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Michael Johnson

The Move to the Cloud is a Good Thing – But Some Caution is Advised

Over the past few years, the creative world has undergone a mass migration to the cloud, which has been spearheaded by companies like Adobe. The Californian computer software giants are now promoting their cloud-based services over desktop-based apps, and there are many benefits to using these online tools. This is a step in the right direction for the industry, as it is important to use the most up-to-date technology available. However, whenever anything is open to the public, there is always a risk. For that reason, some caution is advised for people who use cloud-based services.

The Creative Cloud from Adobe gives users the entire collection of Adobe Desktop and mobile apps all in one place. These can be used for graphic design, photography, web and UX design, animation and film editing, and communication and social. Having everything in the same place is a sign of the times, as the long-standing app craze appears to be fading. Now, with the advent of HTML5 for websites, there is no longer any need for companies to have separate apps for different things. Adobe has taken this idea and provided a platform that has everything creative-minded people need to thrive and develop their ideas.

According to Steven Warner, the vice president of digital video and audio at Adobe, “the demands and pace of video content creation are reaching levels we have never seen before. The time pressure on video professionals means the need for powerful and efficient creative tools has never been greater.” For this reason, Adobe have aimed to provide content creators with all the tools they need to produce high-quality videos and graphics in a shorter space of time.

The benefits of working with this new software are clear but there may also be some shortcomings, such as security concerns. When working on the cloud, users need to be aware that their information could be targeted by cybercriminals. For people and businesses working online, cloud security is imperative. It ensures that there are secure databases in the cloud, it safeguards applications, and it also supports hybrid deployments. The 2018 hack of Tesla’s Amazon Web Services account highlights the need for safeguarding when working on the cloud. In the breach, cybercriminals used the account to mine cryptocurrency and also exposed some of Tesla’s proprietary data.

Adobe is now looking to expand its reach and get budding young creators familiar with their services from a young age. The company now offers schools Creative Cloud licenses for $5 per year, in a move which could revolutionize interactivity within the classroom. This is set to attract even more users to the Adobe product and strengthen its hold on the industry.

In the fast-paced world of design and content creation, those in the industry must keep up-to-date with technological developments and move with the times. There are numerous benefits to using the cloud now, and, in time, it seems that everything will be done using services like the one from Adobe. Those using the cloud must remember to put proper security protocols in place though, as cyber-attacks are becoming more and more prevalent.

Featured image by Joshua Earle

Tron: The Future of Creative Content Sharing and Payments?

If you’re a creative type, making money on the internet has become markedly easier in the last two decades. Thanks to the power of the internet, those with an idea can turn it into an income if it captures the imagination of the masses. For example, if you design a WordPress template, you can sell it to others and earn some cash. If you’re a YouTuber, your content can reach one billion people every month.

However, as easy as it’s become to make money online, many creatives don’t get the compensation they deserve. There are even some internationally renowned recording artists that don’t feel as though they’re being paid in the right way. The most famous example of this is Taylor Swift. After disagreeing with Spotify’s payment scheme, Swift removed her content from the site. Although she’s since resolved her issues with the streaming service, the issue of content control and compensation is still one that looms large online.
Blockchain Code by

Fortunately, as it often does, technology has stepped into the breach to offer a solution. With the emergence of bitcoin changing the game in 2009, developers are now finding clever ways to use blockchains. Essentially the underlying system that makes cryptocurrency transactions possible, blockchains have made it possible to store, process and track data in new ways.

What does this have to do with creative content, though? Well, thanks to a new altcoin known as Tron, individuals can cut out the middleman and have more control over their content. In simple terms, a user can join the peer to peer distribution platform known as Exodus. From here, they can share content using personal tokens. These tokens will be based on the Tron 20 system and basically allow people to track where their content is being used. Because the system is decentralized, only the individual creator has the power to earn revenue from their product. In other words, the tokens create a direct link between the creator and their audience, rather than a company like Google or Apple (or even a record company) standing in the middle of the process.

Although Tron is still in its early stages of development, it already has an exchange unit known as Tronix. With a tradeable coin in place, supporters of Tron can purchase credits and trade them like any other commodity. For example, by visiting Coinlist, a user can learn more about Tronix coins and about ways to invest in it using an exchange or a broker.
TRON (TRX) Blockchain by Descryptive

On the one hand, Tronix coins have the ability to increase in value as the underlying technology becomes popular. Therefore, from an investment perspective, these coins can be a way to make some money. On the other hand, buying Tronix coins is a way of supporting the development of the Tron system. Indeed, if you’re a creative type that wants to see this technology proliferate and change the way people get paid, trading Tronix coins is a way to help.

At this stage, the future of Tron is far from certain. Revolutionizing how content is distributed and controlled online is no mean feat. However, if the technology can prove it works and people support it, Tron has the ability to give creative types more power over their creations which can only be a good thing.

Featured image by Able-Archer

4 Ways to Improve Quality Assurance

A lot of people tend to think of quality assurance and quality control to be the same but they are not. They may be used interchangeably but there’s a vast difference between the two.

Quality assurance is more inclined towards looking at how processes are performed and products standards are met, while quality control is about inspecting how the process is going through. For a business to run smoothly, both factors need to be paid attention to.

Fooling around by Jippen Jooste

Quality assurance is necessary to ensure that products and services are made and delivered at their best. It helps in keeping existing customers loyal for a long time. Moreover, it helps improve workflow, eliminate mistakes, and more importantly, ensure that only quality products reach the market. This is very important because a business can take a serious hit if it produces poor quality products as such a move can affect its brand and cause it to fail.

Quality assurance is often done with software to figure out weaknesses in the quality of products. These weaknesses are then eliminated by adapting the preventive measures.

In short, quality assurance is the tool used to assure that the quality of products is highly maintained. Businesses need to do this to be able to stay ahead of the pack.

Moreover, they also need to Protect Your Data, continue to come up with newer and better products at affordable rates to ensure that they grow. Now without much ado, let’s have a look at four ways to improve quality assurance:

1. Inspect Products for Performance

It’s not smart to let teams work on their own without any monitoring. There’s a window for error and people working in the quality assurance departments need to understand that. Regular performance checks on employees and products being manufactured should be conducted. It helps to figure out errors and mistakes if there are any.

Early performance inspections will help give you enough time to correct errors and mistakes before the final stage of manufacturing is completed. Waiting for the last moment will cost more money, more time and will even result in a waste of resources and efforts.

2. Take Customer Input

The best way to improve quality assurance is to take customer complaints seriously. No business can shine and thrive if they keep on disappointing customers with the products they sell or the services they offer. The trick lies in conducting customer surveys and learning about the areas where you can improve. For example, most customers these days want to know how businesses protect data and apps. This is important with data breaches becoming a common occurrence.

If your customers appear to be concerned about this factor, you can educate them about how you ensure the safety of their data to satisfy them. Customer feedback can be taken in a variety of ways such as online surveys, walk-in forms etc.

3. Conduct Tests Right From The Beginning

Many businesses wait until all requirements are met to finally conduct a QA test to ensure everything is right. However, it is recommended to begin taking tests right from the initial stages so that problems can be found and corrected in the beginning.

The best part of conducting tests, in the beginning, is that it will reduce cost on a huge scale because you won’t be dealing with large-scale problems at the end.

Crunching by William Iven

4. Automating Where Possible

There are many ways to improve quality assurance and automating processes where applicable is one of them. This is done by using a quality management software that monitors all processes.

There are many benefits of doing so. It does not only help you save time and money, it also improves customer loyalty as the use of such tools improve overall quality. QA can differ for different businesses but the end-goal remains the same.

Featured image by Jefferson Santos

Why it is Fundamental for Businesses to be Creative with Apps in 2018

The business landscape is a rapidly changing one, a fact that rings especially true when it comes to the manner in which people communicate and expect to be able to access the offerings of big companies.

In the past, companies in sectors like retail, gambling, and even travel, had to adapt to ensure their customers were able to make use of visually appealing websites that were also easy to navigate and frustration-free from start to finish. The aim was to ensure that customers felt they were getting a great customer experience online, in precisely the same manner as they would expect solid customer service in physical stores. Nowadays though, especially in the EU following the introduction of GDPR (which has impacted upon apps as well as websites), it is proving difficult to retain loyal customers through a website presence alone.

Circles Photo by Ashley Kirk

Indeed, with sites as huge as MSN having failed in the past before seismic events like GDPR to keep up with the times, we could start to see a similar experience in the near future if businesses fail to realize the importance of having a creative and engaging app, something that has the potential to keep customers loyal to a brand.

Not just a waste of screen space

The buzz surrounding apps is perhaps not quite as noisy as it was at the height of their publicity back in 2016, especially as growth in using them has slowed slightly, but there is no denying the fact that they are still a vital element for many businesses. There may well be millions (perhaps even tens of millions) of apps that are redundant, but companies that push creativity as part of their app design process are keeping apps at the forefront of their marketing efforts.

This importance is particularly telling in crowded marketplaces like the iGaming world, where having the right app can be the difference between success and failure. In such crowded marketplaces, brands that fail to have an engaging app that allows players to game on the go and take advantage of timely offers can prove to be make or break. For companies like Lottoland, who spend time and money on making apps and websites that are geo-location specific, having this extra outlet that can allow consumers to stay up to date with their winnings wherever they are in the world without being near a computer means that they can attract loyal customers who end up wanting to stay with them for longer.

More than just games

The iGaming world may be an example of an industry where apps can prove the difference between success and failure, but it isn’t the only one. In fact, a recent list of the top ten apps used includes none from the world of gaming; not even Pokemon Go or Candy Crush get a look in. What this shows is that the big tech players like Facebook, Snapchat, and even Google are all aware that the way people browse and use the internet has changed, meaning that a more personalized approach through an app is going to be a more positive experience for a consumer than a blanket approach on a mobile site.
Photo by Christian Wiediger
With this in mind, companies looking to get the fundamentals right in 2018 should make sure that they don’t just have an app created as a gesture, but one that really makes their customers want to download and use it every day.

Featured image by Rami Al-zayat

18 Astonishing Examples of Accounting Print Design

Print marketing material can set the tone for your business. For accounting, you want to make sure you give off a professional vibe, but still stand out from the competition. This is the case from business cards to envelopes and everything in between-and managing all of that can be difficult.

Just because you’re an accountant doesn’t mean your design needs to be full of numbers and math symbols. Playing with various colors and imprint methods can do the trick. Still, need more help? Check out these 18 awesome examples to get you started on your design.

Getting Creative with A Secure Crypto-Wallet In The Digital Age

While it’s an incredible feat that the world is deep into a digital age from a technology point of view, it is probably not headline worthy anymore. Unless affected directly, not many however attribute the same importance to the risks involved. Cybersecurity is a hot topic across countless industries, but none more than that of finance and with cryptocurrencies working their way into more mainstream use – or at least recognition – having efficient security is vital. If you own cryptocurrency, then you’ll already know about wallets, but what about those looking to invest? Here, we’re exploring crypto-wallets, and just why it’s important to keep them secure.

What Is A Cryptocurrency Wallet?

At a basic level, a cryptocurrency wallet is similar to a normal wallet, however, it is only available digitally. Within these wallets, you can store, send and receive different digital currencies including industry leader Bitcoin and any other altcoins on the current market. There are multiple wallets available on the market, however, most coins will have an official option where possible and though these do tend to be the most secure, don’t always assume this is the case. Some coins might not have their own wallet, but instead, a few suggest third-party choices that you can choose from, and it’s always important to do your research before delving into them.

How Does It Work?

Remember how we said that cryptocurrency wallets essentially worked like a normal wallet? Well, this isn’t strictly true. In fact, the coins that you own aren’t actually stored in the wallet at all. Instead, your wallet stores your private key which can only be viewed by you and your wallet and will allow you access to your coins. A public key also comes as part of the wallet, and this is the key that is connected to a certain amount of the cryptocurrency. In other words, your wallet is the storage point for your private key, your public keys works as a ledger for your transactions, and allows you to send and receive your payments as you so wish.

How To Secure Your Wallet

Whether you’re looking to store your bitcoins, or you’re delving into an alternate cryptocurrency, ensuring that your wallet is secure at all times is vital in an increasingly digital world. Of course, most cryptocurrencies are naturally secure regardless, but increasing the wallet security never hurts. Here are just a few tips to get you started:

  • Always Have More Than One Wallet – Have two wallets, if not more, regardless of how many coins you own. This will give you the opportunity to use one to store your savings that will remain untouched, and the other will be for trading or transactions. This will be the most active of your wallets, and is at the highest risk were a hacker to be successful, so make sure you follow our other tips to be safe!
  • Do Your Research – Some wallet providers will have better security options than others and making sure that you do your research into which are the best will help you pick the most secure option. It can be tempting to rush into a decision when you’re focused on creating your wallet, but making sure that the encryption and optimization are at a high-level standard is a must.
  • Don’t Use Public WiFi – This is a bit of a given for any kind of data, but if you can avoid it, never use public WiFi when making your transactions. Risky WiFi networks could be the difference between a secure wallet, and one that is easily hacked, especially during your transactions.
  • Turn Off Auto-Updates – The cryptocurrency world is still fairly new, and as a result, bugs are rife. This is especially true for new updates that haven’t had a chance to have their full run yet. By turning off auto-updates, you can check to see if anything is going wrong through other people’s reviews and complaints, as opposed to having to deal with these bugs and faults yourself.
  • SSL SecuritySSL Security is the most important thing you need to keep an eye on when it comes to cryptocurrency wallets. If your wallet doesn’t have SSL security or the wallet you’re sending or receiving from doesn’t have it, then stop the transaction altogether. It’s simply not worth the risk!

The Most Secure Wallets Available

The right wallet for you will ultimately depend on the cryptocurrency that you are looking to invest in, but for the sake of giving you a few examples, we’re looking into some of the most secure and highly rated on the market.

1. Bitcoin Core

Bitcoin core was the original Bitcoin client, and as a result is still highly popular with Bitcoin users today. Being the first doesn’t necessarily mean the best in most cases, but with Bitcoin Core, it’s safe to say it’s certainly kept the high quality it was initially known for. It’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux, and with its ‘full-node’ properties (meaning it downloads the entire Blockchain), it means that hackers are less likely to find your coins which ultimately makes it more secure. Of course, this means that you’ll likely need a lot of space, so only those with beefy computers or secure external hard drives can use this wallet.

2. Jaxx

This wallet is perfect for those looking to delve into multiple cryptocurrencies. Developed in 2014, this wallet gives you the opportunity to host multiple cryptocurrencies at the same time, while keeping everything secure and safe. The simple interface makes it beginner friendly, however it’s important to remember that while it is a secure wallet, it can still have it’s vulnerabilities, so keeping a backup is a good idea.
Hopefully, this has given you an insight into crypto wallets and just why we need to keep them secure. The potential behind cryptocurrencies in the future is too great to pass up, and now is a great time to invest.

Featured image by David Shares

17 Innovation Report Covers for Design Inspiration

Making something like an annual financial report seem exciting sometimes feels like an insurmountable challenge. But one of the most important tools in your toolbox should be your report cover’s design. It’s the first thing recipients see before looking at the information inside-which means it sets the tone for how that information will be interpreted.

A good report cover is unique enough that recipients will immediately take notice of it, but it also shouldn’t be tacky or overcomplicated to the point where it no longer represents your brand in a professional way. Finding the right balance might seem like a tall order. We’ve assembled this collection of 17 inspirational report cover designs to help you out.

Importance of a Good Design for Successful Blogging

Are you wondering what relevance the change of your blog design would have on your site? Many people hesitate to make the right decisions regarding proper designs due to fear of the eventuality. It is not a guarantee that a change in your blogging design would cause negative effects.

In fact, research reveals how important it is to set a good design for blogging and other websites involving business. For your blog, you can increase your traffic and improve your audience with a single decision of choosing the best design your site should depict.

Keeping your blog posts and content as fresh as possible is crucial. This is why most bloggers engage essay writing services to help them curate content and write new articles that fit their audience. This is worthwhile.

However, one thing most people would ignore is making the design of the page as appealing as possible. It is reasonable for you to leave your design intact many years after its inception. Everyone loves change; this is the same with clients and potential customers. If you want to take your blogging experience to a new level, then you ought to choose the best design one could find on the internet. While this may not be a simple task, you can use every avenue you have to make your blogging as thrilling as possible.

A good design can change the entire operation of a business including your blogging. The question remains ‘how can I achieve this?’ The response to this question is simple. You only need to explore and understand your business well. You need to make everything appealing in the eyes of your audience. A good design helps to motivate the client intrinsically, hence, maintaining their focus and energy to get more insights from your writings. If you have never taken time to choose the best design for your blog then you have an opportunity to make critical changes.

Many people who have considered changing their websites or choosing the best design for their blogs are successful. They did not only realize the secret of increasing traffic to their lines but also the best way to motivate their audience irrespective of the time of the day.

In an interview, a famous blogger reveals that the secret to her successful blogging us the day she changed her design. She incorporated all the concepts learned from experts. They taught her how to improve the design of her site. Dieter Rams also acknowledge that a well-articulated content and design tends to attract more people to it. This is a secret towards the constant conversion of new readers into a loyal audience.

Typically, people will be attracted to something that is appealing. This is the same with blogging; don’t let your design scare away your customers.

People need to read your content and refer you to a different person or work. Besides, most of the successful bloggers can testify the significance of a good design reflecting on the business growth and motivation of self. You will feel more energetic to work on a blog post that you know many people are likely to read because of the design. In fact, making it a habit is the best thing you could do.

A good design is important for successful bloggers because of the following:

  • It fulfills the function of your blogging exercise hence creating satisfaction with your decision and work
  • It increases the traffic rate that may be registered
  • It leads to constant conversion of new readwes into loyal customers as they will feel comfortable and strong
  • A good design attracts and motivates the audience and the author as well
  • It also encourages business growth

How can I choose a good design? Who can help me choose the best design to revitalize my blogging exercise? Probably, such are the questions you could be asking yourself. We acknowledge that choosing a design for your blog may not be a simple process. However, with careful consideration of the purpose, goals, objectives, interests, and characteristics of your audience, it will help you make a good choice of the design that will grow your blogging business.

The following tips can help you pick the best design that will make blogging interesting and successful:

Product usefulness

How useful is your design? Does it benefit your blogging exercise? A good design should be useful to you and your audience. If your design enhances the usefulness of the content, the product you have, then it makes the best option you have for a blog design.

Aesthetic value

People love reading blog posts that add meaning to their life. This begins with the aesthetic value, which forms the first impression. It will not only fascinate but also attract your audience, hence, increased traffic.


Choose a design that is self-explanatory. Your audience should not struggle to understand what it means in relation to what you do. Instead, they should grasp the meaning intuitively. Here is an example of a site that uses design to portray the meaning behind their niche. The website follows US legislation which is clear by the use of the “law” along with the USA color scheme.


Make every effort to select a design that is user-friendly. It does not matter how relevant it is to you. Here, the client is a priority, and they need to be assisted to make the best decision.


If you want to know if you made a good selection of the design, customers would complain about the unfriendliness of the design. However, where people feel that the design is friendly to make their work easier.


There are many bloggers on the internet who try to do something similar to what you have to do. Innovate the best design that will show great differences from what your competitors have. Also, make sure your design is appealing enough.

In the blogging business, nothing is as difficult as choosing the best design one could have. If you get your selection right, then everything else flows in the right manner that you need. Don’t make hasty decisions regarding the best design to use; take your time to choose the best design; appropriate for your blogging.

Since your customers depend on what you share with them, make the design as attractive as possible to make maximum use of their attention. Choose the most fulfilling design you think will work for you.

Featured image by Andrew Neel

Working At Home: Keys To Success For a Designer

The trend of allowing designers to work at home does not look like it is close to stopping. This added freedom can be an incredibly attractive option and is the ultimate perk. Whether you run your own business or work for a company production is of utmost importance. Failing to produce in the case of working for a company will lead to you losing your job or the opportunity to work from home. In the case of a freelancer not producing can lead to clients dropping you and even blacklisting you. The following are tips to success when a designer is working from home.

Don’t Skimp On Equipment

Designers need high-resolution everything especially if they are designing something that will be in print. The costs of necessary software can be written off on taxes and most companies will provide software for their designers. All designers know what they will need to work to the best of their abilities. Skimping on things like advertising budget can lead to a designer not being able to find enough work. Invest in your home-based business as it offers you a freedom that many people only dream about. Whether you are investing in cloud server hosting for your freelance business or a new piece of the latest software, these are not places to cut corners.

Be Clear With Managers and Clients Via Email

Communication is important for designers for various reasons. A designer not communicating difficulties to a client might produce something the client is not happy with. With all of the screen sharing programs and video calls, there should be no lag between what you produce and what the client desires. If you are managing other designers you need to be as clear as possible in emails. You might be working with some designers that do not speak the best English. A translation program can help a manager give as clear of instructions as possible. Recap emails after having a call are important as clients can refer to it if they have forgotten a specific detail of the call.

Take a Few Breaks

Taking breaks throughout the day even if it is just to take a 10-minute walk around the neighborhood. This helps improve your circulation and has been shown to improve production. Those that live in a city can even take a break to do some good old-fashioned people watching. Pets can be the perfect distraction while you are taking your break. Use these breaks to revitalize yourself and get some caffeine in your system. There is some work from home professionals that also exercise while they are completing work. This could be a stationary bike with a desk attachment or a treadmill desk which can be a bit more tricky to master. Sedentary jobs are not good for your health so mitigating this can also improve productivity as well as mental/physical health.

Work Outside of the Home

There are times where our artistic drive simply is not there. Working outside can give you inspiration and a change of scenery once a week is actually good for production. In warmer climates, there are parks that will allow you to connect to the public internet so you can enjoy the nice weather. Even beachfront restaurants have internet so you can work with a beautiful view. Even a coffee shop can help you ward off distractions as you will have nobody there to distract you (hopefully). Even going to another person’s home to work who also works from home can give you an office vibe as you will not want to interrupt each other.

Sound Canceling Headphones Never Hurt

Those designers working at home understand the distraction an overly needy pet or significant other can be. Sound canceling headphones can help you get into the groove with whatever project you are working on. You don’t even need to listen to music as you will be left alone on account of having the headphones on. There are quite a few brands that have tried their hand in the sound canceling headphone niche, Bose and Beats By Dre being the most popular.

Production for a designer can be abundantly profitable but lacking productivity can lead to an unemployed computer geek. Do not lose the opportunity to work from home as it is the best perk of the job! Do not sacrifice your quality of work simply to meet production goals as you would rather complete a project correctly. Designers have a great opportunity to work from anywhere in the world, take advantage.

Featured image by JD Mason