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Steven Snell is a Web designer and blogger. In addition to maintaining his own blog and writing for a number of other top design blogs, he also manages an online shop that offers premium graphic design resources.
Professional networking is a critical component to a successful career as a designer. Whether it be for finding new clients or identifying opportunities for growth and improvement, a strong network of contacts is extremely valuable. In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at the subject of networking, the benefits it presents and tips that can be used in your own networking efforts.
Networking involves building connections and relationships with people from various backgrounds and professions, including other designers and developers. This article was written with Web designers in mind, but the principles are generally applicable to any profession ― although the specifics may vary.
Our readers have requested that Smashing Magazine conduct an interview with industry leaders on issues that are relevant to students and those just starting off in their design career. With the help of our panel of 16 designers, we'll dispense advice that should help new designers get their career off to a promising start. We've asked a few different questions to each of the designers; you'll see all of their responses below.
For students who aspire to work in design, what would you recommend they study? David Leggett suggests: "Finding a good university-level design program that interests you will greatly increase your chance of finding awesome opportunities down the road, but it’s very beneficial to get experience before and outside of the education system. Find projects to help with, start your own, read up and apply as much as you can as you’re learning on the side. The extra experience will never hurt, and at the very least you’ll get to see if design is something you really enjoy."
Portfolio websites are critical for designers who want to get exposure for their work and attract new clients. While all portfolio sites will showcase the work of the designer, some have chosen to provide additional information about the project through case studies.
In this post we will be featuring more than 30 portfolio sites to show how they are using case studies from their own design projects to communicate with potential clients. Not all of them are referred to as "case studies" on the site, but all provide much more information than just giving a screenshot with the client's name.
If you are considering ways to make your existing work more relevant or appealing to visitors who may be potential clients, providing case studies is one option. Take a look at the sites featured here and you may come up with some ideas of how they could be used on your own site.
Government websites are generally considered to be boring and unattractive in terms of design. While this may be true of the majority of government websites, there are some notable exceptions. In this post we will feature some of the best websites from government agencies and from politicians involved in government. This represents a small sample showing the most appealing sites, although there are hundreds and thousands of different government sites in existence from many countries (a report from 2008 revealed that there may be as many as 2,500 government sites from the UK alone).
Regardless of whether a site uses an attractive design or not, government and political sites typically will contain large amounts of information, and that content must be the priority if the site is to effectively serve its purpose. Some government sites serve as portals that direct visitors in different directions in order to help the find the sites of specific agencies or entities that will include the information that they need. Other sites serve a specific purpose, such as providing information about a museum, a park, or an exhibit. Of course, politicians and political parties also have their own websites to spread their messages, communicate with their party members, and to help find new supporters.
E-Commerce websites are often thought of as typically being unattractive or poorly designed. In this post we will feature 35 appealing designs of online shops. Those featured in this post include examples from a variety of different industries and showcase several different styles of design.
Throughout this showcase the most noticeable trend of well-designed e-commerce sites is the use of high-quality photos. Many of the sites use large images on the homepage, and product and model photography is always important for creating interest from visitors.
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The websites of TV shows are intended to generate interest in the show to improve ratings, and to provide information about the show (and sometimes past episodes) for those people who are already fans of the show. To accomplish this they attempt to create an attractive, interactive website that appeals to visitors.
As you browse through the sites that are featured in this showcase, here are some of the trends that you may notice. Many, but not all, websites of TV shows are located on the networks domain. This helps to unify the websites of the various shows on the network and can even help visitors of the site to remember what network a particular show is on.
With tens of millions of blogs online today, major corporations have started to recognize the value of a corporate blog for communicating with customers. However, corporate blogging is far different than the more traditional blogging that most of us encounter on a daily basis. Corporate blogging brings its own unique set of challenges and opportunities that must be considered and addressed by the company in order for its users to have a positive experience.
In this article we’ll examine the issues that face corporate blogs, we’ll observe some current trends, and we’ll look at a large sample of blogs from companies of various sizes in a wide variety of industries.
Beautiful and creative typography can come in a variety of different forms. Hand drawn typography can be an excellent source of inspiration for graphic designers and typography lovers. In this post we will feature 40 creations that use hand drawn type. Some have been created completely by hand. Others have been sketched and scanned into Photoshop or Illustrator. Another option is to use fonts that create a hand drawn effect.
We recently showcased beautiful websites from the fashion industry, and in response to reader requests, we'll do the same thing here for sports websites. This article showcases the most beautiful website designs from the North American sports industry, including ones for news, teams and leagues, sports apparel and more.
As in any industry, sports websites have their own trends, as you will see below. However, because the websites showcased here fall into a number of different categories and serve different purposes, not all of the trends we discuss will be relevant or applicable to all types of sports websites.