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Tips for Web Designers to Make Your Clients Happy (It’s Not What You Think)

Web design is a fascinating and profitable career field, but its practitioners often have to deal with various issues, ranging from working with difficult clients to coping with various interruptions. Web designers also need to keep up with industry trends if they are to keep up with their competition.

Some issues designers encounter:

  • Meeting deadlines – The more successful you are, the more clients you will attract, making it more difficult to produce quality work while meeting deadlines.
  • Computer Glitches – These are often more annoying than anything else, and they seem to happen at the most inopportune times.
  • Difficult Clients – Working with or trying to communicate with overly-demanding clients can be a trial.
  • Using Sub-standard Tools – Some design tools are either overly complicated or underperforming, hurting productivity.

These issues can’t always be avoided, but there are tips and techniques you can use to mitigate them and become a better web design professional.

How Busy Designers Can Work Smarter instead of Harder

Image source: Be WordPress Theme – Accountant Pre-Made Website

Tips and techniques don’t guarantee perfection, but there is always room for improvement and ways to make your workdays more productive. Useful techniques can range from allocating your time wisely to learning to take a deep breath and keep your cool when everyone else is panicking.

Attention to Detail is important in almost every profession if an outcome is to be a success. Follow directions to the letter. Check for errors constantly. Use the carpenter’s “measure twice, cut once” approach, and always look for areas of possible improvement – including your own skill set.

Proper Business Etiquette helps keep a team together. If you’re a team player you need to understand the basic rules of business communications, how to receive feedback, and how to keep a basic perspective on what is happening around you. If you’re an individual contributor, you need to show respect and courtesy to those you communicate with.

Using Tools that are Meant for the Job can be as simple as using a theme that does not require coding, using one that is compatible with or uses powerful plugins, or using one that features easily editable and customizable pre-built websites that let you focus on design rather than on technicalities.

How Working with Pre-Built Websites Will Benefit You

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170+ Ready to Use Pre-Built Websites

There are many reasons why more and more designers are making Be Theme their WordPress theme of choice. Several of the principal ones are outlined here, but you are encouraged to look into what this theme has to offer in greater detail.

Be is Designed and Built with Quality in Mind

High-quality tools produced better products. It’s as simple as that. This theme’s clean code enables a designer to proceed from the initial design steps to product delivery in one continuous, glitch-free operation. The secret lies in the way in which the different core features seamlessly interact.

Be’s Architecture Features Complexity the User does not See

Be Theme’s architecture is complex, but its user experiences simplicity. Be is an extremely flexible theme that is delightfully easy to use. Be Theme’s architecture enables user to build any website, including blogs, one page sites, and eCommerce sites that even the more specialized themes cannot match. This is due in large part to the large (170+) selection of pre-built websites.

The seamless way in which its core features work together, and Be’s one-click-at-a-time approach to website building, will quickly turn a novice into an expert. The productivity enhancing possibilities this theme offers will impress the advanced designer as well.

The Pre-Built Websites

While the list of valuable features is in itself impressive, what many users like most it the selection of pre-built websites. These serve as foundation pieces upon which the designer can build almost anything. They are modern, tasteful, and beautiful, and can not only be used to quick-start a project, but they can serve as conceptual designs and idea generators as well.

Check out this video and see how easy it is to install and edit a Be Theme pre-made website

The examples shown here are but a few of the many wonderful pre-built websites this premium WordPress theme offers:

Kindergarten

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Welcome to Our KinderGarten

Media

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Image Of BEMEDIA’s Header

Painter

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Marcus Beniques, Based in Spain

Digital

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Digital Forever Header

Club

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a New Way of Nightlife

Extreme

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Just be Extereme

What Many Like Best about Be Theme is Its Design Quality

As any of its users will tell you, there’s a lot to like about Be Theme. They like how the pre-built websites enable them to design websites of the highest quality, they like the selection of core features that makes work easy, and they like the flexibility Be Theme offers.

Nearly 40% will tell you what they like best is the design of the theme itself, and how the quality of that design is reflected in the products they produce. Nearly as many users cite customizability as being what they like best about Be Theme.

For example:

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Be Theme’s Key Features and User Support

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Build Your Website Easily

You will find building websites easy and enjoyable when you’ve made Be Theme your WordPress theme of choice.  There’s the popular Muffin Builder 3 page builder, which in combination with the Muffin Options Panel makes building customized webpages a snap, whether you are starting with a pre-built website, or starting from scratch. If you are a long-standing user Visual Composer, you have the option to use that page builder as well, or you can use both.

Should you elect to start your page building from scratch, you have an excellent selection of grid layouts, header and footer options, and the Layouts Configurator to work with. The Shortcode Generator allows you to place demo elements anywhere on a page, and Be’s selection of shortcodes speeds up the entire design process.

The selection of flat, grid, and masonry lends itself well to the creation of product pages, portfolios, and blogs. Be Theme is Responsive, it is SEO and Retina ready, and WooCommerce compatible as well.

Best of All

If your coding skills are getting rusty, or if you’ve never touched a line of code at all, there’s no problem. You can easily create an entire website without any need for coding whatsoever.

If you do need help, or have a question, you can rely on the support team for prompt assistance and detailed explanations. You’ll also find the user manual and video tutorials handy when you are first getting started.

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Be Theme is a premium WordPress theme in every sense of the word. It features more pre-built websites than any other theme, and it offers a greater range of website design possibilities than any other theme.

If you choose this time-saving theme, you will discover that you can indeed keep an ever-increasing number of clients happy when you deliver beautiful websites well within schedule.

Check it out, try a demo, and browse the 170+ pre-built websites.
You will definitely like what you see.

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200+ Inspirational And Positive Quotes For The Day In 2016

Humans face difficulties and hard times in their life. These difficulties break your spirit and bring you down from your path. But the ones who tackle those difficult situations with a positive mind and approach bring a huge change in their lives and even to the lives of others around them.

Many people, including myself, find inspiration for the day to eliminate the negative self-talk that is running around in our heads.

rockefeller positive quotes for the day

Enjoy these 200+ positive quotes for the day to start every morning with a fresh surge of energy.

Every day is a fresh start, so reading brilliant motivational quotes before starting the day can bring a huge difference in our life.

When your designs go wrong, your ideas don’t get noticed, the people you trusted let you down, products go flop. In these tough times, there is nothing you can do except keep your faith alive and move forward. Keeping your mind on the positive track is the solution to succeed in today’s world. Insightful quotes have the ability to keep you focused every day and help you remain positive during tough times.

 

Would you like to know how you could be so productive that in two hours you could get done what takes for most people a whole day? You may want to read this productivity article – How To Do Your Best Work by Working Smarter, Not Harder!

Hope you will enjoy these positive quotes for the day and these will help to start the day with great motivation!

steve-jobs

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Stanford Commencement Speech, June 2005, Steve Jobs

A great author once said about motivation and inspiration:

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Quotes To Start Your Day Right

Therefore, in today’s post we bring you 100 inspirational quotes that you can read before starting your day in order to keep you focused on your work and life.

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  1. Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill
  2. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. – Zig Ziglar
  3. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. – Steve Jobs
  4. Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin
  5. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. – Henry Ford
    confucius
  6. Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be. – Grandma Moses
  7. You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try. – Beverly Sills
  8. Dream big and dare to fail. – Norman Vaughan
  9. It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. – Confucius
  10. Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs. – Farrah Gray
    rogers
  11. I would rather die of passion than of boredom. – Vincent van Gogh
  12. I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong. – Benjamin Franklin
  13. Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. – Jamie Paolinetti
  14. Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. – Joshua J. Marine
  15. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. – Les Brown
  16. If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. – Latin Proverb
  17. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on. – Sheryl Sandberg
  18. Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions. – Dalai Lama
  19. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. – Lao Tzu
  20. Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see. – Confucius
    vaynerchuk
  21. Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him. – Booker T. Washington
  22. There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. – Aristotle
  23. The best revenge is massive success. – Frank Sinatra
  24. Either you run the day, or the day runs you. – Jim Rohn
  25. Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. – Vince Lombardi
  26. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. – Steve Jobs
  27. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. – John Lennon
  28. Just know, when you truly want success, you’ll never give up on it. No matter how bad the situation may get. – Unknown
  29. I don’t regret the things I’ve done, I regret the things I didn’t do when I had the chance. – Unknown
  30. Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude. – Denis Waitley
    edison
  31. I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me. Its because of them I’m doing it myself. – Albert Einstein
  32. Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try. – Jack Canfield
  33. Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan. – Larry Winget
  34. Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. – Carl Bard
  35. I don’t regret the things I’ve done, I regret the things I didn’t do – Lucas ( Rory Cochrane, Empire Records)
  36. Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about. – Unknown
  37. When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place. – Unknown
  38. Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. – Judy Garland
  39. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. – Henry S. Haskins
  40. Challenge yourself with something you know you could never do, and what you’ll find is that you can overcome anything. – Unknown
    roosevelt
  41. It is never too late to be what you might have been. – George Eliot
  42. All our dreams can come true–if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney
  43. The best way to predict the future is to invent it. – Alan Kay
  44. If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. – Napoleon Hill
  45. An obstacle is often a stepping stone. – William Prescott
    Hseih
  46. You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give. – Winston Churchill
  47. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. – Lao Tzu
  48. What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  49. You must be the change you wish to see in the world. – Gandhi
  50. Tough times never last, but tough people do. – Dr. Robert Schuller
    scher
  51. Keep your face to the sunshine and you can never see the shadow. – Helen Keller
  52. The best way out is always through. – Robert Frost
  53. Make each day your masterpiece. – John Wooden
  54. The best dreams happen when you’re awake. – Cherie Gilderbloom
  55. Don’t count the days, make the days count. – Muhammad Ali
  56. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. – Jimmy Johnson
  57. You must not only aim right, but draw the bow with all your might. – Henry David Thoreau
  58. Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers
  59. Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. – Babe Ruth
  60. Don’t wait. The time will never be just right. – Napoleon Hill
    einstein
  61. A year from now you may wish you had started today. – Karen Lamb
  62. It is never too late to be what you might have been. – George Eliot
  63. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. – Frederick Douglass
  64. What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do. – Tim Ferriss
  65. The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work. – Richard Bach
  66. Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions. – Albert Einstein
  67. Do what you love and the money will follow. – Marsha Sinetar
  68. The harder I work, the luckier I get. – Gary Player
  69. Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward. – Victor Kiam
  70. The purpose of our lives is to be happy. – Dalai Lama
    cliff
  71. The dreamers are the saviors of the world. – James Allen
  72. Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated. – Russell Warren
  73. Someday is not a day of the week. – Denise Brennan-Nelson
  74. If you can’t outplay them, outwork them. – Ben Hogan
    gerrit
  75. Champions keep playing until they get it right. – Billie Jean King
  76. Change your thoughts and you change your world. – Norman Vincent Peale
  77. Action is the foundational key to all success – Pablo Picasso
  78. I will go anywhere as long as it is forward. – David Livingston
  79. If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all? – Joe Namath
  80. Just keep going. Everybody gets better if they keep at it. – Ted Williams
    jobs
  81. Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. – Jim Rohn
  82. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  83. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. – Howard Ruff
  84. Never let your memories be greater than your dreams. – Doug Ivester
  85. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. – Henry David Thoreau
  86. There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them. – Denis Waitley
  87. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
  88. The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering the attitudes of his mind. – William James
  89. In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on. – Robert Frost
  90. The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress. – Joseph Joubert
    criticism
  91. Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T.S. Eliot
  92. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. – Oscar Wilde
  93. Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose yours. – Paulo Coelho
  94. Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. – John F. Kennedy
  95. I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day. – James Joyce
    creativity
  96. It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined – Henry James
  97. Every man dies. Not every man really lives. – William Wallace
  98. Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  99. Action is the foundational key to all success. – Pablo Picasso
  100. Nothing important was ever achieved without someone taking a chance. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr
golden

I hope all these positive quotes for the day will bring a new change in your life and work. Read one quote before starting your day and I assure you that you will remain focused. Now that you’re done, please pass it along to your friends and others who you want to motivate.

Also, if you know other inspirational and fresh quotes you can share them in the comment section below.

gill

100+ Great Designer Mindset Quotes and Quotes About Web Design

There are many ways to get inspired these days. For designers, looking through design pieces around the internet help them grow their ideas for current or future projects. Though sometimes when you’re down, it doesn’t matter if you are designer or not – some quotes or phrase can inspire you to move forward and think creatively.

barral

In this article, we have selected 100+ various design quotes. Some you will recognize coming from the great artist like Pablo Picasso. Others are inspiring quotes created by designers across the world based on their mindset.

I am confident you will love these great quotes about design! Enjoy and be inspired with these positive quotes for the day!

Design’s fundamental role is problem solver. – Fast Company, 2005

perfecttime

Design is in everything we make, but it’s also between those things. It’s a mix of craft, science, storytelling, propaganda, and philosophy. – Erik Adigard

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. – Steve Jobs, 2003

If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. – Red Adair

Invention is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. – Thomas Edison

…designers can make life more bearable by producing stuff that touches its audience rather than fucks them in the head. – Jon Wozencraft

Dubberly

Good design is good business. – Thomas J. Watson Jr.

The only important thing about design is how it relates to people. – Victor Papanek

A design isn’t finished until somebody is using it. – Brenda Laurel

You are what you are seen to be.- Erik Spiekermann

To say that something is designed means it has intentions that go beyond its function. Otherwise it’s just planning. – Ayse Birsel

A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. – Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Truly elegant design incorporates top-notch functionality into a simple, uncluttered form. – David Lewis

newgren

Create your own visual style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others. – Orson Welles

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. – Pablo Picasso

Design is as much a matter of finding problems as it is solving them. – Bryan Lawson

Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else. – Judy Garland

The large print giveth and the small print taketh away. – Tom Waits

Good art inspires; Good design motivates. – Otl Aicher

bushnell

Color is a creative element, not a trimming. – Piet Zwart

Sometimes you can draw more inspiration from the people who don’t believe in you, then from the ones who do. – William Childs

Education is not the answer to the question. Education is the means to the answer to all questions. – William Allin

quote-jeffrey

Design is where science and art break even. – Robin Mathew

I’m convinced that without bad design, the world would be a far less stimulating place; we would have nothing to marvel over and nothing to be nostalgic about. – Carrie Philips

sagmeister

The definition of an expert is someone who knows what not to do. – Charles Willson

Practice safe design: Use a concept. – Petrula Vrontikis

Just because something looks good doesn’t mean it’s useful. And just because something is useful does not make it beautiful. – Joshua Brewer

adair

Good design goes to heaven; bad design goes everywhere. – Mieke Gerritzen

When you eliminate quality as a requirement, the entire design process becomes a whole lot easier. – Jared M. Spool

brody

If you’re more susceptible to interruption, you do more out of the box thinking. – Don Norman

Saint-Exupéry

By far the dominant reason for not releasing sooner was a reluctance to trade the dream of success for the reality of feedback. – Kent Beck

You can have an art experience in front of a Rembrandt… or in front of a piece of graphic design. – Stefan Sagmeister

spool

I don’t think that design needs theory, but I think designers need theory. – Johanna Drucker

Design is the contrast of the core of limitations therefore there are no boundaries. It is simply an interpretation of creativity. – Jenaiha Woods

krebs

Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop. – Jeffrey Zeldman

Simplicity does not mean want or poverty. It does not mean the absence of any decor, or absolute nudity. It only means that the decor should belong intimately to the design proper, and that anything foreign to it should be taken away. – Paul Jacques Grillo

tufte

I know the price of success: dedication, hard work & an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen. – Frank Llyod Wright

Design is creativity with strategy. – Rob Curedale

antonelli

There ain’t no rules around here. We’re trying to accomplish something. – Thomas Edison

Design is an opportunity to continue telling the story, not just to sum everything up. – Tate Linden

Typography has one plain duty before it and that is to convey information in writing. No argument or consideration can absolve typography from this duty. – Emil Ruder

Wisdom is to knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it. – David Starr

einstein

Designers have a dual duty; contractually to their clients and morally to the later users and recipients of their work. – Hans Hger

GLASER

Imitation may be the “sincerest form of plagiarism,” but it is also the mark of an inferior person. – David Ogilvy

Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see. – Paul Klee

kish

Some designers create things to show you what they did. I design things to tell you what I solved. –  Brian Yerkes

The quality of any creative endeavor tends to approach the level of taste of whoever is in charge. – John Gruber

cookson

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. – Leonardo da Vinci

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word: excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it. – Pearl S. Buck

chimero

Designers think everything done by someone else is awful, and that they could do it better themselves, which explains why I designed my own living room carpet, I suppose. – Chris Bangle

The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before. – Neil Gaiman

Designing a product is designing a relationship. – Steve Rogers

fastco

The real issue is not talent as an independent element, but talent in relationship to will, desire, and persistence. Talent without these things vanishes and even modest talent with those characteristics grows. – Milton Glaser

I don’t design clothes, I design dreams. – Ralph Lauren

lauder

Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose. – Charles Eames

papanek

Every act of creation is first an act of destruction. – Pablo Picasso

I never design a building before I’ve seen the site and met the people who will be using it. – Frank Lloyd Wright

laurel

If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got. – Albert Einstein

anonymous

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. – Steve Jobs

Parr

There is no such thing as information overload, just bad design. If something is cluttered and/or confusing, fix your design. – Edward Tufte

richman

Less is more. – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions. – Pablo Picasso

moll

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.” – Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech, June 2005

Use the day, use the time that you have got today! Wishing you an awesome day!

We hope you can be inspired and motivated by these positive quotes for the day as well as designer quotes. Join and tell us which is your favorite one or if you have your own quotes, feel free to write it down on the comments.

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2016 Web Design & UX Trends to Boost Conversions [Infographic]

With 2016 quickly approaching, graphic and web designers are scouring the Internet to see what the new year has in store for us. That’s right, folks, it’s time to once again talk trends.

You won’t have any trouble finding trend reports, either. They are ubiquitous this time of year. But while others are focusing purely on what aesthetic choices are being made, The Deep End decided to dig a little deeper and show you only those trends that actually have the potential to increase conversion rates.

Find out how to make an awesome looking, trendy design that will convert in 2016.

Find out how to make an awesome looking, trendy design that will convert in 2016.

So whether you put these trends to work on your own online portfolio, or use them on client sites, you will not only look extremely current in your style and execution, but the result will also be goal-focused. And at the end of the day, if a website doesn’t help you or your client achieve some kind of business objective, it isn’t even worth the monthly hosting fee.

Check out the infographic below, followed by some key takeaways after the jump!

2016 Web Design & UX Trends to Boost Conversions.

2016 Web Design & UX Trends to Boost Conversions.

Main Takeaways:

  • Full-Width Images: Using large, full-width images, videos or cinemagraphs draw people’s attention, increasing the likelihood of a conversion click. Images of people connect especially well.
  • Split-Screen Layouts: These are a great way of splitting an audience, and funnelling them into whichever area on the site they are most likely to convert.
  • Monochromatic Colors (With Contrasting CTA): By giving your call-to-action button a bright pop of color on an otherwise monochromatic background, it will much more likely be noticed. And a noticed CTA gets way more clicks than one you have to hunt down.
  • Prioritized Navigation: When you successfully give a hierarchy to your navigation items, you can often direct your users exactly where you want them to go in order to complete a conversion. This is accomplished by providing only your most important pages in the navigation bar, hiding the rest in a secondary navigation, and drawing extra attention to your main CTA by styling it as a button.
  • Minimal Lead Capture: You can increase the amount of email addresses your users provide you with if you remove all distractions. All you need is a strong headline, persuasive subheadline and a single form field.
  • Video: Videos are a great way to build trust and show your audience who you are. Breaking down this barrier and winning them over will result in more leads and sales.
  • Sticky CTA: Always keep your CTA visible. A fantastic way of doing this is keeping it in a sticky header, sidebar or footer.
  • Card Design: This Pinterest-inspired design allows users to quickly see and click on what interests them the most, where they are most likely to convert.
  • Single Column CTA: No matter how many columns a website uses, by interrupting the flow and placing a headline, subheadline and CTA button in a single column (with plenty of white space around it,) has been shown to increase clicks.
  • Personalized User Experiences: By keeping track of what a user has already looked at, and providing them more of the same on subsequent visits, (much like Amazon.com does,) they are much more likely to pull the trigger than if they had to go looking for it all over again.

 


Wes McDowell is the creative director for The Deep End Web Design in Chicago. When not overseeing client projects, he hosts a podcast aimed at designers, and has authored several design-related e-books as well. He enjoys outdoor movies, spending time with his puggle and the occasional adult beverage.

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25 Creative Hero Image and Scene Generators

Hero image is a term used in web design for a specific type of web banner, which is usually large, displayed on the front or center of a page and is very visual.

The hero image presents an overview of the website’s most important content, consists of both text and images and can be both static or dynamic. Generate stunning hero images using one of these customizable mockups and scene generators.

scene-generators-800x480

You will find all of these 25 generators below

With these 25 creative hero images and scenes generators you can quickly create beautiful and diverse HD resolution scenes for your mockups, websites, prints, banners and more!

In this list you will find some great generators for various types of websites, from design and office to even food and drink websites. Here they are:

1. RS Desk Mockup Scene Creator

RS Desk Mockup Scene Creator allows you to create a hero image or a header for website using a work desk scene as a background. This generator comes in high resolution and allows you to print your work on billboards.

RS Desk Mockup Scene Creator

RS Desk Mockup Scene Creator

2. Beer & Bar Hero Images Scene Generator

Looking to use a beer or bar related hero image, background or header? Then the Beer & Bar Mockup & Hero Images Scenes Generator will be an excellent choice for you. Included are 150+ isolated images, 12 premade scenes – print ready high resolution 4500×2500px, 300dpi, 15 prepared and changeable textures and backgrounds and much more.

Beer & Bar Hero Images Scene Generator

Beer & Bar Hero Images Scene Generator

3. Golden Hero Image Scene Generators

This generator includes 109 isolated images, 10 scenes (with PSD files) and 9 typographic elements. The elements are print-ready at 3500×2500px resolution and 300 DPI.

Golden Hero Image Scene Generators

Golden Hero Image Scene Generators

4. Christmas Desk Hero Image Scene Generators

This Hero Image Scene Generator includes 100 isolated objects, 12 wall backgrounds and more. The set comes in 6000×3700px and 300dpi, making it

Christmas Desk Hero Image Scene Generators

Christmas Desk Hero Image Scene Generators

5. Food Mockup Toolkit

This massive toolkit contains a total of 140+ food-related elements, including fruits, vegetables, cooking staff and more. All placeholders are editable via Smart Object.

Food Mockup Toolkit

Food Mockup Toolkit

6. Wedding Hero Image Scene Creator

If you’ve got a wedding-related project, then this scene creator will be of huge help. Included are 3 PSD Files, 3 Premade Scenes, 34 Isolated Objects, 8 Mock Ups and of course everything is in high resolution (4000×3000) with 300 DPI RGB.

Wedding Hero Image Scene Creator

Wedding Hero Image Scene Creator

7. Back To School Hero Image Scene Generator

This generator includes a total of 120+ isolated images, 14 print-ready pre-made scenes, 11 changeable textures and backgrounds, 6 photographic color presets and more.

Back To School Hero Image Scene Generator

Back To School Hero Image Scene Generator

8. Good Morning Hero Image Scene Generator

The scene generator includes 117 isolated objects, 6 scenes with PSD files, 11 backgrounds, 6 typgraphic elements and comes in 3500x2500px (11in x 8 in), 300 DPI resolution.

Good Morning Hero Image Scene Generator

Good Morning Hero Image Scene Generator

9. Desktop Creator Mockup

This mockup includes a total of over 70 objects and can be used for header, presentations, website mock ups, gallery presentations and more. This mockup was created for web designers to preview their designs and websites in a professional and photo realistic way.

Desktop Creator Mockup

Desktop Creator Mockup

10. ArtBox – Artistic Mockup Kit

This massive mockup kit includes over 200 unique items, 10 ready made scenes, 10 background textures and comes in very high resolution.

ArtBox - Artistic Mockup Kit

ArtBox – Artistic Mockup Kit

11. Summer Scene Creator

This scene creator is perfect for you if you’ve got a summer-related project you’re working on. It comes in 6000×4000px resolution and includes 70+ objects, 8 table textures, 6 backgrounds and more.

Summer Scene Creator

Summer Scene Creator

12. Mock-up Creator / Hero Desktop

This mock-up creator includes a total of 80 isolated objects & 3 Ready Scenes, plus 25 smart objects and comes in 6000×3750px resolution.

Mock-up Creator / Hero Desktop

Mock-up Creator / Hero Desktop

13. Hero Image Creator / Mock-Up

This hero images creator includes 100+ different items, 5 ready made scenes and more. All objects are editable via smart objects. All objects and shadows are separated. This set also comes in high resolution of 5000x3500px and 300 DPI.

Hero Image Creator / Mock-Up

Hero Image Creator / Mock-Up

14.  Fight Sport Hero Image Generator

Fight Hero Image Generator comes with 30 high resolution, isolated objects, 3 custom scenes, 5 logo badges in Smart Objects and more.

Fight Sport Hero Image Generator

Fight Sport Hero Image Generator

15. Hero Header Scene Generator

The Hero Header Scene Generator includes more than 30 Mock-ups & 60 isolated objects, as well as 7 Pre-Made Scenes. All the mock-ups are created with smart object layers and everything is in high resolution.

Hero Header Scene Generator

Hero Header Scene Generator

16. Flatland – Hero Image Composer

Flatland comes with 85+ elements, 5 PSD files, 4 pre-made scenes, Photoshop vectors and more. This set is very easy to customize.

Flatland - Hero Image Composer

Flatland – Hero Image Composer

17. DSLR Photo / Video Mock Up Creator

This mockup creator is perfect if you’ve got a photography-related project you’re working on. 11 professional scene elements, 14 mock ups, 3 pre-made scenes and 3 wedding badges.

DSLR Photo / Video Mock Up Creator

DSLR Photo / Video Mock Up Creator

18. Hero Banner Maker

The Hero Banner Maker contains a PSD with more than 300 images. It also includes backgrounds and effects, allowing you to create the perfect banner in minutes.

Hero Banner Maker

Hero Banner Maker

19. Automotive Hero Image and Header Mockup

If you’ve got a car-related project, the Automotive Hero Image and Header Mockup is an excellent choice for you. This mockup has fully layered elements with optional and modifiable drop shadow.

Automotive Hero Image and Header Mockup

Automotive Hero Image and Header Mockup

20. Desk Scene Mock-Up Creator

This mock-up creator comes with a total of 290+ high resolution, isolated items and 15+ custom made wall textures.

Desk Scene Mock-Up Creator

Desk Scene Mock-Up Creator

21. Watercolor Scene Mockups

This mockup include a total of 3 mockups in 300 DPI and 1500x100px resolution. It also comes with 3 pre-made scenes, 3 different paper textures and more.

Watercolor Scene Mockups

Watercolor Scene Mockups

22. Hero Mockup Toolkit

This toolkit consists of 80+ elements, 15 background textures, 25 pre- made scenes and 25 ready text placeholders (all editable via Smart Object).

Hero Mockup Toolkit

Hero Mockup Toolkit

23. Stationery Branding & Labeling Scene Creator

This scene creator comes with 1 PSD file that contains 30 items. It also includes 6 desk backgrounds and textures and is high resolution and print ready (300 DPI).

Stationery Branding & Labeling Scene Creator

Stationery Branding & Labeling Scene Creator

24. Artist Hero Mockup Generator

This generator comes with 3 pre-made scenes and 26 items with organized layers.

Artist Hero Mockup Generator

Artist Hero Mockup Generator

25. Artist’s Desk Scene and Hero Image Generator

This hero image generator consists of 45+ objects in high resolution, 7 pre-made scenes and a total of 8 PSD and 1 RTF file. PSD files are 4500×3000, containing all isolated objects, backgrounds, smart objects, canvas, art materials, sample mockups and more.

Artist's Desk Scene and Hero Image Generator

Artist’s Desk Scene and Hero Image Generator

 


Iggy is a designer who writes for 2 popular web design blogs: Line25 and Web Design Dev. He loves creating various design-related articles that include design inspiration, designer freebie roundups, Photoshop tutorials and more.

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13 Business Lessons from Expanding 1stWebDesigner in 2014

I have always found that I enjoy biographies, case studies and stories from people who have been there and done that. What can be more credible than content written from personal experience?

In this article, I will look back at 2014 and analyze what happened and discover the biggest business lessons learned from running 1WD business. This will be a massive post. I thought about splitting it in two parts, but decided to just give it all away.

Those who will want to pick all the massive value from the post will set 20 minutes aside. 13 business lessons will be hidden within the content as I tell you the whole story and put these lessons in the context, so you understand where I am coming from. Oh and in the end of article, you’ll learn more about what we plan to do with 1WD in 2015! Your participation and feedback is required! 🙂

Almost year ago, on March 9th,  I wrote this post – Lessons I Learned Growing a 6-Figure Online Business in 2013. You can take a peek there as this article will be an update of our progress, challenges and lessons learned from this year.

This year was a very rocky ride for me as well as for company. As my friend said: “Education costs money, and you got one hell of education this year”.

This time, I won’t amaze you with impressive growth, numbers, success stories, instead, talk about failure and entrepreneur’s path which you all experience as you are running your business. There is a lot of failure and tough times, especially when you are full-time freelancer working with clients and trying to create a bold project idea you had in mind for years.

In this article, you will get a secret sneak peek on what has happened on 1stWebDesigner behind the scenes this year. You will learn about our challenges and lessons from which you can learn to make you smarter and more successful for the next year. That’s what I promise.

Are you interested and ready to dive in? Let’s go!

Before I start, let me put some context about 1stWebDesigner. Two years ago, I made a decision to move to the Philippines and establish company headquarters there so everybody is in the same location. We could work agilely towards bigger dreams of changing existing educational system for designers and freelancers. We have always wanted to give you real-life education which will help you to work right now, not what worked 5 years ago.

Before this move to the Philippines, I have always worked remotely with our team – be it for full-time team members or  freelancers who either  guest-posted or worked part-time on 1stWebDesigner. During this time, I even established a remote partnership with Spencer Forman to create an online video freelancer training site.

When I moved to the Philippines, everything didn’t go as planned. In the first six months, we only managed to bring the team together by living, eating, sleeping and working together in one house. It was fun, but our goal was to expand our team and create our dream office; the, house was too small for such bold goals. We also spent quite a bit of time arguing about the perfect location for the office.

Angeles City, Philippines have a lot of schools, but the location was very urban. I wanted a more laid-back environment with options to enjoy nature. We found such location in Iloilo, where we also met Grace, who had great experience with human resources.

We opted for that location because of nature. It also provided the chance of getting a chance to work with Grace, who helped great deal with managing finances, running the office, interviewing the new team members and being my adviser as well.

It took several months to find a spacious office with natural lighting but, eventually, we found perfect place! In the photo below, you can see me and Algene working in the office, sitting on beanbags, enjoying the beautiful scenery outside with natural lighting coming in.

At one time, we had 15 team members working in the office (several still remote); we had weekly Ted Talk gatherings, full-day brainstorming sessions as well as team building activities outside the office. This lasted for only six months, however.

But now, since October, we don’t have any office anymore.  I returned back to Latvia; our team consists now of 6 people, including myself, and we are back to an agile, remote environment. I stopped my partnership with Spencer and got new partner, James.

What happened? I am about to tell you 13 business lessons we learned…

office-philippines

1stWebDesigner Growth Strategy in 2014

It’s nostalgic for me to write about 1WD as it has been my project of focus for last six and a half years. During this time, we did many things right and also made a fair amount of mistakes. Before 1WD, I never imagined I will even become an entrepreneur. I lack the education running business, but where I lacked knowledge, I made it up with hard work and learning as I go.

I need to admit, I wasn’t much hands-on with 1WD this year; I let our ex-editor to take the lead with his team. In the meantime, I was learning how to take the business to the next level of creating culture. I was learning about bookkeeping, leadership, hiring, creating systems in business to make work more effective. We established three departments:

  • Human Resources Department – responsible for hiring, firing, running the office, finances and planning team events
  • Editorial Department – responsible for 1WD article writing, proofreading, editing and publishing
  • Design & Development Department – our designer and programmer helped with graphics, and whatever we needed to be coded
  • Marketing Department – included social media communication, email marketing, SEO, replying to business requests and moderating comments

I worked with department leaders to help them get work done smoothly. It wasn’t easy; I am more like a manager, not a leader. That’s actually a big reason why I wanted to work so much with James. While I am number and systems guy, James is an excellent leader. He has excellent people skills. I am introvert; he’s extrovert – perfect duo.

accountability-chart-1stwebdesigner

Looking back, I understood that we wanted to step up to the next level too fast. While expanding, we got an ineffective team that didn’t get the tasks done on time. We had managers and department leaders who didn’t know how to manage or lead effectively. I didn’t even know how to lead bigger team effectively.

I hoped we’ll just throw ourselves in deep waters and learn to swim as we go.

From the book “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t”, two biggest takeaways about what makes companies great are:

  • Leadership
  • Getting the right people on the boat and wrong people off the boat and only then figuring out where to go.

My leadership skills weren’t good, and I wasn’t decisive about people we hire, fire or keep in the team. I’ve read many times how great leaders like Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Larry Page & Sergey Brin (Google), and Tony Hsieh (Zappos) were always personally interviewing new hires, and considered hiring their most important task to do in the company. They gave up hiring people only when they grew past 100 people in the team and then only were involved in key hires.

I learned this lesson only later. For example, I allowed team leaders to hire and pick their own team members because I thought they would be the ones working with them, not me. Oh, and did I say I misjudged many people and actually wasted lots of energy, people who didn’t get things done, but just promised the world.

As I said, it’s been one hell of education and learning this year.

What were the lessons learned when trying to expand?:

1. Find the key partner with complementing skills.

If you are not a people person, find somebody who is great with people and actually loves to be around them. I am introvert and constantly being around people drains me. I don’t feel productive either. Lessons – know your strengths as well as your weaknesses and find partner who complements you.

2. Grow slowly.

If you have never run bigger company, expand slowly. Our experience would be far less painful if we grew our team slowly, being very careful about who we let into our company. Leading a team takes a completely different skill set and thinking as opposed to being just one-man band.

3. Be agile.

It’s amazing how a small team can do amazing things online. Staying small and moving quickly is one hell of advantage. I tried to assume I was great leader and understood that growing our team to 20 people, was my EGO. Funny thing was that we got much more done when being just 5 people in the team, than having 20 people.

What happened with 1WD this year?

Let me explain what happened with our content behind the scenes..

We had several good writers in the team and our ex-editor was taking the lead with the Editorial Department. He was pushing a different strategy, unlike what I had in mind when I was still hands-on with 1WD. His goal was to make every article interesting to read – educational and fun. He preferred shorter articles. I had my doubts about how easy it is to generate engagement and shares when creating such articles, but I wanted him to take ownership so I tried his approach.

When I was writing articles myself, my goal was to always aim to write the best researched article about the specific topic.  Every article we published needed to be better than any other article previously published on the Web. I knew this was doable when you do proper research, and take your time. This was what I always tried to translate to the writers but it was hard to find good writers who didn’t compromise on quality.

We had our different opinions with our ex-editor about content but I was optimistic that we could get best of both worlds. The dream was to have great full-time writers team, with which we could publish brilliant articles daily without loosing quality.

We never made it to work, however.

As our ex-editor’s lead articles became shorter and more fun, articles usually didn’t get us much attention and engagement in comments. We  had trouble with effective communication with writers because some of writers who still worked remotely didn’t reply on time. Mistakes were made and content quality suffered more often than we wanted to admit.

We were getting fewer shares and lesser engagement in comments. Our Facebook fans were posting how a few years ago 1WD was so personal and warm – but now, it seems to be so impersonal and cold.

We tried to scale our editorial team, but couldn’t make it without loosing quality.

It was a tough time. We needed to part ways with five team members. There was so much clutter and inefficiencies in the team that it was easier to start from scratch than to try fixing things . Again, it was my own lack of experience in running a bigger team, communicating expectations clearly and hiring the wrong people.

And this brings us where we are right now – we have only one person in editorial team – Ruby, who is both the proofreader and writer.

What were the lessons learned,when trying to expand our editorial team?:

4. Find somebody with your own qualities for leadership roles.

If you want somebody to replace you, make sure you are on the same page about the direction where you want to go. It doesn’t mean that you always need to agree with each other, but whenever decision is made, it needs to be followed 100% without any further questioning.

The leader needs to take responsibility for his own actions, not point fingers to others when something goes wrong.

5. Hire slowly, fire quickly.

When growing your business, it is very important to keep the culture you built.

When you hire somebody who doesn’t have your team values, he is like a rotten apple among good apples. It doesn’t mean that person is bad;, it’s just that he’s not the right fit for the company.

You need to have right people with same values in the team. When you hire somebody you need to be very careful during the trial period. If something doesn’t feel right – fire quickly. If you fail to do so, sometimes you’ll lose years, when battling with this person, trying to work things out. But you will never be happy about the results.

6. People are replaceable – even you.

I’m always worried about how hard it will be to find another person to do the job if I fire somebody who has been with company for years. If the person is the right person for company, you’ll always know it deep down.

If he’s not, you’ll always find yourself making excuses and trying to blame yourself when things don’t work out. People are replaceable and you can always find somebody else to do the job.

This advice would have helped a lot to me earlier when I had to make tough decisions. Turn it around and you also will understand that you can always replace yourself as well. You can find somebody who loves to do the things you don’t enjoy.

Simple example –  If you love programming, but don’t enjoy designing, you can always find a designer who appreciates your programmer skills and loves to design every day.

Moving To Philippines – Pros and Cons

iloilo-riga

I spent in total 1.5 years in the Philippines and this place definitely wasn’t what I expected. People there have completely different mentality from the one I was used to (European) .

Originally, I wanted to setup headquarters in Philippines because many of our existing team members were there and I enjoyed working with them. Since living expenses are much lower in the Philippines, salary expectations were also much lower as well compared to Europe, UK or USA. Great competitive advantage.

I really enjoyed living in Philippines, as it is luxury living for far less monetary value than any other country. But let me drop it down to you in pros and cons.

Pros:

  • People are very friendly, happy and positive – Filipinos might not have much, but they are always ready to help out. They are always smiling, being happy about life. They don’t get angry about traffic jams, for example.
  • Everything is cheaper – It’s twice cheaper than living in Latvia (4x cheaper than living in UK or USA), which might be the reason why so many expats move to the Philippines. From a business perspective, it’s far cheaper to setup office as rental and office supply costs are much lower.
  • You can meet influential people very easily – Filipinos are very friendly towards foreigners and it is very easy to meet, for example, the town’s mayor and local influential business people. I guess it is because not many foreigners go there and Filipinos are just very friendly and open people.
  • It is always sunny and warm – In Latvia, we have cold winters and living in sunny place really lifts you up mentally. Nature in the Philippines is very beautiful, which is amazing if you just want to get out from your work and relax. Even traveling doesn’t seem expensive there!
  • Everybody speaks English fluently – This was another big factor why I liked Philippines.
  • You can outsource everything – You can easily outsource the basic time consuming tasks that fill your day and take your energy – like shopping, office/house cleaning, cooking, etc. This allows you to put all wake-time in productive actions. Many local households have helpers who live with them, act as their personal drivers and help to do all the day-to-day activities. This allows many heads of the family to focus on their work being sure everything at home is in order.

Cons:

  • The Internet is very slow and unreliable – For 6 months, we had challenges with Internet connection.We couldn’t get stable Internet even after having three separate Internet providers at office. I may be biased because, in Latvia, we have 2nd fastest Internet in the world. In hindsight, we had many challenges with Internet connection in Philippines.
  • Average education is not very good there –  Many students receive outdated education in schools, which means it is harder to find high-level people to hire. People are very religious but there are very few cultural events or high-level conferences going on, hurting the chances of getting good education (compared to Europe, USA or UK).
  • People, in general, aren’t hungry to grow – I noticed this difference to be very important. I guess because of the bad weather in Europe, for example, people are much hungrier to grow and succeed in their careers. In the Philippines, most people are laid back; they enjoy their time with families, friends and usually don’t have this big urge to  fight and do big things even if theInternet provides them with this chance. Or maybe many people just don’t know about this opportunity yet, I cannot be sure. The smartest people usually move to USA and live there.
So these were the trade-offs I experienced. I don’t want to offend anybody in the Philippines. I am just sharing what I went through myself from a business perspective. The Philippines may be beautiful place to live due to its cheap living and beautiful nature but that weren’t something that mattered much to me – I was looking to grow my business there. And I met my challenges.
living-in-philippines-pros-cons-700
I am not saying you cannot find smart and motivated people in Philippines. It’s just much harder to do so than in other countries…at least in my experience. That being said, we still have five AMAZING people we work with in Philippines, and I feel very blessed they are with us. My partner, James, is still in the country working remotely and meeting with the team regularly.I am sharing these experiences so if you ever consider hiring Filipino or moving to Philippines you know what to expect. If your business needs basic outsourcing like SEO link building, low quality article writing, niche site building, call center support, the Philippines is a superb place to have such business. It is far more difficult if you are looking to create high level online company from there.I also need to point out that I didn’t live in capital of Philippines; I lived in Iloilo, which is laid-back town. In Manila, you can definitely find smart and ambitious people, but I didn’t want to live there. There is no nature, and it is an overpopulated place with much crime and poverty.We are slowly looking to become international again as it is far easier to find great people all over the world than just in one country.

First partnership experience with Spencer and 1WD.TV

For the last three years, I was partnered with Spencer to create 1WD.TV – a place where you could learn how to become a successful freelance web designer. It was a wild ride and Spencer helped many freelancers to get more and higher paying clients. However, as project grew, we had our own challenges. 1stwebdesigner and 1WD.TV were run as separate companies and this proved to become increasingly difficult as we grew.

Eventually, we agreed to try merging 1WD.TV with 1stWebDesigner by sharing all the resources. This didn’t go well as Spencer was mainly focused on 1WD.TV, and I was trying to juggle between projects. 1stWebDesigner was suffering.

We had our differences with Spencer and we couldn’t find a good way to make this partnership work so we decided to part ways. I and 1stWebDesigner are no longer associated with 1WD.TV.

This was my first experience of partnership and as everything you do for the first time, you try your best, but you screw up royally sometimes.

Lessons to takeaway:

7. Everything happens for the best.

When we parted our ways, a friend of mine suggested to spend time and write all the things I learned from this partnership. It was healthy exercise to look back and understand how many things I’ve learned because of this partnership and stop looking for negatives.

The world around you changes as you look at it – if you look at it as an evil, negative place, everything around you will be negative. If you look at world as this beautiful place with remarkable things happening all around you, with great lessons, you will be able to learn and live a positive life.

8. The same core values

I do repeat myself now. When looking for a partner, make sure your core values are the same. You need to have complementing strengths and weaknesses, but your core values, the way you see and operate in the world should be the same.

9. Constant communication

Talk about issues as they arise. Talk often. If you don’t, you will quickly start having negative thoughts in your mind, when it is only a simple misunderstanding. Don’t talk regularly and you’ll quickly run into problems.

10. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

We parted our ways with Spencer on good terms, and it was great experience for both of us. It’s scary to partner up, but it is so much easier to survive entrepreneurial life with a partner than going in there alone. Having partnerships is very similar to relationships – you are in it together and you become very close. While it’s scary to go in there and there are many times when these don’t work, a partnership still equates to 1+1 = 3.

James coming in the picture, taking over as CEO and my trusted partner.

I have known James for several years, but last year we stopped working together when we couldn’t find a way on how we can best work together. However, we stayed friends. We learned from our previous challenges. We learned about each other’s natural strengths, weaknesses and so on. The Wealth Dynamics personality profile test was a huge help to understand how each of us operate.

I cannot say enough how important it is to understand your own natural strengths and weaknesses as well as to know the fact that there are people who are naturally good at things you are terrible at. For example, I am naturally good with finances, and systems but I am terrible with people.

James, on other side, is excellent when working with people. H can meet new people easily- and loves doing so, but he isn’t as good with finances. Finding a partner with opposite strengths has been truly a blessing.

Now I can focus more on polishing my own, knowing that James has got my back on things I am weak at and don’t enjoy doing.

Four months ago, James flew in from the UK to the Philippines and we started working together with this newly gained confidence in each other. James has impressive experience working as freelancer himself. He has worked with very high-level clients.  Also, he has super high standards, always aiming for perfection from himself and the team.

1WD is in good hands now and if you haven’t felt it yet, you will very soon.

AwesomeWeb launch and lessons learned launching new project

awesomeweb freelance marketplace

At the beginning of 2014, we joined forces to create AwesomeWeb. We partnered up with Michael Dunlop from IncomeDiary and Nicholas Tart to create the best freelance marketplace online. 1stWebDesigner attracts freelancers, who are looking for better clients.

On the flip-side, IncomeDiary attracts entrepreneurs who are looking for designers who can complete their bold projects. It was a natural fit to connect the pieces and solve the natural challenges for both 1WD and IncomeDiary.

It took us 9 months to get to the working version as we opted out to build our site on Ruby on Rails, but last September, we finally launched it. We already have more than 400 designers and developers on AwesomeWeb who are getting hired right now. If you are freelancer, you definitely should check out AwesomeWeb.

We are working hard to making AwesomeWeb better and better with each day and we really appreciate the kind feedback we receive from happy users!

Lessons learned:

11. Launch faster.

It always takes much longer to launch project than you ever planned. We spent months working on making AwesomeWeb.

After a while we understood, we will never be satisfied and ready to launch, unless we just launch it. So we did just that and we gave people minimally working version, even if we saw so many things to improve.

By launching earlier we do get some upset users when something isn’t working, but we get  the so-needed feedback. We are very grateful how understanding our users are and we are grateful for all the support we are receiving.

12. Communicate often.

We are doing it right this time, talking three times a week and constantly supporting each other. If we wouldn’t be committed about this communication, I am sure we would be as far as we are now.

13. Meeting face to face

We met each other before we even started working together and that made all the difference. I trust Michael and Nick much more after spending full week with them. Now we plan to meet again in January, and I am confident it will only bring us closer together.

This is very important for remote teams because you work better with people you like, know and respect. Many remote teams have acknowledged this and are meeting once a year for team retreats.

What kind of content will we be publishing on 1WD?

This was another historical challenge of ours. When I started 1WD I was writing about everything I found interesting – sometimes it was photo-manipulation, photography, marketing, web design, logo design, freelancing or social media. I wasn’t focused at all, but, hey, I never expected 1WD will grow this size.

Right now, we have decided to focus only on WordPress and high-level freelance business because we see that’s what you are most interested in and we are most passionate about these topics. We don’t want to write for beginners anymore. If we write very basic tips and tutorials, we get exactly that kind of audience. This was another mistake I made.

These are beginners who mostly aren’t ready to do what it takes to become successful online. They complain about how unfair this world is but aren’t ready to do something about it. Besides, there are far better places for beginners to learn the first steps, and it’s easy to just play around and learn something on their own.

What we want to create here is community of capable designers and freelancers who are looking to step-up their game. We want to help people to get to the next level – help them find high paying clients, help them understand how to position themselves to stand out from crowds, and help with creating and running their agencies where several team members are involved!

If you need babysitting, this is not a place for you, but if you need motivation to step up your game being around like-minded community – we are definitely here for you!

Well, that’s a big reason why we don’t have a writer’s team we had in the past. For them, this change of focus was hard to take in. We hired them on different expectations and, suddenly, we were expecting something completely different from them. Great people can and will love change while some people want comfort and they don’t want to challenge themselves.

There is this amazing book about growth and change, and book title says it all – “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There”.

Where are we going forward?

going-forward-sunrise

For the next year, we are committed to focus on 1stWebDesigner by writing thought- provoking and high-level articles about growth, business, web design and mindset. We also want to bring our community closer together and share our knowledge. Moving forward, the best conversations do happen in comments section!

We started this movement by changing our outlook a month ago (how do you like our redesign?).

There will also be a lot more personalized video content from James, where he’ll answer your questions and talk about lessons we learned from the past that can really help you. Here is one video, for example:

Another big policy change is that we are no longer willing to accept guest writers, not even in-house writers or journalists. We are working hard to create premium partnerships with hand-picked content curators. Only these people who have a proven track record of being successful, and recognized as thought leaders in the field will be published here.

All of these is in the name of delivering much higher quality, to make sure we can filter out our audience to find out who is serious about web design, development career and who isn’t. It will be fun 2015!

Now, we are going through past content we published before and we are cleaning the house. There is so much outdated content, many articles written by me on 2008, 2009 are being removed. It is crazy to see how rapidly industry changes. For example, I found an article where I was talking about Adobe Flash and its future. Who remembers Flash anymore or even more – who uses it? Crazy, how people argued about this few years ago.

Also we want to be personal again, and this post is the first stepping stone to achieving this goal.

This was a truly rocky year with many lessons learned, but not having much to show for growth. But when I think about 2014 and feel unmotivated to keep going, I remember this Steve Jobs quote: “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. I see so many people who stop growing, learning new things and making mistakes because life has disappointed them so many times. But you need to stay hungry and foolish, and dream about bold goals or you’ll end up depressed, without good goals to live in this life.

But we aren’t one of them. We push boundaries; we challenge ourselves and we grow! Let’s go strong in 2015!

Back to You

What did you go through this year and what was the most important lesson you learned?

Please share your story and let others learn from you as well. I want to hear from you and carry on this conversation in comment section!

If you have more questions about what happened on 1WD, just ask, I will make sure all of our team pitch in and answer each question as best as we can!

P.S. If you managed to make it this far, thank you for reading 🙂 – Dainis

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Are Web Design Schools Losing Their Magic?

Just a few months ago, 1stwebdesigner released its Flat Design course, teaching web designers the secrets in mastering the beautiful art of flat design.

That got me asking: Now that online education is becoming more and more popular, is it still relevant to go to web design schools these days?

This question is perfectly normal to ask. With the advent of web design blogs that teach beginners and experts alike, some people may feel that going to a web design school might no longer be relevant at all.

Why Go to a Design School?

Going to a design school helps in some degrees and cases. It trains you for the basics of web design. Commonly, design schools teach you some basic knowledge like color theory, basics of typography, composition and basics of design.

classroom

Some schools also give you a peek at the basic coding languages like HTML, CSS and PHP. In addition, schools train you to work hard on deadlines. Projects, assignments and term papers condition your mind for the future you will face.

You will learn that this will be a great amount of help for you as you will be dealing with clients. You will learn how to work with tight schedules to a point where you no longer sleep. Somehow, this is foreshadowing to your future fate as a web designer.

One more thing that would make you consider going to a design school are the mentors. Some universities are packed with wonderful professors who do not only teach you but train you as well.

In design schools, you submit projects and professors either critique or appreciate your work. This gives you a lot of leverage because you can readily improve your work without risks of staining your reputation.

web-design-class

Lastly, design schools give you time to tweak and tinker. You may have those designs which may make you hit your face with your palms but those are left at schools. In the course of your stay, you can continually hone your talents and, eventually, become better.

Why Design Schools Are Irrelevant

Online education is now booming. With the Internet becoming a part of daily human activity, pretty much everything can be done online: arranging tasks, ordering food, paying bills and even learning new skills.

  • Diplomas no longer matter

The first reason why going to a web design school might be irrelevant is that diplomas are no longer instant passes for jobs. This goes true despite what most parents say. According to Adecco, a job placement firm, 60% of US college graduates do not find a full-time job in their chosen profession.

job-interview

What does this mean?

Andrea Campbell, now Art Director of Orange Element in Baltimore, may have summed it all when she said that employment decisions are based on interviews and the applicant’s portfolio, and that’s all of it.

This may well be supported as Janna Haggan, a Toronto-based designer said,

“Despite what your teachers or parents tell you, your diploma won’t necessarily get you a job.  Proving what kind of work you are capable of producing through your portfolio or demonstrating passion and potential to an employer will more likely catch their eye; compared to a student who has more formal education. Having a killer portfolio and personality will land you a job anywhere.”

  • Experience is the best teacher

One more thing that they don’t teach at design school is real-life experience. Most classes would just teach you theories on how to deal with clients and you will never know the works until you get one. Sometimes, as a rookie in the world of design, you will have difficult times adjusting from one client to another.

  • There are alternatives now

Unlike engineering or architecture, the online database for information on web design is very rich. With countless design blogs out there, you will never run out of ways to learn. Nowadays, more and more courses are offered where you can learn things that you’ll never learn (or will take a lot of time to learn) in school. All of that, for a more reasonable price, of course.

  • Web Design is a rat-race

Years ago, when you were at design school, flat design probably hasn’t been born yet. You may have never heard of responsive design, either. You probably adjusted a bit in terms of knowledge and style to fit the trend.

Web design is a fast-paced rat-race. You chase the technology and the trends as it move in a constant speed as you are traveling. You can never keep up. That makes sitting on a classroom irrelevant. Your chosen path is continually expanding and you can’t just sit in a classroom forever.

I am a web design student. Shall I drop out now?

For students, this is a pretty difficult question. Honestly, I would sit in a fence regarding this matter. The answer as to whether you should quit design school totally depends upon you.

There are cases where people who quit school turn out to be successful. Take our founder, Dainis, as a great example. However, this doesn’t work all the time.

student

For this, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I financially ready to start working?
  • Is my portfolio ready? (or do I even have one?)
  • Am I willing to struggle for long periods?
  • Am I efficient in self-studying?
  • Do I know people that might help me get clients?

You should at least be ready with all of these items before dropping out. But it totally rests upon your hands to steer the wheel.

Alternatives to Design Schools

If you have already quit design school and you want still want to learn, there are great websites that might help you:

My Take

Let me argue that these schools are no longer relevant. With the continuous development and expansion of the uses of Internet, learning new tricks and techniques concerning web design becomes easier, more convenient, and less costly. Imagine this: you can spend thousands of dollars over a four-year education plan that would teach you web design. But then, you can just visit a course, buy it for a hundred dollars or so and learn the same thing for a span of weeks (or even days).

Pondering on this, ask yourself, where would you like to be? In a place where you bury yourself with bills you will pay for in the future? Or in a place where you could learn the same thing in the most comfortable and less costly way possible?

Conclusion

Remember, Web design is a fast-paced race. You will keep on chasing a pot of information that goes constantly increases speed as you run towards it. Will you keep up if you just stay in the four corners of the classroom? Or will you start running?

What are your thoughts? For you, is going to web design schools still relevant? Did you go to one? Let’s discuss.

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