Design is everything.

All posts by ovsyannykov

Design

Carbon Fiber Lounge Chair by RevoZport

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Originally designed by Charles and Ray Eames during the 1940s with the production of three-dimensional moulded plywood to fit the contour of the body. Today, the same design is now available in the latest state of the art material “Carbon Fibre”.

Source: Fancycrave.com

Design

DNA Bookcase

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Functionality in aesthetics is embedded in the gene of every Cattelan Italia design. This is distinctively in display in the science-inspired contour of the DNA Bookcase. Its slender, minimalist yet sturdy steel construction boasts 13 shelves set on each side in a swirl that mimics the unique figure of DNA. Whether you are a fan of genetics or not, the bookcase’s interesting shape is sure to draw attention to any living space or study while keeping books neat and tidy in style.

Source: Fancycrave.com

Technology

5 Simple Tips for Smart Email Marketing

When it comes to customer outreach and interaction, email marketing is critical. The problem? It’s easy to do it wrong. Before you start sending a barrage of messages to every user on your list, review these five simple steps for effective email marketing. Nailing the basic stuff is 80% of the work.

1. Understand the spam rules

smart email marketing1 5 Simple Tips for Smart Email Marketing

Just because you’re promoting a noble cause—your design work, for example—doesn’t stop your messages from being flagged as spam. For the full story, you can read about the CAN-SPAM act to gain a deeper understanding of the law, but put plainly, you may only send bulk emails to those who have given you permission. This typically means that they’ll need to check a box when signing up for your site or service. Keep this in mind before you email your whole database of registered users without asking.

2. Make it easy to subscribe to your emails

Given the strict spam rules, your top priority should be to get signups for your email list. You should have an email signup form wherever your customers are, whether that’s on your website, blog, Facebook page, or in your store. The easiest way to gain new subscribers is to ask them whether they’d like to receive an email newsletter when they first sign up. The problem? This adds one more step to registration process, and studies show that each additional step can turn potential signups away.

Alternatively, you might provide a link for users to join your newsletter when you send them a registration verification email, or else present a checkbox to sign up when they make their first purchase. Regardless of the methods you use, always provide a brief sentence that tells users how signing up for the newsletter will benefit them.

Finally, make sure that your subscribe form is short and to the point. Start by collecting the pertinent information and you can always send an email later on asking for more details. A single button or checkbox is a fine place to start.

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Technology

The Key to SEO is Testing Your ROI

While the gold rush is mostly over, websites of all types are still paying plenty of money to enhance their rankings in search engine results. After all, ranking for high-volume keywords can provide thousands of referrals per day, which can lead to sales and other income-generating events. In other words, while SEO has taken some flak in recent years, it still serves an important purpose for every website seeking to sell something.

Although the general nature of SEO is more well-known now than it was five years ago, many mysteries still abound. Many companies believe they need SEO services, but are a bit unclear on what they’re getting out of them. Yes, SEO tactics are designed to boost your rankings for important search keywords, but that’s not the ultimate goal. When you pay for SEO services, you should have one goal and one goal only in mind: to increase sales. If an SEO campaign doesn’t increase your sales, it’s not worth your while.

In other words, you need to see one of the most basic business principles at work: return on investment. How can you determine what you’re getting out of your SEO campaign? And how can you best set yourself up for success with SEO? Here are a few tips from many years of working with big companies to boost their rankings and increase their revenues.

Work on revenue share (at first)

Many companies now prefer to hire full-time employees for SEO work. This has been a boon to the industry, giving jobs to many people who eked out a freelance existence previously. On the surface this seems to make sense. SEO is not a one-and-done task. Since there are thousands of companies vying for the top rankings on the most lucrative keywords, SEO has become an ongoing process. Who better to handle an ongoing process than a full-time, in-house employee?

At the same time, an in-house employee has few incentives beyond doing a good enough job to not get fired. In other words, while you might get good work out of an in-house employee, and hiring one might enable you to control your costs, you probably won’t get elite results from one. A freelancer, particularly one working on revenue share, will be much more motivated to produce elite results. Since the freelancer makes money only when you do, he or she will necessarily produce a profit.

Since many veteran SEOs require a retainer, chances are this means going with a lesser known service. But that can be an advantage, too. Those with a lesser-known reputation will be willing to try new tactics, and will certainly be ahead of the industry learning curve. So you have a motivated and incentivized SEO working to make you money, because that’s what makes him or her money.

(Caution is still necessary, though, which will be covered below.)

Constantly monitor analytics

constantly monitor analytics1 The Key to SEO is Testing Your ROI

If SEO is an ongoing job, you should be able to see the results in relatively short order. This doesn’t mean instant gratification, but it does mean that after the initial load period, you should start to see results change regularly. While the SEO should be checking analytics for feedback, you, the person who hired the SEO, should do the same. It’s the only way to determine whether the relationship is working.

This means checking not only traffic and conversion data, but also sales data. A program like Intuit accounting software QuickBooks can help greatly here. Not only will that allow you to see your sales growth, but you can break it down to sales growth directly from search traffic. Again, it’s sales gain you’re seeking, not just rankings increases. Rankings increases without sales increases is just noise.

That isn’t to say you shouldn’t check your rankings analytics. Rankings and sales are often related. But ranking No. 1 for a keyword that doesn’t convert well isn’t as impressive as ranking No. 4 for a term that converts at a 50 percent rate. But in order to mete out that data, you have to constantly check rankings and sales analytics to ensure you’re on the right track.

Require regular activity reports

In the past two years, Google has lowered the hammer on shady SEO practices. Much of what was common four years ago is absolutely forbidden today. This is yet another reason to hire an SEO on a revenue share basis rather than on retainer: when you hire someone on retainer you guarantee them payment, and outdated SEO tactics can lose you far more money than you pay the SEO.

It is not unreasonable to ask your SEO to detail all tactics. A freelance SEO might find that unfair; what’s to stop them from hiring someone in-house to duplicate those tactics? But as we discussed above, the revenue-sharing freelancer will be more cost efficient overall.

Requiring weekly or even daily activity reports allows you to stay on top of the situation and make sure that the SEO isn’t doing anything that might harm your business. It is also advisable to run regular backlink checks, using tools such as Majestic SEO, so that you can ensure that your SEO isn’t doing something shady and not reporting it.

As Ronald Reagan said, trust but verify. This is incredibly important when hiring any freelancer, especially an SEO.

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Technology

Mobile Technology – Ending the Era of ‘Running Errands’

These days, virtually anything can be solved using a mobile device. It’s a digital age, where technology has to keep up with the demands of a more mobile society.

Over the last 10 years, technology has grown at an exponential rate— where we now have smartphones, tablets, phablets, and laptops that are taken and used everywhere over Wi-Fi networks; bluetooth and NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, adds to the abilities of these devices.

Whether for GPS navigation purposes, creating to-do lists, scheduling appointments, monitoring emails etc., mobile devices have become a necessary component of everyday life. And it doesn’t end there.

Now, our smart devices can digitally do our errands. Why run around town when you can just click a button? Before long, doing your errands online will be commonplace. Believe it or not, the trend is already making its way:

1. Daily Scheduling

 Mobile Technology – Ending the Era of ‘Running Errands’

We anticipate having devices that come pre-programed with a calendar that syncs with our various online social accounts. When the date for an occasion arrives, a gentle digital chime serves as a reminder.

But now, there are new programs that go above and beyond the calendar function.

Cue automatically connects existing calendars by connecting events to relevant phone numbers, contacts and addresses. By tying account info together, Cue helps keep up of daily obligations, etc. — both at home and at work. Cue’s mission is to turn “…the accounts you depend on, like email, contacts and calendar, into an intelligent snapshot of your day.” With less to keep up with, more important things can be given attention.

-Cue is available for iOS devices on CueUp.com.

Wunderlist helps create a better to-do list for business, shopping or just keeping up with daily life. More than 4 million people using Wunderlist and it continues to grow in popularity.

-Wunderlist is available for free for Android, Windows and Mac devices on wunderlist.com.

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Design

30 Must Have Hot New Fonts

If you are a designer, the fonts you use influence the opinions of your viewers. Choosing the right font for a project is essential. Sometimes you want a font that’s easy to read. Other times you want a font that’s more fun or fancy.

However, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a designer or even into typography. New fonts are fun for everyone!

Check out the brilliant new fonts below.

Core Circus

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Core Circus is a fun font, one of which has vertical stripes to shade in the characters. The characters in this family can also have a bold shadow that really makes them pop. Core Circus has 20 fonts in its family.

Voyage

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Voyage is a vintage, cursive script. There are 3 fonts in this family. The characters are smooth and inviting. There are light and bold options.

Rolling Pen

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Rolling Pen is a gorgeous, light script that emulates an ink pen. This font family has 5 fonts. The thin lines make this font a delight to read.

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Design

60 Creative Negative Space Logo Designs

Negative Space creates an interesting visual effect for the human eye to fathom. By taking advantage of the negative space, designers are able to create something that captures the imagination. Negative space logos must be simple, clear, memorable, and clever. Today we gathered inspiring examples of negative space logos that’ll grab your attention and bring a smile to your face.

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1911 60 Creative Negative Space Logo Designs

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Technology

Cloud Migration – 6 Tips for Moving into the Cloud

Cloud migration: If the image brings to mind flocks of birds making their way across the world, the metaphor is apt – as long as you replace the birds with the endless packets of data that businesses manage on a daily basis.

Moving data into the cloud makes it easy to access from anywhere and use in new, creative ways. However, companies need to create robust migration strategies that ensure they have all the tools they need, all the security available, and an implementation plan that will not leave employees mired in confusion. Here are several tips on how to properly begin:

1. Create a Checklist of Must-Haves:

moving into the cloud1 Cloud Migration – 6 Tips for Moving into the Cloud

Departments will feel far more comfortable with a move toward the cloud if they are involved in the process from the beginning. Company leaders should ask what the big concerns are and what tools departments must have to accomplish their tasks. In HR departments, cloud recruitment and candidate databases are a common requirement. In customer service, the same is true of client data and issue resolution workflow. In the end, companies should have a checklist of all department needs they can use as guides to create a full cloud system.

2. Become Server-Centric:

When migrating fully to the cloud, servers become some of the most important hardware around. Whether you are using a vendor’s server or are planning on investing in your own hardware, study on the latest offerings in data storage, cloud properties, power requirements, safeguards, and other features. How scalable do you need your servers to be – and how easily upgraded?

3. Research Your Vendors for Extra-Dependable Service:

For most companies, cloud computing involves trusting a host or vendor for cloud management. Software as a Service (SaaS) can be a perfect solution, but every vendor is a little different and you need to do your due diligence before making any decisions. Does the SaaS system have all the tools you need? Is there 24-hour, complete customer service? Do vendors have plenty of security features and additional power sources to ensure that connections to servers are never lost? These questions and others like them are vital to good migration.

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Photos

25 Terrific Gifts for Shutterbugs

Like many tech junkies, photographers are also technology enthusiasts. Finding the right gift for a photograher isn’t easy, but we’re here to help. For photographers, the best gifts are the ones that will make their life easier. Any kind of gift that provides comfort, increases productivity, speeds up their work or simply makes them smile is ideal. Today we collected twenty-five awesome accessories and tools for photographers. If you have a family member, friend, or a loved one who’s a photographer, this gift guide is for you. Happy gift shopping!

Leather Camera Strap by Wood & Faulk

 25 Terrific Gifts for Shutterbugs

The perfect compliment to your favorite camera, this fine leather wriststrap was made to keep your old friend safely tied to you. It is only suited for a lug mount, so make sure your camera is compatible. Has protective tab built into the construction to protect your camera from any marring.

Camera USB Drive

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This camera flash drive is a fun and convenient way to save all of your important documents whether you are at the office or at home.

Minox DCC 5.1 Classic Digital Camera

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State-of-the-art technology and optical systems behind the nostalgic look provide images of brilliant quality. It has a Minoctar 9.0mm lens (42mm in 35mm format) with a 4x digital zoom. Pictures are stored in the camera’s 128MB internal memory, or on a SDHC memory card up to 16GB. Functional controls have been unobtrusively integrated in the body, including a 2″ TFT color monitor. The camera can also capture video at 320 x 240 pixels for up to 60 seconds per clip. Power is reliably supplied by a replaceable Lithium-ion battery that is charged via a USB connection.

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Design

Incorporating Subtle Patterns and Minimalism into Web Design

Web design used to be about flashy, bright colors, attention-getters and flash animations that were full of movement and activity designed to be extremely noticeable. Front-end design standards have come a long way since those days, with flash quickly becoming a thing of the past and the professional standard for becoming more sophisticated than it has ever been.

The list of best practices for designing a web page in 2013 is long, but there are two staples of a well-designed page that every developer can start with:

Subtle Patterns

Minimalist Design

These are the two pillars of sophisticated and modern web design. If you pay attention when visiting different sites, you’ll notice that the ones with a really clean and polished look and feel, will almost always exhibit these two qualities.

minimalism11 Incorporating Subtle Patterns and Minimalism into Web Design

Subtlety and minimalism show that you aren’t trying to compensate for bad content or be flashy in an effort to get unwarranted attention.

Instead a subtle design tells visitors that the content speaks for itself and doesn’t require a whole cast of bells and whistles to make it more appealing or interesting. It’s the best way to construct a framework for content that you know people are going to be interested in.

So how is it usually done? Let’s look at a few areas where subtle patterns and minimalism come into play.

Colors

The general rule of thumb is that when aiming for a minimalist color scheme, you want to use a lot of white, gray and maybe a little black. Hard colors like deep blue, neon green and bright yellows are definite no-nos and shouldn’t be used outside of a few obscure exceptions.

Background

Depending on the feel of your site, the background should provide a soft, pleasing pattern to frame your content. This is where the idea of subtlety really comes into play. While most text boxes should just be white, or a very light gray, your background can go a little darker with some texture added. For a whole collection of these textures check out subtlepatterns.com.

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Product Design

Moma x Brooklyn Cruiser Bicycle

 Moma x Brooklyn Cruiser Bicycle

With a design inspired by vintage bicycles of the Far East and Europe, this step-through bicycle is built to last. Modern features include three-speed internal hub, front hand break and rear pedal brake, full front and back fenders, rear carry rack, comfortable leather saddle, swept-back handlebars with leather grips, cream-colored tires, and a kickstand.

Source: Fancycrave.com

Technology

HiRise Mac Stand & Storage System by Twelve South

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HiRise is an elegant iMac stand designed to elevate your iMac or Apple Display to your optimal viewing height for a more comfortable and ergonomic work station. HiRise has an internal metal support shelf that lets you adjust the height of your Mac in one of six internal positions and is over-engineered to securely support any iMac or Apple Display. The hidden storage compartment is perfect for stashing hard drives and cables, or your wallet and keys.

Source: Fancycrave.com

Technology

15 Premium WordPress SEO Plugins

With all the options and noise about SEO, how can you believe what everybody is saying? I’ve ran into multiple blogs, with authors claiming to be ‘gurus’ or ‘experts’ on the topic. However when I compare their findings or ‘knowledge’ more often than not they contradict themselves. One way to be fully sure about what Google likes and dislikes is to actually read their guidelines. You can also check out Youtube videos from the head of Google’s Webspam team, Matt Cutt.

If you want your content to be found organically, you should consider using search engine optimization (SEO) tools to get better search engine result rankings. SEO tools are especially helpful for businesses, as they can help you sell more products, bring in more visitors, and outrank your competitors. Here are 15 of the best WordPress SEO plugins for you to check out and see if they’re the right fit for you or your business.

Smart SEO

seo preview11 15 Premium WordPress SEO Plugins

Smart SEO auto-checks the post that you are making as you are making it and gives you a Smart SEO score. You can use this score to revise your post to improve your search engine results. Smart SEO also helps you create a title intelligently.

Keyword Finder

preview11 15 Premium WordPress SEO Plugins

Keyword Finder can provide you with the most-searched keywords. You can write your posts around this information, and your search engine ranking will improve. One particularly nice thing about this tool is that it works for 189 languages. You can also try this tool before you purchase it to see if it’s right for you.

Google+ Author Information in Search Results

google author inline preview111 15 Premium WordPress SEO Plugins

In some Google searches, an author’s face appears next to the search result. This is because the author’s Google+ profile is linked with the post. This plugin lets you replace your author links with links to the author’s Google+ profile. This could potentially get you more viewers as it adds credibility.

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Web

20 Free and Easy Website Building Tools

Creating your own website can be an intimidating task if you don’t have a background in web design. The good news is that there are a lot of tools to help you make a website in minutes, and you don’t have to know any HTML! Some of these tools are so powerful that the average visitor will have no clue that you didn’t create your website from scratch. Furthermore, a lot of these tools are free.

So, what are you waiting for? Read the list of the 20 best website building tools below to find out which one is right for you.

Wix

wix1 20 Free and Easy Website Building Tools

Wix makes web design as easy as it comes. You simply choose a template, customize it, and then publish it online. They have tons of templates to choose from, so it won’t be obvious that you make your website with a website building tool.

Weebly

weebly1 20 Free and Easy Website Building Tools

Weebly has a very robust platform for website creation, yet it’s intuitive. It’s a great option for teachers, since it can allow teachers to create a website and have students create websites. The student websites can be moderated and managed.

Edicy

edicy1 20 Free and Easy Website Building Tools

Edicy is a nice website building tool to use if you’re a professional. Many templates that the website has available are classy and simple. As an added bonus, Edicy has support for creating multilingual websites.

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Photos

Photography: Getting the most out of Diverse Environments

Whether you’re going travelling with your camera, or simply looking to diversify your portfolio by exploring further afield at home, knowing how to take photographs in different types of environment is crucial.

A one-size-fits-all approach will severely compromise your ability to take the best shots, but simply knowing a few basic tips can give your results a serious boost. Brushing up on location-specific advice before heading out is therefore well worthwhile.

Coastal photography

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When heading to the coast with your camera, make sure to take along a lens cloth so that you can prevent any sand or sea salt compromising the quality of your shots. A bag will give protection to your equipment when it’s not in use.

Many people who take photographs at the beach fall into the trap of standing and snapping the horizon. While this is certainly beautiful to the eye, it doesn’t always translate well as a still image – adding foreground interest is crucial.

Add some depth to your shot by making sure you frame something towards the front. A boat or pier work well, but something as simple as a pile of driftwood can make all the difference. Landscape photographer Adam Burton recommends looking out for wooden groynes too.

Keep the horizon straight, but make sure you don’t always place it directly across the centre of your viewfinder. Include more of the sky if there is a beautiful pattern of clouds or unusual colours, or move the shot downwards if the beach is more interesting.

Underwater photography

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The increasing sophistication of cameras and accessories means that underwater photography is becoming achievable for a wider range of hobbyists. This environment can be extremely tricky to work with, but it also provides some of the most spectacular results.

A DSLR camera in waterproof housing is an essential in this environment, but another piece of recommended equipment is a specially-designed strobe light, as the water limits the amount of natural light. For this reason, you should always shoot toward the surface.

Beginners can experiment by shooting in a swimming pool or by snorkelling close to the surface of a natural body of water, but the most impressive photos usually come from those who are comfortable scuba diving in the areas with the most diverse range of marine life.

Experienced hobbyists and professionals will head out on sunny days when the water is calm – waves disturb the sand bed, meaning that more debris is suspended in the water. You can find more underwater photography tips on the National Geographic website.

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