Amazing Things

Interview with Julie Anixter, Executive Director of AIGA

Below is an interview with Julie Anixter, Executive Director of AIGA, on the topic of career development, which is the topic of the this year’s annual AIGA Design Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 12-14, 2017.

Also see the free Podcast / YouTube interview with Julie and Ram Castillo here.

Enjoy!

1. Why is career development so important to AIGA?

Careers in design are morphing constantly alongside an evolving industry, which presents a challenge for all designers, new and established. The AIGA community draws from a wealth of experience to help provide foresight on those changes and the other challenges that come with building a career – whether you are trying to find a path forward or grow in your current position.

2. Have you taken any unusual jobs that led to remarkable experiences?

Honestly, making the decision to lead the AIGA was a different path for me. It has introduced me to so many remarkable people and experiences. It’s privilege to serve designers and the design community – which represents unending inspiration and possibility. We want to make sure to harness our members’ and chapters’ extraordinary energy and share it across the US. I’m especially keen on sharing new design experiences at our upcoming Design Conference in October, where we’re focusing on the connecting power of design.

3. Best advice you’ve ever been given regarding your career/or the worst

Don’t waste time in the wrong job, regardless of the temptations that might drive you to accept one or stay longer than necessary. Find a place that provides a good fit for your talents and the opportunity to bring as much of your experience as possible.

4. What advice can you offer those just starting off in design?

When you’re starting off, the best thing you can do is immerse yourself in work from a wide variety of projects, disciplines and designers. A good way to do that is joining organizations or groups such as AIGA which allows you to take advantage of the association’s resources and the membership’s collective knowledge.

5. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?

Courage is stronger than fear.

When you let fear be your main driver, you miss out on life experience, but when you live courageously new opportunities are always on the horizon.

6. How has mentorship made a difference in your professional or personal life?

My mentors travel with me in my head, heart and instincts. (See here for how to get a mentor guaranteed) They make me smile and show up like guides when the going gets rough. Chief among them: my father, Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Admiral Joseph Dyer and Gyongy Laky.

7. How does AIGA help designers looking to move along their desired path?

AIGA helps designers along their career paths through connection and community, first and foremost. It takes resources and the support of a strong network to become a successful designer, and AIGA members have a network of mentors built in. Our members go past just connecting to help each other find answers or jobs, and provide inspiration and stimulation at every point of the journey.

8. What do you want AIGA to accomplish in the next year/five years?

For more than 30 years, AIGA has served as an epicenter for our diverse community of professionals to meet, exchange ideas, and grow the design industry. Our community is our most valuable asset. The strength within our community is fueled by making sure that designers have the competencies to make an impact on business, industry, and society. Over the course of the next couple of years, we are really focusing on career journeys and the myriad of possibilities evolving out of design’s ever-changing landscape.

Do you have any further questions to ask Julie? Let us know below.

Interview with Julie Anixter, Executive Director of AIGA Interview with Julie Anixter, Executive Director of AIGA Interview with Julie Anixter, Executive Director of AIGA Interview with Julie Anixter, Executive Director of AIGA Interview with Julie Anixter, Executive Director of AIGA Interview with Julie Anixter, Executive Director of AIGA
5 Reasons to Use a Male "Enhancement" Pill!

5 Reasons to Use a Male "Enhancement" Pill!

No matter how much you deny, the fact that intimacy is one of the most important parts of a love-relationship can never be denied. When you make love with your partner, you give her all that you have within you – from your soul to the deepest feelings that you possess for her.

However, there are a few men, who are unable to express themselves properly in bed. This leads to a lot of complications in their lives. This is where a male enhancement pill comes into the picture.

If you are wondering why you need such a pill, following are the top five reasons that support the same:

  1. To gain self-confidence – When you are good in bed, your partner is happy and satisfied with you; when your partner is pleased, you feel happy, which leads to creation and development of self-confidence in your heart. There’s absolutely nothing else that can make you feel good, than keeping your partner happy.
  2. To keep away from all the problems in your relationship – I am sure you are going to agree with me when I say that being good in bed helps you strengthen your relationship. When you know how to do things the right way, you have less of problems with your partner. No doubt minor problems are bound to arise, but if you are good in bed, you can always bring a smile on her face at the end of the day.
  3. To get a nice woman in life – If you are not married already and want to get a warm-hearted woman in your life, you’ve got to show your charms in bed. To do so, you surely need a male enhancement pill, which allows the beast in you to come out and explore the beauty in front of you.
  4. To have a long-lasting ‘climax’ – Who wants to get it done in five or ten minutes? You surely need more energy and more erection to make it last for long. If this is what you want, you can get it with the help of a pill that helps you enjoy a longer session of intimacy.
  5. To win your partner forever – Unless you give her all the pleasures in bed, you can’t expect her to stick with you forever. To win her for all your life and turn her into your wife, you surely need such a pill.

It is time for you to gain confidence and please her in the most beautiful manner!

Free Graphic Design Icons EPS Vector Pack

Free Vector Graphic Design Vector Icons Pack Download

Get your hands on these 15 design themed icons, including the pen tool, Venn diagram, Pantone color book, paint brush, eraser, magic wand, scalpel, ruler, spray can, camera and printer.

They are available in color and black and white for easily editing, in AI, EPS, PNG and SVG formats.

» Download Free Graphic Design Icon Pack (5.5mb)

» Download Free Graphic Design Icon Pack (5.5mb)

This pack was exclusively designed for JUST Creative by Vecteezy. Check out their site for more awesome free & premium resources.

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Web Type Fundamentals

Web Typography Fundamentals with Jason Santa Maria

In this brand new Skillshare course from award-winning designer, author, and type expert Jason Santa Maria, you will learn what makes a great online typeface, how to know when a font works and other advice for how to design with fonts.

This is a perfect class for designers, marketers, and everyone writing on the web!

In 9 clear lessons, Jason breaks down every aspect of online type, from practical design considerations to cultivating a discerning, artistic eye. Packed with examples and inspiration, this class is a rich introduction to the limitless world of typography.

» Watch Introduction Video for Free

Key lessons include:

  • Understanding key terms and typographic elements
  • Choosing specific typefaces for different projects
  • Pairing typefaces to create a personal webpage
  • Layout basics: sizing, spacing, and proportions

Whether you use typography in professional designs, meeting presentations, or personal projects, this class will change the way you interact with type.

By the end, you’ll have a new arsenal of skills to help you see type in a whole new way — empowering you to use type intentionally, better communicate your ideas, and bring your words to life.

2 Free Months of Skillshare Premium!

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How to Win at Online Slots Games

How to Win at Online Slots Games

Being a winning slot machine player is impossible. All slot machines are specifically designed in order to give the house a long term edge, so the house will always come out ahead if you play long enough. The only real way to counteract the house edge on slot machine games is to play a game with a really big jackpot, bet the max every time you play, and hope that you hit the jackpot. Then when you do hit the really big jackpot, guess what you do next? Stop playing that game.

Do not get me wrong. I'm not saying that you should not play slot machines. In fact, I think slot games, especially the really good ones, are a lot of fun. But you want to keep in the forefront of your mind that mathematically, what you're doing when you're playing a slot machine on a long term basis is paying for entertainment. You can calculate how much you're paying for that entertainment by multiplying the house edge times your average bet times your number of spins per hour.

For example, if you're playing a slot game with a payout of 95%, then the house edge is 5%. (The casino keeps 5% of every bet you make long term.) And if you're average bet is $ 3, then you're going to pay an average of 15 cents per spin to the house. (5% times $ 3.) Assuming you're making 500 spins per hour, that game costs you $ 75 / hour to play, which may or may not be a reasonable price for you entertainment. That depends on your bankroll.

Something else to factor into your calculation is how much the perks and bonuses you're getting back from the casino are worth. If you're playing in a land-based casino where you're getting free drinks while you play, then you can subtract the cost of those drinks from you're hourly cost. (Or you can add the cost of those drinks to the value of the entertainment you're receiving – it's just a matter of perspective.) My recommendation is to drink top-shelf liquor and premium bees in order to maximize the entertainment value you 're receiving. A Heineken can cost $ 4 a bottle in a nice restaurant. Drink two Heinekens an hour, and you've just lowered what it costs you to play each hour from $ 75 to $ 68.

Slot clubs also give back a percentage of your losses each hour, so definitely be sure you join the casino's slot club and ALWAYS use your card to track your play. There's absolutely no reason not to do this. Casinos also reward their larger slot players with comps like meals, show tickets, and free rooms, which all add up to reduce the amount of money you're spending each hour that you're playing on their machine.

So how to be a winning slot machine player? I'd sum it up by saying know how much it's costing you to play each spin and each hour, take advantage of all the comps and the perks, and go for the big progressive jackpot.

My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #40

My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #40

My name is Mason Ellwood, and I’m currently working on Flatiron School’s Online Full Stack Web Development Program. Each week, I’ll be writing about my experience, what I’m learning, and tips on learning to code.

For this post, I am going to deviate from my super interesting posts about servers and talk a little about the job that I recently started at Fyresite.

As you all know roughly four weeks ago I started working at Fyresite, as one of their Front-End Developers. And so far I am really enjoying my time there. But I don’t want to talk about how happy I am, and I doubt you really want to read about that.

As there Front-End guy it basically has been a crash course into the Front-End world and just how much I still need to learn to quicken my pace and keep up. I am fairly adequate in low-level languages but with a new job, there is always a learning curve into new technologies and how they go about building out custom sites that sometimes seems over my head.

My first week, I had a full site drop into my lap. 10 plus pages, custom layout with WordPress, with three other developers work compiled onto it. Giving me both a launching point to get up and running and also a lot to sift through to see how they have been going about building this thing out. With this project, I have had to brush up on many different languages and some that I never thought this early on I would be using.

So roughly this posts purpose is not to scare you away in an “I don’t know enough” fashion, as is how I saw it for so long. But once you know some core web fundamentals, it will be easy to use what you know to apply them to whatever projects that come your way.

 

My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #40

My first project as a paid Front-End Web Developer I have been very accustoming to using HTML, CSS, WordPress platform, Javascript, jQuery, PHP, FTP, SQL, and AJAX. The software I have been using includes Photoshop, Cyberduck, Atom, MAMP, Sequel Pro, Sketch, Insomnia, and the GitHub Desktop app. Like I said it is a lot to take in. Currently we are working on a desktop app that uses SASS, NODE, and React. And again, I am in my fourth week of work. So what does all this mean?

Basically how I see it, is that is that you will never be absolutely ready to enter into the Development world, me included. But like all great developers you have to see yourself as a useful multi tool.

What do you need to and pulling that broad knowledge base you have to find useful solutions to problems. The job of a developer is to fix what is broken, and being the reason is broke in the first place may leave you in a weird spot. But it should not. I walked into this job, knowing only the near sighted fundamentals of many different languages, where Fyresite comes in, is allowing you to use what you have learned and giving you a platform to make solutions and solve a problem.

It is no different than school, or even The Flatiron School. They display a usable solution to a problem that you may encounter. And give you an an example of a situation to solve using the knowledge you have gained. Even though the environment varies, you still have to think about the solution the same way. This is one of the greatest strengths I am able to walk away from The Flatiron School, a stable platform to launch myself off of to solve problems.

Read More at My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #40

Launch-School

10 Best Free Online Web Development Courses

This article is written by Henry Rise, the CEO of ThemeRex, Power Elite Author on Themeforest, with 140+ WP themes.

When newbies ask about the best places to learn code online, the correct answer is… it depends. It depends on many different factors.

Your background is important, what you want to get out of the experience, and what your end goals are, make different resources better or worse fit for you.

But what skills to learn? We suggest learning HTML and CSS first. You should also pick a programming language. Any programming language works, most people choose JavaScript, but we think Ruby is a better idea for a first programming language to learn. Don’t overanalyze, just pick stuff and learn it. And have fun!

10 Best Free Online Web Development Courses

We don’t necessarily suggest using all of these resources. Pick some of them and give them a whirl. Some you may love, others you may hate. Worst case scenario, you’ll waste a bit of time and learn what doesn’t work for you.

Launch School

This program isn’t for everyone. That’s why you can take their free prep courses and then make a decision. No matter your experience, you should start with the free prep courses, and get a feel for the format. If you are able to finish the prep courses and enjoy that experience, you may consider registering for paid courses. If you can’t finish the prep courses or didn’t enjoy the experience, then you probably shouldn’t take the Launch School program.

In order to really understand any tool – Rails, Angular, React, etc – you have to start with the first principles. First, you have to learn basic problem solving with a programming language. Next, you have to learn the intricacies of that language. Then, you have to learn web development, which includes HTTP, front-end vs back-end, SQL, relational databases, etc. Finally, you can start to peel back the conventions in a library or framework.

In short, this school program is geared towards those who are serious about getting a job with a time horizon of 12-14 months for the transformation.

Visit Website

Build Your First Laravel App

Build-Your-First-Laravel-App

This is a free 5-day video course with lessons that will teach you how to build your very own, first Laravel PHP web application, step by step. They will walk you through the process and show you how to code everything. There’s no guesswork for you, and each lesson is short and easily-digestible.

Visit Website

Bento

Bento

If you don’t know where to start, Bento offers a free full stack web development curriculum created by top engineers. Deep dive into the tech you’re passionate about. Bento found the best tutorials on over 200 different web technology topics. Share your own finds and tutorials on learning the newest technologies and see what other engineers are excited about.

Visit Website

Code4Startup

Code4Startup

Leo Trieu designed and coded the Code4Startup platform with Ruby on Rails in 3 days only but it took him almost 2 and half months to create just 5 hours of video for his very first two educational courses ever, Zero and Ninja. Why? Because he is not a native English speaker and he had to practice and repeat hundreds of times. But he kept trying and never gave up. He bootstrapped this startup with a dream of educating millions people from around the world. Code4Startup is not just about learning how to code, it’s also about inspiring people to create something meaningful, something they are excited about.

Visit Website

CodeAvengers

CodeAvengers

Code Avengers offers classes for web designers, web developers and software engineers. At Code Avengers you learn by doing. Learn from step-by-step instructions combined with 1000s of code challenges, videos and quizzes with support from expert educators and an enthusiastic community of learners. You also build your portfolio. You’ll start off learning to build simple apps and websites, but quickly progress to building real-world applications you can show-off to friends and future employers. Whether you want to land your dream job, start your own tech company, or build technology that changes the world, the Code Avengers team are dedicated to helping you get there faster.

Visit Website

Codecademy

Codecademy

Codecademy is an education company. They’re committed to building the best learning experience inside and out, making Codecademy the best place for their team to learn, teach, and create the online learning experience of the future. The company is rethinking education from the bottom up. The web has rethought nearly everything – commerce, social networking, healthcare, and more. They are building the education the world needs – the first truly net native education. They take more cues from Facebook and Zynga in creating an engaging educational experience than they do from the classroom.

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CodeCombat

CodeCombat

CodeCombat was created to give learners the feeling of wizardly power at their fingertips by using typed code. As it turns out, that enables them to learn faster too. It’s like having a conversation instead of reading a manual. They want to bring that conversation to every school and to every student, because everyone should have the chance to learn the magic of programming.

Visit Website

Codementor Learning Center

Codementor-Learning-Center

Codementor connects you with expert developers for live 1:1 help. At first you post your request. Get help for 800+ categories including JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, CSS/HTML, iOS, Android. Advanced topics include big data, machine learning, and more. Then you connect with a Codementor. Instantly connect with an online expert or schedule for a later time. Mentor’s rate starts at $10 for a 15min session. Get 1:1 expert help. Work 1:1 with an expert mentor for debugging help, code review and pair programming via screen sharing, video, and text chat.

Visit Website

Coder Camps Free HTML/CSS

Coder-Camps-Free-HTML-CSS

Since 2013, Coder Camps has been preparing students for successful, rewarding careers in the field of software engineering. Through accelerated and immersive courses led by expert instructors, their students become accustomed to thinking like a developer and adapting to the dynamics of working on an Agile software team. As technology continues to evolve at an increasingly rapid rate, students need more than a kick-start to a good job, they need a persistent career development partner. That’s why Coder Camps graduates are encouraged to return as often as needed, free of charge, to refresh their knowledge, learn new technologies and find new opportunities. Their coding bootcamp centers on the needs of today’s hard working software teams and hiring managers. From learning to code, creating a fully-functional web application, interview readiness training and so much more, their focus is preparing students to meet the demands of employers.

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iLoveCoding

iLoveCoding

iLoveCoding provides the simplest path to becoming a Front-End and Full-Stack Developer, they provide Video Based Training + Mentorship for their programs. They focus on Javascript Stack and its related technologies. Training is self-paced, and mentorship is available online via Student Area + Office Hours. iLoveCoding is a coding bootcamp alternative but better in value (cost), in effectiveness (they keep it real, vs hype or pushing things down your throat).

Visit Website

Summary

I hope you will pick out the resource that will teach you all necessary skills to start developing your templates, websites, applications and making money on your passion. Have you already tried any of them? Do you have any additions to this list? Please share them as well as your success stories with us at the comments section. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask.

More? Browse 35,000+ Courses on Udemy

From programming to photography, Udemy has it all! Check out their online courses.

Udemy Courses

Have any other free (or paid) online web development courses you recommend? Let us know!

10 Best Free Online Web Development Courses 10 Best Free Online Web Development Courses 10 Best Free Online Web Development Courses 10 Best Free Online Web Development Courses 10 Best Free Online Web Development Courses 10 Best Free Online Web Development Courses
Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

Despite the minimalism being present in almost every form of art and the concept of minimalism has been quite around for centuries, it became a specific form of art in the 20th century. Starting then, like vintage or retro design, it has never in or out of a trend – it was just there, regardless of time.

In simple words, the minimalism is defined as eliminating all the unnecessary elements and retain just the fundamental, in order to allow the content pop. The “less is more” philosophy is a well-loved style of design among web designers, who are increasingly appreciating it.  Even if the minimalism offers the websites that embrace it many advantages, maybe the most important are faster loading times, a better compatibility between the different screen sizes, the clean and beautiful visuals and the efficiency in conveying the message to the audience. Moreover, a simple UI design is attuned to mobile browsing, without harming the desktop experience.

In terms of design, the minimalist aesthetic is the visual representation of this concept. Even if in the early days of this style it was very difficult for the designers to achieve its simplicity and clean lines, they have learned to “declutter” the visual to the point of it being the second nature. However, some of the designers take it a step further and cut out almost everything from the design.

Indeed, even if the latest web designs with loud color, trendy headers, and stunning imagery are really attractive, sometimes, it’s nice to see and admire the everlasting minimalist style. The ultra-minimalist websites in this list focus on composition and typography to create clean and simple visuals, and the naked designs are as beautiful as those full of glamour.

Rubrasonic

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

The website uses changing dark backgrounds that harm the eyes a little bit. Otherwise, the extreme simplicity defines the whole design. For the home page, the white centered logo shows some music-related quotes, such as: “I call architecture frozen music” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe), “After silence, that which comes closest to expressing the inexpressible is music” (Aldous Huxley) and so on. The navigation menu is represented by the white dots on the left of the screen and hovering the mouse over them brings up the category title.

Leen Heyne

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

Besides its jewelry, Leen Heyne’s monochrome logo and company name are the only significant visual elements on its homepage. The surrounding expanse of gray space and white texts make it a safe bet, the user’s eyes going back and forth between the two core visual elements.

Wmat.it

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

Here is an extremely minimalist homepage design. Most of the elements on this page do something – the letters are the navigation menu and show the categories on mouse over. The solid black square shows some video clips when you hover the mouse over it. The only element that does nothing is the circle.

Wildflower

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

Seeing this page, it’s no wonder that this joyful little website is ultra-minimalist as there really isn’t much content throughout! The home page has black text on a white background, the only accent of color being the pink heart in the text. The next page is similar, just asking you for your name and the name of the person you want to give a flower to, then you get your flower, which you can change if you wish.

Hunkwot

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

This site uses the ultra-minimalist concept in a very beautiful way. The home page has a very pale gray background with thin, hardly-visible white lines separating the categories that are displayed in black text across the page. When you hover over any of the links, a shape with colored lines/arrows appears, adding a lovely splash of color to the page.

The Post Family

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

Discover the full layout of this ultra-minimalist website. It begins with a black & white screen which showcases a big heading, the menu, and the logo design. Also, you can navigate through the site using your keyboard.

Velvet Hammer

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

Velvet Hammer’s site demonstrates the value of composition in minimalism. The two dominating visuals are poised symmetrically, all four corners are occupied, the entire scene is framed by a thick black border, and thin lines bisect the vertical and horizontal halves. At the center of the screen – though not the composition – is the brand name. The whole site has the same ultra-minimalist design.

Symbolset

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

Icon font vendor Symbolset attracts attention to the interactive area in the middle of its site by minimizing the competing elements and adding a brightly colored, ever-changing background. An inspired demonstration of minimalist design.

Huggable.io

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

This is a real expression of extreme minimalism. The website is, in fact, an app that will tell you when a flight is due to arrive. You enter the airline, then you are asked for the flight number – if that flight number is relevant to more than one flight you will be offered the days of the flight to choose from, then finally you are shown the departure and arrival times – or when your ‘huggable’ time is! This is great if you are waiting at an airport for a delayed flight – as long as the airline actually has some idea of arrival time, you can get the info.

We Ain’t Plastic

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

We Ain’t Plastic website uses the philosophy “less is more” in a very classic way. Contrast is another useful visual tactic for keeping minimalist designs interesting. German UX engineer Roland Lösslein’s website We Ain’t Plastic sets up a stark contrast in size between the central image and the text and icons above.

Brian Nathan Hartwell

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

The homepage is dominated by the black background, the only accent being “gold” and white typography. This website is well-organized into a grid layout which includes a certain project. Each one has an amazing animation which comes to life when you hover over.

Carlo Barberis

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

The Italian jeweler Carlo Barberis takes the advantage of the high-end attributes of ultra minimalism, with little more than a hero image on each screen. As usual, an image speaks more than one thousand words.

Why we explore

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

Created by the Swiss interaction designer Nicolas Lanthemann, Why We Explore is a blog about space that follows an interesting format. Although the topic is vast, the information is given plenty of space to breathe; each new theme being announced as the viewer scrolls horizontally across the page.

The Office of Jason James

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

In terms of design, a minimalist approach can say a lot about your website. This is a stunning portfolio website that uses a side menu and a creative clean design. The light gray background accompanies beautifully the dark-gray typography and the stunning pictures, leaving the information room to breathe.

Elite Model

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

Modelling agency Elite takes the minimalist design to its extreme. In terms of navigation, the focus is on only two main pathways, and all the others tucked away in a hamburger menu. In terms of visual design, the website has the classic black and white color scheme, excepting the “Become a model” section. Another website where the photos speak for themselves.

Werkling Brand Design Agency

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

For sure, you can express more with less! The Werklig agency knows this! Their website uses a large white background and the classic black and white color scheme for the part that is designated for their presentation. On the other side, for their portfolio, they used a grid layout to showcase each project.

Lunar Gravity

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

This website includes a neat parallax effect which makes everything come to life, giving another dimension to the entire layout.

Scytale

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

Scytale is another defining website for the concept of minimalism in web design. They use very large white and light gray background and big and bold typography, helping the user to focus on the main message. The red color used for some flat design and typography are the only color accents used here.

Thrive

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

Simple design on a subtle grid. Garnished with flat design and simple, bright blue color via scrolling. A fun, clean, good interaction!

Yaron Schoen

Top 20 Inspiring Examples Of Ultra-Minimalist Websites

You only need a message and a creative way to showcase it to the public. This minimalist website also includes a full-screen menu design which can be accessed from the sticky logo design on the top left.

 

Read More at Top 20 inspiring examples of ultra-minimalist websites

Phone on Desk

8 Winning Instagram Tips for Your Business

This article was contributed by Mark Velarga.

You have an amazing brand, and you want to maximize your customer engagement via Instagram. But how should you go about doing it?

With over 700 million monthly users, Instagram is a veritable gold mine for engagement, helping businesses to connect with their customers and increase sales without having to fork over a fortune for travel and paid advertising. But how?

The task may seem daunting at first, but with the right plan of attack, anyone can get results. If you’re looking to increase your following, engagement and customer base on Instagram, check out the following 8 steps to build a roadmap for Insta-success!

Create an Instagram Business Account

Did you know that Instagram’s engagement rate is about 2.26%? That’s over 2% higher than both Twitter and Facebook! Obviously, there’s tremendous potential on the platform that growing businesses would be foolish to ignore.

So where to start? Like any other successful endeavor, it begins with building a solid foundation, and the first step involves creating a business account.

You have two options: either convert an existing personal account or start from scratch. With a business account, you’ll be privy to business features and free analytics through Instagram Insights (more on metrics later).

Here are some helpful tips for creating a business profile:

  • Complete your profile (Don’t leave unfinished!)
  • Make sure it is public
  • Use business name
  • Upload branded profile image
  • Include a compelling bio statement (update frequently!)
  • Provide a link to your website

Consistency and recognizability are key to success. You’ll want to ensure that your brand’s name, image, products, services, etc. are presented with clarity in purpose and focus.

Make sure that your message is clear and consistent. The last thing you want to do is confuse viewers and lose potential customers.

Remember: This is not about you personally.

Focus on an approach that showcases your company and save the selfies for your personal account.

Establish your business goals from the beginning, and your experience will be much smoother!

Take Followers on a Journey

Phone in Hand Bushes

For most product-based companies, the general practice is to turn to generic product content. Don’t do it!

It’s important to add a bit of personality to your Instagram account. When you know your audience, it can help you develop a narrative, style and tone — this is your chance to share your brand story.

Instead of uploading dry or disconnected content, think of it like a scrapbook. By adding interesting photos and videos periodically, you paint an ever-growing picture your followers can connect with and be part of the journey.

This is not limited to images and video. You can also provide dynamic and engaging captions that appeal to your viewers. This will not only enhance their experience but will increase the chances of them becoming loyal customers.

People are also interested in how products are made. To satiate this curiosity, take them behind the scenes. This can be done through factory tour videos, sketches and diagrams, and anything that you think would be interesting to share. Remember to tell a story that’s fun, informative and provides a glimpse into your company’s inner workings.

By sharing everyday moments in a candid (and sometimes quirky) way, your company will appear more approachable to your followers. This is what separates winning businesses from the rest. 

Provide Quality Content

Strawberry Pancakes 

A poor image or video can be a big turn-off. If your content is not high-res and interesting, don’t upload it! Great content should be the cornerstone of your strategy. (Of course, if you’re going for a more lo-fi aesthetic, incorporate what best serves your vision.)

Quality, for example, can be developed through thoughtful direction of content, editing apps and positioning. Whether service-oriented or product-based, your content should be relevant to your viewers and convey the focus of your business. Also try experimenting with videos and creative captions.

Another good tip is to vary your product content creatively. This will ensure that your followers won’t get bored. Your audience will thank you!

Whatever approach you plan on implementing, make sure it’s consistent and attracts your intended audience. And don’t go for the hard sell. Ultimately, this will lead to followers who embrace your brand and purchase your products.

Inspire, Connect & Follow Back

Woman Playing with Hair

Many Instagram users love to be inspired. And who doesn’t? When viewers connect with your content emotionally, they will keep coming back for more. Leave behind the cut-and-dry and offer your followers images, videos and captions that truly resonate.

Engage with your customers through commenting and liking other pages, especially when you are starting out. It shows you aren’t just trying to get them to follow you. Go that extra mile, and you we’ll be rewarded with a loyal fan!

The focus doesn’t always have to be on products or services. For example, you can showcase employees, company activities and fun events. Creating this type of environment will help cement your bond and gain trust even more.

Another good practice is updating your bio section. A mistake many users make is to put up a boring blurb, add the company link and leave it at that. What you need to do is update it frequently. It provides the only clickable link, so get creative with its use. Think about how you can drive traffic to promotional events, registration, sales, etc.

The value of the Instagram page is typically measured by the number of followers versus those you are following — the more followers, the better. However, it is essential that you also follow back influencers and others who provide value for your business. This could lead to some great opportunities and collaborations in the future.

Build a Following

Chess People

So, the all-important question: How do you get more followers?

The process is not exactly easy, but with patience and creativity, you can create a buzz that will lead to greater click-through rates and amazing sales growth. Put in the work, and it will be well worth the effort!

Here’s a list of things you can do to build a massive following:

Use Hashtags: Makes it easier for people to find and follow you. Use a mixture of company-specific and universally popular hashtags.

Content Marketing; According to PakFactory, a custom packaging company, one way you can enhance your business’s brand is by creating valuable & quality content. Elevate your expertise and become a guest contributor for other related blogs.

Make sure to have a link to your instagram because if that particular content gets noticed and becomes viral, you might be receiving more followers than you imagined.

Get Mentioned: Instagram offers one of the best ways to spotlight collaborators and customers alike. Share your photos with other notable instagram accounts and get them to mention you. You can also give shout-outs through tagging (@tags).

Host Contests: Everyone loves a giveaway, right? Be creative and have fun with how you present your contests. They will come in droves if executed properly.

Offer Exclusivity and Create Anticipation: Keeping viewers interested is important. Upload teasers and offer your loyal followers rewards in the form of exclusive content.

Collaborate: We all can’t do this on our own. Search out for companies or individuals that align with your mission and create a project together that will help each one’s brand.

Explore Instagram Stories

Typewriter on Desk

What’s better than one powerful image? How about a slideshow filled with dynamic content?

Instagram Stories allows you to string together your images and videos to create even more immersive content that your followers can experience at their own pace throughout the day (all content disappears after 24 hours).

Since this has become a prominent feature, more and more businesses have started experimenting with it. Other than its sheer engagement potential, the feature offers several benefits:

  • Share as much as you want (displays in chronological sequence)
  • Offers text, face filters and drawing tools
  • Provides more dynamic value to your followers
  • Higher discoverability through Story Search
  • Showcase a more comprehensive story
  • Stories are displayed at top of follower timelines

Go ahead, get creative and see what you can do with Instagram Stories! Your followers will be more enthusiastic and want more. It’s an addiction that we can all get on board with. 

Post on a Regular Basis

Instagram on Phone

You may one day come up with the perfect Instagram post that garners thousands of likes, but if you aren’t posting regularly, it won’t make a difference.

Consistent content is the name of the game. If you want to grab and hold your audience’s attention, you need to employ content scheduling.

Fortunately, there are several tools that can help keep track of your visual campaigns. These include Schedugram, Autogrammer, Later and Planoly, among others. If you decide to forgo these options and go old school, make sure that you use a method (calendar, notebook, etc.) that keeps everything organized and easy to work with.

Harness the Power of Metrics

Man on Computer

Let’s face it, if you are using Instagram and want to capture as much value as possible, you need to embrace metrics. Relative to other social media platforms, it can seem like there aren’t as many options in this department. But don’t worry. Thankfully, there are several instagram metrics that can help you figure out what’s performing well and what’s not.

Instagram Metrics

Most people would assume that the number of likes would be the most important metric, but once you delve into the data, you’ll find that comments received is a better signifier of overall engagement. Once you get a feel for analytics, you’ll be able to focus on the information that gets you results.

There are some handy (and free) analytics tools to assist you, including Instagram Insights (through Instagram business account), Socialbakers, Simply Measured, Union Metrics and SquareLovin.

With these tools, you’ll be able to analyze essential data, not only from yourself but from your competition as well, and improve the performance of your business account.

And there you have it!

By establishing these steps from the beginning, you will greatly increase your chances of success and limit the headaches associated with shoddy strategy. As you become more comfortable with the basics, stretch out creatively and experiment a little. Remember to also have fun while your posting. Good luck!

Get your first 10,000 Instagram Followers

Get your first 10,000 Instagram followers, with this step-by-step Instagram marketing course. Learn how to attract hyper-targeted Instagram followers, convert followers to paying customers and expand your brand using Instagram.

Mark Velarga is the Head of Content & Digital Marketing at PakFactory. Mark is also a self-development advocator for young entrepreneurs & aspiring leaders, as well as a tennis coach & enthusiast. You can connect with him on LinkedIn. 

8 Winning Instagram Tips for Your Business 8 Winning Instagram Tips for Your Business 8 Winning Instagram Tips for Your Business 8 Winning Instagram Tips for Your Business 8 Winning Instagram Tips for Your Business 8 Winning Instagram Tips for Your Business
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