Posts Tagged:Timeline

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.

Repeatable, Staggered Animation Three Ways: Sass, GSAP and Web Animations API

Staggered animation, also known as “follow through” or “overlapping action” is one of the twelve Disney principles of animation as defined by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in their 1981 book “The Illusion of Life”. At its core, the concept deals with animating objects in delayed succession to produce fluid motion. The technique doesn’t only apply to cute character animations though. The Motion design aspect of a digital interface has significant implications on UX, user perception and “feel”. Google even makes a point to mention staggered animation in its Motion Choreography page, as part of the Material Design guide: While the topic of motion design is truly vast, I often find myself applying bits and pieces even in smallest of projects. During the design process of the Interactive Coke ad on Eko I was tasked with creating some animation to be shown as the interactive video is loading, and so…

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Trickle-down workaholism in startups

“And then I said anyone not willing to break their backs working for me was a tourist!”If you want to understand why so many startups become infected with unhealthy work habits, or outright workaholism, a good place to start your examination is in the attitudes of their venture capital investors.Consider this Twitter thread involving two famous VCs, Keith Rabois and Mark Suster:These sentiments are hardly aberrations. There’s an ingrained mythology around startups that not only celebrates burn-out efforts, but damn well requires it. It’s the logical outcome of trying to compress a lifetime’s worth of work into the abbreviated timeline of a venture fund.It’s not hard to understand why such a mythology serves the interest of money men who spread their bets wide and only succeed when unicorns emerge. Of course they’re going to desire fairytale sacrifices. There’s little to no consequence to them if the many fall by the wayside, spent…

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5 Tips for Managing Client & Team Expectations

I recently bought a car. Throughout the entire sales process, I was excited. For my new ride. For the extra accessories and service plan I negotiated into my deal. For the trade-in value I’d get for my old car. I felt great — and a large part of that feeling was because I trusted the sales lead I was working with and felt like I was getting the car for a steal. Fast forward to the date of purchase. The sales lead reassured me that I would feel wonderful in my new car with all the new comforts and features I’d be able to enjoy. As I was dreaming about my heated seats and moonroof, I reviewed the final paper work, about to sign my name on the dotted line. But I came to a sudden stop. I realized that the noted trade in value for my old car was…

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The Advantage of Comparative Research

No matter how new a problem may be to us, we are never the first person to tackle it. There are always examples to learn from. That said, the way we learn from others’ examples can make the difference between uncritical emulation and a solution that fits the unique problem and context we’re facing. Here I’ll describe what comparative research is, why it’s worth your time, and give an example of how it helped us on a recent project. Some Fundamentals of Comparative Research Comparative research is a way to broaden our thinking about product functionality. It answers questions like, “How have others dealt with this kind of content complexity? What is a good way to conduct this kind of interaction? How are different use cases accounted for?” This type of research is particularly useful when trying to identify best practices that haven’t yet solidified into conventions–ones that aren’t likely…

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12 Questions that Project Managers Should Ask Before a Drupal Project Kickoff

You are a Project Manager, sitting at your desk, maybe sipping a fresh-brewed coffee. Suddenly you receive a heads-up that a new Drupal Project is headed your way. Sprint 0 will be starting in the next two days. You can assume that the SOW (Statement of Work) is signed, or almost signed, and a few SWAGs (Sophisticated Wild Ass Guesses) have already been ventured. What’s your first move? To ask the right questions to get the ball rolling — quickly. As a project manager, if your basic questions are not answered on time and correctly, you are not setting the project on a path to success. Here is my list of the important questions that I never forget to raise in such scenarios. 1. Do you have a “Statement of Work” and a “Discovery” document? It is most important to have a Statement of Work and a Discovery document as…

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7 B2B Facebook Advertising Hacks to Generate High-Ticket Sales

Facebook ads work great… …for product companies with low-priced, transactional products. Right?! That’s the stereotype. Otherwise, they “don’t work,” according to Hacker News experts. But they do. And they can. With almost any product or service. Especially services. Here’s why, and how you can (and should) use Facebook ads to generate leads and solidify client relationships. Why Facebook Ads are Tailor-Made for High-Ticket Services We could start with statistics. Instead, let’s start with sales. Like, in person or on the phone. Your ability to ‘close’ that person depends on a number of factors. Not all of them are in your own hands. Question #1. Do they value a need for what you’re selling? If not, don’t even bother. You’d be wasting your time. You can’t convince someone they need something that they don’t think they need. A solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, isn’t a solution. Question #2. Are…

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Jobs to be done — Getting started

If you don’t know me, Hi. I’m Nate. I took over as CEO of Highrise as we spun it off from Basecamp in 2014. It’s been an exciting project, but holy crap is it hard.Highrise is a simple CRM you can get your whole team on in a few minutes and it’s been around since 2007. When it came out, it was a “blue ocean” for us (the water wasn’t red from a bloody war with competition). You had the behemoth of Salesforce, which is a fine system for people ready to spend their careers learning how to wield it. Or you had desktop tools and spreadsheets that were tough to share with your team. Highrise was one of the first to bring CRM online and make it dead simple.But… 10 years have passed. The marketplace is quite different.Now, when people search to use a CRM for their project or organization they…

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How to launch software changes without pissing people off

Go the extra mile to avoid interruptions and protect your customers’ time.Software designers and developers are all about NEW. We like to experiment with far-out ideas and make shiny things. Our livelihood depends on it.We’re so addicted to NEW that sometimes it clouds our judgment. We love NEW and everyone else should too, so we force heavy-handed product changes onto our customers without much explanation.And if they didn’t want that? Or if they got needlessly interrupted by it?…Shhh…we’re not so interested in those problems.Dislike Facebook’s redesign? Deal with it! Confused by the newest Windows updates? Oh well! Missing some features in the new Final Cut? Too bad, they’re gone forever!It’s no surprise that these sorts of changes are comically unpopular:body[data-twttr-rendered=”true”] {background-color: transparent;}.twitter-tweet {margin: auto !important;}Cineworld have changed their app and I feel hurt and betrayed [email protected] notifyResize(height) {height = height ? height : document.documentElement.offsetHeight; var resized = false; if (window.donkey && donkey.resize)…

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Learn More vs. Sign Up vs. Download? What’s the Best Call-to-action?

Jeopardy Time! Is the link between the regular content that your potential customer is interested in, and a page with a more high-value offer on it that is relevant and interesting enough to persuade your visitor to complete a short form. If you answered “What is a call to action”? compliments, you’rr ready to go on Tv! In marketing, a call to action (CTA) is an instruction to the audience designed to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as “call now,” “learn more” or “sign up.” Your Facebook ad call-to-actions are dependent on your advertising goals and the expected outcome. Unfortunately, Facebook ad call-to-actions get a lot less attention than they deserve. Choosing the right call-to-action for your Facebook ad campaign could make a huge difference in your ad ROI. In one case study, we discovered that the click-through rate of “Learn More” CTA outperformed “Sign Up” by 22.5%! But which…

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AdEspresso joins Hootsuite — Anatomy of an M&A

Yes, we joined forces with Hootsuite: you can find our announcement here. Exciting times! We also wanted to give some visibility to the actual mechanics. M&As (Mergers and Acquisitions) are so rare and there’s always a high confidentiality/pressure involved. So much so that they are by far *the* most obscure processes of the startup industry. Still, as our CTO wisely said: “startups either are acquired, or they go IPO, or they die”. That’s really it. (an IPO – initial public offering – is the first time that the stock of a private company is offered to the public) A few minutes after having signed on the dotted line, there was only one thing in my mind. Four words. “Ok, that was terrifying”. And I don’t mean it in a nice catchy and hyperbolic way. I mean “terrifying” in the most literal way possible. What follows is the insider’s story of how it all went down. The mechanics —…

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6 Secrets to Project Success When Working With a Digital Agency

Regardless of what kind of technology solution you are looking to implement or the level of digital transformation you are trying to achieve, there is one very important constant that must be addressed in order to achieve success and maximum impact – and that is a thorough understanding of your problem and your goals. And not only do you need to have a clear understanding of them, your digital agency needs to understand your problems before they can design a proper solution. Conversely, if you are ever handed a proposal that offers a technology solution from a vendor who hasn’t  asked for — and been given — a proper download of the WHY and HOW of your project needs, run for the hills. The technology is the tool used to solve your problems and achieve your goals – and it should always come last. So how does your digital agency…

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Making it Big

A lovely visualization of what it takes to “make it” as a musical artist / band in New York City. This near the end is also useful: Time to get to the Big Venues… Just a bit of paper-napkin math you can see that it takes years for bands to really get to make it with the more rare ones doing it around a full year. There’s so much to think and meditate on regarding these data points and it’s incredibly useful, humbling, and very, very sobering. Most of us don’t have the patience and resolve to dig in, do the hard work, and to not give up on our dreams for years. Many of us, including myself, grossly underestimate what it takes to achieve modicum of success. But, I’ve changed and I’ve grown since I first started building products and creative projects. I know, more than ever, that good things just take…

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Where Are All the Creative Web Designers At?

There’s a common notion in the industry these days that web designers are stuck in a pit of uncreativity. The open canvas we once had as web professionals feels considerably more constrained these days by the growing collection of best practices, new technology trends and the use of automated tools. So what happened to the rare breed of creative web designers – did they really all disappear without a trace or is the more to the story behind a web that feels eerily familiar wherever you go?   The same old templates argument This is where the notion of web design becoming uncreative all stems from. Once platforms like WordPress and Shopify started publishing themes and templates the web gradually started to look more formulaic. Not only were designers creating these templates within the confines of their chosen platform but people were buying these templates in mass numbers.   Shopify’s themes…

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Intro to Vue.js: Animations

This is the fifth part in a five-part series about the JavaScript framework, Vue.js. In this last part of the series, we’ll cover Animations (if you know me at all, you probably knew this was coming). This is not intended to be a complete guide, but rather an overview of the basics to get you up and running so you can get to know Vue.js and understand what the framework has to offer. Article Series: Rendering, Directives, and Events Components, Props, and Slots Vue-cli Vuex Animations (You are here!) Some background There are built-in <transition> and <transition-group> components that allow for both CSS and JS hooks. If you come from React, the concept behind the transition component will be familiar to you, because it works similarly to ReactCSSTransitionGroup in relationship to lifecycle hooks, but it has some notable differences that make nerds like me excited. We’ll start off by talking…

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Using GSAP to Animate Game UI with Canvas

The year was 1995; Toy Story hit the theaters, kids were obsessively collecting little cardboard circles and Kiss From a Rose was being badly sung by everyone. I was a gangly ten-year-old, and like any other relatively tall kid I was often addressed to by “you must be so good at basketball!”. So I practiced and practiced spending hours on the court of my elementary school. Eventually, I realized, much to the dismay of aunts and other cheek-pinchers alike, that while occupying vertical real estate might give you an advantage in the art of basketball, it does not ensure it. Fast forward 21 years later. Now a tall and gangly developer, still bad at basketball, I was faced with a project: Designing and implementing a full motion video web basketball game for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. Throwing balls around is one thing; throwing pixels around — now that’s finally a basketball challenge…

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The price of monetizing schemes

When people talk about monetizing, they’re usually talking about some sort of scheme. Because anything that needs to be monetized can’t just be simple. If it was simple, you wouldn’t need a word like monetize. You’d just be making money selling a service or product.No, monetizing is that word we need to explain how Facebook makes money. They’re monetizing friendships and privacy. Twitter is monetizing clever quips and the latest freak-out over Trump (often the same thing). Snap is monetizing looking silly to your friends with branded filters.Most of these monetizing schemes are all variations on the same theme: How to sell your attention, your eyeballs, to someone else. So what’s good for business is whatever can extract the most attention from your sockets. Talk about an abusive, adverserial dynamic.The industry euphemism for this is “engagement”. But really, anyone who’s monetizing could not care less whether you’re actually engaged or just addicted,…

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Cars with Broken Windshield Wipers

I was stopped at an intersection the other day. It was raining. The road on the other side sloped upwards, so I could see the stopped cars on the other side of the road kind of stadium-seating style. I could see all their windshield wipers going all at the same time, all out-of-sync with each other. Plus a few of them had seemingly kinda broken ones that flapped at awkward times and angles. What does that have to do with web design and development? Nothing really, other than that I took the scene as inspiration to create something, and it ended up being an interesting hodgepodge of “tricks”. See the Pen Cars with Weird Windshield Wipers by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) on CodePen. It’s SVG When you need a little shape like a car, nothing beats The Noun Project. I actually used the little Mac app they have and dragged the…

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20 Years of CSS

Bert Bos, noting today as quite a notable day: On December 17, 1996, W3C published the first standard for CSS. Very interesting to see what historic points made the cut for the timeline. The Zen Garden, acid tests, preprocessors… good times! Direct Link to Article — Permalink 20 Years of CSS is a post from CSS-Tricks Source: CssTricks

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