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Career Advice

Natural Light Designer Workspaces

One of the main contributors in deciding if a person has good or bad productivity is the environment in which they work. A persons work environment can include one of many things like the people they work with or the location of their work (cubicle, outdoors, windowless room, corner office etc.). While in most cases some of us have no control over either of these factors, there are a lucky few of us who do.

Most freelancers create their own work environment, whether that be renting an office somewhere, going to a local coffee shop to work, or in most cases just working from home. No matter where you choose to work, one major thing you should consider when picking a place to work is the natural lighting.

Why is natural light important? Well in short, we are humans, we weren’t meant to be confined inside the walls of a cubicle and shut off from the outside world. We need natural light to live and to keep our minds from exploding.

Researchers at the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program at Northwestern University in Chicago, reported that the impact of working in a windowless environment is a universal phenomenon.

The study took 49 day shift office workers, 27 in workplaces with no natural light or windows and 22 in workplaces with windows and natural light. They used the Short Form-36 (SF-36) to measure health related quality of life, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)to evaluate sleep quality.

The study revealed that people who worked in offices with natural light received 173 percent more natural light exposure than those without windows or natural light in their office. The study also concluded that people who work in offices with windows (ie: natural light) got 46 more minutes of sleep per night over people working in offices with no windows and had better scores on measures for sleep quality, sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness.

People working in offices without natural light also scored lower on measures like physical problems. The study’s lead author, Ivy Cheung, said that: “A sunny day is equivalent to about 10,000 lux or higher of light. Indoor office lighting typically provides only about 300 to 500 lux. Light levels needed to maintain healthy circadian rhythm are higher than those required to see well, which are levels typically used indoors.”

Working in environments with no natural light is bad for our health. I can vouch for this first hand, I worked in an office that had no natural light, just florescent’s. I felt trapped, constantly tired no matter how much sleep I got, and depressed. As soon as I would get off work I would go home and go straight to bed; I did not feel like doing anything. It not only had an impact on me while I was at work, but it affected me during my off time as well.

After about a month of this, the company I was working for moved offices to an open floor plan co-working space with a wall of windows. After this move I began to feel more energized, I woke up and was ready for work everyday, plus I could see the outdoors! I am an outdoors person, so picking a career as a web developer wasn’t the smartest choice (but hey, I like it), but to be able to see outside and work in natural light is something that helps me get through the day.

With all the research and facts behind us now, lets move on to the fun part, the showcase of designer workspaces that utilize natural light. Included with each workspace image is a little tid bit about the workspace owner. Hopefully these workspaces will inspire you to move your desk in front of a window and begin enjoying the benefits of working under natural light.

1. Maxime De Greve

Maxime is a 24 year old Belgian UI/UX designer currently working as lead UI/UX designer at citysocializer in London, UK.

Maxime De Greve Workspace

2. Irving Briscoe

Irving is a designer and interactive developer who runs a little studio called von91 based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are his favorite design apps and his text editor of choice is Textmate.

Irving Briscoe Workspace

3. Martin Wright

Martin is a web designer with over 10 years experience based out of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK. He currently works at mySociety as a designer on their own in-house products and projects for citizens and democratic groups around the world.

Martin Wright Workspace

4. David Hellmann

David is an art director , designer, and frontend developer living in Cologne, Germany where he’s been since 2007. David currently works as Art Director at Fork.

David Hellman Workspace

5. Yegor Trukhin

Yegor, currently residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is the owner and general manager of Cosmius.me. His focus is in web design, UI/UX, and art direction.

Yegor Trukhin Workspace

6. Johnny Copperstone

Johnny is a front-end and back-end developer coming from an object oriented programming background based out of Malta (Europe). Johnny focuses on functional design and standards based ethics when he codes.

Johnny Copperstone Workspace

7. Grégoire Vella

Gregoire is a French user interface designer currently based in Bristol, UK. Greg designs UI for web and mobile products and enjoys bringing designs to life via front end development. Gregoire also works on branding an enjoys drawing icons in his free time.

Grégoire Vella Workspace

8. I*AM Design

I*AM is a creative agency based out of Augsburg, Germany that deals with corporate design, brand development, web design, advertising and print media.

I*AM Design Workspace

9. Adam Roney

Adam is a designer and art director from the Midwest currently residing in Valparaiso, Indiana.  After five years of leading a team of designers producing work for major brands within the beer industry, Adam left to open his own studio and pursue new clients.

Adam Roney Workspace

10. Mike Clarke

Mike is a photographer, mobile and web UI designer from Toronto, Canada. Mike is founder of YYZ Design, a media house based out of Toronto and San Francisco.

Mike Clarke Workspace

11. Michela Tannoia

Michela is a freelance web and UX/UI designer based in London, UK. Her passions include the best designs, photos, movies with big bad robots, cooking super cool dishes and the Sausage dogs.

Michela Tannoia Workspace

12. Istraille

Istraille is a multi-cap artist who splits his time between freelance art director, illustrator, and painter. Istraille does everything from graphic design and painting to web design and illustration.

Istraille Estebe Workspace

13. Per Vestman

Per Vestman Workspace

14. Kenneth Jensen

Kenneth is a concept, UX, UI, graphic designer with a passion for music, food and interior design. Kenneth is currently working at ajukreizi located in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Kenneth Jensen Workspace

15. Kevin John Gomez

Kevin is a designer and developer based out of Buffalo, New York who runs Fancy Labs, a creative design and development studio.

Kevin John Gomez Workspace

16. Ben Lew

Ben, currently residing in Colorado Springs, Colorado,  is co-founder and designer at Pi’ikea St. Ben does app design, web design, logos, and illustration.

Ben Lew Workspace

Ben Lew Workspace

17. Erika van der Bent

Erika is a freelance designer and co-founder of GeeftVorm from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Erika specializes in interfaces for the web, iPhone and iPad, creative website design, interactive experiences and branding.

Erika van der Bent Workspace

18. Mpumelelo Macu

Mpumelelo is a web designer and photographer from Johannesburg, currently based in Cape Town, South Africa. Mpumelelo has worked with well know clients such as Miller and RedBull.

Mpumelelo Macu Workspace

19. Shane Helm

Shane is based out of Nashville, Tennessee and is the Design Director for Engage, an ad agency out of Washington DC. Shane has worked with major companies such as ESPN and Pepperdine University.

Shane Helm Workspace

20. Andy Stone

Andy is an art director and freelance designer in Boulder, Colorado specializing in user interfaces on web and iPhone apps. Andy has worked with top clients such as Adobe and Jack Johnson and also likes to write articles on design for fun.

Andy Stone Workspace

21. Oykun Yilmaz

Oykun is a self taught designer from London who specializes in user interface design. Oykun has been designing for web, mobile, desktop applications for over 10 years.

Oykun Yilmaz Workspace

22. Rasmus Landgreen

Rasmus is a Copenhagen based web and UX designer who works with the manly bunch at Issuu.com

Rasmus Landgreen Workspace

23. Timothy Achumba

Timothy is a British user interface and user interaction designer who works at 6Wunderkinder in Berlin, Germany. Timothy is also a writer at HearHearNL.

Timothy Achumba Workspace

24. Agata Krych

Agata is a 30 year old graphic designer from Poland. Her passions include designing and singing.

Agata Krych Workspace

25. Owen Jones

Owen is owner of Owen Jones Design, a UK based independent studio offering a wide range of graphic design services with a specialty in logo and identity design.

Owen Jones Workspace

Owen Jones Workspace

Owen Jones Workspace

26. Martin LeBlanc Eigtved

Martin is a developer and designer based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Martin is also the CEO of the Danish startup IconFinder which is essentially a search engine and marketplace for icons.

Nick Bruun of Icon Finder Workspace

27. Focus Lab

Focus Lab is a web development & graphic design agency with a focus on ExpressionEngine & branding founded by Erik Reagan and Bill Kenney.

Focus Lab Workspace

Focus Lab Workspace

Focus Lab Workspace

28. Nicolas Prieto

Nicolas is a freelance Designer living in Argentina who specializes in branding, graphic and web design.

Nicolas Prieto Workspace

Nicolas Prieto Workspace

29. Daniel Waldron

Daniel is a product designer and photographer based in San Fransico, California. Daniel works at Omada Health, a technology-driven and human-centered health and wellness solution company.

Daniel Waldron Workspace

30. Garrett Gee

Garrett is a designer from Provo, Utah and founder of Scan, a company him and two classmates started while a Freshman at BYU.

Garrett Gee Workspace

31. George Bokhua

George is an art director based out of Tbilisi, Georgia with a focus on branding, graphic design, and illustration.

George Bokhua Workspace

9 Ways to Stay Creative

Being in the creative industry is a fun job, we get to create all sorts of different art and designs, whether it be graphic or web related. Staying creative however can be a tough task at times, especially when we are trying to create something that has never been created before.

Lucky for us there are many websites and various tips and techniques to help keep your creative juices flowing. Here I will go over some common and some not so common ways to help you stay creative in those un-creative times.

1. Get some rest

Perhaps something that has been hammered into your brain since you were a little kid, get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep can leave you drowsy and unable to concentrate. Getting plenty of rest can help improve your brain performance and memory. It would obviously be pretty hard to be creative when you’re tired and unable to concentrate.

2. Make mistakes

People think making mistakes is a bad thing, but it’s not. Making mistakes is what helps us learn and evolve as individuals, this is especially true for people in the creative industry. Mistakes can turn into great things, take a look at the slinky for example. Naval Engineer Richard Jones was trying to create a meter to monitor power on naval battleships, while working with tension springs one fell to the ground. The spring kept bouncing after it hit the ground, and from there the slinky was born.

Other great things that came from mistakes include chocolate chip cookies, potato chips, fireworks, microwave ovens, and post-it notes. So you see, great things can come from mistakes, so embrace them!

3. Get feedback from others

Getting helpful feedback from others is a great way to keep the creative juices flowing and gain new ideas. Talk with other people about projects or anything for that matter, and see what their input is and what kind of ideas they have. The minute I run dry of ideas I start discussing  projects with co-workers and within seconds ideas start piling in and creativity takes over.

4. Take a break

Step away for a few minutes. Whether it be from the computer or wherever you may be, take a break and do something different for a little bit to help clear your mind. Doing this can give your brain a break and help you relax while you gather yourself so you can be refreshed when you continue working.

5. Get away from the computer

This goes along with number 4, step away from the computer! Funny thing, in the past when I first started working full time as a developer I would take breaks at work and just go browse Twitter, read the news online, and check my email. I didn’t even leave the computer. This is the same for many people, they eat their lunch or take their breaks in front of a computer screen which defeats the whole purpose of a break.

Go for a walk or bike ride, go grocery shopping or do laundry. Believe it or not there are countless things you can do that don’t involve a computer (crazy right?!?). Sometimes all it takes to spark some creative ideas is for you to clear your mind and go out and do something away from your computer,which brings me to my next point…

6. Have a notepad within reach

This is something I’ve personally been doing for years. For whatever reason I get my best ideas and greatest creative thoughts at the worst times, more so while I’m laying in bed trying to fall asleep. That’s why I keep a notepad next to my bed, so when creativity hits me I can jot it down real quick so I don’t forget it before morning.

Now, I’m not hipster enough to carry a cool notepad in my back pocket, but I do frequently use the notepad app on my phone. Whenever I may be out and about and a great idea hits, I’ll type it out in the notepad app. Either way you choose, whether it be a good ‘ol fashioned notebook and pen, or an app on your phone, it’s a good idea to always have a place to jot stuff down because you never know when creativity may strike.

7. Be open to different things

The most popular artists and designers in the world are popular because they are open minded when it comes to creativity. Frank Zappa said it best “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” Being open to new things can give you a new point of view on things, a view which you may not have seen before, which can be greatly beneficial in the aspect of being creative.

8. Listen to music

Experts have proven that listening to music changes the way the brain works by opening up new patterns in the way the brain thinks and it also improves cognitive functions. Listening to music triggers the release of dopamine, which results in a feeling of pleasure. These things can help open your creative thinking  pathways and be greatly beneficial in being creative.

9. Visit some creative websites

I know this is counter intuitive to number 5 on the list, but there are plenty of websites to go to to help get the creative juices flowing. Sites like ours, Pinterest, Dribbble, Behance, and many others host some of the best designs on the web and they’re all great places to gain inspiration.


There you have it, go ahead and give these tips a try next time your brain runs dry. These tips are helpful in providing great inspiration while designing and giving you the creative boost you need. If you have any more tips or suggestions that work for you please let us know!

How to be the Most Organized Person in the World Infographic by Greatist

Being organized in today’s hectic world is something most of us can have a hard time doing. It sometimes seems that there are just not enough hours in the day, and being unorganized can make the days seem even shorter.

As much as I try, I’ll admit that I am lacking in the organization area. My desk is covered in sticky notes among other random sheets of paper, half of which I don’t know what they are. If it wasn’t for the search on my PC I’d lose so many files just for the fact that sometimes I don’t organize them into folders on my computer properly.

With the problem of organization being quite large, there have been many companies trying to help by creating apps, reminder programs, and alerts for your cell phones and computers. Although they can be very helpful, sometimes they’re just not enough.

The team at Greatist, a source for all things fitness, health, and happiness, created this very long and very helpful infographic on how to be the most organized person in the world. Although I’m sure you won’t become the most organized person overnight, it will definitely help you to improve upon your current organization situation.

Tips for becoming more organized start at your computer and organizing files on it. You can do this with programs like Dropit that automatically organize and sort the files you give it.

Another great place to start with organization is the email. A person’s email can get out of control overnight, keeping your personal email and work email separate can help you stay more organized. It’s also a good idea to create folders on your email and sort emails that way.

This is an area where I am actually a more organized than usual. I have 2 personal email accounts and a business email. I use my business email for, well, business and I use one personal email for stuff like Facebook, Twitter etc. and the second personal email I use in a more professional nature for business and job contacts.

Anyways, there are a ton of great organization tips listed in this infographic, so read them over and get started on organizing your life.

Created by Greatist

How to be the Most Organized Person in the World Infographic by Greatist

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Free eBook: How to Create a Million Dollar Website

Many people dream of becoming an internet millionaire. Don't be a dreamer download this eBook, join my newsletter and start taking action today.

  • How to Find a Profitable Niche
  • How to Market Products Online
  • How to Build a Profitable Email List
  • How to Beat the Competition
  • Free Weekly Internet Money Making Methods