Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: November 2014

We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one—desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd.

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: November 2014

This creativity mission has been going on for almost seven years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month. This post features free desktop wallpapers created by artists across the globe for November 2014. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!

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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.

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Let’s Talk About It

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.

Talking about mental health can be awkward and embarrassing, but it really shouldn’t be. Mental health is just an illness, like any other. When we talk about mental health, we do so in hushed terms. We whisper, “Don’t mention it, he or she isn’t ‘all there.’”

Let’s Talk About It

I believe this approach — sweeping the problem under the carpet, hiding it from view, or stating, “Let’s not talk about it” — is a problem. Mental health is an issue. It affects our industry, in particular and confronting it head on is important. We need to talk about mental health more openly, and I’m happy to be one of a growing number of people in our industry who are helping to bring this subject out into the open, where it should be.

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When Flowers Start To Bloom, It’s A Sign That SmashingConf Oxford Is Coming Soon!

Crafting a good front-end is no piece of cake. When tough budgets and ambitious goals interweave, you need just the right expertise to make just the right decisions. That’s why we create heavily practical Smashing Conferences, and the upcoming SmashingConf Oxford 2015 isn’t going to be an exception.

When Flowers Start To Bloom, It's A Sign That SmashingConf Oxford Is Coming Soon!

We don't care about volatile trends, but we do care about things that work and don't work in real projects, and why, and that's exactly what the event will be focusing on. With practical talks, lots of networking, jam sessions, a personal, intimate atmosphere and spectacular surprises (lasers, anyone?), this is a conference you probably won't want to miss. A valuable, affordable community event for designers and developers who love their craft. Seriously.

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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?

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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.

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How To Run A Content-Planning Workshop

Content is hard. It takes a lot of planning, collaboration and governance to produce high-quality content that meets business needs, speaks in an authentic way and targets an audience effectively.

How To Run A Content-Planning Workshop

Whether you’re an agency working with clients, or an in-house team working with others around your organization, getting people onboard with producing content is challenging. Thankfully it isn’t all doom and gloom. There is something you can do to help soothe your content woes. You can run a content-planning workshop.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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