design, design events, Productivity, technology

Upcoming conferences featuring web design and social media

With the start of the new year approaching I’m sure were all starting to think about how we can develop ourselves both spiritually and creatively.  With that we also start to think towards fresh and new ideas that we can bring to our projects and to our clients. I found some great events coming in the new year which might help to spark your creativity.

New Adventures Web Design
“We’re working closely with our speakers over the next few months to ensure we bring you engaging, relevant, joined-up themes, and we’ll introduce all eight topics here in late 2011. Note also that our provisional schedule is subject to change.”
When: January 18-19, 2012
Where: Nottingham, UK at the Albert Hall

Web Visions
“WebVisions explores the future of the Web and mobile design, technology, user experience and business strategy and it’s bringing its Indie/DIY/Maker vibe to venues around the world, with awesome workshops, sessions, studio tours and networking events.”
When: January 18-20th in NYC (Visit website for upcoming dates)
Where: New York City, Barcelona, Portland, Chicago and Atlanta

An Event Apart
“An Event Apart is an intensely educational two-day conference for passionate practitioners of standards-based web design. If you care about code as well as content, usability as well as design, An Event Apart is the conference you’ve been waiting for.”
When: February 6-8, 2012
Where: Atlanta, GA, USA at the InterContinental

design, Photos

Handmade Jewelry by Marsha

MarshaI love meeting new people who are as passionate as I am about design. This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Marsha of Marsha Marsha Marsha! handmade jewelry designs. We had a wonderful discussion about design and the exhilaration that comes from creating something that gives pleasure to others. I am still amazed when I meet people who share my joy of creating. She was so surprised that I had seen and admired her work around town and that she was very inspiring to me as an artist. Her designs are both unique and beautifully hand crafted. You can see the creativity in every piece. She specializes in Turquoise, Czech Glass and Organically shaped Freshwater Pearls that are moderately priced. It was a pleasure to meet such a humble and dedicated designer such as herself.

Turquoise
Turquoise
Pearls
Pearls

Her designs are featured At The Collective, which is located in Inman Park GA. This beautiful shop is owned by Susie Caldwell and Sally B Larsen. The shop also features the work of many wonderful designers so it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for one of a kind crafts, furniture, and clothing.
If you would like to take a look at Marsha’s work please visit her website: marshamarshajewelry
At The Collective – Beautiful handmade jewelry, antique furniture and clothing among other awesomeness

design, Productivity

Choosing the right design firm for your project

I’m sure many clients are concerned when they start a new project whether to use a large design firm or a smaller one to help them reach their goals. There are some factors that should definitely be considered when making the right choice for your company.
Consistency – You know the old saying, “Too many cooks spoil the pot”. Sometimes when you have too many different people on one project, the overall consistency is lost in the shuffle. Using a smaller firm means in most cases that there is a lot more control over the project as a whole.
Miscommunication – Communicating information through many people is like playing “telephone”. The final outcome might not be what was first envisioned for the project. The less people making decisions means more personalized service and less confusion over changes and updates.
Agility – In my experience, most clients are slow when starting off a project but once they see things coming together they want things done as soon as possible. A larger firm might have a slower process when it comes to completing a project. A smaller firm will more than likely be able to adjust their schedule in order to get a project completed at a pace that’s in tune with the clients’ expectations.
Cost savings – Many larger design firms might have a large budget to work with but this also means that there might larger fees involved as well. A smaller firm will most likely be able to work with the client on a more flexible pricing strategy while still insuring that the project is completed on time and on budget.
Personal relationships – Social networking is a great way to bring attention and great clients to any company – large or small. Larger firms seem to have the advantage since they have a large consumer base. Smaller firms on the other hand normally build their client base slowly and have a much more personalized social networking experience to offer their clients and customers overall. This can be just as valuable in the long run. Definitely a win-win for everybody.
Please share your thoughts and let me know what you think.

In The News

In The News

This info was reported back in September. Since then it seems that Google has been making a lot of changes to its platform. I will keep you posted…

Google appears to be close to rebranding its online document service, Google Docs, as a virtual hard drive in the cloud.

A blurry screenshot snapped by blogger and social media consultant Johannes Wigand appears to show a slightly modified version of Google Docs, called Drive. The screen appeared for a few seconds in “an event powered by Google,” Wigand reports.

The screenshot looks almost identical to the “new look” for Google Docs that’s currently available as an option in some Google accounts, except that the word “Docs” in the upper left has been changed to “Drive.” The folder menu is labeled differently as well: It’s called “My Google Drive” instead of “My Collections.”

TechCrunch’s MG Siegler elaborates on the screenshot, adding other clues that Google Drive is coming, such as a Google Docs dialog that mentions “Google Drive” and some code that recently appeared in the source code for Google’s open-source browser Chromium.

TechCrunch also adds a detail not apparent from the screenshot: That Google Drive will be a full-fledged competitor to other online storage services like Dropbox and Box.net, with the ability to sync with local files. There’s no source for this last assertion, however.

Google Docs already acts as a virtual hard drive in many ways, with the ability to store and share images, videos and PDF files in addition to document formats that are editable in Google, such as spreadsheets, presentations and word-processing documents. Google offers 1GB of storage for free, with the option to purchase 20GB for $5 per year. It supports uploading and downloading of entire folders, although without automatic syncing. Turning Docs into Drive would be a small change, but the name change might significantly change the way people think about and use the service.

By comparison, Dropbox offers 2GB for free, or 50GB for $10 per month, and will automatically sync folders between the cloud and multiple computers. Box.net offers 5GB for free, or 50GB for $10 per month, with corporate options starting at $15 per user, and also offers automatic syncing and collaboration features. Other virtual drives have similar pricing.

Source

Productivity, Social Services

Do You Like When A Company Offers Live Chat?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was asked recently how I feel about companies having a live chat on their website and if it actually helps visitors. I personally think it does because sometimes you don’t have time to talk on the phone and may just have a general question that can be answered pretty quickly through chat. I feel live chat is a very useful tool for a website and should definitely be used if you have the staffing. I like knowing that the company I’m thinking of interacting with and possibly purchasing from feels that I am important enough to have someone on staff dedicated to answering my questions in a timely manner.

I would really be interested in what you think about online live chat. Have you ever used this service and if so did you have a good experience? Please share your thoughts.

Social Services

Getting Personal with Chime.In

There has been a lot of chatter recently about a new social service called Chime.In. I decided to check it out because I am a little bit bored with Facebook and although I love Twitter, sometimes I would like a little more interaction. This site is interesting in this regard. It’s like a cross between Facebook and a blog. You can create and join specific communities and find others who are interested in exactly the same thing. Of course you can add pictures, video, links and polls to your posts. You can also chat directly with people that are online right then about that subject. I like the idea of this because sometimes you have something to say right then and you want immediate feedback. You can create tags in different areas so that you can see when someone has replied to your post even if it’s not directly related to that particular subject. This could also be very useful for business sites as well as you could easily gear your followers over to a more personal live chat and you would already know that they would be interested in the subject matter. I’ve decided to give it a try and see if this will take the place of Facebook in my life. Please let me know if you try it and like it and we can enjoy it together.

Chime.In

 

Productivity

Multitask the easy way with IFThisThanThat

I’m obsessed with finding easier ways to do things. I mean why not complete multiple tasks when you can right? I was told about a site called IfThisThanThat which is a godsend in so many ways. I helps you send things to multiple places at one time so your actually multitasking without a lot of effort. You can send articles to anywhere to read later, put photos in dropbox and send documents to your email. The possibilities are endless. I use it to send reminders to my calendar of upcoming events which saves me a bunch of time. You should definitely give this one a try. I’m sure you will find a recipe that will save you time as well.

Check it out here: www.ifttt.com

technology

Stay Organized With Springpad

Throughout the day I normally come across tons of different information that I know I will use at another time such as great restaurants, new recipes or just a simple reminder to visit a store when I’m in a certain neighborhood. I’ve been using Springpad for all of these purposes and I have to say I’m totally impressed. You can make lists, set reminders and even set up a notebook to keep track of projects. They have a wonderful clipper tool that lets you clip things right from the web and edit it just the way you want. Everything is neatly contained and organized in a way that makes sense – to you.

Another fact that I really appreciate about this site is that they are always updating the service to make things easier and faster. I would definitely recommend Springpad to anyone that wants to stay organized. Oh – and its FREE.

Check it out here: www.springpadit.com