While solving for collaboration, we built a product that our own teams love and use everyday!

(This is a sponsored post.)

Flock is a messaging and collaboration tool built for both designers and developers. With close-to-zero setup, it brings together all your team’s conversations, appointments, and files in one place, helping you spend more time on what you are best at — building awesome stuff!

Building software is hard. Building software that is a delight to use every day is even harder, given the exacting standards most of us in the design and development community have for our tools. So, when we set out to change how people communicate in the modern workplace, we had but one goal – build something that we would objectively love!

< !—more—>

Today, thousands of design and development teams use Flock every day, validating our UX-led approach to building a team collaboration tool for all kinds of teams. But how did we get here? Here’s our story.

At Flock, our designers frequently share creatives and design assets with the rest of the organization and using email to share links to files gets real old, real fast. So we started by looking at one of the biggest challenges to efficient collaboration at work — the “app-juggling” one had to master even for something as simple as sharing a file.

“Emails on one platform, files on another, real-time conversations on yet another one, and we would often need to shuffle between these apps to find and share relevant files with team members. That was an invisible time-sink!”
—Aaron Durham, Designer at Flock

We realized that bringing together our files and the conversations around them in one place would save us a lot of time and effort, and built integrations for Flock with Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, and Dropbox. Now, it is incredibly easy to find and share relevant files from the sidebar and discuss them with the team immediately, with dynamic previews and permission controls.

The next challenge we tackled was the time spent in getting feedback on designs and prototypes from colleagues in our geographically distributed design and development team. We knew …

30+ Best Free Photoshop Actions 2019

Photoshop actions are quite useful when optimizing photos, applying effects, and editing graphics. For this collection, we’ve handpicked some of the best free Photoshop actions you can download and use with no price to pay!

Whether you’re a professional designer or a complete beginner, Photoshop actions can help you save a lot of time. Simply put, Photoshop actions pack hours worth of design work into a single-click so that you can achieve professional-level effects without an effort.

In this post, we’re featuring several different types of free Photoshop actions. You’ll find them categorized into different effects and styles below. Have a look and start downloading.

Unlimited Downloads of 1 Million+ Photoshop Actions, Lightroom Presets, Graphics, Templates & More

If you’re looking for high-end results with your photos and images, it’s a good idea to choose from one of the many affordable premium Photoshop actions available through Envato Elements. Here are a few of our favorites!

Premium Photoshop actions, and many other design elements to enhance your photographs, are available for a monthly subscription. It starts at $17 per month and gives you unlimited access to a massive and growing library of over a million items that can be downloaded as often as you need (actions, presets, brushes, stock photos, and graphics too)!

Just looking for a stylish free Photoshop action? No problem. Let’s dive into our collection of the best free Photoshop actions of 2019!

What Type of Free Photoshop Action Do You Need?

We’ve broken our collection down into different categories, so you can quickly find just the right Photoshop action for your project!

Portrait Photoshop Actions

Free HDR Photoshop Action

Free HDR Photoshop Action

This free HDR Photoshop action allows you to instantly give your photos an authentic HDR-like look to make the photos look more professional. This action will be quite useful for enhancing photos taken in outdoor and natural light conditions, especially including photos taken with smartphones.

5 Skin Retouching Photoshop Actions

5 Skin Retouching Photoshop Actions

This bundle includes 5 …

How to Sell Web Design Services

It’s becoming easier to design websites, what with Wix, Squarespace, and even now WordPress providing DIY site builder tools. On the flipside of that, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to convince even the least technically-savvy business owner that they shouldn’t try to build their own website.

Sadly, the rise of the site builder isn’t the only excuse prospects have for not wanting to work with web designers.

In this post, I’m going to explain the most common reasons why prospects say “no”, or “not now”, or “not you” and what to do about it.

“I don’t have time to talk about this. Can you just send me an email with the information?”

You’re being given a brush off before you’ve ever had a chance to make your pitch. That’s because they view a website as a burden.

When you hear this objection, gently explain that it’s okay, what you have to tell them won’t take too long. This isn’t about stealing their time; this is about giving more of it back to them.

Just make sure you come prepared with a clear explanation of what you’re going to do for them (focus on the benefits, not the features) and be able to explain it quickly.

“I don’t need a website. I have a Facebook / LinkedIn / Google page”

Explain that, while social media is indeed a necessity in this day and age, nothing can substitute for a website.

With a website, the business controls the narrative of their story. Plus, the business doesn’t have to compete with surrounding links and ads and other company mentions. The website is their dedicated space to proclaim to the world wide web: “This is what we do!”

In addition, websites can do things that social media and a Google My Business page cannot; like accept reservations and appointments; or sell memberships, digital downloads, and physical products; or actively target specific keywords for ranking in search results.

A website is a powerful tool they can’t afford to be without.

“I already have a

20+ Best InDesign Templates 2019 (For Brochures, Flyers, Books & More)

InDesign is a piece of software that can be used for all manner of design and publishing. With the help of pre-made InDesign templates, you can take full advantage of this software to supercharge your workflow and complete projects in record time.

Whether you’re working on a brochure design, flyer design, book, or magazine design, you can easily get a head start in your design process when using an InDesign template that’s already been designed and formatted by professionals.

In this post, we’re featuring a hand-picked selection of various InDesign templates you can use with all kinds of projects. If you’re looking for inspiration, these designs will help you get a few new ideas as well.

Beqsa – Multipurpose Magazine InDesign Template

Beqsa Magazine InDesign Template

Working on a magazine design? Then these templates will come in handy. This bundle includes 3 different cover design styles with each template featuring 40 page layouts with multipurpose designs you can use to create any type of magazine. The template comes in A4 size and it can be easily customized with InDesign CS4 and higher.

Company Profile Brochure InDesign Template

Company Profile InDesign Template

Company profile brochures take a major role is marketing and promoting a business. This modern brochure template is perfect for making a professional company profile for creative agencies and corporate businesses. It includes 20 unique page designs in both A4 and US Letter size.

Business Report Brochure Template

Business Report Brochure Template

With this stylish brochure template, you’ll get to create business reports that’ll wow your audience. It features an elegant design that also allows you to properly structure the report content with paragraph styles, infographics, and more. The template includes 36 page designs.

Fashion Flyer InDesign Template

Fashion Flyer InDesign Template

Every fashion store prints a fresh batch of flyers for each seasonal sale. This template is highly customizable and allows you to use it to create an attractive flyer to promote your seasonal sales and offers in style. The template is available in A4 size and can be customized with InDesign CS4 and higher.

Corporate Trifold Brochure Template

Corporate Trifold Brochure Template

Corporate brochure templates usually look …

Using “box shadows” and clip-path together

Let’s do a little step-by-step of a situation where you can’t quite do what seems to make sense, but you can still get it done with CSS trickery. In this case, it’ll be applying a shadow to a shape.

You make a box

.tag {
  background: #FB8C00;
  color: #222;
  font: bold 32px system-ui;
  padding: 2rem 3rem 2rem 4rem;
}

You fashion it into a nice tag shape

You use clip-path because it’s great for that.

.tag {
  /* ... */
  clip-path: polygon(30px 0%, 100% 0%, 100% 100%, 30px 100%, 0 50%)
}

You want a shadow on it, so you…

Try to use box-shadow.

.tag {
  /* ... */
  box-shadow: 5px 5px 10px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.5);
}

But it doesn’t work. Nothing shows up. You think you’re going crazy. You assume you have the syntax wrong. You don’t. The problem is that clip-path is cutting it off.

You can drop-shadow a parent element instead

There is a filter that does shadows as well: drop-shadow(). But you can’t use it directly on the element because the clip-path will cut it off as well. So you make a parent:

<span class="tag-wrap">
  <span class="tag">
    Tag
  </span>
</span>

You can’t use box-shadow on that parent either, because the parent is still a rectangle and the shadow will look wrong. But you can use filter, and the shadow will follow the shape.

See the Pen
Shadow on Shape
by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier)
on CodePen.

That’s all.

The post Using “box shadows” and clip-path together appeared first on CSS-Tricks.

from CSS-Tricks https://css-tricks.com/using-box-shadows-and-clip-path-together/…

Under-Engineered Toggles

Toggles. Switches. Whatever you want to call them, they’ve been with us for some time and have been a dominant a staple for many form interfaces. They’re even baked right into many CSS frameworks, including Bootstrap and Foundation.

It’s easy to think of them in binary terms: on and off. Off and on. Click to change the state and call it a day, right? I mean, it’s just a checkbox with a styled visual representation.

Well, Adrian Roselli shows us that there’s a lot more to think about. And, not only that, but he shows how we can under-engineer them:

I am only going to provide styles to visually convert a standard checkbox into a visual toggle. No ARIA, no script, no special features. A progressively enhanced checkbox that will continue to work if the CSS file does not load

There’s a lot to digest here. His approaches to accessibility run the gamut, from hover, active, focus and disabled states to contrast in both light and dark modes, and many things in between. What’s particularly key is the progressive enhancement he mentions in that quote above.

I think the most interesting thing about Adrian’s post is just how flexible his approach is to handle any situation, including color schemes and writing modes. He also takes note of the indeterminate checkbox, that state that’s nether on or off, but something perhaps in between. We have a CSS pseudo-selector for that and it could warrant a post its own, given that it’s a purely visual state that cannot be set in the HTML and needs to be registered via JavaScript. It’s interesting to think of an “in between” state for a switch and Adrian’s use case for the default state Airplane Mode is pretty compelling.

It’s an awful lot of work that we have to do to ensure that the front-end is designed well and I think this post is the best example I’ve seen in a while as to why our work is not a problem to be

In Defense of the Ternary Statement

Some months ago I was on Hacker News (as one does) and I ran across a (now deleted) article about not using if statements. If you’re new to this idea (like I was), you’re in a for a real treat. Just search for “if statements” on Hacker News. You’ll get articles proposing that you might not need them, articles that refer to them as a code smell and even the quintessential “considered harmful.” Listen, you know a programming concept is legit when people start suggesting that using it is actually gonna hurt somebody.

And if that’s not enough for you, there is always the “Anti-If Campaign.” If you join, you get a nifty banner and your name on the website. IF you join. Oh the sweet, sweet irony.

The first time that I ran across this bizarre “if anathema” phenomenon, I thought it was interesting, but probably just more people mad on the internet. You are always one Google search away from finding someone who is mad about anything. Like this person who hates kittens. KITTENS.

Some time later, I was watching Linus Torvald’s TED interview. In that interview, he shows two slides. The first slide contains code that he deems is “bad taste.”

And the second is that same code, but in what Linus would consider, “good taste.”

I realize that Linus is a bit of a polarizing figure, and you might not agree with the “good taste” vs. “bad taste” phrasing. But I think we can universally agree that the second slide is just easier on the old eye balls. It’s concise, has fewer logical paths to follow, and contains no if statement. I want my code to look like that. It doesn’t have to be some genius algorithm (it never will be), but I think it can be clean, and remember what Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins said about cleanliness…

Cleanliness is godliness. And god is empty. Just like me.

– Billy Corgan, “Zero”

So dark! But what an amazing album

6 Actionable Tips for Accessible Emails

WHO suggests that 1.3 billion people all around the world have some kind of visual impairment – which includes 217 million people with moderate to severe vision impairment; 36 million people are blind worldwide; 15% of the global population have some kind of disability.

With the advancements in adaptive technologies, such as screen readers, magnifiers, eye-tracking, joysticks, and sip-and puff technology, visually impaired and disabled people are able to use computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Emails that are designed taking into consideration only people with a normal range of vision, hearing, and mobility, may not be usable for others. As a result, email accessibility is now a must-know topic for designers.

Let’s take a deep dive into how to design accessible emails, and reach each and every subscriber on your list.

1. Email Copy

Divide your copy into easily readable chunks with the help of headings. By doing so, your email will be easily understandable for every subscriber, including those who are listening to the email with the help of a screen reader. Check your emails with Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease test in Microsoft Word. It will let you know the readability score of your emails:

  • 90-100: Easily understood by child of 11 years.
  • 60-70: Easy to understand by 13-15 years old teens.
  • 30-50: Easy to understand by college students.
  • 0-30: Understood by college graduates.

Use lucid and to-the-point language to get a better (higher) score.

Take a look at this email by SurveyMonkey. It has a succinct copy with a neat presentation. The ample white space makes it easy to read. The contrasting CTAs in the white background are clearly visible to the reader.

2. Visual Elements

If you are creating an accessible email, the imagery should not contain the text that conveys the core message of the email. Even if you decide to use text in the images, write illustrative copy.

GIFs are being used in emails extensively but you should refrain from designing animated GIFs that flash repeatedly, lest they trigger photo-sensitive seizures in some users; use a …

Blockchain 2.0 – Public Vs Private Blockchain Comparison

The previous part of the Blockchain 2.0 series explored the the state of Smart contracts now. This post intends to throw some light on the different types of blockchains that can be created. Each of...

The post Blockchain 2.0 – Public Vs Private Blockchain Comparison appeared first on OSTechNix.

from OSTechNix https://www.ostechnix.com/blockchain-2-0-public-vs-private-blockchain-comparison/…

12 of the Top Multipurpose WordPress Themes Available Today

The Swiss Army knife is an extremely handy tool. You can do many things with one and do them well. Due to their small size, some of the individual tools can have certain limitations. Yet given the chance, few people would refuse one as a gift, and most wouldn’t hesitate to purchase one at a fair price.

A multipurpose theme is a different kind of animal. The performance of some would lead you to think about the “Jack of all trades, master of none” saying. You would believe that this truism that applies to software tools just as it does to many other things.

Indeed, some may be lacking in what you need to build certain types of websites. Yet, premier multipurpose themes provide everything you’ll need to build a high-performing website. Here are the 12 best options in our opinion.

Be Theme

BeTheme’s 40+ core features give you a powerful toolkit you can use to build any type of website for any purpose, and as close to perfection as possible. These core website-building features have much to do with Be being the biggest WordPress theme of them all. What really tips the “bigness” scales is its library of more than 400 professionally designed, responsive, and customizable pre-built websites.

As these 30+ pre-built websites cover all the major business and industry sectors, it’s never a problem to find a close match that will get your project off to a flying start. Better yet, each of these pre-built websites features the functionality you need to produce a website that is not only responsive, retina-ready, and SEO friendly but features a friendly UX as well.

Features like the new Header Builder provide you with greater design flexibility and make your overall design effort as easy as can be. No coding is necessary, and it’s not at all unusual to complete a reasonably complex project in as little as 4 hours.

Jupiter

Give Jupiter X half a chance to show its stuff and it will do what only a premium quality multipurpose theme …