Archive: Oct 2016

  1. 9 Ways For a Graphic Designer to Build an Online Audience

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    If you are a graphic designer looking to enhance your online presence, portfolio, there are several ways of doing this. In the digital age, there is so much more scope for showing off your work with the added bonus of reaching a very wide audience of potential clients.

    Here we are going to look at the nine effective ways to build your online audience.

    1. Join an Online Design Community

    Joining an online design community is an essential first step. Here you can meet and interact with other graphic designers to exchange ideas, techniques, and comments about the latest trends in the professional design world. At the same time, you will be showing off your portfolio and getting noticed. It is also very helpful for getting advice and criticism about your own work and ideas for improvement. Most of these communities have competitions that you can use to showcase your work and tutorials on your most advanced skills.

    2. Website

    If you don’t already have a website, then it is a good idea to create one! If you don’t have enough technical skills to build your own site, there are many services available that offer hosting and templates. Some of these are free, but it is probably better to use a paid service which charges a one-off or monthly fee. After all, unlike free services, the paid one offers support and consulting. A personal website can serve as a portfolio and a personal blog

    3. Blogging

    Blogging is a fantastic way to increase online awareness of your portfolio. Whether you have your own blog or you are writing guest posts on someone else’s blog, you will be attracting attention to yourself and your work for sure.

    If it’s your own blog, make the content captivating and unique, make graphic content to accompany the text.

    Guest blogging is great, but remember this: if you’re writing a post with the purpose of blatant self-promotion, it’s going to be considered advertising, so determine a budget for this activity. You can also make tutorials and include links to your personal blog as an example. It’s definitely a learning process. Saying that, guest blogging will build connections with other graphic designers where you all promote each other’s work.

    4. Instagram

    Using Instagram to showcase your work is the most effective way for you to build an online presence and show off your best skills as well as awesome work opportunities. As a social media platform, it is one of the most visually stimulating ones. People don’t like to read, they enjoy pretty pictures instead. After all, 80+ million posts are being uploaded to Instagram every day. You can find a lot of graphic designers on Instagram to get an idea of how they interact with their followers, what type of content is doing well etc.

    Don’t forget to comment on their works if you liked it and you’ll make friends in the industry in a blink of an eye. Not to mention, Instagram is a great place to get inspiration from if you’re experiencing designer’s block.

    In some ways, it is better than your own personal website and is also free to use. If you have already launched your own website, you can add a link to your Instagram account and, vice versa, invite people from Instagram to your site.

    5. Twitter

    Twitter is a social media site for people to meet, connect and chat. This is not to say that it can’t be used for you to promote yourself, but again, you need to be a bit subtle about how you do this. No one likes shameless self-promotion in their timeline.

    You will soon find yourself connecting to other graphic designers and it is important that you interact in a friendly unassuming manner. Compliment other people on their work and retweet any posts or comments that particularly grab your attention.

    Don’t post too many links back to your website or promote yourself excessively. Being polite and friendly is the key on Twitter. Always try and reply to people who message you or comment on your work.

    6. YouTube

    YouTube is the perfect place for posting your own tutorials and helping other aspiring designers. This is a very popular method for getting your work noticed and, at the same time, passing on the benefits of your experience. All you need is a screen capturing program which you can easily find online and a good mic. Make sure your videos have good quality and sound as well as appropriate titles so that people could find your content.

    7. Pinterest

    It is a good idea to have a Pinterest board, but you need to plan this carefully before you proceed as it’s not possible to rearrange it afterwards. Arrange things in a list as you want people to see them in order of priority. Include your portfolio and any links in the first few pins so that people can contact you if they like what they see.

    8. Behance

    Behance is an online platform and an app which is free for Android and iOS. It is promoted as being a one-stop solution for creative designers to showcase their work. You can create a portfolio, promote your site, and connect with other designers.

    9. Dribbble

    Dribbble works as a showcasing platform for several creative areas including graphic design. It is one of the largest platforms for designers and artists to share their work online. The only problem is that in order to sign up to Dribble, you’ll need an invite.

    In today’s world, it is necessary for a graphic designer to have an online following. It will not only build one’s reputation as a professional, but it will also bring new business opportunities. Along with your local business relations, your online presence through social media will boost up your revenues manifolds. So, follow these simple suggestions to be successful in your career as a graphic designer.

  2. 8 Ways To Make your Site Mobile Friendly

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    Over 60% of internet usage takes place through a mobile phone or tablet; that is a colossal shift in just a relatively few short years. Terms like “mobile friendly” and “responsive design” are at the top of ever web designers lexicon now as having a website look and work great on mobile becomes, not only a necessity, but a priority.

    The big trend at the moment, (and what is set to only get bigger in the coming years) is a ‘mobile first’ approach to web design, basically back to front of what you’re probably use to; making a website that works well on mobile and then adapting it to work on a desktop.

    With that being said, the number of websites that aren’t mobile friendly at all is still huge with some surveys saying that only 18.7% of websites are mobile friendly! (although the recent changes made by Google to take mobile responsiveness into account for their search algorithm has increased that number by over 4%). If you’re wondering if you’re doing a good enough job with your mobile sites, take a loot at this list below for 8 ways to make your site mobile friendly on the web.

    1. Responsive Design. A responsive web design is the first and most important part that makes up a mobile friendly web design.Due to the different amount of devices in use, a developer cannot possibly design a website in different layouts for all these devices. So a solution for this is to go with a responsive website layout. A responsive layout is a web design that will auto scale itself for every screen size presented. A quick way to make a fixed layout responsive is by using media queries in CSS.
    2. Remove Pinch Zoom. It is now the time to disable to good old fashion pinch zoom!
    3. Increase font size. After disabling the pinch zoom, it is time to increase the font size. Mobile devices have smaller screen sizes than desktops which make it much harder to see normal font sizes. This is why most websites have become much larger. Increasing your font size is a must do for mobile designs. A larger font size promotes a better visitor experience.
    4. Add more white elements. White spaces are the latest web design trend of the year! White spaces are added around all elements of the page. The white spaces created a more focused, professional, and clean look on a website.
    5. One page design model. The one-page web design is the perfect role model of what a mobile friendly web design should look like visually. The one page web design has a menu that navigates within its own page. It moves in a top to bottom motion ( vertically). The one page design has some optimization flaws, but for the overall visual of the design, it is one of the role models of what a mobile design should look like.
    6. Remove extra widgets and sidebars. Now it is time to free your training wheels! Let go of the double sidebars and extra widgets on a web page. Less weight is much better for mobile sites.
    7. Reduce lines of CSS Code. An exceptional web design is one that has a great design that can be very eye-catching, but at the same time, it should have the least amount code possible used to design the layout. To reduce the lines of code a web designer should compress his CSS files and the lines of code will become simplified.
    8. Test out your page speed. Mobile devices cannot open webpages as fast as desktops with wired ethernet can. So this is why a fast page speed is required for a website. The first and most important thing to do to increase page speed is to look at your browser HTTP requests. The more HTTP requests a browser has, the longer it will take for those requests to load one after the other. Every web page should have a low count of HTTP requests on all web pages. Increased website speed provides a better website performance and an overall better user experience. Slow websites will lead to an increased bounce rate. When a website’s bounce rate increases, that leads to search engines thinking that people are leaving the webpage because it may be broken or irrelevant to its selected keyword. A slow website has many problems that may arise. It is advised that every web page reduce the HTTP count to promote a faster page speed.

    Always remember to run an extra website speed check, broken link check, spell check, and responsive design check once the page is up on the server. Use these 8 ways explained above to make your website mobile friendly!