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Face it; you’re not a Web designer. You may try your digital best, but hey, you’ve never been trained in the art of virtual aesthetics. But that’s okay, because we can’t all be Web Van Gogh’s. 

However, for those of us that run websites and don’t have a dedicated design team to allocate work to, it’s still necessary to participate in the design process, from wireframing to reviewing, and all those little tweaks along the way.

Luckily, there are plenty of great creative design tools available on the Web that are easy enough that any non-designer can use them. Check out the list below to see if there’s something that can help you look like you play a designer on the Web.

deviantART muro

muro, by deviantART, is a browser-based HTML5 drawing application for the site’s members that allows them to create images from scratch, featuring over 20 brushes, multiple filters and the ability to add layers to an image.

Fluid UI

This is a mobile app prototyping tool that lets users quickly and easily create interactive mockups and wireframes of mobile applications for Android, iOS and Windows 8.

Label59

Ever had a great image to share that just needs a little explanation to make sense? Have you been looking for a better way to engage your audience with photos? Well, Label59 is for you, as this Web app provides an intuitive toolset that lets users label photos and even create an interactive presentation in minutes.

Sumopaint

Sumopaint offers a fast and simple graphics editor application for Web browsers, PCs or iPads that works in 22 different languages, and includes a basic version that is always free for everyone.

Actual Reports Designer

While Actual Reports Designer is really a multi-faceted tool for creating simple designs, it is particularly useful for non-designers that want to generate QR codes to market their services, products or content. The tool includes a library of over 500 industry standard signs and symbols to choose from, as well as a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface.

WeVideo

One of the more popular online video editors available, WeVideo includes three distinct editing modes (Storyboard, Timeline and Advanced) to allow users to edit videos however they’d like. In addition, it integrates with YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Box and many other websites.

Balsamiq Mockups

This is another wireframing tool that basically lets users feel like they’re “drawing” an early version of their websites, while allowing for various tweaks and rearrangements at any time. Plus, it is collaboration friendly, so teams can create a design and modify it in real time during a meeting.

MindMeister

MindMeister is a mind mapping software with a particular focus on collaboration that has been used by everyone from EA to CNN to Oracle to help users visualize their thinking.

Pixlr

In the wake of Picnik, a number of free image editing services emerged, but none of them are as efficient and user-friendly as Pixlr, which is why it is now the Web’s most popular online photo editor.

Magisto

Turn everyday videos into memorable movies with Magisto, the automated online video editor the selects the best parts of a user’s video, adds the music, themes and effects they select, and the puts it all together to create ‘beautiful” films that can be easily shared with others.

Clue

This simple online application makes it easy (and kind of fun) to test what people remember on a website. Simply enter the URL into the empty bar to create a test, and then see what users report to be the most impactful elements of the page.

Bounce

Like Clue, this app was created by the folks at ZURB and makes it easy to share ideas on a website. Again, just enter a URL, and then users can highlight specific areas on a page and leave feedback for the website owner.

Moqups

It always helps to have a roadmap, so that’s why services like Moqups are so nice. This Web-based HTML5 application lets users create wireframes, mockups and prototypes of their websites with an incredibly intuitive interface.

IcoMoon

IcoMoon was the Web’s first custom icon font builder, meaning it allows users to choose specific icons that they need and turn them into a unique font to improve compatibility we various screen readers.

Sketchfab

Users can publish, embed and share interactive 3D models with Sketchfab. The tool supports 27 different native 3D formats with no plugin required and unlimited uploads.

HTML Banner Maker

Create banners that work across all devices using HTML5 with this Web app that requires no prior coding knowledge.

NodeFire

NodeFire is an HTML5-based interactive animation create that lets users quickly and easily design banners, advertisements, text effects, drop-down menus, scrolling items, marquees, buttons, mini games and much more.

TweenUI

With TweenUI, it takes no time at all to create sleek looking HTML5 banner ads that look great across mobile devices and tablets.

Mugeda

And if you’re looking to create rich media HTML5 ads just for mobile devices, you can turn to Mugeda, the cloud-based solution that can be easily integrated into a publisher’s existing ad platform.

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smartphones - Apple Phone, Mobile T, Blackberry

The worldwide smartphone market has grown 79.7% year-over-year with smartphone vendors shipping a total of 99.6 million units in in the first quarter of 2011,  market research firm IDC reports and Nokia is still the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer market share, its decline has been amazingly fast.Samsung shipments rise 350 percent and has more than quadrupled its output to 10.8 million shipments in the quarter.The other big gainer is Apple, with 10 million more iPhones shipped, but the truth is that all the top five vendors are showing double-digit growth and IDC has also released data for Western Europe that shows Nokia has lost the top spot both in terms of smartphones, to Apple, and in terms of overall mobile phone shipments, to Samsung.

The worldwide smartphone market grew 79.7% year over year in the first quarter of 2011 (1Q11), driven by a combination of vendors releasing highly anticipated models, widespread availability of older smartphones at lower prices, and sustained end-user demand. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone vendors shipped a total of 99.6 million units in 1Q11, nearly double from the 55.4 million units in the first quarter of 2010.“Conditions in the smartphone market are creating a perfect storm for sustained smartphone growth,” says Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Phone Technology and Trends team. “First, vendors are increasingly emphasizing smartphones as the key to their own growth. Second, selection has proliferated from mostly high-end devices to include more mid-range and entry-level offerings. Third, pricing has become increasingly competitive, with even high-end devices available at low price points. Finally, users continue to seek greater utility from their mobile phone beyond voice, and smartphones have been the ideal solution. Altogether, these add up to continued smartphone growth throughout the year.”

The strong demand for smartphones also means the market will remain highly competitive and fragmented. “The rise of Android as a prominent mobile operating system has allowed several suppliers to gain share quickly,” adds Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “Also, the relatively nascent state of smartphone adoption globally means there is ample room for several suppliers to comfortably co-exist, at least for the short term.”Top Five Smartphone Vendors:

  • Nokia, despite announcing its intentions to move from Symbian to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone operating system, maintained its leadership position in the smartphone market. Demand for Symbian-powered smartphones remained strong within its traditionally strongest markets of EMEA and Asia/Pacific, and the company continues to announce more devices running on Symbian, including the E6 and the X7. Still, as Nokia transitions from Symbian to Windows Phone, it may find itself in danger of ceding market share as the competition ramps up smartphone production.
  • Apple reached a new record shipment volume in a single quarter, and inched closer to market leader Nokia with fewer than six million units separating the two companies. The company posted market-beating year-over-year growth and recorded triple-digit growth in two key markets: the United States, with the release of its CDMA-enabled iPhone, and Greater China. Additionally, the company enlisted South Korean Telecom and Saudi Telecom as carrier providers of the iPhone.
  • Research In Motion remained solidly in third place from the previous quarter, as the company grew its presence outside of its home territory of North America. RIM has launched several 3G devices to the market, and recently announced two new BlackBerry smartphones running on its new BlackBerry 7 OS. Still, the majority of RIM’s shipment volumes have been comprised of older, lower-cost devices. The company expects this trend to continue into the following quarter.
  • Samsung posted the largest year-over-year gain of any other vendor on the list. With a multiple operating system strategy in place, Samsung has been able to grow its smartphone portfolio to meet the needs of a diverse market. Accounting for the majority of its smartphones and driving shipment volumes higher was the continued success of its Android-based smartphones, including the high-end Galaxy S devices and mass-market Galaxy Ace and Galaxy mini devices. Meanwhile, its bada-powered Wave devices and Windows Phone 7 devices continued to gain traction.
  • HTC posted yet another record shipment volume, nearly surpassing the ten million unit mark for the first time. Like other vendors, HTC announced multiple new devices, including the Facebook-optimized Salsa and ChaCha. In addition, the company launched several new devices, including its Inspire 4G, WiMAX-enabled EVO Shift 4G, and LTE-enabled Thunderbolt. These, along with its investment and developments on hardware, displays, and its HTC Sense layer have helped HTC differentiate itself further in an increasingly crowded market.

sources:
http://thetechjournal.com/tech-news/industry-news/smartphone-market-grows-79-7-year-over-year-in-first-quarter-of-2011.xhtml

http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUK22816311

smartphones photo : http://magazine.jfaonline.net/?p=12869

Blog Idol.ca Header Image

A member of the judging panel for ComputerWorld Canada’s annual blogging contest “Blogging Idol” this year is Maggie Fox, CEO and founder of Toronto-based Social Media Group.

Fox, who has been blogging for the past six years, shares some valuable advice for those new to blogging or who are intimidated by it.

1. Keep it short

Given that bloggers often have to keep up with a content production schedule that might mean two to three blog entries per week, it helps to keep blog posts nice and short. “You don’t need to blog more than a couple of hundred words to get your point across,” said Fox.

2. The open-ended question

If a topic is of interest, then summarize it in a blog entry and pose a question about it to readers. “It’s a great way to encourage discussion and engagement with the content,” said Fox.

3. Lists

A blogger may come across five to 10 things of interest, in the course of a week, that can be shared in a blog entry. It’s very acceptable to post a series of links accompanied by a few words about what the blogger thinks. “You don’t have to write a novel every time you write a blog post. And, in fact, it’s best if you don’t,” said Fox.

4. Rich media.

Images and videos are a great way to spice up a blog entry, said Fox, especially because readers find that sort of content very engaging and it increases the stickiness of the site.

excerpts from: http://www.itworldcanada.com/news/bloggin-idol-returns/142898

http://pxtoem.com/

WordPress Logo

Fonts are a very important part of web design. There are different ways web designers can use fonts to unleash the greatness of their web design. They can either use images, which has always been the case used for a long time now, but another way is through the use of the new embedded font technology. We have sIFR and FLIR which offer better advantages than using images; they can be detected by search engines and load faster.

1. All in One Cufon

2. Font Burner Control Panel

3. Typekit Fonts for WordPress

4. TextImage

5. WP-Cufon

6. FLIR, Facelift Image Replacement

7. WP sIFR

Source: 7 Really Great WordPress Plugins For Fonts

Adobe Labs Logo
By Darryl K. Taft on 2011-03-11

Adobe Labs is the home for experimental and early-stage projects where developers and designers can experience and evaluate new and emerging innovations, technologies and products from Adobe engineers.

Adobe Labs fosters a collaborative software development process, allowing users to become productive with new products and technologies faster and allowing the Adobe development teams to respond and react to early feedback to shape the software to meet the needs and expectations of the community. At Adobe Labs, visitors get access to resources such as prerelease software and technologies; code samples and best practices to accelerate the users’ learning curve; early versions of product and technical documentation; and forums, wiki-based content and other collaborative resources to help them interact with other developers and Adobe.

Recently Adobe came up with a new Flash-to-HTML5 tool, known as “Wallaby,” that enables Flash developers to build apps with greater reach. Adobe introduced Wallaby in a demo at the Adobe MAX 2010 conference in October and released it on the Adobe Labs site March 8 as an experimental technology for developers to try out. Adobe customers called for a closer look at the technology following that MAX demo.

Wallaby is an Adobe AIR application that allows designers and developers to convert Adobe Flash Professional files into HTML5 with a simple drag and drop of the mouse, quickly expanding the distribution of creative content across platforms.

Full article at URL below.

Source eWeek.com : http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Application-Development/Adobe-Labs-The-10-Hottest-Projects-in-the-Works-140393

20 eventsToday we all use our smartphones and our broadband-equipped home and work PCs and tablets to instantly access information and data on just about any topic via the Internet. But have you ever taken a few moments to realize how far we’ve come since our first forays online?

by Todd R. Weiss

article here: http://www.itbusiness.ca/IT/client/en/slideshow/20-Internet-Events/index.asp

Firefox Logo

YouTube H264 Support

 

Microsoft announces:

The HTML5 Extension for Windows Media Player Firefox Plug-in is an add-on that enables Firefox users to play H.264-encoded videos on HTML5 pages by using the built-in capabilities found in Windows 7. This Extension adds to the functionality of the extremely popular earlier Windows Media Player Plug-in for Firefox to enable web pages that use the emerging HTML5 standard.

Supported Platforms

  • Requires Firefox 3.6 or latest Firefox 4.0 beta
  • Windows 7

Downloads

Install the Add-on

Windows Media Player Firefox Plug-in Release Notes

License

A copy of the license agreement is available here (A copy of the file is also installed with the Add-on).

Release Notes for Developers

The Extension is based on a Firefox Add-on that parses HTML5 pages and replaces Video tags with a call to the Windows Media Player plug-in so that the content can be played in the browser. The Add-on replaces video tags only if the video formats specified in the tag are among those supported by Windows Media Player. Tags that contain other video formats are not touched.

In some cases Firefox might fail to play a video even if the Add-on is correctly installed because the page might be using a call to canPlayType to determine if the browser can play H.264 content. Typically the check is done either using createElement(‘video’) or getElementsByTagName(‘video’) and then call canPlayType(‘video’mp4’). In both cases the call will return empty string even if the Add-on is installed and the browser could play H.264 videos.

The current version of the Add-on still uses the Windows Media Player Plugin APIs to control video playback so there are some differences between the methods/properties defined in the emerging HTML5 standard and those available in the Windows Media Player plug-in.

We are working to see if a solution can be found for these problems.

Article Source: http://www.interoperabilitybridges.com/html5-extension-for-wmp-plugin

bowser CSS

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Adobe Systems is providing a set of HTML5 tools for developers and designers, the Adobe HTML5 Pack. The company made the announcement at the Google I/O show.

Dreamweaver CS5 and HTML5 Image

Adobe announced the tool set at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco on May 18. “The Adobe HTML5 Pack is an extension to Adobe Dreamweaver CS5, the latest version of the industry-leading HTML authoring tool for Website design. This extension provides more creative options to Adobe Creative Suite 5 users—so they can more easily create, deliver and optimize compelling content consistently, across the widest array of screens, to maximize revenue streams and forward their businesses,” Adobe said in a news release.

During the May 18 keynote address at Google I/O, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch addressed the audience, saying, “HTML5 is great; it’s a great move forward for the Web.” Lynch’s pronouncement and the new HTML5 tools might help quell the notion that Adobe has had a different agenda regarding HTML5. Lynch went on to demonstrate the HTML5 tools and Dreamweaver’s capabilities.

“Availability of this HTML5 Pack extension is the direct result of positive customer feedback that began at [the]Adobe Max 2009 [developer conference] when the company first gave a sneak peek of the technology, and then again most recently following a post on the Adobe Design and Web blog, where additional HTML5 and CSS3 [Cascading Style Sheets 3] R&D investments were discussed,” the company said.

“The HTML5 Pack extension includes new code hinting for HTML5 and CSS3 capabilities to enable Dreamweaver users to easily make use of new HTML5 tags,” Adobe continued. “The extension also includes WebKit engine updates and improvements to support video and audio in Dreamweaver CS5’s Live View. With new CSS3 capabilities users can more easily design multiscreen Web pages, with previews of how they will render across multiple browsers and devices. Additionally, the HTML5 Pack features HTML5 starter layouts to the New Document dialog box in Dreamweaver CS5, making it easier for users to accelerate their efforts to design and develop with the latest in emerging Web standards.”

“Adobe prides itself on delivering industry-defining tools and being compatible with the most popular Web programming languages, formats, APIs and libraries,” Lea Hickman, senior director for Creative Solutions at Adobe, said in a statement. “We continue to move forward to support the leading edge of work in HTML, enabling our customers to deliver creative content taking advantage of the latest in HTML capabilities.”

“Underscoring its commitment to this emerging standard, Adobe has made its HTML5 Pack extension for Dreamweaver CS5 immediately available, as a free download, at http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/html5pack.html,” the company said.

“One of Dreamweaver’s great strengths is its extensibility and it’s encouraging to see that Adobe has wasted no time in providing support for those parts of HTML 5 and CSS3 that are already supported by several browsers,” David Powers, founder of and developer at Foundation PHP, said in a statement. “By adding support through an extension, rather than hard-baking it into the core program, Dreamweaver should be able to keep pace with developments as the specifications and browsers evolve.”

Article Source : http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Application-Development/Adobe-Delivers-HTML5-Tools-for-Dreamweaver-CS5-418881/
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