A Few Self Motivating Tips for Web Designers

Every web designer faces a situation in his life when it feels as if all his creativity has become stagnant and no new ideas or designs will click. This loss of inspiration happens when you are not surrounded by a learning and inspirational community. When your workflow decreases, you need to bring some changes in your life to rekindle the flame of creativity. To counteract the situation, you need to go further, study new things, and implement new work routines. Here are a few tips that will improve your work culture and bring back the creative spark.

Read Tutorials Regularly

Tutorials are the best mediums to learn new things. Tutorials increase your knowledge and keep you motivated. A good web designer should have enough knowledge in every area of web design and there are several online sources available from where you can get high quality tutorials for free.

Get Inspired From Famous Designs

Every designer has his own favorite website design and you should try to remake your favorite design layouts, icons, effects, etc. Recreating something is a good way to learn new things as you crave to reach that level and give your best effort. If you can not recreate the desired effect or design, then ask for help to the online designer community. There is also plethora of great Photoshop to HTML tutorials available online which can help you to discover how these effects and functionalities are designed.

Refresh Your Workspace

Sometimes redecorating the workspace can bring in a lot of positive energy. The monotonous environment can affect your creative spirit and small changes like different position of your monitor, or sticking a poster on your wall can lighten up the whole environment.

Read Books And Magazines

There are hundreds of great books on web designing available in the market. Some designers may think that book reading is outdated and nerdy, but books and magazines are actually quite helpful to learn new design trends and techniques. The tutorials and articles will increase your knowledge and you will be aware of the latest developments in designing happening around the world. Reading interview is a good habit because you learn new things from the best in the industry.

Be Socially Active

Social networks are there for a purpose. It’s not just for chatting and photo sharing but for joining communities that can help you learn something. There are many good designer communities that can keep your knowledge updated. Besides online communication build offline relationships. Try to attend conferences, events, workshops regularly to meet new designers and learn their new ideas. In those seminars you might also meet the potential clients.

Put Your Thoughts On Paper

To organize your work and to give your creative ideas proper shape try to write down the main points and a basic design before starting web design. It can improve the work style and make your approach more professional.

Read Blogs

There are some very resourceful blogs for website designers where you can learn new tricks of web design. Various authors contribute in such sites and they write on a variety of topics. It’s an ideal way to stay updated. If you have any questions regarding designs then you can post them in those blogs and get the answer from a veteran.

Use A Planner

To keep your work and life organized, use any software you like but make sure that you have a proper plan of works to do before you start the week. It helps you to set a goal and reach it comfortably.

Experiment With New Software

Web design is a very dynamic arena of work. Learn about new designing software. Every web designer must remain updated, motivated and eager to learn so that his creative designs never stop flowing in the virtual world.

Editor’s Note: The above article is a guest post by Carol Brown with WebGuru India, a pioneer in the field of website design since 2005. Carol has written and published numerous articles on web design, graphic design, web development, SEO and internet marketing.


XHTML...this

A quick announcement we’re happy to make. Today we acquired a stake in XHTMLthis, a company that’s busy turning PSDs into WordPress templates. Our team can convert your designs into high quality CSS / XHTML that loads faster, ranks higher in search engines & works great with all browsers.

How does it work?

– You send us your web design in psd, png, or another format
– We’ll convert your design to xhtml / css in 1 or 2 business days.
– We’ll send the xhtml, css, sliced images, and any other necessary files back to you.

For those in the market for beautiful markup services we hope you’ll head on over to XHTMLthis now for a free estimate.


Two Tips Of The Hat

Not one, but two tips of the hat to Andrew Houle over at myinkblog.com for his article titled 4 Principles of Good Design for Websites. In his article, Andrew features some of the work we’ve turned out here recently at ten24 Media.

4 principles of good web design

This website is featured for its strong use of repetitive design elements which Andrew explains “help create a consistent look and improve branding”. Instabox, a ten24 client project, was featured for its great contrast.

Be sure to check out 4 Principles of Good Design for Websites for some more great examples of web design.


Tool Time: A New Design Inspiration Gallery

Has the thought of visiting dozens of design galleries got you down? Are you tired of seeing the same designs in all the different spots? That makes three of us. Enter our latest tool, the Elite CSS Gallery.

csselite gallery

The idea is simple….design inspiration collected from the best CSS galleries on the Web and presented in one spot (less the duplicates of course). Another handy little tool courtesy of laziness!


We Love Hockey...Rumors!

Like most Canadians, we get pretty darn excited right around the NHL trade deadline. Rumors are flying this time of year and we get itchy for a blockbuster deal.

But which rumors have any substance to them? Which trades might actually go down? Enter the new hockey rumor democracy, Hockey Rumors .ca. It’s a quick little app we whipped up to keep track of all the juicy off-ice gossip and let you, the hockey fan, bet on the outcome.

hockey rumors screen

The site is still pretty rough around the edges but the NHL trade deadline is less than a week away so we decided to let this one hit the web a bit early. As always, high-5 for any suggestions.


Smashing!

Smashing Magazine has to be one of our favorite publications online, and now, thanks to a recent article, our love has grown ever stronger.

Why is that you ask? Well, we’re tickled that Smashing has chosen the illustration on our very own homepage as one of “40 Excellent Illustrations In Web Designs”.

1024 illustration

“A beautiful yet simple illustration that looks excellent against the brown background.”

A nod from Smashing makes us all warm inside. Thanks!


Latest Launch: Instabox.com

We’ve got a great new site to tell you about. It’s www.instabox.com.

Instabox has been manufacturing high-end, custom boxes and packaging for over 30 years. Their 10 year web presence has been a large success but the site had become dated and difficult to navigate. A re-invention of the brand was in order.

isntabox new site screenshot

We believe the new Instabox is cleaner, less cluttered, and makes more effective use of white space.

Special thanks to Instabox for the opportunity to work with a great company and a hat tip to Petar, Panda & Alex for your hard work on the project. The Instabox redevelopment is one we’re proud of!


How To Send Large Files Online

Simple, easy and free ways to send large files online:

Gmail

It’s an email service, but it’s good. Gmail recently upped the maximum attachment size from 10 to 20 MB.
Registration: Required
Cost: Free
Max. file size: 20 MB

Drop Send

Ryan Carson’s app. Nice user interface to organize your files. Kind of like an online hard drive.
Registration: Required
Cost: Free (paid plans available)
Max. file size: 1 GB

Senduit

Squeaky clean Senduit is darn simple. You upload large files and Senduit stays out of your way.
Registration: Not required
Cost: Free
Max. file size: 100 MB

You Send It

A very capable little app with lots of paid options like secure downloads and return reciepts.
Registration: Not required
Cost: Free (paid plans available)
Max. file size: 100 MB

Mail Big File

So simple my grandma could do it. Really. Free sending of files to 1 recipient. Up to 100 MB.
Registration: Not required
Cost: Free (paid plans available)
Max. file size: 100 MB

Send Space

Upload via the web interface or using the desktop wizard application. Upload multiple file at once.
Registration: Not required
Cost: Free (paid plans available)
Max. file size: 300 MB

zUpload

Registration: Not required
Cost: Free
Max. file size: 500 MB

Media Max

Registration: Required
Cost: Free (paid plans available)
Max. file size: 10 MB

Mega Upload

Registration: Not required
Cost: Free (paid plans available)
Max. file size: 500 MB

Bit Road

Registration: Not required
Cost: Free
Max. file size: Unlimited

Media Fire

Registration: Not required
Cost: Free
Max. file size: 100 MB

Transfer Big Files

Registration: Not required
Cost: Free
Max. file size: 1 GB

Aruna Send

Registration: Not required
Cost: Free
Max. file size: 100 MB

BigFilez

Registration: Not required
Cost: Free (paid plans available)
Max. file size: 200 MB

Big Upload

Registration: Not required
Cost: Free (paid plans available)
Max. file size: 50 MB

Box Cloud

Registration: Required
Cost: Free (paid plans available)
Max. file size: Unlimited

Driveway

Registration: Not required
Cost: Free (paid plans available)
Max. file size: 500 MB

File Factory

Registration: Not required
Cost: Free (paid plans available)
Max. file size: 500 MB

Just Up It

Registration: Not required
Cost: Free
Max. file size: 170 MB

Leap File

Registration: Required
Cost: Paid plans
Max. file size: 2 GB

localhostr

Registration: Required
Cost: Free
Max. file size: 50 MB

Move Digital

Registration: Required
Cost: Paid plans
Max. file size: 1 GB

Panda File

Registration: Not required
Cost: Free
Max. file size: Unlimited


Google's SEO Starter Guide

In response to the oft-asked question “What are some simple ways that I can improve my website’s performance in Google?”, Google has released a brief guide that lists what they consider some of the best practices for improving your websites’ crawlability and indexing.

Definitely worth a read. You can Download the guide here. [PDF]


Our Favorite Spam Recipes

Hungry for a handful of the tastiest SPAM® recipes? Not the type that would actually be useful and help you fight against web spam, but…actual SPAM recipes. You know…the canned ham we’ve all grown to love.

We geeks love this stuff. So…we’ve decided to share some of our favorites.
Visit Spam Recipes .net for your fill.

Enjoy!