Organization Tips For Web Designers

As a web designer, you’re often forced to wear many different hats every day. You’re the CEO, creative director, office manager, coffee fetcher and sometimes even janitor. That’s a lot for anyone, and it certainly makes it difficult to find any time for quality creative thinking. Organization in any operation is important, and for our work as web designers it is important, too. The good news? You don’t have to have been born an organizational machine. Let’s look at what being organized means and a few strategies and tips to help you clean up that messy desk and get your work ducks in a nice neat row.

1. Organization 101

What it means to be an organized person or run an organized business is commonly misunderstood. Many people equate being organized with being fussy, which is not the case. Little labeled folders and neatly itemized lists are one way to stay organized, but they are merely tactics. The heart of organization is having a strategy. Being organized is simply a matter of using clearly defined and consistently implemented systems to get things done.

But how do you go about finding and implementing a strategy if you’re starting from square one? It begins with where you want to end up. Think about where you waste the most time or what frustrates you the most on a daily or weekly basis, and start there. Formulate simple clear goals and treat these overarching goals as the finish line in your strategy.

For example, if you have trouble paying all (and I mean every single one) of your bills on time because they are perpetually lost in the mess on your desk, make it a goal to pay every bill before it is due for the entire year. With this broad goal in mind, you can work on cleaning your desk and setting up a routine for paying each of your bills. Seguir leyendo “Organization Tips For Web Designers”

Clients, the Web and the Big Misconception


Pretty ambiguous title isn’t it? That’s entirely intentional, because the topic of this particular article is something that a lot of web designers seem to hate talking about.

But, now that I’ve got you here hopefully you’ll stick around, so I’ll let the cat out of the bag (so to speak). In this article we’re going to be talking about Web 2.0.

Wait! Don’t run away! This isn’t the sort of article that’s going to round up eight bazillion awesome examples of Web 2.0 designs, or a tutorial that’s going to try to teach you how to replicate some overused and increasingly outdated design element. No, I’m going to tackle the issue head on and in a way that I hope will actual be useful for you. Why? Because we can’t simply ignore Web 2.0 (as much as we may want to).

The term is out there, and has permeated far beyond the borders of the design community and into the mind of the larger public.

it has also permeated into the minds of your clients and potential clients.

That means it has also permeated into the minds of your clients and potential clients.

Here’s a case in point. The other day I was communicating with a new prospect about possibly designing a website and all the things that it would entail. We had exchanged a few emails already when that dreaded question that so many web designers hate to hear came up: will the site design be in 2.0? As a designer/developer, this kind of thing generally and predictably draws a plaintive groan from my lips. Images of strong gradients, big bold stripes, glossy buttons and overused reflections dance like tiny, trendy goblins in my mind.

Later, when I offered my initial proposal for the website, I indicated that I would code it all in XHTML 1.0 and CSS3. I didn’t really expect the client to understand exactly what that meant, but it’s just one of my standard practices to include those kind of technical details, just to make sure that I’ve covered all the bases.

As you can imagine, the client came back and asked: Will the site be done in XHTML 2.0? Based on the previous version-based question, I was reasonably certain that the client was not referring to the W3C’s now defunct concept for XHTML 2 (parts of which have survived in HTML5 – see Jeremy Keith’s wonderfully succinct “A Brief History of Markup” for more details).

No, what the client was actually talking about was his notion of having a website designed to “work” with version 2.0 of the web.

No New Internet

Of course, there is no “new” version of the internet. We’ve introduced some new technologies into the mix, and allowed others to grow and evolve. Our browsers can do a heck of a lot more in terms of rendering sites than they could a decade ago, and the evolution of frameworks like jQuery have allowed for the much broader development of application-like functionality within a document.

But, at its core a website is still very much the kind of thing that I talk about in my recent article “HTML (and CSS) do Not a Website Make” – the unified sum of the various technologies that drive it.

It’s also important to note that there has been no significant change to the underlying structure that drives the internet. To quote Wikipedia on this subject:

Critics of the term claim that “Web 2.0″ does not represent a new version of the World Wide Web at all, but merely continues to use so-called “Web 1.0″ technologies and concepts. First, techniques such as AJAX do not replace underlying protocols like HTTP, but add an additional layer of abstraction on top of them.

Many of the new technologies that we use these days to drive the experience of the internet are not really all that new at all, but are either expanded (such as CSS3 and HTML5) or frameworks that provide a simplified form of access to existing technologies (like jQuery and MooTools do for JavaScript).

As web designers and developers, this probably isn’t anything all that new or revolutionary for us and we understand that the internet that we are using today is precisely the same internet that we were using back in 1995.

Instead of being replaced with a new version, it has simply grown and matured, much the same way my daughter has transformed from a helpless newborn to the energetic two and half year old who is currently pushing my MacBook closed and asking me to come play with her… Seguir leyendo “Clients, the Web and the Big Misconception”

5 Valuable Tips You Need to Know as an Entrepreneur


If you’re into the start-up scene like I am (especially in the tech world), then I applaud you, you’re really in a great spot – even if you’re just sitting on the sidelines. Why? The Internet space is really one of immense possibility, and I don’t say that just for the sake of being cheesy either. It really is. There are so many people making a living online creating small niche businesses, it’s quite mind boggling – and this is just the start.

With an explosion of new entrepreneurship, from all ages and walks of life, what are some of the fundamental lessons that you need to understand in order to do well? Let me fill you in with ’5 Valuable Tips You Need to Know as an Entrepreneur’, enjoy. Seguir leyendo “5 Valuable Tips You Need to Know as an Entrepreneur”

36 Creative & Beautiful Coffee Logo Designs

by lava360

36 Creative & Beautiful Coffee Logo Designs

Lets look at these beautiful and professional logo designs based on coffee. The Coffee itself a very rich source to be active and make your mind healthy to be more creative and innovative. These logos are professionally designed and give you a brilliant look and feel like you are taking a good cup of coffee. Lets have a look.


36 Creative & Beautiful Coffee Logo Designs

36 Creative & Beautiful Coffee Logo Designs

36 Creative & Beautiful Coffee Logo Designs

36 Creative & Beautiful Coffee Logo Designs

36 Creative & Beautiful Coffee Logo Designs Seguir leyendo “36 Creative & Beautiful Coffee Logo Designs”

Complications with content

Any good online user experience is not just about well-planned design—it is also about the actual “meat of the matter”—content. Unless web content is usable, targeted, and relevant, websites will not communicate the correct messages to their purported user bases.

In general, content isn’t associated with user experience discussions. It’s “copy” and is considered a simple, last minute thing. However, in reality, content is difficult and time consuming and has a life cycle of its own. Unless this fact is recognized in every usability project, websites may continue to face failures.

Let’s consider a hypothetical conversation between a client and content strategist:

Here is a successful website. It’s doing well but there is a problem. The feedback form is lately filled with negatives.

I think I know where this is going.

The negatives mostly relate to how the photos are wrong or the data is irrelevant or the details are outdated or the copy is boring. Looks like there is something you can do here.

You mean, re-strategize the content in the website, right?

Oh no—it’s very simple. Just make a few tweaks here and there—make copy look better, add some zany language.

Yeah, so we need to look into all content areas and ensure they reflect brand voice, have appealing formatting, are complete and updated, are easy to find…

Err something like that. Shouldn’t be complicated.

Yeah—not complicated at all (sigh).

In reality, content can be very complicated. The following are cures for common issues that may arise when developing content, elucidating why content needs far more attention than it normally gets.

7 Secrets to Winning Better Projects — Faster


What do you do when a potential client calls you about a project opportunity? Do you know what questions to ask…and in what order? Do you know what “next steps” you’ll suggest based on the information you gather?

OK…so developing a sales process is not the most exciting activity in the world. But somewhere during my 11 years in sales, I came to the realization that even a mediocre process beats no process at all.

In fact, following a well-defined process can not only help you improve your sales effectiveness as a freelance professional, but it can also help you stay relaxed, boost your confidence and save you a great deal of time and effort.

Some Guidelines to Follow

The specific sales process you use should obviously depend on your specific profession, the type of work you do and the kind of clients you go after. But at a minimum, it should follow these simple guidelines…: Seguir leyendo “7 Secrets to Winning Better Projects — Faster”

How to Teach Web Design Using Optimal Learning and Gestalt

by Michael Tuck

How to Teach Web Design Using Optimal Learning and Gestalt

This article attempts to give you, the reader, a leg up on how to teach new hires, colleagues, or your nephews and great-aunties the basics of Web Design using optimal learning and gestalt principles.

The idea of teaching Web Design (or anything really) can be examined in the light of gestaltism.

One of the biggest concepts to understand in teaching your newbie how to design and code a website (or to throw a football or grill halibut, for that matter), is to:

  1. Present the bigger picture before tackling the details
  2. Connect new learning with previous learning, or concepts and ideas the learner already knows

It comes down to “learning how the brain learns.” Cast your mind back to the most boring high school class you ever had the misfortune to endure. Chances are you were bored to distraction — i.e. looking for a distraction — and you were probably led to feel that it was your fault. “If you’d just listen better,” or “You have to pay attention all the time, not just some of the time,” so forth and so on.

Well, guess what? It wasn’t your fault. At least not entirely.

If you were sitting there in your classroom strategizing on how Master Chief can best defeat Tartarus or thinking about what’s going to happen in tonight’s episode of Gossip Girl, it’s partly because your attention wasn’t being engaged. Your brain wasn’t being activated to learn whatever subject the teacher was attempting to teach. This isn’t to say that your slipping firecrackers into Jimmy Mahoney’s shorts was the teacher’s fault, but it is to say that many teachers, with deep groundings in their fields and the best of intentions, don’t teach their subjects well.

Most people don’t learn in incremental bits, yet that’s how most of us were taught, whether it was Web Design, the Punic Wars, or long division. Do a quick Google search on “web design tutorials,” and chances are you’ll find several results that attempt to teach the subject slowly, incrementally, with the focus on the most boring parts first.

This is where gestalt principles come into play. Boiled down to their basics (and perhaps their most simplistic), a gestalt view of Web Design advises you to look at the entire issue of design as a large (and certainly complex) whole and introduce learners to that view of Web Design before getting down to the bits and pieces.

That’s where you should start, the bird’s eye view.

Many people in the position of teaching someone new to Web Design will just tell the newbie to go to this or that tutorial site and get started. Sometimes we just tell them to Google it to sidestep having to train someone who wants to know if CSS is something they get from kissing girls.

This is always a mistake.

For one, you’re throwing the entire responsibility of the newbie’s learning onto the newbie. That’s a mistake. Here’s a 1941 sales training film from Chevrolet that makes the point beautifully. It’s worth watching even if you don’t need the reinforcement.

Your pupil depends on your experience and knowledge, but more importantly, trusts you to get him started the right way. Farmer John didn’t give Jimmy a copy of a tractor manual and then send him out to plow the south forty. “Just make sure you don’t plow over my crop of soybeans, that’d send my farm into bankruptcy!” “Sure thing, Mister John! …Wish I knew what soybeans look like…”

You shouldn’t make the same mistake with your new guy.

You’re the expert in your company (or your family, or your church, or your neighborhood), you should be the one to give the initial guidance. They trust you, and if they don’t, they will after you get them started correctly. You don’t need to start them off with an explanation of doctypes, or worse, an invitation to get to know Dr. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. They need to grasp the overall concept of what a web page is and how the various elements work together.

Not only does this help your newbie get started properly, it also makes it a bit more fun for them.

And fun is more important than you might think in a learning process. The authors of Engagement Economy note that fun at work creates a sense of achievement, increased socialization with peers (hopefully that includes you), and immersion both in the subject at hand and in the company.

Want your new hire to commit themselves to your company for at least the next five years? Spend five hours helping them get started on the right track to learning. It’s a worthwhile tradeoff. Seguir leyendo “How to Teach Web Design Using Optimal Learning and Gestalt”

Micro vs Macro: Using “Success Factors” To Manage Your Team

Every creative leader faces the challenge of building and managing a team. Finding the right folks is half the battle. After you find them, it is your responsibility to manage the team. Great management happens on both a
“micro” level and a “macro” level. Micro-management – not the notoriously negative “micromanagement,” but rather what I call the MICRO aspect of management – is all about the day-to-day management that keeps the team on track.

A great MICRO manager asks questions like:

  • What are the deadlines for a particular project?
  • How do we measure progress (and are we making progress)?
  • Is there sufficient feedback exchange?
  • How do we promote more accountability within the team?

But what about the MACRO part of management? Beyond your day-to-day role as a manager, you must also consider each person‘s career trajectory. Seguir leyendo “Micro vs Macro: Using “Success Factors” To Manage Your Team”

Review of The Web Designer’s Idea Book II

I have to admit, the idea of a book that aims to inspire web designers with example websites seemed a little repetitive to me when I first thought about it.

After all, there are dozens of excellent galleries out there online that we can access for free, that are updated on a daily or at least weekly basis.

Could a book compete with that? Or would it just be filled with the same sites we’ve all seen in every gallery and design roundup out there.

As someone who studies design galleries and roundups on an almost daily basis, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of the designs included in The Web Designer’s Idea Book, Volume 2, by Patrick McNeil (who writes a monthly column for .net magazine and runs Design Meltdown), were not ones I remember seeing previously.

In fact, most of the designs in the book are fresh and new, and haven’t made the usual rounds of galleries and showcases.

Now, of course, just because something is new doesn’t mean it’s going to be useful. It takes a combination of new and well-organized to stand out. Seguir leyendo “Review of The Web Designer’s Idea Book II”

Inspiring Drinks Labels: Positive Reasons for Turning to The Bottle

By: John Cowen

It makes sense that if you’re designing a website, you take inspiration from other websites. This explains the popularity of so many web design and CSS galleries. Sometimes though, getting inspiration from the same sources can get a bit … uninspiring.

It can be well worth looking beyond our own industry for new ideas. This article takes a look at sources of possible inspiration from drink labels. Drink manufacturers know that when scanning labels in the supermarket aisle or bottles lined up along a bar, the average customer doesn’t know the difference between one bottle of wine and another. Very often the decision on which bottle to buy is based on the label.

Inspiring Drinks Labels: Positive Reasons for Turning to The Bottle

Drink companies know the importance of their labelling and the work put into branding of alcoholic drinks is probably greater than any other food or drink labels. This makes them a great source of inspiration for designers.

These are big generalisations, but over the years alcohol has played a significant part in historical events and shaping current thinking and opinions. These historical associations continue to be used in many drinks labels to identify their drink within a particular genre and encourage drinkers to buy into the lifestyle suggested by their branding. The history and public awareness of drinks labelling makes them a great resource for designers.

Note: Links have been provided wherever possible to the website for each drink, but if you’re under the legal drinking age in your country you might not be allowed to access them. Seguir leyendo “Inspiring Drinks Labels: Positive Reasons for Turning to The Bottle”

All About jQuery: Plugins, Tutorials and Resources


In this post, we are presenting a bunch of exciting and awesome jQueryplugins for your use. As we all know very well that jQuery is the most famous Javascript framework available out there which comes with many amazing features and is quite easy to be used.

You can use these plugins to add beautiful effects and functionality in your next project. These plugins will also help you in completing your task easily.

jQuery Menu and Navigation

Collapsing Site Navigation with jQuery ( Demo | Download )
Creating a collapsing menu that contains vertical navigation bars and a slide out content area. When hovering over a menu item, an image slides down from the top and a submenu slides up from the bottom.

Jqueryplugins26 in All About jQuery: Plugins, Tutorials and Resources

Beautiful Background Image Navigation with jQuery ( Demo | Download )
A beautiful navigation that has a background image slide effect. The main idea is to have three list items that contain the same background image but with a different position. The background image for each item will be animated to slide into place in different times, creating a really nice effect.

Jqueryplugins27 in All About jQuery: Plugins, Tutorials and Resources

Slot Machine Tabs ( Demo | Download )
Three columns in each content box rotate like a slot machine to reveal the content in the next content box when a new tab is clicked.

Jqueryplugins404 in All About jQuery: Plugins, Tutorials and Resources

Stylish Navigation Men ( Demo | Download )
A stylish CSS + XHTML navigation menu.

Jqueryplugins22 in All About jQuery: Plugins, Tutorials and Resources

Superfish is an enhanced Suckerfish-style menu jQuery plugin that takes an existing pure CSS drop-down menu.

Jqueryplugins23 in All About jQuery: Plugins, Tutorials and Resources

LavaLamp for jQuery lovers! ( Demo | Download )
Lavalamp allows you to create a beautiful effect over your horizontal navigation bars.

Jqueryplugins24 in All About jQuery: Plugins, Tutorials and Resources

Sexy Drop Down Menu w/ jQuery & CSS ( Demo | Download )
Create a sexy drop down menu that can also degrade gracefully.

Jqueryplugins25 in All About jQuery: Plugins, Tutorials and Resources

This jquery component let you easly build a sliding panel where to insert any kind of content; it has builtin all the functionalities for managing menu lines and sub panels with accordion effect. It can get the content via ajax and therefore you can dynamically build it by passing DATA via request using the metadata attribute settable on the extruder container.

Jqueryplugins21 in All About jQuery: Plugins, Tutorials and Resources Seguir leyendo “All About jQuery: Plugins, Tutorials and Resources”

The Easiest Way to Create Vertical Text with CSS

The Easiest Way to Create Vertical Text with CSS

Earlier this morning, I needed to create vertical text for a project I’m working on. After trying out a couple ideas, I took to Twitter to find what sorts of thoughts our followers had on the subject. There were plenty of great responses and ideas that we’ll go over today!

*Note – please refer to “Method 6″ below for more details about proper usage.

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Method 1: <br> Tags

So, one possible (though not recommended) way to achieve vertical text is to add <br> tags after each letter.

  1. <h1>
  2. N <br />E <br />T <br />T <br />U <br />T <br />S
  3. </h1>
   N <br />E <br />T <br />T <br />U <br />T <br />S
View a Demo

Don’t use this method. It’s lame and sloppy.

Method 2: Static Wrapping

With this method, we wrap each letter in a span, and then set its display to block within our CSS.

  1. <!DOCTYPE html>
  2. <html>
  3. <head>
  4. <meta charset=utf-8 />
  5. <title>Vertical Text</title>
  6. <style>
  7. h1 span { display: block; }
  8. </style>
  9. </head>
  10. <body>
  11. <h1>
  12. <span> N </span>
  13. <span> E </span>
  14. <span> T </span>
  15. <span> T </span>
  16. <span> U </span>
  17. <span> T </span>
  18. <span> S </span>
  19. </h1>
  20. </body>
  21. </html>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta charset=utf-8 />
<title>Vertical Text</title>

  h1 span { display: block; }

   <span> N </span>
   <span> E </span>
   <span> T </span>
   <span> T </span>
   <span> U </span>
   <span> T </span>
   <span> S </span>

View Demo

The problem with this solution — other than the frightening mark-up — is that it’s a manual process. If the text is generated dynamically from a CMS, you’re out of luck. Don’t use this method. Seguir leyendo “The Easiest Way to Create Vertical Text with CSS”

Writing Juices, Connecting Guest Writers With Blogging Communities

Posted by Daniel in Community News on October 16th


Writing Juices is an upcoming platform being masterminded by Nenuno Creative and Design Juices where are aim is to connect guest writers with established blogging communities.

It is something we have been thinking about a lot recently and now we have the resources to put our ideas into action.

Our Aim

The reason behind Writing Juices is that we know it can be a struggle to find a blog that we would like to contribute to. There are so many to choose from in various different niches, so we want to match the right blog to the right guest writer.

We all know for a fact that guest blogging can generate some extra well needed revenue, you only have to speak to our co-editor Jared Thompson on the pro’s and con’s of guest writing. So not only do we want to connect writers with blogs, we also want to help make some money!

We want to create a large directory of blogs currently looking for active guest contributions with them being categorized accordingly to what niche they fall under. We don’t all like to write about design trends and put together showcases!


Writing Juices Flow Diagram Seguir leyendo “Writing Juices, Connecting Guest Writers With Blogging Communities”