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7 Tips to Become a Super Successful Freelancer 

7 Tips to Become a Super Successful Freelancer 


Freelancing is an attractive option since it offers a lot of diversity in the types of work and freedom when it comes to getting it done. Working freelance has its advantages. But freelancers need to learn time management and how to market themselves to receive a steady flow of work.

Here are some tips on how to become a successful freelancer:

1. Business Plan

One of the most important steps a freelancer can take is to jot down a business plan that includes targets and ways to achieve goals. Freelancers also may find that a written timeline is useful in helping to decide what work should be completed in a specific period. Be prepared to think about all the challenges and issues which may occur in future and how to be prepared for them.

2. Increase the Productivity

Individuals should figure out which time of day is the most productive to maximize the amount of work that can be done in a given period. Studies show that individuals need to work for at least 90 minutes first thing in morning without any distraction to be the most productive. Those 90 minutes can be a time to relax while having a constant focus on work. With smartphones, social websites and games as big distractions, these few hours offer the best result.

3. Say No

One of the most difficult things for a freelancer to learn is how and when to say “no.” This simple little word can create and hamper your work environment to quite an extent. Those just starting out in their careers might feel obliged to take any job that comes their way no matter how small the pay. This could become a habit. Draw a line on what is profitable to accept and keep it.

4. Take a Break

When the going gets tough, don’t be afraid to take a break. A brisk walk can work wonders. Physical activity boosts brain power and has a calming affect. A constant workload often leads to constant stress which in turn reduces productivity and interest in work. Taking a break will definitely boost productivity.

5. Be creative

To break the monotony of the work try and add some “spice” to the workplace. Set targets that can be celebrated when completed. Surround desks and workplaces with creative elements meant to inspire. Even a photo of family may help.

6. Keep Finances in good shape

Always keep the financial end of a freelance business up to date. Manage money by tracking all debts and credits. Keep a good record of invoices. Be honest about the number of hours spent working on a client’s Regular accounting will allows a business to fix errors and implement corrections immediately.

7. Feedback

Take regular feedback from clients or customers. Make sure business websites have a comments page or feature to get regular feedback from readers. Understanding what a client thinks can help to improve the business. If there is a problem or a mistake, work to correct it. Feedback can play an important role in climbing the ladder of success.

Let us know how these strategies worked.

How to Open your own web design agency

How to Open your own web design agency


In order to make a smart decision on how to open a design agency, consider all the steps required and what is needed from technology to get the online business off the ground.

Potential clients must have a good feeling about a web design agency before they will consider hiring one. So, step by step, go to through the introduction of a new website designing company or small agency to help people understand what the company can offer. At the same time, consider  that a web designing agency should have someone who shows mastery over the web decoration or site optimization to promote products. A design agency online must have hi-tech tools to train junior webmasters and site developers to modify sites. Hire qualified people and the company will flourish.

Make a small investment in the beginning to reap rewards later

Any new business needs funding – even if they are starting to offer products and services on a small scale. Choose an affordable loan option with a good repayment schedule. However, check your credit history before going to a moneylender. In reality, the higher your credit rating the more prominent chance for you  to  have fast loan option without obligation. In the beginning, don’t make a huge investment. If the business is doing well, consider making another investment to expand.

Know the competition

Get to know who are the top competitors in the field and set your business apart from the rest by offering services above and beyond what they do. Work hard to continually improve the business. Use new strategies for product promotion. Don’t be afraid to bring in advanced technology to develop the methods of site decoration. Be ready to maintain quality as the business grows. Utilize mobile transactions – one of the latest trends. Modernize a conventional design agency by opening e-commerce portals and try to convince customers by providing result-oriented service.

Be Proactive with Positive Mindset to Promote Business

Choose the slogan WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). For faster business expansion, marketing is a must. Do product promotion highlighting your objectives. Clients should be enthusiastic to talk about what your agency is offering. Supported their curiosity by giving examples, samples and technical assistance. The website design of a company is an excellent tool to increase publicity. Online design agencies are getting special preference due to the higher demand for site decoration to do the business promotion. So utilize skills and invest money to launch a world class design agency. Finally, don’t forget to create a mechanism for customer complaints and problems. If a company isn’t able to troubleshoot and address problems, clients won’t remain on board long.

Make sure your new company is reliable. Clients don’t like to feel cheated or ignored. Maintain transparency and provide customer support to keep clients happy and coming back for more. If needed invite customers to do live chats to solve problems and enhance the rapport between the company and clients. Any positive feelings or promotions will help keep a company alive even during tough financial times.

10 Questions to Ask Before taking on a Redesign Project

10 Questions to Ask Before taking on a Redesign Project


While redesigning a website, developers must keep certain points in mind: what is needed by the client? What is their budget? Who are the target audiences? And lastly, what changes are required?

1. What is the Selling Point of the Business?

Before getting into the job, designers need to understand what sets a client’s business apart from others. The goal should be to highlight the strong points of the business for customers. The redesign of their the website should make clients stand out in a competitive market.

2. What is the Focus of Business?

The next point to consider is what client’s business goals are. Re-designer should know about the business and its goals in order to highlight the products and services on the company website.

3. Who are the competitors?

Knowing a client’s competitors will help a designer strengthen the client’s website.

4. What are the weak points?

An effective redesign of a website strongly depends on knowing the weak points of the company and offering a solution for them.

5. Who are the target audiences?

While redesigning the website, paying attention to the target audience is paramount. The website must be attractive to the audience intended.

6. How are the products marketed?

A website’s layout should depend on the marketing strategy the client. How they are going to sell their products is absolutely important in the redesigning of the website.

7. What is the budget?

Know what a client is willing to pay for a redesign. Depending on the budget offered, designers can shape a website accordingly.

8. What are the specifications?

A designer needs to know what a client needs on their website. Ask! Do they want something purely business-related or do they want any other topics included which may have been omitted in the earlier version.

9. How are they planning to maintain it?

Usually blogs and forums are maintained in order to keep customers updated about the business. This is done by company personnel. Ask how a client is planning on maintaining and updating their site so features for proper maintenance can be included.

10. What outcome is expected?

Ask clients the kind of outcome they expect from a redesign – a larger audience, a highly targeted audience? – and how they expect the website to look before a redesign begins.

Please comment about any other suggestions or questions to ask when considering redesign work.

Tips: How Freelancers Should Decide Their Rates

Tips: How Freelancers Should Decide Their Rates


One of the toughest challenges a freelancer can face is when it comes to calculating their worth. If you’re honest about your worth from the beginning, you’ll definitely get clients who will be willing to pay you.

As a freelancer, keep the following in mind while determining how much you are worth:

  • Calculate how many hours a week you are going to work. Doing this will help you determine your rates.
  • Profit: This can be done by calculating expenses for personal and business ventures. It’s also important to keep in mind the taxes that need to be paid and the on-staff yearly salary divided by the number of hours you worked for in that year. This will help you to determine the lowest rate for which you will be able to accept.
  • While working as a freelancer, back calculation is often more feasible. Decide how much you want to earn every year and set your working hours and rates accordingly.
  • Rather than curbing down under the pressure of a client and reducing your rates, it is far better to spend time improving yourself and skills so that the right client can truly understand your worth.
  • Be flexible on the rate front. Your rates may fluctuate on the basis of market conditions and the situation both you and your client are going through.
Guidelines for business branding to promote growth

Guidelines for business branding to promote growth


In order to have a successful start-up, it is crucial to focus a new company’s growth. One way to do that is through branding. With a solid brand and product promotion, a small company can achieve success within a short amount of time.

Guidelines to a successful business brand can be helpful to any company looking to expand their customer base which leads to greater profits and long-term stability.

Choose the Best Business Branding Strategies

Any new company should have innovative business branding strategies to impress its intended audience – that includes dazzling ideas, tips, and result-oriented messages to win customers.

Not having a long-term branding strategic may be a mistake – trying to keep a company profitable and competitive requires thought and action. Many local companies have no specific and long-term projects to do business branding.  Seek help from professionals who know how to create and implement innovative business plans. The plans should include marketing products and sending the right message to customers and clients about the vision of the company.

Don’t be afraid to have patience when it comes to finding the right brand for a new company. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Consultants who showcase their expertise in  designing new business promotion can generate profits for a new company in a relatively short period of time.

It’s good to include the ideas of both management and employees who have a stake in business growth when formulating a brand and a plan.

Change is a must in this economy and keeping up with technology is important. Don’t be afraid to use the latest in technology to advance a new brand and build a strong foundation for the future.

10 Excellent Design Tips for Startups

10 Excellent Design Tips for Startups


With so many startups popping up each day, it’s absolutely important to stand out in the crowd and make people notice websites, whether they are established or new. Hopefully these few tips will help  create a better website that allows businesses to flourish.

1. Simple and User-friendly

The best way to create a great website that drives traffic is to keep it simple. Using easy navigation, clickable logos and search buttons help the visitors check websites with ease as they are familiar with these options. Unnecessary clustering with loads of graphics and options is not a great idea  A clear and crisp look is necessary to create a popular website.

2. Make it Fun

One of the best ways to stay on someone’s mind is through humor. People often forget what it is said and done, but they’ll remember the feel. So add some fun elements to websites to attract customers.

3. Picture Perfect

People, today, don’t have much time to spare. Reading elaborate descriptions is time consuming. It’s far better to describe ideas or products through a good image or photo. This allows customers to navigate through products quickly and at the same time get an idea of what is being offered.

4. Less is More

It’s a known fact that people relate faster to particular colors. But using a lot of colors on a website may confuse the visitors. Use simple colors in fewer amounts which creates a more memorable look. Just think of Facebook, Starbucks etc., they’re easily remembered by their simple color scheme.

5. Make it Readable

Most people get to know about products online these days. So it’s important that a company provides information in a readable manner. Provide enough spacing in between lines, make sure the key information is highlighted to grab the visitors’ attention and make the background lighter than the fonts or vice versa so that it stands out.

6. Distinct Fonts

While designing a startup website, keep in mind that typography is very important. It’s one of the main features to communicate with customers. Avoid using too many fonts as this may confuse the visitors but at the same time use two distinct fonts which will separate the headings and the content.

7. Understandable Call to Action

CTA or Call To Action is the obvious way of making customers hooked on a site. It’s better to use simple language which is easy to understand than use cool “slangs” which may confuse visitors.

8. Mobile App

Life is hectic and everyone is on the go. Most people access the internet via mobile phones. It’s better to create a good mobile version of a website in order to make it more popular. Make sure to include all the best features of the desktop version in the mobile app too.

9. Customer Comes First

When designing the website keep in mind the needs of the customers you hope to reach and keep.

10. Keep Improving

For  entrepreneurs, it’s absolutely important to keep testing and improving a website. This helps gain and retain customers.

Keeping these few points in mind will help create a more popular and user friendly website. Please feel free to comment with further suggestions and queries.

 

Five Tips to Design Incredible Infographics

Five Tips to Design Incredible Infographics


Infographics are helpful for those presenting information with the help of graphs and pictures. It may sound simple, but making these infographics aren’t that easy. Here are five tips developers can use to help them design infographics:

 

1. Data Collection

Sorting out data is the first and most important job when it comes to being a developer. Designers must pick out data relevant to your infographics, counter check their authenticity and then perform research for more data. Make sure you use data from relevant sources and don’t forget to give credit to your sources.

2. Understand the Story and Depict It

It is important to read all of your data and connect all dots, and incomplete information will lead to incomplete infographics. If you can’t make a good story out of the information provided, then you won’t be able to clarify complex data or support an argument through the infographics.

3. Clarity of Data

Sometimes the client may want the infographics to uphold only the positive sides and suppressing the negative qualities in the form of a twisted storyline. But this may lead to a defective infographics as data has a way of showing the truth ultimately. This may sometimes force you to reject the client’s original idea in order to reveal the true picture.

4. Sweet and Simple Design

Your infographics need to have a hero to unveil the story. After you select the most interesting fact, you place that at the top and then put the rest of the information in order. You can display your stories by the use of raw data in the form of graphs and charts or you can mask your data with the help of metaphors. Using a clean and crisp color palette and simple graphics helps create a good infographic.

5. Test and Release

After you complete the infographics, you need to be able to test it so anyone can understand what the infographics mean. Then, you can release the project, which can be done online.

7 Successful Tips to Use Mobile Typography

7 Successful Tips to Use Mobile Typography


Mobile typography can be difficult for designers to grasp at first. Successful mobile typography must be readable with unique designs, and designers must be successful in making their readers interested to check the digital content or text on their touch screens. Here are seven innovative tips designers can use to make the most out of their mobile typography:

Font Selection

The size of the letters of the content is important and must be properly tailored. Unattractive design of the text spoils the charm for readers to go through the text, so font selection must be chosen to enhance the aesthete of the content. Do trials before choosing the fonts to optimize the stored content. There are updated fonts online for better typography, and there is also free online research will help you to have the attractive fonts to decorate the content.

Measurement

If the words of the text are large, readers will not be comfortable handling the content, especially on smaller devices. The size of the text, then, must be measured to reset the content. If you have a box-shaped smart phone or an iPhone, the screen is larger to display the 12-sized Times New Roman font-based content. However, if you have a smaller phone, reduce the size and shape of the content. Keep the header size, width and length of the text in the right proportion. If there is little room or space on the mobile screen, words will be disarrayed or overlapped.

Strategize

To be a good typography designer you must be strategic when decorating the small or large text on smart phones. For instance, designers should bold the important phrases or highlight key words. Your content will draw the attention of people. Data shared through your mobile devices should be visible, and designers should use black colors to bold their content. You can bring some changes by opting for handful color shades, like a deep pink color. If you use sophisticated fonts to redesign the content, you can select underlines to mark the content to attract readers.

Double Space

Typographic tools are useful for content resetting. For example, using a double space between the two sentences is often helpful to those who cannot read small text.

Be an Artist

DIY typography is an art, so you must have an artistic mindset and use the power of creativity to modify the text.

Be Creative

This follows under being an artist to modify your text. Expand your imagination to apply more creative ideas to keep the clarity of the text without damaging the visual panorama of the text. Take risks and experiment by minimizing or maximizing the font size without derailing the margins of the framework.

Play with Colors and Fonts

Regularly, you must play with the font and colors to paint the content.  If you have the lack of knowledge to select the right font and colors, you could eventually achieve this goal through regular practice and experimentation. You can also do online comparisons to handpick the best colors to perfect content decoration.

10 Usability Tips for Web Designers

10 Usability Tips for Web Designers


Let me first of all give you the slightest idea as to what the article of the day revolves around. Usability! It’s the key factor that works in favor of making any website successful. No matter, how good the website is designed, how good and informative the content you come up with, if the user/viewer finds it difficult to access, s (he) will not be making an effort to come back again to check if you have worked on the usability part.

I mean you imagine yourself coming across a website that is creatively designed, find the content good, but then you are unable to understand how the navigation works, where (on which page) you will get the content you are looking for. What would be your next move? I assure you will be leaving the page and looking for the information or data on any other blog/website.

Who has that much time to understand the content presented in hotchpotch manner? So, while you plan to come up with a website of your own, there are many things you need to keep in mind or else your entire efforts might go down the drain. Ensure, that your website is creatively designed, the content is reliable, useful and put well, users get easier access and don’t find it difficult to navigate, scroll down, search. If any of the factors that contributes in making the user contented and happy with the product/service/content you offer is missing, you will not be doing justice to your hard work.

Further, I will be discussing the important, relevant tips and tricks that help you improve on the usability thereby making it easy for the users to access your website. Wish to know as to which tips and tricks help in improving on the usability part? Hit a jump and read on!

1. Easily Readable Text

The first and the foremost thing that affects the overall usability is the readability. If the user is not able to understand what information you are trying to convey, it will mar the entire efforts. Even if your website is visually eye-catching, the fact remains that easily readable text is of prime importance. Good typefaces, font sizes, no unnecessary number of typefaces, stress on body text, proper alignment all help in making the content easily readable.

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2. Content Properly Organized

The content you present in your website shouldn’t be put in the haphazard manner infact, it should be well organized to ensure easy understanding thereby giving usability to the users. The key is to keep the content that concentrates on what the users want first, logically organizing the content and likewise.

3. Bold Headings

How many of us literally go through every point while going through any article. Sometimes, one does that, but when we are looking for the content are falling short of time, we take a glance and reading the headings make us understand what would that point be about. Talk about headings and subheadings, one should make it bold and catchy.

Headings/subheadings play an important role in increasing the usability as the user is able to differentiate it from the regular content like here at TheNeoDesign keep the headings in H1 and H3 format to let you all understand the content easily and know as to what the content is about that falls under a particular heading.

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4. Regularly Updating The Content

This is one important tip to increase the usability. While checking various websites, if the user sees no updating for some time on your website,s(he) will consider it to be not of any further use. There are rare chances that visitors will come back to check if you have updated the website/blog (ever since the last time there was no updation). Make sure to regularly update the content which will help increase the usability. The content should be new, informative and easy to understand.

5. Search Box

Placing the search box on the home page will let the users get the content, information they are looking for the easy way. One just has to put in what is being required and without wasting the time, will get the content/information right there. Search box actually saves on effort and time one would otherwise have to invest unnecessarily when there can be as mart way out.

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6. Easy Navigation

Now, this one got to be one of the key factors that will contribute in increasing the usability of any website. No matter how creatively the website is designed, how good the content is if the navigation is not easy thereby bringing the hurdle in getting to know where to look for the right and need information. Label the links well, ensure there are no broken links, there is a scroll bar to increase the usability of your website.

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 7.  Responsiveness

With the ever increasing number of mobile users, now a day it has become important for web designers to make the websites as responsive as possible. Mobile and tablets are being used more and more to access websites, online stores, or any bog. So, to increase the usability, one needs to focus on making the website responsive.

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8. Using White/Negative Space Properly

You all surely know what white space is but one needs to understand the importance of white space also known as negative space. It is best to design the website creatively, but fills every nook and corner of the webpage layout is simply not done. White space makes the text easily readable. Properly managing the white or negative space will increase the usability of a web design.

9. Contact Form

Nothing like making the user easily contact you! Add Contact Us at the end so that visitors can easily communicate with you. It should be easily understandable and should always be working.

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10. Keep it Simple

The best of all you can do is make things as simple as possible. From content to design to navigate and everything that contributes in making the user contented should be made simple for easy access thereby ensuring the users don’t get baffled. Simpler the things are brighter are the chances that there is an increase in usability that directly effects the traffic and overall revenue, growth and development of the website.

In the end, I would like to definitely mention while creating any website of almost any niche, besides the tips and tricks listed above, one needs to make sure that each and every factor should be given due importance to even the minutest detail that will increase the usability and enhance the overall user-experience. Have any tip to add to the list, put it down in the comment section below.

Why UI Designers Should Learn to Code

Why UI Designers Should Learn to Code


Learning is a never ending process. Correct? While writing down the tips and tricks that we feel would help our designer and developer friends, most of the time it happens that the points listed are not specifically instead some of them are general and apply to each one of us. I agree that the article of the day is to be written and dedicated entirely to UI designers, but I know at one point or the other I can go about writing terms that will be general.

Coming to the point, this article is for all you UI designers who are working day and night to ensure that the consumers get the best user-experience. If you are the one no matter for how long you have been into designing and have been working on UI designs, the fact remains that, there is no point where you can say I know it all. To survive the cut-throat competition, you need to keep enhancing your skills beyond traditional tools. You should get more know-how of functional web elements, learn coding and anything that works in favor helping you get the best desired results.

Coding? Hearing this anyone would feel like asking questions like why and how can a UI designer get into coding, how is it possible to take out time to learn how to code when one is spending maximum time in designing, is it that easy as it sounds to be?

The answer is simple! If something is helping you ease the workflow, get the right results and enhance your skills. Why not make up your mind and do it now. Learning HTML, CSS and Javascript is sure to help you enhance your skills, and change your approach towards UI design. Know why is it favorable for a UI designer to learn development skills?

Are Photoshop Skills Enough?

I agree that the anyone who wants to be a UI designer knows that getting acquainted with tools, learning pixel perfection is important but then is that enough? Getting more and more into anything you do to get the in-depth knowledge does no harm instead works in favor. So is the case with UI designing that is aimed at pixel perfection.

In today’s cut throat competition where everyone is running their mind, by the time you finally come up with a UI design you created and finally ready to be shown up, you will realise that your entire efforts went down the drain as that’s already off. Learning how to code will help you do your work faster and easily without banking on others to do that for you. Photoshop skills are must for UI designers, but then learning how to code does work in favor and you can expect to get the desired results.

Coding Will Expand Your Horizon

As a UI designer, if you learn how to code you are sure to be benefited. How it will help expand the horizon? Well, the answer is that you will no more be depending on developers who might not be available whenever you need. It will definitely make you a better designer, even if you don’t code yourself, but then when you get the work done by others, you can see to it that nothing goes wrong. Also, you can make your design as responsive as you want and expand your horizon.

There are many ways one can learn to code easily. Below are a few resources. Check them out!

Code School – Try jQuery

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Codrops

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Introduction To HTML

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This gives us an idea which we will soon come up with. Yes, it’s about resources to learn coding. Stay tuned!. Till then let us know as to what you think of the thoughts presented here as to why UI designers should learn how to code. Do you think you should start learning how to code or would you want to stick to the way it’s going on?