Design Resources Guaranteed to Make You a Better Developer for Tomorrow

Design Resources Guaranteed to Make You a Better Developer for Tomorrow

Do you have the right tools for the job?

As web developers, we are constantly asked to design websites better, faster, and make it last for as long as possible, but do you have the right tools for the job?

Your number one goal that you should always make, is to make sure you have a healthy amount web sites saved in your perfectly organized favorites folders. (Yes, I admit, I’m not always that organized, however my favorites folders are constantly updated several times a year.) By having these websites at the ready will not only make you a better web developer, but they will also help decrease the amount of time that you’ll spend trying to find them.

Oh The Colors That You’ll Find

My favorite site to figure out a great color palette is Coolors, here you’ll be able to quickly sort through the thousands upon thousands of colors quickly and you can sort the colors by different color methods. In addition to Coolors, I also utilize Colormind this site allows you to look through colors quickly, but it also lets you visualize what the colors would look like for some common website elements such as headings, cards, backgrounds, and ect.

Dane-Jackson-Green-River-Race

A Picture is Worth A Thousand….

Where does one find the best stock photography that is also free? Unsplash. Unsplash has a vast array of images to choose from and about 90% of my images come from Unsplash for a personal project. For professional purposes, I use Deposit photos as they tend to have more commercial typical photos. My other favorite is Pixabay, pixabay has a great selection of images and they tend to be on the funny side or just plain fun as opposed to the boring stock photos that everyone else has.

Vietnam-Street-Photography

Ucon, Icon

Are you even a web developer if you don’t have a few dozen websites that are strictly full of icons for you to incorporate into your project? I really love Font Awesome because well they are one of the originals, but I also love the Noun Project because you can find some really interesting icons that are very unique.

New Zealand Lanscape

Cascade Style Sheet & Beyond

The thing that designers love & also kind of also hate the most. CSS and all of its wonders are how we really turn a blank white internet website into a magnificent work of art. I go to every corner of the internet to research the latest trends in CSS, but my two go-to sites are CSS TRICKS and CodePen. CSS tricks have detailed blog posts with current css trends, tips, and tricks of all kinds. CodePen is a collection of other developers that have created different things using html, css, and JS, which you can view straight code with the ability to play around with the code right on the site. It’s pretty neat, you should give it a try!

New Zealand Lanscape

Let’s Go to The Upside Down!

Now you might feel like you are on an episode of stranger things with this one, but one of the newest and hottest trends is “Dark Mode” and basically turning the lights out on rather bright websites and apps. Here are two resources that will help you navigate through the unknown. Material System and Apple’s Interface Guidelines both these sites are excellent resources in helping you find your way to the dark side.

Also be sure to read my other blog post on “4 Explosive Web Design Trends to Watch Out for & 1 to Avoid in 2021

New Zealand Lanscape

BONUS ROUND!!!!

I have a new resource that I actually found a couple of weeks ago and it’s HAIKEI this interactive site lets create different background images using a bunch of different fun things in order to create the background. I must warn you though, you might find yourself just playing around all day creating new backgrounds. I do highly recommend checking it out.

New Zealand Lanscape

Final Thoughts

You shouldn’t have to spend hours upon hours just to find that perfect stock photo or a perfect icon that represents pet adoption. Take these resources and bookmark them in your new favorites folder and label it “My Freelance Tools” and you’ll be on the path to becoming a successful and talented web developer before you know it!

If you are thinking of having a website built or you are designing a website for your company, keep these design resources in mind and let us know in the comments if you have any additional resources to add?

Is your website meeting current design standards? Email me for a free consultation. 

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Web Design to Improve Your Business in 2022

Web Design to Improve Your Business in 2022

Whether you own a fortune 500 company or you are printing T-shirts out of your basement, you want to do everything that you can to make your business successful and hopefully get ahead of the competition. In this blog post, we are going to explore a few things that will help your website succeed and will become a powerhouse way of getting your content out there to the masses.

 

Lynchburg Regional Business Regional

 

Today, we’re looking at a massive website for Lynchburg Regional Buiness Alliance. Now right off the bat, this first page isn’t the home page, but rather a “landing page.” These landing pages can be great when you are dealing with a website that has an insane amount of content and one of the greatest features on this page is the clear and concise blocks to help direct users to certain sections of the site.

 

Chunked Out Navigation

 

If you want to check out the latest events, news, blogs, job postings, or anything else there is going to be a brightly colored box otherwise a link to help get you to that part of the website.

Dane-Jackson-Green-River-Race

Chatbots

Another trend that you are seeing more and more often is the “Chatbox” or “Chatbot.” You’ll notice from the image above in the very bottom right corner is a chat feature and it’s here that sometimes you’ll be lead to an easy method to contact the companies support, or in some cases its a FAQ, or in rare cases it’s an actual live person. This trend is perfect for bigger companies that want to make sure they are able to provide support and eliminate the chances of not being able to help someone.

Vietnam-Street-Photography

It’s not always rainbows and puppy dogs though. As you click through the site, you quickly realize that the rest of the site doesn’t match the landing page and things quickly become crowded and just very different. It’s really important to keep the site consistent throughout in order to get things organized and concise.

Another thing I have to mention is the failure to use more white space and I know with a website like this, it might be hard to have a minimalist approach. However, I would highly recommend utilizing more white space when you are able to.

 

Don’t make it hard to find

If you are trying to get someone to signup for your newsletter or if you have a website that you have a lot of members using and they need to log into the site to access their information, then please make it easy for them to find it!

Hiding the login button or link in the footer is not doing anything good for anyone.

New Zealand Lanscape

Final Thoughts

Your business deserves to be heard and to be seen, so make sure you are communicating everything that you can to your web designer and let them know what your goals are for the website. What are things are most important for your customers? Is it making sure they know where to find the latest news and events or is it the ability to quickly log in and view their information through the member portal?

 

If you are thinking of having a website built or you are designing a website for your company, keep these design trends in mind and let us know in the comments if any of these stand out to you?

 

Is your website meeting current design standards and trends? Email me for a free consultation. 

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4 Explosive Web Design Trends to Watch Out For & 1 to Avoid in 2022

4 Explosive Web Design Trends to Watch Out For & 1 to Avoid in 2022

In a world where we are constantly trying to grab the attention of a population that is increasingly becoming more and more impatient with how they want to consume the information or entertainment that they are looking for.

It’s important now more than ever to build websites and web apps that can deliver quality content with a memorable design that can not only be functional, but the design has to be out of this world in order for the user to experience that “wow” moment.

1. Dark Mode

Dark mode has been increasing in popularity as it promotes a low-contrast website or web application that you can view even while in low-light environments. Our eyes are not meant to stare all ultra blue light screens for long periods of time, so dark mode allows us to give our eyes a break, and not to mention it also saves on battery life for our phones. Now that is a “win win” situation!

Continue Reading: NFT’s Vs. Photography

Dane-Jackson-Green-River-Race

Source: WeTransfer

2. Changes in Scrolling (Parallax for images/text)

This design trend is really something when done right as it allows a website or application to depict movement that can help tell a story for the brand or subject. The added movement helps users get more engaged with the overall experience otherwise it could be quite boring. No one likes to be bored.

Vietnam-Street-Photography

Source: DrinkCann

3. Horizontal Scrolling

This one does tend to cause a bit of riot with some people as it does break the normal of scrolling down a page. At first it can really trick your brain and you’re not quite sure if you like it or not, but you continue on because its different and different can indeed be memorable. After all being memorable is what we are aiming for here.

New Zealand Lanscape

4. Neumorphism

I know what you’re thinking, what does being scared of the mighty morphing power rangers have to do web design? This actually isn’t some made up word that a psychologist made up, but it’s actually the latest and greatest design trend that I believe will be around for quite some time.

Neumorphism is a combination of material design and skeuomorphism, in plain terms please. It’s 3D elements like buttons or image cards, ect. But with an attention to a minimalist design aesthetic. This design trend can make any site or application feel futuristic but without going over the top Terminator 2 method.

Trade and lore coffee shop

I would highly recommend avoiding this one

1. No Clearn Navigation or No Navigation at All

The navigation bar is one of the basic things for a website for your users to navigate through your website and without it, a user can become quite frustrated quickly. I’ve seen a good amount of websites that are simply leaving off a nav bar in order to showcase the content on the page and typically I see it done for portfolio websites or “edgy” websites that utilize a horizontal scroll or simply a scroll down to view all of the content. This method might be fine for those that really want to get “artsy” with their websites, but for the rest of us that are designing for the average person, its best to stay away from this trend or at the very least include navigation links in the footer.

Trade and lore coffee shop
Source: Floema

Final Thoughts

We want to break the norms of web trends and we expect to see something that will capture our attention, something that will make us stop and really pay attention. These web design trends are just the tip of the iceburg of the designs that are being explored. What matters most is that design is well thought out, organized, and you’re avoiding any confusion for your user.

If you are thinking of having a website built or you are designing a website for your company, keep these designs in mind and let us know in the comments if any of these stand out to you?

Is your website meeting current design standards and trends? Email me for a free consultation. 

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5 Photography Trends for 2021 that You Should Know About

5 Photography Trends for 2021 that You Should Know About

Keeping an eye on photography trends is extremely useful for photographers that want to better understand and improve their influence. It’s true, trends can not only indicate what type of photography is making waves but also the skills and ideas that photographers might need to stay ahead. With so much change over the past year, photography trends have also needed to evolve even faster in order to stay relevant to the way we live today. But what photography trends in 2021 should you know about?

 

Let’s take a look at some photography trends that seem to stand out…

 

5 Photography Trends for 2021 that You Should Know About

 

1. Using Photography to Create NFTs

Are you familiar with NFT’s? Photographers can use this rising trend to further monetize their work while embracing what will surely be the marketplace of the future. NFT refers to a digital token (non-fungible token) that is stored on a secure database. Each NFT is unique and a relatively new technology called blockchain allows people to buy and sell these digital pieces of art which makes them a digital asset. Just so you know, this market has exploded over the past year and an NFT recently sold for more than $69 million! Fancy making a few bob from your shots? This Forbes article should help you get started with this incredibly fast-moving photography trend!

Continue Reading: NFT’s Vs. Photography

Dane-Jackson-Green-River-Race

Dane Jackson at the Green River Race

 

2. Going Offline with Real People and Real Life Events

At the same time, people seem to be somewhat tired of exaggerated representations of what happens in real-life (Hello, Instagram). This is especially true as the pandemic wears on and people are craving more realism and authenticity in life. In terms of photography trends, this simply means that we might embrace humanity a bit more and focus on photography for events and hopefully even a concert or two this summer!

Vietnam-Street-Photography

Preparing for the days market in Hanoi, Vietnam

 

3. Placing Emphasis on Isolation and Social Distance

You don’t need reminding that social distancing is a pretty big deal at the moment and this photography trend is going strong since last year. But what does this look like exactly?
Aside from the visual of masks or being 6 feet apart, it’s necessary to create an emotional sense of isolation. Silhouettes are the best example of such, for this quickly portrays the separation that we see in today’s society. Either way, this photography trend is all about nurturing a powerful and impactful emotion that creates an instant connection.

New Zealand Lanscape

4. Using the Great Outdoors to Connect

With so much emphasis on space and staying apart, more and more people are turning to the great outdoors. In fact, people are turning to nature for relief just as much as safety which makes outdoor photography a great way to connect with people. This can relate to photography of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping or biking just as much as landscape photography itself.

Trade and lore coffee shop

5. Mastering the Art of Cinematic Photography

It’s a rather big compliment to have a piece of work described as “cinematic” or “Just like a movie”. Unfortunately for many photographers, they think that cinematic photography requires a great deal of skill and not worth the effort. However, some simple tweaks can help you make the most of this photography trend in 2021.

 

Do you have an idea for a project? Contact me here.

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How Photography Helps Mental Health

How Photography Helps Mental Health

PLEASE NOTE – This blog was written with the help from a new writer that I’ve contracted to help produce more content for my site. You’ll notice little side comments or additional thoughts of my own periodically. I’m a photographer, not a writer. The pictures in all of my blogs are my own, unless otherwise stated.

(According a study by An International Journal of Medicine, mental health problems increased in this pandemic due to general fear and constant anxiety about the COVID-19 epidemic. The media is seen as a significant contributor to this dilemma. In particular, tragic stories about the effects of the virus intensify despair and melancholy.

The study identified several mental health effects that increased rapidly during development, including depression, frustration, anxiety, stress, and anxiety.

 

Daniel Conerd Photography

How Photography helps mental health

Photography is one of the best and most accessible therapeutic activities. Opposing to popular belief, the equipment required to enjoy photography is minimal. The essential requirement is a camera, and most modern smartphones are already equipped with a camera that produces high-quality shots. (Unless you’re still living in 1995 with your nokia flip phone.)

Photography carries out a positive habit of self-care.

During quarantine, I found myself joining in on the “Take one picture everyday” challenges or the here is a photo prompt, now go create. The new habits that can be formed can really help to motivate you to get out of a creative rut and in turn, helps to improve your overall self-care. The process itself is therapeutic as the brain becomes busy and refreshes psychological well-being.

Photography facilitates interaction with the community

Making valuable connections can greatly improve a person’s well-being. You can meet new people with the same interests by taking pictures and sharing them with communities such as social media groups. Photography is a common foundation for creating conversations, making connections, and ultimately finding support for fighting depression. Now I know this has been quite difficult in 2020, but as the pandemic inches closer to being a thing of the past ( or at least I hope so ) then photography workshops, Instagram meetups, and events, in general, will slowly start coming back and allowing us all to get back together to get creative again.

 

New Zealand Vineyard Image

 

Photography can help you recall the joys of life

A photo can capture a unique moment. The images you take will help you regain your memories of the past and the positive thoughts that accompany them. “Take a look at this photograph, every time it makes me laugh.” Chad whatever his last name Nickleback is.. lol. but Chad might be right on this one.

Photography can help heal

When taking a picture, the brain works to maintain the cognitive demands of the activity. The creative process becomes a brain movement that helps improve episodic memory and improve reasoning skills. I know when I’m trying my best to put together a product shoot and I’m working with limited space or materials, I can feel like I’m trying to solve the world’s hardest math problem.

Photography keeps you moving

Taking a picture not only trains the brain but also moves the body to burn calories. Photographers are usually looking for suitable subjects. Whenever I’m out and about with my camera, I always find myself moving in all kinds of different positions to get the perfect shot. I might not be burning calories, but I know my hammies are burning after a long photoshoot!

The love of photography

Photographers are usually attracted to something interesting to them. ( Yeah, no shit)  This makes it easier for people to focus and connect to meaningful subjects. Taking beautiful pictures makes it more rewarding. I’ve always found it best for my own mental health to allow myself to do something that I want to do that doesn’t involve an adult responsibility and photography has always been that thing for me.

 

Cape Cod Lighthouse

 

Appreciate the beauty of hidden things through photographs

Pictures let you see the world with different eyes. Not only for situations and places that might otherwise be impossible to explore but also for the angle of the photo itself. The seemingly dull objects and scenes of everyday life can draw attention. In the photo series, you can approach objects from different angles and appreciate them in every aspect. This parallax perception (viewing an object from different angles and perceptions) is a powerful force in photography.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness can be an essential element of mental health. Usually, when you talk about it, you will think about meditation and yoga. But I like to say that I find a different level of meditation when I’m behind my camera.

This is the time to evaluate your spiritual landscape. Encourage a state of attention to your surroundings and your thoughts. Whenever you bring awareness to your senses, you are deliberately aware. It’s like pressing the reset button for a moment and taking a breath to pay attention to the sensory experience. Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, rumination, working memory, concentration, and self-intuition.

Continue Reading: The benefits of photography on mental health, perspective, and life.

The bottom line

As the pandemic continues, many find it very difficult to enjoy life. It’s good that there are many ways to get out of a depressed mood and keep looking at life positively. What it comes down to is that you just have to keep on keeping on, LOL. If you love photography, then pick up your camera and go take some pictures!

Do you have an idea for a project? Contact me here.

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What are NFTs – Photography vs Cinematography

What are NFTs – Photography vs Cinematography

What in the hell is an NFT anyway?

For starters NFT stands for “Non-fungible token”, okay cool… but what does that even mean? The best way to think of an NFT is to think of it as a unique proof of ownership over a piece of digital art or even a video clip. It’s a one-of-a-kind piece of code, that is then stored and protected on a shared public exchange. If you aren’t familiar with the blockchain, Bitcoin, or Ethereum. I would recommend starting with these articles first.

What is Bitcoin?

What is an NFT? The trendy blockchain technology explained

I’m going to admit that I’m still very new to NFTs, and even though I have been watching the crypto space for the last 5 years, I am only going to touch upon this vast subject as I am still learning along with everyone else. If any of the information in this post is extremely incorrect, please let me know at hello@danielconerd.com.

 

Photography vs Cinematography as it relates to NFTs

 

NFTs are unique digital assets and they can be compared to a sort of a cryptocurrency token similar to Bitcoin. But they differ significantly. Bitcoins can be swapped for other tokens, NFTs remain unique. They are a way of selling artwork over the Ethereum blockchain. The transactions retain the uniqueness and ownership of NFT.

The NFT buying process imitates the real world. Buyers purchase a unique, authentic digital copy just as they would for a physical art form. The purchased copy can further be resold in the future to earn a profit. People can use the blockchain technology to create unique contracts and decentralize the fund flow. It is like creating IP-based crypto contracts that help monetize different digital arts efficiently.

 

Photography perspective

As a photographer, you are only selling a picture or digital files of your art. This is different from the conventional selling of rights or prints. Photographers see it as an opportunity to reach their patrons passionate about their digital art and are willing to pay for it.

Once you sell your art for an NFT, you also get the option to receive a resale percentage for any future resale of their art. It is like a permanent link to royalty for sales of your art. The striking feature of blockchain is its transparency and traceability for all transactions.

A photographer gets to choose the number of digital files (copies) they wish to release for their art.

Ever since the beginning of photography, photographers have faced art forgery but, NFT Blockchain makes digital forgeries extremely difficult. The information regarding the origin and ownership of the NFT can easily be attained via the blockchain.

NFT marketplaces like Rarible and Foundation are the equivalent of Shopify and Etsy. There are a ton of other ones to choose from as well, but those are the two that I find myself browsing through the most.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Ivana Desančić (@ivanadesancic)

Local Asheville fine art photographer: Ivana Desancic has a few of her pieces for sale on Foundation

Cinematography perspective

It is certainly a boost for independent filmmakers who can directly monetize their digital assets without the need to go through conventional channels and harness contacts. While photography is limited to selling only the NFTs for their digital assets, cinematographers have a lot of stuff in the ‘related’ category like – film stills, scripts, posters, and other collectibles. Lebron James just sold a video for over $200K, along with a video clip that the artist named Beeple sold for $67,000, which was later re-sold for $6.6 million dollars! Spotify disrupted the music industry and brought about a fresh revenue stream for the records. Similarly, NFTs are expected to develop a new revenue stream for the film industry.

 

 

 

This is just a quick cinematograph that I created. I’ve dabbled with creating cinematographs in the past, but I never really pursued it. I might have to revisit this art form more!

The NFT craze is massive and right now everyone is trying to speculate on where it’s headed and if it will be something that will stick around. As of right now, I currently don’t have any NFTs for sale. I am however very curious to see what the future holds for digital creators.

Do you have an idea for a project? Contact me and let’s create something today!

 

I’m going to admit that I’m still very new to NFTs, and even though I have been watching the crypto space for the last 5 years, I only just touched upon this vast subject as I am still learning along with everyone else. If any of the information in this post is extremely incorrect, please let me know at hello@danielconerd.com.

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Building from Scratch

Building from Scratch

The above photo was taken from when I lived in New Zealand for a year. I highly recommend going as soon as they lift the ban on being able to visit.

Starting Again

I’m horrible at sticking to writing blogs for long periods of time, it’s probably because I’ve felt like I’m just not that great with finding the right words to describe my feelings or thoughts. I’m better at being behind the camera or building a new layout for a website. Regardless, I’m going to give this blog thing a chance again. I’ve decided to completely rebuild my photography website and revamp my portfolio. Please take a look around and let me know if you think anything could use improvement.

What Do I Want?

I am really hoping to actually start picking up more paid photography in and around Asheville, North Carolina. I’m also hoping that I can start to really focus more on which direction to take my photography and build upon my style more. As of right now, I really love all aspects of photography whether if that is landscapes, portraits, commercial, or even just straight street photography. However I do realize the more I become focused on a niche, the better chances I’ll have to pick up paid photography work.

Full-Time Professional Photographer?

I’m not a full-time photographer yet, but I do consider myself a professional, and I will put 100% into any project that I’m tasked with. When I’m not behind my camera, I’m a web developer.

I build websites, manage websites, and I’m constantl learning new website design trends. I love nothing more than front-end web development, content marketing, and well planned out product photography shoot. Also if you give me a drone, I’ll be entertained for hours. 

What Now?

I’m not entirely sure, today is July 24th of 2020 and thus we are very much still socially distancing and in the middle of a very serious pandemic. So for now, I’m going to keep building up my website, building my portfolio as much as I can during these strange times, and initiating some SEO tactics to help get my name out there.

Do you have an idea for a project? Contact me and let’s create something today!