Category Archives: tools

Unleashing The Full Potential Of Symbols In Sketch




 


 

No matter whether you are designing a whole design system or just a couple of screens, symbols in Sketch will help you keep your file organized and will save you a lot of time in the long run.


Unleashing The Full Potential Of Symbols In Sketch

In this article, I’ll share with you a few best practices and tricks to help you unleash symbols’ full potential.

The post Unleashing The Full Potential Of Symbols In Sketch appeared first on Smashing Magazine.


Source: Smashing Magazine

Top 2017 Web Tools & Services Reviewed

You’re reading Top 2017 Web Tools & Services Reviewed, originally posted on Designmodo. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook, Google+!

Top 2017 Web Tools & Services Reviewed

Many times, we’ve talked with important developers and web designers and they said us that it would be really interesting to have a showcase of handpicked web tools and services. But really handpicked, tested by guys with experience that know the issues and what is needed. This is that showcase and it contains 18 web […]



Source: Designmodo

On-Site Search Feature. The Art Of Being Accessible.


Easy navigation is one of the most critical aspects of every website design.

After all, the vast majority of Internet users have only basic computer skills, so you need to ensure that they can find what they’re looking for. A navigation bar with descriptive page names is the first step toward keeping visitors engaged, but if you have a lot of details on your site, it’s vital to include an on-site search feature as well.

Keep in mind that you cannot rely on Google and other search engines to send visitors to the ideal page on your site. Instead, you need to operate as if they will always be directed to the home page and take steps to simplify the process of finding everything that’s kept on internal pages. Depending on the type of site you run, your on-site search could be very basic or advanced. Either way, the key is to make sure the average Internet user can get solid results with every search string.

The Benefits of a Constrained Search

People are used to being able to type in as little or as much as they want into Google’s search engine. This freedom often leads to less than stellar results, though, and that’s exactly what you want to avoid on your site. Instead, consider providing a search box that can only accept relevant data.

For example, the on-site search used by Addiction Helper is designed to help people in need quickly find access to treatment options. To make this process as smooth as possible, users can only enter their postcode or city name. This leads to accurate results based in or near the target area, which allows visitors to skip over any inapplicable information.

Of course, there are situations where constrained search needs to expand beyond a mere one or two options. Real estate sites such as Nick Marr, the House Shop provide a great example of when and how to expand a constrained search. The House Shop on-site search can be used with nothing more than a postcode or city name, but it can also be expanded to provide higher quality results. In other words, if someone specifically wants a two bedroom house within a certain price range, they can add those details to refine their search.

In either case, site visitors are able to access the details they need without looking through a virtually countless list of pages and choices. This is the main perk of using a constrained search. It ensures that everyone can find what they’re looking for quickly and with minimal computer skills. The simplicity of the process is actually what makes it the most powerful option for location based searching.

Improving Open-Ended Searches

Web Design Ledger offers an example of the open-ended search feature that is more commonly used by most sites. In this particular instance, it makes the most sense not to constrain people to only one or two search options. However, open-ended on-site search can easily become an unwieldly beast that makes the process way too cumbersome for users. Therefore, it’s necessary to be careful with the parameters of the search feature.

 

 

What people want is to find the most relevant results for their search. If you were to search for “Adobe Illustrator” and receive a long list of results that don’t actually feature information on this software, you would quickly become frustrated and leave the website. Many sites have their search parameters set so widely that this is exactly what happens. Instead of learning from useful tutorials or quickly finding tips for beginners, a poorly defined on-site search could bring up dozens of instances of the word Adobe or illustrator without them having anything to do with each other.

To avoid this, your on-site search must be set up to look for the exact phrase first. Although the articles that aren’t related could still show up, they should be filtered to land underneath the most relevant results. The same process is important for eCommerce sites.

In the Adobe Illustrator example, the newest version of the software should come up first, followed by any recent books on this topic. Amazon typically does a good job of sorting by the latest releases, and they also often indicate which item in the search results is most popular. This method of sorting makes things much easier for consumers.

Consider Directing Searches to a Specific Page

After deciding if a constrained or open-search is best and tweaking the results to be as relevant as possible, you’ll need to decide if you want to skip the search results page altogether. Some sites direct each search to a specific URL instead of offering a long list of articles or products. This could mean making a landing page for each popular search term that has all of the details about the term in question. To clarify, if WebDesignLedger took this approach, they would have an internal link for /adobeillustrator that would be almost like a homepage for all of the articles about this software.

Another option, which is most applicable to eCommerce sites, would be to have the term direct people to the URL that the system deems most appropriate for their search. If you were to enter Adobe Illustrator in this scenario, you’d be taken directly to the sales page for this item. This can reduce the amount of time consumers spend looking, but it might also backfire because some people want to see multiple options and make their own decision.

Bottom Line for On-Site Searches

No matter what you decide to do with your on-site search feature, the most important factor is that it needs to actually work properly. If you put in a search term and get way too many unrelated results, be sure to tweak the engine. This isn’t the late 1990s anymore, and no one wants to see every instance of simple words such as “and” or “the” when they put in a long-term search string. Unfortunately, many on-site search engines still make this mistake, and it’s a big turn off for visitors. Avoiding this problem will provide the specific and more powerful results people want with every search engine experience.

Read More at On-Site Search Feature. The Art Of Being Accessible.


Source: Web Design Ledger

Building a Better World with Dropbox

You’re reading Building a Better World with Dropbox, originally posted on Designmodo. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook, Google+!

Dropbox

Dropbox is a cloud storage solution that features extensive file sharing capabilities. With clients for both desktop and mobile devices, Dropbox supports file synchronization between virtually unlimited devices. Back in 2007, Dropbox revolutionized the way we use, store and use our data.  Nine years ago, the concept of cloud storage was vague and flawed. Existing services […]



Source: Designmodo

Super Deal: Mega Snow & Winter Bundle from Feingold Design – only $11!

This bundle contains 9 high-quality design products for your perfect winter time. Simulating photorealistic snow or fog for photography, web or print design has never been that easy. Various snow objects as well as 16 artistic snowflakes with transparent backgrounds will add a special touch to your Christmas and winter designs. The pack of winter photos and a frozen text effect rounds everything up, and is perfect for social media posts, bloggers or web shop owners.

Highlights:

  • Real Snow Brushes for Photoshop CS1+: This high resolution brush for Photoshop was created to paint falling and lying snow or photorealistic frozen effects. The snow flakes were cut out of real photographic material and can be used to create quite realistic snowscapes.
  • Real Snow Photo Overlays for Photoshop CS4+: Just drag one of the 4 different snow-layer folders on top of your photo. Each of the 4 preconfigured overlays consist of 8 different layers to control the amount and depth of snow.
  • Fog Effect for Photoshop CS4+: Realistic and lossless high quality fog effect prepared to fit for portrait, landscape, architecture or panorama photos. Easy to apply, just drag & drop the adjustment layer folder on top of your photo.
  • Frozen Text Effect for Photoshop CS4+:The Photoshop document provides simple adjustment settings for text layers to create frozen looking text. The effect is prepared for dark and bright backgrounds and comes fine-tuned in 7 different sizes (6pt to 180pt).
  • Snow Line Elements and Icicles : 27 photographic high-resolution snow line elements. Perfect to add more realistic snow to your web design, poster, greeting- or post card layouts. Cut out and prepared for easy use. Delivered in transparent PNG-files (38 files).
  • Seamless Snow Texture (1 JPG image file & PS Action): This seamless high-resolution snow texture was made to generate large snow surfaces. One JPG-file, 4717 × 3146 pixel, 300dpi. Including Photoshop Actions to generate large surfaces.
  • Abstract Snowflakes (16 transparent PNG image files): Want something special on your Christmas or business cards? This bundle includes 16 transparent snowflakes you can work with. Each flake is 2000 x 2000 pixel large (about 15 x 15 cm in print at 300 dpi).
  • Abstract Snowflake Generator for Photoshop CS4+: Paint your own individual snowflakes with the help of this PSD-file. You only paint one-twelfth of the snowflake and the Smart Object does the rest for you. Just paint with brushes into the Smart Object to get your 2000 x 2000 pixel snowflakes directly.
  • Winter & Snow Photo Pack (36 JPG image files): 36 winter photos matching a wide variety of snow related topics.

Check all the previews here.

Normally, this mega vector collection sells for $642 but for a limited time only, you can get Mega Snow & Winter Bundle for just $11 – That’s a monstrous savings of 98% off the regular price.Go here to get this awesome deal!

Read More at Super Deal: Mega Snow & Winter Bundle from Feingold Design – only $11!


Source: Web Design Ledger

21 CTA Based Plugins for Better On-Page Optimization

Using WordPress? Try These CTA Based Plugins for Better On-Page Optimization

WordPress powers nearly 5% of the entire web, and a quarter of the top 10,000 websites. Its ease of use, flexibility, and versatility account for its widespread adoption. Built with search engine optimization in mind, WordPress does a lot of the heavy lifting on the back end, but leaves on-page optimization up to you. The WordPress plugin repository comes to the rescue with a number of options for calls to action.

HubSpot found that using anchor text CTAs improved conversion rates by 121%. They also discovered that between 47% and 93% of a post’s leads only come from the anchor text CTAs. Data suggests that more than 90% of the visitors who read your headline also read your CTA copy, and emails using a single CTA increased clicks 371%, with 1617% sales increases.

01.Hello Bar

Want to grab user attention right away, but want to be unobtrusive about it? Hello Bar creates a small bar that displays across the top of your website, to encourage email subscription sign up. It’s free and integrates with several of the top email marketing platforms including Aweber, MailChimp, and Campaign Monitor.  You can also drive traffic to a page, and get some basic split testing capabilities to see which phrasing gets the best conversion rate. The plugin is free, but a premium version is available. Contact for pricing.

02.OptinMonster

If you’re trying to build up your email list, OptinMonster is good to use because it because it provides a smooth opt-in box, rather than a popup. The form can be completely customized to your needs, or you can choose to use one of the many premade designs. It includes split-testing so you can see which copy converts the best for your audience, and provides page-level targeting so you can display different massages based on where visitors are on your website. Analytics are also built in, and it supports the most popular email marketing platforms. Pricing starts at $19/month, and annual plans are priced at $9/month.

03.MailMunch

Use MailMunch to create customizable calls to action that integrate with a number of email marketing platforms, including Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, InfusionSoft, MailChip, and AWeber, to name a few. Once you sign up for your free MailMunch account, you can create your choice of a top bar, pop-up, sidebar opt-in, or a scroll-triggered box. If you want to add forms to more than a single site, get analytics, and other features, there are premium options, starting at $9/month with discounts for annual plans.

04.SumoMe ListBuilder

SumoMe offers a number of free tools to help you grow your website. The List Builder allows you to create a lightbox popup to increase email subscriptions. It works with MailChimp, Constanct Contact, GetResponse, Campaign Monitor, Exact Target, and more. Premium plans allow you to get all the pro apps and pay only for the traffic your site uses. Plans start at $29/month, paid annually.

05.Exit Intent

When a visitor leaves your website, Exit Intent gives you one more chance to grab their attention and convert them. Use it to display a special offer message as they’re going to leave your website.

06.Pippity

Pippity is a WordPress popup plugin that comes with 20 themes, all of which can be completely customized to fit your needs. The premium version includes analytics and split-testing so you can see what your audience responds best to. Pricing starts at $49/year.

07.Icegram

Icegram is a free plugin designed to capture leads and call your visitors to action. It allows you to to use popups, header and footer bars, notifications, messengers, and more. Premium pricing, at either $49/year or $99/year adds more features.

08.WP Subscribe Pro

WP Subscribe Pro is a premium email subscription plugin, priced at $29. It gives you plenty of options to help increase your subscription base. Options include transition popups, sidebar widgets, and more. It integrates with many third-party email marketing platforms including MailChimp and AWeber. A free version is also available.

09.WordPress Calls to Actions

Part of the Inbound Now marketing suite, WordPress Calls to Action allows you to place advertisements and calls to action anywhere you want across your entire website, including posts, pages, widgets, and custom post types. You can also create variations in your calls to action to perform split-testing. The plugin includes some call to action templates, but you can also design your own. It’s possible to collect the form submission data and store it in the Inbound Now leads database. The free version gives you access to landing pages, calls to action, and lead management. Paid plans start at $10/month.

10.Opt-In Content Locker

Opt-In Content Locker is a premium plugin, priced at $15. It allows you to offer exclusive content on your website to your email subscribers. Use shortcodes to lock the content, and once someone is confirmed as a subscriber, they can view it.

11.Boxzilla

Boxzilla allows you to build boxes that contain whatever you want, to slide or fade in at any point. You are in full control of the way the box looks, the way it is positioned, how it is animated, and how it fades. You also have the option to add-premium add-ons for $6/month or $60/year per site. You can choose to add features like triggering a box after a certain number of page views, after a certain amount of time spent on site, trigger a box when someone is leaving, hide boxes from current MailChimp subscribers, integrate with WooCommerce, and track all box interactions with Google Analytics.

12.Click to Tweet

Click to Tweet allows you to quickly and easily create custom tweets your visitors can send to Twitter with a click. This is great for promoting a contest, sale, or any other limited-time offer.

13.Bloom Email Opt-In

Bloom is one of the plugins from Elegant Themes, so you must join at either $89/year, or a one-time fee of $249 to gain access to it. It includes six display types, such as automatic opt-in popup or fly-in, inline, and widget areas. You also have the option to require the opt-in to unlock content. It works with 16 email marketing platforms, including InfusionSoft, AWeber, Feedblitz, and GetResponse.

14.Ultimate Social Media and Share Icons

Social buttons are CTAs of their own – telling visitors you want them to share the content on their favorite networks. Most visitors won’t take the time to manually share content on their own – so the buttons make it easy for them. While many themes have social media and share icons built in, for those that don’t, the Ultimate Social Media and Share Icons plugin will add icons for Facebook, Twitter, Email, RSS, and more than 200 other social channels. 16 icon designs are included, but there’s also the option to upload your own custom images.

15.MaxButtons

MaxButtons offers a button generator, social icon, and social sharing plugin all in one. Create buttons to draw attention. The premium version costs $19 and includes more options for shapes, colors, and gradients. You can also add every button they’ve created, and any new buttons they create for a year, for another $80.

16.Mango Buttons

Mango Buttons is a free and simple plugin that allows you to add buttons anywhere in your pages or posts. You can add text and icons, and adjust colors to grab user attention.

17.Top Bar

Top Bar is a free plugin that allows you to add text with a linked button to the top of your WordPress pages, in an effort to drive traffic to another page. A premium version, priced at $12 for a single site, or $49 for unlimited sites, is available that allows you to further customize the user experience with colors, user restrictions, and timing.

18.PopUp Domination

PopUp Domination is a premium service, with pricing starting at $9/month, with discounts on annual plans. Pricing is based on popup views, ranging from 30,000 to 1 million. The platform works with all websites and email providers. It includes email themes, redirect themes, exit popups, split testing, popup triggers, split testing, analytics, and more.

19.Ninja Popups

A premium plugin available for $25, Ninja Popups includes a drag and drop visual editor to make it easy to create your own custom popups in no time. It includes more than 50 themes to help get you started, with eight free opt-in panels, and 74 animations. If that’s not enough, there are add-ons available for more widgets, themes, and opt-in bars. It works with many of the top email marketing platforms, such as MailChimp, AWeber, GetResponse, InfusionSoft, Constant Contact, and more. It also includes an opt-in locker and social locker.

20.Simple Side Tab

Simple Side Tab offers quick and easy way to add a global call to action to your website. This plugin adds a vertical tab to either the left or right side of your site, and allows it to link to any page. The tab remains in place as the user scrolls, so it’s always visible.

21.PopupAlly

PopupAlly allows you to create popup forms with exit intent, forms with a timed delay, or embed your subscription form below your content. You can choose between a free version and a premium version, priced at $97. The free version works with a number of platforms include GetResponse, InfusionSoft, iContact, MailChimp, and AWeber. The pro version adds more features, such as additional types of calls to action and analytics information.

Plugins Aren’t Going to Do It All – Photos and Placement Matter

CTA plugins can help, but they’re not going to do all the work for you. For optimal conversion rate, it’s important to use high-resolution photos and ensure they’re placed in the proper areas on your website. Grow & Convert estimates conversion rates for these common locations:

  • Sidebar: 0.5 – 1.5%
  • Generic: end-of-post: 0.5 – 1.5%
  • Pop-ups: 1 – 8%
  • Sliders and bars: 1 – 5%
  • Welcome gates: 10 – 25%
  • Featurebox: 3 – 9%
  • Navbar: Variable

Making changes to ensure your CTAs are relevant and well placed appropriately throughout can increase conversions and sales, along with average order value.

As long as you’re careful not to overload your WordPress install with too many plugins, there are many photography plugins available to help optimize your images, too.

When split-testing, change a single element at a time, so you can get a better idea of what affected the conversion rate. Play with things like colors, placement, and copy. With the help of CTA plugins, you’ll find better on-page optimization, and see growth in your business.

Read More at 21 CTA Based Plugins for Better On-Page Optimization


Source: Web Design Ledger

20 Gift Ideas for Web Designers

You’re reading 20 Gift Ideas for Web Designers, originally posted on Designmodo. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook, Google+!

Gift Ideas for Web Designers

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me … a MacBook Pro with Creative Suite. Well, that’s not exactly how the holiday jingle goes, but if you are a web designer this list of gift suggestions is for you. From expensive toys to books and fun tools, we have compiled 20 […]



Source: Designmodo

17 Great Letterpress Business Cards That Define Past and Present Craftsmanship

circular-letterpress-business-cards

With the advancement of technology, sometimes it is good to move forward quickly, but sometimes it is good to connect with the past and use trusted precedents for print. With Letterpress Business Cards you get an old style printing method that has evolved from functionality into an art form. At Jukebox Print we understand that human creativity, just like the human body is constantly surpassing itself and raising the bar to new heights. By surpassing ourselves in Letterpress, we tested our skills and perfected the art and the result is the ability create unique things never seen before.

While we understand that looking at a picture of a Letterpress Business Card might not warm your soul quite like looking at a painting by Matisse does. Even still, we hope our work inspires you. Maybe after this, you will think Letterpress Business Cards are as cool as we do.

Circular Business Card

circular-letterpress-business-cards

These 2″ Circular Business Cards were produced in fine detail with 15 colors of Letterpress. The final touch is exquisite pastel pink Painted Edges.

Jean Jullien Business Card

jean-jullien-business-cards

These unique die cut cards were produced for the Parisian designer Jean Jullien. Finished off with painted edges.

Lion Business Card

lion-business-card-letterpress

We took the challenge from designer Ksyu Deniska to create this intricate card with eleven colors of Letterpress and strokes as thin as .02 mm!

Don’t Try Studio Business Card

dont-try-studio-business-cards

3ply Layered Business Cards with 5 colors of Letterpress made for Parisian designer Monge Quentin.

ABSOLUT Business Card

absolut-business-cards-with-letterpress-and-foil-printing

Letterpress is the perfect complement to other specialty print processes such as foil, as shown here with the beautiful black ABSOLUT card.

Ribbon Business Card

ribbon-shapped-business-cards

This cute ribbon-shaped card is the perfect design for an event planner.

Pillow Texture Business Card

3d-embossed-business-cards

This luxurious business card features a 3D embossed pillow texture with letterpress, making this one of the most expensive business cards around.

Deer Embossed Business Card

lord-fern-business-cards

Wonderful 3D embossed card with a subtle touch of letterpress.

Bloom Creative Business Card

bloom-creative-letterpress-business-card-printing

Combining creativity with functionality these cards feature 9 colors of letterpress with a deep impression, white foil stamping, and 3-ply layering. Each card has a unique color backing.

Vintage Business Card

vintage-business-cards

This vintage Letterpress project was produced on paper from the late 1800’s! These cards were produced for Setback and Jukebox will soon provide the ability for people to order cards on real, vintage 100-year-old paper. These will truly be the most unique and original cards. The old style of printing combined with the antique paper makes this piece uniquely special. You can feel and smell the history of these cards and they are the perfect cards for any vintage selling company.

Ice Cream Business Card

ice-cream_cards1ice-cream_cards2

This cute ice cream business card was generated with seven colors of letterpress. The color in the design is the result of immense details and pulls of a great retro look.

Pineapple Business Card

pineapple-business-cards-with-letterpress

The cutest business card, a custom die cut in a pineapple shape with letterpress and gold foil.

Leather Business Card

leather-business-cards-shaped-as-hangtag

Letterpress and real leather, a perfect combination. A multi-use as a hang tag that can double as a business card as well.

Seashell Business Card

sea-shell-letterpress-business-cards

3D embossed to the shape of a seashell with simple letterpress type. This card may look cute but is very difficult to execute!

Paint Swatches Business Card

business-cardsT

his simple, colorful business card doesn’t seem so simple once you realize it was created with 19 different colors of letterpress!

Foxyards Business Card

fox-yards-3d-embossed-with-letterpress

Another stunning combination of Letterpress and 3D embossing.

Typewriter Business Card

typewriter-business-cards-with-letterpress-and-diecutting

This custom die cut typewriter is the perfect card for an old school writing enthusiast.


Read More at 17 Great Letterpress Business Cards That Define Past and Present Craftsmanship


Source: Web Design Ledger

Double Panel Hover Box Effect in Adobe Muse

Muse For You - Double Panel Hover Box WIdget - Adobe Muse CC

Add a Double Panel Hover Box Effect in Adobe Muse. No Coding Skills Required.

 Muse For You - Adobe Muse CC Adobe Muse CC Logo

Adding hover effects over images can really engage website visitors and add more styling to your website. In the video above I go over how to add and style the Double Panel Hover Box widget found at http://museforyoushop.com.

The Double Panel Hover Box widget is completely customizable and is responsive in width and height so the image keep its proportions as the browser size gets smaller or larger.

The steps to adding the Double Panel Hover Box widget are as follows:

1. Drag and drop the widget from the Library Panel. If you do not see the Library Panel go to Window > Library.

2. Add an image to the widget. If you would like the widget to be a certain size crop the image first to the desired dimensions and then place in the widget. For example if you wanted the widget to be a square you would crop the image to equal width and height before placing in the widget. After the image is placed you can resize the widget and the image will retain its width and height proportionally. You can use any photo cropping program or visit the following website to crop the image:

http://birme.net

Remove any extra space around the widget container by dragging in the sides of the widget container around the image.

Muse For You - Double Panel Hover Box WIdget - Adobe Muse CC

3. Set the maximum width and the minimum width for the image in the image section.

4. Set the colors of the panels in the effect section.

5. Set the transition speed of the panels in the effect section.

6. Add and style the text in the text section.

7. If you would like to link the hover box to an internal page, external page, or anchor point enter a link in the image section. There is the option to open the link in a new tab if it is an internal link or external link.

8. If you would like multiple Double Panel Hover Boxes with different styling simply change the instance number for each new widget.

9. Preview in the browser and hover over image to see effect.

10. Done.

Features Include:

  • Add multiple on one page
  • Set the image to be responsive with the built-in ‘Resize’ option in Adobe Muse
  • Set a maximum width and minimum width for the images
  • Customize the color of the hover effect
  • Set the speed of the hover effect
  • Add text over the hover effect
  • Set the color for the text
  • Set the font size for the text
  • Align text
  • Link image to an internal link, external link, or anchor point
  • Open link in a new page

 

For more video tutorials and widgets for Adobe Muse visit http://museforyoushop.com.

Happy Musing :).

Read More at Double Panel Hover Box Effect in Adobe Muse


Source: Web Design Ledger

Create Custom Brushes in Photoshop

dansky_custom-brushes-adobe-photoshop

In this tutorial, we’re going to learn how to create custom brushes in Adobe Photoshop.

Download Adobe Photoshop.

Read More at Create Custom Brushes in Photoshop


Source: Web Design Ledger