The Difference Between Layer Masks & Clipping Masks in Photoshop

by Jake Rocheleau
on May 22, 2015

Adobe Photoshop is one of the more complicated programs because it can be used for a wide array of purposes. But once you nail down the fundamental tools it becomes a lot easier to envision how you might create certain effects in future work.

layer clipping mask featured

One of the confusing ideas that often trips new users is the difference between a layer mask and a clipping mask. They behave similarly but should be used for different purposes.

This guide will cover the basics of both layer masks & clipping masks while demonstrating how you might use them in real-world projects. Both should be useful at different times and if you want to master Photoshop then you’ll need to understand these crucial differences.

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40 Material Design Android Apps for Clean User Interfaces

by Jake Rocheleau
on May 21, 2015

Google’s material design has become a language unto itself. Both mobile and web designers are swooning over the simplicity of Google’s systematic foundation for textures, animations, and icon styles. Material design is here to stay and only seems to be growing in popularity.

If you want to design apps for Android then material design is a great place to start. But what’s the best way to learn? Well most designers learn by copying, and these examples of Android app designs are perfect for beginners. Check out this gallery and try to replicate the best ideas that to further your understanding of material design.

Kipchat

kipchat dark interface ios

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Your Competitors Are Using Parallax Scrolling…Are You?

by iulian
on May 20, 2015

Parallax scrolling, arguably the hottest trend in modern web design, is changing the way we interact with our favorite sites. In fact, there’s a good chance your competitors are using it too! So why all the hype surrounding a seemingly superficial element of web design? If you’ve ever wondered the same thing, read on to discover what your competitors may already know.

Or, you can skip this article and embrace Webydo‘s code-free web design platform. The product was developed by a bunch of web designers who understand the needs of modern websites.  And yes, Webydo is all about parallax scrolling.

It’s Fun and Efficient

You’ve heard the saying before: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Though you may never have given it much thought, a simple picture really can convey more than the same space filled with text. Thanks to this important quality, web elements that make graphics the focal point can actually feed more basic information to the user.

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A great example of this concept in action is the venerable infographic. These relative newcomers to the web marry text heavy data with fun, visually appealing graphics. The result is an element brimming with useful information under the guise of creative imagery. The graphics take the place of boring walls of text with only the most important text remaining. The audience is treated to a visually engaging experience while still being presented with critical information. A win-win for both the designer and the user.

Parallax scrolling embraces the same concept and even pushes it one step further. Using vibrant images to express the same information as a wall of text does wonders for keeping your audience awake. With parallax scrolling, you can entertain and engage at the same time. By letting the user control the action (by scrolling), you create an instant bond that will likely keep the user engaged as they move through your content.

 

It Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

With the power to quickly present abundant information while simultaneously engaging the interest of the audience, there must be a catch, right? Most people assume the catch is difficulty, that however couldn’t be farther from the truth! Modern web design platforms take the rocket science out of parallax animation and make it a simple drag and drop exercise.

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Much like the infographics we talked about earlier, parallax scrolling animations can actually make it easier to convey the same massage. As a designer, that should get you pretty excited. Rather than labor over the tension between design and content, with parallax scrolling you can bring them seamlessly together.

It’s in this unique ability that parallax scrolling’s true usefulness becomes apparent. You’ve no doubt seen it in action already. Entire pages composed solely of parallax scrolling animation. Light on wordy content, these sites typically hold just as much information as traditional designs, but accomplish the feat in a much more engaging manner.

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When you step back and take in the whole picture of what parallax scrolling has to offer, it becomes clear why your competitors have jumped on the bandwagon. So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of modern web platforms and dive into the interactive power of parallax scrolling!

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