How to Go Beyond Stock Photo Cliches


Stock photos are an excellent way to make a website communicate visually. They are inexpensive and high-quality photos are easy to obtain. There are plenty of well known stock photo websites that have new collections of images added to them every day. But still, many websites still use the same cliche photos – here are three popular examples to learn from and avoid:

The Value of Team Work

Working as a team

This image has several variations, but the general idea is always the same. “We are a friendly, warm organization that values its bright team members. We are empowered through our inner cooperation”.

The World is in your Hands

World in hands

You’ve probably seen this image on clean-tech websites or any websites promoting a “green” agenda. The world is after all, a pretty small place as it’s nesting warmly in a delicate hand. We are closely connected to this planet and are positioned to take care of it.

The Customer Service Girl

The customer service girl

She’s young and beautiful and always has a smile for you – the customer. She is also very responsible looking, which is how you know you’re in good hands. This is the company I want to hire! If you recognize one or more of these images, you get the point. Some images have just been overused, especially in web design. However, there are solutions and alternatives to using this type of photos.

How to Avoid Cliches

Use illustrations

Using illustrations instead of photos is a great option. Good illustrations can convey lots of personality and unique character. You can find great stock illustrations to make a statement and convey a message. Illustrations tend to be bolder and less ordinary compared to the average stock photo. A few years ago it would have been a tough task to find websites that use illustrations. But times have changed, and today, some extremely successful websites use illustrations.

mailchimp

Go Abstract

Pictures of people acting in a certain way draw attention, especially when the photos represent a particular demographic that you are inviting into your website. However, high resolution abstract photos, can give a site a modern feel. They can convey a certain emotion that you wish to communicate or be associated with. Often times, images which are less literal can give a site a sophisticated appearance. Careful though, abstract photos can damage your website if you use them as a replacement for photos

Go abstract

Use Styling 

You can always enhance a stock photo and give it a different, more unique style. If you have zero graphic design experience, get some help from a designer. The point is that you can easily turn a regular stock photo into an “original” by applying modifications such as filters and collages. For example, you can remove the “box”, the frame around the image, and integrate the subject of the photo seamlessly into your site’s background.

Moving company Wix website template

Stock Photo  Sites with a Twist

If you’re looking for photos with an added twist, be sure to expand your search to sites like Flickr and Morguefile.

Flickr

For more “niche” type of photography that includes landscape, illustrations and art, visit Deviantart and Whoophy.

Using Instagram Photos

Photos can turn out awesome through use of Instagram’s  simple filters. As a result, many amateur photographers can produce compelling photos on their smartphones. Some brands have even started integrating Instagram photos into their product pages – why not integrate yours – or others’ –  into your website? Have a look at web.stagram,  Instagram’s web version, to browse through images on your desktop.

Use Instagram

Instagram copyright policy generally states that “Instagram doesn’t own the images – Instagram users do”.  To view the restrictions imposed on a particular photo, look at the label placed by its owner. You can always contact them directly and ask to use their creation.

Create your own beautiful HTML5 website today! >>

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Clever Web Banners/Ads that Deliver


Online ads and web banners have a great visual potential that usually goes unnoticed. Advertisers often neglect the creative energy when producing web banners, and accordingly, internet users tend to resent those unattractive rectangles that appear on their screens. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Web banners can be exciting, funny and creative, and, unlike other types of advertising, they can be interactive and playful. We collected examples of really impressive advertising work, all done for the web! These ads are fun to look at at, they won’t antagonize viewers with noises, blings and animations, and you can bet they generate more revenues as well. A win-win situation 🙂

National Center for Domestic Violence

McDonald's Online Banner Campaign

Airport Parking web add

netup-web_design_banner

Showcase of Clever Web Banners and Adds

Comedy Bar

Showcase of Clever Web Banners and Adds

Showcase of Clever Web Banners and Adds

Showcase of Clever Web Banners and Adds

Showcase of Clever Web Banners and Adds

Showcase of Clever Web Banners and Adds

And have a look at this great video about advertising:

Create your own beautiful HTML5 website today! >>

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Showcase: Spectacular Dark Websites


Websites, like fashion, make personal statements. Choosing dark shades for a website design is a powerful statement about the purpose and the mood of the site. Contrary to popular associations, dark doesn’t mean gloomy or scary. Dark colors can create a mysterious atmosphere, a classy look or a minimalist cut that draws attention to the product or service. These beautiful HTML5 websites demonstrate that well. Have a look and see how these dark shades positively accentuate the topic of the website. With nothing against websites that have a bright color scheme – dark can be beautiful on its own right.

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

La Bubbly

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Showcase of Spectacular Dark Websites

Create your own beautiful HTML5 website today! >>

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10 Great Platforms for Finding Funding Online


A while ago, saying that all you have to do in order to succeed is just to come up with a good idea would be considered naive, to say the least. That was before crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding is a communal way to gather funds for the realization of an idea, a project, a business or a non-profit cause. How does it work? You pitch your idea online and whomever is interested can finance your idea with any sum of money they would like to donate. Your idea can be an internet startup, an art project or even a new product.

If you’re still feeling skeptic, it’s because you haven’t yet visited crowdfunding platforms and haven’t realized how safe, helpful and inspiring they are. We prepared a list of successful crowdfunding communities, where people’s dreams literally come true every day. If you’re looking for a way to finance your brilliant idea or important cause, you definitely want to check these out.

 

Kickstarter

Funding platform for creative projects. Post your unique idea and get sponsored by equally-enthusiastic people.

Kickstarter

Kickstarter

 

Go Big Network

Entrepreneurs can use this network to find funding through investors, venture capitals or angels. Success stories on the site indicate that users were able to raise substantial funds ($1 Million and more!) for their business initiatives.

Go Big Network

Go Big Network

Quirky

Quirky helps inventors, engineers, product designers and developers. Their community of experts will support you in evaluating, researching, conceptualizing, producing and marketing your product.

Quirky

Quirky

Indie GoGo

A great platform to start a campaign and raise funds for different types of ideas and causes – from independent fashion lines to sponsoring animal shelters.

Indie GoGo

Indie GoGo

GoFundMe

School tuition, medical bills, business ideas – GoFundMe is helping people raise money to pay for all of these things and more. This platform lets you create a personalized page for your cause and makes it easy to promote your page online.

GoFundMe

GoFundMe

Art House Co-op

For many projects, money isn’t necessarily the most important resource. Art House Co-op is a creative platform that connects people from all over the world in creating joint art works. On this website, you can ask people to share their photography works, their stories, their portraits and so forth, and combine them into a masterwork.

Art House Co-op

Art House Co-op

Upstart

Upstart was created by ex-Google employees who wanted to support gifted young individuals in fulfilling their potential. Upstart backers help these individuals not only by sponsoring grad-school tuition, internships, etc., but also by offering professional guidance on how to make it.

Upstart

Upstart

Rocket Hub

A funding community devoted to launching great ideas. In addition to the fundraising platform, Rocket Hub also posts opportunities and openings that might be interesting for different kinds of creatives.

Rocket Hub

Rocket Hub

ArtistShare

ArtistShare connects musicians with fans and supporters who are willing to sponsor new art projects. This platform works closely with the music industry, and several projects that were funded by it actually received Grammy awards afterwards.

ArtistShare

ArtistShare

Be Creative!

You don’t necessarily need a funding platform to find a sponsor for your dream. You can be inspired by Alizarin Waissberg’s brilliant campaign that targeted businessman Michael I. Roth as an investor in her future career. It worked!

Dear Mr Roth, Invest in me

Dear Mr Roth, Invest in me

 Create your own beautiful HTML5 website today! >>

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Beautiful Church Websites


The first thing that comes to mind when you think about a church is probably not “cutting edge online content”, right? Religion and faith may exist for thousands of years, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t enjoy current trends. Just like any organization in our time, churches need websites to communicate with community members and maintain visibility in the online sphere.

These following church websites have a unique and fresh design, yet they still maintain the traditional values of community, friendship and love. Take a look.

The Avenue Church

Red Rocks Church

Planetshakers church

St. James Episcopal Church

 First United Methodist Church

Nashville Family Church

Kingsfield Church

Park Community Church

Dwell Church

Victory Christian Church

Living Hope Church

Hope Community Church

Hillsong Church

Life Connection Church

Youth Council Free Presbyterian Church

Create your own beautiful HTML5 website today! >>

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How to Set Up an Online Shop the Easy Way


How to Set Up an Online Shop the Easy Way

Building an eCommerce website may sound like a difficult task, but it can actually be quite simple and intuitive. If you have the right tools, you can have your online shop up and running in no time! And Wix has all the tools you need for the job.

Here’s a simple guide on how to create an eCommerce website, the easy way.

Step #1: Research

Before you launch your online shop, make sure you look around on the net and see what kind of competition you’re dealing with. What are similar stores doing right and what are they doing wrong? It will help you understand how your business can stand out, what are your competitors’ weak spots and what are their advantages.

Woman holding binoculars

Step #2: Choosing a Template

Wix has many eCommerce templates for you to choose from – both in HTML5 or Flash. When you look for the perfect template for your website, consider these points:

  • Style: Are you looking for a vintage look? A minimalist design to match your products? A professional cut maybe? Choose the template that has the closest style to what you have in mind.
  • Colors: If your brand already has distinct colors, go with a template that matches or compliments these colors.
  • Layout: Which template can display your products in the most appealing way? Would you like the homepage to be the store itself? Do you need a layout that has space for deals and discounts? How do you want the navigation menu to look like? Different templates have different layouts and you can choose the best one for you!
Wix eCommerce website Template

Step #3: Editing & Customizing

The best part about working with a Wix eCommerce template is that it is so easy to customize. Simply click on all elements in the Wix editor to edit them. You can change the texts, background image, fonts, contact information and more.

Of course, the most important part is customizing the store itself. As store manager you can:

  • Add several images for each product
  • Set displayed currency and weight units
  • Add a choice of colors and sizes
  • Write a full product description (overview and details)
  • Manage inventory and available stock
  • Add ribbons and badges for special announcements (sale, new, out of stock)
  • Split your products into different categories
  • And plenty more!
Product Options HTML5 Wix Website builder

Step #3: Using the Right Images Leer más “How to Set Up an Online Shop the Easy Way”

Cómo Incluir el Título de tus Artículos en los Correos de FeedBurner


Hace mucho tiempo que utilizo FeedBurner porque siempre me ha parecido un servicio muy eficaz, aunque sí que es cierto que creo que deberían incluir nuevas características y mejoras para evolucionar. La competencia de FeedBurner tiene algunas opciones muy interesantes, pero el hecho de que éste sea un servicio gratuito hace que mucha gente lo […]

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Entrevista para Webpositer


Desde Webpositer han publicado una entrevista que me hicieron la semana pasada que repasa mi trayectoria profesional y toca temas como la emprendeduría y el social media. Bajo mi punto de vista, es una de las mejores entrevistas que me han hecho hasta ahora y que te quiero recomendar. Puedes leer la entrevista completa aquí: “Ser […]

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Los Artículos más Vistos de Septiembre 2012


Subida de tráfico después de las vacaciones y es que el pasado mes de Septiembre hubo un artículo que pasó de las 2.000 visitas en este blog, el artículo sobre herramientas recomendadas por expertos que gustó mucho y generó casi 300 RT’s en Twitter y más de 100 “Me gusta” en Facebook: Herramientas Recomendadas por […]

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3 Señales Inequívocas de que Una Página de Facebook ha Comprado sus Fans


La compra de fans de Facebook te puede salir muy cara, evidentemente no solamente por la cantidad que te puedan cobrar, ya que puede ser completamente devastador para tu imagen. Por si alguien no sabe a ciencia cierta de lo que hablo, cuando digo compra de fans no me refiero a poner publicidad en Facebook […]

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Lo Mejor de la Semana [del 24 al 28 de Septiembre 2012]


Empecé la semana con un artículo sobre los motivos típicos que hacen que nuestras visitas abandonen de forma rápida nuestra web. La gran mayoría son detalles de fácil solución, por lo que haciendo algunos cambios sencillos podemos conseguir retener un poquito más a nuestras visitas. Factores Influyentes en la Duración de las Visitas de una […]

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Es contradictorio? o simplemente complementario? – { I’m a Thinker and a Doer Coordinator }


@gabrielcatalano

Me encuentro representado en ambas márgenes… por eso digo en alguna parte de éste blog:
>>>>>{ I’m a Thinker and a Doer Coordinator }<<<<<
No comparable con Dieter, ni por asomo, sino por su forma de proyectar su legado hasta el presente.
La vida, la finitud, el esfuerzo, el trabajo…

Pero si bien tenemos muchos planos, la manera en que interactúamos denota algo. Perceptible, levemente. Descubierto en rush, en un abrir y cerrar de ojos.

Pero mucho llegó antes, y hoy me lo recordaba por el lanzamiento del iPHONE5, si leen el post completo, verán…

En cada ejecución, los porcentajes hablan de alguna característica de los líderes, interpretable como un comentario deportivo o de negocios. Los textos son muy buenos y consiguen comunicar fuerza y pasión, en un mundo tan conservador y corporativo como la consultoría.

(*)Dieter Rams:

Good design is innovative.
Good design makes a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic.
Good design helps us to understand a product.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is honest.
Good design is durable.
Good design is consequent to the last detail.
Good design is concerned with the environment.
Back to purity, back to simplicity.

And my favorite one:
Good design is as little design as possible.
Enjoy!

_____________________________
En Español…

Todo buen diseño:

  • Es innovador – Rams establece claramente que es improbable el agotar que las posibilidades de innovación en el diseño debido a que el desarrollo tecnológico continuamente ofrece nuevas oportunidades para el innovar cada diseño. Otra característica del diseño innovador es que continuamente se desarrolla a la par con nuevas tecnologías por lo tanto carece de limitaciones inherentes.
  • Provee de utilidad a cada producto – El objetivo primordial de un producto es su utilidad. Su diseño es primordialmente práctico y de manera secundaria tiene que satisfacer ciertos criterios de carácter psicológico y estético. Un buen diseño le da prioridad a la utilidad de un producto tomando en cuenta de manera estrictamente secundaria sus aspectos psicológicos y estéticos pero evita todas aquellas características que podrían disminuir la utilidad del producto.
  • Es estético – El diseño bien ejecutado no carece de belleza. La calidad estética de un producto forma parte integral de su utilidad ya que los productos utilizados cotidianamente tienden a tener un efecto indirecto en las personas y su bienestar.
  • Hace un producto comprensible – Un buen diseño simplifica la estructura del producto y lo predispone a expresar claramente su función mediante la intuición del usuario. Idealmente su propósito será intuitivo para todo usuario.
  • Es discreto -Todo producto y su diseño debe de ser simultáneamente neutro y sobrio. Su sobriedad y neutralidad tienen como objetivo el proveer un espacio de expresión para el usuario. Todo producto bien diseñado cumple un propósito semejante a aquel de toda herramienta y por lo tanto un buen diseño no confunde la identidad de sus productos con objetos de decoración ni con obras de arte. Un producto correctamente ejecutado es una herramienta estéticamente atractiva que carece de una identidad ilógicamente indefinida.
  • Es honesto – Un diseño honesto nunca intenta falsificar el auténtico valor e innovación del producto dado. Asimismo, un diseño verdaderamente honesto nunca trata de manipular al consumidor mediante promesas de una utilidad apócrifa, inexistente o más allá de la realidad física del producto.
  • Tiene un valor anacrónicamente duradero – Toda moda es inherentemente pasajera y subjetiva. La correcta ejecución del buen diseño da como resultado productos inherentemente objetivos y anacrónicamente útiles. Estas cualidades se ven reflejadas cuando los usuarios tienen la tendencia de atesorar y favorecer aquellos productos bien diseñados incluso en aquellas sociedades cuyas tendencias de consumo claramente favorecen productos desechables.
  • Concibe exhaustivamente hasta el último detalle – Dieter Rams establece esta regla de manera absoluta: Un buen diseño nunca deja nada al azar dado que el cuidado y la exhaustiva precisión de cada detalle expresa el respeto de los diseñadores para con sus consumidores. Cada error es una falta de respeto.
  • Respeta el medio ambiente – Un buen diseño debe de contribuir significativamente a la preservación del medio ambiente mediante la conservación de los recursos y la minimización de la contaminación física y visual durante el ciclo de vida del producto.
  • Es diseño en su absoluta mínima expresión – Dieter Rams subraya la distinción entre el coloquialmente regurgitado paradigma en diseño:”Menos es más” y en su lugar recomienda su propio paradigma: “Menos, pero con mejor ejecución”, destacando el hecho de que este enfoque fomenta los aspectos fundamentales de cada producto y por lo tanto evita lastrarlos torpemente con todo aquello que no es esencial. El resultado ideal es productos de mayor pureza y simplicidad.
Image representing Wikipedia as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

(*)http://goo.gl/rHKik

Dieter Rams (20 de mayo de 1932Wiesbaden Alemania – ) es un diseñador industrial alemán, cercanamente asociado a la compañía de productos de consumo Braun.

Rams fue una figura clave en el renacimiento del diseño Funcionalista alemán (la Gute form) de finales de la década de 1950s y 1960s. Cuando se convierte eventualmente en el jefe del equipo de diseño de la Braun, Rams influyó enormemente en la dirección estilística de la marca, llevándola a un Racionalismo que pronto caracterizaría los productos y la identidad de la compañía. Leer más “Es contradictorio? o simplemente complementario? – { I’m a Thinker and a Doer Coordinator }”

World of Warcraft blocked in Iran


 

tgdaily.com

Blizzard has cut off access to World of Warcraft in Iran, citing US trade sanctions.

For the last week, players in the country have beencomplaining that they can no longer connect to the massivelymultiplayer game.

Finally, though, Blizzard has posted a statement on its player forum.

“United States trade restrictions and economic sanction laws prohibit Blizzard from doing business with residents of certain nations, including Iran. Several of you have seen and cited the text in the Terms of Use which relates to these government-imposed sanctions,” it reads.

“This week, Blizzard tightened up its procedures to ensure compliance with these laws, and players connecting from the affected nations are restricted from access to Blizzard games and services.” Leer más “World of Warcraft blocked in Iran”