Keeping Your Digital Assets Organized

trashcanGot a messy desktop? Can’t find a file you saved “a few months ago”…?

It can be a real problem if you are not digitally organized; you might ask why, since you probably figure you’re the only one who sees the stuff on your computer. But, if you are a professional, it can cost you a lot of time if you can’t find that ONE file from who knows when. SO, my goal is to become digitally organized and just stay in the habit.

THE PLAN

1. Have a folder on your desktop for temporary document storage. I’ll typically store images I’ve found on the internet in there. At least once a month go through that folder and either file the contents, or delete them.

2. Keep an “inspiration” Folder in your Documents. I tend to keep clippings from magazines and stuff that I like in a book, but stuff that I find on the internet typically doesn’t get printed off and put into my book. If you have a lot of files, you can keep the inspiration images sorted by subfolders like: colour schemes, print layouts, websites, packaging, posters, icons, photography, textures, etc.

3. Create folders based on the type of files you tend to work with on a regular basis such as: 3D, photography, vector art, assignments, and so on. FILE EVERYTHING RIGHT AWAY; do not wait to do it tomorrow or the next day. Save files straight to their designated spot, and save yourself the extra steps!

Create sub folders if you find there is a lot of electronic traffic going through a particular folder.

4. Periodically back up important files to a disc or external drive. Why? Well, because nothing sucks more that losing 5 years of family photos or personal work.

Sorting through your files can be a real chore if it isn’t done on a regular basis. So, keep it up, and make your “digital life” a little easier to go through.

You can find some extra tips at www.lifehacker.com and www.damienbenoit.com

Happy organizing!

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Mint Anyone?

girlREDdoor

First impressions mean a lot. So, break open a pack of mints, and read on!

Research, led by Dr. Gitte Lindgaard at Carleton University in Ontario, has shown that designers have “…as little as 50 milliseconds to capture the interest of potential customers.”

Say what?!?! It sounds impossible

Volunteers went through a process of websites flashed in front of their eyes briefly, to determine how long it took for people to form an opinion about it.

Okay, no pressure, no pressure… we can get through this. There were several significant visual characteristics related to visual appeal. So, based on the tests, here are some questions to ask yourself.

1. Is the content interesting?

2. Does it have a user friendly layout?

3. Is it aesthetically pleasing?

4. Does the colour palette work well?

5. And finally… is it imaginative?

 

So what is your design saying to your viewers?

“Unless the first impression is favourable, visitors will be out of your site before they even know that you might be offering more than your competitors,” Dr. Lindgaard warned.

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Pimp My Design!

Pimpin'!

 

Let’s face it… everyone wants to be the one to have the U-L-T-I-M-A-T-E design.  When you are first given a design brief, you will come up with very obvious solutions at first; from these basic solutions, you are able to see what you need to do to make the design better and you can keep building on it and hopefully make it something unique.

 

“If you are satisfied with your work, then you are dead.”-Philippe Starck

 

I often find myself feeling as though I must come up with a flawless design or else I’m a failure. As a perfectionist, I find it hard to settle with something that is lower than the standard I had in mind for myself – even if it is my personal best. We sometimes set our goals too far from our abilities. It is important to have goals and to push ourselves to become even better at what we do; however, we should keep them reasonable, and keep some sort of balance on how much we are pushing ourselves.

My advice? Don’t take yourself too seriously (don’t be afraid to have fun with your design… who cares if it sucks, experiment and come up with something original. It’s all about creative growth…)

 

To help you get your creative juices flowing,  here are a couple of “juicy” links that might help you out:

Caffeine For The Creative Mind […This site comes from a book that I have had for a few years. It has a crap load of random activities that really get your creative juices flowing when you’re in a slump. (seriously… I don’t even have to do them. I just look at the task(s) and it gets me going… haha). It was worth buying the book, but you can sign up for free monthly brain-bending exercises.]

iStockphoto […a great source for stock images and inspiration. They have a free stock image up for grabs every WEEK. So sign up, and start hoarding them (seriously, it’ll save you hundreds of dollars)!]

Enjoy!
-Sarah

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