Category Archive for: performance

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.


A Bone to Pick with Skeleton Screens

In the fight for the short attention span of our users, every performance gain, whether real or perceived, matters. This is especially true on mobile, where despite our best efforts at performance, a spotty signal can leave users waiting an interminable few seconds (or more) for content to load. Design’s conventional answer to unpredictable wait times has long been the loading spinner; a looping animation that tells the user to “Hold on. Something’s coming,” whether that something is one or ten seconds away. More recently, a design pattern known as progressive loading has gained popularity. With progressive loading, individual elements become visible on the page as soon as they’ve loaded, rather than displaying all at once. See the following example from Facebook: Progressive loading on the Facebook app In the Facebook example above, a skeleton of the page loads first. It’s essentially a wireframe of the page with placeholder boxes…

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New in Highrise — our Small Business CRM

Mobile 3.1, better mobile emails, and moreIt’s officially Fall here at Highrise HQ in Chicago, but it sure didn’t feel like Fall for our wonderful company meetup here a few weeks ago:If you want to get to know the team some more, and hear our thoughts on business you should check out a couple videos we made with some great advice around staying motivated and getting started with programming.For more videos like these, subscribe to the channel.We’ve also been busy getting the word out about our simple CRM and have had some fortunate results with Highrise recently being named as a top 20 category leader for CRM solutions by GetApp.com and 6th for best CRM software by Crozdesk.But we could still use a lot more help spreading the word. If you have a few minutes, we could use some reviews on Capterra (or any other review site you frequent).As always if you need…

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Getting Nowhere on Job Titles

Last week on ShopTalk, Dave and I spoke with Mandy Michael and Lara Schenck. Mandy had just written the intentionally provocative “Is there any value in people who cannot write JavaScript?” which guided our conversation. Lara is deeply interested in this subject as well, as someone who is a job seeking web worker, but places herself on the spectrum as a non-unicorn. Part of that discussion was about job titles. If there was a ubiquitously accepted and used job title that meant you were specifically skilled at HTML and CSS, and there was a market for that job title, there probably wouldn’t be any problem at all. There isn’t though. “Web developer” is too vague. “Front-end developer” maybe used to mean that, but has been largely co-opted by JavaScript. In fact, you might say that none of us has an exactly perfect job title and the industry at large has…

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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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Are You Designing for Macro and Micro Conversions?

Designing for conversions is nothing new, but the way marketers create and measure conversions is changing. Until recently, we’ve only really been able to measure user actions individually and do our best to build up a picture of the consumer journey they take. However, with technology like Google Attribution we can now build up a more accurate picture of the actions users take across different channels, devices and sessions. This is changing the way we look at conversions and the different types of actions consumers take long the buying process. Your clients are now measuring macro and micro conversions, which means you probably need to start designing for them. Why should I care about macro, micro conversions? Essentially, it comes down to guiding users along the consumer journey and being able to measure their progress. People rarely land on a website and head straight for the buy button. They learn more about products, compare…

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Making Interactive Art

This summer, we built an interactive art installation in the middle of a college campus — a journey designing, manufacturing, and installing Abilene Christian University’s Lightwalk. Now that it’s complete, and since the opportunity came by way of sharing knowledge, I thought I would do the same here and pause to reflect on our process and lessons learned along the way. Vision The vision for the Lightwalk installation at Abilene was nearly two years in the making when we first had a conversation with their team. In that time, a good amount of consideration had already been given to various aspects of the installation, including a concerted effort from Abilene to prototype their vision and actually bury it in the ground. We knew the installation would be located below-grade on the East side of a jagged concrete path and consist of many “reeds” or light poles that would illuminate. The…

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Size Limit: Make the Web lighter

A new tool by Andrey Sitnik that: Can tell you how big your bundle is going to be (webpack assumed) Can show you a visualization of that bundle so you can see where the size comes from Can set a limit for bundle size, throwing an error if you exceed it Like a performance budget, only enforced by tooling. Direct Link to Article — Permalink Size Limit: Make the Web lighter is a post from CSS-Tricks Source: CssTricks

Essential Image Optimization

Addy Osmani’s ebook makes the case the image optimization is too important to be left to manual processes. All images need optimization and it’s the perfect job for automation. I agree, of course. At the moment I’ve got a WordPress plugin + Cloudinary one-two punch helping out around here. Optimized images, served with a responsive images syntax, from a CDN that also handles sending the best format according to the browser, is quite a performance improvement. Direct Link to Article — Permalink Essential Image Optimization is a post from CSS-Tricks Source: CssTricks

Get instant feedback from visitors

(This is a sponsored post.)Now you can get instant visual feedback for your website or app. Incoming Feedback from Hotjar is an easy and quick way to collect instant feedback directly from your website visitors. Measure your performance and see the impact your team’s changes have on your website or app over time. Celebrate your wins and tackle your team’s next challenge. It only takes your visitors two clicks to share their feedback on your website or app. They can even highlight specific elements, so you get a better idea of what you should work on next. Get your free account today! Direct Link to Article — Permalink Get instant feedback from visitors is a post from CSS-Tricks Source: CssTricks

Blendid HTTP/2 Upgrade

After spending about a year experimenting and blogging about how HTTP/2 is going to improve performance and finding ways it can be applied to projects, we have added an HTTP/2 upgrade to Blendid so you can try for yourself. If you are unfamiliar with Blendid, Blendid is full-featured modern asset pipeline powered by Gulp that utilizes many helpful stand-alone tasks. At Viget, we use it for many front end builds for its ease of use and simple configurability. To use Blendid with the HTTP/2 upgrade, follow these steps: On a new project, run yarn init from your terminal in the project’s directory, which adds a package.json and yarn.lock file to your directoryThen run yarn add blendid to add the Blendid package to the projectAfter that, run yarn run blendid — init to ensure the Blendid directories are in placeFinally add in yarn run blendid — http2-upgrade and you are donezo…

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A Five Minutes Guide to Better Typography

Pierrick Calvez with, just maybe, a bunch of typographic advice that you’ve heard before. But this is presented very lovingly and humorously. Repeating the basics with typography feels important in the same way repeating the basics of performance does. Gzip your stuff. Make your line length readable. Set far expires headers. Make sure you have hierarchy. Optimize your images. Align left. Let’s repeat this stuff until people actually do it. Direct Link to Article — Permalink A Five Minutes Guide to Better Typography is a post from CSS-Tricks Source: CssTricks

Help Your Users `Save-Data`

The breadth and depth of knowledge to absorb in the web performance space is ridiculous. At a minimum, I’m discovering something new nearly every week. Case in point: The Save-Data header, which I discovered via a Google Developers article by Ilya Grigorik. If you’re looking for the tl;dr version of how Save-Data works, let me oblige you: If you use Chrome’s Data Saver extension on your desktop device or opt into data savings on the Android version of Chrome, every request that Chrome sends to a server will contain a Save-Data header with a value of On. While this doesn’t do anything for your site out of the gate, you can consider it an opportunity. Given an opportunity to operate on a header like this, what would you do? Let me give you a few ideas! Change your image delivery strategy I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but images are…

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You Decide

One of my favorite leadership strategies regarding team member empowerment is to simply allow staffers, especially new ones, the room and the leverage to make decisions (and mistakes). To do this you simply need to say two very important yet powerful words: You decide. By letting a (new or long-standing) employee and team member make a decision around something important to the business, the organization, a process or system, and even the product, enables and empowers them in all the right ways. Besides, you’ve already hired them, right? You’ve already decided to trust them with the work, at least in theory, so now it’s time to put that belief into action, make it real, and exercise a real organizational trust. When you tell a team member that they will not only have the power to decide a course of action but also bear the burden of the consequences you have now…

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Lozad.js: Performant Lazy Loading of Images

There are a few different “traditional” ways of lazy loading of images. They all require JavaScript needing to figure out if an image is currently visible within the browser’s viewport or not. Traditional approaches might be: Listening to scroll and resize events on the window Using a timer like setInterval Both of these have performance problems. Why traditional approaches are not performant? Both of those approaches listed above are problematic because they work repeatedly and their function triggers **forced layout while calculating the position of the element with respect to the viewport, to check if the element is inside the viewport or not. To combat these performance problems, some libraries throttle the function calls that do these things, limiting the number of times they are done. Even then, repeated layout/reflow triggering operations consume precious time while a user interacts with the site and induces “junk” (that sluggish feeling when interacting…

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5 things CSS developers wish they knew before they started

You can learn anything, but you can’t learn everything 🙃 So accept that, and focus on what matters to you — Una Kravets 👩🏻‍💻 (@Una) September 1, 2017 Una Kravets is absolutely right. In modern CSS development, there are so many things to learn. For someone starting out today, it’s hard to know where to start. Here is a list of things I wish I had known if I were to start all over again. 1. Don’t underestimate CSS It looks easy. After all, it’s just a set of rules that selects an element and modifies it based on a set of properties and values. CSS is that, but also so much more! A successful CSS project requires the most impeccable architecture. Poorly written CSS is brittle and quickly becomes difficult to maintain. It’s critical you learn how to organize your code in order to create maintainable structures with a…

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Drupal Commerce 2.0 Wisdom from Acro Media

If you’ve been following the Acro Media blog, you probably know that the digital agency (and Acquia partner), based in Kelowna, BC, Canada, has a special interest in Drupal Commerce. So with the recent launch of Drupal Commerce 2.0, it made sense to check in with them. After all, Arco team are core maintainers for modules such as Commerce Migrate, Commerce POS, and a host of others. Leading up to the 2.0 release of Drupal Commerce, Arco had 20 team members contributing a total of 60 contrib credits. In the past 3 months, they’ve been credited on over 270 issues. They’ve also been publishing content steady. Their aim seems to be to not only to get the word out about 2.0, but to help educate other developers, agencies and current and potential customers. So here, all in one place, a collection of Arco Drupal Commerce Knowledge. Migrating Drupal Commerce 1…

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Top 8 Ideas to Optimize Your PPC Performance by @LisaRocksSEM

Improving your PPC ads is essential to sustain your paid advertising campaigns’ performance. Here are some ideas for PPC optimization.The post Top 8 Ideas to Optimize Your PPC Performance by @LisaRocksSEM appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/feed/

How to Use Automation to Boost PPC Performance by @iambenwood

Learn examples of how you can utilize automation to save time on core PPC management activities.The post How to Use Automation to Boost PPC Performance by @iambenwood appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/feed/

The Bad News Advantage

Telling your employees the truth — even when it’s bad — makes you a better leader. Here’s why…Sharing bad news is a good thing.As a leader, you might not think it, at first. But it’s true. Leaders who are honest about the bad — just as much as the good — are better leaders.But it’s not just me saying this. Research proves this.In a 2013 study discussed in Forbes, researchers found that leaders who gave honest feedback were rated as five times more effective than ones who do not. In addition, leaders who gave honest feedback had employees who were rated as three times more engaged.Employees yearn for this honest, corrective feedback. In a study shared in Harvard Business Review, 57% people preferred corrective feedback to purely praise and recognition. When further asked what was most helpful in their careers, 72% employees said they thought their performance would improve if their managers would provide corrective feedback.In other words, people don’t just want to…

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