How to Create & Save a Preset in Lightroom

If you’re an Adobe Lightroom user, learning how to save a preset can make your workflow much smoother. Today we’re going to teach you how to create your own Lightroom presets in a few quick steps. A Lightroom preset is a “package” of settings that can speed up the photo-editing process. Presets can be reused to create the same effects over and over again. Using them can take a lot of time out of the editing process for repetitive actions. We have a full guide to Lightroom Presets if you want to learn more, or find presets that you can download and use right away. Figure Out What Kind of Preset to Create What sliders do you use frequently in Lightroom? That’s the starting point for creating a preset. The best presets are for steps you commonly take to save time during the image editing process. Presets can be created Read the full article…

40+ Best Free PowerPoint Templates 2019

Not everyone can afford to buy premium PowerPoint templates to create their slideshows. But, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a default template. There are dozens of incredible free PowerPoint templates to try out! A great thing about the design community is that there are designers out there who willingly share their amazing work for free of charge, including gorgeous free PowerPoint templates. To help you save some money, we scoured the web and handpicked a collection of the best free PowerPoint templates with modern and professional designs that you can use to make various types of presentations. Good luck with your presentation! Unlimited Downloads of 1 Million+ PowerPoint Templates, Fonts, Icons & More If you’re looking for high-end results and you want your presentation to stand out, it’s a good idea to choose from one of the many affordable premium PowerPoint templates available through Envato Elements. Here Read the full article…

The Case For Brand Systems: Aligning Teams Around A Common Story

The Case For Brand Systems: Aligning Teams Around A Common Story The Case For Brand Systems: Aligning Teams Around A Common Story Laura Busche 2019-06-25T15:00:59+02:002019-06-26T11:07:25+00:00 There’s a disconnect. If you’ve been in business for enough time you’ve definitely felt it. Teams are pulling companies in different directions with internal processes and specialized frameworks for absolutely everything. They’re focused on building their “part” of the product, and doing it incredibly well. There’s just one problem: our internal divisions mean nothing to customers. In customers’ eyes, it’s the same brand replying to their support tickets and explaining something in a modal; the same entity is behind the quality of the product they use and the ads that led them to that product in the first place. To them, there are no compartments, no org charts, no project managers. There is only one brand experience. At the end of the day, customers are Read the full article…

Amazon Prime Day 2019: get the best Prime Day deals for creatives

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is less than three weeks away now, and if the past couple of years are anything to go by, we expect to see some incredible savings for artists and designers on Prime Day 2019. So whether you’ve had your eye on some new creative software, sought-after hardware or a gadget to make your design life easier, it might just be worth holding out for this mega shopping event before making your purchase. It’s obvious, but we’ll say it anyway: in order to get all the best Prime Day deals, you need to be an Amazon Prime member. It’s simple and free to sign up, with no strings attached, so you can grab all the Prime Day deals you want and cancel your subscription at any time without charge. Note the free trial only lasts for 30 days, so make sure to time when you sign up to Read the full article…

Amazon Prime Day 2019 dates finally revealed

After months of speculation about when Amazon’s biggest retail event is happening, this morning the company finally confirmed that Prime Day 2019 will start at midnight on Monday 15 July. And in what will be the longest Prime Day ever, the event will run for 48 hours, ending at 11:59pm on Tuesday 16 July. So if you’ve been holding out for a creative bargain, you can now mark the dates firmly in your diary and bookmark our best Prime Day deals page, which we will be updating as and when all the best offers come in. The official dates were revealed in an email sent out to Amazon customers earlier this morning, which stated: ‘This year we’re celebrating Prime members with exclusive entertainment offers, brand new product launches, and more. Prime Day brings you the best of shopping and entertainment and starts at midnight on Monday 15 July with hundreds Read the full article…

What I Learned From Designing AR Apps

What I Learned From Designing AR Apps What I Learned From Designing AR Apps Gleb Kuznetsov 2019-06-24T12:00:59+02:002019-06-24T11:05:59+00:00 The digital and technological landscape is constantly changing — new products and technologies are popping up every day. Designers have to keep track of what is trending and where creative opportunities are. A great designer has the vision to analyze new technology, identify its potential, and use it to design better products or services. Among the various technologies that we have today, there’s one that gets a lot of attention: Augmented Reality. Companies like Apple and Google realize the potential of AR and invest significant amounts of resources into this technology. But when it comes to creating an AR experience, many designers find themselves in unfamiliar territory. Does AR require a different kind of UX and design process? As for me, I’m a big fan of learning-by-doing, and I was lucky enough to Read the full article…

Master audio production with this training bundle

If you want to make it as a creative in the audio and visual mediums, you’re going to want to learn how to perfect a sound mix. Luckily, The Ultimate Logic Pro X Music Production Bundle contains everything you need to know about the basics of audio engineering you podcasts, YouTube videos, and more. In this course, you’ll learn to create sound mixes that work well for podcasts, audiobooks, tutorials, and plenty of other platforms. By using Logic Pro X, you’ll become skilled at the same tool used by music producers and audio engineers. The best cloud storage 2019 On top of that, you’ll find out how to create the highest quality mix for your voice, and build a voiceover track from scratch. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, this bundle has dropped in price from $690 all the way down to $19! Related articles: The best free graphic design Read the full article…

Get industry-ready with Springboard’s UX bootcamp

Springboard’s UX Career Track is a web bootcamp with a difference. It has been designed with careers in mind, so you’ll come away armed with everything you need to snap up your first paid job in this in-demand sector. There’s an intensive online course for you to work through at your own pace, a dedicated mentor for guidance, and an industry design project to help you apply your skills in the real world. And if you don’t get a job within six months of completing the course, Springboard will give you your money back. Sign up to Springboard’s UX Career Track There are plenty of design courses out there, but many are long and very expensive, and few guarantee a job at the end. Springboard’s mission is to bridge the skills gap. Its UX Career Track gives you the skills, support and experience you need to snag a top job Read the full article…

35+ Best Instagram Post & Story Templates 2019

We’ve handpicked a collection of Instagram post and Story templates with professional designs. You can easily customize these templates to add your own text and images to create a more successful Instagram content strategy. Instagram is one of the best platforms for promoting brands and businesses. But, with millions of posts being added every day, you need to think outside the box to attract your followers’ attention. If you’re tired of using the same old designs to promote your brand and products on Instagram and looking for a better way to get more followers, you should consider using more professional post layouts and designs, especially for creating attractive Instagram Stories. To help you find the right design to promote your business, we’ve curated some of our favorite Instagram post and Story templates, designed to wow your audience. Our Favorite Instagram Templates Jump into the list of templates by first checking Read the full article…

Design Your Mobile Emails To Increase On-Site Conversion

Design Your Mobile Emails To Increase On-Site Conversion Design Your Mobile Emails To Increase On-Site Conversion Suzanne Scacca 2019-06-21T13:00:59+02:002019-06-22T11:05:06+00:00 I find it interesting that Google has pushed so hard for web designers to shift from designing primarily for desktop to now designing primarily for mobile. Google’s right… but why only focus on designing websites to appeal to mobile users? After all, Gmail is a leader within the email client ranks, too. Email can be an incredibly powerful driver of conversions for websites, according to a 2019 report from Barilliance. On average, emails convert at a rate of 1.48%. That includes all sent emails though — which includes the ones that go unopened as well as the ones that bounce. If you look at emails that are opened by recipients, however, the average conversion rate jumps to 17.75%. Let’s go even further with this: Recent data from Litmus reveals that more Read the full article…

The most powerful laptops in 2019

The most powerful laptops today are capable of handling incredible workloads. In the past, for tasks like video editing or graphic design that required a lot of high-performance hardware, no laptop would have been able to come close to the capabilities of a desktop. In some way, you would have had to make a compromise: the most powerful laptops were often so big and heavy as to be barely portable, and many would sacrifice battery life completely, lasting no longer than an hour away from a plug socket. That’s no longer true. The latest generation of processors with six or eight CPU cores means the most powerful laptops can perform every bit as well as desktops. Graphics cards are better – you can now get full-fat desktop cards in some laptops, not the anaemic mobile versions that were once the only option. If you want to compare, take a look Read the full article…

JAMstack Fundamentals: What, What And How

JAMstack Fundamentals: What, What And How JAMstack Fundamentals: What, What And How Vitaly Friedman 2019-06-20T14:30:59+02:002019-06-21T11:06:17+00:00 We love pushing the boundaries on the web, and so we’ve decided to try something new. You probably have heard of JAMstack — the new web stack based on JavaScript, APIs, and Markup — but what does it mean for your workflow and when does it make sense in your projects? As a part of our Smashing Membership, we run Smashing TV, a series of live webinars, every week. No fluff — just practical, actionable webinars with a live Q&A, run by well-respected practitioners from the industry. Indeed, the Smashing TV schedule looks pretty dense already, and it’s free for Smashing Members, along with recordings — obviously. We’ve kindly asked Phil Hawksworth to run a webinar explaining what JAMStack actually means and when it makes sense, as well as how it affects tooling and front-end architecture. The Read the full article…

Optimizing Google Fonts Performance

Optimizing Google Fonts Performance Optimizing Google Fonts Performance Danny Cooper 2019-06-20T11:00:16+02:002019-06-20T11:07:18+00:00 It’s fair to say Google Fonts are popular. As of writing, they have been viewed over 29 trillion times across the web and it’s easy to understand why — the collection gives you access to over 900 beautiful fonts you can use on your website for free. Without Google Fonts you would be limited to the handful of “system fonts” installed on your user’s device. System fonts or ‘Web Safe Fonts’ are the fonts most commonly pre-installed across operating systems. For example, Arial and Georgia are packaged with Windows, macOS and Linux distributions. Like all good things, Google Fonts do come with a cost. Each font carries a weight that the web browser needs to download before they can be displayed. With the correct setup, the additional load time isn’t noticeable. However, get it wrong and your users could Read the full article…

How To Create A PDF From Your Web Application

How To Create A PDF From Your Web Application How To Create A PDF From Your Web Application Rachel Andrew 2019-06-19T14:00:59+02:002019-06-20T11:07:18+00:00 Many web applications have the requirement of giving the user the ability to download something in PDF format. In the case of applications (such as e-commerce stores), those PDFs have to be created using dynamic data, and be available immediately to the user. In this article, I’ll explore ways in which we can generate a PDF directly from a web application on the fly. It isn’t a comprehensive list of tools, but instead I am aiming to demonstrate the different approaches. If you have a favorite tool or any experiences of your own to share, please add them to the comments below. Starting With HTML And CSS Our web application is likely to be already creating an HTML document using the information that will be added to our PDF. Read the full article…

20+ Best Sketch iOS App Templates

Sketch is one of the most popular vector graphics editing tools user interface designers can’t live without. The app makes it so easy for designers to craft fluid mobile app user interfaces in a way unlike any other tool out there. Did you know that you can actually make the process of designing apps and interfaces in Sketch much easier with templates? With Sketch templates, you get to import pre-designed sections you need to design app interfaces, like app icons, interface layouts, content layouts, onboarding screens, and more you can easily copy and paste to design your own apps. For this collection, we handpicked a collection of the best Sketch iOS app templates that includes iOS app interface layouts designed for making many different types of apps. Have a look. Our Favorite Sketch iOS Templates We picked our favorites templates from the list. Be sure to download these two free Read the full article…

Building A Component Library Using Figma

Building A Component Library Using Figma Building A Component Library Using Figma Emiliano Cicero 2019-06-17T14:00:16+02:002019-06-18T11:04:44+00:00 I’ve been working on the creation and maintenance of the main library of our design system, Lexicon. We used the Sketch app for the first year and then we moved to Figma where the library management was different in certain aspects, making the change quite challenging for us. To be honest, as with any library construction, it requires time, effort, and planning, but it is worth the effort because it will help with providing detailed components for your team. It will also help increase the overall design consistency and will make the maintenance easier in the long run. I hope the tips that I’ll provide in this article will make the process smoother for you as well. This article will outline the steps needed for building a component library with Figma, by using styles and Read the full article…

Driving Telehealth Success by Creating Trust and Meaningful Interactions

By Laura Keller Most people are aware of the evolving state of healthcare today—whether they’ve personally experienced the plethora of issues that healthcare presents or have read the many news reports covering the industry. As a service designer who is constantly identifying and solving problems, I have always been fascinated with the truly wicked problem that healthcare presents. Considering the broad scope of healthcare and its many stakeholders—including the government, healthcare providers, payers, pharmaceutical companies, and pharmacies—the problem seems almost impossible to address. But patient demand is driving big changes. People’s experiences across industries are elevating their expectations of the healthcare industry. As a consequence, companies are reinventing themselves through acquisitions and partnerships to address the healthcare system’s legacy issues. Examples include CVS’s acquisition of Aetna and JP Morgan Chase, Amazon, and Berkshire Hathaway partnering to create Haven. Plus, people are taking more ownership of their health and are adopting Read the full article…

Book Review: A Designer’s Research Manual

By D. Ben Woods As a design discipline, User Experience frequently gets lumped together with visual or graphic design—often to the chagrin of UX professionals. Of course, this tendency reinforces and is reinforced by the common belief that design is defined by its deliverables. Further, the plethora of books, periodicals, annuals, and Web sites that worship the unique style and fashion of graphic design rather than process and outcomes encourages the description of design in terms of its deliverables. The high-water mark—or maybe low-water mark—for this philosophy was probably the late 1990s, when graphic designers pushed the limits of legibility in pursuit of distinctive style. An exemplar of that trend might be the celebrity graphic designer David Carson, who described the “intuitiveness” of his visual design work, while pushing the limits of legibility. As an author and speaker, he’s made a number of statements discussing his design philosophy. Read More Read the full article…

Integrating UX Design into a Continuous-Delivery Environment

By Janet M. Six In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our experts discuss how to integrate UX practices with a continuous-delivery approach. First, our expert panel considers the company’s goal: continuous delivery or delivering meaningful outcomes? They then discuss how advances in DesignOps can help in this situation. Finally, our experts provide several tips on working within a continuous-delivery pipeline. Every month in Ask UXmatters, our panel of UX experts answers our readers’ questions about a broad range of user experience matters. To get answers to your own questions about UX strategy, design, user research, or any other topic of interest to UX professionals in an upcoming edition of Ask UXmatters, please send your questions to: ask.uxmatters@uxmatters.com. Read the full article…