30 Gadget Design Tutorials for Photoshop

by Steven Snell

December 22, 2009 in Tutorials

Gadgets are a favorite subject for many designers. There are some excellent tutorials out there to help you create amazing results in Photoshop for this type of design, and we’ll feature 30 of them here. You’ll find tutorials for designing iPods, iPhones, a Blackberry, cell phones and more.

MP3 Player Design

MP3 Player Design

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35+ Usability Resources for Web Designers

by Steven Snell

December 21, 2009 in Resources

Usability should be a priority for every website. Without usability, even the most beautiful design will be ineffective. In this post we’ll feature a number of resources, tools, software, checklists, articles, and more, that can help you to design and develop highly usable websites.

Premium Usability Resources:

There are a number of tools and resources that have been created to test and improve usability. In this section we’ll look at eight premium resources.

Silverback
Silverback is usability testing software (for Mac) from Clearleft. It allows you to capture screen activity, video participants, record audio, and more. The price is $49.95, and a free trial is available.

Silverback

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Tips for Dealing with Competition as a Designer

by Steven Snell

December 17, 2009 in Business/Freelance

Being a web designer or developer offers plenty of opportunities for your career. If working as an employee isn’t for you, starting a freelance business is very inexpensive and there are virtually no barriers to entry into the business. While this presents great opportunities, it also means that your competition is basically unlimited because others can offer services as a freelancer just as easily, plus you’ll also be competing with design agencies for clients.

With the level of competition that exists for designers and developers, being successful as a freelancer or working independently requires a combination of technical and creative skills, as well as business skills. Naturally, most freelancers are more comfortable with the technical and creative aspects and less comfortable with running a business. While you do need to have some capability to run the business, you do not need to be a business guru to be an effective and efficient freelancer.

Part of the struggle from the business aspect involves knowing how to encourage clients to use your services when there are a million other options out there. In this post we’ll take a look at the subject of competition for freelancers, and discuss some things that you can do to thrive in this competitive industry.

1. Embrace the Competition

Although this is an industry that is filled with “competitors,” the nature of the community of designers is completely different than that of most other industries. Designers generally are very approachable and other service providers aren’t usually viewed as competition. Take the time to get to know others who are offering similar services, whether they are freelancers, employees of an agency, or in-house designers.

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