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  1. The makers of UXPin have released a free Material Design UI kit: a set of 140 handcrafted UI elements and 35 hi-fidelity screens. The kit also includes Material icons, layered files, and Google fonts. The library includes everything from headers and footers to contacts, galleries, calendars and more, all neatly organised into folders for ease of use. Everything is available in three formats – Photoshop, Sketch and Illustrator – making it simple to slot into your design workflow. The pro's guide to UI design All elements come in 3x resolution and can be used with Photoshop, Sketch or IllustratorAll UI elements are available at 3x resolution and are Guideline-compatible. Of course, the kit is also available for use in UXPin, a full-stack UX design platform for prototyping, design systems, and automatic documentation. Material Design is Google's unified design language, based around cards, grid-based layout, responsive animations and clever use of depth effects. Since its release in 2014, the system has boomed in popularity. Download the UI kit here. Read more: Free Flash alternative is here Build a static site with Material Design Lite Build a Material Design app with Angular 2 View the full article
  2. Given that UX is all about simple usability and accessibility, it’s not surprising UX designers often opt for minimal, monochrome designs when it comes to business cards. The problem is, the simple approach runs the risk of just looking boring when applied to a business card. And given that most people don’t really have room in their wallets anyway, why give them another reason to ditch your card the moment you’re out of sight? Instead, these UX designers have all designed business cards that potential clients and collaborators are very likely to hang on to... 01. Masanori Mitsuhashi Mitsuhashi has turned a simple doodle into an elegant business card designMasanori Mitsuhashi is a UX designer based in Tokyo, Japan. He currently works for Goodpatch, a global UI design company with studios in Tokyo and Berlin. Here, Mitsuhashi has used an elegant yet fun doodle to bring his design to life, and it works a treat. Printed on a traditional Japanese paper known as Washi, this is a delightful business card you’d be loathe to get rid of, however full your wallet was. 02. Sarah Nohe The ‘user survey’ on Nohe’s business card is beautifully tongue-in-cheekSarah Nohe is UX designer currently working for Nebular in Florida. She used to be an anthropologist, and when she moved to her current profession, she obviously needed new business cards. Given that her new calling was focused on considering the user, she decided to put that principle into practice when designing them. As she recounts in this blog post, she decided she’d try to generate some ‘user feedback’ by including a tongue-in-cheek user survey on the back of the cards. In a field where people often take themselves very seriously, this clever and humorous business card is a welcome breath of fresh air. 03. Lo Min Ming Min Ming’s business card is rocking the denim lookBased in California, Lo Min Ming is a designer and engineer at Dropbox, and the co-founder of Pixelapse, a visual version control platform. He’s all about combining the functionality of UX with aesthetic appeal, and this denim themed business card certainly fits into that mould. It’s not actually made of denim, though, but was printed on textured paper. “I arranged the letters (especially the 'G') in such a way that it would still be strong enough after the die-cut,” he explains. 04. Ueno Ueno offers this colourful and quirky card to its clientsUeno is a global digital agency offering web and UX design to clients including Airbnb, Medium, Cisco, Lonely Planet, Google, Reuters, Fitbit and Dropbox. These original and attractive business cards are bright, colourful and nicely convey the agency's quirky sense of humour. 05. Gustavo Youngberg Youngberg’s cards show how a simple design can go a long wayGustavo Youngberg is a graphic and web designer in the San Francisco Bay area specialising in brand identity, web design, and UX design. He’s currently working as a senior digital specialist at real estate consultants Cushman & Wakefield. These cool business cards show how you don’t need to spend a lot of time and money on extravagant printing techniques, just a good, solid design. Youngberg got these cards printed by Moo‎ using it Luxe Business service. “Love the quality and workmanship of their paper products and packaging,” he says. “The colours pop and their black is true. Love it.” 06. Adnan Puzic Even from across the room, you won’t miss these bright and colourful business cardsAdrian Puzic is a UI/UX designer based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. New for 2017, his latest business cards are beautifully clean, bright and bold, and feature embossed elements. We particularly like the signature-style script lettering, which helps to distinguish these designs in an arena where bland and functional typography is the norm. 07. Marcelo Graciolli Marcelo Graciolli is a Brazilian UI/UX designer with 12 years’ experience in the web industry. Now based in London, he specialises in email marketing. In the gallery above you can see the front and back of his new business cards, which use colourful graphics to display what it is he does simply and delightfully. He’s clearly keen to get you to visit his Instagram page, and we love how the eye-drawing device on the front side gets the message across. 08. Max De Mooij These business cards are about the recipient as wellMax de Mooij is based in Amsterdam, where he works for software company Recognize. As a UX designer, he wanted his business cards to leave a positive experience (what he calls “a delighter”) on the person he hands them out to. “So I left some space on the back where I can write someone's name on,” he explains. “The card's back then says: "Great to meet you, John!". That way, my business card is more personal, and not just about me. It emphasises the connection between you and me.” View the full article
  3. http://thehackernews.com/2017/08/two-critical-zero-day-flaws-disclosed.html … View the full article
  4. Cisco patched two high-severity vulnerabilities in its Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) that could allow an attacker to elevate privileges on the host machine. View the full article
  5. A critical flaw in Drupal CMS platform could allow unwanted access to the platform allowing a third-party to view, create, update or delete entities. View the full article
  6. IBM researchers have demonstrated a filesystem-level version of the Rowhammer attack against MLC NAND flash memory. View the full article
  7. Putting people in the creative industries to work in an office, during set hours, has never felt right. Why don't more full-time employed creatives work remotely? Like some kind of Industrial Revolution hangover, working in offices can feel restrictive and uncomfortable, as if employers are saying to staff: “You don’t enjoy working, so I’m going to make you. And to make sure I can make you, I’m going to make you come to this same place at this same time every day”. But having an aversion to work has never applied to creative people. Creatives enjoy the challenges thrown at them, enjoy solving problems, enjoy crafting a design. They enjoy their work and resent being made to feel like they don’t. Conversely, if people are made to feel enabled and trusted to succeed, they are far more likely to. Remote working can give individuals the freedom to work in ways that suit them. The more balanced, rounded, inspired and experienced we all are, the better we’ll be at our work. Remote working can also allow people the prospect of working alongside the best design practitioners in the world, not just the best in the office. Work more creatively Brown&co says it's a new kind of agencyThis is why nine months ago, Dave Brown, David Bicknell (Bic) and I decided to start a branding agency, Brown & Co, using an outsource model. The agency is based on the principle that if people can operate in ways individually tailored to them, if they feel encouraged to achieve a healthy work-balance, if they are able to work without distraction at home (while joined up online) then they will ultimately do better work, more efficiently. To further fly in the face of industry convention, Brown & Co also only measures collaborators on output, rather than hours, and clients pay for the same (shock and horror), without the overheads of a large full-time staff in an office. Save more time for life Working at any time, from anywhere, enables more creativityA fit-for-purpose, built-on-demand team of specialists allows for maximum output with agility and flexibility, so we can all work more easily toward extremely challenging deadlines and at a lower price point. Productivity (defined simply as ‘inspiration with discipline’) is high at the minute. The collaborators are working more often in places and ways that inspire them, while not being subject to a ‘distraction factory’ (as the founders like to call the modern office environment). This has resulted in great work being produced, while creatives feel happier, healthier and freer than in years. One collaborator is even fulfilling her dreams of travelling while earning. It’s an exciting opportunity to connect with different cultures, broadening experiences, deepening her empathy, and potentially encouraging her to think more openly about brand challenges and solutions. Opportunities like this leave collaborators feeling more balanced, more in touch and more productive – but does it translate into better work? Get creative results It's no great surprise that happier people produce better designsIt’s been six months since Brown & Co opened its metaphorical doors, and with large projects on two major international brands, this great experiment is working well. We’ve already been told on more than one occasion by different multinational clients that ours is "some of the best work we’ve ever seen", and done in "miraculous timeframes". It seems the work we are producing is living up to its promise, and that can only really be as the result of working differently and attracting better people by working differently – in ways that people work best, and in ways they enjoy. Of course, this challenges the old school thinkers who say if you leave people to their own devices nothing ever gets done, and that you can’t do good creative work unless you’re all sitting physically together in the same room. Related articles: Why you should make time for creative side projects Following this creativity cycle could save you from burnout 5 top tips for creating a productive home office View the full article
  8. Getting your research right is key to logo design successResearch in any area of design is essential, none more so than logo design. Research allows you to fully understand the problem at hand, which in turn enables you to design a solution that can be presented with confidence, having the knowledge needed to back up your decisions. A well-researched project is one that's very likely to be agreed by the client quickly (if not first time), and one that's likely to succeed in the real world. In comparison, a poorly researched project is likely to be rejected because the designer has failed to understand the problems faced. You can't just guess the logo that a client requires. Research is your opportunity to discover what you need to design, why you need to design it, and how it will be used. It also makes it easier to discover a solution, as the knowledge learned should inevitably steer the direction of the design. There's no such thing as having too much information, especially if you're designing a logo for a product or service you're not familiar with. You need to ask questions, but don't simply rely on what the client tells you – be prepared to dig deeper, reading industry blogs and information to gain a true understanding of the product and service. But what topics should you research? Here are five key questions and areas to focus preliminary research on before designing a logo. 01. Why does the company need a new logo? Before designing the logo it's essential you understand the real reason you're designing the logo. If it's a new company the answer to this question is self-evident. But if the logo is a redesign, this is a whole different story. If the company is young it may have designed the logo in-house or had it designed on the cheap and now it simply needs a refresh. A more established business will, however, redesign its identity to signify change. Get the reasons behind the design fixed in advanceChange can come in many forms: new ownership, new management, new product or service, or a new ethos. Be it a merger, a change to the way things are done, or a new brand statement, ensure you understand all you can about the current situation and the goals of the business moving forward. This will decide if you need to simply evolve the current design, or take it in a whole different direction altogether. 02. What does the company do? It's somewhat obvious, but you need to know what the company does and why. Find out the history of the company, the products or services it offers, and the problem(s) it solves. Look to understand the company's values. What message is the client trying to communicate with its target audience, and how does it want customers to feel when they engage with the brand? This will often heavily influence the attitude of the design. 03. Who are the target audience? You must know the audience the business will be targeting so that you can design a logo that will attract them. You must research the target market for your logoSome companies will be able to describe their exact audience, while some smaller companies will not be sure, or may ask to target everyone. In these cases, ask the client to describe its ideal customer. Understand the demographics of the audience: their age, gender, location, income level, lifestyle and behaviour. Understand their needs and the problems they are experiencing to require the products or services of the company you're designing for. 04. What are the company's long-term goals? A logo should stand the test of time, so expect the logo you're designing to still be in use in five to 10 years' time. For that reason you must understand not only where the company is today, but what its long-term goals and ambitions are. For example, if a company currently offers only one service, but plans to extend its offering at a later date, it's essential you are aware of this so that you can factor this into your design. A valuable exercise is to ask the client to describe where it sees itself in five years' time. This will allow you to get a realistic picture of it foreseeable plans and long-term ambitions. 05. Who is the competition? Knowing about the competition is valuable, as you can learn what identities the audience will already be familiar with in the sector. This information will also ensure you avoid unintentionally mimicking an already known brand. Pinpointing competitors isn't always an easy task. Sometimes the client will tell you who it believes it's in competition with, but its own assessment may be way off. Combine the information it provides with your own research. Look at the identities of direct competitors (those that offer the same product or service to the same audience) as well as indirect (those that offer a similar product or service). Your goal is to design a logo that separates the company from its competition rather than to replicate an existing design. It's a valuable exercise to keep a visual record of both the competitor's logos and identities to reference your designs against at a later date. Research is a powerful tool, which will make you a better designer and a more knowledgeable person. More of our great design posts: The 25 best places to find free vector art online 11 brilliant resources for logo designers 10 best logos ever View the full article
  9. Adobe has unveiled a new series of weekly video tutorials featuring top artists from around the world. The Art Makers: How Did They Do That? collection sees artists guide viewers through their workflows in Photoshop, Illustrator and Animate, giving key insights into how they produce their unique styles. The initial collection of videos features Dutch artist Lois van Baarle (aka 'Loish') creating a portrait called Red, beginning by making rough sketches from a stylus and tablet and building the piece using different Photoshop brushes. She does all of her digital painting on one layer, despite changing brush shapes, brush thickness and colour. Loish's video tutorial is accompanied by written steps on the Adobe site. Loish's finished Red portrait Adobe hopes the videos will inspire creatives to give new techniques and tools a try. It says: "Feed your (inspiration) with this series that profiles art makers from around the world. See how they sweat the details, applying their own techniques to create images, illustrations, and animations using common and not-so-common features in Adobe Creative Cloud apps." Another of the videos features Egyptian artist Amr Elshamy creating his Round Things artwork, which you might recognise from the latest Photoshop CC splash screen. Elshamy used Photoshop CC's Polar Coordinates distortion filter to turn a photograph of a mountain range into his unique finished image. Elsewhere, Italian artist Daniele De Nigris creates geometric tile patterns in Illustrator, creating the image that was used for the Adobe Animate CC 2017 splash screen. Plus American designer and illustrator Molly Scannell makes a powerful sliced collage in Photoshop; Turkish photographer and designer Şakir Yildirim makes a surreal image in Photoshop; and French-born Toronto-based illustrator and animator Emilie Muszczak makes a colourful animated self-portrait in Photoshop and Animate. Emilie Muszczak's animated self-portraitThe series is featured online on Adobe’s Create Magazine, and on Adobe's Art Makers YouTube playlist, which it says will be updated weekly with new content. Related articles: 95 top Photoshop tutorials The 23 best Illustrator brushes 20 digital artists to follow on Behance View the full article
  10. Microsoft's Surface Laptop is perhaps the least exciting of the Surface range for creative professionals. It’s virtually a direct competitor to the Apple MacBook; offering very similar specs, but with the addition of a touchscreen – which can of course be used with the (sold separately) Surface Pen. Buy the Surface Pen (UK) Buy the Surface Pen (US) Before you open it up, the Surface Laptop feels very much like the Surface Book, only slimmer, a little more tapered and a bit lighter. Its edges are relatively angular, but it feels like a great piece of industrial design. Open it up, though, and you’re presented with something a little different. The entire keyboard area is made of fabric. Admittedly, it’s not any old fabric – it isn't like working on a laptop covered in your grandma’s pyjamas. This is Alcantara fabric: the same kind of strokable, stain-resistant covering used on luxury car seats. The best way to describe it is ‘faux suede’. It does feel a little odd at first, but it's strangely pleasing and tactile. Using it for long periods of time is comfortable, as it’s softer than the metal on the Surface Book and MacBook. The fabric layer tapers off slightly towards the edge of the laptop, adding to the ergonomics when your palms are rested on it. The keyboard has another trick up its sleeve – it’s also the speaker. To save space for grilles and make the Surface Laptop as thin and lightweight as possible, ‘Omnisonic’ speakers are below the keyboard. And the Surface Laptop sounds brilliant. We were impressed by its audio quality. It wasn’t at all muffled, as we half-expected. The Surface Laptop is touchscreen, as mentioned, but unlike the Surface Pro or Surface Book, isn’t a hybrid – you can’t remove the screen to use it as a tablet. Sure, you can still sketch on the screen using the Surface Pen (£100 extra) in any creative app, or take notes in Windows Ink, but the traditional laptop form factor doesn’t exactly lend itself to this way of working for longer amounts of time. Surface Laptop specs The specs of the Surface Laptop aren’t too shabby across the board. But like all of Microsoft’s Surface machines, price rises dramatically when you start getting into what a creative pro needs for daily design work. The Core i7 with 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD and Intel Iris graphics comes in at £2,150. That's a considerable amount of cash – just £200 less than a 15-inch (the Surface Laptop has a 13.5-inch screen) MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Core i7 with a smaller SSD but with Thunderbolt 3 ports). The mid-range Surface Laptop competes directly with the same-priced MacBook (£1249), although the Surface has a 1.5-inch larger screen, a USB port and a Mini DisplayPort (rather than just a USB-C). Get Adobe Creative Cloud So it’s a little tricky to decipher who the Surface Laptop is for. Is it a student machine? Is it a daily laptop? Is it a creative machine? Well, depending on the configuration, it could be any of these. For £980 the base spec machine seems like excellent value – and you get a laptop that looks ace and will perform well. But for over £2000 for a top-end model, we’ll take a Surface Book with Performance Base and NVIDIA graphics. All day long. And we’d definitely take the i5/128GB SSD/8GB RAM Surface Book at £1,449 over the £1,249 Surface Laptop with a larger 256GB SSD (but lesser screen – see below) at the same price – simply due to the fact you can detach the screen on the Surface Book and use as a digital sketchpad. Excellent screen So the Surface Laptop screen. Like the rest of the Surface range, it's excellent – bright, sharp and, as a touchscreen, very responsive. At 2256x1504 pixels at 201ppi, it’s a little behind the stunning screen of the Surface Book (3000x2000 pixels at 267ppi) and that of the 12.3-inch Surface Pro (2736x1824 at 267ppi). The ppi isn’t noticeable in daily use – you’re never going to make out a pixel on these screens. But those after more real estate will favour the larger resolution of both the Surface Book and Pro. Microsoft quotes the Surface Laptop at 14.5-hours battery life. And like with the Surface Pro, we got a whole day out of the Laptop, with a combination of video, browsing, a bit of sketching, some tweeting and a bit of layout work in InDesign. The Surface Laptop comes with Windows 10 S – meaning you can only install apps from the Windows Store (essentially to increase security). Obviously this is a major consideration for creative pros when Adobe’s products are not on there. You can, until March 2018, easily upgrade to the full version of Windows 10 for free. There’s nothing at all wrong with the Surface Laptop. It’s a slim, very light (1.25kg), great-looking, well-built machine with a lovely tactile keyboard and a great screen. And we love the four different colours it comes in – the Cobalt Blue is particularly nice. But if you're looking for versatility, the hybrid Surface Pro and Surface Book offer more for creative professionals. View the full article
  11. https://www.cnet.com/news/father-of-passwords-bill-burr-regrets-the-advice-he-gave/ … View the full article
  12. For a professional web developer, code is a form of art. If you want to be able to write a line of code that feels like a brushstroke on a canvas, then you need to check out the Ultimate Front End Developer Bundle. You can get it now for just $39 (approx £30). The Ultimate Front End Developer Bundle is the perfect starting place for aspiring web developers. This collection of courses will teach you how to work with the most important languages in web development. Pick up essential skills and learn how to work with JavaScript to HTML5, CSS3 and more to bring your dream designs to life. There are eight courses with 48 hours of actionable lessons that you won’t want to miss. You can get the Ultimate Front End Developer Bundle on sale for just $39 (approx £30), which is 96% off the retail price! That’s a massive saving on a course that could set you down a new career path, so grab this deal today! View the full article
  13. The notion of accessibility in digital designs may bring to mind ideas of screen readers and voice control, but it's about much more. Some impairments, for example, often go unnoticed. Take colour blindness: one in 12 suffer from the condition, so a design that uses only colour to convey information is useless to a large number of users. Then there are those who aren't technically blind but do have some level of visual impairment. Designing with these users in mind not only helps them, but makes your work easier on everyone's eyes. The fact that most people can read grey text on a white background doesn't mean it's enjoyable to do so. With websites, some users will have some kind of cognitive impairment. It might be permanent, such as a learning disability, or it may be a temporary impairment such as drunkenness (imagine designing for a taxi service, say) or even shock (think materials for a hospital). Designing for these people means minimising clutter, using smart, simple copy and making user journeys easy to understand. These attributes are something that everyone appreciates. Find out more about accessibility at Generate London, where Léonie Watson will look at accessibility mechanics in the browser Accessibility as an extension of UX design Expert in accessibility Heydon Pickering advises that you think of accessibility as an extension of UX design. "Imagine how people with different disabilities experience the same content. It's part of the design process, not something you 'bolt on' later." Think about how screen reader users will experience your page as you write your markup: the order is important. "If your navigation menu is positioned at the top of the page visually, but located at the bottom of the HTML document, then the experience for keyboard users will be frustratingly different to those who can point-and-click. They will have to tab-key through all the page content just to access the menu." If you're a print designer and you haven't done much web work, it can be painful to realise that your attention to detail is lost when your designs can't be implemented on the web exactly as you made them. "Don't be a slave to the tyranny of 'pixel perfection'," Pickering advises. "In print design, you can be exacting, but on the web it's pointless to attempt it. Design interactions, not approximations. Users are not gallery visitors, they are participants." Keep designs simple Above all, try to keep things as simple as possible. "The biggest enemy of accessibility is complexity," says Pickering. "Complexity makes interfaces inaccessible to anyone, but especially those who have content announced procedurally by assistive technologies." Complexity also makes things harder for those with cognitive differences, such as autism, dyslexia or ADHD. Jamie Knight, senior accessibility specialist at the BBC, breaks down the cognitive process required to do something into three parts: receiving information, processing information, and then taking actions. He then assesses how well a website enables someone to do each part. Keep designs clear and simple'Receiving information' covers whether a person can take in the information that's there and spot things that they can use to achieve a task, such as buttons, menus and text areas. 'Processing information' covers whether a person can filter out the things they don't need to make a decision, such as adverts, links to other areas of the site and so on. The more irrelevant items there are, the harder it is to filter and decide. 'Actioning' refers to whether someone can form and complete a plan of action based on the decision they made in the previous step. Knight asks: "Can the user perceive the information and figure out what can be done? Can they filter the information in order to reach a decision? Can they then plan an action and complete it?" Knight is autistic himself and in this post he explains how he uses a zoom tool to exclude adverts and other clutter from his screen to help him focus, and also a screen reader for the same reason. Colour contrast Colour contrast is one of the most important factors determining legibility of text. Accessibility was a priority for web design agency Domain7 when it redesigned the website for Imperial College London. Design team lead Tracey Falk explains: "While sticking with black type on white is always the safest (and recommended for primary body copy), using an online tool that will test type colour against background colours for contrast is key. You'd be surprised at what fails these contrast tests." Contrast also needs to be accounted for when using type overlayed on top of images. Miriam Thomas, UX designer and front-end development lead at Domain7, told us: "This continues to be a huge web trend and we're surprised by how often readability is overlooked in this design pattern." "Often the solution is to neutralise and desaturate images with a dark or light overlay so text can be read. Imperial, however, had a huge library of bright imagery, so we chose to colour block backgrounds behind text on top of images to keep that vibrancy intact." Inaccessible branding But what if the brand colours don't pass contrast tests? Geri Coady, author of A Pocket Guide to Colour Accessibility, explains: "If brand colours have already been chosen and are unfortunately not accessible for whatever reason, try to find alternate ways to implement them," is her advice. "A logo with insufficient contrast can be supplemented with descriptive alternate text, but for text elements like body copy and headlines, try introducing a darker, contrast-compliant shade of the same colour to add to your brand palette." "If this creates pushback from your client, don't be afraid to bring up the potential risk of lawsuits and lost customers from an inaccessible website. Money talks." (Disney faced an accessibility lawsuit in 2011.) Coady recommends Lea Verou's contrast checker for ensuring your palette is legible, and there's some more detail in her article on contrast checks. See also the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. All of the experts we spoke to agree that testing is key to making your work accessible and ironing out any problems. Test at regular intervals and include in your testing group people with cognitive differences such as Autism Spectrum or ADHD as well as those with visual and motor impairments. The full version of this article first appeared inside Computer Arts issue 242, a typography special issue. Illustrations by Becca Allen. At Generate London on 22 September, Léonie Watson will help you understand accessibility mechanics in the browser to avoid unexpected consequences. The conference will feature 15 more presentations covering web performance, animations, UX strategy, prototyping, adaptive interfaces, responsive CSS components, and loads more. Reserve your spot today! Related articles: Léonie Watson on making accessibility integral to web design process The rules of responsive web typography Aaron Gustafson: The future of adaptive user interfaces is inclusive View the full article
  14. http://thehackernews.com/2017/08/netsarang-server-management.html … View the full article
  15. Poor old Flash was a lot of fun in its youth, but then it became old, slow and susceptible to infections. It was doomed from the moment that Apple decided not to support it on the iPhone, and yet we all kind of miss it a bit, right? Well now there's a new open-source editor called Wick that looks like the Flash alternative we've all been waiting for. Created by Zach Rispoli and Luca Damasco, Wick is a free web tool for creating games, animation and everything in between for the internet, and it's entirely browser-based. Wick is a free and easy-to-use alternative to FlashYour creations will work on any device with a web browser, without the need to download any extra software. Inspired by tools such as Flash, HyperCard and Scratch, Wick is a hybrid of an animation tool and IDE, and first came about when Rispoli's eight-year-old sister started to outgrow Scratch and needed a more sophisticated tool. What started as a simple prototype has since been refined into a more polished tool, and it's ready for you to play with now. Building animation and interactive elements such as buttons is nice and simpleIt's easy to get started with Wick: follow these simple tutorials and you can quickly make an animation by simply drawing a few frames (or importing your own images) and exporting them as a .GIF. Beyond that you can add motion tweening and start scripting events, and you can even import JavaScript libraries for more complex projects. Wick is free software that you can run, distribute, change, and redistribute as you wish, and it's open-source so you can view the codebase and even help improve it over on GitHub. As Rispoli explains, "We hope that the web as a community can come together and help build Wick and bring the spirit of Flash to the next generation of online creatives." You can find out more about Wick here, or simply hit the Wick editor and start playing! Some creatives have already started, and are sharing how they got on. Related articles: Create and animate SVG polygons 21 top examples of JavaScript 50 free web tools View the full article
  16. https://designhost.gr/topic/1581-threatpost-flash …’s-final-countdown-has-begun/ View the full article
  17. The impending demise of Adobe Flash will create legacy challenges similar to Windows XP as companies begin to wean themselves off the vulnerable code base. View the full article
  18. Since 2010 Pinterest has been helping other people to discover the things they love, but it appears the catalogue of ideas has decided to focus on itself for a change as it settles on a new wordmark. That's right, the platform preferred by craft-lovers has retired its distinctive script font in favour of an altogether more hard-edged wordmark (above). This change is the first update to the Pinterest logo since 2011. Back then, Pinterest settled on the ligature-heavy font as a deliberate contrast to its boxy pinboards. The result is a bizarre combination of two fonts. In the Pinterest badge you can still see the script lettering, but this sits awkwardly next to the new typography - which the clever folks at Brand New have figured out is a slightly modified version of Neue Haas Grotesk in its Black weight. The old Pinterest script was used from 2011 onwardsThe situation gets even more confusing when you head over to Pinterest's brand guidelines. Under the logo/Pinterest badge header it clearly tells you to 'only use the Pinterest badge (please don’t use our wordmark!)'. It's possible that Pinterest only wants to be identified by its badge and nothing else – kind of like what Tinder did with their flame logo earlier this week. However, even other companies that employ a less wordy version of their logo to be used as an icon (Facebook is a great example of this) have consistency between the two designs. Meanwhile the new Pinterest logo is a disjointed combination that does away with what we thought was a perfect look for the site. Related articles: 15 fantastic logo fonts 10 commandments of logo design Behind the scenes on seven superhero logos View the full article
  19. Lettering artists have been using a nib and ink to transform letters into beautiful calligraphy for centuries. A writing style that has flourished over thousands of years, creatives use calligraphy fonts in much the same way as retro fonts, to add charm, elegance and a sense of nostalgia to their work. Here are 14 of the most beautiful calligraphy fonts around today. 01. Olivia Script Olivia Script is sophisticated, graceful and freeFeaturing 351 elegant glyphs, Olivia Script is a sophisticated and graceful modern calligraphic typeface suited to use on everything from wedding invitations to greeting cards, posters and more. It's available as a free font from the Font Bundles Store, and comes with a premium licence that allows for both personal and commercial use. 02. Work in Progress Work in Progress isn't actually a work in progressCreated by Clement Nicolle, also known as StereoType, Work in Progress is a script font with a very specific style of connecting curves. It comes in a simple free version that's good for personal use, but if you pay for the commercial version you get an additional clean version, as well as a set of alternate glyphs and ligatures, including a bunch of little words in multiple languages. 03. Envelove Envelove has a delightful Quentin Blake feel to itDesigned by Yani Arabena, Guille Vizzari and Ale Paul for Sudtipos, Envelove is a free-and-easy typeface consisting of three fonts: Envelove Script and Envelove Caps, which enables you to build variations into your lettering with alternates, ligatures and a small caps set. There are also Envelove Icons, which are perfect for adding a bit of decoration to your lettering. Lively and expressive, it reminds us of Quentin Blake's wonderfully energetic illustrations. 04. Noelan Script Noelan Script's swashes and alternates keep things looking freshFree both for personal and commercial use, Noelan Script is a modern calligraphic typeface from ndro. It features automatically connecting swashes as well as plenty of alternates to give your text a more human feel, plus international characters. 05. Quickpen Quickpen looks like it has been quickly jotted with a felt tip penType designer Laura Condouris is behind beautiful calligraphy font Quickpen. Casual and carefree, Quickpen was designed to recreate the look of confident script, quickly jotted with a felt tip pen or brush. Available over on MyFonts, it is described as 'the perfect script for any design that doesn’t take itself too seriously'. 06. Dragonflight Each of Dragonflight's glyphs were created using a brass folded pen dipped in inkBeautiful calligraphy font Dragonflight was created by type designer Hanneke Classen, who hand-drew each glyph with a brass folded pen dipped in ink. The font got its name from the tip of this folded pen, which resembles the shape of a dragonfly’s wing. 07. Allura Calligraphy font Allura is suited to a variety of print and digital projectsStylised yet legible, Rob Leuschke's calligraphy font Allura is great for all manner of print and digital projects, including branding, posters and much more. And best of all, it's free! 08. Freeland Add a modern, bold and lively vibe to your designs with Freeland fontWith a rich, inky texture, Freeland calligraphy font was created by type designer Laura Condouris. Featuring plenty of ligatures and stylistic alternates for a realistic, hand-lettered look, Freeland will give your designs an edgy vibe. 09. Poem Script Poem Script received a Certificate of Excellence at the Type Directors Club NY 2011Available over on MyFonts, Ale Paul's Poem Script design is described as 'a mixed collection of interpretations conjuring a late 19th century American pen script style'. Poem Script received a Certificate of Excellence at the Type Directors Club NY 2011 and was selected at the Bienal Tipos Latinos 2012. 10. Aphrodite Slim Aphrodite Slim is suited to all manner of digital and print projectsCreated by designers Maximiliano Sproviero and Sabrina Mariela Lopez, Aphrodite Slim is part of calligraphy font family Aphrodite Pro. With over 1,000 glyphs and super-stylish curves and flourishes, Aphrodite Slim is suited to all manner of digital and print projects. 11. Lucida Calligraphy Lucida Calligraphy is a favourite among designersCalligraphy font Lucida Calligraphy is a favourite among designers. Available from type foundry Monotype, Lucida Calligraphy is suitable for books, reports, posters, advertistements and much, much more. 12. Hiatus This beautiful calligraphy font was penned by designer Stephen W. Rapp. A lettering artist for over two decades, Rapp pulled out all the stops when creating warm and elegant typeface Hiatus. 13. Lamar Pen Lamar Pen reflects the personality of the man whose handwriting inspired it, Mirabeau B. LamarAn elegant, antique calligraphy font, Lamar Pen reflects the personality of the man whose handwriting inspired it, Mirabeau B. Lamar – a celebrated Texan of the 1830s and 40s. 14. Dom Loves Mary Designer Debi Sementelli created Dom Loves Mary as a way to honour her in-lawsDom Loves Mary is named in memory of Dominic and Mary Sementelli, a couple who were totally opposite but 'made for each other'. The font was created by Debi Sementelli as a way of honouring the pair. A beautiful calligraphy font, Dom Loves Mary is great for stationery, posters and much more. Contributions: Jim McCauley Related articles: Calvin Klein reveals new logo design 8 great uses of typography in business cards 50 great free handwriting fonts View the full article
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  21. Portfolios are for life, not just for internships. Throughout your career, your design portfolio is a vital tool in winning better jobs and new freelance contracts. But talented creatives often fail to capitalise on these opportunities by neglecting to raise their portfolio to the right level. Whether you’re a student looking for your first gig, a middleweight wishing to advance, or a senior hunting for your dream position, your portfolio could probably do with some attention. At its most fundamental, design is about empathy. So the essence of getting your portfolio right lies in understanding your audience – in this case, the designers, agency heads and recruitment specialists who’ll be looking at it. And there’s one thing you need to appreciate about all of these people: they have very little time. We’re going to assume you’re already familiar with the basics of creating a good portfolio. In this article, you’ll find extra tips and updated advice from hirers at top agencies, for every stage of your career. Grab attention with a visual portfolio Olly St John, a designer at boutique agency NB Studio says: “Because we’re quite a small team, I tend to deal with looking at interns’ and freelancers’ portfolios,” he explains. “But we get tons of them. With such an intense amount to look at, that dictates how much time I can spend looking at them. Imagine that the person looking at it is going to spend seconds on it. It’s got to be visual Olly St John, NB Studio "I tend to skim, if I’m completely honest. I’m an occasional guest lecturer, so I always tell my students: ‘Imagine that the person looking at it is going to spend seconds on it. It’s got to be visual.’” St John tells a tale that echoes throughout the industry. However great your portfolio is, don’t expect it to be read cover to cover; expect little more than a glance or a quick scan. So how do you make the most of that brief opportunity? If you’re trying to get your first job or internship, here’s some good news: your portfolio doesn’t have to be perfect, and agencies are more than aware that you probably won’t have a lot of experience. “With junior designers, we’re looking at potential,” says Tim Smith, principal of design at digital agency ustwo. “A real raw spark of something exciting. The rest you can refine. There are a lot of skills you can learn, but there are some that are really difficult to teach.” That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make your portfolio as good as you can, of course. But it does mean you shouldn’t pretend to be something you’re not. Explain your projects and contributions clearly Tony Brook says group work is fine, as long as contributions are properly ascribed“For me, it’s very frustrating when I don’t know if certain projects are ‘real’ or not,” says Sean Murphy, creative director at Moving Brands. “So flagging up whether something is actual freelance work that’s out in the world, or a personal or student project, is very important.” There’s nothing wrong with showing personal work per se, says Tony Brook, creative director at Spin. “People often do show personal work, and that can be quite useful to see. Especially if it indicates what their interests are, or what they’re passionate about.” Flagging up whether something is actual freelance work that’s out in the world, or a personal or student project, is very important Sean Murphy, Moving Brands Nor is there anything wrong with including group projects. “Again, that doesn’t particularly worry me; quite often things are a group effort,” Brook reasons. However, do make sure you don’t pass off the work of others as your own, either consciously or subconsciously. “Remember, you often get people applying from the same university, who’ve worked on things together,” says St John. “So if I don’t know it’s group work, and then I see the same project in someone else’s portfolio…” Rely on good work – not gimmicks Sean Murphy urges designers to steer clear of focusing on personal brandingOne recent trend is for students to feature ‘personal branding’ for themselves, such as their own logo, in their portfolio. But be warned: hirers aren’t keen on this trend, and in all honesty, would rather just see your name nicely typeset. “Personal branding gets in the way of what you’re trying to look at, which is the work,” says Murphy. “It opens candidates up to criticism too: if they create a personal brand, they have to expect that brand to be critiqued in some way.” Personal branding gets in the way of what you’re trying to look at, which is the work Sean Murphy, Moving Brands Tim Beard, partner at Bibliothèque concurs. “The portfolio itself is the ‘branding’,” he argues. “It doesn’t really need a logo. Good control of ideas, type and articulation of content is a much better use of your time.” In short, trying too hard to stand out from the competition can often be counterproductive. “Interns tend to be take more ‘creative’ approaches when they send us their folio,” reflects Madeleine Fortescue, resource and recruitment manager at Moving Brands. “But I think this often just takes away from the work.” For example, one candidate sent a recording of him singing his CV; another sent instructions on how to create an origami bird; a third sent the team a box of crisps. “At some places, maybe gimmicks like that go down well,” muses Fortescue. "But for us, it’s all about the work, so I think that focusing on producing a curated, solid and confident portfolio is a much better approach.” But what if that solid portfolio isn’t getting you anywhere? How do you find out what’s wrong? Simple, says St John: just ask. NB Studio, he says, sends a simple ‘capsule reply’ to every portfolio submission, acknowledging receipt – but if you don’t hear anything for a while, there’s no harm in directly asking for feedback. “I’m never harsh, but I’m usually quite honest,” he smiles. Keep polishing your portfolio (in case of emergencies) Olly St John's trained eyes can instantly tell student and professional portfolios apartSo you’ve got your feet under the table in your first job. It’s all going well, meaning that you can forget about your portfolio for a while, right? Wrong. Even if you’ve got no immediate plans to look for another job, you never know when you might need to. Redundancies often come like a bolt from the blue. And the principle of ‘last in, first out’ normally applies, so as a fresh hire you’re unfortunately particularly vulnerable. On a more positive note, perhaps the powers that be have noticed your great work and are thinking about promoting you. But be honest: if a superior suddenly asked you into their office and asked to see your latest portfolio, would it be ready for viewing? Would you be ready to show it? As a hirer, the thing you really notice with a more experienced designer’s portfolio is how stuff’s photographed Olly St John, NB Studio In short, if you want to continue advancing, you’re going to need to keep updating, refining and improving your design portfolio throughout your career. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to do a radical redesign. Simply adding new work will often be enough to get you a long way. “As a hirer, the thing you really notice with a more experienced designer’s portfolio is how stuff’s photographed,” says St John. “That’s often because most of it’s been done at an agency level, where they’ve spent a few thousand on great photography. So it is usually quite easy to see the quality over the student-level work.” Curate your portfolio for a specific role Covering all bases is a pet hate of Madeleine FortescueBesides the chore of updating a portfolio, there is another, greater challenge for mid-career designers. Now you have more work to choose from, you need to put more effort into curating it. While at student level, curation just means choosing your best work, it’s now time to think more seriously about what direction you want to go in future, and start gearing your selection towards that choice. A portfolio should demonstrate why you’re a match for the role you’re looking to fill Madeleine Fortescue, Moving Brands Doing so will help hirers have a much better understanding of where your interests lie, and as a result, where you might best fit in an organisation. Not doing so, in turn, may convey a lack of purpose or direction. “One of my biggest bugbears is when people include everything; try to cover all angles, all bases,” says Fortescue. “A portfolio should demonstrate why you’re a match for the role you’re looking to fill. It needs to say: ‘This is why I’m really the best person for this, look at the work I’ve done.’ Rather than, ‘Hey look, I do a bit of everything.’” At this stage, recruiters aren’t just looking for high-quality work from candidates, they’re usually looking for something specific. “What really gets me excited is fit and relevance,” says Smith. “Not just in the kind of work that you’ve been doing but also in the way you carry yourself, the way you talk about yourself, the personality you portray. It’s nice to see a portfolio from someone that seems to have very similar personality to us as a company. "I can imagine other agencies that are a bit more serious might be put off by the portfolios we get, and vice versa. Because it’s important to fit into the company culture as well as the sort of work we do,” he explains. Don't give up when you reach the top You’ve finally become a senior designer. With widespread respect for your work and good relationships in the industry, putting together a winning portfolio will be a doddle, surely? Sadly, it’s not always that simple. For a start, the more responsibility you take on within your studio, the more confidentiality agreements you have to sign, and the more difficult it can be to actually show what you’ve been working on. In this case, at least, peers will empathise. “It’s often the case that more experienced designers will be reluctant to email over confidential work, or have it on their website,” says Smith. “So we’re very aware of that.” And depending on the client, there are various strategies you can take to circumvent restrictions, such as showing the work in the more confidential circumstances of an interview setting, or maybe restricting it to a password protected area of your website. Senior portfolios need careful explanations Tim Smith was presented with some very familiar workPerhaps a trickier problem is that the more senior you become, the less hands-on and the more strategic and managerial your involvement in projects gets. And this can be difficult to convey in a portfolio. “With senior candidates, it can sometimes difficult to tangibly distil what they were responsible for, what value they brought to the project,” says Smith. “And so you find that more senior people’s portfolios tend to be less visual as a result.” Rather than relying on large-scale images, then, you may now need to present your projects more like a blog or a case study, with concise but careful text explaining the brief, how it was met, and the specific part you played. Again, it’s important to avoid overstating your role in projects, whether intentionally or accidentally. “I once had someone come in for a senior design position here, and they presented my own work back to me as their own,” Smith reveals. “They’d worked on the project, but they were actually just doing asset creation for the developer, and the graphic design was all my work from a year previously. So it was incredibly embarrassing. I had to say: ‘I know you didn’t do what you say you did, because I did that.’ Needless to say, he didn’t get any further.” One senior sent me a video of each of his projects. The whole thing was just one minute long... It was the perfect time-saver Tim Smith, ustwo On the positive side, once you’re a senior designer you’ll probably have enough experience and wisdom under your belt to consider experimenting with how your portfolio is presented. Smith recalls one particularly memorable example: “One senior sent me a video of each of his projects. The whole thing was just one minute long, and he spoke over them in a quite personal way; explaining what the final product was, the process they used to get there, and what his own involvement had been. It was the perfect time-saver because it was like five short clips of five different projects, very easy to digest.” He got the job. Keep it clean It’s clear that, whether you’re just starting out, are a seasoned pro or somewhere in between, there are plenty of portfolio traps to avoid and mistakes to steer clear of. But all our experts stressed that as long as your portfolio meets certain criteria – is clear and uncluttered, easy to navigate, thoughtfully curated and concisely annotated – you won’t go far wrong. Any portfolio that ticks all of the standard boxes is going the right way... [but] if it’s awesome work, then I’m sure I’d get over any personal bugbears Tim Beard, Bibliothèque Remember, your portfolio is only one of many ways you’ll be assessed, along with your CV, cover email and interview. And the notion of an ‘amazing’ portfolio that instantly puts one candidate ahead of the running seems to be little more than a myth. As Fortescue puts it: “I can’t think of a portfolio where we’ve gone: ‘Oh my God, that’s the person.’ That doesn’t really happen in real life. A curated, clear, concise, bold portfolio is the only thing we’re looking for.” Beard takes a similar view. “Any portfolio that ticks all of the standard boxes is going the right way,” he states. “But, you can’t really define what works precisely; there is no formula, just like creativity. If it’s fucking awesome work, then I’m sure I’d get over any personal bugbears.” Related articles: How to shoot print work for your portfolio Create a killer online portfolio in 10 steps 10 great uses of typography in portfolios View the full article
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  23. Self-publishing accounts for 22 per cent of the UK ebook market and is continuing to grow, meaning authors are increasingly liaising directly with designers to achieve the finished look for their manuscripts. 22 free ebooks for designersWith so many books hitting the market, a striking cover can make the difference between a hit and a flop, making experienced designers in this field highly sought-after. A memorable book can be a valuable addition to your design portfolio. Which poses the question: what exactly makes a successful book cover? 01. The brief: Understand the author and readers Getting the right tone for the book's subject is essential When creating a book cover, you’re tasked and trusted with encapsulating someone else’s story in one powerful design. Before you even begin, it’s vital that you familiarise yourself, not just with the story between the pages, but also with what the writer is setting out to achieve and who their audience is. So ensure you’re given a clear brief, including aspects such as genre, target readership and whether it will be printed, an ebook or both. A gritty crime thriller will need a very different look and feel from a business-focused or self-help book. A healthy relationship and fluid line of communication between designer and author throughout will ease the entire process and lay solid foundations for a successful book cover. 02. Cover images: Teasers not spoilers Peter Mendelsund’s designs for Franz Kafka covers allude to some of the writer’s central themesA well thought-out cover design should say a great deal to a person about a book without them even needing to turn to the first page, but without knowing every detail. As a designer, you want your cover to give away just enough to entice the reader, and capture the story inside, without revealing too much. The imagery you choose can be a great way to connect the reader with the book on a deeper level. 03. Typography: Creating a brand The fonts on Zadie Smith's books have helped develop a brandHowever, book cover design is not just about the images, it’s about the entire aesthetic of the book – which brings us onto typography and formatting. As the designer, your typography needs to support both what the title expresses, as well as the tone of the story itself. For example, sans-serif fonts often dominate the nonfiction genre, as they express modernity and professionalism, while romance novels often feature whimsical and fanciful fonts such as Lavenda (take a look at our article on the different traits that can define a typeface's personality). Alongside the title and imagery sits the author’s name. Readers often buy a book because they are familiar with, and trust, the name on the cover. The typography you choose for a title and the author’s name can grow to become a brand in the eyes of their readers. For example Zadie Smith’s book covers are recognisable from the bold and consistent font and use of colour, often accompanied by very little in the way of imagery. 04. The spine: Bringing everything together This excellent design incorporates both the cover and spineEven though it literally holds the entire printed book in place the spine is often an afterthought for many designers. When placed on a bookshelf, the spine is all you can see, so continuation of a good cover design is important here. Whilst the cover is all style, the design of the spine is typically about substance. It will include the title and author’s name, remaining consistent with the style on the front and back cover. There can still be room to be playful however — Rachel Willey’s clever cover for The Mothers, presents a woman whose face isn’t fully revealed until you get to the spine. It’s a great example of how you can incorporate the spine into the whole cover of the book, and make it interesting. 05. The finished cover: Finding balance There's plenty of inspiration available, from the elaborate to these simple designsIt’s important to note that typography and illustration are two quite different crafts, so you may require training and focus in whichever area isn’t your specialism. However, should you be tasked with creating a cover that’s slightly out of your comfort zone, resources such as Pinterest are a great place to gain inspiration. Great cover designs don’t have to be complex either. Take Noma Bar’s concepts for the fiction of Murakami, which are an exercise in simplicity and restraint. Ultimately, a successful book cover design implements and balances all of the above. A cover that achieves the right harmony of art, type, and concept will ultimately be the one that makes it off the shelf, or online store, and into a reader’s hands. Related articles: How to design a book in InDesign How to design a book cover in InDesign 5 tips for improving your book design View the full article
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  25. Wireframes are a necessary part of the web design process. Acting like blueprints for web and app projects, they help you discover early on what works and what doesn't, and allow you to set the content and focus without the distraction of a flashy design. Are microframes the future of wireframing?When done well, wireframes can clarify your thinking. But they can also derail a project if not done correctly. With that in mind, below you'll discover 10 straightforward ways to improve your wireframing skills, as well as how to use some of the best wireframe tools. Following these tips will help keep you focused on what's important: ensuring the functionality and usability of your product. 01. Start your wireframing with a sketch While it may seem like a good idea to jump right into your favourite design tool, sketching out your wireframes – with a pencil and paper – can yield better results. The process shouldn't take too long, and it'll help give you a better idea of your overall plan. 02. Skip the colour The purpose of a wireframe is to lay out content, page and view elements, and to describe the app's functionality. Adding in any elements of design, such as colour, detracts from its primary purpose. So leave the colour for the mockup, and keep it out of the wireframes. 03. Keep wireframes simple Don't overcomplicate your wireframes. Keeping it simple will allow you to focus on the bigger picture and avoid distractions. Wireframes should clearly describe the usability and functionality of your app. You don't need to get into the nitty-gritty details or the final look of the design. 04. Use better sample data Poorly selected sample data can kill a wireframe. While you don't need to spend a lot of time populating your wireframes with data, you should at least make sure the data you add is relevant. 05. Annotate when needed At their core, wireframes are blueprints; they are the designer's and developer's guide to building the app or website. If you want them to be easier to read and understand, add annotations when needed and where appropriate. 06. Use a grid system and lay out boxes An interesting technique for making wireframes is to use a grid system and layout boxes. Using this approach, you can quickly group and lay out the different components in a simple and structured way. 07. Create reusable styles and symbols Most software used for wireframing has the capability to create and reuse styles and symbols. Not only will this help to speed up the process, but it'll help keep your wireframes consistent. 08. Use the right tool for the job Speaking of software, there are many tools available for making wireframes. Some of them are specifically designed for wireframing and some aren’t. Here are a few favourites: Sketch is one of the best tools out there. Used in conjunction with other solutions, like InVision, Sketch offers designers the necessary tools you'll need in order to get the job done Affinity Designer is a lightweight vector design tool that comes fully packed with everything you need to create great wireframes Pencil Project is a free, open-source tool with built-in shapes and stencils for Android, iOS, Dojo, and more. You can also use it to wireframe websites and desktop apps For a few more ideas, take a look at our pick for The 20 best wireframe tools. 09. Know your wireframe types If you're unfamiliar with the term 'fidelity', it means the level of detail. In the world of wireframes, your options are low fidelity and high fidelity. Both are needed, but each has its own function and purpose. A low fidelity wireframe is where it all starts. It's the basic no frills, quick to create, wireframe. Its primary purpose is to get you started. Whereas high fidelity wireframes provide a lot more detail, though aren’t full-colour mockups. Often these are grayscale or single colour wireframes, which provide a closer representation of the actual design. 10. Get feedback early and often One of the benefits of using wireframes is that they take very little time to create. As such, they can be shared with the team earlier in the design process. This makes it easier to catch things early on and address them accordingly. That said, get feedback on your wires early and often. Wireframes shouldn't slow you down. They are just one step in the process to creating better UX/UI designs for your users. View the full article
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