What’s going on at UNM Continuing Ed?

UNM Continuting Education

There are several changes at UNM in the Digital Arts program in Continuing Education where I teach. There are new classes and new certificates.

There are many certifications you can earn at UNM Continuing Education. Of interest are Graphic Design, Web Design, Web Developer, Multimedia, Social Media, Web Administrator and several others.

Some classes available this fall include Website Marketing and Search Engine Optimization and Starting a Digital Business.

For fall, I’ll be teaching Beginnning HTML, Creating and Maintaining a Website, Facebook, HTML & CSS, Creating a WordPress Blog, and Principles of Accessible Web Design. Come join me!

Download the full Fall Digital Arts Schedule (PDF).

How to Promote Yourself as a Web Designer with Behance

Behance is an enormous online professional network, connecting some of the best creative minds in the design community. As a result, it is a platform upon which you can promote yourself as a web designer. Upon creating a profile you can post your work and interact with other designers in order to boost your online presence and communicate with prospective clients. If you possess a competent portfolio with skilled work, you can attract a great deal of publicity and status for your personal business enterprise using Behance.


Although Behance is a members only website, anyone can request an invitation to join. All you have to do is complete an online form with an email address and description of your web design work in order to acquire free membership.

Creating a professional and polished Behance profile is fundamental to successfully promoting yourself and your work. Your profile presents your background information such as profile photo, name, website, designer bio and location, as well as a detailed portfolio of your web design work to date.

In order to promote yourself more effectively, you can visually personalize your profile to make it appealing to visitors. Moreover, you can expand your profile to incorporate the various creative fields within which you work such as web design and development, the type of work for which you are available, your professional level and any relevant qualifications which you may have. Additionally, you can designate search tags to your work or provide links to any sites which feature your work, as well as incorporating references and recommendations from previous clients.

Juan Hodgson on the Behance Network

Utilising Behance, you have a wealth of options at your disposal through which to publicise your current work. These options include the ability to select project details such as the type of work and media in with you are proficient. This wealth and depth of information efficiently promotes your capabilities as a web designer to any visitors who view your profile. Visitors are able to scrutinise your profile, familiarising themselves with you and your work before contacting you. You can also authorize visitors to comment on your work, which will help you to learn the specific designs which are favoured by clients and what you can improve upon in order to gain further employment.

As well as customising your site with regards to visual and informational depth, Behance enables you to specify the copyright information, project ownership and relevant tools you used in your web design projects. You can also save projects to be published at a later date, thus granting you complete creative authority over the promotion of your profile, permitting you to specialise your profile to appeal to your target market.

Upon publishing a project to your Behance profile, you can promote it further by linking it to your various social networking accounts. Behance is an immensely trafficked site, exponentially elevating your online exposure to prospective clients and employers. Digital marketing agencies including Realia and Cuckoo Design recommend networking your social profiles extensively.

Furthermore, Behance allows you exclusive access to creating public or private groups with other Behance members. Within these groups you can promote your web design services to individuals with similar mindsets and interests. This provides a lucrative opportunity for project feedback, discussions regarding new technologies and designs, as well as transferring crucial career advice and references. Moreover, if your work is currently for sale, you can link your Behance profile to an existing online store or establish an eCommerce feature within the Behance Network.

Ultimately, Behance provides you exclusive access to a vast online network of prospective clients, employers, and potential colleagues. If you exercise precision and accuracy to the development and promotion of your profile, Behance can provide a springboard upon which you can launch a lucrative and sustainable web design business.

Guest author Bradley Taylor is a freelance writer from Derby, England. He is a motoring enthusiast who loves writing about cars and everything automotive but is versatile and also writes across a variety of other topics. You can connect with Bradley on Google+ and get his updates on Twitter.

10 Places You Should Share Your Design Work

10 Places You Should Share Your Design Work

The social web has made sharing more important than ever, especially for graphic designers who are continually seeking new (and potentially lucrative) clients. Now, sharing your design work is more than simply publishing a portfolio; it’s engaging in a community and making real business-networking connections that can pay huge long-term dividends. Portfolio-driven and personal/professional websites aside, here are 10 places you should share your design work.


Facebook is perhaps the best platform for sharing your design work. What makes Facebook (and other social sites) perfect is the fact that potential clients are likely not surfing portfolio websites – but they are paying attention to designs being shared here.


Rapidly growing in popularity, Pinterest is a great platform for setting up your own board to showcase your design work.


Post your latest designs to the business community; with a few good connections, you’ll have the work and the references needed to land great contracts.


Share and collaborate with other creative professionals, some of whom might just hire you for their own projects.


Whenever you create an outstanding design, take 90 seconds and make a video that discusses your decision-making process. Share your video on other social sites and quickly establish yourself as an expert in your field.


Dribbble isn’t just for designers; a lot of potential buyers browse Dribbble these days.


Still one of the most popular sites for designers, DeviantArt has a robust community that’s happy to “reshare” your posts.


Unlike many other sites, Creattica reviews each work before publishing it. That third-party validation is critical and results in potentially thousands of shares across a wide network.

Press releases

Whenever you complete a big project for a client, offer to submit a press release announcing it. This is especially true for newsworthy releases such as a new website launch or redesign. The press release should include the fact that you were the designer; when it gets picked up by media sources, everyone will know your name.

Business and marketing blogs

Most graphic designers focus on getting posts published on design blogs, but designers aren’t your clients. Instead, post design-relevant information on business and marketing blogs to establish your expertise and talent.

Where else can you share your design work?

Author’s Bio: Brian Morris writes for the PsPrint Design & Printing Blog. PsPrint is an online commercial printing company. Follow PsPrint on Twitter @PsPrint.

What do Yahoo and Tumblr Offer Each Other?

This is the animated gif:

yahoo tumblr
Image from Yahoo!

What do these two offer each other?

Tumblr brings a huge base of users, according to AllThingsD,

with more than 300 million monthly unique visitors and 120,000 signups every day, Tumblr is one of the fastest-growing media networks in the world. Tumblr sees 900 posts per second (!) and 24 billion minutes spent on site each month. On mobile, more than half of Tumblr’s users are using the mobile app and do an average of 7 sessions per day.

In addition to those impressive numbers, most Tumblr users fall into a young demographic who access the site with mobile devices. Both of these are demographics Yahoo wants.

Yahoo offers Tumblr improved search, personalization, and an ad system that promises plenty money, plenty money.

What’s worth $1.1 billion these days? Young people with mobile devices and a platform for ads.

Web Designers Take Note—7 Quotes from Awe-Inspiring TED Talks

Every day, new websites, social networks and blogs pop up across the Internet. Covering everything from politics to purses, these new developments convey and communicate various types of information, but they all have something in common—a web designer helped make it possible.

By combining technological advances, artistic vision and forward-thinking software, designers and developers help bring to life all sorts of ideas. However, like with any job or task—especially a creative one—the potential for burnout and stagnancy is always present. So, to give your work some new life and keep it from going stale, read over some of these inspirational TED quotes.

Eli Pariser

“We really need the Internet to be that thing that we all dreamed of it being. We need it to connect us all together. We need it to introduce us to new ideas and new people and different perspectives. And it’s not going to do that if it leaves us all isolated in a Web of one.” — Eli Pariser, Pioneering online organizer.

In Eli’s video on filter bubbles, he touches on a very real challenge that faces everyone involved in the creative process of the web and that’s keeping it broad and growing, yet connected at the same time. What he is specifically talking about it are the dangers of pigeonholing people based on their searches and interests, thereby keeping them sheltered from new ideas or perspectives. This directly relates to designers and developers, as their creations are how data even reaches the consumer in the first place. If it is unappealing or hard to follow, the search and exploration might stop there, limiting the overall experience.

Web designers must remember how their role affects the Internet as a whole, as it really is all one big puzzle, after all.

David Carson

You have to utilize who you are in your work. Nobody else can do that: nobody else can pull from your background, from your parents, your upbringing, your whole life experience.” — David Carson, Typographer and author.

This quote by David Carson is an especially important one for designers, as it serves as a reminder that no matter how complex the web might get, design and inspiration still come from within. Sure, they might be using digital software to create their masterpieces, but that doesn’t make these designers lesser artists than those using paint and a canvas. They have to see what they want to create from within and go with it. See the video in its entirety.

John Hockenberry

Design [is] the emerging ethos formulating and then answering a very new question: What shall we do now, in the face of the chaos that we have created?”— John Hockenberry, Journalist and commentator

Although John Hockenberry might not realize it, he is, in a way, speaking to the designers of the web here. They are the ones who must make sense of all of the information coming at the consumer. They are the ones that have to display it in an attractive, comprehensible way. If they didn’t, users would be lost in the “chaos” Hockenberry mentions. Hear more of his thoughts here.

David McCandless

“Data is the new soil, because for me, it feels like a fertile, creative medium. Over the years, online, we’ve laid down a huge amount of information and data, and we irrigate it with networks and connectivity, and it’s been worked and tilled by unpaid workers and governments.”” — David McCandless, Data Journalist

McCandless sort of echoes the idea of Hockenberry in that he acknowledges the web is a mass of data to be ingested by people. He goes on to say that it takes elaborate networks and connectivity to make it all a reality—that’s where the designers and developers come in. McCandless’ words should serve as a reminder to web designers everywhere just how important their job is. See the whole talk.

Maira Kalman

“I said, ‘Well, how much space do I have?’ And they said, ‘Well, you know, it’s the Internet.’” — Maira Kalman, Illustrator

Kalman’s words are brief but speak volumes. Before the Internet, artists and designers were limited by page boarders, cut lines and more. The Internet, however, has changed all that. There are copious amounts of space with which to work and endless pages that can be filled—it’s just up to designers to work with what they have and take advantage of that. Check out the rest of her TED talk.

Aaron Koblin

“An interface can be a powerful narrative device. And as we collect more and more personally and socially relevant data, we have an opportunity, and maybe even an obligation, to maintain [our] humanity and tell some amazing stories.” — Aaron Koblin, Digital Artist

Sometimes, web designers get so backed up with work and routine that they lose sight of what they are actually doing. Koblin, however, helps remind them of the art behind the labor. Through this quote and his entire TED talk, he reinforces the idea that the Internet is a powerful tool that should be used to its full potential. That’s something all designers should keep in mind as they work.

David McCandless

“By visualizing information, we turn it into a landscape that you can explore with your eyes, a sort of information map. And when you’re lost in information, an information map is kind of useful.” — David McCandless, Data Journalist

Much like some of the previous quotes, McCandless’ thoughts aim to help designers remember to keep the end result in mind. His talk centers around using the tools and space available to make an appealing, informative presentation people everywhere can appreciate. As designers, it is their job to manipulate the minor details into a big picture that makes sense and doesn’t overwhelm the consumer.

If you find your creations have gone a bit stale and are looking to rev-up your designs check out these TED quotes and videos. They should give you the eye-opening inspiration you need.

Guest author Rachel Sanders is a freelance writer and designer who creates content for various education, design, and business websites. When Rachel isn’t writing informative articles and designing websites, she likes to read, research education trends, and discuss typography. Please leave comments and questions for Rachel below. She appreciates your feedback!


Would you like to improve your skills and marketability as a web designer or developer?

If you are a web developer in Central or Northern New Mexico, we’re looking for a small team of web designers/developers interested in improving their capabilities in building accessible websites to participate in an upcoming challenge, the AIR Interactive competition, part of the SXSWi Festival in Austin, Texas this spring. Deadline for team registration is January 5th and teams will have one month to complete a site for our local partner (competition runs 15 January – 15 February).

The New Mexico Tech Council has agreed to sponsor the team registration. We’re searching for 3-5 people who’d like to participate and additional partners/sponsors as well.

What is AIR-Interactive?

AIR-Interactive – an ‘Accessibility Internet Rally’ – is a web-development competition that is open to anyone, anywhere! Your team of 3-5 developers and designers will have one month to build an accessible website for a non-profit organization, artist, or musician from your community. Each website is judged on accessibility, usability, and design, and the winners will be announced at an official party during SXSW-Interactive Festival!

Why should you participate?

  • Accessible Web Design isn’t just a good idea; in many cases it’s a rule – and it could be the law
  • Participants have access to professional development resources and opportunities through Knowbility (est. value up to $5K!)
  • Participants can connect with some of the best designers/developers in the world through Knowbility
  • Participation is a great way to distinguish yourself from other professionals
  • Potential recognition at one of the nation’s leading technology conferences, SXSW-Interactive

Want more information?

Visit http://www.knowbility.org/v/air-detail/AIR-Interactive/37/

Interested in participating?

We’ll have an information session for potential team members, tentatively on January 3rd in Albuquerque. Email eric AT nmtechcouncil DOT org for more information! Visit http://www.nmtechcouncil.org/?p=466 for updates!

What do you think about Klout? Is it useful or is it an illusion?

There’s a backlash against Klout. Scalzi recently wrote about DeKloutifying, in which he explained why he quit Klout. He immediately received a multitude of comments praising his decision and detailing complaints about Klout.

Image Credit: Benzado

On Google+, Lynette Young did a similar thing. She explained why she quit Klout, saying,

I no longer feel dirty and hypocritical.

Her post received a similar barrage of +1s and favorable comments. One, from Meryl K Evans said,

It looks like Klout is losing clout with a lot of folks. Martin said it — it feels like a competition. It also feels like it’s stressful for many of us and leading us to change how we interact instead of just being ourselves.

Meryl also tweeted about the post by Lynette Young. I was alerted to the tweet by @kmdk, because an article posted at BlogHer a few days earlier talked about potential employers asking for Klout scores. The idea that employers would ask for Klout scores throws off a lot of warning flags and ignited quite a conversation on Twitter.


Those of us listed in that tweet had a lengthy conversation about Klout – its inaccuracies, its requirement for constant tweeting, and its lack of true meaningfulness, and the idea of asking for it with a job app – the conclusion of which was summed up nicely by @mollydotcom

Anyone using Klout as a means to measure self worth is causing themselves grievous harm and must stop! @vdebolt @kmdk @iheni @merylkevansFri Nov 11 20:46:56 via web

One of the issues with Klout is that it demands constant social engagement or your score falls, even on weekends. Jenna Hatfield wrote Dear @Klout, Here’s What I was Doing this Weekend. She describes an important weekend, but Klout deemed it inadequate. She responded,

So, Klout, you’ll just have to excuse me for not making time to, as your note says, “share more content and engage with my network.”

On BlogHer, Chole wrote My Family is Killing My Klout Score with a similar observation about the realities of life vs. Klout scores.

I have Klout in WHAT?

Beelebeandog wrote An Open Letter to Klout which brought up another oft-cited issue with Klout. It’s inaccurate. She compared her long-lasting @bellebeandog score with her brand new account in her real name Liz Jostes,

My barely-used-barely-connected-and-zero-engagement @LizJostes Klout score is higher by 1 point.

Not only does this not make sense, but to me it’s the final nail in the casket of Klout’s kredibility.

Everyone seems to have a story about the ridiculousness of Klout scores. For instance, I’m suppose to have Klout on the topic Virginia. I presume that means the state of Virginia and not the me Virginia. I have a lot of knowledge about myself, but absolutely none about the state.

Grace Hwang Lynch, BlogHer’s editor for race and ethnicity reported,

Klout tells me @BlogHerCultures is an expert on White People.

Yeah, it must be all those articles @BlogHerCultures mentions about Muslim Americans and Chinese Americans. Or, it might have been that one about the Muslim cabbie and the Jewish bagel bakers.

Renee Blodgett talked about REAL Klout influence and asked,

Wouldn’t it also be more interesting if tools like this took into consideration a person’s offline influence as well as other things they may have done, such as a bestselling book or created a program that made an African village sustain itself?

Renee actually had a chance to visit with the founder of Klout. It didn’t give her an improved perspective on Klout’s performance so far.

Calling it Quits with Klout

People are quitting Klout and telling about it public ways. When something so misleading and inaccurate is used to measure worth, quitting in protest makes a statement.

One can hope all the people quitting make an impression on Klout and the scores are revamped to be something useful. In the meantime, what are you doing? Are you quitting Klout?

Cross-posted at BlogHer.