All posts tagged “Easy”

Create picture-perfect skin with this easy Photoshop trick

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Getting smooth, flattering skin isn’t hard at all using Curves in Photoshop. Begin with a simple palette: light peach for your base colour, neutral blue for your shadow, and black, which will be used to intensify blue shadows.

Creative Bloq

So what happens after the big game? Retiring from the NFL isn’t easy

Seattle defensive tackle Kevin Williams will consider retiring after the big game on Sunday, reports azcentral. With 12 NFL seasons under his belt, the 34-year-old is quite literally an old pro now. But retiring from the NFL, or any high performance sport, isn’t easy. A lot of obstacles can come up as players transition into “normal life” — a life they’ve technically never had.

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Spontaneous Global Travel with Booking Now:’s new iOS makes adventuring at the last minute very easy

Spontaneous Global Travel with Booking Now

At a rapidly increasing rate, travelers have begun booking hotel accommodation at the very last minute—with more than half of all travelers booking within a mere 48-hour window before a scheduled trip. That, coupled with the radical increase in the……

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Cool Hunting

The easy way to produce your own annual report

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Producing imaginative annual reports for corporate clients can be a valuable income stream for many designers. They can prove to be a challenging exercise in producing an engaging and well-designed document that also has to convey a lot of dry financial information, and consequently there are plenty of ways to create a killer annual report. But have you ever thought of producing your own?

Creative Bloq

A Simple And Easy Guide To Understand Sass

A while ago Thoriq Firdaus wrote a great article about getting started with Sass which showed you how to install and use this highly useful CSS preprocessor language (you might want to check it out, you know, to get started).

In this article I thought I’d give you a bit more insight into what you can do with Sass and how developers use it every day to create better and more modular CSS code. Skip ahead to the section you want:

Tools Of The Trade

Thoriq showed you how you can use Sass from the command line using the sass --watch command.

If you prefer GUI tools, you can go with my personal favourite app, Codekit, a web developer tool for compiling Sass, concatenating, autoprefixing and much more. Prepros is another very capable application which can be used on all systems. Both are paid applications but are well worth it if you’ll be using them in the long run.

If you just want to try out Sass without paying for anything you can use the terminal, or Koala (here’s our review), a free cross-platform feature-rich app, which can hold its ground against premium counterparts.


One of the first things you’ll need to wrap your head around is variables. If you come from a PHP or other similar coding language background this will be second nature to you. Variables are for storing bits and pieces of reusable information, like a color value for example:

 $  primary_color: #666666; .button { color: $  primary_color; } .important { color: $  primary_color; } 

This may not seem that useful here, but imagine having 3,000 lines of code. If your color scheme changes you would need to replace each color value in CSS. With Sass you can just modify the value of the $ primary_color variable and be done with it.

Variables are used for storing font names, sizes, colors and a host of other information. For larger projects it may we worth extracting all your variables into a separate file (we’ll take a look at how this is done soon). What this allows you to do is recolor your whole project and change fonts and other key aspects without ever touching actual CSS rules. All you need to do is modify some variables.


Another basic feature Sass gives you is the ability to nest rules. Let’s assume that you’re building a navigation menu. You have a nav element which contains an unordered list, list items and links. In CSS you may do something like this:

 #header nav { /* Rules for the nav area */ } #header nav ul { /* Rules for the menu */ } #header nav li { /* Rules for list items */ } #header nav a { /* Rules for links */ } 

In the selectors, we are repeating ourselves a lot. If elements have common roots, we can use nesting to write our rules in a much cleaner way.

Here’s how the above code could look in Sass:

 #header { nav { /* Rules for the nav area */ } ul { /* Rules for the menu */ } li { /* Rules for list items */ } a { /* Rules for links */ } } 

Nesting is extremely useful because it makes stylesheets (a lot) more readable. By using nesting together with proper indentation you can achieve highly legible code structures, even if you have a fair amount of code.

One drawback of nesting is that it can lead to unnecessary specificity. In the example above I’ve refered to links with #header nav a. You could also use #header nav ul li a which would probably be too much.

In Sass, it is much easier to be very specific since all you need to do is nest your rules. The following is far less readable and quite specific.

 #header { nav { /* Rules for the nav area */ ul { /* Rules for the menu */ li { /* Rules for list items */ a { /* Rules for links */ } } } } } 

Extending Rulesets

Extending will be familiar if you’ve working with object oriented languages. It is best understood through an example, let’s create 3 buttons which are slight variations of each other.

 .button { display: inline-block; color: #000; background: #333; border-radius:4px; padding:8px 11px; } .button-primary { @extend .button; background: #0091C2 } .button-small { @extend .button; font-size:0.9em; padding:3px 8px; } 

The .button-primary and .button-small classes all extend the .button class which means that they take on all its properties and then define their own.

This is immensely useful in many situations where variations of an element can be used. Messages (alert / success / error), buttons (colors, sizes), menu types and so on could all use the extending functionality for great CSS efficiency.

One caveat of extends is that they won’t work in media queries as you would expect. This is a bit more advanced but you can read all about this behavior in Understanding Placeholder Selectors – placeholder selectors are special kind of extend which we’ll talk about soon.


Mixins are another favorite feature of preprocessor users. Mixins are reusable rulesets – perfect for vendor-specific rules or for shorthanding long CSS rules.

How about creating a transition rule for hover elements:

 @mixing hover-effect { -webkit-transition: background-color 200ms; -moz-transition: background-color 200ms; -o-transition: background-color 200ms; transition: background-color 200ms; } a { @include hover-effect; } .button { @include hover-effect; } 

Mixins also allow you to use variables to define the values within the mixin. We could rewrite the example above to give us control over the exact time of the transition. We may want buttons to transition a tiny bit slower for example.

 @mixin hover-effect( $  speed ) { -webkit-transition: background-color $  speed; -moz-transition: background-color $  speed; -o-transition: background-color $  speed; transition: background-color $  speed; } a { @include hover-effect(200ms); } .button { @include hover-effect(300ms); } 

Placeholder Selectors

Placeholder selectors were introduced with Sass 3.2 and solved a problem which could cause a bit of bloat in your generated CSS code. Take a look at this code which creates error messages:

 .message { font-size:1.1em; padding:11px; border-width:1px; border-style:solid; } .message-danger { @extend .button; background: #C20030; color:#fff; border-color: #A8002A; } .message-success { @extend .button; background: #7EA800; color:#fff; border-color: #6B8F00; } 

It is most likely that the message class will never be used in our HTML: it has been created to be extended, not used as is. This causes a little bit of bloat in your generated CSS. To make your code more efficient you can use the placeholder selector which is indicated with a percentage sign:

 %message { font-size:1.1em; padding:11px; border-width:1px; border-style:solid; } .message-danger { @extend %button; background: #C20030; color:#fff; border-color: #A8002A; } .message-success { @extend %button; background: #7EA800; color:#fff; border-color: #6D9700; } 

At this stage you may be wondering what the difference between extends and mixins are. If you use placeholders they behave like a parameter-less mixin. This is true, but the output in CSS differs. The difference is that mixins duplicate rules while placeholders will make sure that the same rules share selectors, resulting in less CSS in the end.


It’s hard to resist the pun here, but I’ll refrain from any medical jokes for now. Operators allow you to do some math in your CSS code and can be pretty darn helpful. The example in the Sass guide is perfect for showcasing this:

 .container { width: 100%; } article { float: left; width: 600px / 960px * 100%; } aside { float: right; width: 300px / 960px * 100%; } 

The example above creates a 960px based grid system with minimum hassle. It will compile down nicely to the following CSS:

 .container { width: 100%; } article { float: left; width: 62.5%; } aside { float: right; width: 31.25%; } 

One great use I find for operations is to actually mix colors. If you take a look at the success message Sass above it’s not clear that the color of the background and the border have some sort of relationship. By subtracting a shade of gray we can darken the color, making the relationship visible:

 $  primary: #7EA800; .message-success { @extend %button; background: $  primary; color:#fff; border-color: $  primary - #111; } 

The lighter the subtracted color, the darker the resulting shade will be. The lighter the added color, the lighter the resulting shade.


There are a great number of functions to use: Number functions, string functions, list functions, color functions and more. Take a look at the long list in the developer documentation. I’ll take a look at a couple here just to show you how they work.

The lighten and darken function can be used to change the lightness of a color. This is better than subtracting shades, it makes everything even more modular and obvious. Take a look at our previous example using the darkening function.

 $  primary: #7EA800; .message-success { @extend %button; background: $  primary; color:#fff; border-color: darken( $  primary, 5 ); } 

The second argument of the function is the percentage of darkening required. All functions have parameters; take a look at the documentation to see what they are! Here are a few other self-explanatory color functions: desaturate, saturate, invert, grayscale.

The ceil function, just like in PHP, returns a number rounded to the next whole number. This can be used when calculating column widths or if you don’t want to use a lot of decimal places in the final CSS.

 .title { font-size: ceil( $  heading_size * 1.3314 ); } 


The features in Sass give us great power to write better CSS with less effort. The proper use of mixins, extends, functions and variables will make our stylesheets more maintainable, more legible and easier to write.

If you’re interested in another similar CSS preprocessor I suggest taking a look at LESS (or check out our beginner’s guide) – the underlying principal is much the same!

Make your digital art look like a watercolour in 3 easy steps

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By using textures, transparency and Photoshop’s layer modes, you can achieve a watercolour effect When trying to replicate traditional mediums on the digital canvas, we need to first pick apart what makes that particular medium unique.

Creative Bloq

How to use UI patterns in 5 easy steps

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In this article, Chris Bank of UXPin – the wireframing & prototyping app – explains the theory and practices applying UI patterns to your website. For analysis of UI examples from over 33 companies, feel check out Web UI Best Practices.

Creative Bloq

Animation is made easy with lifetime access to Animatron Pro

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Animation is eye-catching, attention-grabbing – and a bit on the complicated side. Usually making animated graphics takes a lot of work, but you can get professional quality work with the HTML5-based Animatron Pro. Get a lifetime membership to the service is just $ 99.

Creative Bloq

Stress-Free Holiday Cards by Artifact Uprising: Simple, customizable cards printed on recycled paper are easy to produce and easy on the eyes

Stress-Free Holiday Cards by Artifact Uprising

‘Tis that season, when a large number of friends, but really, mostly blood relatives, expect an update on what you’ve been up to the last year—or two, or three, depending on when you last sent out a…

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Cool Hunting

DIY App Platforms That Makes Your Life Easy

There comes a situation when you do not want to hire a Mobile app development companies for designing applications for your business. But the trend says that you cannot afford not having a mobile app. What will you do in that case?

DIY App Platforms That Makes Your Life Easy

Do not worry; in this article we are going to discuss major DIY platforms that will allow you to design mobile applications on your own. You do not need to go anywhere and do not need to approach any Mobile Apps Development Services for designing your mobile apps.

Have a look at the given platforms:

1. AppInstitute


It is for Android and Apple iOS; free for any kind of self services platform. If you are based in UK, AppInstitute offers you free self service platforms for designing mobile apps that are simple and link to your business. (Visit App Website)

2. Application Craft

Application Craft

It is written in HTML5 and starts from $ 14 per month. The major focus of this development services is one-click application deployment which is turning CSS, JavaScript and HTML into useful mobile applications. Also a trial pack of 45 days is available. (Visit App Website)

3. Appmakr


It is available for almost every mobile platform say Apple iOS, Android, Windows Phone and the plan will start at $ 9 per month along with $ 199 one time fees for their self publishing capabilities. If you want to go for simplicity, this development service will allow you to build a native Android app including HTML5 mobile website for zero price if you allow in-app advertising. The services include analytics including RSS and will push these services to help you in marketing your mobile applications when it is done. (Visit App Website)

4. AppNotch


It is for Apple iOS, Android, HTML5; this cost you $ 18 per month. Their services include prototyping options for mocking up your mobile apps before you commit anything very deeply. It offers you a wide variety of templates and also provides you with a 30 days trial pack. (Visit App Website)

5. AppPress


This is especially for Android and Apple which starts with $ 30 per month. This four year cloud hosted development platform was designed with an image in the mind and mainly focus on the small businesses for creating highly visual mobile applications. One of the most important features is its instant preview function. The entry plan includes 10 GB of the storage, 5GB of the bandwidth up to two major projects. (Visit App Website)

6. AppsBuilder


It is used for Android, Apple iOS and HTML5 and its pricing starts at $ 13 per month. They say “you imagine it, we build it” is the slogan for mobile apps platform. Among various other things, the platform will also support inclusion of QR codes. This platform AppsBuilder has been used for creating more than 500,000 apps till date. (Visit App Website)

7. Apptive


This is also for iOS and Android and cost you $ 9.99 per month. If your intentions are to create mobile commerce applications this is one service that you can consider. It integrates with the biggest eCommerce platforms that include BigCommerce, Volusion, and Shopify. (Visit App Website)

8. AppyPie


It offers HTML5 apps for Android, Apple iOS, BlackBerry and Windows phone. The cost starts from $ 7 per month for a single application supported for Android. You can use this platform for a variety of applications including games and creating coupons for Passbook. Among many of its features AppyPie boasts integration with the photo gallery services from Instagram and Picasa. (Visit App Website)

9. Attendify


This platform is especially for Apple iOS but for Android it starts for $ 399 annually. The major thing that this platform focuses on is to support their companies that are mainly into the events and want to run the mobile applications that have related content for providing complete support. It also offers some of the features that are meant to encourage the engagement of the attendee. (Visit App Website)

10. Bizness Apps

Bizness Apps

It is for both Android and Apple and ask for $ 5 per month for the native app. This platform contains some special templates for small businesses that include restaurants, bars lawyers and realtors etc. You can customize the designs, though and can get an online preview of the application as you move along. These sites also include a free mobile website. (Visit App Website)

11. BuildAnApp


This platform is available for BlackBerry, Windows, iOS and Android phones and starts at $ 19 per month. This has created a six step process for building either a mobile native applications that you can view with the help of web browser. It also offers you a feature that lets your visitors “click to all” within the application. (Visit App Website)

12. Como


This is especially for Amazon Kindle Fire, Android, Apple iOS, HTML5 and is free up to 50 downloads and it’s pricing starts by $ 33 per month and is billed annually. The mobile application platform that is designed from Conduit powers more than 600,000 mobile applications worldwide. This was updated in May, 2014 for supporting the in-application mobile payments; their online ordering that also includes other features. This paid pricing involves submissions to Apple, Android and Amazon App stores. (Visit App Website)

13. Huzzah media (AppExpress)


This is available for Android, Applr iOS, HTML and it costs about $ 65 per month for a native application. This platforms supports development of the mobile applications for appointing scheduling, handling of the invoicing, accepting payments, writing messages and marketing it with coupons. You can also use this for designing a mobile web site. (Visit App Website)

14. iBuildApp


It is for iOS and Android and starts at $ 9.99 per month. More than 450, 00 mobile applications are being created with this platform from the past two years. All their plans include analytics and the company will also highlight its management capabilities which can easily accommodate all the updates. (Visit App Website)

15. Infinite Monkeys

Infinite Monkeys

It is available for Android and Apple iOS and it costs $ 12 per month for all the native mobile applications along with the HTML5 website. You can say this as a sister services of the Appmakr that has been acquired last year. It mainly focuses on social and fan applications that have been helping retailers, organizations, restaurants and individuals build apps that is providing them with a social twist. (Visit App Website)

16. JoeMobi


This is also a platform for BlackBerry. Apple iOS, Windows8, Android and starts at $ 1,499 for a yearly commitment and it covers the native applications for all these platforms. This platform is a plug-in for the WordPress that will automatically transform all the sites and blogs into mobile applications. (Visit App Website)

17. Magmito


Magmito is meant for cross-platform and starts at $ 9.99 per month to keep your application up to one year plus and will cost $ 99.99 for unlimited updates. It is supported by Sprint and Telefonica, the service that are aimed at helping small businesses for creating mobile applications that can insert text, RSS, images, feedback, forms and click-to-call features. This is especially meant for temporary apps, or those having a shelf life. (Visit App Website)

18. Mippin App Factory

Mippin App Factory

Mippin App Factory is meant for Android, HTML5, Apple iOS, Windows Phone and is available at $ 99 for an app pack that involves HTML5 iPhone applications, mobile Web site, native Android app at $ 999 per app annually for their native versions. This platform lets you to pull together the content of other mobile apps quickly using the RSS feed either using the cross platform format or using the well optimized native platforms. (Visit App Website)

19. MobBase


MobBase is meant for Apple iOS, Android, HTML5 and its price starts from $ 5 per month for all types of mobile web version and $ 20 per month for their native app including the set up fees that varies depending upon the platform. The major focus of this tool is helping the companies and the individuals to reach their mobile fanbase so that it could set its focus on the media and content within the application templates. (Visit App Website)

20. MobileAppLoader


MobileAppLoader is for Android and Apple iOS. It depends on whether you want to publish for a single platform or for more than one platform and the support that you team requires. Its price starts from $ 5.99 including the set-up-fees. This offering also includes all sorts of templates for the needs and requirements of small businesses. It supports everything starting from a car dealership to the contractors, restaurant and the hair salons. (Visit App Website)

21. Mobile Roadie

Mobile Roadie

Mobile Roadie is meant for Apple iOS and Android and is priced for $ 125 per month. This service focus on the number of familiar brands as their customers including the NFL, Adele and Cirque du Soleil. The focus is mainly on letting assemble anyone virtually on a mobile app and to extend their identity on the mobile web site. (Visit App Website)

22. MobileX Labs Build

MobileX Labs Build

MobileX Labs Build is designed for Android and Apple iOS which is being tested in a private beta program. This company is mainly divided into three divisions; one which designs games, one is responsible for designing apps, and another one performs the custom work. It has received $ 1.5 million in seed funding after it has generated $ 1.5 million in revenue since the day it has started. (Visit App Website)

23. Orbose


Orbose is again for Android and Apple iOS. Its published pricing for businesses is approx $ 40 per month. The company for offering says Enigma Systems and it promises you a big reduction in the development time for those who do not have any kind of programming language. This platform supports development of applications that can accommodate by pushing the notifications, payment processing, and appointment scheduling and social media plug-ins. (Visit App Website)

24. Shoutem


Shoutem is also for Apple iOS and Android, HTML5. It’s pricing starts from $ 19.90 per month for its HTML5 apps. This platform is a spin-off of a larger development company. This platform is mainly focussed on mobile application development. You can also go for its advanced version, priced at $ 49 per month, to go native. (Visit App Website)

25. ViziApps


ViziApps is for Android and for Apple iOS, HTML5 and starts at $ 99 per month including the publishing fees of $ 395 per month. The major focus of this application is for the front-end business processes like the accident reporting or retail management. One thing that makes this platform different from other is that it is supported for lots of backend data sources. (Visit App Website)

26. Windows Phone App Studio

Windows Phone App Studio

If your company prefer Windows, Microsoft is going to beta test this drag and drop development resource that includes templates for its mobile platform. (Visit App Website)

27. Wix


For small businesses that are already using the web publishing resources of, their developers have acquired a code free mobile application development platform called Appixia. So the focus of the platform is currently in transition and is on creating mobile commerce apps. (Visit App Website)


Hence these are the major mobile apps developing platforms that are useful for every businessman. So enjoy these major apps developing platforms and design your mobile applications on your own. These are available for all the major platforms including iPhone, Android, Windows, and BlackBerry etc.

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