Vicke Cheung's Posts



Demystifying the Design Process with Sketch

For non-designers, there is often a level of mysticism around the way we work. In your job, it may well be your responsibility to brief a designer, but as for what happens in between that stage and finally seeing the fruits of their labour – well, this may be rather alien. While it’s not necessarily important to know the ins and outs of this (in a similar way that I can’t claim much knowledge for what our developers do code-side), this post aims to demystify the process and shed light on one of my favourite design programs at the moment, and equip you with good reason to convince any digital or web designer you work with to pick it up if they don’t use it already. Not to mention that having a top-level overview of design software makes it a whole lot easier to communicate with those that do use it.

If the above doesn’t quite apply to you, don’t click off just yet; there is still value to be had if you are:

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Boost Your Brand: How to Create Content for Awareness

Historically, when digital marketing agencies venture into content creation, it’s with the hope of increasing the number, or strength, of backlinks. This post however, aims to challenge you to think more broadly about the value of your content.

Why?

We, as digital agencies, are not traditional advertisers. Yet global ad agencies are increasingly edging into our field of play, for example, producing integrated campaigns with far-reaching social effects. There is clearly a demand and need for this type of work. But on top of this, it may well be time to use your content for more than just a link-generator anyway. At SearchLove San Diego this year, Tom Capper presented a balanced argument for why it’s possible that links are becoming increasingly unrepresentative of how Google choose to rank your pages.

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3 Ways to Improve Map Visualisations on Mobile

Designing and building  data visualisations have long been a core part of the creative team’s offering at Distilled. As technology continues to develop, the way we work must also develop and adapt with it. Coming up with a good execution for a data vis piece can often be a tricky task in itself, without someone throwing in the inevitable “How does it look on mobile?” question into the mix. But of course, this is a very valid question to ask, considering  SimilarWeb’s State of Mobile Web US 2015 report found that roughly 56% of consumer traffic to leading US websites is now conducted from mobile devices. With this stat in mind, ensuring that your visualisation is as effective on mobile as it is on desktop is becoming more and more essential.

There are methods of visualising information that lend themselves very well to being responsive in adapting to screens both big and small – horizontal bar charts, for example.

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Be Your Own Designer - The Best Free Resources for when You’re Short on Time

Has there ever been a time when you’ve realised you’re a day away from a big pitch, but you forgot to book any design time through your creative department? Or perhaps there’s that last minute blog post that needs some images and banners, but there’s no way of roping in a designer at such short notice! It’s easy to become reliant when you have a Design team at the ready, but when push comes to shove, slightly unwillingly, you sometimes have to don that faux-designer’s hat. The trouble is, where do you even begin? To help you out in such hours of need, I have compiled a list of my favourite design resources for non-designers and designers alike. Oh, and did I mention they’re all free?

Just a quick disclaimer: this isn’t Graphic Design 101 (I’m definitely not ready to declare myself redundant as a designer at Distilled). Instead, think of this as more of a design directory if you will. Whether you’re after a nice font to spruce up your Word doc or you really need some images to dress that presentation to impress, if you’re going to find a fast, free solution anywhere, start here.

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Researching Creative Ideas: 10 Dos and Don’ts

Back in March, I spoke at BrightonSEO on the not-so-SEO subject of design. Slightly taken aback by the love I got from Slideshare and Twitter for my speaker deck, I thought it time to do a quick refresher, focusing specifically on the often-overlooked research and analysis stage in these easy-to-digest dos and don’ts.

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  1. DO participate in the design process as much as you can. Yes, it is primarily the designer’s job to deliver, but good communication between the both of you can mean reaching a solution quicker.

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