Category Archives: Apps

What’s New in the Google Calendar Redesign

A little over a week ago, Google rolled out a long-overdue update to it’s venerable yet still best-of-class online calendar. It’s a huge step forward for the service in both design and functionality.

Whether you have been using a third-party calendar integrated with Google Calendar, have moved away from the service entirely or are still diligently using their older service, you owe it to yourself to take a gander at Google Calendar’s new feature-set and design.

So what’s new? Stick around and I’ll give you the rundown. Continue reading

It’s Time To Style Your Google Maps

Google Maps have become so powerful and so ubiquitous that they’ve almost become a default element to include in website designs, even if it’s just to display the location of a single business on a contact page. Users know how to interact with them, and they look great.

But….they could look better! As a designer, it’s always been one of my pet peeves that it wasn’t easily possible to match the colors of the Google map to the brand colors of the website that it was living within. Sure, the maps looked great, but wouldn’t it be even greater if the blue of the water matched the blue of the design exactly? Yes. Yes it would.

Well, good news! Over the last year or two, we’ve seen the rise of a few tools (including one from Google itself) that make the styling of their maps possible, and they provide a degree of control over the map display that I had never dreamed possible.

So stick around, and we’ll color some maps! Continue reading

How To Easily Make an Animated GIF

Love them or loathe them, animated GIFs have become part of the way we communicate with each other in the digital age. Though they have seen regular usage as a way to inject fun commentary into a chat or social media feed for a while now, we are also beginning to see animated GIFs used for marketing purposes as well. Email newsletters are using them to add a little life to a relatively static medium, and their use in social media has grown to include more than memes.

But how do you make one? Animating things is complicated, right? Weeeeellll, sometimes it can be! But even the technically challenged can start creating and using animated GIFs in their marketing (or just for a little fun), with the help of some online tools that make the creation process a snap.

So stick around, and we’ll have you popping out animated GIFs in no time! Continue reading

Fun With Colors — A Web Tools Guide

colorWe recently wrote a post outlining tips for choosing colors for your website, and good tips they were too! But one thing we didn’t dig into was the many, many fun tools that are out there for making your color choices easier and more enjoyable.

Choosing colors for your website is a serious decision, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a good time as well! So here are some fantastic online tools that make playing in the color sandbox better for everyone. Continue reading

4 Tips for Producing Error-Free Work

errorsWhether you’re taking a new website live or just posting your latest blog post, chances are you’re under a deadline and in a hurry to get across the finish-line. You’re excited to show off your latest creation, and ready to move on to the next thing in your queue, so you finish up, give it all a quick glance, and then take it live!

High-fives all around! Everybody loves what you’ve done and they…wait a minute. Is that a typo? And why is that section completely broken?! Oh, no!! You’ve pushed the go button too soon, and your work is riddled with errors.

Alright, it’s usually not as dire as I’m making it out to be, but rushing to get your work out the door is often the root cause of it not being 100% free of mistakes. The good news is, you can solve this problem yourself by building a period of testing/proofing into your workflow. Stay tuned, and we’ll go through a few tips for hunting those pesky bugs. Continue reading

Using the New Snap Maps for Business

snap mapsEveryone’s favorite up and coming social app Snapchat recently released a brand new feature called Snap Maps. Accessed by pinching the home screen, it shows your location and the location of your friends in real time, via your phone’s location services. It also tracks any “Stories” you’ve posted in the last twenty-four hours. If you don’t want your location shared, Snap Maps allows you to turn on “Ghost Mode”, which hides you if you don’t want everyone knowing where you are or hat you’re up to.

Similar to the Pokemon Go craze of last summer, businesses are eager to leverage this new location sharing technology to harness the power of their communities. But how should you go about doing so? Stick around and we’ll go through it together. Continue reading

How Are You Still Not Using A Password Manager!!??

password managerA few years ago, we posted about the super, ultra, mega necessity of using a password manager. Since then, the world has become an even more dangerous place for us, cyber-attacks larger and more frequent, and the number of vulnerable access points in our lives more prevalent.

And yet I still run into people on a regular basis who don’t use one. Who are still using the same short probably-already-hacked password for every account that they own. So let’s try this again, shall we?! All together now, YOU NEED TO BE USING A PASSWORD MANAGER!!!!! Did I put enough exclamation points at the end of that to get my message across? I hope so.

You see, I want you to be safe. I want you to be happy. I want you to be snuggled up in a warm blanket of security and peace of mind. And unless you use a password manager, when it comes to your online security, you won’t be.

So let’s take another look at the available password managers out there worth choosing from, since things have changed and updated since the last post, and when we’re done you can all pinky swear that you’ll pick one and use it. K? K. Continue reading