Too Much, Too Fast. What To Do About Information Overload

Do you feel like you are drowning in a sea of information?

Blog posts, articles, ebooks, videos, podcasts, images, and more.

Like most web designers and other freelancers, you’re probably flooded with information. You probably receive newsletters and blog posts in your email inbox every single day. You also check several important industry blogs and news sites daily. In addition, you have to keep up with what’s going on with your clients and in your personal sphere. Whew!

Don’t feel bad if you’re overwhelmed. That’s a natural response to information overload.

If you tried to absorb everything that was thrown at you, you probably wouldn’t be able to do it. Even if you spent the entire day reading and listening to podcasts.
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In this post, I share a brief overview on information overload. I also share four tactics for overcoming it.

If you liked this post, you may also like 45 Design Blogs on Facebook.

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50+ Excellent Tutorials and Guides to Learn HTML5

As the use of HTML5 continues to become more common, you may be looking for resources to help you learn more about it. In this post we have gathered a number of resources that teach various aspects of HTML5, including tutorials, explanations and guides. With the help of these resources you should be able to learn more (or just brush up on your knowledge) about the specific aspects of HTML5 that are of interest to most designers and developers…

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40 Beautiful and Effective Responsive Navigation Menus

Ease of navigation is one of the biggest keys to the usability of a website. If visitors can easily find what they are looking for they will be more likely to stay on the website rather than leaving and going to some other site. Effective navigation can help to increase pageviews, improve the user experience, and even increase revenue and profit.

As more and more users are accessing sites via mobile devices, responsive web design has continued to increase in popularity. One of the challenges of designing and developing responsive websites is to create a user-friendly navigation menu that works equally well for visitors on all types of devices.

While a few years ago navigational menus were a primary visual element in almost every web design, many responsive websites are now opting for a navigation menu that is much less dominant visually. These sites typically use a familiar icon of 3 horizontal stripes to indicate that a menu will be opened on click. Of course, this is only one approach and other websites use totally different approaches.

In this post we’ll showcase 40 different navigation menus of responsive websites. This will showcase many different styles and approaches, and should provide some inspiration that can be put to good use in your own design and development work.  The best way to experience these navigation menus is to click through and see how it works in the browser.

Grain & Mortar

Grain & Mortar

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Web Designers, Are You Missing Out on Crucial Face-to-Face Networking?

When was the last time you met in person with a client or prospect? That long, huh?

Like many freelancers, web designers understand the importance of networking. And in this digital age, most of us tend to do our networking online. It’s faster. It’s easier. But it’s not always the best choice.

The Internet is filled with advice on how to network online. There’s a good reason for that. There are at least half a dozen excellent social media tools available that can help you with networking. Each social site has its own set of rules and standards, so there’s room for plenty of articles offering advice.

In the rush to join the social networking crowd, many of us have neglected an old school networking technique that still works–face-to-face networking. If you rely only on virtual networking, you may be missing out on some great opportunities.

face-to-face

This post is for those freelance web designers who want more from networking. I’ll discuss the importance of face-to-face networking. I’ll even provide a few tips on how (and where) to get started with face-to-face networking.

If you liked this post, you may also like Are You Overlooking These 5 Proven Methods for Networking Online?.

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Business and Marketing Must Haves: Contract and Brochure Templates

Happy Wednesday! On this first Wednesday in March, we’d like to once again bring you the newest files uploaded to our Shop this week!

Logo Design Services Contract Template

Lots of times in the past when we’ve worked on logo projects (or projects of any kind, for that matter), we ran into problems with the clients and their expectations that sometimes turned a bit ugly. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could prevent that kind of confrontation? With this new Logo Design Services Contract you can. Use this contract template to clearly spell out services that will be rendered, payment expectations, and more, all while keeping your hair in your head, where it belongs.

Logo Badge PSD Pack Three

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Learn Photoshop: All of the Basics for Beginners

We frequently publish posts on this blog that feature tutorials for learning how to do various things with Photoshop, but we have rarely focused on just the basics. This post is intended for designers or aspiring designers who either want to get started with Photoshop or have limited experience and are looking to improve.

While there are plenty of great learning resources available online, it’s often difficult for beginners to know where to get started because everything seems to be scattered. With this post you’ll find links to plenty of resources to teach you all the basics and fundamentals of Photoshop.

Most of the resources and tutorials listed in this post will focus on teaching one particular aspect of Photoshop, such as how to use a specific tool. Everything is broken down into sections so you can find exactly what you are looking for.

Intro to Photoshop’s Tools and UI:

The resources in this section will serve as an introduction for those who are new to Photoshop. They will help you to learn your way around the interface and with some of the basics of Photoshop.

The Photoshop Workspace (video)

The Photoshop Workspace

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35 Beautiful Responsive Email Newsletter Templates

Email newsletters are an important marketing and communications tool for many businesses. You can stay in touch with past customers, market your products to those who have expressed interest but haven’t yet purchased, and get extra exposure for your sales and promotions. Email is an extremely cost effective marketing method and it is likely to produce a higher return on investment than any other type of marketing or advertising.

The appearance of your newsletter can be enhanced with an attractive design, but having a custom design isn’t the only option. Templates can be purchased for very reasonable prices. Here we’ll showcase 35 different templates, and each one sells for less than $20. All of these templates are responsive, so they’ll look great on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. Most of them are HTML templates, although some come with alternate versions already coded for specific mailing list managers, such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor. Other leading options for managing your list include GetResponse, AWeber, Constant Contact, and iContact.

Pure ($18)

Pure

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The Real Truth About Design Contests, What You Need to Know

And you just won…nothing.

That, right there, is the first truth that you need to know about design contests. Not everyone who enters a design contest will win.

Yet, it seems like contests are everywhere.

It’s easy to be enticed to enter contests with the shiny offers of exciting prizes and in some cases, cash. But if you do enter a design contest, don’t count on winning. Most entrants never place high enough to win a prize. And some contests are outright scams.

Is it worth it to enter a design contest? It depends. If you’re thinking about entering a contest, you should consider all the risks before you put serious effort into a contest entry.

In this post, I share four vital questions you should ask yourself before entering a design contest. If you liked this post, you’ll probably also like 7 Practical Ways to Gain Exposure as a Designer.

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Does Your Design Blog Need a Podcast? Plus, 8 Free Podcasting Software Tools

Blog content is important, right? If you have a web design blog for your freelance web design business, you already know how having a blog can help you attract traffic and establish yourself as an expert. (If you don’t have a blog on your freelancing website, why don’t you?)

Blogs need content, but not all content is writing. Podcasts are an important type of content that is often overlooked. Consider adding a podcast to your freelancing blog to give it more variety.

Podcasts are audio or video files that you add to your blog. You can also submit your audio file podcasts to iTunes. While some podcasts contain music, many successful bloggers present informative material with podcasts and you can too. For the purposes of this post, we’ll be discussing audio podcasts.

Podcasting is not for everyone. But adding a podcast to your blog may be just the thing you need to set your web design business apart from the rest.

In this in this introduction to podcasting, I’ll explain how podcasting can help you promote your web design business. I’ll also identify some tools to help you to get started with podcasting. Finally, I’ll include some tips and tutorials so that you can learn more about podcasting.
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Image Source: ON THE AIR by Rochelle Hartman CC by 2.0

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The Design Kickstarter Bundle (400+ items) – only $17! (sponsored)

MD

A graphic artist’s best friend is the designer’s toolbox. Full of a vast collection of textures, brushes, actions, vectors and more, the toolbox is always expanding. The more elements, the more choices. The more choices, the more varied you’ll find the designs.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to beef up your own toolbox, this Mighty Deal is for you! The Design Kickstarter Bundle from Matt Borchert will keep you busy for a long time!

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