Category Archive for: PayPal

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.

Watching former colleagues take it to the next level

One of the hallmarks of a great company is that they hire well, and make it a priority to train and challenge their employees to become better. Great companies are a breeding ground for talent. As such, it’s always sad when great talent leaves, but it’s certainly rewarding to see alumni venture to accomplish greater things. The Paypal Mafia is an esteemed example of this; many of its early employees have gone off to do impactful things. There are many examples of this in Acquia’s history as well. In 2012, we hired Chris Comparato as Acquia’s SVP of Customer Success. While at Acquia, Chris had been advising a local startup called Toast. I remember the day Chris came into my office and told me it was time for him to leave Acquia; he had been waking up thinking about how to help solve Toast’s challenges instead of Acquia’s. Chris ultimately…

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Turn Sublime Text 3 into a JavaScript IDE

Sublime Text is one of the most popular editors for web development and software development in general. It’s very smooth and fast compared to other editors (being written in C++ helps that speed). Sublime also has tons of plugins you can find through Package Control. But it’s only a text editor and not an IDE. An IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. In fact, Sublime doesn’t offer features like debugging tools, built-in tools for compiling and running applications, intelligent code suggestions, or code refactoring. Instead it offers a set of APIs you can use to extend it. Here’s an introduction to the JavaScript Enhancement plugin (my own creation) that makes Sublime a bit more IDE-like for JavaScript development. What is the JavaScript Enhancement Plugin? It is a plugin for Sublime Text 3 that offers a lot of features useful for creating,…

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Fast Follower

I love this simple list of “fast follower” companies that eventually became the market leaders in their respective space(s): Microsoft. Bought 86-DOS, turned into MS-DOS (which Gates did not invent), which in turn was an improved clone of CP/M. Did not invent BASIC, either. Office in many ways built in part on top of Lotus 1–2–3’s success. Windows after/alongside Mac OS. Etc. etc. etc. Facebook. MySpace, Friendster, whatever. Google. Yahoo, Altavista, whatever. Salesforce. Maybe not a fast follower, but already Siebel, etc. Apple. Copied Xerox, Altair, everything. Square. Very innovative, but a mobile PayPal, etc. Marketo, Hubspot, More. Neither invented the space. Slack. Very innovative, especially in integrations. But we had so many point solutions before, and since. One of the beautiful things about working in newer and more nascent markets, such as bitcoin and blockchain, is that there isn’t a clear winner at the moment and there won’t be a…

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Copywriting Q&A: Software Programs for Copywriting Professionals

There are a billion and one new software programs for tracking projects, sending invoices, sharing screens, and all of the other tasks you need to perform on a regular basis. But how many of them are worth it? Let’s break it all down… Today’s question comes from Julia R., who asks, “I was wondering if you could share resources that you use to step up your ‘professional game’ as a copywriter. I’m wondering about tools that you use to set yourself apart, things such as Calendly or Acuity for scheduling, what you use for payments, what you use for proposals and the proofing process, etc.” This is a great question, but I want to quickly cover one important point before we start talking about programs. I understand the question, of course, but I want to be sure to say that it’s not the tools you use that will (or can)…

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Accessibility Testing Tools

There is a sentiment that accessibility isn’t a checklist, meaning that if you’re really trying to make a site accessible, you don’t just get to check some things off a list and call it perfect. The list may be imperfect and worse, it takes the user out of the equation, so it is said. Karl Groves once argued against this: I’d argue that a well-documented process which includes checklist-based evaluations are better at ensuring that all users’ needs are met, not just some users. I mention this because you might consider an automated accessibility testing tool another form of a checklist. They have rules built into them, and they test your site against that list of rules. I’m pretty new to the idea of these things, so no expert here, but there appears to be quite a few options! Let’s take a look at some of them. aXe The Accessibility…

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CSS-Tricks Chronicle XXXII

Hey y’all! Time for a quick Chronicle post where I get to touch on and link up some of the happenings around the site that I haven’t gotten to elsewhere. Technologically around here, there have been a few small-but-interesting changes. Site search is and has been powered by Algolia the last few months. I started up writing some thoughts about that here, and it got long enough I figured I’d crack it off into it’s own blog post, so look forward to that soon. Another service I’ve started making use of is Cloudinary. Cloudinary is an image CDN, so it’s serving most of the image assets here now, and we’re squeezing as much performance out of that as we possibly can. Similar to Algolia, it has a WordPress plugin that does a lot of the heavy lifting. We’re still working out some kinks as well. If you’re interested in how…

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Low Volume Sourcing Techniques

Low volume manufacturing can be a logistical nightmare. You might think that vendors who could help you simply won’t because you don’t represent a significant quantity of work. You might also think that you’re doing something incredibly brainy and only YOU can tackle the challenge and ensure quality. To a degree both of these are valuable and tempering thoughts. But what these thoughts often mean is that you’ve started to think about sourcing towards the tail-end of a project. These thoughts actually represent a totalitarian go-it-alone-until-it’s-perfect-in-my-eyes approach which is consequently 100% ignorant of vendor capabilities and appetite. The reality, as i’ve seen it, is that strong vendor relationships underpin success. I look at manufacturing sprints as crucial to the design and engineering process, even, if for no other reason, it gets me or another engineer on a real phone with a real person talking about real tangible things. It helps…

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Paying customers, not paying Facebook, Google, or Twitter.

Our new Basecamp Referral Program splits $100 between existing customers and new customers rather than putting it in the pocket of those that track your every move online.Last year we experimented with running ads on Facebook, Google, and Twitter. All-in we spent 6 figures on the experiment. And then we stopped.But what stopped us wasn’t the spend, it was the feel. Every dollar you spend is a vote, and we were casting hundreds of thousands of votes for big companies that are tracking people’s every step, every move, every curiosity, and every detail of their lives. Fuck that.Yeah, they could bring us customers. But we don’t like the way they do it. We don’t want to be complicit in the how. No thank you, no vote.So, armed with the dollars and the drive, how do we introduce Basecamp 3 to more people? Who can we vote for to help us do this? The answer…

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Designing a website with your customer service in mind

Ways to design a website with your customers in mindAny designer who is creating a website for a business needs to have customer experience in mind. A website is never going to be successful if users cannot find the information they need, or if the content is not engaging. If you are creating a website for your business you need to put yourself in the customer’s head space and think about what they need you to provide. In this article, we are going to talk about some of the features that you can include on your website, in order to ensure it provides the best possible customer experience, Enabling customers to help themselvesPeople visiting your website are bound to have questions from time to time. They may want to know about your returns policy, or they may want to check if they can use an online wallet such as PayPal…

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Essential E-Commerce Site Design Techniques To Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment

E-commerce shop owners understand the importance of the shopping cart. Unfortunately, some online business owners have to deal with customers abandoning their shopping cart before making a purchase. You can prevent shopping cart abandonment by your customers, by improving their online shopping experience. Shopping Cart Abandonment At A Glance According to the Listrak Shopping Cart Abandonment Index, ecommerce websites lose at least 75% of potential buyers before users cross the line and convert in a best-case scenario. On the other hand, 4 out of 5 shoppers abandon the shopping cart before making a purchase. In addition, shopping cart abandonment averages as high as 87% for checkout pages and increases to as high as 90% during Fridays and weekends as revealed by this article. Aside from that, among the different sectors, the travel industry registered the highest abandonment rate at 85%. Site Design Tips To Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment Now that…

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People’s Names That Break Websites

I heard from Alex Goldman of Reply All (a super duper very great podcast with stories loosely originating from the internet): We’re doing a story about people that have names that websites and computers don’t seem to like – for example, we spoke to a guy named William Test, and a woman named Katie Test, both of whom can’t seem to keep a hotel or airplane booking because the name “test” is flagged by internal systems. We also spoke to a guy named Christopher Null who had the same problem, and woman named Joan Fread, who can’t use paypal because her last name is the same as a PHP command. I’m curious if there’s anyone in the dev community that is thinking about this, and how to deal with it. Is it even considered a problem? Is the population that this affects so small that people don’t even think about…

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Probably the Best Web Apps for Designers and Teams

Inspired Magazine Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration dailyBefore you start browsing through the web apps list, check the productivity tips outlined here to see if there are any you might be neglecting. You should find these productivity tips and project management principles to be of significant value in managing your day-to-day workflow processes.Productivity Tips –        Clarify Expectations – poorly stated expectations can lead to unintended outcomes. For individuals, following poorly stated or ambiguous client requirements usually leads to trouble. This includes task prioritization as well.–        Keep Communications Open. Insufficient communication, whether between a team leader and team members, or individual designers and their clients, can be a productivity killer. This should be a constant process, since requirements, priorities, and needs can change.–        Give Team Members Autonomy. By doing so, team members feel empowered, and are more likely to grow in their work.–        Rethink Meetings. Structure a meeting to support project objectives. Whether the meeting consists of a roomful of people, or a…

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