5 Essential Web Design Trends Making a Breakthrough This Month

The first impression is always important and usually, you have just a few seconds to impress.

Nice and quality clothes, matched accessories, coming to meetings on time, all these matters. They give people a first glance about who you are and create some emotions related to you.

Likewise, the first impression also matters in the online world. In few seconds, the website visitors make judgments about your website and about your company’s’ credibility, starting from what they see and from the feelings they have while viewing your website. According to statistics, one in five visitors will leave your website without giving you any second chance, if you make a wrong first impression.  

Sure, it’s true that web design has progressed tremendously over the years, since the beginning until now. New features are always discovered and implemented every year, the most popular of them being added to the list of options for designers and developers to use. Infinite scrolling, landing pages, banners, pop-ups, cookies, social media integration, sharing, comments – and the list can go on – are just some of the features that were considered hot trends the last years.  

Knowing the latest web design trends and adapting them in order to convey the best your message, makes it possible to create a website that will impress your audience and will grab the visitors’ attention.

Two months ago, we wrote an article related to the nine hottest web design trends for this year. Sure, they are not the only ones for 2017. Therefore, we would like to share with you some more information related to this topic, in order to help you with the implementation of the best features for your website.

But before diving deeper, let’s clear something: even if web design requires creativity, it’s not art in the purest meaning of the word. Because beyond of expressing feeling and provoking emotions, web design helps people find answers to their needs, take action or complete a task, and give the users a special experience.

More than ever before, everything in web design, from imagery to content, to navigation and layout, serves a specific purpose. Of course, many websites have been designed for a while and have collected a lot of clutter during the time. If your intention is to refresh or redesign a website, your first step should be a content audit and based on it, you should clear it out and focus on what’s important in your relationship with the target audience. But if you decide to design a site from scratch, your starting points should be the site map, the wireframes, and the top tasks.  In this continuing struggle between clarity and the absolute completeness, the first one should be the winner.  

Beyond all the modern web design trends, should be the relationship with the target audience and the intention of conveying a clear message. Therefore, we have chosen five web design trends that we hope will help you create a modern and efficient website.

 

1. Tiny text

 

 

 

Even if the big, bold typography still plays the game, the smaller, almost “tiny” texts have begun to replace the oversized headers and subheaders that have been a stamp of the website design for a while. For small headlines, to the body texts that seems to be reduced to the limit of the readability, there’s been a definite trend for downsizing the typography.

Although there could be some concerns related to the readability when it comes to the small text, the small fonts are not such a bad thing. In fact, sometimes, they are preferable to the oversized fonts. On one hand, smaller typefaces let the layout room for breathing; on the other side, small fonts help increase the interest for the message they express. Speaking about small type, the catch is to keep lettering to a minimum in order to be effective and interesting.

Balance is also a concern related to this trend. For creating a nice sense of harmony, all of the typefaces have to scale down somehow. This scale down could be not just in terms of the size of fonts, but also in terms of colors. It is very acceptable a combination between big and small typos, in which light typefaces used for headers could mix with small fonts from secondary copy.     

 

 

2. Geometric layering

 

 

In a permanent searching for new elements that could add new visual interest to the design, the geometric layering has steadily increased in popularity.  Being brought as a mainstream and modern design technique by the Google Material Design, geometric layering is a technique for adding a new life to images that are somewhat plain – for example buildings, interior designs, people working and so on.

The addition of fun shapes, contrasting colors and cutouts give always the user a starting point to get into the website design and effectively help him to focus on the most relevant content, such as branding or headline.  

The best part of using the geometry layering is that they are easy to work with and to integrate with the rest of the design, and fit pretty much with any type of content.  The angles and curves in geometric elements help the users point from one element to the other, and when they are used effectively, could be a great directional tool. By using the circles for content, you want to be viewed first and positioning angles so that they “point” to the content you want users to see, you will help the audience to better understand the message you want to convey.

 

 

3. Enhanced 3D

 

3D arrived in web design in 2011 and in the following years, we have seen a lot of excitement for the possibilities of 3D usage among web designers. The development of 3D in the online world has continued and there are some pretty impressive implementations out there, from “wow factor” visuals that act mainly as proof of concept, to thoughtful uses of 3D squarely aimed at crafting a great web experience.

Using 3D elements in web design could make a website more impressive and memorable, their purposes being the creation of a feeling of depth. For this reason, websites including 3D elements look more interesting and vibrant than the most sites that include a flat, 2D design. In terms of the possibility of usage, 3D effects can work pretty well for a variety of different design options. From the game style interfaces to shopping and product identification, an interface that almost gives the users the feel of real interaction proves to be quite attractive. This could be the main reason for which it’s trendier to incorporate 3D effects and styles into the website design. Furthermore, with the VR/AR rapidly development, this trend is evolving pretty fast and will become more popular than today.

 

 

4.

Innovative Scrolling and Parallax

 

Scrolling, once reserved for getting from the top of a page to the bottom, is now being used in more creative capacities to deliver the content. If the designers in the past were concerned about keeping the most important content in the upper part of the page, we’re seeing this old-fashioned notion disappear, as users are viewing the content of screens of all different sizes and resolutions.

Parallax is essentially a scrolling mechanic, which gives a 3D effect as the foreground moves at a faster pace than the background behind it. The parallax effect has been around for years in classic video games, but in the last years, it became a trend also in the web design world. This nice and modern effect could be seen regularly as part of the innovative scrolling feature of the web pages. In order to create a sensation of depth and providing an interesting and attractive browsing experience, it is defined by the usage of multiple backgrounds that seem to have different speeds of movement.

The term derives from the Greek “parallaxis”, which means “alteration”. In other words, Nearby objects have a larger parallax than more distant objects when observed from different positions, so parallax scrolling can be used to determine distances.

This visual idea is great to add a unique element to any website. From a multilayered parallax to a video parallax, anything could be possible.

 

 

5. Microinteractions

 

Microinteractions are single, specific moments when a user is interacting with your website. They are such a fundamental part of many website designs these days, that any website without them will probably look boring. Most designers think about microinteractions as magic components that add delight, create surprise and offer something attractive, entertaining and engaging to the website visitors.

Anyway, creating amazing micro interactions isn’t always easy. Like every other feature, if they have a proper use, are great. If not, they could be a disaster.  Therefore, you should create something practical, that makes the user’s life easier, needing to be human, intuitive and responsive. Long short story, if you haven’t used micro interactions until now, you should try! You’ll be surprised!

  

 

Bottom line

Sometimes, the biggest trends hinder the evolutions of other trends. It could be interesting to see the small-step progress almost as it happens. That’s what you tend to get when you are looking at trending elements that can be applied to almost any project, such as the five trends showcased here.

Read More at 5 Essential Web Design Trends Making a Breakthrough This Month

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/41141-2/

25 Days, 25 Expert Social Media Growth Strategies [New Email Course for Marketers]

What’s working for you social media these days?

One of our goals at Buffer is to always be iterating and experimenting with what we do on social media and in marketing. Whether it’s cutting our posting frequency, curating content, or creating square videos, we’re always up for trying new strategies! Lots of times these experiments fail (and we learn valuable lessons) and other times they end up revealing great opportunities to grow.

So what are you experimenting with on social media this week? This month? This year?

We’d love to help with some ideas!

We’ve collected our 25 most effective social media growth strategies that have helped us move the needle over the past year. These tips and strategies are straight from our Buffer playbook and have helped people (including us) find great success on social media! We’re excited to deliver these strategies to you in a free daily email.

Social Media Strategies email course
Buffer Email Course: Social Media Growth Strategies

Join us for 25 days of social media growth strategies!

We’d count it an amazing privilege to share with you these strategies over the next several days. You can join for free by visiting the landing page below.

Join this course — 25 unique, social media growth strategies, delivered a day-at-a-time, for free!

button

We’ll send you one email per day, Monday through Friday, for the next 25 days.

All of the lessons contain detailed knowledge-packed information on how you can get started with that specific strategy immediately. These are real strategies, resources, and tips that we’re currently using here Buffer or that we have used in the recent past.

A huge shoutout to the amazing folks who are blazing trails on social media marketing and inspired many of the strategies that you will read about in this email course. Lots of them have been guests on the Buffer Podcast – The Science of Social Media!

Bonus: Many of the social media growth strategies include a short video tutorial!

Course preview

Here’s a quick look at what’s in store for our social media growth strategies course in the first 15 lessons:

  1. The “Why” and the “How” behind social media marketing
  2. The web’s top (free) social media content curation tool
  3. Tools for creating videos on a budget
  4. 5 hidden Instagram marketing features
  5. Must-have image creation tools for savvy marketers
  6. The power of resharing content on Facebook
  7. 10 incredible stock photo websites to bookmark
  8. Building your brand through content curation
  9. Sell your product through educational screen recordings
  10. Less is more with Facebook posting (preview below)
  11. Understanding social media algorithms
  12. 6 time-saving social media tools
  13. Social media analytics and benchmarking
  14. 5 secrets of successful video marketing
  15. Strategies for sharing content across social media

Join our 25-day social media growth strategies course to see these lessons in detail and receive the remaining 10 lessons! 

A sample lesson

We’re excited to make sure that you get all of the information and takeaways you want from these emails and so I’m happy to share here a sample of one of the lessons from the course. Here’s lesson #10 (in-full) – Less is more with Facebook posting: (View full email in browser)

Less is more with Facebook posting
In October of 2016 we dramatically changed our Facebook posting strategy.

A gradual, but noticeable shift in many social media algorithms and an influx of brand advertising on Facebook meant that it was important for us to either start experimenting or we’d continue to see a decline in organic reach and engagement.

We needed to make a change.

We cut our posting frequency by more than 50% on Facebook and began to truly focus on quality over quantity. What happened next, even the most optimistic social media manager couldn’t have expected:

Our Facebook reach and engagement began to increase even though we were posting less!

Facebook Engagement Videos

We’ve written a detailed breakdown on the impact this change has had on our Facebook results – But in the meantime, here’s a quick overview of our current Facebook strategy that we hope will help to spark some inspiration:

One or two posts per day maximum
The main reason why I believe we’re seeing such a dramatic increase in reach and engagement is that we’re only posting one or two pieces of content per day on Facebook.

This serves two valuable purposes:

1. It forces us to only share the best of the best content because we literally have limited space
2. It allows the Facebook algorithm to focus on delivering one piece of content (vs. multiple) to our audience

Curated content
Previously, we used to shy away from curated content because it didn’t directly affect the bottom-line: traffic, subscriptions, sales, etc.

However, sorting our Facebook posts by “Most Reach” shows exactly the impact it has had on our Page and growth: 7 of 11 of our most successful posts throughout the last 14 months are curated (not created by Buffer). These posts have combined to reach more than 750,000 people, averaging to about 107,000 people per post.

Curated content may not “directly” affect our bottom line, but it plays a significant role in reach, engagement (likes, comments, shares) and page growth.

Focusing on brand awareness and engagement
Focusing on brand awareness and engagement vs. driving traffic to our website has become a staple of our strategy as well.

We’ve witnessed a shift in many social media networks over the last year. It used to be that brands and businesses could post links to their blog posts and watch the traffic flow in. And while that’s still the case for many publishers, savvy marketers can benefit from thinking about their content strategy as a whole – focusing on both direct traffic as well as engagement.

Posting content that aims to drive engagement only helps to build an activate Facebook audience. Then, right when you need them most, you can deliver a piece of brand content that will help move the bottom line.

Boosted Posts
Last, but not least, I’d love to address how important Facebook boosted posts have been in increasing reach and engagement on our Page.

Currently, we spend roughly $40 per day boosting our best-performing content on Facebook.

Boosting posts takes content that’s already performing well and amplifies it on a huge scale. As that implies, the key is to focus on boosting great content, not necessarily posts that aren’t doing well and “forcing” them with advertising dollars.

You Can Do It
Head over to your Facebook Analytics and calculate your average post engagement for the previous 7 days (total number of engagements / total number of posts).

Then, cut the number of times you post over the next 7 days by 50% and really focus on only posting your best content. Once 7 days is up, calculate your average post engagement again.

Did your engagement rate and total engagements go up or down? We’d love to hear!

Thanks for joining us,
Brian & the Buffer Team

F.A.Q. – Frequently Asked Questions about this course

Does the course cost anything?

It’s 100% free!

We’re excited to give these strategies away in hopes that might be helpful for you and your social media marketing efforts.

Who is it for?

Everyone! It’s not tied to Buffer accounts at all, so both current Buffer users and yet-to-be Buffer users can join.

What happens at the end of the 25 days?

At the end of the 25-day course, we’d love to send you a congratulatory email (on a job well done!) plus details on where you can continue your education and connect with peers online. I’ll also be around to answer any follow-up questions you might have about the emails and subjects included in this course.

Will you be signing me up for other newsletters or lists, too?

Nope, we will not sign you up for other email lists without your express permission. Your email’s safe with us. 🙂

Help! I haven’t received my confirmation email yet!

If you can let us know the email you signed up with, I’d be happy to look you up in our system to see if all’s in working order. The first email should be headed your way shortly after signup, or first thing on Monday if you’ve signed up on the weekend. If you’re yet to see anything, I’d be very happy to investigate for you!

(Often times, some folks experience a bit more of a delay than others, depending on email service provider)

We’d love to invite you to join this course!

It would be awesome to have the opportunity to share these social media growth strategies and connect with you over the next 25 days.

If this course interests you at all, you can sign up directly online here!

button

We’re excited for the chance to share with you!

Feel free to leave any thoughts, questions, or comments here on the article, and I’ll hop right on them!

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-growth-strategies-email-course

Every country should consider copying this UK bill to support electric cars


In order for electric vehicles to go mainstream, it’ll take more than just people buying them: governments will have to create infrastructure that enables drivers to use them just as easily as regular cars. And that’s what the UK is trying to do with the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill. It was included in the Queen’s Speech (a list of laws that the government hopes to get approved by Parliament over the coming two years), and it requires gas stations to install charging points for electric vehicles across England, Wales and Scotland. Such a law could certainly help alleviate drivers’…

This story continues at The Next Web

from UK – The Next Web https://thenextweb.com/cars/2017/06/22/every-country-consider-copying-uk-bill-support-electric-cars/

My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #29

My name is Mason Ellwood, and I’m currently working on Flatiron School’s Online Full Stack Web Development Program. Each week, I’ll be writing about my experience, what I’m learning, and tips on learning to code.

One language that I have spent a majority of my time in, but never really dived into was HTML and CSS. Whether you like it or not most likely you will use it all the time, or at least I have. When I started my first web job as a content manager, I didn’t know anything about the web, other than the fact that I used it everyday. And this is the case with most people. It is kind of like most tools that you use on a day to day basis. You know how to use it, what it does, no idea of the internals of it. Being a content manager was like a small slap in the face for what the internet could do and how to use it.

The content manager position that I was involved in used a CMS called WordPress. CMS stands for content management system. Other content management systems include Umbraco, Joomla!, and Drupal. There are many out there that you can use, but WordPress is probably the most well know.

If you are not acquainted with WordPress, I would recommend looking it up and getting acquainted with it.

But so as a zero qualifications content manager, I was winging it to the max. That is where I first got acquainted with HTML. HTML stands for hypertext markup language. As a markup language, you use it to semantically set up your document associating strings of text and images to tags. These tags can be nested inside of other tags, later to be called upon to style your document using CSS or cascading style sheets. This is kind of like the bread and butter of your document.

Here is where The Flatiron School comes in handy. The Flatiron School is a great resource which has showed me the full capabilities of HTML and CSS working together with the web and other web resources. While covering great standard tools to complete your project, making it look design wise the way you want.

One of the most useful things The Flatiron School touches on is Bootstrap. Bootstrap was developed by the company that brought you Twitter. It uses a nested grid system that gives you the framework to more quickly develop out your pages design, without having to build the grid structure yourself, greatly reducing time to develop. In the next post I will go into depth on how The Flatiron School teaches how to properly set up a HTML document and how to use CSS to style the document to the specification that want to be met by a designer.

If you think of it like a house. HTML is used to build out the framing of the house. What goes where and how the structure looks. CSS is used to design your house. The doors, windows, carpet, whatever your house actually wants to look like. CSS will make that happen. Then layered on top of that is something like Javascript. Javascript is all the moving parts of your house. The door is allowed to open, the windows can slide up and down, the air conditioning runs at an interval time.

With these tools in unison with each other allows you to build you house to the proper specifications that have been set by the designer.

In the next post I will again so you semantically how to set up the framework for your “house” and touch on style guides that you will use to to style your “house”. Please comment below on anything that I could have touched on better and what thoughts you may have on the subject.

Read More at My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #29

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/my-journey-of-learning-programming-through-flatiron-school-29/

Codester.com – The Best Platform For Selling and Buying Code, Apps and Templates

codester advantage

These are good times for freelancers, web developers and for coders especially.

There are numerous ways to earn money from doing what you like and of course, what you are good at. It seems like everywhere you look, you can find a freelancing platform that lists jobs for all kinds of skills and professions or a marketplace for coders and designers.

However, there is and will always be room for the better in terms of payments, commissioning policies and job offerings.
Every designer, coder or web developer is looking for the best marketplace on which to sell or buy products related to their line of work. When you want to buy something, you look for the best offers and prices.
When you want to sell, however, you think about commissions and of course, how big the marketplace is. For the vendor, bigger is not always better because on major marketplaces it’s harder to get noticed by customers. Therefore, I tried to find the best place for coders and designers to sell their stuff.
Searching for this better, I came across Codester.com. A platform on which coders, webmasters, graphic artists and web developers can sell their creations and actually make money at the best commission we’ve come across until now: 70 percent. What is Codester?

codester

Codester was founded in the Netherlands by Frederick Elgershuizen and it is still a young marketplace. It faced a stiff competition from all the other marketplaces yet it managed to get on top due to its better commissions and diverse supply of codes, templates, and graphics. Coders and designers will find this platform perfect for selling their stuff while their customers will find here everything they need or ever thought they’ll need when launching a website or build an app.
What can you sell or buy on Codester?

Codester’s marketplace is open for various kinds of scripts, codes, and graphics. It stands out however as a neat and very well organized website on which everything has its own place and everything can be found easily. Here are some of the types of products you’ll find in this marketplace.

Scripts & Code

The first two categories of Codester feature various scripts, codes and app templates. The scripts &codes section is further categorized into PHP scripts, Javascript, CSS, Python, Java, Ruby, C, C++ and VB.NET codes. There are almost three hundred items available on the marketplace at this section, enough to attract customers but not too many for an aspiring developer who needs to be noticed fast and stand out from the crowd.

codester marketplace
App templates

The app templates section is even bigger, with over six hundred items grouped in various subsections such as iOS, Android, Unity, Corona, Ionic, Buildbox, Titanium etc. These templates can help you build mobile applications for the above-mentioned platforms or, if you are a coder, help you sell your best ideas to those in need. This category includes templates for app designers and complete source codes for apps and games. If you are building apps for the major mobile operating systems, such as iOS and Android, this is the place you should look at, study your competition, what customers are buying and so on.

codester app templates

Themes

The World Wide Web is constantly growing. New websites are launched on a daily basis, therefore, is only logical that this marketplace will feature also themes and plugins for those who are building their websites. WordPress is the leading content management system featured in the Themes category, followed closely by Joomla, Drupal, and Magento. There are also more than two hundred Html templates, perfect for those who do not need a CMS to build a web page or have the skills to create a specific theme from scratch and adapt it to their CMS of choice.

codester themes

Plugins

WordPress is the main protagonist on the plugins section as well. There are more than eighty premium plugins for WordPress available on Codester and we expect much more to be added in the near future. Other platforms featured in this category are as follows: Joomla, WooCommerce (which is also a WordPress based mode designed for online shops), Drupal, Magento, Prestashop, and Opencart. I expect in the following months this category to grow exponentially, as plugins are the easiest way to enhance a website and therefore, they are now more popular than ever among developers and users.

codester apps i

Graphics

The last section of the marketplace is the graphics section. Here, you can find all types of graphics if you are a coder or a web designer who lacks designer skills. It should also be of interest if you are a designer and need a place to sell your stuff. Featured in this category are various creations such as user interfaces, game assets, icons, logos and product mockups.

codester graphics

Why selling on Codester?

If you are a coder, a webmaster or a web developer, then Codester is the best place for you. Everything you do, you can sell on this platform and actually make good money as their commissioning policy is, as I’ve mentioned before, quite attractive. The marketplace is still growing, there are hundreds of scripts and plugins already available but still, it is young and there is room for more coders to join the platform. You can get easily noticed at this point and as a consequence, earn money quickly. Moreover, you can benefit from the items featured in the marketplace by other coders and advertise your own scripts to the community.
If you are a graphic designer, on the other hand, this is also the best place for you. There are many coders that are selling their stuff through Codester and many of them lack the skills of designing artwork. You can immediately benefit from this and sell your graphics to all those who are featured in the marketplace and of course, to the customers that are purchasing directly from here.

Advantages of selling on Codester:

⦁ 70% commission
⦁ Access to a continuously growing marketplace
⦁ Access to thousands of customers
⦁ Easy to set-up your account
⦁ Good exposure

Why buying on Codester?

If you want to buy on Codester, you should know that the set up of an account is absolutely free. Moreover, you have a good reason to get back to the site frequently because they offer four files for free every week (This is the available offer at the moment this article was published). There are hundreds of scripts, plugins, and themes to choose of, the marketplace is growing exponentially as more and more coders and graphic designers are listing their files on the platform. However, you should not come here only for the free stuff because the prices are also very low.

Advantages of buying on Codester:

Instant access to WordPress premium themes and WordPress premium plugins
codester advantage

 

codester review

There is a moderate collection of WordPress themes and plugins available on Codesters but nevertheless, an important one. Sure, there are other marketplaces that feature more listings but this does not mean that Codester does not have anything you want in terms of a WordPress website.
Product licenses
There are two types of licenses for the products sold or bought on Codester: regular and extended license, both available for all products. A regular license will allow you to use the product for one project, personal or commercial but without the right to resell the item.
The extended license allows you to use the product for unlimited sites and projects, personal and commercial and redistribute or sublicense the source files when you include them on larger projects. This means you are not allowed to resell them as they are but if you are building a website interface for instance, and you need a script from Codester, you are allowed to sublicense the code as part of your project.

Conclusion

As I have mentioned before, Codester is at this moment a young marketplace but it is still growing at a rapid pace. They have more than enough codes, scripts, themes, plugins, and graphics for web developers and webmasters that are affordable and ready to use. Whether you are using another marketplace or not, you should get back from time to time to Codester, as new items are published every day. If you are a coder or a graphic artist, on the other hand, Codester might prove as the best source of alternative revenues because on a young and growing platform, you get to be noticed easier and as a consequence, sell more.
Codester is certainly a marketplace which I will be visiting again and again, as a customer and maybe, in the near future, as a vendor. It has a lot to offer and a long way to go too and I am quite excited to have found it at this point.

Read More at Codester.com – The Best Platform For Selling and Buying Code, Apps and Templates

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/codester-com-the-best-platform-for-selling-and-buying-code-apps-templates/

How To Manage a Design Project And A Creative Team

how to manage a design project

In terms of working with clients, one of the hardest things you have to learn – especially if you work as a freelancer or run a small web design company – is to manage your time and projects as efficiently as possible. Even if we are graphic designers, creatives or web designers, we all know and had all those situations when a creative project that seemed to be very simple and had and original estimation of about few weeks’ timeline, finally took few months to complete.  We all had those projects that ended in getting stuck in a mysterious limbo, only to have in the end just some communication with a client (and without payment for your work).

These situations are very often and can cause some serious headaches, but we can also learn from there and take few steps to avoid them. Although I will focus on web designers and their projects, all these steps can be easily applied to all aspects of the creative industry (with some changes, of course, depending on the specificity of every creative area).      

Set definitive goals and a budget

set goals

 

One of the main reasons for which a web design project gets caught in a limbo is because the client and the web designer haven’t established clear goals for the website.

In terms of creating a website, one of the first discussions with a client should involve determining all the needs of the project:

  • Why does the client need a website?
  • What is the purpose of the website? Does the client need a site for presentation? Does he want to have an online shop? And so on.
  • Who is the target audience for this website? I think this is also important to know from the beginning. Because knowing the target audience and its characteristics will influence later the structure, layout and the content of the website.
  • Which is the budget for this website design project?  Setting the budget is just as important as all the other needs of the web design project.     

If you don’t get all these aspects nailed down from the beginning, you may end up in not being able to see eye to eye with your client through the entire course of the project and finally lose the client.    

Very often, some changes can occur during the website design project. In this case, you should asses them immediately or any other additions the clients may ask for. If they don’t support the goals of the website or if they exceed the initial budget, you can remind them what the inceptive goals and budget were.

Develop a plan and stay organized

get organized

After determining the goals of the project, you should create an outline of all the steps you and your client need to take in order to accomplish them. Although everyone has different ways to keep things organized, I consider using the simple things is crucial.

I truly believe that everyone has to know his/her role in the project development, in order to make the project moving forward. Therefore, I use two to-do lists: one for me and my team, and one for my client:

    my list includes all the tasks me and my team have to complete the

  • list of my client includes usually all the reviews (and changes or/and additions) he has to make until the website goes live.     

In order to keep the project moving forward without any gaps (or without too many gaps), you should break it down into as many pieces as you can and establish a deadline for each of them. Even if you run a company or work as freelancer, you should assign the tasks for each of your team member and also set the milestones for them. When you have these lists created, go over them with each part involved in the project. Make sure your team and also your client knows what pieces depend on other pieces to be finished before they can be implemented, so all of the different parts can come together smoothly. In terms of delivering a successful web design project, it’s worth going through the project planning process even if you’re a team of one. As your only employee, you need to be also an effective manager to get the most out of the hours you will be putting in.

From my point of view, this is the right moment when online project management tools come into the scene and using them from now on will help you a lot during the whole web design project. There are many online project management tools out there, but I prefer using Teamweek which is an awesome project management software for designers

Create a timeline

timeline for designers

As the next step after creating the to-do lists and assigning the tasks, you should estimate how long each task and step will take. Although you might be a very strict person and estimate how long a task will mostly take, you should add room for errors that could occur during development of every step. For example, if you estimate that creating the content for the home page will take, let’s say, 4 hours, you should calculate a range of 4-6 hours. Trust me, nothing goes exactly as you plan.

Besides, if your estimate is higher than your final total and you will deliver the project sooner than the estimated deadline, your client will be thrilled. On the contrary, if your estimate is lower than the final total, your client might not be happy with you. Sure, excepting those situations when during the website designing process your client might add much more requirements than you initially agreed; in these situations you should adjust your project calendar and budget according to the new requests.

Once you have a list with all steps and stages necessary for delivering a successful web design project, and have assigned the tasks, break them into sections and create a timeline. Just remember yourself to add some extra time at the end of each step, just in case you have to face some bumps along the way. It is always better to be realistic with planning from the beginning, instead of rushing through the project and burn some steps. Also, remember to give a timeline for your requirements from your client as well. We all know that the delays occur many times because of not setting deadlines, also for getting different materials from clients (logos, pictures, texts and so on).

Keep all the lines of communications open

Regardless if it’s about website designers, graphic designers, content writers or other professionals involved in the creative industry, I have mentioned this same advice for so many times,  but I really can’t stress it enough: you need to maintain a regular and consistent communication throughout the project, both with your client and with your team members. I have also met many situations where a web design project involves not just you or your team and the client, but also a third part – like copywriter, video explainer producer, graphic designer and so on. You should have a constant communication with them either, in order to keep the ball rolling. I recommend using a communication software like Slack, instead of communicating via email which can get pretty messy. 

If for some reasons, one step of the web design project takes more time than it was initially estimated, let everyone involved know this. Also, if one of your team members, your client or one of his team members has missed a deadline, you should remind them the timeline and the milestones that everyone agreed upon in the very early stages of the project. By having set deadlines for every stage of the web design project means that everyone should know exactly what they have to do at every moment and what they need in order to accomplish their tasks.

Be flexible, but realistic

If the client wants to add new features, you should make sure any feature is feasible, it corresponds to the goal of the website, it is budgeted and added to the timeline. That will include additional work for your team, such as another round of edit or more testing of the website or even more functionality. You should provide the right amount of information to the client, so he could make the decisions based on that information. Also, let him know how the decisions will impact the progress of the project and either make adjustments or adjust their expectations.

Bottom line

Managing a web design project seems to be sometimes a very daunting task. Regardless if the project is big or small, every project has an endless number of aspects to take into consideration. But with the proper planning from the beginning you can really make the entire process easy for everyone. By setting goals, planning, creating a timeline, and communicating with all parties involved, you will find yourself moving along smoothly. And even if you might face some few small bumps down the road, you will be able to handle them and deliver a successful website design project.

Read More at How To Manage a Design Project And A Creative Team

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/how-to-manage-a-design-project/

Autonomous SmartDesk Standing Desk Giveaway

 

Autonomous helps the world’s smartest people work smarter, and we have partnered with them for an amazing giveaway.

One very lucky winner will win a 53″ business edition Autonomous SmartDesk Standing Desk. Lifting up to 300 pounds, this 53″ business edition standing desk features a steel frame/structure, dual motors, and a 5-year warranty.

Over at Autonomous, their team of software/hardware engineers and designers are creating technology powered office products that re-think working and productivity. They started with a standing desk, but now produce the smart standing desk, ergonomic chair, ergonomic meeting stool, the Deep Learning AI Robot, the Clone Robot, and more. Follow their journey to bring the office of tomorrow to today and enter the Autonomous SmartDesk Standing Desk Giveaway!


https://webdesignledger.com/giveaways/autonomous-giveaway/?embed

Read More at Autonomous SmartDesk Standing Desk Giveaway

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/autonomous-smartdesk-standing-desk-giveaway/

3 Astonishingly Effective Design Tweaks Guaranteed to Boost Your Ad Revenue

“Advertising is dead.”

Simply typing that phrase into the Google search engine will reveal over 240,000 results.

However, is advertising indeed dead?

Not really. However, when you realize that the average banner ad today has a clickthrough rate of 0.1 percent — compared to the 44 percent clickthrough rate the first banner advertisement had — it’s easy to lose hope as a publisher hoping to rely on advertising revenue.

It is important to realize a few things whenever you look at statistics claiming that advertising is dead:

  • Most of the rates are average — in other words, they combine statistics from both low-performers and high-performers to come up with an average. As the number of advertisements increase (resulting in more ads competing for user attention) and attention spans decrease (which happens every year now), the average rate will keep going down. It is worth noting, though, that some publishers are doing extraordinarily well; and this article will be revealing most of their secrets.
  • Facebook really started taking its advertising game seriously when most of the “experts” began to declare advertising dead, yet it reported a massive $8.6 billion in advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016 alone. This number was an improvement from the previous year.

Simply put, you can keep complaining and worrying about declining advertising revenue, or you can sit tight, find out what those who advertising is working for are doing and then make necessary design changes to seriously boost your ad revenue. If you choose the latter, as long as every other thing is in place – a good offer, a reliable website hosting that doesn’t keep your visitors waiting, and a well-optimized checkout process – here are some super effective design tweaks you should consider.

  1. Redesign Your Ads

Banner blindness is indeed a thing, but people do not ignore banner just because — and contrary to what most people would like you to believe, the reason people ignore banners isn’t because there are a lot of ads.

Sometimes, poor banner design — created by the advertiser you’re featuring — could cost you a lot of ad revenue. Research on banner blindness found that as far back as 2006, during elections in Florida, a massive 13 percent of voters couldn’t cast their votes for their preferred candidate due to a poorly-designed ballot. The same principle holds true for ads.

Ask yourself, would you click on the banner featured on your site if you were a reader? If no, will your advertiser allow you to use your own custom designed banner? If yes, go ahead and create something else. You’d be amazed at how much of a boost in ad revenue this can result in.

  1. Understand the Sensory Adaptation Phenomenon and How it Can Lead to Banner Blindness

Often, the so-called “banner blindness” that people talk about is not necessarily due to the fact that people are increasingly hating ads. Instead, it boils down to a psychological phenomenon called “sensory adaptation,” something every human being exhibit, that explains how we all tend to tune out certain signals after constant exposure.

For example, if you hear a loud ringing sound in your new home; initially, you will find it highly irritating, probably to the point of frustration. Over time, though, especially if it is not going away, you get very used to it and won’t even notice it unless someone new to the stimulus brings it to your notice. This same phenomenon explains why we don’t feel our clothes or shoes, or why we don’t feel our buttocks on a chair after sitting on it for a while — everything just seems as if they are a part of us, and we ignore them.

In the same way, sensory adaptation explains why we ignore ads; if we’ve been visiting a website regularly that has a green color scheme, we’re highly unlikely to pay much attention to a green ad on the site since it blends with the design. This changes, however, if it is a red ad. In other words, it isn’t necessarily about a certain ad color per se — it is that having an ad that conforms to the design of your site is very bad for conversions.

  1. Focus on Mobile Ad Optimization

Right now, mobile traffic is a lot more than desktop traffic — in fact, there is a great probability that the majority of your website visitors are visiting from a mobile device.

While mobile web usage keeps increasing, very few people have their ads optimized for mobile devices; it’s a different thing to have your website optimized for mobile users. You also need to have your ads optimized.

If your ads are currently not optimized for mobile devices, then you might need to get back to the drawing board – when you realize that over half of all internet users use the internet primarily on their mobile device, the consequences of alienating more than half of your potential customers becomes clear.

Creating a mobile-optimized ad isn’t hard at all; simply switching to responsive ads, which automatically adjusts to any device, will do the trick. Google recently primarily put a focus on this kind of ad, even making it impossible to create or edit standard texts. You can easily use HTML5 to create your own responsive ads.

Read More at 3 Astonishingly Effective Design Tweaks Guaranteed to Boost Your Ad Revenue

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/3-astonishingly-effective-design-tweaks-guaranteed-to-boost-your-ad-revenue/

127 Time-Saving Keyboard Shortcuts for Social Media Marketers

I used to think the few seconds I save by using keyboard shortcuts are not useful. I mean, what can I do with those few seconds?

A lot, it seems…

A few seconds here and there can add up. And according to Brainscape, you can save up to eight workdays per year! Just by using shortcuts—enough time for a long vacation.

Being a social media marketer, you spend a lot of time on the various social media platforms and your favorite social media tools. Often repeating the same actions: Like, reply, and more.

Let’s help you save your eight precious days every year with these social media keyboard shortcuts.

Social Media Keyboard Shortcuts

Top Social Media Keyboard Shortcuts to Save You Time

Here’re all the social media platforms and tools we’ll cover in this blog post. Click on the respective bullet point to jump to the platform or tool you’re interested in:

Social media platforms

Tools

One Keyboard Shortcut to Rule Them All

I struggle to remember all the keyboard shortcuts since different platforms and tools tend to have different keyboard shortcuts (even for similar actions such as Liking a post).

Fortunately, many platforms and tools have a keyboard shortcut to show all the keyboard shortcuts! If there’s one to remember, this is it.

“?” or Shift + /

The one keyboard shortcut to remember

Facebook Keyboard Shortcuts

Facebook keyboard shortcuts differ by computer operating system and by browser:

  • Chrome for PC: Alt + #
  • Firefox for PC: Shift + Alt + #
  • Internet Explorer for PC: Alt + #, then Enter
  • Chrome, Safari, and Firefox for Mac: Ctrl + Opt + #

Replace # with the following numbers to access the respective features or pages on Facebook. For example, Alt + 1 will bring you to your Facebook home page on Chrome on a PC.

0 – Help

1 – Home

2 – Timeline

3 – Friends

4 – Inbox

5 – Notifications

6 – Settings

7 – Activity Log

8 – About

9 – Terms

Here’re a few more keyboard shortcuts for actions you might regularly take:

j or k – Scroll down or up between News Feed stories

Enter – See more of the selected story

p – Post a new status

l – Like or unlike the selected story

c – Comment on the selected story

s – Share the selected story

o – Open the link or expand the photo from the selected story

/ – Search

To see the full list of keyboard shortcuts, type “?” on any Facebook page.

Facebook keyboard shortcuts

[Back to navigation]

Messenger Keyboard Shortcuts

Increasingly, more businesses are using Messenger to provide social customer support. Being able to speed up your workflow allows you to reply your customers faster. The only keyboard shortcut for Messenger seems to this:

Opt + Up arrow or Down arrow / Alt + Up arrow or Down arrow – Jump to the conversation above or below

If you want to enhance your Messenger workflow, Allen Guo has developed a Chrome extension and a Firefox add-on, which adds several useful keyboard shortcuts to the Messenger web app (i.e. messenger.com).

Here’re two handy ones to know:

Opt + Shift + (number) / Alt + Shift + (number) – Jump to the X-th conversation from the top (e.g. Opt + Shift + 3 brings you to the third conversation from the top)

Opt + Shift + q / Alt + Shift + q – Search

Messenger keyboard shortcuts

[Back to navigation]

Twitter Keyboard Shortcuts

Hop to different Twitter pages with these keyboard shortcuts:

g + h – Home

g + n – Notifications

g + r – Mentions

g + p – Profile

g + l – Likes

g + i – Lists

g + m – Messages

g + s – Settings

g + u – Go to user…

Here’re a few more keyboard shortcuts for actions you might regularly take:

n – New tweets

Cmd + Enter / Ctrl + Enter – Send tweets

j or k – Next or previous tweet

l – Like

r – Reply

t – Retweet

m – Direct message

Enter – Open tweet details

o – Expand photo

/ – Search

To see the full list of keyboard shortcuts, type “?” on any Twitter page.

Twitter keyboard shortcuts

[Back to navigation]

LinkedIn Keyboard Shortcuts

It seems that LinkedIn does not have keyboard shortcuts for navigation and actions. But here’re two browser shortcuts you can use when commenting on a post:

Tab + Enter – Add an image

Tab + Tab + Enter – Post your comment

Do you know of any other handy LinkedIn keyboard shortcuts? Share them in the comments. 🙂

[Back to navigation]

Instagram App Shortcuts

While Instagram doesn’t have any keyboard shortcuts, it has some shortcuts for its mobile app.

Tap and hold a post in grid view in Search & Explore or on a profile – Expand the post (then swipe up to like the post, view the profile, or send the post as a message)

Tap and hold a profile or hashtag on your feed – Get a preview of the recent posts (then swipe up to view the profile, turn post notifications on, or send the profile or hashtag as a message)

Give the app icon a firm press – Get shortcuts to create a new post, view activities or direct messages, search, and more (only for iPhone 6s or later)

Instagram app shortcuts

[Back to navigation]

Pinterest App Shortcuts

Pinterest also doesn’t have any keyboard shortcuts but if you use Pinterest on your mobile phone (iPhone 6s or later, Android 7.1 or higher), give the app icon a firm press and you’ll see four Pinterest shortcuts.

Lens – Find pins related to anything you snap (only available to users with the Lens feature)

Explore – See the trending ideas for the day

Saved – Jump right to the ideas you saved

Search – Search for ideas on Pinterest

For Android users, you can even move the shortcuts onto your home screen by tapping and dragging the shortcut over.

Pinterest app shortcuts

[Back to navigation]

Google+ Keyboard Shortcuts

Google+ uses a few different keyboard shortcuts from most social media platforms for common actions such as comment and +1 (or Like). Just type “?” on most Google+ pages when you want to see the keyboard shortcuts.

j or k – Next or previous post

/ – Search

c – Create a new post

r – Comment on selected post

s – Share selected post

v – View attachment on selected post

+ – Add or remove a +1 on the selected post

Google+ Keyboard Shortcuts

Here’s a little bonus: Google+ might be the only major social media platform where you can style your text with markdown.

– (dash before and after the text) – Strikethrough

* (asterisks before and after the text) – Bold

_ (underscore before and after the text) – Italics

Google+ Styling Example

[Back to navigation]

YouTube Keyboard Shortcuts

YouTube has over 30 keyboard shortcuts. Here’re the few you might use most often:

k or Spacebar – Play or pause video

Left arrow or j – Go back 5 or 10 seconds

Right arrow or l – Go forward 5 or 10 seconds

1 to 9 – Skip to X0 percent of the video (e.g. 5 skips to 50 percent of the video)

0 – Restart video

> or < – Speed up or slow down the video

Shift + n or p – Next or previous video in the playlist

c – Turn captions on or off

If you would like to learn all the keyboard shortcuts, Hong Kiat has compiled a great list on its site.

YouTube Keyboard Shortcuts

[Back to navigation]

Medium Keyboard Shortcuts

Medium does not have keyboard shortcuts for navigation but its keyboard shortcuts for editing and formatting can save you quite some time!

Here’re a few notable ones:

Cmd + k / Ctrl + k – Add a link (works for images, too)

Cmd + Alt + 5 / Ctrl + Alt + 5 – Block quote (press again for a pull quote)

Cmd + Enter / Ctrl + Enter – Add a separator

t + k – Leave a TK reminder

Cmd + Alt + 8 / Ctrl + Alt + 8 / Shift + f – Set image as featured image

Opt + Click / Alt + Click – Set focal point on featured image (which will be taken into account when the image is cropped on the feed)

` + ` + ` – Add a code block

To see the keyboard shortcuts while you are writing your Medium post, hit Cmd + ? or Ctrl + ?.

Medium Keyboard Shortcuts

[Back to navigation]

Tumblr Keyboard Shortcuts

Tumblr has keyboard shortcuts for navigation, posting, and composing (such as inserting a GIF 😍). Type “?” on your Tumblr dashboard to pull out the list of keyboard shortcuts.

Here’re a few you might use more frequently:

j or k – Next or previous post

l – Like a post

s – Share a post

n – View a post’s notes

Enter – Open a post’s blog

/ – Search

Opt + c / Alt + c – Compose a new post

Opt + r / Alt + r – Reblog a post

Opt + e / Alt + e – Add a post to your queue

Oh, and of course,

Cmd + Shift + g / Ctrl + Shift + g – Insert GIF

Tumblr keyboard shortcuts also work on its mobile app if you have a Bluetooth keyboard connected to your mobile device.

Tumblr Keyboard Shortcuts

[Back to navigation]

Buffer Keyboard Shortcuts

We also have some nifty keyboard shortcuts for the Buffer app and browser extension to help you speed up your social media sharing and management.

Opt + (number) / Alt + (number) – Switch between your connected profiles in the Buffer dashboard

Opt + b / Alt + b – Open the Buffer browser extension if you have it installed

Cmd + Enter / Ctrl + Enter – Add updates to your Buffer queue

You can customize the keyboard shortcut for opening the browser extension in your browser extension settings. For example, for Chrome, go to Settings > Extensions > Options (under Buffer).

Buffer Keyboard Shortcuts

[Back to navigation]

Respond Keyboard Shortcuts

We built Respond to help you engage with your social media fans more effectively. Naturally, we included many keyboard shortcuts to help you zoom through your social media conversations. (This is the secret to our fast responses during #bufferchat!)

Here’re the few shortcuts that I use regularly:

g + o – Go to team inbox

g + m – Go to mine (conversations assigned to you)

f – Like a tweet or Facebook comment

w – Follow user

e – Archive conversation

Enter – Focus on the composer

Cmd + Enter / Ctrl + Enter – Send reply, archive conversation, and move to the next conversation

Cmd + Shift + Enter / Ctrl + Shift + Enter – Send reply and stay in the conversation

: – Insert emoji (e.g. :smile:)

You can see the full list of keyboard shortcuts here or from the app (Help > Keyboard Shortcuts).

Respond Keyboard Shortcuts

[Back to navigation]

Feedly Keyboard Shortcuts

Feedly is my go-to tool for staying up to date with industry news. Learning its keyboard shortcuts allowed me to quickly navigate around my Feedly dashboard and catch up on the blogs I’m following.

Here’re the few I found very useful:

g + g – Search and navigate to a particular feed or source

g + f – Go to Favourites feed

g + l – Go to Read later feed

n or p – Next or previous story

o – Open or close currently selected story

v – Open original in a new tab

x – Mark as read and hide

Feedly Keyboard Shortcuts

[Back to navigation]

Pocket Keyboard Shortcuts

Pocket is one of our favorite content curation tools, and I found out that it also has several keyboard shortcuts to help me navigate and find the articles and videos I want quickly.

Here’re the ones I like:

g + l or f or a – Switch to My List, Favorites, or Archive

g + r or v or i – Filter by articles, videos, or images

g + s – Search

j or k – Next or previous item

a – Archive the selected item

f – Favorite the selected item

o – Open the original of selected item in a new tab

Pocket Keyboard Shortcuts

[Back to navigation]

Canva Keyboard Shortcuts

We use and recommend Canva regularly because it’s easy and quick for creating social media graphics. With its keyboard shortcuts, you can reduce the time you take to create graphics even further.

Here’re a few handy ones to know:

t – Add a text

Opt + Shift + b / Alt + Shift + b – Add border around your text box

Cmd + Shift + k / Ctrl + Shift + k – Transform your text to uppercase

Cmd + Shift + l or r or c / Ctrl + Shift + l or r or c – Left or right or center align your text

Cmd + g / Ctrl + g – Group elements (Add Shift to ungroup)

Cmd + Click / Ctrl + Click – Select elements behind other elements

Cmd + Up arrow or Down arrow / Ctrl + Up arrow or Down arrow – Move an element in front of or behind other elements

Cmd + ; / Ctrl + ; – Turn grid lines on or off

Canva provides tutorials where you can learn and practice the most useful keyboard shortcuts.

Canva Keyboard Shortcuts

[Back to navigation]

Trello Keyboard Shortcuts

Trello is a great tool for managing your social media schedule (and a tool we heavily rely on in the marketing team). While Trello is already easy to use, knowing the keyboard shortcuts can help you quickly create, change, and archive your cards.

Hover over a card to use the respective shortcuts on the card.

e – Open quick edit mode (for changing the title, labels, members, and more)

l – Open labels option

c – Archive the card

d – Set or change due date

f – Open card filter menu

, or . – Move the card to the bottom of the list on the left or right

< or > – Move the card to the top of the list on the left or right

Trello Keyboard Shortcuts

[Back to navigation]

What are your favorite keyboard shortcuts?

With so many keyboard shortcuts available on all the social media platforms and tools, I’m sure you have found several that you love and use regularly.

Which are the ones that you use most often or the ones that save you the most time?

Image credit: Unsplash, Tumblr, MacRumors, and Hong Kiat

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-keyboard-shortcuts

My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #28

flatiron school

My name is Mason Ellwood, and I’m currently working on Flatiron School’s Online Full Stack Web Development Program. Each week, I’ll be writing about my experience, what I’m learning, and tips on learning to code.

So creating and associating local and remote repositories through GIT and GitHub can be a little tricky. First, you would need to create your files that you would like to merge with a repo.

Here I have set up an empty folder. Next inside of the terminal navigates to the file folder you have created.

Next, what you would like to do is navigate to GitHub. If you haven’t already, go ahead and create a new account. Once finished, create a new project and name it appropriately.  Once done, click create a repository.

Once clicked you should see the screen below.

Under the “…or create a new repository on the command line” option click the copy to clipboard option. Then navigate back to your terminal

In your terminal past, the code copied to your click board. It should look something like this.

Awesome! Now you are able to update local code and push and pull to your remote repository through your command line.

To double check that this was, in fact, working the way I wanted it to, I created a new Ruby file in the folder that was linked to the remote repo. I then added it to the local repo using (git add .), which adds all updated files to the local master branch and added a message to that using (git commit -m “added Ruby file”). I then pushed my new changes to GitHub through command line using (git push -u origin master), which adds changes to the master branch in Github.

As you can see the changes took effect and now we have our new something.rb file uploaded to Github, now accessible from anywhere.

Let me know if you have any questions, and thank you for your time.

Read More at My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #28

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/my-journey-of-learning-programming-through-flatiron-school-28/