Category Archive for: creative

rfp-robotRFP ROBOT: Website Request for Proposal Generator

The time has come for a new website (or website redesign), which means you need to write a website request for proposal or web RFP. A Google search produces a few examples, but they vary wildly and don’t seem to speak really to your goals for developing or redesigning a new website. You need to write a website RFP that will clearly articulate your needs and generate responses from the best website designers and developers out there. But how?

Have no fear, RFP Robot is here. He will walk you through a step-by-step process to help you work through the details of your project and create a PDF formatted website design RFP that will provide the information vendors need to write an accurate bid. RFP Robot will tell you what info you should include, point out pitfalls, and give examples.

GovHack 2017: Interacting with Government Data

GovHack is an annual hackathon that runs in Australia and New Zealand, where participants have 46 hours to create innovative new products using the open data published by government bodies. It started in 2007 with a single event held in Canberra, and has now grown to more than 40 locations and 3,000 participants. Acquia was thrilled to provide support to GovHack for a 2nd year in 2017. GovHack provides an important opportunity for the community to interact with government data – with the support and encouragement of the publishing agencies. For almost a decade now, government agencies have been making an increasing amount of data available for anyone to use – but doing so is not always easy. And making something relatable with this data requires a mix of different skills. It’s not all about programmers. Effectively using data also needs story tellers, graphic designers, and scientists. Connecting teams with…

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Recognize the messenger

The way we treat the bearer of bad news, criticism, and new ideas matters. Here’s how to do it well.“Employee recognition” is all the rage lately.The idea is that you should positively reinforce the behaviors you want to see in your team. Want employees to hit their sales goals? Recognize those who do. Want employees to be more creative in the work they deliver? Recognize those who do.However, when it comes to cultivating and open and honest culture, what we often forget (or conveniently avoid) as leaders is to positively reinforce one particular behavior: We rarely encourage our team to tell the truth.How often do we publicly and graciously recognize employees for being a voice of dissent? For asking tough questions? For calling out mistakes? For being flat-out honest in our organizations?And, how often do we do it well?A few years ago, I was inspired by a fellow CEO in Chicago who shared with me…

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(An Interview About) imgix Page Weight

Imgix has been a long-time display ad sponsor here on CSS-Tricks. This post is not technically sponsored, I just noticed that they released a tool for analyzing image performance at any given URL that is pretty interesting. We know web performance is a big deal. We know that images are perhaps the largest offender in ballooning page weights across the web. We know we have tools for looking at page performance as a whole. It seems fairly new to me to have tools for specifically analyzing and demonstrating how we could have done better with images specifically. That’s what this Page Weight tool is. Clearly this is a marketing tool for them. You put in a URL, and it tells you how you could have done better, and specifically how imgix can help do that. I’m generally a fan of that. Tools with businesses behind them have the resources and…

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Copywriting Q&A: Does Your Client Really Need a Sales Page?

Selling online used to be about driving visitors to a sales page and throwing as much persuasive copy at them as possible, then hoping they’d click the “buy now” button. Today, though, there are many different paths to a sale — and many that don’t even require a sales page. Read on… Today’s question comes from Marshall T., who asks, “I just started working with a new client. She’s a solopreneur and working with a business coach who told her that she doesn’t need a sales page for her product. Or, at least, that she can build that later once she’s gotten a few sales. This seems wrong to me. What do you think?” Even just a few years ago, selling without a sales page would be unthinkable. After all, if you don’t have a page to drive people to that has all of the details, how do you sell…

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A Guide to Better Conversations with Developers

As an intern at Viget this summer, one of my required tasks was working with a team of other interns from other disciplines to complete a digital product. The experience was fantastic and I am very proud of the end result (check it out here). Surprisingly, however, the largest learning curve wasn’t developing in a new language or using unfamiliar libraries and frameworks or even programming within a new set of standards. It was team communication. Working with a group of other interns, fresh to the concept of working on a single project and with completely varying educational backgrounds, exacerbated typical professional communication difficulties. Although most of these difficulties were overcome throughout the project, one type of communication breakdown I observed on this project I have seen mirrored in other interactions throughout my time in school, in other internships, and in ongoing professional projects at Viget and other workplaces. A…

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Crash Course: VR Design for N00bs

We have a tradition at Viget of experimenting with our own ideas, independent of client work. But, honestly, it’s been too long since we built something pointless. Today, we’re debuting our latest experiment in virtual reality—a WebVR adaptation of the classic circuit-board puzzle Lights Out. It’s a one-player game, with the objective of turning all the “lights” in the grid off. Sure, the final product is neat, but how did we get there? Jumping into the VR metaverse is overwhelming. I was disappointed to find there are tons of libraries for developers—but very few centralized resources for designers. As creatives, we pride ourselves on our ability to apply design thinking to everything. So, where are all the thought leaders in VR design? There’s little to no consensus around even the most basic design standards—like typography or accessibility. Basically, VR design is a wild west free-for-all. However, instead of seeing this as…

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Whether to judge on effort or results

Reality is a fuzzy picture much of the timeUnless someone is spectacularly inept, there’s always a reasonably sounding explanation for why the project they were involved with fell short. Maybe the direction was unclear, maybe the technology was harder than expected, maybe it was just too ambitious.It’s sound and human to be sympathetic to such woes, even if you think things should have gone better or faster or made more of an impact. But at some point, you have to decide whether you’re judging someone’s work merely on their earnest effort or whether it’s by the results (or lack thereof).To me, that’s the dividing line between someone able to lead a team executing a vision, and someone who’s simply on a team working to a plan. I can’t fault someone who’ve done their part well if the whole thing falters, unless their part was the responsibility of the whole thing.It’s in this…

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Senior Front End Web Developer – Morrison Agency – Atlanta, GA

Work closely with other developers in a small, fast paced and creative team environment. We are looking to hire a senior level Frontend Web Developer to join…From Morrison Agency – Wed, 19 Jul 2017 01:14:45 GMT – View all Atlanta, GA jobs Source:

Someone Who Finishes

This is neat little tidbit of news (although it feels “big” for me, personally): Both MNML App and Desk App are featured in the Apps for Writers category in the Mac App Store. And, as far as I know, I believe I’m the only one to have two apps simultaneously featured in a perennial category like this: Apps for Writers! I haven’t done any serious research about that possible fact so I’m probably wayyyyyy off, but regardless I am very grateful and humbled that they would put both of my indie projects in an area that has some very nice visibility. But I want to talk about something else. I want to talk about a creative dilemma. I want to talk about starting and finishing. You see, both MNML and Desk were and have been serious labors of love, as they say. My brother asked me the other day what I thought the total amount…

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3 Perennial Principles for Every New Project or Startup (and How to Overcome Them)

I was chatting with my brother who’s gone through the full gamut recently of putting together a new project(s) and I shared with him earlier this morning these three powerful and omnipresent principles that always seem to happen, regardless of how experienced one might be in building new projects and/or companies. Even for myself and my new-ish project, Pinpoint, our team has experienced these things in spades! And, of course, I’ve experienced it countless times when putting together smaller indie projects and apps as well: It takes much, much longer than you originally anticipate to get things really moving. The number of iterations (and even more substantive pivots) required is more than you originally planned. What you end up ultimately executing against or shipping to market is oftentimes dramatically different than the original concept. Longer time, many more iterations, and a different product. This is like the canonical journey for any…

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Copywriting Q&A: Tough Interview Questions Copywriters Get

No job interview is easy, but interviews for creative positions like copywriting offer additional challenges—especially when it comes to the interview questions. In today’s post, we’ll go over a few of them, and talk about how to answer them well. Read on… Today’s question comes from Liz A., who asks, “I have an interview for a copywriting position coming up and I want the position so badly! Do you have any tips for how I can prep or any ideas for what they’ll ask me?” Obviously, interviews are bound to vary from company to company and interviewer to interviewer. But there are some questions and topics you should be prepared to discuss. And note that I say “prepared,” because these are questions you’ll want to think about beforehand. Also, the answers to these questions are important insights into your understanding of copywriting, your working style, and your skills. Even if…

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How Google Stole the Internet in 5 Simple Steps

It seems like a lifetime ago since Google emerged from Silicon Valley as a refreshing tech prospect branding the slogan: “Don’t Be Evil”. Now, in 2017, that heart-warming slogan is no more and Google is simply one element of its parent company Alphabet, which seems hell-bent on taking over the world. Progress is good, too. Alphabet is a global leader in artificial intelligence, life sciences and a range of technologies used by the military. The tech giant is quite literally everywhere and it’s on a mission to know everything about us and the world we live in, which makes for some scary aspirations when you think about it (omnipresence + omniscience + omnipotence = God). Alphabet’s global takeover started with Google, of course, which managed to pretty much steal the internet from under our feet in five simple steps. This is no exaggeration either. It’s already happened and, if you don’t realize it yet,…

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But He Persists

I love everything about this: Leo’s working hard to do something he’s never done before. He’s just turned one, and he doesn’t know how to walk (yet). There are no really useful books or videos on how to walk. It’s something he has to figure out on his own. But instead of waiting on the couch until the day he’s ready to proudly strut across the room, he’s there, on the floor, every day, trying it out. He’s already discovered a hundred ways that don’t work, and stumbled countless times. But he persists. I don’t know about you, but this is precisely the way I learned how to walk as well. In fact, it’s the way I learned how to do just about everything important. By doing it. Amen and amen. I think I’m at a place in my personal and professional development where I’m beginning to tackle new and…

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Web Designer/Front-End Themer – Princeton University – Princeton, NJ

Design creative, highly-usable and responsive CMS-driven websites (primarily in Drupal) Collaborate with customers;…From Princeton University – Fri, 07 Jul 2017 21:07:05 GMT – View all Princeton, NJ jobs Source:

Why Are Cinemagraphs Trending in Web Design?

Do you still remember the time when animated GIFs were all the rage in websites? Although web design standards have drastically changed since then, the attraction potential of moving images cannot be denied. That’s why a lot of websites continue to use animation, and one awesome web design trend these days is the use of cinemagraphs. What are Cinemagraphs? Cinemagraphs have been making significant noise lately, and are being used across several websites and social media campaigns. A lot of companies have joined the bandwagon of integrating cinemagraphs into their website, such as Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Chanel, Netflix, and Wal-Mart, to name a few. In a nutshell, a cinemagraph is a still photo but with subtle movements being looped continuously. The technique was the brainchild of American photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, who set out to animate photographs starting in 2011. By Johan Blomström, CC BY 2.0, Link Cinemagraphs hit…

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Kotlin makes me a happier (better) programmer

What’s Kotlin’s best feature? Creating programmer happiness.There’s been a lot of action around Kotlin lately. So one question you’ll often hear is “What’s your favorite Kotlin feature?”And while there are many wonderful things about the language, for me it isn’t about any single technical feature.My answer? It makes me happy.Writing code that’s concise, clear, and expressive makes me happy.Focusing on creative solutions to business problems — not fumbling with boilerplate and ceremony — makes me happy.Feeling an intense motivation to learn — something that was sorely missing in the Java days — makes me happy.And that’s super important. Because being happy isn’t just good for the soul. It’s great for your programming skills too.As DHH astutely pointed out many years ago in Getting Real:Would you truly be happy working in this environment eight hours a day? This is especially important for choosing a programming language.Happiness has a cascading effect. Happy programmers do the right thing. They write simple, readable code. They take clean, expressive,…

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Stay Away From These User Interface Design Mistakes

The importance of creating a functional site should not be ignored. No matter how the website is beautifully made, yet does not create interest in the site visitors, the website is doomed from the start. In other words, every aspect of the website must engage the visitor, and it all starts with great user interface design. The Importance of User Interface Design for Business Websites Web designers should always keep in mind to provide a functional site that can easily generate interest among the website visitors to create a steady traffic influx. The type of user interface design plays a significant role in driving in a high volume of web traffic. Therefore, carefully deciding which design to use should be of utmost concern. In this day and age, e-commerce has been enjoying a steady growth, raking in sales worth billions of dollars each year. This is the reason why a…

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