, instead of sending attachments that might be blocked by the recipient’s firewall, they are hosted on a private folder on the YouSendIt server, where your recipient can easily access and download them.

YouSendIt Express, a tiny, standalone program, is very simple to use. It’s similar to writing a typical e-mail message. Simply double-click the icon to quickly launch the program, select your recipients, type in a subject line, add an optional memo and select the file(s) or folder you want to send. Then, click the SEND button. The recipients will receive an e-mail from you with a link to a private folder, to download the files to their computer. Seguir leyendo “YouSendIt Express Solves The “Too Big to E-Mail” Problem”

5 Reasons Why People Hate Apple

Based on my extensive observations of the species, Apple-haters fall into five categories. If you’re an Apple-hater, which one of these categories do you fit in?

Mitch Wagner, Computerworld


5 Reasons Why People Hate AppleArtwork: Chip TaylorEvery company has its opponents, but Apple really gets people worked up. Some people hate Apple a lot, more than they hate Nazis or Smurfs. They leave angry comments on Apple blogs. Based on my extensive observations of the species, Apple-haters fall into five categories. If you’re an Apple-hater, which one of these categories do you fit in?

You believe buying Apple undermines your individuality. You see yourself as making a bold stroke for your individuality and freedom by your refusal to buy Apple. You use words like “brainwashed” and “lemmings” to describe Apple fans.

These haters frequently have very poor grammar and spelling. Many of them seem to be barely literate. They also often have issues with alternative sexuality, accusing Apple fans of performing acts of love with Steve Jobs that were, until recently, illegal in many states.

Is this a good reason to hate Apple? No, it’s dumb. Your choice of consumer products says nothing about your individuality. The true individual doesn’t care what the herd does, he does what’s right for him. Sometimes that means forging a unique path, but other times, what the masses do is just fine. If your sense of individuality is bound up in the consumer products you buy, then you have no individuality at all — you’re just one of the Body of Landru, kidding yourself that you’re a unique special snowflake.

Moreover, Mac OS has just 5% market share, Windows still runs on more than 90% of desktops. The iPhone is only the third most popular phone in the U.S., lagging Android and BlackBerry. If Apple is trying to absorb everyone into its universal groupmind, they’re doing a poor job of it.

You hate Apple culture. Your favorite word is “arrogance.” You look at Apple’s secretive culture, its slick stores, its polished advertising campaigns, and you think that Apple feels it’s superior.

There is some truth in this. Apple does feel it’s superior. But they’re hardly alone. Everybody who works in the computer industry thinks they’re superior to everybody else. The same is true for Christians, Jews, atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Americans, Europeans, Objectivists, and New Yorkers. It’s part of the human condition to think that your tribe is better than everybody else’s tribe.

Is this a good reason to hate Apple? No, it’s dumb. What do you care what Apple thinks about you? Do you get worked up in a hissy fit if the barista at Starbucks looks at you funny?

The more you go on about Apple’s “arrogant” culture,the more you reveal about yourself, your own insecurities and father-issues. Go get therapy, give yourself a hug, and shut up about Apple already.

You’ve had a bad experience with Apple products. Every company produces occasional lemons, and if you’re stuck with one of them, you’re likely to hate the company that sold it to you. Seguir leyendo “5 Reasons Why People Hate Apple”

Top 10 Country Flag Icon Sets

A country flag image could be used for any number of reasons, perhaps the most popular method would be on a web site which allows the user to either select the language of their choice or to access the site-version dedicated to their country. The problem is that there are many, many sites were you can download and use the national flag image of your choice, but the most of these are pretty bland and basic and don’t really offer the graphical expectations of modern web design. We want better.

An excellent substitute for flag images would be to use one of the, sadly so few, professionally designed country flag icon-sets that are freely available. And that is what we have found for you today: A collection of the best country flag icon-sets.

This is our weekly section were we highlight the Top 10 resources from any given field from within the design community. These mini-articles give us an opportunity to share some really useful resources which would be either-wise ignored and difficult to justify with a full blown article.

Flags Icons by IconDrawer

Flags Icons by IconDrawerThis set by IconDrawer, consists of 278 free flag icons representing countries and unions from all over the world. They are all in .png format and sized at: 16×16px, 24×24px, 32×32px and 48×48px.
License: Linkware License. (You can purchase a royalty-free license for $60)
Flags Icons by IconDrawer →

Country Flag Icons for iPhone Maps

Country Flag Icons for iPhone Maps
The Country Flag Icons for the iPhone come in .png, .ico and .icns formats. Available sizes include: 256×256px, 128×128px, 64×64px, 48×48px, 32×32px and 16×16px. There are 230 country icons in the set.
License: Free for non-commercial use.
Country Flag Icons for iPhone Maps → Seguir leyendo “Top 10 Country Flag Icon Sets”

Is Google Working With Verizon to Upend Net Neutrality?

It sounds unlikely, but sources close to Google and Verizon have said that the two companies are working together on a deal that would help Verizon charge some Internet content providers more than others in exchange for priority data transfer speeds.

Such an agreement would fly in the face of net neutrality, a philosophy of web content previously promoted by Google.

The news comes from The New York Times, which cites “people close to the negotiations who were not authorized to speak publicly.” The two tech giants will reportedly make the deal “as soon as next week.”

Consumer advocacy groups and many content creators have argued in favor of net neutrality, which would ensure that the consumer’s ability to access certain pieces of web content would not be tiered based on expense like premium channels on cable television, or first-class and coach seating on airlines. Seguir leyendo “Is Google Working With Verizon to Upend Net Neutrality?”