Product Graphics: 6 Techniques to Make Images More Informative

mozilla firefox features password manager Product Graphics: 6 Techniques to Make Images More Informative

Informative images should not be used in place of good web page content. Instead use imagery to expand on your key points and illustrate them clearly for your visitors. One of the best ways to do this is building a small demo to highlight important areas of a tutorial. With a few informative graphics and screenshots it’s a lot simpler to keep your reader’s interest moving through each step.

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Beginner’s Guide to Node.js

node js Beginners Guide to Node.js (Server side JavaScript)
(Image Source: node.js)

Node.js – in simple words – is server-side JavaScript. It has been getting a lot of buzz these days. If you’ve heard of it or you’re interested in learning and getting some hands on it – this post is for you.
So what exactly is the need of using JavaScript in the server? To make the concept of Node.js clear I would like to compare it with the ordinary server-side languages such as PHP. Node.js uses an event-based server execution procedure rather than the multithreaded execution in PHP.
To explain it further, we’ll be talking about the idea of what Node.js is along with some hosting provider suggestions and installation tips. Intermediate level knowledge of JavaScript, jQuery and Ajax are required, but we’ll also provide examples for you to understand the entire thing easier and even work on it, so let’s get to know more about Node.js!
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Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and More

Say you’re starting a new online shopping site, and you imported thousands of products. Now you need to tag and categorize them, a job which seems tedious and will take many hours of work. You could do it all by yourself, or you could outsource it to crowd, and the action of outsourcing a task to the undefined public is recognized as crowdsourcing.

In crowdsourcing, you can outsource the task to not only a small group of person, but also tens of thousands of people. That’s the genuine advantage of the crowdsourcing, bringing in mass intelligence to solve problems of all kinds with affordable price. The question is, is it really intelligent to use crowdsourcing? What are the tasks well suited for crowdsourcing? What are the quality crowdsourcing services?

In this particular post, there’s gonna be an answer for all these questions. Full discussion after jump!

 

History of crowdsourcing

amazon mechanical turk 500px Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and More

The term “crowdsourcing” was coined by Jeff Howe back in 2006, in a Wired article which described a new way of sourcing people who are willing to help or work on a project. Enough people with sufficient time can transform into a lot of available manpower. For small, manual tasks such as tagging vast amounts of photos, instead of outsourcing to a large company, it’s more feasible and affordable to use a crowdsourcing marketplace like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

Despite being a somewhat new term, “crowdsourcing” has been existed in our society for years in many forms. For instance, video game’s beta invitation is a form of crowdsourcing, where a developer releases a beta version of the game to the public for testing. This has been going on in the software world for years, where certain software are tested by crowdsourcing companies, while others are tested publicly.

Crowdsourcing is often used for translation service. For instance, Facebook has been using crowdsourcing to translate its website into different languages since 2008. Wikipedia can be categorized as crowdsourcing as well: an encyclopedia written by people from all over the world, professionals and amateurs alike. Crowdsourcing has been with us for a while and now, it just got a catchy name.

Companies nowadays not only employ Research and Development (R&D) teams, but list the problems they’re working on to the public as an attempt to get help from anyone. Certain companies even offer huge prizes for solving a problem on crowdsourcing site like InnoCentive, and the cost is fairly cheap compared to employing a huge R&D team.

Types of Crowdsourcing

Crowdfunding: Projects are funded by a large group of people, like most charity events. Kickstarter is a great example, which millions of dollars are funded into all kinds of projects from movies to gadgets – with all the funds coming from people interested in supporting the project. Crowdsourced design: Projects are funded for a large group of people to design something, for example, a website. This has the negative effect of “too many chefs in the kitchen”. However, there have been many successfully crowdsourced designs, one of the most famous ones being the Rally Fighter car, which was designed by the community and built by a company called Local Motors. Crowdwisdom: Where users ask questions in front of a large pool of people willing to answer, like Yahoo Answers. A more serious form of crowdwisdom can be found at InnoCentive, which is a community where large corporations post technical or scientific problems to people who can help to solve the questions.

More famous examples of crowdsourcing include the Netflix Prize, where Netflix invited people to improve their collaborative filtering algorithm and offered a $1 million prize for it.

The Pros and The Cons

crowdsourcing Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and MoreUsing crowdsourcing brings some genuine advantages to companies and individuals looking to complete defined tasks with affordable price. The main attraction so far has been its fairly lower price, compared to the price for hiring a dedicated professional. Also the best thing with the low price is the high number of people who are ready to work for you anytime.

As with all things, there are disadvantages, and interestingly the main disadvantage mirrors the main advantage: cheap labor results less credible product, compared to professionals. You pay professionals for their expertise, experience and dedicated spirit, but you buy labor for completing simple tasks. Any task considered above simple is risky for crowdsourcing.

With the crowdsourcing also comes the issue of management. In most cases you have to manage a large scale of workers, which pretty much waste more of your time for management instead of solution. Besides, it’s difficult for collaboration between crowd members as they compete with each other in nature. Worst of all, there’s no contract in most crowdsourcing cases. Workers can run anytime they want, and your design might be reused in anytime.

Uses of Crowdsourcing

feedback army 500px Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and MoreAs previously mentioned, crowdsourcing is best suited for simple tasks. For instance, crowdsourcing is a great option for web designers and designers in general to get some usability feedback on their work before making it public. If you’re looking for a new logo, hiring a professional designer is an option, but if you are a startup and you cannot afford such professional, you can consider placing a competition on the crowdsourcing site to get the product with an affordable price.

Anyone building a huge library of photos, products, etc, can easily take advantage of crowdsourcing features. You may be building a new online shopping site, where you could use crowdsourcing and pay a few cents for people to describe, categorize or tag the inventory. Or perhaps you’re working on a new website design, you could ask people to fill out a questionnaire regarding the new design, and from there you can get some inspiration.

So you see, crowdsourcing sounds not that bad unless you’re into a very serious works like developing a mobile game or corporate e-commerce site which require not only expertise but intensive management.

Tips for using crowdsourcing

You already know the advantages and disadvantages of using crowdsourcing, but in the end, it all comes down to two things: what your problem is, and how much you are willing to pay for the solution. Here are few tips to keep in mind when outsourcing jobs to the crowd:

  • Be specific. Make sure to make a detailed list of what the person is supposed to do. If you’re looking for feedback on a design, don’t ask “what do you think?”, but be specific like, “Is the text readable? Do you see any layout errors? Does the page loads fast?”
  • Don’t be too cheap. Crowdsourcing is cheap, but it follows the same formula of other jobs: the more you ask from the people, the more you have to give in return. If you ask the people to spend 10 minutes filling out a questionnaire, it’s unreasonable to offer them 10 cents. Hardly anyone would bite on that deal, and those who do, the results won’t be useful to you.
  • Have a way of verifying the results. When outsourcing to a large crowd of non-professional workers, the results can vary greatly. Make sure to state in the job description about what skill or knowledge is required from the user.
  • Weigh your options. Instead of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, consider using dedicated crowdsourcing services for things like usability testing. While they certainly cost more, they are a lot more likely to yield better results.

Finally, you don’t necessarily have to use a crowdsourcing service if there is any person around you who is interested in helping you out for very minor tasks such as getting basic feedback on a design. You can also share the design with your fellow designers, or post it on portfolio site like Dribble and ask for feedback.

Popular crowdsourcing sites

There has been a boom in sites and services that offer the power of the crowd to everyone, from individuals needing a simple logo for their website to large corporations looking to solve some of their toughest problems. Below are 13 popular crowdsourcing sites which you can seek their help for any of the related tasks.

freelancercom Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and MoreFreelancer.com

Famous crowdsourcing site which offers online jobs to freelancers from around the world for everything from design to web development to programming. Companies or individuals post projects for a set price, whereafter freelancers bid on the jobs and offer their services.

elance Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and MoreElance

Similar to Freelancer.com, Elance is one of the most popular crowdsourcing sites online, with over 50,000 jobs posted on the site each month, ranging from programming to designing to writing.

scriptlance Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and More

ScriptLance

Designed for those looking to hire programmers and software developers, ScriptLance is the place where employers post a job, and developers from around the world will bid for the work, with each offering his/her own rate.

guru Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and MoreGuru

Guru is the online service where jobs are offered to a wide variety of freelancers, who bid on projects ranging from programming to design to business management. Posting a job on Guru.com is free, while freelancers will pay certain percentage of their commission to Guru.

99designs Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and More99designs

A crowdsourced marketplace for all sorts of graphic designs, where buyers post contests for anything from logo to website design, and a large pool of designers submit their designs and bid on the project in an open competition.

crowdspring Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and MorecrowdSPRING

A marketplace for graphic design. For instance, an ad agency will place a request for a logo or a band will request a CD cover design, and several designers will compete for it. There is average of 110+ entries per project, and price per designed project range between $200 to several thousand dollars.

hatchwise Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and MoreHatchwise

Hatchwise is similar to 99designs: design requests are submitted as competitions, where designers would submit and bid on the designs. It is especially useful for those looking for a logo design.

feedback army Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and MoreFeedback Army

Feedback Army offers to test your website with the use of crowds.

utest Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and MoreUtest

Utest is a company that offers software testing that relies on crowdsourcing. Software makers use Utest’s service to test their desktop or mobile software with large amounts of users. The tests include security testing, functional testing, usability testing etc.

 

UserTestingusertesting Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and More

For an affordable price you can get video of a visitor speaking their thoughts as they use your site, and a written summary describing the problems they encountered.

 

 

amazon mechanical turk Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and MoreAmazon Mechanical Turk

One of the most popular crowdsourcing sites, useful for simple tasks like tagging photos, categorizing products, etc.

 

 

 

innocentive Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and MoreInnoCentive

InnoCentive is for those looking to solve complicated questions, but it charge accordingly. The company claims to deliver breakthrough ideas and solutions at lower cost, in shorter time, and with less risk than previously possible.

 

 

 

innovation exchange Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, and MoreInnovation Exchange

Another high-profile crowdsourcing site which operates in a similar fashion with InnoCentive. Innovators develop solutions and the best solutions are submitted for review by the team and the sponsor.

5 Crucial Aspects to Consider Before Accepting the Job Offer

thumb up 5 Crucial Aspects to Consider Before Accepting the Job Offer

So you’ve got your resume noticed, confidently answered the top ten interview questions and your dream company is offering you a job offer. Your heart leaps with joy and you can’t wait to sign the contract in a week’s time. At the back of your mind though, there’s this persistent question lingering. You can’t help but ask yourself, wait, is this the right job for me?
It’s normal to have such doubts, especially when you know that half or even more than half of your life will change once you accept a new job. Your decision will affect the way you spend eight hours or more at work for at least five days a week. It’s no kidding matter. For one thing, you must question some of the most fundamental aspects of work and see if they will eventually meet your needs and wants.
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Poor Micrososft, their days are counted…

Microsoft is set to unveil the next-generation of Windows tomorrow. The new operating system, currently known as Windows 8, is the tech giant’s attempt to regain ground that it has lost to Apple, which surpassed Microsoft last year as the world’s most valuable company.

It isn’t the MacBook or Mac OS X Lion that has Microsoft executives worried, though. It’s the sheer dominance of the iPad.

The iPad hasn’t skipped a beat since its debut last year. Thanks to Apple’s ingenuity, a shockingly low starting price and a strong marketing campaign, the device has sold more than 25 million units in less than a year-and-a-half. More importantly, it has defined a whole new category of consumer devices. And it dominates that category with an iron fist.

iPad competitors have come and gone, but none have been able to make a dent in the iPad’s rapid growth. HP has given up on the TouchPad, the RIM Playbook has underperformed and countless Android tablets have fallen by the wayside. Nothing has emerged as the alternative to the iPad.

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Social Media

Americans spend almost a quarter of their time online on social networking sites, says a Nielsen report released Monday.

According to the report — which combines data from Nielsen mobile and online meters, buzz data and a survey — Internet users spend more than twice as much time on social networks (including blogs) as they do on online games, the next top web destination by time.

The most popular social network as measured by Nielsen online meters is Facebook, followed by Blogger, Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Minimalist Posters

Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features. As a specific movement in the arts it is identified with developments in post–World War II Western Art, most strongly with American visual arts in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Prominent artists associated with this movement include Donald Judd, John McLaughlin, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Anne Truitt, and Frank Stella. It is rooted in the reductive aspects of Modernism, and is often interpreted as a reaction against Abstract expressionism and a bridge to Postmodern art practices.

The terms have expanded to encompass a movement in music which features repetition and iteration, as in the compositions of La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and John Adams. Minimalist compositions are sometimes known as systems music. (See also Postminimalism).

The term "minimalist" is often applied colloquially to designate anything which is spare or stripped to its essentials. It has also been used to describe the plays and novels of Samuel Beckett, the films of Robert Bresson, the stories of Raymond Carver, and even the automobile designs of Colin Chapman. The word was first used in English in the early 20th century to describe the Mensheviks.

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37 Templates & Tutorials “Coming Soon” Page

coming soon page design Design Beautiful Coming Soon Page: 37 Templates & TutorialsIt’s a known fact that "coming soon" page is not any more about men-at-work icon or under-construction sign. It acts as the first and the most important impression to your site visitor and if it’s done well. It can attract your site visitor to bookmark you page, subscribe your newsletter, or even join in your social network empire.

We understand the importance of a "coming soon" page and desired for it but we just don’t have budget for that – both time and money. So if you’re too busy developing the site until you only have time to create a rectangular shape in Photoshop, this post is probably for you.
Yes, by knowing the importance of an attractive coming soon page, we have gathered 37 gorgeous under construction and coming soon templates and even step by step tutorials in this post for you. We sincerely hope you can get your page up without investing too much time and energy on it, so let’s see what we have in store for you!

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