Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: January 2014

Thank you, dear Smashing readers, for your support — it means the world to us. On behalf of the entire Smashing Magazine team, we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014. Let it be the best year of your life. — Ed.

We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. 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 Calendar: January 2014

This creativity mission has been going on for over five years now, and we're very thankful to all the 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 2013. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your desktop wallpaper!

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So You’ve Decided To Open-Source A Project At Work. What Now?

A while back, I wrote a post about starting an open-source project. The focus of that article was on starting an open-source project as an individual. I received a lot of positive feedback and also some questions about how the process changes when you’re open-sourcing a project at work.

A guide on getting started with an open-source project at work.

Many companies are starting to investigate and participate in the open-source community, and yet few guides for doing so exist. This article focuses primarily on the process of open-sourcing a project at work, which brings with it other concerns and decisions.

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The Present And Future Of Adobe Fireworks

Unless you’ve been on Mars for the last few months, you’ve already heard the news that Adobe is feature-freezing Fireworks. And Adobe is not offering a replacement tool for Fireworks users (at least, not for now.) What does this mean for you if you use (and rely on) Fireworks to design user interfaces and screens? What are your options?

The Present And Future Of Adobe Fireworks

In this article, we’ll take a close look at Adobe Fireworks, explaining why it is a unique and powerful design tool, how we can continue to use it effectively, and what our alternatives are for the future.

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A Little Journey Through (Small And Big) E-Commerce Websites

People don’t spend their money online easily. Think about it: If you had to answer a long list of questions or struggle to navigate a website, how much money would you be willing to part with? Online shopping is about convenience and comfort, and those of us who have at least once ventured into the realm of online shopping know how time-consuming and unpleasant it can be.

Showcase Of Interesting E-Commerce Websites

The online stores that stand out from the rest are those that go the extra mile for their users. We’ll look here at some small and big e-commerce websites that create pleasant online shopping experiences. We’ll consider the experience from the very start to the very end, right through to the checkout process.

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How Optimized Are Your Images? Meet ImageOptim-CLI, a Batch Compression Tool

Exporting images for the Web from one’s favorite graphics software is something many of us have done hundreds of times. Our eyes fixate on an image’s preview, carefully adjusting the quality and optimization settings until we’ve found that sweet spot, where the file size and quality are both the best they can possibly be.

How Optimized Are Your Images? Meet ImageOptim-CLI, a Batch Compression Tool

After exporting the image — usually using a feature called “Save for the Web” — and having gone to all that care and effort, we would be forgiven for thinking that our image is in the best shape possible. That’s not always the case, of course.

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Using Brainwriting For Rapid Idea Generation

When a group wants to generate ideas for a new product or to solve a problem, you will usually hear the clarion call, “Let’s brainstorm!” You assemble a group, spell out the basic ground rules for brainstorming (no criticism, wild ideas are welcome, focus on quantity, combine ideas to make better ideas) and then have people yell out ideas one at a time.

Using Brainwriting For Rapid Idea Generation

Brainstorming is often the method of choice for ideation, but it is fraught with problems that range from participants’ fear of evaluation to the serial nature of the process — only one idea at a time. Brainwriting is an easy alternative or a complement to face-to-face brainstorming, and it often yields more ideas in less time than traditional group brainstorming.

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“Be Careful: Trends Come And Go”

As one of the top designers on Dribbble, Jan Martin attracts many followers with his visual design skills. Unlike many designers, Jan is incredibly humble about what he has achieved. “Stop following what the visionary designers think,” he says. “There is no wrong or right way. We need to create our own things and always design with our heart.”

Be Careful: Trends Come And Go

Jan grew up in the small city of Brandenburg, about 70 kilometers south of Berlin. After graduating from the Berlin Design Academy with a degree in Communication Design, he cofounded 6Wunderkinder (literally, “6 wonder kids”) back in 2010. Since then, he has been the company’s lead designer, responsible for the visual design of the popular Wunderlist and the company’s website, blog, social-network sites and branding.

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