If you ask any chief marketing officer about the importance of “positive word of mouth” for their product or company, they’ll inevitably say “It’s absolutely critical, word of mouth is definitely a top priority for our business.” But, when you follow up with the question “What specifically are you doing to create it, measure it and monitor it?” you’ll get a mixed bag of reactions.
Here’s a question for you: would you agree that creating a great user experience should be the primary aim of any Web designer? I know what your answer is… and youʼre wrong!
Okay, I admit that not all of you would have answered yes, but most probably did. Somehow, the majority of Web designers have come to believe that creating a great user experience is an end in itself. I think we are deceiving ourselves and doing a disservice to our clients at the same time. Continue Reading
The second edition of our Monster List of Freelance Job Sites has been valuable and much visited since April 2009. With over a hundred comments from our fantastic readers which has really added to its value. This list is a thorough update, removing dead links, adding new sites, and taking on board many of the suggestions from your comments.
Nowadays we use computers almost everywhere — and for everything. We use computers at work to do our job and at home to play games, chat with friends, view pictures or videos and sometimes even more work. Continue Reading
SEO can be made as complicated as quantum physics, but the reality is much simpler. While there may indeed be the oft-cited “200 ranking factors,” anyone with experience knows deep down that backlinks are the lynchpin to scaling the heights of Google. However clever your keyword selection and copywriting are, there’s no getting around the fact that you need more links, stronger links, or more relevant links pointed back at your content than the next guy’s.
I never know what I’m going to write until I actually sit down to write it. Actually, the less I think about it, and just allow myself to relax into the flow, the better the writing usually takes shape.
My state of mind has everything to do with the quality of the final result. Thus, the lack of writing produced in the first 10 months of 2010 – as I was recovering and overcoming post-partum depression. Continue Reading
Design is more of a collaborative process than we often realize. In the process of designing a new site, logo, promotional flyer, and more, you’ll often end up emailing dozens of files back and forth with your coworkers and clients to see what they think about the changes. Adding to that, you’ll usually end up emailing copies of PSD or AI files, links to similar designs that inspired you, or reminders for when parts of the project are due.
Peter Drucker is one of the most influential business writers of the last century. His ideas have shaped the ways we conduct business today. One of Drucker’s main ideas was the notion that without a customer, there is no business. Furthermore, customer satisfaction is the key to the success of any business, or in his words: “The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are no results inside its walls. The result of a business is a satisfied customer.” Continue Reading
Since its early days, video has been one of the most powerful and efficient tools of visual communication. It is able to deliver a direct and clear message to a broad audience as well as focus viewers on something particular. A visually appealing video is an excellent way to present a product, service or brand and take user experience to a much more interactive level. For this reason, elegant, creative and professional videos are becoming increasingly popular in Web design today.
Dealing with tragic news is hard enough on its own, but confusion and awkwardness are added to the mix when you face people each day from 9-5 who know about it. It’s difficult to compartmentalize emotions and fears when they take a turn for the worse.
Could your web browser replace the need to visit Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn on a regular basis? To find out the answer, keep reading…
Web browsers have changed considerably over the past 15 years. From Internet Explorer to the upstart Mozilla stealing their thunder and most recently Google rearing its head with an ultra-fast browser, Chrome, the field of play is starting to get crowded. Continue Reading
A strong personal brand is beneficial on many levels. At the core it differentiates the designer, developer, marketer, etc, from the rest of the pack within crowded disciplines. It functions as a self-promotion agent that works for the practitioner 24/7/365 ultimately ensuring this person becomes a magnet for new and interesting work opportunities.
Who knew that a college graphic design project could turn into an overnight viral sensation?
On Tuesday, December 22nd, UK-based graphic design student Matt Dempsey, 21, launched a cute primer called Comic Sans Criminal.
The elegant site instructs amateur designers how to use the most juvenile-looking typeface in a designer’s toolbox.
Google Analytics is one of the most well known website analytics around, not to mention being one of the best. Although Google Analytics is a fantastic app to tackle your site’s analytics needs, there are actually several other options available that many would argue are better choices. We’ve pulled together eight of the best alternatives to Google Analytics and some information about each; price, plugins, mobile apps, real-time tracking and requirements. Continue Reading
Quality product descriptions can transform e-commerce conversion rates — it’s common to see increases of 30-100%. As well as converting more visitors, search traffic increases drastically when unique copy is written for each product. Most online retailers use manufacturers’ copy or rely solely on images to sell products. They then use inadequate copy elsewhere on their site and fail to achieve a consistent tone to persuade their audience. This creates a compelling opportunity for savvy retailers — by writing quality e-commerce copy you will create a unique competitive advantage.
Can cool domains names assure the success of a site, blog or brand? No, they can’t. However, a great product combined with a cool domain name does get the word around lightning fast. Selecting the perfect domain name requires patience, wordplay and more patience. Out there in the internet, there are bunch of web apps that help suggest, crunch and spin words to get hold of that perfect name. Continue Reading
As the holiday season begins, your freelance business may seem like its ending.
There are two schools of thought about end of the year work: You either have a lot because the company is trying to use up its budget, or you don’t get much because most of your clients are out of money or too wrapped up in other things (including their personal shopping).
Even when we list out our services on our portfolios, you’ll always get quote requests for something you’ve never done before. You can always refuse to do the project or hand these requests off to another freelancer. But, what if you’re actually interested in doing the work? Continue Reading
Through a group of great writers that I’ve gotten to know, I “met” (virtually) Theo Pauline Nestor. I immediately wanted to read her book, How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed, because it’s a memoir of divorce — and one of my happiness-project resolutions is to Read memoirs of catastrophe.
While millions of people share the dream of working from home, very few understand its difficulties.
From online distractions to technical malfunctions, online entrepreneurs and freelancers face thousands of potential setbacks, each one threatening a decline in income or a pause in cash flow. We’re all familiar with this problem. Continue Reading
It doesn’t take much to set off a tsunami of public relations headaches in the digital world.
As the last 12 months have shown us-what with BP’s environmental disaster and a variety of online scandals-the damage that a disgruntled client or audience can do can’t be measured in income alone but can easily swell to ridiculous proportions.
Christmas is coming and some countries are starting to enter the snowy winter season. Unfortunately we who live in the tropical countries can’t enjoy the falling snow like people who live in the four-season countries. However we can still enjoy the beauty of snow scenery through videos or photos. Continue Reading
You spend a lot of time at your desk. Why not furnish it to suit your style?
While cluttering your desk with a ton of stuff is never a good idea, decorating it with the right stuff that keeps you productive and happy is important. Doing so also makes your desk both functional and fun and is a great way to keep your morale up when things aren’t going as awesome at work as you’d like.
Web standards should be a driving force behind the work of any designer or developer. They provide a scale against which to measure the quality, structure, syntax and methodology of design work.
To explain the benefits of web standards, I’ve compared on my own blog the landscape of the web today with that of 10 to 15 years ago. Continue Reading
Web typography has evolved a lot over the last years. Today we see rich, accessible typography, a plethora of type design choices for the web and a number of remarkable, type-based web designs. It’s a great time for web design, and it’s a great time for web typography. Still, being as excited as we are, we should not forget about the foundational principles of good type design on the web and use them properly within our projects. Great choice is good, but, most importantly, we should be making meaningful typographic choices in our designs.
A high demand for the employee productivity lacking in today’s workforce leaves management teams wondering exactly what to do. The dazzling distractions of a high tech world constantly bombard the work environment. Employees are so busy texting, “tweeting” and updating their Facebook statuses that employers are left with unfinished assignments, missed deadlines, and wasted financial resources. Increasing employee productivity should be on the forefront of any managerial mind.
Rocket fuel, cup o’ joe, brain juice, mud. Call it what you will, coffee has been the go to fuel for freelancers from around the world. Sheik Abd-al-Kadir may have said it best when he said “no one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee’s frothy goodness.” High-five Sheik!
All of us have ongoing tasks in our lives – individual things that need to be done but are too large to be accomplished in a single sitting or require various things for various steps along the way.
I know that my own life is littered with such projects. I’d like to rearrange my office, moving my mostly-empty bookshelf over to another wall and replacing it with shelving for my game collection. I’d like to write a third book. The list goes on and on.
When you’re first starting out as a freelancer, it can be difficult to find those first few gigs. Many freelancers develop the habit of accepting nearly every project with work that remotely resembles their chosen specialty.
For the brand new freelancer, taking what work you can find is a matter of survival (and there’s nothing wrong with that). Before long, however, you may find yourself overwhelmed with too much work to do and too little time to do it in. When this happens, you know that it is time to start to refuse projects. However, you probably don’t have a refusal strategy in place.
Are you wondering how to leverage your presence on LinkedIn to build social influence?
Regularly updating your status, joining and participating in groups and answering questions is just the start.
There are also a number of ways to build deeper relationships with your connections on LinkedIn.
No matter how big or small, your website can always expect at least some activity from spammers if appropriate measures are not in place. This can significantly decrease productivity for you as a webmaster or developer and sometimes more extreme methods are needed to combat these online threats.
As we all know, Facebook is growing more quickly that anyone possibly imagined. When I interviewed Mark Zuckerberg at FOWA London 2008, they had 150 million users. He said they wanted to be the platform that the entire world uses to connect to one another. Now, just two years later, they have over 500 million, and I’d say he’s on his way to doing just that.
Mozilla has just published their annual “The State of Mozilla” report. They do this once they’ve filed their audited financial statements for the previous year, so these numbers are for 2009. Still, they’re impressive numbers given how much competition their is in the market — particularly from their biggest benefactor: Google.