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Maximize Your Creative Energy


  

We’ve heard many personal stories this week of how people in our industry have experienced hard times and how they managed to get out of them. We end this week with an article by Ann Holm, a personal development coach and expert in psychology and brain science. Read on to learn how to reduce stress in your everyday life and prevent burnout and other breakdowns in order to stay healthy and unlock your potential. – Ed.

What does knowledge of the brain and personality have to do with creative work? As a lifelong brain geek, I have taken on the mission to help others tap the secrets of the brain to uncover personal potential. Not surprisingly, everyone can benefit from at least some knowledge in this area.

Maximize Your Creative Energy

In fact, I’ve found that people who work in the creative industry in particular seem to be interested in this topic because many of them work alone and have to manage their energy, distractions and time to complete a project, while staying flexible and in the moment to capture the unforeseen creative gems that emerge seemingly out of nowhere.

The post Maximize Your Creative Energy appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Feeling Stuck? Design What You Don’t Know


  

Many of us struggle silently with mental health problems and many more are affected by them, either directly or indirectly. It’s {Geek} Mental Help Week and we would like to help raise awareness with a couple of articles exploring these issues. – Ed.

Where is it?! It has to be here somewhere. It use to be so easy. What happened? Somewhere, somewhere, somewhere. That idea is somewhere. It’s here, it has to be. This is where I’ve always found it. But there’s nothing. The only shapes I find here are well worn and boring, dints still obvious even with fresh paint. Oh so boring. So boring and so often used because they’re just “fine.” Too easily used. Too easily reached for and offered up as if they were new again.

Feeling Stuck? Design What You Don't Know

Didn’t this used to be easy? Didn’t fresh ideas arrive without being asked for? Why did I have to wait until the last moment to even notice, wait until moments before these old dented ideas have to be presented?

The post Feeling Stuck? Design What You Don’t Know appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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You Are Not A Machine. You Are Not Alone.


  

Many of us struggle silently with mental health problems and many more are affected by them, either directly or indirectly. {Geek} Mental Help Week starts today and we would like to help raise awareness with a couple of articles exploring these issues. – Ed.

It was pouring with rain and I found myself driving. I didn’t know where I was going. I just needed out of the house. I needed to escape. After what felt like an age I found myself parked outside my parents’ house, just staring at their front door. Eventually I got out of the car, rang the doorbell and burst into tears the moment my mum answered.

You Are Not A Machine. You Are Not Alone.

Me, a grown man. A respected figure in my field. A success. Standing on the doorstep of my parents’ house, crying to my mum like a small child. This was the breaking point for me, the minute I finally realized I had depression. In fact I’d been depressed for over a decade. Burnt out. Used up with nothing left to give.

The post You Are Not A Machine. You Are Not Alone. appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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How To Run A Content-Planning Workshop


  

Back when my agency started taking content seriously, we invested a lot time in developing a process to produce content. The biggest challenge was always figuring out how to get clients onboard with this new process.

How To Run A Content-Planning Workshop

Most of our clients were totally happy riffing on how to meet the business objectives of a project or how to approach the visual design, but they always struggled to get to grips with our process for producing content. We found that the most effective way to get their buy-in was to run a content-planning workshop.

The post How To Run A Content-Planning Workshop appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Reducing Abandoned Shopping Carts In E-Commerce


  

In March 2014, the Baymard Institute, a web research company based in the UK, reported that 67.91% of online shopping carts are abandoned. An abandonment means that a customer has visited a website, browsed around, added one or more products to their cart and then left without completing their purchase. A month later in April 2014, Econsultancy stated that global retailers are losing $3 trillion (USD) in sales every year from abandoned carts.

Reducing Abandoned Shopping Carts In E-Commerce

Clearly, reducing the number of abandoned carts would lead to higher store revenue — the goal of every online retailer. The question then becomes how can we, as designers and developers, help convert these “warm leads” into paying customers for our clients?

The post Reducing Abandoned Shopping Carts In E-Commerce appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Design Accessibly, See Differently: Color Contrast Tips And Tools


  

When you browse your favorite website or check the latest version of your product on your device of choice, take a moment to look at it differently. Step back from the screen. Close your eyes slightly so that your vision is a bit clouded by your eyelashes. Can you still see and use the website? Are you able to read the labels, fields, buttons, navigation and small footer text? Can you imagine how someone who sees differently would read and use it?

Design Accessibly, See Differently: Color Contrast Tips And Tools

In this article, I’ll share one aspect of design accessibility: making sure that the look and feel (the visual design of the content) are sufficiently inclusive of differently sighted users.

The post Design Accessibly, See Differently: Color Contrast Tips And Tools appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Hybrid Mobile Apps: Providing A Native Experience With Web Technologies


  

According to a recent report, HTML is the most widely used language for mobile app developers. The main reasons among developers for selecting web technologies is cross-platform portability of code and the low cost of development. We’ve also heard that hybrid apps tend to be sluggish and poorly designed. Let’s prove whether it’s possible to deliver the native look and feel that we’re used to.

Hybrid Mobile Apps: Providing A Native Experience With Web Technologies

This article provides many hints, code snippets and lessons learned on how to build great hybrid mobile apps. I’ll briefly introduce hybrid mobile app development, including its benefits and drawbacks. Then, I’ll share lessons I’ve learned from over two years of developing Hojoki and CatchApp, both of which run natively on major mobile platforms and were built with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Finally, we’ll review the most prominent tools to wrap code in a native app.

The post Hybrid Mobile Apps: Providing A Native Experience With Web Technologies appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Improving Your Information Architecture With Card Sorting: A Beginner’s Guide


  

Information architecture (IA) is one of those buzzwords you’ve probably heard before. It refers to the organization of the information on your website and how it all fits together. When planning your IA, involve users of your website in the process as soon as you can.

Improving Your Information Architecture With Card Sorting: A Beginner's Guide

In this article, we’ll discuss card sorting, a tried and true technique for doing just that. We’ll go through some practical tips for running a card-sorting session, and also cover some examples.

The post Improving Your Information Architecture With Card Sorting: A Beginner’s Guide appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Be A Better Designer By Eating An Elephant


  

I can’t imagine any other industry in which so much change happens so quickly. If you stop paying attention for a week, it can feel like you’ve not been listening for a year. There’s so much to learn. Falling behind is easy, too. We might be in the middle of a major project, so we put off learning about this newfangled thing called Sass or Node.js or even quickly experimenting with the new Bootstrap or Foundation that everyone is raving about.

Be A Better Designer By Eating An Elephant

Before we know it, we have these elephants of missing knowledge wandering around our minds, reminding us of what we should know and do but haven’t found the time for. Even just looking at beautiful work and seeing what new technique we could use ourselves can seem like too big a task when we’re swamped with projects. So, we tell ourselves we’ll come back to it later. But later never shows up. The guilt definitely does, but not that elusive deadline of later.

The post Be A Better Designer By Eating An Elephant appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Freebie: Touristic Icons (100 Icons, PNG, SVG)


  

Icons are a lot like real monuments — they can both be easily recognized. Today’s icon set consists of a set of vector icons that represent monuments across the globe, so they can be literally used anywhere. This colorful set was carefully designed by Freepik and is completely free to use for commercial as well as your personal projects, including software, online services, templates and themes.

Freebie: Touristic Icons (100 Icons, PNG, SVG)

This icon set is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported. You may modify the size, color or shape of the icons. No attribution is required, however, reselling of bundles or individual pictograms is prohibited. Please always provide credits to the creators and link to the article in which this freebie was released if you would like to spread the word.

The post Freebie: Touristic Icons (100 Icons, PNG, SVG) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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