With the growth of the web, there is so much information available that at times can seem a little overwhelming. As a result, it can be difficult to successfully dig up useful and relevant information. Collaborative websites such as LayerVault, Panda, or Reddit exist where users can share stories and learn current news.
I recently stumbled on two great new resources for web designers and developers. WebDesigner News and Pixel Hours are both communities for curated online stories where designers and developers can share and collaborate useful information to others in the industry. While there are many existing sites with this same story curation premise, WebDesigner News and Pixel Hours are new websites worth discussing.
WebDesigners News was created with the intent for discovering the most current and relevant stories for designers and developers in one single location. The site pulls information from news channels, blogs, and social media. You have the choice to view the stories by the latest news, most popular stories, or your favorite stories. You may also select whether you want stories from the past 24 hours, last 7 days or 30 days. The website gives you an option to sign up to receive their newsletters that will contain the most shared stories.
WebDesigner News has a layout similar to LayerVault. The stories that are most recent are at the top of the page. You can complete a search on the site to find specific story topics. WebDesigner News requires that you create a login in order to participate in the website. You may login using Facebook or Twitter. However, the website does not give you another option. I’d personally like to see an option for email.
WebDesigner News does not have the capability to vote on stories like other collaborative websites. However, you can favorite (by clicking the star button) on the stories you enjoy. You may also comment on any stories or you can choose to share them on social media. I like that you can see right away how many times a story has been shared on social media. After logging in using our Twitter account, I was still unable to “favorite” stories. It kept asking me to login even though I was clearly logged in. This seemed to only occur when I went to the specific page of the story. Hopefully this bug gets sorted out soon.
You are able to submit content to WebDesigner News that is relevant to web designers and developers. In order to submit a story you simply must supply the URL of the story. The website uses social media analysis and curation for stories that can potentially appear on the site. They urge users that the story should not be older than 24 hours. I like that the website does not require you to fill out more information with your story. They make it quick and painless so you can share the content with the community.
See a story that is inappropriate or contains a bad link? You can report any stories on WebDesigner News. In order to report a story, you must fill out a form with your name, email and include any comments.
Pixel Hours is another collaborative website where designers and developers can share and bookmark stories. The premise is slightly different from WebDesigner News. The website is intended for users to find articles they like so they can bookmark for later. The website includes articles, tutorials, videos, interviews, tips & tricks, inspiration, and other resources for designers and developers. Pixel Hours was created by ZAM, who is a digital product designer.
Pixel Hours has a “Pinterest-like” format. The home page contains thumbnail images with the title of the story. It feels very organized and clean. I would like to see dates on stories for the home page. What is the most current story? When you select certain articles it takes you to a page that describes more about the story. You can see information such as the date, author, and brief introduction to story. You also have the ability to share stories on social media. The website uses tags to categorize the stories. Every story will include a huge blue button that allows you to visit the bookmark (aka a link to the story). At the bottom of every page, it displays the previous story as well as the next story.
Unlike WebDesigner News, Pixel Hours allows anyone to use the bookmark website. You do not have to create an account before you can participate in the community. However, you are not able to comment or like any of the bookmarks. I am hoping they add this as a feature later down the road. You are also able to sign up for their newsletter.
You can complete a search on the Pixel Hours website. You can also select any of the categories for a specific search such as HTML/CSS or WordPress. Or you may simply browse the home page that contains thumbnails with headlines for the new stories.
Just like WebDesigner News, Pixel Hours allows you to share a story. You simply have to fill out a form with your name, email address and the link you’d like to share. It is unclear how ZAM selects content for the website. Will every story that submitted get shared?
As these two websites continue to grow, more stories will be added and could pose as really good resources for developers and designers. Let us know what you think about either one of these websites.