Draw a Location Pin Icon in Adobe XD

Dansky_Learn How to Draw a Location Icon in Adobe XD

In this tutorial, we’re going to learn how to draw a location icon in Adobe XD.

The Steps (1-7)

1. Create a new document/artboard.

2. Select the Ellipse Tool, Left-click and hold Shift to draw a circle. Give the circle a fill colour of #DE503D, and deselect any borders.

draw-location-pin-icon-adobe-xd-1

3. Using the Selection Tool, Double-click on the circle to go inside the shape, to be able to edit each of the anchor points individually. Left-click on the bottom anchor point for the circle shape, and Drag downwards. This will be the ‘point’ on the location pin icon.

4. Double-click on the bottom anchor point to convert the curved lines either side to straight lines.

draw-location-pin-icon-adobe-xd-2

5. Next, select the Ellipse Tool, Left-click and hold Shift to draw a small circle. Give the circle a fill colour of white (#FFFFFF), and deselect any borders. Position this smaller circle inside the top half of the location pin shape, ensuring that any space to the left/right sides and above, is equal.

draw-location-pin-icon-adobe-xd-3

6. Hold Shift and Alt to either increase or decrease the size of the circle accordingly.

7. Once you are happy with your location pin icon, the last step in to Drag over both shapes to select everything, and in the Pathfinder options on the right, select Subtract. This will effectively ‘knockout’ the smaller white circle from the location pin shape, turning this into one complete and finished icon with a transparent background.

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Download Adobe Experience Design CC (Adobe XD).

Read More at Draw a Location Pin Icon in Adobe XD

from Web Design Ledger http://webdesignledger.com/draw-location-pin-icon-adobe-xd/

Top 4 Cloud Computing Languages To Learn Now!

cloud-computing-languages-to-learn-now

Top 4 Cloud Computing Languages To Learn Now!

The Cloud is here, and it’s here to stay. And if you love programming, script-writing, and earning the cushy income that skill set can award you, you’ve probably looked into coding on cloud-based platforms. And while you might think that the Cloud you’ve chosen to work on might limit you… think again! The cloud can accommodate just about any language, depending on the interface you’re running.

We’ve put together a comprehensive list of some of the most in-demand programming languages for the cloud. If you don’t know them now, you should probably start learning! As hot as they are now, it’s likely that the growth of big data and machine learning will only make them more so.

Learning SQL:
SQL is still the king of coding languages, and the price-points of SQL developers and database admins is all but proof. In a time when the US median income for a household is about $52,000, SQL-savvy coders can earn an average of $92,000. With the rise in big data (which usually means bigger databases), and the continuing reign of SQL as one of the most common languages out there, job security is nearly guaranteed into the future (a worthwhile perk, in the ever-changing tech industry). But beyond that, there can be a lot of personal pleasure in SQL coding. At its heart, writing SQL is basically creating processes which automate themselves. If you’ve even been frustrated to tears by needing to manually create reports or datasets, this might be the language for you.

cloud-computing-languages-to-learn-now

Learning R:
R is a programming language which sees a lot of use in the area of data analysis and software development. Especially if the sciences intrigues you, this could be a hot language to learn: it’s incredible in-demand with scientific investigators, and has had a recent surge in popularity no doubt related to the rise in data-related work and positions. If data-mining is your bag, there’s nothing better. Couple that with the fact that it has many business applications and the fact that being able to program in R is considered one of the highest-paying skillsets to have and you probably agree that you should be learning it now!

Python:
If you’re all about lofty goals and raising the bar, Python might be the cloud programming language for you! Some of the most popular IaaS management softwares are written in Python, and it’s an incredibly marketable skill which is applicable to many different environments. Though it’s easy to learn, it’s more elegant than similar languages like Php and Ruby. And, as with the other languages, it’s a money maker. The average salary of a Python developer is over 6 figures.

Learning Clojure:
Clojure is based on JVM, and in the opinion of most coders proficient in its use, is mature, stable, and easy to learn. It’s a Lisp, with all of the advantages that entails, and is built with concurrency in mind: meaning immutable data and less problems! If you’re a little slapdash with your coding, that means that Clojure helps protect you from yourself. And, like the above languages, it’s perfect for processing a great deal of data.

The Bottom Line:
There are hundreds of languages out there which can be used on the cloud, from Deadfish to Scala. But if you’re going to pick a new one to learn for developing on the cloud, you might as well pick one which has a lot of applications, offers substantial job security, and can make you a lot of money. For those looking to expand their skillset or jump into the field, SQL, R, Python, and Clojure are our top 4!

Read More at Top 4 Cloud Computing Languages To Learn Now!

from Web Design Ledger http://webdesignledger.com/top-4-cloud-computing-languages-learn-now/

Are You Looking for a Pleasant Experience with a WordPress Theme?

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Stress is an unwelcome partner when you are designing a website. Some design tools, including WordPress themes, can create stressful experiences. They are, at times simply difficult to use.

Problems you may encounter with such a product can eat up valuable time, and take that time away from what you should be doing – design. Technical problems also take the fun out of web design, to the point where a project becomes a chore, and you can’t wait to finish it.

This kind of theme may have bugs, a steep learning curve, or seems designed by developers for other developers. It’s time to take a breath and start searching for something better.

This theme could be your answer. Not only does it have the features and functionality you need. And because of its easy-to-use, intuitive, integrated front-end builder, it is actually enjoyable.

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A web designer taking a relaxed walk in the park after working with a difficult WP theme.

 

Intuitiveness in a WP Theme is a Sign of Good Code in the Back End

Intuitiveness and simplicity can often be difficult to find in a WordPress theme for one very good reason –these kind of themes are hard to code. Bugs create technical issues. Bloated code can as well, but in most cases it is simply inefficient, and it tends to be a resource hog.

A theme creators’ experience can tell you a great deal about what you might reasonably expect in terms of its performance. Experienced developers know how to make your life simpler, if they have worked with more than one coding languages. You don’t have to become a developer to make a tool work for you.

For example, Kallyas’ creators have several years of experience on WP and Joomla themes. That tells you that with Kallyas, they have delivered a theme that is simple, adaptable, intuitive, and enjoyable to use.

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    An example of a well-designed, intuitive homepage for an eCommerce website.

With Kallyas, you can focus on design, without having to worry about delivering a website that includes code your client has no need for. Kallyas’ experienced creators have taken care of that issue. They have provided you with a customizable theme that features smart, optimized, efficient code.

 

How Could an Integrated Front-end Builder Increase the Quality of Your Work?

If you are a web developer, a front-end builder may not seem like such a big deal. You are used to writing your own code, and managing everything from the back end. That is what you do, and there is no real need to change.

If you happen to be a web designer, the chances are your coding expertise is somewhere between slim and none. Any need to write code, as a part of your design activity, will simply slow you down.

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The intuitive interface of an integrated front-end WP visual builder.

Front-end builders are noted for being great time-savers, and productivity boosters. They can also have a positive impact on the quality of your deliverables. The reason is simple. If you are spending time going back and forth between the front end and the back end, you can lose focus on the consistency of your design.

Kallyas builder’s simple, fast, steps are the keys to producing higher quality work:

  • Drag and drop your element (images, video, or text),
  • edit it, and
  • select your settings, save, and close

Another benefit of a WP integrated front end builder: if your client wants changes on the layout, you can make them in seconds. No stress, no hassle, and a more enjoyable experience.

Check out this video to see the integrated, front-end builder in action:

 

Loading Time Matters

As a web designer, you should not have to be concerned about accessing and managing the resources needed to build a page or a website. Your WordPress theme should perform that task for you, that is why you are paying for this product. If it does so efficiently, both you and the user will have beautiful, intuitive, and stress-free experiences.

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When you enter a page built on a regular WordPress theme, your device isn’t going to receive only the elements that make up the page. It will also receive other elements Those other elements are unnecessary, and only serve to clog up the code.

The result? Slower page loading times, and impatient users (Note: remember that mobile users are not noted for their patience).

Kallyas solved that problem when it designed and developed its integrated, front-end builder. Thanks to this WordPress theme’s front end builder, the only elements that are received when loading a page, are those that are needed.

Quit Fighting Code, and Make Web Design More Enjoyable

You’ve been told that working harder and longer does not always produce high quality results. Quite the opposite is often true. If you can perform your web design activities in a relaxed manner, you’ll be able to focus on the creative work. And that will be reflected in the quality of your work.

Experienced creatives seek out tools and methods that don’t interfere with their preferred style of work. Kallyas, with its intuitive front end builder, will provide you with all necessary element to get the job done.

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Check Kallyas out. Read more about why this WP theme is so easy and relaxing to work with. Kallyas promises not to disappoint in terms of code agility, resource optimization, and UI quality.

Kallyas is a WP theme you won’t regret investing in.

 

Read More at Are You Looking for a Pleasant Experience with a WordPress Theme?

from Web Design Ledger http://webdesignledger.com/looking-pleasant-experience-wordpress-theme/

Why Snapchat Memories Will Be Pivotal (And Why Marketers Are So Excited)

If you could travel back in time to when Facebook or Instagram first started grabbing mainstream attention, knowing what you do now about the opportunity they hold for brands, you’d jump aboard, right?

Well, that opportunity is now on Snapchat.

Snapchat, a platform built on short ephemeral messages, seems destined to become a long-lasting social media powerhouse.

This future seems all the more realistic with the addition of Snapchat Memories — a way to share photos and videos captured outside of Snapchat to your Story. I’ve done some thinking about what this new addition means to Snapchat content and the future of the social network. My conclusion: All good things!

Keep reading to see what Memories is all about and how Snapchat is evolving into a must-have social media channel.

My teammate Brian recently shared his thoughts about Snapchat Memories in this video commentary. Would love to have you take a look!

http://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbufferapp%2Fvideos%2F1141263059279473%2F&show_text=0&width=560

What Are Snapchat Memories? Here’s an Overview

With Snapchat Memories, you can now, for the first time, share photos and videos captured outside of Snapchat to your Story.

That’s one of the key features of Memories – an update that fundamentally shifts Snapchat, taking the platform that has become famous for its disappearing content and moving it in a new direction.

Alongside the ability to share content from outside the app, Memories also enables users to save Snaps to a smart, searchable camera roll and enables re-sharing (and embellishing) of previously sent snaps.

Here’s the video that Snapchat put together for their announcement:

 

I’d love to show you more about how each of these new Memories features work.

1. Share any photo or video — from within the app or from anywhere else

Memories enable Snapchat users to tell bigger stories that incorporate more than just in-the-moment photos and video. Instead of purely spontaneous content, Snapchat can now be used to share much more thoughtfully — similar to the approach you’d take with platforms like Instagram and Facebook, where the content you post doesn’t disappear.

With the flexibility to share any photo or video you want through Snapchat — not just those you took within the app — the company has opened up a whole new way to create content.

memories

Users can access Memories by swiping up from the camera section of the app.

Saved photos and videos that are uploaded as Stories or Snaps have a timestamp to show when they were originally taken.

2. Save Snaps to a searchable camera roll

As Snapchat explains:

You can use Memories to create new Stories from Snaps you’ve taken, or even combine different Stories into a longer narrative. It’s fun to celebrate an anniversary or birthday by finding a few old Snaps and stringing them together into a new Story.

All saved photo and video Snaps plus your Stories appear in the main Memories tab, where you can also import all of your previously saved Snaps. From the Memories tab (which serves as an in-app camera roll), it’s super easy to find the Snap or Story you’re looking for in just a few seconds by typing keywords like “dog” or “Hawaii.”

memories-search

That’s the ins and outs of Snapchat Memories covered. Now, what does this mean? And how will it affect the way brands create content on Snapchat?

On the future of Snapchat: How Memories will affect Snapchat’s content

1. Memories raise the bar for quality Snaps

Political news site, The Hill, uses Snapchat to live-snap key political events and the larger world of politics and life in DC. They also have some recurring Snapchat series’. One, called Capitol Cribs, for instance, offers Snapchat tours of lawmaker offices.

Speaking to Nieman LabTaylor Lorenz, The Hill director of emerging platforms explained that Memories could lead to higher production qualities on Snapchat:

Memories will make producing this type of content easier in the sense that it doesn’t have to all be done in real time, but harder in that I think it will raise the bar for repackaged content. Now that we have a longer lead time on creating these evergreen-type stories, the quality of what we put out on our channel should improve.

Lifting the limit on content creation from what can only be created within the app has a huge upside when it comes to creating engaging stories for Snapchat.  Allowing people to upload pre-existing content also opens up the door for .

2. Memories make a longer shelf life for content

These days, content on social media has a very low shelf life.

None more so than Snapchat, where content disappears after 24 hours.

With the new features in Snapchat Memories (saving, reusing), this will make it easier for brands to justify budgets and invest in high-end creative for their Stories. Any photos or videos created for Snapchat can now be re-used, and content from other networks can also be re-published on the platform.

3. Memories may help Snapchat expand to a wider audience

In order to continue its impressive growth, it’s increasingly important for Snapchat to attract a broader (and older) audience. Currently, Snapchat dominates attention for 18 to 34-year-olds. Forty-one percent of all 18 to 34 year-olds in the United States use the app on any given day.

snapchat-demo

And the company is also making strides with older generations. According to numbers from comScore, 14% of smartphone users aged 35 and older use Snapchat, too.

This comes as no surprise, as Snapchat has put a lot of focus on becoming a more mainstream product and moving away from the stigma that it’s only for teenagers.

In 2015, Snapchat Discover made the network a media destination by providing publishers with a mobile-first way to share editorial content. And now, Memories is another strong move to help Snapchat become a complete distribution channel for individuals and brands alike.

Snapchat has huge, multi-billion dollar revenue potential, and as reported by TechCrunch, the company is looking to be making and as much as $1 billion in revenue during 2017.

Hitting this revenue target will rely greatly on Snapchat’s ability to spread its wings and continue to grow beyond its early adopters and increase its market share for the 35+ age range (and into the early majority). Much like when Facebook expanded from college students to parents (and now grandparents), Snapchat’s future growth and revenues could rely on its ability to pivot and engage the older generation and mass market.

snapchat-innovation

4. Memories can feed the evolution of Snapchat’s ad product

While Snapchat has reportedly achieved 150 million global daily active users (overtaking Twitter), the company is still a ways off Facebook’s 1 billion-plus user base.

And ads only work if there are users to engage with them.

With Memories, Snapchat now has a legitimate claim to be the go-to camera app for capturing and saving moments. Users in the early and late majority may also appreciate the ability to take a photo and video and worry about sharing later.

This shift could be seen as more user-friendly and easier to understand for the less digitally-native population and should help the company to build its user base, and in turn, boost its revenues.

The fact that Snapchat can now store photos and videos as Memories could also give it more insight into its user interests than before and more data should help Snapchat to improve its ad-targeting. Something that Facebook mastered on its way to becoming a dominant mobile advertising network.

Just last month (June 2016), Snapchat announced an advertising API – its biggest move yet towards becoming a pay-to-play network for large brands. The API will allow selected partners to sell Snapchat’s video ad inventory via an automated, auction-based system.

With the API roll-out and launch of Memories, Snapchat is getting serious about growth and revenue. And I don’t think it’ll be too long before we see a Facebook-style ‘ads-for-all’ platform, enabling brands of all sizes to capitalize on Snapchat’s highly-engaged audience.

Only time will tell how Snapchat’s ad product will evolve, but one thing’s for sure when it comes to revenue, Snapchat is just getting started…

Why now is the time to go all-in on Snapchat

At Buffer, we believe there are two key periods of opportunity for brands on social platforms:

  1. Organic
  2. Paid

We call it the law of the double-peak:

Right now, Snapchat is growing towards the mainstream and there’s still a ton of opportunity to stand out and build an audience organically. Meaning you don’t need ads or paid distribution to grab attention.

Think of it as Instagram in 2014-2015 or Facebook in 2009-2010.

Great content works on Snapchat, and you don’t need a huge budget.

In a year or so, things may be different. Snapchat is rumored to be working on a Facebook-like algorithm that would curate Stories and show users content it feels they’ll enjoy most at the top of their feed, rather than displaying each Story in chronological orders as the app does now. This, coupled with more brands and individuals vying for attention on the platform could make it harder to break through and get people to open your Snaps.

I’m confident when I say Snapchat will be around for the long haul. The ephemeral messaging app loved by teenagers could have been a short-lived fad, but what Snapchat is building has far, far more longevity and opportunity for brands of all sizes.

Your thoughts

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Snapchat Memories and the future of the platform.

How do you see Memories affecting your use of Snapchat? And how do you feel ads will affect the platform?

It’d be great to hear from you in the comments.

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/snapchat-memories

Adobe Muse Quick Tip #1 – Page Expansion

Muse For You - Quick Tip #1 - Page Expansion - Adobe Muse CC

Adobe Muse Quick Tip #1 – Page Expansion. No Coding Skills Required.

Muse For You - Adobe Muse CC Adobe Muse CC Logo

In the 2015.1 release of Adobe Muse in early February we were introduced to fluid-width breakpoints. This allowed you to create a responsive website in Adobe Muse and change the layout of the website on different breakpoints. Most of us loved it and some of us were struggling with wrapping our heads around the concept of breakpoints. One thing that is great about Adobe Muse is the easy learning curve, and when breakpoints were introduced it kind of made the curve a bit steeper :D.

Muse For You - Quick Tip #1 - Page Expansion - Adobe Muse CC

I tend to go the easy route when designing websites. The easy route for me is having 100% width elements that automatically change size as you re-size the browser. This makes the element responsive, and I don’t have to add breakpoints. In the video tutorial above I go over using the “Page Expansion” option that allows you to make elements across the browser 100% width, so you can have a responsive website without adding a lot of breakpoints and cluttering up the website. It is a great alternative and works really well with the Adobe Muse responsive width and height options.

Happy Musing :).

Read More at Adobe Muse Quick Tip #1 – Page Expansion

from Web Design Ledger http://webdesignledger.com/adobe-muse-quick-tip-1-page-expansion/

7 Ways to Get More Freelance Clients Than You Can Handle

Best-Freelance-Websites-to-find-Jobs

Best-Freelance-Websites-to-find-JobsResearch shows that over 53 million Americans currently work as freelancers, and an estimated half of the American workforce will be freelancers by 2020. However, all is not necessarily rosy for freelancers; it has been revealed that finding work and achieving income stability are the top barriers for freelancers.

If you work as a freelancer, you’re probably struggling to get clients. With over 53 million Americans freelancing, and more expected to join soon, you simply can’t fold your arms and watch and hope to get freelance clients. With the following seven techniques, you can proactively work to get more freelance clients than you can handle.

  1. Leverage Your Products to Promote Your Services

Many freelance designers and developers create free themes, plugins, graphic packs and other  useful products for other people to use, and there isn’t much benefit they derive from this.

If you have a plugin that thousands of people are installing and you are not advertising your services in it, you are missing out. For example, if you have a plugin that helps people optimize their database, you can include a note in the plugin page that you offer consulting aimed at helping people boost their site speed. If you have a plugin aimed at helping people make their site mobile responsive, you can also note that you offer web design help.

Even if your products are paid, it doesn’t hurt to include a note to let people know that you are a freelancer that they can hire for their design needs.

  1. Partner With Other Freelancers to Get Jobs

If you are a freelance web designer, there’s every probability that your clients will want content for their website when it is finally ready. Since you are not a freelance writer, it is impossible for you to do this job. A mistake most freelancers make is that they let this offer go and forget about it. Instead, you can be creative by partnering with other freelancers and establish a relationship in which you send each other work you cannot do; for example, a freelance designer partners with a freelance writer, and the designer sends his clients to the writer if they have writing jobs. The freelance writer does the same and sends his clients to the designer if they have design jobs.

If done strategically, this alone can serve as a source of more jobs than you can handle for you.

  1. Partner With Agencies to Get Jobs

Also in line with partnering with other freelancers is partnering with agencies. The only difference is that agencies are more likely to have more job offers than individual freelancers.

You can identify SEO agencies, writing agencies and other agencies, and convince them to start offering design services to their clients while you do the work; they charge their clients more, they pay you a part of it and both you and the agency win.

  1. Leverage Content Marketing to Get Clients by Blogging

Interestingly, many freelance web designers and developers have set up countless blogs for other people but they do not have one of their own.

According to data from Hubspot, businesses that blog generate significantly more leads than businesses that do not blog. It doesn’t take much effort to realize why this is the case; blogging — in essence, publishing content — means search engines have something to index and rank when people ask questions online. In turn, the people who read this content, if impressed, are potential clients that can use your services. Once you start your blog, use the following techniques to leverage your blog to boost your client portfolio:

  • Create in-depth tutorials about what your potential clients are struggling with
  • Do occasional critiques of some of the major organizations in the industry of your potential clients
  • Try to have articles published on other relevant blogs that link back to you
  • Make it clear on your blog, and in your bio in your articles, that you are a freelancer looking for work
  1. Leverage Freelance Job Boards

Freelance job boards are one of the most popular means freelancers use to get jobs, but a mistake many people make is assuming that you can only get job offers on popular, and often overcrowded, job boards like Upwork.

In reality, there are many popular alternatives to sites like Upwork; not only are these sites less crowded, making it easier for you to get jobs, but they also often result in clients that pay more. They provide opportunities for designers, developers, writers and other freelancers.

Some top sites like this include CloudPeeps and Twago. A simple Google search will reveal many more.

  1. Have a Waiting List for Clients

Pretty much every freelancer goes through the “feast or famine cycle.” The feast or famine cycle is a period where you have a lot of client opportunities at a time and little to none at other times; for most freelance writers, it happens every year. Sometimes, they have more work than they can handle and have to turn work down. At other times, however, they barely have enough work to keep food on the table.

The solution to avoiding this and ensuring that you have work all year round is to create a waiting list; whenever you have more work than you can handle, instead of having to turn clients away, you simply ask clients to sign up to your waiting list and tell them that you will reach out to them once you’re available for more work.

By doing this, you are getting permission from the clients you couldn’t work with to reach out to them when you are finally ready. While not all of them will eventually work with you, a good portion will, and this will ensure you have consistent work at all times.

  1. Strategic Cold Pitching

Finally, mastering the art of strategic cold pitching will help you get more jobs than you know what to do with, season in and season out.

You will notice my emphasis on “strategic.” We all get those cold pitches that we immediately regard as spam, and our reaction is either to send them to the spam or trash folder. You don’t want to be lumped in the same category as these people.

Here are some tips to help you get results through strategic cold pitching:

  • First establish your credibility; if you’ve been featured in a major place, or if you’ve worked for a famous person, start by referencing this fact.
  • Make it clear that you know the person you are pitching; through their site, social media or elsewhere. If you’re a stranger, you’ll probably be ignored.
  • Tell them about the service you want to offer.
  • End by letting them know you’re open to questions/concerns they have.
  • If you don’t hear back after a while, follow up.

Read More at 7 Ways to Get More Freelance Clients Than You Can Handle

from Web Design Ledger http://webdesignledger.com/7-ways-get-freelance-clients-can-handle/

Take Your Time Back With These 10 Ready-Made Spreadsheet Templates (And Our Top Tips and Time-Savers)

One of our cultural values at Buffer, is to live smarter, not harder.

We like to think this extends into our workflows as well.

This is why marketing spreadsheets have been such a boon for us, helping us to track important social media metrics, see our blog growth, and get more work done in less time.

That being said, spreadsheets are not always easy. Finding or building the right ones and figuring out how best to use them can be time-consuming tasks. We’d love to help.

To give you a hand with managing spreadsheets in Excel and Google Sheets (and hopefully save a great deal of time), we’ve pulled together a list of essential spreadsheets, templates, formulas, and shortcuts that are handy for every marketer to have in their locker.

Let’s jump in…

10 Ready-made Marketing Spreadsheets to Boost Your Productivity

For many of the free spreadsheets linked below, you can download as an .xls file to use and customize in Excel or Google Docs. Google Doc users can also go to “File > Make a Copy …” to add the spreadsheet to their account, then edit.

1. A weekly social media report

Track your social media marketing with week-over-week data

Social Media report card spreadsheet

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

This social media report is built in Google Sheets, and it works off of a data export from Buffer (though you can rig it to work with exports from other social media analytics tools as well).

The report will help you keep tabs on your engagement, top posts, and much more.

2. Waterfall chart

Monitor your progress to see if you’re on track

Waterfall template

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

The waterfall spreadsheet template is extremely versatile for keeping pace with your goals. We use it to track many of our OKRs here at Buffer. (Thanks to the HubSpot team for turning us onto waterfalls.)

Here’s an example of it in use to keep tabs on the number of comments we received per post throughout Q2:

comments

This spreadsheet can be used to track your progress on most any metric. Here are a few ideas to get you going:

  • Follower growth on social media
  • Newsletter subscribers
  • Traffic growth
  • Clicks from your social accounts

3. Blog post traffic tracker

Know which posts are seeing the most traffic, and when

Blog post traffic spreadsheet

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

This is one of my favorite spreadsheets we use at Buffer and I’m excited to share it with you. The blog post traffic spreadsheet enables us to keep an eye on which pieces of content are hitting our traffic goals and it’s also really great to keep an eye on what topics are performing best, too.

4. Social media marketing baselines

Know right away which social media posts are on track and which are taking off

Social Media Baselines spreadsheet

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

How can you tell if a certain number of clicks, reshares, or reach is good?

It can be a bit of a puzzle to see your social media results in context. That’s why we’ve gone about trying to set benchmarks and baselines for our social media marketing, using the above spreadsheet as our starting point.

Simply enter your social media data into the spreadsheet (it works natively with a Buffer data export).

Then the formulas do the rest, highlighting any update that goes above and beyond your average.

5. Social media audit spreadsheet

Easily track all your social profiles in one place

Social media audit spreadsheet template

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

Performing a social media audit on a monthly basis can be a good habit. Once you get in a good flow, it might only take 15 minutes or less, and you’ll gain tons of benefits with branding, consistency, and perspective.

Here are some of the things we track in the audit spreadsheet:

  • Profiles on all social networks
  • Active / dormant
  • Posting frequency
  • Followers and growth
  • Engagement and growth

6. Moz’s One Metric

See at-a-glance which pieces of content are performing best

Moz One Metric spreadsheet

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

We’ve used the Moz One Metric spreadsheet to track the performance of our blog posts and even re-engineered it to work with social media updates.

It’s a powerfully simple way to measure performance. Here is Moz’s explanation for why they built it:

We need a way to quickly sift through the noise and figure out which pieces of content were really successful, and which didn’t go over nearly as well.

It works by weighing three different points of data and standardizing to make a single score. The data points can be anything you choose. By default, they’re:

  1. Google Analytics traffic data
  2. On-page data (comments, thumbs up)
  3. Social shares

7. Google Analytics heatmap

Find out when your readers visit your site (so you know when to publish/promote)

Google Analytics heatmap spreadsheet via Seer

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

The folks at Seer Interactive set about to recreate a Google Analytics mobile dashboard look from a desktop spreadsheet. The results are pretty nifty: You can see the times when your site receives its most organic traffic, which might help you plan when to publish new posts or promote content.

To get started, Seer published step-by-step instructions for setting up the spreadsheet with your own Google Analytics data.

8. Social media calendar

Manage and plan your social media marketing content weeks in advance

Social media calendar template

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

We were grateful to partner with HubSpot in creating the above calendar template. One of our favorite features: It includes a sheet to store your best evergreen content and updates so that you can quickly grab something to share in a pinch.

9. Social media metrics dashboard

Visualize (and share) all your social media marketing growth from one place

Social media metrics spreadsheet

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

This is the spreadsheet we use at Buffer to track the performance of our social media marketing. It allows us to chart week-over-week growth and month-over-month growth, with sheets for the snapshot overview and each month’s performance.

10. Quotes to share

Easy-to-grab, inspiring quotes to share on social media

Social media quotes

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

Some of our most highly engaged social media content is quotes. And when we’re looking for some fresh inspiration, we often turn to this spreadsheet. (Likewise, when we find some quotable inspiration, we add it to the sheet.)

These quotes work great as images also. You can build an image quote in 30 seconds or less using Pablo or other image-creation tools.

5 incredibly handy spreadsheet formulas

1. Tidy up spacing

Have you ever started working on a spreadsheet with some odd spacing going on? A few rogue spaces throughout a sheet can make it difficult to work with the data. Thankfully, there’s a nice, simple formula to help you remove unwanted spaces.

The Trim function works across both Google Sheets and Excel. To use it, simply type the following formula into the Formula Bar:

=TRIM("Your Text Here")

Here’s an example, to remove the unwanted spaces before a name in our spreadsheet. For this, we used the formula: TRIM(“Kevan Lee”)

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 11.42.33

2. Spilt

The following formula can help you to split values within your Google Sheets spreadsheet based on any given character (or delimiter) within the cell. In the below example we used the character ” ” (space) to split first names and surnames from the values listed in Column A.

split

The formula you need to do this is:

=split(string, delimiter)

And in the above example, we used  “A2″ as the string and ” ” (space) as the delimiter, making our formula:

=split(A2, " ")

If you’re using Excel, this handy guide from Microsoft will help you achieve the same outcome.

3. Percentage difference between two numbers

Back at the start of Q2 2016, we set a goal to boost the traffic to our new posts by 30% in the first 30 days after publishing. To measure this, I created a spreadsheet, and in one column had the target traffic for each post with the actual traffic in another and the percantage difference between the two figures displayed in a third column. This formula helped to me see whether we hit the goal on not at a glance, and how far over or under we were.

Here’s a snippet of the spreadsheet (you can see the % difference in the green / red figures in the furthest right column):

post-tracking

To work out the percetage difference you need to use the following formula:
=(-1) * (Cell 1-Cell 2)/Cell 2

For example, if we have a target of 3,315 page views and achieve 4,147 page views, this forumlua will tell you that you were 25.10% over your target:

percent-formula

Note: Ensure the cells you’re using this formula for are formatted as percentages to ensure this one works.

4. Autosum

Autosum can be a really neat time saver in Excel. To use it, simply select an empty cell to the right or below the cells you want to sum, and type Alt + = (or Command + Shift + T on Mac). Excel will then estimate the range of cells you’re trying to combine and in one step give you the total.

autosum

Note: If Excel’s estimation is a little off, you can edit the range of cells include in the sum within the formula bar.

In Google Sheets, Autosum works a little differently. First, you need to select the range of cells you wish to add up, then click the Functions button and select the SUM option. Google Sheets will then automatically add the sum of your selected cells directly in the cell below (or to the right if you’re combining data from rows).

Here’s that workflow in action:

auto-sum

5. Add up the sum of cells matching certain criteria

If you wanted to discover the page views on your blog generated by posts written a certain author or count only data from users in a specifc cohort, it could take a while to figure these out manually. This is where the SUMIF function comes into play.

SUMIF allows you to add up cells that meet a certain criteria. Here’s how a SUMIF works:

=SUMIF (range, criteria, [sum_range])

  • =SUMIF: tells the formula it’ll be summing only cells that match the specified critera
  • Range: the range of cells you’re going to add up
  • Criteria: the criteria used to determine which cells to add
  • Sum Range: The cells to add together

Here’s an example showing how we can breakdown page views generated by post type on the Buffer Social blog using a SUMIF:

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 14.16.10

In order to calculate the number of page views ‘News’ posts generated we used the formula:
=SUMIF(B2:B7,"*news*",D2:D7)

This formula sums the amounts in column D (range) when a value in column B (sum range) contains “News” (critera).

More on the SUMIF function:

Bonus: 9 Time-Saving Shortcuts and Tips Used by Spreadsheet Masters

1. Add borders to cells

When I work with spreadsheets, I love to use borders to help me break up the data and make a sheet easier to understand. Both Excel and Google Sheets have a button to add borders, but they also have some super-handy shortcuts:

Google Sheets: 

  • Apply top border: PC: Alt + Shift + 1 | Mac: Option + Shift + 1
  • Apply right border: PC: Alt + Shift + 2 | Mac: Option + Shift + 2
  • Apply bottom border: PC: Alt + Shift + 3 | Mac: Option + Shift + 3
  • Apply left border: PC: Alt + Shift + 4 | Mac: Option + Shift + 4
  • Remove borders: PC: Alt + Shift + 6 | Mac: Option + Shift + 6
  • Apply outer border: PC: Alt + Shift + 7 | Mac: Option + Shift + 7

Excel: 

PC and Mac (substitute Alt for the Option key on Mac):

Add-border

2. Format numbers as currency

If you have same data you’d like to quickly turn into currency, there’s a super quick solution to help you out. This shortcut can be particularly useful when you’re working with budgets, revenues or even salaries.

number-to-currency

To use this trick, simply highlight the cells you wish to update and press Control + Shift + 4. Thankfully, this shortcut is universal across Excel, Google Sheets, Mac and PC.

3. Format as a percentage

Much like formatting numbers as currency you can also format numbers as a percentage using a neat shortcut. To do this, simply select the cells you’d like to show as percentages and press Control + Shift + 5.

4. Copy formatting

Formatting spreadsheets to your liking can take quite some time. To help speed this process up, you can use the Paint Format button to copy and paste formatting from one bunch or cells to another.

To do this, highlight the formatting you’d like to copy, then click on the paint brush icon (on both Excel and Google Sheets) and then select the area you’d like to apply the formatting to and click the paint brush again. Your styling will now be applied to those cells.

paste-format

5. Start a new line in the same cell

Adding multiple lines of text within the same cell is often a puzzle for spreadsheet users. I can’t even recall how many times I experimented and tried to figure this out before someone was gracious enough to teach me this amazingly simple keyboard command.

Here’s the answer, to add a new line of text in the same cell holding Alt + Enter on PC or Control + Option + Return on Mac, will add a new line inside a cell on both Google Sheets and Excel.

text-cell

6. Insert date and time

Almost every spreadsheet will have a column for the date or time and the following shortcuts work across Excel, Google Sheets, Mac and PC:

To add the date, use Control + ;

To enter the current time, use Control + Shift +

7. Fill down / Fill right

These shortcuts allow you to quickly copy data from the cell above or the cell to the left, without having to copy and paste. In Excel, to copy a value from the cell above, use Control + D. To copy data from the cell to the left, use Control + R.

Google Sheets works a little differently here, but you can still use a shortcut to fill cells to the right and below. To do this on Google Sheets:

  • Highlight the cells you’d like to fill with the top or furthest left cell being the one you’d like to copy
  • Press Command + D

8. Show formulas

Occasionally, it can be useful to see all the formulas within your sheet, and what’s even better is being able to do this without having to manually click on each cell to see the formula behind the data. By holding Control + ‘ (on both Mac and PC and Google Sheets and Excel), you can display all formulas within your spreadsheet at once.

This shortcut is particularly useful to help ensure you’re using consistent formulas throughout your sheet.

9. Insert rows and columns

To insert a row above or column into a spreadsheet, you first need to select an entire row or column. The, on Excel, use Control + Shift and + (on Mac: Control + I) to insert a row or column (columns will be added to the right of the selected column).

On Google Sheets, the command is a little different:

Here are the shortcuts for Mac:

insert-mac

And on PC:

insert-pc

(via)

Over to you: What are your spreadsheet tips?

Thanks for reading! I hope you picked up one or two new tips and tricks for your spreadsheets here. Now, I’d love to open the floor up to you and ask for your favorite spreadsheet hacks.

What formulas do you use regularly? Any shortcuts you couldn’t be without? Feel free to leave a comment below. I’m excited to join the conversation and learn from you too.

Further reading: 

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/marketing-spreadsheets

Amazon begins testing delivery drone fleets in the UK


Amazon is inching closer to a reality of delivering products using airborne drones. It’s now partnering with the UK government to expand trials of its drones to cover various delivery scenarios. In collaboration with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Amazon will test drones that fly beyond the operator’s line of sight in rural and suburban areas, their ability to identify and avoid obstacles, and even trips involving fleets of automated drones handled by a single person. The outcomes of these trials will help inform the development of future policy and regulation for the use of unmanned drones for commercial…

This story continues at The Next Web

from UK – The Next Web http://thenextweb.com/uk/2016/07/26/amazon-begins-testing-delivery-drone-fleets-in-the-uk/

Introducing the Web Design Ledger Shop

Web Design Ledger shop logo

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our new online shop! The Web Design Ledger shop is packed with great deals on everything from gadgets and gear to software, web services, and online courses. We even have special sections dedicated to design and development to ensure you save money on the items you need to do what you love.

Web Design Ledger shop

 

Deals have limited lifespans so signing up for an account is a great way to stay up-to-date. As an added bonus, the shop will offer a number of freebies you won’t want to miss out on. All you need to do is login and share the offer with your friends.

A few of our staff’s favorite items currently in the shop are:

These are just a few of the awesome products you can find in the Web Design Ledger shop. To kick-off off today’s launch, we’re offering readers 10% off their first purchase with code WDLShop10. This code is good to July 31st at 11:59 pm PST, so hurry and claim your discount today!

Read More at Introducing the Web Design Ledger Shop

from Web Design Ledger http://webdesignledger.com/introducing-web-design-ledger-shop/

How to Skew a Circular Symbol in Illustrator

Dansky_Learn How to Draw a Skewed Symbol in Adobe Illustrator

In this tutorial, we’re going to learn how to draw and skew a circular symbol in Adobe Illustrator.

The Steps (1-11)

1. Create a New Document.

2. Select the Ellipse Tool, Left-click and hold Shift to draw a circle. Remove any Fill and apply a Stroke width of your choice. For this tutorial, I’ve used a Stroke Width of 30 pixels, and given the colour black #000000.

skew-circular-symbol-adobe-illustrator-1

3. In the Stroke Palette, select the box labeled Dashed Line, select 0 for the Dash, and approximately 65 for the Gap. Also select Round as the Cap. If done correctly, you should now have a circle made up of a dotted stroke.

4. Once you are happy with the size and spacing of your dotted stroke, go to Object > Expand, and click OK.

skew-circular-symbol-adobe-illustrator-2

5. Left-click on the circle, and holding Alt + Shift, scale up from the centre and also create a larger copy of the dotted circle.

6. Repeat Step 5 as many times as you like, depending on the number of rings you wish to include in your design.

skew-circular-symbol-adobe-illustrator-3

7. Drag over all shapes with your mouse to select everything on the artboard, and Left-click in the Gradient Palette to apply the default black/white gradient.

8. Next, select two colours of your choice, and drag each of the these colours in turn, to either end of the Gradient Slider. Each of the circles that make up your design should now have a gradient individually applied to them, with the two colours that you selected.

skew-circular-symbol-adobe-illustrator-4

9. To make the gradient flow through the entire shape as a whole (rather than each circle individually), go to Object > Compound Path, and select Make.

10. Lastly, to distort the shape, go to Effect > Distort, and select Free Distort. Adjust the anchor points in the preview box until you are happy and click OK.

11. To edit the distorted shape, select the Free Distort effect listed in the Appearance Palette.

skew-circular-symbol-adobe-illustrator-5

Download Adobe Illustrator.

Read More at How to Skew a Circular Symbol in Illustrator

from Web Design Ledger http://webdesignledger.com/skew-circular-symbol-illustrator/