Design and SMBs

28 06 2010

Some time ago I have read a book that mentioned that design is the ultimate step to achieve quality.

Definitively the statement is not wrong, most great products are very well designed. The problems comes in my opinion when thinking from the perspective of a small business owner and the possibilities of getting design that is affordable. The question would be: are small businesses capable of achieving great design?

Before answering I would need to give more details of my observations.

I see that our world is changing and transforming itself into an “skills aware” place. That is good news for people constantly looking to become better and what they are already good. More people finds that they don’t need a corporation to back their initiatives and each time more professionals feel proud about being independent. Technology allows individuals to connect with others and that provides an unprecedented flexibility.

If the previous is true then I could conclude that small companies and big ones should take advantage of the same opportunities individual professionals have. The challenge is that currently most of them don’t have the same experience than independent professionals and their vision is basically on making money by saving.

In my opinion any kind of business organization should fulfill one special pre-requisite: provide the environment and infrastructure for independent professionals to express their talent. The ideal of every knowledge worker is to be able to concentrate on the project without many worries: paying the bills, finding new customers, etc.

In other words, companies should be built to help professionals achieve their goals, improve their skills and create excellent products and services for the company where they work (common goal). Currently employees work to help the company to get more money. Understanding that is very important; individuals without clear goals, professional ambitions and lack of interest on their own legacy are definitively narrowing their chances of success.

Going back to the question about affordable design, I would say that the world of design is full of great and talented professionals that respect their individuality and recognize their skills, they need flexible schedules and time for inspiration. It is a group of people that already knows what is to work independently. If SMBs acknowledges that designers require flexibility, independence and peace of mind and that their business should be a system focused on creating value and profitability, then I’m sure that designers will be willing to help them.





2010 and many changes

7 03 2010

This Blog was born with the intention of building a community of designers interested to cooperate and share different skills.

Basically I got in touch with many people and also I got thousands of downloads for the templates we publish here.

But the community of designers is still far from being an achievement. Please feel free to suggest your ideas on how to make it real!

So far this year is going pretty well in contrast with 2009. But anyway the budget cuts are still taking effect and bandwidth for investments on my side are very short. So I would like to offer the following ideas:

  1. If you are making free templates (Creative Commons) I can provide you with free hosting for them.
  2. If you would like to promote your site, blog or business, I could publish a profile of your company here.
  3. If you won an award or you have a new known customer, we could publish here an article about your success!

Of course in all the  cases I would have to select which contents to publish. During the life of this Blog I found a lot of spam attempts.

What do you think?





SharePoint and WordPress hosting

24 03 2009

We have set an infrastructure to host SharePoint sites and our great SharePoint Simple Cms. But we realize that hosting other platforms is great for our audience. If you have some suggestions or opinions I would really appreciate if you send them to me.





More templates!

19 03 2009

Internet Encyclopedia

Happy template





2009 plans: free hosting for Web designers.

19 03 2009

This year, as you know very well, started with big news about the economy. After a couple of months of adjustments and planning I’m feeling confident to start sharing some of the plans we have for our community of Web designers.

As you may know, B4Contact, works for long time with SharePoint and offers SharePoint hosting. Currently we host more than 15% of the schools in Slovenia and we have customers from many different countries and activities. Thousands of users are working with us.

This year we wish to be very proactive in offering our hosting service and we don’t want to let designers our of the scope.

SharePoint is a great platform for collaboration and project management. There you can create sites for your customers so they can see the progress on the project, download documents, upload texts, images, etc. SharePoint can notify you by email when one of your customers requires something. Apart of that, SharePoint can help you to manage your business; there you can keep track of your expenses, paid or unpaid invoices, database of customers, etc.

We would like to offer 50 Web sites for qualified Web designers. Totally free.

Why? Simple, because we believe that if you learn to use it for yourself you could get interested in offering your Web sites with our hosting services.

The 50 Web sites will be provided to the selected designers together with an online workshop (1 hour) so you could learn to use SharePoint.

if you are interested send me an email to jose.morales at b4contact.com

Be sure to include a link to your Web site, Blog and link to your portfolio.





One new CSS free template!

16 06 2008

I’m very happy to annoucen that we have a new member for “Web designers Sharing Point”, I’m talking about Roshan Ravi. He comes from India and as you can see on his Web site he has a very creative approach to Web design.
Please feel free to download this first template!

Preview it: here.
Download it: here.





Watch this! and Gentle Wiki templates ready!

5 06 2008

Working with Luka is becoming really productive! I would like to show you 2 more free CSS templates to download:

Watchthis! Gentle Wiki

View demo: Whatch This! Download
View demo: Gentle Wiki Download








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