Tag Archive: design


Unless you have been in a cave, you know that animation and video effects are taking over the web. The trick is to have unique content to bring visitors to your site. Adobe has released several new tutorials to keep you up to date with the newest technology.

Check out the latest video and let Techsnoop know what you think.

Adobe Character Animator Tips & Tricks (December 2016) from Adobe professional video on Vimeo.

So Mobilegeddon has arrived and you are not ready.

What is a small business owner to do? First, call a web designer now. Not next week, now. DKemp Designs offers free 15 minute phone consultations to any business owner on all types of technology solutions. Next, make a list of business goals that can be met with technology and prioritize according to importance.

Customers should be able to:

Locate you
Call you
See hours
Know what type of business you offer

All on the home page of your mobile site. If any of these are missing, you need an immediate makeover.

If your business does not have a mobile ready website yet, here are some facts on future mobile usage from DR4WARD to get you going.

mobile data usage by 2020

 

Techsnoop is a Web Designer. I live, breathe and love web design. Techsnoop is also a front-end coder and graphic designer. I read and dream code and pictures.

DKemp Designs Workspace

Because social media and SEO affect the usefulness of design, Techsnoop has had to become proficient in these areas. But they are not my passion. They are necessary tools to meet goals.

Enter Facebook. Undisputedly the wooly mammoth of social media, as Facebook goes, so do other platforms. Which brings me to; Facebook Sucks.

No one in web design expects the status quo to remain for any length of time, however changes should be geared towards usefulness, capturing audience and integration of new technologies. Facebook ignores all of that. Their changes are arbitrary and only direct energy toward making moolah. This means catering to Big Business and their desires. How to squash ads from small businesses and start-ups and make sure all you see in the feed is Big Business seems to be their new development mantra.

Techsnoop has more than one Facebook business page. Since the implementation of new FB algorithms (a word Techsnoop had hoped was dead after college), post reach has plummeted. Regular followers are not seeing valuable content from Techsnoop just because of FB’s pandering techniques.

Keep in mind that part of what drove massive use of FB was small businesses and start-ups creating pages and having lots of followers. Big Business jumped on board after they saw the results of small business usage. So, in effect Facebook says “thanks for helping us grow, now shove off”, to small business. Not a gracious thank you.

Techsnoop has no problem with any business making money. Hey, money is central to keep a business alive. BUT, turning on the audience who helped you grow and selling them out to come-lately followers with big pockets is bad business and, frankly, rude. This is especially true because small business cannot yet afford to leave FB.

Notice the “yet”. Yes, there are grumblings afoot in the social world to replace FB in the holy trinity line up (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) with something more small business friendly. Welcome Pinterest and Instagram. While neither has overtaken FB yet, they are growing. Even more telling, the youth market has largely moved to Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms to share with their friends.

So, what’s an up and coming entrepreneur to do? Fine tune your audience, know what social channels they use most for purchasing. Focus your time and marketing budget on the top two or three only. You may find that LinkedIn or Twitter are more profitable in ROI than FB. Don’t ignore FB, just don’t spend a lot of your time and money there.

And the most important thing you can do for your business is have a mobile optimized web site that gets customers to you. Location, contact information and specials need to be prominent on the home page for smartphone users. If your web site is not mobile ready, contact a great designer like DKemp Designs now. Google will not be forgiving of non-mobile ready sites after April 21. This means one URL, readable and clickable on all devices and no flash. Sorry, HTML5 video only. And don’t forget about the great customers who supported you when you were small.

Meanwhile, Facebook is making more and more work for less return, so Techsnoop is on FB, but if you want to really contact me, hit me on Twitter @dkempdesigns or @dkempanimations where I have great conversations with great people and, make meaningful (read; profitable) connections.

Great design requires inspiration and preparation. Sitting at a desk for long hours can cramp muscles and distract the brain from inspiring thoughts. So Techsnoop has a great solution for you inspired by the perennial geek favorite, Star Wars.

If you have been spending too much time at the keyboard or desk and need a break, try this great Tai Chi routine led by none other than the great former Jedi Darth Vader himself. And while you are getting your geek exercise, maybe the great animation will inspire you.

Thanks to John Leo for the great work on this animation project. Techsnoop feels inspired already.

Star Wars Tai Chi from John Leo on Vimeo.

This year big business taught us several lessons.  Did you miss them?  Techsnoop has rounded them up for you.

HTC

Think big, act bold.

HTC OneAfter learning the hard way not to develop timidly, HTC has jumped out with bold devices and marketing.  Using Robert Downey, Jr. in their “Here’s To Change” campaign is a great and unexpected  move for them.  The HTC One line up is proving popular and useful, reminiscent of the initial EVO launches.

But they still have a way to go.  Allowing Samsung to take their best features on smartphones and improve on them may prove a costly misstep.  Personally, Techsnoop is rooting for them as a long time HTC fan.

Take a base of popular features and innovate like HTC did with the 4 inch screen and 8MP camera into being standard features.

Samsung

Curate the best of tech and give it to your customers.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3Samsung took many hits for the perceived cheapness of their plastic casings and low quality cameras on their smartphones and tablets.  Apparently, they listen to their customers.

Somehow, without exactly copying, the best features and styling from other brands have been rolled into Samsung products and improved upon.  The Gear watch is a great example. Instead of attempting to make a standalone watch-phone, the natural use would be as an accessory to the mega-screen phones of today. Samsung beat everyone else to this.

Take notes, using the best of existing technology within your own brand is a savvy idea every business can use to leap ahead.

Apple

Don’t treat your customers like babies.

iPhone 5S-5CAfter years of implementing miniscule “upgrades” to the iPhone, Apple finally offered a “large” 4 inch screen on the iPhone 5C and 5S. The audience and tech world are completely underwhelmed. Apple is attempting to sell this iteration of the iPhone solely on looks. Yes it is pretty, but Techsnoop and the rest of the professional world are happy with 5 inch screens we can actually use.  In comparison to the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy 4, the iPhone 5 screens look cramped with too many icons and not enough breathing room.  If your fingertips are not tiny, how do you select apps?

Clearly Apple is targeting a giggling teen market.  What with colors no business man would be caught dead with and the tiny screen, this is not a business class phone.

So, if your emerging market is young hipsters, follow Apple’s example and treat your customers with condension.

(Credit: DKemp Designs)

Are you a web designer who needs to understand how to integrate jQuery into your web designs?

Techsnoop is here with timely tutorials on how to link jQuery files to your sites so they work smoothly.

The first tutorial is a basic one of how to add jQuery to your site so it works properly.  The second is a bit advanced, but it gives you a simple demonstration of how jQuery can jazz up your sites without using Flash.  Since many mobile devices do not support Flash, it is important to be device neutral in your designing.

Whatever your design role is, understanding how jQuery adds dynamic movement to the web is important.  Movement and interaction are key concepts that “sell” your site to customers.  Anything that results in higher conversions is a best practice for future of web development.

Have a great week and get your skills polished.

 

(Image credit: Reuters / Baz Ratner)

Green energy and recycling are popular topics, but not usually related to design (except in recycled art).  But Izhar Gafni has put a new spin on how design, technology and recycling can come together for a great product.

Cardboard has been used for lots of things and is great for recycling.  But in a new twist, Izhar, an engineer who works in industrial design, has used cardboard to build low cost, low tech transportation – bicycles.  To ensure the bikes would hold up, Izhar experimented with folding, gluing and coating the cardboard in various ways.  The results are both sturdy and waterproof.  For those who want to travel long distances, a planned portable electric motor will be available.

Check out the video showing how this product progressed from idea to production.

Hey, designers.  Ever had a great 2D photo you wished you could make a movie clip with?  Didn’t want to be stuck with a flat, boring slideshow?

Well Techsnoop has the answer to your problem with this great tutorial from JSWoodhams.  Thanks for the great video showing how to achieve this effect with Photoshop and After Effects.

So, break out the Coke or coffee and pay attention!  Oh, and please let us know if you want more of these tutorials to be posted in the comments.  Have a great week.

Happy Monday.  Time to crack open the coffee and Coke and get back to the design grind.  If you have no current projects, this is a great time to pre-solve some tricky procedures.

Unless you are a design guru, Techsnoop is sure many aspects of using files in After Effects has you scratching your head with “now what”.  Importing files and transforming them into spectacular works can be different every time.  But this great tutorial from Adobe TV should help clear the fog, at least with files created in Illustrator.

In the ever more crowded tablet market, Samsung has shoved another offering, the Galaxy Note 10.1.  Why, you may ask is this news?  Because they have added a split screen app to view content and take notes at the same time.  It also has an option to watch video and use apps at once.

Epic.  The ultimate work and play device.

Face it, other than entertainment, the purpuse of a tablet is to gather information on the go for later review or use.  The new note taking, and look-at capability makes the tablet into the Star Trek road warrior tool we have been waiting for.

CNET says this tablet will be available soon with a date to be announced in the next week.  While Samsung is aiming this tablet at the education market, the business users may want to take notice of the multitasking possibilities.

Let us know in the comments if this is the tablet you have been waiting for.