Articles tagged as ‘Design Process’

6 Crucial Interview Questions To Ask Clients Before Accepting a Job

As an agency owner, I often receive questions about our client and web project on-boarding process. When a lead comes in, what are the right interview questions to ask potential clients before accepting a job?

From a client’s perspective, I’ve noticed that asking technical or design-oriented questions causes more problems than not, and of course, we aren’t just hired hands. When a potential client contacts you, consider yourself a business consultant and approach their project as a solution to a problem they current have–not someone who takes the exact need of the client and blindly builds it on command.

To understand a potential client, you have to understand their problem. This is by far the biggest question you will be trying to solve in the discovery phase. After determining their problem, you must explore the scope, cost, and timeline of the project. You’ll notice most of these questions revolve around the project management concept of the triple constraint. Let’s dive in!…

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6 Efficient Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Work Smarter, Not Harder!

One of the most common fights my husband and I had in the beginning of our marriage involved getting tasks done. Whether it was as small as carrying in groceries or as big a task as moving, he always wanted to take time to figure out the most efficient way to get the job done, while I just wanted to hit it head on and get it done without wasting any more time. After all, on smaller tasks, I often had it done by the time he had come up with a plan. On the other hand, he ended up saving us a lot of time and energy with the methods he’d develop for the bigger tasks.

We both finally came to see that one-time, small tasks were easier to do my way – just get ‘em done. But for large tasks, I now wait for him to come up with a plan-of-action before getting started. And I’ve also realized that these principles apply to freelance work – for writers, graphic designers, web developers, or really anyone who works for him or herself. Some one-time tasks are simply easier to just get done. But those tasks that you will do over and over again, you can definitely come up with a plan and use the right resources for Designers to work smarter, not harder…

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Five Key Practices To Keep Your Creative Job Engaging and Avoid Burnout

avoid-burnout

In a way, each one of us is creative, and many of us are fortunate enough to be able to have creative careers as well. We are writers, designers, programmers, and creative tactical workers, and we chose the careers we did because we grew attached to the particular form of creative work we discovered.

Now, if only we could be creative — and genuinely enjoy that creativity — all the time. That creative focus we get now and then doesn’t last forever, and it most certainly doesn’t have an ‘on’ switch. All creative jobs, even those that we are passionate about, eventually end up becoming boring.

So how can we continue to stay engaged in our work? How can we reignite that creative spark we miss when we’re feeling discontent?

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How To Wireframe iOS App Interfaces using Photoshop

fireside-ember-app-wireframes

Much like building a website, mobile app design is a very detailed procedure. Although it may not be sociological rocket surgery(some might say otherwise) but even the best app designers will spend years studying the craft and still have a lot to learn. One of the earlier stages in both website & mobile app design is called wireframing.

This is a bare-bones template of the layout which includes the most important page elements. Content should be kept to a minimum used sparingly on an as-needed basis. Wireframing pushes a direct focus onto the experience – basically how a user will interact with the application. Many designers prefer to draw these by hand but there’s always an option to design wireframes using graphics software.

In this post I’d like to offer an introductory guide to wireframing for iOS apps, and specifically how this can be accomplished using Adobe Photoshop. Other programs like GIMP or Sketch also work just fine. The goal would be to create a layered wireframe which can be edited and rearranged to fit a working mobile app prototype.

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How to Help Your Client Decide if a Native App is Necessary

More and more people across the world are using their mobile devices to access digital content. According to eMarketer, mobile phone use will grow from 61.1% to 69.4% worldwide. The same article also claims that nearly one-fourth of the global population use a smartphone monthly, but by 2017, this number will increase to 50%.

American cell phone use has already surpassed the global numbers. The Pew Internet Research discovered that as of 2014, 90% of American adults own a cell phone, and 58% of those cell phone owners have a smartphone. Interestly enough, though, America only ranked number 13 in the 2013 list of countries with highest smartphone penetration. The top 5 in the list were United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Norway, respectively:

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How to Keep Common Editing Goofs from Ruining Your Great Design

Oh no!

How did you miss it? The client’s name is misspelled on the design you turned in. How embarrassing.

You spend a lot of time your designs. As a result, your designs look great. And your clients love them.

There’s something they won’t love, though. That’s an editing goof. Yet, probably because they’re not focused on words, many designers overlook the importance of editing the copy that goes with their design.

editing-errors1a

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7 Top Tips for Balancing Multiple Web Design Clients

Being a freelance web designer can be a bit like being a juggler. By that I mean that most of the time you have more than one web design project you are working on. You have to keep all of your projects going and on schedule. The juggling act can be a real challenge.

Juggling Multiple Clients

If you come from traditional employment background, balancing multiple clients is probably new for you and it will probably require you to change your attitude and your work habits.

In traditional employment, the employer assigns projects to you based on your current project. They also tell you which projects are most critical and which are not. If they’re a good employer, they’ll also make sure that you’re not too overloaded and provide you with constructive feedback.

As a freelance web designer, things are completely different. You’re responsible for finding projects to work on. It’s very easy to accidentally overload yourself. In addition, many clients do not provide feedback. And not only do you have to keep one organization happy–it’s likely that you will deal with multiple clients, often at the same time.

If you’re having trouble balancing multiple clients, this post can help. In it I provide seven tips to help you work more effectively with multiple clients.

If you liked this post, you may also like 7 Tips for Prioritizing Tasks Effectively.

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Factors to Consider When Choosing an E-Commerce Platform

Choosing the right e-commerce platform for your website is now easy task. There are hundreds of different options available with options in all different price ranges and with varying features. If you’re overwhelmed at the process of choosing the right platform for your site, or for the site of a client, the decision usually becomes much clearer once you’ve determined what is most important for your site. In this article we’ll look at some specific questions to ask yourself, or your client, to help lead to the right choice. Make sure that you take the time to make a wise and informed decision, because changing platforms down the road can often be a time consuming and costly experience.

General Categories of E-Commerce Options

Before we look at the factors that you need to consider, let’s first take a look at the general categories of e-commerce platforms. Most of the hundreds or thousands of e-commerce platforms out there will fall into one of these six categories.

1. Enterprise E-Commerce

Enterprise e-commerce systems like Magento’s Enterprise Edition are feature-rich and robust systems that are typically used by large or fast-growing companies. Of course, with the advanced features and capabilities comes a higher price tag.

Magento Enterprise

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Is Responsive Design Still King in Today’s Mobile Age?

Asking the question, “Is responsive design still king in today’s mobile age?” requires some explanation. The first bit of information necessary for this question to make sense is the fact that mobile device use has increased exponentially in the last few years. According to an infographic from DigitalBuzzBlog, in May 2011 only 35% used a smartphone and 17% still had no cell phone, but by May 2013, these numbers had increased to 56% smartphone users and only 9% without a cell phone. In fact, mobile web use is growing 8 times faster than use in the 90’s and 2000’s. And half of average global mobile users access Internet primarily or exclusively on a mobile device. So a website that works for a mobile device, which include tablets, is necessary for any company to remain accessible and competitive today.

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How to Improve Your Focus and Get More Done

Did you ever wonder why you are more productive on some days than on others?

A lot of the time it’s focus. Many of us are more focused on some days than on others. When we lack focus, we tend to work more slowly.

You may think that you can’t do anything about how focused you are. You may think that you just have to live with however focused you happen to be at any given time.

focus1

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