Creating a Design System Process with UXPin

There's never a better time to work in software. Developers and designers are among the most desired people on the market. Companies all over the world seem to have a never-ending thirst for software experts. In 2003 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the number of software engineers working in the US to be 677,900 people. In 2016, this number increased over 5× to 3,870,000.
At the same time, design teams grew faster than software development. In the last 5 years, the design-developer ratio increased by an average of 2.5×. These changes put enormous pressure on designers and developers to take on more projects while delivering higher quality faster. But the challenge is that software integrationdoesn't scale easily.

Scaling through hiring, without first putting standards in place, doesn't usually end well. With every new hire, the technical and design debt increases. New ideas for color palettes, typography, patterns, code standards or even frameworks appear in the product, increasing the inconsistency and maintenance cost.
Creating a design systems process is one of the best ways to prevent this problem.
The Era of Systems
For faster and more consistent product development, companies all over the world, including such giants as Salesforce, IBM, Airbnb or Microsoft, started to invest in Design Systems.
Unlike past approaches to setting up standards in software integration(pattern libraries, style guides...), design systems are not a static deliverable created from months of work. In fact, design systems are not a deliverable at all - they're a new process of building software.
What is a Design System?
A design system reflects the truth about the standard experience in a given organization. It's both trustworthy documentation and a modular toolkit for designers and developers.
Design systems adapt naturally to changes in the product and sync design and code for an easier way to create consistent experiences.

The Toolset for the new Era
Over a year ago, the team at UXPin started our user research. After 40+ interviews with design and engineering leaders and a survey of 3,100+ designers and developers, we've concluded traditional design tools aren't good enough to serve this new reality.
They're too fragmented, disconnected, and unfocused. Design system tools must be a complete hub for design and development.
We've summed up the research with simple rules for our first release of UXPin Systems:

Dynamic environment, not static documentation
Actionable system, not a reference document
Connection between design and development, not just a library of design patterns

With these principles in mind, we released the first design system platform on June 13th 2017.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRlje1h6caU&w=560&h=315]
Step by Step in UXPin: Creating a Design System Process
Using our internal design system as an example, let's explore how to create the foundation for your design system:

Color Palette and Text Styles
Assets (logos, icons)
Design Patterns
Development Documentation

Important disclaimer: All the following examples were created within UXPin only, but the UXPin Design Systems solution also supports Sketch.
1. Create an Actionable Library of Styles
Start with the most prevalent pieces of any design: text styles and a color palette.
In UXPin, both color palette and text styles can be pulled directly from design projects and saved in a shared Design Systems library (an actionable toolkit that's always synced with design system). Your entire team will always have access to approved styling, minimizing the temptation of introducing yet another typeface or shade of gray.
To add every color or text style, simply select layers in Sketch or UXPin and UXPin will pull the right styling and add it to the system.
All these styles always stay in sync with the library in UXPin or Sketch, which makes for a living system (not just static documentation).

2. Create an Actionable Library of Assets
Just like colors and text styles, you can save all your graphic design assets in UXPin Systems.
Think logos, approved stock photos, or icon libraries. You can save all these in the Design Systems Library, which stays in sync with the Design System and your entire team. One library, directly in your tools and always in sync.
3. Create an Actionable Library of Patterns
You can also save your design patterns in UXPin. All your symbols from UXPin and Sketch can be saved in a Design Systems Library. UXPin symbols can be interactive and animated, so you don't have to recreate interactions every single time.
Symbols in both UXPin and Sketch have overriding abilities, so you don't have to worry about your patterns being used in multiple places with different copy. UXPin allows you to adjust the copy however you want and sync everything with the library whenever you're ready.
It's a powerful tool to manage all your shared design patterns.

4. Generate a System and Keep it in Sync
Having a library of shared assets is great, but it's definitely not enough to solve the problem of scaling software development.
Most solutions stop here and don't move towards development. We've decided to go all the way.
In UXPin Systems all the colors, text styles, assets, and patterns become a living system with one click. Just go into the Design Systems tab in UXPin Dashboard, select your library, and it comes to life.
A new documentation page is automatically created and always stays in sync with your library. If you add a new pattern or a color, it automatically appears in your design system.
5. Add Documentation for Developers
Once you've generated your system, you can add documentation, including code snippets to any element. The documentation editor makes it very straightforward to document your system.
Again, the documentation is immediately available to your team.

6. Make Documentation Actionable
Design system documentation shouldn't just be a reference document. It needs to be where the action is: in the design projects themselves.
With UXPin, documentation from the design system follows the elements in any project.
If you're working on yet another sign-up form, once you drop in the symbols from the library, UXPin automatically generates full documentation for developers - including all the information coming from the design system (full markup, information about imports, and names of JavaScript components, etc).

The First Complete Solution
Needless to say, I'm extremely proud of our focus on design systems as the heart of a better software integrationprocess. Of course, this is just a beginning.
If you'd like to try out UXPin for yourself, you can go ahead and start a free trial.

Creating a Design System Process with UXPin is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks


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

Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine - creativity & inspiration daily
We are always looking for new fonts and graphics that will make our web designs look even better, and today we have found a great bundle from the guys at TheHungryJPEG.com! TheHungryJPEG is a marketplace for designers, crafters, newbies, seasoned graphic design ninjas and anybody with an interest in the design world and features premium bundles released every week with amazing deals and premium weekly freebies.
WHAT YOU WILL GET?

The Funtastic June Bundle is THE biggest fonts and graphics bundle on TheHungryJPEG to date! 
This bundle features only high quality, beautiful, and remarkable fonts and graphics to boost up your designs into a new level.
44 fonts and 50 graphic packs.
96% OFF over 90 premium design resources.
Only $29!

JUST A FEW OF THE GOODIES INCLUDED:
Chirp Font by Denise Chandler
Caviar Font Duo by Media Lab 
Indulge Script by Anthony James 
Pink Willow by Maroon Baboo
Little Ballerina by Typia Nesia 

Breezy Picnic by Denise Chandler

BUY NOW

This post The Funtastic June Bundle: 44 Fonts and 50 Graphic Packs from TheHungryJPEG was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.
Source: inspiredm.com


The Unnecessary Fragmentation of Design Jobs

Photo by Sanwal DeenHey there, tech designer person. Have you noticed the increasing number of vague specializations we’ve invented for ourselves?Here are a few I grabbed from a job board 10 minutes ago.UX DesignerUX/UI DesignerUI DesignerGraphic Designer (UX & UI focus)Visual DesignerDigital DesignerProduct DesignerPresentation DesignerFront End DesignerWeb DesignerBleh. What’s the difference between UX and UX/UI and UI? Isn’t Product also UX/UI? Isn’t a Front End a UI? What’s a Graphic Designer with UX & UI Focus? And isn’t all of this Visual/Digital design?For an outsider, the differences are extremely subtle. I’ve been talking to a lot of industry newcomers lately, and they’re almost unanimously confused. They’re struggling to gain the right experience and make portfolios to match our foggy job definitions.Even worse, the companies hiring seem equally puzzled. One designer told me he took a UX job at a startup, and then his new boss asked him to explain what UX is about — after he had already been hired to do it!UX AND UI, WHY OH WHYThis must be happening because everyone can barely keep up with the demand for design work. Companies are racing to fill seats and execute hastily-defined design processes without bothering to question if it’s all necessary for their particular business.If your company does that, you might find yourself in a game of Designer Hot Potato like this one:Bob’s good at customer research, so he’s on UX. He’ll make some personas and get a bunch of post-it notes on the wall right away.Then we’ll get everyone together to look at the post-its and move them around.Then we’ll write down ideas and ask Natalie to make wireframes. She’s our UX/UI person.Then she’ll hand those over to Beth, our UI designer, who’s good at turning wireframes into a high fidelity UI mockup.Then Beth will hand that over to Steven, our Front End person, to make a prototype.Then we’ll try it to figure out what we did wrong, and check back with Bob on the post-its again. TO THE POST-ITS!!!This is surely good for 3M’s office supplies revenue, but as a creative process it sounds painful to me.I’ve never had a job quite like that.Before I joined Basecamp, I was always a lone wolf — the only designery person at a small business or government org—so I had to figure everything out myself. I had to talk to people, learn about the problems they were having, come up with ideas, create a good-looking solution, write words, and build the UI piece of the final product.It was tough, and it took years of practice to become competent at any of it. But I loved the diversity of the work and the exciting potential for new discoveries.Recently John Maeda’s Design in Tech Report for 2017 suggested a name for my kind of role: Computational Designer.These computational designers exist in a hazy middle ground — not quite pure engineers, not quite pure designers — but their hybrid status is increasingly attractive to technology companies. …The most successful designers will be those who can work with intangible materials — code, words, and voice. (via WIRED)I dig this idea, but I don’t think we even need the word “Computational.” I think the software industry has been overthinking this, and what John describes is just Design.Design (with a capital D)I believe Design requires a holistic grasp of problems, potential, and materials.If you’re only focused on examining problems, you’re not empowered to dream up the proper solutions.If you’re only dreaming up what you could do, you’re not close enough to the ground-level truth.If you’re only working on the nitty gritty implementation, you know about the what but not a lot about the why.A capital-D Designer is comfortable working organically across all of that, without needing to slice it up into separate little steps and responsibilities.This is possible in the real worldThat’s exactly how we work at Basecamp. We skip most of the formal process stuff, and our Designers do everything: writing, visuals, code, project management, whatever it takes.We’re living proof that this approach works well. We support hundreds of thousands of customers, plus multiple platforms and products, with a design team of 10 people.We pull that off specifically because we don’t assign one designer to UX, and another to UI, and another to writing, and another to code.Think this sounds too hard? Like there’s no way you could possibly be good at all of that?Take a step back for a second. We’re only talking about making software.Yes it’s hard…but in the grand scheme of things it’s not THAT hard.If you’re not convinced, take a look at Art. Lebedev Studio:Founded in Moscow in 1995, Art. Lebedev Studio is the only design company in the world offering product design, city and environmental design, graphic design, websites, interfaces, packaging, typeface design, custom patterns and book publishing under one roof.Damn, that’s a lot of stuff! Projects across mediums, genres, industries, you name it. No artificial limits on anything. Inventing things using whatever materials and means necessary.Some of Art Lebedev’s recent workAnd that’s not even a new idea. Now look at master Designer Raymond Loewy, born in 1893:Raymond Loewy (November 5, 1893 —July 14, 1986) was an industrial designer who achieved fame for the magnitude of his design efforts across a variety of industries.Among his designs were the Shell, Exxon, TWA and BP logos, the Greyhound bus, the Coca-Cola bottle, the Lucky Strike package, Coldspot refrigerators, Studebaker cars, and the Air Force One airplane. He was involved with numerous railroad and locomotive designs. His career spanned seven decades.Some of Raymond’s logosA seven decade career making not just logos and products, but planes, trains, and automobiles too! Here’s Raymond, by the way:Raymond Loewy, one hell of a cool Designer.So if Art Lebedev’s shop can do all that, and Raymond Loewy could do what he did, why are we so insufferably particular about boxing ourselves into tiny little specialties just to make websites and apps?Imagine if we stopped doing that, and tossed out our process assumptions and self-defeating arguments about what should be one person’s responsibility versus someone else’s.Maybe we could all gain that magical holistic understanding, and grow to become Computational Designers. Or even just Designers.You can make it happenIf you like this notion, try treating your career like your most important project. Be curious and restless. Aim to be constantly learning and trying new stuff without limits. Find a company or a work environment that lets you take a shot at everything you want to do (they’re out there!)…or invent your own little niche if you can’t find that.This may not be the easiest career path to travel. It’s almost certainly not. But I guarantee you’ll enjoy the ride—especially since you’ve designed it yourself.Hat tip to Jason Fried for turning me on to Raymond Loewy’s work. And a second hat tip to Dustin Senos’ Out of Office Hours project—such a fantastic idea that’s connected me with many wonderful young designers.If you liked this post, hit the ❤️ below or let me know on Twitter.The Unnecessary Fragmentation of Design Jobs was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Source: 37signals


3 Groundbreaking Automated Layout Features To Shape The Future of Graphic Design

The University of Toronto Computer Science Department in collaboration with Adobe Research has devised an experimental automated layout system called DesignScape that is likely to lay the foundation for the future of graphic design.
The new system is designed to help graphic artists in the design process through interactive automated layout suggestions. In the system, the user is presented with a set of elements commonly encountered by designers such as a headline, logos, icons, contact information, and other graphics.
Here’s a video to explain more about how DesignScape is going to change the way graphic designers create layouts:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHb11WG23K8?feature=oembed&w=1050&h=591]
As the designer works on the elements, the system provides new automated layout suggestions depending on what the designer inputs. The user can then select from one of the suggestions to further refine. This is called “layout intelligence” and will lay the foundation for the future of graphic design.
This new system is designed to provide the artists with well-informed decisions regarding the placement of elements in relation to one another.
Benefits of Automated Layout for Graphic Design
Here are some examples of where DesignScape and the automated layout concept can be applied:
1. Adaptive Interface
The new system allows designers to adjust the elements according to the design model. Similarly, the user can select layout suggestions. To accept the suggestion, the user simply clicks on the chosen layout.
2. Re-targeting Layouts
The system also proves helpful when the designer deals with various sizes from posters to banner ads. The system will suggest different layout suggestions depending on the size giving them several options for a starting point.
3. Tablet-based Design
Designing elements in a touch-based interface is more difficult. The new system works perfectly when the designer encounters problems related to tablet-based designs.
—————————————-
The quality of the design decision-making in DesignScape was based on data gathered from people who were asked to generate layouts using Mechanical Turk. It was believed that a wide scale effort involving more designers will allow them to produce and refine more outputs.
Until they are seen on a tablet, all the designs are fairly theoretical. Refining design elements on touch surfaces can prove to be a challenge on the part of the designer so any tool that can help in the design layout can go a long way in achieving a refined and fine-tuned output. With everything moving towards the tablet, this new system may seem sensible at this stage.
Conclusion
While automated systems will never be able to completely replace certain segments of graphic design, these kinds of systems may become commonplace in the sector either as a low-cost design need or as complementary to a big ticket design project in the near future. Before they reach their world-famous stature, up-and-coming graphic designers may entertain the idea of letting a personal computer do some of their work.
With the new system, it’s essentially like having an assistant in figuring out layout suggestions. The designer may no longer tackle layout challenges by themselves. With the proposed system, the user can now produce refined layouts that they can be proud of.
The post 3 Groundbreaking Automated Layout Features To Shape The Future of Graphic Design appeared first on Web Designer Hub.
Source: http://www.webdesignerhub.com


Design Your Content Typography First (and a Look at Type Nugget)

How often have you seen a "completed" site that still has lorem ipsum text lurking in the quiet corners? While we often strive for perfection in our designs and code, I am reminded every time I stumble across a garbled bit of lorem ipsum that not all aspects of web integrationprocess are given the attention they deserve.
Developing a complete and detailed suite of typographic elements is an often-overlooked aspect of the process. While not always as prominent or exciting as other graphic elements, typography is an essential part of every site and does most of the heavy lifting to fulfill each page's purpose: transferring information.
While I can't do anything about lazy lorem ipsum use, I've been working on a tool that helps develop beautiful and robust online typography.

Why I Care So Much About Typography
A little bit about me will help set the scene. I'm a full-stack developer working alongside designers in a digital agency. I studied graphic design before moving into development, so I understand layout and typography. Although I started out in design, I want to stress that I do not consider myself a designer. For this reason, this post will not explain how to design a type system. I will talk about how to implement one in development.
Throughout my career as a developer, I have frequently noticed sites that miss the finer details of typography. Although not glaring problems, these little mistakes whittle away at the overall user experience.
I'm not entirely sure why typographic mistakes happen so often. Perhaps it's due to time constraints, oversights during development, or something completely different.
I've been on a mission to solve this issue, which has lead me to writing this article and also the integrationof my current side project: Type Nugget. It's a tool that I hope allows users to easily create robust type systems.

Screenshot of the Type Nugget Dashboard

Why You Should Care About Typography, Too
The benefits of having a robust type system in place are many. It ensures consistency across your project and allows you to write less code. Most importantly, though, a robust type system makes sure the content communicates what it's supposed to.
A workmate recently sent me an article on Pitchfork. As soon as I landed on the page I fell in love with their type system and structure. Reading the copy was smooth; an absolute pleasure. Their typographic system is simple and beautiful. I'll be making references to this website as I continue talking about type systems!

Screenshot of a Pitchfork article

(Look at that drop cap 💕)
One of the most important requirements of a type system in today's web climate is that it works perfectly across all possible existing viewports. We never know what's going to come next in the world of devices! This is doable, but first, let's get into the world of responsive units.
Looking at Responsive Units with Heart Eyes 😍
In my opinion, you can't master web typography until you understand responsive units. Wrapping your brain around responsive units takes a little bit of math, but it really changes your world once you've figured it out. Soon, the sight of px will make you cringe!
There are already articles on this particular topic, so I won't delve too deep, but here's a brief explanation of the units I tend to use with type:

em: Relative to the current (inherited) font-size. If I set an element inside this article to font-size:2em, it would be twice the font-size of the rest of the article.
rem: Relative to the font-size of the root element (which is a fancy way of saying the html element). If I added another element inside of the element used in the previous example, and then set it to font-size:1rem, it would now be the original size, regardless of it's parent being set in ems (I set up a pen here that shows how ems and rems work together).
vw & vh: Relative to 1% of the viewport width & height, respectively. So 5vw means the font-size is 5% of the browser width, and 5vh is 5% of the browser height.

I tend to set a px font-size on the root element of the document, and set the rest of the typographical elements using ems for font-size and rems for margins to keep a consistent type grid. I often like to set headings in vw (or even on occasion, vh) and use a media query to transition them to an em size after a certain viewport max-width has been reached. This avoids blown out headings on even the smallest of mobile devices. There's a great Sass mixin by Eduardo Bouças here for making viewport relative text with minimum and maximum sizes.
Responsive Units in Action
Let's take a look at how Pitchfork has used responsive units.
The font-size on their html and body elements is set to 10px. They then have a .contents div that wraps all of their article content. It's set to 1.8rem and changes to 1.6rem once the viewport is less than 992px wide (I would have done this mobile-first instead of desktop-first, but I think that's just a matter of preference). This means that the main content font-size is 18px on desktop and 16px on smaller devices (10px * 1.8 = 18px, 10px * 1.6 = 16px), both very comfortable font sizes for the given viewports.
The headings styles vary appropriately depending on what kind of article you are reading, but seem to scale in a similar way. The h1 on a Features page starts at 4.8rem, scales to 4rem when the viewport is less than 992px wide, then 3rem when the viewport is less than 767px wide (48px,40px & 30px respectively). The .contents div also always prevents the copy from exceeding the optimal measure (line length) of the text which, as a general rule of typography, is somewhere between 40 and 80 characters long depending on context.
Pitchfork have done well, but this is really the bare minimum required for a great type system to flourish.
Building on that minimum, it's important to realize that typography is more than just text. There is a whole suite of elements (h1-h6, p, span, em, strong, a, ul, ol, li, blockquote, caption, and a whole bunch more) that contribute to the typographical flow and appearance of content. It's important that they're not forgotten, especially when working on content heavy websites like blogs or news sites. Using a CSS reset like Normalize.css or a framework like Bootstrap normally means you have this covered already. However, it's always a nice touch to stray a little from the default. I often find it helpful to set a global margin on all of these elements within a content context that is equal to the main line-height. This maintains a nice, consistent grid. For example, if my main copy within .content is 1em with a line-height of 1.6em, then the top and bottom margins on all my headings, paragraphs and other elements within .content are also set to 1.6em. This is not a strict rule, just a good starting point.
As a side note, while the above elements are fantastic for dictating the visual aspect of a website, they're also incredibly important for making sure a website is accessible. Using semantic HTML elements makes sure your website makes sense to machines, such as screen readers for the visually impaired, or web crawlers like Google.
I was trawling through Pitchfork trying to find examples of some of these elements. When I couldn't find an example of a list, I entered one into the page through dev tools out of curiosity. Sure enough, they were styled nicely even though I couldn't find examples of where/if they were used on the site. 👏🏾

Screenshot of pretty Pitchfork ul & ol styles

While not technically falling directly under the umbrella of typography, I believe states and transitions are a big deal for the overall feel of a website. Unfortunately, they too are often forgotten. I assume the first thing that comes to many developers' minds when I say "states and transitions" are link styles. That's not all of it though and it's not all hover styles either. Hover styles are important for links, but focus is also important.
Have you ever tried navigating through a website using tab and shift+tab? I certainly have, and on some websites it's almost impossible. The browser has a default method of displaying this but I've often seen this removed because it's not aesthetically pleasing. Please, if you're going to remove it, replace it with something prettier!
Form inputs can also be greatly enhanced by :focus styles and really add that extra something to your site. Another thing I've noticed on this topic is either a lack of transitions or transitions with odd timing, both of which makes moving between different states feel really jerky or unnatural. In my experience, I've found transitions between 1.5s-2.5s plenty. Anything more than that makes me uncomfortable (again this is a general rule that can be broken when necessary).
While we're talking about transitions, try to avoid transitioning all properties of an element. This will probably come to bite you either performance-wise, or down the line when trying to style a child element.
Additional Reading on Architecture
Here's a few things that I've learned that have made my integrationlife significantly better:

Avoid specificity issues by staying clear of unnecessary styling directly on elements e.g. styling .nav a when you could have styled .nav__item. I found this most crucial when styling headings. I used to style the h1-h6 tags directly, until I realized that h1-h6 are semantic elements that mark different stages of a document. Not all h1 tags need to look the same! I now style headings using classes such as .heading--xl, .heading--sm.
Use global text modifier classes instead of adding random CSS to change small parts of a project. e.g. I use classes like .text--xl, .text--sm.
Avoid unnecessary nesting of selectors e.g. .nav > .nav__item when you could have just styled .nav__item. This avoids specificity issues and can also improve performance as the browser doesn't have to do as many lookups on elements. Take a look at this article about Modular CSS for more information on why this is good to avoid.
Adopt a CSS "architecture". It doesn't need to be an existing one. Make one up if you wish. Just have one. I use something very similar to BEM coupled with the methodology in the Modular CSS article linked above. Here's a great list of some different architectures (and various other great things). A great CSS-Tricks article was written on this very recently, also. Go give that a read if you're interested!

Check Out Type Nugget
The agency I work for has an innovation program that gives us time to work on our own products and ideas. I've gathered a small team that shares my passion for these topics. For the last few months we've been building Type Nugget.

Screenshot of the Type Nugget homepage

Type Nugget is a tool that makes it easier for developers to build a solid type system based off the principles I've discussed. It still has a fair way to go before it's where I want it to be, but we have eyes on it becoming the go-to app for setting up web type systems, as well as building a great community for web type enthusiasts.
We're super excited to make it a reality, so check it out and let us know what features you'd love to see!
Wrapping Up
The internet is all about content. As web developers, our job is to make sure users can understand that content. To me, that's a good enough reason for any web dev to know type systems inside and out. The case gets even stronger when responsive units are added to the mix. So take an hour or two to brush up on these integral elements of web development. Or, take the easy way out and use Type Nugget 😉

Design Your Content Typography First (and a Look at Type Nugget) is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks


7 New Adobe Typekit UI Upgrades To Make Typography Easier

Adobe has been a leader in design and technology for years, and the company has developed powerful products that satisfy graphic designers of varying skill levels. While Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are killing it in terms of popularity, one application that serious graphic design experts are using these days is Adobe Typekit.
What is Adobe Typekit?
Adobe Typekit is a design service initially released by Small Batch, Inc. in September 2009 and acquired by Google in October 2011. Its core business is offering premium quality fonts made available through annual subscription plans.
The fonts stored in Adobe Typekit can be used on websites or synced via Adobe Creative Cloud to various applications installed on the user’s computer.
As of this writing, Adobe Typekit consists of more than a thousand font families from various foundries. These are offered as a standalone service and as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Meanwhile, hundreds of other font families are available through the Typekit Marketplace.
Typekit has been referred to as a great way of enriching typography on the web that makes it more similar to print.

New Adobe Typekit UI Updates
Adobe wants to ensure that all users will have a seamless experience in using all of its products, and the best way to achieve this is to continuously make improvements. The following are the latest enhancements made for Adobe Typekit:
1. New and Responsive Design
Typekit can now be enjoyed using different kinds of devices without worrying about not being able to use all of its features. The older version may have had limits with regards to viewing the font browser, but it is now replaced with a responsive and mobile-friendly design.

2. Expanded Font Previews
Adobe Typekit now sports a wider type preview for both browsing and family pages, with full support for default character set and custom sample text. This makes it faster and easier to find the fonts that you want to perfectly match for your needs.

3. Simpler Filters and Navigations
My Library allows you to access all the fonts that you can use with your subscription conveniently. This includes fonts that you have purchased from other foundry partners of Adobe.
Simplified filtering has also been developed to toggle web-only families and other search filters. You may also recover some screen space by hiding the filter bar after your selections have been made.
4. Visual Preview of Font Families
Fonts are now arranged with the ease in changing its width, optical size or other variants of a typeface in a single unit. You no longer need to browse through several pages to see the different styles of one font family.
5. New Family Pages
It is now possible to add or remove a font from your sync selection with a single click through the Sync button that is added next to each sync-enabled font on My Family pages. You also get more detailed information about each font in a family by clicking on the Details tab.
6. Improvements on Pagination and Filtering
Navigating through all pages is now much smoother and easier. Previous versions may have led users to spend a long time switching between pages. With the latest UI upgrade, you can go through all of the Typekit pages conveniently.
7. Redesigned Search Pages
You may search by typeface or foundry, which now shows the new and bigger families. Searching through a specific type of font is also much easier, and this would mean less time to go through all of the fonts. In other words, improvements in searching for your font allow you to get your work done faster.
Conclusion
Adobe Typekit has made the lives of designers so much easier, and these recent upgrades can definitely make their jobs faster and more streamlined.
The post 7 New Adobe Typekit UI Upgrades To Make Typography Easier appeared first on Web Designer Hub.
Source: http://www.webdesignerhub.com


When Tech Companies Advertise in Meat Space: 13 Amazing Billboard Ad Examples

AdEspresso is big on great Facebook ads. That’s why we have a gallery of examples, and why we are constantly analyzing ads to find out what works and what doesn’t.
We know that good Facebook ads combine smart design with principles from psychology to create eye-catching graphics. These strategies have been used in advertising for a long time — especially on the largest ads around: billboards.

We’ve found that a lot of the psychological principles that make great billboards also make great Facebook ads.
In the spirit of showing great ads for inspiration, we have 13 of the best billboard ads by tech companies. Although they might seem low-tech, these clever, eye-catching billboards could be just what you need to spark the next great idea for your own campaign.

As we explored earlier, psychology has shown that compelling ads use short, powerful copy, include emotional images, and rely on key color combinations to catch attention.
Although billboards are an old-school advertising technique, they’re still going strong today. Even the most cutting-edge tech companies are still using them to advertise their products. In fact, they’re so popular that SketchDeck, a company that specializes in high-quality design for businesses, broke down billboards according to scientific principals.
Here’re the ones we liked the most.
1. Apple TV
For the revamp of the Apple TV in 2015, Apple implemented a colorful campaign in Los Angeles, based around the motif of television color bars. At first glance this appears to be a minimalist campaign centered on bright color and strong geometric design:
 However, the real strength of the campaign lies in the use of characters and shows from content partners Disney/Pixar and HBO. By including recognizable movies and TV shows, the ads go beyond the Apple TV as just a device and jump into the heart of the product’s appeal: quality content.

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2. Lyft
Ridesharing service Lyft implemented a wry series of ads that played on the frustrations of drivers on Los Angeles’ Santa Monica Boulevard. Their wordy billboards are used specifically to target drivers who are stuck at a standstill, providing an empathetic message while presenting their service as an alternative to the frustration of traffic.
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These billboards model a key concept for any good ad campaign: knowing your customer. By empathizing with the boredom of being stuck a slow-moving jam, they give themselves the perfect opportunity to present their ridesharing as the perfect solution.
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3. Slack
For Slack’s first advertising campaign, a “takeover” style strategy was implemented across Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Charlotte. Transit, street level, and billboard campaigns were part of one huge campaign aimed to boost the company’s profile.
Slack’s ads are particularly interesting, for they are filled with positive and effervescent imagery with metrics about how the product benefits you with increased productivity and organization, rather than just drawing attention to the product itself.
{Slack Digital Billboard, Minneapolis | source}
By the way, this campaign was also featured in Web banner ads and print publications — proof that “real-world” advertising techniques translate to digital.
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4. Dropbox
Another campaign that plays perfectly to its audience is Dropbox’s first ad campaign. Their billboards cater to customers doing collaborative work with the familiar language of a workflow/timeline. This emphasizes the product’s flexible organizational capabilities, particularly regarding collaboration, annotation, and media integration.
They also create a “narrative” for each billboard — for example, the one below takes the viewer through the process of journalists publishing an article. A smart choice was to use filename extensions that intuitively show the flexibility of Dropbox’s cloud storage platform.

{Investigative Journalism Narrative | source}
5. Spotify
Spotify used their best assets — their massive listener base and powerful analytics — to create a cheeky campaign celebrating outliers in major city centers, such as at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. This approach used politics and hyperlocal focus to really connect with people. For example, the picture blow shows a billboard in New York referencing the Hamilton soundtrack, while the next is a billboard in the UK that reads, “Dear 3,749 people who streamed ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It’ the day of the Brexit Vote. Hang in There.” (Great targeting, Spotify!)
 Spotify used the same audacious graphic design in personalized emails sent to each subscriber at the end of 2016, which detailed the unique quirks of each listener’s analytics — another great example of ads branching “the real world” and the internet.
 {source}
6. Google Android
Google brought some playful minimalism to the otherwise cluttered Times Square experience in late 2014 with a call to celebrate diversity and customization. This campaign integrated a hybrid approach to a physical ad takeover: it called for individuals to create their own Android avatar that could appear on the massive video billboard.
This playful and customizable experience is aligned with the flexibility of the Android user experience, a key concept for Android, as it is different than the more rigid nature of competitor Apple’s mobile ecosystem.
 {source}
7. Snapchat
Snapchat relied on great design and a hyperlocal approach when building their billboard campaign that created physical representations of local geofilters across the country. This campaign prompts viewers to try out geofilters, while also subtly gesturing towards the importance of the app in our everyday social experiences.
Each design featured Snapchat’s signature yellow, which helped to tie the campaign together.

This campaign celebrates the quirks of each location, as well as the artists who have produced the pieces. Both serve as an emotional hook into the ads, whether it be through the hot sun and plants of Phoenix or the bridges of Boston.

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8. Cisco
Cisco implemented a brilliant proof of concept digital billboard in 2014, where the copy of their ad adjusts based on the speed of traffic. Though the message isn’t advertising a specific Cisco service, its location in San Francisco heightens brand awareness and positions Cisco as an innovator for those in the tech industry.

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Just as you want to get the most bang for your buck with your social media ads, companies will be looking to get the same thing from their “offline” (or Out of Home) counterparts. With connected billboards like this one, developments for billboard analytics are endless. As the internet of things grows more and more interconnected, the prospect of live A/B testing may soon be available for every ad a company puts out.
9. IBM
Many regard IBM as a staid, veteran brand, but this campaign showcasing their Connected Cities initiative highlights how IBM aims to radically alter our expectations of urban spaces.
IBM’s initiative focuses on the Internet of Things — our network of “smart” devices — and how we can use technology to improve our relationships with our spaces and our communities. These physical improvements like ramps and benches create a tangible allegory that’s easy for the public to understand.
 At its core, the ads say: if IBM can reimagine a billboard to keep you dry or help you up the stairs, then imagine the innovations it can achieve with its powerful technology.
Plus, turning advertisements into public good helps to generate a long-lasting, positive brand association for those who have come into contact with the campaign.
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10. Netsuite
Netsuite is a leading software as a service provider that integrates business and customer management platforms for small to medium businesses and nonprofit organizations. Instead of focusing on bright graphics, they have a series of iterative ads featuring their clients.
This shows passers-by the variety of services that Netshare offers, while giving social proof of their high quality. By making a series of ads with the same format, Netshare can connect their brand with many well-known companies without jamming too much into one billboard.
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11. Nest
This campaign by Nest, maker of connected smart home devices, offers a novel approach by using multiple billboards to produce a single ad. With splashes of color and amusing slogans, these playful ads highlight both the product at hand and the everyday “mayhem” that goes on inside your home.

By encouraging viewers to think about what their dogs or kids might get up to while home alone, Nest avoids the more sinister use applications of home security hardware and maintains a positive, lighthearted message. The use of multiple billboards for each ad engages the viewer for more time than a traditional billboard, and makes the campaign more memorable.
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12. Yahoo
Yahoo was known for its long-running neon billboard in San Francisco, which was up from 2001-2011. The billboard used tropes of 1950s motel imagery whose Americana vibe was immediately impactful.
But while this playful illuminated billboard is memorable due to its aesthetic sensibility, that isn’t the only quality that made this an iconic ad.
The use of the letterboard meant that the billboard was always relevant, promoting viewers to regularly check back to see if the witty message has changed.
This is an excellent example of how making small tweaks to a campaign can help you take advantage of current events, from celebrating your tenth anniversary to getting the most out of Halloween.
 {source}
13. Airbnb
This Airbnb campaign is a great example of how making controversial statements garners a lot of attention. The confrontational tone and passionate color of these billboards have certainly left a lasting impression.
 {source}
We know that negative ads can be really eye-catching, and Airbnb plays on that principal here in their risky campaign. They adopt a snarky tone and focus on belittling regulation.
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Unfortunately, this approach didn’t work out so well for Airbnb, and the campaign was widely derided for being entitled and in poor taste.
Airbnb has all the components of a great campaign — bold, simple design, a dialogue with its audience, and the psychological hook of negativity — but it was not self-aware and antagonized more than it charmed. Still, if you’re going off of the adage “all press is good press,” then it certainly did its job.
Great design wins, every time
These ads work because they have great design. From clever ad copy to bold color, they are built to catch and hold our attention.
Whether your ad has to engage someone while they’re zooming down the highway or scrolling down their social media feeds, it’s outstanding visuals and a strong message that will get your ads attention, and drive business for your brand.
Source: https://adespresso.com/feed/


How Do You Hire a Designer?

My friend Jeff just asked me this question. He was looking for a designer for a one-off graphic design job. He had the project all scoped out. He just didn't know how to do it. He's not a fool; he web searched around for stuff, but what you find doing that is a confusing mess with plenty of results that don't feel right.
I figured I'd document that journey here, and contrast it hiring an electrician. A trite comparison, perhaps, but as the light switch in my bathroom doesn't work right now and I'm actually in the process of hiring an electrician, it seems apt.

No

To set the stage more accurately, this is what Jeff asked me, verbatim:
I have a conference in a month that my boss wants some roll-up banners and data sheets for. I can write OK, but don't know squat about design. I've tried a few things, but are I'm under a bit of a deadline.
The ol' College Try
First, Jeff tried designing the banners himself. That way they could maybe be used directed, and if not, they would give a new designer very specific direction.

I'm impressed by this as work from a complete non-designer. I've certainly seen "professional" design work worse than this.

Jeff Finds Fiverr
With these in hand (he thinks of them as mockups), he finds Fiverr, which is a marketplace of sorts for design (and other services).

He says:
I took these mockups and sent them to some Fiverr designers and basically said, "Make something like this but good; you know, like how a designer would do it".
The results?
That did not produce anything useable.
That's just one person's experience of course, but it seems to jive with what is often said about these types of sites. They turn design into a commodity. Nobody is getting incredible work, but incredible work isn't what the people who use this site want. They want affordable work. "Five dollar work," is the implication.
Unfortunately affordable, in this case, resulted in unusable.
Other Options
Upwork, Craigslist, word of mouth? I really have no idea how to hire somebody for a short term project.
I think Jeff was asking me, because I might have known some other resource for hiring designers that is like, "Oh, don't mess around with those other sites, here's the one you should be using that will be perfect for you."
I couldn't give him that because I just don't have enough experience in hiring designers at this scope to know.
I know there is a site called Thumbtack for hiring professionals. In a web search of mine, I was able to land there and poke my way through a "wizard" about what I wanted for a design.

This was specific to web design, not trade show banner design, but they likely have stuff for all kinds of design services.

I hired a chef one time on Thumbtack, and it worked out OK. The way it works is that people get in touch with you after you post what you're looking for, giving you an opportunity to vet them. Upwork looks pretty similar.
There is also 99designs, in which you select a package which apparently directly affects the quality of design you get back:

Something about getting 30-50 designs back feels awkward to me. That's a ton of people doing work for nothing (they know what they are getting into, but still.) And that's a lot of design for me to sift through when it's done.
I'd rather see three designs and go through a couple of rounds of feedback. Apparently, you can ask for revisions (while the "contest" is "open"), but that's all I know. I would think the designer is incentivized to do revisions because they would stand a higher chance of that design getting picked as the winner. Only the winning designer gets paid.
Seems like a slightly higher-brow Fiverr. The kind of site that designers turn up their noses to and write Medium articles about the death of design, but that also make a zillion dollars and have a bunch of satisfied customers.
My gut instinct is that Jeff would have had better luck slightly on 99designs that Fiverr, but that's only based on the look of the site and the pricing.
It kind of makes sense there are sites filling the pricing tiers in the market. Fiverr is apparently holding down the low end with $5 pricing. 99designs lists their Bronze package for "Poster" at $199. Then there are clearly more high end market places like Sortfolio (specifically for web design) who's lowest price tier is "$3,000 and under".

Word of Mouth
It sounds like the thing that worked was:
I ended up going to our printing company and being like "Y'all know any designers?"
Even Silicon Valley, with all those busy minds trying to solve problems for the common citizen and make the world a better place can't beat the ol' "just ask someone who probably knows".
Contrast This To Hiring An Electrician
The world has got hiring an electrician licked. Using the web, this is my go-to:

I know a lot of people have luck on Angie's List, including me:

They still make the Yellow Pages, at least where I live, so even that's a possibility. Hiring an electrician is downright easy.
My World
I struggled to find any answer at all for Jeff because my world is so weirdly different. I know a bunch of designers, so I can just reach out to them for either the work directly or referrals. I've hired designers by looking around Dribbble and reaching out to people who's work I like. I can ask around on Twitter and probably find someone. My mom sells printing for a living and knows a ton of local designers. I can reach out to people I've worked with or hired before.
Aside from Dribbble, not much of that is useful for Jeff. It's just my life and industry experience.
Non-Conclusion
It's no wonder companies are trying to commoditize design. They see opportunity in making it as easy to hire a designer as it is to hire an electrician. It's no wonder people use those companies; they look amazing compared to the spammy garbage it's so easy to find in web search results.
I bet there are a lot of people here reading this who are designs who want to be found. They don't want to be a part of a commodity site and don't think of their work as a commodity. Word of mouth works pretty well for them, but that feels like a risky foundation for business.
Jeff wants to find you, you want to be found, and I don't really know how to tell him where to find you.

How Do You Hire a Designer? is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks


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Basecamp 3 just got a whole lot… simpler

In the year since we launched Basecamp 3 for iOS we’ve shipped 16 releases full of features, improvements and fixes. After all that you might be surprised that the app has gotten simpler, not the other way around.The most recent release is the biggest yet but it doesn’t include a bunch of new features. Instead, it’s a huge step forward in clarity and simplicity. While it’s nearly a complete redesign, it wasn’t planned that way. We never decided to do a “Major Redesign”, we simply started with a hunch that Basecamp could be much simpler. And then we ended up somewhere great.Here’s how we set off with a hunch and arrived somewhere entirely unexpected.It’s full of buttonsThe old Home screen on Basecamp for iOS was the core of the app, the jumping-off point for everything in your projects. It had tabs for Basecamps, Campfires, Pings, and “Hey!”. But that’s not all. It had buttons for Activity, “Find…”, Reports, Me, and HQ. In fact there were 9 buttons in all and that’s if you don’t count the contents of each tab. Four of those buttons could be badged when something new arrived! All that UI chrome could overwhelm the contents of your account, especially if you only had one or two projects. We were especially concerned about this situation because that’s the experience for nearly everyone when they first start using Basecamp.There are 4 badges, 12 buttons, but only one project (left). The Campfires tab (right) lists all chats and calls out ones with new activity, too.We thought, “This screen is trying to do too much.” Nowhere was this more evident than on the Campfires tab which listed every chat on your Basecamp account and also called out the ones with new activity. Just this one part of the Home screen was trying to do the jobs of both a directory and an inbox. That was a big red flag.We also a more radical thought, “Does Basecamp need separate tabs for “Hey!”, Pings and Campfires? Early on we’d decided that having dedicated inboxes for each kind of notification was a helpful way to triage when you have a lot going on. For example, when you’ve got your head down managing a to-do list or writing a Text Doc what kind of notification just arrived matters. A Ping might require immediate attention, but a Check-in Answer could wait. Knowing what type could help you decide if you should break your focus and respond or keep working. The question was did this pattern fit on mobile?With these two thoughts in mind we set out to explore some new ideas. But first we need to address a bigger insight that would become a driving force throughout the process.The “us” and “them” problemBasecamp is the software we use to run our company and literally to build Basecamp, itself. It’s long been a core principle at the company that we’re building software for us and that remains true to this day. After all, we’ll never know our customers better than we know ourselves.This guiding philosophy serves us well but recently we’ve noticed that we don’t look as much like our customers as we used to. We still use Basecamp much like them but we use it a lot more than they do. Compared to our average customer we have more employees, more projects, and larger teams; we chat more, comment more and have longer to-do lists.We had a sense that Basecamp’s design overly favored our own usage levels. It elegantly handled dozens and dozens of projects, hundreds of lines of daily chat, constant activity and frequent notifications. But if your account wasn’t like ours, when you only had a couple of projects, or when you were just starting out, Basecamp could be confusing and feel empty.That our design was optimized for our own use levels was understandable but it made the experience worse for the majority of our customers who didn’t have the same problems we did and that felt awful. Throughout the project as we evaluated designs or responded to feedback from our internal testers we returned to this question, Is this an “us” problem? and that was key to unlocking this design.The Unified InboxNext, we set off to explore a design that we came to call the Unified Inbox. We reasoned that if you weren’t getting dozens of notifications at a time then separating them into different buckets wasn’t all that useful. You don’t need a file cabinet if you’ve only got 3 folders. And it didn’t seem like managing focus was as important on your phone as it is on your laptop.Having all these places to see what’s new for you seemed like overkill and it actually resulted in more work (jumping back-and-forth), more UI, and more cognitive load. Having all your notifications in one place just makes sense. It’s easier to pick-up when you’re new and easier to explain in a help document or customer support email.Various early mock-ups of the Unified InboxCombining these separate tabs into one screen called “Hey!” was a huge simplification but that was just the start.Getting around in BasecampThe old Basecamp Home screen was comprehensive but in providing a way to get to everything in Basecamp from one screen, it failed to help users understand what Basecamp was about and offered no hints about what matters most. This led to another radical idea, “What if there was no Home screen?” If your account wasn’t busy, starting each session on a screen that’s all about what’s new isn’t very useful. If Basecamp was all about your projects, why not have the project screen be the root of the app?We imagined you’d open Basecamp to the last project you visited, it might even be your only project—even better. You’d still need a place to read your notifications when they arrived so a badged inbox button in the Navigation Bar would slide the inbox screen in from the left. If you did have multiple projects another button on the right side would slide a project switcher in from the right. As a bonus these overlaid the screen you were on so you’d never lose your place.Early protoypes of the inbox and project switcher overlays (left) and a cards-based UI for switching between projectsWe jumped into Framer and started building prototypes to try out these ideas. Everything was feeling great and the project switcher was particularly promising. It wasn’t long, however, before we got stuck in the details. If we move x, how will people get to y? Doesn’t z require more taps than the old flow? Progress ground to a halt because a protoype isn’t real and it couldn’t answer certain questions. The way forward was to try our designs in the wild with real data.Getting RealWe’d been using the project switcher in our prototypes for weeks but it only took a few hours of real world use to see the problems.When you popped open the switcher you’d see a card for the project you were already viewing. Swiping right-to-left would reveal additional cards from off-screen, one for each of your most recently active projects. But you couldn’t see which card was next until you swiped which meant it was always a surprise which one you’d see. That was hardly intuitive. If the goal was to make it fast and easy to jump in and out of a few projects, this missed the mark. After a day or two we killed the idea completely.But all was not lost! In a separate build we were also making the Unified Inbox idea real.Writing real code is an expensive and time-consuming way to explore ideas that aren’t yet fully-formed. That’s the whole reason we started with prototypes in the first place! So we knew we needed to get real in order to move forward but we wanted to write as little code as possible. One way to do that was to plug the Unified Inbox into the existing Home screen. We didn’t need to figure out how to display it in an overlay in order to prove the concept.Basecamps (left) and Hey! were a great 1–2 punch. The new cards-based project list was a huge improvement for most users.We would never have tried this in a prototype but it worked great. Even better, one of our web product teams was working on a new design for the Projects (formerly Basecamps) screen that fit nicely. The one-two punch of Projects and Hey! was a great simplification. The constraints of writing real code took us down a path we didn’t expect and we never went back to the overlay design.Putting it all togetherWe knew we were getting close and that’s when an old idea resurfaced. Earlier, Zach Waugh and Dylan Ginsburg had each proposed we try a standard iOS Tab Bar. The reasoning was sound: it’s a stock UI component on iOS that’s very flexible, widely used, and well understood by users.I was concerned it would make Basecamp look generic and convinced it was a poor fit for Basecamp’s deep, hierarchical navigation which could leave users in a confusing state where multiple tabs were several screens away from the root view.Dylan persistently pushed an internal build to prove the point. He was right, it was great. Conceptually, Basecamp was now four memorable and understandable places: Home (your projects), Hey! (your notifications), Activity (what’s going on), and Find…(search for something).An early design for each tab. Note the odd order of the tabs. We’d reasoned that the most-used tabs should be close to the center which is easier to tap than the far left and far right of the Tab Bar.Finishing touchesWe pushed the new tabbed design out to our internal testers with great excitement. Feedback was very positive and everyone seemed to agree this was a big step forward but one issue kept coming up: the Unified Inbox could feel overwhelming at times. With a lot of notifications—all using the same template—it could be hard to pick out the important stuff. At first, my instinct was to pushback on this as an “us” problem but I began to see that in some ways it was a step back.Being able to visually spot a new Ping or @mention was important but we couldn’t agree that one type was more important than another in every situation or for every person. It was a highly personal thing. We considered grouping them by type, pushing kinds to the top of the list, even going back to separate tabs inside Hey!, but in the end all it took was a little graphic design to right the ship.Messages, @mentions, and reminders (left) share the same visual design while Pings and Campfires have a unique look that makes them easy to pick out of the crowd.No destination in sightBasecamp 3.3 is a nearly complete redesign of the app but we didn’t set out with that end in mind. We started with just a couple of observations and began exploring.We made thousands of decisions, reacting to and building on the iteration before, all based on using it as we worked. New ideas came from people across the company, not just designers. It was only through that process that the ideas developed, through building and using it day-to-day that they matured, and only then could we see how they converged into something completely new.We’re excited that Basecamp hasn’t just gotten better and more feature rich over the past year (it truly has) but I’m most proud that it also got simpler. We hope you agree and Basecamp is making you feel more in control of your company and your work.Basecamp 3 is available on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows — and anywhere you’ve got a web browser and an internet connection. Still haven’t tried Basecamp? Here’s what a 1,000 of our customers said when we asked, “What’s changed for the better since you started using Basecamp?”Basecamp 3 just got a whole lot… simpler was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Source: 37signals


Webmaster, Intranet Developer and Administrator - HexaCorp - Atlanta, GA

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Webmaster, Intranet Developer and Administrator - CODEFORCE 360 - Atlanta, GA

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Webmaster - Quantilus, Inc. - Atlanta, GA

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Webmaster - Professional Technology Integration, Inc. - Atlanta, GA

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Get Out the Vote, CSS Style!

The United States general election is tomorrow! New leaders — including a new president — will be elected to office on November 8 after citizens make their voices heard by casting votes for candidates.
Where does CSS-Tricks fit into the election? This is far from being a place to discuss politics, though we do admit to the occasional dive into office politics such as helping teams have productive discussions about code and how we define our roles in the workplace.

What we do care about when it comes to the election is that everyone who is eligible and registered to vote exercises that right. In fact, Chris summed it nicely in a single sentence over on the CodePen blog:
No matter who you vote for, make sure you vote.
Regardless of where you sit politically, we are all bound by our love for CSS. It's the reason we gather here on this site or wherever you subscribe to these posts.
We're making a call for everyone to proudly display their right to vote in this election. Those who have voted in past elections are aware that doing so earns you a sticker to wear in public that lets others know you cast a vote. I got mine the other day in my absentee ballot packet and decided to make a version of it in CSS:
See the Pen I Voted Sticker by Geoff Graham (@geoffgraham) on CodePen.
CodePen has been featuring Pens (Colleciton) that encourage folks to get out and vote. That was in preparation for this round up we planned to do here.
Let's do this!
Paul Sullivan made a Pen showing where the different presidential candidates land on the issues:
See the Pen Get out and vote - Nov. 8th by Paul Sullivan (@pwsm50) on CodePen.
The candidates with the biggest spotlights:
See the Pen Clinton & Trump - Graphic Design (Responsive) by Richik SC (@richiksc) on CodePen.
Chris with a simple message that we're trying to emphasize today:
See the Pen Voting is our Voice by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) on CodePen.
Click around Lewi Hussey's Pen to soak in the patriotism:
See the Pen 2016 ELECTION by Lewi Hussey (@Lewitje) on CodePen.
Need some icons?
See the Pen Vote! #Govicons by Mark Ostrander (@ostranme) on CodePen.
Or an incredibly America saturated web font?
See the Pen HWT American Chromatic by Tim Brown (@timbrown) on CodePen.
Many of us will be glued to our TV's on Tuesday night. Let's hope the picture doesn't start doing this on us:
See the Pen Glitching image - USA style by pimskie (@pimskie) on CodePen.
Let's do this!
See the Pen Get Out There And Vote by Ruslan Pivovarov (@mrspok407) on CodePen.
See the Pen #govote by Adam Kuhn (@cobra_winfrey) on CodePen.
We understand that not every person reading this blog lives in the United States or is able to vote for one reason or another and that's cool. If that's you and you're still game to join in the fun, that's awesome. If not, no worries at all and carry on with your good work.

Get Out the Vote, CSS Style! is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks


Designing for Big Business (How it’s Different)

Inspired Magazine Inspired Magazine - creativity & inspiration dailyThe majority of work for most design and integrationcompanies comes from small business clients, and while these may be our bread and butter assignments, there’s always going to be times when you’ll hunger for something more substantial.  If you’re lucky enough, big business will find you, and when it does, you need to be ready.To sum up the main difference between designing for small business and designing for big business in a single line, it would be that for big business you need to invest a lot more time into planning.  A small business site might take you anywhere from a day to a week to create, depending on the process you use, because these businesses generally just don’t have the budget to allow you to do more for them.  With a big business site, you would normally expect to spend at least three months on the planning stage alone, but of course than can vary considerably from one project to another.The essential truth is—and this is something you’ll probably need to stress to management on the client side, both to convince them that you’re a serious contender and also to ensure they don’t become prematurely impatient with you—corporate sites need to have a lot of time invested into planning and developing them, or disaster may often result.  If you have less than 5 to 10 people to work on the job, you’re probably batting out of your league, and it would be advisable to bow out gracefully rather then face an irate behemoth later on.Appropriate time frameFrom start to finish, a major corporate site will usually take between 3 and 6 months to finish, if you’re doing it properly.  If it’s implied at any time that your team should be able to complete the job in less time, you’ll need to educate the client.  This is vital, because for the well-being of their company, a job like this should never be rushed.You could create a smaller temporary site to cover immediate business needs, but the actual website that will represent the company on a permanent basis should be nothing less than a complete professional production with a budget to match.  The more time that is invested into planning, building, and testing the website, the better the results will usually be.  If the results don’t reflect the time that is invested into the project, it just means the integrationteam is lazy or that the client interfered too much and hindered the team’s progress.Appropriate budgetJobs like this require a substantial investment from the client.  Most major corporate sites will need to include extensive use of graphic design, CGI artistry, professional video production, and possibly even original music composition.  Fortunately most large corporations are much better at understanding the importance of a good website to the preservation and promotion of their brand image than small business owners tend to be, so they should come to the table prepared to make a serious investment.The requirements of each project will vary enormously.  It will help to divide the project into core and auxiliary components.  The core part of the project includes those things directly related to developing the website itself.  Auxiliary components are those things that the site is designed to carry: professionally produced video, professional photography, audio components, and so on.Small business sites normally split a lot of auxiliary components away from their core site and use third party services like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to host these things.  It’s fine for small business to do that, but looks unprofessional for a large corporation.  That doesn’t mean the large corporation can’t have a Facebook page, but it means those external assets need to be supplemental to whatever is included on the real website, not used as a shortcut to doing things the right way.  There are definite disadvantages to involving too many third parties in your hosting solution if you can afford to host everything yourself.So just to take the core component, if you have a typical small integrationteam dedicated to this one particular task (obviously if you’re running a larger agency, you could have several teams working on several projects and it’s possible to interchange them when necessary), you’d probably have at least:Project ManagerSite ArchitectUI Design / Graphic Design SpecialistFront End DeveloperBack End DeveloperDatabase SpecialistA more sophisticated setup would also involve:Market Research UnitTesting TeamUX Evaluation UnitUsability SpecialistLegal Team (sometimes provided by the client)In some cases you may have more than one person assigned to each role, or you may have some people filling multiple roles.  It depends on the size of the task and the size of the agency.  And remember, these roles are committed to just the core website development.  In the overall scheme, your PM and SA will also have to consult with those working on the auxiliary components such as video production, and in most cases your team will handle the billing for the entire project.To provide just the bare minimum of personnel and equipment, you’ll be looking at a budget of about $7,000 per week just to cover expenses, before you factor in any profits.  Maybe you pay your workers a bit less than they deserve, so you might be able to get that down to around $4,500 to $5,000.  So projecting that forward, for a project of around 3 months your client should expect to pay in the vicinity of $50,000 to $100,000  for a full-time dedicated project team of at least 6 people.What your client should expect to get for that:A major corporate website of about 50 to 150 indexed and structured pagesHigh quality copy writing for 50+ pagesProfessional, unique graphics, CGI, and/or photographsWorld-class enterprise level website designEnterprise level database architecture and implementationRobust CMS integration (not a simple WordPress site)On top of this, for high quality studio-produced video and audio, they should expect to pay at least $20,000 to $100,000 extra if the site requires these services.  So a ballpark budget for this kind of project would be somewhere between $50,000 and $250,000.  This is chump change for a company that spends $150,000 or more every year just for their server hardware.If you don’t plan to fail, never fail to planA good general always has a plan before committing any troops to action.  The prudent military commander:gathers intelligence informationscouts the territory to get the lay of the landdetermines the proper allocation of resourcesensures a secure route of supplydevelops a strategic plan for achieving the objectivescommits to action decisivelyAs commander-in-chief for your integrationteam, you’ll be following the exact same steps:client requirements + product research + audience research = intel gatheringresearch & determine best integrationtools and methods = scoutingteam selection = resource allocationnegotiation the contract & project budget = securing supplyplanning & managing integration= battle strategybuilding the website on time and within budget = victory Intelligence Phase 1: Develop an intimate understanding of your client’s businessTo develop any website well—even if it’s just for a very small business—you need to understand what your client does, how they do it, and who they do it for.  Without this information, you can’t possibly give the client the best possible result.  Request a tour of their business, talk to their employees about their jobs (without being annoying), and especially talk with the client’s PR and marketing people to get an idea of how the business is presenting its brand to the world.Intelligence Phase 2: Road test the client’s products or servicesYou can’t just rely on information provided to you by the company about how good their products and services are.  Third party reviews could be helpful if you’re low on time or squeezed for resources, but nothing beats first-hand product research.  You could conduct this test with or without the client’s knowledge, as sometimes you’ll get a more accurate picture if they don’t know what you’re up to, but on the other hand if you have their blessing, you probably won’t have to pay.Intelligence Phase 3: Determine the needs of the audienceThorough research of the market, with focus on whatever demographics are most likely to be drawn to the products and services provided by your client, is another essential component of the intelligence gathering process.  To present your client’s brand in the best way, you need to understand what motivates and pleases the audience that the site is being developed for.  Even before that, you need to get some kind of an idea of exactly who is likely to make up that audience in terms of demographics, and build the site accordingly.  And don’t forget, you’ll need to conduct this research for each country or region that your client’s business serves directly.Scouting Phase: Research the most appropriate ways to complete the taskOnce you’ve conducted the previous 3 phases, you’ll have an idea forming about what the final site structure is probably going to look like.  Now you need to figure out how to make that vision a reality in the most economic and expedient manner.Resource Allocation Phase: Selecting the teamThis may not necessarily be a factor if you’re a small agency with a fixed permanent team of workers assigned to specific roles, otherwise the information returned by all of the preceding phases will help you choose or recruit the team members who will be assigned to each role in the project.Securing Supply: Negotiate a good contract and priceYou need to make sure you have enough funds to cover your costs, plus provide a bit extra to help you through the possible dry spell that may hit when the project winds up.Strategy Development: Time to plan your actions and discuss them with the troopsNow you know what you need to create, how to create it, who will create each part, and how it’s all going to be paid for.  The next step is to lay out a clear road map for what objectives need to be completed and when.  At this point you are flow charting the site and there will be a strong understanding within the team of the shape and structure of the planned site.The March to Victory: Getting the job doneYou have the money taken care of, everyone knows what needs to be done, and there’s nothing holding you back from getting on with it.  Your job from here on is much simpler.  It’s a matter of making sure that everyone maintains their momentum and executes each required task expediently.  You’ll need to constantly review and monitor the progress of the development, as well as occasionally briefing the client with progress reports and previews, plus beta testing the site on selected potential audience members.The Spoils of War: Time to take your money and receive the accoladesMake the site perfect.  Don’t leave anything unfinished or lacking the necessary excellence to make this a site you’d be proud to show off as part of your portfolio.  More importantly, a happy client is potentially a repeat client, and they’ll be much less likely to stall on handing over that final payment.The best thing about developing big business sites is that it usually leads to more of the same work.  Most high end corporate clients appreciate the difficulty that goes into planning and creating an enterprise level website, and they’ll respect anyone who has already proved their mettle.Don’t under-estimate how much work is required in a project of this scope.  You’ll need to ensure a site that looks and functions beautifully.  You’ll need to provide flawless and robust security.  You’ll need to be certain that everything is in compliance with the highest standards and legal requirements.  If you can hit each of these criteria perfectly, you will have joined the elite ranks of developers who handle global contract clients.    This is a coveted status for a reason—there’s a finite number of major corporations, and an infinite number of site developers competing for their attention.  Your ability to get into that position is an achievement you definitely earned.header image courtesy of pixabayThis post Designing for Big Business (How it’s Different) was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.
Source: inspiredm.com