The Best Designs / Best Web Design Awards & CSS Gallery -
Last one for this morning ;)
After I meet with a cient and figure out what kind of application they want, I tend to take that information, let it sink in, and then I go browsing other inspirational websites to see what’s out there… and then I STEAL THOSE AWESOME IDEAS!
Design is about coming up with new stuff, but it depends upon what users already know and also what we’re able to do with development. Looking at galleries of other websites is actually my favorite part of the process as I get to ooh and aah at all the possibilities! From there my imagination takes over and I go nuts!
This gallery is one of my favorites and gets updated often. If you find yourself in a rut or just want a smile put on your nerdy face, check it out :)
Web Design by Designer, Speaker and Writer Brian Hoff -
I find that there is never enough time to read. Reading really is one of my favorite ways to learn - you’ll go through a book and change your entire mindset on life and not even realize it. It’s fantastic. Especially if it’s not textbook learning with quizzes in the middle (yuck!)
But when you do get that time, I find it extremely valuable and you don’t want to waste what you spend your time reading. That’s why I recommend sites that I tend to use and find useful so you don’t spend your valuable reading time LOOKING for something to read.
Have a go at this blog - he’s always got great things to say!
The Noun Project -
If you’re a designer - you need to check this site out.
It’s especially great for when you’re trying to pull together wireframes for a client, or even just pull some inspiration as you create a symbol/icon.
It’s a library of vector art, all FREE as long as you promise to contribute the work to the designer.
Grayden Poper – Interactive Designer -
I should have posted this link a million years ago when I found it!
Buuuut my blogging habits aren’t as great as I want them to be (…yet!).
I stumbled across this guy’s work accidentally when I was searching for inspiration for a website I was creating. The specific site of his I found was one I tweeted actually - his wedding website. I didn’t realize it was his own when I first came across it. —> http://www.jennyandgrayden.com/
It was cute and BEAUTIFUL and that was the moment I knew I was a #supernerd for wanting to do this for my own wedding one day. Absolutely adorable.
But anyways, the way he designed his site is awesome, and I tend to return to his site for inspiration often. I recommend checking him out when you get a chance :). It’s a website that’s just fun to get lost in
Oh check out the side bar on the right - that’s one of my favorite pieces!
Flat UI - CSS Library -
Found a beautiful CSS library for designers!
While of course I’m not down to use this for every website I create, but it would be a really neat wireframing tool… and not in the traditional sense, but in the skeleton of the website sense. Let me elaborate:
So you’re a designer who runs these sprints for companies and they want a design done on the front end. Welp, you’ve got some css/html basic knowledge and your job is always to create wireframes/mockups for your clients. So you whip up a quick web page, use this pre-created components, and have a live wireframe for your client to look at.
Vuala! You just delighted a customer (oh man I worked at Mighty Fine for too long…)
OR I really like the idea of, AFTER getting a design approved by a client, you go in and actually make a css library for each project. That way, your front end guy or developer doesn’t have any question as to how things work/run :)
Just an awesome thought.
9 Lessons from a Design Entrepreneur -
I just stumbled across a design entrepreneur article that I thought was pretty neat. They make a couple really great points that ring true to myself so I thought I would share!
1. Expect a Huge Learning Curve
yes. In my case I had to go in and actually learn to speak a couple computer languages! But at the same time, design is still my passion and what I try to aim towards doing. While I can develop, I still develop with design in mind - that’s part of my background and what I will always bring to the table.
3. Be a Quality Hound
I’ve heard many different arguments for this one. At first, I used to do this - I would spend many many hours triple checking code and design before handing off a project. However after reading Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” as well as my own experience, sometimes “done” is better than “perfect”. Especially when your stress levels are through the roof and work is piling on top of you.
Obviously this is only to be used if your sanity is being questioned and your work is cutting into other priorities. However if work IS your priority (as it is with me most of the time), the quality of your work and whether your customer is happy is what’s extremely important.
4. Love your suppliers (or in my case - contractors)
In my case, this applies to contractors. They are the heartbeat of Balderdash and what allows us to stay away from growing to huge corporate sizes. They are the drive pushing us forward in projects, and their talent is something to not be taken for granted. We treat our contractors very well because we know they have a choice on who they want to work with. We want to be them. Because let’s face it, if you’re up against a deadline - you depend on them. And if you’re an ass and treat them like shit, they’re going to give you EXACTLY what you’ve earned.
Treat your people right! It’s as simple as that. They’ll return the favor. I promise. And if they don’t, then you misjudged their value.
5. Budget Budget Budget!
This is especially true, once again, when you have contractors. It’s nice to give them a cap for the week, but there are always chances (especially starting out) when you will misjudge how long a project will take. Plan for that. Never try to go right up against what you have in the bank.
ESPECIALLY if you deal with larger corporations. We’ve learned the hard way that the time it takes to get a paycheck out from a larger business may be MONTHS after the completion of a project. That’s just the structure of it all - so plan for this. At least as much as you can. There will be many months where you will have to give up your paycheck so a contractor can get paid (see number 4 my friend).
The rest of these were aimed at companies creating more physical items - which is not the ways of Balderdash. However if that applies to you — I’d definitely recommend checking out the rest of the article!