Tips for Choosing the Best Mobile App Developer For Your Business

The internet changes constantly, doesn’t it? Ten years ago, hardly any company was worried about operating a mobile app and now, we do everything on our phones. Phones have evolved too, going from being tiny bricks with hardly any capabilities, to being three times the size, with ten times the capabilities. All of our research about companies, our interactions online, and our use of the internet was once done on our laptops and now we mostly save those for work and the occasional big project. Our phones are our sidekicks and apps are a large part of what makes that possible. There was a period of time when we accessed many of our mobile information and programs through a browser and now, apps handle most of what we need to do on mobile. If you or your company is looking to hire an app developer and create an app, these are the steps you should follow: Check the credibility of your app developer
First, take extra measures to assess the developer’s portfolio of existing work. How many apps have they developed? Does the functionality overlap with anything you need your app to do? How do the apps look and function? Are there any you can download and test as proof that the developer knows his or her stuff? Since the success of a mobile app depends on how well it engages the customers, it’s good to have an eye on your developer’s ability to translate your business objectives into usability for the customer. You may want to speak with former clients that have worked with your developer to know what the back-and-forth will feel like. Is he or she quick, communicative, and reliable? These things are very important. Ask your network If you are running a company or managing a brand, or if you work in a digital arena, you probably have members of your professional network who have had apps built and know a great developer. You should never hire anyone JUST because someone you know knows them too. However, if your friend or colleague has worked with a reliable developer and was pleased enough with his or her work to recommend them to someone else, that’s a great sign that the person IS skilled, reliable, and easy to work with. Don’t compromise on pricing It goes without saying that the development of a mobile app will have associative costs. Developer labor can be upwards of $100 to $300 per hour, the app mainframe and any special features will cost extra, and it...

The 10 best freelance billboard designers for hire in 2018

There’s nothing quite like seeing your brand on a giant billboard… unless that billboard doesn’t look good. If you’re going to invest in such a grandiose form of advertising, it’s best to hire a designer who’s not just up for the task, but can also excel at it. Below, we list the top ten freelance designers for billboards big and small, whether for the highway or the walkway. The 10 best freelance billboard designers to hire in 2018
— Analyn26 Top Level 5.0 ( 162 ) Signage Postcard, flyer or print Other business or advertising Logo design Other design Brochure Web page design Banner ad Poster Business card PowerPoint template Email Other web or app design Infographic Facebook cover Logo & brand identity pack Magazine cover Illustration or graphics Book cover Stationery Product label Icon or button Card or invitation Car, truck or van wrap Request quote...

7 Secrets for Building Great Client Relationships

A colleague recently said to me, “I’ve heard that you’re a client relations guru. Are there any tips or tricks that you have for starting to build up those relationships?” I always love a question like this—something that makes me stop and reflect. It’s true. Working with people and developing new (or existing) relationships is something I have a knack for. Even though I self-identify as an introvert, I love doing it because genuinely connecting with other people, hearing about their experiences, challenges, wins, quirky-cool talents, what winds their clock (and sharing in return)…well, it actually means something to me. Was that the big secret? Or was there more? Could I summarize everything I do to establish a client relationship—things I do without even thinking— and distill it into a list of best practices anyone can apply? Short answer? Yes. The next seven tips sum up my advice for building great client relationships within the context of project management. Tip 1. Face Time is the Best Time I know there are people who successfully work 100% remotely. I get that. But at some point, if you want to build and maintain great, deep, lasting connections with your clients, you need that human relationship phenomenon that only happens when you’re in person. It’s different. Good different. I like to meet in person…when I just “feel” like we haven’t met in person in a while As a general rule, I like to meet in person for an initial conversation, key deliverables, or when I just “feel” like we haven’t met in person in a while. It’s a gut thing, which you’ll need to develop with each new client relationship you cultivate. Tip 2. Pick Up the Phone Don’t hide behind email. In today’s day and age, depending on your personality, your workload, and that of those you’re in contact with, it can feel easier to just send an email. Often email is a good choice, but be aware of the fact that live human-voice connection is like wholesome, all-natural medicine. Your job as a project manager is to nurture your relationships with the right dose of it. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. It depends on how active the project is, your client’s personality, and the kind of work you’re doing. The important takeaway here is, make sure it’s part of your approach. Tip 3. Money Always Needs to be a Verbal Conversation At least the initial presentation of it does. That way you hear...

How to Pick the Right Design Projects

As your freelance design career progresses, you’ll be presented with many project opportunities. But one of the hardest aspects of being in business is learning to pick the right projects for you. There are several reasons for this. First, we tend to be trusting of others when they’re telling us about their needs. Second, saying “no” to anyone can feel like we’re going against our instincts (who turns down a paycheck?). And third, you never quite know exactly how a project will go. Predicting the future, as it turns out, isn’t a sure thing. Still, there are some things you can do to increase your odds of being right. The goal is to ensure that you’re taking advantage of the best opportunities that come your way. So, how do you know when a potential project is the “right one”? Ask yourself the following questions: Does the Client’s Idea Sound Realistic? One of the first considerations for signing onto a project is the client’s take on reality. You will usually find that the best projects come from those who are realistic. Their ideas and goals are smart and attainable. Occasionally, you’ll run into someone that thinks big. They want to turn the world on its head and make big money while they’re doing it. There’s certainly nothing wrong with having lofty goals. But don’t mistake an ambitious person for one who’s detached from reality. These people will talk of all the money they’re going to make, yet won’t be able to pay you much (if anything) for your initial efforts. Instead, you get promises of a large payout once their pie-in-the-sky idea is a success. Think of it this way: If this person is really serious, they’d probably have enough funds to pay you fairly. Asking you to jump in head first to make their dreams come true isn’t at all realistic. Therefore, it’s up to you to be a bit of a cynic. You don’t want to come off as rude or dismissive, but you should ask the tough questions. As in, “Where’s the money going to come from?” Better yet, if the idea sounds like a lot of hot air, politely remove yourself from the situation. Most likely, you will save yourself a lot of frustration. What Kind of Work is Involved? It may sound a bit silly, but sometimes it’s easy to ignore the actual work that needs to be done. You can get all caught up in simply accepting whatever the client needs because, well, that’s what you’re supposed to do. Not so fast. Early...

Popular Design News of the Week: October 29, 2018 – November 4, 2018

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers.  The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week. Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news. Is Front-end Development Having an Identity Crisis?   Celebrate Halloween with Ghoul-gle   Designers: ‘Stop Making Crap!’   Why do all Websites Look the Same?   There’s Always More Work to Do—but You Still Don’t Need to Work Long Hours   The Secret Dots that Printers Leave on your Prints   Project Management for Designers: Tips and Tools   Best Tools for Code Collaboration   2018 UX Tools Survey   Haska – A Codeless Back-end Services Platform   This is WordPress 5.0’s Default Theme (Twenty Nineteen)   Uilicious Snippets   Redesigning a Canadian Lifestyle App – A UX Case Study   Systemizing Color for Change   DNA of a Designer   Sketchnoting for UX Designers: WebExpo Conference Captured by Sketchnotes   The Little-Known Reason Pencils are Yellow   Google Wants to Hear from SEOs on the Search Result Listings   Accessibility in UX: How to Make Mobile App Design Work for Everyone   Build your own Horror Atmosphere   Don’t Have a Halloween Costume? Let an AI Pick One for You   Site Design: Justin Jackson   Design Portfolio Bingo   The Pitfalls of Running A/B Tests   The Future of Creativity at Adobe MAX   Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News. Add Realistic Chalk and Sketch Lettering Effects with Sketch’it – only $5!

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The 10 best freelance banner ad designers for hire in 2018

The internet is a crowded place. And if you want to break through the clutter and grab the attention of your ideal audience, you need something that’s really going to stand out—and that “something?” It’s the right banner ad. An impactful banner ad can help you increase brand recognition, connect with your ideal audience, and drive traffic and sales to your business. But a not-so-impactful banner ad? Let’s just say it can be a serious waste of budget. Working with a top banner ad designer is key if you want to create the kind of banner ads that really make an impact on your audience. Here are our picks for the best freelance banner ad designers you can hire right now: The 10 best freelance banner ad designers to hire in 2018
— Daughtry Top Level 5.0 ( 104 ) Banner ad Flash banner Other design Other web or app design Postcard, flyer or print Sticker Stationery Social media page Infographic Illustration or graphics Facebook cover Request quote Maryia Dziadziulia Top Level 5.0 ( 50...

Keeping Your Website Design Consistent

The last word you may want a user to associate with your website is “predictable.” This term has a negative connotation in the business world and makes you think of a brand that is boring, unexciting, and identical to its competitors. Yet to a degree, users expect and rely on the predictability of a website. At its most basic level, a website should be predictable – it should function like all other websites, at least to the point where your user does not struggle to make sense of the interface. Otherwise, your think-outside-the-box strategy might throw users off. Your Web Designer Toolbox
Unlimited Downloads: 500,000+ Web Templates, Icon Sets, Themes & Design Assets
DOWNLOAD NOW Think of your website like a car. While consumers react positively to creative, innovative ideas that boost the user experience, for example, touch screen infotainment systems and massage chairs, they may not be keen on a brand that tries to completely revolutionize the way vehicles operate, such as one that places the steering wheel in the backseat. Features along such lines can seem less user-friendly and more gimmicky, designed simply for the “wow factor” – a move on the brand’s part that users would likely not respond to well. Your website must prioritize usability and the user experience above all else to maintain its popularity – and your brand’s credibility. The solution is to balance predictability with intrigue. Maintain certain elements your users cannot go without, such as menu options and content. Your users must be able to navigate your website with ease or else they will click away. Yet predictable does not have to mean boring. For instance, some websites are beginning to integrate virtual and augmented realities into the UI. Designers can get away with this progressive idea by making it simple for users with VR-supported browsers, and doing it for the users’ benefit – by letting users view products up close in VR from their homes before making a purchasing decision, for example. Maintain Internal Consistency Achieving predictability and creativity is possible by maintaining internal consistency on your website. Marry a logical flow with your interface that may allow slight variations to keep your users intrigued. Add your own flare and innovations, but keep your primary functional...

10 Popular Website Interfaces Reimagined on CodePen

Redesigning a popular interface is a great way to improve your skills. Whether you want to hone your mockup design skills or craft your frontend prowess, a fancy redesign is a solid practice project. It’s easy to search Dribbble and find tons of website redesigns as static images. But it’s not so easy to find similar redesigns in code. That’s why I took a dive into CodePen’s archives to find these 11 custom interfaces that reimagine popular sites. You’ll find designs for Twitter, IMDb and even a few other notable websites you might recognize. Google Search Redesign See the Pen Google Search (Custom) Redesign #2 by max (@vm187) on CodePen. The infamous Google search page gets billions of impressions per day. Actually 3.5b per day, to be exact. So that page needs a design that’s on-point. If you’re redesigning something, there is a bit of room to have fun with it and that’s the idea behind this pen. It’s a simple Google page redesign focusing just on the search input field. It features a bright, colorful button with drop shadow effects that you’d never see from Google’s design team. The result is a fun way to reimagine search. Gmail Application See the Pen Gmail Application by Kenny (@ispykenny) on CodePen. Google fans will probably enjoy this reimangined Gmail in a similar vein as the last pen. But this one features a full Gmail interface – so it’s a little more detailed. Clicking through the sidebar animations, you’ll notice that they really do animate smoothly. Not to mention the sleek material design color scheme. If you’re a frequent Gmail user, you may even prefer this redesign over the current style. Google Branded Redesign See the Pen Google Redesign by MohamadReza Deylami (@imohamad) on CodePen. Here’s another Google redesign I wanted to throw in. This one’s a little more detailed with links for Google’s entire set of tools. This pen by Mohamad Reza Deylami features a redesigned Google logo, altered color scheme and links to all of their different search features. I think it’s a bit more complex than the current page – so I wouldn’t take it over Google’s design. What I do like about this redesign is that it’s unique and it stays true to the Google style. Oh and all the code is open source, too. Twitter UX See the Pen Twitter UX by Calin (@CalinM) on CodePen. Twitter has a bunch of UX features spanning their desktop and mobile...

Introducing gqlgen: a GraphQL Server Generator for Go

At 99designs we’ve been on a journey to deconstruct our PHP monolith into a microservice architecture, with most new services being written in Go. During this period, our front-end team also adopted type safety, transitioning from Javascript to TypeScript & React. gqlgen logo by V’OfficialBy having type safety in our backend and frontend, it became apparent that our bespoke REST endpoints were not able to bridge the type-gap. We needed a way to join these type systems together and untangle our API endpoints. What we needed was a type-safe system for APIs. GraphQL looked promising. As we explored it, however, we realized that there wasn’t a server approach out there that met all of our needs. So we developed our own, which we call gqlgen. What is GraphQL?
— GraphQL is a query language for APIs that gives a complete and understandable description of data, and gives clients the power to ask for exactly what they need (and not get anything extraneous). For example, we can define types: say a User has some fields, mostly scalars like name and height, but also of other complex types like location. Unlike REST, we query a GraphQL endpoint by describing the shape of the result: { user(id: 10) { name, location {lat, long} } } Fields can take arguments that operate similar to query params, and these can be at any level of the graph. From the above query the server returns: { "user": { "name": "Bob", "location": { "lat": 123.456789, "lon": 123.456789 } } } This is powerful because it gives us a shared type system both the client and server can understand, while also giving us amazing reusability. What if we wanted to plot our 3 best friends’ locations on a different screen? { user(id: 10) { friends(limit: 3) { name, location {lat, long} } } } and we would get back { "user": { "friends": [ { "name": "Carol", "location": {"lat": 1, "lon": 1} }, { "name": "Carlos", "location": {"lat": 2, "lon": 2} }, { "name": "Charlie", "location": {"lat": 3, "lon": 3} }, ] } } Goodbye bespoke endpoints,...

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08 Dec 2018