Exploit Your Strengths to Become an Expert in Your Field

We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, and each of us varies in how good we are in one area over another. Design and development are very talent-driven fields, and because of this, there seems to be a lot of professionals out there who focus on constantly building their weaknesses in order to improve in their practice.

There can be a real problem with this though. By always focusing on your weaknesses, you never build upon your strengths. Without doing this, you can never really develop your skills to the point you’d like to. In this post, we’re going to talk about a new method for improving as a web designer, graphic designer, developer, or just as a freelancer. This new method focuses on our natural talents; what we’re already good at, and not our weaknesses or points of defeat.
Why Focusing on a Weakness is Bad

It seems almost logical: you have a negative point in your work that you’d like to improve, so you practice and practice until you get better. Practice makes perfect, right? There is no doubt that by doing this you are making your weak point stronger, but what about all of your other points?


By: Kayla Knight
http://www.onextrapixel.com/2010/10/11/exploit-your-strengths-to-become-an-expert-in-your-field/

We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, and each of us varies in how good we are in one area over another. Design and development are very talent-driven fields, and because of this, there seems to be a lot of professionals out there who focus on constantly building their weaknesses in order to improve in their practice.

There can be a real problem with this though. By always focusing on your weaknesses, you never build upon your strengths. Without doing this, you can never really develop your skills to the point you’d like to. In this post, we’re going to talk about a new method for improving as a web designer, graphic designer, developer, or just as a freelancer. This new method focuses on our natural talents; what we’re already good at, and not our weaknesses or points of defeat.

Why Focusing on a Weakness is Bad

It seems almost logical: you have a negative point in your work that you’d like to improve, so you practice and practice until you get better. Practice makes perfect, right? There is no doubt that by doing this you are making your weak point stronger, but what about all of your other points?

Why Focusing on a Weakness is Bad
Image credit: Darwin Bell

If you are always focusing on your downsides and lack of talents, you may begin to feel as though you have very few skills overall. This can cause a lack in confidence, and therefore a lack in the quality of your work. By focusing only on what you’re bad at, even if you feel it is essential to win over those bad skills, you begin to perceive yourself in a very negative mindset. Leer más “Exploit Your Strengths to Become an Expert in Your Field”

50 Clean & Minimalistic Web Designs That’ll Inspire You

This time we’re having a look at some web designs that are examples of true art: keeping it simple. Making a simple and clean design can be quite a challenge for any of us, and it usually needs a lot of practice to be able to get it right with as few elements as possible.
Why do Simple and Clean Web Designs Work So Well?

There are several reasons why these clean designs seem to work very well and have become so popular:

* They load quickly
* They’re easy to navigate through
* The content stands out better
* They feel comfortable to visit
* In a world with a lot of info, they stand out
* They stand the test of time better than many other designs

There are more reasons as well. Be aware though, that making them doesn’t necessarily have to take any less skill or work hours compared to more complex designs.
Keeping It Simple

These designs have been selected by browsing design galleries for hours. What we looked for were simple and clean designs that give a solid and professional feel.


By: Hilde Torbjornsen
http://www.onextrapixel.com/2010/10/14/50-clean-minimalistic-web-designs-thatll-inspire-you/

This time we’re having a look at some web designs that are examples of true art: keeping it simple. Making a simple and clean design can be quite a challenge for any of us, and it usually needs a lot of practice to be able to get it right with as few elements as possible.

Why do Simple and Clean Web Designs Work So Well?

There are several reasons why these clean designs seem to work very well and have become so popular:

  • They load quickly
  • They’re easy to navigate through
  • The content stands out better
  • They feel comfortable to visit
  • In a world with a lot of info, they stand out
  • They stand the test of time better than many other designs

There are more reasons as well. Be aware though, that making them doesn’t necessarily have to take any less skill or work hours compared to more complex designs.

Keeping It Simple

These designs have been selected by browsing design galleries for hours. What we looked for were simple and clean designs that give a solid and professional feel.

50 Clean & Minimalistic Web Designs

Now, let’s have a closer look at our selected websites!

Chama inc.
Chama inc. Leer más “50 Clean & Minimalistic Web Designs That’ll Inspire You”

What One Thing About Web Design Would You Change Today?

As Web designers and developers, much of our time is spent carving out little corners for ourselves: setting up stops along the information superhighway, creating hangouts to populate the virtual landscape. We shape areas of the Web as we choose to or as our clients command—like Neo altering the Matrix. Unlike Neo, though, we have rules to follow, standards to meet. Web development and design exist in a framework that dictates what we can and cannot do. With this idea of molding the Matrix in mind, we once again turned to our followers on Twitter.

In a recent poll, we asked: if you could make one thing about Web design different today, what would it be? To avoid repetition, we included a caveat: other than making IE disappear? With that, a wide range of answers flooded in on hash tags.

As always, we appreciate everyone who took the time to respond to the poll. Having a strong connection with our readers is rewarding—that’s one thing about the Web design and development community that we hope never changes. Below is a peek at what Web development and design would be like if our Twitter followers and Facebook fans had their say in shaping the industry.
Better Browsers…


http://www.noupe.com/design/what-one-thing-about-web-design-would-you-change-today.html
(…)

Better Browsers…

Even with the proviso in our question, most responses dealt with browsers—just not Internet Explorer. They also brought up how we build for the Web and how our work is interacted with, but browsers seemed to be the topic of the day. Judging by the amount of noise about it, the most frustrating problem is cross-compatibility between vendors. A number of different makers build browsers, and each browser has a unique way of rendering code; in this environment, designing and developing can be a burdensome task, and our readers would change it if they could.

Browsers in What One Thing About Web Design Would You Change Today?

Below are selected responses from our followers that offer a number of approaches to bettering the browser experience, and most of them deal with rendering code. There was variety in the responses, but making all browsers adhere to one set of enforced standards is an extremely popular solution. Compatibility was the focus.

  • I’d make every browser standards-compliant… and every website look amazing!
  • I would make every browser render the same code the same way.
  • Kill vendor-specific codes. No more of this -webkit crap.
  • Make all browsers be in sync. They are out of sync now. That’s the big difference between being a Web and graphic designer.
  • As many have said, cross-browser standards. So much time is wasted creating cross-browser compatibility. I’d also like to see better methods for separating content and navigation forms.
  • I’d ask all developers and companies to create one standard all-in-one Web browser. Need competition anyway? Here: plug-ins!
  • All browsers should have a unified rendering engine.
  • Standardize form elements across platforms and browsers.
  • Force standards. The W3C should have to “allow” browsers to browse the Web—and if -webkit, -moz or 90% of IE’s browser-specific bullshit were there, they’d block the browser. In a week, we’d have development heaven for all.
  • Make every browser read visual elements mathematically the same way so that developers wouldn’t have to care about cross-browsing.
  • We need a single open-source rendering engine (i.e. WebKit) that every browser could use and contribute to—and then we can scrap all other engines.
  • Fix font rendering. Leer más “What One Thing About Web Design Would You Change Today?”

Free WordPress Themes For Personal Bloggers

WordPress is already a widely used blogging platform. One of the reasons is the ease of customizing its look to suit your needs and preferences. Many bloggers have designed their theme to stand out among others while there are others who make a living selling such themes.

For those who are not friendly with HTML and CSS yet, we have prepared 35 great resources for WordPress Themes, which are suitable for personal blogging. You can use them for a good start.


By: Citra Sudiro
http://www.onextrapixel.com/2010/10/12/35-free-wordpress-themes-for-personal-bloggers/

WordPress is already a widely used blogging platform. One of the reasons is the ease of customizing its look to suit your needs and preferences. Many bloggers have designed their theme to stand out among others while there are others who make a living selling such themes.

For those who are not friendly with HTML and CSS yet, we have prepared 35 great resources for WordPress Themes, which are suitable for personal blogging. You can use them for a good start.

Free WordPress Themes… Leer más “Free WordPress Themes For Personal Bloggers”

Usability Resources to Win Arguments

Today’s post is a big one and it’s most definitely one for your bookmarks menu, because from time to time when speaking with clients it becomes necessary to have material to backup the statements which you are making.

Sometimes clients will suggest things such as forcing all users to register with a six page long form before they can even access the site. They aren’t web professionals, it’s not their fault for not knowing that this isn’t a good idea from a usability perspective.

If you’re going to convince them that this is a bad idea, however, then you’re going to need some rock solid material to back that up. While an element of trust is always important to a working relationship, you have to respect that sometimes clients will just need to see the facts in front of them to fully understand that what you’re saying is correct.

So, what we’ve done for you today is compiled a list of some of the biggest, most compelling usability articles which address common issues. Hopefully this should help you during tough conversations about what does and doesn’t work on a a website.

Bookmark this post, come back to it, use it in meetings and educate your clients on the things which work for other websites, so that they might also work for them.


thumb

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2010/10/usability-resources-to-win-arguments/

This post was authored exclusively for WDD by John O’Nolan, a core contributor to the WordPress UI Team, writer and entrepreneur based in Surrey in the United Kingdom. John loves to talk to people, so why not follow @JohnONolan on twitter too?
Today’s post is a big one and it’s most definitely one for your bookmarks menu, because from time to time when speaking with clients it becomes necessary to have material to backup the statements which you are making.

Sometimes clients will suggest things such as forcing all users to register with a six page long form before they can even access the site. They aren’t web professionals, it’s not their fault for not knowing that this isn’t a good idea from a usability perspective.

If you’re going to convince them that this is a bad idea, however, then you’re going to need some rock solid material to back that up. While an element of trust is always important to a working relationship, you have to respect that sometimes clients will just need to see the facts in front of them to fully understand that what you’re saying is correct.

So, what we’ve done for you today is compiled a list of some of the biggest, most compelling usability articles which address common issues. Hopefully this should help you during tough conversations about what does and doesn’t work on a a website.

Bookmark this post, come back to it, use it in meetings and educate your clients on the things which work for other websites, so that they might also work for them.

How Not Forcing Users to Register Increased Sales by $300million

1

A truly fascinating article covering how one ecommerce site removed forced user-registration during the checkout process, with a result of a $300million increase in revenue. Very impressive.

 

10 Useful Usability Findings and Guidelines

2

  • Form labels work best above the field
  • Users focus on faces
  • Quality of design is an indicator of credibility
  • Most users do know how to scroll
  • Blue is the best color for links
  • The ideal search box is 27 characters wide
  • White space improves comprehension
  • Effective user testing doesn’t have to be extensive
  • Informative product pages stand out
  • Most users are blind to advertising

Leer más “Usability Resources to Win Arguments”

Charging Per Hour vs. Per Project

If you’re a corporate designer, you don’t have to worry about things like how to bill your clients, as you’re likely either on salary or have a predetermined hourly rate and regular work schedule.

But for freelancers, figuring out how best to charge clients for work completed can be a nightmare. After all, you want to charge clients a fair price, make a decent living, and get enough work so that you’re not struggling to find the next project.

In the world of web design, there are two basic ways most designers charge: per hour or per project. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method, and there are situations where one method works better than the other.

In this article, we’ve presented an overview of what’s involved in each method of charging, as well as what you need to consider when choosing a method.
Charging by the Hour

Charging an hourly rate is incredibly common in the world of freelancers, both for designers and other professionals.

It’s a pretty straight-forward way of charging. I just tell you I charge $X per hour and you either think that’s reasonable and agree to pay it or you don’t and you find someone who charges less.

Advantages to Charging by the Hour

As mentioned, hourly charges are very straight-forward. Some designers have a flat hourly rate regardless of the type of work they do. Others have different hourly rates for different functions (designing, coding, testing, etc.).

It’s easy to lay out for your clients exactly what you charge, and they often feel like it’s a more transparent way of doing business. It’s also a method clients are used to dealing with, as that’s likely how their lawyer, accountant, and other professionals also charge.


Written exclusively for WDD by Cameron Chapman.
http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2010/10/charging-per-hour-vs-per-project/

If you’re a corporate designer, you don’t have to worry about things like how to bill your clients, as you’re likely either on salary or have a predetermined hourly rate and regular work schedule.

But for freelancers, figuring out how best to charge clients for work completed can be a nightmare. After all, you want to charge clients a fair price, make a decent living, and get enough work so that you’re not struggling to find the next project.

In the world of web design, there are two basic ways most designers charge: per hour or per project. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method, and there are situations where one method works better than the other.

In this article, we’ve presented an overview of what’s involved in each method of charging, as well as what you need to consider when choosing a method.

Charging by the Hour

Charging an hourly rate is incredibly common in the world of freelancers, both for designers and other professionals.

It’s a pretty straight-forward way of charging. I just tell you I charge $X per hour and you either think that’s reasonable and agree to pay it or you don’t and you find someone who charges less.

 

Advantages to Charging by the Hour

As mentioned, hourly charges are very straight-forward. Some designers have a flat hourly rate regardless of the type of work they do. Others have different hourly rates for different functions (designing, coding, testing, etc.).

It’s easy to lay out for your clients exactly what you charge, and they often feel like it’s a more transparent way of doing business. It’s also a method clients are used to dealing with, as that’s likely how their lawyer, accountant, and other professionals also charge.

Leer más “Charging Per Hour vs. Per Project”

5 Tips for Handling Pricing Objections

One of the most difficult aspects of business for many freelancers is the pricing of projects. While some designers offer package-based pricing, most will have to provide a custom quote for every new client. Making an accurate estimate as to how much time will be required is often a challenge, but for many freelancers what is even more difficult is closing the sale and getting the client to commit by signing a contract and agreeing to the price.

By nature most designers are not interested in sales, but it is a necessary part of being a freelancer. Of course, the more demand you have for your services the easier it will be, and the less pressure you will have to land each potential client. But in reality most freelancers today are not in a position to lose out on projects if it can be avoided.

In this industry pricing objections from potential clients are relatively common. Maybe the client doesn’t have much knowledge or experience in the area and they have unrealistic expectations of what is involved in the process and how much work is required. Or maybe they have a friend or family member who claims they can get a website for much cheaper somewhere else. Whatever the case, freelance designers never enjoy dealing with pricing objections.

In this article we’ll look at a few key things that you can do when you are in a situation where a potential client is hesitating to move forward due to price. While there will always be some clients who expect a top notch website for a bargain basement price, most clients are very reasonable and effective communication can often lead to some way to come to an agreement.


Via
http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/business/pricing-objections/

One of the most difficult aspects of business for many freelancers is the pricing of projects. While some designers offer package-based pricing, most will have to provide a custom quote for every new client. Making an accurate estimate as to how much time will be required is often a challenge, but for many freelancers what is even more difficult is closing the sale and getting the client to commit by signing a contract and agreeing to the price.By nature most designers are not interested in sales, but it is a necessary part of being a freelancer. Of course, the more demand you have for your services the easier it will be, and the less pressure you will have to land each potential client. But in reality most freelancers today are not in a position to lose out on projects if it can be avoided.

In this industry pricing objections from potential clients are relatively common. Maybe the client doesn’t have much knowledge or experience in the area and they have unrealistic expectations of what is involved in the process and how much work is required. Or maybe they have a friend or family member who claims they can get a website for much cheaper somewhere else. Whatever the case, freelance designers never enjoy dealing with pricing objections.

In this article we’ll look at a few key things that you can do when you are in a situation where a potential client is hesitating to move forward due to price. While there will always be some clients who expect a top notch website for a bargain basement price, most clients are very reasonable and effective communication can often lead to some way to come to an agreement. Leer más “5 Tips for Handling Pricing Objections”

10 Basic Tips for Improving WordPress Themes

A lot of people use WordPress as their blogging platform. After installing WordPress, newly christened WordPress users will usually try to find and download WordPress themes that they can use so that their site looks different from the default theme. Whether a WordPress theme is free or premium, there are plenty of ways to improve them. The following WordPress theme tips cover basic customization, styling and optimization.

1. Reduce the Size of Theme Images

Images are an important part of every WordPress theme, yet WordPress theme developers sometimes forget about optimizing them. Images in a WordPress theme include CSS background images, template logos, default stock images, icons, and so on.

Optimizing images can save you in bandwidth consumption and can improve page response times for your blog readers.

Photoshop, for example, offers a Save for Web feature that optimizes images for the web. What I usually do is lower the quality settings of the image until I start to see changes in color or quality.

Furthermore, you can use a lossless image optimization tool like Smush.it that will squeeze out excess file size without loss in image quality. You can find more image optimization tools here.


by Julius Kuhn-Regnier

http://sixrevisions.com/wordpress/improve-wordpress-themes-tips/

10 Tips for Improving WordPress ThemesA lot of people use WordPress as their blogging platform. After installing WordPress, newly christened WordPress users will usually try to find and download WordPress themes that they can use so that their site looks different from the default theme. Whether a WordPress theme is free or premium, there are plenty of ways to improve them. The following WordPress theme tips cover basic customization, styling and optimization.

 

1. Reduce the Size of Theme Images

Images are an important part of every WordPress theme, yet WordPress theme developers sometimes forget about optimizing them. Images in a WordPress theme include CSS background images, template logos, default stock images, icons, and so on.

Optimizing images can save you in bandwidth consumption and can improve page response times for your blog readers.

Photoshop, for example, offers a Save for Web feature that optimizes images for the web. What I usually do is lower the quality settings of the image until I start to see changes in color or quality.

Furthermore, you can use a lossless image optimization tool like Smush.it that will squeeze out excess file size without loss in image quality. You can find more image optimization tools here.

Reduce the Size of Theme ImagesYahoo! Smush.it is a lossless compression tool.

Learn all about web image optimization via this guide to saving images for the web. Leer más “10 Basic Tips for Improving WordPress Themes”

The User Is The Anonymous Web Designer

We invest time, money and effort into understanding our audience, and the movement toward a more socially networked Web has made us realize the power that visitors have over how our designs are engineered; and we try to meet their ever-growing needs. Community is integral to the evolution and functioning of a website, and visitors and website owners have become dependent on each other. This reflects a change in the industry: the user has turned into an anonymous designer.

This article will explore the influential figure ‘user’ and uncover the power of your community. Whether you boast social applications, interactivity or a stream of regular visitors, your audience might be a powerful untapped resource at your fingertips. You, the website owner, have the power to make decisions and override them (for better or worse), but the user deserves to be recognized as more than a statistic.
Traditional Roles

Back in the Web’s infancy, the roles of the Web professional and visitor were clearly laid out. Technologies such as email, bulletin boards and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) rooms existed, but most Web users were technologically inclined — cost and complexity of computers and Internet access were the biggest obstacles for many in the early days. Additionally, website were simple and the power of users was restricted; users had little sway with designers and developers.
The Professionals

The role of the Web professional used to be — famously, in the ’90s — to build websites that delivered certain information. Asking the user for feedback was an afterthought; this was evidence of the commonly held belief that we, the experts, knew what was best for users. Usability and accessibility were a luxury, and many website providers ignored them in an attempt to control the way the medium was used.


By Alexander Dawson
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/10/14/the-user-is-the-anonymous-web-designer/

We invest time, money and effort into understanding our audience, and the movement toward a more socially networked Web has made us realize the power that visitors have over how our designs are engineered; and we try to meet their ever-growing needs. Community is integral to the evolution and functioning of a website, and visitors and website owners have become dependent on each other. This reflects a change in the industry: the user has turned into an anonymous designer.

This article will explore the influential figure ‘user’ and uncover the power of your community. Whether you boast social applications, interactivity or a stream of regular visitors, your audience might be a powerful untapped resource at your fingertips. You, the website owner, have the power to make decisions and override them (for better or worse), but the user deserves to be recognized as more than a statistic.

Traditional Roles

Back in the Web’s infancy, the roles of the Web professional and visitor were clearly laid out. Technologies such as email, bulletin boards and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) rooms existed, but most Web users were technologically inclined — cost and complexity of computers and Internet access were the biggest obstacles for many in the early days. Additionally, website were simple and the power of users was restricted; users had little sway with designers and developers.

The Professionals

The role of the Web professional used to be — famously, in the ’90s — to build websites that delivered certain information. Asking the user for feedback was an afterthought; this was evidence of the commonly held belief that we, the experts, knew what was best for users. Usability and accessibility were a luxury, and many website providers ignored them in an attempt to control the way the medium was used. Leer más “The User Is The Anonymous Web Designer”

Awesome Mother’s Day Designs

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an inspiration post and I thought I would do one today. Well, I have something special for this post. As we all know, today is Mother’s Day (in the US, not sure about other countries). Mother’s Day happens once a year and it’s a day when we celebrate and recognize mothers and motherhood in general. In this post, I’ve gathered up some awesome Mother’s Day designs for your viewing pleasure.

* http://designinformer.com/awesome-mothers-day-designs/
* By: Jad Limcaco

Men are what their mothers made them.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s face it, without our mother’s we all would not be here. I’m thankful that I have a mother who raised me and took good care of me and cared for me when I was growing up, and by the way, I love her to death!

So for all the mother’s out there and to my mom, this post is for you.
Happy Mother’s Day

Note: Please click on the images to see them in their websites and to learn more about their artists.


http://designinformer.com/awesome-mothers-day-designs/

Happy Mother's Day

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an inspiration post and I thought I would do one today. Well, I have something special for this post. As we all know, today is Mother’s Day (in the US, not sure about other countries). Mother’s Day happens once a year and it’s a day when we celebrate and recognize mothers and motherhood in general. In this post, I’ve gathered up some awesome Mother’s Day designs for your viewing pleasure.

Men are what their mothers made them.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s face it, without our mother’s we all would not be here. I’m thankful that I have a mother who raised me and took good care of me and cared for me when I was growing up, and by the way, I love her to death!

So for all the mother’s out there and to my mom, this post is for you.

Happy Mother’s Day

Note: Please click on the images to see them in their websites and to learn more about their artists.

Mother's Day

There is only one pretty child in the world,
and every mother has it. — Chinese Proverb

Mum

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. Sophia Loren

Mother's Day

Never marry a man who hates his mother, because he’ll end up hating you. Jill Bennett

With Love Leer más “Awesome Mother’s Day Designs”

43 Free Social Media Icon Sets


How to Build a Kick-Butt CSS3 Mega Drop-Down Menu

Final Product What You’ll Be Creating
Download Source Files
Demo View It Online

Often used on e-commerce or large scale websites, mega menus are becoming more and more popular, as they offer an effective solution to displaying a lot of content while keeping a clean layout. In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to build a cross-browser, awesome CSS-only drop-down mega menu, using nice CSS3 features.

[Más…]
Step 1: Building the Navigation Bar

Let’s begin with a basic menu, built with an unordered list and some basic CSS styling.
view plaincopy to clipboardprint?

1.

Creating the Menu Container

We’ll now apply some basic CSS styling. For the menu container, we define a fixed width that we center by setting the left and right margins to “auto”.
view plaincopy to clipboardprint?

1. #menu {
2. list-style:none;
3. width:940px;
4. margin:30px auto 0px auto;
5. height:43px;
6. padding:0px 20px 0px 20px;
7. }

#menu {
list-style:none;
width:940px;
margin:30px auto 0px auto;
height:43px;
padding:0px 20px 0px 20px;
}

Now, let’s see how we can improve it with some CSS3 features. We need to use different syntaxes for Webkit-based browsers (like Safari) and for Mozilla-based browsers (like Firefox).

For rounded corners, the syntax will be :
view plaincopy to clipboardprint?

1. -moz-border-radius: 10px
2. -webkit-border-radius: 10px;
3. border-radius: 10px;

-moz-border-radius: 10px
-webkit-border-radius: 10px;
border-radius: 10px;

For the background, we’ll use gradients and a fallback color for older browsers. To keep consistency when choosing colors, there is an awesome tool called Facade that helps you find lighter and darker tones of a basic color.
view plaincopy to clipboardprint?

1. background: #014464;
2. background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, #0272a7, #013953);
3. background: -webkit-gradient(linear, 0% 0%, 0% 100%, from(#0272a7), to(#013953));

background: #014464;
background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, #0272a7, #013953);
background: -webkit-gradient(linear, 0% 0%, 0% 100%, from(#0272a7), to(#013953));

The first line applies a simple background color (for older browsers); the second and third lines create a gradient from the top to the bottom using two colors : #0272a7 and #013953.

We can now add a darker border and polish the design with a “fake” inset border created with the “box-shadow” feature. The syntax is the same for all compatible browsers: the first value is the horizontal offset, the second one is the vertical offset, the third one is the blur radius (a small value makes it sharper; it will be 1 pixel in our example). We set all offsets to 0 so the blur value will create a uniform light border :


Final Product What You’ll Be Creating

Often used on e-commerce or large scale websites, mega menus are becoming more and more popular, as they offer an effective solution to displaying a lot of content while keeping a clean layout. In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to build a cross-browser, awesome CSS-only drop-down mega menu, using nice CSS3 features.

Leer más “How to Build a Kick-Butt CSS3 Mega Drop-Down Menu”

CSS3: Resources, Tutorials and Demos

Dear readers: pleeeeeeeease, don’t be afraid to try something new! It’s one thing to find out about a cool new design technique, like using CSS3, but it’s another thing entirely to actually put what you’ve learned about into practice. If you don’t try new things, you’ll get stuck in a design rut and that’s not good for you or for your clients. In this article, I’ve gathered some of the web’s best CSS3 resources, tutorials and demos so you can find out what CSS3 is, learn how to use it and see what kinds of cool things have been done with it so far (like the iOS icons in the teaser image above done with no images, just pure CSS).

Yes, CSS3 has been supported by select browsers for a while now, but that just makes this article all the better because in it I was able to include both brand new and slightly older CSS3 resources, which makes for a whopper of a post. Yes, the older (2009-ish, so not that old) resources are still worth taking a look at. When I was in Barnes and Noble recently, I had to buy a design book that was from 2008 because they didn’t have any that were newer on the particular subject I wanted. It turned out to be a great resource, despite not being “current”. Some things just don’t change that much in the course of a few years and the links I’ve included here are still very usable.


http://www.freelancereview.net/css3-resources-tutorials-and-demos/

Posted on October 14, 2010 by Chris

Learn CSS3: Resources, Tutorial and Demos

Dear readers: pleeeeeeeease, don’t be afraid to try something new! It’s one thing to find out about a cool new design technique, like using CSS3, but it’s another thing entirely to actually put what you’ve learned about into practice. If you don’t try new things, you’ll get stuck in a design rut and that’s not good for you or for your clients. In this article, I’ve gathered some of the web’s best CSS3 resources, tutorials and demos so you can find out what CSS3 is, learn how to use it and see what kinds of cool things have been done with it so far (like the iOS icons in the teaser image above done with no images, just pure CSS).

Yes, CSS3 has been supported by select browsers for a while now, but that just makes this article all the better because in it I was able to include both brand new and slightly older CSS3 resources, which makes for a whopper of a post. Yes, the older (2009-ish, so not that old) resources are still worth taking a look at. When I was in Barnes and Noble recently, I had to buy a design book that was from 2008 because they didn’t have any that were newer on the particular subject I wanted. It turned out to be a great resource, despite not being “current”. Some things just don’t change that much in the course of a few years and the links I’ve included here are still very usable.

CSS3 Resources

CSS3 Resources

CSS3 Tutorials

CSS3 Tutorials Leer más “CSS3: Resources, Tutorials and Demos”

Locate all the Big Emails in your Gmail Account

Gmail doesn’t offer a way to search and sort email messages by size but you can use a tool like Microsoft Outlook or IMAP Size to sort your mails by the size criteria on the desktop. They connect to your Gmail account via IMAP and therefore when you delete an emails with big attachments locally, the same happens in your online inbox as well.

If you however find the above workarounds a little complicated, there’s an even simpler method now that won’t even require you download or install anything – it’s called findbigmail.com.

It will quickly find all the big email messages in your Gmail account that are taking up the maximum space. These messages are categorized with special labels like “Big Mail” or “Really Big Mail” to help you decide which of them should be removed to recover more space.


http://www.labnol.org/internet/locate-big-emails-in-gmail/17937/

What would you do if your Gmail Inbox is reaching its storage limit and you urgently need to free up some space else all your incoming email messages will be returned to the sender?

You’ll either have to buy some extra storage space from Google or another solution is that you find all the emails in your Inbox that have really big attachments and put them into the trash.

gmail messages sorted by size

Sorting your Gmail Messages by Size

Gmail doesn’t offer a way to search and sort email messages by size but you can use a tool like Microsoft Outlook or IMAP Size to sort your mails by the size criteria on the desktop. They connect to your Gmail account via IMAP and therefore when you delete an emails with big attachments locally, the same happens in your online inbox as well.

If you however find the above workarounds a little complicated, there’s an even simpler method now that won’t even require you download or install anything – it’s called findbigmail.com.

It will quickly find all the big email messages in your Gmail account that are taking up the maximum space. These messages are categorized with special labels like “Big Mail” or “Really Big Mail” to help you decide which of them should be removed to recover more space. Leer más “Locate all the Big Emails in your Gmail Account”

Madonna’s 6 Secrets to Personal Branding Mastery

You’ll need to evolve too. Your core will stay the same, but your tactics will need to change.

You may have to dial up some part of your personality to make a mark, or abandon a project entirely. Have the wisdom to know what’s important for your brand. And while you’re at it, …
5. Don’t be afraid to bloody a few noses

Madonna has been denounced by parenting groups, ethics professors, politicians, and even the Vatican. Her fans don’t seem to care. She rewrote the book for women in show business and never backed down from a fight.

Better to live one year as a tiger than a hundred as a sheep.
~ Madonna

Too many bloggers think there is virtue in folding like a cheap suit. A negative comment results in a “revised post.” A snarky tweet leads to profuse apologies.

But the secret to real respect is to absorb criticism, learn from it if that makes sense, ignore the ones who aren’t your people anyway, and keep moving forward.

If everyone agrees with you, then you might not be saying anything worth talking about.
6. Don’t be afraid to break the rules

Blogging and social media is still the new kid on the block. But you would never know it from all the rules and guidelines that people preach. Everything from retweet etiquette to commenting guidelines are hotly contested in the blogosphere.

If Madonna blogged, I’m sure she would find creative ways to chuck these rules into the garbage. Maybe you should too.

I wouldn’t have turned out the way I was if I didn’t have all those old-fashioned values to rebel against.
~ Madonna

The rules exist to keep everyone pleasantly numb. It’s no coincidence that superstar bloggers happen to be the ones that learn how to ignore “how it’s supposed to be done.”

Nowadays Lady Gaga and Beyoncé get all of the attention, but Madonna was the original that these talented artists used for inspiration.

When I ask myself What Would Madonna Do, it isn’t shocking to see that her megastar strategies fit blogging like a velvet glove.

Conviction, creativity, hard work, and the courage to question the rules will never lose their appeal — much like Madonna.


image of Madonna Louise Ciccone

“Everyone is entitled to my opinion.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, that’s Madonna.

Most people think of sex-soaked, counter-cultural extravagance when they reflect on Madonna’s career.

I see something else. Fearless mastery of her brand and message.

Madonna doesn’t flinch. She’s mastered her craft. She never lost sight of her goals. That’s why she’s the #1 female music performer of all time. Her dominance of the pop genre is the reason that virtually every performer (male and female) puts her on their Top 10 Greatest Talent list.

You can take a page from her book and rule your brand and niche with decade-spanning impunity.

The question is … do you have the guts?

You should take a moment to really consider this question, because A-List bloggers are known for their grit and stubbornness.

They speak their mind on Twitter. Write fearless and provocative posts. And routinely face down trolls and naysayers.

This is how they define their brand, attract a loyal following and earn cash (lots of it).

I’m sure you’ve thought about how to stand out in a sea of me-too blogs. Madonna’s career is chock-full of gems for helping your brand rise to the top of your niche. Leer más “Madonna’s 6 Secrets to Personal Branding Mastery”