Tag Archives: website

A Web Designer’s Introduction to Adobe Animate CC

What’s better than being static? Being in motion, my good friends. Motion is on the rise for the web, from simple interface interactions, to more complex scenarios and prototyping. In this article we’ll introduce ourselves to Adobe Animate, what it is, what it isn’t, and how it can help with your work as a web designer.

What is Adobe Animate?

Adobe Animate is described as being an evolution of Flash Professional; a product whose proprietary nature was doomed to the history books the moment Steve Jobs put pen to paper. 

“To more accurately represent its position as the premier animation tool for the web and beyond, Flash Professional will be renamed Adobe Animate CC” – Rich Lee, in 2015

So times change, and Adobe have changed their approach to the web as a result. 

Adobe Animate feature timeline
Adobe Animate’s feature timeline

Whether you’re new to motion, or consider yourself a veteran searching for an alternative to prototyping, Adobe Animate CC might be for you. As with all tools its purpose is specific to the person using it. This isn’t a tool everyone must use, but it’s in your interests to be aware of its presence. 

With Adobe Animate creations such as cartoons, advertisements, games, and other interactive content can be published to familiar platforms like HTML5 Canvas, Flash Player & Air, WebGL, and even Snap SVG. 

The Features

To help comprehend Adobe Animate’s capabilities I thought it would be best to list some key features I personally find interesting. The best thing about Adobe Animate is certainly the embracing of web standards. A close second is the fantastic range of exporting/publishing options, then then vector brushes, HiDPI support, 3rd party JavaScript integration and much more.

Timeline and Frames

All animations occur in sequence on what’s commonly known as a timeline. Flash developers will understand these concepts very well. This UI allows you, the developer, to manage your animations in a timeline by gaining a visual perspective of how the entire sequence fits together. Here’s a brief introduction by Adobe discussing timeline basics

Timelines can include fine-grained animations in a frame-based context. This means artists can create animations in isolation and integrate these isolated movements into a larger master timeline.

Exporting and Publishing

With open web standards finally being embraced by Animate CC, developers must still be aware of the technical limitations of the format they’re exporting to. Developers do have the option to export to the Flash player, SWF files, if needed. It’s also possible to export at multiple resolutions making it priceless for bitmap work. You can even generate a sprite sheet based on keyframes and animate through them using CSS! 

There’s no doubt that the export and publish options make it far more efficient to modernize your projects. Ship different versions of the same project without recreating your original source files from scratch by enabling the “scale content” option. Generate an HTML document for ActionsScript projects using the correct object and embed tags via the publish settings dialog box. 

The icing on the cake is you also have the ability to export to SVG.

Vector Brushes

Animate CC introduces new vector drawing tools, including vector brushes that don’t need to be converted to shapes in order to be edited. Everything you’re familiar with in Illustrator for brushes and drawing is also available to you in Animate CC. It allows you to custom-define a brush by setting parameters of the brush such as shape and even angle. Super slick if you care about quality and crisp artwork.

Bone Tool

Flash developers will be right at home with the bone tool to animate objects using “bones” chained linearly or branched in parent-child relationships; think of movements like an arm bending, a snake slithering or a leg kicking. These types of motion could take a tedious amount of time to prototype in code, but with Animate CC it can happen very quickly, making bad ideas cost less and nurturing good ideas faster. 

Armature-based motion sequences can also be included into symbols, or what are known as “instances”, which can be reused throughout your project. 

The bone tool comes with other tricks up its sleeve too. Gain realistic physical movement by integrating dynamic physics into the bones, like springness, making the motion far more realistic to the physical world.

Support for 3rd Party JavaScript

So you made a great piece of art to animate, but want to use a 3rd party helper like GreenSock, for example? Good news! You can do just that. Now from the Animate UI developers can have the flexibility they desire without feeling they reside in a walled garden with no help from the outside world. Use the latest JavaScript libraries at your disposal and get the flexibility you need for the frames in your animation.

Camera Positions and Stage Controls

Animators have complete control over how the stage (i.e canvas) is positioned. Options are  available for rotating the stage in any way, from any point you choose, such as centrally to the stage or even from the corner. Your animation can contain more dynamics too, like adding camera effects such as pan, zoom, or rotate giving your project even more realism; watch out James Cameron.

Animates virtual camera
Animate’s virtual camera

Conclusion

Tools are cool, but they don’t rule the world. Choose wisely, but choose what works for you. Tools are there to be of help not to dictate your workflow. If you’re using Animate in a project leave a comment and a link below of examples if you have some–tell us about your experience with this application. Happy animating!

Further Reading and Helpful Links


Source: Webdesign Tuts+

Facebook Messenger App Gets A Brand New Look

The popular social networking platform made yet another important change that was not formally announced. Facebook made a move that has probably been planned for a long time: the platform just changed the entire messaging experience by integrating the Messenger app into its desktop version. Reactions of all kinds soon appeared online.

The change brought to Messenger app was spotted by most users, especially that this time it seems to be more than just a simple beta “test.” When we look at the home page, we notice that the Messenger icon in the blue navigation bar at the top of the screen has replaced the old inbox icon; when you click on it, you go to a radically overhauled inbox, similar to a Messenger.com.

Judging by the public statements made by its representatives, Facebook needed to go more mobile. The platform is also meant to help its users by presenting them with relevant information which can be more easily accessed. Indeed, the following features of the newest Facebook Messenger version can be quite useful:

  • The new “home page” divided into modules/panes allows you to see a list of the most recent messages and the friends you chat most frequently with are highlighted in the “Favorites” module below.
  • You can now easily find a particular conversation, change the chat’s color, edit nicknames.
  • The new “Active Now” module allows you to see when your friends are available, and the “Birthdays” module will remind you of your friends’ birthdays.
  • The new Messenger includes in-built emoji, stickers and GIF buttons, and, what is more important, payment options to transfer money to contacts, and video games.
  • The new Messenger is easier to use because it gives you the possibility to reorganize your chat threads based on your favorites and active users so that you might get to important chats faster, and get immediate responses back.

 

On the other hand, numerous users were not pleased with the new changes, stating that the old inbox layout was better and asking how they can switch back to the old Messenger (which is not possible).

The features people mostly complained about are:

  • The possibility to see your other messages on the side. This can be quite distracting and inconvenient, especially when you have lots of messages from your admiring fans and exes
  • The extra space for ads that was added on the right side can be disturbing
  • The bigger version of the inbox covers half of the message screen now and this can also make the app harder to use
  • the message box only scrolls to the right, so users can’t easily see the whole message to guide the feel of the message or easily check for typos. That can be frustrating.
  • When users try to copy parts of a conversation and save it in word, this is not possible anymore. Also, the date and time of the messages can’t be copied at all
  • Users now can’t write longer messages without their paragraphs being truncated in the composer
  • Messages can’t be filtered by “unread”
  • Photo sharing needs improvement
  • Currently, you don’t have the ability to delete individual messages within a conversation

What users generally complained about most is the fact that Facebook complicated things unnecessarily, without doing usability studies or testing the changes in focus groups first. The loss of the inbox layout shook most users which openly expressed their complaints online. People are also discontent with the fact that the Messenger app, originally designed for mobile, is now being forced upon desktop and laptop users without choice.

In reply, David Marcus, the vice president of messaging products at Facebook, stated that the changes were meant to harmonize the user experience across all platforms, especially when the app is used by 1 billion+ people primarily on mobile. Clearly, the Messaging app needed to feel and look more mobile.

Mr. Marcus also claimed that what Facebook was actually trying to do with the New app is add more value to messaging, to make it more relevant and more interesting than before. And he promised his team would look into the features that people are not currently pleased with.

Stan Chudnovsky, head of product for Messaging at Facebook, also stated that the only change brought to the network is the introduction of the new modules, which actually put together different messages or different people. Messages have been displayed in chronological order since the beginning of the smartphone era.

The Facebook representative also claimed that there is more in store for Messenger: new modules will be progressively introduced to the app because people deserve an enriched messaging experience. The need for innovation is undeniable, especially in this field. It looks like you’re going to have to keep your eyes on your smartphones to see what the platform offers you next.

Facebook’s intent is apparently to revolutionize messaging communication, but will these new changes convince the public?

What do you think about the new update? Let us know in the comment section bellow.

 

Read More at Facebook Messenger App Gets A Brand New Look


Source: Web Design Ledger

Current Trends And Future Prospects Of The Mobile App Market




 


 

The mobile app market is growing faster than a beanstalk. The industry is huge and growing daily, and there is no end in sight. Expectedly, the mobile developer population has boomed, and the number of mobile apps in the market has hit new heights. The revenue generated by the global mobile app industry has skyrocketed.


Current Trends And Future Prospects Of The Mobile App Market

Hybrid monetization models, such as in-app ads and in-app purchases, are quickly gaining popularity in the business world. Most studies show that in-app advertising is set to be a key driver of mobile growth over the coming years (see Statista’s, IHS Markit’s and Forbes’s reports).


The post Current Trends And Future Prospects Of The Mobile App Market 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

UX Thoughts on Using Video as a Background

Using videos as background – a design trend that emerged a couple of years ago – continues to be the subject of much debate among designers.

On the one hand, it grabs the attention of online users who have very limited attention to begin with; able to run in the background without being intrusive; and gives site visitors more impetus to engage.

On the other hand, naysayers say this technique sacrifices usability in the name of aesthetic appeal. It is reminiscent of the time when GIFs and flash flooded homepages – a trend that would only look over-the-top and tacky in today’s standards.

I, however, believe that using videos as background adds a more dynamic, livelier dimension to its UX that would ultimately lead to longer engagement. That is, if and only if it is done properly. Let me delve into this further.

video background on Smith.com homepage
The video background on Smith‘s homepage.

Two Sides Of The Coin

There are merits to both sides, and it’s a matter of considering which one would weigh more in terms of the value it would give to your website.

Advantages of Video Backgrounds

Visually Appealing:

A video background stands out among a crowd of static homepages. Its first advantage then lies on its ability to attract more visitors and have them engage longer, thanks to its uniqueness.

With videos, your website gives the impression of being technologically forward, seeing as the design is not available everywhere. Putting your best foot forward in those vital few seconds upon landing on your page helps in earning your visitor’s trust – a crucial element in motivating them to further engage.

Conveys Complex Products/Services:

Some brands benefit from experiential marketing – that is, immersing the consumer in a positive emotional experience that they can associate with the brand.

Video backgrounds help achieve this. When a product or a service would benefit more from experiential marketing, video backgrounds work well in giving visitors front-row tickets in experiencing the brand’s message.

Moreover, complex products that would need more explaining can also use video backgrounds.

Keep in mind that visitors would prefer an informative video over informative text. A short, looping video on what your service is about or panning shots showing the ins and outs of your website are a couple of things you can do to easily present your product.

Boosts SEO:

If your video is cross-posted on several sharing platforms, it can boost the SEO value of your website. The more views your video rakes in, the more it helps increase your rankings on search engines, especially if your visitors find your video good enough to continue sharing it.

Adding a transcript that includes the right set of targeted keywords would also help search engines discover and read your video content better.

video background on standardfilms.tv homepage
The video background on Standard Film‘s homepage.

Disadvantages of Video Backgrounds

Slower Loading Time:

Videos, given the nature of the file format, tend to slow down the loading time of a webpage. Yes, there are ways to mitigate this effect by optimizing the video in a way that makes it perform faster (more on this later). However, as opposed to images, videos will always load slower.

The problem with this is that visitors tend to leave websites that do not load quickly. Remember, the attention spans of human beings are now shorter than that of a goldfish.

Not Mobile-Friendly:

Mobile browsers, be it on iOS or Android, do not automatically play videos. These operating systems have this feature blocked. Even if you set a trigger element that would play the video when users touch a particular area, it will still not be effective. This will come unexpected and users do not respond well to non-intuitive design.

Moreover, plenty of mobile users are still on limited data plans. When video plays, more bandwidth is used, thereby using more of their data. They will leave your website if they will only get these bad experiences.

Too Many Elements on the Page:

When you have a homepage with a background video that fills everything above the fold plus barely-decipherable text, visitors will have a difficult time getting your message.

Bigger is not always better, as too many elements will get distracting. Instead of catching their emotions and guiding them towards seeing what the brand has to offer, their attention will be more drawn to how confusing your website is.

video background on Hurtigruten homepage
The video background on Hurtigruten‘s homepage.

Video Backgrounds Done Right

Let me get this out there: Video backgrounds are not for everybody. If you simply want to follow a trend because it looks “cool” or it’s the “in thing,” then you are doing your clients and your site visitors a disservice.

But if after weighing the pros and cons and you still believe video backgrounds are for you, make sure that they do the following:

Aligns with Your Brand:

Remember that videos are the medium in which your brand will deliver its message and personality. Hence, its subject matter should support what the brand has to offer. For example, the color palette and tone of the video should be in keeping with the overall site theme and personality.

Performs Well:

Creating videos is a resource by itself. It will be a waste of it does not perform well. Here are a few things to look at:

  • High-quality – regardless of length or size of video, it should always be of high quality (i.e. content-wise). Site visitors will have no choice but to watch your video upon landing on your page; make sure it’s worth viewing.
  • Compress – a video that buffers breaks the experience for visitors. Also, it makes them feel like the website is loading slow. Try going for 720p video with 24 or 25 frames per second. Test your bitrates between 750k and 1250k.
  • Overlay – this can help remedy a lower-quality video or a high-quality video that is too big to stream seamlessly. Overlays can help disguise some imperfections, given the right color or pattern. Position the div directly after your video. You can also use the ::after pseudo-element. Make sure users can still right click on the video for controls.

Only Acts as a Background:

Video backgrounds are backgrounds. They are not the focal point of the website. Go for a subtler approach to limit user distraction.

  • Less movement – use smoother transitions that are not distracting to the eyes. Avoid fast panning or shaky filming.
  • Contrasting text colors – if you are going to place text over your video, increase its legibility by using the right color contrast or shadow. You can also tweak your video by decreasing its intensity.
  • Silent video – the easiest way to drive off visitors is to have sound on autoplay. Remove the audio or mute it.

Short with Limited Loop:

This is not a feature-length movie. Long videos mean more video to download and slower loading time – two things users hate experiencing.

Limit your videos to 10 to 15 seconds. At most, 30-40 seconds. Ideal size would be under 6MB. If you do not have the resources to shoot videos in-house, you can find stock footages online that loop seamlessly.

Loops should not be infinite. This only eats up CPU usage of your user and again, slow down your site’s loading time. If you have a longer video, remove the loop option and let it play once. For shorter videos, write some JavaScript that would stop the loop after a certain amount of time.

Considers Mobile Users:

Keep in mind that 56% of online traffic comes from mobile users. Even though mobile browsers do not play video, you still have to cater to this audience. Currently, there is no workaround this, so the fallback plan is to simply disable video background on mobile and replace it with a background image.

Like I mentioned above, using video backgrounds is not for everyone. Even if you do think your website would benefit from this, you still have to be sure that you can do it right. To make sure you’re doing it right, always do split testing before rolling it out to the entire site – design alternate pages, promote, and observe how users respond. When done well, you can be sure to reap the rewards.

The post UX Thoughts on Using Video as a Background appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


Source: Speckyboy

The Personal Process of Choosing the Right Design Tool

Every chef has their favorite tool. Mine happens to be a wooden spoon I’ve had since forever. I call it “Suzie” (because I’m a weirdo). Some people actually keep their wooden spoons in the family for generations – talk about a collector’s item!

Today, I’m going to share some tips on how the tools you select as a designer can help improve your creative process, and aid you in creating work you can really stand behind.

You’ve Gotta Have Standards

Do you know why so many chefs and cooks prefer wood over other materials? Well, it’s much the same reason many designers prefer Macs and software by Adobe: it’s the industry standard and using it makes your life easier in more ways than one.

Now before you say it, I know there are plenty of professional designers who are perfectly happy running Gimp or other non-standard software on a PC or Linux computer. And their work is just as awesome and up to par as any “Mac person’s.” But, for many designers, the benefits of having a standardized way to communicate with clients, other designers, and/or other departments outweigh the little idiosyncratic advantages of marching to your own drum.

wooden cutlery selection

Something else to remember – which might seem insignificant at first, but bear with me – is that you have to consider the technological “culture” into which you’ll be entering as a designer. This applies a bit more to in-house designers than freelancers, although freelancers working for a long-term client may experience the same thing.

My last in-house job was in a PC environment, and there was quite a strong anti-Mac sentiment among my peers. They “tolerated” me propping up my MacBook Pro on my desk alongside the office PC, but they definitely made their feelings clear. I thought it was funny, but a more sensitive person might have gotten their feelings hurt.

People can get mighty serious about their tools. And, as many of you out there have probably noticed, it can get ugly if you’re not careful. If you are totally in love with your tools and wouldn’t consider changing them for the world, by all means stick with them.

But if your peers or clients have a different opinion, be prepared to put up with a lot of their ranting and raving. And preaching and lecturing. And complaining and… yeah. You get the idea.

The Forest For the Trees

Nothing makes you feel like a “Real Chef” like gripping the handle of a huge, weighty, wooden spoon. It may seem a bit cliché, but I encourage you to try it the next time you’re in the kitchen. You can thank me later. Cooking enthusiasts, like designers, can get pretty hardcore about their wooden spoon choices.

Some people look for spoons that can handle stirring all the ingredients in the pot with ease. Others look for good scraping ability – the ability to remove food off the bottom of the pot so it doesn’t get stuck. And of course, you have to have a spoon you can use to taste your food while it’s cooking.

wooden cutlery selection

The debate on which wooden spoons handle all three of these tasks the best is endless, fierce, and sometimes a little scary. But enough about that. Consider your own tools as a designer. If you’re a pro, or aspiring to be, odds are decent that you use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, or a combination of all three. Why do you use these programs? Well, like I said, they are the industry standard. Being able to communicate ideas in a standard format across different people’s systems is an extremely valuable asset.

But there are other factors to consider as well. Believe it or not, some professional designers get by just fine using software that competes with Adobe on factors like price, interface preferences, and software size and speed. As powerful as a program like Photoshop or Illustrator may be, a lot of times you just don’t need all that power.

Some designers might actually be better off trimming down to something sleeker and less clunky. I’m an Adobe user myself, but, well…sometimes, for certain projects, Sketch does the job just fine. I’m totally serious.

Beyond The Pale

Alternatives to Adobe software are plentiful, and they are used every day by pro designers. Some are free and open-source, others are web-based, and others may have a simpler or more familiar interface. Again, there are many reasons a designer might choose a non-standard tool, many of which may not be immediately obvious.

Web-based software might be perfect for frequent travelers, for example, while a more familiar interface might increase a designer’s speed tenfold. If you happen to be in the market for alternative software, do your research and figure out what your number one priorities are.

Now Leaving Digitopolis

But wait! Computers may be the fastest and most efficient tool to use, especially in the world of web design, but you know what? Sometimes you don’t want to be fast and efficient. Sometimes you want to let a design simmer slowly over a low fire, stirring it occasionally with your spoon until all the flavors meld together in an exploding cacophony of deliciousness.

What I mean with all the food metaphors (besides the fact that I might just be really hungry) is, perhaps you’re one of those designers who think better off the computer than on it. Computer screens are made up of billions of little glowing pixels, and staring at one for hours on end can be draining on not just your eyes, but your creativity as well. Paper and other non-digital surfaces don’t have that problem.

There are plenty of designers – yes, even web designers – who take the hand-crafted approach to assembling their work. Paper, cloth, yarn, and yes, even food, can be used as tools in your design arsenal. Canadian designer Marian Bantjes, for example, continues to create a stir with her unique designs that feature sugar, tinfoil, fake fur, glitter, flowers, and other unconventional materials.

wooden cutlery selection

Choose Your Weapon

Remember, choosing the right tools, just like choosing the right wooden spoon in the kitchen, is a completely personal process. You can listen to someone else rave about the wonders of one tool versus another, but at the end of the day, it’s just a tool.

The decision is yours and yours alone, and a tool can only go so far in helping you with your working process. It can’t create the work for you, nor can it improve any weaknesses you have in terms of technical skill or design sensibility.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with eschewing the computer, even if it’s only for a little while, in favor of a more experimental approach. The great thing about experimenting is that you can take bits and pieces of the stuff that worked and add it to your regular design process to put a new spin on things.

So, if you really want to play around with paper and scissors and glue for your next project, go for it. As long as you solve the problem put in front of you by your client, it won’t matter how you got there. Your client will most likely be impressed by your individuality and willingness to take risks, which, if you play your cards right, could lead to more challenging and higher-paying work in the future.

So dig around in the toolbox. Try them all. See what works best for you, and what will become your own personal “wooden spoon” standard for finding solutions to design problems.

For the record, though, a heavy, olive-wood spoon with a long handle and a rounded bowl (not too large) is as close to cooking tool heaven as you can get. According to this cook, that is. Bon appétit!

What Do You Think?

Do you have an opinion on tools and which work best for you? Or, y’know, which wooden spoon you like? Either way…

The post The Personal Process of Choosing the Right Design Tool appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


Source: Speckyboy

Weekly News for Designers (N.373)

This is our popular weekly design news post where we share our favorite design related articles, resources and freebies from the past week.

You can sign-up to our awesome weekly newsletter or follow us on Twitter for some more amazing design articles, resources and freebies.

New Resources & Tools

Propeller – A front-end responsive framework based on Google’s Material Design Standards & Bootstrap.
Propeller

WebGradients – A free collection of 180 linear gradients that you can use as content backdrops in any part of your website.
WebGradients

Graaf – Pure CSS grid overlays for designing. Just link the CSS that fits your grid or create your custom overlay.
Graaf

Rythm.js – A javascript library that makes your page dance.
Rythm.js

HTML Reference – A free guide to HTML. It features all elements and attributes.
HTML Reference

speakemoji – A free collection of 48 alternative emoji icons.
speakemoji

The HTML5 Robot – Let the robot choose what semantic tag is right for your HTML5 element.
The HTML5 Robot

Lighthouse – Analyzes web apps and web pages, collecting modern performance metrics and insights on developer best practices. Requires Chrome 56 or later.
Lighthouse

Angled Edges – A Sass mixin for creating angled edges on sections by dynamically encoding SVGs.
Angled Edges

Learning Guides, Tutorials & Tips

Discovering Resilient Web Design with Jeremy Keith By Eric Karkovack
Discovering Resilient Web Design with Jeremy Keith

How to Combine Icons from Different Sets in Your UI By Andrew Burmistrov
How to Combine Icons from Different Sets in Your UI

2017 Design Trends Guide By Loredana Papp-Dinea and Mihai Baldean
2017 Design Trends Guide

HTML & CSS Is Hard (But it doesn’t have to be) By Oliver James
HTML & CSS Is Hard (But it doesn’t have to be)

UX Design

5 techniques for fine-tuning UX with color By Paula Borowska
5 techniques for fine-tuning UX with color

Excercise Caution When Using These Web Design Trends By Stephen Moyers
Excercise Caution When Using These Web Design Trends

Free UI Resources

15 Free Photoshop & Sketch Admin Dashboard UI Templates By Paul Andrew
15 Free Photoshop & Sketch Admin Dashboard UI Templates

15 Free Gesture and Interaction Icon Sets for Mobile App Designers By Paul Andrew
15 Free Gesture and Interaction Icon Sets for Mobile App Designers

Free iOS User Flows for Sketch & Adobe XD By STRV
Free iOS User Flows for Sketch & Adobe XD

…and finally…

CSS 3D Solar System By Captain Anonymous
CSS 3D Solar System

The post Weekly News for Designers (N.373) appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


Source: Speckyboy

15 Free Photoshop & Sketch Admin Dashboard UI Templates

In recent years, much has changed in the way web users interact with dashboard data and complete simple backend tasks. Layouts are more spacious and mobile-friendly, colors are simpler, typography is highly-readable, interactive charts make data much easier to digest, and advancements in technology have made completing tasks much quicker.

The admin panels of 2017 are setting a high usability standard and raising the bar in creative interaction design.

If you’re looking for HTML and CSS dashboard templates, you might like to take a look at these Bootstrap-powered Dashboard templates. Or, if you’re looking for some admin panel design inspiration, try this post. But if you’re looking for dashboard templates in PSD or Sketch formats, then stick around, this is the collection for you!

All of the below dashboard templates are free to download and use (check the license, though, they do sometimes change), and are available in either Photoshop or Sketch formats. Hopefully, they will give you some fresh ideas for your own designs.

Buvud eCommerce Dashboard UI/UX Kit (Photoshop PSD) Designed by Anton Kalik

Buvud eCommerce Dashboard UI/UX Kit psd photoshop

Flat Course Admin Dashboard (Skectch) Designed by Hoang Nguyen

free template Flat Course Admin Dashboard sketch

Kavina Dashboard Analytics Template (Photoshop PSD) Designed by Septiandika Pratama

free admin dashboard template psd photoshop Kavina Analytics

UInugge Dashboard Design (Photoshop PSD)

free admin dashboard template psd photoshop UInugge

Admin Dashboard Free Template (Photoshop PSD) Designed by Aaron Sananes

Admin Dashboard Free Template psd

ThemePanda Responsive Dashboard Design (Photoshop PSD) Designed by Raaz Das

ThemePanda Responsive Dashboard Design psd photoshop

Smart Admin Dashboard UI (Photoshop PSD) Designed by Mushfiq

Smart Admin Dashboard UI psd

Dashboard Freebie (Sketch App) Designed by Ante Matijaca

Dashboard Freebie sketch template

Morph-UI Flat Dashboard UI Kit (PNG & Photoshop PSD) Designed by Morphosis

Morph-UI Flat Dashboard UI Kit free png psd

Analytics Dashboard UI Kit (Photoshop PSD) Designed by Balkan Brothers

Analytics Dashboard UI Kit free template

Admin Dashboard UI Freebie (Photoshop PSD & Sketch App) Designed by Sergiu Firez

Admin Dashboard UI Freebie template

Clean Dashboard (Sketch App) Designed by Padam Boora

Clean Dashboard template freebie

Data Analytics Dasboard (Sketch App) Designed by Tonda Kus

Data Analytics Dasboard template skecth free

eCommerce Dashboard Admin (Photoshop PSD) Designed by Bagus Fikri

eCommerce Dashboard Admin free template psd photoshop

Dribbble Stats Dashboard (Photoshop Photoshop PSD) Designed by Dany Rizky

Dribbble Stats Dashboard psd free photoshop

Merkury Dashboard Template (Photoshop PSD) Designed by Symu

Merkury Dashboard Template freebie web admin photoshop psd

FokiraDash Dashboard UI Template (Photoshop PSD) Designed by Eftakher Alam

FokiraDash Dashboard UI Template admin psd photoshop

Dashboard UI Elements (Photoshop PSD) Designed by Craftwork

Dashboard UI Elements psd admin

Free Dashboard (Photoshop PSD) Designed by Malte Westedt

Free Dashboard template admin psd photoshop

The post 15 Free Photoshop & Sketch Admin Dashboard UI Templates appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


Source: Speckyboy

The Art of Dealing With a Panicky Design Client

Everyone has had the kind of clients that you wish you could punch – the scope creepers, the micromanagers, the non-payers. It’s very aggravating, but it is a long-established part of being a freelancer. But there’s a certain kind of client in particular who is as much a danger to him or herself as they are to you.

I’m talking, of course, about the panicky clients; the clients who see everything as the most urgent emergency ever. The ones who call you 20 times at 2 AM with “urgent” messages and tasks that for some mysterious reason can’t wait until a decent hour.

We’re going to address these panickers and go over some ways to deal with them that will not only de-escalate their panic, but even bring them around to your point of view and make them more respectful clients for the next designer they work with. I know it seems impossible, but with a little bit of work on your part, it’s totally doable.

The Root Of The Panic

When dealing with freelancers, it’s natural to be a bit nervous. If you’re dealing with an excessively panicky client, however, there’s usually something else going on. Get in their heads and figure out what’s really bothering them. It’s rarely the work itself – usually the client has some reason to fear that they’re not getting the full value from you that they’re paying for. Alleviate their fears by providing regular status updates.

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If a client is persistent in contacting you about trivial things, you can subtly give them a clue that they’re being obnoxious. How? Simply direct the client to a Google doc containing your most recent updates every time they bug you. If you do this enough times, with no harsh words or complaints, most people will eventually get the hint and stop bothering you.

Is It Really An Emergency?

Everything can’t be an emergency. Your client has to understand that there must be a hierarchy maintained of most important to least important tasks if you are to get any work done. If it seems like everything is an “emergency” or “urgent” to your client, don’t be afraid to pull out your schedule and directly ask them what they want you to knock off your priority list. No client is going to say ‘oh, this really important thing isn’t as important as this silly thing I came up with just now.’

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If something truly is that important to your client, he or she will likely give you enough of a warning beforehand and send the signal that it’s definitely something you need to take seriously. And if there is no time for a warning, you can use your best judgement to determine whether the task will directly impact the deadline for your work and advise your client on the best course to take.

Time Is Money

Let your client know there is a real cost to micromanagement and false alarms. Give them hard data as to how much their overzealousness is costing them. If, for example, I spend X amount of time doing status updates for a client, you can be sure I’m going to point that out to them.

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Many people don’t realize how much time it takes for you to respond to their requests, either because they forget they’re paying by the hour or because they’re simply caught up with other things.

Avoid Pointless Busy Work

Sometimes, especially with a long-term project, clients get a bit unfocused and start seeing you as everything from a butler to a personal assistant to a grade school arts and crafts instructor. They’ll ask you to fetch their dog from the vet, or glue rhinestones on the wedding invitations you received from the printer, or some other silly task that isn’t remotely in your job description.

You can gently remind them that you are there to do serious work that requires the use of your unique, high-level skills by subtly listing your “rates” for these little requests. If the price is disproportionate enough (“sure, I’ll walk your pet guinea pig – it’ll only cost you $500”), they’ll slowly get the hint that you probably aren’t the person who should be doing those kinds of things.

Always Keep A Record

When dealing with clients who want to waste your time with trivial, unimportant work, it’s important to be ultra detailed in your communication records. Why? Because these clients can get so caught up in their own neurotic freak-outs that they conveniently forget that every silly thing they ask you to do is going to be tacked onto their bill. This can end badly when it’s time to send that invoice. Get sign-offs on a regular basis – make sure the client is well aware that these little diversions are costing them real money.

If you have to, ask your client to confirm that they received your emails warning them whenever they swerved too far into the crazy lane. Then, when there’s a dispute (and there usually is), you can simply pull out your notes – with their responses displayed prominently – and remind them that they signed off on it earlier. If you want to be extra smug, you can ask them if they have any concerns about your records, or if they’ve noticed a discrepancy. Of course there won’t be any discrepancies. You meanie.

In Conclusion

I’m in no way suggesting that you should avoid clients who worry about the finished product they receive from you. This is usually preferable to having a client who simply doesn’t care either way, as at least you know that your work will be appreciated and looked over with a critical eye.

By following the above tips, you can help keep most clients from fluctuating too widely and turning simple concern into full-blown panic.

The post The Art of Dealing With a Panicky Design Client appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


Source: Speckyboy

Web Development Reading List #170: Hamburger Alternatives, Libsodium In PHP And Choosing Profit




 


 

As web developers, we need to rely on our knowledge, and choosing solutions we’re already familiar with is often the most convenient approach to solving a problem. However, not only technology is evolving but also our knowledge of how to use it.

For a while, we thought it’s best to use base64 encoding for inlining assets into CSS files, for example, and that loading JavaScript asynchronously will make websites faster. With more evidence and research, however, we came to realize that we were wrong. We should take this as an occasion to remind ourselves to question our habits and from now on ask ourselves if the solution we have in mind for a given problem really is still the best one we could choose.

The post Web Development Reading List #170: Hamburger Alternatives, Libsodium In PHP And Choosing Profit appeared first on Smashing Magazine.


Source: Smashing Magazine