15 Unmissable Web Design Podcasts for 2019

Web design gets broader everyday, with new technologies entering the field on a seemingly weekly basis. As a web designer, you need to stay on top of these technologies, and upgrade your skills, or you’ll become obsolete. But it’s tough to keep up when you’re reading countless Medium posts, and scouring the latest ebook for tips.

That’s where podcasts come in. The (usually) short episodes are like talk radio for the web, and are a great way to keep up to date on new technology and ideas.

Today we’ve collected 15 podcasts that are worth trying, if you’re not already addicted. Download a few, and listen to them on your commute, you’ll arrive at work inspired, more knowledgeable, and ready to go.

1. Responsive Web Design Podcast

The Responsive Web Design Podcast is brought to life by Ethan Marcotte and Karen McGrane. There are currently over 150 episodes, and still counting. Ethan and Karen conduct discussions and interviews centered around responsive design, and well-known sites that have implemented it.

2. ShopTalk Show

The ShopTalk Show is a huge deal, achieving a massive amount of publicity and attention, thanks to the efforts of Dave Rupert and Chris Coyier. Experts from across web design and development are invited on, on a weekly basis, and they’ve amassed over 350 episodes to date.

If you’re into web design, and love staying in touch with the latest web technologies then this is one podcast you’ll definitely want to check out.

3. The Web Ahead

Jen Simmons is the anchorwoman for The Web Ahead, through her resilience and love of tech, she invites renowned experts to speak their views and ideas on various web topics ranging from responsive web design, programming languages, and many other topics.

You’re able to access fresh episodes on weekly basis, which are usually above an hour in duration.

4. The Boagworld UX Show

Paul Boag’s a very successful writer on web design, and he’s been in the industry for years with a number of successful publications under his belt. His …

Design Your Website to Sell While You Work

Design work is very time consuming. But it’s not just the labor you put into building websites that takes time and concentration.

Because the projects you work on typically have a short shelf life, you’re constantly having to find new gigs, woo potential clients, and sign them onto your service — which is like another job in and of itself. So, when do you find time to look for more work when you’re so busy actually doing it?

You could set aside time on the weekends to work on drumming up new projects, but that’s the last thing you want to do. Imagine spending that time booking new business and then being too burned out to get started with any of them? That’s no good.

You could, of course, do it during the workweek. It would just require you to dedicate otherwise billable hours to non-billable work and cut into your business’s profitability.

Without hiring someone to handle sales for you, what’s the solution?

It’s your website.

Here are some things you can do to design a website that relieves you of at least some of the burden of finding and selling to new clients.

1. Design for Your Niche

One of the best things you can do as a web designer (or any creative freelancer, really) is to carve out a highly specific niche. For instance, you could design websites for:

  • Real estate agents
  • Female-owned businesses
  • Restaurants in your city

The more targeted your audience, the easier it will be to sell to them (and to build their websites).

I’m going to take this one step further as I don’t just think it’s enough to choose a niche to design for.

I think your own website should be reflective of your niche. More specifically, it should be designed to look like a website your client would want as their own. What better way to sell a prospect on a website than to show them that you know exactly how to build the solution they need?

The Modern

Design Your Website to Sell While You Work

Design work is very time consuming. But it’s not just the labor you put into building websites that takes time and concentration.

Because the projects you work on typically have a short shelf life, you’re constantly having to find new gigs, woo potential clients, and sign them onto your service — which is like another job in and of itself. So, when do you find time to look for more work when you’re so busy actually doing it?

You could set aside time on the weekends to work on drumming up new projects, but that’s the last thing you want to do. Imagine spending that time booking new business and then being too burned out to get started with any of them? That’s no good.

You could, of course, do it during the workweek. It would just require you to dedicate otherwise billable hours to non-billable work and cut into your business’s profitability.

Without hiring someone to handle sales for you, what’s the solution?

It’s your website.

Here are some things you can do to design a website that relieves you of at least some of the burden of finding and selling to new clients.

1. Design for Your Niche

One of the best things you can do as a web designer (or any creative freelancer, really) is to carve out a highly specific niche. For instance, you could design websites for:

  • Real estate agents
  • Female-owned businesses
  • Restaurants in your city

The more targeted your audience, the easier it will be to sell to them (and to build their websites).

I’m going to take this one step further as I don’t just think it’s enough to choose a niche to design for.

I think your own website should be reflective of your niche. More specifically, it should be designed to look like a website your client would want as their own. What better way to sell a prospect on a website than to show them that you know exactly how to build the solution they need?

The Modern

5 Signs That Web Design Is Reaching Its Own Industrial Age

The Internet as a concept, and as a community, is much like a teenager: it’s struggling to establish its identity, everyone is trying to tell it what to do, and it tends to lash out at both people who deserve it as well as those who don’t. It does so at random, and you’re not its real dad, anyway.

The practice of designing websites, however, has gone right past the teenage years and blown past the whole human-life-span metaphor entirely. Web design is, in my opinion, reaching an industrial age, of sorts. You know, the era of smokestacks and Charles Dickens’ really depressing novels.

Let’s see how:

Increased DIY Capability

The sewing machine was invented in 1755, about five years before the “official beginning” of the industrial age. This machine, and others like it, heralded the beginning of that age and the massive machines that would come after, but they also drastically expanded the production capabilities of individuals working at home, or in their place of business.

It started with software like FrontPage and Dreamweaver, and now we’ve got Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, Duda, Webflow, and a host of other options. They’re all designed to enhance the output of the individual, the hobbyist, the business owner, and the freelancing professional. Work that once might have taken a very long time for one person, or a reasonable amount of time for ten people, is all being done by one person, in a lot less time.

And if you’re a purist, you can always sew the buttons onto your web page by hand.

Increased Automation At The Professional-Level

Think of the massive looms in old factories. Now it’s not particularly easy to automate creative visual work, as such. Most of the automation in web design is done at the coding stage, in both front and back end. But even with such simple tools as Symbols in Sketch or Affinity Designer can drastically reduce the work required to produce a large number of designs.

Or at least something like a large number of …

3 Essential Design Trends, May 2019

Sometimes designs are of an acquired taste. That’s our theme for this month.

Each of the projects and trends featured here are things that you’ll probably either love…or hate. But wait to judge these projects until you navigate through them; most of them seem to grow on you the more you dive into the content. Here’s what’s trending in design this month:

Chaos by Design

Have you ever looked at a design and wondered “what were they thinking?”

But then … “that is actually pretty nice.”

It seems like there are plenty of designs out there right now that feature a structure of chaos. These projects are identifiable by an aesthetic that seems to be all over the place, but the more you dig into it, the more it seems to come together.

Common themes include:

  • Lack of an obvious grid
  • Lots of motion or animation across multiple elements
  • Website elements with the same visual weight
  • “Too many” fonts or colors
  • Oversized elements that make you think about content
  • “Trendy” word breaks without hyphenation
  • Peeking elements from the edges of the canvas

If these things sound like they could make a mess out of the design, you are totally right. But what’s happening with these projects – and the super talented design teams behind them – is that they break all the rules and work.

You will want to keep scrolling through these designs to see what comes next. Each of the examples below incorporates some of these themes and they are stunning.

Oversized Lettering

Big, bold typography has been a trend in website design for some time (we’ve explored that here on multiple occasions.) But there’s been a common theme until now: Most oversized type has been of the sans serif variety.

Now the trend is shifting to an even bolder display above the scroll: Oversized lettering and script fonts.

Each of the examples below uses this trend in a different way:

Kota uses a subtle gradient-color animation in a minimal style design. The letters KOTA are the brand …

Popular Design News of the Week: April 22, 2019 – April 28, 2019

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers. 

The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week.

Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news.

UI Design Inspiration – Apr 2019

 

New Logo and Identity for Nike by You

 

Are You Making these UX Errors?

 

The Ugly Truth Why your Website is Slow

 

Color Designer – Simple Color Palette Generator

 

Top 5 Design Tools for Getting Striking Visual Content

 

What Does Unsplash Cost in 2019?

 

How to Protect the Admin Area of your WordPress Site

 

Nord Design System

 

LinkedIn Redesign UI/UX Concept

 

Tips on Using Colors in UI Design

 

Open-source Illustrations for Every Project You Can Imagine and Create

 

Three – Free Semi Condensed Typeface with Four Weights

 

Accenture Sued Over Website Redesign so Bad it Hertz

 

The Story Behind the Redesigned Game of Thrones Title Sequence

 

Choose the Right Navigation for your Mobile App

 

Two Words that Have Made Millions

 

Instagram Hides like Counts in Leaked Design Prototype

 

Site Design: Museum of Digital Art

 

Greater than Avatars

 

What Creative Visionaries do that Most People Overlook

 

Ikonate: Fully Customisable & Accessible Vector Icons

 

Gangster Grotesk: A Sharp Typeface Free for Personal and Commercial Use

 

Will these UX Trends Stick or Fade Away?

 

The Art of Simplicity in Product Design

 

Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News.

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10 Ways to Connect With Your Users

Who’s your audience? It sounds like an easy question, but it’s not. Knowing your audience helps keep eyeballs on your site, website traffic up, and visitors eagerly returning to your site to consume your content, and buy your products.

But a lack of understanding leads to a potentially dangerous domino effect. If you don’t understand your audience, you won’t understand what content it wants, and without that knowledge, your site traffic will suffer.

Read on for 10 strategies to understand your website audience so that you can ultimately protect and grow your business:

1. Use an Analytics Tool

This point may seem elementary, but it’s not. Roughly one-third of all websites monitored by W3Techs don’t have analytics attached to their sites. And an even worse statistic — less than 30% of small businesses use analytics, according to a 2017 study by the U.S. Small Business Administration. That’s an audience killer.

Analytics is the backbone for understanding your audience’s behavior. Analytics helps answer the most important questions in the process of identifying your audience. For instance, what content do your clients read? What time of day do they come to your website? How long do they spend with you? And where do they go after they visit you? You’ll certainly want to know if your audience is headed to a competitor after they visit your site.

More than half of all websites, according to W3Techs, use Google Analytics, though there are dozens of other available programs. If you don’t have an analytics program, do yourself a favor and get one.

2. Understand Your Analytics

We already know that a sizeable number of websites don’t attach analytics to their sites. In reality, having analytics is just a small part of what comes next. You have to have someone who understands the data. It doesn’t do you any good to have the data if you can’t tell what it means and you can’t use it to understand and then grow your audience.

Reading the numbers isn’t hard, but putting the numbers together …

How to Pick Your Next Tech Focus

Every day, people are asking themselves things like, “React or Vue?” “VR or no VR?” “CSS Grid or Flexbox?” These are the wrong questions entirely, because the technology you focus on or use next should always be matched to both the job and the people at hand.

Besides, here are the answers:

  1. Personal preference.
  2. Not yet, wait ‘til the market starts to truly expand again.
  3. CSS Grid for known quantities, Flexbox for unknown quantities. Except for all the times where that’s wrong. CSS is a bit like English that way.

And that “Except for all the times where that’s wrong” bit is exactly the problem with making definite pronouncements about which technologies you should focus on next. I can’t reliably do that. However, in my years of muddling through tech problems, I’ve discovered ways to make an educated guess. Since people often use the new year as an excuse to try new things, I thought I’d share my principles of educated guesswork with you all.

1. Watch People

Watch how people use tech: Don’t be creepy about it. Conduct studies with willing participants, if you can. Otherwise, keep a non-invasive eye on your spouse, friends, and any kids you might have just lying around. If you see them using an app (for example), try it out for yourself. If you notice them ditch an app, maybe ask them why.

If you want to understand why VR hasn’t taken off on billion-dollar wings yet, look no further than smartphones. The smartphone has something everyone wants, and just about anyone can use one anywhere, and at any time. VR has yet to make that connection with people.

Watch what people do, not just what they say looks cool.

Watch the people who make tech: Research the people who make the tech you’re considering buying into. Do they listen to their community? Do they consider the edge cases? Do they care? Can they write clear documentation?

While there’s something to be said for the brilliant visionary who drags everyone else along with …

5 Steps for Successfully Offboarding Web Design Projects

As you draw closer to the finish line with a website, does your client see it just as clearly as you do? Or are they still wavering on design and copy choices even while you’re in the final stages of QA, or talking about additional features they’ll want to add to the site “some day”?

Unless you are getting paid — and paid well — for every single hour you put into a website, you have to be willing to enforce a final stopping point. If you don’t, your client will undoubtedly play the “What about this? Or this?” game for as long as you allow them to.

And you can’t afford to do that. You have other clients whose websites deserve your attention.

Just as you have created an onboarding process to smoothly kick off a new website project, you must do the same with an offboarding process.

Step 1: Collect Your Final Payment

Once the client has given you the approval on the finished website, you push it live. After some light testing to confirm that all is well on the live domain, it’s time to initiate the offboarding process.

You’ll do this by sending along the last invoice. Better yet, your invoicing software should automatically be configured to do this upon reaching the final project milestone.

My favorite tool to do this with is AND CO.

That’s because you can do everything in here:

  • Create a proposal;
  • Send the contract;
  • Track your time;
  • Send invoices.

Because each of these elements exist within the same place, setting up and scheduling invoices based on your project’s milestones (including the launch date) is really easy to do.

Don’t move on to the next steps until you collect the payment due though. Letting a client go any more than seven days after the project’s end without final payment simply invites them to ask you to do more work.

Step 2: Send the Wrap-up Email

Upon confirming receipt of payment, send your client a wrap-up email.

This doesn’t have to be …

20 Freshest Web Designs, April 2019

Welcome to our roundup of the best new sites to be launched (or relaunched with significant updates) in the last four weeks.

After last month’s flirtation with monochrome, this month’s set of sites return to the overriding trend of 2019: color. Huge images are still popular, and parallax is still finding its way into our scrolling experiences. Enjoy!

Middle Fork Rapid Transit

Middle Fork Rapid Transit is an adventure vacation company that transports you over 100 miles down the Middle Fork river in Idaho. Its site packs in as much as one of its trips, and there’s tons of little details to get you fired up; I love the animated raft, and the grub looks amazing.

To Taste

To Taste is my favorite recipe site of the moment. Packed with food ideas for every occasion and palette, the simple site is laid out perfectly for browsing, and choosing something to make is a culinary treat. What really makes it, as with all food sites, is the mouth-watering photography.

The Face

Style bible The Face returned from oblivion this month, with a new team behind the iconic publication. Its site opens as daringly as you’d expect, before slowing to a more traditional, and more usable blog format.

Kia ProCeed

The site for the new Kia ProCeed is precisely the type of site we used to build back in the day. With interactive video, a unique navigation system based on established design patterns, and carefully designed usability, it’s an enticing experience.

Hiraeth

Co-founded by Rooney Mara, Hiraeth is a fashion label that produces desirable clothes free from any animal product. Its elegant site exudes quality with generous white space, and an almost Scandinavian minimalism, matching the garments perfectly.

Future of Sustainability

According to some estimates, we have just 12 years until we face not just climate change, but climate breakdown. Future of Sustainability wants to inspire you to change the 2020s, before it’s too late. It communicates a complex, and difficult message engagingly.

Nicholas Jackson

Nicholas Jackson is a New York based …