Jan 02

A New Direction for PSDFAN

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 17:50 — julie

Hey there PSDFANs!

Today I’m excited, and honestly a little anxious, because I’m revealing some changes that will have a big impact upon this website, and I hope upon your development as a designer.

You see, now that we’re over 5 years old, it’s safe to say that PSDFAN has gone through some major phases in it’s lifetime.

What started as a hobby blog, quickly grew into a respected source for Photoshop tutorials and design information.

Along the way, we’ve continued to publish quality tutorials, but at times these have been drowned out, as we fell victim to the trend of ‘link bait’ articles (I’m sure you’re familiar with the ’50 greatest XYZ ever!’ style posts that have littered the design community).

A look through our archives and you’ll discover some of the types of posts that I’m least proud of having approved.

It’s not that these posts don’t serve a purpose, but I like to think that PSDFAN has a greater goal; one that has true impact upon it’s audience.

Audience.

It’s that single word that’s driven me to take this site in an entirely new direction, and one that I hope you’ll love.

You see, over the past 5 years, it was easy to attribute our ‘success’ to the 10 million unique visitors that have landed upon our little corner of the web.

In fact, I became obsessed with these metrics. Asked at a dinner party what I did, I felt a need to back up ‘blogger’ with ‘that receives 250,000 visits each month!’, as if that somehow made our content more worthwhile.

Here’s what I’ve learnt…

I’ve learnt that one engaged, eager, creatively geeky reader is worth 100,000 empty visitor statistics.

I’ve learnt that my true love is in helping individuals, not chasing numbers.

I’ve learnt that in digging deeper and going beyond the meaningless, bloated numbers, we have a highly active, incredibly talented core of designers.

As the new year begins, I wanted to write this post to let you all know that it is this core that is my entire focus.

10 million fleeting visitors are worth nothing to me, but 100 fantastic individuals all helping one another, growing creatively and showing talent they didn’t know they were capable of is worth a hell of a lot more.

That’s why I’m so proud of the blossoming forum community we’ve been building at FanExtra. The guys and girls over there are already taking it to places I couldn’t have imagined, and it’s amazing to get back to those roots of helping individuals overcome real problems and develop creatively.


One of our community rockstars Henk, created this piece after just 3 weeks of using Photoshop and working with us to improve. Apparently he didn’t sleep much during this time!

So what will change this year?

Well to start with, you may notice that the blog is looking considerably simpler as of late. I made the big decision to remove all adverts from the site, as they don’t help YOU, the reader.

As well as link-bait posts being long gone, I’m also reassessing the types of tutorials we’re putting out. Sure, some tutorials can be fun to skim through, but my main focus is now helping you to improve your design work.

Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • As well as helpful tutorials, we’re imminently launching quick video tips (packed with value and tips that’ll instantly benefit your work).
  • We also have a soon to launch Podcast, where I’ll be bringing on some very special guests to dig deep into what it takes to become a successful designer (success as measured in progress, not awards).
  • There is a big redesign also in the works, which should launch early this year. Look out for teasers of this soon! I hope you’ll love it.
  • If you want to be part of our core, active audience, then I’m here for you wholeheartedly. Struggling with something? Wanting to achieve a certain effect? Need some motivation to overcome a creative block? Comment or email anytime, and I’d love to help.
  • It is now this core group who defines the future of this site. Your suggestions, ideas and feedback are always welcome, and in fact I’ll be asking you directly about the content which will help you the most.
  • After reigning back our posting frequency to focus on what was really important, I’ve setup a weekly posting schedule, to give you regular content, but the kind that will have true impact on your work, and hopefully be a lot of fun to digest!

If you made it this far, then it’s you who I intended this post for.

No, this post won’t go viral on Twitter. It won’t set the design community on fire. But that isn’t my intention…

If you’re reading this post then it’s about you, and how I can help you as a designer.

If you’re serious about levelling up your design work, then let me know. Leave a comment. Send a tweet. Drop me an email. However you want to get in touch, that’s fine by me. But we’d love to have you, and there’s a ton of creative folk here just waiting to help you.

I can’t wait to share the new PSDFAN with you, and the new posting schedule will begin as of next week.

It’s going to be fun :) .

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