Category Archive for: Georgia

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.


Leverage Interactivity to Build Better Visualizations

Data visualization is a powerful tool for exploring and explaining data. Visualizations typically leverage scale, position, shape, and color to convey meaning and understanding. While these facets represent the core of a visualization, the web offers an opportunity to incorporate interactivity, transitions, and movement. When used effectively, these additional dimensions help users better understand a dataset by showcasing individual elements or key groups, demonstrating change over time, or communicating changes in scale. The examples and best practices shared below represent a sample of the myriad ways interactivity and animation can add value and clarity to data visualizations. Showcase Elements and Sets Perhaps the most immediate application of interactivity within data visualizations is the ability for users to drill deeper into datasets with a hover or click. This pattern is common across most interactive dashboards and charts and is built-in to tools such as Google Charts and Tableau. This type of…

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Cooking with Alexa and Drupal

When I’m home, one of the devices I use most frequently is the Amazon Echo. I use it to play music, check the weather, set timers, check traffic, and more. It’s a gadget that is beginning to inform many of my daily habits. Discovering how organizations can use a device like the Amazon Echo is big part of my professional life too. For the past two years, Acquia Labs has been helping customers take advantage of conversational interfaces, beacons and augmented reality to remove friction from user experiences. One of the most exciting examples of this was the development of Ask GeorgiaGov, an Alexa skill that enables Georgia state residents to use an Amazon Echo to easily interact with government agencies. The demo video below shows another example. It features a shopper named Alex, who has just returned from Freshland Market (a fictional grocery store). After selecting a salmon recipe…

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CSS Basics: Fallback Font Stacks for More Robust Web Typography

In CSS, you might see a ruleset like this: html { font-family: Lato, “Lucida Grande”, Tahoma, Sans-Serif; } What the heck, right? Why don’t I just tell it what font I want to use and that’s that? The whole idea here is fallbacks. The browser will try to use the font you specified first (Lato, in this case), but if it doesn’t have that font available, it will keep going down that list. So to be really verbose here, what that rule is saying is: I’d like to use the Lato font here, please. If you don’t have that, try “Lucida Grande” next. If you don’t have that, try Tahoma. All else fails, use whatever you’ve got for the generic keyword Sans-Serif So in what situation would a browser not have the font you’re asking for? That’s pretty common. There are only a handful of fonts that are considered “web…

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Keeping track of letter-spacing, some guidelines

Considering that written words are the foundation of any interface, it makes sense to give your website’s typography first-class treatment. When setting type, the details really do matter. How big? How small? How much line height? How much letter-spacing? All of these choices affect the legibility of your text and can vary widely from typeface to typeface. It stands to reason that the more attention paid to the legibility of your text, the more effectively you convey a message. In this post, I’m going to dive deep into a seemingly simple typesetting topic—effective use of letter-spacing—and how it relates to web typography. Some history Letter-spacing, or character spacing, is the area between all letters in a line of text. Manipulation of this space is intended to increase or decrease the visual density of a line or block of text. When working in print, typographers also refer to it as tracking.…

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So you need a CSS utility library?

Let’s define a CSS utility library as a stylesheet with many classes available to do small little one-off things. Like classes to adjust margin or padding. Classes to set colors. Classes to set specific layout properties. Classes for sizing. Utility libraries may approach these things in different ways, but seem to share that idea. Which, in essence, brings styling to the HTML level rather than the CSS level. The stylesheet becomes a dev dependency that you don’t really touch. Using ONLY a utility library vs. sprinkling in utilities One of the ways you can use a utility library like the ones to follow as an add-on to whatever else you’re doing with CSS. These projects tend to have different philosophies, and perhaps don’t always encourage that, but of course, you can do whatever you want. You could call that sprinkling in a utility library, and you might end up with…

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If you really dislike FOUT, `font-display: optional` might be your jam

The story of FOUT is so fascinating. Browsers used to do it: show a “fallback” font while a custom font loads, then flop out the text once it has. The industry kinda hated it, because it felt jerky and could cause re-layout. So browsers changed and started hiding text until the custom font loaded. The industry hated that even more. Nothing worse than a page with no text at all! Font loading got wicked complicated. Check out this video of Zach Leatherman and I talking it out. Now browsers are saying, why don’t we give control back to you in the form of API’s and CSS. You can take control of the behavior with the font-display property (spec). It seems like font-display: swap; gets most of the attention. It’s for good reason. That’s the value that brings back FOUT in the strongest way. The browser will not wait at all…

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The Top 5 Career Regrets (and How I’ve Experienced All of Them Already)

Here are the top five career regrets via a Harvard Business Review study and how I’ve experienced all five in my short career already: I wish I hadn’t taken the job for the money. I wish I had quit earlier. I wish I had the confidence to start my own business. I wish I had used my time at school more productively. I wish I had acted on my career hunches. I can empathize with every single one of these. And, I wonder what numbers 6-10 were (and some of the other hits on the list). Regret can be a powerful motivator [PDF Study] and a helpful emotion to have, if used wisely. But otherwise, it can be a total waste of time. In many ways I feel like I’m too young to have experienced all of these already but I have. I’m not sure that’s a good or bad thing, but, the…

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The Equilateral Triangle of a Perfect Paragraph

Still, too many web designers neglect the importance of typography on the web. So far, I’ve only met a few that really understand typography and know how to apply that knowledge to their work. And the lack of knowledge about typography doesn’t come from ignorance. I learned that web designers are commonly either self-taught and haven’t grasped the importance of typography yet, or they actually studied design but typography was just one of the classes they had to attend. I created the Better Web Type course to help raise awareness of the important role typography plays on the web. In my opinion, both web designers and web developers should learn the basics—if a designer uses ligatures in her designs but the developer doesn’t even know what ligatures are, how can we expect him to correctly transform the most beautifully designed typography into code? With both roles knowing the basics, we’ll…

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Think beyond with Acquia Labs

For most of the history of the web, the website has been the primary means of consuming content. These days, however, with the introduction of new channels each day, the website is increasingly the bare minimum. Digital experiences can mean anything from connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices, smartphones, chatbots, augmented and virtual reality headsets, and even so-called zero user interfaces which lack the traditional interaction patterns we’re used to. More and more, brands are trying to reach customers through browserless experiences and push-, not pull-based, content — often by not accessing the website at all. Last year, we launched a new initiative called Acquia Labs, our research and innovation lab, part of the Office of the CTO. Acquia Labs aims to link together the new realities in our market, our customers’ needs in coming years, and the goals of Acquia’s products and open-source efforts in the long term. In…

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“Fine” never means “things are fine.”

Listen closely for the word “fine.” It’s never the whole story.Growing up, my family and I moved around quite a bit. From Georgia to Washington to Ohio to Minnesota… People assumed we were a military family because of how often we moved. But that wasn’t the case.Each time, we moved because of my dad’s job.My dad has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. His first job coming out of his doctorate program was building robots to clear nuclear waste (nuts, right?). He did that for a few years, but then wanted to get into teaching. So we moved to where he could go teach at a university. After teaching for a handful of years, he wanted to work in business. So we moved again.With each move, it was clear: There was something more he desired from his job. More growth opportunities, more autonomy, more ways to improve the environment around him.As a kid, these moves began…

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What are you competing with?

You may think you’re competing with competitors, but you’re often competing with something, not someone.One dollar bid, now two, now two, will ya’ give me two? Two dollar bid, now three, now three, will ya’ give me three?I was recently talking to a guy who’s in the business of helping car dealers move used cars off their lot.Turns out, over ten million of the cars dealers take in on trade aren’t actually resold directly to customers. They’re often sold wholesale at auction.Sometimes a car sits on a lot because it’s in the wrong place. Not in the wrong place on the lot, but in the wrong region of the country. A Subaru may sell better in Colorado than in Georgia, for example. Or a Honda Accord may do better in Milwaukee than San Diego.So they send them to auction. And different dealers/buyers from all over the country bid, buy, and redistribute cars.When you think about…

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Application Developer II – Georgia Tech – Atlanta, GA

Application Developer II. Drupal web content management, PHP, Apache, and MySQL database. Other software developers and analysts, project managers database…From Georgia Tech – Sat, 10 Dec 2016 02:33:03 GMT – View all Atlanta jobs Source: http://rss.indeed.com/rss?q=Drupal+Developer

Business Analyst Sr – Georgia Tech – Atlanta, GA

Experience working with web application development teams who use Drupal and Java. Ability to tailor communication to different audiences, such as management,…From Georgia Tech – Thu, 08 Dec 2016 20:28:46 GMT – View all Atlanta jobs Source: http://rss.indeed.com/rss?q=Drupal+Developer

Georgia.Gov: Five Years with Drupal

Between applying for a business license or arranging to take a driving test, almost every citizen in Georgia interacts with the suite of Georgia.gov sites at some point in their lifetime. But before 2011, rapidly increasing operation costs, major editorial inefficiencies, and low user conversion rates hindered the state’s 45 agencies from effectively serving their citizens. Five Years with Drupal The Georgia Technology Authority teamed up with Phase2 to move 55 websites from a proprietary system hosted at the state’s data center to a Drupal platform hosted in the cloud. Five years later, Director Nikhil Deshpande of GTA discussed Georgia’s return on investment at DrupalCon New Orleans: Platform Operational Costs Declined by 65% One of the major successes discussed in Nikhil’s talk was an operational budget that declined from $1.5 million in 2012, to $513,000 in 2015 – a 65% reduction in operational costs! Much of the cost savings came from lowered…

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