Avoiding Screen Fatigue with F.lux

January 7, 2016 / no comments

It’s a tale as old as time, one where you’ve been plugging away at your computer for hours without looking away. All of a sudden you turn to look out the window, and it’s as though your whole life is flashing before your eyes. You’ve successfully entered the mid-afternoon computer screen fatigue panic! Your eyes may feel like the surface of the sun, but you must persevere.

Luckily, screen fatigue doesn’t have to be the rest of your life; F.lux is here to change this daily struggle.

F.lux is a completely (yes, completely) free application which you can access online that will alter thephoto cred: www.justgetflux.com“temperature” of your screen depending on the time of day. Particularly when you work in an office environment with lots of natural light, F.lux alters your computer screen’s warmth to accommodate outside changes as the day progresses. This is especially important after the sun goes down, where your screen will adopt a yellow-orange hue that might throw you off at first. Don’t worry though, as this is supposed to help facilitate pre-sleep. This is especially helpful if you’re a fan of watching Netflix, working, or canvassing eBay for collectible action figures right before bed.

Screen fatigue (and eye strain) from staring at your screen is only going to become more and more of a

photo cred: www.improveeyesighthq.com

photo cred: www.improveeyesighthq.com

problem as the work we do becomes more and more computer-centric. While we have discussed taking breaks away from your screen in previous blogs, it doesn’t change the fact that the majority of your day will be spent in front of your screen’s warm glow. Simple changes, like the one F.lux is providing, are monumental in their day-to-day effect on user’s lives. While it is important to ensure that you aren’t (literally and proverbially) glued to your screen, F.lux is a useful way to successfully complete your work and avoid the piercing pain of the 2 o’ clock screen assault.

F.lux is another example of applications making minor adjustments to our everyday lives, with life-changing results. 

Writing, Uninterrupted: the Rise of Distraction-Free Writing

December 10, 2015 / no comments

Here’s an idea; hop onto your preferred search engine right now, and run a search for “distraction free writing applications.” Almost immediately, you will be greeted by a vast selection of applications which can help “mute” your desktop. The idea of cancelling out all of the potential distractions on your screen is a growing trend in the world of online writing — based on the idea that writing in its purest form is based on a complete lack of distractions.

photo cred: lifehacker.com

photo cred: lifehacker.com

What has taken so long for these applications to really take hold, though? The answer could be that distraction-free writing tools give you the opportunity to cancel out the influx of other applications available on your computer. It’s not just writing applications available to the average internet user, but countless other apps to help your organize your life, schedule your time, and do anything and everything in between. Given the sheer number of options, applications that “tune out” these potential distractions are in-demand — instead of adding to the mess of business, distraction-free writing tools are replacing the variety of options with only one option: to write, and then to write some more.

While there is no lack of options to do some distraction-free writing, there are certainly some that stand out from the crowd. Consider some of these apps before you undertake your next manuscript, screenplay, or blog:

Draft 

photo cred: ghost.org

photo cred: ghost.org

Draft offers an aesthetically pleasing interface where you can cut out distractions. The added twist is the Hemingway mode, which doesn’t allow for editing on the fly. It forces you to type without using the backspace button, only allowing for editing after the mode has been disabled. Hemingway mode is meant to facilitate the flow of writing, without the at-times debilitating process of going back and tweaking everything you’ve already said.

Hemingway Editor 

hemingway editor

photo cred: brit.co

Hemingway Editor began as an easy way to evaluate whether or not your writing was “plain language” enough — allowing for an instantaneous knowledge translation exercise. The application itself also offers a useful interface for writing, which combined with the evaluative aspect of seeing how relatable your writing is, provides for a unique and productive experience for writers of all kinds. We all want to be understood, after all.

Calmly Writer 

Calmly Writer is another attractive application that allows for distraction-free writing. The twist for this app is the fact that it provides a laser-focused approach to the writing process, highlighting the specific paragraph you are currently writing. It focuses on exactly what you are writing in that moment, and allows for better concentration.

This is just a taste of what’s going on in the world of distraction-free writing, so don’t be afraid of experimenting and trying out new applications as they are released. Every writer’s process is different, so it is important to use exactly the right medium to express yourself.

5 Things You Should Never Say During A Job Interview

March 12, 2015 / no comments

The interview process can be a very stressful experience. Interviews force you to come face to face with employers who are searching for the perfect candidate to fill an open job position. This demand for perfection can place a lot of pressure on the interviewee because they cannot afford to make a single error. What is even more terrifying is that those conducting interviews actively seek out negative qualities in the job seekers whom they meet. This means that one sentence or a nervous habit can turn a great interview into a lost employment opportunity.

The following is a list of sentences and phrases that are known to turn employers off and can result in a complete waste of time. When meeting with a company’s HR recruitment manager, be aware of the items on the following list and try to avoid them at all costs.

 The use of “like” and “um”

These phrases interrupt the flow of a sentence and allude to an inability to concentrate or think on one’s feet. Especially for higher-level positions, these interjectory phrases are sometimes associated with a lack of intelligence or lack of interest on the subject. Furthermore, interviewers may read this as a sign of poor critical thinking skills.

 “I want to own my own business”

Entrepreneurial ambitions are aspirations best left unsaid during an interview. While it is a productive goal, HR recruitment managers may interpret this as quite the opposite. In fact, they may not see ambition at all, but rather a potential threat. This is because employers tend to fear high turnover rates and stolen proprietary information. The last thing an employer wants to do is train a future competitor.

 “What does your company do?”

This is something you should never ask during an interview. Asking this question is the easiest way to ruin an interview. It creates the appearance that you have a poor work ethic and a blatant disregard for the time of the interviewer. You should always research the company you are interviewing for. Knowing specific facts about the company gives the interviewer the impression that you are interested in the position and took the time to prepare for the interview.

 “How am I doing?”

Employers want to hire those who express confidence. When you ask a question such as this during an interview, you not only leave yourself open to undesirable feedback, you may also create the appearance of someone who is insecure. Insecurity is an unfavorable trait for employers searching to fill a job position because it is usually a byproduct of being inefficient. Employers favour employees who display strength and self-assurance.

 “How long is this interview going to take?”

The interviewer’s time is just as valuable as yours. By asking a question such as this you are ultimately saying that you have better places to be. If you show that they are not a priority, then you have just wasted your time, as this will inevitably reflect negatively on your personality.

In Summary

If you are looking for a new job opportunity and plan on going to job interviews, you should make it worth your while. Try and plan ahead of time so that you are prepared and do not fall into any traps set by the interviewer. By avoiding the pitfalls described above you will already be ahead of your competition. Good luck!

 

 

 

25 years of Photoshop

February 18, 2015 / no comments

Happy anniversary Photoshop!

Adobe Photoshop has now been around for 25 years. It’s crazy to think that it was released in 1990. February 19th, 1990 to be exact. At the beginning, Photoshop had only a handful of editing features. Since then Adobe has done some major updates. Adding up to over a dozen major upgrades to what it is today. The latest Adobe software is Photoshop CC. Adobe’s continued success has a massive impact on the design world. Allowing for artwork that has never been seen before. It will only get better from here.

“For 25 years, Photoshop has inspired artists and designers to craft images of stunning beauty and reality-bending creativity.” – Shantanu Narayen.

In honor of the anniversary, Adobe is holding a “Top 25 Under 25” artist showcase. This lets many young creative minds show the world what they can do. If you would like to submit a piece of work, visit the Behance website and upload yours using the “Ps25Under25” tag.

Photoshop is used for many different editing purposes. This program has helped many business owners, photographers, and designers create the artwork they are looking for. Along with the help of all other Adobe programs (Illustrator, In Design etc.) Photoshop has the power to do more than just retouching photos and editing. Photoshop is also very capable of video production, web and print design, typography, and 3D design. Used in many different job positions, Photoshop has really proved itself as the industry leader. Growing up using this program I have many memories creating artwork with very little resources. Like many designers being creative is about using what you have and making the most out of it. With the continued improvement of technology, I am really looking forward to the future. Adobe programs will keep getting better and better. This will give the opportunity for anyone to create almost anything they can imagine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmYc1MNJaQc

Creative Resources

January 27, 2015 / no comments

Finding the right tools and creative resources to complete projects can really help their outcome and timeline. There are a ton of resources online that help with completing your projects, no matter the subject. Below I have compiled a list of resources to help complete your creative projects.

 

 

 

 

Web Design

LearnableLearnable provides a list of online books and online courses created for web designers and developers. They provide unlimited access to all courses and videos. This is a great resource for all areas of web design.

W3Schools: This website can provide everything from HTML to CSS to JavaScript to XML and lots more. With live code editors it simplifies learning the basics of web design.

CSS3 Click Chart: Most CSS attributes are very hard to remember. This website provides example code of how to use it and what proper attribute to apply to each CSS element. With live demonstration it shows in real time what your coding will look like. From common to cutting-edge coding this resource will help you create exactly what you are looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Design

Easel.ly: Handling a huge amount of text is very hard to visually present. This tool is a great way to create infographics without any hassle. It also allows you to edit and share your work with other creative people with the click of a button.

Fount: This tool is also heavily used in web design. Fount allows you to find out what any font type is, just by clicking the page. Easily accessible, it can sit in your bookmarks bar on your web browser. This tool will help to save precious time trying to find the proper font type.

Method & Craft: Just like your local Arts & Craft store, this website is dedicated to helping you learn better design techniques. By providing articles and examples it will easily show you recent trends and new techniques for becoming up-to-date with the graphic design world.

 

 

 

News & Information

Designer News: This provides a live feed of the latest design news. Many people from around the world help to contribute by sending articles, resources and there own findings. By creating your own profile you can find friends and keep in touch with recent design news around the globe.

HOW Design: This is an amazing resource for finding a variety of books, magazines, and how-to videos. The workshop offers a vast amount of tools to help increase your skills and love for design.

Adobe Creative Suite: Adobe now provides the tools that can help with any project. The creative suite comes with an application that can be accessible from your desktop tool bar. This provides a great amount of images, and projects from which people have submitted around the world. Growing and growing it becomes easier and easier to stay up-to-date and learn the newest ways of design.

 

I hope that you’ve found the resources helpful. The Internet can provide many resources to increase productivity and creativity. Although it may be difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for, I hope these links can provide you with the tools to create something awesome in the future. Stay inspired, and stay positive. Now get creating!!