Archive for the ‘ marketing ’ Category

On creating online portfolios + finding inspiration

Smashing Magazine offers some helpful tips on how to create an effective online portfolio –Show ’em your stuff!

Looking for inspiration? … Here are some ideas on where to look.

And here are some tips for creating creative résumés …. (Thanks, Laura! :))

And finally, Smashing Magazine gave this showcase of websites from around the world (wide web)!

Web 2.0

Web 2.0

Although the term, ‘Web 2.0′ (2004–present) seems to suggest a new version of the Web, technically, it isn’t. The only difference is the way in which software developers, web designers and end-users use the Web. According to wikipedia:

‘Web 2.0 is commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design,[1] and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Examples of Web 2.0 include web-based communities, hosted services, web applications, social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, mashups, and folksonomies. A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with other users or to change website content, in contrast to non-interactive websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of information that is provided to them.”

The term came into being at Tim O’Reilly’s O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004.[2][3]

Here’s a useful Web 2.0 Design Guide, by web design from scratch, for tips, trends and tricks to design for Web 2.0.

Using Google Analytics

Since the incarnation of Web 2.0, the Web has become not only a vast collection of resources for information on just about any topic you can imagine – it is now a wide-spread social phenomenon with great potential for designers, small business owners and content creators alike! A good idea on the web can *and does* –spread like wild fire!

How can you, as a designer, ensure that your site not only stands out among the myriad of websites on the Web, but also know how your site is being used? To understand how your site is fairing on the Web, you can track and measure your website’s performance with Google Analytics! The trick is to be smart about how you design your site from the get-go, and to market it effectively through social media networks. Once you have done those two things, you can monitor your site’s performance with Google Analytics. Here’s how:

According to ‘The Missing Google Analytics Manual‘, there are four components to effectively market your website:

  1. Attraction: How do you attract users to your web site?
  2. Retention: How do you hold your users’ attention and keep their interest within the site?
  3. Conversion: How do you convert a users’ actions into transactions?
  4. Measurement: How do you measure your website’s performance, including traffic, referrals, most popular content, and so on  … ?

First, create an account with Google Analytics. Once you have done this, it will generate a unique code identifier that looks like this bogus account: XY-1234567-8. Now you can add a tiny <snippit of js code> called Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) to your site to begin tracking, so you can record and monitor your site’s performance.

To include basic Google Analytics code within the pages of your website, paste the following javascript into your website. This code consists of two parts: ‘a script tag that references the ga.js tracking code, and another script that executes the tracking code.’ (For more advanced Google Analytics functionality, visit GATC’s code manual, to learn how to tweek the code for your site. But note that you should know how to code, in order to use this site.)

For the first part of code to reference the tracking code, copy and paste the code below into the web pages of your site that you wish to track:

<script src='http://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'> OR

<script src='https://ssl.google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'> (for a secure page connection)

And now for the second part, to execute the tracking code, copy and paste the snippit of code below:

<script type="text/javascript">
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
try{
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-xxxxxx-x");
pageTracker._trackPageview();
} catch(err) {}</script>

Once you have plugged the necessary code for Google Analytics to track your site’s performance, it should begin tracking.

To see how your site is doing, login to Google Analytics and click, ‘View report’ for your website’s profile. Once you have done this, Google Analytics will show you a dashboard with your site’s informatics.

Understanding the Google Analytics Interface:

Google Analytics screenshot of a bogus website

The Google Analytics Dashboard is made up of the following widgets:

  • a Calendar with a line graph representing the time line specified
  • Site Usage , including how many visitors and pages were viewed on the site
  • a Visitors Overview, including technical information about what browser and connection speed visitors used to view the website
  • a Map Overlay, representing where visitors accessed the website from. (You can drill down from country to city, for more specific information about your visitors’ location.)
  • Traffic Sources Overview, with a pie graph representing the per centage of visitors who found your website via a Search Engine, or a Referring Site or through Direct Traffic.
  • Content Overview (what content visitors access within the site)
  • Direct Traffic

more to come soon …

on Adobe

Adode Logo

Adobe, the house-hold name for digital imaging.

I remember the first time I used Adobe Photoshop. It was Photoshop 3.0. It’s come along way since it’s humble beginnings in the late 1980’s, when Thomas and John Knoll first developed the pixel-imaging program, originally called, ‘Display.’ Photoshop was licensed in 1988 and has continuously pushed the limits of digital image manipulation ever since, from it’s early use as a bitmap application, to eventually include layers, vectors, and eventually the development of an entire suite for professional image-makers to include web design applications, after Adobe bought Macromedia in 2005.

To learn more about the history and development of Adobe products, visit: The Adobe Timeline

There are lots of great resources on their site, including the Adobe Design Center, trial downloads of their latest software, online tutorials and professional portfolios for inspiration.

What will they think of next?

on Apple

Apple’s motto, ‘Think Different’ says it all, as they push conventional understanding and uses of technology. Founded in 1976 by visionary entrepreneur, Steve Jobbs –Apple has since become the leader in ubiquitous computing and sleek user-interface design, with a revenue of over 50 billion per year!

Apple’s products include the new iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apps and Macs. Apple has changed the way of computing to include a unified brand for browsing, email, viewing photos, watching videos, playing games, listening to music and even reading eBooks on the new iPad.

Apple’s iPhone revolutionized the way we use cellular phones. Convergence in mobile devices is key to Apple’s vision. Some neat ideas to emerge from the iPhone include seamless integration from one function to another. Users can toggle between browsing, using the phone or any number of functions with ease. Another neat trick by Apple: the indiscriminate user view, where there is no up or down! The device displays to either ‘portrait’ or ‘landscape’ depending on how the device is held. When viewing galleries, users can ‘pinch’ open galleries. Also, ‘scrolling’ is achieved more like how a reader turns the pages of a page.

Apple users can purchase hardware and software, including iTunes, apps, movies, eBooks and more through Apple’s online store.

Apple’s software includes QuickTime,the new iLife, iWork, Aperture and Final Cut Studio, to name just a few.

Some interesting facts about Apple:

  • Apple sold it’s first Powerbook in 1991
  • There are currently 140,000 apps available and more to come …
  • 250 million iPods have been sold around the world since 2001

Apple User-Interface Guidelines

on Photography

Graffiti in Barcelona, photo taken by Nancy

This photo was taken in Barcellona.

In university, I minored in photography at Ryerson, and studied at the Société française de photographie for a summer in belle Paris!
This incredible experience of a lifetime introduced me to the rich history of photography and enabled me to see the earliest works from photography’s invention, in 1837.
As you may have guessed, photography is a great passion of mine, so I will do my best to be concise here!

I’ve decided to break this entry into three parts:

  1. a brief background/ history of photography with honourable mention of a few pioneers (an interesting tangent … but I digress!)
  2. a brief discussion of composition in photography
  3. sources on the Web, including image galleries and stock photography (with a caveat about Copyright and Creative Commons)

Stay tuned … there’s more to come….

The history of photography


On composition in photography

  • One-third /two-thirds Rule

Sources of photography on the Web