The simple way to get better at design

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Design, by its very nature, is there to be judged. We do it every day—whether it’s our own creation, or that of someone else. When we see something, we’re looking at it and forming an opinion (positive or negative).

So, those of us who do this type of work for a living do understand that it’s all part of the gig. Clients will of course give their opinions about what we have created for them. Our job is generally two-fold:

  • Communicate with the client as to why we made specific design choices and back up our methods with supporting evidence. For example, perhaps a client doesn’t like the placement of a search field. You might point out that you placed it in that particular spot as research shows more users will utilize the feature.
  • Make sure you’ve done your best to ensure the client’s happiness with your work. Whether they come around to your way of thinking or not, you still need to put forth your best effort to help them achieve their goal.

There’s a certain amount of give-and-take in the design process when working with a client. But that’s to be expected when you’ve been hired by someone to represent their brand.

However, in recent times, designers have also become subject to another kind of criticism: one they voluntarily sign up for.

PUTTING YOUR WORK ON DISPLAY FOR THE DESIGN COMMUNITY

Beyond the usual client feedback, there are “community critique” websites. Many designers are choosing to submit their work to sites like Behance or Awwwards – places where the community at large (and a jury in the case of Awwwards) can offer both critique and some creative inspiration.

Both communities, although a bit different in methodology, are quite popular. Behance is run by Adobe and is completely free to use. Besides websites, they also feature varied types of media such as photography, architecture and fashion. You can upload your work via their site or directly from Photoshop CC. Community members can vote up and comment on submitted works, while Behance curators create featured galleries showing the best of the best.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

 

Here’s how to get the iOS 10 and macOS Sierra public betas

Download Beta OS

After getting our first look at iOS 10 and macOS Sierra at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, we’ve been eager to get our hands on Apple’s latest operating systems. It’s been less than a month, and Apple has already started rolling out the public betas. As long as you’re willing to put up with potentially buggy software, now’s your opportunity to try the latest and greatest out of Cupertino.

Before you consider installing either one of these betas, you need to make sure that you have a complete backup. For your iOS device, plug into either a Windows PC or a Mac, and press the “Back Up Now” button in iTunes. As for your Mac, you’re probably best off making a bootable backup with an app like Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper. Once you’ve verified that all of your data is backed up properly, it’s safe to proceed.

 

Install iOS 10

Head to Apple’s beta website, and sign-up for access. You’ll need to log in with your existing AppleID, and then agree to the terms and conditions. Next, you’ll need to visit this page on your iOS device to download the beta profile. Install the new profile, and reboot your device once it’s finished.

Once you’ve rebooted, launch the Settings app. Navigate to General > Software Update, and you should see the beta update on the right-hand side. Tap “Download and Install,” and then wait for the process to finish. You’ll need to reboot once more, and you’ll be ready to roll.

 

Install macOS Sierra

Just like with iOS 10, you’ll need to register for the beta program by logging in with your AppleID, and agreeing to the fine print. Once that’s done, go to the “Enroll Your Devices” section of the beta website. Click on the “macOS” tab, scroll down, and click the “Redeem Code” button. This will launch the App Store, and begin the download.

Once it’s finished downloading, the installation app will automatically launch. If you’re ready to make the jump, you can simply follow the on-screen prompts to upgrade to macOS Sierra. But if you need some time, don’t hesitate to simply quit out of the app, and come back later. The installer is titled “Install macOS Sierra Public Beta,” and it will be sitting in your Applications folder.

Is it worth it?

As with any unfinished software, there are bound to be bugs, crashes, and some wonkiness all around. If you only have a single device, you shouldn’t move to the unstable version. But if you have some spare time and an extra device (or partition) lying around, it can be fun to get a sneak peek. If all of that sounds peachy-keen to you, let’s look at what the updates have to offer.

First off, we have iOS. The Messages app has been overhauled with stickers and drawing tools, it’s easier to act on notifications, smart home devices can be controlled with the new Home app, Apple Pay works on the web, and third-party apps can finally work properly with Siri. There’s no single big change here, but Apple is making a handful of smart improvements that will make long-time iOS users very happy.

On the macOS side, you’ll see a very similar group of small changes that make the overall experience better. The addition of Siri is probably the single largest user-facing feature, but that’s not all Apple has up its sleeve. For those of us with tiny SSDs, the Optimized Storage feature will be a game changer. Old, unused files can be automatically moved to the cloud to help clear out space. And my personal favorite? The Universal Clipboard allows you to copy text and multimedia files from your Mac to your iOS device. That feature alone is worth the upgrade in my eyes.

Even if you have no interest whatsoever in participating in the betas, you’ll still receive all of those features and many more when iOS 10 and macOS Sierra release for free later this year.

 

 

 

[Source: Extreme Tech]

 

4 Ways to Get More “Now-ism” Into Your Social Media Strategy

4 Ways to Get More “Now-ism” Into Your Social Media Strategy | Social Media TodayIn business, we’re told to plan for every eventuality. And although this makes good business sense, when it comes to social media, all of the planning, strategy meetings, update meetings and brainstorming sessions can, at times, get in the way of us getting stuck in and actually achieving our key objectives. When considering the immediacy and rapid pace of the social news cycle, it may be worth taking a leaf out of Facebook’s book, whose mantra throughout it’s formative years had been “move fast and break things”?

WHAT IS “NOW-ISM”?

Simply put, “now-ism is the practice of jumping in and having a go without over excessive analysis and too much planning”. Businesses often get caught up in creating the perfect strategy and forget the importance of being reactive. This is where “now-ism” comes in, encouraging spontaneity, taking chances and real-time marketing.

WHY IS “NOW-ISM” IMPORTANT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA?

Although a business can have the most carefully laid plans, it’s important to be reactive. This is even truer when it comes to social media marketing.

It’s easy to stay exactly where you are, to play it safe, or carefully plan and wait for everything to be perfect before you make your next move. But in 2016, is that the best approach? Technology’s changing at such a rapid pace that businesses need to run just to catch-up. Competition’s also getting stronger, so it’s important to stay ahead of the game. Sometimes, the best time to take action is now.

That’s not to say that planning’s not important – we don’t suggest for a minute that you should always jump in and give things a go without thinking it through first. In fact, Facebook’s mantra’s recently been refined to “move fast with stable infrastructure”. Although this might not have the same ring to it as their last one, it points out that moving fast is crucial to success, but it’s also important to have a solid strategy at the heart of your actions. Perhaps many other businesses could benefit from this approach too.

4 Ways to Get More “Now-ism” Into Your Social Media Strategy | Social Media Today

HOW CAN BUSINESSES EMBRACE “NOW-ISM” FOR SOCIAL MEDIA?

Small businesses are in a great position to be reactive, with much more freedom and flexibility. However, as businesses get bigger, in some cases, part of their spontaneity unfortunately dissipates. For example, social media posts may need to be created weeks in advance so that they can be approved by various people within the business, before being published to Facebook.

Here are some simple suggestions, to help you bring some “now-ism” to your own social media:

1. GET AGREEMENT FROM MANAGERS

Ensure you have backing from managers to be more reactive. You can still have an approved posting plan, but get permission to add to it, as required. To give more assurance, you could consider creating clear social media, branding and tone of voice guidelines, to follow when creating ad-hoc content.

2. JUMP ON THE BACK OF TRENDS

Whatever your business, make sure you monitor current trends. There may be something that your business can jump on the back of and create a post about (also known as ‘newsjacking’). Trending topics tend to have a very short lifespan though, so it’s important to react quickly. Twitter’s a great place to start looking for trends, but be careful – just because you can, doesn’t mean you always should. Ensure that anything you post is appropriate, relevant to your business and is creative. A good example of newsjacking gone wrong is when England’s royal baby was born and every marketer jumped on the bandwagon, which led to negative reactions from audiences.

3. BE ON STANDBY

Whether you’re running your own business event, or there’s a big event in the calendar, don’t leave your social media accounts unattended. Make sure someone is on stand-by (even out-of-hours), to research and react to the event, along with your audience. Oreo is the perfect example of this – they were quick off the mark with their clever blackout post during the 2013 Super Bowl.

4. TRY NEW TECHNOLOGIES OUT FOR YOURSELF

Although your company may not be happy for you to experiment with new social media features straight away on their business accounts, why not test out new features or ideas on your own personal channels? For example, you could try out Instagram’s longer 30 second videos, investigate Snapchat with your friends or experiment with Facebook Live. Test the features out and then if they could have benefit to your business, then pitch them to your boss.

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

 

3 Ways to Get More Out of Your Business Partnerships Using Social Media

3 Ways to Get More Out of Your Business Partnerships Using Social Media | Social Media Today

We’re big fans of growing your business through new partnerships. If your business is ever feeling stagnant, looking to partnerships is a great way to get the ball rolling again and grow your business in ways you couldn’t have done all on your own. As AllBusiness writer Ann Gatty puts it:

“Strategic partnerships can be beneficial for businesses with limited resources. When two companies that complement one another don’t have the funds to expand the way they would like, or to reach the markets they wish to, they can form a strategic alliance to help accomplish their goals.”

Here’s how to get the most out of your partnerships with the use of social media:

1. FEATURE EACH OTHER’S GUEST POSTS

A great way to dive into a partnership is to propose a cross-blogging relationship. It’s as easy as swapping guest blog posts once a month – you write an article for them, they write an article for you, and the both of you get to expose your brands to a new audience that might not have normally read your article were you not partners. As their articles go live on your blog, be sure to post them on your social sites saying something like, “Check out this article on ______ written by our friends at _____” making sure to tag them in the post. If you’ve built up a reputable social presence, a place where your readers can come to learn about the field you’re in in an informative and interesting way, they’ll take your recommendation seriously and read your partner’s article. Ideally, your partner will do the same for you.

2. LET YOUR AUDIENCE KNOW ABOUT THEIR CONTESTS

Everybody likes the chance to win something. If your partner is hosting a contest that most of your customers could easily participate in, let your audience know about it. Even if your partner doesn’t straight out ask you to promote the contest, they’ll absolutely appreciate the gesture. The whole point of hosting a contest is to spread awareness of your brand in some way – whether you’re trying to highlight a new product, or you’re just trying to get more likes on Facebook. Imagine if all your business partners helped to spread the word about your contests – that’d help a ton, right? It’s little things like this that make you stand out as an excellent partner to do business with.

3. FEATURE THEIR DEALS (BUT NOT TOO OFTEN)

The best social environment you can provide for your customers is somewhere they can go to keep informed and entertained with the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of your industry. No reader wants to be fed spam all day every day – it’s a good way to lose a lot of followers really quickly. You can’t solely post about your company’s deals just as you can’t post about your partner’s deals on a regular basis. However, just as with the contests, if they’re having a big promotion, by all means, share it with your customers – but if, and only if, it’s a product or service your customers would be interested in. Though, being that you’re partners, you’d hope that your products and services overlap. Again, if you’re helping them out when they have big promotions, they should be happy to help you out as well.

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

Metal Gear Solid Online will get a new Survival mode next week

Metal Gear Solid Online is getting a new patch next week, and it’ll introduce a game mode you might recognise from previous iterations of Metal Gear (assuming you owned a console, back then). Dubbed ‘Survival Mode’, it doesn’t involve chopping down trees, picking berries or anything like that: it’s a six player free-for-all with the objective of getting a win-streak of five or more matches.

Unless you own the Cloaked in Silence expansion, you’ll only get to play Survival mode ten times a week. For owners of that DLC pack access is unlimited. While those who haven’t forked out for that DLC will be able to “try out” the new maps in it, it’s clear that Konami wants you to buy the bloody DLC, okay?

The update is expected to hit on April 5. If you fancy having a read of some CQC stat mumbo-jumbo, click through to the official MGS website.

 

[Source:- PCgamer]

The 10 Windows group policy settings you need to get right

 

One of the most common methods to configure an office full of Microsoft Windows computers is with group policy. For the most part, group policies are settings pushed into a computer’s registry to configure security settings and other operational behaviors. Group policies can be pushed down from Active Directory (actually, pulled down by the client) or configured locally.

I’ve been doing Windows computer security since 1990, so I’ve seen a lot of group policies. In my work with customers, I scrutinize each group policy setting within each group policy object. With Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, for example, there are more than 3,700 settings for the operating system alone.

 
[Source:- Computerworld]