Category Archives: Design & Technology

Articles related to graphic design, fashion design, web design, user experience design, website design and any article that mentions the importance of design.

Aug11

IS THE NEXT UBER-ESQUE CRAZE HERE?

By Ian Tash

DessertsThe 2010-decade seems to be seeing hit after hit of an economic revolution, where people like never before can become entrepreneurs, and use their skills to support themselves. Companies like Lyft and Uber employ people with a car, a license, and a good record to help those who need rides in their local area. Sites like Fiverr or the newest development, PimpCookie, allow people to sell their trade skills to people all around the globe.

PimpCookie is a service that allows consumers to buy desserts to be delivered right to their door. Now searching for sweets doesn’t just fall into what is in the area. Just browsing through the site’s listings can fulfill any special occasion or just sweet tooth craving. But can great food be delivered on a global scale? Companies like Naturebox, Shari’s Berries, or even a small Bakery like Bakersfield CA’s Sweet Surrender deliver food all over the world constantly. At PimpCookie, however, the delectable treats available have limitless potential and variety; all somebody needs to do is just search through the numerous options, from marshmallows to brownies to fudge to jerky and (as the name implies) cookies, and beyond.

Uncle Sam

Now, here comes the Uber-esque part. The question for some very well may be, “Where do these treats come from?” Others might be thinking to themselves, “What if I like to cook more than I like to eat?” Well, the thing about PimpCookie is that it allows home inspired bakers, cooks, and creators from all over the world to be able to post their small batch treat items for the global audience to enjoy. And unlike many other entrepreneurial marketplace websites, at PimpCookie, the seller always retains 85% of each sell! The site can even serve as a safe zone for experimentation with new dessert ideas. As long as someone has a great recipe for a wonderful treat, they can make it and sell it for a demanding public, looking for sweet satisfaction.

Consumers and creators alike can all come together on a site like PimpCookie, opening the door for culinary experts and the mouths of curious consumers. Now the power of Uber and Fiverr combine, selling chocolate fantasies from online right to the front door. This site seems like it very well is the next great idea, filling stomachs and bank accounts alike.

Jun15

Triple your job chances with this simple thing

Resume Shoppe logo

Studies show that you have on average 6 seconds to grab the attention of someone reading your resume. 6 Seconds, that’s not a lot of time, right? You better make that great first impression then!
But how do you stand out against hundreds of hungry applicants in 6 seconds? A uniquely designed resume is the answer.  The good news is you don’t need advanced design skills for this anymore. Just your Word processor and 10 minutes of your time. Enter Resumeshoppe.com.

This website specializes in affordable resume templates in Word that everyone can edit. They have templates for all kinds of professions and for both men and women. More good news is that we have arranged a special deal for you for 50% off on all templates on Resumeshoppe.com!

That means you can grab a template like:

Caleb Resume

For less than $7.50
>>Grab a template now and use coupon code ‘creative50’ for 50% off at  Resumeshoppe.com

Debbie Resume

Jun10

How companies review your resume

resume image

If you have done up your resume on resume bond, maybe with some carefully chosen fonts – then you are almost sure to be rejected as a candidate for a job. First impressions count, and companies aren’t looking for superficial impressions but an idea of how qualified you are to fill the position. What surprises many people is finding out how many companies use software to filter the first round of resumes.

Automated resume filters

Most larger companies are using automated resume filter software, and many smaller companies now hire recruitment agencies to use filter software to make the number of applications they review manageable. These filters take a scanned image of your resume, and then score it according to key words and phrases the company sets that describe the qualifications and skills needed for the job.

The importance of using a template

Resume templates are very important when applying for a job today. Make sure everything on your resume is presented in a logical order so that reviewers are able to skim it. Using a resume template keeps your information in order, and easy to read. A great tip if you want your template to stand out from other applicants is to have a look at ResumeShoppe. This site has a selection of cv templates for Word that will surely get you noticed and help you structure your information.

Keywords and key phrases

To beat the filter you have to know the key words and phrases used in your industry to describe the job that is listed. You may excel in being level headed and organized, but if the standard way of describing that in the position is “flow based management” and “conflict resolution,” you need to use their words and not your own. Make sure you do your homework so you know the right words to help you get through the filter to land the interview.

Making sure you understand your industry

Before you race off and grab a resume template that you like the looks of, take the time to do a little investigation into what your industry is looking for in a candidate. There is a pattern to how they want to see information. Some industries want to see your skills first, while others will be more interested in your related experience. Just about all of the companies are going to want to know more about you – but whether it is through an objective/goal statement or an executive summary is going to depend on the position as well.

May27

Marketing yourself online as a creative

Social marketing as a creative

Working as a freelance creative can seem like a dream job. You get to do interesting, varied work while setting your own hours and working from home. But in addition to being your own boss, you also have to be your own agent, marketing manager and public relations officer. Whether you’re a copywriter, an artist or a designer, making contacts, attracting attention and securing work is arguably the most important aspect of what you do. You can be the most talented creative in the world, but if nobody knows about you, then you don’t get paid, and ultimately you might have to go back to waiting tables or office drudgery in order to make ends meet.

Thankfully, the internet and the wide variety of interactive media platforms available means it’s now easier than ever to market yourself online as a freelance creative professional. Your potential client base is now worldwide; you just need to reach out to them with a professional, authoritative presence that displays your abilities and experience to the best effect.

Presenting your portfolio

With an uncountable number of work portfolios available online, presentation is just as important as your actual work. Be creative and innovative in how you catch the eye of potential clients and draw them in to view your art, design or examples of your writing. The front page of your website should impress immediately. It should be striking and original, but also easy to navigate and interact with. It should also be appropriate to the kind of work you do as well as the market you’re aiming at.

If you’re not confident in building a personal website, go to the professionals. GoDaddy is probably the world’s best-known domain registrar and web hosting company, and is an online provider for many small businesses. The award-winning firm also provides e-business software and services. Founder Bob Parsons certainly knows the benefit of innovative marketing, using his personal charisma alongside a series of celebrity spokespeople in edgy, fun and often controversial advertisements that helped make GoDaddy a billion-dollar brand. And as this Bob Parsons news shows, his philanthropy also attracts attention.

Selling your brand

It can help to focus on a niche market in which you have expertise at first, and then gradually expand out from there. Find your USP (unique selling point) and emphasize it in your presentation. Use social media and have a consistent and eye-catching logo that you can use across all platforms and in online advertising. Also remember that networking and making contacts is the bread and butter of any online creative. Try to maintain a blog in addition to your regular website, where you can show off your work and keep up a controlled, ongoing interaction with the wider world that also allows a little bit more of your real self to come through.

A professional and engaging portfolio is the key to finding work as an online creative, as is a well designed website. Include references from contacts and impressive examples to stand out from the crowd, and let your talents shine through.

May26

Career advice for engineering

Engineer

Engineering is an exciting field that is always in demand. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to pursue a career in engineering. 

Explore different sectors 

Engineers can specialize in many fields. Reading some job descriptions and looking at the websites of major firms can give you a better idea of what a job in a particular sector will actually entail. This can also make it easier for you to decide what engineering degree program will be best for your long-term career goals. Firms such as Transducer Techniques have found success by specializing in one sector of engineering. The company engineers state of the art load sensors that allow for better precision in fields such as manufacturing. Other exciting engineering sectors to consider include aerospace and automotive engineering.

Don’t be afraid to use your innovation and creativity

Engineers are thinkers. They are always looking for ways to create solutions. If you have a great idea, then there is nothing wrong with attempting to turn it into a reality. Some of the greatest innovations come from those that are not afraid to explore and think outside the box. For instance, Transducer Techniques started as an entrepreneur’s dream and found success by focusing on one specific aspect of engineering. Finding a niche market can ensure your success.

Explore employment with small companies as well as large

There are plenty of good opportunities with small to mid sized companies. A company does not have to be large to be extremely successful. Many people overlook these opportunities because they are determined to be employed by large firms. Small firms are also great places for those that lack real professional experience. If you are still a student, do not count out these smaller firms, as they can provide internship opportunities that can lead to better jobs later on down the road.

Recruitment fairs and networking are your friend

Websites and social media such as LinkedIn can be extremely helpful in networking with potential employers and other key people in your chosen sector of engineering. This can lead to many opportunities. Recruitment fairs or engineering trade shows are another valuable opportunity to meet firms face to face and find out what they are all about. This can help if you are still trying to hone in on which sector you feel most comfortable working in. Some firms offer several different sectors, so you may be able to work a bit in both.

Internships can make the difference

While a great education is important for employers, real hands on experience at an engineering firm can make them look at you in an even more positive way. Sometimes internships lead to full time employment at the firm that you intern at. These programs are very popular because they give firms a chance to recruit and nurture talented up and coming engineers.

Talk to experienced engineers

Talking to those that have been in the business for a long time can be valuable. They can give you insight into what is currently most in demand and what they find lacking in new engineers so that you don’t make the same mistakes.

Despite the challenges of this field, engineering can be a very rewarding career, and the wide variety of job opportunities in this sector ensures that there is sure to be a specialty field to suit your interests.

May06

How Time Tracking Software Increases Productivity of Your Employees

Time tracking software for employees is a concept built on increased productivity, closer monitoring and a more results-driven workforce. If your business can make use of employees’ time tracking software, it will make for sound business sense and an improved return from your freelance staff and home workers’ productivity.

managetimeapps

More and more businesses are making use of home workers and freelancers to drive down costs; and for many small start-ups and even large enterprises, it’s a sound idea and investment. Expecting a freelancer or even a regular employee to battle their way into work each day, through heavy traffic is not a productive idea however.

It is far better to have those employees hit the working day running. But it’s the age old problem of management and supervisory staff members not being able to physically see workload being actively completed that has held the idea of home working back for so many small businesses.

Time tracking software for employees totally changes all that. Software that tracks employees’ time spent on a job or a specific task, helps businesses to micro-manage all the work a freelancer or a home worker spends all day doing.

Time tracking software starts up the moment the home worker switches on their computer, so it can be an excellent motivational tool for the employee to “clock in” and start the working day. But time tracking software for employees does not simply start and stop with the logging in of someone sat at a computer.

A complete picture of the working day is presented and graphs, diagrams and time is simplified to let employers know what its remote employees spend their time actually doing. It can highlight that some employees are spending too much time reading emails and too little on completing the spreadsheets for the end-of-month sales figures; it may also show that an employee is spending too much time on low-productivity websites, such as social media, sports, news, and messaging web pages.

However, many businesses – particularly those in advertising and promotion – need employees to spend time on social media to promote the business and update live feeds to potential customers. This is where time tracking software for employees comes in handy, as it is easily adjustable to switch individual options for a separate employees or departments.

In other words, accounts departments will need to spend a lot of time on live currency update sites, whereas the sales departments should be spending more time on web pages which might attract new clients. Time tracking software for employees can easily be adapted to suit what is best for you and the business.

 

 

May01

Crowdsourcing Week Global 2015 Conference

CSWgolbal15

I recently returned from Singapore after attending the 3rd Annual  #CSWGlobal15 Conference. The conference was held at the Genexis Theater within the Fusionopolis research and development complex that houses research organizations, high-tech companies and government agencies. It was an impressive location easily accessed by the airbnb flat I rented in Holland Village, just two train stops from the event.

I met Crowdsourcing Week’s founder, Epirot Ludvik Nekaj before he relocated from New York City to Singapore a little over three years ago to launch this global conference. We had the opportunity to meet while attending some of the same Meetup events in New York City and eventually became friends and colleagues. My interest in the crowdeconomy, crowdsourcing and crowdlabor has grown ever since. If you have similar interest then you’ll want to attend one of Crowdsourcing Week’s future conferences.

The conference mission is the following:

“Crowdsourcing Week is committed to help organizations transition into a more open, connected, and socially productive society. We focus on how crowdsourcing can address the needs of today’s leaders to bring about meaningful change. Our big, ambitious goal is to get everyone thinking about collaborating with their stakeholders to create shared value.”

Genesix Theater

Genesix Theater

The overriding theme of the conference was “Crowd Economy: Disrupting Billion Dollar Industries and Empowering Billions.” Sean Moffitt’s presentation kicked off the Crowdsourcing Week event. During Mr. Moffitt’s presentation, we learned that according to the 2015 Global Crowd Economy Survey, the biggest industries being disrupted over the next 3 years by the crowd include: #1 Finance and Banking, #2 Non-Profits and Causes, #3 Technology and Software, #4 Art and Design and #5 Publishing, Communications and Media.

The finance and banking sector has seen Peer to Peer (P2P) lenders and crowdfinancing platforms entering their market to compete. Companies like Prosper.com and crypto-currencies such as Transpay and Bitcoin have been making the headlines in tech blogs and major news publications. According to the Crowdsourcing Week audience and some of the presenters at the conference, this sector may be the most disrupted sector in the near future due to an ongoing feeling of dissatisfaction of banks by the general public. Banks and financial institutions are perfect targets for disrupting and making irrelevant. One benefit of using P2P financing and crypto-currencies is that transaction fees are reduced and/or eliminated. These technologies are attractive to the everyday consumer and business owners.

Another highlight of the conference included a presentation by Freeelancer.com’s VP of Growth, Willix Halim. He succinctly illustrated how the physical is being taken over by software. For example, paperback books (physical) to Kindle readers (software), telephones (physical) to Skype (software), scrap books (physical) to Pinterest (software), paper maps (physical) to Google Maps (software), CD players (physical) to Spotify (software), job fairs (physical) to Freelancer.com (software), classroom education (physical) to Udacity (software), well you get the point. Just about everything physical is being created into a software version as well as becoming mobile. The examples are endless and startups continue to innovate in this area of Software as a Service (SaaS).

Willix Halim of Freelancer.com

Willix Halim of Freelancer.com

During the conference we learned that crowd, crowdfunding and crowdfinancing platforms have been growing at a rapid pace. Everyday there are new crowd platforms being developed to provide labor, help fund a new products, causes or even real estate developments. Some of the other crowd platforms discussed at the conference include; ASSOB, Pozible, Freelancer, RealCrowd, iFunding, Planeta.ruZooppa, and eYeka.

Big brands have been using crowdsourcing and open innovation for years including Lego, Coca Cola, General Mills, Proctor & Gamble and Nestle for video production, design services, contests and surveys for new product ideas. The crowd can deliver more creativity and content than one advertising agency or one video production company. The crowd is also cost effective in the sense that you can obtain many ideas or designs from one contest than you ever could from one vendor. It should be noted that the more conscious crowd platforms assure that the crowd is rewarded for continued participation in contests and task completion.

View of Singapore Marina Bay

View of Singapore Marina Bay

One final area of interest from the conference was the disruption of traditional education with software technologies such as Khan Academy, edX, Udacity and Coursera. Some at the conference strongly believed that in the future we will only have a handful of brick and mortar educational institutions because it will no longer be efficient or cost effective to deliver educational content in this manner. At the present moment, educational loans are the biggest burden felt by recent college graduates and it does not have to be that way with online education. The cost can be cut dramatically by delivering the content via mobile device or desktop. How wonderful would it be to have high quality, low or no cost education accessed by WIFI?

Guess what, it’s already here and growing!

Feb27

Career Tips from Superdry

Superdry

For any young person coming out of school or college finding the first job can be a daunting prospect. This may especially be the case if the dream is starting a career in fashion as the industry is notorious for its competitive nature, largely due to its popularity. Taking the first steps to attaining a position in the industry might seem like a mountain to climb.

Despite the reputation of job hunting in the fashion industry nothing is unattainable when the right boxes are ticked and effort is made. As with most job aspiration reaching the goal can be simplified by breaking down your targets that can help to visualise the steps that you need to take.

  • Experience and Portfolio – the difference between being successful in an interview and not making the cut can be as simple as the amount of experience that you have behind you. Taking opportunities to get into the working environment and challenge yourself will build your knowledge of what work you can thrive with and is right for you.

 

  • CV and Interview Follow-ups – Stand out from the crowd when sending your CV to a company or after interviews. Turning away an application is a lot easier when there hasn’t been a conversation between you and the employer

 

  • Look at your talents and use them – There are plenty of areas in the fashion industry which require a range of skills, don’t think that you have to be an expert fashion designer to be in the industry. Roles in marketing, writing, and finance all have a place in fashion; find your strength and follow it.

 

  • Manage your online presence – social media is an invaluable tool for keeping up to date with current trends in the industry as well as developments in the companies you’re aspiring to. Follow the people that are in the know with the key information that could help to give you the killer edge on others.

See additional guidelines for what’s looked for in the fashion industry with a full list of job roles in this article from Fashion-Schools.org.

Superdry are one of the most prominent international fashion brands to spring from the UK over the last two decades. Started in 2003 by founders Julian Dunkerton and James Holder, the brand distinguishes itself fusing American and Japanese-inspired graphics with British style. Celebrit­ies such as David Beckham, Bradley Cooper and Justin Bieber have worn and endorsed the brand.

Brand Director

Julian Dunkerton first entered the fashion industry in 1985 at the age of 19 through a government grant scheme. He now takes the role of product and brand director, focussing on the  creative force behind Superdry.

Is there any advice you would give to people, in their early twenties, looking to start a business?

You have to forget about objects and just try to be the best that you can possibly be in the niche that you think you have found. There are thousands of niches, it’s just a case of finding yours. Never think of yourself. It’s about your staff, your customer, and your business. You’re tenth on the list. If you are thinking that you are doing it for material things, then forget it, because you’ll never make the right decisions in business to build the business.

Is your specific route that you have taken something that you would advise others to follow? A lot of aspirational young people are beginning to consider university to be the default option.

I think it’s very typical for people like me to have not been to university. If you look at the serious entrepreneurs in this country you will find that a huge number of them have not been to university and out of the entrepreneurs that have been to university they become entrepreneurs because often of their particular skills base, so they go down a very narrow channel.

James Holder co-founded Superdry with Julian, sharing his drive and continued ambition for fashion. Also starting his career early Holder shares his journey into the fashion industry:

Superdry

What made you decide to get into the world of fashion?

I fell into fashion by accident! When I was at college, I was crazily being an expert in skateboarding, and somehow I saw that nobody is making that king of cool t-shirts for these skaters, so I started doing them by myself and selling them to others. From that, I saw that I can make a living out of it. So it was not what I love for fashion, it was what I loved for creativity. Even for this day, I don’t count myself as a fashion designer, but as a product designer.

What has been the best part about creating the brand?

We are obsessed with products, and also with creativity and with what we do. When things got tough, we see that it’s time to give more creative and expansion. You’ve got a different source of emotional attachment to each product you make, but you’re in love with them.  So whether it could be the smallest little accessory or the most incredible artisan of the jacket, you will have the same emotional attachment, so it is a joy to do this.  We’re a premium branded brand, but we think far for fashion and we have a completely dynamic clothes collection that changes on a weekly basis.

There are many avenues to take to get into the industry that you want to be involved with. Opportunities might not present themselves as being a direct step into the fashion world yet with building your experiences your path should follow where your strengths lie. And remember that with whatever role you decide to pursue it should be something that you love and enjoy doing above all else!

Contributor, Mathew Foster

Sep08

Career Spotlight: Devin Romeo

photo

Devin Romeo is a young graphic designer who works for a sports social media website called Sports 195. He has recently started working on web design for this site and we talked to him about the experience of working an entry level design job.

Creative Interns: What are your responsibilities as an entry-level designer?

Devin Romeo: I am responsible for designing parts of the website, which can include anything from what a news module looks like, to a UI element, to an intro page. It can be anything that involves that website. And a part of me does print designs for a co-brand we have. I also design brochures and pamphlets, so I kind of do everything.

CI: How did you come to work at Sports 195?

DR: I actually looked it up on Monster. At the time I was primarily a print designer but I had just finished an internship in web design and ended up liking it. I looked up this job and it said that they were looking for a graphic designer with a preference in web design. It was entry-level which turned out to be a good transition to learn how to do web design, and how to be involved with a web-based company. It allowed a lot of room for growth and it went as far into web design that I personally wanted to go.

CI: What advice do you have for recent graduates trying to get a graphic design job?

DR: In the creative world you have to not just stand out, but stand out in a good way. Don’t go over the top, but you have to be noticeable and memorable, and everything has to be clean. Make sure your work represents who you are. Apply to as many places as possible and make sure the first things these businesses see is the best that you have. Make a great personal website. People want to see visuals. I had a resume and I had attachments but my actual website was very primitive, so I ended up having to do a lot of persuading. When I finally got my job I was at the other end of the spectrum looking at applicants. The first thing my creative director would look at was the applicant’s website. If a website didn’t look good, or it had bugs, or you could tell they had used a template he almost just threw it away immediately.

CI: What is the most unexpected thing about working in web design?

DR: It was probably the turnaround on projects. You would spend weeks putting in work to build a page and it looks incredible and you’re so happy with what you’ve done and you finally send it out, only to not hear back about it for weeks. The reason is that it might look nice and it might fit all the criteria but you have to worry about developers. They have to look at previous coding, create new style sheets and override old style sheets, and there’s so much more. I still don’t know half of what happens on the back end, but there’s so much time involved outside of designing the page to make a website work.

CI: What prepared you the most for a graphic design position?

DR: I think that as much as college helped prepared me for my career, my first internship absolutely prepared me the most. When you have an internship you aren’t worried about a grade, you’re worried about a client, who is worth a lot to that company, so you’re on the line for a number of reasons.

CI: Take me through a typical day at work for you.

DR: When I get in I will usually be working on something that’s left over from the day before. That could be a page we’re working on or a specific element of a page. If I don’t have anything to do, which is rare, I speak directly to my Art Director and he will give me work. Everything goes through him. Usually I’m given 2-3 projects a day. On the rare occasion I’ll be given one huge project or a number of miniature projects. I’ll work on them for the entire day and take lunch whenever I want to, and leave sometime after 5:30. My schedule is very flexible. It’s a laid back environment but it’s still very demanding.

CI: What influenced your career choice the most?

DR: My grandfather. He was a pioneer in the creative industry. During his prime he designed logos for brands, scoreboards at major stadiums, and so much more. It is just inspiring that someone I know has done all that. I want to follow in his footsteps and, more or less, change the way the world is looked at. Which is essentially what graphic design is. That’s what he did and that is what I want to do.

Sep02

Internships: BYOD & Company Culture

intern ipad

Today’s internships are so much more than schlepping coffee and bagels and doing all the gruntwork no one else wants to do. Interns in 2014 and beyond are hotdesking, hotelling and BYOD-ing instead of running around the corner to the local coffee shop. Sharing desk space or checking in to available desk space and working with their own electronic devices instead of using company-owned equipment are part of what an internship looks like now.

Why is BYOD Important?

With the proliferation of mobile devices and advances in technology, BYOD (permitting employee-owned devices in the workplace) is quickly becoming the norm. The flexibility and accessibility of smart phones and tablets are their main user attraction, and the attraction for employers is that when employees buy and bring their own electronics to do work, the company saves money on assigning company-owned equipment. Security and manageability issues are the downside, and make implementing a solid BYOD program an important success factor.

Why is Company Culture Important?

Company culture is important in a job search because it’s an indication of how the company operates, what a candidate can expect from his or her role and their career path with the company and how much or little the company values supporting and developing the people they bring on board. If an intern candidate is told during the recruitment process only that the internship is for 16 weeks, only pays a flat rate with no possibility for raises or bonuses and that the company relies on interns to get all the paperwork that their permanent employees don’t have time to do, it’s an indication of a culture that doesn’t value support or employee development.

If the intern program has a clear progression throughout the internship, includes opportunities for learning new things and earning premiums or bonuses, and includes a mentorship or coaching aspect, that says a lot about how the company culture values interns. Additional perks or pluses like BYOD policies that allow employees to use devices like Android tablets and iPads add to that perception.

When a candidate doesn’t understand the company culture, he or she risks disappointment with the work and work environment, missing out on opportunities for more meaningful career opportunities and feeling uncomfortable at work.

How to Gauge Company Culture

Company culture isn’t always apparent in the company tour or first interview. You have to actively seek out what makes up the culture to get to know it. Interns should ask a lot of questions about culture to understand it and gauge whether it’s right for them. Find out whether the company is a sales organization, an engineering company, or run by the finance and legal department. Consider the company’s stories, how it was founded, what the major business milestones were, and how it’s weathered economic challenges and growth.

Contributed by: SocialMonsters.org