Get out of the Office!

So over the past couple of weeks I've been on holiday. Holidays are great when I need to relax and get away from work, however when I'm on holiday I like to design websites and other stuff anyway. I also love to learn new stuff and get on with whatever I was doing before I came on holiday. Where I live it snowed solid for a few days and I had no need to go out. I was indoors for about 3 days, and towards the end of those days I found myself lacking inspiration and creativity, not even Abduzeedo's daily inspiration could pick me up. Shortly after I ventured outside the confines of my office an breathed fresh air. When I returned to my desk I was rearing to go, and I suddenly had loads of ideas. So my message to you is this - if you work all day in front of the same desk you're inspiration is going to dry up fast. It is when I am away from my desk when I am most creative (that's why I always carry a notepad!) and I believe the same is true of other designers. I find it is only when I stop thinking in terms of web design that I come up with great ideas.

So if you are sat in front of you computer screen, and you have been doing so for over 2 hours now -maybe it's time for a break! Get outside and Fuel your Creativity!

Where is Google Wave going?

It seems only a short time ago that Google introduced their latest endeavour to the world in beta - Google Wave. I remember watching the keynote by the developers at Google IO and thinking that it looked pretty damn cool, but I am beginning to wonder if my first impressions were only such because of the technologies they used to create it. At heart I am a web designer, and so seeing Google implement so many cool features of HTML5 alongside real-time updates and all the other cool stuff they showcased, properly drew my attention away from the service itself. You do have to admit that it is well put together, but for me it is nothing more that a showcase of what you can do with the newest web technologies. Furthermore I believe that few people will adopt waving as opposed to email. I remember the first time I waved. I was impressed, but then I realised it was nothing more than a fancy instant messaging service. Features such as being able to step back through the edits of waves seem to me pointless - after all do we really care about the construction of a conversation rather than it's outcome? I don't.

I haven't used Wave in months, and it is obvious why - it is trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. The reason we were all so excited about it's launch was because it was coming from Google! I fail to understand where the developers of Wave are going with the project; I believe that there are very few people indeed that will replace email for Google's Wave, therefore I believe it will simply fade into the background in the near future. I for one don't really care, the only thing that worries me is the fact that the developers were more concerned with playing around with new technologies rather than focussing on what we, the users, actually want. What do you think? Will you be waving any time soon?

You have 100s of Gmail Addresses!

Never a day goes by when I don't use Google's fantastic emailing service. But did you know that you have access to many different addresses. If your email address is tom@gmail.com, you could give someone the address of tom+jane@gmail.com. Oh my gosh! I know, try to dissipate the hysterics, because although this seems like a waste of your time you may be missing the point. Think about it - when you create websites with contact forms you may be inclined to include a clue in the subject line so you know when the email has come from you site. Well hows about using a new method, something like tom+blog@gmail.com so you know where it's coming from.You might want to set up some kind of alert when you get such emails through.

You could even use it to prioritize clients' messages to you. You give them the address of tom+clients@gmail.com so that you can respond to them faster! I'm always interested to find out about new and undiscovered features of Gmail, but I think this one is really rather interesting. What do you think?

Will you make it big?

It seems today that many people across the internet are infatuated with the idea of making it big - fair enough, surely that's what we all want right? But what is worrying is that may of these people are operating under the mis-conception that doing so will be easy. They read the stories of some of the biggest names in the web design industry and set about trying to become one of them. Now that's all well and good, but I find that so many of these hopefuls are attempting to make a large amount of money by usually replicating what others have created. It is important that such people understand that creating a new social networking site won't work - unless that is they have a new and really good idea. To make it big you have to have a totally original idea, and be able to implement it well. Many people have blogs (I am one of those people!), but few make it to the big time (I ain't one of them :(). Many people think they will be able to create the next best selling iPhone app, but few recognize the many difficulties they will face if they are poorly equipped.

The worst kind of person like this is a young student who thinks they know it all about website design. Unfortunately their websites are usually painfully recognizable because they were made from a tutorial. What many of these people fail to understand, is that without a proper education and experience in the field, they won't really be able to design great websites.

There are of course those who do make it big with little work. But usually they are one in a million. What I am trying to say is this: don't go about life thinking you will be able to pick up the skills you will need to create the next killer iPhone app; don't go around in life expecting ideas to simply flow into your mind. If you want to make it to the big time you are going to have to work hard and come up with something that solves a problem and that people like. For instance CSS Tricks, a website by Chris Coyier is very successful because the guy behind it is incredibly skillful at what he does, and people care about his opinion because they can see that he is as skilled as he is.

I don't mean to dampen your dreams or anything - just to make you have a more realistic outlook on life. Keep smilin'! 😉