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Did you know that we publish useful books and run
friendly conferences — crafted for pros like
yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona,
dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.
Check out all of the posts in ‘Resources’ below. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try searching using the form at the top of the page.
Few applications feel as complete as Adobe’s InDesign. First released in 1999 as a direct attack against the then-industry standard, Quark, the page-layout application has been made faster and more feature-rich with each iteration. But even the best applications lack some features.
Luckily, Adobe realized this some years ago and opened the doors to allow designers to expand this beloved set of tools through plugins. Many designers don’t realize how powerful InDesign can be, especially when expanded through plugins and scripts.
Nearly half a year ago, we introduced our eBook subscription model, also known as the Smashing Library. We knew we were onto something good, realizing that the Smashing Library was the next step in offering quality content — at a price you’ll still be able to afford all of the coffee you need to stay up long enough to read the entire library and, of course, the free eBooks.
To give you a taste of what to expect from the eBooks in the Smashing Library, we are happy to present you with The Smashing Editor’s Choice: A Smashing Library Treat — a free eBook that contains a wide range of topics, including new coding techniques, user experience strategies and more.
With a phone or tablet in your pocket, you get instant access to a huge variety of podcasts — both audio and video. They keep you entertained while you’re commuting or on a long plane ride, and they provide useful information that you can integrate into your daily routine as a Web professional.
Keeping track of the ever-changing selection and finding quality podcasts that feature exactly the topics you are interested in can be painful. That’s where we come in. We have put together an extensive list that includes your soon-to-be favorite podcast — whether you are a developer looking for coding advice, a designer seeking inspiration or a startup businessperson. So, tune in, stay informed and learn new skills!
Rule number one for designers of all kinds: use a contract. Sometimes, this is easier said than done. Should I use a service agreement? A retainer? A licensing contract? With the help of Docracy, we collected the experience of many designers to provide a wide range of starting points for less experienced creative professionals, and to start a permanent free legal resource for the community.
Below you’ll find a collection of legal documents curated by our fantastic community. We are looking for your feedback and contribution to grow this collection. Suggest more items or add the contract you use for your own work.
Do you remember those “10 Useful Legal Documents for Designers?” Well, it turns out that you, designers who read Smashing Magazine, liked one in particular: a plain-language, straightforward “Contract of Works for Web Design” which is based heavily on Andy Clarke’s “Contract Killer”. Since Mr. Wong published that template eight months ago, almost 1,500 designers have downloaded it on Docracy alone.
Why is this legal template so popular? Does it really work better than other contracts? Can it help you close that job faster and protect you from getting stiffed? Could it become an industry standard, like grid systems and agile development?
Contracts are a source of anxiety and dismay in creative work, but they exist for a good reason. A good contract ensures that you and your client have the same expectations, and protects you in case things go south. Ideally, your contract should be a combination of industry standards, legal protection and personal preferences.
To help you get started, here’s a set of 10 basic agreements for a variety of common business situations that creative professionals face. How much do you expect to be paid in advance? What happens if a payment is late? Who will own the rights to the work, and when? Contracts can seem overwhelming, but don’t need to be. Reading through these documents is an opportunity to learn from experienced designers in a collaborative setting.
I've been meaning to write this post but just haven't had the time to do so. I've received several messages and emails asking me about fonts that I use on some of my design projects. I have a pretty large font collection. Some of them are paid, but a lot of them are free! First of all, I suggest investing in some of the best typefaces out there but I also suggest that you take advantage of the free resources that can be found online. [Content Care Oct/21/2016 - expanded]
When people think about how to start screencasting, they often forget that screencasting is not only a very interesting way of showing something quickly, comprehensibly and easily; it’s also a way of advertising their products. It's a shame to see how many websites out there lack a beautiful looking screencast, as this can make products look a lot more attractive to potential customers.
What most hobby screencasters don’t know, is that screencasting is not simply the act of sitting down and recording the screen; simple screen recording was something we did four to five years ago. Screencasts have a long history, starting from “I just record my screen” to the fancy product demos you see today. Nowadays, a screencast is almost necessary for start-ups and new products, especially in the tech business.
A few years ago, you might not have pointed out during a meeting with a potential client that you maintained a blog. Over time, though, blogs have evolved from the being a personal hobby to a serious work tool. In fact, today, web designers are supposed to know much more than just how to design and build websites. Customer's expectations have increased, and unless you are in position to choose your favourite clients, meeting them requires hard work.
Hence, it's important to keep learning about the variety of design-related fields every single day — be it marketing, psychology, business, copywriting, publishing or blogging. This article doesn't cover "traditional" web design discipline as we know it, but goes a bit beyond it, exploring various writing, blogging and online publishing strategies. Apart from that, we present some useful writing style guides that may help you educate your clients on their copy for their upcoming project.
I've been receiving a few emails lately asking me for some of the web design resources that I personally use. Well, I'd like to start sharing my resources with our readers so today, I've gathered up a collection of the icon sets that I have personally downloaded and use on a daily basis.
One thing that I've emphasized before is to have a collection of resources at your disposal. There are a lot of different icons out there and choosing which ones to download and save in your resources can be difficult. I used to just be download happy and download every icon set that I found and I found that to be very ineffective as I would still end up having to sort through hundreds of folders looking for the right icons.
We all have an increasing number of sites and online services we're members of, and sometimes it all gets a little overwhelming. At times, we just need to delete our memberships to some sites, either in an effort to simplify our lives or just because we've grown tired of a particular site or service.
What we often don't realize when signing up for all these accounts, though, is how difficult it can be to permanently delete our accounts when we've had enough. Some require complicated, multi-step processes that can stretch over the course of days (or weeks). Others take less time, but still require multiple steps by the user.
Below we'll take a look at the account deletion processes of popular websites and services, and how easy or difficult they make it. Then we'll discuss why sites make things so complicated, and some things to consider when designing your own deletion policies.
Many developers and designers want to release their work into the world as open-source projects. They want others to be able to build on and share their code. The open-source community is vibrant because of this. Open-source software is available for virtually any application you could think of. Most designers use open-source software or code on a regular basis (WordPress, Drupal and many other CMS' are open source).
But many developers and designers don't have a clear picture of what the different open-source licenses really mean. What rights are they relinquishing when they choose an open-source license? Without knowing exactly what the licenses mean and how they're best applied, developers can't make informed decisions about which is best for their work.