Friday, August 01, 2014

Credit Services Organization (CSO) vs. Credit Access Business (CAB)


Credit Services Organization (CSO)

CSOs were formerly defined as credit repair companies, and are any establishment that provides payment in order to extend consumer credit. CSOs are regulated by the government to ensure that all stipulations are met and that consumers don’t pay outrageous fees for help with credit repair.

Credit Access Business (CAB) 

The term credit access business is used in some states to refer to the new model of CSOs. Payday loan companies and car title loan companies are required to have a CAB license that is more specific and detailed regarding the laws of these loans. A credit service organization (CSO) was the former model and was an all-encompassing establishment that did little to regulate how loans are given and paid back. The CAB license was created by lawmakers in an attempt to define strict parameters and regulations for the borrowing industry.

The 20 best wireframing tools

There are more wireframing tools to choose from than ever. We find you the pick of the bunch.

Wireframing tools make the process of creating an app or website fundamentally easier, by visually stripping the product down and allowing all involved to focus purely on functions and user interactivity.
Clients need to understand how your proposed app or website will work. But simply explaining to them verbally or textually leaves the vast majority of functions down to their imagination. Wireframing tools can be extremely helpful in squaring that circle.

Choose wisely

There are more wireframing tools on the market than ever, each offering varying levels of functionality. Some software can be used purely for simple wireframes, while others will allow you to create a working prototype.
Being creative should come first over any part of the process. So taking advantage of trial downloads or free software and finding the one that fits in with the way you work is the only way of finding out which one is right for you. We've selected 20 of the best wireframing tools to get you started. Enjoy!

01. Balsamiq Mockups




Wireframing tool Balsamiq Mockups is a firm favourite among the web design community

  • Platform: Mac, Linux, Windows & web-based
  • Price: $79
Balsamiq Mockups includes several drag-and-drop elements, from buttons to lists, each styled as a hand-drawing. The basic premise behind this wireframing tool is to keep the mock-ups "intentionally rough and low fidelity", to encourage as much feedback as possible.

02. Axure




Axure lets you create interactive HTML mock-ups for both websites and apps

  • Platform: Mac & Windows
  • Price: $289 - $589
As well as creating mock-ups, Axure allows you to add functionality to your layout and create an interactive prototype. Features of this wireframing tool include sitemaps and various 'widgets' in the form of various UI elements. Interactive HTML mock-ups can be created for both websites and apps; you can even view your app design on your phone with a built-in share function.

03. Pidoco




Pidoco includes a handy library of drag-and-drop interface elements

  • Platform: Web-based
  • Price: $9-$59 per month
Pidoco is similar to Axure, in that it includes library of various drag-and-drop interface elements, as well as the ability to add multiple pages and layers. Your prototypes can be shared online with clients, and includes functions for collaborative feedback and discussion. Viewing your prototypes on your phone is as easy as downloading the Pidoco app.

04. Visio

 


Visio's interface will be familiar if you're used to using Microsoft Word or Excel

  • Platform: Windows
  • Price: $599.95-$999
Visio's real strength lies in technical diagrams rather than wireframing; however, for those already accustomed with other Microsoft apps such as Word or Excel, the interface will be very familiar. It is quite clunky, Visio does offer add-on tools such as Swipr, which allows you to create and export a usable HTML prototype.

05. InDesign



InDesign lets you use animations and videos in your wireframes

  • Platform: Mac, Windows
  • Price: £660.51 or as part of Adobe Creative Cloud
By including animations, video and object states, it’s very easy to create a mock-up of a website or app in the form of an interactive PDF with InDesign - read this review of InDesign CS6 here. The software also includes the ability to create libraries of page elements, so you can create collections of various reusable interface graphics.

06. iPlotz



Create Flash-powered wireframes with iPlotz

  • Platform: Web-based (Flash)
  • Price: Free-$79
Flash-base wireframing tool iPlotz allows you to make clickable wireframes with drag-and-drop components. Its main addition includes the ability to add tasks and notes for project managers and coders.

07. Photoshop




Never thought of Photoshop as a wireframing tool? Think again!

  • Platform: Mac, Windows
  • Price: £660.51 or as part of Adobe Creative Cloud
Photoshop doesn’t offer libraries of interface elements, but for straight-forward, fast wireframing, it is a very easy choice for designers - read our review of Photoshop CS6 here. Even for those not familiar with Adobe products, sketching out quick ideas, grouping various elements and layers affords a very quick process.

08. Fireworks














With Fireworks, it's easy to duplicate styles implemented in the wireframe in the final build

Fireworks allows you to design wireframes and prototypes for web, as well as mobile and tablet apps. CSS including colours, fonts and corner radius can be extracted so styles implemented throughout the process can be duplicated in the final build. Various symbols and templates are also included for quick wireframing.

09. Protoshare








Protoshare puts emphasis on online collaboration

  • Platform: Web-based
  • Price: $290-$590
Protoshare is an online tool, with a focus on collaboration and sharing. It includes a library of drag-and-drop elements, a sitemap, and the ability to use custom css and insert your own elements. Due to the emphasis on online collaboration, unlike some other tools, it can't export as a PDF, however it is worth considering for its prototyping features.

10. Penultimate



Wireframing for an iPad app? Then use an iPad tool!

  • Platform: iPad
  • Price: 69p
If you're working purely for iPad design, sketching out ideas directly within the device itself is the perfect way to ensure you’re working to the right ratio and with well-sized active areas. Sketches and ideas can be easily saved out and sent to clients for approval.

11. Pencil Project















Pencil is free, open source and comes with a variety of templates

  • Platform: Windows & Mac
  • Price: Free
Pencil is a free, open source wireframing tool available for both Windows and Mac. Features include multi-page documents, external object import, as well as aligning, z-ordering, scaling and rotation. Various templates are included as well as the ability to export to HTML, PNG, Openoffice.org document, Word document, and PDF.

12. OmniGraffle














OmniGraffle has made a seamless transition from Mac to iPad

  • Platform: Mac and iPad
  • Price: $49.99
OmniGraffle is one of those perennial Mac favourites that makes a seamless and obvious transition to the iPad. It’s effectively an ideas tool that enables you to quickly bash together website wireframes, diagrams, process charts or page layouts. You select a document type, and OmniGraffle makes context-sensitive joins between separate elements, automatically linking lines in diagrams and aligning shapes and elements in wireframes or page layouts.

13. Gliffy


















Gliffy: like Visio, but cheaper

  • Platform: Web-based
  • Price: Free-$9.95 p/month
Gliffy pretty much pitches itself as a cheaper online version of Viseo. It includes drag and drop components, online collaboration, image export and version tracking. There's no ability to create prototypes, but if you happen to be looking for a cheaper version of Vimeo, then this is it.

14. Mockflow













  • Platform: Web-based
  • Price: Free-$69 per year
Mockflow allows you to create working prototypes, and like Protoshare has an emphasis on collaboration and sharing. It includes features such as a sitemap creator for pages and folders, version tracking, image and component collections, chat, and HTML5 export.

15. Framebox


















Framebox is a good free solution for building simple wireframes

  • Platform: Online
  • Price: Free
Framebox is a great, free online tool for very simple wireframing. It includes a few drag and drop elements and allows you to share the web page as a unique URL. You can also give your elements titles and descriptions to help explain their function.

16. iPhone mockup



















iPhone Mockup is purely a wireframing tool for iPhone app UIs

  • Platform: Web-based
  • Price: Free
Like Framebox, this is another free online tool, albeit even simpler and aimed entirely at iPhone interfaces. There are two visual styles to choose from - 'pencil' and 'illustration' - the latter being the cleaner version or the two. Designs can be shared via a unique URL.

17. FlairBuilder
















Flairbuilder lets you choose between ‘high-fidelity’ and ‘low-fidelity’ style graphics

  • Platform: Mac, Windows
  • Price: $99
Flairbuilder works on the Adobe Air platform and features multi-page projects, site map and comments. Like the rest, components are placed using a drag-and-drop interface and a clickable prototypes can be exported as HTML or shared online. You can also choose between 'high-fidelity' and 'low-fidelity' style graphics.

18. Justinmind















Justinmind offers a library of UI elements and custom styling for use in your wireframes

  • Platform: Web-based
  • Price: $19-$29 per month
Web-based Justinmind includes a library of UI elements, from buttons and form, to generics shapes and a range of widgets for iOS, Blackberry, SAP, and Android. Custom styling is included, so you can add rounded corners, cropped images or colour gradients, or import graphics by dragging them into the browser. Prototypes can be exported as HTML.

19. HotGloo















Flash-based wireframing tool HotGloo offers a rich level of features

  • Platform: Web-based (Flash)
  • Price: $14-$54 per month
HotGloo's prototyping alone offers a rich level of features, going far beyond simple clickable buttons, such as the ability to change displayed elements depending on whether or not a user is logged in. Prototypes can be exported as PDFs, however given the fact HotGloo is Flash-based, most of the more complex interactivity that makes it great, is lost in the process; equally, viewing on iOS devices isn't an option.

20. JustProto
















JustProto offers live collaboration and chat features

  • Platform: Web-based
  • Price: $13-$63 per month
JustProto features include live collaboration and chat, functional prototyping, drag-and-drop component library and URL sharing. It also allows you to make custom elements and add them to a user library.

And don't forget... pen and paper
















There's nothing quicker than grabbing a pen and paper

Yes. An actual pen. And some real made-from-wood paper. Okay, so these don’t allow you to make a prototype, and there’s no built-in elements. But, if you feel more comfortable using a more traditional approach, why not get your ideas down on paper first and refine them in software later?






(Source: creativeblog)


The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand




Do you know what separates me from other entrepreneurs? No, it’s not that I am smarter or work harder. A lot of entrepreneurs have those characteristics. It’s that I have a much bigger personal brand.
You don’t want to build your personal brand to feed your ego. You want to build it so you can get more opportunities. The bigger your brand, the easier it will be to make deals for your company and gain opportunities that you couldn’t have before.
So, with the help of Aaron Agius of Louder Online, I’ve created a 30,000-word guide that breaks down the steps you need to take to build your personal brand.
Here’s what you will learn in The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand:

Conclusion

Personal branding is so important that everyone should spend time and effort building it. Whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee of a company, having a strong brand will open more doors for you and help you make more money.
Just look at Aaron. He spends a large portion of his time connecting with influencers like me in order to associate his brand with successful brands. He will go above and beyond to help people out, and this strategy has been working well for him.
His agency has been generating more leads because of it, and his revenue has been climbing at a fast pace.
Not only should you read this guide, but you should also take a page out of Aaron’s playbook by connecting with influencers and piggybacking on their brands.
How else can you grow your personal brand?

(Source: quicksprout)

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

How To Open Mobile Version Of Any Website From Desktop


When browsing the web, you must have come across some sites with a link to “switch to mobile site.” Viewing the mobile version of such sites is easy, but what if you want to view a mobile version of a site that does not offers any such link. Even though there is no such option, many sites automatically switch to mobile site when viewed from a mobile device like smartphones and tablets. Its possible to open mobile websites from your desktop browser using a desktop extension. Let’s take a look at this process in detail.

Installing User Agent Switcher Extension

If you want to view mobile websites on your desktop browser, then the most easiest way to do this is to use a browser extension.

Changing Mobile User Agent

To change your user agent on Firefox, press Alt to view the menu bar, go to Tools > Default User Agent and then select a mobile user agent as per your wish. For example; iPhone.

user-agent

Alternatively, you can also add the User Agent Switcher icon to Firefox’s toolbar, by right-clicking on the toolbar, selecting Customize, and then drag and drop the User Agent icon to the Firefox’s toolbar.
Now all you need to do is to visit the site or refresh the current site that you are on. You can access the mobile website for any site that you wish to, including our ownValueWalk site. Here’s how the mobile version of Wikipedia looks like on desktop.
wiki-mobile
Once you are done, simply switch back to the “Default User Agent” by again navigating to the same location, or from its icon on the toolbar.
If you want to add more user agents, then you can do so from its options. For example; there’s no option to switch to iPad’s user agent and for that you’ll need to manually add this user agent.
You can download additional user agents by going to Tools > Default User Agent > Edit User Agent. From here, click on “Download lists of user agents to import.” From the web page, you will be able to download more user agents. You can also add a user agent string directly by clicking on “New” button.
user-agent-options
So that’s how you can easily switch browser user agent to view the mobile site. This is very useful for testing purposes or to the view light-weight version of any site.
Tip: One more advantage of this method is that you can avoid Flash and instead view the HTML5 website, for example on YouTube, etc sites.

Evernote Tips: The 11 Amazing Features That Make Using Evernote So Freaking Awesome





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce2_gWZHBIs

3 Gmail Add-Ons You Need to Use!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_vUJ0CCIAk


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Why I am excited about Azure Platform's .Net Service Bus?

Basically, the following statement:

"...Full-duplex, connection-oriented peer-to-peer sessions with network-boundary traversal create direct end-to-end connectivity through NAT"

That's awesome... because any developer that has ever tried to create a real-time, Peer-to-Peer application, he/she knows what hell it is to penetrate firewalls specially Symmetric NATs. Click here to learn about NATs

The Service Bus enables secure, loosely-coupled connectivity between services and applications to navigate firewalls or network boundaries, using a variety of communication patterns. The Access Control service provides an enterprise-class mechanism for federated authorization across organizations and protocols.

In the same way that Microsoft® .NET Framework provides higher-level libraries to make developers more productive, .NET Services help developers focus on their application logic rather than deploying and managing their own cloud-based infrastructure."

Azure's .Net Service Bus enables developers to build applications for the cloud and offers a scalable hosted infrastructure for deploying and managing these applications and their data stores combined with a workflow engine and a security infrastructure. The Azure Service platform is the new OS for internet scaled applications.

Lower Barriers to Building Composite Applications


Using the Service Bus, an application or service can expose and access endpoints that would otherwise be hard or impossible to reach. For example, the endpoints may be located behind network address translation (NAT) boundaries or bound to frequently changing, dynamically assigned IP addresses.
  • Exposes Service Endpoints Easily

    -- Users can access a global hierarchical namespace that is DNS- and transport- independent

    -- Services can be located through a stable, Internet-accessible URL, irrespective of location.

  • Offers Multiple Connection Options

    -- One-way messaging between sender and listener supports unicast and multicast datagram distribution

    -- Full-duplex connection-oriented sessions between sender and listener support bi-directional communication

    --  Full-duplex, connection-oriented peer-to-peer sessions with network-boundary traversal create direct end-to-end connectivity through NAT

  • Supports Publish and Subscribe for Multicasting

    The simple publish/subscribe model lets multiple publishers and multiple subscribers simultaneously use the service’s topic management and event distribution system.


Learn more:
http://www.microsoft.com/azure/default.mspx
http://www.microsoft.com/azure/servicebus.mspx