Showing posts from December, 2012

Frequent Flyer Secrets: Tips for Racking Up the Travel Points

Frequent flyer miles -- the more you fly, the more you get.
But racking up enough miles to redeem them for actual tickets can take years of flying, years of, as it's called, B.I.S. – "butt in seat." Unless you know a few tricks that can earn you miles faster.
For example, did you know you can get miles by the millions without ever getting on a plane?
Money-saving travel expert Rick Ingersoll started the "Frugal Travel Guy" blog to offer tips to the common man. He hosts conferences for frequent flyer mile hobbyists that attract upwards of 500 people. In the past year, Ingersoll said he and his wife were able to fly to several places on tickets paid with his millions of miles.
"This year we have gone to Greece," he said. "From Savannah to Athens and then down to a little island, flew over to Dubrovnik in Croatia spent some time there, then up to split also in Croatia, then up to Amsterdam and back all in business class."
Total flight cost: 120,000 …

How to Customize Keyboard Shortcuts in Photoshop

Each of us who work in Adobe Photoshop use different tools from drop down menus, which can be costly in terms of time. Why click through menus when you can create keyboard shortcuts for a variety of tools and actions? With simple keystrokes, you can save precious seconds. Adobe Photoshop also offers the super-useful solution of allowing users to create custom keystrokes. To get started, click on the menu bar and select Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts (shortcut Alt + Shift + Ctrl + K or for Mac users Alt + Shift + Command + K). Here you will find default keyboard shortcuts for application menus, panels and tools. You can customize shortcuts for commonly-used tool and. For example, Transform Path > Flip Horizontal and Flip Vertical has no preset keyboard shortcut but I have opted to add shortcut Ctrl +. and Ctrl + , (Mac: Alt + Shift + Command + K). One thing you should understand is that you should only create custom keyboard shortcuts using keystrokes that are not assigned to other t…

4 tricks for designing data-heavy applications

While big data makes for useful applications, it can also stand in the way of clean, usable interface designs. With more and more web applications built upon mountains of data collected in the cloud, how can you deliver all that data without turning the resulting application into a visual train wreck? Balancing complex data needs with a simple user interface is a challenge for any web application designer today. Stripping away information will simplify the user interface, but less data often means a less functional and useful application. Yet, keeping all that contextual data can create an unusable monster of an app. Through the process of redesigning our customer service application, we learned several important lessons for designing simple interfaces built on complex data. We’re sharing a few tips here:
1. Know your use caseThe central tenet of good UI design is to start with the problem you are trying to solve, not the data you have or the design you want. If your key goal is “we …

Top 7 Chrome Experiments for Designers

Google Chrome Experiments, a project by Google.Inc, is gaining popularity day by day. It is the display hub of latest web technologies and a playground of techno-artists. And while taking time off from making games and playing with visualizations, these artists sometimes create stunning tools that are highly useful for artists and designers like us. There are more than 550 web browser based experiments and projects on the Chrome Experiment site and less than 20 of them are usable by designer. Well what can I say, artists–cum–programmers are fickle creatures. They make what they like, when they like and atleast I am grateful for the tools that they have made. So going by this glass-half-full spirit, I present to you top 7 Google Chrome Experiments tools useful for designers Paint brush Paint brush, just like the simple paint software of operating systems, is a drawing tool. But that’s where this similarity ends. This is a little generative art tool that gives the impression of actual p…

How to Plan a Trip to India: 11 Easy Steps

For the traveler – novice and experienced – India is a milestone. It’s a word that elicits surprise and a little bit of awe when uttered as a destination. Whether you’re at the phase of getting excited at the idea of traveling to India or have already started budgeting for airfare, this post is for details the “how” piece of planning a trip to India. I’ve traveled to India on two Big Trips (and there will be a third, fourth,) and consolidated what others and I have learned on planning a trip to this amazing part of the world.  If you’re reading this and have visited India – please, share your own tips in the comments section. 1. Decide Where You Want to Go/Do It’s a big sub-continent with different experiences awaiting the traveler across every state line. There’s  tropics and beaches in the South, tiger treks in the center, vibrant metropolises in the North, the heart of Hinduism and Buddhism along the Ganges plain in Bihar, serene lunar landscapes in Ladakh, and the tip of the worl…

SEO Checklist for Web Designing

Domain Name – Your domain name should be brandable (example: Google, Amazon, Yahoo!, etc.), easy to say, and even easier to remember. Don’t worry too much about stuffing keywords into your domain name. Keywords in domain names no longer have the punch they used to.
www or not www – The choice is yours, or, pick one and stick with it. I recommend using the www because the basic Joe Schmoe Web server tends to type in www, anyway.
Simple Design – Don’t reinvent the wheel. If your design is complex, chances are it will hinder your visitors’ ability to navigate and view the site plus it will slow down development. The simpler the better.
Don’t create directories further than three levels down from the root directory – The closer pages are to the home page in the directory structure the better. Keep things organized but don’t overorganize. If you have one file or sub-directory in a directory there should be a VERY valid reason.
File/Directory …