Easy-to-do DIY techniques for decorating your phones


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Introduction:

From the advent of the 21st century, technology has been integrated into our lives. Even more so with the invention of the smartphones. Our smartphones have become an essential part of our lives. These days, they are like an extension to our hand. So, for the fashionistas, the phones should also match their style statement. Here we present some really cool and easy DIY techniques using which you can create astoundingly distinctive covers for your mobile phones.  

Embroidered Phone Case:

If you like handmade accessories then this technique is definitely for you. You can easily make an embroidered handmade phone case for your smartphone by just following these simple steps;

Materials:

  • Embroidery Floss
  • Embroidery needle (size 8)
  • Perforated phone case
  • Scissors

Steps:

Use a perforated phone case and print out a design template on it.

You can create any woven pattern you want either cross stitch or back stitch.

For cross-stitch, you can use the perforated pattern of the case to easily sew the cross stitch pattern onto the phone case.

In order, to make back stitch pattern consider 3 holes on the plastic phone cover i.e. 1, 2 &3. Now insert the needle from inwards and take it out at 1. Secondly, insert the needle at 2 and take it out at 3. Now, again Insert at 1 but this time pull it out at 3. Repeat this pattern creating equal stitches until the pattern is completed over the whole phone cover.

Decoupaging your Old Phone Case:

This one is another great technique of decorating your old phone case into a completely new and unique piece of art. All you need to do is follow these simple steps;

Materials

  • Leftover fabric
  • Decoupage finishing glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Transparent plastic phone cover
  • Crafting knife
  • Scissors

Steps:

First of all, take the fabric and place it on a flat surface.

Secondly, take the transparent phone case and brush the decoupage glue all over its outside surface of the phone case & remember to cover its sides too.

Now place the phone case onto the fabric and cover it with the fabric neatly by curving it around the edges.  

Wrap the fabric all around the phone case, pinching it until it sticks onto to the case properly. Apply more decoupage if needed.

Let it dry for several hours and after that trim off the excessive cloth using scissors.

At last, use the crafting knife to cut the holes for charger, lens, and buttons on the newly made phone case.

Pearl Case:

This one is an extremely easy yet chic piece of art for your smartphone.

Materials:

  • Transparent phone case
  • Pearls
  • Broach
  • Permanent Glue

Steps:

Apply glue onto the back of the transparent phone case.

Place the broach or any other jewelry piece at the left-sided corner near the bottom of the case.

Now add other pearls and beads onto the case in such a way that the whole case covered.

Let it dry completely for 5-6 hours.

Voila! Your stunning pearl case is ready to use.

We hope that you will be able to create some unique phone cases using these easy DIY techniques. Since you’re going to have a dandy phone now, be sure to install a phone tracker on your cell phone to keep evil hands off of it.

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The Power of Color in Branding


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Understanding the power of color in branding can be extremely beneficial to those devising marketing strategies for businesses both small and large. Color is primarily associated with aesthetics, and this on its own is already an important factor in branding. However, color impacts much more than cosmetics. It can also help brands establish their message, improve brand recognition, and even drive website conversions. In this post, we’ll focus on branding and go through some telling facts and figures related to the impact of color, its relevance regarding brand message and brand recognition.

 

Color matters and research focusing on its impact has unveiled that it actually matters quite a bit. Information compiled by Design Advisor highlights that a potential customer takes, on average, 90 seconds to assess a product; in that short time, color is said to account for between 62 and 90% of the decision to purchase or not.

 

In terms of specific products, the set of options available for purchase can heavily affect sales, as two-thirds of customers will not buy an appliance if it isn’t available in their preferred color. These figures give us an introductory picture of what’s at stake. Let’s move on to specific cases and explore different ways of using color.

Color and meaning

Color works as a metaphor and carries symbolic connotations. Think of all the times you’ve gone through color motifs in literature class or heard praise of a particular way in which a movie director constructed a color palette in their film.

 

Having said that, it’s worth noting that context matters. Different cultures think of certain colors in different ways, and individual memories and emotions also factor into interpretations. However, color psychology helps us understand the common ways in which color is interpreted and associated, as well as the type of feelings it can convey to the observer.

 

For instance, green is typically associated with nature and connotes feelings of growth and harmony. Notably, it is used by businesses that wish to establish an eco-friendly or ethical approach, and many food companies use it to help associate their product with healthy foods.

 

Black connotes elegance and authority, which is why brands such as Jaguar, Mont Blanc, and Yves Saint Laurent utilize it in their logos and general design strategies. Another common choice for businesses wishing to convey a sense of elegance and polish is white. White is more approachable, yet still associated with perfection, which helps brands such as Apple set themselves apart without alienating market segments.        

 

It’s good to keep in mind that although differences in preference between genders are not stark, men tend to prefer bolder colors and shades, while women tend to prefer soft colors and tints. Still, sky blue and green are most liked by both women and men, which makes them good options for unisex brands, in the markets where this makes sense.

 

Brand recognition and storytelling

Up until now, we discussed color and its meaning, with examples drawn mainly from logo designs. However, there is much more to it than this. As mentioned earlier, color accounts for up to 80% of a business’s brand recognition.

 

Brands rely on specific colors to establish their identity and ensure quick recognition by potential customers. For example, Facebook is blue, Netflix is red, and McDonald’s plays with a combination of red and yellow. The repeated use of certain colors in a strategic way establishes a connection between the color and a brand. Think of it this way: wouldn’t Facebook’s page look odd if its interface was a different color?

 

Many up and coming brands are testing impact and recognition factors by alternating the color they use in their ads and choosing the most effective one. Research indicates that the effectiveness of color in branding depends on how appropriate it is for the product being sold; in other words, whether the color used in the branding thematically “fits” the brand. Thus, it is key to think of a brand’s story and overall message, before choosing a color scheme to represent it. Heinz, for example, decided to change their scheme from red to green and experienced the largest sales increase in their history.

 

When utilized correctly, colors can be a powerful profit driving tool. Consumers are more likely to choose an easily recognizable brand, which means that increasing and improving a business’s presence through strategies mentioned above can lead to gaining loyal customers.

 

Final thoughts

In an increasingly competitive environment, businesses ranging from small corner shops to huge multinational corporations would be wise to dig deep into their chest of branding tools and use everything to their advantage. Color can act as one such successful tool for brands attempting to set themselves apart, increase the intensity of their brand message, or simply wishing to establish themselves as a recognized brand. Smart use of color is the way to go.

 

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How to Improve Your Small Business's Social Media Presence


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The only way to grow your business is to gain new customers. One cost-effective way to secure new leads is via social media. However, it's difficult to know where to concentrate your efforts for the best chance of success.

Social media continues to grow in numbers and frequency of use. Facebook has about 2.2 billion active users each month, and other social media sites are on an upward trend as well. However, just throwing stuff out there — whether on Facebook or another social media site — isn't the most effective use of your marketing time or dollars.

If you want to improve your social media presence, here are seven key steps you need to take as soon as possible.

1. Know Your Audience

"Know your audience" is good advice for nearly every type of marketing. It's the basis of figuring out where to have a social media presence and how to reach the specific demographic of people you most want to reach. There are many ways to improve your knowledge of your audience.

Start by studying your website analytics. Who visits your site? Where are they from, and what type of device do they use? Collect as much information as you can. Next, look at your audience on social media right now. You'll also want to study the audience of your competitors and poll your current customers. Collecting all this data and looking at it as a whole allows you to gain a pretty good picture of who your audience is.

2. Connect With Younger Generations

Once you have an idea who your typical customer is, take the time to figure out how best to connect with the younger generations. Millennials are one of the largest generations in history, starting to surpass even the baby boomers. Gen Z is right behind them and coming into buying power of their own. If you want your business to remain healthy far into the future, you must connect with those who will be customers for many years to come.

The younger generations want a clean, uncluttered look on your website. They also want to be able to connect easily with your social media channels. Include links on your page so that they can like your social media with a single click or two.

3. Stick to Your Color Scheme

It's important to choose a color scheme and stick to it across all your channels. If you use blue and white on your website, use the same blue on your social media channels. While you can change the look a bit, the page should still be immediately recognizable as your brand. Different colors evoke different emotions in people, so choose wisely based on the emotions you're trying to inspire.

 

Shopify has a green shopping bag logo, and they use this same color bag and logo across all their online presences. Note the green logo used on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and their website. The minute you land on any of these pages, you instantly recognize that logo, which is highly relevant to the shopping cart services they offer.

4. Measure Successful Campaigns

About 56 percent of businesses use social media metrics to track likes, shares and comments and figure out which campaigns work. When you see which ads perform best and which target audiences respond the most, you can use the money you spend on social media ads more effectively. The more information you have, the better. Part of this strategy goes back to point one of knowing your audience, but you also have to see the ways that audience performs on the specific social media platforms you're on.

5. Use Facebook to Reach Everyone

If you choose only one social media network on which to start, choose Facebook. The most commonly used social media platform is Facebook, boasting 79 percent of US-based people who are online. Even the rapidly growing Instagram is only a distant second place, at 32 percent of American internet users. While older generations do use Facebook more frequently than the younger generations, most individuals still maintain some presence on the social media giant to stay updated about family and friends.

6. Train Your Social Media Team in Customer Service

When consumers have a positive experience with a brand on social media, they're 71 percent more likely to recommend that brand to others. Spend time training your social media managers in your customer service philosophy, how to handle complaints and engaging with people online. The more positive the experience, the more likely people are to share information about your brand with others and expand your social media reach.

 

Adobe has a page on Twitter devoted to customer service called Adobe Care. Note how they respond to a customer complaint above. They apologize for the problem, let the customer know what's being done and offer a temporary solution. They also respond quickly rather than leaving the customer hanging.

7. Automate and Schedule Your Posts

Even the most diligent social media manager gets busy with other campaigns and misses a post here and there. Fortunately, some tools allow you to schedule ahead of time so that you never miss another timely post again. Automate posts by using apps such as Missingltr, PromoRepublic and HubSpot to automatically generate campaigns based on blog posts and fill out your calendar.

Some tools are free, and some cost a monthly fee. Use what you can afford, and as your company grows, invest in better tools that automate more of your processes.

Improve Your Social Media Presence

These seven tips generate a better social media presence for your brand. You can take several small steps on a daily basis that will improve your social media reach, such as adding vibrant photos, investing in video and finding your voice as a brand. With time, you'll gain more followers and drive more traffic to your site from your social media pages.

 

 

Lexie is a graphic designer and typography enthusiast. She spends most of her time A/B testing websites and creating style guides. Check out her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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Things to remember when starting an art/animation adventure


Are you the type of colorlover who enjoys watching 50 videos a day of people drawing and animating such cool stuff online? Do you consider starting your own journey through character and visual story creation? Just before setting your mind to start, here are some important points to remember.

 

practice every day

 

Most people lose their motivation at a very early start when their work is not as glamorous and fabulous as they would expect. Looking at the astonishing work of these online artists makes you rethink your choice and lose the belief you will be good enough for your own criteria. Well, believe it or not, the road of every artist is full of countless sketches, many ridiculous drawings and failed attempts of creating something super duper. What takes for you to publish that amazing thing that appeared in your sketch book is hours and hours of practice, experiments and hands-on (or better yet pencil-on) learning from your drawings.

 

Also, don't be afraid to draw things you've never drew before. Draw the things you don't like as well. This is important for opening your experience and it contributes to your becoming a broader artist.

 

study other artists

 

We all have our favorites. These awesome people who share their techniques, styles, step-by-step projects on the internet. Use this wide resource - watch tutorials and study all the time. It's free and you can discover so much by trying out things you like and experiencing these styles yourself.

 

 

There are some cool Youtube channels such as Draw With Jazza or Alan Becker Tutorials, where you can learn all kinds of tips regarding your future practice.

 

 

learn on your own

 

Sure, you can start a course, study for hours, watch as many tutorials as you can find, but nothing really matters unless you try it and do it yourself. Watching and understanding someone's drawing is far from taking a pen and drawing yourself. Nothing will happen unless you start doing and experiment with your own fingers. This is essential for developing your style, learning what you like most, what you're good at, dive into your sketch book and practice, practice, practice!

 

use references

 

Using images for creating a drawing is not cheating! In fact, this is very important for developing your characters, looking for inspiration and drawing by a model is what can enrich your work and help you find the right colors and clothes for your animation. Just to be on the safe side, we have to mention that developing your own character and coping other characters are two essentially different things - use a model and don't just change the clothes and call it your character.

 

be patient

 

Just because it's yours, it doesn't mean that it's going to be spectacular. Not every work of yours is going to be mind blowing, and that is okay. As long as you keep on doing it and learn from your own lines, your visual story is getting built up and you are slowly getting to the amazing reality.

 

make something every day

 

Our brains learn from repetition and practice. If you really want something, you have to find the time to do it. Be dedicated to your goal and don't be afraid to start. Stop looking for excuses, keep going and every time before you go to bed grab a pen and draw something.

 

do it out of love

 

Remember why you are doing it, what made you interested in the first place, what got you motivated to start. You are doing it for yourself and because you enjoy it, not because of money or fame or because someone else told you to.

 

Enjoy making content and making characters, enjoy giving them life and sharing them with the world. Every step of this journey is supposed to be fun and creative. Don't let yourself forget about it.

 

grow an audience

 

So, now that you are on the right track to draw an amazing piece of art, a brand new personality with a name and a fun story line, it is time to consider where to publish your character and how to grow an audience so as many people get to hear your story.

 

Obviously the most practical starting point for drawings and animations is Instagram. Instagram is super useful for the new era of visual thinkers, it's great for finding inspiration and getting in touch with all the artists you admire. If you are focused on visual storytelling and are developing videos - Youtube is still number one platform for reaching a wide audience. With these two being good places to start, in finding even more people who will fall in love with your work you can rely on Pinterest, which is super easy and these three should be enough to get you started.

 

For further development of your community, in more artistic circles, check out platforms such as Amino, DeviantArt, Behance, Dribble, 500PX.

 

Now, stop procrastinating and grab that sketch book! Good luck!

 

Author: Nina Petrov

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Awesome tools for exploring color palettes


In the never-ending seek for inspiration, new ideas that will blow our minds away, we've stumbled across these interesting tools that could offer you various ways of bringing something fresh in your design work. Whether you lack innovation or just want to play around with colors, these handy tools will take you on a trip trough time, space and internet to give you what you want.

 

 

1. time travel by color

Is your current design project asking to be a little more retro? Needs some funk and crispy taste of the past of mankind? We present you a platform called Color Leap, unique gallery of chosen artwork from over 4000 years of our past.

How is this online tool useful for you? The website stores over 180 palettes of artworks from all around the world. For every time period, you can find a selection of paintings or designs, check their palettes and copy their hex-codes right into your project. For every moment in time, you can also see additional palettes which relate to this epoch.

Whether you are looking for a vintage, 60's style design, or diving all the way back in the ancient civilizations, this unique timeline can provide you with fresh ideas and suggest palettes you might have not considered before.

 

 

2. the grass is always greener

...or what code should I use to present nature this time? Tired of having to try out all kinds of RGB shades every single time you get a new project? What if there was a tool which can just select the most suitable color for the terms your design relates to...?

Turns out, there is. The description found on their website is "Google, but for colors". And they basically are. Picular is a tool which uses Google Search and the result of Picular search is a selection of the most used shades which relate to your searched term.

What this app does is selects the prominent colors from top 20 images which Google Search locates under the search term. So, next time you are feeling playful, try out some interesting abstract terms, let the avangard inspire you, discover the color of loneliness, jungle and confidence, based on images of people from all around the world.

We hope you liked our new suggestions, and that these tools can help you unlock creativity, get inspired and overcome the routine in your work flow.

Have you tried Color Leap or Picular yet? Share your impressions and experience in the comment section bellow.

 

Author: Nina Petrov

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Inktober 2018 - Let's get the party started!


The first week of October has officially come to an end, and here we are trying to see who's going to do the Inktober challenge with us?

Do you know what Inktober is?

It's an awesome challenge that lasts the whole month of October, 31 days straight and has a couple of flexible rules to follow.

  • it's global
  • be consistent
  • use ink
  • let the Inktober list inspire you
  • share your art with the world
  • draw whatever you want

It's important to be consistent. If you don't get to do it every day, choose a frequency to follow and do it ex. every other day, twice a week or even once a week.

Once you finish your sketch, post it on social media with hashtags #inktober #inktober2018 and #colourlovers tagging @colourlovers, so that we can check out your work and get it featured.

 

Author: Art Lasovsky

 

The most important benefit of Inktober is forming positive drawing habits. The more you commit to it, the more you'll achieve. If you commit to doing it on a daily basis, you won't only improve your technique but you will also reinforce the habit of drawing everyday and be prepared to continue drawing consistently even in November.

The best thing about Inktober is: you can draw whatever you want! There is a list of words for every day of the month, usually adjectives, that can serve you as an inspiration, but in the end you are free to choose your topic. You can choose your technique. You can start in traditional media and then finish your art piece off in Illustrator or Photoshop. You can also use watercolor, tempera or any other technique you want to combine with the ink.

 

Резултат слика за inktober 2018 list

Author: Jake Parker https://bit.ly/2zVLG4H

 

You can choose to do a handwriting piece or a logo sketch instead of a drawing.

And the last but not the least - the most important rule is: have fun!

The initiator, cartoonist and illustrator Jake Parker will explain the challenge, its rules and benefits:

 

If you are still not sure what you'll draw, check out this other video that Jake made about his Inktober history. Hopefully, looking at his numerous, wonderful past sketches you'll get the idea for your own topic.

 

If you've already grabbed your pencil and paper, great! We're proud of you! If you haven't, we won't let you make excuses. If you don't have any experience with inking, here are some videos to get you started.

Start simple. Start with simple shapes and forms. Use ink to give it dimension.

If you decide to draw trees, this will help:

This will teach you to create depth in your drawing:

 

Remember ColourLovers, there's no better time to start than now.

Start today. 

And show us what you came up with.

 

About the author:

Ana Maksimovic is the community manager and editor at Colorlovers. She is a part-time traveler and part-time web and graphic designer working with sustainable brands. She is passionate about photography and nature -  a never-ending source of inspiration.

 

P.S. We thank all the artists for wonderful tutorials they made, and Unsplash for their never-ending, inspiration pool of photos.

 

 

 

 

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How to Design Killer Sales Copy for Your Website


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The quality and design of your sales copy are just as important as your product or service. You may have the most outstanding product or service in the world, but if the design of your copy is not compelling, It may not move your audience to become loyal to your offering.

 

If you want your sales copy to convince and convert here are some of the things you need to keep in mind as you move from the basics of grammar, vocabulary and syntax.

Your Headline

 

The headline is the most critical part of your sales copy. Your headline should capture the attention of the visitors and suck them into the body of your sales copy.

 

Remember you have only ten seconds at most to capture the attention of your prospects or they will just click away. You can quickly achieve that by having the most significant benefit of your product in the headline of your sales copy.

 

Put simply, the headline should be benefit-driven, attention-grabbing and made to persuade the reader of your sales copy to keep reading.

 

Beyond the words used, you need to factor in colour and headline design. Colour, for example, has a significant impact when it comes to the users' response.

 

Facebook demonstrated this when they switched from blue notification icons to red ones.

 

To keep their branding recognisable, then initially used blue icons. But nobody clicked on them. When they changed to red icon notifications, everyone clicked on them almost immediately. The colour became irresistible.

 

So too with your headlines. If you want to capture the attention of your audience, who often do not read beyond the headline, you need to factor in branded and persuasive colour and typography into your sales copy titles.

 

Bullet Points

 

You should use bullets to highlight the benefits of your product or service.

 

Bullet points are highly readable, and they tend to stop the reader in their tracks and enable them to absorb short, simple facts or suggestions.

 

As a matter of design, indenting those bullet points has a significant impact on readability and should be factored into your overall sales copy design.

 

Remember, most people will not read the sales copy but skim through it and bullets enable you to focus their attention on the benefits of your product.

 

Benefits vs Features

 

We already know how important it is to focus on the benefits of using your product as opposed to the features of your product.

 

For example, the phrase “comfortable mattress” describes a feature but “Wake up relaxed and ready to face the day ahead” goes further to show the benefits of the feature.

But equally important is the layout and use of colour to distinguish between benefits and, features - both positive and negative.

 

The use of lookbook creators to highlight features and comparisons in fashion and clothing is a great way example of using colour and design to highlight a product's features.

Bolding and Highlighting

 

Bolding and underlining emphasise essential points or phrases.

 

Highlighting those same points in yellow and adjusting the typography and position can make those points even more compelling and effective.

 

Of course, you don’t want to overdo it, or you will lose the intended purpose in the first place.

 

The Call to Action

 

You should have an active call to action throughout your sales copy. For example, you can include such calls to action as “Click here to unlock your potential right now!” or “Click here to discover the secrets now!

 

You should also create a sense of urgency so that your prospects are motivated to take action right away.

 

Writing a good sales copy is one thing that you must invest your time to learn and practice if you are to make good money from your sales copy efforts.

 

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What Is Internet of Things? What You Should Know Ahead of the IoT World Congress in Barcelona


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Between October 16 and 18, Barcelona will host IoT World Congress to shed more light on the topic, investment opportunities, and its future. The event will feature multiple activities including awards and workshops.

Technology and IoT

What is Internet of Things? Has technology affected the human understanding of IoT? What is the future of IoT? These are some of the vital questions to ask yourself ahead of the 2018 IoT World Congress in Barcelona. The event, which will see the Top Internet of Things Companies meet between 16th and 18th October, will focus on aspects affected by IoT. Such areas include transport, manufacturing, infrastructure development, energy, and healthcare.

While the Barcelona event will focus on IoT, technology is the mastermind behind it. Just like technology has revolutionized nearly all aspects of human lives, it has brought massive opportunities regarding devices interconnections. For instance, it is easy to access cheap wireless networks or processors, which are vital in IoT. But even as the Top Internet of Things Companies are set to meet between 16th and 18th October, one question remains challenging to most people: What is Internet of Things? Below is what you should know about IoT ahead of the Barcelona event.

What Is Internet of Things?

IoT is the interconnection between billions of devices globally, which can collect and share data. These devices are physical, and range from tiny objects like pills to large objects like airplanes, and are interconnected via the internet. Over recent years, IoT devices have been growing in number owing to the reducing cost of wireless networks and processors. According to Statista, an estimated 25 billion devices will be part of IoT devices by 2020. The figure is massive compared to the 4.88 billion devices that were interconnected in 2015.

Impact of IoT

The effect of the internet of things revolves around all aspects of human lives. Think of a smartphone app that can control your thermostat or coffee maker that switches on automatically when you get out of bed. Indeed, controlling your thermostat temperature or coffee maker is an easy task for you. But wouldn't this automation help eliminate the stresses and effort involved by humans? There are nearly endless examples since Top Internet of Things Companies are involved in most areas of people's lives. Ultimately, this invention results in smart homes and workplaces.

The Future of IoT

There is much discussion revolving around the future of internet of things. As the rate of data sharing between physical devices increases, and the Top Internet of Things Companies ramp up their operations, it is easy to foresee a bright future for IoT. For instance, you may end up with a freezer that can remind you to buy perishables through RFID Product Chips scanning. Automatic opening of your garage door, whenever you want to drive through, might be another example. There are many examples; IoT will be a focus in the tech space, leading to substantive development in how we do things.

 

MD: Between October 16 and 18, Barcelona will host IoT World Congress to shed more light on the topic, investment opportunities, and its future. The event will feature multiple activities including awards and workshops.

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How to price your work as a freelancer


We all start being freelancers thinking it's going to make our lives easier - we would put an end to underpaid work, we can manage our own time and best of all - do only the projects we love. If you are reading this, then you know that it's not all that perfect.

Sure, we get to choose the clients and learn something with every new project, but there is still a certain uncertainty when pricing our work, how do we do it right? There is a lot to consider, for sure. Of course that you wouldn't want to charge as much for the projects you really enjoyed and supported, for those you are doing for a friend and delivering work for a non-profit or charity.

Things to consider when pricing your work are the details of the project - what is required from you to do? Also, you would want to adapt the price to the scale of the company that is hiring you, as well as the number of revisions you will do.

First thing you need to do right is your project proposal. When writing your project proposal you want to make sure you are scheduling the deadline you can meet, offer all the details of what content you will provide and do not undercharge your work! For the amount of working hours, you need to charge adequately; otherwise you are risking a failure of the project you cannot dedicate to.

When pricing your work for a client, bear in mind that you are not offering just your time, but also all the experience and skills - a lifetime of learning and dedication to your clients needs. If a client suggests that you are too expensive, you need to be confident about the uniqueness of your offer - know what it is that will make the client happy, that you can offer and no one else on the market can? Why are you the obvious choice if someone wants to invest in their brand and the future of the company? Feel free to use all the work you ever did to prove your worth - content clients, good reviews, portfolio of chosen projects you are proud of and a clear vision of how will the work you do help this clients business for years to come.

Often, when you look for advice of how to price your work, you come across many equations of how other freelancers figured it out for themselves. In simple terms, though, this comes down on how to break even by doing what you do. This mind frame can help you choose projects according to your realistic needs, be paid well enough to live the lifestyle you want and invest in your future.

 

 

Make a clear calculation of your monthly expenses (rent, food, bills, etc), have a number of how much do you have to make per month in order to survive. Many freelancers rush into underpaid projects which take them too much time, without thinking of how they will cover their life expenses at the end of the month.

Second important number to this equation is the amount of hours you can/want to work per day. Decide for yourself what is the perfect amount of work every day - whether you will work four hours before and four after lunch; whether you will or will not work on weekends - make a clear schedule for your perfect daily balance.

I met designers who work best at night. Their whole wage was centered on how many nights a project will take them, and thus their lives adapted to their working mode. Everyone has their own rhythm, which is why 9 to 5 working hours are not your first choice. Best part of being a freelancer is being able to adapt your work style to your biorhythm.

 

 

When you have the numbers stating how much you spend per month and how many hours you will work per month, you can make a calculation of how much money you need to make per hour. Use this number as a referral, as a minimum of all minimums you should charge per hour. With this in mind, you need to take care of your monthly savings, think of things such as health insurance, retirement savings and other grown-up to-do's.

In addition to this number, you should be realistic oh how much you are worth and what is the optimum of how much you want to be paid in ideal circumstances. This will help you work for more expensive projects and save money for a holiday, renovating the apartment, joining the gym and other activities and joys which differentiate your life from surviving.

A friendly advice for your yearly budget is to consider how much you want to invest in improving your skills and better equipment for your work. Remember - the best job is the one where you get to learn every day and grow both on personal and professional level.

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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Top 5 software to prototype amazing UI/UX


When communicating with clients, quality representation of our idea is very important. Client wants to see what your vision is, to have a clear picture of how it meets the demands of the market, and how it interacts with the users.

When choosing the right software to develop your prototype, you should consider which characteristics and features are essential to your work, which software can you easily adapt to and what fits your design process best.

A factor in choosing the right software is also your team, or better say if you are working within a team, as you would then require a software which you can share between yourselves. You would also need a program compatible with other design tools you already use, to avoid having to download loads of side programs for UI design.

Let's take a look at five best tools on the market in 2018:

 

Sketch

 

For those of you who are already used to Photoshop or Illustrator, Sketch is something you would easily adapt to. It is based on vectors, which ease the whole process of design, it is very intuitive and the simplicity of it helps you develop an interface super quickly.

One of its most popular features is nested symbols - the ability to add very simply pre-designed buttons, bubbles, widgets and even some more complex mechanisms. Great feature you can find useful is the ability to export your design into code, which enables easy implementation into, for example, web design.

 

 

Sketch is only available for Mac, comes with a free trial, and its full version can be purchased for $99.

 

InVision

 

A tool which integrates with Sketch, InVision is dominating the UI/UX market without any doubt. The greatest benefit coming from this amazing software is it's support to team work - within the program itself you can coordinate your project, manage tasks, follow the development and keep notes for the rest of your team.

 

 

This program is compatible with many other useful tools for project management, such as Trello, Slack and Dropbox. InVision will make your offer to the client way more impressive with the ability to offer guided tours, bringing them a presentation that will blow their minds away. Among companies which had their UI/UX prototypes developed using this tool are Twitter, LinkedIn and Uber, which gives us an excellent review of this software.

It is compatible for Mac and Windows users, it is free for one project, and price varies from $15 to $99 per month, depending on your needs.

 

Balsamiq

 

Balsamiq offers one of the easiest ways to create a mockup, dropping the elements on the board and moving them around. Everyone can master in using this amazing program. It is very useful for rough sketching of prototypes for fast delivery of your idea to the client.

 

 

It comes with a big library of elements (icons, images), enabling you to do a simple wireframe. This is not the program you would use to develop a complex prototype for an app, it is rather intended for static wireframes and for relatively new designers in the world of prototyping.

Available for Mac and Windows, comes with a 30-days free trial and the cost of the license is $89.

 

Origami

 

Developed by Facebook, this software offers you a possibility to easily design and test your idea. It allows you to import your designs from Photoshop and Sketch, where you can adapt them and make them animated and interactive.

Origami also enables you to export the elements of your prototype, send them to engineers and come step closer to your product. It is recommended when you are working with a contemporary interface and developing a modern and innovative idea.

By using an app Origami Live, you can explore your work directly on your devices in real time.

This program is also reserved for Mac users, while it is absolutely free to use.

 

Webflow

 

Webflow seems to have dominated the market as the most functional software for building the websites ever. The idea behind this incredible tool is for a designer to be able to construct a website without having to write the code.

Webflow operates similar to Photoshop, although it offers you the possibility to edit the code as well. It is great for web animation, interactive design and responsive web designs, and it also integrates Google Fonts. The final product of your work can be exported in HTML, CSS or JavaScript, but some might recommend getting the hosting with Webflow, as it is one of the fastest technologies on the market.

It is compatible with Windows and Mac, free for two projects, and from $16 to $35 per month for more projects.

 

 

If none of these top 5 programs work for you, some of our honorable mentions you can try are Framer, Adobe XD, Justinmind, Fluid UI, Axure, Principle, Atomic and Proto.io.

Explore these options for unlimited creativity in prototyping your design!

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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