My 5 Must-Install Browser Add-ons or Plugins

It was good to use Internet Explorer back in the early 90s. Simply because there wasn’t any other recommended browser, until Mozilla Firefox came about. Then when it did, I discovered add-ons which I now can’t live without. These are my must-have browser add-ons or plugins whenever I re-install my browser.

Adblock Plus (Adblock+)

adblock plus logoWithout explanation, this plugin automatically hides advertisements on the webpages you browse. So if you’re irritated by pop-ups or noisy advertisements, install this and be done with them.

However, it’s not completely perfect. I’ve noticed this plugin weirdly block a stylesheet which doesn’t affect the content but the layout. So, it’s still livable with.

Delicious

delicious logoThis is a social bookmarking plugin. Storing your bookmarks locally in your computer today is passe (dated). Because the main danger is if you had to format your computer or in worst cases, if your hard disk died, all data including your bookmarks can never be retrieved. This is where social bookmarks come in.

Web Developer

Being a website designer, this plugin has a few nifty tools. One of them is the ability to only View Image Information. Meaning, I can see all images used in a website. Plus, I can disable website stylesheets as I wish to check on certain source code. And speaking of source code, disabling right+click will not protect your website because viewing it is only a shortcut away with this plugin. Muahahahaha.

Firebug

firebug logoTo date, I only know Firebug runs in Mozilla Firefox. Google Chrome has its own internal browser investigator which near similar to Firebug. The tool I love most about Firebug is the Inspector which allows me to select any element in the website which I could then see it’s source code. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is another plugin I can use to access your source code.

Awesome Screenshot

awesome logoThis plugin was built for Google Chrome. Why I wanted to highlight this plugin was because it’s got internal editing tools after I screenshot a website. Tools like crop, shapes, lines, arrows, text and even color controls. In addition, I can even upload the screenshots like a Twitpic for easy sharing.

There a couple more add-ons or plugins I could highlight, but these are definitely my must-have installed if I ever did need to re-install my browser. They’ve become a part of my common user experience when I use the browser.

P.S.: And if you hadn’t noticed, I no set Internet Explorer as my default browser.

Speculative Design Work, Yes or No?

When I first started to freelance in college, it was tough having to work for peanuts because ¬†clients didn’t know value of design then, and now. Plus, I was from a design college. And funny how real life experience bites you in the ass when it happens, since you never did learn it in college.

My freelance work always went through the same process, somewhat:

  1. Ask client a few questions.
  2. Provide speculative design.
  3. Finish website.
  4. Collect money.

Yes, at the time, being a newbie, I never did collect a deposit. Until it bit me in the ass. In addition, clients always requested speculative design work before a project began.

Thinking back about it, I’m wondering why clients requested it?

Was it to gain my confidence?

Both designer and client have something to risk. If the client won’t have faith in me, how could they hire me? But we can argue, if the client doesn’t have faith in my work, then why approach me in the first place?

Was it to borrow my ideas?

This nightmare or horror story has been told by all designers. The client liked it but didn’t buy it. However, you later kick yourself in the nuts because the client used it. Bummer.

Was it to disrespect me?

Okay. Maybe this is crossing the line. But it is possible right?

Whatever it was, I’ve replaced speculative design work with website references. Personally, I’d only do speculative design work if I’ve worked with the client before, or if I feel confident and comfortable giving them speculative design work.

AIGA (formerly an acronym for “American Institute of Graphic Arts”) backs designers in the decision to politely decline requests of speculative design work and to educate clients on the reasons behind it. And, they even now provide members the rejection letter templates for to use!

Although you and I may not be in AIGA, I believe it’s a healthy practice at best to discourage clients when they request speculative work. Otherwise, you may want to suggest charging them a “preview” fee for a taste of your work. LOL!

But to do speculative design work, yes or no?