Parametric Holiday Greetings from Coldwell Banker, Townside, Realtors

Parametric holiday greetings from Coldwell Banker, Townside, REALTORS(R)

Seasons greetings and best wishes for a wonderful 2013 from Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS and Handshake 2.0!

The original Parametric Tree was created using Wolfram's Mathematica by Alex Edelman and appeared on Handshake 2.0 in 2009.  In 2010, Kelsey Sarles decorated the tree for the holidays. We enjoy it each year and hope you do, too! 

You're invited to view all the parametric images on Handshake 2.0.

Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Roanoke, and Salem, Virginia real estate and homes Coldwell Banker Townside specializes in in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Roanoke, and Salem, Virginia real estate and homes and national and global relocation services to the Blacksburg, Virginia and Roanoke, Virginia areas. You're invited to check out the CBT blog, Keepin' It Real Estate, visit Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) on Facebook, and see more of Coldwell Banker Townside on Handshake 2.0.

Download the Coldwell Banker Townside App in the iTunes App Store or in Google Play.

Coldwell Banker Townside REALTORS is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

User Experience: How to Hire a Great Graphic Designer

Hire a great graphic designer by asking the right questions

by Kelsey Sarles

To discover a great graphic designer suitable for hiring, ask questions.

 1. Ask to see their portfolio. It should make you say things like, "Wow! I could never do that!" and "It's so creative!!"

Keep in mind that if you're looking for someone who can create designs for both print and web (and you probably are), you'll want to see examples of both their print and digital design work.

2. Ask about the specific portfolio pieces that interest you. You'll want to learn:

– exactly what the designer designed themselves
– what may have been created with the help of others
– what/who the designs were created for
– how they came up with the design concept

3. Ask what design programs they use most frequently. If they say: "Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop," that's a good sign. If they include these programs plus Dreamweaver, Fireworks, or Flash, that's a great sign!

4. Ask about their education. You want to hear: "I have a B.A. in Graphic Design from __." or "I have a B.A. Advertising and Communications from ___." Do they have an additional degree in photography or fine arts? A minor in business or marketing?

5. Ask what design-related blogs or magazines they read. If they don't mention Smashing Magazine, be concerned. If they don't subscribe to any design publications, be very concerned.

6. Ask about their biggest accomplishment. What design-related project are they most proud of and why? "It was just really cool" is not an acceptable answer. A good designer will express concrete results directly attributed to their work.

7. Ask about their creative process. How do they create effective design solutions? Good designers don't pull their ideas out of thin air. They create effective design solutions by:

– understanding their clients' project objectives
– understanding their clients' target markets
– researching the competition
– having both ability and passion for their work

8. Ask them to describe the types of projects they most enjoy working on and where they see themselves in 5 years.

– Do they express a passion for the type of work you need?
– Do they want to progress in the creative field? If they say, "Well, I like design, but I really love working with animals…" then this is probably a sign that they don't love what they do. You want people who love what they do. 

9. Ask about their work style, their ability to multi-task, and their turn-around time. If you run a fast-paced company, you'll want to find a designer who can work quickly and under the pressure of tight deadlines.

10. Ask them about themselves, their other interests, and hobbies. Do you find them interesting, pleasant, fun, smart? Will you enjoy collaborating with them on a daily or weekly basis?

The most important factor that separates a good designer from a great design is thoughtful, creative, goal-oriented design. It not just about making pretty things. It's about making great looking, effective design solutions.

User Experience is by Kelsey Sarles.

Kelsey Sarles is a User Experience and Graphic Designer, passionate about creating inspiring, results-driven marketing and design solutions for her clients. Her portfolio includes concept, UX, and graphic design of Handshake® Mobile's Thought Full™ – an app to remember, and UX and graphic design for She Chooses® mobile powered by Feel. Think. Choose.™

Read and see: User Experience by Kelsey Sarles | Everything from Kelsey Sarles on Handshake 2.0.

First Bank & Trust CompaySponsored by First Bank & Trust Company, one of the top community banks in the United States, with office locations in southwest Virginia, northeast Tennessee, and the New River and Shenandoah Valleys of Virginia. You're invited to read more from First Bank & Trust Company on Handshake 2.0.

First Bank & Trust Company is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

User Experience: Political Season

The line that divides...
The line that divides truth from lies, right from wrong, good from bad…

User Experience is by Kelsey Sarles.

Kelsey Sarles is a User Experience and Graphic Designer, passionate about creating inspiring, results-driven marketing and design solutions for her clients. Her portfolio includes concept, UX, and graphic design of Handshake® Mobile's Thought Full™ – an app to remember, and UX and graphic design for She Chooses® mobile powered by Feel. Think. Choose.™

Read and see: User Experience by Kelsey Sarles | Everything from Kelsey Sarles on Handshake 2.0.

User Experience: The 8.3%

U.S. unemployment rate is 8.3%
8.3% = 12.8 million unemployed Americans

Source: The Huffington Post

User Experience is by Kelsey Sarles.

Kelsey Sarles is a User Experience and Graphic Designer, passionate about creating inspiring, results-driven marketing and design solutions for her clients. Her portfolio includes concept, UX, and graphic design of Handshake® Mobile's Thought Full™ – an app to remember, and UX and graphic design for She Chooses® mobile powered by Feel. Think. Choose.™ 

Read and see:  User Experience by Kelsey Sarles | Everything from Kelsey Sarles on Handshake 2.0.

User Experience: My Name Is…

From Kelsey Sarles:

I am a creative consultant and designer. I work behind the scenes – that is until today. As of today, at Handshake 2.0's request, I’m going public with my experiences in a new column entitled “User Experience.” 

I am committed to sharing something – a photograph, an illustration, a doodle, a video, an observation, a question – something. This something could be anything. Regardless of what it turns out to be, I hope it makes you smile, laugh, ponder, comment, or share. I hope to prove that our life experiences, though often different, are quite the same.

The first something I have to offer is this simple introduction.

My name is…

My name is Kelsey Jade SarlesKelsey Sarles is a User Experience and Graphic Designer, passionate about creating inspiring, results-driven marketing and design solutions for her clients. Her portfolio includes concept, UX, and graphic design of Handshake® Mobile's Thought Full™ – an app to remember, and UX and graphic design for She Chooses® mobile powered by Feel. Think. Choose.™ 

Read and see:  User Experience by Kelsey Sarles | Everything from Kelsey Sarles on Handshake 2.0.

Separate Your Personal Life from Your Professional Life

Separate Your Personal Life from Your Professional Life Cartoon

Cartoon by Kelsey Sarles for Work: It's Personal by Anne Giles Clelland

More cartoons by Kelsey Sarles for Work: It's Personal

An Entrepreneur Walks into a Bar
What Are You Eating

Kelsey Sarles is a User Experience and Graphic Designer, passionate about creating inspiring, results-driven marketing and design solutions for her clients. Her portfolio includes concept, UX, and graphic design of Handshake Mobile's Thought Full™ – an app to remember, and UX and graphic design for She Chooses® mobile powered by Feel. Think. Choose.™

Read and see everything from Kelsey Sarles on Handshake 2.0.

Mobile App Design Infographic

Kelsey Sarles is a User Experience and Graphic Designer, passionate about creating inspiring, results-driven marketing and design solutions for her clients. Her portfolio includes concept, UX, and graphic design of Handshake Mobile’s Thought Full™ – an app to remember, and UX and graphic design for She Chooses® mobile powered by Feel. Think. Choose.™

We offer Kelsey Sarles’s “Creating a Mobile App: Concept and Design” infographic on Handshake 2.0 again, this time with embed code. Feel free to learn, enjoy and share!

Mobile app design infographic by Kelsey Sarles for Handshake 2.0Please click the image or here for a larger view.

You can embed Kelsey’s mobile design infographic on your site using this code:

Thanks to Z. Kelly Queijo for the idea to include the embed code, to Wil Collins for writing the code, and to TypePad Support for help with creating the text area box!

See more graphics by Kelsey Sarles on Handshake 2.0 and more Infographics on Handshake 2.0.

Other posts of possible interest:

What Will Be the Mobile App Development Business Model?
There Should Be an App for That: What to Do with a Great Idea for a Mobile App
Getting Started in the Business of Mobile App Development
How Much Does a Mobile App Cost?

When to Hire a Professional Photographer to Take Your Photo

From Kelsey Sarles:

Hire a professional photographer:

  • If your objective is to convey credibility, trust, and professionalism.
  • If your face is part of your brand. Attn.: REALTORS®, company founders, authors, actors, actresses, models, sales people, etc.
  • If you're getting married.

When choosing a photographer, DO:

  • Browse the photographer's website portfolio and print portfolio (if you need prints). Photographers are artists, and each artist has his or her own unique style. You’ll want to choose a photographer who’s style matches your own artistic preferences.
  • Ask the photographer in what type of photography they specialize, i.e. don't hire an aerial photographer to take your headshot.
  • Ask the photographer if they have a professional studio with professional lighting and background screens.
  • Tell the photographer how you plan on using the photo.
  • Ask the photographer if the final product includes retouching services. I don’t care how handsome you are, you’re going to want this service.
  • Ask the photographer about turn-around time (from photo-shoot to delivery).
  • Ask the photographer how he or she delivers the final product. You should receive a high quality digital copy of your photo. The photographer should also offer professional printing services.

Before and After Professional Photography Cartoon
When choosing a photographer, DO NOT:

  • Hire your cousin, uncle, or stepmother's daughter, simply because this person has a "big camera."
  • Be tempted by "free" or "cheap" photography.  Professional cameras do not necessarily equate to professional photographs.
  • Assume that an amateur is cheaper.  Keep in mind that most amateur photographers charge the same for their services as do professional photographers.

You should be able to get up to three quality poses for around $150 (give or take, based on where you live).   Bottom line – hire a professional photographer. It's worth it. I promise. 

Kelsey Sarles is a User Experience and Graphic Designer, passionate about creating inspiring, results-driven marketing and design solutions for her clients. Her portfolio includes concept, UX and graphic design of Thought Full™ – an app to remember, and UX and graphic design for She Chooses® mobile powered by Feel. Think. Choose.(TM). View more from Kelsey Sarles on Handshake 2.0.

What Are You Eating?

Top Producer Cartoon by Kelsey Sarles
"Top Producer" is by Kelsey Sarles for Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R).

Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Roanoke, and Salem, Virginia real estate and homes Coldwell Banker Townside specializes in in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Roanoke, and Salem, Virginia real estate and homes and national and global relocation services to the Blacksburg, Virginia and Roanoke, Virginia areas. You're invited to check out the CBT blog, Keepin' It Real Estate, visit Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) on Facebook, and see more of Coldwell Banker Townside on Handshake 2.0.

Download the Coldwell Banker Townside App in the iTunes App Store or in the Android Market.

Read more from Margaret Galecki on Handshake 2.0 and view more from Kelsey Sarles on Handshake 2.0.

Coldwell Banker Townside REALTORS is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

The Business of College Admissions – Infographic

College Admissions Infographic from SmartCollegeVisit.comPlease click the image or here for a larger view.

We were delighted that Smart College Visit's College Admissions Infographic by Kelsey Sarles of redk was inspired by Handshake 2.0's social media sales funnel infographic.

More from SmartCollegeVisit on Handshake 2.0 and more Infographics on Handshake 2.0.

SmartCollegeVisit is an award-winning college-search and travel planning resource that works with college and university admissions offices to provide efficient on-line and mobile products for college-bound students and their families. SCV products include the Smart College Visit Blog, College Mom Minute, Campus Chat, Mobile Campus Guides, Smart Visit Widget, and other informational and productivity tools.  Smart College Visit – The educated way to visit campus. 

Smart College Visit, Inc. is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.