Category Archives: internet

10 Clean, Simple and Professional Newsletter Templates

Email newsletters are a necessary component of doing business these days. Everyone should have a mailing list (you do have a list, don’t you?) and send out periodic messages. The content of those messages could be anything from your top new blog posts to promotional materials. Everything should be based on the needs of your organization.

Regardless of what you send, everyone faces the same main challenge: Entice people to open up your message, read it and interact. That’s the holy grail of email marketing. And, that’s where a great newsletter template can really make a difference.

When choosing a template, there are two rules to follow:

  1. Your template needs to match your brand. So the visual elements like colors and images should look like they came from your company. Ideally, you’ll want a template that lets you easily customize the look so that you can get things just right. It should also fit the type of content you typically send.
  2. Clean and simple is the way to go. The goal is to emphasize your content – not the fancy imagery of your template itself. A great template gets out of the way when it comes to content presentation. That means it’s usually best to avoid templates that are a bit overbearing.

With those simple rules in place, here are 10 newsletter templates that will help you to better engage your customers. Note that many of these selections support one or more WYSIWYG builder tools from a third-party service provider. This allows you to easily personalize the look and layout to fit your needs without having to dig into code. We’ll note which services are supported where appropriate.

E-Shop

E-Shop is a modern, attractive template that features a responsive layout. While not necessarily minimal, it uses great typography and whitespace to create a newsletter that is easy to read. It’s been Litmus tested with the major email clients (including Gmail, Yahoo, Thunderbird & Outlook) and is compatible with top services like MailChimp, StampReady (which allows you to export your customized template) and Campaign Monitor.

E-Shop

Kappa

Kappa is a collection of 12 responsive email templates and also includes access to a drag-and-drop builder. Templates are built for a wide range of industries and contain several well-designed modules. Each element of the template is fully editable and a layered PSD file is also included. You’ll be able to easily integrate the template with MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, iContact and AWeber services. It has been Litmus tested for compatibility with email clients.

Kappa

AMO

AMO features compatibility with the StampReady builder, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and the MyMail WordPress plugin. With a maximum of 3 columns and a plethora of included modules, the responsive layout is clean and designed with business in mind. The template has been Litmus tested with major email clients and web browsers.

AMO

Stella

Stella aims for flexibility. Choose from a light or dark skin and find the perfect colors to match your brand. It also includes over 80 modules to help you customize the layout and content to a perfect match. You’ll also find StampReady builder access, compatibility with MailChimp, iContact, Campaign Monitor and more. A PSD file is included for extra tweaking. The template has been Litmus tested.

Stella

RECT

RECT utilizes subtle graphical elements and strong typography to help content stand out. Under the hood you’ll find well-commented HTML – helping to guide you in making changes manually. It also supports StampReady builder, Campaign Monitor, MyMail for WordPress and MailChimp. The template is Litmus tested and will work with major email clients and web browsers.

RECT

Farbe

Farbe sports a unique design that makes great use of tinted photo backgrounds. They’re not overwhelming – just simple images that create a layered look. Customizations can be made through the StampReady builder and you’ll also find that the template is compatible with a long list of service providers. It also supports the native mobile apps for Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo.

Farbe

Jackie Mail

Jackie Mail comes off as a bit more minimal than many templates out there. That makes for great readability. Since it’s responsive, those properties also transfer nicely to mobile devices. The theme is ready for use with Campaign Monitor, iContact and MailChimp. You can also do some drag-and-drop editing via StampReady. A PSD file is included.

Jackie Mail

Astral

Astral carries a beautiful simplicity in its design, but it packs options galore. With 200 readymade modules and 15 different layouts (each with its own included PSD file) – you have a lot of freedom to experiment. The template is Litmus tested and works with both Campaign Monitor and MailChimp. Drag and drop your way to customization with the Kbuilder WYSIWYG app.

Astral

Vera

Vera features a clean, uncluttered layout with 20 modules you can use with the StampReady builder. It is Litmus tested with all the major mail clients and is compatible with both MailChimp and Campaign Monitor. Background images are supported in Outlook – which not every template can boast. That’s a good thing, because this template makes great use of them. A PSD file is included with the package.

Vera

Magazine

Magazine works with the Kbuilder WYSIWYG app and includes attractive modules – including a nifty grid layout to help your blog’s content stand out. You’ll find four layouts and respective PSD files. The template is Litmus tested and compatible with both Campaign Monitor and MailChimp.

Magazine

Emails Made Easier

There’s definitely a subtle science to creating great email newsletters. It takes a combination of compelling content and a look that helps to get a user’s attention. Without that balance, you’ll find it difficult to improve conversion rates.

The templates above can be a great help in striking that delicate balance. The fact that they can be easily customized and include readymade content modules simplify the whole process. From there, it’s just a matter of adding in your own top-notch content.

Original Article:

Effective Examples of Mobile App Login Screens

Mobile app login screens are an integral aspect of any app handling user accounts. They are often the first point of contact with a new user and therefore as well as handling existing user logins, they also have to serve as a conversion point to push new users to sign up and create an account.

The key to designing an effective mobile app login screen is to do so with the optimum conversion rate by making the process as quick, easy, and user-friendly as possible.

In this article we are going to look at some prime examples of mobile app login screens and what makes them so effective.

Flipboard

Flipboard allows for a much-simplified and quicker sign up process by enabling integration with popular networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. However, the multitude of options can be overwhelming to a new user, and as such, the designers have opted to position the login options behind a slide-up card which remains hidden until the user taps the primary login button.

Through use of color and fill, the primary emphasis is placed upon social logins which have a speedier log in process, while they also allow for the option to log in with email.

Lake

A beautifully designed app, Lake combines some stunning login screen visuals with an incredibly simple and refined user experience. Rather than forcing a full sign up process, the app designers have opted for a simple one-tap Facebook login, or email entry.

Despite the simplicity of this, they have gone even further in implementing a ‘SKIP’ button, allowing the user to delve straight into the app and sign up at a later date. This eliminates the bounce rate of users who want to try the app before handing over any personal details such as an email address.

VSCO

Another wonderfully simple example is VSCO. Combined with some on-brand visuals and clear continuation of their monochrome color scheme, VSCO has opted for a single button which serves as a sign in and sign up.

On top of this, they have also opted for a ‘Skip for now’ button. Like Lake app, this allows users to try the app before committing to signing up with their details. This tends to be implemented in apps where the featureset does not strictly require an account from the outset and portrays a real sense of belief by the company in their product where they are confident the user will enjoy the app and sign up at a later opportunity.

Airbnb

While slightly less refined than the above designs, Airbnb is still an excellent example of a mobile login screen. The login button is de-emphasized in place of large social and standard sign up options. The brand and logo are clearly conveyed, and the necessary legal information is displayed in a way which does not affect the usability or simplicity of the options at hand.

The sign-up buttons are easy to reach, large, and place emphasis on signing up with Facebook, due to the simplified sign up process it accompanies.

Which are your favorite examples of effective mobile app login screens? How much do you value being able to sign up with a social account? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Original Article:

Why Its Time to Start Buying Code and Themes on Codester

In any job, there’s always a certain amount of repetition. For some, it’s in how they answer the phone. For others, it’s in how they set up a shop before the store opens every day. For web designers and developers, repetition comes in a different form.

Being tasked with the job of creating unique websites for each and every client, the repetitive piece of your business tends to be your process. You know that by sticking to X distinct phases and abiding by a rigid checklist of steps, you’ll have a positive outcome at the end of your web project.

However, it can be tedious having to reproduce each of those phases and steps from scratch with every new project. This is why tools like JavaScript frameworks and design templates are an essential part of web designers’ and developers’ workflows. Not only do they ensure that you consistently complete each of the required steps in your process, but that you do so as effectively and efficiently as possible.

The only real drawback to using tools like these is that it takes time to find them. With the creation of marketplaces, though, you no longer need to spend excessive amounts of time scouring the web to find those tools. While Envato may currently be the most well-known marketplace right now, there’s one coming up through the ranks that deserves a closer look: Codester.

What Is Codester?

Codester is a fairly new addition to the web development and design marketplace community, but it seems to be attracting quite a bit of attention. Offering a variety of tools to buyers as well as extra perks to sellers, it’s clear that Codester is trying to offer something more valuable than you’d find in other marketplaces.

codester homepage

When you take a look at the tools available in the Codester market, it’s clear that they want this website to be helpful for anyone involved in the process of building websites. This includes web developers who want assistance in streamlining their process, designers who want somewhere new to sell their themes, as well as those who simply want to generate passive income by embedding affiliate links on their site.

So, now, the question is: can Codester’s all-in-one marketplace website compete with the likes of Envato’s stores?

What Can You Get from the Codester Marketplace?

As a web developer or designer, there are two reasons why you’d be interested in a marketplace: to buy tools or to sell your own. Codester allows you to do both. Here are the categories that this particular marketplace covers:

Code

One of the smartest things you can do as a developer is to find high-quality coding templates, scripts, and frameworks to supplant some of that manual work you do on a daily basis.

Although Codester does advertise a number of different categories of scripts and codes – like PHP scripts, JavaScript, and C#–they don’t currently have anything available for CSS or Ruby.

codester homepage

Mobile App Templates

This particular category won’t necessarily apply to all of you, but it’s still one to be aware of in case you ever decide to delve into mobile app design or development.

There are templates and source code available for both iOS and Android, as well as a number of sub-categories dedicated to gaming templates, like Buildbox and Unity.

codester homepage

Themes

As of writing this, Codester has over 500 themes and HTML templates available for sale. The best thing about their theme marketplace is how they divvy these up. You’ll see that they’ve included categories like WordPress, Joomla, WooCommerce, and so on.

But beneath each of them, they’ve also included sub-categories to help users more easily locate themes that fit their website’s style or niche.

codester homepage

Plugins

Codester’s market is pretty light in terms of how many plugins they offer. In fact, roughly half of their plugins are meant for WordPress websites, so if you’re hoping to use Codester for Joomla, Drupal, or other CMS website builds, you’re going to run into some trouble with that.

However, they do offer a variety of plugin types – with a strong focus on interface elements and ecommerce – so it might be worth taking a gander around if you can’t find what you need elsewhere.

codester homepage

Graphics

What is surprising about Codester’s selection of graphics is the overwhelming amount of logos they offer. In fact, if you were to take out all the logo templates and character kits found under this category, there would only be about 100 graphical elements that remain in the form of icons, UI templates, and mockups.

codester homepage

Why You Should Sell to the Codester Marketplace

If there is any allure here, it’s the chance to sell your own work and tools in a market that isn’t oversaturated with competition. And Codester makes this an appealing opportunity, too.

Sellers receive a 70% commission on anything that’s sold through the marketplace and restrictions are nil. There is no minimum sales amount required before payout and there are also no exclusivity agreements or penalties in place so you can sell your code or designs wherever you want outside of Codester.

In addition, the affiliate program is an easy one to get started in and Codester even gives affiliate members a number of options for participation, with tracking links, social sharing links, pre-designed banners, and Codester banners. So, if you’re trying to generate passive income but don’t have anything tangible to sell through the marketplace yet, you can at least start taking a 20% cut of purchases made from affiliate referrals in the meantime.

It’s clear from looking through Codester’s market that they’re still a very new company that’s in need of talented designers and developers to contribute to and round out their offering. What they currently have appears to be high-quality.

Now’s the time to stake out a spot for yourself on this budding marketplace. It’s a total get in on the ground floor situation.

Visit Codester →

Original Article:

Supercharge Your Business Website with Consulting WP

A business website needs to both look great and provide a high level of functionality. Visitors to your site simply won’t accept anything less. If you provide a sub-par user experience, they’ll remember.

That’s why it’s so important to use a WordPress theme that understands the needs of your business. That’s what makes Consulting WP an intelligent choice.

Developer Stylemix Themes (an Envato Power Elite Author) has conducted extensive research into the needs of the business, finance and consulting sectors and have developed Consulting WP accordingly. The theme is built with flexibility in mind and is sure to be the perfect fit.

With a vast number of sales and having won the Envato Most Wanted Award for Business Themes – you can be sure that this theme has more than proven its worth to business owners worldwide.

Build the Perfect Website for Your Business

Consulting WP provides you with the rare ability to both build a custom website for your business and be up and running quickly. The theme includes 19+ demo layouts to choose from. They represent a wide range of popular styles and layouts to suit your taste and your industry.

Demo content can be installed with just a single click. From there, simply edit the content to match your needs. If you’re looking to customize further, the inclusion of Visual Composer means you can create virtually any type of custom page layout.

To help get your site setup even quicker, Stylemix have created this installation guide:

With Consulting WP, you can customize your website as much or as little as you’d like. For example, you can choose from several header and navigation styles to match your specific design goals. And, because the theme is compatible with the WordPress Customizer, you’ll be able to preview your changes in real time.

In short, the theme has already done the heavy lifting for you while giving you the freedom to customize to your hearts’ content. The result is a website that looks and feels uniquely yours. And, you can rest assured that it will look great on any device.

Top-Notch Functionality is Standard Equipment

As we mentioned earlier, a great look is only one-half of the equation. The other half is functionality – which Consulting WP has in spades.

Not only does it come bundled with the aforementioned Visual Composer, it also includes the powerful Slider Revolution and Booked plugins. Right off the bat, you’ll be able to create beautifully responsive sliders plus manage appointment bookings through your website. And, there are plenty of other robust features to help you hit the ground running:

If your business has multiple locations, you’ll certainly appreciate being able to plot them all out on a customized Google Map.

The built in Event management capabilities enable you to create detailed events and display them in a variety of formats. Users can even RSVP online.

Take advantage of the 120+ included Shortcodes and Configuration Options to add features like social sharing, multimedia and more.

The theme is compatible with top plugins and services like WooCommerce, WPML, MailChimp and Gravity Forms.

Multi-language support, including RTL languages, is included. Plus, the theme is translation-ready.

Utilize new features as they arrive with free lifetime updates and, if you should ever need help, take advantage of free 24-Hour Turnaround Support.

Get the Best for your Business with Consulting WP

Consulting WP provides you with everything you need to build a top-notch website for your business. With powerful tools and advanced customization capabilities, you’ll be able to create a site that reflects your brand to a tee.

Grab a copy of Consulting WP today and experience the difference.

This article has been sponsored by Syndicate Ads.

Original Article:

The Best Free Support Sites & Communities For Web Developers

Learning to build websites can be a challenge but you don’t have to do it alone. There are tons of free support communities where you can ask questions & connect with other developers.

These websites are sure to help anyone build up their dev portfolio and improve their knowledge tenfold. You can learn so much by simply asking and learning from others with more experience. And with these free websites at your disposal, it’s easier than ever to teach yourself web development from scratch.

Stack Overflow

stack overflow

First on this list is Stack Overflow with very good reason. The site is a treasure trove of coding solutions with Q&As on pretty much everything.

It’s free to sign up and you can ask as many questions as you want. However, I recommend searching the site before asking because it’s likely someone has asked your question before so there may already be an answer to your problem.

Stack covers all languages from frontend to backend and database code. You can find solutions for pretty much everything, so this is my go-to suggestion for learning how to do something or solving a specific bug.

Reddit

reddit r webdev

Another highly populated site is Reddit which has many smaller communities called subreddits. They all serve different topics from frontend to CSS and each community is populated with experts.

You can ask questions, poll users, or keep up on the latest news in the design/dev industry. I specifically recommend the /r/webdev sub because it’s extra friendly to newbies and it moves fast with dozens of new posts each day.

Plus you can subscribe to multiple places at once to curate all of these subreddits together. Definitely a great site for the tech-oriented crowd with a lot of helpful users.

SitePoint Forums

sitepoint forums

SitePoint has been online for well over a decade covering every aspect of design, UX, and programming. Their community forums offer a way to connect with skilled devs and share ideas.

The forums offer dozens of categories from marketing to programming and website setup techniques like servers and DNS settings. This is the largest community covering so many tech topics, and it’s a great place to hang around.

As with all popular forums you should try searching before you create a new thread. It’s likely that others have already asked similar questions and many times you can find answers to your questions faster by just searching.

Echo JS

echo js forums

Still in beta but quickly gaining traction is the Echo JS community. This site works a bit like Reddit where you can join for free and vote on new stories.

However it’s a much slimmer version of social voting with fewer features. There’s only a homepage with no archives, and there aren’t as many features for commenting or tracking responses.

But what I like about this site is that it’s niche and focused. The sole purpose is to cover JavaScript news, questions, and resources breaking in the industry. An excellent site for JS lovers, not so useful for anyone else though.

Bytes

bytes homepage

Bytes follows the same model as Stack Overflow with question/answer sections covering pretty much every tech & IT topic.

This site is much smaller than Stack so it doesn’t have the same depth or level of user experience.

But it’s one central hub for developers to talk about career paths, server setups, programming, and lifestyle. You can browse categories to see which topics are covered and where you can ask questions. Definitely a small community but worthwhile if you’re willing to give it a shot.

Dzone

dzone homepage

A few years back Dzone was solely a social news website. It has since grown into a tech news blog on programming, IT, and web development.

But they still have a big community with a links page and user profiles. This site is packed with pro developers and useful information to help you learn how the industry works. It’s great for CS majors, IT techs, DevOps engineers, or anyone aspiring to break into the industry.

It doesn’t get as much attention as a community anymore, but Dzone is worth browsing every so often for breaking news and IT/coding tips.

Codecademy

codecademy homepage

Codecademy is perhaps the most popular resource to teach yourself web development. It has a huge userbase and tons of tutorials on all the basics like HTML5, CSS3, Sass, JavaScript, and some frameworks like WordPress.

They do have a community site where you can discuss ideas and help other developers on their learning path. It’s not the largest community, but it has a strong learning environment for anyone regardless of skill level.

If you’re completely new to coding and have no idea where to start then Codecademy is worth bookmarking.

FreeCodeCamp

free codecamp website

The team at FreeCodeCamp built one amazing resource for aspiring developers. It’s a free learning site that bundles lessons with a community of users who help eachother answer questions and solve problems.

They have a designated forum for discussing ideas and asking questions along your journey. This is also a great place to recruit for work and to collaborate with other developers on cool projects.

The site is totally free to join, and you can start learning right away. This along with Codecademy are two amazing resources that I would recommend to any serious developer.

DevShed

devshed forums

I remember finding the Dev Shed forums way back when I first started web development in the mid 2000s. It’s still online today and it offers a fantastic community with sub-forums on pretty much every topic you can think of.

DevShed follows the traditional forum model using vBulletin with threads, bumped responses, and sub-forums to organize everything together. This is very different from modern communities that usually run on proprietary systems.

But even as DevShed pushes 15 years online it’s still one of the best communities for aspiring coders.

Hacker News

hacker news homepage

The community at Hacker News slants towards startups and tech innovation. It’s a social news voting site developed by the early stage investment company Y Combinator.

It is by far one of the largest tech social news communities around, and it’s extremely popular. This probably isn’t the best place to ask questions or learn to code, but it is great to keep up with the latest advancement in technology.

You can learn so much just by browsing the front page of Hacker News. It’s a great site for any tech enthusiast, and it’s one of the more intelligent startup communities on the web.

Every site in this post offers something unique from Q&A programming help to web dev news and career advice. This list is massive but far from complete since new sites launch every year and communities can build fast.

If you know any similar dev community sites feel free to share in the comments and let us know your thoughts.

Original Article:

Optimize Your Site for 2018 and Beyond with These Technologies

We may not even be halfway through 2017 yet, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the future. In today’s constantly evolving business atmosphere, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of technology trends.

Tech and business have become irrevocably interrelated, and 2018 will have more high-tech innovations affecting web design than anything we’ve experienced in the past. Learn the latest technology trends for website design and start considering which ones might drive your business into the future.

Use Artificial Intelligence for Genuine Results

Artificial intelligence (AI) is officially a reality in today’s world – and it’s making a splash in website design. Wix and Grid are two sites already incorporating AI into the user experience.

Creating a website on Wix, for example, now comes with the option to work with the site’s AI coordinator. Their AI bot uses a complex algorithm to help users build websites in moments, based on answers to a few simple questions. Thanks to AI, users don’t have to enter web design details painstakingly one at a time – the website comes together in moments with personalized design elements.

Your own website can capitalize on the current AI trend by including this technology in your marketing campaigns. For example, invest in a chatbot to help you automate email blasts and book appointments with customers. Chatbots are becoming more and more advanced, using user data to create hyper-realistic answers to questions and correspondence with customers. This is just one example of how machine learning could boost your brand.

Chatbot App by Adrien Laurent

Chatbot App by Adrien Laurent

Introduce AI to your company with something simple, such as automating a process that none of your employees enjoys completing. Turn over your next email blast to an AI system or use AI to interpret customer data more efficiently. Your company can save time and money by automating tedious tasks, moving your human manpower to more important business endeavors, such as new product development or customer service. Keep your eye on AI – this technology will become more common in the business sphere.

Explore Virtual and Augmented Realities

Pokémon GO might be last year’s news, but the barriers it took down for augmented reality (AR) in mainstream media is a topic that till pervades today’s market. This game was the first widespread use of AR via users’ smartphones in history – and its smashing success speaks to how well users reacted.

Today, brands are using AR and virtual reality (VR) for more than just gaming. These technologies are starting to change website design. As AR/VR-compatible technologies become more mainstream, brands in every industry should start to assess just how to capitalize on these trends. The answer is in smart, tech-savvy website design.

Ink Hunter app making use of augmented reality

The Ink Hunter app making use of augmented reality

As VR-compatible browsers start to hit the market, this design element will become more prominent on everyday websites. Brands that sell products can use AR and VR technologies to give potential customers virtual 3D tours of their shops from the comfort of their homes.

Customers can use VR headsets like the popular Oculus Rift or simply attach their smartphones to the ultra-affordable Google Cardboard (on the market for just $15). The more developers learn about AR and VR, the more affordable these technologies have become. Now, almost any brand can afford to implement an alternate reality into its website in one way or another.

VR- and AR-enabled websites can connect consumers with their favorite brands in ways previously unknown. For example, a real estate agent can use 3D models to give potential buyers home tours without leaving the office.

Buyers can walk around a prospective property, inspect features up close, and feel like they’re really there. Real estate agents could give private tours of the same house to multiple prospects at the same time and save money and time on transportation. This is just one example of an industry that could significantly benefit from this innovative technology.

Create VR- and AR-Compatible Apps

Compatible apps are one of the simplest ways to introduce your brand to VR and AR. Create a business app that users can access via Google Cardboard and other VR devices. Take advantage of this technology by publishing a 360-degree map of your facility or giving behind-the-scenes VR tours of the process behind creating your product.

Virtual tours and tutorials can lend more value to your website visitors and make the entire process more engaging. Your customers will feel immersed in your brand and be more willing to make a purchase and keep coming back.

It has become much easier for brands to incorporate AR and VR into their businesses. For example, InstaVR creates VR apps in minutes. Select what type of app you’d like to develop – storytelling, gaming, marketing, education, real estate, etc. – and publish to all VR platforms in no time.

Solutions like this are becoming more common and easily accessible to brands across all industries. This is good news for you, as it’s now easier than ever to jump on the VR bandwagon. AR and VR apps are the wave of the future, and soon all consumers will expect brands to incorporate this technology somewhere on their websites.

Make Buying Fun with Gamification

Gamification has made incredible strides in the last year, and it’s only getting started. Companies cite great success with gamification. Hyatt Hotels is using a trivia game to train salespeople. The game provides incentives to employees to reward them for each step they accomplish. Gamification for training can encourage employees to try harder and complete training faster. It also establishes a work environment of healthy competition, motivation, and goal-driven employees.

Gamification has a special place in web design. This trend can make browsing a website more fun and rewarding to potential buyers. It can encourage them to engage with the company and keep coming back for more. For example, take the Wonderful Pistachios gamification campaign, “Help Ernie.”

This campaign markets Wonderful Pistachios throughout the game, advertising the product while giving users an enjoyable experience. Users play the games, which center around Ernie the Elephant, to enter a company sweepstakes.

Turning an element of your site, such as product exploration or meeting the team, into a game can increase user engagement and boost site traffic. It can also increase word-of-mouth advertising, as users are more likely to share a game they found fun or exciting with their friends.

Since games center on a sense of competition, many website visitors will keep returning to continue playing or try to beat a high score. The more time visitors spend on your site playing your game, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

Design for the Touch Screen

Mobile-first design is certainly not a new web trend, but tech developers are coming up with new and exciting ways to market to mobile users first. One example is in advanced touch interactions in the user interface (UI).

Since users access websites on a touch-sensitive display, website designers can use touch to their advantage. They can get creative with touch interactions, such as creating a slightly uncomfortable vibration sensation when a user clicks away from your site. Touching the “Purchase” button, on the other hand, can generate a pleasant pulse sensation.

Design custom touch interactions carefully to let users explore your mobile site intuitively. Don’t let touch become too overbearing or fall to the wayside. Provide a unique experience for your site visitors that makes sense for your brand. Keep your touch interactions consistent across devices – make sure every device supports the functionality of your custom touch interactions. Implementing touch is the latest way you can connect with your audience and encourage certain actions, such as signing up for a subscription list or making a purchase.

Combine touch with your visitors’ micro-interactions to bring the user experience home. A micro-interaction is a task your user accomplishes, such as clicking on a piece of content to view the full article.

They inundate your users on a daily basis. Use this to your advantage in website design – mark micro-interactions with appropriate touch interactions to improve your user experience. Touch interactions can provide feedback to your users, letting them know your website understood the action and is generating the desired effect. Designing for the touch screen has never been more important than it is in today’s mobile-centric consumer environment.

Stay on Top of Changing Tech Trends in Website Design

When it comes to website design, optimizing your site for what may come in the future will help you keep your costs down, stay SEO friendly, and stay a step ahead of your competition. Watch these budding trends now to get ready for what website design might look like in 2018 and beyond.

Original Article:

How to Get Long-Term, Steady Web Design Projects

There are more than three billion people connected to the Internet – that’s a huge number of opportunities waiting for freelance designers to tap into.

But the same dilemma remains: Why are there a lot of freelance web designers struggling to find long-term clients?

If you are one of them, you might be wondering what you are doing wrong. Why are some web professionals successful with multiple clients and can also charge higher per project, while others are struggling to find just a single client?

There are no set methods or standards on how to acquire projects that are long-term. Instead, we can only share with you the principles and ideas shared by expert freelancers that have been successful in their respective web businesses.

A Website is Just an End product

Let Your Clients Know What You are Capable of Doing

A website is more than a website.

What does that mean? It simply means that a website is just an end product, a tool that can become successful or idle if you know how to use it or not. When you design a website and give it to your clients, they don’t know what to do with it unless they have marketing and design knowledge.

All they know is that they already have a website and you completed your job. That is how most web designers work – they meet the client, ask their clients what they want, they design the website, give it to the the client, the client pays them, and then the working relationship ends.

However, if you show your client that you can add value to their business other than creating a website, you are positioning yourself to become part of their team, for the long-term. Knowing how to code or how to design a website alone isn’t enough anymore.

It is a fact that there are many web designers out there that are as talented, or maybe more talented than you are. So what is that extra value you can add that will let clients choose you and work with you for a longer period?

Paul Jarvis was able to charge $9,000 per project because he also offers his clients different business strategies that will help them use their website effectively to grow their business.

In short, you have to begin thinking and practicing that you are also an entrepreneur and look at the other aspects of web design aside from coding and designing.

Paul Jarvis

Making the Website Work

Websites nowadays are interactive – designed to be explored, shared, and used across different types of platforms and devices. So when you design a website, you should also focus on the business aspect of the website.

Focusing on the business side of the website does not mean that you have to manage all its aspects or even take on the accounting side of things. It simply means that you have to make sure that it works to meet the unique needs of each of your clients and in so doing, you’d help them grow their business.

For example, if your client is an author, their primary goal is to expand their readership and their community as well as increase the sales of their book. If the client is a musician, then they definitely need to build their fan base and sell their music. For some, they might want to increase their membership, their subscribers, their visitors, and so on.

Ask what your client does, what it is they offer, and how can the website you’ve created help them grow their business.

Make Sure that You Set Your Client Up for Growth

Knowing and understanding something is one thing, but making it work effectively and efficiently is another.

The process does not stop when you find out what your client needs. It is just the beginning because the most important thing is you help them create a strategy that will help them grow their business.

The strategy includes placing the right elements on the website as well as implementing those elements. How are you going to use email and opt-in boxes, membership systems, and contact forms?

Even the placement of the header is crucial to optimizing the website. Even the graphics and copywriting should contribute to the website as a whole to achieve its targeted purpose – and that is to convert them from visitors into customers.

In fact, the beauty of graphics should complement the value of the content and vice-versa. One of the most powerful quotes about content states that “the user always look at the content and graphics as one entity and never separated from the other.” With this in mind, you should never overlook either of them.

When your client sees the value you can offer and see the results of what you have done, your clients will naturally go back to you.

As Jairek Robbins said in our podcast interview with him, “You have to over-deliver until you make raving fans from your customers and they can’t stop talking about you to every person they meet.”

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Top Examples of Mobile App Notification Design

Notifications form a key component of many mobile apps. Many utilize both the native OS notifications, as well as some form of in-app notifications, often shown to highlight new features or messages. These messages serve to provide updates and information to users in a higher priority fashion.

They are designed to relay anything from a successful purchase, to an error with their account. As such, they need to be clear, concise, and effective in garnering the user’s attention with varying degrees of urgency at any given point.

In this article we are going to focus specifically on in-app notification designs and look at some of the finest examples and discuss why the design is so effective.

Medium

Medium‘s approach to in-app notifications is very simple and on-brand. The message is clear with a clearly defined action to dismiss the notification.

In this case, the design is used to notify the user of a feature and therefore its positioning is as key as the design itself.

Twitter

Twitter similarly using notifications to alert users of new features. Their design is extremely compact and includes a pointer to further emphasize the new feature and increase interactions.

The notification alert is bold and stands out from the white content behind, while remaining on-brand and providing great legibility.

The List App

Similar to Twitter, The List App uses a tooltip notification design to alert a user of a feature.

Where Twitter assumes the user will be aware of how to dismiss the alert, The List App takes this one step further and adds a complementary route to dismiss the alert by including an icon in the upper right-hand corner.

Facebook

Facebook implements a very native and standard notification design for alerting users of a new feature. The blue background and Material Design drop shadow provide excellent contrast and draw the exact level of attention to the notification without having the user endure a sense of emergency or unimportance.

Google Keep

Google Keep‘s notification design is very informative in its design. Rather than overlaying over content, the card design forms part of the main interface layout, leading to a higher priority position and allowing the alert to convey a detailed message, while not restricting use of the app, as would be the case with a modal design.

The blue color is perfect for grabbing the user’s attention, and the dismiss CTA is large and clear with an accompanying icon.

Pinterest

Pinterest‘s notification designs are certainly one of the most creative. The use of bold and friendly shapes help them stand out from the more generic rounded rectangle notifications that users have become so accustomed to.

The design is playful in nature and fits the brand and app design perfectly. The use of yellow is refreshing and presents a higher-priority feel than the typical blue color. The text is bold and concise and conveys the notification message effectively.

Have you seen any other top examples of mobile app notification design? Share them below in the comments!

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10 Free Minimal & Barebones Bootstrap Starter Templates

The Bootstrap framework is quite popular with web designers. It provides everything you need to get a design project off to a running start. Plus, it’s been created with mobile devices in mind.

On the downside, it seems like many sites using Bootstrap tend to have a similar look and layout. But that is more of a product of taking design shortcuts rather than an indictment on the framework itself. Going beyond the default styles is quite possible and much easier than you may think.

With that in mind, we went on a search for free Bootstrap templates that lean toward the barebones end of the spectrum. They offer a virtual clean slate and give you the power to customize both the look and layout as much as you’d like. So, instead of ripping apart an existing design, you can get straight to making your own mark.

You might also like these Free Bootstrap Dashboard Admin Templates.

Bare

Bare is designed to help you get started without any fuss. There are no fancy styles applied and it comes with predefined paths. The template works with Bootstrap 4 and sports a fixed top navigation.

Bare bootstrap template

Simplex

Touted as both “Mini and Minimalist”, Simplex contains some basic styles that will provide you with a great starting point. You’ll find minimal navigation, buttons, typography, forms, containers and more goodies within this lightweight package.

Simplex bootstrap template

Understrap

Understrap is a clever mix of Automattic’s Underscores barebones WordPress theme and Bootstrap. Thus, your next WordPress project can utilize Bootstrap without the excess bloat of a prebuilt theme. Understrap features Bootstrap 4, is compatible with the WordPress Customizer and supports WooCommerce.

Understrap bootstrap template

Initializr

Initializr will generate a simple HTML template based on your requirements. Bootstrap 3.3.1 can be bundled right in with your template.

Initializr bootstrap template

Bootply

Use Bootply to build your own custom Boostrap starter template. Using their online builder, you can make things as simple (or complex) as you’d like. There are options for different layouts, various sidebars (including off-canvas) and more.

Bootply bootstrap template

WP Bootstrap Starter

WP Bootstrap Starter is aimed at developers who want to build upon basic features to make their own custom theme. Like Understrap above, it’s based on Underscores. That means it’s lightweight and ready for full-on customization.

WP Bootstrap Starter bootstrap template

LayoutIt!

LayoutIt! is a tool featuring a drag-and-drop interface for quickly building Bootstrap-based templates. There are three base templates to choose from (Starter, Basic Marketing Site and Article). Once you’ve selected a template, you’ll be able to add elements such as grids, components and even JavaScript. You can have a basic, yet functional template set up within minutes.

LayoutIt! bootstrap template

Sage

A competitor to Undesrcores, Sage is a WordPress starter theme that comes with Bootstrap baked right in. The theme features task automation via gulp, and the ability to easily add front-end packages via Bower. Template markup is based on HTML5 Boilerplate.

Sage bootstrap template

Bootstrap 4 Starter Template

If you’re looking for dead simple way to start off a new site, WebNots has put together their own Bootstrap 4 Starter Template. Not only can you grab a copy of their template, there is also a handy guide for building your own.

Bootstrap 4 Starter Template bootstrap template

BS Starter

BS Starter provides the basics you’ll need to get up and running with your design project. The template features a full-width slider and is minimally styled. It gives you just enough to help you create your own look and layout.

BS Starter bootstrap template

Give Complex Templates the Boot

When embarking on a new project, you’re better off using a starter template that lets you make all of the important design decisions. That’s where these minimal and barebones options really shine. Instead of having a Bootstrap-based theme that simply looks like everyone else, you’ll have the flexibility to use the framework to create something unique.

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Not Taking Negative Feedback from a Client Personally

There’s something deeply personal about being creative. It feels like you’re putting a piece of yourself in whatever you create. For many designers, it’s really a labor of love.

The anticipation of sharing a shiny new design with a client is exciting. After all, if you’re passionate about the work you’ve done for them, they should feel the same way about what they see.

Unfortunately, things don’t always turn out that way. Clients may not see things quite the same way as you do. Sometimes their feedback can be constructive; sometimes it can even be a bit harsh. Either way, seeing something you poured your heart and soul into creating being picked apart can really sting.

Receiving negative feedback, unpleasant as it is, is something every designer faces. Let’s take a look at some ways that we can better deal with it.

It’s Not Personal

Receiving criticism can be very difficult – especially for inexperienced designers. When someone casually says that they don’t like something you’ve done, it can make you feel like a failure. You’ve put in untold hours of work and here is this person who, in your mind, may not even be qualified to critique design just tearing apart your ideas.

This is something we will all experience. In my own career, I can recall instances where I felt as if I were the poorest excuse for a web designer in the world. You start to think that others have zero confidence in your abilities to get the job done. You start to question whether they’re right.

Don’t fall for it. Sometimes our minds tend to project more meaning into situations than is really there. In the overwhelming majority of cases, it’s the design being criticized – not you personally. In fact, the person you’re dealing with may think highly of you and is in no way looking to hurt your feelings. They’re just being honest with their opinions – whether you agree with them or not.

As you deal with this sort of thing more often, it becomes easier to compartmentalize design critique into its own little space. Having to make changes may frustrate you, but it shouldn’t make you feel as though you’ve failed.

Remember, even the best athletes don’t win every single time. They make adjustments to their game and come back stronger. It’s much the same in design.

It’s Not Your Baby

It’s natural to take ownership of something you have created – even if you’ve created it for someone else’s use. And so we take it to heart when someone isn’t as thrilled with a design as we are. In a way, this is a good trait to have because it shows how much you care.

On the other hand, the work you’re doing for someone else ultimately belongs to them. So while you may be disappointed if a certain part of a design doesn’t meet with their approval – it’s their right to do so.

Sometimes a client may even have a suggestion or demand that you think will fully ruin the whole concept. Personally, this is always a tough one to swallow. But there are a few different ways you can deal with it.

First, state your case. Kindly and calmly explain your reasons for making specific design choices. You were hired because of your expertise and have every right to express your professional opinion. It may just be enough to get the client to see things your way, or compromise on a happy medium.

If that doesn’t work, the second tact is to simply do what the client has asked to the very best of your abilities. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. When you’re certain that a change will have a negative impact on a design, it may be difficult to gather up enough enthusiasm to go through with it.

That’s when you need to remember that you’re working for your client – not the other way around. Put forth your best effort and sincerely try to make it work. Showing that you’re willing to try conveys a maturity and professionalism that will be very much appreciated.

It’s Part of the Job

If you hire someone to remodel your kitchen, you’ll want to express your opinions about how it’s going to look. There may even be some things you want to change during the process. Feedback is a natural side effect of work. And that’s really how we should treat it.

Once you learn to accept criticism as part of the design process, you’ll be so much better at dealing with it. Seeing what different people do and don’t like can be a valuable resource in future projects. You’ll become a better listener and more focused on the client’s point of view. Put it all together and that can make you an even better designer.

The next time you receive negative feedback, think of it not as an insult but as an opportunity for growth.

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