I recently attended the Big (D)esign Conference in Dallas and could not say enough good things about it! I took pages and pages of notes on web design usability and user behaviour and thoroughly challenged by brain to delve deeper into user experience and interactions. I’d expected to come away with a long list of design websites to look up…but instead I came away with quite a long reading list of books relating to human psychology.
Here are some of the books mentioned by some of the conference speakers (I’ve linked the titles to the books on Amazon):
I just found a promising option for sustainable printing: www.greenerprinter.com! I received their package of samples and it all looked great.
Aside from a nice website 🙂 here are some of the features that caught my eye:
Use soy and vegetable-based inks
Gloss, matte, and uncoated papers have a high percentage of recycled content.
100% wind-powered thru Renewable Energy Credits (how cool is that!)
Let me know if you’ve printed with them! I can hardly wait!
As a designer, there are times when it’s just plain easier to show instead of tell.
Adobe’s ConnectNow screen sharing is a really easy to use resource…and it’s FREE! I learned about it in an Adobe webinar about Creative Suite 4. You can have up to 3 meeting members and there’s plenty of functionality. ConnectNow is handy because it uses the Flash plugin to run. Since most users have the a Flash plugin installed, there shouldn’t be any problems to get going quickly.
To get started:
Set up an account and you’ll have your own personal “meeting room” link ex: https://connectnow.acrobat.com/yourmeetingroom.
To start a meeting, go to www.acrobat.com and login. (If you have CS4, you can launch right out of Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.)
Send the link to your participants. They just create a user name and enter your “meeting room.”
Enjoy your meeting!
There are lots of “pods” within for your use in the meeting, including:
whiteboard – good for brainstorming, participants can write on it too!
There are also a lot of other great file sharing resources on acrobat.com. Check it out when you have a chance!
I was recently introduced to some website prototyping software: Axure and Protoshare. The main difference is that Axure has to be installed and Protoshare is web-based. If you need some first-hand feedback on both, I’d recommend talking to the owner of ten24web.com, David Crouch, he’s tried both of them (but currently uses Axure). He was a big help to me! Thanks David!
I chose the trial of Protoshare because it is web-based. As a designer, the advantage of using this software is that you can lay out the site architecture and navigation before getting caught up in design, CSS, or HTML prototypes. But, you can add in your design and CSS later to give a pretty accurate prototype of the site before going into development. So far I’m really enjoying this because I don’t create hundreds of Photoshop layers to show variations, nor do I waste my time setting up an HTML page to show modest interactivity.
– web-based, access anywhere
– clients can login to view and interact with prototype, section for adding comments
– easy drag and drop functionality for layout
– can apply CSS id and class tags to give accurate styling
– easy site-map creation
– a little bit buggy, but their Support is very quick to respond 🙂
Recently I’ve become addicted to the Question & Answers section of LinkedIn. If you haven’t checked it out and still rely on the first 10 search results from Google, then you’re missing out. The Q&A section consistently brings me insight into current tools/software that other web development and marketing professionals rely on. I’ve started to prefer it over random web forums as well because you can see more about the background and experience of the person providing the information, thus making the answer more credible.
I’ve used LinkedIn for recommendations on:
– Online printing companies
– Content Management Systems (CMS)
– Web design prototyping tools
– Email marketing services
– Email marketing integration for Microsoft CRM
– …the list goes on. So I’ll let you check it out now 🙂
I’ve been dealing with the same software quandary as others creating e-learning: work with Adobe Captivate or Camtasia? And it really comes down to, what are you trying to create? Both products offer different resources, so try to become familiar with what they offer and go from there.
I recently worked on a company orientation project that involved Powerpoint slides and screencast training of software. At the time, I had to make a hasty decision about which software to use for the project. I chose Camtasia for the trial, and successfully completed my project.
Once my 30-day trial with Camtasia was up and I prepared to purchase the software, I realized I should give Captivate a trial. I’ve been playing with the trial of Captivate and reading various forums, but I’m going to stick with Camtasia (see below for links).
A quick list of the elements that swayed me to Camtasia:
– zoom-and-pan effect in screen recordings
– Powerpoint add-on to record the screen
– timeline editor (instead of slides like Captivate)
– multiple options for file formats (MOV, AVI, MP4)
– price – approx. $300
Here are some resources I’ve found helpful in making my decision to stick with Camtasia for my purposes.
I’ve used a lot of online printers over the past 7 years and these are some of my favorites. The main deciding factors come down to price and turnaround, but the functionality of the site is becoming an influencing factor as I frequent these sites. I’ve organized them by preference so far, and I’ll certainly update it as I change my mind…
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because I want to help people quickly find quality printing that fits their turnaround and budget, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them.
I use Print Place a lot because their online ordering system has a lot of options. You can easily adjust different factors, like turnaround or quantity, to see how it will change the final cost. I also like that they offer will-call pickup at their facility in Arlington, TX. I’ve often used them for last minute printing of business cards and booklets and they’ve always come through with great quality printing.
I’ve used GotPrint since about 2008 and have had great experiences with every product I have ordered. The quality is good, they have great prices, but they are not always the most practical when I’m in a rush because their turnaround times can be a bit long.
Overnight Prints also has great prices and nice quality. They also have a really nice upload tool that creates a 3D mockup that rotates so you can ensure that your postcard/business card flips correctly (Trust me, this is an awesome tool. I accidentally printed postcards where the back side was upside down and this tool will help prevent that).
They are what their name says! If you’re in a rush, check them out, they’ve always made good on their name when I’ve worked with them. However, the last time I used them, the online checkout slightly awkward because you needed to fill out your billing info before you could see the final price. Personally I don’t like handing over my billing info before I know my final costs.