Posts Tagged

design

For web designers the big contracts are always the most exciting. But regular, monthly income derived from on-going clients can keep the lights on when feast turns to famine.

The most popular CMS by far is WordPress. Most website owners will never use it to its fullest capabilities, yet still pay expensive hosting fees and manage complicated design issues.

Cloud Cannon is a web app which allows designers to lighten the client-side workload. IT promises to take care of all hosting issues, make the website easily editable by the client and best of all – it’s all done through Dropbox. But is it worth the hassle for small design firms and individuals? Let’s see.

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When you’re designing an interface, usability should always be a top concern. Ensuring your users can have a pleasant, intuitive experience should come secondary only to the actual existence of your content on a page. Achieving such a feat is only guarenteed through testing with real life potential users and that’s where Usability Hub comes in.

UsabilityHub is actually a hub for three different types of user experience testing – the Five Second Test, the Click Test and the Nav Flow test – bringing together valuable data into one, manageable tabulation of useful results. (more…)

I’m a geek. I love things like web development, design and blogging. I love writing and photography. I adore music. In fact, I love them so much that I take pictures, write and design for a living. In fact, despite the fact that I have my own blog and maintain other websites dedicated to personal interests, like music, I’m starting my own creative services company in the upcoming month.

Because I’m initially going to be the sole proprietor of this company, starting it is easier than you might think both legally and financially. But I do need a website. And even though I love coding and web development, I also hate it (not unlike many professional coders I know). So I’d prefer to leave the fine art of web coding to the professionals. That’s why I’m considering Squarespace 6. Things have changed a lot since we last looked at Squarespace. Let’s find out what’s new.

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If I could point out the most valuable asset on the internet these days, it would be honest feedback. That’s because people want to have their works evaluated, but the average user doesn’t want to review someone’s else project, especially at its early stages. When we want feedback, though, we usually want immediate results, and this void has created a market for quacks who say what you want to hear instead of how could you improve.

Often services that offer image display turn out as design showcases, regardless of their viability of comments. Hunie comes to change the game, as a place to host your designs and get honest feedback for a tiny price: your own critiques to other users sketches. It’s a pay it forward model that just might work.

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Think of getting yourself a website – how would you go about it? Some might suggest employing a web designer, but a growing range of folks would be confident about creating their own website, thanks to the proliferation of WYSIWYG, do-it-yourself services like Weebly, Moonfruit, or Basekit.

The DIY route doesn’t always provide the best results, though – professional designers, whatever their preferred medium, still tend to produce the best-looking and most creative end products. It is strange, then, that there is a distinct lack of WYSIWYG services aimed specifically at the professionals.

Perhaps Webydo can start to change that. Webydo features Photoshop-style layout creation, drag-and-drop controls, and an enticing freemium pricing model. But can Webydo really be the breakthrough product for designers wishing to unleash their creativity on the web?

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Nowadays, it doesn’t take much to make your own website. You could probably go right now, get a site up say on WordPress.com, and have it running in about 5-10 minutes without even need to know anything about writing code. That’s made a basic site not enough. If you are like me, you not only want to create a website, but you want it to look good and to work well, but also not cost an arm and a leg. But still, you’ll likely want to create sites for all of your projects.

I’ve recently been trying out a new web app called Strikingly, which carves out its own niche for creating sites. It is not quite as powerful as WordPress, but still has some outstanding features. Let’s take a look at Strikingly in depth.

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RealtimeBoard: an app with an unusually non-cryptic name. It’s an online board where you can collaborate with your colleagues in real-time. Not a new idea, by any means, but RealtimeBoard has a new take on it, making it actually nice to use. It provides you with is what amounts to an essentially infinitely large whiteboard which you can use to brainstorm ideas, share notes and documents, work on designs with colleagues, and much more.

Let’s take a look.

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As the web has evolved over the last few years into a powerful, dependable platform, web apps have grown in popularity as well as complexity. There are web apps out there for pretty much anything you want to get done — even something as unthinkable a few years ago as replacing Photoshop for image editing. This development has come at a cost though — web apps are more powerful than ever with their own learning curves and subscription costs.

As has been the case with any popular platform though, the web has also been a breeding ground for utilitarian applications that do small things well, and at the unbeatable cost of free. In this post, I’ll be listing some of the best small design utilities that I’ve come to use on the web to get very specific tasks done. They’re tiny, focused and get the job done with little fuss. (more…)

Microsoft’s recently released Windows 8 brought one of the most drastic changes to user interface design that many of us have ever seen. Doing away (for the most part) with traditional UI elements, Windows 8 emphasizes text and colors in a “natively digital” way that’s unique, at the very least. It’s exciting to see Microsoft try something totally new, and fun to see developers making new PC apps again.

Interestingly, the Windows 8 design (formerly known as Metro, now referred to as Modern UI or Windows 8 UI by Microsoft) has already started influencing web apps. It wasn’t surprising to see Microsoft’s own Outlook.com and Skydrive sport the new UI design. What is surprising is how many new web apps we’ve come across with Windows 8-inspired designs, including the PDF editor PDFZen and Fotor, a simple photo editing app. The Metro design translates well to the web, and with so many PC users making the switch to Windows 8, we wouldn’t be surprised to see more apps sporting similar designs.

Problem is, everyone doesn’t like the Windows 8 design. What’s your opinion of Windows 8′s design, and are you looking forward to seeing more apps sport the clean font+color only design?

One of the things that I absolutely love about the web is that it’s a place where people can start to collaborate on projects and other things. As the web improves so does creating projects and collaborating on them, which opens up more possibilities for great things to happen. What is so great is that web apps are starting to replace desktop apps and are actually on par with them as far as features, and throw in social features and they’re even better than desktop apps could be.

Take for example a web app called Mural.ly, which gives the user a plain canvas on the web that they can use to their liking and then share it with others to collaborate on. What makes this so attractive is the fact that you can use Mural.ly for a wide variety of tasks and it can be used by just about anyone that needs a space to share things and get feedback. Not only that, but the developers of the app have made it very user friendly and have given you the ability to use many different formats to create your project. Let’s take a look.

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