Menu Search
Jump to the content X X
Smashing Conf Barcelona

You know, we use ad-blockers as well. We gotta keep those servers running though. 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.

Posts Tagged ‘Business’.

We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with ‘Business’.

Fight The System: Battling Bureaucracy

If you work as part of an in-house Web team, you have my sympathy. If that in-house team is within a large organization, then doubly so. Being part of an in-house Web team sucks. Trust me, I know. I worked at IBM for three years and now spend most of my days working alongside battle-weary internal teams.

Web designer trying to hang himself

It's hardly surprising that most in-house teams are worn down and depressed. They face almost insurmountable challenges. Too often, a website becomes a battleground for pre-existing departmental conflicts. Political power plays can manifest themselves in fights over home page real estate or conflicts over website ownership. After all, is the website an IT function or a marketing tool? Read more...

Web Design Checkmate: Using Chess For Success in Web Design

The business of building websites is one of constant change, adaptation and strategy. The way designers and developers build websites is often informed by the methods of others and their own trial and error. In light of this, we can draw a number of parallels — some philosophical, to a certain extent — between Web professionals and one of the oldest and most popular board games of all time (counting traditional and digital games). This game is chess.

Screenshot

In this article, we’ll explore the relationship between the game of chess and the Web industry. We’ll learn fundamental lessons from the pawn, rook, knight, bishop, queen and king, and we’ll highlight the factors — both offline and online — that determine best practices. The game is beloved by many professionals, so it seems fitting to apply its great strategy and elegance to the digital age; certain practices might help you lead a more successful working life.

Read more...

Recession Survival Tips For Online Businesses

In a recession, companies go one of two ways: either they become the cautious cat, adopting a wait-and-see attitude, spending carefully on their marketing and less overall, cutting back, or they become the ferocious lion, bold, taking advantage of their competitors' caution to seize opportunities in the tough market.

Gain trust of skeptical customers

Whatever your approach, remember that Web marketing is a great investment during a recession. Online marketing, though a short-term endeavor, is quick to set up, measurable and, as a result, easily optimizable. It can be infinitely better than a lock-in marketing strategy or partnership, especially in a poor economic climate.

Here are three Recession “R”s, to help your business take advantage of online marketing in this challenging time. Rework, Revisit, Reach Out: let's take a closer look at survival tips and strategies for online marketing.

Read more...

Business Card Design Starter Kit: Showcase, Tutorials, Templates

Professionals in any field should always keep business cards on them because you never know when you'll meet a potential client, partner or like-minded person. Despite their small size, business cards are one of the most powerful and handiest marketing tools. Not only do they create a link between you and your new contact, they’re also a quick way to give a great first impression. Business cards promote your skills and achievements and serve as a little container for big ideas.

Screenshot

Don't underestimate the process of designing business cards; a well-made card does not just share your contact details: it generates further sharing and buzz. Like any self-promotion tool, designing a business card requires solid brainstorming and careful implementation to get the best effect.

This post targets a diverse audience. It features a collection of remarkable business card designs that could help you in your search for creative ideas. The round-up of fresh tutorials and business card templates further down might come in handy for those who don’t have the skills or experience to design their own.

Read more...

Craft An Irresistible Price By Focusing On Your Users

Price influences behavior. In order to craft an excellent user experience, the price — and how your users interact with that price — must be central to the development of the product, especially applications. No user will welcome an application if the cost is prohibitive. This makes price every bit as important as design, information architecture and wireframing, and it goes deeper than just getting people to click “Buy.” By focusing on users in setting and maintaining a price, you will increase revenue, lower overhead and, most importantly, significantly improve the user’s (read customer’s) experience.

Your price is the nail from which you hang your masterpiece.

For just about a year now, between designing and developing client’s websites, I have been running a little app that I created with co-workers. In that time, we have launched, added features, raised the price, added more features and just now begun the early stages of marketing the product. So far, we have done all of this without borrowing a cent, and we have managed to at least cover our costs, if not generate some modest profit. I have no doubt that this success comes from our choices of model and price point.

This article is not about “How to price your app.” There are plenty of good resources for learning how to find the right number. Pricing for use is a framework for continually adjusting your price, when needed, to suit your profit goals and the experience of your users.

Read more...

Passing The Holy Milestone: How To Meet Deadlines

For too many projects, there comes a time when every action taken, every decision and sacrifice made, is spurred on by pressure to finish. Tempers seem to shrink along with the available days, talk about “high standards” gives way to “good enough,” and people realize that deadlines are aptly named. During the last-minute crunch, someone may well wonder, how did it come to this? Could it have been prevented?

deadline-extends-past-estimate

Every Web project has deadlines. But not every designer or developer deals with them the same way. Because a deadline marks the end of a project, everyone involved in the project must understand the deadline’s role. Most projects follow a schedule or have an estimated date by which they must be completed. The concept is simple then: when the work takes longer than expected, deadlines get missed.

Read more...

The Creative vs. The Marketing Team: Yin And Yang, Oil And Water

Smashing Editorial: Please notice that the language in some parts of this article may be very informal. If you think you might be offended, please stop reading this article now.

I hate the division represented in this title. It’s the major stumbling block in modern business. Power struggle is never constructive, and it at least doubles workforce effort at a time when streamlined is crucial for a positive ROI. You can spell “team” from the word “marketing,” but I’ve yet to see a sense of it in marketing. What can one spell from “creative”? “Reactive”? I’ve seen plenty of that, and for good reason.

Screenshot

Don’t get me wrong: I love marketing as a practice! Relatively speaking, marketing is a fairly new practice (marketing in the sense of "public", broad mass marketing, applied to products in the modern age — ed.), and one that has to evolve each day to keep up with consumerism and technology. As a designer, coming up with marketing ideas is orgasmic. Guerilla, sabotage and viral marketing are the work of genius, which is why we don’t see them very often. But you are probably thinking horrid thoughts about marketing practitioners right now, so let’s rethink for a second.

Read more...

Renegotiating The Contract (And Other Tales Of Horror)

You’ve met with the client, done the creative brief and gotten some kind of written agreement or contract. Work has been creative and progressing nicely. The joy and hope for life slowly return as the scent of money looms. So, with an overdose of sleeping pills no longer your retirement plan, you start to delete your suicide note and dispose of the envelopes containing instructions on terminating your accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Then, someone crunches some numbers and realizes that you can’t be paid what was agreed on. Suddenly, your contract becomes either a weapon in a brutal fight or a token to keep the job going in the hope of some pay and a return client.

Many people start an assignment only after a percentage of the job has been paid. 50% is nice, but convincing the big clients that they are not your bank is becoming harder and harder, and the promise of payment in 30 days does not give you a warm feeling inside.

Read more...

How To Use Photos To Sell More Online

As a photographer and UX designer, I pay particular attention to the effectiveness of photography when I'm testing with users. Regardless of the context, users rarely fail to comment on or be influenced by photography when shopping online.

Person walking across a wet rock in sandals

This article pulls together principles from psychology, marketing, UX design and photographic theory. It provides a set of principles to follow when commissioning and editing photography and when planning and designing profitable e-commerce user experiences.

Read more...

Decision-Making Models In Web Development

When was the last time you made a decision? A big one. What was the outcome? Was it good, and how did you get to that outcome? Every day we all make plenty of decisions without a thought to how we structure them or the basis on which we make them. We simply make them. We're lucky that we work in an industry in which erroneous decisions may have serious financial consequences but rarely, if ever, costs lives.

Group Meeting

In fields such as aviation and health care, bad decisions can have massive repercussions. As a result, a lot of cash has been spent studying the human factor and developing methods of reducing error. After all, you'd like to think that the person in the cockpit is fully capable of caring for an expensive jet and its passengers.

Read more...

How To Spot A Sketchy Client (Plus A Contract Template)

Many things about our business make one glad to be creative; and there certainly are things that destroy the very soul and one's will to carry on. Client interaction can either lead to strong relationships that last a lifetime or make you feel low and worthless. We look at our designs as our own children, and why not? We create our work from our mind and very being. We have an emotional attachment to our work. But we also need to earn a living from that creativity, and there lies the door to our problems and aggravation. [Links checked & repaired March/06/2017]

The question arose on a blog about how to screen a client. Perhaps talking about it in terms of how to spot a sketchy client would be a bit much, but like any freelancer, I need to dump my anxieties on those who sign my paychecks. From corporate clients to the single-owner businesses, clients are our lifeblood… and they can be a cruel, cruel mistress. No wonder we drink.

Read more...

There’s No Such Thing As A Bad Client

Hardly a day goes by without hearing a client horror story from one designer or another. Whether I hear about it in person, by email, over the phone or on Twitter, one thing seems clear: designers seem to like complaining about their clients almost as much as they enjoy taking their money.

Screenshot

Everyone has a client horror story. Plenty of websites and blog articles feature creative professionals venting their spleen. You can find some of these linked at the bottom of this article. I encourage you to read through them; some are really quite outrageous, but I hope your thoughts are tempered by what I’m about to say.

You may be interested in the following related posts:

Read more...

↑ Back to top