Posts Tagged: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.

A Pretty Good SVG Icon System

I’ve long advocated SVG icon systems. Still do. To name a few benefits: vector-based icons look great in a high pixel density world, SVG offers lots of design control, and they are predictable and performant. I’ve also often advocated for a SVG icon system that is based on <symbol>s (an “SVG sprite”) and the <use> element for placing them. I’ve changed my mind a little. I don’t think that is a bad way to go, really, but there is certainly a simpler (and perhaps a little better) way to go. Just include the icons inline. That’s it. Sorry if you were hoping for something fancier. Like this: <button> <svg class=”icon icon-cart” viewBox=”0 0 100 100″ aria-hidden=”true”> <!– all your hot svg action, like: –> <path d=” … ” /> </svg> Add to Cart </button> Or perhaps more practically, with your server-side include of choice: <button> <?php include(“/icons/icon-cart.svg”); ?> Add to…

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Creating a Design System Process with UXPin

There’s never a better time to work in software. Developers and designers are among the most desired people on the market. Companies all over the world seem to have a never-ending thirst for software experts. In 2003 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the number of software engineers working in the US to be 677,900 people. In 2016, this number increased over 5× to 3,870,000. At the same time, design teams grew faster than software development. In the last 5 years, the design-developer ratio increased by an average of 2.5×. These changes put enormous pressure on designers and developers to take on more projects while delivering higher quality faster. But the challenge is that software development doesn’t scale easily. Scaling through hiring, without first putting standards in place, doesn’t usually end well. With every new hire, the technical and design debt increases. New ideas for color palettes, typography, patterns,…

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Powerful Strategies To Connect Your Website To Social Media

The key to standing out and succeeding over your competitors is by increasing your online presence. Most businesses take advantage of social media because it has become one of the useful and most powerful tools to let people know about your company, products and services. A website that is prominently visible on search engines makes it easier to connect with potential consumers, thereby leading to a positive impact towards the business. What causes websites to rank higher than the rest depends on search engine optimization (SEO), although its main driving force is high quality content. On top of these, you need to connect your website to social channels. In this article, I will share with you some tips and techniques to maximize social media for your website. The Importance of Social Media Social media has become a part of any online business. At least 97% of marketers are currently participating…

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Naming Things is Only Getting Harder

I was working with CSS Grid and came to the grid-column and grid-row properties. I paused for a moment. They’re not overly complicated. They are shorthand properties for expressing where an element should start and end on a grids defined columns and rows. What caught me was the fact that I can name these lines. It’s not a requirement (you can use numbers), but the ability to name the grid lines is something we can do here. In fact, naming lines can open up neat CSS tricks. Grid lines are another item in a long list of examples where front end developers have the power to name things. Class names and IDs have always been things we need to name in CSS, but consider a few of the more historically recent things where naming is important when it comes to styling: Variables: Naming values for context, such as re-usable colors…

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Trade shows — Tips from our first effort

In 1844, Pabst Blue Ribbon was founded. They were a big player in the beer industry selling 18 million barrels of beer a year at peak in 1980. But then, things got bad. They went through two decades of losing sales. In 2001, they sold fewer than a million barrels of beer.Something had to change.And in 2001, something did. The company noticed an odd uptick of Pabst sales in Portland, Oregon. When they dug in, they saw their beer was popular amongst people who enjoyed PBR because it was outside the norm. PBR didn’t market themselves like Bud Light and Miller Lite. There weren’t fancy commercials or glossy ads.Highrise isn’t in that much different of a spot. We’re an old brand. One of the first online CRM products out there. Given our age, there’s an insane amount of competition, especially from venture backed folks spending money unprofitably attempting to acquire market share.I’d like to…

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What Does a Well-Documented CSS Codebase Look Like?

In the front-end community, there is a lot of attention related to documenting JavaScript. That’s not so much the case with CSS. Often times I feel like lost when I join a project with minimal or no CSS documentation. Even though CSS is relatively easy to write, it can be quite hard to maintain. The specificity, the global scope of everything, and the lack of guidance can easily lead to inconsistency, code duplication, and over-complication. I’ve long been curious what a really well-documented CSS codebase looks like. Here, I’ll share my experience, along with the expectations I have towards my vision of well-documented stylesheets. It surprises me where I hear people say that commenting CSS is not that important. I imagine none of them have had to deal with 10,000+ line stylesheets! Often I’ve struggled with what HTML results in what specific style. Without having a solid context about the…

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Connect: behind the front-end experience

Some fantastic behind-the-scenes stuff about Stripe’s design work by Benjamin De Cock. Absolutely everything is clever and using very modern techniques. Using CSS grid for their iconic background stripes Using 3D cubes for aesthetic flair Using reduced motion media queries to accommodate that preference Using the Web Animation API for event-triggered keyframe-like animations in JavaScript Plus one I’d never seen before: Connect’s landing page uses the new Intersection Observer API which provides a much more robust and performant way to detect the visibility of an element … The observeScroll helper simplifies our detection behavior (i.e. when an element is fully visible, the callback is triggered once) without executing anything on the main thread. Direct Link to Article — Permalink Connect: behind the front-end experience is a post from CSS-Tricks Source: CssTricks

10 Steps to Building Faster Websites

Google says websites should load in less than 2-3 seconds and when Google speaks you better damn well listen. Actually, it’s not only Google that comes up with numbers like this; countless studies say you want to be hitting the 2-second benchmark to stop traffic and valuable leads running out the door. There’s a problem, though. As the web becomes a more complex medium, performance tends to take a backseat to glitzy features. Which is fine, if you want a fancy website hidden behind that blank loading screen, but not so good when most people quit the session before your first line of content loads. So how do you find that sweet-spot between a fully-featured website and one that hits the 2-second benchmark? #1: Be careful with website builders Website builders are great for building websites quickly but quite so good when it comes to loading times. Bulky code working under the…

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How to Avoid 6 Common Web Design Mistakes That Hurt SEO by @KatyaBovykina

Don’t sacrifice beauty over function. Learn how to check if your website design prevents your pages from ranking high.The post How to Avoid 6 Common Web Design Mistakes That Hurt SEO by @KatyaBovykina appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Source:

Handling Long and Unexpected Content in CSS

When we write CSS, sometimes we forget about some edge cases in the designs. For example, when the content is longer than we expected and we didn’t account for that possibility, our design could break. We can’t guarantee that our CSS will always work as expected, but at least we can reduce that by testing different types of content. When you code CSS, you’re writing abstract rules to take unknown content and organize it in an unknown medium. – Keith J. Grant In this article, we will go through different UI bugs from real-world websites so we can account for them from the beginning. Ready? Let’s go! A button with an icon placed on the right/left side This is a toggle button for an accordion. There is an icon on the right side to emphasize that it is clickable. However, when the area is not big enough, the text will…

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How to be original

My wife and I recently visited Next, a restaurant here in Chicago. Next is part of the same group that created Alinea, one of the top restaurants in the world, founded by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas.A visit to a place like Alinea and Next makes it obvious why they win so many awards and stand out from their competition — there’s an incredible amount of original thinking going on.Why? Is there a reason they are they so good at this?In 2011, Nikolaus Franke, Marion K. Poetz, and Martin Schreier set out to find: Where do the best ideas come from?They created an experiment to see what would happen if you asked people for solutions to problems who were in the same industry as the problem vs people outside the industry.For example, carpenters have a problem where they don’t wear their safety masks enough. The masks are meant to provide protection against dust and chemicals, but…

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6 Components Moodboards Must Have To Be Effective

Moodboards have been in use for many years especially in the interior design and fashion industries. It’s the first step when brainstorming ideas that’ll contribute to the overall look and feel of the final product. Most established web designers create mood boards as part of their web design process. The main benefits of using a mood board include: Streamlining the design process Reducing the time taken to design the actual website Giving the client a general idea of what to expect early Less frustration Effectively communicate concepts Making it easy to make design changes and revisions A mood board can either be physical or digital. The physical ones are more time consuming since they involve putting together paper cuttings and other physical sources for inspiration. However, they tend to have a higher impact on clients. On the other hand, digital boards are easier to create and are less physically tasking.…

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What UX Designers Can Learn From IKEA

I recently moved and ended up buying a lot of IKEA furniture. While assembling the different pieces, I began to notice how IKEA devises their instructions to gently lead builders through complex tasks.  One of the customer’s first interactions with an IKEA product will be to build it, and this experience will likely shape the customer’s lasting impression of both that piece of furniture and IKEA as a brand. This is a high-stakes interaction, and there are so many places where it could go so wrong. Poorly-written instructions may very well end with the customer either throwing up their hands or throwing a hammer at the piece in frustration. IKEA understands this and carefully crafts their instructions to guard against rage-fueled furniture destruction. They are written (or drawn really) to guide a novice through the complex process of creating functional furniture out of a pile of otherwise inscrutable panels and hardware. But they don’t just instruct. They are devised to positively shape the assembly experience, hopefully…

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The Funtastic June Bundle: 44 Fonts and 50 Graphic Packs from TheHungryJPEG

Inspired Magazine Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily We are always looking for new fonts and graphics that will make our web designs look even better, and today we have found a great bundle from the guys at! TheHungryJPEG is a marketplace for designers, crafters, newbies, seasoned graphic design ninjas and anybody with an interest in the design world and features premium bundles released every week with amazing deals and premium weekly freebies. WHAT YOU WILL GET? The Funtastic June Bundle is THE biggest fonts and graphics bundle on TheHungryJPEG to date!  This bundle features only high quality, beautiful, and remarkable fonts and graphics to boost up your designs into a new level. 44 fonts and 50 graphic packs. 96% OFF over 90 premium design resources. Only $29! JUST A FEW OF THE GOODIES INCLUDED: Chirp Font by Denise Chandler Caviar Font Duo by Media Lab  Indulge Script by Anthony…

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A Little Example of Data Massaging

I’m not sure if “data massaging” is a real thing, but that’s how I think of what I’m about to describe. Dave and I were thinking about a bit of a redesign for ShopTalk Show. Fresh coat of paint kinda thing. Always nice to do that from time to time. But we wanted to start from the inside out this time. It didn’t sound very appealing to design around the data that we had. We wanted to work with cleaner data. We needed to massage the data that we had, so that it would open up more design possibilities. We had fallen into the classic WordPress trap Which is… just dumping everything into the default content area: We used Markdown, which I think is smart, but still was a pile of rather unstructured content. An example: If that content was structured entirely differently every time (like a blog post probably…

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Apple Design Awards 2017

I love reviewing not only the winning apps (and downloading many of them) but this year they’ve shared a number of pictures of the teams and the people behind the apps that make it all so magical. The human aspect is what gets me the most as I’m perennially-curious about the stories of the folks that choose to build apps, especially those that consider themselves indie developers. The pictures are a fantastic look at behind-the-scenes: It kind of reminds me that these folks are just like you and me… that aren’t super-human but with great technology, a vibrant ecosystem and marketplace, a well-executed idea, and a lot of luck they can do quite well. Congrats! The post Apple Design Awards 2017 appeared first on John Saddington. Source:

CSS-Tricks Chronicle XXXI

All the latest happenings! As I like to do, I round up a bunch of things that have happened in the past few months around here on this site, over at CodePen and ShopTalk, and other sites where I got to be a guest or was involved somehow. There has been some big releases, some redesigns, and a bunch of guest podcasts. I got to be a guest on Relative Paths with Mark Phoenix and Ben Hutchings. It was episode 47 and the topic was dogmatism, a topic I weighed in on earlier with my post My Increasing Wariness of Dogmatism. The biggest release ever on CodePen is CodePen Projects. It hasn’t even been out three months yet! As opposed to Pens on CodePen, Projects gives you an editor that is more of a full-on IDE with your own file system. I was a guest on Eric Siu’s podcast Growth…

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I don’t have enough

It’s been a rough week. We’ve been migrating our file storage for Highrise and you can imagine how difficult that is for a product running since 2007 with millions of users.And it wasn’t going that well.Fortunately, we had enough backup procedures in place to handle most problems. But still, on Thursday morning at 3AM I was nervously watching the error queue for more fires.How’d I get here?I don’t mean that in a negative sense. This barely raised my blood pressure. I’ve been in this same situation many times before. I and our CTO, Michael Dwan, cooly fixed our problems in the middle of the night.But, I mean, how on earth did I get to this point where I’m helping successfully troubleshoot this crazy large system of technology and code when…All I was trained to do was Chemistry?I remember the panic I had nearing the end of college. I had just spent 4 years and tons of…

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