Basic Web Design Video Course – Wireframing, Photoshop Tools & Panels, and Designing [Part 1]


Hello everyone, this is Mike and welcome to my Basic Web Design Video Course. In this course I will walk you through the very basic steps on what to do and what to learn before, and during, building a website. You’ll learn all the steps I use including: planning, wireframing, using basic tools and panels in Photoshop, basic HTML and CSS, and after learning these we will apply our knowledge and create our very fist website from scratch.%tutke

For our valuable readers we will be pushing the basics here. So it’s your chance to learn and become a web designer for free. Are you excited? I hope that beginners can follow through, if anything is unclear just reach out to me in the comments section.

I will do my best to walk you through everything slowly and clearly. So let’s get started!

Planning and Wireframing

What is a wireframe?

A wireframe is a visual presentation of how a website’s layout will look when it’s finished. It’s about structuring the overall layout without any graphics, placing the various elements where you believe they will look and work best. Wireframing is a great step to start before jumping on to Photoshop because it allows you to focus on the important components of the website without all the visual clutter of a finished design. Wireframing also saves you time when designing a website because wireframing acts as a sketch, and instead of having to do things more than once in Photoshop, you can just adjust your ‘sketch’ until you’re happy.

Your wireframe should include boxes that represents images, header, footer, sidebars, text blocks, navigation and other content aspects of your website.

You don’t have to worry about drawing them yourself, since there are many wireframing tools available on web.

Wireframing Tools:

Tools Used: Go Mocking Bird

Photoshop Basic Tools and Panels
+ INFO + Videos? Here!

How to Criticize Employees | inc.com


Inc.com - The Daily Resource for Entrepreneurs
Even if you’re an experienced executive, it’s likely you often find it very difficult to tell other people where they need to improve. Praising a good performance is easy; everyone likes to receive a compliment. But what do you do when a kick in the butt seems more appropriate than a pat on the back? Here’s how to do this effectively:

 

1. Treat criticism as a form of feedback.

The term “criticism,” while accurate, carries the baggage of negativity. By contrast, the term “feedback” implies the participation of both parties–a two-way give and take where both people learn and grow. Feedback is an opportunity for mutual growth. You learn by getting feedback, and you learn by giving feedback. The moment you reposition your criticism into the context of feedback, both you and your employee will feel more relaxed and receptive.

2. Provide criticism on an ongoing basis. Leer más “How to Criticize Employees | inc.com”

Personalize Learning Newsletter – Motivation, Engagement, and Voice


See on Scoop.itGabriel Catalano human being | #INperfeccion® a way to find new insight & perspectives

 

This has been a very busy fall with many requests for our process to build sustainable personalized learning environments for the Race to the Top – District proposals. On top of that, we are leading webinars, participating in panels, speaking in keynote addresses, doing workshops, creating eCourses, setting up Communities of Practice (CoP), interviewing thought leaders, and important research on motivation, engagement, and voice. This means we continue to create new resources, refine the process, and personalize our services to meet your needs. Leer más “Personalize Learning Newsletter – Motivation, Engagement, and Voice”

To Boost Memory, Shut Your Eyes and Relax


Just 10 minutes of wakeful rest may help us absorb new information into memoryRead more: http://healthland.time.com/

UNIQUELY INDIA / GETTY IMAGES

UNIQUELY INDIA / GETTY IMAGES

Forget brain-training exercises, 12-hour shifts and those long, uninterrupted, caffeine-fueled study binges. When you really need new information to sink in, you can’t skimp on taking breaks, new research suggests.

That’s the message from a soon-to-be-published study by psychologists and neuroscientists at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, who asked a small group of normally aging elderly men and women to recall as many details as possible from two stories they were told. Following one of the stories (but not always the same one for all the participants), the men and women were instructed to relax, take a brief break and close their eyes for 10 minutes in a dark room. Following the other story, those same participants were instead distracted with a new task, spotting the differences between pairs of nearly identical images. Overall, the study participants remembered many more details of whichever story they heard before they were told to rest — and their striking memory boost persisted even a full week out after the story-telling.

Take heed, students, doctors and anyone else who has to process large amounts of information: the elderly may worry most about memory, but given what we know about how memories form, these new findings have implications for people of all ages.

(MORE: Quizzes — but Not Pop Quizzes — Help the Brain Learn) Leer más “To Boost Memory, Shut Your Eyes and Relax”

When Your Influence Is Ineffective | HBR Blog Network

Because a style’s effectiveness or ineffectiveness is completely situational, it’s tricky to recognize when a style you are using isn’t working. Since the same argument or presentation can be “heard” differently by different people, recognizing when a style is ineffective requires enough interpersonal insight to accurately judge how your appeal is being perceived.

In order to gain agility between styles — and make sure that you’re using each effectively — take a moment to consider situations where specific influencing styles are ineffective. We’ve provided a breakdown for each of the five styles below:

Rationalizing: Rationalizing can be ineffective when it makes others feel overwhelmed, that their perspectives are not being heard, or that the influencer values data more than their feelings. This can happen when the influencer repeats the same factual argument, ignores value-based solutions, or fails to consider the emotions or feelings of others. These behaviors can be perceived as competitive or self-serving, and may generate a competitive response.

Asserting: Asserting generally won’t work when people feel pressured — especially when asserting statements start to feel like aggressive, heavy-handed, or unreasonable demands. This can lead to resistance or resentment accompanied by passive aggressive or negative behavior, which can result in compliance when the influencer really needs commitment. In other words, people may say they are in agreement with the influencer, but when the time comes for action, they may not behave the way the influencer had in mind. The asserting style is especially ineffective when one is influencing up or there is need for collaboration.

Negotiating: Negotiating is being used ineffectively when people become confused about the influencer’s key position. This can happen when the influencer negotiates too much, loses sight of the bigger picture, or gives up something that is seemingly critical to his or her long-term strategic interest. When an influencer gives in to the demands or needs of other stakeholders to avoid conflict, it may communicate that the influencer is less concerned about an issue than they really are. When one is in an inferior position or there is nothing to exchange, the negotiating style is especially questionable.

Inspiring: Inspiring isn’t working when people feel misled, especially when there is a lack of trust at the start. This can happen when people are influenced toward a common ground only to discover there is none; others may assume that the influencer has a hidden agenda or an overall lack of transparency. All of this erodes trust, causes suspicion, and costs the influencer future credibility.

Bridging: Bridging is ineffective when the influencer uses what he or she knows about the stakeholders’ interests during the influencing process to the extent that they feel manipulated. Instead of connecting people to one’s position, the influencer may be making them suspicious about his or her motives. This can happen when there is too little common ground or open conflict at the outset. The influencer may be perceived as self-serving or insincere about the interests of other stakeholders. More so, when bridging includes a push for collaboration when the prerequisites or time doesn’t allow it, this can lead to distrust in the organization.

It’s clear that unless we take the time to learn enough about the different influencing styles and take notice of the situations around us, we run the risk of damaging our personal effectiveness in the short term and harming our organization in the long run.

Can you tell when the influencing style you are using is ineffective? How are you going to improve your influencing abilities?


http://blogs.hbr.org

Chris Musselwhite and Tammie Plouffe

In today’s highly matrixed workplace, your ability to influence others can be the key to your professional success. In a previous blog post, we asked questions and provided links to influencing style assessment tools — all in the effort to demonstrate why learning about influencing styles, including identifying our own primary style, is critical to personal effectiveness. The bottom line: Since we naturally default to the one (sometimes two) styles that work best at influencing us, our influencing ability and our effectiveness to influence others will remain limited until we develop influencing style agility, achieving the ability to use any style comfortably.

Once we have identified our style and learned about the others, the next step is learning how to recognize when a style is being used ineffectively. As some readers of our previous blog wisely commented, everyone has used all of the influencing styles at one time or another. This underscores the fact that no style is inherently bad. In fact, any influencing style can be used effectively as long as the influencer fully considers the situation — the people involved, what’s at stake for everyone, and the organizational culture in which everyone is operating.

But influence becomes ineffective when individuals become so focused on the desired outcome that they fail to fully consider the situation. While the influencer may still gain the short-term desired outcome, he or she can do long-term damage to personal effectiveness and the organization, as it creates an atmosphere of distrust where people stop listening, and the potential for innovation or progress is diminished. Leer más “When Your Influence Is Ineffective | HBR Blog Network”

Success Plan 2012 – Committing to & Achieving the Dream – Protect Your Job and Boost Your Employability

We all have dreams and make resolutions for a more fulfilling life. Yet we fail achieving the dream with a solid plan of attack. Dream too long and you’ll look back on a life’s path scattered with the tombstones of lost opportunities. Try something new, and 2012 can be the year you change the trajectory of your entire life; all you have to do is wake up and smell the coffee, and then start walking towards it.

Job security is a thing of the past, but you can regain control of your life by replacing blind loyalty to faithless employers with a commitment to your own long-term economic survival. Make this the year you commit to understanding and applying the new career managementstrategies that will put security and fulfillment back in your life. It’s just a question of making time in an already hectic life.

Steal Time for Achieving the Dream

The average American gets home from work, watches five hours of TV (25% of it commercials), and goes to bed, not always in that order. Give up just one thirty-minute TV sitcom four nights a week and I’ll show you how to revolutionize your life. Steal just two hours a week and invest it in learning how to make your life better.

It starts with understanding that no one cares about your survival except you, and doing something about this situation: Learn what it takes to get back to work; protect the job you have; get a better job, get a promotion; plan and execute job or career changes. Simultaneously you can begin to think about your entrepreneurial dreams. These are the issues of modern career management that you ignore at your peril.

A Successful Career Is Not a Sprint; It’s a Marathon

When you think about achieving lifetime plans, think in terms of calendars not clocks. Most people sacrifice a life of fulfillment to the whims of instant gratification because a life of fulfillment requires hard work. It’s time to start living up to your dreams, not your income.

Whatever your goals, the sooner you start towards them the better. Begin with evaluating where you are now and where you want to be ten years down the road. “I want to be president of the company” and “I want to be president of my own company,” aren’t mutually exclusive: This is not an either/or world anymore. You can pursue multiple career goals and multiple career paths: climbing the corporate ladder, building a successful business, making your living in the arts. There are proven paths to make multiple career goals come true. Others do it every year, so why not you?

Given your goals, all you need is a plan of attack that steadily takes you from where you stand today to where you want to stand tomorrow. Just what will you have to do to get from here to there? You then break those big steps down into smaller and smaller steps, until there is some small action you can take today, and every day, that will bring you one step closer to realizing the goals that give your life meaning. You can build plans and the stepping stones for the achievement in your corporate career and in your entrepreneurial and dream careers.

For Your Core Corporate Career

Become the best you can be, to secure the job you have today and to land the job you want tomorrow. Simultaneously, commit to learning the employment skills you need to survive: How to write a resume, how to turn a job interview into a job offer, and the handful of other critical job search and career management skills that you must master to survive.


by Martin Yate | http://workawesome.com

We all have dreams and make resolutions for a more fulfilling life. Yet we fail achieving the dream with a solid plan of attack. Dream too long and you’ll look back on a life’s path scattered with the tombstones of lost opportunities. Try something new, and 2012 can be the year you change the trajectory of your entire life; all you have to do is wake up and smell the coffee, and then start walking towards it.

Job security is a thing of the past, but you can regain control of your life by replacing blind loyalty to faithless employers with a commitment to your own long-term economic survival. Make this the year you commit to understanding and applying the new career managementstrategies that will put security and fulfillment back in your life. It’s just a question of making time in an already hectic life.

Steal Time for Achieving the Dream

The average American gets home from work, watches five hours of TV (25% of it commercials), and goes to bed, not always in that order. Give up just one thirty-minute TV sitcom four nights a week and I’ll show you how to revolutionize your life. Steal just two hours a week and invest it in learning how to make your life better.

It starts with understanding that no one cares about your survival except you, and doing something about this situation: Learn what it takes to get back to work; protect the job you have; get a better job, get a promotion; plan and execute job or career changes. Simultaneously you can begin to think about your entrepreneurial dreams. These are the issues of modern career management that you ignore at your peril.

A Successful Career Is Not a Sprint; It’s a Marathon

When you think about achieving lifetime plans, think in terms of calendars not clocks. Most people sacrifice a life of fulfillment to the whims of instant gratification because a life of fulfillment requires hard work. It’s time to start living up to your dreams, not your income.

Whatever your goals, the sooner you start towards them the better. Begin with evaluating where you are now and where you want to be ten years down the road. “I want to be president of the company” and “I want to be president of my own company,” aren’t mutually exclusive: This is not an either/or world anymore. You can pursue multiple career goals and multiple career paths: climbing the corporate ladder, building a successful business, making your living in the arts. There are proven paths to make multiple career goals come true. Others do it every year, so why not you?

Given your goals, all you need is a plan of attack that steadily takes you from where you stand today to where you want to stand tomorrow. Just what will you have to do to get from here to there? You then break those big steps down into smaller and smaller steps, until there is some small action you can take today, and every day, that will bring you one step closer to realizing the goals that give your life meaning. You can build plans and the stepping stones for the achievement in your corporate career and in your entrepreneurial and dream careers.

For Your Core Corporate Career

Become the best you can be, to secure the job you have today and to land the job you want tomorrow. Simultaneously, commit to learning the employment skills you need to survive: How to write a resume, how to turn a job interview into a job offer, and the handful of other critical job search and career management skills that you must master to survive.

For Your Entrepreneurial Career… Leer más “Success Plan 2012 – Committing to & Achieving the Dream – Protect Your Job and Boost Your Employability”

The Value of Theoretical And Practical Knowledge

Formal education tends to lean toward the theory side of the spectrum and teaching things to yourself tends to lean toward the practical. You can learn both through either method, but each tends to give you a little more of one over the other.

The key to getting all of the knowledge you need is to understand that whichever route you’ve chosen you’ve probably gained a lot more of one side of the knowledge equation and need to spend some time acquiring knowledge from the other end to balance your education.

If you go the 4 year degree route realize that many people in the work force can already perform the specifics of your job better than you can. It’s up to you to put in the time gaining the practical experience you need to complement the theory you learned. While in school don’t pass on opportunities to gain the practical. Apply for that internship. Try to get a summer job in your chosen profession no matter what the specific job.

If you skip school and go straight to the workforce, understan


-.-
A couple of recent guest posts have discussed the value of 4 year and online degrees as compared to learning on your own. While I’ve added some thoughts to the previous 2 posts, I wanted to clarify some thing in a post of my own.

In case you missed them here are the 2 guest posts I’m referring to.

Before anything else let me make it clear that I think knowledge is incredibly important to any career and life in general. In the signature to my email I add a line from a Bob Dylan song. Brownie points if you know the song.

He not busy being born is busy dying.

I use the quote as a reminder to always be learning something new and always striving to grow. The moment you stop doing either is the moment you stop being.

Albert Einstein

Theory vs. Practical

When it comes to knowledge there are different kinds of knowledge and different ways of acquiring each kind. On one side is theory and on the other side is the practical application of theory. Both types of knowledge are important and both make you better at whatever you do.

I think those who advance the furthest in life tend to be those who acquire knowledge at both ends of the spectrum and acquire it in a variety of ways.

Theoretical knowledge — teaches the why. It helps you understand why one technique works where another fails. It shows you the whole forest, builds the context, and helps you set strategy. Where self education is concerned theory prepares you to set a direction for your future education. Theory teaches you through the experience of others.

Theoretical knowledge can often lead to a deeper understand of a concept through seeing it in context of a greater whole and understanding the why behind it..

Practical knowledge — helps you acquire the specific techniques that become the tools of your trade. It sits much closer to your actual day-to-day work. There are some things you can only learn through doing and experiencing. Where theory is often taught in the ideal of a vacuum, the practical is learned through the reality of life.

Practical knowledge can often lead to a deeper understanding of a concept through the act of doing and personal experience.

Both of the above are important. You won’t survive in any career unless you can bring results and to do that you need practical knowledge. There’s no avoiding it.

At the same time learning how to solve a specific problem only teaches you how to solve that same problem again. Practice can only take you so far. Theory helps you apply what you learned solving one problem to different problems. Leer más “The Value of Theoretical And Practical Knowledge”

The Importance of Mindfulness

or many people, the word “meditation” conjures up images of a two-hour “om” session in a room filled with candles, the scent of patchouli wafting through the air. While it would be nice if we all had a couple hours to focus on ourselves, and an unlimited incense budget, for most of us that’s not remotely the case. If you’re like me, your time is filled with work and family and all of the other little things that make up a day. You don’t have two minutes to meditate, it seems, much less two hours. But by learning to make do with the opportunities that present themselves throughout the day, you can find a few nice meditative interludes to help get you through your schedule.

The benefits of mindfulness are legion. Meditation and imagery are used to treat all sorts of physical ailments, and the stress-busting powers of mindful practice are becoming legendary. Western science is finally learning what Eastern practitioners have long known – the mind and body are inseparable, and paying focused attention to both has a positive impact on both physical and mental health.

“Sure,” you say, “I’d love to meditate. That all sounds great. But, I’m too busy just getting through my day to sit cross-legged in some room, humming to myself. That’s for gurus and retired people!” Luckily, you don’t need two hours, you don’t need to sit cross-legged, and you don’t even need a room. There are ways that you can gain the positive, healthful, relaxing benefits of meditation without even missing a beat in your busy day. I call this “Menial Mindfulness.”


For many people, the word “meditation” conjures up images of a two-hour “om” session in a room filled with candles, the scent of patchouli wafting through the air. While it would be nice if we all had a couple hours to focus on ourselves, and an unlimited incense budget, for most of us that’s not remotely the case. If you’re like me, your time is filled with work and family and all of the other little things that make up a day. You don’t have two minutes to meditate, it seems, much less two hours. But by learning to make do with the opportunities that present themselves throughout the day, you can find a few nice meditative interludes to help get you through your schedule.

The benefits of mindfulness are legion. Meditation and imagery are used to treat all sorts of physical ailments, and the stress-busting powers of mindful practice are becoming legendary. Western science is finally learning what Eastern practitioners have long known – the mind and body are inseparable, and paying focused attention to both has a positive impact on both physical and mental health.

“Sure,” you say, “I’d love to meditate. That all sounds great. But, I’m too busy just getting through my day to sit cross-legged in some room, humming to myself. That’s for gurus and retired people!” Luckily, you don’t need two hours, you don’t need to sit cross-legged, and you don’t even need a room. There are ways that you can gain the positive, healthful, relaxing benefits of meditation without even missing a beat in your busy day. I call this “Menial Mindfulness.” Leer más “The Importance of Mindfulness”

Natural Design Talent vs. Design Degree

This discussion has been going on for ages and till date no one has come to a solid conclusion. Some people think that in order to be a successful designer, one has to be talented otherwise; he won’t be able to achieve his goals, no matter how highly qualified he is. This group also says that a person can learn and improve with the passage of time. You will also find a lot of people who think that getting a degree in designing is a lot more important than being naturally talented. Some designers can just design a few things like glossy brochures, while others have a diversity of talent and can successfully create websites, print layouts and logos.

You will find a lot of graphic designers who have been through proper designing courses questioning themselves if the whole degree idea was worth it or not. The reason is that they might have seen a lot of senior successful designers without having a professional degree and such scenarios always brings a thought in people’s mind i.e. what is more important – being naturally talented or earning a design degree with a lot of efforts and expenses.

You will hear a lot of designers saying that they are ‘God gifted’. You will also hear a lot of designers telling the importance of degree. So, who wins? Let’s find out if there can be a winner or if both of them can be equally successful.


http://www.dzinepress.com/2010/12/natural-design-talent-vs-design-degree/

Whenever we talk about any field of creativity, a never-ending discussion pops up that either a natural talent is good for a creative carrier or a proper qualification should be there in order to excel in the field. Similar is the case with a carrier in graphic designing, which am important branch of creative profession.

This discussion has been going on for ages and till date no one has come to a solid conclusion. Some people think that in order to be a successful designer, one has to be talented otherwise; he won’t be able to achieve his goals, no matter how highly qualified he is. This group also says that a person can learn and improve with the passage of time. You will also find a lot of people who think that getting a degree in designing is a lot more important than being naturally talented. Some designers can just design a few things like glossy brochures, while others have a diversity of talent and can successfully create websites, print layouts and logos.

You will find a lot of graphic designers who have been through proper designing courses questioning themselves if the whole degree idea was worth it or not. The reason is that they might have seen a lot of senior successful designers without having a professional degree and such scenarios always brings a thought in people’s mind i.e. what is more important – being naturally talented or earning a design degree with a lot of efforts and expenses.

You will hear a lot of designers saying that they are ‘God gifted’. You will also hear a lot of designers telling the importance of degree. So, who wins? Let’s find out if there can be a winner or if both of them can be equally successful. Leer más “Natural Design Talent vs. Design Degree”

5 Tips for Building Confidence

What do you do when you have to step way out of your comfort zone? We all have to do it from time to time whether we’re closing a big sale, interviewing for a new job, giving a speech or going to a networking event.

In challenging situations like these, building self-confidence can make all the difference in the world. Confidence can turn that feeling of dread into a bubbling sense of excitement. It can open new doors, shake up your expectations and help you to grow in ways you never thought possible. So what are the steps for building confidence? [Más…]

1. Fake it till you make it.

When you’re trying something new or difficult, there’s only so much you can know ahead of time. Sometimes you just have to get in there, make a few mistakes and learn something. That’s the only way you can gain real experience.

It definitely helps to let go of your pride. You might look silly and that’s okay. If someone else was in your shoes, they’d be struggling just like you. Don’t judge yourself too harshly.

Remember that most people are not born natural geniuses. There is always a learning curve involved even for highly talented, exceptional people like yourself. Pablo Picasso once said:

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

Even he admitted that you have to make it up as you go.

The good news is that confidence has a snowball effect. If you project confidence, people will take you more seriously and you’ll feel even more confident. You may have started out feeling a little bit like an imposter, but you’ll gain a sense of authority and knowledge as you go.
2. Remember — not everyone has to like you.

We’re conditioned to believe that the worst thing we could ever do is piss someone off. Many of us are so afraid of annoying someone or being misunderstood that we’d rather not try at all. We’d rather dig a hole in the backyard and bury all our dreams in it.

But successful entrepreneurs and business people know that not everyone will like them, and that’s okay. When you put yourself out there, you may rub someone the wrong way. They may not have time for you. They may not understand you. They may not like you all that much. That’s just the way it goes.

Don’t let the fear of not being liked stop you from realizing your true potential. How can you develop confidence if you’re constantly worrying about what other people think? Let go of the need to be liked 100 percent of the time. It’s not going to happen. So you might as well be yourself.


Sarah Nagel
http://workawesome.com/communication/building-confidence/

What do you do when you have to step way out of your comfort zone? We all have to do it from time to time whether we’re closing a big sale, interviewing for a new job, giving a speech or going to a networking event.

In challenging situations like these, building self-confidence can make all the difference in the world. Confidence can turn that feeling of dread into a bubbling sense of excitement. It can open new doors, shake up your expectations and help you to grow in ways you never thought possible. So what are the steps for building confidence? Leer más “5 Tips for Building Confidence”

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.


by Michael Tuck
http://sixrevisions.com/web_design/how-to-teach-web-design-using-optimal-learning-and-gestalt/

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. Leer más “How to Teach Web Design Using Optimal Learning and Gestalt”

Promote Failure, Fail Forward | by Stefan Lindegaard

Promote failure. Entrepreneurs understand that each small failure brings them closer to the solution. So find ways to demand lots of baby-step failures that promote learning and create a culture of action. This will get you to the finish line and keep fear of failure from locking up your innovation engine.

Fail forward. Get into the habit of creating many experiments and celebrating the learning. For example: “In this experiment we learned that people did not understand our offer.” “In this experiment we learned we were charging too much.” And “in this experiment we learned that the button had to be in a different place.”

Each “failure” is actually a success, because the team has learned something important and has moved one more step closer toward getting it right.

These are the only snippets directly related to smartfailing, but the article is still worth checking out if you are interested in innovation: The CEO’s Innovation Nightmare


http://www.smartfailing.com/2010/10/01/promote-failure-fail-forward/
I really liked the inspiration of promoting failure and failing forward as introduced by G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Viton in their article, The CEO’s Innovation Nightmare.

The snippets:

Promote failure. Entrepreneurs understand that each small failure brings them closer to the solution. So find ways to demand lots of baby-step failures that promote learning and create a culture of action. This will get you to the finish line and keep fear of failure from locking up your innovation engine.

Fail forward. Get into the habit of creating many experiments and celebrating the learning. For example: “In this experiment we learned that people did not understand our offer.” “In this experiment we learned we were charging too much.” And “in this experiment we learned that the button had to be in a different place.”

Each “failure” is actually a success, because the team has learned something important and has moved one more step closer toward getting it right.

These are the only snippets directly related to smartfailing, but the article is still worth checking out if you are interested in innovation: The CEO’s Innovation Nightmare

Return on Failure: The Equation

What is failure? When things don’t go according to plan or expectations, ending up with unexpected and/or undesired outcomes (which we can argue could have been avoidable, or not). The key is ‘undesired’ – because if they were desired and not planned or expected, that would still be great! But, as we will see, failure is a terrific way to learn. Maybe we could measure learning as Return on Failure: ROF.

We’ve all heard the phrase “fail often, fail cheap, fail fast.” So, can we do a better job of learning from failure? We’re not built to do this easily, either by learning from others’ failures or our own. There are many ways to learn from failure, so what I’m suggesting is just one way.

One way we could start learning from failure is through a simple 3-step process (bear in mind, simple ≠ easy!):

1. Identification of the Failure(s)
2. Analysis of the Failure(s)
3. Iterative Experimenting & Prototyping based on the learnings from the failures

So, and check my ‘math’, ROF is the sum of Failure Identification + Failure Analysis applied over (and over…) Iterative Experimenting & Prototyping. That’s the framework (for now).

ROF = (FI + FA)/IEP…





http://www.mills-scofield.com

What is failure? When things don’t go according to plan or expectations, ending up with unexpected and/or undesired outcomes (which we can argue could have been avoidable, or not).  The key is ‘undesired‘ – because if they were desired and not planned or expected, that would still be great!  But, as we will see, failure is a terrific way to learn.  Maybe we could measure learning as Return on Failure: ROF.

We’ve all heard the phrase “fail often, fail cheap, fail fast.” So, can we do a better job of learning from failure?  We’re not built to do this easily, either by learning from others’ failures or our own.  There are many ways to learn from failure, so what I’m suggesting is just one way.

One way we could start learning from failure is through a simple 3-step process (bear in mind, simple ≠ easy!):

  1. Identification of the Failure(s)
  2. Analysis of the Failure(s)
  3. Iterative Experimenting & Prototyping based on the learnings from the failures

So, and check my ‘math’, ROF is the sum of Failure Identification + Failure Analysis applied over (and over…) Iterative Experimenting & Prototyping.  That’s the framework (for now).

ROF = (FI + FA)/IEP… Leer más “Return on Failure: The Equation”

When Creative Conflict is A Good Thing

During your career as a web professional, whether you’re a designer, developer or copywriter, you’re bound to encounter creative differences either within your team, or between you and a client. These situations can be emotionally taxing, but if you have a better understanding of how to work through them and even learn and grow from them, conflicts can actually make you better at your job.

Here are some tips on getting the most out of your conflict, and when it’s best for everyone to just throw in the proverbial towel.
Good Conflict/Bad Conflict

Conflict happens when two or more contradictory perspectives haven’t been agreed on, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, when handled well, conflict forces us to be creative problem-solvers, to avoid mistakes, and to learn how to benefit from our differences, all while challenging us to broaden our skills.

Conflict gets ugly when it affects workflow, gets personal, leads to more conflict, and harms working relationships. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent disagreements from taking you down the wrong path, starting with learning about how different people deal with conflict.
Types of Conflict Behavior

Understanding the types of behavior that occur during conflict, and recognizing which apply to you and your peers, can help you discover how to get the most out of it.

The types of conflict behavior are:

1. Competing: you have a high concern for personal goals and low concern for relationships.
2. Collaborative: you’re interested in a mutually satisfactory solution.
3. Compromising: you’re willing to give something up if they are.
4. Avoiding: you delay and ignore the conflict, hoping it will resolve itself.
5. Accommodating: you’re willing to make a sacrifice to avoid confrontation.

Depending on the way you and your team deal with conflict with respect to the above behaviors, you could either find yourselves at a creative stand-still, or you could come out of the conflict better than if there was none at all.

A study documented in Creativity and Innovation Management found that certain types of conflict behavior, specifically the confrontational variety, yield better results in terms of creative output. Researchers Petra Badke-Schaub, Gabriela Goldschmidt and Martijn Meyer observed video footage of design teams during idea generation. They then compared the conflict behavior styles of each team to their creative output.

The researchers found that high-scoring groups in the areas of innovation and functionality were more prone to competing and compromising, and low-rated groups were more collaborative. The findings also showed that more ideas were generated in the higher-scoring groups, while more repetition of ideas occurred in the low-scoring groups. The researchers concluded that creative performance in teams is not achieved mainly by agreement, but needs cognitive confrontation.

In other words, don’t be afraid to challenge the ideas of people on your team (respectfully), the results are often favorable, while being too agreeable for the purpose of avoiding confrontation can produce lackluster results.
Constructive Team Conflict

What’s the best way to deal with conflict on your team? There are many methods out there, but perhaps the most applicable to conflict on a creative team, is the Conflict Resolution Network’s Creative Response kit….


by Rick Sloboda |  Become a Facebook Fan of Six Revisions.

When Creative Conflict is A Good ThingDuring your career as a web professional, whether you’re a designer, developer or copywriter, you’re bound to encounter creative differences either within your team, or between you and a client. These situations can be emotionally taxing, but if you have a better understanding of how to work through them and even learn and grow from them, conflicts can actually make you better at your job.

Here are some tips on getting the most out of your conflict, and when it’s best for everyone to just throw in the proverbial towel.

Good Conflict/Bad Conflict

Conflict happens when two or more contradictory perspectives haven’t been agreed on, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, when handled well, conflict forces us to be creative problem-solvers, to avoid mistakes, and to learn how to benefit from our differences, all while challenging us to broaden our skills.

Conflict gets ugly when it affects workflow, gets personal, leads to more conflict, and harms working relationships. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent disagreements from taking you down the wrong path, starting with learning about how different people deal with conflict.

Types of Conflict Behavior

Understanding the types of behavior that occur during conflict, and recognizing which apply to you and your peers, can help you discover how to get the most out of it.

The types of conflict behavior are:

  1. Competing: you have a high concern for personal goals and low concern for relationships.
  2. Collaborative: you’re interested in a mutually satisfactory solution.
  3. Compromising: you’re willing to give something up if they are.
  4. Avoiding: you delay and ignore the conflict, hoping it will resolve itself.
  5. Accommodating: you’re willing to make a sacrifice to avoid confrontation.

Depending on the way you and your team deal with conflict with respect to the above behaviors, you could either find yourselves at a creative stand-still, or you could come out of the conflict better than if there was none at all.

A study documented in Creativity and Innovation Management found that certain types of conflict behavior, specifically the confrontational variety, yield better results in terms of creative output. Researchers Petra Badke-Schaub, Gabriela Goldschmidt and Martijn Meyer observed video footage of design teams during idea generation. They then compared the conflict behavior styles of each team to their creative output.

The researchers found that high-scoring groups in the areas of innovation and functionality were more prone to competing and compromising, and low-rated groups were more collaborative. The findings also showed that more ideas were generated in the higher-scoring groups, while more repetition of ideas occurred in the low-scoring groups. The researchers concluded that creative performance in teams is not achieved mainly by agreement, but needs cognitive confrontation.

In other words, don’t be afraid to challenge the ideas of people on your team (respectfully), the results are often favorable, while being too agreeable for the purpose of avoiding confrontation can produce lackluster results.

Constructive Team Conflict

What’s the best way to deal with conflict on your team? There are many methods out there, but perhaps the most applicable to conflict on a creative team, is the Conflict Resolution Network’s Creative Response kit…. Leer más “When Creative Conflict is A Good Thing”

What is the worst mistake you see other designers make all the time?

It is always a powerfully intoxicating moment when our design work impresses our peers and garners their attention and praise. We all like to feel as though we are innovators, and so some of us set out to push the envelope to new places. Forgetting all the while that we have no proverbial trail of breadcrumbs to lead any lay person along so they can find their way as well. UI and UX should never be sacrificed for style or presentation.

Yes, we want to strive for originality, but we still need to find ways for our design to remain accessible to all those journeying through the design world. It is not just for the experienced and the worldly wizened that we are creating our design for, it is for everyone. Something that we should never allow ourselves to lose sight of.

* Designing for other designers instead of designing for lay users
* I see many designers focus on making websites look great, without focusing the UX on their primary conversion goal.
* not planning an interface to follow the user’s “train of thought”.
* Forgetting to consider the users.

Not Making Choices

There is a rule of thumb that a lot of writers take on as truth when seeking out a lasting story that will resonate among the masses, and to some extent, designers have this same rule of thumb even if they do not know it. That rule, is that in order for your work to remain effective, we have to make creative choices. These are not necessarily going to be easy to do, in fact, some choices that you face making during the creative process are going to be down right onerous.

But regardless of how difficult they may seem as we approach this crossroads of imagination, these decisions have to be made in order to keep your design as fresh and communicative as it can be. Our imagination is what is supposed to separate us, and make us stand out from the rest of the designers in our field, but only if we employ it.

Now we know that some design choices ultimately end up out of our hands when we are working with a client, no matter how vehemently we object, we may have to make some compromises for the sake of the project. And we sacrifice innovation for mass appeal to reach a more general audience.


By Robert Bowen | http://bit.ly/bjdjAQ

We recently published a post was aimed at learning from the mistakes of others, and we turned to our friends and followers online and asked them to come clean about the biggest mistake they had made so far in their careers. You might have seen it, What is the Worst Design or Programming Mistake You’ve Ever Made?, was received quite well, and not only did we get some great responses initially from which to build the post, but we have got some more revealing replies from our readers. Now we are at it once again, trying to help out the community, one bad experience at a time, with a little more help from our friends, of course.

Just as before, it can be beneficial to learn from mistakes made by someone else who is kind enough to share their experiences with us, only their experience in this case, is more from a critiquing eye, than from their own path. This time out, we asked our social media masses to look outward for the post, rather than looking within, to find a mistake that they see others in the design world making time and again.

This way, we can help each other correct these errors, and without the critique being focused on any one individual. Rather a general observation that only we can know if it applies to us or not. If we are guilty of committing the design sin, now we know to look for it and fix it. Leer más “What is the worst mistake you see other designers make all the time?”