What Are the Best Sources of Design Community News?

In the design blogging niche many sites are starting to post community news sections where readers can submit a link to one of their own posts or to someone else’s post that they appreciate. In fact, this is a feature that I included when I launched DesignM.ag because I like the idea of getting others involved and helping to spread the word about great content.

I think community news feeds are probably a love-it-or-hate-it thing. The down side is that with a number of them in the design community much of the “news” is repetitious from one site to the next. Of course, if the best and most interesting content is being linked to, it’s natural that there is some overlap from one site’s community news to the next.

Fortunately, if you’re not into the community news, most blogs aren’t including this in their main feed (or they exist primarily for news and you would have no interest in the site to start with). But my intention with this post is to look at several of the popular sources for design news and to quickly give you an idea of what is posted there. Hopefully this will help you to identify a few sources that you’d like to follow, and maybe some that what be a good fit for submitting your own content.

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12 Print Magazines for Web and Graphic Designers

There’s obviously no shortage of content online for web designers, but the offline content is frequently overlooked. There are a number of print publications that cover various topics that are relevant to web and graphic designers. Here is a look at 12 magazines that may interest you.

.net Magazine

.net delivers cutting edge practical advice on the full range of topics essential for today’s web builders: design, development, sales, marketing, usability and accessibility, information architecture, security, copywriting, advertising and more. It is read by people who are serious about the commercial application of the internet.”

.net

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200+ Photoshop Brushes for Light, Sparkles, Glows and Glitter

There are unlimited possibilities when working with lighting effects in Photoshop. A number of designers have created custom brushes especially for various sparkles, glows and glitter. In this post you’ll find links to over 200 free brushes that you can download to reduce the amount of time spent on your designs and to produce some excellent results.

Glow Brushes – 11 brushes

Glow Brushes

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Having a Long-Term Purpose as a Freelance Designer

Freelance designers are often so focused on the present and the immediate future that a long-term career plan is non-existent, or at least under appreciated. What needs to be done in order to complete that big project? Where will the next client come from?

Many don’t want to deal with the stress and unpredictability of freelancing forever. Without a long-term plan you may earn a decent living, but down the road you’re likely to find yourself wishing you had been more prepared. Some freelancers are comfortable enough in their careers that they would like to continue to freelance for the foreseeable future. Others would like to eventually expand their business and limit the amount of client work that they must do.

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7 New Sites for Designers that are Worth a Look

One of the great things about the design industry is that there is always plenty of information available and a number of great resources are at your disposal. Recently there have been a number of noteworthy site launches. Here are 7 new sites that I think you’ll appreciate.

DevSnippets

My friend Noura Yehia of Noupe just launched DevSnippets, a code snippet gallery, a few days ago. It provides a great opportunity for designers and developers to share their work and for others to enhance their projects and learn something new. Also, there is a huge contest to celebrate the launch ($4,600 in prizes going to the top submitters).

DevSnippets

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Signs that a Website is Underperforming

Every website will need at least some occasional analysis and maybe a few tweaks to keep it performing as it should. Fortunately, there are some typical signs that can indicate trouble and less-than-stellar performance. All of these items can be fixed or improved in order to give the site a boost and to generate better results.

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Communicating with Indecisive Clients

Web designers will get to work with all different types of clients. While that’s one of the nice things that keeps the job from getting too monotonous, we also have to be able to communicate effectively with people who are coming from a variety of circumstances.

Some clients will know exactly what they want and they’ll communicate it to you clear and up front. Others will struggle to give much input on your ideas and they may have difficulty making certain decisions about the direction of the project. From my experience this is much more common among clients who just don’t have much knowledge of web design or how websites need to function. If you’re dealing heavily with small businesses this could be a big portion of you clientele.

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25 Examples of Creative Navigation

In addition to being one of the most significant influences on the usability of a site, navigation menus also allow designers an opportunity to get creative and add some interesting and attractive visual elements to a site. Of course, in some cases the creativity can hinder the usability of the site, but in many cases appearance and functionality can work together.

I have compiled a collection of 25 sites that use navigation more creatively than just the standard menu. These sites have been chosen based upon their appearance and there may be some that are not up to par on usability. The idea is to get your creativity flowing, but remember the importance of usability and accessibility when creating your own navigation.

Kevin John Gomez

Kevin John Gomez

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