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14 Informative & Free e-books for Web Designers

Posted by Harshad

14 Informative & Free e-books for Web Designers


14 Informative & Free e-books for Web Designers

Posted: 07 Feb 2014 05:01 AM PST

Are you looking to gain a little experience in web design, coding or typography? Lucky for us, we no longer have to go through lengthy and boring books to get started on becoming a web designer. There are now plenty of good e-books available that will provide you with tips and examples to help you get into and flourish in web design.

To that end, I have put together a collection of 15 informative web design e-books that are available for free on the Internet. Most of these books contain first-hand tips from web design experts. Some are also available in multiple formats, so you can read them on your laptop, e-book reader, tablet, or smartphone.

Web Design Book of Trends, 2013-2014 by Marcin Treder

This is a very good e-book for those who want to keep themselves updated with the latest trends in web design. 11 current trends and 165 visually attractive examples are featured in this e-book.

Learning Web Design, 3rd Edition by Jennifer Niederst Robbins

This 480-page e-book will teach you how to build professional websites from scratch. From learning the fundamentals of how web pages work to building CSS layouts with multiple columns, you can find it all here.

Taking Your Talent to the Web by Jeffrey Zeldman

Although this book was written in 2001, a lot of its suggestions and guidance on the topic of transitioning to the World Wide Web are still applicable today. The paperback version has a 5-star rating on Amazon.com.

How To Be Creative by Hugh MacLeod

This is a lighthearted e-book featuring 26 first-hand tips on how to harness the creativity in you. Each tip is accompanied with a cartoon illustration, making this a really delightful read.

Web Designer's Success Guide by Kevin Airgid

This e-book is a guide on how to turn your freelance work into a source of profit. Topics covered in the book include project management, marketing, and pricing decisions.

Web Design and Mobile Trends for 2013 by Awwwards Team

Get an insight into the latest trends in web design and mobile technologies with this collection of interviews with 28 of today’s leading figures in the industry. It’s available in 4 formats: PDF, EPUB, MOBI and AZW3.

Design Your Imagination by WebGuru Infosystems

Although this e-book is mainly written for beginners that are still learning the ropes of web design, seasoned designers will also get some useful advice from it. There are 28 chapters with numerous backing examples.

Time Management for Creative People by Mark McGuinness

Although this e-book is a little old (written in 2007), I’m sure we would all agree that good time management principles will always stand the test of time. In just 32 pages, this e-book will help you improve your time management and get the most out of your day.

UX Design for Startups by Marcin Treder

This 127-page e-book will provide you with practical tips and a list of more than 60 tools for UX design. Written in a large font for easier reading, this e-book is available in 3 formats: EPUB, MOBI and PDF.

WordPress Meet Responsive Design by Michael Pick

With so many different devices (with different screen resolutions) that we can use to surf the Net these days, responsive web design (RWD) is clearly an important topic to cover for web designers. This e-book is about RWD in the context of WordPress design. It’s available in 3 formats: PDF, Kindle, EPUB.

The Design Funnel: A Manifesto for Meaningful Design by Stephen Hay

In just 12 pages, this e-book will show you how to understand the often ambiguous requests of your clients and build creative websites that will stand out from the crowd.

The Vignelli Canon by Massimo Vignelli

If you want to learn or understand more about the role of typography in web design, this 49-page e-book will help you do just that.

Pixel Perfect Precision Handbook 2 by Gyppsy AKA Tony Dones

In this 165-page handbook, you will find useful quick tips and lots of illustrations on how to make sure your designs look good down to every pixel, so to speak.

The Principles of Beautiful Web Design, 2nd Edition by Jason Beaird

This 170-page book is very good for those who already have some experience in creating websites. It will equip you with the essential knowledge and techniques to make beautiful visual enhancements for your site.


    






Top 10 Apps To Record Your Baby’s Milestones & Achievements

Posted: 07 Feb 2014 02:01 AM PST

Having a child is one of life’s great joys, or so I’m told. If you’re a new parent, it’s only natural that you’ll want to document and record your baby’s life. Whether it’s a daily record, or milestones like a first word or first birthday, there’ll never be a shortage of memories that need documenting. What’s more, there’s nothing that keeps an extended family together like regular updates on the newest addition(s) to the family.

Mementobox

Sure you can email or send photos via messaging apps to family and friends, or clutter everyone’s Facebook news feeds with the same baby pictures from 8 different angles, but there are easier, more secure, more organized, and more fun ways to do this. Here are 10 best apps that allow you to fully immerse yourself with pleasant memories of your adorable little ones, with timelines, calendars, milestones and with sharing capabilities to help keep family in the loop.

1. Moment Garden

Moment Garden is a simple-to-use baby journal with a nice minimal interface and a beatuiful timeline view. One interesting feature Moment Garden has is its suggestion engine for milestones and moments. It also emails you reminders of moments from the past year, a feature it calls Moment Memories. The journal is private and you can invite friends and family to follow with granted access. [Free]

Platform: Android | iOS

Moment Garden

2. Peekaboo Moments

Peekaboo Moments is a basic baby scrapbook that records and presents photos and moments in your baby’s life, as well as your own thoughts. It’s not loaded with features, but it does support private sharing, and allows you to invite friends and family to contribute to your baby’s scrapbook with their own memories and photos. [Free]

Platform: Android | iOS

Peekaboo Moments

3. Tinybeans

Tinybeans is a private online journal for your baby, documenting his or her life through photos, videos and milestones. It displays these moments as a calendar, which lets you see, at a glance, how your child has grown over time. Your journal is private, and only followers will be able to see it. Tinybeans will also send regular summary updates via email to friends and family of your choosing. [Free]

Platform: Android | iOS

Tinybeans

4. Tweekaboo

Tweekaboo saves and organises your photos and notes into a private timeline that is only shared with people of your choosing. Moments can be organised by albums or child, and you can even message moments directly to your loved one(s) as they happen in real-time. Like some of the other apps in this list, you can also create a hardcover book straight from Tweekaboo. [Free]

Platform: iOS

Tweekaboo

5. Bambio

Bambio is a slightly more structured baby journal that has categories for things like your child’s new favourite things and funny quotes. It also has a dedicated growth chart so that you can track how quickly your child is growing. Bambio doesn’t have its own sharing system, but you can share journal entries on Facebook, Twitter and through email, all directly from the app. [Free]

Platform: iOS

Bambio

6. HiBaby Diary

HiBaby Diary is a lot more focused on the nitty gritty of a baby’s first year: you can record and collect information related to your baby’s breast feeding, sleep times, and so on. It also records everyday moments like most of the other apps on this list. You can even invite trusted friends and family to contribute to your diary, and each activity can be shared individually on Facebook, Twitter and by email. You can also print the diary out by going to the website. [Free]

Platform: iOS

HiBaby Diary

7. Lifecake

Lifecake will turn entire folders of photos into one beautiful timeline, organized according to date and child, and can be easily and securely shared with friends and family. Lifecake will automatically share updates with chosen friends and family members; no more emailing photos or sending text messages. You can even create a photobook in Lifecake and have it delivered to your door. [Free]

Platform: iOS

Lifecake

8. Intoloop

Intoloop is a social timeline that can be used for anything from keeping a record of a project to, yes, recording your baby’s growth. It doesn’t have any baby-specific features, but it has a number of interesting features nonetheless. It lets you add stories to past as well as upcoming dates, supports a number of timeline themes, and lets you share your timeline only with specific people. [Free]

Platform: Android | iOS

Intoloop

9. My IStory

My iStory isn’t baby-specific, but it works similarly to most of the other apps on this list. It’s a photographic journal that allows you to add notes to photographs and turn these memories into slideshows or eBooks that can be shared with friends and family. It also supports audio recordings, and has passcode authentication to keep your memories safe from prying eyes. [$0.99]

Platform: iOS

My iStory

10. Mementobox

Mementobox takes a slightly different approach by dividing its journaling into three: "my birth", "my first year" and "my world". The first two are straightforward enough, letting you take note of things such as gifts recieved, milestones and immunisations, amongst others. "My world" lets you create a time capsule for your child, linking to external media such as news items, music videos and film trailers. [$4.00]

Platform: iOS

Mementobox


    






7 Principles Every Startup Entrepreneur Should Follow

Posted: 06 Feb 2014 11:01 PM PST

Are you a real entrepreneur? Everybody dreams of being an entrepreneur, owning a successful business, working on their own terms and not having to answer to a boss. The more courageous types go ahead and quit their job to pursue a startup, and possibly carrying a hope that they could reinvent the world (in 3 easy steps).

If you’re not afraid to fail in your startup, like how the greats have failed in their time, then you’ve taken the first step into entrepreneurship. The journey ahead will be long and ardous, and you will make plenty of mistakes along the way. But if this is what you are destined for, then take with you these 7 principles to aid you in your journey!

1. Don’t Look For Approval

Creating a business from scratch takes monumental effort. Praise to you my friend for choosing to do this, but you must understand, not all people want you to succeed. Not even your family or friends. Not because they don’t like you. They might even love you. And exactly because of that, they want you to stay the same.

Your parents or spouse might not want you to succeed just because you’ll be gone on business more of the time, and at a subconscious level they know that will be detrimental to the relationship.

Your friends might be scared that you’ll change as a person (which will surely happen). They might think of what other people will say about themselves, considering that you all come from the same place, but yet you’ll probably end up richer than them.

Approval, schmapproval

You’re better off taking a break from friend’s opinions and family advice for the time being and focusing on your new venture. Don’t seek approval, you don’t need any. This is a crucial step, which most often is overlooked. The ability to isolate yourself from other people’s approval will determine if you’re a winner or a loser.

2. Leave Investments For Later

Looking for money at an early stage in your company’s life is a really, really bad idea. You’ll only get part of the money you’re looking for and you’ll end up giving away too much of your company assets or even worse, you’ll give away shares.

Shares are your company’s soul. Be gentle with it and always remember that, when and if the time for an exit comes, those shares will determine the amount you get paid. So you should only look for outside investments once you’ve proven the concept of your startup, when you already have a decent revenue with at least a 3-6 month track record.

3. Business Incubators, Angel Investors Or Venture Capital?

This one is really tough. I would always advice against partnerships too early on, as already stated. The business world is much like the animal kingdom. Usually the small fish gets eaten by the giant shark, no matter how good the deal you’re offering. That’s just because this early in the game, you don’t really have that much leverage in order to negotiate an advantageous deal.

If you do decide to partner with somebody, by all means try to go for somebody in the same industry. That is, if you’re in the online space, you don’t want to partner with venture capitalists who just care about quarter or yearly profits.

You’ll want to do business with somebody who can actually add value, who can actually spend some time with you at least once a week and who knows his stuff in your startup’s niche.

And The Answer Is…

Business incubators and local angel investors are the best way to go. You’ll have more freedom, as opposed to working with a big investment fund. The term local is key, here.

You’ll want to go looking for these people at your local university. According to Bob Tosterud, Freeman Chair for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of South Dakota, angel investors are usually looking to invest in businesses started by bright young students. Approach the teachers, they usually either are personally involved in business endeavours, or they know somebody who is.

You might also try and find angel investors by asking:

  • Your accountant
  • Your lawyer
  • Local chamber of commerce
  • Business publications, blogs, magazines. Ring them up, they’ll be interested in talking to a businessman!
  • Your bank, they have loads of contacts!
  • Search for your local government agency which deals with commerce or business

If you want to read a great guide on how to find angel investors, check out this article.

4. Make Use Of A PNL Spreadsheet

So many startups forget to manage their finances correctly. A Profit ‘n’ Loss spreadsheet is a must. Don’t trust your accountant to do it for you. This is the entrepreneur’s job! Keep a really close eye to it, because every penny counts in these inception stages.

List all your expenditures. And I do mean all! Be honest with yourself, even if it’s hard seeing that you’re working 12 hours a day and your company is barely breaking even. This honesty will again make the difference between losing or winning.

Here are two links for you to download some good PNLs: Simple PNL Chart and Complex PNL Chart.

5. Share Your Vision Daily

Your early employees will probably be underpaid. As such, you’re really looking to motivate them by other means. You’ll want to inspire them, and the only way to do that effectively is with your vision. Have daily meetings in which you talk about your company goals.

Since you are a startup, these meetings will consist of 2-10 people. Look each of them in the eye whilst repeating your company’s dreams. Don’t talk about shallow things such as profits or trashing your competition. Give your company a soul. Talk about how the work they are doing will impact your clients lives, will add value to other people in ways you all can’t begin to fathom.

Talk about how great it is to be involved in something so noble. Come up with a great, simple and memorable slogan. Use if often when talking to your people and clients alike. You’ll want something similar to TNT’s “Yes we can!”. If you need ideas for a great slogan, check out this article:

6. Bond With Your Employees

Treat your employees well, especially considering they do show faith in your entrepreneurial skills, as they are working for you. Don’t be afraid to share some personal stories with them; just enough to show your human side.

Follow the two principles below:

  1. Only praise them in front of their colleagues
  2. Discipline/critique only in ‘one-on-one’ talks

Nobody likes to be made to look like a fool in front of other people. So don’t do that, it will only affect your personnel’s productivity. But don’t let mistakes slide, it will hinder your credibility as a manager. Make sure you get your point across strong, without his or her colleagues hearing your critique. When it comes time for praise, be generous with it, and let them all hear.

7. Specialization Is For Ants

As the great Robert A. Heinlein used to say:

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

And ants, my friend, make for lousy entrepreneurs. Owning a startup makes you a jack of all trades. You’ll be understaffed, underbudgeted, underdeveloped and looking for a massive insight or miracle constantly. You will personally need to do marketing, customer support, finance, client acquisition, billing and well, almost everything.

That’s considering you didn’t go for a massive investment (which as you probably already know by now, is a bad idea!) And doing all this work on your own is a good thing. It will teach you volumes in terms of knowing what to ask from your future employees. So don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! You’ll be grateful that you did later on!

Adhere to these 7 key rules and you’ll be on your way to having a great business. Do you know about any other golden rules for startups to follow?


    






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