Furniture and Appliance Apps that Will Make Your Life Easier

Here on this blog, we talk a lot about web design and graphics.  Sometimes, I do like to switch things up every now and then and discuss things that may be a little off topic but still relevant.  In this article, I will discuss 3 furniture and design apps that help you to decorate your home.  I have mentioned previously that your home is your haven.  Therefore, it should be a relaxing space.  In addition to working on your website, logo design and other print based advertising for your business, you may also want to make some changes to your home to make your workspace easier.  Here are some apps that can help you.

Photo Measure Lite

This app allows you to take a picture of the room you are working with and actually add in the measurements.  Your measurements will actually appear on the photo itself.  If you are a visual learner, this is very good and simple since you do not have to manually write down all the measurements.  You can also organize photos by each room.

Snapguide

Want to learn how to make that delicious recipe you saw cooked on a tv program?  Do you want to know how to put refinish an old chair?  This is the app for you.  It has how to guides ranging from everything from home diy to gardening to cooking.  If you want to learn how to do something but just do not know how, this guide will show you how with step by step instructions.

SnapShop

This is another app that lets you visualize the details.  Ever wonder how that new black touchless trash can or any color touchless trash can will look in your kitchen.  What about a specific color sofa?   This app is specifically designed for furniture.  The app itself has a huge catalog of furniture so that you do not have to guess.  Just pick out the furniture and drag it to where your actual furniture would appear and then take a photo.  Save the photo and share it with others for their personal opinions.

So, the three above apps are versatile and can be used especially if you are looking to remodel your home or simply declutter.  Go ahead and start rearranging furniture.  Grab that new touchless trash can for your home office and play around with different ideas to make your workspace more comfortable.  You work hard so make that personal space enjoyable.

Elements of Effective Headers

The first thing people see when they arrive at any website is the header.  If the header is good, it can keep the visitor’s attention longer to possibly explore the site more.  If the header is not so good, it possibly can drive the visitor away or give the user the wrong impression.  Whenever you design a header, the first question you should ask yourself is:  What are you trying to convey to the user?  Once, you have that figured out you can design your header accordingly.   Here are some elements of effective headers.

Using a photo to catch attention

A nicely designed image or website logo can keep the user’s attention.   The photo can be large or small.  Just make sure the image is of high quality.  Otherwise, a sloppy or blurry image may give the impression that the site is poorly built.

Plain text vs. Fancy Writing

Many people are unaware that the type of text you use can impact import website metrics such as site loading time.  Using plain text improves your site’s loading time and is easier to read across different browsers.  Obviously, the name of your blog/website needs to be bigger than your slogan.

Position ads in the proper place.  Some people put ads in the middle of the header as a rectangle.  Some people place ads inside of text or in their sidebar where there is a designated place to do so such as the title ‘sponsors’.  Do not put photos and ads in the header.  It is too confusing to the eye.  It is best to place ads in either the right or left sidebar but not both.

Search Bar

If you have a lot of content, it is best to place different articles under different categories.  Not only that, but you should seriously think about putting a search bar in the upper right hand corner of the site.  Most all sites you see on the web that contain massive amounts of content have a search bar.  Just make sure the user can easily see it.

Don’t underestimate the impact that a header has with your website.  Not only should the header be clean and attractive to the eye, but is should serve a purpose.  A header can convey so many things, so do not neglect it.

How To Make a Twitter Background

Twitter has quickly become a very popular network for people to share information with others.  When you first sign up for a twitter account, you will notice that the background is very dull.  It is just a light blue color with a bunch of clouds floating around.  With so many people and businesses trying to keep up with social media, it becomes important for them to establish a presence on these popular platforms.  If you do have a business, there may be prominent things you want to display such as your logo.  You also will definitely want it to look professional.  Your twitter background has the potential to be so much more but many times people simple just do not know how to get there.  Below, are some simple tips to make your twitter background better.

Changing your background

Your background should be clean and simple, not too confusing to the eye.  Make sure it is easy to read and consistent.  This is very important especially for a business.  You should use the same colors as your website along with your logo for branding purposes.

How to update your background?

First, if you haven’t already sign in to your twitter account.

Second, choose the gear icon located in upper right corner and click the Edit Profile option.  Inside your profile, you will see the design tab so click on it.  Here, you will have access to over 25 premade ready background templates.  To choose, just highlight the option you want and it will update.

If you want a custom background, you can upload a predesigned image from your computer.  If you do not have one, you can simply make one of your own or higher a designer.

If you choose to make one of your own, follow the steps below:

First, you need a free photo editing software such as gimp or paint.net.  Gimp is my personal favorite but you can search around for more free software if you are not satisfied.  You have a lot of quality options.

Next, you will need to open a blank pallet.  It is much easier to choose the proper dimensions from the start.  The twitter background should not be too large or too small.  You do not want to have a blurry image or not see the picture’s details.  A good image size for twitter is around 1600 pixels wide and 1200 pixels height.  Now, you can choose a royalty free image from your computer.  Again, if you have a specially designed logo, then you can put that in there as well with a solid color background or whatever you desire.

Save your newly created image.

Then just upload image to the custom background under the design tab.

Don’t be scared if you want to change your twitter background.  Give it a try and see what the results will be.  You just may like what you have created.

 

How Updating Your Kitchen Appliances Can Help You be More Creative

Many times on this blog we talk about print, media, and web design.  I know that most people live a busy and hectic lifestyle.  Many people come home to a house that they cannot enjoy.  That is sad since your home should be your escape from the outside world.  In today’s article, I am going to mix it up a little bit.  We are going to talk about redesigning your home so that you can focus more on things that you enjoy.

Move the furniture.  Ok, this sounds simple enough but many people do not do it.  This is a completely free option that can make your room look different.  Many people automatically put their furniture against the walls of the room.  If you are a person that likes to have family and friends over, then why not move your furniture towards the center of the room to have a more inviting feeling.  This way the space can seem more intimate and cozy when you have guests over.

Change the paint on the wall.  The right color paint on the walls can make a room appear larger or smaller.  If you have a small room, you can make it appear bigger by painting the room in a light color.  Dark paint creates the illusion that the room is smaller.

Do minor updates.  The other day I was reading a blog about touchless trash cans.  It reviewed some of the most popular brands out there.  A touchless trash can is a simple upgrade to a kitchen that makes it appear to be more modern.  The stainless steel touchless trash can match the look of other upgraded appliances.  Why not change out the backsplash of the kitchen while you are at it?  This can also have a major impact on how your kitchen looks.

Interact with Technology

Here are some apps that can help you in your journey.

Colorsmart

This app is provided by Behr.  If you bought some Behr paint, then this app will help develop  a color scheme.  You can simply take pictures of your furniture in your house and upload it.  Then the app will help you develop a color scheme and show you how the colors you have chosen will look.  You can easily see whether or not the colors you were considering would really fit in with your décor.

Houzz Interior design Ideas

This is another free app.  If you simply cannot come up with any ideas, this is the app for you.  This app has a collection of photos for nearly every type of room and product.  There is also a directory of local designers, architects, and contractors that the app will help you find.

This is a little out of the norm for me to touch on interior design but it is well worth it.  Design touches every part of our lives whether or not we realize it or not.  Take these tips to redesign your home so it can be a place for you to escape from the stresses of everyday life.

How to Easily Make an E-book Cover

It has been a tried and true business marketing practice for years to give away something of value to your customer base.  Many people in whatever business there in usually do this by giving away a free e-book.  It is a great way to get subscribers.  Some people get stuck because they do not know how to create an attractive e-book cover.  I am going to tell you just how to do that.

You are right in thinking that your e-book cover illustration should matter.  This is usually the first impression someone sees and can quickly make a judgment, good or bad.  If it doesn’t look neat and professional they may not at all be interested.  Obviously, this is not what you want.

Luckily for you, there are a number of different options in designing an e-book cover.

Step by Step:

1.)     Choose from the list of free photo editing software available.  Two very good and free options are paint and gimp.  These are simple and easy to download online.  If you do not know how to use the software, there are plenty of tutorials available online.  Youtube has some great videos on how to use paint for example.

2.)    Choose a design for your cover.  Many people make this step harder than it should be.  You can simply paste a good quality image.  You can use photos from a royalty free based website.  Make sure that the image is very good as a thumbnail.  Please try to avoid text as this really will not show up too well.

3.)    Now, you need to choose an image for your side cover.  Here’s a hint:  You can use the same color as the background color of your image on the cover.  All you need to do is copy a little of the cover, select the part with the background color and resize it to fit the side cover.

4.)    Add title text.  Just rotate the letters on the cover.

5.)    Save each image for the side and main cover.  This is pretty self-explanatory.  Now, upload both images to software that will make your final image.  Sites like 3d-pack.com is a good choice.  Myecovermaker.com also provides multiple images and selections for you but this does come with a fee.

There you have it.  It actually seems more complicated than it actually it is.  If trying to make an e-book cover before bothered you, then I hope you take actions on these steps.  A really nice e-book cover awaits you.  If you are looking for a killer custom designed image, then you can always hire out a professional to get the image you are looking for.  There are people who provide great work for competitive prices so shop around.

 

5 Signs Your Blog Needs A Makeover

Many people are hesistant to change their blog design.  The reasons vary as to why.  They may be concerned about keeping their costs down or they are worried it may be too time consuming.  The truth is that fear should not stop you from making simple changes that could better effect the outcome of your business.  Take a good look at any of the reasons below to see if you could be a potential candidate for a blog makeover.

Has your business model changed?  Many people change their business model based on need.  For example, some people start off as consultants if they have a lot of knowledge in a particular field.  Later, they may branch out and decide to offer the service or become a vendor for the product themselves.  If the customer is paying for a service online, you will need a way to accept money and credit cards.  In cases like this, you will definitely need a makeover to your blog.

Negative feedback.  Are people telling you that your website is hard to see in one browser or another?  Are they making negative comments about the colors, graphics, or even the layout of the website?  Since many people value their customers and subscribers, you should definitely take into consideration their opinions.  If they have a negative view about the blog, then they may want to turn away.  Obviously, you do not want that.

You have concerns yourself.  Are you commenting on how other people’s blog design looks great?  Do you which your blog could look as good as your competitors?  Do you yourself think your graphics are outdated but do not know where to start?  You shouldn’t just sit back and admire your competition.  You should definitely try and do something about it.

You should never hold out if you really believe that your blog needs a makeover.  There are many simple and free things you can do to make your blog more visually appealing.  Later, I will touch on that in another article.  You should always examine your budget first to make smart decisions.  If you really do not feel comfortable making any changes and you feel you can afford it, you definitely should look into hiring a designer.