It’s been three years since I launched my productized service. And, boy, did I do a lot of things wrong! But I’m glad I did. If it weren’t for the many mistakes I’ve learned from and lessons I’ve applied, my business never would have grown to replace my income as a freelancer.
As it turns out, I wasn’t alone in my mission to move away from client work and into a products business. Every day when I read the replies I get from freelancers who read my newsletter, most tell me they want to do the same but that making the transition seems almost impossible.
“Stories have defined our world. They have been with us since the dawn of communication, from cave walls to the tall tales recounted around fires. They have continued to evolve, with their purpose remaining the same: to entertain, to share common experiences, to teach and to pass on traditions.”
Francisco Inchauste wrote those words on this website back in 2010. His post is just one of many on this website that talk about the power of storytelling to engage users. But storytelling is not just a tool to engage users. It is also a powerful way to teach organizations more about their customers.
Mobile application ecosystems — let’s count Android and iOS here — are unbelievably dynamic, but they also suffer from both software and hardware fragmentation. This is especially true for Android, but fragmentation also exists in the iOS ecosystem, as experienced with the rollout of iOS 8. As the latest version of iOS was released, many existing apps were made clumsy on updated devices.
Even the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have had not-so-typical issues for Apple devices. In addition, a significant proportion of users with older devices have very few options: essentially, buy new hardware (i.e. a new device) to get everything working well.
AJAX calls have moved user interaction on the Web a huge step forward: We no longer need to reload the page in response to each user input. Using AJAX, we can call specific procedures on the server and update the page based on the returned values, giving our applications fast interactivity.
What AJAX calls do not cover are updates from the server, which are needed for the modern real-time and collaborative web. This need for updates covers use cases ranging from a couple of users collaboratively editing a document to the notification of potentially millions of readers of a news website that a goal has been scored in a World Cup match. Another messaging pattern, in addition to the response request of AJAX, is needed — one that works at any scale. PubSub (as in “publish and subscribe”) is an established messaging pattern that achieves this.
The kickoff phase sets the stage for the success of your product. Without properly conducting this phase, your team might as well be working in the dark. The worst enemy in product development, after all, is ambiguity.
During the initial design process for your product, answers will come from brainstorming on the product and from execution at the highest level, with all necessary stakeholders (along with their egos).
Think of all the people you know who inspire you, whether family and friends or public figures. Who are the most interesting, engaging and stimulating to be around? The ones with the great ideas and energy for life? These people almost certainly always ask questions and have an insatiable thirst to learn new things.
According to Donald N. MacKinnon, who is considered to be a world-leading researcher on creativity: "Creative people have considerable cognitive flexibility, communicate easily, are intellectually curious, and tend to let their impulses flow freely."
If you mention printing with CSS to many people who work on the web, print style sheets are the use that comes to mind. We are all well used to creating a style sheet that is called upon when a web document is printed. These style sheets ensure that the print version is legible and that we don’t cause a user to print out huge images.
However, CSS is also being used to format books, catalogs and brochures — content that may never have been designed to be a web page at all. In this article, we’ll take a look at the CSS modules that have been created not for use in web browsers, but to deal with printed and paged media.
There are icons that you can find quite easily, and icons that are difficult to come across. With this icon set, we are humbled to release a set of 45 free icons available in SVG, PSD and PNG formats, released exclusively for Smashing Magazine and its readers. Designed by Print Express.
This icon set is licensed under a Creative Commons. You can use the icons in your commercial as well as your personal projects, including software, online services, templates and themes. You may modify the size, color or shape of the icons. No attribution is required, however, reselling of bundles or individual pictograms is prohibited.
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.
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 January 2015. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!
We have all known the pain of a client interfering in the design process. Phrases like “Make the logo bigger” and “Put that above the fold” have become a running joke in the web design community.
It is not unusual for web designers to lose money on a project as a result of the client endlessly iterating on the design. After a few bad experiences, we start to exclude the client from the process. We limit their number of iterations and avoid consulting with them.