Awesome Tools for Better UX-UI Design

While User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) are sometimes confused with one another, they are separate entities. To be successful in website design, the similarities and differences between the two must be understood. Just like the entities themselves, UI design and UX design are two different beasts.

Once you understand how they relate to the user, you’ll be better able to address them differently as you proceed with your design.

UI focuses on a website’s look and feel. It is the website’s visual presentation. UI design is a digital task. It generally does not require coding, depending on the tools used, and whether the distinction between design and development is blurred.

UX is what the website does. What gives it life. UX design does not involve coding or any other digital techniques. UX is more akin to market research. Its focus is on customer satisfaction and usability.


InVision is an end-to-end platform for collaborative digital product design. Create and sketch with Freehand, a digital whiteboard for exploring with your creative team. Create high-fidelity prototypes to rapidly share your team and stakeholders for a faster feedback loop. Commenting and user testing features are there help your team validate your UI decisions with real users.

With automatic syncing and live updating across all your prototypes, you’ll create a single source of truth for your entire team—from design to development to executive stakeholders.

The world’s leading design-forward companies rely on InVision to design better digital products faster. InVision powers collaborative design and unparalleled digital customer experiences at brands from Airbnb to IBM, Starbucks to NASA. Sign up for a free trial and learn more.

Used by more than 400,000 users from the world’s hottest startups, has changed the world of mobile and web prototyping; going beyond wireframes and mockups. With interactions, transitions, and animations it helps bring any static design to life.

UX and UI designers can create visual interactive prototypes of mobile and web apps that work and feel exactly like the final apps; without any code skills required. Designers can either design directly within, or import their designs from Sketch or Photoshop and magically view them as screens and assets.

Supporting all mobile touch gestures, prototypes can run on the actual mobile device thus making the experience as realistic as possible. Want to test your prototypes and share with potential users? No problem,’s usability testing capabilities go far beyond, as it’s integration with popular user testing platforms allow you to see and hear what users are saying while trying out your prototype.


Sketch was created specifically for designing websites, icons, interfaces, and whatever else you may be storing away in your head. Sketches vector-based workflow allows you to create complex shapes without a lot of trial and error, or painful tweaking.

The shapes you create easily adapt to changing sizes, styles, and layouts; and everything you create is editable. Sketch was built for the modern designer, and you’ll see it everywhere you look.


Notism combines real-time design collaboration and task management features into a single platform. This UI/UX tool transforms static designs into interactive web prototypes, or iOS or Android mobile prototypes. It enables its users to share these prototypes and other project information for review, feedback, and sign-off. You can communicate in video timelines, or directly on the content.

Notism also gives you rock-solid task management support to help your team get organized, and ensure they stay organized. Prototypes and other presentation information are always kept under strict version control. Version history is always available to measure project and task progress.

Great Simple Studio

For high-quality UI and wireframe kits or core elements check out Great Simple‘s shop. All their products are built with a wonderful attention to detail and they are compatible with both Photoshop and Sketch. iOS Design Kit and Material Design Kit are two of their bestsellers and they are highly recommended to anyone interested in designing great apps. Their free GUI Kits for iOS and Android have been downloaded by more than 70.000 designers.

Try Great Simple’s products. They will make your design process faster and better.

Tips for Making a Better User Interface

As they have become more experienced working with digitals display, users have at the same time come to expect better experiences than in years past. Businesses need to take heed, and carefully consider the quality they put into user interfaces; but, what does that entail?

Keep it Simple

Great user interfaces are invisible, or nearly so. They are not flashy, overly decorated, or loaded with unnecessary elements. They contain only the essential elements; presented logically, and concisely. Don’t add items to try to be clever, or feed your ego.

The purpose of your user interface isn’t to show off your design skills. If fashioned correctly, however, it will; but in a very subtle way. Its purpose is to help users interact with your system. If they have trouble doing so, they’re quite apt to go elsewhere.

Clear, concise labels for buttons and actions is the key. You need to keep your message simple. The easier a page is to follow, the easier it is for the user to know what to do next.

Make the Interactions Efficient

Make it easy for users to complete a task smoothly and efficiently, and never lose track or where they are, or lose work they have accomplished. Designing powerful software can be a good thing, as long as you keep things simple and functional. Hiding options that are not critical to everyday use will benefit the user.

Be Consistent in Your Design

Since users quickly develop usage patterns, it’s important to maintain consistency throughout the user experience. Consistent interfaces allow your users to find, and stay in, their comfort zone throughout a session. People crave consistency. Give them the opportunity to be proven correct when they rely on it.

Use Familiar Design Patterns

We like seeing things that are familiar and easy to fathom. Yet, some designers insist on making everything they design an example of artistic creation. It’s nice when your app is memorable, but only when it is for the right reason. Don’t make your UI a brain-twister.

Understand How UI Plays into UX

While an ideal UI should be both simple and intuitive, designing one is not without some challenges. One of them is to gather and rely on information from the perspective of the user.

This information, which is gathered from the UX realm, helps determine the nature of the user flow, as well as determining key product and hierarchical information. This information should be gathered before mockup or prototyping efforts are initiated.

Implement a Visual Hierarchy

Make it a point to highlight the most important interface elements to help users find and focus on them. There are many different design approaches that will enable you to make this happen. A simple example would be to make a key button larger or brightly colored to make it stand out.


Often confused with one another, UI and UX are two distinct entities. UI and UX design practices differ as well. For the former, you need tools that will enable you to create your website’s presentation, and its look and feel. For the UX aspect, the ability to user test your creation to ensure user satisfaction is key.

Read More at Awesome Tools for Better UX-UI Design

from Web Design Ledger

5 Interesting Logo Design Techniques That Are Here To Stay

It has to be simple but memorable, modern but a bit classic, minimalistic but timeless; we expect so much from a simple design, don’t we? People usually underestimate the untiring effort invested in creating a simple logo that lives up to all these expectations. Not to mention the cases when your client says “I will realize what I actually want when I see it”. Duh!

Logo designers undoubtedly have a tough job. To help these distressing beings on Earth, we have accumulated the most effective logo design trends of 2017 that you should consider before skipping on your next logo design project. 

1. Less Is More

Viewers are becoming a big fan of minimalistic designs, this is the reason why minimal and flat designs are dominating the market. The main purpose of your logo is to curate your brand story to targeted audience, therefore you should make sure the logo you are designing with minimal elements is practical and goal-oriented.

Minimalistic logo designs are easy to understand and thus are more likely to be remembered for a longer time. They are more like a nice pair of jeans, they go well with everything; no matter whether they are used on stationary designs or website. 

2. Hand-Drawn

People love everything that owns a humanly touch. Hand-drawn graphics started their journey in the graphic design field in 2016 and have gained more ground in 2017. Usually used in food and drinks industry, hand-drawn logos are unique, modern, quirky, credible, and charismatic.

Handmade designs are a bit labor-intensive and difficult to work with when using on the digital platforms, yet they feel fresh and human. If you think your project is worth that much effort and you can handle such designs even on the digital mediums, then go for it.


3. Line Art

One of my personal favorites, Line art graphics are counted among the most creative designing styles in the industry. They give you enough room to show up your creativity when paired with the negative space. This type of designs uses an even thickness of lines to create a design usually with a single color.

If your client is looking for a simple, sleek and sophisticated design, try line art graphics. This gives a fine combo of image and text which enables to convey brand message conveniently.


4. Letter-Stacking

When used well with negative space, these letter-stacking graphics grabs viewers’ attention and tempt them to stop and peek at the design to crack what has been written. It amazes people; the more they are involved with the design, the more they will like it. Besides, when you have longer text to use in your design, you can try this style. Make sure to choose your font wisely. Bold, legible fonts are consider-worthy here.

5. Broken letters

2017 has started with designers using broken fonts different than their utilitarian nature. These logo designs consist of appropriate fonts broken to exhibit a modern and fresh feel.


While designing a custom logo for your clients, it is great to put out-of- the-box ideas to the table.

Yet, the designers should make sure that their logos satisfy all the essential requirements slickly

and represent the brand in the very best way.

Read More at 5 Interesting Logo Design Techniques That Are Here To Stay

from Web Design Ledger

Understanding the Instagram Algorithm: 7 Key Factors and Why the Algorithm is Great for Marketers

The Instagram algorithm, just like the Facebook News Feed algorithm, is so mysterious yet ingenious and brilliant in showing the best content to the most people.

If you are creating great content, more followers — and non-followers — are going to see it.

But how does the Instagram algorithm work?

In this post, we’ll break it all down for you. We’ll go through the factors that could influence the ranking of your content on your followers’ feed and explain why the Instagram algorithm is actually great for marketers.

Let’s go 📷

Understanding the Instagram Algorithm to Boost Your Organic Reach

How does the Instagram algorithm work?

The short answer is… it’s complicated. 🙈

While we might not know exactly how the Instagram algorithm works, I’d love to help you decipher the mysterious Instagram algorithm (as much as I can). I dug into several sources and distilled my findings into the following seven key factors.

Here’s a quick overview of the seven key factors we’ll go through below:

  1. Engagement: How popular the post is
  2. Relevancy: The genres of content you are interested in and have interacted with
  3. Relationships: The accounts you regularly interact with
  4. Timeliness: How recent the posts are
  5. Profile Searches: The accounts you check out often
  6. Direct Shares: Whose posts you are sharing
  7. Time Spent: The duration spent viewing a post

Instagram Algorithm Factors

Let’s dive in!

1. Engagement: How popular the post is

According to Michael Stelzner, CEO and Founder of Social Media Examiner, when a person or brand publishes a post, social media algorithms would typically show the post to a sample audience and see how the audience react to it. If the audience reacts positively to the post right away, the algorithm would show the post to more people.

This implies that a post with more engagement is likely going to rank higher on your Instagram feed. The types of engagement that the Instagram algorithm considers can include likes, comments, video views, shares (via direct message), saves, story views, and live video views.

If someone you follow has engaged with a post, too, Instagram might also assume that you could be interested in that post and included it within your feed.

Here’s the great news: An Instagram spokesperson told Business Insider that ranking of Instagram posts will not be a popularity contest. Posts with less engagement but which are more relevant to you can still appear right at the top of your feed.

2. Relevancy: The genres of content you are interested in and have interacted with

When the algorithmic timeline was annouced, Instagram mentioned that it would show you content that you’ll likely be interested in first:

The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.

This implies that content that is relevant to your interests will likely rank higher on your feed. But how does Instagram know your interests? One way could be to look at the genres of content (e.g. travel, food, fashion, sports, etc.) you have interacted with in the past.

With the level of photo recognition technologies available now, I believe it’s possible for the algorithm to categorize posts into simple genres such as travel, food, fashion, and more — and possibly even more sophisticated genres. The algorithm could also look at the hashtags used.

If there’s a certain genre of content that you engage with more frequently (e.g. food), Instagram might rank content of that genre (e.g. food, restaurants, etc.) higher on your feed.

3. Relationships: The accounts you regularly interact with

In its second announcement about the new feed, Instagram stated the following:

And no matter how many accounts you follow, you should see your best friend’s latest posts.

Just like Facebook, Instagram doesn’t want you to miss important posts from your friends and family, such as a post about your friend’s engagement. This implies that content from your “best friends” likely ranks higher on your feed.

Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, Instagram could use data from Facebook to determine your relationships — family, friends, schoolmates, colleagues, etc.

I also believe that the Instagram algorithm studies your past interactions to determine your “best friends”. In a talk about designing and implementing the Instagram algorithm, Thomas Dimson, a software engineer at Instagram, shared how they could have determined the people you care about:

  • People whose content you like (possibly including stories and live videos)
  • People you direct message
  • People you search for
  • People you know in real life

While these might not be the exact criteria used in the Instagram algorithm, they give us a hint that Instagram probably considers the accounts you frequently interact with as “people you care about”. And it would rank their content higher on your feed.

4. Timeliness: How recent the posts are

The next key ingredient in the Instagram algorithm, as suggested by Instagram, is timeliness.

The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.

Instagram wants to show you posts that are recent and, consequently, more relevant.

Something from last week might not interest you as much as something from an hour ago, so Instagram will likely show you more recent posts rather than posts from a few days or weeks ago — even if the older post had received a lot of engagement.

This implies that recent posts likely rank higher in your feed and that the timing of your post is still relevant.

According to Thomas’s talk and my personal experience (admittedly, a sample size of only one), it seems that the Instagram algorithm re-orders only the new posts between your current visit and your last visit.

For example, I visited Instagram at 11 PM last night and again at 9 AM this morning, and there were 50 posts created in between. The algorithm would sort only those 50 posts created and not include posts from before 11 PM last night. Based on my personal experience, if I were to scroll past all those 50 posts, I’d see the same posts in the same order as when I last visited (11 PM last night).

(If your personal experience is different from this, it’d be great to hear from you!)

If this is true, it could mean that the best time to post is when your followers are most active as there would be less competition (e.g. between 9 to 10 AM in the image below).

Feed sorted only within vists

(Image from Thomas’s slide deck)

5. Profile Searches: The accounts you check out often

An Instagram spokesperson said to Business Insider that profile searches are a signal Instagram looks at when ranking posts in your feed. When you search (regularly) for certain profiles, it likely indicates that you are interested in the account’s posts and might not have seen them on your feed.

Instagram might then rank their posts higher on your feed so that you don’t have to search for their profiles to see their posts, improving your Instagram experience.

Thomas from Instagram also mentioned in his talk that when they experimented with the new algorithm, the number of searches went down. They took it as a good sign as it meant that people are seeing the posts they are interested in without having to search for their favorite profiles.

6. Direct Shares: Whose posts you are sharing

Instagram has made it really easy for users to share a post they see on their feed with their friends. According to the Business Insider article, direct shares through Instagram is also another signal Instagram looks at to understand your interests.

There are two parts to this. One, sharing a post shows that you are probably interested in the posts by that account. The Instagram algorithm would then consider this when ranking posts on your feed.

Two, it sounds like Instagram would also consider the people you have shared the post with. Going back to factor two, relationships, the act of sharing a post with another person informs Instagram that you care about the person so Instagram might rank her posts higher on your feed.

7. Time Spent: The duration spent viewing a post

It’s possible that the Instagram feed algorithm shares some similarities with the Facebook News Feed algorithm since the aim of both algorithms is to show you the posts that you care about the most.

Facebook discovered that if “people spend significantly more time on a particular story in News Feed than the majority of other stories they look at, this is a good sign that content was relevant to them”, even if they didn’t like or comment on it. More specifically, Facebook said the following:

Based on the fact that you didn’t scroll straight past this post and it was on the screen for more time than other posts that were in your News Feed, we infer that it was something you found interesting and we may start to surface more posts like that higher up in your News Feed in the future.

If this factor is included in the Instagram algorithm, when you spend more time on an Instagram post than other posts, Instagram will surface posts similar to that Instagram post higher up on your feed.

While there isn’t confirmation about this factor, it wouldn’t be surprising if Instagram included this factor in its algorithm.

8. Others

There are probably a whole bunch of other signals that the Instagram algorithm considers, and the algorithm changes constantly to give its users the best experience possible. (For context, Facebook’s algorithm takes into account hundreds of factors.)

Stef Lewandowski of Makelight put together a list of other signals that the algorithm might consider:

  • How regularly you open the app
  • How regularly you post
  • How many likes an image has in total
  • What an image’s recent like-rate is
  • How old the image is
  • Whether the post is a video
  • Whether an image is from a “business” account versus a personal one
  • How active the image poster has been today – how many comments and likes have they made?
  • How many of an image poster’s images you’ve commented on or liked recently
  • How many hashtags the image has

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Why is the new algorithm great for marketers?

As the number of users on Instagram increases, the number of posts will likely increase, too.

When users follow more people, the number of posts in their feed will increase. The natural result of this is that the impressions (or organic reach) of each post will fall — unless every user spends more time on Instagram looking at all the additional posts.

The reality is that people usually don’t see all the new posts when they visit Instagram. A study by Instagram themselves found that, on average, users miss 70 percent of the posts on their feeds when the posts were arranged in a reverse-chronological order.

But as long as you are creating engaging, relevant, and timely content, the algorithm is actually an advantage to you. It will help to surface your great content to more of your followers than when posts were arranged reverse-chronologically.

Instagram Algorithm - Feed Before and After

(Graphic inspired by Thomas’s slide)

Here’s another way to look at it: Without this algorithm, one quick way to get your Instagram followers’ attention would be to post many times a day. If most brands follow this strategy, the number of Instagram posts would increase dramatically, and the organic reach of each post would fall proportionally — even if it’s a quality post.

With this algorithm, brands are encouraged to post only their best content, and the quality of their content will determine their reach. Brands with the best content overall will stand out more easily now than without the algorithm.

Here’s a bonus: The Explore tab also uses an algorithm to surface content based on the user’s interests and past behaviors. It is another brilliant way for your great content to reach more people!

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10 ways to increase your Instagram organic reach

While the Instagram algorithm might be rather mysterious and complicated, it is a brilliant way to help brands with great content reach more of their followers than before.

Once you have learned about the Instagram algorithm, we thought you might be interested in getting some actionable tips to increase your organic reach through the algorithm. If you want the tips, simply hit the button below:

Get the tips now

It’d also be great to learn from your experience as I’m sure I’m missing many other key factors of the Instagram algorithm. What other factors do you think the Instagram algorithm considers when ranking posts?

Image credit: Unsplash

from Social

Optimal Timing, Videos, and More: 10 Easy Ways to Boost Your Instagram Reach

Since Instagram started sorting posts on users’ feed with an algorithm, many marketers have noticed a decline in their organic reach and engagement.

But that doesn’t have to be the case for you. In fact, it could be possible for you to reach more of your followers now than without the new Instagram algorithm.

In this post, we’ll share 10 straightforward ways you can use to increase your organic reach on Instagram today.

10 Ways to Increase Your Organic Reach with the Instagram Algorithm Today

Understanding the Instagram Algorithm

Here’s a quick side-note: Understanding how the Instagram algorithm works can be helpful in figuring out how to increase your organic reach in the algorithmic-feed world.

We’ve dug into the Instagram algorithm and broken down the seven key factors of the Instagram algorithm. If you’d like to learn about the algorithm and how it ranks content on users’ feed, feel free to hit the button below to read the post first.

Learn about the Instagram algorithm

10 Ways to Boost Your Instagram Reach Today

So how can you increase your organic reach on Instagram? Here are the 10 powerful ways you can do that:

  1. Find your optimal posting times
  2. Experiment with videos
  3. Host contests or ask questions to encourage engagement
  4. Curate user-generated content
  5. Tell Instagram Stories
  6. Go live on Instagram
  7. Use Instagram ads
  8. Post less
  9. Create specifically for Instagram
  10. Be a great Instagram user

Let’s dive in!

1. Find your optimal posting times

Even though Instagram uses an algorithmic timeline now, optimal posting times are still relevant as timing is a factor in the algorithm.

Posting at the right times can help generate an initial round of engagement on your posts which can, in turn, prompt the Instagram algorithm to push your posts higher on your followers’ feed.

Instagram Expert, Sue B. Zimmerman, suggests posting when the majority of your audience is online:

It may take time to get a long-term understanding of your followers’ activity, but it’s important to make sure you’re posting when the majority of your audience is online.

If you are using an Instagram Business Profile, you can check your Instagram Insights to find out when your followers are most active by the day of the week and the time of the day.

To access your Instagram Insights (link to Instagram analytics post), tap on the profile tab in the Instagram app and then the bar chart icon (Insights icon) on the upper-right corner. There will be a section for your followers’ activity information, and you can tap on “See More” to see more detailed insights. Here’s an example of what you’ll see:

Instagram Insights - Followers

2. Experiment with videos

Several studies have found that photos tend to get more overall engagement (i.e. likes and comments) than videos on Instagram. On first look, it might seem that photos are better than videos for engagement — and it could well be!

On closer examination, we might draw a different conclusion. News Whip studied the Instagram accounts of 31 news publishers and made an interesting discovery. While photos, on average, get more likes (and overall engagement) than videos, videos generate more comments than photos. In fact, videos, on average, received more than twice the amount of comments than photos!

Instagram Engagement Study

It is not certain if the Instagram algorithm values likes and comments equally or one more than another. But since commenting requires more effort from a user than liking, it’s possible that the algorithm values comments more than likes and would rank posts with more comments higher than posts with more likes.

Last year, Instagram found that the video watch time on Instagram increased by more than 40 percent over a six-month period. At this growth rate, it could be great to experiment with videos to see if it increases your engagement and organic reach on Instagram.

3. Host contests or ask questions to encourage engagement

Asking questions or calling for an action is one of the fun ways to encourage your followers to interact with your Instagram posts. We found that hosting a giveaway contest is an effective way to engage our followers.

Buffer Instagram giveaway contest

Some of the call-to-actions we have tried are:

  • Enter to win by sharing your favorite emoji party combo in the comments below 👇
  • To enter, simply tag a friend below who you would “Vote” for as your favorite marketer and you’ll both be entered to win!
  • To enter tag a friend below who you know is rocking it on social media! 👊
  • What’s on your reading list this week? 📚 Drop your book suggestions below for a chance to win a free book of your choice from the Buffer team! 😄

While giveaway contests usually generate more comments than usual posts, we try to give it a few months in between each contest to keep things fun and exciting.

Something that we do more often is asking a question in our Instagram posts. Several of our most-commented posts (excluding contest posts) are posts with a question such as this, this, and this.

4. Curate user-generated content

Brian Peters, our digital marketing strategist, grew our Instagram account following by about 500% (4,250 to 21,000) in under six months. His secret? User-generated content.

Curating user-generated content can encourage those users to engage with and share those content. Since the Instagram algorithm considers users’ relationships when ranking content on their feed, building relationships with your users through Instagram might also help your content rank higher on their feeds.

Apart from organic reach, Crowdtap found that user-generated content is 35 percent more memorable and 50 percent more trusted than traditional media and other non-user-generated content. This makes user-generated content a valuable strategy to try.

User-generated content infographic

5. Tell Instagram Stories

In our State of Social Media 2016 report, we found that while 63 percent of marketers surveyed use Instagram, only 16 percent have created Instagram Stories. There’s a great opportunity to stand out before it gets too crowded!

Instagram Stories take a prominent position on the Instagram app — above the feed. This allows you to stay on top of your followers’ feed and grab more of their attention. If your followers view your Stories regularly, it could possibly even help your Instagram posts rank higher on their feeds.

Instagram Stories on feed

It’s worth noting that the Stories are also ranked by an algorithm; possibly one very similar to the feed algorithm. Spend the time to craft great Stories to help them rank better.

6. Go live on Instagram

A similar “trick” is to go live on Instagram. When you use live video, you will appear right at the front of the Stories feed, assuming no one else is live at the same time. The “LIVE” logo also makes your profile photo more prominent in the Instagram app.

Instagram Live

Social Media Examiner found that the more they went live on Facebook, the more their non-live content received exposure. Michael Stelzner said that one reason might be their brand is in front of their fans more often so the fans might go to their Page to see their content more — even if the fans don’t watch the live video.

This effect could play out on Instagram, too. Seeing your logo at the top of their feed might encourage your followers to check out your Instagram profile.

From our State of Social Media 2016 report, we concluded that live video has yet to hit mass adoption as only 27 percent of marketers surveyed had created live video content. While the percentage might be higher today, I believe live videos aren’t mainstream yet. So it’s another perfect way to stand out and deliver great content!

7. Use Instagram ads

This might sound a little counter-intuitive but Instagram ads can be an effective way to grow your organic reach.

If you have an Instagram Business Profile, you can promote your existing posts from within the Instagram app. (Here’s how!) By boosting an existing post and selecting the appropriate target audience, you can drive more engagement to the post and help it rank better on your followers’ feed. The paid reach can eventually help to drive organic reach!

Instagram ads - Promote existing post

So which post should you promote?

Here’s a quick way to pick a good post to promote:

  1. Go to your Instagram Insights on the mobile app (tap on the profile tab and then the bar chart icon).
  2. Tap “See More” under the “Top Posts” section.
  3. Tap on “Impressions” at the top (a pop-up should apply to let you adjust your stats filters).
  4. For the first filter, you can choose “All”, “Photos”, or “Videos” according to your preference.
  5. For the second filter, select “Engagement”.
  6. For the third filter, select “7 days”.
  7. You will see your top posts by engagement for the last seven days. From there, you can pick a post to promote.

Picking a top post from Instagram Insights

As these posts have received the most engagement from your followers, they would likely also resonate with the people you promote to (assuming you have targeted people like your followers).

8. Post less

When explaining social media algorithms, Michael Stelzner encouraged marketers to re-think your posting strategy.

Rethink is the keyword here. Rethink your posting strategy on social media – Less is actually more!

Sue B. Zimmerman also gave a similar advice for marketers who want to overcome the Instagram algorithm.

If you truly want to connect with your audience, it’s better to share one fabulous photo instead of 20 mediocre images. So next time, before you hit post, take a moment and consider how this content contributes to your brand, and does it effectively encourage engagement from your followers.

I believe this is about the allocation of your resources and time. Instead of publishing 20 posts a week, use the same resources and time for just one or two posts and make them great.

Quality content that is relevant to your followers has a higher chance of eliciting a positive response from your followers. In turn, this can help your posts rank higher on your followers’ feed.

9. Create specifically for Instagram

One way to create quality content is to create content specifically for Instagram. Instagram, being a very visual platform, has a greater focus on the photo or video itself than the text. So a post that would do well on Instagram is probably different from one that would do well on Twitter or Facebook.

For smaller social media teams or solo social media manager, it can be challenging to always create unique content for each platform. Crossposting and repurposing content from other platforms can be great, too. If you are doing that, it’d be best to craft specific caption for each social media platform as your followers likely follow you for a different reason for each of the platforms.

We are in the process of rolling out our new Multiple Composer which will allow you to write customized captions for each social network. We’re hoping that this feature would encourage you to be (even) more creative with your social media posts and would help you drive more engagement.

Buffer Multiple Composer

10. Be a great Instagram user

This last point might be a little vague but it nicely wraps up many of the points above.

Social media algorithms are built to encourage genuine, positive behaviors on the platforms such as sharing, showing appreciation, quick replies, and more. Often, they would also try to discourage abuse or hacks.

My gut feeling here is that being a great Instagram user will help you grow your organic reach over time. That includes:

  • Posting quality content that is relevant to your followers (be it informative, inspiring, or entertaining)
  • Answering questions on your posts quickly
  • Thanking people for commenting on your posts
  • Exploring other people’s profiles, engaging with their posts, and building a relationship with them

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What’s your Instagram strategy?

The main objective of Instagram (and most social media platforms) is to make users happy and let them enjoy the experience. As brands on Instagram (and social media), I think we can do a lot to create great experiences for our followers — which will, in turn, benefit ourselves.

I’d love to learn from you, too! What’s your strategy on Instagram? Is anything in particular that is working well for you on Instagram? Thanks.

Image credit: Unsplash

from Social

Why the fuck is advising this UK fintech startup?

Atom Bank is an app-only bank based in Durham, England. At the time of writing, it offers a range of competitive savings products. A current account service is in development, along with credit cards and mortgages. is the lead singer in the Black Eyed Peas. He wrote the hit songs Where Is The Love? and Let’s Get It Started, and is currently a host on The Voice UK. At first glance, these two things feel mutually incompatible. They go together like pizza and pineapple, or Travis Kalanick and a conscience. Except Atom Bank just announced that is joining the company as…

This story continues at The Next Web

from UK – The Next Web

These are the fastest growing developer technologies in the UK and Ireland

You can learn about about the technologies developers prefer to use (or, rather, are made to use) just by looking at data from Stack Overflow. The site allows devs to ask all sorts of questions, from the remedial to the advanced, on a range of programming languages and developer technologies. Today, the company announced the fastest growing programming languages in the UK and Ireland. No surprises here, Python was at the front, with 10 percent growth between January 1 and March 1. Close behind it were JavaScript and Java, each with an impressive ten percent growth. Occupying the fourth and…

This story continues at The Next Web

from UK – The Next Web

Social Media for Small Businesses: Less Is More – Marie Forleo [SSM041]

Managing social media for a small business is a unique and sometimes overwhelming challenge for so many entrepreneurs and marketers.

On one hand, you have a business to run. On the other, you want that business to grow and flourish.

And although you know that social media has the power to be an important part of your overall marketing strategy, there’s tons of completely valid reasons why it never quite happens. Time, resources, energy, knowledge… the list goes on!

Marie Forleo has been helping small businesses with their online marketing strategies with incredilbe success for more than 15 years. We had the pleasure of chatting with her in episode #41 of The Science of Social Media.

Marie shares specific ways that you can use social media to build an audience, connect with your customers, and eventually, grow your business. Whether you’re just starting out on social media or you’ve been using social media for years, you’ll learn the best-practices that thousands of businesses have used to succeed online.

A huge thank you to Marie for packing this episode full of inspiration and actionable takeaways for entrepreneurs and marketers looking for solid social media strategies to grow their small business.

How to listen: iTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Stitcher | RSS

This episode is available on:

In this episode, here’s what you’ll learn:

Marie Forleo shares her expert insights into the strategies and tactics that she uses to help business achieve real growth online. You’ll also learn tons of other great things like:

  • How Marie got started way before social media was a “thing”
  • How to not let social media become overwhelming for your business
  • Social media campaigns vs. ongoing strategies and how to approach each
  • The importance of providing value, building trust, and being patience
  • Quality over quantity and how small businesses can achieve that balance

Social Media for Small Businesses: Less is More - Marie Forleo [SSM041]

Actionable Advice for Small Businesses to Looking to Rock Your Social Media Strategy

In Marie’s words…

1. Less is more. Quality over quantity.

Allow yourself the freedom to focus on one or two platforms and do it from a place of joyful creation – have fun with social media!

2. Is this a brand social media strategy or campaign

What you can do is think about if your real goal is more brand social or a single campaign. For example, how many times are you going to post to social media each week? Is this really good for your small business? Will it help you reach your goals? Or, do you need to create a social media campaign for a specific end purpose?

3. Continuously set boundaries and bumpers

Try and set boundaries and bumpers for yourself when it comes to how often you engage on social media. When it comes to social on your phone, if you don’t want to be addicted (and you’d like to help yourself be productive) try not to put social media icons on your homescreen. Make yourself swipe at least 3-5 screens to get to your apps, which will help you stop the addictive habit.

A Great Moment

Marie Forleo Business Philosophy - The Science of Social Media

“My core philosophy, when it comes to business, is: always create value, build up that trust over time, and have patience.”

– Marie Forleo

Awesome People and Stuff Mentioned in the Show

Favorite Quotes

  • I used to walk around with a yellow Legal Pad and have people sign up for my email list manually… because that’s what you did when you didn’t have another option!
  • In growing my business it was non-stop hustle. It was about always looking for ways to share knowledge and support people.
  • Social media is an important part of the mix for 90-95% of modern business owners. And what I want to do is to help people not allow social media to overwhelm them.
  • As long as you’re creative – meaning the posts that you share, the copy that you write, the images that you create – is in the sense of generosity and true service, then you as a small business can pull it off.
  • I suggest that marketers and small businesses choose one, maybe two, social media platforms to really dominate.
  • When you’re thinking about creating content for social media, really think about your strengths that you can leverage.
  • Social media is such a gift and there’s all of these beautiful things that come along with it, but we cannot be bling to the downside. We cannot be ignorant to the “comparison cycles”.
  • I’m a big fan of less is more. I would rather have a small business crush it with their email marketing and one social media channel rather than trying to be super-human and do it all (and constantly feel like you’re failing.)

How to Say Hello to Marie (and us)

Marie is always sharing incredible marketing and social media tips for small businesses across all of her platforms. If you’d like to follow along and learn from the best, you can find Marie on Twitter here, YouTube here, or on her own website at

Thanks for listening! We’d love to connect with you at @buffer on Twitter or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About the Show

The Science of Social Media is a podcast for marketers and social media managers looking for inspiration, ideas, and results for their social media strategies. Each week, we interview one of the very best in social media marketing from brands in every industry. You will learn the latest tactics on social media, the best tools to use, the smartest workflows, and the best goal-setting advice. It is our hope that each episode you’ll find one or two gems to use with your social media marketing!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

from Social

4 Research-Backed UX Tips For a Conversion-Optimized Design

UX Design

The work of a web designer goes beyond just aesthetics. Usability and user experience is an equally, if not more, important part of a good web design.

While your business could probably survive with an ugly design that gets all of the UX principles right, it most certainly won’t survive with a beautiful design that breaks all of the UX principles. In this article, I explain how we can use Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Difference, the Psychology principle of Sensory Adaptation, lessons from a recent Microsoft study as well as research on font usage, to have a more solid, conversion-optimized design:

Sensory Adaptation: The Phenomenon that Reveals What Color Converts Best

Let’s play a guessing game: what color converts best? Is it blue, green or red?

If you are like most people who have spent a good deal of time reading articles about conversion optimization, you are likely to say that it is the color red or the color orange. You might even start to bring up examples. But just pause a bit.

Amazon uses the color orange CTA button:

Facebook uses the color green CTA button:

Twitter uses the color blue CTA button:

Wait? “Green? Who doesn’t know that that color sucks for conversion?!” The fact remains that Facebook is a major brand that has spent billions on data science and conversion experience, and there’s no doubt that they know what they are doing. While Twitter, Facebook and Amazon act apparently differently, they are actually following a similar, proven Psychology principle that underlie why certain CTAs convert better than others: the Sensory Adaptation phenomenon.

In reality, there’s no best color to use for your CTA or key elements — heck, Twitter uses the white CTA color on their homepage (screenshot below).

Instead, there is a principle to follow: let your CTA stand out. A red CTA on a red design color scheme will perform worse compared to a white, blue or green CTA, and a blue CTA on a blue color scheme will perform worse compared to other colors.

In essence, the CTA that stands out the most will convert the most.

Sensory adaptation in Psychology explains our natural tendency to tune out stimulus we are familiar with after a while. That’s how we are biologically wired; once we’ve seen it for a while, we stop noticing it. A different CTA color, however, switches things up and breaks up familiarity, making you take notice. And that’s what boosts conversions.

The Microsoft Study: How Declining Attention Spans Influence Web Design

In a recent study to observe human attention span, in which it surveyed 2,000 people and monitored the brain activity of 112 more people with electroencephalograms (EEGs), Microsoft came to the conclusion that our attention span is rapidly declining. According to the study, we went from having an attention span of 12 seconds in the year 2000 to having an attention span of eight seconds now.

To many web designers, this has no real implication for their work until they consider the following statistics:

  • A one second delay in site load time can cause a 7 percent loss in conversion.
  • A three-second delay in site load time can cause 40 percent of people to abandon a website.
  • 51 percent of shoppers cite a site’s slow loading times as the major reason they abandon a purchase.

While there are so many factors that influence website load speed, which is what I address when reviewing various web hosts on my site, the fact remains that web design plays a key role in how fast a website loads. Even if you have the best web host with the most powerful server configuration, a poorly designed website with the bloated code could result in users having to wait minutes to access a website.

Speed is one of the most important factors to consider when working on usability. Make speed a core consideration when designing your websites and you will have happier clients.

Weber’s Law: Let Changes be Incremental

There’s always an outrage over every major redesign. Just think about it, and no matter how good it is or how good it later turned out to be, people initially complained seriously about every major redesign. Why is this so? Because we are naturally averse to change.

Research has shown that people prefer an older, more familiar structure even if the newer one is better. For example, students who were given a newer curriculum that will make work much easier for them protested it because it is unfamiliar to them. This is revealing, and a critical factor to consider in your web design.

Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Difference gives insights into how to deal with people’s natural aversion to change as a web designer. Since people naturally despise change, what if you can make changes without them knowing? Weber’s Law states that the slightest, tiniest changes are not easily noticeable. However, the difference has to reach a stage before it is noticed. Similarly, as a web designer, you can use this principle to make people more responsive to your design changes by making those changes gradual and iterative. They can’t protest what they don’t really notice. And when they finally notice, they’ve become accustomed to the completely new redesign. It will take more time but it will cease the protests.

Font Research: Is There a Best Font?

Some fonts are more appealing than others, and as designers, we all have our natural preferences and quirks when it comes to fonts. But is there really a best font? Not really, at least if we are to purely rely on research.

Research shows that people prefer simpler fonts, and they want these fonts large. That’s all that matter for all they could care about. In fact, when you actually consider this there’s a huge probability that it will indicate that your personal font preference makes your design more complicated.

During your next redesign, focus on a simple font type that is at least 16px in size. It probably won’t make your design very fancy, but people would love it and find it very usable!

Read More at 4 Research-Backed UX Tips For a Conversion-Optimized Design

from Web Design Ledger

F8 2017 Recap: 10 Major Announcements Every Marketer Should Know

We’re making the camera the first augmented reality platform.

— Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook F8 conference 2017

Facebook’s F8 conference was once again filled with incredibly exciting announcements.

Augmented reality (AR) could be seen as the main theme of this year’s conference. From augmented masks and special effects to 360 video camera to Facebook Spaces (an app where you can hang out with your family and friends virtually), Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook want to enable us to connect with one another on a deeper level through AR.

Besides AR, there were also announcements about Messenger, chatbots, Facebook Analytics, Facebook Live, and more!

We followed the conference for the past two days and would love to share the top 10 things we think social media marketers should take away from this F8 2017.

If you have been following the conference, too, we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas about the amazing (and mind-blowing) announcements 💬

10 Things marketers need to know from F8 2017

We’ll go through each of the 10 major announcements and what it means to marketers, below. If you prefer watching a video instead, here’s a quick recap of the top three announcements:

1. Augmented Reality

The biggest announcement from the conference is that Facebook will be moving towards using augmented reality to connect us with our family and friends (and maybe brands).

Instead of sci-fi-looking glasses, Facebook believes that the camera will be the first mainstream augmented reality platform (think Pokemon GO).

All the cool camera features that Facebook has been releasing over the past few weeks is just the first act of its plan to integrate augmented reality into social media. Facebook has been working on a few augmented reality technologies that will allow individuals and brands to do fun and valuable things with its camera. Some examples are adding 3D objects to your camera view, turning a 2D photo into 3D, and adding a virtual information card to objects in your camera view (such as the wine bottle in the screenshot below).

(If you are curious about these technologies, check out the demos, which start at 19:22 of the keynote.)

Facebook Augmented Reality AR

What it means for marketers:

When Facebook makes augmented reality mainstream (probably within the next two to three years), marketers will have an entirely new channel for reaching and connecting with their audience, just like when social media became mainstream many years back. The possibilities could be endless!

Personally, I like the example of tapping on an object in the camera view and having an information card pop up. According to Google, 82% of smartphone users research on their phones in stores before making their purchase. Augmented reality could change the way consumers research, shop, and interact with businesses.

At the moment, the best way to get started with augmented reality on Facebook might be to create (branded) masks and special effects for the Facebook camera. Let’s go through that next…

2. Camera Effects Platform

After Mark Zuckerberg shared his augmented reality vision, he launched the Facebook Camera Effects Platform — a platform that allows developers to create frames, masks, and special effects (or filters and lenses as we might be used to now) for the Facebook camera.

The two main products on this platform are Frame Studio and AR Studio.

  • Frame Studio is an online creative editor that allows you to create frames for photos taken with the new Facebook camera or profile photos
  • AR Studio is an application that lets you create animated masks and interactive effects for the new Facebook camera and Facebook Live

Facebook AR Studio Examples

(From Facebook)

What it means for marketers:

Last year, The Information reported that people are sharing less on Facebook, with a decline of 21% in original personal content. With this new platform, Facebook might be looking to encourage users to share more by making sharing more fun.

If this trend were to pick up, it’d open up a great marketing opportunity for brands, just like Snapchat Geofilters did. Brands could create fun, relevant frames, masks, and special effects to reach their audience and then spread their reach when people share photos and videos with their creatives. The best part? It’s free to create these creatives on Facebook!

With the launch of Camera Effects Platform and Mark Zuckerberg’s special emphasis on camera as the first augmented reality platform, Facebook might push such content as much as it did with live videos over the past year.

3. Facebook Spaces

The next big announcement is the launch of Facebook Spaces — “a new VR app where you hang out with friends in a fun, interactive virtual environment as if you were in the same room”. It is now available in the Oculus Store.

With the acquisition of Oculus, Facebook wants to connect people beyond its mobile app but also in the virtual reality (VR). Facebook Spaces will allow us to hang out with our family and friends who are not physically nearby.

What it means for marketers:

It would probably be several years before social VR becomes mainstream (if it does) but it’d be great for marketers to start thinking about how marketing could be done in VR.

Looking at the video above, there could be several native and non-intrusive ways for brands to tap into the VR experience. Here’re some fun ideas I could think of:

  • Travel agencies and tourism boards could let people explore certain places in VR before buying their tickets.
  • Real estate companies could let potential buyers look at houses in VR before actually visiting the houses.
  • Furniture companies could let customers “try out” furniture in their homes before purchasing.
  • Clothes retailers could let customers “try out” clothes and chat with friends about them before buying, or even let them customize their avatars with their clothes.
  • Education institutions and online learning platforms could let students attend classes together.
  • And more!

Some of these might even be possible already with the new Facebook 360 camera.

4. Giphy + Facebook Live

In line with Facebook’s push for the camera to be the first augmented reality platform, Giphy launched three new products to make sharing GIFs even easier. The product that caught our attention the most was Giphy for Facebook Live.

With this new product, both you and your viewers can add GIFs to your live videos. This creates a fun, new way of engaging with your audience in real-time.

Here’s an example from a Giphy team member who went live from the F8 conference:

What it means for marketers:

Facebook has been ranking videos that are live higher on users’ news feed than when the videos are no longer live. This new feature could help increase engagement on your live videos and might help your videos rank (even) higher on your audience’s news feed.

Here’re the steps to activate this feature for your live video:

  • Tap on the “Live” button in the Facebook app
  • Tap on the magic wand in the upper-right corner
  • Select “GIPHY LIVE”
  • Tap “Go Live”
  • Voilà!

When you are using the front camera (that’s facing you), there will be a ticker with hashtags that you can tap on to change the GIF. When you are using the back camera (that’s facing away from you), a microphone will appear as though you are interviewing someone.

5. Messenger Business Bots

There are now more than 100,000 chatbots on Messenger, up from 33,000 just last September. To help brands and consumers connect with each other better through such bots, Facebook released a series of updates during this year’s F8.

One of the updates is Chat Extensions, which allows multiple people to chat with the same business chatbot at the same time. For example, you could share songs from Spotify directly within your group conversation with the Spotify bot or make a holiday booking with your friends through the Kayak bot.

Another interesting update is that M, Messenger’s AI assistant, is now able to listen to your conversations and make relevant suggestions at the right time. For example, if you and your friends are talking about getting food, M would suggest playing an order through one of the food delivery bots.

Facebook Messenger Bots

(From Facebook News Room)

What it means for marketers:

This provides another great channel for marketers to reach and connect with their audience. How amazing! Instead of commenting on your Facebook post or messaging you via Messenger, your customers might choose to chat with your bot — which will be around 24/7.

If you already have a bot for your Facebook Page, you can now use call-to-actions like “Get Support” or “Shop Now” to bring people to your bot.

The bonus about bots is that they can help automate tasks, which is especially helpful for small businesses that have fewer resources. If you have not explored the idea of having a chatbot for your business, now might be a great time to start. Here’s a comprehensive article about chatbot marketing by Matthew Barby of HubSpot.

6. Messenger Discover Tab

With more and more bots being built on the Messenger Platform, Facebook wants to help users discover the right bots for the things they want to do. So during this F8, David Marcus, VP of Messenger, introduced the new Discover Tab.

It is a new section in the Messenger app where people can discover and find bots, nearby places, and businesses to message.

What it means for marketers:

With more than 1.2 billion people using Messenger every month, the Discover Tab might become a significant source of traffic for your business. While chatbots are relatively new at the moment, it might be timely to hop onto this rising trend before it gets too crowded.

Once more businesses and bots are listed in the Discover Tab, marketers might have to start thinking of ways to increase their visibility in the Discover Tab (similar to how apps try to be featured on the App Store or Google Play).

7. Parametric QR codes

Facebook is also trying to help people discover businesses in the physical world and enrich their experiences. By scanning the new parametric QR codes with the Messenger camera, people can find out more information about an event or business through a Messenger bot.

During the keynote, David Marcus showed how the Golden State Warriors are implementing several QR codes in their stadium that’d offer different experiences to their fans.

What it means for marketers:

This creates another touch point between your customers and your business, which is a great opportunity for you to provide extra value to them.

For example, if you are organizing a conference, you could create multiple QR codes for the conference. Your attendees would be able to scan your QR codes with their Messenger camera to receive a welcome message, find out the conference schedule, or see frequently asked questions about the conference.

If you are a physical retail store or a restaurant, you could create QR codes that would bring up your bots to assist your customers while they shop or dine.

8. Smart Replies for Pages

One of the challenges small businesses have is replying to all the messages they receive. With Smart Replies, Facebook wants to help small businesses automate some of the customer support processes.

Using AI, Smart Replies helps Page owners to respond to the most frequently asked questions that they receive, such as business hours, directions, and contact details. The AI would grab information from the Pages, detect the questions asked, and reply with the appropriate information.

Facebook Messenger Smart Replies

(From Fast Company)

What it means for marketers:

Social media managers often have to juggle executing their social media strategy with answering customer support questions on social media. One great benefit of Smart Replies is that it can help free up some of your time for you to create high-quality content and engage with your audience on social media.

As the AI would grab information from your Page, it’ll be great to keep your Page information updated.

9. Facebook Analytics

Facebook Analytics, Facebook’s analytics platform previously only for apps, will now be providing analytics for Facebook Pages and offline conversions, too. This omnichannel analytics will allow businesses to measure and understand their customers’ full journey from interactions on their Facebook Pages to purchasing on their website.

This AI-powered analytics can automatically report trends and anomalies. Instead of spending a lot of time searching for the right data, Facebook Analytics will serve valuable insights directly to you.

Facebook Analytics Automated Insights

(From Facebook Analytics blog)

What it means for marketers:

Facebook Analytics might become the new Google Analytics for social media marketers. While Google Analytics is great for web analytics, Facebook Analytics has an advantage of tying in data from Facebook. This will make it easier for marketers to prove the ROI of being on social media, particularly Facebook. For instance, you can evaluate if people who commented on an item in your Facebook post are more likely to visit your website to purchase the item.

You can now also create custom audiences based on people’s activities on your Facebook Page, app, website, or bot. This will allow you to reach more specific segments of your target audience through Facebook ads. For example, you could show your ads to people who have visited your website and interacted with your chatbot.

10. Global Connectivity

Facebook is moving from connecting family and friends to building communities. And building communities that work for everyone starts with building connectivity that works for everyone, according to Director of Connectivity Programs, Yael Maguire.

Teams at Facebook have been working on several projects such as the Aquila and Terragraph to provide fast and stable internet access to everyone everywhere.

What it means for marketers:

Facebook currently reaches about a third of the human population, and its goal is to connect the entire world — every single human being. Facebook still has a massive growth opportunity in terms of users and so it behooves marketers to continue to iterate on Facebook marketing tactics and focus on audience growth and engagement.

Over to You

From short-term projects (e.g. augmented reality) to medium-term developments (e.g. virtual reality) to long-term plans (e.g. global connectivity), Facebook seems to have all bases covered.

As one of the biggest tech companies around, Facebook has a huge impact on the way we live our lives and, consequently, the way we interact with our audience and market our products. It’s amazing how much work Facebook has done to make social media marketing more effective (and fun).

It’d be great to hear your thoughts on all these major announcements (and those that I have not covered such as brain technology).

  • What are you most excited about?
  • What do you think about these announcements?
  • How do you think each of the developments will impact us marketers?

Thank you!

The featured image was taken from Facebook News Room.

from Social

My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #20

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.

Within this post, I will cover something that I tend to dread. Backtracking. For me while learning, especially with code, there is always a small portion that does not quite make sense…. And with this, moving forward, the lessons build upon those concepts and the more and more you move forward, the more the material does not quite stick.

Usually, when this happens, I move forward anyways, full well knowing that what I just read does not quite make sense. But in my head, I’m assuming that the next lesson will clarify the previous. I then continue this cycle of confusion until is it too late. But like always, I move forward. This is the predicament that I am in right now. I am so far along in the lessons that I’m not sure how to proceed on a lot of the lessons, without reviewing someone else’s code. I am unsure where I took a hard left turn, but I did…

Moving backward and reestablishing by base knowledge, where my knowledge base cracked, is something I do not like doing. But I know the importance of this.

In school, especially in a subject that I was not too fond of, I would twiddle my thumbs and figured I would study like hell for the test. Which sadly works incredibly well. It probably should not but it does.

When learning a trade skill, like programming it is important to absorb all the material. When something does not make sense take a step back and establish yourself before you move forward. It is easy to not want to do this because it feels like progress is not being made. But what I found out is that, if you do not do this, when you know full well it is needed, you will have to backtrack even further than you thought you had to.

This is the position that I am in right now with The Flatiron Schools….

Somewhere along the way, I missed a core concept. Something did not stick, and I can’t quite pinpoint where exactly that was, but it happened. I am now working through ORM and Active Record, and any OO Ruby they ask me to write is fought with a lot of confusion and pain.

Working through the material that I have previously completed has been greatly beneficial to myself and Ruby is becoming more second nature.

Work slowly, and absorb. Learning is not a race and should not be treated as a race. When something doesn’t make sense ask questions and understand what exactly that is that does not make sense. I keep thinking to myself. Someone at the end of all this training is going to pay me to write code for a career. If I don’t know to do something, that is too bad… because that’s your job. 

I have learned to take my time, understand and absorb, then practice application to meet the knowledge goals I have set for myself.

Read More at My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #20

from Web Design Ledger