Archive: Apr 2018

  1. How To Increase Conversion Rates With Quality Web Design

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    When business owners try to think of new strategies to improve sales, chances are, thoughts immediately go to promos, lower prices, and gimmicks. While these factors do play an important role in the decision making process, it’s important to know that in e-commerce, there’s so much more at play, and that there’s another major factor in the process. This factor is quality web design.

    So how does design affect buying?

    It says a lot about your business

    Online users don’t hold the record for longest attention span, and one quick look at a website is enough to tell them if they’re willing to make a transaction or not (a mere 50 milliseconds apparently). In such a short period, it’s crucial you get to show the potential customer just how legit your business is, and that they shouldn’t have to worry about transacting with you.

    A bad design can distract the user

    It’s sad when the customer is up for buying an item or is interested in checking out more information about it, only to be discouraged by the website’s messy background that makes the text and buttons hard to read, or maybe a checkout button that they just can’t seem to locate because it’s hidden at the most bottom part of the page.

    It makes sure content doesn’t go to waste

    You invest a lot into your website’s content: quality videos, photos, and witty write-ups. There’s no way you’d want to waste all that effort you put into the materials, right? Moreover, your content is the greatest chance you have at achieving that personal connection with customers that businesses need in order to encourage loyal patronage.

    Tips for better design

    Basic design principles aside, such as text readability and color psychology, here are some tips web designers should keep in mind.

    Establish a branding guide

    Before anything else, setting up a branding guide that sets parameters as to what colors, fonts, types of images, and even what kind of tone used in the text, helps keep things coherent and uniform, which is important for sending a strong branding message.

    A website that goes for one aesthetic is a lot more pleasing to look at, and the established branding that goes along with it helps reinforce your business with the lifestyle of the demographic you’re going for.

    Apple, for example, has established an aesthetic of simple yet advanced technology that represents a certain lifestyle, so when consumers of their target demographic who identify with the branding, say, young professionals who value simple, understated luxury in their technology, are in need of gadgets, they almost automatically turn to Apple.

    Keep it simple

    As much as you probably want to amaze visitors with exciting graphics and interactive buttons with every page, know that this can be more of a distraction, or even worse, can turn off the user completely.

    For one thing, incorporating too many different elements into each single page may contribute to longer page loading time, and with the attention span of most internet users nowadays, it’s essential that things load quick.

    Apart from quicker loading time, a simple design, particularly with navigation options, is more likely to help users get things done. How is this accomplished? Simple: if you have two or more thoughts or functions that basically aim to achieve the same thing; simplify them into a single option.

    Similarly with your actual page content, don’t overdo it with the text and images. Minimal sections with concise headers, just enough photos, and simple yet accurate text/descriptions are best as to not overwhelm the user.

    Make things as convenient as possible

    In relation to making things easy for the customer, it’s crucial that your calls to action are incorporated within buttons.

    Invites to “shop now” or “contact” are a lot more inviting when the invite is placed on a button that lets the customer do it directly. Also, if there are any forms to be filled out by the customer, say to encourage them to subscribe to updates, then providing the form then and there, rather than having them go to another page can spell a big difference as to whether they’ll go with it or not.

    Provide personalized recommendations

    One of the best ways to entice the customer is to show them they’re special, and that your business caters to their specific tastes. With that, including features such as “recommended items” or “based on your previous purchases” makes the shopping experience more personal, fun, and hassle free.

    More importantly, it helps encourage the user to buy more, and since it’s based on what they’re already interested in, they’re likely to be actually interested in the items. So it’s a win-win situation for both you and the customer.

    Optimize for mobile devices

    You probably encounter this tip often, and now it’s here again for the crucial reason that more and more people are doing their shopping online, and a website that doesn’t load too good on a mobile device could mean plenty of lost sales.

    As with anything else in business, adapting to the changing tastes of customers is an automatic part of any strategy, and should definitely be part of any quality web design.

    There are definitely a lot of things that go into quality web design. And while it’s not as simple as one may initially think, it truly pays off when you see your sales improving. Conversion, after all, is the main goal. So that investment in web design services you ruled out, may just be the thing your website needs.

  2. 6 Interesting YouTube channels for Developers

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    In the last ten years, YouTube has gone from a platform where music labels put up their videos to a vast library of both entertainment and information in video form. The amount of content there is on YouTube is absolutely astonishing – and the majority of it is free!

    What’s more, there is a lot of niche content on all kinds of fields: from learning how to sew to building a shelter from scratch in the wild.

    Videos on web development are widely popular on YouTube, possibly because the nature of the platform appeals to people working in technical fields. And it’s not just for technical fields, there is also great potential for freelance creatives on YouTube.

    There are tons of channels to visit and learn from – some are very technical and detail-oriented, others mix in different degrees of entertainment into their teaching content. Here’s a list of some of the best channels that tackle web development plus a description of what you can expect watching their videos. is one of the channels that are heavily tutorial based. It is all about learning. They cover a large variety of topics, including JavaScript, testing, the inner workings of the internet and much, much more. If you want to learn about specific subjects in a structured, concise way, this channel is definitely worth checking out. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, has content for you – they have a 24-video playlist for people looking to get into web development, but also offer advanced content.


    You’ve probably heard the name Udacity. They not only run an online academy and provide certificates with the long-term vision of creating the first online university; they also run a YouTube channel! Many tutorials tend to consist of playlists made up from very short videos ranging from 30 seconds to 3 minutes, each video focusing on a specific detail, for example, visual styling in HTML. The videos are produced in a professional and appealing way. Additionally, there are all kinds of different talks with developers of different backgrounds, videos addressing current trends in web development and much more.


    From all the channels featured in this article, Computerphile is the one that goes the most in-depth into complex topics. As such, it is mostly something to look at if you already have some experience. In talks with different experts, they look at current hot topics in the programming world like blockchain, virtual reality and net neutrality. They work at explaining the underlying technical foundations behind them. This channel is a nerd haven for anyone who likes technical discussions and wants to hear the perspective of some of the most-renowned experts in their fields.


    Run by a former Spotify developer, FunFunFunction is one of those channels that mixes entertainment into their educational content. The videos are so fun, you will be watching for hours and learn a lot without even realizing it. There is content focused on learning basic tools like JavaScript and HTML, but they also cover more general advice for developers. For example, there is a video that covers the hardships of remote working, another that gives you advice on getting stuff done and so on. If you’re looking for something equal parts funny and genuinely informative, check out this channel.


    Short for level up tutorials, this channel does exactly what the title suggests – levels up your development game. There is a plethora of content here with over 1,000 videos currently uploaded to the channel. Whatever tool you’re looking to master, chances are a tutorial is ready for you to watch. Out of all channels presented here, this is probably the most beginner-friendly. The content creator Scott Tolinski doesn’t just explain how to fix certain issues; he also likes to focus on the “why”. As such, it might take you a little longer to learn, but once you get through his videos, you’ll be able to really understand the fundamentals.

    Wes Bos

    This is another channel that mixes fun with teaching. Possibly the least-known channel in the list, Wes Bos certainly deserves a mention. There are extensive tutorials on tools like JavaScript and Redux which are extremely well-produced and explain programming through fun tasks, like building a game of whack-a-mole using JavaScript. This channel is most suitable for people looking to get into tools of which they have a very basic understanding. Don’t shy away from this channel because of its lower view counts – Wes Bos is a real gem in the rough.

    What are your favourite YouTube channels for developers? Share the name of your favorite content creators in the comment section below!

  3. How to Work Remotely and Still Feel Part of the Team

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    Have you ever been working on a project and thought, I could be doing this at home? Well, that’s probably because you can. For creative professionals especially, it can be beneficial to be able to work from a space that is designed to facilitate your creative process, like your own home. If you are a freelancer, you probably have experienced the luxury of being able to work remotely. But you also may have developed a feeling that you weren’t part of your team (if you’ve had a team as a freelancer).

    More and more companies are letting their employees work remotely for the enormous benefits to the business and its employees. In recognition of virtual teams increasing in the digital workforce of today, the U. of Southern California states that, “50% of all workers are based overseas.” However, when working remotely, you can lose the sense that you are working as part of a team. Feelings of isolation can decrease your motivation, productivity, and overall satisfaction. So, how do you make yourself feel like an integral part of your virtual team when you’re working remotely?

    Below are some tips on how a creative professional can enjoy the perks of working from home while feeling like you belong and are a part of your business’ culture.

    Organize A Suitable Workspace

    When working remotely, you have to create your own workspace that you’ll be productive in. That means minimizing distractions and supplying yourself with the tools necessary to work remotely. The bare minimum you’ll need for working remotely is a strong internet connection and a laptop. However, for a creative professional, you might want to consider more than internet and a laptop for your setup.

    Consider a large desk as a base for projects if you’re working from home, a graphics tablet if you’re a graphic designer, even wireless headphones if they help you focus. Anything you can do to make it easier while working on your project(s) for the day and be productive. Finishing up projects in a timely manner will create a sense of accomplishment that will help you feel part of your virtual team, as when they need finished projects from you, you’ll be able to present it to them — creating a cohesiveness over your virtual team and demonstrating your value to it.

    Make Yourself Available for Constant Communication

    The only way you’ll feel a part of your team is if you make yourself a part of the team. You can’t expect to build relationships remotely if you don’t do some things that make you feel a part of the team. Perhaps the major drawback from working remotely is the fact that you are isolated from everyone else in the office. This can be overcome if you have the necessary communication tools to keep in contact with people.

    A virtual team should have an instant messaging software for real-time messaging, not only for talking through business operations but to also foster chit-chat within the team; chatting with your co-workers will give you a feeling of fellowship even though you are working alone. For example, you could send any co-worker a small message encouraging small talk, and then you’re on your way to developing a friendship.     

    For face-to-face interactions, consider a webcam. Messages in the form of text can often get misconstrued, and a face-to-face meeting will help eliminate accidental tension and confusion. Webcams used for conferences, either with a client or a manager, can help you pinpoint exactly what a client wants in a project or what your managers would like from you. There are many teleconferencing applications, with the most notable being Skype. At the end of the day, a face-to-face meeting is quicker and more efficient for business operations.

    Involve Yourself

    Ultimately, your level of interaction is up to you. Even if you were onsite, you could still feel apart from your team if you don’t actively participate and communicate. It is true that it is harder for remote workers, but the above information can help alleviate many feelings of isolation. In any business, communication is key. It’s up to you to make yourself available for conversation, meetings, and any other ways you can involve yourself and feel connected.

    If you work in the same city as your place of employment, it is recommended that you attend company events. Appreciation events, team building exercises, and other meetings will give the interaction you need with your team members — even if that means you have to wear pants. If you are working remotely and far away, think about going to a couple large events that your company may be hosting, such as trade shows. It will help people put a face to your name (if you haven’t held Skype meetings with them) and vice versa.

    The perks of working remotely are great, but perhaps the biggest perk is also a drawback. Remote workers, especially for creative professionals such as a freelance designer, may enjoy the peace and solitude and may even find that they are more productive in this setting. However, without the tips above, you may find yourself in a place of isolation and disliking remote work. The information above will give you the interaction you need with a virtual team of your coworkers, allowing you to keep your peace and solitude without it turning into feelings of seclusion.

  4. 5 Tools Every Graphic Designer Should Master in 2018

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    Graphic design is a booming industry at the moment. Thanks to the internet, most businesses are in need of experienced professionals that can provide them with the right kind of online presence. However, no matter how talented, it’s often difficult to accurately transpose your ideas onto the paper without the right tools. That’s why we’re going to have a look at five important tools you need to make use of in 2018.

    1. A top flight smartphone

    Unfortunately, in this day and age freelancers are expected to be available constantly. As a result, you’re going to want to ensure that you invest in the best technology possible. What you may not know though is that a good smartphone can also provide you with a number of invaluable tools that allow you to carry out your work. There’s a huge range of different apps, many of them specifically aimed at graphic designers just like you.

    2. Kuler

    Kuler is a fantastically useful app for graphic designers. Its actual purpose is fairly straightforward, but it’s also something that can be often overlooked. Essentially, it allows you to select a number of different colours and shades, and work out complementary options for them. It also lets you quickly find out both HEX and RGB codes. These are essential to a graphic designer’s work, and this facility can make your life considerably easier. It’s made by Adobe, so you can rest assured that it’ll deliver on its promises.

    3. Assembly

    Assembly is the ideal app for a graphic designer who specialises in logo development. This is a major and fundamental aspect to the industry, and something that can make a big difference with your clients. Assembly features over one hundred and eighty basic shapes, which you can rearrange to try out different styles of logo. It’s a simple idea, but beautifully executed, and fantastically easy to use.

    4. Sketchbook Pro

    Sketchbook Pro is a handy sketching app that’s ideal for all graphic designers. It’s a great thing to have on hand in any given situation, especially if you find yourself flooded with ideas, but lacking the means to put them down. The app has a selection of different brushes, and a wide variety of different facilities and options to make use of. The whole thing is pretty user friendly, and the perfect app to have handy on your phone.

    5. Fontshop

    A fantastic way of making your work stand out with a client is by providing them with their own unique font. This can really provide their site with a unique feel, and something that cannot be replicated by their competitors. Fontshop lets you take your pick from a number of different font designs, trialling them on a site to work out how they would look. That allows you to refine your design and work out the best options possible for your clients.

    These are just five of the very best choices for graphic designers looking to up their game. There are tons of other options out there, and thanks to the booming industry surrounding it, it looks like there’s no shortage of great innovations lined up for the future. If you want to get the most out of your work, it’s worthwhile staying on top of the latest new developments, and ensuring all your software is up to date. That way you can stay a step ahead of all the competition, and ensure that you deliver the best possible end result to your clients.

    Photo by Kristian Gonzalez