Posts Tagged ‘Business’.
We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with ‘Business’.
We use ad-blockers as well, you know. 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. new Smashing Book 5 features smart responsive design techniques and patterns.
We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with ‘Business’.
Becoming a freelance web designer is a common dream among many designers, although it takes quite a bit of talent, business savvy, committment, and time. With all there is to consider when becoming self-employed, one can become overwhelmed — enough to deter themselves from trying at all.
Realizing many Smashing readers probably already have a head-start into the world of professional and freelance web design, this post is meant to act as not only a step-by-step guide, but also as a checklist for those who have already started their career. Hopefully this guide can cover all aspects of becoming a professional and freelance web designer, from business aspect and working with clients, to creating an effective portfolio and advertising one's work.
Also consider our previous articles:
How many times have you been completely confused at how that 'small' project turned into such a big one costing double and taking three times the length you estimated? Many of you will say estimating time for web projects accurately is an oxymoron, but by applying a few effective techniques it's possible to dramatically increase the accuracy of most web project estimates.
So why is underestimating so common? There are several reasons, which are freely admitted amongst freelancers and web agencies, as to why web projects are so commonly underestimated - they include: a) the technologies required by the project have never been used before, b) at the time of estimating, there are grey areas or complete unknowns; c) the client operates in a specialized industry and the solution needs bespoke features that are not familiar to the supplier and d) splitting the project down into the detail would require as much as work as the requirements gathering phase that is chargeable.
You may be interested in the following related posts:Read more...
Want to save some time? Of course you do! You are probably always looking for ways to do this faster and make that easier, it's human nature! One of the best ways to save time is experience. The more experience you have, the more comfortable you are working, the more you have developed your own best methods, and with experience you know how to better avoid mistakes and disasters. So always stay hard at what you do and you will definitely save more than "just" time!
However, regardless of your experience level, there are ways to speed up the common design tasks. You should find some of these not-so-well-known tips and strategies listed below very helpful for your workflow. And please feel free to suggest more ideas in the comments to this post!Read more...
Going to web conferences is a great opportunity to make new contacts and exchange business cards. Unfortunately, we have an industry filled with creative people who have no creative marketing for themselves. Sure, many have business cards, but one in a hundred have something really cool. These unique treasures, cards, items etc. get kept, talked about and usually photographed and shared. This post is an inspiration for all you creatives to step up your game, either by getting things made or by making them yourselves.
A note of warning though: interesting promotional materials almost always cost more per unit than a white business card or require a lot of prep work, so you're often going to have a limited quantity. Pick the people you give these treasures to wisely. Those people will feel more important for getting a limited edition, and you don't run the risk of spending an absolute fortune (in time or money) producing mass quantities!Read more...
Branding experts hit the nail on the head when they say that a winning brand conveys why you are your prospects’ only solution. If you can’t achieve that, you should at least convey why you are your prospects’ best solution. Of course, the same logic applies to your clients. So make a compelling claim about your business, product or service, and back it up.
Are you the biggest or most popular provider of your type of product? Do you provide the widest selection of services? Do you leverage strategic partnerships? Create patented technology? Offer convenient locations? Or are you young and small, able to churn out customized solutions swiftly, unlike your much larger and slower competitors?
Define your strengths and leverage them. Purposefully written Web copy that effectively tells your prospects why they should buy from you or your client can make a world of difference on the sales front. In fact, if done right, it can actually disqualify the competition.Read more...
Naming is linguistic design, and a good domain name is an important part of the overall design of a website. A name plays a prominent role when people discover, remember, think about, talk about, search for, or navigate to a website. It establishes a theme for the branding of a website before people even visit it for the first time. Coming up with a good domain name requires a combination of strategy, imagination and good linguistic design practice.
You'll find some basic pieces of advice all over the Web, and it’s worth mentioning those right away. Ideally, your domain name should be: short, catchy and memorable, easy to pronounce, easy to spell, not too similar to competing domain names, not a violation of someone else’s trademark.
These are all good rules of thumb. But they lack specifics. These are really criteria to use to evaluate ideas for names after you’ve thought of them. To come up with a name in the first place, you need to know what type of name is best for you. And before you can answer that question, you have to answer two others: one about your resources, and the other about your Web strategy.
You may be interested in the following related post:Read more...
The economy is bad. No one's job is really 100% safe, so it’s time we all bucked up and got our recession bags packed (just in case!). Your portfolio is already gorgeous, but have you created a drool-worthy resume?
This flimsy one-page document is more important than many people think: the resume is the first portfolio piece that potential employers see, and if they're not impressed, chances are they won't look at the rest of your portfolio. "But I’m not a print designer!" you moan. It doesn’t matter, and I don’t want to hear your excuses! You need to conquer this, because if you’re a great Web designer, you don’t want your first impression to be mediocre.
Everyone likes a competition. How about one in which ten good Web designers have to design the same resume in only a few hours? Meet Steven Stevenson, a fictional Web designer, doesn’t have a resume. Rules: each designer must translate his work experience, education and interests into their own unique style. Watch and learn, people. At the end is a summary of good tips for Web designer resumes. (If you're interested in taking the challenge yourself, check out misterstevenson.com for all the rules these designers followed, Steven Stevenson's raw data and the chance to add your own entry.)Read more...
Having a good relationship with your hosting provider is perhaps not crucial, but pretty darn close to it if you want to maintain a fully functional website. Remember that even though you are the client, you still need to abide by the beloved ToC (Terms and Conditions) of your hosting provider. You should also research hosting plans to prevent future quagmires. Listed below are ten points to think about before signing up with a Web host and what to do if you already have a provider.
One of the best and easiest ways to maintain a happy relationship with your hosting provider is to not go blind staring at the price tag. We know it's easy to do, but remember that in most cases you get what you pay for. Cheap Web hosting can, of course, be top-quality and sufficient for small websites, but it can also be really poor and get you off to a bad start with your new host. Make sure you look at what features are included in the hosting package.Read more...
Twitter appears on innumerable personal and professional websites nowadays, whether it is a simple "Follow me" badge in the header or a display of the author's latest tweets in the sidebar. No longer a fad, Twitter is now a necessity for every website, not just for sharing your thoughts and keeping in touch with people, but also for marketing, advertising and even searching. But you may be wondering, How can I make Twitter work the way I want on my website?
Below, we present Twitter Web Designer and Developer Toolbox, API and Tutorials, a series of tutorials, links, references, libraries and plug-ins that will help you do everything you've always wanted to do with Twitter.Read more...
Twitter is the new big thing. With everybody from Britney Spears to Barack Obama now on Twitter, it is safe to say the social networking platform has gone mainstream. For many users worldwide Twitter has become a crucial tool for maintaining contacts, exchanging opinions and making new connections. But what does this mean for the service, and how can we, website owners, actually use it for our purposes?
So how do I use Twitter? I guess the first thing to say is that I am not a huge Twitter success story. However, Twitter is turning into the third facet of my online presence, alongside my blog and podcast. With that in mind, let me share a few tips that have helped me better use this interesting new tool.Read more...