Infographic of the Day: Even Poor Countries Can Excel in Education

Sitting comfortable in our first-world lives, it’s easy to assume that we’ve got the best of everything. And it’s easy to assume that problems of infant mortality, hunger and education are simply a matter of having a roaring GDP. But that’s not true at all, as these remarkable interactive graphs show.

Produced by The Guardian and the Gates Foundation, the charts are draw from the Millennium Development Report Card. Basically, it shows how well countries are performing on key development metrics, relative to their GDP.

The size of the outer ring shows performance on a Millennium Development Goal, such as primary-school enrollment. The inner ring shows GDP per capita. Thus, if both are high (as they are in the U.S., for example), you get two rings, brown and blue, without much space between. But if a country is overperforming — getting kids in school despite a relatively modest GDP — you get a big space between the two. For example, look at Trinidad & Tobago (often cited as a model of good governance in the Caribbean) or Guyana:

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Sitting comfortable in our first-world lives, it’s easy to assume that we’ve got the best of everything. And it’s easy to assume that problems of infant mortality, hunger and education are simply a matter of having a roaring GDP. But that’s not true at all, as these remarkable interactive graphs show.

Produced by The Guardian and the Gates Foundation, the charts are draw from the Millennium Development Report Card. Basically, it shows how well countries are performing on key development metrics, relative to their GDP.

The size of the outer ring shows performance on a Millennium Development Goal, such as primary-school enrollment. The inner ring shows GDP per capita. Thus, if both are high (as they are in the U.S., for example), you get two rings, brown and blue, without much space between. But if a country is overperforming — getting kids in school despite a relatively modest GDP — you get a big space between the two. For example, look at Trinidad & Tobago (often cited as a model of good governance in the Caribbean) or Guyana:

Leer más “Infographic of the Day: Even Poor Countries Can Excel in Education”

Fashion Websites: Trends, Showcase, Interviews

Fashion is a cultural phenomenon. It’s so often transient, but at the same time one of the most polished mirrors of our time. Unlike other art forms and creative media, fashion is a mode of self-expression for all players involved: the designer makes clothes to express their personality, and the consumer wears them for the same purpose. Fashion also accommodates a number of other creative professions, such as photography, make-up and hair-dressing and Web design.

In this post, we’ll look at websites from the fashion industry. We spoke with two developers whose websites differed in style and implementation to find out the considerations involved in designing a website for a fashion brand. Further below, you’ll find a collection of smart websites done by clothing designers, photographers, make-up artists and other players.

With its look at trends and features in this niche, this post may come in handy for those of you working on a related project or who are simply curious to know how Web design is approached in this industry. Although we won’t discuss the clothing itself, fashionistas may find some use in it, too.


Fashion is a cultural phenomenon. It’s so often transient, but at the same time one of the most polished mirrors of our time. Unlike other art forms and creative media, fashion is a mode of self-expression for all players involved: the designer makes clothes to express their personality, and the consumer wears them for the same purpose. Fashion also accommodates a number of other creative professions, such as photography, make-up and hair-dressing and Web design.

In this post, we’ll look at websites from the fashion industry. We spoke with two developers whose websites differed in style and implementation to find out the considerations involved in designing a website for a fashion brand. Further below, you’ll find a collection of smart websites done by clothing designers, photographers, make-up artists and other players.

With its look at trends and features in this niche, this post may come in handy for those of you working on a related project or who are simply curious to know how Web design is approached in this industry. Although we won’t discuss the clothing itself, fashionistas may find some use in it, too.

Some Trends On Modern Fashion Websites

Looking through the websites discussed in this post, we caught a few commonalities.

Full-Screen Photography

Photography is a powerful tool and is integral to fashion websites. Grasping how photography can impress the viewer and set the mood, many fashion brands use big high-quality pictures to dominate their websites.

Mexx
Like many other fashion websites, Mexx relies heavily on Flash and full-screen images. The design has no special features or gimmick; its uniqueness is in the content itself.

Mexx in Fashion Websites: Trends, Showcase, Interviews

Story-Telling

The fashion industry works hard to create mental associations and set expectations on the part of its audience. The market is saturated, and companies look for new ways to grab the attention of customers. One way a brand does this is by going beyond merely presenting its clothes and instead bringing its merchandise together into a storyline and associating its product line with a certain lifestyle.

Louis Vitton Journeys
Louis Vuitton Journeys is a unique Web campaign sponsored by the famous fashion brand. It features exclusive stories about influential modern personalities. The latest journey, Encounter With Greatness, features quite a smashing get-together of three football legends: Pele, Diego Maradona and Zinedine Zidane. Unique content and interactivity through Facebook integration make the website an exciting destination.

Louis-vuitton in Fashion Websites: Trends, Showcase, Interviews Leer más “Fashion Websites: Trends, Showcase, Interviews”

Creating a User Interface That Speaks Your Users’ Language

In this article, we’ll talk about the challenges of writing concise and familiar copy for web application user interfaces. We’ll illustrate, with a real case example, how tools like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk can help designers find a common language with their users.

Words Matter

A good user interface needs concise instructions. When we label interface elements or write instructions for a given task, we aim for clarity and succinctness.

Succinctness is a fairly simple standard to follow. The shorter the better. Short, familiar labels and instructions are more readable. Long copy can convey more information and may explain things more completely, but designers find long blocks of web copy unwieldy, and for users, mentally taxing (i.e. because people don’t read). The result is that longer copy generally makes for more confusing interfaces.

But a short label must also be clear; and it’s tricky to write copy that’s brief but thorough at the same time. And then what the definition of “clear” is, in the context of your UI, is another (tougher) problem altogether.

We don’t write for ourselves, but for the users, and web users defy categorization and stereotypes. Some are technically savvy, some are less so. Some use their own lingo and some don’t even speak our language.


by Cedric Savarese | Become a Facebook Fan of Six Revisions.

Creating a User Interface That Speaks Your Users' Language

In this article, we’ll talk about the challenges of writing concise and familiar copy for web application user interfaces.  We’ll illustrate, with a real case example, how tools like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk can help designers find a common language with their users.

Words Matter

A good user interface needs concise instructions. When we label interface elements or write instructions for a given task, we aim for clarity and succinctness.

Succinctness is a fairly simple standard to follow. The shorter the better. Short, familiar labels and instructions are more readable. Long copy can convey more information and may explain things more completely, but designers find long blocks of web copy unwieldy, and for users, mentally taxing (i.e. because people don’t read). The result is that longer copy generally makes for more confusing interfaces.

But a short label must also be clear; and it’s tricky to write copy that’s brief but thorough at the same time. And then what the definition of “clear” is, in the context of your UI, is another (tougher) problem altogether.

We don’t write for ourselves, but for the users, and web users defy categorization and stereotypes. Some are technically savvy, some are less so. Some use their own lingo and some don’t even speak our language.

Leer más “Creating a User Interface That Speaks Your Users’ Language”

M.A.P.S.: The Four Pillars of Creative Job Fulfillment

Tell me if you can relate to the following: You’ve been working for the last few years with your head down, putting one foot in front of the other, just following the path under your feet. But you feel that the career path you’re on might not be the right one – that, somehow, you’ve drifted off course. You know it’s time to take action, but you’re not sure how.The first step is to shift your perspective: To understand that a career is something that you create, rather than a pre-existing role that you step into. It takes considerable energy to plan your own future, but if you don’t figure out what you want to become, someone else will define it for you. Hunter S. Thompson said it best: “A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” Don’t be that man!

If you don’t figure out what you want to become, someone else will define it for you.

In my own career as a Creative Director and public speaker, I have met many talented and extraordinary people. I have always been in awe of the passionate ones, who use their skills with confidence, who surround themselves with an atmosphere of inspiration, and who find true meaning in what they do.

These qualities – the ones that make for a fulfilling career – can be distilled down into 4 main categories, or “pillars,” as I like to call them. They are: Meaning, Atmosphere, Passion, and Skills – aka M.A.P.S., a career compass to help point you in the right direction.

Here’s how the process works…:


by Jason Theodor | http://the99percent.com

Tell me if you can relate to the following: You’ve been working for the last few years with your head down, putting one foot in front of the other, just following the path under your feet. But you feel that the career path you’re on might not be the right one – that, somehow, you’ve drifted off course. You know it’s time to take action, but you’re not sure how.The first step is to shift your perspective: To understand that a career is something that you create, rather than a pre-existing role that you step into. It takes considerable energy to plan your own future, but if you don’t figure out what you want to become, someone else will define it for you. Hunter S. Thompson said it best: “A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” Don’t be that man!

If you don’t figure out what you want to become, someone else will define it for you.

In my own career as a Creative Director and public speaker, I have met many talented and extraordinary people. I have always been in awe of the passionate ones, who use their skills with confidence, who surround themselves with an atmosphere of inspiration, and who find true meaning in what they do.

These qualities – the ones that make for a fulfilling career – can be distilled down into 4 main categories, or “pillars,” as I like to call them. They are: Meaning, Atmosphere, Passion, and Skills – aka M.A.P.S., a career compass to help point you in the right direction.

Here’s how the process works…: Leer más “M.A.P.S.: The Four Pillars of Creative Job Fulfillment”

10 Places to Buy Professionally Designed WordPress Themes

In the past few years, the popularity of WordPress has skyrocketed, which has led to a growing demand for themes. With this growing demand, we’ve seen new premium or commercial WordPress theme shops popping up everywhere.

Some may say that the premium WordPress space is getting a bit saturated, and they’re probably right. However, more premium theme providers does mean a wider selection for those seeking more than what a free theme can offer.

The only problem is being able to find quality and professionalism in the vast sea of premium themes. It seems that the majority of premium theme designs out there are lacking, and appear a bit amateurish.

So for this post, we’re showcasing 10 great places where you can purchase professionally designed WordPress themes.

All of these shops are run by either designers or people that understand design – and as you can see, it shows in the quality of each theme.


//www.webdesignerdepot.com

In the past few years, the popularity of WordPress has skyrocketed, which has led to a growing demand for themes. With this growing demand, we’ve seen new premium or commercial WordPress theme shops popping up everywhere.

Some may say that the premium WordPress space is getting a bit saturated, and they’re probably right. However, more premium theme providers does mean a wider selection for those seeking more than what a free theme can offer.

The only problem is being able to find quality and professionalism in the vast sea of premium themes. It seems that the majority of premium theme designs out there are lacking, and appear a bit amateurish.

So for this post, we’re showcasing 10 great places where you can purchase professionally designed WordPress themes.

All of these shops are run by either designers or people that understand design – and as you can see, it shows in the quality of each theme.

1. Theme Trust

Theme Trust creates beautiful WordPress themes that are dead simple to use. It’s a fairly new theme shop, but a high level of quality and attention to detail is evident in their themes.

Professional WordPress Themes

2. Theme Shift

ThemeShift prides itself on creating “Professional” WordPress themes, and they do a great job at delivering on that promise. Their themes are all well designed and show a great attention to detail.

Theme Shift

3. Themify.me

Themify.me is one of the latest to enter the premium WordPress theme business, but all of their themes look simply amazing.

Themify Leer más “10 Places to Buy Professionally Designed WordPress Themes”

WordPress.com and Windows Live partnering together and providing an upgrade for 30 million Windows Live Spaces customers

Over the last few weeks, we’ve spent a good bit of time talking about our approach to partnering with the web, and as part of that, how we’re deeply integrating with the leading consumer services that you find most valuable. Earlier today, I had the opportunity to get on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt, and with Toni Schneider, CEO of Automattic (the parent company of WordPress.com), announce an exciting partnership between our companies.
Providing a great blogging experience

As we looked at customers’ blogging needs and what different companies were providing, we were particularly interested in what WordPress.com is doing. They have a host of impressive capabilities – from a scalable platform and leading spam protection, to great personalization and customization. WordPress powers over 8.5% of the web, is used on over 26 million sites, and WordPress.com is seen by over 250 million people every month. Not only that, Automattic is a company filled with great people focused on improving blogging experiences. So rather than having Windows Live invest in a competing blogging service, we decided the best thing we could do for our customers was to give them a great blogging solution through WordPress.com.


Over the last few weeks, we’ve spent a good bit of time talking about our approach to partnering with the web, and as part of that, how we’re deeply integrating with the leading consumer services that you find most valuable. Earlier today, I had the opportunity to get on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt, and with Toni Schneider, CEO of Automattic (the parent company of WordPress.com), announce an exciting partnership between our companies.

Providing a great blogging experience

As we looked at customers’ blogging needs and what different companies were providing, we were particularly  interested in what WordPress.com is doing. They have a host of impressive capabilities – from a scalable platform and leading spam protection, to great personalization and customization. WordPress powers over 8.5% of the web, is used on over 26 million sites, and WordPress.com is seen by over 250 million people every month. Not only that, Automattic is a company filled with great people focused on improving blogging experiences. So rather than having Windows Live invest in a competing blogging service, we decided the best thing we could do for our customers was to give them a great blogging solution through WordPress.com.

Windows Live and WordPress.com

As we looked at how we brought Windows Live and WordPress.com together, there were three big things we wanted to deliver:

Microsoft shifts bloggers to WordPress

In another ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ move, Microsoft’s director of Windows Live product development Dharmesh Mehta says: “Rather than having Windows Live invest in a competing blogging service, we decided the best thing we could do for our customers was to give them a great blogging solution through WordPress.com.”

WordPress is claimed to power over 8.5 percent of the web, and is used on over 26 million sites and seen by over 250 million people every month. Live Spaces, by contrast, has around 30 million active users.


Microsoft‘s abandoning its Live Spaces blogging platform following a deal with WordPress that will see its 30 million users move to the Automattic platform.

In another ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ move, Microsoft’s director of Windows Live product development Dharmesh Mehta says: “Rather than having Windows Live invest in a competing blogging service, we decided the best thing we could do for our customers was to give them a great blogging solution through WordPress.com.”

WordPress is claimed to power over 8.5 percent of the web, and is used on over 26 million sites and seen by over 250 million people every month. Live Spaces, by contrast, has around 30 million active users. Leer más “Microsoft shifts bloggers to WordPress”