Category Archive for: Design

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.


Visual Email Builder Apps

I bet y’all know that apps like Campaign Monitor and MailChimp have visual email builders built right into them. You drag and drop different types of content right into a layout. You edit text right within the email. It’s nice. It’s a lot nicer than editing the quagmire of HTML underneath, anyway! But not everybody needs all the rest of the features that those apps bring, like list management and the actual sending of the email. Perhaps you have an app that already handles that kind of thing. You just need to design some emails, get the final HTML, and use it in your own app. When I was looking around at email tooling, I was surprised there were a good number of apps that help just with the visual email building. Very cool. Toptol BEE free EDMdesigner RED (Responsive Email Designer) Taxi for Email I haven’t used any of…

Read More →

Oxygen – The WordPress Visual Site Builder for Real Designers?

WordPress page builders are generally shunned by those who know how to code. They are generally bloated and slow. And you are offered very limited customization options. But what if there was a visual site builder meant for advanced, professional website designers? It turns out there is! It’s called Oxygen, and it’s quickly becoming the tool of choice for WordPress web designers. Notice that with Oxygen, you design your entire site – content, headers, footers, menus, etc. It totally replaces your WordPress theme. All pages are constructed from fundamental HTML elements – section, div, h1…6, p, span, a, img, and a few more. Then, you visually edit CSS properties to get everything looking the way you want. So unlike a typical page builder, you can design anything. It’s like hand-coding, but visually. Think Webflow, but for WordPress. To integrate with WordPress and design layouts for posts, custom post types, archives,…

Read More →

A Poll About Pattern Libraries and Hiring

I was asked (by this fella on Twitter) a question about design patterns. It has an interesting twist though, related to hiring, which I hope makes for a good poll. Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll. I’ll let this run for a week or two. Then (probably) instead of writing a new post with the results, I’ll update this one with the results. Feel free to comment with the reasoning for your vote. A Poll About Pattern Libraries and Hiring is a post from CSS-Tricks Source: CssTricks

(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…

Read More →

Designers Tooling Around: Figma

There are already several articles out there explaining Figma and its wide array of features. So I won’t spend too much time explaining what it is, except to say it’s an interface design tool similar to Sketch or, to a lesser extent, Photoshop. But there’s something special that sets it apart. It’s based in the browser and allows for real-time collaboration. For real.  We’ve been using Figma more and more over the past several months and I wanted to give a brief breakdown of how we’ve been using it at Viget and what we love about it. Remote Whiteboarding With teams often spread across three offices, we’ve tried everything to make brainstorming, sketching, and whiteboarding without being together in person feel natural and efficient. Thanks to Hangouts, we have talking and seeing each other down. But drawing and writing together has been harder. Working together in a Google Drawing file…

Read More →

Template Doesn’t Mean Cookie Cutter

The Challenge The mere mention of website templates makes some clients bristle. Nobody likes being told they have to conform to a set of rules they feel weren’t written with them in mind. They also believe that their site will look like everyone else’s and not meet their unique needs. Developers and designers also get concerned with templates, unsure if content editors will put the correct types of content in pre-built components. Sites that the development and design team spent a lot of time building can end up looking unprofessional if the templates aren’t used properly. No one wins in this scenario. The Solution Let’s first dispel the myth that using templates means your site will look like everyone else’s. When we talk about templates, we aren’t talking about simple differences in colors and fonts. Our Lectronimo website solution takes advantage of Drupal’s modularity and Panelizer to deliver different frameworks…

Read More →

Spread the word

Photo by lee Scott on UnsplashRecently a young actress had an audition for an important role. Problem was, she was up against ‘a far better actress’ competing for the part.Most of us find ourselves in that position. We want a chance. There’s just someone better.Back in early 2013 when I was still testing early versions of my writing software, Draft, a user emailed to tell me he lost his writing.Ugh. My system for auto-saving your writing still had a lot of trouble in non-perfect situations: older browsers, flakey internet connections, computer sleep, etc. He wasn’t happy, but was understanding as I helped rescue what I could.Today, through a lot of work and code, Draft’s autosave system is (knock on wood) much more bullet proof.But there have been many similar examples of that situation I was in. I had created writing software. It wasn’t the best writing software. But I was getting people to use it.How?I had realized…

Read More →

World, Meet Ground Rules

This summer, Viget interns across offices in DC, Durham, and Boulder came together (in spirit) to identify a problem and create a compelling, digital solution. We had ten weeks. We had the combined skills of our five disciplines. We had free snacks. We started with brainstorming. Through the pixelated magic of Google Hangouts, we bemoaned the lack of taco trucks. We mourned the trials of finding free wifi. We grieved over food that goes to waste in the fridge. Nothing felt quite right, until we realized that the problem was in front of us, lukewarm and half-drained. The problem was coffee. As a rule, we drink coffee when we’re tired. But making coffee makes us tired. First of all, there’s finding the right roast — the quest for the perfect blend that inevitably ends with Folgers. We don’t want Folgers, but at least we know what we’re getting with it,…

Read More →

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…

Read More →

10 Email Marketing Strategies Your Clients Will Love

Website owners have a tough gig when it comes to choosing their marketing channels. Every year more platforms hit the scene and everyone involved in marketing wants to make them sounds as exciting as possible. This is why we get so much hype surrounding every development in the industry – from chatbots to voice search and every other non-event in between. Then we have email marketing, the most classic of all digital marketing channels – and still the most effective, despite sporting a few wrinkles. This is important, too. Because, aside from your clients’ website itself, email is the only modern marketing channel they actually own themselves. Every other channel is gobbled up by Google, Facebook and other corporations who dictate who they can interact with people (and how much they should pay for the privilege). Google even wants to gobble up our websites now with AMP, the greedy little…

Read More →

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…

Read More →

7 Tips for the Aspiring UX Designer

This time last year, I had never heard of UX. Coming from a family of doctors, the only job-related acronym I knew was MD. But this changed during my summer in Silicon Valley, where I worked as a media intern with a startup accelerator and venture capital firm. Over the course of just three weeks, four colleagues told me that I should look into UX. I really think you would like this. You’d be so good at it! Thinking it was some sort of sign, I decided to give UX a try. It was love at first sight. From that point on, I spent my free time immersed in UX books, articles, and blogs. I had never felt so passionate about a field before.  I used my Christmas break to take an online UX course. I filled my schedule with phone calls with every UXer in my LinkedIn network. I…

Read More →

Reasons to Build Your Own App

I’m working on a very small To-Do iOS app and I’m sharing my process and my thoughts candidly through the process in a new YouTube playlist affectionately titled “Let’s Build an App“. As you already know, I’m heavily involved with my startup and that’s where 99% of my time goes, but, in the 1% I’m sloooooooooowly putting this thing together. And, for the first time ever, I have a new medium through which I can share the process which is my YouTube channel. Although I’ve been pretty candid and honest historically about these indie projects, I’ve always done it through blog posts and not through any video content. So, in that way, I’m having a good time with it and it’s a bit of a different feel, which is something that keeps it fresh for me. These are truly candid captures of my thoughts and there’s no established framework of my…

Read More →

Browser Compatibility for CSS Grid Layouts with Simple Sass Mixins

According to an article from A List Apart about CSS Grid, a “new era in digital design is dawning right now.” With Flexbox and Grid, we have the ability to create layouts that used to be extremely difficult to implement, if not impossible. There’s an entirely new system available for creating layouts, especially with Grid. However, as with most web technologies, browser support is always something of an issue. Let’s look at how we can make the fundamental aspects of Grid work across the browsers that support it, including older versions of Internet Explorer that supported an older and slightly different version of Grid. The Sales Pitch If you visit caniuse.com, you’ll see that CSS Grid is supported in current versions of all major browsers except Opera Mini. So why not start using it? Rachel Andrew wrote extensively on the subject of if it’s “safe to use” or not. It…

Read More →

Making Better HTML Tables

Inspired Magazine Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily Strangely enough, one of the most difficult web technologies to master is one of the earliest ones to be available for the browser after plain text and images. The problem is even greater today with so many different device types that need to be thought about. Perfect tables are nearly impossible to create unless they contain so few items that no problems are likely to be triggered. The kinds of errors that can arise include: Text wrapping incorrectly Justification errors Table rendering off screen Scroll problems Row height errors Column width errors General ugliness or untidiness In this article we’ll take a look at how to avoid problems like that, so your tables have the best chance of creating a good impression. Avoidance strategies to avoid Because tables are so difficult to get right, some people try to avoid using them.…

Read More →

The Evolution of Trust

Nicky Case’s games are a damn treasure in this world. Most importantly, they are fun and compelling to play. They also make gameplay the vehicle for education on tricky, intricate, and important issues. Issues that would be much harder to learn about by just reading. They are also a masterclass in design: clear calls to action, clear onboarding, meaningful interactions and animations, and good copy. This latest one is no different. Direct Link to Article — Permalink The Evolution of Trust is a post from CSS-Tricks Source: CssTricks

Copywriting Q&A: How to Use Blogging to Build Your Copywriting Business

One of the biggest challenges any copywriter will face is finding a steady stream of clients. And while active prospecting can’t be beat, there are also a few other tactics you can use for attracting interest and nurturing potential clients. Read on… Today’s question is from Heidi P., who asks, “Is there anything I can do to get more attention for my portfolio site? I know it’s important to have one, but I feel like I’m not getting a lot of eyes on it.” One great way to attract more targeted traffic to your site is to, essentially, become your own content marketer. That is, put together a content plan to attract your ideal clients to your site. First, you need to have a good idea of who your ideal client is. Are you looking to work with small businesses, solopreneurs, design studios, or large businesses? And are you looking…

Read More →

Tips In Choosing Website Color Schemes (With BONUS Online Tools)

When you create a website, one of the first things that you need to focus on is web design. Aside from picking the right layout for your pages, your choice of color schemes can make or break the whole package. Color scheme is about considering the interplay of colors in three major aspects: complementation, contrast, and vibrancy. Choosing the right colors is one of the most difficult phases in web designing and the process can be very challenging especially for those who are new in the field. You should not worry too much, though, because there are available online tools that you can use to help you select the perfect color schemes to use for your page. What is the importance of colors in websites? Here are some of the reasons why choosing the right color schemes is extremely important: 1. Creates an emotional connection Colors generally trigger moods or…

Read More →

Back to Top