Designers and Communication Skills: Why and How to Improve

Earlier this week I posted a group interview with several established and successful designers. One of the questions that was asked to each participant was “What do you feel are the most important skills for a designer to have/develop?” By far the most popular answer was “communication skills.” While this is not technically a design-related skill, I was really pleased to see those responses, because I feel the same way. Communication skills can make or break any design project that you’re working on, so I thought I would cover the topic in more detail.

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Blog Design Madness: The Second Half of Round One

Here is the second half of round one in the Blog Design Madness competition! If you haven’t been with us the past few days you can check out this post that introduces the competition and you can see the blogs that competed two days ago.

Today we have another 32 excellent designs to decide on. Below each pair you will see a poll. Please vote on the design that you like the best. You can see the results from the other day at the end of this post. Next week we’ll move on with round 2 and beyond.

Thanks for your participation!

GROUP 3

Web Designer Wall

Web Designer Wall

Instigator Blog

Instigator Blog

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101 Typography Resources for Web Designers

Typography

Lists of Great Fonts:

40+ Excellent Freefonts for Professional Design – Smashing Magazine

80 Beautiful Typefaces for Professional Design – Smashing Magazine

60 Brilliant Typefaces for Corporate Design – Smashing Magazine

30 Fonts that All Designers Must Own – Just Creative Design

Most Popular Free Quality Fonts – Tech Magazine

Great Fonts for Web 2.0 – Modern Life is Rubbish

13 Typefaces Every Graphic Designer Needs – David Airey

25 Best Free Quality Fonts – Vitaly Friedman

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Blog Design Madness: Round One

The Blog Design Madness competition is now officially underway! There are 64 blogs that have been chosen, and the participants are all listed in this post. Because each competition requires a separate poll, I decided to break up the first round into 2 parts. There are 16 matchups in this post involving 32 outstanding blog designs, and the second half of round one will come in a few days (but I did list the other 32 participants at the end of this post for those of you who are curious).

Each matchup includes a poll, links and a screenshot of both blogs. Please vote for as many of the matchups as possible (if you’re reading in an RSS reader or in email, you’ll have to click through to the post to be able to vote, as you’ll see below). Voting will be open for 24 hours (until 9:00 PM Tuesday, Eastern time – US).

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Web/Graphic Designer Group Interview

Recently I had the privilege to do a brief interview by email with 10 excellent designers. I asked each designer the same five questions, and all of their responses are included below. You probably are familiar with most, if not all, of these people, and I’m sure there is plenty that we can all learn from these interviews.

The participants are:
Alen Grakalic of CSS Globe
John Phillips of Freelance Folder
David Airey
Matt Griffin of Liquid Design Media
Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks
Connor Wilson

Thord Daniel Hedengren of Splashpress Media
Michael Martin of Pro Blog Design
Jacob Cass of Just Creative Design
Dejan Cancarevic of StylizedWeb

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Blog Design Madness

Ticket

Tonight I’m sitting at my desk wishing that I didn’t have work to do so I could be on the couch watching college basketball. I know many readers are from various parts of the world, so if you’re not familiar with American sports, March Madness is a huge event for college basketball fans. There is a tournament involving 64 teams that takes about 3 weeks to determine the national champion.

You may be wondering what this has to do with web design, and quite honestly the answer is nothing, and that’s part of my problem (and something I’ll attempt to change). Since I’m stuck at the computer most of the time and I won’t be watching many of the games, I figured it would be fun to have a similar type of tournament here to coincide with March Madness. Since the games started today and I just now got the idea I’m a little late, but that’s ok, we have enough time.

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Tips for Part-Time Web Designers

ClockFreelance web design can be an ideal part-time business. Starting on a part-time basis allows you to gain valuable experience and ease your way into full-time status rather than taking the plunge and the risk that comes along with it. During a stint as a part-timer you can learn volumes about what it takes to be a successful freelancer and you’ll probably find some things that you want to do more of and some things that you want to do less.

15 Tips for Part-Time Designers to Improve on the Experience:

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50 of the Best Church Website Designs

As far as web design is concerned, churches have come a long way in recent years. It wasn’t too many years ago that most church websites were several years behind the times. Apparently a growing number of churches today are recognizing the importance of their web presence.

This gallery isn’t only for those who design church sites; these examples are excellent sources of inspiration for any design project. Many of them involve excellent use of color, images, and graphics that draw attention right away. In addition, most church sites have a lot of content that needs to be displayed and easily navigated. The layouts and methods used here can be applied to other projects with similar requirements.

Here are some of my favorites. Let me know which ones you like in the comments.

Stonebriar Community Church

Stonebriar Community Church

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Potential Add-Ons for Web Designers

Most web designers and web design firms have an interest in finding alternate sources of revenue in addition to providing design and development services for clients. While these other sources of income are unlikely to completely support the designer or the firm, they can be excellent complementary add-ons that are also a help to clients in addition to producing revenue. These are my suggestions for potential add-ons, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.

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Weekly Links – March 15th

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while probably know that I have posted a weekly links post each weekend for quite some time now. I’m thinking of changing the format a bit. A few months ago I was posting a new article everyday and then the links post on the weekend. Recently, I have moved to 3 or 4 posts per week (not counting the links post) and tried to increase the time that is spent on each individual post to focus on quality rather than quantity. Since the number of posts each week has been reduced I’m thinking about changing the links post from a weekly feature to a monthly feature. If I only publish 3 articles in a week plus a links post, I’m not crazy about the idea that 25% of the posts are just links. If you have an opinion, please share in the comments. Thanks.

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