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As a UX designer, you get to work on creative, rewarding, even life-changing projects. It’s an industry with flexible working and countless opportunities. All this, and you get paid well too.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not a creative prodigy, or a tech grandmaster; you can learn to become a UX designer with the right mindset, a few tools you pick up along the way, and some committed learning.

By the time you’ve finished reading this post, you’ll be well on your way to designing your new career.

You can do this, let’s get started…

What is a Career in UX like?

Every career is different, but generally speaking, a UX designer works on making a user’s interaction with a product or service (normally websites) as intuitive as possible.

Just as a golf architect designs the layout of a golf course to flow through greens, tees, and holes, with buggy paths for access, and the odd bunker to add a challenge; so a UX designer creates the optimum experience for a site. A golf architect doesn’t need to reinvent the game of golf, and neither does a UX designer need to reinvent websites.

A golf architect will not design a course with a 360-degree sand bunker surrounding a tee (well, they might, but they really really shouldn’t), or a hole too small for a golf ball. In the same way as a UX designer, you’re not going to design an ecommerce site with a cart in the bottom left, a non-existent search feature, or hidden pricing.

The best thing about being a UX designer is that you don’t need to spend years in formal education to get qualified. The flipside is that if you want to be a great UX designer, it’s not a walk in the park.

Every designer is different, but some of the main traits of successful UX designers are: an enjoyment of problem-solving; good listening skills; curiosity; open-mindedness; attention to detail; creativity; communication skills; process-driven; and adaptability.

Before committing to this career path, check out a few podcasts, and read a few blog posts, to dip your toe in the water.

Still interested? Excellent, the next step is…

Getting Certified as a UX Designer

UX design is a practical skill. It’s all well and good knowing the theory, but without practice putting the theory into action no one will give you a chance to prove what you can do. So how do you get practical experience? You get certified, and there are three popular options: online, in-person training, or self-taught.

A good UX syllabus will include portfolio-building projects, tool mastery, networking opportunities, and even 1-2-1 mentorship. As well as learning the fundamentals of UX, you’ll cover user research and strategy, analysis, UI design, and more.

Option A: Online Course

Online courses tend to be much easier on the bank balance, as well as being flexible, which means you can fit them around your current job. You can work at your own pace, and in many cases choose modules that interest you, once you’ve completed the basic introduction.

There are many online course providers, including Coursera, Udemy, Skillshare, and Career Foundry.

Whatever option you choose, it is a good idea to get as broad a perspective as possible, so consider following more than one course — perhaps mix and match a paid course with a free one.

Option B: In-Person Training

This could be a university course, or a local boot camp where you physically sit in with an instructor and classmates.

This is more expensive, but it provides benefits that nothing else does. Firstly, you’ll have classmates you can bounce ideas off, collaborate with, keep motivated, inspired, and accountable. You can also get real-time, intensive coaching and advice from someone who’s been there, done that, bought the T-shirt (and redesigned it so it fits better).

Seach local boot camps and workshops, check out workshops at local conferences, and ask your local college what courses they offer.

Option C: Self-Taught

Being self-taught is the cheapest of all options. Work at your own pace, where, and when you want to. Watch YouTube videos, read blogs, garner information anywhere you can find it.

This option involves a lot of stumbling around in the dark. The biggest challenge is that you don’t know what it is that you don’t know. For this reason, it can pay to follow the syllabus of a local college course, even if you’re not enrolled and don’t attend lectures.

In reality, all education is self-taught to an extent, even the most prescribed courses need self-motivation.

Some of the most in-demand UX designers in the world are self-taught, so why not? Start exploring UX blogs like Nielsen Norman Group articles, Google Design,  UX Planet, and UX Matters.

Mastering UX Tools

Recruiters and hiring managers will seek your technical ability and your experience using popular tools from user research, to wireframing, to prototyping. When you get your first job in UX, the tools you use will be determined by your project manager, so it’s a good idea to have a passing familiarity with the most popular. These will include Maze, Userzoom, Sketch, XD, Figma, Marvel, and Hotjar.

If you’re following a guided course you should get an introduction to at least a couple of important tools. Once you understand one, you can probably pick the others up quite quickly… because, after all… they should be intuitive.

You do not need to know how to code, but understanding the roles, and restrictions of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is very beneficial. When you get your first UX job, you’ll need to be able to talk about how technologies fit into the plan.

Building a UX Portfolio

Your portfolio is your résumé. The golden ticket. The silver bullet. Amassing a content-rich portfolio is paramount. You don’t need a real-world job to build your portfolio, and you should already have content to add from your course.

You need to demonstrate knowledge of UX tools and processes (what future employers will look for). Case studies that incorporate research, problem-solving, strategy, imagination, and (if possible) results are the best way to do this.

There are a variety of ways of building a portfolio, but the best is taking a real website, and redesigning it. Don’t worry if your first few projects aren’t the best; as long as you demonstrate improvement and growth, that counts for something. 

You can showcase your portfolio on sites such as Behance, Dribbble, or preferably create your website.

Landing Your First Job in UX

Start combing the job boards to see which companies are looking for UX designers. There’s a global shortage of qualified UX designers, so if you can’t find anything you’re looking in the wrong place! Make sure your whole network, from your Mom’s hairdresser to the barista at your favorite coffee place know that you’re looking; you never know where a good lead will come from.

Some companies are looking for UX skills as part of other roles. Others are looking for full-time UXers.

Don’t be disheartened if “Junior UX Designer” positions require 2 years of experience; HR just throws this in as a pre-filter. If you think you can do the job, apply anyway, if your portfolio’s good you might get an interview regardless, and if you get an interview they think you’re worth taking the time to meet.

If you don’t get the job, don’t be downhearted. Remember: every time someone else gets a job, that’s one less person you’re competing with for the next job.

Quick Prep on Some Common UX Interview Questions:

  • What’s your interpretation of a UX Designer?
  • What has inspired you to become a UX Designer?
  • How do you take constructive feedback and non-constructive feedback?
  • Who, or what companies, do you look up to in this industry, and why?
  • What’s your process with a new project?

Good Luck!

So, now you know what it takes to get into the field, it’s time to start applying yourself to this newfound and richly rewarding career. As the great writer Anton Chekov said, “Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” So get out there and practice, practice, practice. Add and add and add to your portfolio.

To become a UX Designer, enroll in a great course, build your portfolio, network, apply for roles, and always be learning. Always be open to new ideas and suggestions. There’s a lot of leg work, but the juice will be worth the squeeze. 

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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The post How to Kickstart Your UX Career in 2022 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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The year might be coming to an end, but plenty of design trends are still beginning to emerge. It’ll be interesting to see how many of these website design elements remain popular into the new year. From vintage elements to circles to happier feelings, there’s a lot to play with here.

Here’s what’s trending in design this month…

Old-School Print Inspired

Vintage design elements seem to circle back in new iterations at a pretty frequent pace. This time website designers are finding inspiration from old-school print design.

These projects mimic the look of old newspapers and magazines with styles that look like news or advertising content. One of the most exciting takeaways might be color, with beige backgrounds that almost seem like aged paper.

Note the font choices, scale, and imagery as well. All of these things have an old-school feel that’s modern enough to help encourage interaction.

Each of these designs keeps visitors engaged with trendy effects that pair with the vintage aesthetic so that while there’s an old-school look, the overall design is modern and fresh.

The portfolio of Niccolo Miranda feels like a “WAR” day on the front page of a major newspaper, but with modern touches – computer illustrations, animated images, and button-style icons.

Enfant Sauvage Music takes on the feel of an old-style newspaper or magazine ad with a single color design and grainy imagery. An oversized funky pointer on hover and side navigation keeps the design interesting.

Kalso uses a giant timeline with typography and effects that mimic the era on the screen. Animation and motion keep the design with the times and on-trend.

Center-Screen Circles

Circles seem to be a website design trend that just never goes out of style – it only evolves.

The newest iteration includes center-screen circles. And you can use them in all kinds of different ways. The nice thing about a circle is the shape is innately harmonious and can pull a design together and make everything feel together and unified.

They can be an excellent container for text or other elements or serve as a button.

Circles work with almost any overall design pattern, in any color, and with virtually any type of image or video. The shape is practically perfect! (That’s why it’s a trend that never really gets old.)

Each of these examples uses a center-screen circle in a slightly different way.

Aflote uses a center circle as part of its overall branding effort and to help draw the eye from the split-screen images to the center arrow, encouraging users to scroll to the next bit of content. Color helps here, and the circle is a container for brand and some other content with a nice layer on top of the images.

One Ocean Science uses one of the oldest circles we know – the globe – as a dominant art element that rotates in the center of the screen. The layer on top – the exact text in multiple languages – gets extra attention thanks to the center placement. The design also uses a top left corner circle for branding and a bottom right corner circle as a CTA, helping create a visual flow through the design from top to center to bottom to click.

To Be Love uses a fantastic animated set of concentric circles to pull together the name of the event and draw interest to the CTAs. The circle is just the right size in a sea of black sky to draw the eye to the content in the middle of the screen.

Lighter, Happier Designs

After a couple of years of pandemic life and a world that’s just been a little less than cheery, website designers include lighter, happier elements to projects. This might just be the design trend we all need right now.

This effect can be designed in several ways, including color, imagery, animation, scale, and even typography. It’s hard to pinpoint what makes a design lighter and happier until you see it, but when you do, you’ll know it. (It might just be that little grin at the corner of your mouth when you see it.)

Meanpug uses fun, animated illustrations as a load screen with a full-text homepage (you’ll have to click through to see it). Between color and animation, you can’t help but feel good looking at the design. What might be most interesting is that the website is for a marketing agency that works with law firms. (Probably not what you expected at all.)

Happy smiling faces are hard not to feel good about. Even the devil emoji seems somewhat joyful. Add in big, bold typography and the yellow smiley, and the world just feels a little less dark.

Oatly uses lots of small elements in a cartoon-style aesthetic that is light and interesting. In addition to fun fonts and animation, all of the words on the website also contribute to a feeling of ease and happiness. It’s a solid strategy for sales; make people feel good about what they are thinking of buying to help propel them toward a purchase.

 

Conclusion

One of the most exciting things that we’ve seen with design trends in the past year is how world events – from the pandemic to isolation to working remotely – have impacted design projects as a whole.

We’ve seen fewer faces, more illustrations and typography, and an overall shift in feeling to some of the lighter, happier design elements featured here. Cheers to 2022!

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The post 3 Essential Design Trends, December 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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Jamstack (JAMstack), is one of the most popular (and rapidly growing) tools for app and website creation. A unique ecosystem of functionality, Jamstack promises developers the support they need to create powerful websites and progressive applications. 

For a while, Jamstack was mostly written off as just another buzzword in the developer space. However, today, it’s growing to become a powerful investment for many business leaders. Even big companies are getting involved, like Cloudflare, with Cloudflare pages, and Microsoft with Azure Static Web Apps. Elsewhere, we’ve seen brands like Shopify, PayPal, and Nike getting involved too.

So, what exactly is Jamstack, and is it time you transitioned over? Let’s find out…

What is Jamstack?

Jamstack, otherwise known as “JAMstack,” is the name of a developer ecosystem made up of JavaScript, APIs, and Markup (hence: JAM). The solution is a web development architecture allowing developers to access static website benefits, such as higher security and better performance, while still unlocking dynamic database-oriented CMS.

The Jamstack solution allows companies and developers to build a dynamic website where real assets are pre-rendered static files in a CDN. The dynamic environment runs on JavaScript client-side, through serverless functions. 

For a better insight, let’s compare Jamstack to the LAMP stack development strategy, which originated from the four open-source components many developers used to build sites: Linux, Apache HTTP, MySQL, and PHP.

With LAMP, each user request for a page forces the server to query a database — unless the page is cached — and combine the result with page markup data and plugins. Jamstack websites serve pre-built optimized assets and markup solutions quickly because the files are already compiled on a CDN. There’s no need to query the database. 

Jamstack workflows dramatically reduce cumbersome issues with development and excess maintenance, making them highly appealing to developers. 

What Are the Benefits of Jamstack?

Jamstack won’t be the ideal development tool for everyone, but it has a lot of benefits to offer. By fetching HTML from a CDN, the system doesn’t have to wait for HTML to be combined and returned to clients. The solution also provides an improved developer experience with static methods. 

Using Jamstack, developers can build fantastic static files ready to serve by request, hosted on a global CDN. Some of the biggest benefits of Jamstack include:

  • Performance: Because you’re serving pre-built static files from a CDN directly, you’ll achieve much faster loading times, unmatched by typical server-side rendering options. Because you’re serving static files, you’re also better equipped to handle any traffic spikes you might encounter, with minimal slowdown.
  • User experience: Better website performance significantly improves user experience and website traffic, as well as SEO efforts. User experience has always been a critical factor in ensuring the success of a website, and it’s essential to keeping your customers around for as long as possible. Websites optimized for performance will always delight users. 
  • Security: With Jamstack, there are no servers or databases to worry about. You use third-party solutions to handle these issues for you. The architecture of Jamstack means the back and front end of your development processes are decoupled, and you can rely on APIs to run server-side processes easily. Jamstack also comes with security benefits other approaches can lack. Clear separation of services is essential here. 
  • Hosting and scaling: Scaling and hosting can often be problematic in the development world, but because you’re serving files from a CDN, you’re less likely to encounter issues. CDNs are almost infinitely scalable, so you get excellent extensibility built into your development environment. CDN hosting for static files is also cheaper than traditional hosting, so you can keep costs low. 
  • Maintenance: Jamstack makes it easy to push your front end to the edge rather than managing infrastructure directly. Ditching plugins, databases, and other hosting services can help you to save more time and money on a significant scale. 
  • Developer experience: From a developer perspective, there are tons of benefits from Jamstack. You get the ease of a Github, CI/CD, CDN flow, and auto previews with simple rollback to reduce the need for backups. Local developer environments and the ability to run and debug cloud functions locally are all fantastic.

Does Jamstack Have any Limitations?

In a lot of ways, Jamstack is an innovative and revolutionary solution for development. It can help you to create a far more engaging website and present your company in an incredible way. Of course, that doesn’t mean there are no limitations to be aware of. 

Jamstack is developer-friendly, for instance, but it’s not beginner-friendly. You will need at least some knowledge of web development to start unlocking the benefits. You’ll need to understand things like Vue or React, but you should develop a tool anyone can use with a bit of work.

There’s also a handful of things you can’t pre-generate, like user-specific and real-time data. So, this means you may not be able to use Jamstack effectively on projects requiring these kinds of data. Building an analytics dashboard, for instance, probably isn’t a good idea with Jamstack. Other issues for some developers may include:

  • API complexity: It can be overwhelming to try and find the right solution for your needs among so many different options. Of course, this could also be something you’d say about the WordPress ecosystem and its huge variety of plugins. An API usually won’t break your production website, at least. 
  • Long building processes: If you have a large number of pages, there’s more likely to be an extensive building process to think about. Whenever you make a change to a single page, even a little one, you’ll need to rebuild your entire website. This is a problem if you run into a website with thousands of pages. There are solutions to this problem available, however.
  • Handling dynamics: Going with Jamstack doesn’t mean abandoning your backend. An important part of the approach is accessing serverless functions, which are becoming more effective over time. These serverless functions can also be executed on the edge. The backend parts of your website will require regular maintenance as they scale.

Best Jamstack Tools to Check Out

Now you know the basics of Jamstack, let’s look at some of the tools you can use to design an incredible website or application within the Jamstack environment. 

The Git Tool Landscape

There are tons of tools within the Git ecosystem common among Jamstack developers. Starting with Git itself. Git represents a powerful free, and open-sourced distributed version control system. With this solution, companies can handle everything from small to enterprise-level projects with efficiency and speed. The solution is extremely easy to use and learn, and outclasses a range of tools like Perforce, ClearCase and Subversion. 

GitHub Pages and GitLab pages are two hosting services for Git repositories with built-in services to host static pages from out of your codebase. This makes the two solutions fantastic for when you’re building a Jamstack website. You can access the functionality for free too. 

GitLab gives you a comprehensive DevOps platform to work with, where you can enjoy a comprehensive CI/CD toolchain out of the box. The comprehensive solution, delivered as a single application, changes the way security, development, and Ops teams integrate and collaborate. Gitlab helps to accelerate software delivery on a massive scale.

AWS Amplify

AWS Amplify, created by Amazon Web Services, is a development platform packed full of useful features for people in the Jamstack environment. The Amplify offering aims to reduce the complexities associated with Amazon Web Services for mobile and web deployment. You get 12 months of hosting for free with new accounts, and you get Storage with Amplify too. 

The Amazon Amplify solution dramatically improves the regular AWS workflow, especially if you’re just a novice user. There’s a huge documentation hub to help you too, which is way more convenient than Amazon’s usual documentation solutions. Amplify is still accessed from a somewhat bloated console, however. 

With AWS Amplify, companies can access features like a comprehensive data store to sync data between the cloud and websites. There’s also easy-to-use interface access across all different categories of cloud operations. The service works well with a range of JavaScript central tools. 

Netlify

Netlify is a pioneering solution in the Jamstack environment, allowing users to go dynamic with their websites and applications on their own terms. You can access a range of add-ons and integration, access your favorite tools, and make your own. The flexible environment enables developers to run websites on a multi-cloud infrastructure designed for speed and scale automation. 

Built to be entirely secure from the ground up, Netlify makes it easy to build a site that’s custom-made for performance and deployed directly. You don’t need to worry about managing, scaling and patching web services, which means you can more quickly implement your Jamstack architecture. 

Unlike other large legacy apps, Jamstack projects are neatly separate from your front-end pages and UI from the backend databases and apps with Netlify. Using this service, the entire front-end can be pre-built with highly optimized static assets and pages, and developers can deliver new web projects faster than ever before.

Next.JS

Inspired by the functionality of PHP, Next.JS is a solution for pre-rendered JavaScript modules. The solution allows developers to easily export the components of their apps and perform individual tests to determine how each element works. You can also access a wide range of components and modules from NPM. The Next offering allows developers to save time, removing the need to use webpack bundles and transform with compilers. 

The full solution is extremely intuitive, ensuring developers can create solutions quickly. What’s more, the technology you build will allow you to load only the bundle needed from your JavaScript workflow, rather than all the JavaScript at once. Pre-fetching, one of the features of Next.JS, also picks up where standard code-splitting leaves off, allowing for optimized bundles of code to load seamlessly. 

Next.JS also supports hot-module replacement. This means instead of reloading an entire application when you change the code, you only recreate the modules you’ve altered.

Angular

Probably the most widely-recognized of all the JavaScript frameworks, Angular, designed by Google engineers, appeared first in 2012, offering developers a new way to create dynamic pages. Before this technology, there were other opportunities for creating dynamic pages, but they were nowhere near as convenient or speedy. 

Angular is probably one of the most essential tools companies can use when building a Jamstack website or environment. The front-end web development tool attracts developers from all over the world. Every version is packed with features and constantly upgraded to ensure you can generate the best results. 

Angular extends HTML file functionality with powerful directives, and it requires very little effort to enable these directives too. All you do is add the ng- prefix to your HTML attributes and you’re ready to go. Angular also allows developers to create widgets leveraging editable data with two-way binding. This means developers don’t have to write code that syncs constantly between the model and view. 

With Angular, developers also get access to things like virtual scrolling, which can help with displaying large lists of elements performantly, rendering on the items that fit on the screen to reduce loading times. 

React

Another must-have tool in the JavaScript world for Jamstack, the React solution was launched first in 2013, and has won thousands of customers across the globe thanks to fantastic functionality. Today, the full landscape is maintained by Facebook, along with all the members of the standard developer community. The solution is used by some of the biggest giants in the tech industry, like Netflix, PayPal, and Apple. 

React is a true pioneer in the Jamstack ecosystem, with its sensational approach to simple and straightforward solutions for JavaScript management. You’ll be able to access batched and virtual DOM updates, which makes it easier to unlock components quickly, and write your components the way you see them. There’s also the added benefit that React is compatible with a lot of tools. 

You can build a comprehensive app or website with the help of React, and you’ll have no trouble accessing some of the top features, particularly with plenty of support available from the React community. 

Gatsby

Created from the ground up to improve user experience on a comprehensive level, Gatsby is a static site generator with heavy focus on things like SEO, performance, and accessibility. The solution offers plenty of out-of-the-box features to help developers deliver the most immersive solution for their users, without unnecessary complexity. 

Gatsby users pre-configuration to develop static websites giving developers faster loading pages, stronger code splitting, and server-side rendering. You can also access features like data prefetching, asset optimization, and quick image loading. Gatsby boasts excellent documentation and starter packs to help you get your site up and running more quickly.

The GraphQL data layer of Gatsby also means the system can collect your data from anywhere, including your CMS, JSON, Markdown, and APIs. More than just your standard site generator, this is a tool built specifically with performance in mind. 

Agility CMS

Developing an effective Jamstack website means having access to the right CMS technology. Agility CMS wasn’t the first CMS solution to support Jamstack, but it is one of the better-known options. As one of the first headless CMS solutions to hit the market, the company has quickly captured the attention of a huge range of developers worldwide.

Agility CMS is a Jamstack pioneer, capable of helping developers to build a foundation for any online ecosystem. The technology is an API-first CMS with support for REST APIs, so developers can connect all the third-party apps and front-end frameworks they like.

The technology also gives developers the freedom to code their solutions their way. You don’t have to follow a specific set of guidelines for how content is created, but templates are available to fast-track development. Agility CMS also hosts and abstracts your database, so you don’t have to worry about connection strings, backups, and maintenance. 

With a strong content architecture to help companies manage digital content and a partnership with Gatsby, Agility is ideal for Jamstack development strategies. 

Building Your Jamstack Website

The Jamstack solution is more than just a buzzword in today’s development world. This unique approach to building incredible development experiences delivers an excellent advantage to both developers and their end-users. Fast, scalable, and full of solutions for customization, Jamstack is a powerful way to bring websites to life with simplicity and speed. 

Every day, more companies take advantage of the Jamstack environment, and we’re constantly seeing a wide selection of new tools, APIs and offerings emerging to help enhance the Jamstack landscape too. This environment is definitely worth consideration for any developer looking to significantly speed up their development strategy.

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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It’s that time again. Black Friday. November 26, to be exact. And the many enticing deals you’ve been looking forward to at this time of the year are here as well.

There are three types of Black Friday shoppers. Those who are successful because they have prepared. Those who are successful because they got lucky. And, those who let some good deals simply slip away.

Your best bet, of course, is to be prepared, which is the purpose of this guide.

As you go down this list, you’ll find discounts, some pretty amazing offers, a few surprises perhaps – and plenty of inspiration.

We’ve been keeping close tabs on the various Black Friday discounts and promotions, and we’ve corralled the best of the bunch for you.

Starting with:

1. Brizy – The No-Code Website Builder For Non-Techies

Brizy is a fast and easy-to-use website builder for designers and agencies. Take advantage of Brizy’s Black Friday special and tap into the skills of a team that has been creating website-building tools for over 11 years.

This premier website builder gets better with each update.

  • Web designers can choose between Brizy for WordPress and the Brizy Cloud website builder, which includes hosting;
  • Agencies can choose among several white-label options;
  • Brizy brings power to the novice; use the pre-made designs or start with a blank page and let the imagination be the guide.

Black Friday is a time to take advantage of great deals, and this year is no different.

  • Big discounts are available on Brizy’s white label agency plans;
  • Participate at no cost to win a MacBook PRO;
  • Partner perks and discounts;
  • And exclusive new designs.

Design or coding experience is not a requirement to use Brizy’s drag and drop visual builder.

Click on the banner to take advantage of these great Black Friday specials.

2. Portfoliobox

A 50% discount on any portfolio website builder would seem like a good deal. On the other hand, getting one at 50% off that enables you to quickly create a portfolio website that reflects your creative personality and will truly set you apart from the crowd is definitely worth taking advantage of.

Portfoliobox offers:

  • Mix and match templates to help achieve a unique look;
  • Powerful eCommerce functionality built right into the platform;
  • Safe and secure private client galleries;
  • An included Domain (custom domain with Pro plans);
  • Fantastic 24/7 support to keep problems to a minimum;
  • Affordable, transparent pricing plans that let you know what you are getting before you buy.

Click on the banner to find out more about this fast, affordable, and easy to work with a portfolio website builder for creatives.

3. wpDataTables

wpDataTables is a popular, power-packed plugin that can manage vast amounts of data in seconds and organize it to build a table or chart the way you want.

  • wpDataTables and charts are responsive, customizable, and easy to edit and maintain;
  • wpDataTables readily accepts data from a variety of data sources, from multiple database connections, and in the most used formats;
  • Tables and charts can be configured to nicely blend in with other website content and a website’s overall design, plus it is easy to add spice to a table or chart by using colors, adjusting font sizes, and highlighting key data using conditional formatting.

wpDataTables features Elementor and Gutenberg integration, provides the ability to connect WordPress tables with Google API, allows cascade data filtering, and much more.

Click on the banner to take advantage of the 30% off Black Friday special.

4. Amelia WordPress Booking Plugin

Amelia can be a genuine time and money saver for a variety of business types. Amelia automates and streamlines a business’s booking process.

  • Amelia relieves business owners and managers from the task of managing multiple appointments and events;
  • Clients and customers love the ability to make and manage their appointments 24/7;
  • Bookings and events are managed from a single platform, even when multiple locations are involved.

Annual and lifetime subscriptions are available.

5. Mobirise Free Website Builder

As it is an offline builder, Mobirise does not tie you to any platform, you can host it anywhere, and you have total control over creating the website you have in mind.

Mobirise:

  • is drag and drop and easy and simple use;
  • is based on the latest Google AMP or Bootstrap 5, so your site will be mobile-friendly and crazy fast;
  • comes with eCommerce, huge selections of themes, blocks and templates, and a shopping cart.

Mobirise is free for both personal and commercial use.

6. Slider Revolution

There is a difference between an “interesting” website and one whose WOW effects cause it to stand far above the competition.

Slider Revolution specializes in WOW effects that can take any website to the next level, and it can be yours on Black Friday at a 33% discount on all licenses.

The Slider Revolution package includes:

  • Innovative templates and add-ons;
  • Advanced automation and special effects tools.

Grab the Black Friday offer now.

7. Getillustrations Bundle – Commercial illustrations for the web

Digital illustrations help attract attention to and pique interest in your website.

Getillustrations.com features a package of more than 9000 commercial web and app illustrations in a wide range of topics.

  • This package features all the design formats you’re likely to need, e.g., Ai, SVG, PNG, Figma, Sketch, and more;
  • Great illustrations to spice up landing pages are included.

The package is available at a 25% discount. Use coupon code EliteDesingers25.

8. Litho – Multipurpose Elementor WordPress Theme

Litho is a creative, modern, and highly customizable theme that can be used for any type of business niche as well as for creating eCommerce, blog, and portfolio websites.

This multipurpose Elementor WordPress theme’s features include –

  • 36+ ready home pages, 200+ creative elements, and a 300+ template library;
  • One-click demo import;
  • Top loading speed and SEO result capabilities.

Litho also features detailed online documentation and top-of-the-line customer support.

9. 8bio – Linktree Alternative

Instagram and TikTok enthusiasts, take note!

With the 8bio tool at your fingertips, you can add a clickable URL to your social media platform profiles so visitors can visit your website, product page, or any other important page.

8bio offers:

  • Beautiful skins and catchy animated backgrounds;
  • The ability to link to your own domain or to *.8b.io;
  • Powerful SEO and tracking options.

The 8bio tool can also be used for your Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube posts.

10. XStore – Highly Customizable WordPress WooCommerce Theme

XStore is designed to work with the best page builders on the market and is fully compatible with the Elementor and WPBakery builders.

The XStore package includes

  • $510 worth of carefully handpicked Premium Plugins for WooCommerce;
  • More than 110+ awesome Prebuilt Shops;
  • A built-in AMP for WooCommerce, a Full Ajax Shop, multi-vendor support, and much more.

Become one of XStore’s more than 60,000+ happy customers by taking advantage of the Black Friday special.

Knowing that it’s the early bird that gets the worm, we’ve worked hard to place before you and your fellow website designers and agencies this enticing selection of the best Black Friday offers.

You will no doubt find some of the products familiar. A few might not be. In either case, the opportunities are here for you to get some great deals on some premier products.

Happy shopping!

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Every day design fans submit incredible industry stories to our sister-site, Webdesigner News. Our colleagues sift through it, selecting the very best stories from the design, UX, tech, and development worlds and posting them live on the site.

The best way to keep up with the most important stories for web professionals is to subscribe to Webdesigner News or check out the site regularly. However, in case you missed a day this week, here’s a handy compilation of the top curated stories from the last seven days. Enjoy!

The 9 Best XAMPP Alternatives for Hosting your Website Locally

Exciting New Tools for Designers, November 2021

Why Developers are so Divided Over WordPress

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Design a Website Homepage

How to Build F and Z-Patterns Using HTML and CSS

UX Design Psychology Tricks for Design Excellence

What if Phones were Actually Designed for Hands?

Dddoodle – Collection of Fun Hand-Drawn Illustrations in SVG Format

Layout Patterns – Collection of Layout Patterns Built Using CSS

22 Impressive Web Design Concepts for Various Business Objectives

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With the holidays fast approaching, there are plenty of fun gifts for you in this roundup of new tools and resources for web designers. Make sure to share anything you find helpful with others to spread additional holiday cheer.

Here’s what is new for designers this month…

Volley

Volley, billing itself as Snapchat for work, is a new way to collaborate with remote teams. The tool addresses the two main problems of remote teams (lack of communication and loneliness) with an async video messaging app with interactive transcriptions neatly organized into workspaces. Volley emphasizes talking over typing (76% of volleys sent are video), doesn’t require you to coordinate schedules (it’s 100% asynchronous), and lives in a threaded conversation with context that’s neatly organized. Plus, the tool is free to use.

Upnext

Upnext is a new type of reading list. It’s designed to help you save, organize, and focus on fantastic content while expanding your knowledge on your favorite topics. You can create playlists with almost any type of content that you can refer to later and follow “thinkers” that you love. Search and filter content, focus on reading, integrate videos, and even highlight and note specific content in your customized library. This brand-new web app has a waitlist that you can join to get access soon.

Startup 5

Startup 5 is a new version of the popular website builder, and it’s a perfect tool to create your online presence. With Startup, it’s fast and easy to get your business online with pre-designed blocks. It includes a visual editor with 150+ blocks with pre-designed and pre-coded elements and styles you can easily customize in a drag and drop interface. It’s an easy tool for building a website quickly without a coding background. Most users can publish a website quickly and easily.

Flatmap

Flatmap generates Mapbox Vector Tiles from geographic data sources like OpenStreetMap. It is memory-efficient so that you can build a map of the world in a few hours on a single machine without any external tools or database. Vector tiles contain raw point, line, and polygon geometries that clients like MapLibre can use to render custom maps in the browser, native apps, or a server. Flatmap packages tiles into an MBTiles (SQLite) file that can be served using tools like TileServer GL or even queried directly from the browser.

Cleanup.Pictures

Cleanup.Pictures is a web-based tool to remove objects, people, text, or other defects from your images before using them in projects. It’s an AI-based alternative to other photo-editing software.

Linkz.ai

Linkz.ai helps you make smart link preview popups for your website to help encourage greater engagement and interaction for links. It works with a line of code you can install quickly and easily, and then you get smart link previews (in two style options) for every link on your site.

Llline

Llline is an SVG generator that helps you create smooth and organic lines and strokes with plenty of customization options for almost any application. This tool helps create graphic elements in just a few clicks, allowing you to add a few points to a canvas and then draw a smooth curve using these points. You can then tweak the resulting SVG graphic by rotating it, changing its color, giving it a gradient, making it a dashed line, and then you can download or copy the SVG markup.

Lorem.Space

Lorem.Space is a valuable placeholder image tool. With just a little bit of code, you can pop cool placeholder images – from movie posters to shoes – right in your website mockup so that the design is easier to visualize. It’s a great solution that’s fun and keeps you from having to put empty boxes throughout the design. And everything can be randomized, so you don’t spend time looking for placeholders.

Huetone

Huetone can help you create more accessible color palettes by making use of the Advanced Perceptual Contrast Algorithm. The contrast ratios and color combinations show on one screen to help you quickly develop palettes and combinations. Plus, the tool has hotkeys that make it easy to change hues, toggle, and adjust quickly. Then you can export everything to Figma.

Rowy

Rowy is an open-source tool to build on the Google Cloud Platform. You can manage Firestore data in a spreadsheet-style user interface, write Cloud Functions in the browser, and connect to third-party platforms.

AdCreative.ai

AdCreative.ai uses artificial intelligence to help create better ad creative. To get started, you upload logos and color files, connect social and other accounts, pick the sizes you need, write text, pick a background, and upload product images, and let the AI do the work. Once you have the creative you like, you can connect to your online ad accounts for easy use. This is a premium tool that’s free to try.

Flowrift

Flowrift is a tool to browse and then copy and customize Tailwind CSS blocks in groups of collections. Filter by block type and then experiment with the options. It even has e-commerce blocks.

Layout Patterns

Layout Patterns is a collection of layout patterns built using modern CSS APIs to help you build common interfaces such as cards, dynamic grid areas, and full-page layouts.

You.com

You.com is a new private search engine that summarizes the web. The tool is in open beta and includes superior privacy choices, actionable results, extensible apps, and personalization through preferred sources.

3D Icons

3D Icons is a fun set of three-dimensional, full-color icons that are free for all uses. (Donations are accepted.) They integrate with pretty much any web design tool you are using and come in four color styles – clay, gradient, color, and premium – so you can get just the right look for your project. Each icon also includes three rendering views – dynamic, side, and isometric.

Arco Design

Arco Design is a comprehensive React UI components library based on the Arco Design system. It includes a customizable theme and more than 60 crafted components that you can use out of the box.

Seekvectors.com

Seekvectors.com is a search tool to find free resources in five different formats, PNG, SVG, JPG, EPS, and AI.

Outline to Single Stroke

Outline to Single Stroke is a tool in the Figma community that works just like the name implies. Select a filled vector on the canvas, and then you can outline it to a single stroke and adjust the line weight if you like.

Codeamigo

Codeamigo is a new self-paced platform to help you learn coding skills. It’s packed with various lessons for different languages and templates and has something for every level from beginner to advanced.

Sizze

Sizze is a Figma to React Native export tool to create app prototypes and instantly export to code.

CodingFont

CodingFont is an excellent game that can help you pick a font to use for coding that you like! If you spend a lot of time looking at code each day, the right font can help reduce eye strain and make the work a little easier to see.

Christmas Revue

Christmas Revue is the first in a trio of holiday typefaces that you can use this season. This SCG color font is fun and perfect for the holidays with exciting glyphs. It is free for personal use only.

Hotsnow

Hotsnow is a fun display font that has interesting fills and shapes in an all-caps character set. It is free for personal use.

Marlwich

Marlwich is a feminine handwriting-style typeface that has the feel of signing a holiday letter or card. It contains upper- and lower-case characters and is only for non-commercial use for free. (A paid option is available for commercial projects.)

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Wireframes are a powerful tool, especially for UX designers; whether you are developing a new app, a website, or anything else, the initial steps of any project can be tackled with this robust approach.

There are many occasions when we get stuck or overwhelmed for hours in front of a new project. This is where creating wireframes can be beneficial. A wireframe is nothing more than a diagram of your ideas for the flow of a project.

This post will analyze what wireframes are, and why they are so crucial for user mapping. Then, we will reveal the steps you need to follow to create an efficient wireframe. Let’s dive in…

What Is A Wireframe?

In a few words, a wireframe is a drawing created in the early stages of a UX project. Wireframes are a brilliant and effortless way to create a blueprint for the structure of a page.

In such a drawing, you can include valuable information about the UI and UX of the page you want to design.

You can think of wireframing as a process of visualizing the initial ideas you have about a project. It does not matter if you are comfortable with drawing; you can design wireframes on paper or digitally.

In either case, drawing a wireframe is not about your artistic skills. Instead, wireframes are about structuring your project and identifying the fundamental interactions you want to build out.

Why Is Wireframing Important For UX Designers? 

If you are an experienced UX designer, you have already come across concepts like user mapping and user journeys. Mapping the entire user experience is crucial. And that’s the main reason why wireframing is a must for a UX project.

Since you need to provide a top-notch user experience, wireframing is a great way to ensure this from the earliest stages of your design. But what is the process you need to follow when designing wireframes?

And how can you ensure that your wireframes are efficient? Let’s find out…

Creating An Effective Wireframe In 5 Simple Steps

Creating a good wireframe will allow you to construct your project. You will think it through, prioritize some fundamental interactions and consider alternatives.

1. Research

Although this is not a wireframing step per se, it is critical to the efficiency of your wireframes. How can you start drafting without doing user research? Well, you can not. That’s why the first thing you need to do is analyze your project.

All you have to do is seek similar products/services and check them out. Look at what your competitors are doing right and what they are doing wrong. This way, you will be ready for the next step.

2. Create Personas

You have already selected the best practices and ruled out other guidelines you believe will not be effective on this project. Now it’s time to think about user flow: How many screens will you put on a page? Where are users coming from, and where do you want them to go after reading this page?

By mapping your user flow, you can create a user persona. Then all you have to do is figure out what information to include. 

Mapping the information correctly is crucial because it will help you ensure that users do not get frustrated or overwhelmed when they visit your final page.

Once you do that, you are good to go. 

3. Start Sketching

It’s time to reach for your fine pen, pencil, eraser, and paper. Visualizing your ideas needs to be quick and efficient. Try to avoid fine details because this step is not about creating a high-fidelity wireframe on paper. 

All you need to do here is sketch out basic features and formats.

Since most of us designers are perfectionists, you can use a timer. Set the timer to 4-5 minutes and force yourself to finish the wireframe by that time. Repeat this step until you have created a few wireframes with which you are happy.

Finally, expand and polish your favorite mockups for a few minutes and prepare for the hard part.

4. Ask for Feedback

There is nothing more important than feedback when it comes to wireframing. Discuss your project with your colleagues. Just let them know how each mockup helps you with the project and what idea it visualizes.

Try to sincerely listen to what they have to say about your designs. Once you have gathered all the information and advice, start modifying the wireframe accordingly.

5. Add Details and Create Prototypes

It’s been a long road, but you are now at the point where you feel most comfortable as a UX designer: prototyping. Plenty of software (Adobe XD, Framer, Proto.io, etc.) can help you with this step. 

Start by turning your low-fidelity sketch into a high-quality prototype. Once you are happy with the result, test your prototype’s screens and see if the result serves the user flow. Platforms like UsabilityHub and Prott can help you with this.

Valuable Tips to Keep in Mind While Creating a Wireframe

Keep your Wireframes Simple: Creating a wireframe is not about fine details; try to manage the time you spend on it well. All you need is a clear and simple visualization of your page. You will have all the time you need for prototyping.

Don’t Worry About Your Artistic Skills: Anyone can draw. It’s as simple as that. You do not have to be an artist to create a clear wireframe to help you visualize your ideas. Be confident and make sure you include all the information you need.

Always Think of the User Personas You Created: Creating a wireframe is a smart way to ensure that the page you create meets the user’s needs. Therefore, you should always keep in mind what users will do when they open this page and whether it meets their needs and goals.

The Bottom Line

Creating a wireframe is not as difficult as you might think. All you need to do is research, find out what users need from this page, and create a map. By following these simple steps, you’ll ensure that the wireframes you design deliver a top-notch user experience.

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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Introduction

In a previous post on this topic, we learned some basics about AWS CLI and how to install it on your machine. In this post, we will learn a few AWS CLI commands and we will also set up an s3 bucket as a static website that is publicly accessible.

AWS CLI Syntax

The following picture shows AWS CLI commands Syntax:

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Many websites today use some type of traditional Content Delivery Network (CDN), which means improvements in website load times, decreases in bandwidth, and better redundancy and security. But not everything is optimized, specifically when it comes to images, and image CDNs can help with that! 

Traditional vs. Image CDNs

A traditional CDN treats images as static. If you want to tailor images to better match various mobile device types, then you need to create many variants of each image and upload them to your web server. It also means you must develop responsive code that will tell the server and CDN which image variant to deliver. This is clunky, time-consuming, and inefficient. For a large website, the amount of code needed can be astronomical. Using this static image model, there’s just no realistic way for each image to be effectively sized and compressed for every possible device model – at this point, there are thousands of them. The combination of these two unfortunate factors leads to potentially slow load times and poor UX caused by oversized images delivered to mobile devices.

So what is an image CDN? An image CDN builds on the traditional CDN model with the addition of device detection and image optimization. Instant detection of the device model and browser requesting the images is done right at the device-aware edge server (true edge computing!) Additional information, including screen resolution and dimension, pixels per inch, and support for next-gen image formats (such as WebP, JPEG 2000/JP2, and AVIF), provides even more details crucial for superior image optimization. Using this information derived from device-aware edge servers, the image CDN optimizes each image and serves the perfect version for each device and resolution, meaning users get the finest webpage experience faster.

A Bit About the Edge (Whoa, Living on the Edge?)

With a single server website, a web request would have to travel from the requestor, back to the origin server (wherever that was geographically located), be processed, and then travel back to the requestor. Depending on the physical distance between the requestor and the origin server, this could introduce a great deal of latency, which means lag time on page loads. 

A traditional content delivery network (CDN) is a global network of servers that optimizes web performance by using the node geographically closest to the user for faster delivery of assets. It takes static content like images and stores them on the edge. But usually, these edge servers are relatively simple in terms of their role in business processes. They mostly index, cache, and deliver content. And traditional CDNs like to keep edge servers simple because of concerns over CPU usage, storage, and scalability.

But what if these edge servers could also provide computing power that enhances performance and business processes? This is called edge computing. Slowly, CDNs are starting to open their edge servers to allow enterprises to deploy apps/services on the edge. Likewise, Cloud computing networks (e.g., AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) provide virtualized server capacity around the world for those who want to use geographically distributed servers. In a sense, Edge Computing is a marriage of the CDN (where edge servers synchronize/work with each other) and Cloud computing (where servers are open to applications). 

Edge computing is a fascinating concept, but what is the killer app that will enhance business processes and improve website performance? The addition of device detection to edge computing provides the ability to transform from delivery of static images to a new model where images are dynamic and tailored exactly to devices. 

Edge computing is computing that is done in a geographically distributed space, with many servers located at or near the source of the web request. This reduction in bandwidth and latency leads to fast processing times, increased site speed, and improved customer experience. And edge computing doesn’t require new infrastructure — it leverages the networks of existing providers to create Points of Presence (POP) around the globe. 

The Edge Servers are…Aware?

Device-aware edge servers, like those used by the ImageEngine image CDN, take edge computing to a new level. Device detection is actually one of the use cases where edge computing really shines. Normally, the edge server would have to send a Javascript query to the device to figure out any information about a requesting device’s model, browser, operating system. But with a device-aware edge server, the User Agent string is captured and decoded. This contains all of the information necessary for device detection without the need for any back and forth – a definite speed improvement. So you’re starting ahead of the game! 

Each time a new request comes to the device-aware edge server, the image is processed by that server (meaning optimized for that specific device parameters) and stored right there in cache, primed for future use. This is done in three stages: changing image size based on device resolution, compressing the image using an image optimization tool, and selecting the most efficient file format for the device. 

If the device-aware edge server has already processed a request from a similar device model before, then it can serve the device-optimized image from its edge cache, leading to a lightning-fast server response — and ImageEngine’s device-aware edge servers can serve up cached images 98% of the time! Not only is there geographical proximity because of the distributed global POP network, but the smaller size of the optimized image compared to the full-sized original cuts up to 80% off the image payload. This can cut up to several seconds off page load times. When almost 70% of people say that page speed influences their likelihood of making a purchase, every single second counts! 

Some image CDNs detect the device information and group the devices into “buckets” of similar types and serve an image based on that type. While this is certainly an advancement over a traditional CDN, and works passably well for some common devices, it still isn’t a truly optimal solution. There are so many variants of browser, screen size,  resolution, etc., even among very similar devices, that images are still often oversized (too large payloads) and lead to poor load speed. A true image CDN, such as ImageEngine, serves the perfect image for every device, every time.

So Now You Want To Get Started (Don’t Worry, It’s Really Simple)

One of the best things about the ImageEngine image CDN is the ease of integration – and it can integrate into any platform that supports a 3rd-party CDN. All you need is to sign up for an account and receive a delivery address during your two (yes, 2!) minute signup process. This delivery address is used to redirect image traffic for optimization and superior delivery performance. Next, you’ll have to make some slight adjustments to img tags on your website, but that’s really all the work you’ll need to do. There are no DNS changes during a standard (generic delivery address) integration. You read that right, none at all. Contrast that to a traditional CDN integration, where there is just no way around some messing around in the DNS – in fact, usually some fairly extensive DNS changes. 

This low-code, virtually no code, integration saves you time. It saves you money. It saves you the hassle of putting multiple team members on a new project. And it means that you can be up and running in about 15 minutes with a standard install. You can be serving optimized images to your site visitors at blazing fast speeds before lunch! And don’t worry, ImageEngine has an experienced integration support team available to answer any questions you might have. 

There’s also no issue with adding the ImageEngine image CDN on top of an existing CDN. Traditional CDNs may have security features that you may prefer to keep for your site. It requires slightly more integration but provides the same benefits of a solo ImageEngine implementation — screaming fast image load times and perfectly optimized images from device-aware edge servers. All that is recommended is that the ImageEngine image CDN actually serve the images directly, not simply process them, to get maximum benefits.

Adopt an Image CDN and See The Benefits

We’ve learned that image CDNs bring numerous benefits to your site AND your business. Using device-aware edge servers, image CDNs provide measurably better UX to your visitors. Pages load potentially seconds faster with perfectly optimized images, meaning your customers get to the heart of your message right away, and you don’t lose potential sales. 

Image CDNs are actually 30%+ faster than most traditional CDNs, improving site speed accordingly. From an SEO perspective, that’s huge! And your SEO gets an additional boost from the improvement to your Largest Contentful Paint scores (which can help you gain valuable rank on Google’s SERPs). Implementation is simple and fast. You get all this, plus cost savings: since you have smaller payloads because of the fully optimized images, you’re delivering fewer gigabytes of data.

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As a web designer, you’re responsible for a lot of things. Your client is relying on you to ensure that their website is user-friendly, accessible, eye-catching, and even good enough on the back-end to capture the attention of the search engines. 

However, what many business leaders and clients don’t realize is that they also have a part to play in ensuring that they get the right results from their site; there’s more to the client and contractor relationship than an exchange of funds. 

Today, we’re going to examine some of the most common mistakes that clients make when they begin working with a website designer for the first time. After all, when a client makes a mistake, it’s up to you to show them how to get back on track. 

Client Mistake 1: Providing Minimal Insight

Creativity, for the most part, is the responsibility of the designer in any web-building project. You know best what you can do for a client. 

When you’re discussing an upcoming project with a business owner, you can walk them through concepts like dark mode design or strategies for digital accessibility. However, you’re still reliant on your client to let you know if there’s anything specific they need. 

An insufficient brief in a web design project usually means that you waste time on a project because you have to go back and forth multiple times, making updates and edits. Getting a brief ironed out properly from day one can reduce misunderstandings and mistakes. 

To get your client started, ask them to share some details like:

  • Who’s the target audience? Do they have a user persona they can share?
  • What specific features does the site need? Landing pages, forms, widgets, etc.?
  • Competitor sites they like: What do they appreciate about those designs?
  • Brand colors and assets: What kind of hues and shades should you use?
  • Technical feature requirements: Does the site need to have its own app, integrate with APIs, or have a checkout solution, for instance?

Client Mistake 2: Underestimating The Workload

Perhaps one of the most common mistakes that clients make when seeking help from a designer is that they have no idea how much work it will take to create the kind of site they want. If they haven’t provided a great brief in the first place, they might not have had a chance to see all the work they’re asking for written down. Walking your client through the brief process can help here. 

On the other hand, if your client has already provided a brief, along with an unrealistic deadline for completion, you might need to have a discussion with them about what you need to do. Walking your client through some of the processes involved in creating their website could give them an insight into how long it will realistically take to bring their ideas to life. 

Additionally, ensuring that your customers fully understand the amount of work you’re taking on could also mean that they can better grasp why you’re charging a certain price for your services. That brings us neatly to the next mistake…

Client Mistake 3: Not Having The Right Budget

Pricing your design services can be a complicated process for web designers. You need to make sure that you’re charging enough to cover the cost of things like essential software and hardware for your company. At the same time, with so many other designers out there, you also need to ensure that your costs are competitive. 

After you’ve gone through the hard work of figuring out what your pricing structure should be, you also need to be capable of justifying that expense to your client. It’s common for many customers to go into their work with a web designer expecting that they’ll be able to get an entire website, blog, and app for less than a couple of hundred dollars. 

Make sure that your client is aware of your pricing immediately to avoid any confusion. If possible, have a pricing page on your website or portfolio which highlights the cost of different packages and precisely what your clients are going to get. 

If your customers can see the value in your services and even equate to an hourly workload or skillset, they might be better equipped to set the proper budget. 

Client Mistake 4: Making Too Many Technology Decisions

You’ll find that you work with many different types of client during your time as a web designer. Sometimes, you’ll have people who come to you not really knowing what they want or need. This means that you may need to spend some time speaking to them about their expectations and discussing what’s possible. 

On the other hand, there’s always a chance that you could work with a client who thinks that they should be making all of the decisions themselves. While it’s true that your client should have some control over things like the style of their website and what features it has, it’s up to you to make technical decisions like what kind of tools you’re going to use. 

If your client tries to dictate everything you do and how you’re going to do it, this could make it difficult for you to deliver your best work. Explain your processes to your customer in advance and find out why they want you to use specific technology. 

For instance, if your client wants to use a specific kind of website builder because they’ve heard it’s “the best,” you can explain what you like most about the product you’re already using. 

Client Mistake 5: Being Too Attached To An Idea

This is a problem that happens in a lot of creative industries. A client goes out and finds something that they like on another website. It might be an attractive landing page or a specific checkout process. They’re so excited by what they see there that they refuse to compromise on that idea when working with their designer – even if the concept isn’t suitable. 

For instance, your client might come to you wanting a website that’s full of dynamic animations and videos. However, if they only have a limited amount of bandwidth from their hosting provider, this could mean that they end up with a slow site that aggravates their customers. 

The best thing you can do when this happens is to present the issue to your client in a way that they can understand. For instance, if you’re worried something will slow down their website, talk to them about how speed is essential to good customer experience. You could even share some page speed stats like: if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load, over half of all visitors will abandon it. 

Seeing the stats for themselves could mean that your clients are more likely to change their minds. 

Client Mistake 6: Working With The Wrong Designer

Finally, one of the biggest mistakes any client can make is working with the wrong website designer. There are a lot of professionals out there, each with their unique skills to offer in things like UX design, ecommerce page creation, and so much more. However, it’s not always easy to know what you need as a business owner getting online for the first time. 

The good news for web design clients is that there’s a lot of information out there that you can use to get informed fast. The bad news for designers is that this means you’re going to need to work at keeping your skills on the cutting edge if you want to attract the widest selection of customers. 

To ensure that you’re more likely to be the right designer for your customers, stay up to date with the latest web design standards, and check out what’s trending in your industry. Webinars, articles, and even TED talks can be an excellent way to brush up your knowledge and make your portfolio much more appealing. 

Strengthen Your Client/Designer Relationships 

Succeeding as a web designer isn’t just about building a robust portfolio full of excellent websites where you can showcase your skills. While it’s true that you need to stay on the cutting edge with your design talents, you also need to make sure that you can create positive relationships with every client that comes to you. 

Like designers, clients can make mistakes too, but not knowing what they want, trying to take too much control, or simply failing to understand the scope of a product. Rather than letting those mistakes hold you back, prove your mettle as a designer by helping your clients navigate these issues. The result will be more streamlined project experiences, happier customers, and better reviews for your company. 

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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