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2015 Is For Web Design Professionals


“Here’s to becoming even better this year.” James Richman

Year 2015 Will Be Fun

Some are full of excitement after receiving their new gym membership.
While some committed to quit unhealthy habits, and others have made a promise to themselves to spend more time with their loved ones.

All in all, it’s that time of the year again when everyone is full of enthusiasm to welcome change in their lives. I hope that you too are full of enthusiasm to really #deliver big time in 2015. We at 1stWebDesigner, are certainly enthusiastic but most of all we want to do it together with you.

In 2014, we had many set backs, failures and falls. It did hurt, but have brought learned lessons, new ideas and enthusiasm. So that you will benefit from the best possible value our community has to offer.

1. The Power of Community

Our team’s biggest commitment and determination this year is to earn your trust and respect as well as establish our credibility as The Community of Web Design Professionals.

I’ve noticed how most of our every day human interactions are based on vertical management hierarchy structure which is sometimes called as “tall organization”.

To be blunt, I hate it because it’s always about having someone “higher” or “lower” than you – someone is always looked up to and someone is always looked down to. I’m afraid however, that this is the reality of our society today.

Vertical management hierarchy structure. © IAD

Vertical management hierarchy structure. © IAD

When charted out on paper, a vertical management hierarchy structure looks exactly like a pyramid where the head of the company occupies the top level followed by a series of middle managers and supervisors who are responsible for various departments. Finally, at the bottom level of the pyramid so called “regular” employees.

Enough of this since you most probably got the idea already.
I’d rather focus on the idea that within our society today exist communities.

Communities which are mainly based on the horizontal management hierarchy structure, sometimes called as “flat organization”.

The flat organizational model encourages employees to become more intimate in conversations with each other and customers. It also promotes employee involvement through a decentralized decision-making process.

By getting rid of the idea of someone being “higher” or “lower” all personnel involved are informed no matter what type of communication is used. This is what exactly describes community the best: Intimate, rapid, informal and social. To keep it more simple.

Horizontal (community) management structure. © Verve

Horizontal (community) management structure. © Verve

Community is a group of people, who hold the same interests, hobbies, passion, beliefs, and values. It is really not about who is better or higher than the other because each of us has his own areas of expertise and experience.

It means that there are certain topics I have been more exposed to, hence know more about it than you do and the same way goes for you. Therefore, there is no inequality.

Now, you understand why it wasn’t a hard decision to become the community for you.
We love web design and you love web design. Just like you, we also are web design professionals who want to level up our business to become faster, more efficient, more productive, more cost effective and more credible.

2. Web Design Professionals

As my partner Dainis already mentioned in his article, “2015 will be focused on crafting articles of a much higher quality”. I will be writing articles myself, based on our every day growing web design experience.

Let’s slow down and dive into every part of improvement you will experience this year.

Aside from our new video project, #EspressoMonday, we will have a more personalized and individual communication, new partners, new content direction, and all the way to the most minor details of our community this year.

2.1 Personalized Communication

We all like authentic communications and genuine intentions. We trust humans.  We want to talk to humans. We want to engage with humans. After all, we can only give any kind of credibility, respect, or authority only to a human being.

If you love WordPress, are totally committed to reading every CSS-Tricks article, are eager to buy the next Smashing Magazine’s book, or have read nearly every one of Spoon Graphic’s tutorials, you most probably know the truth by now.

WordPress without Matt just wouldn’t be the same. CSS-Tricks without Chris just wouldn’t do the tricks. No Vitaly means no Smashing Magazine, and of course, there would be Graphics, but no spoon without Chris.

Here are few more real-life hustlers who take personalization seriously.
And remember – face over logo, always.

Real life personalized brands.

Because of this, I too decided to step forward and use a picture of myself every time we connect and communicate with you. This also includes the insights of what anyone from our team is up to.

2.2 #EspressoMonday Video Project

As we decided how to implement a more individualized engagement in our commitment to the community this year, we opted for Question and Answer video sessions we call #EspressoMonday. Here’s the reason why…

This weekly Q&A show will be published every Monday and as the title of the show suggests, it is indeed powered by a good doze of caffeine.

Just that, no BS but the basics – coffee, web design and community. Before watching the show, however, please get a cup of coffee for yourself, too. In our very first episode I talk about WordPress frameworks, price increase for your services and starting an agency.

Watch the episode #1 of our Q&A show #EspressoMonday

Watch the episode #1 of our Q&A show #EspressoMonday

All you have to do is just ask your web design question to me followed by the hashtag #EspressoMonday. You can also ask your question on our YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram accounts or anywhere else you can find us. You can even feel free to shoot me an email to

2.3 Web Design Links

Linklog is a blog which is a collection of URLs (hyperlinks) that the blog’s maintainer considers interesting enough to collect. That’s how Wikipedia would describe our new section (look top menu).

We just call it Web Design Links, though. These publicly curated lists of useful resources and links, a format first popularized by John’s Daring Fireball list, have again gained a good amount of popularity in recent months.

Example of our last web design links.

Example of our last web design links.

Now web design professionals too, are creating some great linklogs: like Sacha’s Sidebar and WPClipboard. Since I read a lot on web design every day, I decided I’ll share my very best findings every single day with no promotional, sponsored, or advertisement links – just my hand-picked golden nuggets.

2.4 New Content Direction

Now, we’re finally returning to the topic of changing the direction of the content we will be putting out there for you. On a daily basis, we create different complexity web design projects because clients and requirements vary. In turn so does the output of our efforts.

This has led us to an understanding – the importance of making development to these projects to make them efficient, cost effective, and impactful as we possibly can. I’m glad that this has been one of the best decisions we’ve made.

Once again, we have decided to share all of these learnings, experiences, solutions and ideas with you. In short, our main content categories from now on will be based around Design, Business, and WordPress.

a) Design

Do not expect to find yet another list post of inspirational wallpapers, top minimalistic logo collections or Photoshop brush freebies in this content category because there are plenty of great web resources out there who offer just that.

Instead, this section will be filled with analytical materials where design will be analyzed from different types of angles and, concepts. It’s time to pay more attention to the cruciality of design being functional and, not just pleasant to one’s eye.

HSBC Design Methodology. © HSBC

HSBC Design Methodology. © HSBC

Our mission is for our community to begin thinking of design as an individual discipline when developing web design projects. With these publications, we do not intend to fill you in with the latest web design trends. The reason for this again is that, there are enough brilliant quality resources which, exactly serve this purpose.

On the other hand, we want you to have a clear understanding of design standards and, awareness of usability fundamentals as well as, be up to date with web accessibility guidelines.

b) Business

We are exposed to so much information about how to become a freelancer and maintain a freelancing career. Unfortunately, there is not nowhere near as much resources that would help web design professionals understand the business side of this industry.

This category is dedicated to help our community of web design professionals understand the best industry practices of creating, planning, and handling all web design project in all levels of development.

Agile methodology process overview © DWV

Agile methodology process overview © DWV

As well as the entire deployment case studies of our own web design projects. That being said, our main mission with this type of content is for you to thoroughly understand the ins and outs of how to establish best partnerships with clients and, creatives by getting any project from A to Z.

You can also expect analytical materials about such web development methodologies as Waterfall, Prince 2, Agile, Scrum, Lean, PMI and others.

c) WordPress

Lastly, it would be unforgivable to leave out WordPress because over the past years of being professionally involved in the web design industry, WordPress has become our “top gun”. In the eyes of many other professionals this is the tool that has become the backbone, the spine and the whole core of web design industry.

We are so in love with it, that it has earned its own content category and that says it all.
If you are still one of the rare industry representatives who are not aware of the endless benefits of using WordPress just check out this crazy social proof.

80 Million websites powered by WordPress.

80 Million websites powered by WordPress.

2.5 Premium Products

Everyone who is professionally involved in this industry or for that matter any other industry must have the business growth mindset which basically translates into: “In order to earn I have to spend.” Every successful person will tell you that in order to grow their business and earn, they also had to spend money. They had to invest either in their education, tools, solutions, contacts or assets.

We are very upfront about the fact that we, just like you, are here to run a business. We are not a charitable organization. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we promote and will keep on promoting premium products for web design professionals.

To get this whole thing right, we have partnered with the best authorities in the niche they represent so we can fully focus on being here with you and become better web design professionals together.

Our partners include business product creators, top rated WordPress development brands, award winning designers, and others.

3. Join Our New Community

Lastly, let me finish this article by telling you that our previous ways of communicating with you via email has changed, too. We no longer use MailChimp nor are we going to send out newsletters, which a lot of you in the  past have called spammy (I don’t blame you).

From now on, I’ll be sending you a very personal email letter only once a week.
However, in order to join our new list and be a part of this community, you have to say “YES” to it by entering your email  below.

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