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We recently upgraded our workstations to multiple monitors. Our most enterprising effort was the use of three identical 19" displays on a Mac Pro. A Microsoft research study found that use of multiple monitors improves productivity by 9 to 50 percent:
The first study revealed that the users' productivity increased by 9 percent. Further studies showed even greater increases - at times up to 50 percent for tasks such as cutting and pasting. Mary Czerwinski, the VIBE research manager, is excited about her group's discoveries, asking, "If you're able to squeeze 10 percent more productivity out, do you know how much money that will save?"
After several weeks of use, we concluded that while two displays are significantly more useful than any size single display, the gain is not linear as additional displays are added. The problem is that three or more displays provide more screen real estate than can be efficiently navigated by even the most proficient computer users. Our recommendation is that nearly all users can benefit from dual display workstations. The productivity increase will almost certainly pay for the initial investment. [Microsoft Research: Two Screens Are Better Than One]
Speaking in Styles by Jason Teague Speaking in Styles aims to help Web designers learn the "language" that will be used to take their vision from the static comp to the live Internet. Many designers think that CSS is code, and that it's too hard to learn. Jason takes an approach to CSS that breaks it down around common design tasks and helps the reader learn that they already think in styles--they just need to learn to speak the language. How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy Graphic designers love to talk about sources of inspiration, but less willing to discuss the basics on location work, pricing, and how to handle irate or non-paying clients - so it's essential that any graphic designer operating independently have this practical reference. Universal Principles of Design by William Lidwell Richly illustrated and easy to navigate, it pairs clear explanations of every design concept with visual examples of the concepts applied in practice. Every major design concept is defined and illustrated for readers to expand their knowledge. Decoding Design by Maggie Macnab Revelations on how common symbols resonate at a gut level. Readers will find deconstructions of famous logos and examples of variety of different designs that effectively use symbols, patterns and shapes to convey greater meaning. Sexy Web Design: Creating Interfaces That Work by Elliot Jay Stocks This is an easy-to-follow guide that reveals the secrets of how to build your own breathtaking web interfaces from scratch. You'll be guided through the entire process of creating a gorgeous, usable web site by applying the timeless principles of user-centered design.
When paying by the click, it's important to target ads as specifically as possible to stretch your PPC budget. One way is to hide your ads from unrelated searches using Negative Keywords. For example, a seller of bicycle tires would want to eliminate overlapping searches from motorcycle owners. Their negative keyword list could look like: "motorcycle, harley, sportbike, wheel, rim, car." In a recent campaign for web design services, we saved 9% on our AdWords spending by hiding terms related to job seeking and free templates. To hide your ads from job seekers, try the following keywords: application apply career careers craigslist direct hire employee employer employers employment freelance freelancing full-time head hunter hiring human resources intern interns internship internships interview job jobs opening openings part-time position recruiter recruiting resume resumes salaries salary staffing temp
While telecommuting at an alfresco cafe last weekend, we noticed an elderly gentleman staring at us. When we met his gaze, he demanded, "Where do you plug it in?!" "Um, it's a laptop, battery powered..." we mumbled. His response: "Really?! That's fantastic! What're they gonna think of next?" It became clear that he'd never seen a laptop not tethered to a wall. it was at this moment that we knew we'd have to continue testing our sites in IE6 until at least 2015, if only for that man. (Our official stance remains that IE6 is dead, buried, and should only be spoken of in hushed whispers by frightened children.)
The Website Grade for ethercycle.com! Website Grader calculates the marketing effectiveness of your web-pages based upon the keyword popularity, link popularity, page structure, traffic ranking, readability level and search results in Google. Found this post helpful? Follow us on Twitter.
Many of our clients previously had websites that were purchased based on perceived value from an inexperienced or lazy web designer. Their costly bad experience led them to understand the value in choosing an seasoned professional for their redesign. Unemployed IT workers, students, and hobbyists have recently flooded the market masquerading as supposed freelancers. Frighteningly, they bid on projects beyond their skill set, hoping to learn on the way. The result is poorly coded or unfinished websites that end up being redesigned the next year. Poor or amateurish websites are damaging to business's image. Don't be a victim, contact us for a free quote.
For us, the iPad is as important to productivity as it is to entertainment. It's biggest impact on our business has been as a portfolio. When meeting clients, the iPad lets them experience our portfolio of designs as they were intended. Whether at home, in the office, or on the go, here are five apps that may change the way you work.
  1. Analytics HD
    Analytics HD gives you quick and easy access to your Google Analytics data through an interface that trumps all others.
  2. Gusto
    Gusto is a full-featured website development environment designed exclusively for the iPad with a focus on workflow and usability.
  3. iSSH
    iSSH is the only SSH client in the App Store that supports tunneled VNC and X client
  4. iMockups
    Mockup your web app ideas with wire frames and an intuitive interface.
  5. Bento
    Manage contacts, track projects, plan events, and more.
For your iPhone, we've created two wallpapers with a test pattern theme. You may recognize the latter wallpaper as the original Apple logo colors.
To install your new wallpaper, download it, add it to your iTunes photos, sync your phone, and set it from Settings: Wallpaper. For a more detailed explanation, check out iPhonesTalk's step-by-step guide.
In an effort to support startups and small businesses, EtherCycle now offers payment plans for web sites. With just a small down payment we will begin the development of your website. The single flat monthly payments include hosting costs. For your convenience, we accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal, and Google Checkout.
Good communication is the cornerstone of client satisfaction. We believe that the more interaction we have with a client, the better the resulting project will be. We have five commandments for client communication.
  1. Offer free consultations and give honest advice.
  2. Listen to what the client has to say to better understand them.
  3. Ask the client questions to clarify the project's goals.
  4. Research the client's target market to ensure the project's effectiveness.
  5. Revise the project proposal as many times as necessary to earn the client's approval.