Freelance Round-Up: This month in design - April

What's New In Photoshop CS5

The eagerly-awaited upgrade of everybody's favourite design package has arrived. And it looks to be quite an upgrade with a plethora of new and enhanced features that have raised some eyebrows and made some jaws drop. What I'm talking about in particular is the new 'Content-Aware Fill' that, lets you remove items from a photo and then magically fills in the space left behind. See it in action for yourselves in this video. Other impressive new features include automatic lens correction, puppet warp and an improved colour picker. Some snazzy new features but I haven't quite decided whether they'll warrant paying the upgrade fee.

20 Years of Photoshop

Whilst on the subject of Photoshop I came across a nostalgic post looking at 20 years (yes, 20!) of Photoshop. A look back at It's origins, evolution and how it's become the standard digital tool for designers today. The post features a great video interview with John Knoll about the early days of Photoshop.

It’s Official: Google Now Counts Site Speed As A Ranking Factor

Google has announced that it will now take into account site speed as a factor in it's algorithm. At the SMX West conference recently Google’s Maile Ohye showed a slide indicating that delays of under a half-second had an impact on business metrics and that numerous studies over the years show internet users prefer fast loading pages. No surprise there really. This newly announced factor is in addition to the 200 or so other different ranking factors in Google's algorithm. Page speed is in place now and has been for a couple weeks. If your site was going to be impacted, it probably would’ve happened already.

Pixels Attack New York

There's a new animated short movie that has been appearing everywhere on the internet recently. It was inspired by video games and sees huge pixels invade New York city. Some fantastic techniques have been used throughout to give a fantastic real life feel to the whole production making it one to watch again and again . Produced by One More Production and written, directed and SFX by Patrick Jean.

Visual Chinatown of Davidope

I recently came across a series of beautifully animated GIFs. Little is known about the author/animator but I though I'd post this anyway as it really is some intriguingly impressive work.

Choosing The Right E-Commerce Software for Your Online Store

There are many solutions out there when it comes to choosing an e-commerce software package. From the free open source options to very expensive shopping carts that may not offer more in terms of features but will charge you thousands for hosting your store. The only way to really find out for yourself the difference between each of the popular choices is to try them out for yourself but can be unnecessarily time-consuming. So here is a post with a run-down of some of the best shopping cart packages out there today with a brief summary of what particular situation they are suitable for. There's no point in using a sledgehammer to crack a nut to hopefully this guide will help you make an informed choice in choosing a package right for the occasion. I'm glad to say i've used most of these in the past myself and can vouch for them.

Alex Peterson, Pixel Air, a web design studio in Cheshire.

Alex's Freelance Alliance profile.


4th May 2010

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