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5 Tips to Deal with Design Clients

5 Tips to Deal with Design Clients


Often as a software developer, it is not always easy to keep calm while dealing with anxious clients.

All developers have faced clients who aren’t necessarily easy customers. But they are the ones who are willing to pay for services, so it’s best to work hard to please them in a diplomatic way. Here are some tips to make development smoother for everyone involved.

1. Acknowledge Them

Learn to distinguish clients who may be more anxious than most. Most clients are logical beings who respond well to honesty and can make sound decisions when faced with a problem. The more difficult ones won’t react well if they feel their concerns aren’t being address. Listen and acknowledge their concerns and be patient if they ask for an explanation repeatedly or demand something that appears to be unreasonable.

2. Basic Requirements

Take the time to explain the process that needs to be accomplished in a clear and encompassing if a client appears to be uneducated about the work that needs to be done. Explanations should be open-ended, allowing the client to give feedback, ask questions or feel a part of the equation. No one wants to feel as if they are being talked down to or ignored. Treat them respectfully and have confidence in the skills being provided and they will feel included even if they at first seem unreasonable or ignorant.

3. Money First

Make sure finances are discussed up front and if a client seems like they may back out mid-project or will be overly difficult to deal with, ask for a deposit or the bulk of the fee before the work begins. Not everyone will be pleased with paying the entire fee upfront, but 50 percent is not unreasonable. An installment plan could work equally as well, a third when the work starts, a third when it’s two-thirds complete, etc. That way if a problem develops, a designer won’t be left holding the bag for work that has been completed.

4. Finish The Work In a Reasonable Timeframe

Often difficult clients will continue to change the concept of a designer’s project, adding or deleting features which creates more work than originally discussed. Be open to changes, they are the client, but if they become too demanding, step back and ask for a meeting to refocus. Lay out clearly what is reasonable to accomplish for the amount of payment and deadline discussed and then suggest a reframing of the project to accommodate everyone’s needs. As a last resort, if a client is particularly hard to please, finish the work as soon as possible and move on.

5. Just Do What They Say

Sometimes it does just boil down to it’s their project and their checkbook. There will be times when a designer will have to include aspects or make choices that seem inappropriate for a project. Don’t sweat it, they are paying the bills and it’s their end product. Go with the flow and get it done in a professional manner in a reasonable timeframe.  Stay within the guidelines they provided, even if it appears as if the end results may not be what was originally intended.

Remember, a little respect and a lot of professionalism goes a long way when dealing with anyone, especially a client who appears to be difficult.

 

 

6 Tips to Cut Website Costs

6 Tips to Cut Website Costs


One of the most important marketing tools for a new business is a website. Depending up on what kind of website and the style and features, there is a wide range that a company can spend. Hence it is important to strike a balance between creating the most useful website possible while saving money in the process. Here are some tips that may help.

1. Designing

Everyone likes to have choices. The same goes when developing a website. Always consider viewing more than one design. If the goal is to come up with something new and fresh, don’t be afraid to incorporate aspects that draw attention on other websites. But also consider that the more designs that are incorporated, the higher the cost. Try to stick to one power packed yet unique design which will be enough to popularize the website.

2. Work Smart, Work Less

In the past, once the website design is completed, developers had to code each feature individually. Then they would have to compile them and check their compatibility with one another and at the end check the entire look and feel of the website before launching it. This use to take up a lot of time and required hard work, ultimately upping the cost of the website. Nowadays, however, a lot of website building platforms are available which help to simply create the look and feel of the website and the platform will do the coding, reducing workload. This also allows developers to add features like E-commerce and CMS.

3. Simple and Small Beginning

When starting a business, usually the needs are pretty basic and the capital is pretty small. So the main aim behind building a website should be to fulfill the basic requirements and keep the cost to a minimum without compromising on the quality or style. Thinking about the future while creating a website now will only increase its cost. It’s a wiser choice to start out simple and small and expand when the capital starts flowing.

4. Do the work in phases

Divide the website development process in multiple phases so when a phase is done, the look and feel can be checked and changes can be easily made. In the initial phase, keep the features to a minimum. If those features are well compatible with each other then go on adding more features.

5. Seek Financing Plans

It’s obvious that not many of the website designing firms will allow clients to keep a tab with them; however it never hurts to ask. A lot of times, cash flow is the only obstruction in the initial phases of a business. If a new company is capable of negotiating the cost of the website into small installments then it will help keep the upfront costs low and it may allow for more features on the website.

6. Do it Yourself

There are aspects of websites which absolutely need to be built by a professional. However, there are parts which are comparatively easy to build and can be done by the client their team. For example creating the population of the content is one of the basic things that a client can do along with developers. This will help in reduction of the workload as it is a tedious and lengthy job and will help cut the cost of the web designing process too.

These are some of the tricks that start-up companies can apply to reduce the cost of their websites. Hopefully they will lead to a classy and workable website at a low cost.

Showcase designs on Dribbble easily with Dribbbox

Showcase designs on Dribbble easily with Dribbbox


As the social media website for web designers, Dribbble allows users to share their designs and get freebies. But the most advantageous perk of Dribbble is the fact that designers can get feedback and constructive criticism of their work which will ultimately improve their designs. Dribbbox is a handy tool that allows designers to showcase their work in their own portfolios easily.

What is Dribbbox?

Dribbbox is a library allows users to easily display designs under their own domain. All a designer needs is their own server and domain set up or access to the hosted server to download Dribbbox’s zip file and install it by uploading all the content of the zip code, including the assets folder, index.html, and the config.js into the server. Then insert a suitable username into the config.js and it’s ready to go.

dribbbox

Portfolio on Dribbbox

Dribbbox has a very simple yet workable portfolio structure. It mainly consists of three columns which represent a designer’s contact, designs and project from left to right. The contact column is fixed, but the column showcasing designs scrolls and the extreme right column can show entire projects one at a time to viewers. But the display doesn’t allow onlookers to comment or share the work. Another advantage is that Dribbbox is mobile friendly.

Dribbbox is a cool and easy to use library which doesn’t require you a knowledge of JavaScript for its utilization. Just add a user name, and if desired, a mail id. It can be customized using can also customized using CSS. Give Dribbbox a try.

How to Design Eye-Catching Landing Pages

How to Design Eye-Catching Landing Pages


Landing pages shouldn’t be ordinary. Customers must find websites attractive if they are going to buy products.  The landing pages of e-commerce sites should have enticing images and product reviews to inspire online customers to visit the sites and increase the SERP rates as well. There are different ways to design a website. Get to know them and customers will come in droves

Make sure Content is Precise to Optimize the Landing Page

Customers are very busy. They don’t want to read the vast content which is not interesting to reads.  So recap your purposes and vision within short framework.  In the landing page, you should do the content precision for the sake of winning trust from customers to check your site.  Your landing page must be easy to open.  There will be couple of easy steps to have codes to enter into the main home page to see the ads.  So make your home page lustrous and brilliant in colors. At the same time, the home page will have the faster online free registration and on-spot account opening option.   Follow the tagline setting procedures used by Verizon and Google.   Instead of opting for different taglines shorten up the process by using the same words to click the mouse on the ads.  For making the whole site checking process easier, install the videos for online guidance and demos.  The visual display is more helpful to customers to understand about the product selling procedures.

Highlight the Product Promotion Message

Don’t make the hotchpotch by lengthening the size of the content with advertisements.  When someone clicks the landing page, there will be a single statement with the button to go to the next step to complete the procedures. So the long and difficult sentences will divert the customers.   It will bring down the SERP rates of your site.  Try to put focus on the main message or theme to make your visitors understand what you need to deliver through your site.

Transparent Home Page Design   

Make the texture of the landing page of your e-commerce portal is clean with vast white space for visual attraction.  If your home page is overloaded and stuck with the content and images without black space, the visual panorama of the landing page will be lost to discourage others.  Sweet and catchy slogans and small quotations are very enjoyable to read.  Young site visitors like to see the beautiful pictures with short headings or key phrases to know about the products.  Your site decoration must be decent without lackluster.  Y our landing page must have proper bullet points in series, sub headings and taglines.

Authenticity Cues/Logos

The site visibility must be long lasting to help your online business running smoothly.  Online visitors grow confidence to check the sites, if they come into contact with colorful logos, cues and trade marks.  The logos represent the companies.   Trade marks are the registered seals approved by the government enhance the fairness in commercial deals.   Company’s goodwill depends on the foundations of honesty, fairness and transparency in running the business.  Design your landing page by installing the colorful logos and cues.

Perfect Color Matching to Design Sites

Select the preferable and matching colors to optimize the home page.  Use the bold and light colors in different contexts to design the websites.  For example, highlight the important messages and bullet points in bold dazzling colors.   Use the bright color to design the call to action button to attract the viewers.  Colors are vehicles of expressing different feelings and emotions clearly.  Use the light orange or blue color to create the full screen image to design the home page.  The decent color contrast makes the home page natural and vibrant.

Do Perfect Layouts

Readers must feel soothed when they check the home page.   The top to bottom of the home page must be glossy with readable content.  Place the major buttons on the top or in front to entice viewers to read the information.  Less important buttons must be placed in series.  For  flexibility  to use the buttons,  keep the  call to action button to the left side.  Place the header and offer buttons on the right side.

Home page designing undergoes a rapid change.  Landing pages must be attractive and of course flexible. Customers have the easy steps to review the site online.  Smooth web page designing and site optimization ensures better media exposure to promote business online.

10 Useful Tips for Prototyping your Designs

10 Useful Tips for Prototyping your Designs


When working on a particular project, it is better to test ideas and to see the outcome in advance, rather than completing the whole project and not liking the result. Prototyping helps designers test their work process and ideas to see if the outcome is the one the client desired. Many ideas for prototyping are available online, we’ve selected some of the best techniques for prototyping designs.

1. Prepping The Audience

Before subjecting a prototype to evaluation by a particular audience, designers should prep the audience about the project. The developer is accustomed to every aspect, but the audience is viewing it for the first time. They need to know exactly which features to evaluate to provide feedback. As the developer or designer, make sure the audience knows what they are being asked to evaluate.

2. Choosing the Audience

Before a designer showcases a prototype they need to carefully choose an audience. A low precision prototype during the start of the project will not make any sense to non-technical staff and they will not be able to evaluate it well. A low accuracy prototype should only be shown to the team members and developers who have an idea of the outcome. A rough paper sketch of the project may be enough to satisfy the higher engineers who just wants to see what a designer is trying to achieve. On the contrary, a mid precision prototype may be required when a designer is trying to collaborate with a team.

3. Participatory Design

It is often a good idea to involve the users of a particular project in the evaluation procedure. The feedback provided by users will help to enhance the usability of the project ultimately making it a successful one. A designer doesn’t  have to abide by every insight they provide, but considering their reviews will help in the designing process.

4. Keeping a Clear Outlook

The primary job of a prototype is to provide designer with a clear idea of what they need to achieve. Draw a rough sketch of the prototype. It doesn’t need to be very detailed or pretty. Create a loosely detailed prototype first and test it to check out the workability. Then insert the detailing while as the prototype is about to be finished. Take into consideration all the feedback available and detail the project accordingly.

5. User Friendly

Make the prototype as user friendly as possible. Uncomplicate the design so that the users are at ease while handling it. But in the process, don’t strip the design of the essential features. Keep it simple but make sure all the necessary elements are available.

6. Animate it

In the process of simplifying the prototype, don’t be afraid to add animations. Animations make a design attractive to the end users. But make sure it is not overloaded with them. Strike a balance between the optimum amount of animations to keep the design interesting but not clumsy.

7. Drawing

Designers should sketch out an idea first before they start to work on the prototype. A sketch of what is needed and how the work is going to flow will help in designing the prototype with ease.

8. Coding

Designers are sometimes weak when it comes to coding skills. However, multiple tools are available which will allow designers to produce a prototype without having to code. A designer shouldn’t compromise a prototype just because they are unable to code it.

9. Real-time Users

Testing out the prototype on real users who will actually use the finished product will help to develop the project better. Allow them to review the work and feedback on the pros and cons faced by them.

10. Keep it Simple

In the attempt to create a perfect prototype, don’t lose time and energy meant for the development of the final project. Design the prototype with the basic aspects in a quick and precise manner so time can be invested in developing the main project.

10 Useful Tips you Keep in Mind While Hiring a Web Designer

10 Useful Tips you Keep in Mind While Hiring a Web Designer


Often business owners find the need to hire a web designer in order to create a site for their business to draw worldwide attention. However, with an endless options of designers to choose from, people often get confused as to whom to choose and whom not to. Even if an owners has no technical knowledge about designing, they need to have a basic idea about what they want so they can explain their requirements to a web designer. There are certain questions you should ask yourself or the designer before deciding whether he or she is a good fit to design your website for you. The following tips will help business owner choose the perfect designer.

1. New Designer = Small Project

When you’re trying out a new web designer or a new firm to design your website, make sure you test them out with small projects first. If you are satisfied with their efficiency, you can roll out bigger projects for them to tackle. Handing out bigger projects in the initial stages means a higher risk it may not get accomplished.

2. Samples

When choosing a particular web designers ask them to show samples of the previous projects they’ve done which cost a similar to the project that needs creating. This will give you a fair idea as to what to expect from the designer and how the project will look on completion. You can also seek references and talk to other clients handled by them to be extra sure.

3. Managing the Project

Depending upon the size of the web designing firm you’re working with, there should be a single person who looks after all the aspects of the project or the job that may be distributed among various people like graphic designers, copy writers, and programmers. Make sure you know who to contact in order to get a report of the ongoing project and have a good relationship with them.

4. Cost

Make sure you have a solid idea about how much the final project is going to cost before you sign a contract with a web designer. Depending on the content, graphics, etc., the cost may range from a few hundred dollars to about $10,000. Set the price range before finalizing the deal.

5. Duration

Every project should have a time range for completion. Keep track of work to make sure the project is completed within the specified time. Be ready to take prompt decisions if a problem arises during the course of development.

6. After Completion Adjustments

Ask designers how much time they’ll  provide for making adjustments after the project has been completed. Some designers will charge extra for work done after the completion of a project while will make adjustments for free. Make sure the terms are clear before the start of the project.

7. Layouts

Before the project is set into motion, ask the designer to provide a layout of what they’re creating. This will help you make changes if you don’t like something and this also helps the designers to make the adjustments easily.

8. Content

Most web designers have a tendency to give more importance to the design of the website and not to the content of it. Plan out the content of the site carefully with your designer because content is responsible for the success of the site.

9. Future Changes

Get to know the requirements if you wish to make changes in the future. Also, ask them if they’ll let you make the basic updates or will you have to contact them for the work.

10. Slow Hiring, Fast Firing

Make sure all your criteria are met before you hire a particular web designer for the completion of your project. Take your time and test them before you are absolutely sure about hiring a person. On the contrary, if you find a person isn’t getting the job done, let them go. Don’t create a loss for your business while giving an unworthy designer a second chance.

Hope these tips help when it comes to choosing the perfect web designer for  project.

Trends to Follow While Designing Mobile Weather Apps

Trends to Follow While Designing Mobile Weather Apps


Gone are the days when most people watched the weather forecast on television. These days the weather shows up on smartphones and tablets with alerts and eye-catching appeal.

Almost all smartphones have their own apps to display the weather. But third party developers are also working on creating new apps that are more attractive, lighter and quicker.

Let’s discuss some of the top trends in latest mobile weather app designs:

1. Font

Almost all apps have changed to lighter font typefaces like Helvetica Neue, Gotham or Hero. These fonts are sharp and give a crisp and fresh look. They can be read quickly and absorbed by the user.

2. Colors

Colors immediately pop out for users. Most app developers try to create weather displays where colors evoke emotions.  Apps play with color to show the intensity of the temperature outside. The numbers aren’t as important when the app gave show the weather with eye-catching appeal.

3. Infographics

Infographics break the information into bits of data and display it methodically. Developers can use charts or illustrations to show weather trends. They can also display graphs to indicate what has been average temperature on a given date for past five years. Items like a wheel displaying every single piece of weather information like humidity, temperature, wind force or amount of precipitation, can also be created.

4. Photographs

A great example of photographs used online to make an app attractive is Yahoo Weather! It pulls location based images from Flickr and displays the info in a clean and crisp manner. Users can swipe the image to get more weather details.

5. Flat Iconic

This is a simplistic approach to display the weather. Here the developers use the same old weather icons like cloudy, rainy, sunny with a temperature display. Apps like Minimeteo explain that a perfect app need not have beautiful pictures or attractive designs. Just simple sign with card-like interface works fine to give info on temperature which can be quickly glanced by the user.

6. Realism

This feature is a virtual platform where digital interface is designed in such a way to resemble real-life objects such as wood or glass. Weather Dial uses a knob for different settings and a center gauge to display the information. This is a beautiful innovative app and very functional. It also has a fully automated night mode.

Play with colors, fonts and pictures to attract customers and easily sell your app. Create a new user experience and users will pay to use it.

 How to Hire a Designer for your Startup 

 How to Hire a Designer for your Startup 


Times are changing; users are more into smartphones, apps and social networks. They want everything to be done on websites and just with a click. The websites need to be crisp and fresh to attract users. This has led to demand for designers. Depending on the requirements and financial status employers can decide if they are looking to create a team of 3-4 people including a full-time designer or a multi-tasker who can design as well as code.

I would suggest hiring a designer exclusively if money allows. The reason is very simple, there are so many beautiful sites coming up daily that designers need to work full time to think and plan websites. If a designer is writing codes, checking out prototypes and analyzing feedback, it gets tiring and hampers creativity.

Here are certain tips to help find the correct designer for the job:

1. Hunting the Unicorn

Trying to find a unicorn is a waste of time because they don’t exist. Don’t overburden the designer with so many responsibilities that they refuses to join your company. No one can be skilled in all areas, expecting someone to be so might discourage them from joining your firm. You need to decide what skills are important to you and their priority.

2. Think Like Them

Established designer might not want to join  new firm. Offering lot of money will not help if a designer doesn’t see the potential for career growth while working with you. Hiring a young passionate designer is better than an experienced author with no excitement for what they are doing.

3. Expand the Horizons

Opt for freelancers, non-US citizens or outsource the design work to established companies. Freelancers are best option since they look for a short period of time to work and then move on. This gives employers best outcomes.

4. Hire a recent graduate

Make time to interview students while they are in design school and don’t be afraid to hire someone who has just graduated. They are enthusiasts and want to try out everything they have learned in school. They may be an unknown quantity but they will bring a fresh set of eyes to any company.

5. Consider Visual Design or Interaction Design

Both the skills are needed to build a great product and understand the client’s perspective. But remember any candidate may be good in one skill set while not-so-good in another. You need to define what you want to produce and accordingly choose the correct candidate. Visual design is needed when you want the product to look better than the competitor’s.

It needs to be credible and of high quality. But interaction design is needed if you are offering a complex service and need to present it in simpler way. IT is also needed when designing mobile platforms and supporting complex tasks.

Once you prioritize what you want to produce, it will be easier to choose the correct candidate and see progress in your company.

How to Design a Perfect Portfolio

How to Design a Perfect Portfolio


Whether you are a freelancer, entrepreneur or employed, your portfolio needs to be as perfect as possible. Portfolios are the best way to market yourself and showcase your talents. Portfolios can be digital or physical, depending upon the career and the objective of the work. Potential clients or employers need to be able to look at a portfolio quickly.

A professional looking portfolio will help with that. Consider the option of creating two or three portfolios that showcase work depending on the type of company and job profile you are seeking. For example when applying for a marketing company, make sure your best logos, market campaigns and videos are all in one portfolio. The same holds true when applying to an academic institution. Doing this will eliminate a bulky compilation of work and will create categories that are immediately ready when a potential job becomes available.

Here are some points to consider when creating an online portfolio:

  1. Platform: WordPress sites are very simple to use and don’t require a lot of technical knowledge to create. Alternatively, you can also outsource the work to other professional companies or use various online tools and platforms like Behance, PortfolioBox or Big Black Bag to design a dedicated portfolio.
  2. Be Selective: Don’t be overzealous while displaying your work. Be selective and only choose elements which will get you hired. Illustrate the full range of your skill set.
  3. Show, don’t tell: The website should be created with showcasing your style in mind. The images and text used should highlight your best work, without having to explain that this is your best work.
  4. Keep it updated: This is one of the most essential elements. Just creating a portal, will not help further your career. You need to regularly update it with all your recent work. Always create a versatile template and update in marked folders, this way updating will be simple and more streamlined.

Physical portfolio:

  1. Context to work: When including examples of artwork, include a description of how it was created. This gives potential employers and clients insight about your skills.
  2. Include Case studies and non-client work: It is not always possible to find a picture that is representative of a project. Ask for recommendations from previous clients and mention them in the portfolio. Also mention some of your dream projects or self-initiated work. This will give a futuristic view of your career path to the client.
  3. Indexing: It is very important to index the design of your portfolio so that readers can get back to the page which they found most interesting and amusing. Mention page numbers or titles.
  4. All-round Experience: You are not just a photographer or a designer. If you are good in marketing or coding you need to mention that as well. Give your portfolio a broader approach to showcase your talents. With increasing competition, clients are not just looking for one quality but a mix of talent.