Thoughts from the team at Mission Data

How We Work: Stock Imagery

Stock imagery is often an afterthought when creating mockups, slide decks and even final designs. And why not? Most stock imagery is boring, predictable and expensive. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Strong stock images can not only highlight your good design work but also serve as inspiration touchstones along the design process. If you know where to look you can find great stock photographs, videos and avatars free for both personal and commercial use.

We know where to look and we’re sharing some of our favorite sites for free stock imagery with you.

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Get to Know Two Factor Authentication

No matter how complicated your passwords are or how well you’re storing them, you have to trust that the site you’re using is doing security correctly. If they’re not, your password could be leaked out onto the Internet, where any evil villain could use your credentials for no good. In fact, in most cases, you should probably just assume that every password you have will be stolen at some point.

It’s not all bad news though. There are methods to keep attackers out of certain accounts, even if you posted your password out on the Internet for all the world to see (this is an extreme example, please don’t do this!). Today we’re going to explore one of those methods, called Two-Factor Authentication.

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How We Work: DocsFlow

Our team of designers, developers and writers are experts at figuring out the right tools to use for producing great work. Of course we use a lot of the usual suspects (Photoshop, HTML, Google Docs, Basecamp, Sublime) but we also use some lesser known gems and have developed our own techniques and workflows. These things helps us work better, smarter and more efficiently and we think you should know about them.

So today we’re introducing a new occasional series of posts called “How We Work.” Each “How We Work” post will highlight a particular tool, technique or workflow that helps us do our jobs better. DocsFlow is the first tool we want to spread the word about.

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Yes Virginia You Do Need a Complicated Password Scheme

Recently there’s been a great deal of discussion about the security of passwords. Events like Heartbleed (which we discussed last month) and data breaches at large websites like AOL, Kickstarter and Ebay have highlighted just how prevalent website security issues are and how imperfect passwords are at keeping our data safe. But even though they are imperfect passwords aren’t going away anytime soon. So how do we, as web users, go about becoming more secure in a time where security breaches are becoming more commonplace?

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Wizardry: Something for Everyone

A common theme among new sites we’ve developed for partners over the past year is the inclusion of wizards or modelers. These robust tools give site owners the benefit of content that will appeal to their audience as a whole while simultaneously giving users content tailored for them as individuals.

This technique is useful for a wide variety of sites and companies. Two recent examples are the GangsAway Genie for suggesting cities to retire in and the Defined Contribution Modeler tool for Mercer’s Healthcare Exchange.

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The Specialists

Everyone needs the occasional bit of outside help. Even large companies with in-house IT departments. Those IT departments are focused on enterprise software, massive website infrastructure, information security and other really big problems.

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