Speckyboy Design Magazine http://speckyboy.com Web Design News, Resources & Inspiration Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:14:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 20 Free High Resolution Photoshop Brush Packs http://speckyboy.com/2014/07/28/free-high-resolution-photoshop-brush-packs/ http://speckyboy.com/2014/07/28/free-high-resolution-photoshop-brush-packs/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:14:10 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=50313

As you will not doubt know, we really love to highlight and share as many free design resources as we can. And today we take a look at some of the best brush packs that...


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As you will not doubt know, we really love to highlight and share as many free design resources as we can. And today we take a look at some of the best brush packs that have been freely released over the past year. [If you would like tyo take a look at last year’s, click here: Free Photoshop Brush Packs 2013.

There are 23 high resolution Photoshop brush packs below, with a huge total of just over 400 brushes. In the collection you will find ink splatter, fire, watercolor, vintage, marker streaks, subtle, high res galaxies and star brushes. and much, much more. Here they are:

Free High Res Brushes for Photoshop

High Res Nebula Galaxies & Star Brushes →
In this package there are 15 high resolution galaxy and star Photoshop brushes, perfect for creating space related backgrounds and artwork.
High Res Nebula Galaxies & Star Brushes

Ink Wipes Brushes →
This set contains 15 Photoshop brush wipes at various angles and sizes. They are perfect as backgrounds for titles or other design elements. Individual transparent PNG files and vector SVG files are also included.
Ink Wipes Brushes

Vintage Handwriting Photoshop Brushes →
This brush pack contains 26 beautiful and vintage handwriting examples.
Vintage Handwriting Photoshop Brushes

10 Subtle Grunge Brushes →
This set contains 10 subtle grunge brushes designed to give your work a distressed appearance, giving your work an aged retro look and feel.
10 Subtle Grunge Brushes

High Resolution Fire Photoshop Brushes →
This pack contains 20 high resolution fire brushes, perfect for creating fiery text effect, glowing embers, or using them for lighting effects. Signup is required to download these free brushes.
High Resolution Fire Photoshop Brushes

Photoshop Smoke Brushes →
This pack contains 13 high quality Photoshop smoke brushes perfect for your next design project.
Photoshop Smoke Brushes

Vintage Thrift Store Brushes →
These brushes have been 'created from the finest book textures of the worst thrift stores in Dayton, Ohio.'
Vintage Thrift Store Brushes

Detailed Watercolor Brushes →
This download contains 50 highly detailed watercolor Photoshop brushes. They will come in handy for various kinds of projects and scenarios as they offer a great textured base and can add an element of realism to your designs.
Detailed Watercolor Brushes

Stamp-O-Matic – Vintage Photoshop Seal and Stamp Brushes →
Stamp-O-Matic, created using images from The British Library’s Flickr Stream, is a collection 56 vintage stamps and seals, packaged nicely into an easy to use brush set.
Stamp-O-Matic - Vintage Photoshop Seal and Stamp Brushes

Water Splash Photoshop Brushes →
This package, created by Niño Batitis, contains 11 high resolution water splash brushes.
Water Splash Photoshop Brushes

Let It Snow Photoshop Brushes →
Here is a set of high resolution snow brushes, by Joe Cavazos, that will add a lovely wintery feel to your designs.
Let It Snow Photoshop Brushes

Marker Streak Brushes →
Similiar in concpet to the Ink Wipe brushes from MediaLoot above, this set contains 20 high resolution Marker Streaks brushes.
Marker Streak Brushes

Watercolor and Ink Photoshop Brushes No.3 →
There are 25 ink and watercolor brushes in this pack.
Watercolor and Ink Photoshop Brushes No.3

Spray Splatter Brush Pack →
This pack contains 12 high resolution spray splatter-style brushes, fantastic for adding grunge and dirty effects to your designs.
Spray Splatter Brush Pack

Watercolour and Ink Photoshop Brushes No.5 →>
Watercolour and Ink Photoshop Brushes No.5

Scratchy Grunge Brushes →
Here is a collection of grunge brushes, perfect for creating flyers, posters and other print designs.
Scratchy Grunge Brushes

Coffee Stain Brushes →
There are 9 high resolution (2500px) coffee stain brushes in this pack.
Coffee Stain Brushes

High Resolution Cloud Photoshop Brushes →
In this high resolution (2500px) pack there are 20 cloud brushes.
High Resolution Cloud Photoshop Brushes

High Resolution Fabric Texture Photoshop Brushes →
There are 9 fabric textures in this pack, and are all sized at 4380px by 4917px with a resolution of 300dpi. Signup is required to download these free brushes.
High Resolution Fabric Texture Photoshop Brushes

Distressed Halftone Brush Strokes →
In this brush pack there are 21 hand-painted brush strokes that have been post-processed and bitmapped inside Photoshop, giving them a wonderful distressed halftone effect.
Distressed Halftone Brush Strokes

Nuclear Bomb Brush Diagrams →
There are 24 nuclear bomb diagrams and schematics in this brush pack.
Nuclear Bomb Brush Diagrams

Radiate Brush Set →
This brush set includes 12 unique & abstract techno style brushes. Great for album artwork, abstract backgrounds and decorating tech style design projects.
Radiate Brush Set

Fairy Tales Photoshop Brush Set →
In this set there are 9 high resolution (1000 up to 2500px) brushes. They can be used for creating fantasy backgrounds and textures like rocks and metals.
Fairy Tales Photoshop Brush Set


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The Unique and Humorous Illustrated Caricatures from Graphicurry http://speckyboy.com/2014/07/27/illustrated-caricatures-graphicurry/ http://speckyboy.com/2014/07/27/illustrated-caricatures-graphicurry/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 10:00:59 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=50192

Digital artist Prasad Bhat, the brainchild of the Graphicurry design agency, has designed an impressive series of illustrated caricatures from popular television series’ and movies that beautifully combine his unique cartoon design style with a...


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Digital artist Prasad Bhat, the brainchild of the Graphicurry design agency, has designed an impressive series of illustrated caricatures from popular television series’ and movies that beautifully combine his unique cartoon design style with a huge splash of satirical humor.

Some of his original artwork include the main characters from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, a fantastic ensemble illustration of Mr Pink and co. from Reservoir Dogs, the casts of Friends, Dexter, Game of Thrones and Seinfeld, and also a selection of the most popular players from world football – check out the Luis Suarez illustration below, you will love it!

The Illustrated Caricatures by Prasad Bhat

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones tv movie  cartoon satrical humor

Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs tv movie caricatures cartoon humor

Walter White from Breaking Bad

Walter White from Breaking Bad tv movie  cartoon satrical humor

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes tv movie caricatures cartoon humor

True Detective

True Detective tv movie  cartoon satrical humor

Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory tv movie caricature illustrated caricatures cartoon satrical humor

Rocky Balboa

Rocky Balboa tv movie  cartoon satrical humor

Dexter

Dexter tv movie caricatures cartoon humor

Seinfeld

Seinfeld tv movie  cartoon satrical humor

Friends

Friends tv movie caricature illustrated caricatures cartoon satrical humor

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly tv movie  cartoon satrical humor

Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction tv movie caricatures cartoon humor

The Shining

The Shining tv movie  cartoon satrical humor

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee tv movie caricature illustrated caricatures cartoon satrical humor

The Godfather

The Godfather tv movie  cartoon satrical humor

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi football soccer caricature illustrated caricatures cartoon satrical humor

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo football soccer cartoon satrical humor

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez football soccer cartoon satrical humor


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Weekly Web & Mobile Creativity n.75 http://speckyboy.com/2014/07/26/weekly-web-mobile-creativity-n-75/ http://speckyboy.com/2014/07/26/weekly-web-mobile-creativity-n-75/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 08:24:23 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=50154

It’s that time of the week again, a chance for you to sit back and enjoy some of our favorite web and mobile designs from the past week. You may also like to browse the...


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It’s that time of the week again, a chance for you to sit back and enjoy some of our favorite web and mobile designs from the past week.

You may also like to browse the Web & Mobile Creativity Archives.

Adobe Muse CC →
Adobe Muse CC web design inspiration

Firmamento →
Firmamento web design inspiration

The Cut Creative →
The Cut Creative web design inspiration

Rawww →
 web design inspiration

Over Clothing →
Over Clothing web design inspiration

Airbnb Redesign →
Airbnb Redesign web design inspiration

Weather App Concept by Webshocker →
Weather App Concept web design inspiration
Weather App Concept web design inspiration

You may also like to browse the Web & Mobile Creativity Archives.

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Google Analytics Tips for UX Research http://speckyboy.com/2014/07/24/google-analytics-tips-ux/ http://speckyboy.com/2014/07/24/google-analytics-tips-ux/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:16:58 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=50289

Google Analytics can be an incredibly powerful tool for optimising your site’s user experience. Here are my top tips for harnessing its full potential. 1. Always have a goal Google Analytics has continually evolved since...


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Google Analytics can be an incredibly powerful tool for optimising your site’s user experience. Here are my top tips for harnessing its full potential.

1. Always have a goal

Google Analytics has continually evolved since it was originally released, and now offers a mind-boggling amount of information about your site visitors. This is a double-edged sword though, as one of the most common mistakes I see analysts making is getting lost in a labyrinth of data without any kind of clear goal or direction.

Sure; it’s possible you just might find some interesting tidbits by just poking around through the various different views and filters, but you really need to be setting some study goals before diving in. I find it’s best to work with stakeholders in advance of the study and make a list of all of the questions you want answered.

Some examples might include:

  • What content is trending right now?
  • What are people doing on the homepage?
  • Are people reading a specific piece of content?
  • Do mobile users exhibit different kinds of behaviour to desktop users?

The questions that you’ll set out to answer will obviously depend on the unique needs of your business, but having goals ensures that you stay productive in gathering meaningful, relevant data.

2. Make all insights actionable

For an audit to be productive it’s important to provide actions along with data. The information we’re collecting in analytics isn’t going to be very useful if it doesn’t drive us to do something in response. Usually an action comes naturally if solid goals are set at the beginning of the study, but it’s still important that we don’t just collect data for data’s sake.

An example, then. If we’re checking to see if a specific piece of content is being read and we find that it isn’t – what do we do with that insight?

In some cases the improvements might be clear, such as rethinking the site structure, making some copy tweaks or promoting it more prominently on the homepage. Other times further usability or AB testing may be required. Either way these are all valid actions, and they all ensure that we’re doing something productive with that data we’re collecting.

3. Prioritise your actions

When presenting the findings of a study to your stakeholders, make sure that the resulting actions are prioritised. In my experience the prioritisation of a study finding is mainly affected by two factors:

  • Impact – Is it going to marginally improve content, or will it fix a huge usability issue that is costing us conversions?
  • Effort – Is this a tiny content tweak that can be made in the CMS, or the introduction of a whole new site feature that needs building from scratch?

If you were to plot these actions on a hypoethetical graph, you’d see the low-hanging fruit in one corner – this is the stuff that you should be addressing right now. The opposite corner is still relevent, but might be better considered as longer term for the next larger-scale site redesign.

Graph of solution impact vs effort

4. Compare historical trends (where relevent)

A lot of insights can be affected by the time that data was extracted. Google Analytics gives you the ability to control the date range of your sample quite easily. This is pretty useful for benchmarking any data that we’re gathering, so take advantage of it whenever relevant.

Date range selector in Google Analytics

Sometimes stats can fluctuate over time, which might have something to do with an outside event. For example, the traffic or behaviours of a museum website could change during the school holidays, giving a very different view of the data regarding demographics and content interests.

A good way to keep track of this is by using annotations. Analytics provides the capability to add annotations onto a certain date, so that you can highlight where these events might be occurring and affecting our data. You’ll also want to include other interal factors that could cause data fluctuations, such as the site going down for maintinence or a sale taking place.

5. Assign a value to goals

Google Analytics gives admins the ability to create on-site goals, and assign a monetary value to their completion. To go back to our museum example, if we know that the average order value for tickets is around $20, we can infer that this is the value of a visitor completing our ticket booking form.

Goal values therefore give much clearer impression of how much money things like bounce and exit rates are costing us. This is a great way to sell proposed actions to your stakeholders, and give them a much better idea around the return on investment that they’ll get for implementing the proposed change.

6. Filter out your internal traffic

This is a really important setting in your analytics that often gets forgotten. Internal stakeholders who aren’t representative of your target audience can often be looking at the site for content curation or reference purposes and skewing your data. After all, who can resist the temptation to go and have a look at that new content they were so proud of writing?

You can prevent this by setting up a filter in Google Analytics to exclude all traffic from a certain IP address (namely your office or place of work). It’s important to note that these filters aren’t retroactive, so I’d recommend this is the first thing you look into when setting up a new Google Analytics install.

Filtering internal traffic in Google Analytics

Also remember that sometimes internal stakeholders can actually be a valid audience for your site. For example a very large corporation might communicate with existing employees through the .com website. In these cases it might be better to treat internal audiences as an advanced data segment rather than excluding them from the analytics altogether.

7. Use advanced segments

Speaking of advanced segments, they’re incredibly useful and should be used for answering all of those tricky audience-specific questions you’ll be setting. An advanced segment is essentially a permanent audience filter that can be applied to any analytics view. They’re absolutely fantastic for directly comparing the habits of two different user groups, and you can be as specific as you need to be when creating them.

In the example below, I’ve created an advanced segment for all elderly visitors who have made purchases using older versions of internet explorer.

Creating an advanced segment in Google Analytics

Obviously it’s rarely necessary to be that specific in your segmentation, but it really demonstrates how complex Google Analytics has gotten. Just remember to always be asking questions, and don’t go creating segments unless they’re going to provide those answers.

8. Leverage search analytics

Site search analytics are an extremely interesting and often overlooked way to see exactly what people are looking for on your site. They might seem like a no-brainer but I’d say about 90% of the analytics installs I’ve looked at didn’t have this set up – and it only takes about 30 seconds!

Search analytics are especially useful since they can reveal what users might be after that you haven’t accommodated for in your navigation or on your homepage. It might also bring to light that your visitors are using different words or terms than those you might expect, prompting changes to your navigation.

This is usually one of the first things I look at when doing a site audit, as it’s a very quick way to identify deficiencies in the site navigation or gaps in content.

9. Use dashboards for frequent reports

A lot of our audits might need to be repeated regularly. For example, it might be useful to provide stakeholders with a breakdown of top content or mobile device usage that is updated every month. The concept of an analytics dashboard isn’t anything new, but Google has made this extremely easy with the recent introduction of in-built dashboards in Google Analytics. We no longer have to spend time mucking around with the API and an excel spreadsheet, our useful dashboards can now be made in the application itself.

A custom dashboard in Google Analytics

As per the previous advice in this post, try to structure your dashboards around answering questions instead of just providing reams of data. Check out this article from Econsultancy for some great examples of dashboards.

10. Avoid analysis paralysis

This is a simple one, but it’s probably the most important point of all.

Web analytics tools have provided us with an amazing opportunity to get real user insights quickly and easily. But data without action isn’t any good to anyone. Always be actioning your insights, otherwise there isn’t much point gathering them in the first place.


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Cosmopolis – An Inspiring Collection of Major City Illustrations http://speckyboy.com/2014/07/23/cosmopolis-inspiring-collection-major-city-illustrations/ http://speckyboy.com/2014/07/23/cosmopolis-inspiring-collection-major-city-illustrations/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:47:27 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=50247

Mexican artist Aldo Crusher has recently designed an inspiring collection of illustrations of all the major cities of the world, entitled “Cosmopolis“. He has combined his unique conceptual illustration style, which is the use of...


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Mexican artist Aldo Crusher has recently designed an inspiring collection of illustrations of all the major cities of the world, entitled “Cosmopolis“. He has combined his unique conceptual illustration style, which is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, and shapes to represent buildings and famous monuments of each metropolis, with beautiful colors.

The exuberant use of colors and unique geometry of the structures depicts how architecture in our big cities has begun to reflect our culture as a whole. From the sandy beaches of Cape Town to the giant skyscrapers of New York, Aldo has perfectly implemented the key elements of each city into his illustrations. Take a look at the sunset in Madrid, you’re going to love it.

Cosmopolis Illustration Series

Cape Town Aldo Crusher illustration metropolis geometry
Cape Town

New York city illustration metropolis geometry
New York

Madrid Aldo Crusher illustration metropolis geometry
Madrid

Buenos Aires Cosmopolis illustration metropolis geometry
Buenos Aires

Shanghai Aldo Crusher illustration metropolis geometry
Shanghai

Mexico city illustration metropolis geometry
Mexico City

Los Angeles Aldo Crusher illustration metropolis geometry
Los Angeles

Vienna Cosmopolis illustration metropolis geometry
Banff

Banff Aldo Crusher illustration metropolis geometry
Cancun

Cancun city illustration metropolis geometry
Tokyo

Tokyo Aldo Crusher illustration metropolis geometry
Miami


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