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    10 Easy-to-Use Tools for Creating Animated Images and Videos

    By Ann Smarty

    animated-images-and-videos.png

    Even if you're already on the visual content bandwagon, it can be a struggle to actually start creating it -- especially when you're trying to communicate complex, detailed, and abstract topics. 

    So what's a marketer to do? 

    One option that often gets overlooked is animated images or videos. They're great because they explain a point in the matter of seconds. They also grab attention and help convert viewers into readers and buyers.

    An animated image or video may sound like something difficult to create, but in reality, you don't even need huge budgets to ... Read More

    Making Changes to Your Website? Draw Inspiration From These 13 Web Designs

    By Dan Slagen

    When you're planning to make changes to your website, it helps to poke around other companies' websites to see what they're up to. How have they structured their navigations? Do they still use hero images? How many CTAs do they have? What do their mobile websites look like?

    While you're certainly not trying to copy features exactly, seeing what others are doing can help you figure out what's new in the fast-paced world of design and inspire new ideas for your own site.  

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    20 Great Examples of PowerPoint Presentation Design

    By Carly Stec

    We can all agree that, in most cases, there's more than one way of doing something.

    For example, some people default to the "loop, swoop, and pull" method when they tie their shoes, while others swear by the "bunny ears" technique. Either way you swing it, your shoes get tied, right?

    Trouble is, in some areas of life, different approaches don't always return the same results.

    Read More
    8 Years, 4 Major Trends: The Evolution of Websites From 2007 to Now

    By Éadaoin Murphy

    A lot can happen in eight years.

    Think about what happened in 2007, for instance. That year, Apple launched the very first iPhone, J.K. Rowling published the final book in the Harry Potter series, and HBO's The Sopranos aired the controversial final episode.

    Now, Apple's about to release the iPhone 6S, filming has begun for the movie version of the Harry Potter's spin-off book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Game of Thrones has displaced The Sopranos as the most popular HBO show of all time.

    Read More
    Don't Kiss 5% of Your Organic Traffic Goodbye: New Data on Why You Should Optimize Your Website for Mobile

    By Jeffrey Vocell

    This past spring, the web was abuzz as Google released the much-feared algorithm update that severely punished websites that were not optimized for mobile. Marketers were anxious. Fear mongering abounded. But now that “Mobilegeddon” is actually upon us, some are saying that the reports of doom and destruction have been greatly exaggerated.

    Many marketers have asked the HubSpot team just how worried they should be, so we sifted through the post-apocalyptic dust to review the damage for ourselves.

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    15 Award-Winning Websites With Beautiful (And Functional) Designs

    By Austin Knight

    Every once in a while, I'll come across a site that really makes me stop and think. A site that pushes the boundaries of what is known to be possible on the web. Whether it be the design aesthetic, usability, interactivity, sound design, or value that the site provides, we all know what it's like to stumble across a masterpiece.

    Unsurprisingly, many organizations exist to highlight these sites and the contributions they make to the web.

    Read More
    Color Theory 101: How to Choose the Right Colors for Your Designs

    By Bethany Cartwright

    When you're sifting through your News Feed, what tends to catch your attention? More likely than not, it's YouTube videos, pictures, animated GIFs, and other visual content, right?

    This isn't to say text-based content isn't important. After all, you're reading this post right now.

    But what this does mean is that creating visuals such as infographics, charts, graphs, animated GIFs, and other shareable images will do wonders for catching your readers' attention and enhancing your text-based content. 

    Read More
    Is Your Website's Viewport Configured for Mobile Users? Here's How to Do It

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    You're out with friends, laughing, having a grand old time -- when someone asks the group a total brainteaser: "Why don't 'B' batteries exist?"

    You're stumped. Your friends are stumped. You whip out your smartphone and type the question into the Google machine. And boom: Up pops a battery company's blog post on the nationally uniform specifications for the size of battery cells. It's exactly what you were looking for, you nerd.

    Read More
    Pitching the Perfect Image: A Look at Top Publishers' Image Sizes

    By Andrea Lehr

    There’s no denying the power of visuals -- including at least one image in your post can double your shares while also helping your audience retain more information than with text alone.

    This is especially true in the PR and media world. When pitching a story, many more PR pros are including images and infographics in the hope of getting a hit. 

    Though there are many things to consider when designing an image for a campaign, one crucial thing often falls by the wayside: optimizing the image for the width of the site you're pitching.

    Read More
    8 Creative Ways to Enhance Your Content Marketing With Visuals

    By Pamela Vaughan

    On the web, there are few things more discouraging than a big block of text. That's because humans are visual creatures -- we tend to gravitate toward content that is pleasing to the eye, and we're especially drawn to visuals that capture (and keep) our attention. 

    It's no wonder that 70% of marketers planned to increase their use of visuals in their content marketing this year. Sometimes visuals are just a more effective and creative way to present information, data, or difficult-to-understand concepts. After all, they don't say "a picture is worth a thousand words" for nothing. 

    Read More
    12 About Us Page Examples That Are Probably Better Than Yours

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    When you’re building a website, it’s tempting to get distracted by all the bells and whistles of the design process and forget all about creating compelling content. But having awesome content on your website is crucial to making inbound marketing work for your business.

    So how do you balance your remarkable content creation with your web design needs? Why, with your 'About Us' page, of course! For a remarkable about page, all you need to do is figure out your company's unique identity, and then share it with the world.

    Read More
    16 of the Best Examples of Mobile-Friendly Website Design

    By Dan Slagen

    Do you remember the last time you went to a mobile site and had an -- ahem -- unmoving experience? (Pun intended.) Maybe the site wasn't responsive. Or perhaps it was really difficult to find what you were looking for. Or, maybe it just loaded really slowly.

    Whatever it was, you may have left to go to another site as a result. Google knows that unhappy website visitors will go elsewhere, thereby increasing bounce rates and decreasing the chances a site will rank on mobile searches.

    Read More
    The Best Infographics of 2015 (So Far)

    By Lindsay Kolowich

     

    Infographics that really stand out are far more than just a smattering of pictures and charts. They might tell an engaging story -- one built around compelling data, graphics, or illustrations. Or perhaps they serve as a really helpful visual resource.

    While great infographics come in a variety of forms, the common thread is that they're visually pleasing and designed in a way that makes complex topics easy to understand whether you're a novice in the subject or an expert.

    Read More
    The Free Templates You Need for Visual Content Design

    By Pamela Vaughan

    Visual content is in high demand. Just about every piece of content you create can be enhanced by some kind of visual element.

    And in social media, visuals pretty much make or break your presence. In fact, according to Buffer, tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets. And if you need any more evidence to convince you visuals are essential to your content marketing, just consider all these stats.

    Read More
    How to Easily Create a SlideShare Presentation [Free PowerPoint Templates]

    By Ginny Soskey

    Please raise your hand if you've ever felt personally victimized by PowerPoint.

    When you open it up, you're hit with stark black Calibri font on a white background, killing any creative spark you may have felt. It's daunting enough to creating a 10-slide deck to report your monthly marketing metrics -- never mind putting together a PowerPoint that could be seen by the more than 60 million unique visitors on SlideShare each month. 

    Read More
    20 Brilliant Twitter Cover Photo Examples From Real Brands

    By Carly Stec

    What do you think to yourself when you see someone's Twitter avatar is the default image of an egg?

    Chances are, you probably assume they are either inactive, a fake account, or someone not worth following. While almost all businesses understand that the egghead approach isn't doing them any justice, they often fail to understand that a plain, flat Twitter cover photo can be equally as off-putting to potential followers.

    Read More
    5 Pre-Designed PowerPoint Templates for Creating SlideShare Presentations

    By Erik Devaney

    While we all know that SlideShare is a highly visual platform, the most important aspect of any SlideShare presentation isn't actually the design -- it's the story.

    “Before you become a master presentation designer, you must be a great storyteller first,” writes Tourism Australia's head of social Jesse Desjardins in his SlideShare presentation You Suck At PowerPoint! (which has 2 million+ views).

    Read More
    38 Essential Website Redesign Terms You Need to Know

    By Rick Whittington

    Every industry has its buzzwords, and web design is no different. If your head is spinning from seemingly endless jargon, or if you’re getting ready to redesign your company website and want to inform yourself on the most common technical terms in modern web design, then this is the list for you.

    Here are 37 of the most popular technical terms and buzzwords we hear (or use) as we do website redesigns, organized from A to Z. Do you see one you’ve heard lately on this list?

    Read More
    16 Reasons Why People Leave Your Website

    By Alex Bashinsky

    You’ve written some really compelling copy for your website. Your product images are polished. Your overall site design is professional. And thanks to marketing initiatives like these ones, you’re getting traffic to your site.

    So why is it that so few of those visitors are converting into leads and customers?

    Read More
    How to Remove the Background of a Photo in Photoshop or PowerPoint

    By Pamela Vaughan

    You know what one of my biggest design pet peeves is? When I'm trying to design something, but there's an unwanted background on the image I'm using. Either I want to remove the photo background altogether, or I prefer a transparent background so the image assumes the look of any other background I put behind it.

    Take the image on the left above, which is from our free, downloadable collection of holiday stock photos. That image would be so much more useful to my call-to-action, SlideShare presentation, blog post, or ebook if I could just remove that pesky background so it looked like the image on the right.

    Read More
    Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator & More: Your Cheat Sheet for Adobe Keyboard Shortcuts [Infographic]

    By Carly Stec

    Between calendar updates, emails, and social media notifications, it can often seem like your computer is working against you.

    But, as distracting as it may seem, your computer actually has lots of ways to save you time at work. Considering data from Atlassian revealed that 60% or less of work time is actually spent productively, it's clear that time is something you could probably use a lot more of. 

    Read More
    A Detailed Guide to Photo & Image Sizes on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & More [Infographic]

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    When you're designing cover photos, graphics, and other social media assets, sometimes knowing the bare bones image dimensions isn't enough.

    What if you wanted to place text or an arrow on your Facebook cover photo without it getting covered by the profile photo? And what about the shared link thumbnails on Facebook or in-stream photos on Twitter ... how big should those be?

    Read More
    Apple, Google & Starbucks: Inside the Web Design Style Guides of 10 Famous Companies

    By Austin Knight

     

    If you've ever wondered how designers at Apple defined every little element in iOS as they were building it, then you're in the right place. Ready to nerd out and get inspired all at the same time? I sure am.

    You might be familiar with the concept of content style guides, which align members of a company on all the grammar and punctuation rules they should follow. In this post, I'll be showing you examples of the version of these style guides for web designers, which we call digital style guides. 

    Read More
    550+ Royalty-Free Stock Photos You Can Download Now

    By Anum Hussain

    Let me tell you a quick, cautionary tale about copyright law and using photos and images online. A couple years ago, a popular stock photography vendor claimed copyright infringement on an image we used in one of our ebooks.

    Embarrassed, I quickly investigated.

    As it turned out, another internet user had purchased the offending image from that same stock photography service and uploaded it to a photo-sharing website under a Creative Commons license. So while on the surface it looked safe for the taking, it was in fact falsely promoted as a royalty-free image ... and we were in the wrong. Scary story, right?

    Read More
    The Free Stock Photos You've Been Searching For [New Download]

    By Erik Devaney

    Finding the perfect free stock photo ... what a feeling!

    It's like finding a black pearl in an oyster, or like finding a golden Chachapoyan fertility idol in a booby-trapped Peruvian temple (hat tip, Indiana Jones).

    Why is it so rare to find a free stock photo that's the perfect fit for your blog post, email, or other piece of content? 

    Read More
    The Anatomy of an Optimized Web Page [Infographic]

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    Optimizing your web pages shouldn't just be a task on your to-do list. It should be an overarching strategy -- something you think about and test and tweak every single day.

    Why? Because your website is how people get to know your brand, and having optimized web pages will make for a more engaging and delightful experience. Plus, you'll see greater returns on the content you publish across your marketing channels.

    Read More
    Want to Teach Yourself Design? 8 Tips & Tricks for Beginners

    By Sapphire Reels

    When I was in high school, I was always doodling in my notebooks. Hand-drawn letters and little pictograms covered my homework, tests, and papers. I would get lost in creating new ways to write out my name or drawing cartoon representations of my friends. Teachers were constantly telling me to to "knock it off" and focus on my studies.

    Eventually, I did knock it off -- mostly because I realized I wasn't that good at drawing on paper.

    Read More
    How to Create an Infographic in Under an Hour [10 Free Infographic Templates]

    By Pamela Vaughan

    Wouldn't it be great if creating infographics was just as simple as writing regular ole text-based blog posts? Unfortunately, the reality is that making visual content like this usually takes a lot more time, effort, and let's face it -- skill -- than the written word. Usually.

    But considering the popularity and effectiveness of visual content in marketing today, you can't just afford to throw in the towel. That's why we decided to take all the pain and suffering out of infographic creation. Seriously -- don't throw in the towel just yet. You, too, can create professional-looking, high-quality infographics ... quickly! And I'm going to prove it. First things first ...

    Read More
    A Simple Guide to Designing a Logo [Infographic]

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    I think most of us can agree there are generic logos in the world that we easily forget, and then there are great logos that we'll always be able to recognize (even without the brand's name attached). But what is it about a logo that makes you recognize it? What is it about the design that can elicit a memory or even a specific emotion?

    If you're in the process of creating a logo for your company, you're in a unique position to make a powerful impact on how consumers perceive your brand.

    Read More
    15 Examples of Great Mobile Website Design

    By Rachel Sprung

    Now more than ever, businesses are focusing on creating delightful mobile website experiences. After all, 80% of Internet users are using smartphones to search online.

    What's more, marketers are gearing up for a big change Google plans to make to their algorithm starting on April 21, 2015. Google wrote in their official blog that they will be "expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal," and their update should have a significant effect on marketers.

    Read More

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