Month: September 2016

Designer Tips: How to Tell a Story Through Web Design

The best way to communicate a company’s mission to it’s market is by being able to convey their mission to the public to capture them. A website is like a movie, people will come see the actors, but people will stay for the story.

Here are some ways you can captivate an audience through web design.

Deliver an emotional punch first. 
Emotion is pretty much everything in marketing. The average person makes choices based on how they feel. Capture them by providing them a glimpse of the company’s vision. For example, a brewery’s mission might be to turn people’s bad days into good times. Visually deliver that “drive to happiness” feeling on the homepage of that website.

Here is the homepage for Yacht Albatros. How does this make you feel? Relaxed? Invited? Their mission is to free you from where you are and bring you to a classical trip across the ocean. This is a great way to capture the audience to guide them through their vision.

Answer the frequently asked questions right away. 
When designing a website, a designer must come up with reasons as to why a user is on the site to begin with. This is important because you want the viewer’s experience to be smooth as possible. Avoid having the user to click through the site to find the store menu or hours of operation. Otherwise, the user is just simply using the site, not interacting with it.

Direct the flow of the story.
This is where your knowledge as a web designer needs to be reflected. Color psychology, typography,  and layout can be an interesting way to direct the interaction flow. Again, you should be able to guide the user through the website without them having to interrupt this flow to find what they are looking for. Guide them to it.

Limit the text.
Just because your job is to tell the company’s story through a web design does not mean you have to literally write it all out. Looking at visuals is 10x quicker and more effective than reading text, and text is boring anyway. I am sure you as a designer probably already know that.

Leave ’em Hangin’.
Once you have an effective story told through your design, you should really focus on how to deliver the Call to Action. This is important because although you want your story told, you don’t want to make it seem like it concludes before the Call to Action. The biggest thing you need to remember is that Call to Action’s job is to unveil the rest of that story. A story that now involves the user, and allows everyone to be happy.

Guide to Building a Top UI Design Portfolio

Thoughts on Software design and development

Writer’s Note: This is the 2nd of a series of portfolio guides that aims to help those among our readers with the skill set that is featured.

Before We Begin

Professionals who work in the creative industry need portfolios to showcase their skills to attract clients and peers. Once upon a time this was solved by creating stunning printed pieces. However, no matter how you look at it, times have changed and designers are no longer just designers. We’ve got different specialties that cover many different fields within design. It’s important that you identify your strengths before starting to build your own portfolio.

Today we will cover all the bases that lead to the creation of an amazing User Interface Portfolio, so if this happens to be your specialization, keep reading!

Quality and Quantity

Take the creation of your portfolio as any other important project you would work on…

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Designer Tips: How to Stand Out as a Freelance Graphic Designer


In a world where everyone in your industry is competing for competition and work, it is very difficult to rack in business for yourself. When starting out, it is hard to convince people that they should pick you as their designer for the job at hand. Surely, one of the answers you get when the question “How do you get those clients?” is asked is that you have to stand out of the competition. The good news is you do not have to be as “super creative” as you think.

Specialize in a niche
Out of all the freelancers fighting for clients, very few are actually doing this. Many designers think that the more skills they have to service people, the more likely they are able to get these jobs. The truth is, if you specialize in a skill such as web design, or just video, or infographics, you are actually more likely to win the hearts of clients. Clients are generally looking for someone to do a particular task and are therefore looking for someone who specializes in achieving that task. Someone who is needing a motion graphics video is more likely going to hire a video only designer rather than hiring someone who has video skills along with ten other skills as advertised. Pick a particular skill, and blow it up as your main strength. You’d be surprised by how many emails you get from people needing that particular skill.

Declare your mission as a designer
What do you hope to achieve when you are helping people with their problem? Are you designing to help tell the story of the business you are helping? Do you love helping companies “refresh” their looks? Designers claim that they love what they do in terms of design, but that does not mean anything to other businesses if you do not have a goal in mind as a designer. Most designers design to make things look pretty. Stand out by stating your main goal as a designer. Why do you design for other people?

Connect with people personally and emotionally
Your best clients are going to be the ones that you deeply care about. Freelancers typically spam others business cards, and loves to talk to prospects about themselves and their arsenal of skills and being “sales-y”. There is nothing wrong with being a salesman, but keep in mind, you are not the first person to pitch your design services. Connect with business owners on a personal level, be nice to your local business owners, or talk about your similar interests. When they casually find out what you do, trust me, work will come.

Help fellow freelancers
Something that took me awhile to grasp when starting out, is helping out other freelancers who are either rising or experienced. New or struggling freelancers are too busy trying to get ahead of one another in getting their clients. Very few help others, whether it is referrals or giving simple business tips. You would be surprised by how many people will send work your way just because you helped them with social media or design.