The Daily News: WordPress 2.7 and pricing your projects

How about we start the day with some twitter inspiration. Use the link to check out some creative twitter backgrounds and get some inspiration for designing your own. I know mine could sure use a refresh.

Next up today is some feature previews for WordPress 2.7, which I am really excited about. Overall the interface is cleaned up and the publish features have seen a huge revamp. You can also now mass edit posts or pages which would make any categories you need to change a snap. There is a huge list of things that will make your WordPress install easier to manage so go check the post out.

If you have hung around any design related forums one question you will hear is “What do I charge for …” It comes up over and over again. Freelancer Magazine has a great post on how to price yourself. Whether your just starting out or have been at it for a while have a read and check out how you price projects.

Finally today check out a post on embedding fonts for the web. Most web designers I know would love to have typographic freedom with their designs and it currently looks like this dream future is not so far away. For a good review of the situation as it stands check out the article. Don’t forget to see all of the articles that are linked as sources as well.

The Daily News: Keeping clients, javascript and an interview

Keeping Clients Around

Once you do the hard work of landing a client you always want to keep them. Repeat work for good clients is always a bit easier. If you want some tips on those little things that keep clients around check out this article on Freelance Switch. It lists 3 easy ways to provide that little bit of extra service that will keep clients coming back for more.

curvyCorners

If you’ve been developing websites for a while you probably know a few ways to achieve rounded corners. For non-crucial effects I often use -moz-border-radius (along with the webkit version) and leave IE out in the cold. In fact, the corners on my blog are achieved in that way. curvyCorners uses javascript to perform on the fly rounded corners for all major browsers. While I’m not a fan of relying on javascript, if it is a non-crucial application you can include IE in the party. It seems that there is also a jquery plugin in the works.

Tutorials Galore

Now how about a round up of links in my round up (a bit ironic isn’t it). Over at NETTUTS there is a great list of things to know for web designers and developers. Everything from photoshop designing to jquery is covered in this list. I’ve done most of them over the months and highly recommend you at least skim through each one and expand your mind.

Getting Inspired

I love reading about other designers. Learning how and why they do what they do is simply just fun. Over at Just Creative Design there is a great interview with Doug Cloud. Doug does beautiful work and has a cool story.

That’s all I have for today. Hope you enjoyed.

Bit of a Dog’s Breakfast: News Round up

Today the news seemed to range all over the place, a bit of a dog’s breakfast follows.

All of us freelancers (at least I would hope) do some sort of follow up with our clients at the end of a project. For me it is usually just a ‘thanks keep me in mind’ email but if you could improve your customer service by asking some tough questions I bet you’d be willing to do it. Sitepoint has an article today on just that, asking you customers the hard quesitons. They suggest offering an online survey that asks what customers liked and didn’t like (among other things) so that you stop making the same mistakes with more clients.

Next up (and there seems to be a lot of this lately) is an article on XHTML vs. HTML over at CSS-Tricks. I’ll admit that I currently site where Chris did a year ago. I code XHTML transitional pages and honestly don’t truly know the difference between that and HTML 4.01. Ultimately in my mind if the page works in all of the major browsers I think the code is good. Read this to get a better grasp on the differences and uses of each. I know that now I am going to evaluate my reasons for XHTML.

Now lets flip into some quick marketing. Jacob Cass at Just Creative Design just posted and asked us designers for our twitter names. If you are a design professional (or hoping to be one) add your name to the list and follow someone new to make some more contacts.

Well finish today off with some inspiration. Niki has some connections that let her see cool installation art. Check out this post to see everyday objects used in cool new ways and get some ideas for future design projects.

News Round up

Starting today is an article from Ars Technica about the future of Internet Explorer Mobile. Internet Explorer Mobile comes on Windows Mobile phones as the default web browser (of which I own one the HTC Touch). Anyone who has coded web standards based websites is well aware of the beast that is IE 6, which can render standards compliant code in what seems like a random way. Internet Explorer Mobile is another horrid beast entirely. Based of the code for IE 4, Internet Explorer Mobile often entirely breaks web pages making them un-useable as a mobile page. With the rise of Safari and the iPhone (also Skyfire, Opera Mini among a few others) people have seen that mobile browsing doesn’t have to be as painful as an in-laws thanksgiving. Unfortunately it appears that the new version of IE Mobile will be based of the IE 6 code, which while a vast improvement over IE 4, is still not even close to the user experience that we see from the iPhone. If you’re thinking about building for the mobile web give the article a read to catch up on the state of affairs in the mobile browsing world, though you may be disappointed.

Secondly, Freelance Switch has an article on missing the point of being a freelancer. Most people got into freelancing for an increase in freedom in choosing clients and their work habits. Often though we end up working with the same clients on the same type of projects, which removes much of the freedom we can see in the day. The article walks you through a number of ways to break the monotony of the same clients and projects so you don’t burn out.

We talked about brand designing yesterday and today there is an article from Veerle on her design process for Scroll Magazine. She starts by walking us through the design brief (if you’re not doing one you should be) and shows us some of the logo concepts. I love getting inside the mind of other good designers so I really enjoyed this article and Scroll looks beautiful and sounds like it will have interesting content so I would also suggest you get a copy as I did.

Next up if David Walsh who lists his worst  CSS mistakes. It is a humorous read, especially when you realize you did many of the same things, and it’s interesting to see how far you’ve come as a CSS wizard.

We’ll finish off today with an inspiring post from Smashing Magazine that shows off some awesome retro web design. It lists a bunch of secrets to vintage design and shows off a number of amazing designs.