Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tattoo Basics

Many of us have seen tattoos. Sometimes they’re attached to the bodies of fierce-looking bike riders. Sometimes they’re on the bellies of bikini-clad beach blondes. Our favorite lead singers clutch microphones with tattooed hands while the drummers flex tattooed shoulders. We’re all secretly fascinated with them.

At the moment, tattoos have gained a kind of fad status. Everyone wants one, or knows someone who has one. It is important to know as much as you can before you commit to getting one – remember the Offspring song… “He wanted a 13 but they drew a 31”? Tattoos are pretty much permanent. Even removal techniques can leave scars worse than the original ink. So research, read, ruminate and repeat. Wait a while, and if you still want one, read on…

Why do you want a tattoo? Is it to be one of the popular crowd? Think of how a dolphin on your breast today will look after you’ve had children, and body parts aren’t what they used to be. A sprawling tribal design across your shoulders won’t look so attractive at the local school fetes, 15 years later. Or, maybe it will. In any case, a tattoo is not something to rush out and get just to keep up with the rest of your peers.

Sometimes tattoos have significance to the bearer. Mothers who have lost children sometimes get a tattoo to remember them by. Lovers have their partner’s name (or names!), even children have tattoos of parents’ names. People with specific ancestries get tattoos to reflect their heritage. If you are choosing a design for its significance, make sure it moves you. If you are getting a tattoo simply because you like a particular design, great. Just make sure you’ll be happy with it after it’s done.Tattoos are basically made by a tiny needle, or several of them, inserting ink into the layer under the top layer of skin. Because this involves two factors – blood, and the breaking of skin – health is of prime importance.

Make sure you are healthy. If you’re run down, you are more prone to infection. Even the cleanest of tattoo instruments can leave you exposed to infection if your health is not the best. Make sure your immunizations are up to date, and it’s best not to be pregnant, diabetic or suffering from skin concerns. See your doctor beforehand if you have any questions about your health and the impact a tattoo may have on it.

As for the tattoo parlor, make sure they’re safe and sterile. Needles are to be single use, anything else must be sterilized in an autoclave (uses steam to sterilize). The artist must be licensed, and they must adhere to a strict code of ethics. If you feel unsure about anything, it’s best to find somewhere you are completely comfortable.

Getting the tattoo is uncomfortable. It can be downright painful. But one thing is certain, everyone will feel something different. Afterwards, it is imperative that you look after your new tattoo. Take the bandage off after an hour or so, and wash with an antibacterial soap. Dab dry with a clean towel. Otherwise try not to get it wet. Oh, and keep it out of the sun until it’s healed. Ice packs can help with swelling, and over the counter medication should be enough to deal with any slight pain you might feel. Don’t use peroxide or alcohol as they will dry out the tattoo, and don’t use petroleum jelly as it can fade the ink.

Think about the tattoo you want to get. Why do you want it? Where will you get it – where on your body, what parlor? What will you get? And think about safety, health and risks. You want to enjoy your tattoo, not regret it or recover from a poor experience.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Business Software Applications

Your business software application is the subclass of your computer software. This uses the capacity of the computer and applies it to a task or job which your business needs. Software applications are entirely different from system software because when the latter is applied, it does not provide benefits to a user when performing tasks on the computer. On the other hand, software applications are very essential whenever you are executing tasks since, these can make your job easier.

Some common types of business software applications are spread sheets, word processors and CRM. When a lot of software applications are put together, they are called as an application suite. Usually, each software application has a user interface which is common to the other applications. When your software applications are put together, these are easier to comprehend and apply. On the other hand, these applications can be used along with another application. If you are making a report on the sales of your business, you can embed a spreadsheet in the document of a word processor.

Whatever the size of your business, when you use software applications, the load of your tasks are lightened. The following are types of businesses and, some types of business software applications which are being used:

  • a small business – when your business is relatively small and you do not need to carry out a lot of tasks at the same time, your software applications may be limited. These may include software for home accounting or, office application suites like; or Microsoft Office.

  • a medium sized business – when you have a medium sized business, you may need to have several software applications since, you have to do a lot of work. To help you with the tasks which are required in a business like yours, you may need to obtain accounting software, CRM, groupware, software for human resources, software for loan origination, software for field service. Whatever software applications you are going to include in your application suites, you have to make sure that these will increase the production of your business. On the other hand, if you are selling online, you may need a software for shopping carts for the benefit of interested shoppers.

  • corporations and other huge businesses – when your business is big, you may need to have an application suite which has an extensive reach. When you need assistance with broad tasks, you may need software applications like; resource planning for your enterprise, ECM, CRM, process management for your business or, lifecycle management for the products. These applications are very beneficial for your business, since these have a broad scope. Plus, you are also allowed to integrate the operation of software programs for third parties. If you constantly communicate with your clients or customers, there are software applications which allow you to do this, like the CRM. CRM stands for customer relationship management, which enables you to view information about your customer.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Web design and music

What do music and web design have in common? I’ve noticed that many of us in the web design and development community are talented DJ, too. So I started an annotated listing as part of a new project of linking to independent musicians to help spread the word. I’m not making any promises, but that’s exactly how got started long ago.

By the way, I welcome and invite submissions, too. The best for me is to submit them via the submission form at my music site so they’ll be email filtered properly, but I appreciate them any way I get them.

You Mean interviewed me about 2-1/2 years ago asking what web design and DJ music have in common. He asked so many great questions, making it an especially fun interview. Although Brainstorms and Raves didn’t yet exist and sites have grown immensely since then, the creative aspects of design and music, my philosophy, and how I think about them is still true.

Web design solutions

The key to any successful marriage is compromise. While things may not always go the way you want them to, in the end, coming to an agreement helps you to achieve a greater good. The same holds true for user interface (UI) design. After all, what else is the user interface if not a marriage of form and function?

To effectively evaluate the cost and benefit of each web design solutions that affects the UI, you need insight across many fields, from cognitive psychology to human factors to graphic design.
Designing the UI is fundamentally an exercise in compromise—not compromise between designers and other project stakeholders (usability should never be sacrificed as a result of office politics)—but compromise between the drawbacks and benefits of design decisions. Every UI decision, from a pixel’s precise placement to the entire site’s information architecture, should be made judiciously. Careful consideration of the benefits each design decision affords and costs its users is essential. It’s the sometimes-subtle expense that many people often overlook, and every UI decision does have expense. Educated compromise across all UI decisions is essential to creating the best interface possible, and is, ironically, required if you are to avoid designing a compromised interface.

Compromise does not end with screen-level design, either. It’s threaded throughout larger issues in UI design, including supported web demographics (which browser, platform, monitor resolution, etc. the application will operate on), thin/fat/rich client architecture, development time, and cost issues. Usability still plays a large role in evaluating such compromises, but other real-world mitigating issues start to creep in. For example, if one design solution is clearly superior to another, does that justify an additional ten thousand dollars in development expenses? Is a particular piece of functionality (the good) worth the monetary cost (the bad)? Or conversely, is the budget savings (the good) worth the decrease in application usability (the bad)? Such decisions need to be evaluated as what they truly are, compromises, and acted upon accordingly.

Simply recognizing the fact that UI design is based on a foundation of compromise can go a long way in getting the project team to understand the why behind designs. Doing so will reduce the risk of derailing an optimal UI design that is inaccurately critiqued by those who only see one side of the story. By clearly showing the costs, the benefits, and the corresponding net value of your designs, you can educate others while championing your vision. After all, if we can all just compromise, we can live with the good and the bad. Just don’t give us the ugly.

Web design and hobby

When designing a website a huge part of the design is in the layout. The way your site looks, and its overall ease of use is important, especially if your site is directed towards a customer base. For the web illiterate a web template can step in and take over the grueling part of designing a website. This can save time, money, while at the same time providing your site with a look and feel that you have selected.

A web template is like paint by numbers website. It’s the layout, and the required code, without the information pertinent to your particular site. Most are simply cut and paste, fill in the blank affairs, and are generally quick and simple. They allow you to see the website in its completed form first, and give you the ability to make sure it fits your needs. It also allows you a professional looking layout without paying top dollar for a website design firm, or freelance web design professional.

Web templates are usually designed by freelance web designers, or people who look at web design as a hobby. Some templates are free, and others cost a little money, but it is still a fraction of the cost involved in having a site designed from the bottom up. There are hundreds of template sites floating around the wide world of the internet, and it can be time consuming to find the right one. The time and effort involved in looking at template after template can be worth it though, when you find that template that is all you.

So where to begin on your hunt for the perfect hassle free layout? Checking out the sites offering free templates first is the most cost effective place to start. These sites usually exist solely on advertisement revenue and offer templates for free to bring in large amounts of traffic. The contributions are generally made by private web designers, who design as a hobby, or want to get their names out into the world by offering a few designs for free. The drawback to using a free template is that the chances of your template being used hundreds of times over, by several different sites, increases exponentially. Other sites offer high quality templates for a price. The price of these templates is much lower then one would pay to have a site designed exclusively, and the chances of it being used by several hundred people is less because these templates do cost money.

Whether you choose to go with a free template or pay the price for an almost exclusive one, the bottom line here is the price. You must decide if having a generic layout, and potentially looking the same as another site is worth not paying top dollar for a web design firm to design something uniquely yours. You must consider your individual needs, the needs of your audience, and the message you want to convey before selecting which route to take.

Way design

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