6 Warning Signs of a Potentially Bad Client

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I was recently racking my brain trying to recall the moment that I knew I was no longer a design newbie. Then in a flash of realization, it came to me: it was when I trusted my gut enough to know when to turn away apotential client for the first time. It can be a scary proposition at first. Particularly for new designers who are hungry for work. We live in a society that drills it into us to take any job we can get and to be thankful for it.

Warning Signs of a Potentially Bad Client

6 Warning Signs of a Potentially Bad Client

While I appreciate the sentiment of having a good work ethic, (and I like to think that I do), there are certain clients out there that I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. The two biggest reasons I have for turning down a client are:

  1. I will never make this client happy
  2. I will have a hard time getting this client to pay me

How do I know this? Well truth be told, I don’t really KNOW. One can never KNOW that for sure, but there are many small behaviors that I have observed over the years that have come to be known by me as “tells.” When I first started observing them, I took note, but I brushed them off because I really wanted the work. Then almost without fail, the clients that I picked out as difficult to deal with quickly became impossible.

Here are some of those tells… Seguir leyendo “6 Warning Signs of a Potentially Bad Client”

Is the Development Community Alive?

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Every now and then we’ll see a new design blog pop up, and for good reason — they become popular fast and can easily stay that way. This industry is definitely over-saturated with design blogs, as they are a great source of inspiration and the community that takes advantage of these blogs is so very alive. We see blogs, communities, forums, membership sites, active social media, and so much more from the design community.

Because of this, it’s so much easier for a designer to get their foot in the door than a web developer. With a much more active community, it can be easier to network, learn and grow. There is a community for nearly every profession available, but it’s merely that some communities are far more alive than others. With the design community so thriving, where is the development community nowadays?

Is the Development Community Alive?

Is the Development Community Alive?

Current Development Blogs and Communities

The development community fortunately does have a small spark. There are some quality communities out there that are for developers, to help them grow and learn new techniques, best practices, and strategies every day. There are communities out there that can unite even us web developers, especially those of us that are only developers and not designers at all.

NetTuts+ is a very active and versatile blog that sticks to web development and web development only. Of course, there are a range of other sites in their network that cover the design industry and beyond, but it’s nice to see a blog like this sticking to only development and consistently provide high quality resources.


Stack Overflow
Stack Overflow is a community set up a lot like Yahoo! Answers or Quora, but specifically targeted at the development community. Any developer has likely landed here several times to find an answer to a coding-related question via Google search or otherwise. This very active community is great for discussing best practices or finding specific answers to a development related problem.

Stack Overflow

Cats Who Code
Cats Who Code is another blog that is focused on development only, with some high quality tutorials and posts. The blog is updated not every day but still regularly, which is a lot more than you can say for the majority of development blogs that have popped up over the years!

Cats Who Code

Build InternetSeguir leyendo “Is the Development Community Alive?”

5 Tools for Integrating WordPress and Twitter

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What advice did people give you when you first started blogging? I bet I can guess. Newbies attempting to make their mark are told again and again that the key to growth is to write, write, write. ‘Don’t think about it’ web elders bark. ‘Don’t agonise about it. Don’t dream about it. Just click your New Post tab and do it!’

Almost every article you’ll read advises you to kneel at the altar of the Regular Update. Regular updating is the key to more visitors, a lower bounce rate and increased Adsense revenue, we are advised with a scholarly nod.

While this advice is far from all-you-need-to-know (personally, I’d emphasise a few other things first: choose a narrow topic that you know a lot about, get involved in web communities covering similar topics, don’t try to monetize too quickly, choose a powerful platform like WordPress, etc, etc.) it is important.

Integrating WordPress and Twitter

A dead blog is one of the most obvious things to spot. A political homepage post about Hillary’s run for the democratic candidacy? A fashion blog with no mention of colour-blocking? A music site without a single snide remark about Dubstep? You’ve got yourself a deady >>>> Seguir leyendo “5 Tools for Integrating WordPress and Twitter”

Top 10 Ways to Embed Video into a Web Page

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Since digital camcorders and video editing software became accessible to the large audience, it’s no longer a challenge for anybody to make a video. This fact underlies a lot of web trends, namely the sky-rocketing popularity of video sharing portals and widespread use of video content across websites and blogs.

A good piece of video can help you deliver your message more effectively, educate readers, stimulate discussion and get your brand going far beyond your own domain.

Happily, it’s not a problem nowadays to integrate a video into a web page, as there’s a lot of different tools to assist with this task. Some of them are free, others are pricey. Here is a roundup of the most popular means of web video embedment.

Embed Video into a Web Page

10 Ways to Embed Video into a Web Page… Seguir leyendo “Top 10 Ways to Embed Video into a Web Page”

Understanding Domain Names: Why and When?

As a web professional, there are things we have to deal with outside the realms of development and design. Sometimes it’s a matter of business, sometimes it’s keeping our finances in order, and every now and again, the subject of branding, re-branding or protecting our brand hits our to-do list.

Understanding Domain Names: Why and When?

When you begin your journey into starting up your first freelance portfolio, this information will play a vital role in how you represent yourself, however, that’s not to say that this subject won’t recur later on.

Online Brand Availability

If you ever want to launch that start-up idea you have, or if you want to build a new business, a basic knowledge of domain names is critically important. After all, it represents your office’s address.

Website Address
Figure 1: The website address is critically important, thought should go into its branding.

Within this article, we’re going to explore your options, once you’ve got yourself an idea for what (if anything) your new project should be called, and critically, what your project actually does. Because it’s not a sexy chore, and somewhat frustrating to find that perfect domain (with lots being sucked up and left unused), it’s one of the hardest challenges you’ll likely encounter.

With the advice below, you’ll at least have an idea of which domain types matter, and thereby, which you should focus on attaining (and if you can’t get it, when you should reconsider your brand due to unavailability).

Prioritize: The Trendy Three

Domain names in truth are a little biased to whether the audience can remember the extension. It might seem ideal to snag yourself a free .TK domain in preference to buying a more easily recognised extension, but that will work against you when your visitors begin trying to locate you for the first time. While increasing numbers of TLD’s are becoming available on the Web, the truth is that visitors will automatically assume your site uses one of three extensions: dot COM, NET or ORG.

Perhaps this feels a bit unfair due to the lack of good available names in the system, but if you can get one of the top three (or all three if the brand is named really creatively), you’ll put yourself in an ideal position.

Most widely recognised extensions
Figure 2: Dot COM, NET and ORG and the most widely recognised extensions. Get them if you can!

When you’re working with the top three domains, the great thing is that they’re often among the cheapest to register, and even more critically, all domain and hosting providers will likely support them (in terms of offering the ability to register and renew ownership). While I would say it’s not as essential to own one of the big three as it used to be (due to more people becoming web aware), there are still a huge number of people who don’t understand the web, and won’t likely realize that extensions exists outside of .com, .net and .org exist, so they do still hold sway over consumers. Seguir leyendo “Understanding Domain Names: Why and When?”

A Dozen Tricks Used By Clients To Manipulate Freelancers

Since the dawn of time, mankind has tried to find ways to get people to do what they want. Sometimes they employ strong-arm tactics and sometimes they use deceit, but most of the time they use manipulation to bend people to their will.

They have used tried and tested forms of manipulation for thousands of years and for the most part these techniques have worked pretty well. But they only reason they are so successful is that most of the intended victims don’t even realize that they are being manipulated.

A Dozen Tricks Used By Clients To Manipulate Freelancers

12 Most Used Manipulative Tricks Employed by Clients

If they did recognize these techniques for what they really are, then they would lose all of their effectiveness. Just glancing over the list below could save people from being manipulated in most circumstances.

1. Using Common Misconceptions

This is one of the most common manipulations in the entire world and most of the time not even the person using it understands they are being manipulative.

Using Common Misconceptions

This manipulation involves taking a common misconception and stating it as if it were a fact just to win an argument or force the other person to do what you want. It is a tactic that is frequently used by parents in order to keep their children in line.

Here is an example:

Freelancers don’t do the same kind of quality work that a large corporation does and they don’t have as many overheads either, so I can cut down their salary base by 20% and still get the type of work that I want.”

2. Taking Advantage of Divided Attention

This is another very classic manipulation. Instead of asking a person for something while they are giving their full attention to them; the master manipulator will ask for something while that person is preoccupied. This is a common practice among women who are looking to get their husband to do something while they are watching the game. It is also used frequently by people to control their co-workers.

Client:”I need this report done by Thursday”
Freelancer:”I have quite a bit of work on my desk today, but I should be able to get to it.”
Client:”Oh, can you also do one little assignment for me by say, Saturday?”
Freelancer:”I am really strapped at the moment.”
Client:”It’s just a little assignment. Won’t take much time.”
Freelancer:”Ok, send it on over.

The client then sends over an assignment that consists of three parts and would take at least a week to complete.

3. Taking Advantage of a Superior Position

This is a manipulation that is often used by people in positions of power. People such as police officers, doctors and politicians are the most common perpetrators, but it can be used by almost anyone in an authoritative position.

Taking Advantage of a Superior Position

They use their authoritative positions to convince their intended targets to forgo their own common sense in lieu of theirs.

Here is an example:

“I spend millions of dollars on freelancers every year, and every single one of them works for the salary I just offered you. If you don’t won’t to do the assignment for what I am willing to pay, then you are missing out on quite a bit of work.”

4. Topic Dialing

Topic dialing is when a person wins an argument by quickly changing the subject to a completely unrelated topic that is only distantly related to the original subject. The effectiveness of this technique is usually dependent on how fast they can change the topic. They faster they can change the topic, the more successful it is likely to be.

Here is an example:

“I heard that Stephen King worked as a freelance writer before he became a novelist. During that time he was able to write five or six reports at a time and have them done within a week or so. He could really crank them out. By the way, do you think that you could finish this assignment in the next day or so?”

5. Assumption of Guilt

This is when the manipulator assumes that a person is guilty of something by observing only the smallest amount of evidence.

Assumption of Guilt

Here is an example…. Seguir leyendo “A Dozen Tricks Used By Clients To Manipulate Freelancers”

50 Creative and Effective Minimalist Print Ads

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Simple things are often more difficult to create as they require much more brain power to generate as compared to the most intricate stuff. In addition to this, it always impresses you when something absolutely simple is capable of expressing more than you would imagine.The universal idea of advertising is to get a message across in a straightforward and efficient way regarding a product or service; frequently the most excellent way to do this is to strip things down to the bare essentials. This gives rise to the concept of minimalist ads.

This post assembles a collection of 50 minimal printed advertisements, sensational examples where less is most definitely more.

Minimalist Ads

Creative and Effective Minimalist Print Ads

Fabercastell True colours: Shark
Fabercastell True Colours: Shark

Greenpeace: Ordinary Bulbs are Killing the Environment
Greenpeace: Ordinary Bulbs are Killing the Environment

LA Bicycle: Folding Bike
LA Bicycle: Folding Bike

Subaru Impreza STI: Scars
Subaru Impreza STI: Scars Seguir leyendo “50 Creative and Effective Minimalist Print Ads”

Showcase of Rainbow Elements in Web Design

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One of the best sources of inspiration for artists and designers is nature. You can see lots of artwork inspired by nature, artists and designers use colors, textures, objects and photos of nature in their work. The rainbow is definitely one of the most colorful nature objects which inspires everyone. In this showcase I have collected some colorful websites with rainbow elements. Some of these use lots of colors, others use colorful lines similar to those of the rainbow while others use actual rainbow images.

Rainbow Elements in Web Design

Showcase of Rainbow Elements in Web Design

In this web design showcase you will find 25 impressive examples of rainbow inspired websites with short descriptions.

Designfabrika uses a beautiful combination of a wood texture and a rainbow inspired background.


A small accent of rainbow on the left side of the website adds some identity and makes it stand out.

Instagallery Seguir leyendo “Showcase of Rainbow Elements in Web Design”

Best of WordPress Anti-Spam Plugins and Why You Need None to Fight Spam

by Salman Siddiqui


Today, while skipping rope I was pondering (my level of concentration increases when I skip rope) the reason behind the availability of innumerable anti-spam WordPress plugins. Did the creators of WordPress not think about spam issues and don’t they do so now when WordPress has gone viral? Actually, that isn’t the case. WordPress, as a Content Management System, comes loaded with basic features to tackle spam. It is just that we have been spoon fed the idea that a plugin is a must for any WordPress feature other than writing articles and uploading images.

Best of WordPress Anti-Spam Plugins and Why You Need None to Fight Spam

Plugins are required for extra features. Believe me, basics are always packed with WordPress. This discussion will go through some of the best WordPress plugins to fight spam and later on excogitate the WordPress dashboards to find out if we really need such plugins.

P.S. Don’t ask me why I was thinking about WordPress spam while skipping rope. I tend to think weird things at weird times. Seguir leyendo “Best of WordPress Anti-Spam Plugins and Why You Need None to Fight Spam”

Design Best Practices for the Mobile Web

Mobile web interfaces take a different sort of design practice, whether they are for mobile websites or native mobile applications. With a different sort of device, and a more noticeably different screen size, we as designers must consider a new set of best practices for design.

Design Best Practices for the Mobile Web

Any web designer may be noticing the close in the gap between web designer and mobile designer. Before, many designers chose to be within that niche, but as the mobile web grows, we web designers don’t really have a choice to do mobile design or not! It is often a requirement for most projects, and in years to come that fact will be even more so.

In this article we’ll look over the basic best practices for designing for the mobile web, and the major differences in designing for the “traditional web” (via desktops/laptops and all other bigger screens).

Limited and Big Navigation

Navigation is the number one thing all web designers and developers need to focus on. Without good, usable navigation, our users may get confused, not be able to find what they need or want, and will end up leaving our sites, never to return!

We know this though, that fact has been paraded throughout all of the previous generations of the web. Just as it’s important to plan and design effective navigation for a regular website, so is it important to do the same for a mobile interface. Seguir leyendo “Design Best Practices for the Mobile Web”

Typography with a Message: 55 Powerful Examples
By: Hilde Torbjornsen

Many designers are interested in different aspects of typography for obvious reasons and some even use it in their art and statements. This time we’ve had a look around to find some examples of typography with strong messages. We find these to be an interesting type of art and hope you will enjoy the collection.

Typography with a Message: 55 Powerful Examples

Typography with a Message

Here’s our selection. We’ve tried to find several different styles and a number of different messages. We hope these messages will engage you, whether you love them or hate them.

The person you love
The person you love

You can be told what to say
You can be told what to say

Culture Seguir leyendo “Typography with a Message: 55 Powerful Examples”

Understanding the Laws of the Digital Jungle

While the subjects of design and development are things we regularly enjoy talking about, the issue of how law affects us as professionals doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it should do. While the web may be a place of free speech, diversity and competition there are a few constant issues which designers and developers alike need to be aware of if only to not do anything which might put them into a dispute. The aim of this article is to simply highlight the issues you may encounter.

Understanding the Laws of the Digital Jungle
Image credit: John Althouse Cohen

Note: For the point of this piece it’s essential that I provide a disclaimer saying that I am not a lawyer or legal professional. I am simply a freelancer offering their insights and nothing I say is to be taken “as-is”. If you do have an issue, I urge you to seek assistance from a qualified legal professional.

Rights and Obligations

The web can be a scary place with the lawsuits which constantly rage on behind the scenes. While the public’s knowledge of how law affects them online can be somewhat confused, it’s important that we as service providers respect the laws which exist and ensure that we safeguard both our customers and (more importantly) ourselves. As a web designer there are several factors which do require a bit of recognition and it’s up to you as a professional to know your obligations and rights.

Rights and Obligations
Image credit: crationc

Figure 1: The Internet isn’t free from the law, so beware if you break it!

Below we shall cover very briefly the types of laws that can affect you and the reasons why you need to know about it. Because law is a complicated subject you’re going to need to research the subject further and if you feel confused or worried about anything, get some proper advice from someone who’s well versed in Internet law. Hopefully the recognition of the below will give you the knowledge you need to get started and perhaps save you a lot of potential hassle in the future! Seguir leyendo “Understanding the Laws of the Digital Jungle”

Understanding the Laws of the Digital Jungle

While the subjects of design and development are things we regularly enjoy talking about, the issue of how law affects us as professionals doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it should do. While the web may be a place of free speech, diversity and competition there are a few constant issues which designers and developers alike need to be aware of if only to not do anything which might put them into a dispute. The aim of this article is to simply highlight the issues you may encounter.

Understanding the Laws of the Digital Jungle
Image credit: Maciek Lesniak

Note: For the point of this piece it’s essential that I provide a disclaimer saying that I am not a lawyer or legal professional. I am simply a freelancer offering their insights and nothing I say is to be taken “as-is”. If you do have an issue, I urge you to seek assistance from a qualified legal professional. Seguir leyendo “Understanding the Laws of the Digital Jungle”

Minimalism in Web Design: Clear Perfection

By: Tina Zennand

Minimalism in art appeared in the late 1960’s. The main principle of the movement is simplicity in form and content; in order to achieve this, personal expression is removed. The aim of minimalism artists is to build their compositions in such a way that visitors perceive the artwork as deeper and more intense.

It can be achieved by making the themes clear from clutter. Minimalism is often manifested as abstract art, but it can also be very beautiful.

Minimalism in Web Design: Clear Perfection
Image credit: Todd Klassy

Minimalism as a Web Design

Minimalist designs make the simple things simple, and the complex things possible. My aim is to combine simple elegance and functionality to a timeless form. – Xavier Lust.

Minimalism as a web design trend came back not long ago. It was a move away from gaudy, elaborate graphics and design schemes, and a shift back towards simple, understated design. It was a comeback of the design at its most basic and simple elements, free from superfluous shapes and complex color combinations.

I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time. – Mark Twain.

Jonathan Ive
Jonathan Ive

Aspects and Features of a Modern Minimal Web Design

In today’s world web minimalism is still all the rage, and the main reason of the trend’s popularity is people’s love for friendly and lightweight yet stylish and unobtrusive simple designs. By simple is not meant primitive. Some of the websites with minimalistic design have a number of shiny effects and use advanced forms of CSS and Ajax. But they seem to favor a cleaner, more clutter-free experience, and put a premium on white space.

So, what are the main distinctive features and aspects that make a modern web design minimalistic?

It is too easy for novices, too difficult for professionals. – A saying about playing Mozart.

Minimizing Content

The core function of a minimalistic design is to be able to present a clear message to the visitors. In order to achieve that, it is necessary to re-think the content and modify it to meet the design’s requirements. You’ll have to remove most of the graphic elements and images, but you should do it wisely, because it is very easy to go too far in an attempt to simplify the layout therefore you risk making the design boring. Seguir leyendo “Minimalism in Web Design: Clear Perfection”