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Employers: Getting Gen-X & Millennials to Work Together

hongkiat.com - do, 30/06/2016 - 15:24

In today’s business organizations, a boss is like an orchestra conductor. I borrowed this analogy because like a conductor who sets the tempo and ensures correct entries by each musician in the orchestra, a boss’ job is to know when and how to make different talents and skills of his employees work in the collective benefit of the organization.

Although, a great deal of responsibility also lies on each individual employee to adjust himself among the staff in the best possible way. However, these efforts are no match to the way a boss can cope with the differences among his workforce.

And one of these major differences is the generation gap — here’s an earlier post I wrote on the different ways Generation X and millennials behave in the workplace. Now let’s look at how we can turn this situation in your favor.

Steer Away from Stereotypes

Generalizing the members of a group for the sake of understanding is fine, but when we engrave these aspects in our minds, stereotypes develop. Generation X is annoyed by technology and avoid its usage while Millennials are gadget freaks, is one of the many common stereotypes associated with the two generations, and both of which are wrong.

IMAGE: Freepik

In my view, boss must first overcome any prior assumptions he has about the two generational groups in order to be a better manager. Instead of applying certain traits to an entire generation, you should try to get to know each person individually.

Once you clear you own mind of the prejudices and stereotypes, it will become easier for you to pass on the concept of generational neutrality to your staff as well. The task of the boss here is to encourage collaborated diversity and move his employees away from tags and labels.

Assign Mutually Interesting Tasks

There is a famous saying that, "you will only get to know someone once you live with them or work with them".

Of course, you cannot expect your employees to do the former (that would be ridiculous and creepy), but what you can do is to make them work together.

Rather than running office memos and dry emails urging employees to work with each other, the better way is to assign them tasks that both generations might be interested in.

For instance, for a project that involves on-desk research as well as certain field work, you can allocate a team of Xers and Millennials on it. It is not a matter of stereotyping, but I am pretty sure Generation X would gladly take up its research part, and Millennials would appreciate some fresh air.

IMAGE: Freepik Create Learning Opportunities

One of the biggest aspect of inter-generational harmony at the workplace is to create opportunities for the employees to learn from each other.

From my personal experience, when someone teaches me something, you automatically have a sense of respect for him or her. You might also feel indebted towards your mentor and often seek to return the favor.

Working on the same line, cross-generational mentoring can open so many doors of collaboration for the two generations.

IMAGE: Freepik

For tasks involving latest technology, you can suggest an employee of Generation X to seek help from a tech-savvy employee of Generation Y, and for a project assigned to Millennial that involves basic institutional knowledge, you can propose asking for help from an experienced Generation X employee.

Customized Management Style

As I mentioned in the previous article, Generation X and Y grew up experiencing significantly different events that have shaped their professional values and perception of work.

So if their values are different, and their professional DNAs don’t match with each other, then why should the management style used on them be the same?

For more productive workforce, a boss should tailor his management style according to the particular values and characteristics of each group, and subsequently to further narrow it down, to each individual employee.

For instance, Xers and Millennials like to communicate differently, so from face-to-face meetings, emails, telephone to even instant messaging, try to offer a variety of communication tools within the office. In the matter of working style you can even ask your employees to choose whatever method suits them, provided it does not affect their productivity.

Set a Personal Example

On top of using personalized management styles as the employer you will also need to set a personal example of yourself. This is important because the way you behave and conduct business around the workplace is reflected in your employees.

If you want your employees to be free from prejudice and work in smooth collaboration, you should overcome your own demons first.

In a place where people of different ages, qualifications and backgrounds work together, conflicts do arise. Be aware of these conflicts but don’t take them on too much by yourself. The market is a jungle that only allows the strongest to survive. Your team can only be as strong as you are.

Wrapping it Up

Diversity at workplace means you have a whole deck of cards to play with in the business game. However, workplace diversity also often means complexity and friction among the employees.

In the case of a workplace, the expression that "age is just a number" is actually true, because it is not about the difference in age, but the differences in the core values of each generation.

You will find people with poor work ethics in every generation, just the same as you’ll find both young and old employees as truly outstanding workers.

As the boss and leader of the organization, the key to successful collaboration between Gen-X and Millennials is in your hands. Every employee brings something to the table, even Gen-Z who are entering the market soon, if not already.

However, it is your task to make use of the goodies the right way and to motivate your employees to build functional workplace relationships for collective success of the organization.

Dashboard Design: 50+ Brilliant Examples and Resources

hongkiat.com - wo, 29/06/2016 - 15:01

We live in the world of big data and most people need to make sense of these numbers as a part of their workflow routine. Managing data is a challenging task and here is where the dashboard comes into play.

The Dashboard is an interface between a website and the administrator which helps to control a site, service or tool to track data. A well-designed smart dashboard can save a lot of time and help quickly identify information that matters in order to make proper reports. Dashboard designs must think of avoiding clutter, highlighting important info and prioritizing metrics.

In this post you will find many brilliant dashboard designs that will inspire you on your own design. If you aren’t into designing, then check out the second part of this post to get dashboard resources out there that can be downloaded for free.

Dashboard UI for Your Inspiration 25 Dashboards UI to Download

Here are some of the dashboards that are available for download. Click the dashboard images to download the PSD.

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Freebies & Goodies for Web Designers – June 2016

hongkiat.com - di, 28/06/2016 - 17:01

Back for another round of freebies and goodies for web designers? Well, in this round we are looking at magazine mockups, UI concepts, dashboard templates, resources for mobile design, CSS photo filters, user interface kits for both web and mobile use, beautiful icon sets as well as fonts.

Also in the list, WordPress themes as well as plenty of plugins for accessibility, image optimization, and database cleanliness that you can definitely add to your toolkit. Go ahead and grab this whole bunch of freebies for you to rock your projects!

Facebook mockup design resources – Facebook's ever updating collection of devices' mockup designs featured in PNG and Sketch format files are available for smartphones and wearable devices, tablet and TV devices. (github.io)

Download file.

Squared magazine mockup – A simple but photorealistic mockup of a squared magazine layout on a clean background. Available in Photoshop PSD files. (behance.net)

Download files.

Office items mockup – A mockup scenario that features black & white desktop stationery and paper. Available in 5 different PSD files from different angle views and arrangements. (behance.net)

Download files.

Vintage photo press effects kit – A Photoshop effects kit that gives you amazing vintage press-like effects: 10 color presets and 10 vintage press textures in two separate PSD files. (pixelbuddha.net)

Download files.

Ballhead – Ballhead is a design concept that visualizes an app that hooks into the Dribbble or Behance platforms. Included in the concept pack are grid view model, carousel view mode, login screen, menu/navigation and pricing plan. (behance.net)

Download files.

Focus – Focus is a web dashboard PSD template with a modern style and aqua scheme including analytics, maps, vertical bars chart, left sidebar menu, and more. (deviantart.com)

Download files.

Routes UI kit – A set of 12 iOS app designs in Photoshop and Sketch files. (visualhierarchy.co)

Sketch iOS app screens – An awesome pack available in Sketch format containing 50 neatly crafted iOS UI screens for sign in, sign up, ad and onboarding experiences. (dribbble.net)

Download files.

Picnic – A nice restaurant menu vector template in PSD, InDesign, and Ai formats designed with pastel colors and featuring nice white filled icons. (templateshock.com)

Magazine PSD mockups – A mockup set of 4 different views of a thick magazine available in PSD files featuring smart objects for embedding your A4 size designs. (heydesign.net)

Bjango app icon templates – Bjango is a set of application icon templates ready to use for Android, iOS, OS X, Apple TV, Apple Watch, favicons, Windows, and Windows Phone icons. (bjango.com)

Download files.

PSD slider templates – Day014 is a set of templates for web sliders that come in a single PSD format file featuring several styles and layouts. (hezy.org)

EventPro web UI kit – Event Pro is a modern looking PSD UI kit for the web that contains elements for dashboard menus, draggable objects, timeline widgets, profile heads, analytics, and more. (heydesign.net)

Aqua-style PSD UI kit – A UI kit that features an aqua scheme with an artistic background pattern for its login form as well as feed, profile, statistic, and navigation bar screens. (behance.net)

Download files.

72 small grid crafted line icons – A set of 72 icons delivered in AI, Sketch, PSD, and SVG format for general purposes. All of them come designed in a small 24×24 pixels grid. (dribbble.com)

Download files.

58 multi-touch gesture icons set – A set of 58 line gesture icons featuring all kinds of touch interactions for multiple devices available in AI format file as well as CS4 compatible version. (medialoot.com)

Download files. (Attribution required)

Food icons set – A great set of 18 line and color filled vector icons of food items designed in a 64×64 pixel grid and available in AI and EPS formats. (graphicsfuel.com)

Download files.

Picons – Picons is a set of 120 vector icons regarding the most common social media logos available in both filled and circle void styles. Available in AI, EPS, PDF, PSD, PNG, and SVG formats. (picons.me)

Arkhip – Arkhip is a sans font with sharp edges inspired by the Russian soul. It features both Latin and Cyrillic alphabet characters in uppercase as well as numerics and a few special characters. (fontfabric.com)

BlowBrush – BlowBrush is a typeface crafted with a very stylish bold brush trace featuring uppercase and numeral characters as well as 23 ligatures and a selection of special characters. (graphicburger.com)

Download files.

Timber – Timber is a great set of 16 vector illustrations regarding mountain village life featured in both solid and press effect styles. Two ready-made logos are included as a bonus. You need to subscribe to get this freebie. (pixelbuddha.net)

DuwhoersDuwhoers is a typeface that features a nice thick brush trace style perfect for logos, titles, or phrases over inspirational photos. (behance.net)

Download files.

Ginebra – Ginebra is a serif font that features nice and fancy rounded ends for its uppercase, lowercase, numeral, and extra glyphs including accents and extra characters. (behance.net)

Download files.

Audrey – Audrey is an elegant Sans Serif typeface that features straight and curved width variable lines as 4 different weights, numeral, glyphs, and accented characters. (behance.net)

Download files.

Bplus – Bplus is a PSD template for business related websites. It features a nice clean style with flat elements and line icons. It comes with a home page and 11 side pages. (dribbble.net)

Hygea – Hygea is a web CMS dashboard template that comes available in a PSD, smooth and translucent giving it a stunningly modern look and feel. (symu.co)

Bahr PSD template – Bahr is a one-page template delivered in PSD CS6-compatible format that features translucid overlays, line icons, and sections for header, services, portfolio, testimonials, and contact us. (heydesign.net)

Bonfire – Bonfire is a clean eCommerce website template in PSD format featuring an adaptive grid layout, transparent background product slider, small thumbnails for new, on-sale, featured, and top rated products. (designlazy.com)

Download files.

Kerinci minimalist WordPress themes – Kerinci is a minimal and clean WordPress theme for blogging purposes that features over 800 google fonts, full responsiveness, as well as several pages, for gallery, sound stream, video players, and more. (themesawesome.com)

Download files.

JustWrite WordPress theme – JustWrite allows you to create a widgetized index and footer, custom sections, a new navigation menu, a live customizer, page preloading animations, cool font pairing, translation and ad ready features, and more. (wordpress.org)

Download files.

Veggie Lite WordPress theme – Veggie Lite is an ultra clean food blogging, magazine or recipe website WordPress Theme that features nice line icons, easy-to-read typography, and a minimal design. (anarieldesign.com)

Download files.

Imagify WordPress image optimizer plugin – Imagify is a WordPress plugin that allows you to dramatically reduce the size of your image files without losing quality, boosting your site loading speed, SEO, and saving your money on bandwidth. (wordpress.org)

Download files.

Accessibility menu WordPress plugins – SOGO is a WordPress plugin that allows you to select where the accessibility button is located, set the increase value of the font size, set the text display to the user for every feature, enter custom CSS, and more. (wordpress.org)

Download files.

Optimize DB & WordPress plugin – Clean up the WordPress database for auto-drafts, dashboard transient feed, unapproved comments, orphan comments meta, posts meta, and relationships, and stacks. (wordpress.org)

Download files.

Mobile ticket purchasing concept – A new concept of mobile cards for the purpose of purchasing tickets featuring nice sliding and bouncing effects as well as an accordion to deploy the ticket options available. (codepen.io)

Financial Advice: 3 Things You Should Know by 30

hongkiat.com - di, 28/06/2016 - 15:01

For many people, being in the ’20-something’ mindset is an excuse to make fun (sometimes poor) financial decisions. While turning 30 is not necessarily significant, socially speaking we are expected to ‘have our sh*t together’ by this age. A lot of people will equate that to reaching the next milestone in life, like getting married and starting a family.

These milestones can be reached easier when our finances are sorted out. On a solid foundation, your lives can be built more securely. Here are 7 financial things to sort out as you turn 30.

1. You Should Know Whether to Rent or Buy

Your choice of shelter is something every 30-year-old needs to sort out. Which is better, to rent or to buy a home? The answer to this question is as complex as you can imagine, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer – despite Uncle Bob’s insistence that "it’s always good to purchase property".

Both renting and buying property can be a good economical decision, depending on your situation.

If you Choose to Buy

Some aspects to consider include the housing bubble situation (are property prices in your area hyper-inflated?) to your own long-term plan at the location itself (do you foresee yourself moving?). There are many other aspects to consider, which you can read about here.

If you choose to buy, make sure you can afford the extra costs involved in being a homeowner. These include insurance costs, repair costs, remodelling costs and property taxes.

Keep an emergency fund ready to take care of unexpected costs, such as a sudden pest infestation or the accidentally broken window.

If you Choose to Rent

If you choose to rent, make sure that your rent and the rate of rental increase will not exceed 30% of your take home salary, the general rule of thumb to maximum rental contribution.

While you can save money on a lot of homeowners’ costs, you will not end up with any asset in return.

So what should you do? If you would like to know which makes more economic sense in the long run, it is worthwhile to utilise a rent vs buy calculator.

2. Living paycheck to paycheck

You might live paycheck to paycheck, or know many people who do. Somehow, being broke by the end of the month has been portrayed by popular media as something normal to go through. You know which ones we’re talking about – Lena Dunham’s Girls, we are looking at you.

Lliving paycheck to paycheck is definitely not ideal as a 30-year-old. It is easy to get sucked into the sweet, temporary relief provided by credit cards and payday loans.

So what should you do?
  • If you don’t earn a lot to begin with, start with a comprehensive, honest look at where your money has gone and is going.
  • Be prepared to ruthlessly cut out things that are not necessary.
  • If you have already trimmed your budget and still have no disposable income by the end of the month, you need to look for a better-paying job, or get a side hustle (read further down this list).
3. Have an emergency fund

That brings us to the subject of emergency funds. Have you heard the phrase, the only constant thing in life is change? Life is unpredictable. Despite the best of preparation, something will go wrong – and it will always cost money to fix.

Your car might break down at the most inconvenient of times, you might suffer random allergies that mysteriously developed, or your dog might require an emergency trip to the vet because he ate your hidden chocolate stash (poor Fido).

So what should you do?

Err… start saving? And remember that having access to emergency funds in liquid form (ie cash) is a must for everyone. If you don’t have an emergency fund right now, start with a $1000 goal.

4. Tackle that debt

It’s not uncommon to have debt, especially student loan debt; 7 out of 10 carry debt after they graduate. It is also not uncommon to have credit card debt or be forced to take payday loans to make ends meet by the end of the month. Both of these have horrible interest rates.

According to Creditcards.com, the average credit card interest is 15%. Payday loans, on the other hand, are on a whole other level. Idaho payday lenders charge a whopping 582% in annual interest rates.

Sadly, the financial mechanisms in place right now make it expensive for poor people to get out of debt.

So what should you do?

Popular finance guru Dave Ramsay advocates the debt snowball method where you plan and pay off the smallest debt amount first, then pay off the next smallest debt amount, and so on.

5. Diversify Your Income

If you are seeking to be proactive with your savings and getting out of debt plan, you should seriously consider having more than one form of income. Welcome to the world of side hustling, where the freelancer economy is not only alive, but also booming.

There are plenty of ways to make money on the side. In fact, there are so many that you’ll have to sit down and pick only one or two to focus on. Some people find success in freelance writing, while for others the gold is in freelance designing. People do everything from dog-walking to house-sitting to queue-standing.

So what should you do?

Look at lists of side hustles that are easy and cheap to start (here’s one list). Zero in on a few potentials, then start offering those services to everybody you know.

After a few months, do an analysis and drop the side hustles that are not making you enough money; focus on the one (or ones) that do. Do all you can to better yourself in this field then you can charge higher for your expertise.

6. cost analysis: making vs buying food

Food is one expense category you can’t ignore – everyone needs food to survive. While every other financial platform tends to advise individuals to prepare their own food, I believe that in some instances, it might be more cost-effective to buy food instead.

A cost analysis is needed to determine which is better for you. Here’s how to do it.

For example, if your hourly rate is greater than the amount of money saved in food preparation, then it makes more economic sense to outsource this chore and buy food instead. Say your side hustle is making you $100 an hour, and cooking a chicken takes 2 hours, it would probably make more sense to use that time to earn the $200 instead of trying to save the worth of one meal.

Note however, that for the majority of us, it makes more sense to prepare our own food. Economically speaking, most of us cannot afford to exclusively buy pre-prepared healthy foods 100% of the time.

On top of that, most pre-prepared cheap food have hidden medical "costs" that you should factor in as well – for example, a diet with too much sugar can lead to Type II diabetes. Too much processed meat takes you one step closer to a whole range of cardiovascular-related diseases.

So what should you do?

Learn frugal cooking strategies – slow cooking, meal prepping, and a mainly vegetarian diet does not have steep learning curves. BudgetBytes is a good resource to start.

Additionally, cooking in bulk saves a lot of time. If you can make 10 meals in 2 hours, then stow them in the fridge for the rest of the week, you will have plenty more hours in a week to dedicate to earning side incomes while not compromising your meal qualities.

7. Choosing a life partner

Can a life partner become a financial decision? Yes, definitely, no doubt about it. Money is a very common reason for fights between couples – according to a 2014 survey, 70% of couples fight about money more than any other issue.

We’re not saying you should dump The One if he/she came with high student loans and a bad credit score. However, it’s not something you should ignore. It will affect the rate you will be able to get financially stable enough to start a family, to buy a home, among many other life-altering decisions.

So what should you do?

If you have a partner, have a real, honest talk about money together, on topics such as:

  • What is their attitude to money management?
  • Does your spending pattern align?
  • Does he/she have an uncontrollable shopping habit you cannot afford to sustain?
  • How about health – will they require medical planning in the future? If yes, how soon?

Here are some tips on how to discuss finances with your significant other.

8. why you should pay taxes

Every contributing member of the society has an obligation to pay their taxes. Not only is tax avoidance a serious offence, but morally-speaking, lost revenue will directly impact the country’s development in the long run.

No one is truly happy to pay taxes, especially if they have an unfavorable view of the tax system. Regardless, everyone grew up benefiting from contributions made by the tax collected from the generations before us. Had a public school education? Benefited. Walked through public parks? Same. Drove through highways? Ditto.

So what should you do?

It’s only right for us to benefit the next generation by paying our dues in taxes, but if you need more convincing, here is a more in-depth response to why you should pay your taxes. Here are ways to make tax filing easy.

Conclusion

The sad fact of adulthood is this: if you don’t follow these financial tips and advice, no one else will do it for you. There are no penalties, no ‘you’re grounded’ threats to force you to make better financial decisions and habits.

It can be a hard journey for some people, especially if you stay in a less-than-supportive environment with little incentive to be financially successful. That is why self-improvement is called self-improvement.

We will end with this: Money is a tool. Some people convince themselves that they ‘aren’t ever going to be good at it’, so they give up on financial knowledge and money management. This is a lie, because humans are defined by our ability to use tools. You can learn it, and excel in handling it. Now get out there and show money who’s boss. Be masters of your finances.

Editor’s note: This is written for Hongkiat.com by Suraya Zainudin. Suraya specializes in personal finance, bitcoin, FinTech and nonprofits. She writes about how she spends, saves, earns and invests money in a personal blog. Follow her on Twitter.

50 Icon Design Tutorials for Designers

hongkiat.com - ma, 27/06/2016 - 17:01

Designers are visual creatures which judge a book by its cover. It’s no secret that icons have a huge impact in website design as well as application design. A good icon should stand out and be easy to remember. It should easily convey a message to the users and present the brand.

Designing icons is a challenging task which requires a lot of time and creativity. To help you out with this hard task we have put together 50 amazing and free tutorials to learn icon design from A to Z.

In this collection you’ll find icon tutorials for Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch. You’ll see tutorials to replicate food, music, weather, business icons and many many more. Just go to the primary source and follow step-by-step guide to achieve great results.

Compass Icon with Long Shadow – Photoshop
In this tutorial you’ll get to know how to design a nice flat compass icon in Photoshop using the tools such as Pen Tool, Rounded Rectangle Tool, and Rectangle Tool.

Create an Icon Design Workflow – Sketch
Create an awesome moon app icon using Sketch App 3, as well as with add-on functionality from the Sketch Toolbox.

Create a To-Do List App Icon – Illustrator
In this guide you’ll see a quick way to create an organizer app icon with 3D effect. It combines radial gradients, blends, and a sense of lighting.

Long Shadow Flat Icon – Photoshop
This tutorial describes how to create amazing long shadow clock icons with flat effect. You can use this guide to add long shadow to any objects you like.

Stylish Flat Space Icons – Photoshop
Using simple shapes and path operations you can create an awesome set of 6 space icons in trendy flat style in Photoshop.

Calendar App Icon – Photoshop
Here is a Photoshop tutorial on how to create beautiful calendar app icon in a few easy steps.

Create an Address Book Icon – Photoshop
Create a detailed address book icon using Photoshop. You’ll learn how to set up a simple grid, and how to take full advantage of the Snap to Grid feature.

Create flat icons – Photoshop
This tutorial will walk you through the process of creating a simple app icon with a house on it using Photoshop CS6.

Create a Mobile App Icon – Photoshop
This tutorial is a part of three-part series of articles explaining how to design UI elements for mobile applications. The icon you’re going to create will be perfect for any drawing app.

Weather Icon – Photoshop
In this tutorial you’ll see how to create a simple weather icon using Photoshop. No special techniques or Photoshop skills required to make your own weather icon.

Detailed Lighthouse Flat Icon – Affinity Designer
Check out the process of creating a lighthouse icon in a flat style using Affinity Designer. You’ll be using simple shapes and manipulating them to transform.

Create A Notes App Icon – Photoshop
Does this Notes app icon look like the real thing? In the tutorial, you’ll be using simple shapes, gradients and textures to achieve this stunning icon design.

Create a 3D Starfish Icon – Photoshop
In this tutorial, you’ll see how to create a starfish and other objects in 3D then combine them with textures in Photoshop to create this stunning icon.

Create a Simple Pencil Icon – Photoshop
In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a simple, nice pencil icon in Photoshop.

How to Create a Map Icon Using – Photoshop
With this Photoshop tutorial you’ll learn to create a beautiful three-dimensional icon with a map on it.

Simple Notebook Icon – Photoshop
In this simple Photoshop tutorial you will learn how to create a neat notebook icon on a textured background.

Productivity Icons – Illustrator
In this easy Illustrator tutorial you’ll see the process of creating a set of nine flat productivity icons that may come in handy for future projects.

Simple Notebook Icon – Illustrator
This simple Ilustrator tutorial will help you to create a nice notebook app icon. It will be useful for beginners as you will learn how to setup a simple grid and create pixel perfect shapes.

Mailbox Alert Icons – Illustrator
In the following Illustrator tutorial you will learn how to create a simple mail icon with two types of notifications: a red circle and a ribbon.

Create Flat Vector Forrst Icon – Photoshop
In just half an hour you will be able to create the Forrst icon in vector object.

Set of Graffiti-Inspired Line Icons – Illustrator
Learn how to create a set of smooth graffiti-inspired line icons using basic shapes and the Direct Selection Tool.

Create a Mouthwatering Donut Icon – Illustrator
This step-by-step tutorial will teach you how to draw a mouthwatering donut icon in Adobe Illustrator using basic shapes and filters.

Create Flat Weather Icons – Photoshop
A set of April weather flat icons, using basic shapes, vibrant colors and texturing with artistic brushes.

Vibrant Cloud Icon – Photoshop
This step-by-step Photoshop tutorial follow you through the process of creating a colourful and vibrant cloud icon using gradients and lighting effects.

Create a Simple Address Book Icon – Photoshop
In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a half-opened address book icon in Photoshop.

Shiny Gold Star Coin – Photoshop
In this Photoshop Tutorial you can learn how to create a shiny gold coin in Photoshop that you can use as an icon or for any other purposes.

Stylised, Textured Flat Camera – Illustrator
Follow this tutorial to learn how to create a stylish retro-looking camera, mastering the gradients for lights and shadows.

Solar System Planets Icon Pack – Illustrator
You will be recreating the planets from our Solar System in the form of an icon pack, using Illustrator. Pluto not included.

4 Ways to Create Long Shadow – Photoshop
Here you’ll get to know four different ways to create a trendy flat long shadow effect. You can add it to your icons, text or any other design elements.

Camera App Icon – Photoshop
Here is a Photoshop CS5 tutorial on how to create a beautiful old iPhone camera lens app icon.

How to Create an App Icon – Illustrator
In this Photoshop tutorial you will be creating an icon for a message/chat application with a "postman" stork on it. The guide gives you a insight in the steps to take from a initial sketch to a vectorized icon.

Create an App Icon in 20 Easy Steps – Photoshop
Create a billiard app icon with a billiard ball and billiards table.

Delicious Toast Icons – Illustrator
Here is an amazing Illustrator tutorial showing you how to create mouthwatering toasts with butter, fried egg and chocolate with banana.

Create a Gradient Icon – Illustrator
This Illustrator tutorial will walk you through the process of creating a simple mail app icon inspired by new Instagram logo.

Design a Realistic Takeout Coffee Icon – Photoshop
Here’s a realistic-looking coffee cup that you can make as an icon in Photoshop.

Create a Detailed Camera Icon – Photoshop
It’s challenging to create detailed realistic icons but you can pick up some tips from doing this tutorial.

Flat Design Wedding Icon – Illustrator
In this Illustrator tutorial you’ll see the process of creating nice flat icons for a wedding icon. They can be used for Save-the-Date cards.

Retro High School Icon Pack – Illustrator
This Illustrator tutorial will teach you to create cool retro high-school-related objects from the 50s. The icon pack contains six flat icons.

Bagel Sandwich Icon – Illustrator
Follow this tutorial and learn how to create a bagel sandwich icon in Illustrator. It looks almost delicious enough to bite into.

Create a Stylised Strawberry Icon – Illustrator
This quick Illustrator tutorial will show you how to create an awesome squared strawberry dipped in chocolate app icon.

Animated Vector Icons – Illustrator & Photoshop
Here you’re going to create three animated icons and explore a couple of techniques for creating smooth, easy animations.

A Set of Food Icons – Illustrator
Here is a super-easy Illustrator tutorial on how to create a set of food icons: a cup of tea, sandwich and a bowl of soup.

Flat Animal Icons – Illustrator
This tutorial will help you to create six different animal portrait icons with a circle background.

Create Sticker-like Music Icons – Illustrator
In this tutorial you’ll see the process of creating musical note sticker icons in three different colors.

Donut Icons – Illustrator
In this tutorial you will learn how to create four types of donuts in Illustrator: chocolate sprinkles, icing with chocolate chips, plain sugar, and strawberry frosted.

How to Use the Blend Tool – CorelDRAW
This CorelDRAW tutorial shows how to create a nice notebook icon with long shadow.

Flat Precious Gems Icons – Illustrator
In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create a set of simple and trendy flat-style gem icons in Illustrator.

How to Create a Beautiful Flip Flop Icon – Illustrator
Learn how to create these flip-flop icons in Illustrator.

Captain America Shield Icon – Illustrator
If you’ve seen this shield "lying around" and want to learn how to make it, this is the tutorial for you.

Delicious Cupcake Icons – Illustrator
In this tutorial you will see the process of creating a cupcake icon in Illustrator, and you’ll be able to create other delicious variations just by making a few changes.

Don’t be shy to share your icons made following these tutorials in the comment field below.

How to Create a Switch UI Using CSS Mask

hongkiat.com - ma, 27/06/2016 - 15:01

In image processing, masking is a technique that allows you to hide an image with another. A mask is used to make a portion of an image see-through. You can perform masking using CSS with the help of masking properties.

In today’s post we’ll create a masked image by using two PNG images and CSS masking techniques, and allow users to handle the two states of the image (day and night) with the help of a switch UI.

Because of some browser-compatibility issues — not all masking properties are supported in every browser (as of June 2016) — I will show two techniques for adding masks, one for Webkit-based browsers, and one for Firefox. The two first steps in this three-step tutorial are the same for every browser, but there will be a difference in the third step.

Step 1. Create A Basic Switch

Since a typical switch has two states with only one enabled at a time, you can use a radio button group of two to create the working components of the switch. Place each radio button at the left and right ends of their parent element.

Radio button groups are created by giving each radio button the same name attribute. In a radio button group, only one radio button can be checked at a time.

We start with the following HTML and CSS:

HTML

<div id="outerWrapper"> <div id="innerWrapper"> <input type="radio" id="leftRadio" class="radio" name="radio" /> <input type="radio" id="rightRadio" class="radio" name="radio" checked /> </div> </div>

CSS

In the CSS below, I used absolute positioning to place the radio buttons on the screen exactly where I want.

#outerWrapper{ width: 450px; height: 90px; padding: 10px; margin: 100px auto 0 auto; border-radius: 55px; box-shadow: 0 0 10px 6px #EAEBED; background: #fff; } #innerWrapper{ height:100%; border-radius:45px; overflow:hidden; position:relative; } .radio{ width:90px; height:100%; position:absolute; margin:0; opacity: 0; } #rightRadio{ right: 0; } .radio:not(:checked){ cursor: pointer; }

I added the opacity:0 rule to the .radio class in order to hide the radio buttons. The last rule in the code block below, cursor: pointer; shows the pointer cursor for the unchecked radio button, so that users know which button to click to toggle the switch state.

Screenshot of the switch UI with radio buttons in the Chrome browser Step 2. Add Skins to the Switch

In this step, we’ll add two <div> tags for the two skins below the radio buttons in our HTML file, and a background image to each skin in our CSS.

I’m using "Day" and "Night" as the two states of the switch, inspired by a Dribbble shot by Minh Killy Le.

Day Skin

Night Skin

HTML

<div id="daySkin" class="skin"></div> <div id="nightSkin" class="skin"></div>

CSS

#daySkin{ background-image:url('day.png'); } #nightSkin{ background-image:url('night.png'); } .skin{ width: 100%; height: 100%; pointer-events: none; position: absolute; margin: 0; }

The pointer-events: none; rule is added to the skins so that the click events on the switch can pass through them, and reach the radio buttons.

With the pointer-events CSS property you can set the circumstances under which a graphic element can be targeted by mouse events.

As an alternative for the code above, two <img> tags (with source images) inside the <div> tags can also work. They will be the skins for the two switch states.

Screenshot of switch with skins in chrome Step 3a. Add Mask (Webkit version)

For Chrome and other Webkit-based browsers, I will use the mask-image CSS property, which — as of the writing of this post — only works with the -webkit prefix in Webkit browsers. The mask-image property lets you specify the image to be used as the mask.

In general, there are two kinds of masking: luminance and alpha.

  • In luminance masking, the dark portion of the mask image hides the image it is masking: the darker a portion is in the mask image, the more hidden that portion is in the image being masked.
  • In alpha masking, the transparent portion of the mask image hides the image it is masking: the more transparent a portion is in the mask image, the more hidden that portion is in the image being masked.

In Chrome (as of version 51.0.2704.103, Win10), only alpha seems to currently work.

In CSS, alpha and luminance are the values of the mask-type property.

Here is the CSS that adds a mask to background images in Webkit browsers:

CSS

#nightSkin{ background-image:url('night.png'); mask-type:alpha; /* transparent circle with remaining portion opaque */ -webkit-mask-image:radial-gradient(circle at 45px 45px , rgba(0,0,0,0) 45px, rgba(0,0,0,1) 45px); } /* When day skin selected */ #leftRadio:checked~#nightSkin{ mask-type:alpha; /* opaque circle with remaining portion transparent */ -webkit-mask-image:radial-gradient(circle at 405px 45px, rgba(0,0,0,1) 45px, rgba(0,0,0,0) 45px); }

I used the -webkit-mask-image property to create the initial mask image. Its value uses the radial-gradient() CSS function that’s used to create an image from a pre-defined shape, a radial gradient, and the center of the gradient.

For the night skin, I created a transparent circle, and I made the remaining part of the container opaque. For the day skin, I did the opposite: created an opaque circle with the radial-gradient() function, and made the remaining portion transparent.

Although it’s not yet supported in Webkit browsers, I added the mask-type property to the CSS for future reference.

Screenshot of switch with Night skin selected

Screenshot of switch with Day skin selected

As you can see above, the border of the circle isn’t very smooth. To hide the rough edges, add a <div> after the skins in the shape of a circle (same size as the mask circle) with a box shadow. The shadow will hide the rough edges of the circle mask.

HTML

<div id="switchBtnOutline"></div>

CSS

#switchBtnOutline{ width:90px; height:100%; border-radius:45px; box-shadow:0 0 2px 2px grey inset, 0 0 10px grey; pointer-events:none; position:absolute; margin:0; } /* Place #switchBtnOutline at the right end when day skin is selected */ #leftRadio:checked~#switchBtnOutline{ right:0; }

Screenshot of switch with mask circle’s rough edges hidden Step 3b. Add Mask (Firefox version)

The mask-image CSS property is actually a longhand property, and it’s part of the shorthand property mask that lets you specify the image to be used as a mask as well. While mask-image isn’t supported in Firefox yet, mask is.

Although the mask property should accept an image created with the radial-gradient() CSS function as a value, just like the mask-image property did, there’s no support for that in Firefox yet.

So, instead of a radial-gradient() image, let’s use an SVG image as the mask image with the mask type luminance.

<svg> <rect x="0" y="0" width="450" height="90" fill="rgb(255,255,255)" /> <circle cx="45" cy="45" r="45" /> </svg>

The SVG image above looks like a combination of a white rectangle and a black circle. Add this, and another one with a black rectangle and a white circle as masks to the HTML we used in the Webkit version.

SVG image (white rectangle and black circle for the mask)

HTML

<svg> <defs> <!-- White rectangle + Black circle --> <mask id="leftSwitchMask" > <rect x="0" y="0" width="450" height="90" fill="rgb(255,255,255)" /> <circle cx="45" cy="45" r="45" /> </mask > <!-- Black rectangle + White circle --> <mask id="rightSwitchMask" > <rect x="0" y="0" width="450" height="90" /> <circle cx="405" cy="45" r="45" fill="rgb(255,255,255)"/> </mask > </defs> </svg>

Replace (or combine with) the CSS code for #nightSkin we used in the Webkit version with the following code. And you’re done.

We now have two different mask images (CSS gradient & SVG), two different mask types (Alpha & Luminance), and both Webkit and Firefox support.

CSS

#nightSkin{ background-image: url('night.png'); mask-type: luminance; mask:url(#leftSwitchMask); } #leftRadio:checked~#nightSkin{ mask-type: luminance; mask:url(#rightSwitchMask); } Check Out the Demo

If you want to see the whole code in one, check out the demo of this tutorial on Github.

40 Creative Magazine Print Layout Templates

hongkiat.com - vr, 24/06/2016 - 17:01

When designing a magazine layout, sometimes it is difficult to see what the end result is like on a screen monitor. This is where magazine mockup templates can come in to save the day. By applying your design onto a realistic mockup, you can get an idea of what the final product will look like and what adjustments it may need to get that finalized, perfect look.

To help you with this, we have collected 40 high-quality magazine templates you can download for free to showcase your design in an elegant and nice way. In this list you’ll find all kinds of magazine mockups including in A4, square magazines, magazine cover and digest-size, magazines in hands, with iPad, on the table, and much more. Click on the images to download the PSD at the source.

20+ Sports-Related Freebies to Design for the Olympics

hongkiat.com - vr, 24/06/2016 - 15:01

The 2016 Olympics are held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and once again contenders from around the world congregate and try to best each other in a variety of Olympic events which will test the endurance, stamina, skills and sportsmanship of athletes.

If you would like to join us in celebrating this event, you will need the right design resources. In this post we have collected free downloadable sports-related design resources you can use on this quest. To get the resource, follow the download link.

Summer Olympics 2016 Pictograms Logo. Olympic events get the pictogram treatment in this set of 41 SVG logos. [Download vector]

Winter sports icons. A PSD set of 12+ free, colorful Winter Olympics icons. [Download PSD]

Sporties icon set. Sports theme line icons available in three different styles: stroke, solid and colored. Format available in AI, PS and Sketch. [Download vector]

Sport Glyph Vector Icons. A small pack of 15 glyphs. Available in PSD. [Download vector]

Sports icons. There are two versions of these 25 sports icons: line and fill. All are free for commercial use CC4.0. Available in AI and EPS. [Download vector]

Sports icon pack. A small range of 10 line sport icons available in EPS format. [Download vector]

100 Sports/Fitness icons. A pack containing icons related to sports and fitness, events, health, equipment and more, this set is available in AI and PNG. [Download vector]

Cartoon sports icons. 9 illustrated sports events like for running, rock climbing and swimming among others. [Download vector]

Cartoon sports icons 2. An extension from the earlier batch, this pack showcases 9 more illustrated sports. [Download vector]

Cartoon sports icons 3. 9 fully colored illustrated sports icons ranging from sailing to archery. [Download vector]

Sports equipment. Shifting the focus to sports equipment instead, this batch of illusrated icons showcases rackets, hockey sticks and a variety of balls. [Download vector]

Torch icons pack. No Olympic freebie compilation is completed without the torch pack. This one has 5 torch designs with various shapes of flames. [Download vector]

Inline sport icon pictogram. A pack featuring 30 human glyphs ala matchstick men perform the Olympic events. [Download vector]

Soccer Player Uniforms. Find your favorite soccer players complete in their team jerseys — in icon form! [Download vector]

Vector sports icons. Find quality vectors of sports equipment like balls, rackets, stopwatches and helmets. [Download vector]

Flat Sports Vectors. 12 fully colored flat vector icons featuring long shadow. [Download vector]

Handball illustration vector. Need ball icons? Here are 9 ball icons including the snooker ball, baseball, basketball, golf ball, volleyball and more. [Download vector]

Flaticon Sports. 100 sports logos in a variety of formats, depicting events, equipment, medals, and even the Olympic rings themselves. [Download vector]

Sports elements. 80 colored line icons showcasing sports-related events and equipment and . [Download vector]

Olympic Games Athletes. A pack of 100 single-colored icons showing athletes doing their country proud. [Download vector]

Rio-themed background. A stunning background in Rio’s official Olympic colors with flat elements spread all around. [Download vector]

Olympic Games Brazil Background. Featuring two different-sized Olympic game backgrounds. [Download vector]

Olympic torch 2016. A stunning background featuring a beautiful torch worthy of Olympic status. Available in two sizes. [Download vector]

Rio Olympic Resources

If you’re looking for design resources specific to the Rio Olympics here are a few spots to get what you need:

Ten Living Style Guide Tools for Web Designers – Best of

hongkiat.com - do, 23/06/2016 - 17:01

A living style guide is a documentation of UI elements and patterns collected from a site or application with the purpose to allow developers to use consistent styles across their whole project. In the past, developers created style guides manually, which is a lot of work. After a while, they started to automate the workflow, and style guide tools that transform front-end code into well-organized UI libraries have begun to appear.

Living style guides are different from code style guides, as the latter contain rules about how to write readable and maintainable code, while living style guides are collections of front-end patterns, such as CSS classes for buttons, widgets, and typographical elements. Code style guides ensure code consistency, while living style guides ensure visual consistency across a site.

In this post, we have put together 10 handy tools that can help you generate your own living style guide.

1. Stylify Me

This tool is a lot of fun: just paste the link of the website you would like to analyze, and watch as its style guide is generated in one click of a mouse. With Stylify Me, you can quickly gain an overview of the patterns of a site, including colours, fonts, sizing and spacing. Once the process is complete, you can download the style guide in PDF.

2. Fabricator

Fabricator allows you to build your own UI toolkit, organize your design system, and generate a style guide from your toolkit code. If you work in a team, you can write the documentation in Markdown to make it easier for other developers to use. It can help you to organize your design/coding routine in the way you like.

3. Frontify

Frontify includes everything from digital mockups to wireframing. They also have a style guide tool which offers a clean minimalistic design process with no hassle. You can sign up for free, and insert all the necessary information manually. The process should include color palette, font choices, icons, logos, possibly slogans or preferred web copy.

4. Aigis

With Aigis, you can generate style guides from any text files (e.g. .css, .scss, .styl, .md). You can also write documentation in Markdown, and customize your site theme.

5. Hologram

Hologram was created by Trulia, and is a great solution for generating style guides. It is a Ruby gem that parses comments in your CSS in order to generate awesome style guides. Hologram has a templating system with some basic styles and navigation to make your style guide generating even easier.

6. Styledown

With Styledown, you can write CSS style guides with ease, as it’s a Markdown-based style guide generator. It will work with most web development setups, as it’s platform-neutral. It requires very little to get it up and running. Also, the comments you need to add to your CSS are very minimal. You can create your CSS documentation in either inline CSS comments, or as a separate Markdown file.

7. KSS

KSS (Knyle Style Sheets) is primarily a documentation specification and a style guide format that has its own commenting syntax. KSS also includes a Ruby library that parses .sass, .scss, and .css files documented with the KSS guidelines into a neat style guide. KSS is for more advanced users and professional teams, as generating a style guide with it requires coding knowledge.

8. SC5 Style Guide Generator

With the SC5 Style Guide Generator you can create and edit style guides directly in your browser. It is based on KSS with some cool features included, such as an AngularJS powered UI that helps you view, search and test your styles. SC5 uses the same document notation as KSS. It supports SASS, LESS, PostCSS and pure CSS stylesheets.

9. Styledocco

StyleDocco is a handy Node.js app that creates style guides from your stylesheets. You can install it with npm. In the generated styleguide, StyleDocco shows a preview with the styles you have applied and an example of the HTML code.

On StyleDocco’s home page, you can find two style guide examples, one generated from a default stylesheet, and another one generated from a Bootstrap site. The examples can also help you pick up the documentation syntax SytleDocco uses.

10. Pattern Lab

Pattern Lab is a collection of tools that help you create a modular design system. Pattern Lab is a custom static site generator that stitches together all style elements on a site, and forms templates and pages from them. It can serve as your project’s pattern library and frontend style guide. Pattern Lab allows you to see your style components simultaneously abstractly and in context.

Tips to Master Microcopy for Web Designers

hongkiat.com - do, 23/06/2016 - 15:01

Written content makes up the vast majority of all websites because it’s the easiest content to produce and consume. The style of writing is a big factor in a website’s usability, but it often gets overlooked with design aesthetics taking priority.

When just starting out, and diving into web copy, you’re bound to make simple mistakes in the writing process. With this post, I’m hoping to help you iron out these mistakes by outlining the basics of copy and microcopy, explaining what they are and how they function on the Web.

As you practice writing you’ll find new methods for generating interest from readers. But also keep a keen eye while browsing other sites to study their methods for writing attractive page copy.

How Copy Defines Your Site

Written content is at the heart of most websites. Content is often a primary reason why people visit a site, or it’s at least used to guide people around a site.

Blogs drive readers to consume content. But written content may also cover different features for a new web application. Content is a vehicle used as a means to an end. With blogs, the content actually is the end goal of delivering quality content that’s valuable to readers.

But the way you design copy can have a big impact on consumption and user experience.

For example, take a look at the home page for Wake. The layout uses big bold letters to tell you what this app does (a collaboration app for designers). But scroll down and you’ll find a section with tooltip callouts explaining the interface features.

Visitors don’t like wading through documentation to learn about your product. Say what you do in the shortest amount of time with the clearest copy possible. This is also the foundation of most great landing pages.

Sometimes there is room for a little fun and creativity too, like on the home page of MailBakery.

The content writers for MailBakery use a metaphor that compares coding & designing e-mails with the process of baking sweets. Their home page uses the text "we bake HTML emails" to cleverly describe what they do.

Fun vectors and metaphors sell people a visual idea associated with wordplay. This can be tricky and doesn’t work for every company. But it’s a powerful marketing technique when done right.

Other sites, like Patreon work better with clear and straightforward statements.

The home page heading says "Recurring funding for artists and creators". This doesn’t get overly complex about the technology, because the technology is secondary to the purpose. Technology is a tool used to do something – in this case it’s a donation engine for creatives.

By studying examples like these, you’ll learn how to write content that sells without feeling gimmicky. There’s a lot to learn when you’re just getting started. Reading may help you find a direction.

Here are some posts about quality web copy to get you started:

Finding A Voice

All of your copy for a single project should follow a similar written voice. This is usually subtle but still noticeable and even capable of being documented like MailChimp’s style and tone page.

Lots of people write posts about personal writing tone and how to find your voice.

But remember that your voice may not always be the best strategy for every project. Some websites or blogs require a more serious tone, others more aloof. Some sites work best with humorous copy, or even a mix of all these things.

Generally speaking, my advice is to edit down your writing, and avoid verbose sentences. Everything you write should further the purpose of the content without redundancy.

Also be sure to create a structured hierarchy so that your text reads naturally. This is always a good idea for SEO and for page design. But clean text with distinct patterns can also be helpful to readers trying to understand content.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Be clear and concise
  • Have a goal in mind before writing
  • Structure content in a logical flow
  • Use typography to build a visual hierarchy

The voice you write in may change from project to project. But the strategies for writing great copy typically remain the same.

Looking Into Microcopy

All copy on the page can be broken down into segments, like headers and body content. One less explored area is microcopy, a form of web copy as it applies to small elements on the page.

Most page elements that rely on microcopy are also interactive elements. These might be page links, buttons, input fields, or anything that exists for the user’s attention.

A lot of microcopy writing has to do with conversions and further content explanation. Therefore microcopy could also include non-interactive elements like image captions and info/alert messages.

Microcopy is where you examine the smallest bits of writing to see if certain words could increase measureable stats. For example this case study showed how changing one word improved clicks by 161%. That’s how significant microcopy is to the user experience.

Different websites use microcopy for different reasons. The home page of a blog like Hongkiat will be very different than the home page of Zendesk because the user’s goals are different.

This Zendesk screenshot has two buttons that naturally contrast each other. Because the microcopy uses the "or" word in midway between these two buttons, they’re presented as opposing options to the same end. You can either get started right away, or take a tour and decide afterwards.

And if you take the tour there’s a big signup button at the bottom asking you to start your free trial:

Someone who doesn’t want to signup might place themselves in “the other” group and prefer the tour. The particular phrasing of this microcopy suggests that a visitor can do either of these two options, therefore it carefully steers the attention away from the third option, i.e. is leaving the site.

Here’s another great example of microcopy from this ConversionXL post. These two screenshots demonstrate the immense difference of removing Buffer’s input placeholder text from the sharing field.

These small optimizations are often achieved through clarity and a deeper connection with the audience. Use microcopy to explain things better, and help visitors interact with the site in a more meaningful way.

Some areas to consider updating or analyzing for great microcopy:

  • Input field label & placeholder text
  • Form button text
  • Navigation link text
  • Guided instructions
  • Image carousels
  • Error/404 pages

You’ll find microcopy on anything that users may interact with, or small snippets of text that provide relevant info to all users (like modal signup windows or little info boxes).

Once you understand the benefits for great microcopy it’ll naturally become a significant part of your copywriting workflow.

Putting It All Together

Page copy and microcopy should have a thematic relationship. The writing style and tone should be familiar across the entire website. This includes techniques for title capitalization and sentence/paragraph length.

The first step is to figure out the goals of your current project. Do you want to increase conversions for signups, sales, or pageviews? Or are you making a new site and getting content organized for launch?

At each stage of the content creation process you’ll need to consider what you’re trying to achieve before you can achieve it.

If you have trackable goals, then try A/B tests to gauge metrics.

But the most important thing is to keep writing and keep trying new things. Get yourself in the headspace of your visitors, and consider how they might feel landing on each page of your site. Do your headings make sense? Is there a natural flow of typography down the page? Do you instinctively want to keep reading?

Ask yourself these questions as you write, and you’ll quickly spot your own mistakes. In time it’ll become like second nature.

Also if you’re looking for more content on effective writing, check out these related posts.

100+ Alternative Search Engines You Should Know

hongkiat.com - wo, 22/06/2016 - 19:01

If someone asks you, off the top of your head, what search engines you use or know off, chances are you’ll be naming the regulars: Google, Bing, Yahoo. The Internet however is a really big place and there are plenty more search engines out there that can cater to very specific requirements.

General Search Engines

We’re skipping the search engines that everyone know about so you won’t be seeing Google, Yahoo or Bing in this list. Here are many other alternative search engines available out there.

  • Aol – Aol offers search results combined with content from AOL. It allows searching for web pages, images & videos, news, tools and more, and also offers filter options.
  • Yandex – Yandex is a Russian service provider offering search engine, mail, maps and more. Its search service allows searching for images, videos and more.
  • ScrubTheWeb – ScrubTheWeb deliver organic search results and allows searching for web pages available in their member’s list only.
  • Ecosia – Ecosia is a web search engine, which donates 80% of its surplus income to plant trees. It lets you search for web, images, news, videos and more.
  • MyWebSearch – MyWebSearch is search engine that shows results from Google. It lets you search for web, images & videos, news, shopping products, maps and more.
  • Teoma – Teoma is an Internet search engine with its own link popularity algorithm. It lets people search for web, images & videos, news, recipes and more.
  • InfoSpace – InfoSpace offers white-label search and monetization solutions. Its combined search engine lets you find web pages, images & videos and news.
  • Giga Blast – Giga Blast indexes billions of pages and provides quick, latest information. It lets you search only for web pages, but with filters for enhanced search results.
Regional Search Engines
  • Baidu – Baidu is China’s search engine for searching websites, news, maps, images and audio & video files. It also shows definitions and allows making searches using images. More China search engines: Yam, Youdao, Sogou.
  • Naver – Naver is the South Korea’s first web portal that allows searching for web, definitions, images, news, articles, videos and more apart from providing other web services. More South Korean search engines: Daum, Nate.
  • Goo – Goo is an Internet search engine and web portal of Japan, which crawls primarily Japanese sites and allows searching for web, images, blogs, maps and even definitions. More Japan search engines: Biglobe
  • Rambler – Rambler is a Russian web portal offering services like search engine, email, news portal, finance portal, etc. It lets users search for web and images, and offers filter options.
  • Seznam – Seznam is a web portal and search engine of Czech Republic. It allows anyone to look for web pages, maps, photos & videos, definitions, products and more.
  • SAPO – Servidor de Apontadores Portugueses is a Portuguese service provider. It offers a search engine that allows searching for web, images & videos, news and blogs.
  • Virgilio – Virgilio is an Italian web portal and search engine that lets anyone search for web pages, images & videos, companies and maps. More Italian search engines: Libero
  • Walla – Walla is an Israeli web portal, providing news, search and email services. It allows searching for web, photos, jobs, shopping products and more.
  • Diri – Diri is a Bulgarian web portal and provides search, news and more services. It allows searching for web, definitions, flights, blogs, music, videos and more.
  • Search – Search is a search engine and web portal of Switzerland providing weather, maps, cinema and more services. It only allows searching for web pages.
  • Najdi – Najdi is a search engine built for Republic of Macedonia. Unlike most search engines, it does not crawl the sites for their content and instead uses RSS or other XML sources.
  • Search Nigeria – Search Nigeria is a web based portal and search engine. It lets people to search the web pages, images & videos, news, blogs and more.
  • Das OertlicheDas Oertliche is a German web portal and local directory, which allows its users to search for public locations using phone numbers, names or streets.
Kid-Safe Search Engines

These search engines provide children with a search service that keeps out age-inappropriate materials unfit for consumption for young ages.

Social Media Search Engines
  • Social Mention – Search for social media mentions and understand social trends.
  • IceRocket – Search blogs and social networks
  • WebstaSearch Instagram for Instagram tags, user accounts, boards and more
  • SocialSeeking – Search across various social networks and media channels like Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo, etc.
  • Social Searcher – Search for public information from networks like Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and more.
  • Pixnet – An online mobile photo sharing and networking service. Provides search for publicly available information including web posts, images and more.
Image & Icon Search Engines
  • Iconfinder – A repository and search engine for free and premium icons.
  • Image Search – Find photos from Facebook, Flickr, Zooomr, MySpace, Photobucket, Corbis and more.
  • TinEye – A reverse image search engine that allows people to search images using images.
  • Picsearch – Search for images on the Web.
  • TwicsyA search engine for Twitter pictures
  • Spezify – Search for images from social networks like Instagram, Facebook and others.
Knowledge Search Engines
  • Ask – Ask is a question-answer community cum search engine that allows searching for web, images, videos and news. You can also ask questions for getting quick answers.
  • eHow – eHow is one of the oldest question & answer websites that allows people to search about almost any topic – from home decor to food and from finance to legal.
  • Answers – Answers is a question-answer engine and community that lets people search for answers. You can directly ask questions and the sites answers them accurately.
  • Wolfram Alpha – Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge and search engine that searches for answers for factual questions, finds images, solves calculations and does much more.
  • ChaCha – ChaCha is a human-guided search engine. It provides free, real-time answers to any question through its website. It also posts galleries and quizzes online.
  • Quora – A ask and answer site to find advice and insights by real people about real-life experiences.
Private Search Engines
  • DuckDuckGo – DuckDuckGo is an Internet search engine that emphasizes on protecting searchers’ privacy and allows searching for web, images & videos, definitions and stocks.
  • Qwant – Qwant is a France-based anonymous web search engine. It claims not to track its users while providing search for web, news, images & videos and more.
  • Startpage – Startpage is a Google-powered yet secure and privacy-respecting search engine. It lets people search for web pages, images & videos and more.

More private search engines: Lukol, Privatelee

Metasearch Engines
  • Dogpile – Fetches from Google, Yandex and Yahoo
  • Nigma – An innovative Russian metasearch engine
  • OpenText – Fetches from Google, Bing and others
  • Fagan Finder – A search engine listing tool

More metasearch engines: WebCrawler , ZapMeta, Excite, Yippy, Qrobe

Search Engines to Search for People
  • Spokeo – aggregates data from online and offline sources and allows searching using a name, email, phone number, username or address.
  • Piplfinds info about people that cannot be found on regular search engines by name, username, phone number and email.
  • PeekYou – indexes people from various social networks by name, email, phone, address, location and more.
  • Vebidooindexes publicly accessible information about people and lets you search them using name, location and more.
  • Spysee – A next-generation people search engine geared towards social networks.
Search Engines for News
  • Digg – A news aggregator and curator
  • YouGotTheNews – A search engine for US news and articles
  • NewsLookup – Search for latest and trending global news
  • Elephind – A search engine for finding historical news.
  • NewsLibrary – A library cum search engine for find facts and news
Search Engines to Search Blogs

The following are search engines to search for niche blogs based on blog categories.

Other Search Engines
  • DMOZDMOZ is a multilingual open directory of the Internet. It uses a hierarchical ontology scheme for organizing site listings and lets you search for websites.
  • Food Blog Search – Food Blog Search is a food recipe search engine powered by Google Custom Search. It lets you find recipes from 1000+ blogs and sites across the web.
  • Swoogle – Swoogle is a search engine for semantic web ontologies, documents, terms and data published on the Internet. It’s not a regular search engine unlike others.
  • SimilarSiteSearchSimilarSiteSearch helps you find similar, related or alternative websites.
  • ShodanShodan is a search engine that lets users find devices (computers, routers, servers, etc.) connected to the Internet. It collects data mostly from public web servers.
  • Blackle – Blackle is powered by Google Custom Search and aims to save energy by displaying a black background. It allows users to search for web pages and images.
  • Blinkx – Blinkx is a web media platform with an index of over 35 million hours of videos. It allows people to browse videos using sections and search for videos.
  • NerdyData – NerdyData is a geek’s search engine that allows programming enthusiasts search for technologies, languages, libraries and much more.
  • SearchCode – SearchCode is a source code and documentation search engine, providing programmers the ability to search for functions or code snippets.
  • Open HUB Code Search – Open HUB Code Search is a search engine for coders, allowing programming enthusiasts to search for relevant open source code, functions and more.
  • Polyvore – Polyvore is a community-powered social commerce website, allowing you to discover and search for latest trends in fashion and beauty.
  • Yummly – Yummly is a repository and search engine for foodies. It lets people search and explore food recipes – available in various categories (even seasonal).
  • Pronto – Pronto is a price comparison and product finding service that allows anyone search for products across large range of retailers and stores.
  • Discounto – Discounto allows its users to search and acquire discounts and offers from various retailers and local shopkeepers. It also informs of latest and awaited offers for popular items.
  • AZLyrics – AZLyrics is a lyrics portal and search engine, which searches for lyrics using any phrase or song or album name and shows the lyrics of your favorite song.
  • AnooX – AnooX is a social search engine that allows searching for web pages. Unlike many other SEs, it claims to use people’s rating for listing its search results.
  • OneLook – OneLook is a search engine for words and phrases. It lets you search for words or meanings in 1000+ dictionaries and is even capable of making reverse lookups.
  • GoodSearch – GoodSearch is an online shopping site with a search engine that helps you find deals and coupons in major retailers. It donates part of the purchase price of items you find and buy on GoodSearch.

The Definitive Guide to CSS Pseudo-Classes

hongkiat.com - wo, 22/06/2016 - 15:01

Whether you are a novice or an experienced CSS developer, you probably have heard of pseudo-classes. The most well known pseudo-class is probably :hover, which enables us to style an element when it’s in the hover state, i.e. when a pointer device, such as a mouse, is pointed at it.

Following the concept of our previous posts on margin:auto and CSS Floats, we take a closer in-depth look at pseudo-classes in this post. We will see what pseudo-classes really are, how they work, how we can categorize them, and how they are different from pseudo-elements.

What Are Pseudo-Classes?

A pseudo-class is a keyword we can add to CSS selectors in order to define a special state of the belonging HTML element. We can add a pseudo-class to a CSS selector by using the colon syntax : like this: a:hover{ ... }

A CSS class is an attribute we can add to HTML elements we want to apply the same style rules for, such as top menu items or titles of sidebar widgets. In other words, we can use CSS classes to group or classify HTML elements that are similar one way or the other.

Pseudo-classes are similar to them in the sense that they are also used to add style rules to the elements that share the same characteristic.

But while genuine classes are user-defined and can be spotted in the source code, for instance <div class="myClass">, pseudo-classes are added by UA (user agents), like web browsers, based on the current state of the belonging HTML-element.

Purpose of Pseudo-Classes

The job of regular CSS classes is to classify or group elements. Developers know how their elements are to be grouped: they can form classes like "menu-items", "buttons", "thumbnails", etc. to group, and later style similar elements. These classifications are based on the elements’ characteristics that are given by the developers themselves.

For instance, if a developer decides to use a <div> as a thumbnail object she or he can classify that <div> with a "thumbnail" class.

<div class="thumbnail">[...]</div>

HTML elements however have their own common characteristics based on their state, position, nature, and interaction with the page and the user. These are the characteristics that are not typically marked in the HTML code, but we can target them with pseudo-classes in CSS, for example:

  • an element that is the last child inside its parent element
  • a link that is visited
  • an element that has gone fullscreen.

These are the kind of characteristics that are generally targeted by the pseudo classes. To understand the difference between classes and pseudo-classes better, let’s assume we’re using the class .last to identify the last elements in different parent containers.

<ul> <li>item 1</li> <li>item 2</li> <li>item 3</li> <li class="last">item 4</li> </ul> <select> <option>option 1</option> <option>option 2</option> <option>option 3</option> <option class="last">option 4</option> </select>

We can style these last child elements with the following CSS:

li.last { text-transform: uppercase; } option.last{ font-style:italic; }

But what happens when the last element changes? Well, we will have to move the .last class from the former last element to the current one.

This hassle of updating classes can be left to the user agent, at least for those characteristics that are common among elements (and being a last element is as common as it can get). Having a pre-defined :last-child pseudo-class is very useful indeed. This way, we don’t have to indicate the last element in the HTML-code, but we can still style them with the following CSS:

li:last-child { text-transform: uppercase; } option:last-child { font-style:italic; } Main Types of Pseudo-Classes

There are many kinds of pseudo-classes, all of them provide us with ways to target elements based on their features that are otherwise inaccessible or trickier to access. Here’s a list of standard pseudo classes in MDN.

1. Dynamic Pseudo-Classes

Dynamic pseudo-classes are added to and removed from HTML elements dynamically, based on the state they transition into in response to the user’s interactions. Some of the examples of dynamic pseudo-classes are :hover, :focus, :link, and :visited, all of which can be added to the <a> anchor tag.

a:visited{ color: #8D20AE; } .button:hover, .button:focus{ font-weight: bold; } 2. State-Based Pseudo-Classes

State-based pseudo-classes are added to elements when they are in a particular static state. Some of its most well-known examples are:

  • :checked that can be applied for checkboxes (<input type="checkbox">)
  • :fullscreen to target any element that is currently being displayed in full-screen mode
  • :disabled for HTML elements that can be in disabled mode, such as <input>, <select>, and <button>.

The most popular state based pseudo-class has got to be :checked, which flags whether a checkbox is checked or not.

.checkbox:checked + label{ font-style:italic; } input:disabled{ background-color: #EEEEEE; } 3. Structural Pseudo-Classes

Structural pseudo-classes classify elements based on their position in the document structure. Its most common examples are :first-child, :last-child, and :nth-child(n) – all can be used to target a specific child element inside a container based on its position – and :root which targets the highest-level parent element in the DOM.

4. Miscellaneous Pseudo-Classes

There are also miscellaneous pseudo-classes that are hard to classify, such as:

  • :not(x) which selects elements that don’t match the selector x
  • :lang(language-code) that selects elements of which content is in a specific language
  • :dir(directionality) that selects elements with content of a given directionality (left-to-right or right-to-left).
p:lang(ko){ background-color: #FFFF00; } :root{ background-color: #FAEBD7; } nth-child vs nth of type Pseudo-Classes

One of the hardest things about pseudo-classes is probably to understand the difference between the :nth-child and :nth-of-type pseudo-classes.

Both are structural pseudo-classes, and mark a specific element inside a parent element (container), but in a different way.

Assume n is 2, then :nth-of-child(n) targets an element that is the second child of its parent element, and :nth-of-type(n) targets the second among the same type of element (such as paragraphs) inside a parent element.

Let’s have a look at an example.

/* a paragraph that's also the second child inside its parent element */ p:nth-child(2) { color: #1E90FF; // lightblue } /* the second paragraph inside a parent element */ p:nth-of-type(2) { font-weight:bold; }

Let’s see how this short CSS style the HTML in two different cases.

Case 1

In Case 1, the second element inside a <div> is an unordered list, therefore the nth-child(2) rule won’t apply to it. Although it’s a second child, it is not a paragraph.

But if the parent element does have a second paragraph, the nth-of-type(2) rule will apply, as this rule only looks for the <p> elements, and doesn’t care about other types of elements (such as unordered lists) inside the parent element.

In our example, the nth-of-type(2) rule will style the second paragraph which is Child 3.

<!-- Case 1 --> <div> <p>Paragraph 1, Child 1</p> <ul>Unordered List 1, Child 2</ul> <p>Paragraph 2, Child 3</p> </div> Case 2

In the second case, we move the unordered list to the third place, and the second paragraph will come before it. This means that both the :nth-child(2) and the :nth-of-type(2) rules will be applied, as the second paragraph is also the second child of its parent <div> element.

<!-- Case 2 --> <div> <p>Paragraph 1, Child 1</p> <p>Paragraph 2, Child 2</p> <ul>Unordered List 1, Child 3</ul> </div>

If you want to read more on the differences between the :nth-of-child and :nth-of-type pseudo-classes, CSS Tricks has a great post on it. If you use SASS, the Family.scss can help you create complicated nth-child‘ified elements.

Pseudo-Classes vs Pseudo-Elements

When we speak about pseudo-classes, it’s also important to understand how they differ from pseudo-elements, in order not to mix them up.

Pseudo-elements, such as ::before and ::after (see this tutorial on how to use them) are also added by user agents, and they can be targeted and styled with CSS as well, just like pseudo-classes.

But while we use pseudo-classes to select HTML elements that exist in the document tree just not marked separately, pseudo-elements allow us to target elements that don’t normally exist in the DOM, either at all (eg ::before and ::after) or only as certain parts of existing elements (eg ::first-letter or ::placeholder).

There’s also a difference in syntax. Pseudo-elements are generally identified with double colons ::, whereas pseudo-classes are identified with a single colon :.

This can lead to a case of confusion as in CSS2, pseudo-elements were marked with a single colon as well – browsers still accept the single colon syntax for pseudo-elements.

There are also differences between pseudo-classes and pseudo-elements in the way we can target them with CSS.

1. Their Place in the CSS Selector Sequence

Pseudo-elements can only appear after the sequence of selectors, whereas pseudo-classes can be placed anywhere in the CSS selector sequence.

For example, you can target the last list item of a list element like <ul> in two ways.

<ul> <li class="red"></li> <li></li> <li class="red"></li> <li class="red"></li> </ul> ul > :last-child.red { color: #B0171F; }

OR

ul > .red:last-child { color: #B0171F; }

The first sequence of the selector selects the last child inside the <ul> element (that has the class .red) and the second one selects the last child among elements that possess the .red class inside <ul>. As you can see, the position of the pseudo-class is changeable.

Let’s try to do something similar with pseudo-elements.

ul > .red::after { display: block; content: 'red'; color: #B0171F; }

The CSS code above is valid, and the text "red" will appear after the <li> items with the class .red.

This code on the other hand, won’t work, as we cannot change the position of a pseudo-element inside the selector sequence.

ul > ::after.red { display: block; content: 'red'; color: #B0171F; } 2. Number of Occurrences in a Selector Sequence

Also, only one pseudo-element can appear beside a selector, whereas pseudo-classes can be combined with each other if the combination makes sense. For instance, to target first child elements that are also read-only, we can create a combination of the pseudo-classes :first-child and :read-only in the following way:

:first-child:read-only { color:#EEEEEE; } jQuery Selector Extensions

A selector code with a : syntax doesn’t always constitute a proper CSS pseudo-class. If you have ever used jQuery, then you might have used many of its selectors with : syntax, for example $(':checkbox'), $(':input') and $(':selected').

It’s important to know that these are not CSS pseudo-classes that are being targeted by jQuery. They are called jQuery selector extensions.

jQuery selector extensions lets you target HTML elements with simpler keywords. Most of them are combinations of multiple normal CSS selectors, which are represented with a single keyword.

/* Change the font of all input-related HTML elements, like button, select, and input */ $( ":input" ).css("font-family","courier new")

20 Yummy Hamburger Menu Animations

hongkiat.com - ma, 20/06/2016 - 17:01

A hamburger menu primarily triggers a sliding drawer navigation which contains links to pages all over the website. Sliding drawer navigation menus are great for responsive design but they can also be tricky to implement. If you’re looking for new ways to animate those three lines into a neat X (which indicate close), check out this showcase of fantastic CSS hamburger menu animations.

Hamburger Menu (with Cheese) by Michael Smart

CSS Animated Hamburger Icon by Brydave

Ultimate Hamburger Menu by CharlesSmart

Atomic Menu by Alex Coven

Star Wars Icon by Rıza Selçuk Saydam

Menu Toggle by Tamino Martinius

Animated Burger/Menu Icon by Nicholas M. Smith

Drawn Hamburger Transition by Jesse Couch

Material Design by Arjan Jassal

Frosty by Graham Wilsdon

CSS Gooey Menu (v4) by Lucas Bebber

PFullscreen Navigation Menu by Brenden Palmer

Morphing Hamburger by Sergio

Animated Hamburger by Steven Fabre

Another Top Menu by BJack

Animated Hamburger Menu by Matthew Ladner

Open – Close by Vineeth.TR

CSS3 Only Hamburger by Dawid Krajewski

Jumping Hamburger by Jack Thomson

Hamburger Menu by j0be

Fintech: 7 Ways Finance Is Getting A Makeover with Tech

hongkiat.com - ma, 20/06/2016 - 15:01

Our finances are evolving, and the banking industry does not seem to be a huge part of that. Technology is making our financial services faster, cheaper, and more efficient, but it is mostly tech startups and fintech (financial technology) firms that pave the way for evolutions in finance.

Mobile payment apps are now common. We expect to conduct most financial transactions online, from making payment to completing money transfer, getting a loan or investing for our retirement. With every service available digitally, there is a big probability that one day we will turn physical bank branches redundant. It would be outdated to expect customers to physically set foot in a bank.

Let’s look at 7 ways the financial sector is getting a leg up from technology and how the industry is evolving right under our noses.

1. Digital Currency is not Going Anywhere

Most of us have heard of bitcoin and the blockchain. The digital currency suffered a huge crash following a bubble in 2013, but have proven to be much more resilient than expected. While the price has not yet recovered to its peak value, the long sideways trend in 2016 suggests that the 8-year old currency is not going away anytime soon.

However, rather than price, bitcoin transactions can show a better picture of its usage. From the below chart, we can see that the daily average bitcoin transactions have increased steadily.

While this does not conclusively prove that more people are using bitcoin – it could be that the same people are just making more transactions – it does imply a strong bitcoin payment infrastructure which encourages people to keep using this currency.

The strong infrastructure can be attractive to businesses, especially small-to-medium size business owners operating online. Payment via bitcoin is irreversible, which means customers are not able to give faulty checks (that will bounce) or unfairly dispute payments (in PayPal). On the business side, owners get to save between 2-4% in fees imposed by popular payment processors.

While bitcoin will have a long way to go before universal acceptance like fiat currencies, it seems to be getting there, fast.

2. Bitcoin as Peer-to-Peer Remittance

Bitcoin remittances are getting more and more popular, and with good reason. As compared to traditional remittance services, its fees are much more affordable and the funds transfer time ranges from instant to mere hours instead of days.

Bypassing remittance companies and banks completely, there are plenty of bitcoin remittance services that enable money transfer easily, benefitting millions of foreign workers and expat community everywhere.

3. Hybrid Global Financial Platforms

With the popularity of bitcoin as payment and remittance, there are now financial platforms that specifically support both crypto and fiat currencies. One such company is Wirex, which combines and simplifies both systems for its customers. All accounts are online, and can be opened and accessed without ever going to a branch.

Hybrid financial platforms have a global target audience, as bitcoin itself is global. Here we see the start of the trend where smaller startups can actually rival bigger banks in serving the global audience to provide all-in-one financial services – something that was out of their capacity just a mere few years ago.

4. Robo-Advisors

It is tempting to picture robo-advisors as robots sitting at desks, surrounded by piles of paper. However, robo-advisors are simply online systems that can help investors manage their finances, especially when it comes to investments. Basically, they are fund managers without the high commission rate.

Robo-advisors help to fill a big gap when it comes to easy and affordable access to financial advice. There are even specialised robo-advisors that are pre-programmed to cater to specific demographics, such as Ellevest for women investors. Millennials are definitely not sidelined for this one; you can find a few robo-advisors here.

5. Search Engines for Financial Information

Now it is easier than ever to look for the financial information of many global companies. Dubbed ‘the Google for financial services’, AlphaSense indexes "research documents, including company filings and transcripts, presentations, real-time news, press releases, Wall Street investment research, as well as clients’ internal content", according to its CEO Jack Kukko.

How does this impact our finances? Well, for one, Millennials greatly favor corporations that are socially responsible, and only support companies that align with their values. This means that it is now easier to call out corporations that fabricate or over-exaggerate its CSR claims, or boycott a product/service due to unethical spending performed by the company.

Secondly, it has significantly reduced the time that finance professionals need to conduct research, which should lead to price slashing in financial advice services.

6. Exchange-Traded Funds are Everywhere

A relatively new investment vehicle, Exchange-Traded Funds or ETFs has surged in popularity in the last few years. They are popular for many reasons: they are cheaper to manage and hold, easier than buying individual stocks, as diverse as mutual funds, and offer many thematic industries that are appealing to new investors.

For example, Purefunds offer ETFs that track the video game industry, drone economy, and mobile payments. Additionally, the popular online broker TD Ameritrade offer more than 100 commission-free ETFs, and DriveWealth‘s Passport offers non-Americans the chance to invest in US-based ETFs.

Of course, all of the above companies came with their own mobile apps, which makes investing in ETFs easier and so much more appealing to tech users.

7. Non-Bank, Peer-to-Peer Lending Marketplace

Traditional banks are no longer the only option to get loans. Individuals and small businesses can now get access to funding from individuals through P2P lending marketplace, where multiple lending platforms (here are a few) now exist to connect borrowers and lenders.

Like a typical loan contract, lenders will charge interest in exchange for funds. There are also peer-to-peer lending platform that specifically focus on loans via bitcoin, such as BTCJam and Loanbase.

Conclusion

This ‘Uber moment for financial industry‘ is not likely to stop anytime soon – there are newer concepts that is still in blueprint, or in the development phase.

For example, peer-to-peer contracts can be performed using Ethereum, a decentralized platform for applications that run exactly as programmed cutting out or reducing the possibility of fraud, censorship or third-party interference. With these qualities, these ‘smart contractscan be applied to even complex financial agreements, but they are currently beyond the capacity of a non-coder to use.

It is too soon to predict whether the above products and services will be enough to take over the existing traditional financial systems. However, one thing is clear: fintech will definitely force traditional banks to evolve, or see their profits eaten away.

Editor’s note: This is written for Hongkiat.com by Suraya Zainudin. Suraya specializes in personal finance, bitcoin, FinTech and nonprofits. She writes about how she spends, saves, earns and invests money in a personal blog. Follow her on Twitter.

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

hongkiat.com - vr, 17/06/2016 - 17:01

I read an article that quoted Dropbox CEO Jeff Houston listing his 5 favorite job interview questions. One of the questions was If you were able to sit yourself down 10 years ago, what advice would you give your younger self?

It would be unfair to expect an interviewee to be able to answer this on the spot. Not because it was hard. I tried it on myself and found a string of things I would have loved my younger self to have known. The list got longer and longer and I decided to turn it into a post.

Come to think of it, the younger me would probably refuse to listen to me spew advice on things that have not happened to myself/her yet (see #25) but I think this is an exercise that is worth doing for your own self development just to see how far you have come in 10 years.

  1. Time is one of your most valuable resources. You use time to make money, but the time will come when you will need to start using money to buy yourself time to do the things you want.
  2. Adults are hypocrites. They will tell you smoking is bad for you while puffing on their 5th cigarette of the day. The moment you realize they are hypocrites is when you can figure out for yourself what is good or bad for you.
  3. Older adults may carry opinions that are racist by nature, carry a tinge of bigotry or misogynistic elements. They grew up in different times with different societal narratives. If the things they say make you uncomfortable, it just means that the times have changed, for the better for you.
  4. The older people get, the "lazier" they become. It could be due to burning out from excessive work, it could be because they like to pull rank, and it could be because they are no longer fearful of being viewed as someone who is lazy.
  5. The overrated "Life is too short" quip is ridiculous. You have a lot of time to do a lot of things but only if you plan ahead, and plan properly.
  6. Being able to plan is symptomatic of adulthood. Some people who are adults (but only physically) cannot plan beyond what to have for breakfast. Practice planning for stuff as soon as possible.
  7. You will eventually be responsible for something: your children, your aging parents or grandparents, paying off your house or car, running a whole company, striving for a dream or your children’s dreams etc. Don’t freak out or worry, things will fall into place in due time.
  8. The difference between an adult and a child, is being responsible for their actions. As an adult, you need to clean up your own sh*t and possibly other people’s sh*t.
  9. Talent is overrated. If you don’t add hard work, grit, courage and patience into the mix, your talent is as useful as your appendix. Luck is the thing that really gives someone that edge for success. If you can read this, you are already considered lucky.
  10. Be it at work or in school, no matter what beef you have with someone, always give that someone a way out. A cornered dog with no way out will have no choice but to fight back, and that means biting you just to get away.
  11. Always give yourself a way out. And have the courage to take it.
  12. Practice moderation in whatever you do, be it in your food, the cups of coffee you take a day, the sort of car to buy for your first kid, down to the exercise regime you subscribe to.
  13. In every company there will be a person who can get things done faster than the CEO. Sometimes asking them for help will make things move faster than the point of contact you were given.
  14. If the world seems chaotic and out-of-control, then do your part to right the wrongs – hold the elevator door, give up your seat in the tube, be patient when a parent is struggling with his or her kids, tip your cabbie or waiter – or quit complaining. Be part of the solution.
  15. Don’t be afraid of having an opinion, even though you are in the minority. Just because someone is loud and obnoxious, doesn’t mean he or she is right.
  16. Don’t worry too much about missing the mark. Very few professions require you to be an ultra-perfectionist. Most of the time, what you worry about won’t matter one or two weeks down the road.
  17. Don’t disrespect other people’s time by being late to a meet-up, causing a whole flight to be delayed because your tardiness, cancelling on a date last-minute, preparing poorly for a presentation, not honoring deadlines etc.
  18. Adults use weird notions they pass off as reasons for doing ill-advised things, all the time. Just because they are older, doesn’t mean they have it all figured out.
  19. No matter the profession, some adults have no idea what they are doing. So if you are in this category, know that you are in good company.
  20. After you leave an employer stay in touch with people in the company. This allows you to keep your options open and who knows, you might and could go back some day, but to a position that is higher up the ranks.
  21. There are two sides to every story. Real life is not a story book: no real person is 100% good or 100% bad. A stepmother could be kind while a biological mother could be the spawn of Satan.
  22. If an issue is important to you, you shouldn’t let your knowledge of the issue be at headline level. Know everything about the issue, inside out, top to bottom, from skin to bone. The more you know, the easier it is to understand why things will stay the same.
  23. If you are not good with your finances, you have to start. The sooner the better. Read books, listen to lectures, read finance blogs, magazines or newspapers. No one can better handle your money than you yourself can. No one should.
  24. The awkward side of life dictates that people you love could hate something or someone with an ugly vengeance. I personally think that hate drives someone just as much as love does. The only difference is no one writes about hate being a source of motivation.
  25. All forms of advice should be taken with a grain of salt (including what you read here). Different circumstances require different types of advice. There is no one size fits all answer. Don’t take advice that has been given to you before the giver understands your situation completely.
  26. Too many people let one or two incident in their lives in the past, determine how their life can continue in the future. Understand where they are coming from.
  27. If you can avoid an argument, avoid it. Opt to resolve issues instead, in a calm and collected manner. Remember though that some people may need a slap on the face with a steel chair.
  28. When spending time with children, be at your best behavior. Doesn’t matter whose kid it is. Every kid you meet today will be an adult one day aka a part of the society you will be growing old in. Don’t want youngsters then to be an ass? Don’t be an ass today.
  29. You don’t have to solve other people’s problems for them. Some people are "happy"being "miserable". Others do stupid things out of love. They might not need the help you think they need. In all cases, ask before you offer help.
  30. When children need help, step in. So long as they come to no harm, everything will be fine. When adults need help, call the authorities.
  31. Stop offering to do menial tasks just to prove yourself as a trustworthy employee. Lest you want to stay an employee forever, then by all means, do it.
  32. Marry someone who has your back, not someone who wants to hog the wheel and will never let you drive.
  33. Some people need a little push. Others need a lot of mothering just to get simple stuff done. Still others need you to turn into a drill sergeant. Everyone responds to their own version of "motivation".
  34. Read good books. Watch good movies and documentaries. Listen to good podcasts. Always aim to learn something new and fascinating every day. Life would otherwise be a bore. And we can’t have that.
  35. Older people will tell you not to rush things, younger people will tell you not to procrastinate. I say, it depends on the situation. Procrastination when you are not sure is sometimes better than rushing into it because of external, less important factors.
  36. Learn about all religions to understand how and why certain followers think and behave the way they do.
  37. Romance stories give us a single definition for happiness. Truth is, even after finding "the one" you still need to find happiness in the other aspects in your life. Life is an adventure, not a single line that rhymes with "and they live happily every after".
  38. Choose to sound smart, rather than sound stupid.
  39. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Pffft, look at me falling back on a cliche. I meant, pain makes you stronger. In the process of getting rid of the pain, you learn to treat yourself better, make better health choices or stop doing stuff that is bad for you.
  40. The best thing about us will be the one thing we devote the most time and effort in. It could be playing an instrument, your children, your art, your company, your personal well-being, your love of dance or cooking, or your blog. Keep at it.
  41. The more people try to conform to a trend on the hottest thing this season, the more the world needs people who are comfortable in their own skin. The latter may become the trendsetter for the former, if you think about it.
  42. Invest in what you will spend a lot of time in. If you sleep 8 hours a day, invest in a good bed. If you love cooking, make sure your kitchen is top-notch. If you have to drive a lot, invest in a good car or at least comfortable seating for long drives.
  43. It’s okay to make mistakes as long as (1) we make up for what damage the mistake caused, (2) we recover from that mistake and (3) we learn from it. If you want to beat yourself up because of it, it’s not necessary but feel free to do so if it will make you achieve the above 3 things.
  44. The idea that we can and should have it all is pure bull. If you are at the peak of your career or business, have a loving spouse and beautiful family, and the essentials that makes life comfortable, you already have enough. Stop being miserable or depressed because your life isn’t magazine-perfect. It rarely is.
  45. Many people think that just because they are right, they have the right to be loud and brash. To these people, the best retort would be, "You’re not wrong, you’re just an assh*le".

If you have great advice you’ve heard from someone else, or advice that you have used to help you make life decisions, do share with us your words of wisdom.

59 Vivaldi Keyboard Shortcuts to Get Around like a Pro

hongkiat.com - vr, 17/06/2016 - 15:01

Vivaldi Browser provides lots of keyboard shortcuts to save time and do things quickly by just pressing some combination of keys. In this post, we’re showcasing the full list of Vivaldi’s shortcuts for improving speed & productivity and getting around the unique browser like a pro.

Please note that in our tests, we found some of these keyboard shortcuts don’t work in the Vivaldi browser, possibly due to some technical glitch. Also, it’s good to remember that some of the shortcuts are not set on Mac OS X by default, so we’ve omitted those.

Window Management Shortcut (Win) Shortcut (Mac) Description Ctrl + N Command + N Opens New Window Ctrl + Shift + N Command + Shift + N Opens New Private Window Ctrl + F11 Command + F11 Toggle UI
Hides or displays the user interface of the browser. F4 Command + Option + P Toggle Panel
Hides or reveals the side panel on the left. F6 Command + Option + B Toggle Bookmarks Panel
Shows or hides the bookmark panel on the left. F7 F7 Focus Panel
Focuses on the left panel of the browser. F8 or Ctrl + L Command + L Focus Address Bar
Focuses and takes the cursor to the address field of the browser. F9 f9 Focus Page
Focuses on the current page and its contents. F11 f11 Toggle Full Screen
Toggles the browser to and from fullscreen mode. Alt + F7 Command + Option + ↓ Open Next Panel
Opens the next option from the left side panel. Alt + Shift + F7 Command + Option + ↑ Open Previous Panel
Opens the previous option from the left side panel. Ctrl + Shift + D Command + Option + L Opens Downloads Panel Ctrl + Shift + B Command + Option + B Bookmarks Bar
Displays the bookmarks bar below the navigation bar. Ctrl + Shift + S Command + / Toggle Status Bar
Hides and displays the status bar at the bottom. Ctrl + Shift + O Command + Option + N Open the notes panel in the left side panel. Ctrl + Shift + M Command + Option + M Opens the mail panel. Ctrl + Shift + C Command + Option + C Opens Contacts Panel. Ctrl + M   Toggle Menu
Displays or hides the horizontal browser menu at the top. Ctrl + O Command + O Open File
Open any compatible file from your computer. Tab Management Shortcut (Win) Shortcut (Mac) Description Ctrl + T Command + T New Tab Ctrl + Shift + V Command + Option + V Paste and Go
Lets you paste an URL and load the same with a single command. Ctrl + W/F4 Command + W Close Tab Ctrl + Z or
Ctrl + Shift + T Command + Z or
Command + Shift + T Reopen Closed Tab Ctrl + R or
F5 Command + R Refresh
Reloads or refreshes the current page in the current tab. Ctrl + F5 or
Ctrl + Shift + R Command + F5 or
Command + Shift + R Forceful Refresh
Forcibly reloads or hard refreshes the existing page in the current tab. Ctrl + F9 Command + F9 Tile Tab Stack Vertically
Vertically tiles and organizes the tabs. Ctrl + F8 Command + F8 Tile Tab Stack Horizontally
Horizontally tiles and organizes the tabs. Ctrl + F7 Command + F7 Tile Tab Stack to Grid
Organizes and tiles the tab stack in a grid view. Ctrl + F6 Command + F6 Un-tile Tab Stack
Releases or removes the tab from tile view. Ctrl + 1 Command + 1 Switch to Tab 1. Ctrl + # Command + # Switch to Tab #.
Switches to the tab based on the number (#) position. Up to 9th tab. View Management Shortcut (Win) Shortcut (Mac) Description Alt + Home Command + Shift + H Home
Opens the set home page in the current tab. F2 Command + E Quick Commands
Opens a popup box for quick access to commands, tabs and more. Ctrl + Z Command + Z Undo
a typed or pasted content in the current page. Ctrl + K/E Command + K Focus Search
Takes your cursor to the search bar for inputting a search query. .   Quick Shortcuts
Displays the quick shortcuts and bookmarks by pressing the full stop key in location bar Ctrl + + Command + + Zoom in Ctrl + – Command + – Zoom out Ctrl + 0/* Command + 0 Zoom Reset
Resets the zoom to the actual content size or zoom ratio (100%). Ctrl + U Command + U View Page Source Alt + ← Command + ← History Backward
Goes back to the previous page you have opened. Alt + → Command + → History Forward
Moves to the latter page you may have opened. Esc Command + . Stop loading page Shift + ← / ↑ / ↓ / → Shift + ← / ↑ / ↓ / → Spatial Navigation
Navigates between links or clickable buttons inthe direction of the arrow Browser Management Shortcut (Win) Shortcut (Mac) Description Alt + P Command + , Opens Vivaldi Settings Windows. Ctrl + F1 Command + F1 Keyboard Shortcuts
Gives you a complete cheat sheet of the Vivaldi’s keyboard shortcuts. F1 Command + Shift + ? Help Center
Accesses Vivaldi’s help and support page in a new tab for quick assistance. Ctrl + Shift + E Command + Ctrl + E Manage Extensions
Opens the Vivaldi’s extension manager to let you manage, add extensions or delete them Ctrl + Shift + I/F12 Command + Shift + I Developer Tools
Opens the in-built developer tools of the Vivaldi browser Shift + Esc Shift + Esc Task Manager
Opens the Vivaldi’s task manager, allowing you to end tabs and processes Data Management Shortcut (Win) Shortcut (Mac) Description Ctrl + F Command + F Find
Lets you find any keyword/phrase in the current page’s content. F3 or Ctrl + G Command + G Find Next
Lets you find next entry in the page content per the search keyword/phrase. Shift + F3 or
Ctrl + Shift + G Command + F3 or
Command + Shift + R Find Previous
Lets you find previous entry in the page content per the search query. Ctrl + P Command + P Prints the current page from an associated printer Ctrl + S Command + S Save Page Ctrl + D Command + D Create Bookmark Ctrl + B Command + B Opens the bookmarks page Ctrl + H Command + Y Opens the history page Ctrl + Shift + Del Command + Shift + Del Clear Browsing Data

10 Best CSS Code Generators for Web Developers

hongkiat.com - do, 16/06/2016 - 17:01

Web developers are always looking for shortcuts to save time in their routine. Many great dev tools ease the process, and it’s now easier than ever to jump in and get a finished product quickly. With the rise of browser-based IDEs it seems web development is becoming less fixed to the desktop. You can write code from any computer, and even test the result live in your browser.

Free online code generators will help you iterate and build onto your code quickly. Once you know what code you need to generate, it’s just a matter of finding the right tool for the job. These are my 10 favorite tools for generating CSS, and they’re all completely free to use.

1. WAIT! Animate

It has never been easy to create custom repeating pauses between CSS animations. But with WAIT! Animate you can generate the right code to get this little hack to function properly. This is a newer web app that I was recently introduced to by its creator, Will Stone.

Everyone knows about CSS transitions and the animation-delay property. However this property only delays the animation one time at the very beginning.

With WAIT! Animate you can repeat animations indefinitely with a custom pause between each repetition. It’s truly a unique CSS code generator, and it offers a viable way to build animated effects without writing code from scratch.

2. CSS3 Generator

CSS3 Generator is a more traditional example of code snippets you might need in everyday situations. The CSS3 Generator web app has over 10 different code generators including for CSS columns, box shadows, and even the newer flexbox property.

Unfortunately the entire web app is dynamic and runs on a single page, so there are no permalinks to individual generators. But it’s super easy to use, and it runs great in every major browser.

On the homepage, you just select which generator you want to use, tweak some variables, and copy your code. You get all the best code generation techniques in one location.

3. ColorZilla Gradients

Custom CSS gradients are always a pain. There are methods to build your own gradient mixins in Sass, which works fine. But if you’re not using Sass, or just need a simple visual editor, then I recommend ColorZilla’s Gradient Editor.

It’s completely free and has a visual editor like Photoshop to generate the gradient codes. You can move sliders around a gradient box to change color positions and generate CSS code. It’s possible to add and remove colors into the gradient and change the direction too.

4. CSS Type Set

Ever wanted to demo some typographic styles to see how they look? CSS Type Set is the site to use. You enter some text, and update the settings for font family, font size, color, letter spacing, and other similar variables.

Everything is displayed in real time, so you can see how text would actually look on a web page. The only downside is the limitation of font choices. It’d be really cool if you could test Google Web Fonts, too. For that, you can use Webfont Tester, but it doesn’t have any CSS output.

5. Enjoy CSS

The Enjoy CSS web app is like a code generator and a visual editor rolled into one. You create page elements like buttons and input fields while applying custom CSS3 properties to them. It’s easy to build almost anything you can imagine with all the popular CSS properties including transitions and transforms.

You can even test Adobe fonts with different text effects to see how they look in the browser. But the best feature is the Enjoy CSS gallery which has free code snippets and pre-defined templates for buttons, inputs, and other similar items.

6. Flexy Boxes

If you’re struggling to understand the basics of flexbox, then you might try using Flexy Boxes. It covers the differences between each version of flexbox, and how the rendering engines interpret the syntax.

Because flexbox is still so new there aren’t as many websites utilizing these features. But once you understand how they work, you’ll have a much easier time building projects and paving the way for future adoption of CSS flexbox layouts.

7. CSSmatic

CSSmatic is another multi-generator website with four individual sections: box shadows, border radii, noise textures and CSS gradients. This site has fewer options than the CSS3 Generator web app, but it also has individual page URLs for tools like the gradient generator. This makes it a lot easier to bookmark what you need and skip the rest.

CSSmatic is one of the few sites that also includes a noise generator. Everything is generated locally, you can copy the thumbnail of the generated background from Thumbr, and repeat it in CSS by using the background-repeat and background-image properties.

8. Base64 CSS

Frontend devs are opting towards base64 code rather than traditional images for ease-of-use and less file storage. Base64 CSS is a free code generator that outputs raw base64 image code with optional snippets for CSS background images.

You just upload a file from your computer, and let the site do everything else. It’s a terrific strategy to increase site speed, and reduce the number of cached elements on a page.

9. Patternify

If you don’t like using your own background images, then why not create one? Patternify is a free CSS pattern generator with a complete visual editor. Everything is managed from your web browser, so all you need is an Internet connection.

The pattern design interface is somewhat limited, because it’s a pixel-by-pixel generator. So if you want a noise pattern, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. But Patternify will automatically output an image URL, and give you the base64 code to copy/paste into your CSS.

10. CSS Button Generator

I’ve saved the best for last with this free CSS button generator. You have access to a growing library of custom buttons and the CSS code used to build them. You can either copy preexisting buttons, modify them as a template, or even create your own buttons from scratch. The visual editor is superb with many custom CSS properties to choose from.

Final Words

These free tools are the best-of-the-best when it comes to code generation. Other resources like Sass mixins can help with this job, but web apps are available from any computer with Internet access, so these tools are much more versatile for a quick practice project.

Be sure to bookmark your favorites, and if you know any other cool CSS generators feel free to share in the comments below.

Newsletter Signup Forms that Rock – Inspirations, Templates & Tools

hongkiat.com - do, 16/06/2016 - 15:01

A strongly designed newsletter subscription form can help you to dramatically grow your subscribers list, and as a result grow your sales. The email newsletter is a powerful tool for you to communicate with your visitors and clients. So, taking into account the competition, how can you encourage your visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter?

By using an awesome signup form! With a great design of the subscription box, a smart concept and call-to-action you can create a signup form that will convert a lot of subscribers.

To help you with this task, we have collected amazing signup forms for inspiration, free Sketch and PSD signup forms to download and customize, and as a bonus, WordPress plugins and tools to easily integrate a signup form to your website.

Newsletter Signup Forms [Showcase] Newsletter Signup Forms [Freebies]

Format: Sketch [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: Sketch [Download]

Format: PSD, HTML [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

Format: PSD [Download]

8 Newsletter Signup Forms Tools and Plugins

Newsletter Plugin – A popular WordPress plugin with over 200,000 active installs, it helps you store your subscribers emails locally, and them import them into mailing provider of your choice.

Email Subscribers Plugin – This one adds a nice subscription form to your site to collect emails, lets you schedule emails, add subscribe or unsubscribe links and more. So far, 50,000 installs.

Easy Sign Up Plugin – This plugin generates a form for you, and directs users to another link, be it a thank you page, affiliate page or download page. It also sends your users and you notification emails, but since it won’t store user information in its database, you will need to import the details into your mailing list.

Subscribe2 Plugin – This plugin provides subscription management and email notification for WordPress sites. Its signup form with intelligent pop-up functionality can be configured so the popup appears at a point that maximizes user engagement.

ALO EasyMail Newsletter Plugin – An all in one mailing solution that allows you to collect and send emails in one place. It can show you report stats of your newsletter open rate, links click, and is free. However, if you have a large mailing list, this plugin can use up a lot of server resource.

Bloom Email Opt-In Plugin – A premium email opt-in plugin, Bloom gets you detailed stats on your top-converting pages, tons of design options and triggers to control when to show your opt-in form. You can also choose where to display your email subscription form; the form is also is responsive and Retina-ready.

OptinMonster – Among the most popular out there, this plugin has the smart subscribers recognition that prevent your opt-in from showing up to those who have already subscribed. It also has MonsterLinks which basically allows users to click a link to see an opt-in form popup.

Content Upgrades – This plugin integrates with most popular mailing providers and lets you create unique double opt-in content upgrades for blog posts. Add custom subscription forms to any page, or the offer to subscribe, or a custom email for each content upgrade box. Premium and free version available.

5 Best 360° Cameras for Making Virtual Reality Videos

hongkiat.com - wo, 15/06/2016 - 17:01

One of the futuristic things that’s getting insanely popular all over the world, are the Virtual Reality (VR) videos. In case you’ve been living under a rock, a VR video is a kind of video that gives you a first-person visual experience giving you the impression that you are actually there at the scene.

It also gives you a 360° sense of depth allowing you to look around in every direction you choose to look at. As a VR video is not the same as a conventional video, the guidelines for capturing a video, movement and placement of cameras are also different.

In this post, we’re going to look at how you can best capture a a VR video and some of the best cameras to help you create your first 360° video.

Capturing a VR Video

Here are some things worth noting when making a VR video for both seasoned videographers and beginners alike.

1. Field of View

A VR video is filmed with a 360° camera, meaning that there is no "behind the camera" situation and the whole environment around the camera is its field of view. On one hand this unique field of view allows you to be creative; on the other hand this kind of camera setting leaves no room for being careless with the clutter.

Make sure to either clear everything around the camera before filming or let the thing that has to be there blend in naturally with the environment.

2. Where to Place the Camera

Placement of the camera for your VR video filming depends highly upon your storyline, i.e. where do you want the viewer to be?

The camera can be placed on the side of the activity if you want your viewer to be a spectator, and it can be placed in the center of the activity, if you want the viewer as a participant.

Also, as VR videos are usually made to give an eye-level visual experience, remember to place the camera around 6 feet high i.e. the average human height. You will also need to make sure the viewer has something interesting to look at in every direction.

3. How to Move the Camera

In order to give the viewer a sense of being in the scene virtually, a 360° camera needs to be moved 360° i.e. all directions possible. The camera movement should be smooth and drifty.

However, you need to keep in mind that whichever device (drone, track or person) you use to move the camera, it will eventually turn up in the video too.

Although there are ways to remove such small objects from the final video, I would suggest to keep it that way for beginners.

VR Video Equipment

On top of the tips shared above, one thing you can’t overlook is getting the right equipment to do the job. Fortunately, there are some really cool cameras available in the market.

In the following, I will give you short, comprehensive reviews of a few of the best and totally exciting 360° cameras you can consider for your next VR video project.

1. Nokia OZO

This highly futuristic-looking spherical video camera is one of the finest in capturing and filming immersive professional videos. Nokia OZO features eight video sensors that capture 45 minutes of 360° footage at 30 frames per second, synchronized with eight microphones for recording 360 x 360 surround sound.

OZO also comes with the feature of displaying all camera views at the same time with real-time monitoring and wireless control software, as well as precise sensor adjustments on the fly.

Its steep price tag limits this to equipment for corporate or professional use and it also has an array of accessories that help add to the video-making experience. Take a tour of the website to know more.

2. Freedom360° GoPro Mount

For those who are into first-person view videos, no other camera captures the spur of the moment excitement than GoPro. With the right equipment, you can also use GoPro to produce 360° videos. i.e. using the Freedom360° GoPro Mount.

With this mount you can use six GoPro cameras to record six videos at a time that can later be stitched into a complete 360° VR video. You can hold the mount in any direction and capture everything around, without obstructions.

However, when you are talking about six GoPro cams and one professional mount, a fat price tag is unavoidable. You can find out more about the accessories available at the site.

3. Ricoh Theta

Compact, affordable and high quality, Ricoh Theta is the best camera for capturing personal and professional 360° photos and VR videos. It comes with 25 minutes of full HD recording at 30 frames per second and can be easily carried to any location. It’s built to work with iPhones and Android phones.

With Ricoh Theta you can transfer the footage to your mobile or share it to your social networks via Wi-Fi. Although it is quite suitable for professional YouTube videos, the best use of this camera is for capturing your personal memories in the most exciting way. It can take up to 25 minutes of HD video footage or 260 photos.

To see what this camera can do, check out the gallery for the 360° degree videos and photos it can take.

4. Giroptic 360cam

Giroptic is a feature-filled egg-shaped VR video camera that does complete 30 minutes of 360° capturing. It comes with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, and several different capturing modes each of which produces cool high quality photos and videos.

I personally like two of its features. One, the light bulb adapter that allows you to hang the camera to the ceiling, which allows it to double as a surveillance or monitoring camera feed. Second, you don’t need a particular software to edit or convert the footage.

Capture the scenes through Giroptic and play them on any device. Giroptic works with iOS, Android and Windows Phones.

5. V.360

Hardwired for adventure, V.360 is more of a sports action camera that captures your best action-filled moments. It has the ability to photograph and film 360° scenes for an awesome VR video.

Features like GPS, Barometer, Altimeter and Accelerometer along with being dust, shock and water proof makes it truly and adventure cam. V.360 captures in adjustable resolutions, and Wi-Fi and USB connectivity lets you edit and watch your captured film from your computer.

It comes with a video converter software for both Mac and PC that converts the feed and make it uploadable to social network sites. To know more about this adventure-friendly camera, check out V.360 website.

Conclusion

We have seen many cool realistic computer-generated worlds, in animations and video games. However, making real life virtual reality videos with 360° viewing is the next big thing. People are already making insanely awesome personal and professional VR videos using different techniques and equipment.

For starters, check out Egypt VR to get a taste of what you can do with VR videos.

10 Awesome Vivaldi Browser Features You’ll Love

hongkiat.com - wo, 15/06/2016 - 15:01

Vivaldi is a uniquely fast, flexible and functional browser built on the top of Chromium project, bringing the best of Opera and Google Chrome browsers together in a single browser.

Vivaldi packs innovative features that are useful for both regular as well as power users, promising faster navigation, smarter browsing, extensive tab management, clever bookmarking and shortcuts, and a more visual approach to browsing. Vivaldi is available for Mac 10.9+, Windows 7+ and Linux (download here)

In this post, I want to show you 12 Vivaldi features that sets it apart from the other major browsers out there.

1. Quick Commands: Fast & Refined Control

Vivadi’s Quick Commands lets you search for nearly everything from bookmarks and browsing history to configuration settings and open tabs from the same place. It can be activated with the F2 key, which opens the dialog box at the top of the page.

Type your search query to find what you need. The keyboard shortcuts for various commands/tasks are also displayed alongside the search results.

2. Speed Dial: Visual Bookmarks for Smarter Browsing

Speed Dial is similar to a feature found in Opera but in Vivaldi, it is spruced up to help you access your favorite sites via visual bookmarks. You can create and name speed dial folders or groups based on site categories or your interests.

For example, you can group all your favorite news-based websites into a single folder named News, and do something similar for Social Networks and others.

3. Fast Forward and Rewind: Speedy Navigation

Vivaldi introduces the ‘Fast Forward’ and "Rewind" buttons for speedier navigation between pages. While ‘Back’ and ‘Forward’ takes you one page at a time, "Rewind" and "Fast Forward" lets you navigate in great strides. Fast Forward helps you navigate to the following page of the webpage you are on. Rewind takes you back to the first page you visited on a particular website or domain.

4. Notes: Save your Thoughts

Notes, in Vivaldi, lets you make notes to save your ideas or thoughts. These notes can contain text content, screenshots of webpages, attached files and even link to a specific website.

With Vivaldi Notes, you no longer require a third-party note-taking app. The easiest method to create notes is by selecting any content on a web page, right-click to view pop-up menu, and select Add Selection as New Note.

Another method to create notes is to click on the Notes icon in the side panel and click the + button. All saved notes can be accessed from the side panel. Only the Edge browser carries a similar Notes tool.

5. Web Panels: Concurrent Web Pages Side-by-Side

Web Panels in Vivaldi allows users to dock a web page in a panel on either sides of the main window. It works much like the main browser window and in this space, you can follow a developing news story, check your social media and chat with people.

To launch a website in a web panel:

  • Right-click in a web page and select Add Page to Web Panel, or
  • Click the + sign on the left panel and enter the website’s URL.

On doing this, the web page is displayed in the panel. Its size can be adjusted as per your requirements. In this example, a Twitter page has been added to the web panel allowing the user to view the tweets on his/her timeline while browsing continues.

6. Sessions: Manage Sessions Manually

Vivaldi allows users to save a string of opened tabs as a Session, which can be named an opened in the future. To save a session, you need to go to the File > Save Open Tabs as Session.

You can also name the session so you can easily remember and organize multiple sessions. To open a saved session, go to File > Open Saved Session… and choose the session’s name from the dialog.

Although in Chrome and Firefox, users can save sessions automatically upon exiting the browser, it only reopens those that were available at the point the browser was closed.

7. Visual Tabs: Preview Tab Contents

Vivaldi’s Visual Tabs gives you a glance of the open tabs when you hover over the tab. A small windowed preview will appear and show you a sneak peek of each tab’s content.

This will prove useful when one has too many tabs opened. To preview a single tab, simply hover over any tab to have a glance.

You can also get a direct preview of all the opened tabs, without hovering. Just click on the line between the tabs and the address bar, then drag downwards to reveal mini-windows of each tab. You will get a preview of all the tabs opened.

To activate the Visual Tabs feature, if it is not already enabled in Vivaldi, open the Settings, select Tabs in the left panel and under Tab Display, check Show Popup Thumbnails and Show Tab Thumbnails.

8. Tab Stacks: Declutter your Session

If you are a user who prefers to see a fewer tabs on the tab bar, Vivali also lets you stack the tabs you want to open. The feature called Tab Stacks works just like the Windows Taskbar’s ‘combine buttons’ feature. To stack tabs, drag one tab over another. If the other tab shows a small divider line at the top, it means the tabs are now stacked.

To access the tabs in the stack, just hover your mouse over the stacked tabs and it will display the thumbnail previews of all the stacked tabs. Click the tab you need.

9. Tab Tiling: Convenient Tab Viewing

Tab Tiling in Vivaldi lets you view two or more pages simultaneously. You can conveniently display selected stacked tabs or single tabs side-by-side or in a grid layout. The selected web pages are, by default, displayed side by side.

In the Vivaldi window’s status bar, there is a ‘Page tiling’ button near the zoom indicator. This button can be used to choose and change the tiling patterns. A tab stack can be tiled by right-clicking on the tab stack and selecting Tile Tab Stack from the context menu.

10. Trash Can: Quickly Restore Pages

Trash Can in Vivaldi is a tab management feature that helps you restore closed tabs or blocked pop-ups quickly. Accidentally closed tabs that you didn’t meant to? Just click on the Trash Can icon in the tab bar and select the closed tab from the context menu to reopen it.

It is a faster option, compared to those found in other major browsers. You can press Ctrl + Shift + T to reopen closed tabs but they are reopened based on the order of succession they were closed.

11. Nickname Bookmarks: Faster Bookmarks Access

In Vivaldi, each bookmark can be assigned a nickname for faster access. This nickname can be typed directly into the address bar to quickly load the associated web page. It is something like typing fb for Facebook, rather than typing the whole thing, but applicable to pretty much any other website you are would like to bookmark.

12. Adaptive Interface: Configure the UI Elements

Vivaldi browser’s interface can be adapted and customized per your needs or choice. You can modify the interface by changing

  • The tab bar’s position (top, left side, right side or bottom) from Settings > Tabs
  • The panel’s position (left or right side) from Settings > Panel
  • Address bar’s position (top or bottom) from Settings > Address Bar
  • Bookmarks position (top or bottom) from Settings > Bookmarks

Another interesting feature of Vivaldi is that its color scheme will adapt to that of the website you are currently browsing.

For example, if you are browsing Facebook, then Vivaldi’s tab and controls will turn blue.

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