Posts categorized as: Resources

Techniques for More Efficient Coding

by Matt Ward

April 7, 2011 in design Resources

There is an old saying that “time is money”. It may seem somewhat cliched to read, but there remains definite truth to the statement, even in the world of the web. Whether you’re designing or developing (or, as is often the case, doing both), there is an element of time involved and, as a professional, that time comes with a certain price tag. That price may be something that you the pass on directly to the client through hourly billings, or something you may absorb yourself when working on a flat rate project, but the simple fact of the matter is that the is a direct connection between the amount of time you spend on a project and the amount of money that you can ultimately bill on that project.

If you’re anything like me, one of the things that seems to take the most time on many web projects is the coding side. It’s just so easy to spend hours and hours coding away, and then wondering if you’ve actually accomplished anything because you may not all that much that can be shown or interacted with a tangible manner.

Personally, I find this to be especially true in the more functional stages of a project. Coding up plain HTML and CSS can move pretty quickly, but sometimes coding the more complex, programmatic aspects of a site can be a long, laborious process.

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Creative Ideas for Writing Content

by Matt Ward

March 28, 2011 in design Resources

We may, by trade, call ourselves web designers and/or developers, but let’s face it: many of us also have to wear the hat of writer from time to time too. Whether it’s a matter of producing content for our own blogs or perhaps being enlisted by a client to pen some of the copy for their site, I would guess that a sizable number of readers find themselves in the author’s chair from time to time.

But writing in and of itself is not always easy, and sometimes blogging can be even harder. Often, the biggest hurdle of all is just coming up with an interesting and compelling topic to write about.

In this article, I would like to look at a number of different techniques that you can use to help take that first step and come up with a topic that readers will hopefully latch onto, and perhaps even talk about on social media, thereby driving more traffic to your site! Also, while a lot of the examples that I will be pointing to come from the design community, I don’t think that these techniques are necessarily restricted to writing about design. They can be applied to almost any niche at all!

Write the Impossible

One great way to come up with a truly creative post is to look at your niche and then write something impossible that still sheds light on your subject! Sound confusing? It’s really quite simple (though perhaps not easy to execute). It involves looking at your topic from the perspective of something that cannot actually exist, but which will still provide an interesting perspective on your topic.

Want an interesting example? How about discussing how a number of the most popular blogs in the web design niche would smell. Yes, that’s right, smell. Just over a year ago, the site ThreeStyles actually published a blog post in which the author took 10 of the most popular design blogs (including DesignM.ag, based on its design at that time) and actually tried to imagine how each of them would smell.

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