Tuesday, June 30, 2015

10 Interesting Talks Designers Must Watch

Design conferences are fun. They are full of energetic, creative people exchanging ideas and giving brilliant talks. But these events can also be rather expensive. Luckily, there are lots of amazing content from the world’s best web conferences available online. All you need is to take some time out of your busy schedule to watch and listen to what the experts have to share.


Here are 10 amazing presentations on topics dear to every designer’s heart, covering everything from dealing with clients to web typography, responsive web design to impostor syndrome. They may not be the most recent of talks but what is important is the message the talks are trying to deliver.


1. On the craft of design and working with clients


by Mike Monteiro at Interaction 15


"You have been lied to! […] Does good design sell itself? Fundamentally, NO."


Designers are, by default, amazing at pushing pixels on a screen and creating beautiful, thoughtful designs. Presenting those thoughtful solutions, however, can be a stressful experience. If you’re working at an agency or studio it can be especially tempting to just have your creative director show the work to the client. You might tell yourself that he will do it better, because he’s a better speaker, with more experience – but no one can explain your design decisions better than you.



In his funny and informative talk, Mike Monteiro reminds us why selling is a core design skill: because a good designer who can sell his work is more valuable than an amazing one who can’t. The whole talk is more than an hour long but you can start at around 18:00 for 13 mistakes designers make during client presentations; see if you’re guilty of any (and ways to improve, if you are).


2. F* You, Pay Me


by Mike Monteiro at CreativeMornings 2012


"You’re at the point where you need a lawyer when you’ve decided to stop being a design amateur and become a design professional."


Have you ever worked on a project without getting a contract first? A lot of designers who are just starting out might have done this at one point. Contracts do seem intimidating, especially at first. The great thing about them is that they help you and your client have clear expectations about the job. They protect you both if something goes wrong. If a client decides to pull the plug on a project that’s only halfway done, would you know what to do or expect? You should.



In this half-hour breakfast talk Mike Monteiro and his lawyer Gabe Lavine talk about contract-writing and getting paid, and get lots of applause. They name a few worst-case client scenarios, things they don’t negotiate on and why, and really show why having a lawyer in your corner can save the day.


3. "We’re Not Worthy:" Impostor Syndrome


by Lori Widelitz-Cavallucci, Amy Silvers at Conference: Madison+ UX 2014


"It’s the sense that you’re a fraud. That you don’t deserve any of the success that you’ve achieved."


Do you ever feel less knowledgeable or less accomplished than your friends? The phenomenon called impostor syndrome is common among designers, UX professionals, and other creative people, though perhaps not widely known. We have a tendency to compare ourselves to the best: see their beautiful websites, their insightful blog posts, big name clients – then think we fall short.



Lori and Amy’s session is drier than the previous ones on the list, but it’s only 26 minutes long, and what it has to say is something very important. A feeling that many of us struggle with. A feeling of not being good enough. Skip to 13:00 if you just want to see survey results from a study among designers and how they feel about their skill level.


4. 10 Commandments Of Web Design


by Jeffrey Zeldman at Conference: An Event Apart Austin 2013


"Often overlooked: the idea that a website should be an entertaining and delightful experience."


Jeffrey Zeldman starts his presentation by promising it will help web designers get from pretty good to awesome. When it comes to web design, there’s so much to think about and it’s easy to get caught up in the technical stuff sometimes. There are some big-picture things we might overlook because of that, like that websites should be fun.



"Thou shalt entertain" is his first commandment. A boring website will not hold anyone’s attention for longer than a couple of seconds. To get (more) awesome, check out the full 1-hour talk and get a full list of commandments, including "test everything (including assumptions)" and "thou shalt ship."


5. Responsive Web Design Is Hard / Easy! Be Afraid / Don’t Worry!


by Dan Mall at SmashingConf Freiburg 2013


"Photoshop comps don’t cut it. At least not in the way they used to."


Is the design process broken? Dan Mall says yes and sees it as an opportunity to change the way we work. The old method of web designing – plan, design, develop, launch – doesn’t work as great as it used to. With the proliferation of responsive design, he’s discovered new processes that can help designers work better with clients.



He advocates for style tiles, element collages and showing the clients what a site will feel like rather than a pixel-perfect psd every time. This is meant to save time and facilitate a good dialogue with the client. The whole presentation is 45 minutes but if you want to skip the intro, start at about 8:50 to hear about his approach or fast forward to the style tile talk at 16:20.


6. Your CSS Is A Mess


by Jonathan Snook at Conference: SmashingConf Freiburg 2012


"Use class over id – don’t use a grenade to dig a hole when a shovel will do"


In this talk, Jonathan Snook talks about the importance of clean and easy to understand code. The beauty of CSS lies in its flexibility, but that’s also when things can get complicated. Have you ever been in a situation where you worked on a project started by someone else and it took a while to figure out how it was coded? Or had some random class names you couldn’t figure out?



The speaker advocates for clarity in naming conventions and making sure we don’t needlessly complicate things. Even though the presentation is from 2012, all the concepts presented in it are still relevant today. It’s roughly 33 minutes long and is a great reminder about mindfulness and making things understandable.


7. Top 10 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People


by Susan Weinschenk at Conference: DIBI 2012


"It’s really easy when we are designing something […] to get all caught up in the design and to even forget that at the other end of this thing we’re designing is a person who has to use it"


This is a fascinating presentation on why people do what they do, backed by the science of psychology. We work hard designing websites for people to interact with – but so much of what they do is dependent on their un- or sub-consciousness. This amazing talk gives us tools for our designer toolbox to help us better influence people’s actions. It explains, among other things, why are humans attracted faces? (and how can that help a website?)



If you have 44 minutes to spare, this is a must-see. Want to dive deeper into learning about people’s online behavior? Alternatively, you can read about 6 psychological reasons of why people act the way they do online.


8. Content First! Everything We Know Is Wrong


by Jeffrey Zeldman at Conference: An Event Apart Boston 2012


"Our designs are often hostile to content."


Have you ever designed a pixel-perfect website just to have a client add a tiny new piece of content to it? And that new content frustratingly breaks the flow of the design somehow? Jeffrey Zeldman tells us that a website is not a brochure. A website is never final; it is a living, flexible, constantly changing medium that needs to be mindful of the user’s goals. It should accommodate various scenarios.



It’s easy to forget sometimes and this presentation, which shows examples of sites that got it right (and wrong) is a good reminder of why it matters. The whole thing is close to an hour long but worth spending your time on.


9. Design Principles For A Better Mobile Web


by Jennifer Gove at Conference: Google I/O 2014


"There are more mobile devices and mobile device subscriptions than there are toothbrushes in the world"


Mobile experience can be an afterthought, or not even thought of at all. But, as statistics show, it cannot be ignored. To make things easier for designers, Jennifer Gove gives us 25 principles for building better mobile websites in less than 45 minutes.



Because Jennifer Gove is a UX researcher at Google, they’re all based on data from a large usability study rather than expert opinions, which is interesting. Start at 8:25 for a list of the principles and see all the good (and bad) examples that illustrate them.


10. The State Of Web Typography


by Bram Stein at CSSconf EU 2014


"Are there any type designers in the audience? No? Good. I’m gonna say some horrible things about OpenType features"


Web fonts are awesome. They make the world a little more beautiful and websites have more character. Gone are the days of web-safe everything. Whether you’re just beginning with using web fonts or quite an expert in what they have to offer, this talk is for you. Everything you ever wanted to know about web type – kerning, hyphenation, OpenType features and more is covered in this 26 minute talk.



Wrap Up


There’s lots of amazing presentations on the web. Some are just funny, others will present amazing new developments happening in the industry, yet others help us be better designers. Do you have a favorite talk on the web? Share in the comments! For more insightful talks for designers, check out these 10 unmissable TED videos.


Editor’s note: This is written for Hongkiat.com by Magdalena Kacicka. Magdalena is a web designer and developer by day, Internet and candy enthusiast by night. She loves inspirational posts and beautiful design. Check out her portfolio or contact her on Twitter.


10 Interesting Talks Designers Must Watch

2 PSD Apple Watch mockups

2 PSD Apple Watch mockups

A set of 2 Apple Watch Business Edition mockups providing smart objects. Free PSD released by Mocup.


The post 2 PSD Apple Watch mockups appeared first on Freebiesbug.



2 PSD Apple Watch mockups

15 WordPress Plugins to Supercharge Search Function

One important element of any website is the search feature. With this, people can find for what they’re really looking for through your site, instead of just getting the information from the links you gave them, such as category, tags, featured post, etc. If your website is on WordPress, the search feature already exists by default. But it is still too stiff to use and not flexible enough to customize.


One available option you can use to improve the search feature on your site is by using plugins. These 15 plugins will help you make your searches on your site easier and faster to run. Some allow different methods to run searches, helps you track what users are searching for, lets you customize your search results or disable search altogether.


WP Extended Search


WP Extended Search plugin allows you to set the search results based on Post Meta, Taxonomies (category and tags), Post Type (post, page, and media) and author name. You can also customize SQL relation (AND/OR) between search terms.


Instant Search Suggest


With this plugin, just typing several letters into the search field will make it return suggestions for related tags, categories, or title. This plugin should work for your current theme and just need a slight configuration to work.


WP Search Suggest


WP Search Suggest adds a suggestion based on sthe earch term that a user enters on the search form. It will make an AJAX call then return the matching search query from the database. This is currently available in English, Deutsch and Czech language.


Jarvis


To use Jarvis, just hit the / button, and a search bar will show up. Enter your search term and Jarvis will suggest you available options related to your keyword. Arrow up or down the list to quickly navigate and pick the best search query for your search, then press enter to go to that result list.


Search & Filter


For a more narrowed scope, Search & Filter lets users add filters to refine their searches. Fields can be added under the Search form and displayed as dropdowns, checkboxes, radio buttons or multi-selects. You can add filter by Category, Tag, Custom Taxonomy, Post Type, Post Date, or any combined form.


Voice Search


Need a different way to search on your site? Use this plugin Voice Search which allows you to search things on the site through (what else?) voice. It currently works only on Chrome for both mobile and desktop version; for desktop, you must have a microphone installed for this to work.


Disable Search


If for some reason, you want to deactivate the search capabilities on your WordPress site, this is the plugin to do it. Disable Search will hide the appearing of the search form, disable the search widget, and prevent any manual search request or give a 404 Not Found response on submitted search attempts.


Auto Search Suggestion


In the WordPress dashboard, admins can use this plugin to search any content from page, post, or custom post type, all in one place. It also has auto suggestion so you can search faster.


WP Lucky Search


It’s similar to the ‘Im feeling lucky’ feature on Google, but for your site. When your visitor clicks the lucky search button, plugin will redirect to one random post based on the search term.


WP Live Search


WP Live Search returns the search result for page, post, and post type, as the user types the keyword on the search form. You can simply run this by add shortcode [wp_live_search] on page or any part of your site. You can see available options on documentation.


Search Redirections


Search Redirections is a plugin that allows you to redirect to a specific page or site when a user tries to search a specific word. For example for ‘CSS’ you can set that when a user searches with this word, it will redirect to google.com/search?q=css.


Rocketbar


Rocketbar works just like OS X’s Spotlight, allowing you to get around in the WordPress dashboard using keyboard shortcuts. To open Rocketbar simply use the keybind SHIFT + SPACE, then enter your keyword.


DuckDuckGo Search Widget


DuckDuckGo is search engine that doesn’t track you. If you encourage untrackable searches, you now can add its functionality to your site. This plugin adds duckduckgo as a widget and searches your site when a search query is punched in.


Curated Search


Customize what results your users can find by pinning your article to show up as the top search result for specific keywords, or creating alternative keywords or possible typos for search queries. Alternatively you can also redirect search terms, or make these searches contextual. Lastly, you can also limit the search results users can see or even hide specific content.


Quick Search Widget


Quick Search Widget lets your visitor see the search result immediately on their keypress. There is no need to wait for the site to load whole pages. Users are able to get search results from pages, posts, or products, if available.


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15 WordPress Plugins to Supercharge Search Function

Julep free font – Vector files

Julep free font - Vector files

Julep is an elegant and modern free font released in vector formats (Ai, EPS and PDF). Designed and released by Jeremy Ross.


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Julep free font – Vector files

10 Things Photographers Freaking Hate With a Passion

Photographers are a friendly enough bunch, but just like with designers, there are some things that really, really get on our nerves. They’re those little things that happen again and again, each time breaking down our willpower to not freak out just a little bit more. So in honor of frustrated photographers everywhere, I present you with ten things that we freaking hate.


1. “Let’s Do This Thing I Saw On Pinterest!”


things-photographers-hate 
Image sources: Bridal Guide and Plum Tree Studios


The statement above is inevitably followed by this one: “It looked a lot better on Pinterest…” Here’s a pro tip: nothing ever looks like it does on Pinterest. Often, you simply can’t stage that perfectly-timed, once-in-a-lifetime shot. Or you’re simply not the right height, width, etc. to pull off what the freaking gorgeous people on Pinterest can.


We Don’t Like Ripping Off Other Photographer’s Ideas


Another reason we photographers hate it when you ask us to duplicate something you saw online: stealing unique ideas isn’t cool. I swear to all that is decent, if one more person asks me to do the T-rex wedding thing…


things-photographers-hate 
Image source: Reddit


This photographer had a great, funny idea, but stealing such an original concept feels pretty unpleasant as a professional. There’s this internal war between giving clients what they want and knowing that photography is a creative pursuit where ripping off your colleagues isn’t always acceptable. Perhaps the best thing a photographer can do in this awkward situation is use the client’s request as inspiration for something original.


2. Being Treated Like a Terrorist In Public Places


things-photographers-hate 
Image source: Grey Coast Media


I’m not sure who started the rumor that photographers are prime suspects for violent crimes against humanity, but police and security guards everywhere sure got the memo. Every photographer has a story about getting kicked out of a park, train station, museum, amusement park, church; the list goes on.


I’ve even had people tell me as a paid photographer at a wedding venue that I wasn’t allowed to take photos during the wedding ceremony. What!?


3. Competing For Attention With Cell Phone Photographers


things-photographers-hate 
Image source: alfonsodetomas


As the paid photographer at a wedding or other event, having 40% of your photos ruined by guests and family stealing the attention of the people you’re photographing is immensely frustrating. Example: the entire wedding party is looking at my camera, but the groom is looking off to the side into grandma’s cell phone. That’s not the photo the couple wants to see on their mantelpiece for the next fifty years.


If you’re ever a client in this situation, always remember who you paid to be there and that the best way to get your money’s worth is to get everyone on board that the big camera gets top priority.


4. “Gorgeous photo! You must have a great camera!”


things-photographers-hate 
Image source: Pawel Kadysz


I’ve spent years honing my craft and improving my skills, but this statement has the amazing ability to wipe it all away and make me look like nothing but a monkey with a magic camera.


5. “Let’s Put The Baby In This!”


things-photographers-hate 
Image source: Anne Geddes


Don’t get me wrong, Anne Geddes is an amazing photographer with creative talent that I will never achieve, but she pioneered a trend called “putting babies inside of random crap” that will plague photography until the end of time.


Try Something More Natural


So what’s the best thing you can put your baby in? Here’s a great answer: your arms. It turns out you can leave the baskets and burlap at the thrift store and still have an amazing, intimate newborn shoot that might not make your kid want to set the photos on fire when she’s 16.


things-photographers-hate 
Image source: Radiant Photography


Bonus: Getting Peed On Ranks Pretty Low Too


When we’re on a newborn photo shoot, I always tell my wife and photography partner that she handles babies better than me. This is just my little trick for never getting peed on, which has happened to her several times.


6. “Can I Get All The Original RAW Photos From The Shoot?”


I’ve lost track of the times my clients have asked (or demanded) that I present them with every single image taken during a shoot, RAW and unedited. It’s totally understandable why someone might think this is a reasonable request, so I get why they do it, but from the photographer’s perspective, it simply shouldn’t ever happen. Daniela Bowker has my favorite response to this question:


things-photographers-hate 
Image source: vog


7. When You Edit Our Photos And Put Them On Facebook


things-photographers-hate 
Image source: fotopitu


First off, stop doing this (it might actually a violation of the contract you signed when you hired your photographer). Secondly, if you do it, and someone asks who took the photo, do us a favor and lie. We don’t want the credit.


8. Never Having Good Photos of Ourselves


things-photographers-hate 


The above is seriously the best photo my wife and I have together from our trip to Paris. Lots of people offered to take our photo, but even after careful instructions, none of them could handle the autofocus feature on my Canon 5D Mark II. Sigh…


9. When You Make Us Miss The Good Light


things-photographers-hate 


Want to piss off a photographer real quick? Simply show up to your shoot late and miss golden hour.


10. Terrible Photography Clichés


Some photography trends need to die. I know it’s really hard, but we need to let them go. It’s going to be ok.


That One Full Color Item In a B&W Photo


things-photographers-hate 
Original (much better) image source: Michal Bednarek


Super Crooked Photos Are So Cool!


Every new photographer does this (including me when I first started). It’s fine every now and then, but when you’re looking through a hundred photos and realize that you don’t have any straight ones, you have a problem and need to seek professional help.


things-photographers-hate 
Image source: Aleshyn Andrei


What Drives You Nuts?


Now it’s your turn to vent. Leave a comment below and let us know what drives you crazy as a photographer. Here’s your chance to let it all out.



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10 Things Photographers Freaking Hate With a Passion

9 Coolest Kids That Will Definitely Inspire You!

Kids always amaze me with their brutally honest opinions, their no-nonsense approach to what’s black or white with little to no care for what falls under the shade of grey, as well as their unflinching need to see justice done, where and when it is most needed. These days, kids not only ask the questions adults don’t dare to ask or think about asking, they also get their hands dirty, getting help to where it is most needed.


If you have ever felt powerless against society’s concepts of "this is how things work", let what these kids did remind you of what you can do if your heart is in the right place. These kids do their bit to help the homeless, cancer patients, hospitals and victims of natural disasters – and the most amazing thing is that the oldest kid in this list is only 12.


Hailey Fort


9 years old – Builds Shelters and Feeds the Homeless


Hailey Fort is no regular 9-year-old – you just need to look at how she handles herself around power tools to know that. Having befriended Edward, a homeless guy, Hailey felt that he should get a roof over his head. That’s why she built him (yes, she actually built it with her own hands) a mobile shelter, an 8 by 4 feet "house" complete with windows and insulation to keep out the cold.


Hailey is no stranger to helping out the homeless. Before the house-building, Hailey also tended a garden, the produce of which was donated to the local food bank to help feed the homeless. In 2014, her garden produced 128 lbs of food. You can follow Hailey’s efforts and more at her Facebook page, Hailey’s Harvest.


Christian McPhilamy


8 Years Old – Donates Hair For Child Patients


Kids get bullied in school all the time for the pettiest of reasons. Christian McPhilamy was also bullied in school, for growing out his blond hair for two years, but he stuck with it because he was doing it for a good cause. After seeing a commercial about paediatric cancer and later on stumbling upon a hair donation ad, Christian, who was 6 at the time, decided that he wants to donate his hair for the sick children.



IMAGE: Today

In the two years he spent growing his lovely blond hair, he endured teasing and bullying in school, and comments about what a "lovely daughter" his mother has. He ha sjust recently cut off his hair: 4 ponytails, close to 12 inches long, to donate to the Children with Hair Loss organization, a charity which provides free wigs for for children who suffer from cancer, burns, alopecia or other conditions.


Gracey Chafin


8 Years Old – Fundraises Toys For Children’s Hospital


Eight-year-old Gracey Chafin had also donated 10 inches of her hair to a classmate who had leukemia but she was bent to keep on giving. At a shopping trip to the mall with her grandmother, she learned about the Children’s Hospital through a donation drive. That gave her the motivation to start a fundraiser at her own school (never mind that she was just 7) where she collected 1300 items, including toys, books and games, to give to the children’s hospital.



IMAGE: wxfg.com

This year, she did it again, and collected 2000 items. Her next goal is to breach 3000 items in the next fundraiser. Her gifts are used in the hospital to comfort and reward child patients who sometimes have to go through taxing and painful treatments and life-saving surgery.


Robby Eimers


12 Years Old – Feeds The Homeless Every Weekend


Every Friday, 12-year-old Robby Eimers and his grandmother, Cindy Kostukoff, will gather clothing, toiletries, water, and food to give away. Together with 8-year-old Emma, Robby’s sister, they then make their way from New Haven to Detroit, Michigan to set up tables and serve food to the homeless. Robby used to wash cars to pay for the items but his cause now gets the support and some donations from Wal-Mart, the Detroit Red Wings and kind samaritans.



IMAGE: NBC News

The boy not only has a big heart, but big dreams too. He wants to be President one day and vows to get homeless people off the streets. Robby and his grandmother has since started the Eimers Foundation. You can visit the Eimers Foundation Facebook page to follow his activities or if you are looking for ways to help.


Neev Saraf


8 Years Old – Raises ,000 for Nepal Earthquake Victims


Neev Saraf might be at an age where you don’t expect him to know the value of a dollar but that doesn’t stop him from being a serial philanthropist. Every time he turns a year older, he donates to charities; he had previously donated to Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army. This year however, he decied to do more for a different group: the victims of the Nepal earthquake.



IMAGE: NBC Washington

Neev started a drive by throwing in his piggy bank savings, all 4 of it. His parents, both from Nepal, helped him spread the word on social media and before long, Neev’s crowdfunding efforts helped raise more than ,000 in just 10 days. The donation was forwarded to American Nepal Medical Foundation to assist in rescue and recovery work in Nepal.


Xavier Elliot


10 Years Old – Makes Clothes for the Homeless


Xavier Elliot is 10, and on a mission. After moving through 6 different homeless shelters, Xavier felt that he could do more for homeless children, so he decided to make clothes for them. He picked up some sewing skills from his mom and bought his own fabric with his allowance then just got down to making clothes. And he’s pretty good too.



IMAGE: Facebook

His mother, a veteran advocate, has been very supportive of her child’s work and has set up a Facebook page to share Xavier’s work and campaign. Donations have been pouring in to help with sewing and fabric supplies.


Noah Hall King


7 Years Old – Raises Donations for Neonatal ICU


Noah Hall King was only turning 5 when he raised 00 for his local fire department; and on his 6th birthday, he raised ,800 for the local police department. For his 7th birthday, he went door to door, and even started a website to ask for donations for the Neonatal ICU at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. All his efforts paid off when he raised 00, all of which he gave to the hospital.


The hospital has decided to use that donation to buy a piece of equipment for breathing support that will help their little patients. So what’s next for his 8th birthday? You guessed it. He’s going to help the homeless.


Nate Dreyfus


9 Years Old – Donated Coats to Homeless Shelter


Seeing someone stop his car, get down and give his own coat to a total stranger on the street, made Nate Dreyfus feel like doing the same thing. And he isn’t going to let his tender age of 9 stop him. Nate started putting donation boxes in his neighborhood and with his mom’s help, spread the word, asking for coats that are no longer needed or used, to donate to the needy.



IMAGE: CBS

The drive worked, and the Director of Project Home, a homeless shelter for families received 79 coats and a 2 donation in time for the holidays. Nate has since returned to Project Home with more coat donations.


Josiah Duncan


5 Years Old – Fed Then Made Homeless Man Cry


Sometimes a small act of kindness is all it takes. Our pint-sized hero for this story is Josiah Duncan, who one day saw a homeless man outside a restaurant, and began asking his mom questions. Troubled to find that the man had no food, among other things, he urged his mother to buy him a meal.



IMAGE: wsfa.com

His mother, Ava Faulk, obliged and asked the man to come in, sit down and order anything from the menu. Josiah even asked the man if he wanted a menu because "you can’t order without one" when no one waited on him. Right before eating, Josiah asked the man to join him in saying the blessing (which he sung at the top of his voice) and leaving everyone at the restaurant in tears.


Wrap Up


There are so many more kids out there doing things you would probably expect the grownups to be doing, it is impossible to name them all. From collecting food, shoes, blankets and other items to donate to the homeless, to forgoing toys and birthday gifts to give to another less fortunate child, these kids are showing the adults that you are never too young to give back.


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9 Coolest Kids That Will Definitely Inspire You!