All posts tagged “Common”

Six Common Freelancing Myths


Just as the freelance industry is exploding with undiscovered, talented (and some not so talented) people, the myths that come with it are thriving as well. It’s funny how I even get to hear opposite views about this profession. While Nancy believes freelancers make tons of money in no time, Drew says that they are barely able to pay their bills and taxes. Jennifer claims that you have all the time on your hands, but then Ross said that the work and stress never ends. Who to believe?

Well, as an experienced freelancer, I believe I have the ability to put those myths to rest once and for all. First, imagine yourself on a stranded island with zero people. Will you die and become a tasty meatloaf for the animals in the jungle? Or, will you have that Robinson Crusoe survival instinct that will allow you to go through every thick and thin to make your way to your destination?


Image Source: The Word Freelance on Wood Stamp via Shutterstock.

You’ll Make Tons Of Money — Fast

True! You may be able to make tons of money fast in any job, but usually that’s not-so-legal (Hush!) work. Freelance won’t give you the big bucks immediately. You have to invest in a lot of your time and effort before that can be happened. Like any other profession you have to build a portfolio.

That means you’ll need plenty of experience, immense skill-set, and some negotiation skills to deal with clients before you start making the big bucks. There is no easy way to go up the ladder. How long it takes you to climb, is entirely up to your determination and the amount of effort and time you invest.

You Get To Be Your Own Boss

While it’s not advisable to have an “employee” mindset when you’re a freelancer, there will definitely be someone you will be working for (and in fact be their employee). The client, who is paying you, will get to make certain choices of his own that you’ll have to adhere to if you’re in the game. Freelancing is a two-way relationship. In order to get the reviews and feedback you want, you’ll have to listen to care for — your clients.

That doesn’t have to mean you are their boss or that they are yours. It just means that there will always be someone you are working with whose requests will have to be taken care of.


Image Source: Creative Man Dreaming via Shutterstock.

However, in the beginning I mentioned that having that “employee” mindset is not advisable. The old-fashioned autocratic style where one says “You do this!” and the other says “Ok, boss”, is the wrong approach. Think creatively and innovatively, and give yourself the freedom to present your own ideas whenever you can. Also, make sure you set limits to how much someone can ask from you. Maybe, the compensation they offer doesn’t worth your time and effort.

I Am An Introvert And I Only Get To Embrace My Loneliness

Agreed, this is a field that attracts most introverts and they love it! However, just like any other job, you have to attain a certain amount of work-social life balance to climb up the ladder. I don’t mean hanging out with your family or your significant-other (unless of course they know a lot of useful people). I mean, you have to network a little to open more windows of opportunities.

Whether you are connecting with prospective clients or just hanging out with someone having experience and expertise, being out there in the world is necessary for any kind of profession.

They’ll Be Paying You Pennies For The Work You Do

This contradicts with the first myth. Neither the first and nor this myth is true. Again, this is something that depends on your own intellect and negotiation skills.

Now, go back to the island and try to imagine where you’ll find food. The coconut tree will be a great option and an easy one. You can just keep batting the branches and a few will drop. It will certainly be a good start, but what about later on when you get bored and it eventually fails to quench your hunger for other nutrients? You’ll need to go hunting for a meatier prize that lasts longer. Sure, it will take some time to develop the hunting skills before you go bustling through the leaves for that animal. But when you’re finally ready, you can strike the bow without worrying about being eaten first.

The initial $ 2.5 is good to build a profile. However, in time when you have built your own value and reputation, you’ll be able to get clients that are willing to pay you more for what you do with bigger projects and more time before they finish.

It Is A Stress-Free Job, Unlike Others

Oh no, this one definitely isn’t true. Just because you have some flexibility doesn’t mean you’ll live a stress-free life. In fact, freelancing involves many other stressors that other job’s don’t have. For example, although you get to choose the job you want to do and get hired or fired without a worry about finding more projects, fishing through tons of JDs and applying is stressful on its own.


Image Source: Under Pressure via Shutterstock.

Or, the fact that you have flexible timings doesn’t help to reduce the stress when you have to submit a design project without an excuse about “not being at the office”. The communication gap between a client on the other side of the world can be a cause of stress too, at times, which other 9-5-ers don’t have to deal with.

Freelancing Is For Those Who Can’t Find A Job

Not true! Many freelancers are in for the gig by choice. Some of them have a passion to “write” unlike the traditional journalism style and just want to put that passion to action. Work-life balance is another major reason why freelancers jump into this field. Moreover, there are some really successful people in the field who possess a horde of talent and manage their freelance projects or consultancies along with a 9-5 job.

Concluding

So, next time you hear a Nancy, or Drew, or Jennifer, or Ross talk about freelance, be forewarned! They don’t know what they are talking about. It’s not until you become a freelancer yourself that you can make judgments and give advice on it. What you use and how you use it, to make the best of what’s on that island, is entirely up to you!


The post Six Common Freelancing Myths appeared first on Speckyboy Web Design Magazine.


Speckyboy Web Design Magazine

9 common mistakes in content marketing

Read more about 9 common mistakes in content marketing at CreativeBloq.com


Tony Randall By now most internet marketers are familiar with the phrase “Content is King” but this really is nothing new. It always has been king and it always will be.




Creative Bloq

5 common design mishaps… and how to avoid them

Read more about 5 common design mishaps… and how to avoid them at CreativeBloq.com


Image courtesy of Nick Webb; www.flickr.com/photos/nickwebb/ Want to have a long career as a designer? It doesn’t matter how advanced your software skills, or how keen your artistic eye: some things can take even the best designs from great to subpar.




Creative Bloq

32 Posters That Debunk Common UX Misconceptions


You may have heard of UX Myths from user-experience designer Zoltán Gócza. It’s basically a collection of 32 (now up to 33!) common web design user experience misconceptions that are systematically debunked using detailed data, deeply researched facts, and backed up and validated by quotes and resources from some well-known UX experts. We’re huge fans of the site and you should really check out if you haven’t already done so.

Anyway, Italian designer Alessandro Giammaria, from design agency That’s Com, is also a huge fan of UX Myths, and has created a beautiful collection of typographical posters that represent each and everyone of the myths. And the best thing of all? You can freely download all of them here. Before you download the posters you might like to have a look at all of them below.

The UX Myths Poster Series from Alessandro Giammaria

Myth 32: Success happens overnight

Myth 32: Success happens overnight

Myth 31: UX design is a step in a project

Myth 31: UX design is a step in a project

Myth 30: If you are an expert, you don’t need to test your design

Myth 30: If you are an expert, you don’t need to test your design

Myth 29: People are rational

Myth 29: People are rational

Myth 28: White space is wasted space

Myth 28: White space is wasted space

Myth 27: UX design is about usability

Myth 27: UX design is about usability

Myth 26: Usability testing = focus groups

Myth 26: Usability testing = focus groups

Myth 25: Aesthetics are not important if you have good usability

Myth 25: Aesthetics are not important if you have good usability

Myth 24: People always use your product the way you imagined they would

Myth 24: People always use your product the way you imagined they would

Myth 23: Choices should always be limited to 7+/-2

Myth 23: Choices should always be limited to 7+/-2

Myth 22: Usability testing is expensive

Myth 22: Usability testing is expensive

Myth 21: People can tell you what they want

Myth 21: People can tell you what they want

Myth 20: If it works for Amazon, it will work for you

Myth 20: If it works for Amazon, it will work for you

Myth 19: You don’t need the content to design a website

Myth 19: You don't need the content to design a website

Myth 18: Flash is evil

Myth 18: Flash is evil

Myth 17: The homepage is your most important page

Myth 17: The homepage is your most important page

Myth 16: Search will solve a website’s navigation problems

Myth 16: Search will solve a website's navigation problems

Myth 15: Users make optimal choices

Myth 15: Users make optimal choices

Myth 14: You are like your users

Myth 14: You are like your users

Myth 13: Icons enhance usability

Myth 13: Icons enhance usability

Myth 12: More choices and features result in higher satisfaction

Myth 12: More choices and features result in higher satisfaction

Myth 11: You need to redesign your website periodically

Myth 11: You need to redesign your website periodically

Myth 10: If your design is good, small details don’t matter

Myth 10: If your design is good, small details don't matter

Myth 9: Design has to be original

Myth 9: Design has to be original

Myth 8: Stock photos improve the users’ experience

Myth 8: Stock photos improve the users' experience

Myth 7: Graphics will make a page element more visible

Myth 7: Graphics will make a page element more visible

Myth 6: Accessible sites are ugly

Myth 6: Accessible sites are ugly

Myth 5: Accessibility is expensive and difficult

yth 5: Accessibility is expensive and difficult

Myth 4: Design is about making a website look good

Myth 4: Design is about making a website look good

Myth 3: People don’t scroll

Myth 3: People don't scroll

Myth 2: All pages should be accessible in 3 clicks

Myth 2: All pages should be accessible in 3 clicks

Myth 1: People read on the web

Myth 1: People read on the web

The UX Myths Cover Poster

The UX Myths Cover Poster


The post 32 Posters That Debunk Common UX Misconceptions appeared first on Speckyboy Web Design Magazine.


Speckyboy Web Design Magazine

Handcrafted Jaguar-undi Bags: Vibrant textiles sourced from across Latin and South America beautifully unite through a common thread

Handcrafted Jaguar-undi Bags


At this year’s Pitch Night, we got hands-on with the bags of Jaguar-undi—a family-run start-up that sources traditional textiles from various regions across the Americas (Latin and South) and stitches them together into unique handcrafted…

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Cool Hunting

Common SEO Myths & Misconceptions


There isn’t a day that goes by that I hear from a client something they have heard about SEO that isn’t even close to the truth. It seems there are more stories about SEO than Chuck Norris. A quote by George Bernard Shaw comes to mind:

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.

In the SEO world this quote rings true every day. Whether it’s an business owner that is wasting what little extra time they have on incorrect optimization, or someone in the industry making unfounded statements and making their agency (and themselves) look inept, false SEO knowledge is everywhere.

seo myths

The ever-changing search algorithms from various search engines may be to blame, but just as guilty are the snake oil salesmen and one-man SEO agencies spreading the myths faster than Paul Revere. Google’s webmaster blog does their best to debunk myths repeatedly. For example, they posted last year a reminder about selling links that pass PageRank, something they have been writing about since 2007. Despite their best efforts our clients still call us when a door-to-door SEO salesman comes to them about having a BOGOF deal on thousands of links.

Every ‘white-hat’ SEO provider should still do their part to make the Internet and their industry a better place so I’ll do my part here and try to banish some of the SEO bull-jive going around (and now I can check off using bull-jive from my bucket list).

1. Ranking No. 1 is all that matters

If ya ain’t first, yer last.” – Ricky Bobby

There is obviously a correlation between search results placement and click-through rates, but that doesn’t mean that it is the holy grail it used to be. Even in the past,having the best rankings didn’t guarantee success and high click-through rates, but were at least a good start.

Now, with search results being appended with enhancements such as author tags and rich text/snippets, the click-through rates for the top three slots have skyrocketed. The truth is relevant information and user-friendly listings every websites goal. A high-quality No. 4 can theoretically out-perform the No. 1 when it comes down to it.

2. SEO is Something Any Techie Can Do.

Fact: SEO is technical.
Fiction: Any technical person can take care of it.

SEO takes more than just being a technical person. Ask anyone in the industry how many clients come into their offices giving stories about how they entrusted their SEO to their IT guy or Web Designer or similar and have not had any results. They may be of assistance during the course of optimizing your site, and are valuable resources in the process when setting up XML site maps, redirects, and robots.txt files, but do not expect them to be your SEO go-to ‘guy’. That’s like expecting your electrician to fix your AC.

3. SEO is a One-Time Activity and You Are Done.

Too many times I have heard from other business owners that they just finished SEOing their site. This delusion is extremely rampant among the IT community, and it’s easy to see why. IT workers are given multiple “fix-it” tickets all day, so they treat SEO like every other assignment and tend to close the “ticket” and move on. SEO is an on-going process that requires a time investment on a periodic basis.

4. SEO & Social Media are Not Related at All

It’s a common misconception that SEO and Social Media are completely unrelated. In actuality, they are like kissing cousins. Search engines put value on content that has an element of social authority. This fact has spawned the term Social Search has become a common term because SEO and Social Media have been ‘going steady’ for years. Google has been working hard on this with Google+ and Google Authorship, but if you think about it, it’s only natural. Trusted and relevant content can drive your SEO and highly social content is easier to trust.

5. More Links > More Content.

YES, even with the changing link landscape in the search algorithms, inbound links are important; however, if SEO is your party than Content is your alcohol. Links are important, but if you focus purely on link building you are digging yourself a hole. The quantity of links might increase, but not necessarily the quality.

The problem here is that link building is no longer a numbers game. Investing in content, which can take form of a web page, blog article, and guest articles on other sites will often attract higher quality and more inbound links in the long run. On the other hand, please don’t think that having a blog is enough. It’s more complicated than that. You need to write with purpose, cater to your target audience, analyze traffic sources and performance of post types, and the list goes on and on.

6. SEO is NOT a Usability Issue.

I have heard this one with more frequency recently than ever before, and it’s not even close to being correct. SEO, at one point, was just getting found on the Internet but over the years this has changed forms more times than Goku. Now, true SEO includes how users of your website engage with your content. Yes, technically SEO stands for search engine optimization, but if they don’t click around on your highly ranked site, or even leave after clicking, the SEO serves no purpose.

To keep visitors on your site, ensure your content is personalized, relevant, intuitive and easy to browse through. If you have the usability of DOS, you wont convert. In the end that’s what SEO is all about.

7. <h1> is the Key to Great SEO.

This one is older than Larry King, and doesn’t seem to go away. The content structure on your site is an outline to presenting the content to search engines and of course users. The <h1> tag was extremely important at one point, but Google learns too. The old-guard of Black-Hat SEO spammed <h1> to death, so now it no longer really matters. Presenting your information towards the top of the page is a lot more relevant.

8. The Larger Your Sites Footprint the Better the Results.

If you think about it without insider knowledge, it would stand to reason that the more pages you have indexed by the search engine the better you would do. But you would be wrong. Just because you have more pages than the Twilight book series, doesn’t mean your pages are quality, just like Twilight. In fact, its more likely that the quality of the content was overlooked, and realistically, it is difficult to strive for both. Aim to publish relevant, quality content.

9. Since Search Engines Have Personalized Results, There is No Such Thing as Being Ranked #1.

You are absolutely correct that Google and Bing do have search results personalized to the user’s search history, even if the user is not logged in. On the other hand, the difference in results between personalized and non-personalized are extremely minor. In fact, check for yourself. Re-run your search terms by adding &PWS=0 to your SERP URL, or just go incognito (if you use chrome), and see how much (read: how little) the results shift around.

10. SEO is a Mysterious Dark Art.

Many people think of SEO being done by some rogue SEO employee that works in a closed office away from the rest of the company going about his experiments without involvement of clients or management. If this was true my life would read like a Jason Bourne novel. SEO is not a set of steps that can be applied to any site in any niche.

It is important to understand the industry, competitors, and a cooperative strategy to increase conversions for your company continually and consistently.

Concluding

Now, the future of SEO is in your hands, reader. Do your part. It takes a village to kill a myth. If there is only one thing you take away from this post, it is that SEO is about the overall experience of the user. From the initial search to leaving your site, the better the experience of the user from your results listing, to the quality and relevancy of the content, to the usability – the better your SEO will be too.


The post Common SEO Myths & Misconceptions appeared first on Speckyboy Web Design Magazine.


Speckyboy Web Design Magazine

Studio Visit: Balint Zasko : The Brooklyn artist’s vocabulary of universal symbols speaks to common human encounters

Studio Visit: Balint Zasko


by Natasha Tauber Balint Zasko, whose work first caught our eye in 2007, disrupts the language of Old Master painting, with a vocabulary of modern symbolism and technique. In his view, “Everything changes, it’s important to have things of your own time.”…

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Cool Hunting

19 common UX problems and how to fix them

Read more about 19 common UX problems and how to fix them at CreativeBloq.com


In this article, Chris Bank of UXPin – The UX Design App discusses the importance of user input design patterns and details examples from some of the hottest websites and web apps today – more examples of these patterns and over 50 additional web design patterns are covered in detail in UXPin’s free e-book, Web UI Design Patterns 2014.




Creative Bloq

Hilarious and Clever Illustrations of Common Phrases


Graphic designer Abdul Latif Nabhan has created a fantastic series of clever and hilarious minimalistic illustrations based on common household objects, that represent some of our most common everyday phrases. These ridiculously simple illustrations collectively showcase Nabhan’s brilliant insight for conceptual design.

Putting the design and charm aside, these clever illustrations are hilarious. Some of my favourites include the ‘Just in Case’ illustration where ‘Just’ is actually inside the case! So simple, yet so imaginative. Other brilliant concepts include the literal demonstration of ‘Time Flies’, and the ‘He’s so Cool’ artwork, where drinks are praising the ‘coolness’ of a cooler.

The Clever Illustrations of Marko Manev

clever illustrations ice cream
Ice Cream

hilarious illustration series Saving Money
Saving Money

smart art series Sunday
Sunday

hilarious illustration series Crack Up
Crack Up

clever illustrations Confessions of a Shopaholic
Confessions of a Shopaholic

hilarious illustration series When Nature Calls
When Nature Calls

clever illustration series Time Flies
Time Flies

hilarious illustration series Dirty Talk!
Dirty Talk!

clever illustrations Safe!
Safe

hilarious illustration series Bored Board
Bored Board

smart art series Stay in Shape
Stay in Shape

hilarious illustration series Watch Out
Watch Out

clever illustrations Smoking Pot
Smoking Pot

hilarious illustration series Rib Cage
Rib Cage


The post Hilarious and Clever Illustrations of Common Phrases appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


Speckyboy Design Magazine

The Game of Design: 10 Things Creatives Have in Common

You’re reading The Game of Design: 10 Things Creatives Have in Common, originally posted on Designmodo. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook, Google+!

10 things best creatives have in common

I’ve had the opportunity to work with many great designers. Each designer is different. Everyone has a style, working routine and personality. That’s why I was so amazed to discover a common set of principles that successful creative people follow, consciously or unconsciously. The tools, techniques and tricks come second. The foundation of great design lies […]


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