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First Taste of Grav

Up until recently I have been predominantly a WordPress based developer. I have dabbled in other things, a little bit of React here and there but nothing crazy. Recently however, I have felt a bit nonplussed with it all. Everything seems to take a little bit too long to spin up, and although I have built Gulp scripts to help speed me along, they hasn’t help as much as I would like them to. Then Gutenberg became a thing. Not that I don’t think WordPress needs to stay with the times, I just don’t think it will make my life any easier.

 

Enter Grav. I was looking for a simple, easy to spin up static site generator that has a backend simple enough for idiots clients. It is PHP based (so I can put it on a clients hosting without having to explain Node), and speedy as anything. It seems to cover all those bases.

 

Installation

 

This was a dream. I already have WAMP and Composer installed on my machine so I had to run 3 commands to get Grav installed and ready to go.

git clone -b master https://github.com/getgrav/grav.git
composer install --no-dev -o
bin/grav install

 

This last one did give me a little bit of trouble. I got the error message:

‘bin’ is not recognised as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

 

Turns out this is due to the PHP directory not being found by Windows. To get past this all I needed to do was show my computer where PHP was located using this command:

 

C:\wamp\bin\php\php7.0.10\php bin/grav install

 

At this point everything went well. I already had Wamp switched on, so pointed my browser to that folder in my Localhost.

 

Grav Install Confirmation

 

 

Woop!

 

Installing Admin Panel

 

The Grav “Learn” section has a really good rundown of all the configuring and option settings that can be set. It walks through the folder structure, what is used for what, and the general layout.

 

At this point I was not bothered about this. I just want to install an admin panel and smash out a theme (if you are bothered, here is the link: https://learn.getgrav.org/).

 

It turns out installing the admin plugin is just as easy as installing Grav itself. Firstly you have to make sure that your version of Grav is the latest version.

 

 

bin/gpm selfupgrade

 

 

Then, once you are sure you are on the latest version, add that plugin

 

 

bin/gpm install admin

 

 

For the two above command, remember that is you had an issue with PHP when installing Grav, you will do again. So reference PHP directly.

 

I found that my console sat thinking for a while, before anything happened. But something did happen, so sit tight. The admin plugin also requires three other plugins. Login, Forms and Email. These set as though dependencies so will install them for you.

 

Once this has been completed, I found that when I pointed my browser back to the Grav folder on my Localhost the page had changed. Now there is a admin screen asking me to set up a user. Once this is done you are directed to the admin area.

 

Admin Panel

 

First thoughts: God damn I like this. It has very obviously been built with ease in mind.

 

All the options and settings that the “Learn” section went through are all included down the side of the admin section. This made me happy, as I want it as simple and as easy to explain to clients as possible. On a quick click through it seems much like any other CMS, but simplified. There is obvious room for adaption is a project requires it, but for a simple brochure site or blog this setup is perfect.

 

Grav admin panel

 

As Grav is saved down into static files, there is no need for a database. This means that the way the site is backed up, is by downloading the static files. This option is set front and center on the dashboard, alongside a simple user statistic chart.

 

I like to automate everything I possibly can, and the idea of manually downloading a site backup every week does not appeal to me. Turns out this is not a problem. The Grav CLI allows you to hook into the inner workings of the site, so a cron job could be set to do this for you. Happy days.

 

Markup Though?

 

The text editor works in the same way the pages do when editing manually. They use Markup. This is a barrier to entry for a lot of people who are not so technically minded. Turns out someone has already got a solution for this.

 

The TinyMCE Integration Plugin

https://github.com/newbthenewbd/grav-plugin-tinymce-editor

 

Once again, installation is a breeze (yes, I like Grav). There are two ways you can manage this.

  1. Log into your admin panel,navigate to plugins. Search the plugin. Click add.
  2. Or, if you are like me and want to run everything quickly when rolling out a new project. Run this command.

 

 

bin/gpm install tinymce-editor

 

 

Love. It.

 

I am going to spend a bit of time looking into developing a proper, fully fledged theme. But as a general overview to rolling out a site on a localhost, it is a definite winner! As there is no database it means the whole site can be dropped on a hosting service via FTP/SFTP and you are laughing.

 

Web Character from Pub and SVG

Creative / Development Inspiration 50

This is the 50th Creative and Development Inspiration rundown. That is almost a year of finding best practise articles, and not updating my site to have SSL (I only sorted it yesterday, what a ballache). In any case, this week has been a great one for web articles. From best UX practices, to setting website goals, to infinite scroll, and back to web accessibility. This weeks design development rundown is an eclectic mix.

 

Website Inspiration

Franco Manca

Kicking this week off with the website inspiration. A website for sourdough pizza. Simple, easy to understand, with subtle (and not so subtle CSS animations). Someones websites don’t need to be astounding to do a great job.

https://www.francomanca.co.uk/

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

UX Design Practices: How to Make Web Interface Scannable

Scannability is one of the most essential factors of website usability. We have so much content at our fingertips, more than as can consume. Due to this websites need to be designed in a way to get the information easily and quickly, so we can go back to Twitter.

https://uxplanet.org/ux-design-practices-how-to-make-web-interface-scannable-2010125c710e

 

7 Ways to Design For a Global Audience

How you design a website that doesn’t have a clearly defined target audience? Web Designer Depot walk through 7 different steps.

https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/10/7-ways-to-design-for-a-global-audience/

 

User Experience: How to Improve Your Website UX with Humor and Cuteness

Building a website is all about your users. You need to be aware of your audience and you build your brand identity around them. There are thousands of ways to approach and enhance your website user experience. One of the strategies we are often presented with is using humor and cuteness added to your website style.

https://icons8.com/articles/user-experience-improve-website-ux-humor-cuteness

 

What is a Design Sprint

Taken from Design Sprint: A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products. This article breaks down how to maximise the chance of making something people actually want.

https://www.freshtilledsoil.com/what-is-a-design-sprint

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Mouth Expressions with Pug, SVG ad GSAP

Bringing some character to Codepen, Alessandro Falchi as created this brilliant animation that jumps between moods.

https://codepen.io/afalchi82/pen/OBjKyZ

 

Is Gutenberg the End or a New Beginning for WordPress?

I would argue yes, maybe, depending on the user. Iain from Delicious Brains has a lot of say on the issue. Well worth the read if you are a user of WordPress

https://deliciousbrains.com/wordpress-gutenberg

 

Stop Building Websites With Infinite Scroll!

I’ll be honest. I was surprised when I saw this article, as I had no idea people still developed sites with infinite scroll. Turns out they do. Please, please stop.

https://logrocket.com/blog/infinite-scroll/

 

Percy.io

Sold as an all in one visual testing solution, Percy takes screenshots of your site when a new version rolls out. If there any any issues, Percy will tell you!

https://percy.io/

 

Web Accessibility for 2019

Today’s content can consist of VR, animation, data visualisations, and video games. As well as the more standard HTML tags. This means a broken experience for those who rely on assertive technologies. How can this be changed moving into 2019?

https://blog.sourcerer.io/building-web-accessibility-in-2019-b4bf16ef5754

 

A bit of everything

 

Making Your Design Systems Dynamic

Components are not static. They resize and move with the page. So why are designers designing them as such? Is it due to the tools evolving from a print background?

https://uxdesign.cc/making-your-design-systems-dynamic-644cf1c7d33f

 

Uber’s Undoing Part III: Redemption

In Design and Development Inspiration 58 I covered the 2 part of this article. Here is the third. A real look at why Uber should get gone (they don’t know what is going on it seems).

http://www.elischiff.com/blog/2018/10/24/ubers-undoing-part-iii-redemption

 

The Modern Web Design Process: Setting Goals

The first step to a successful website, is working out the point of the website. This seems like common sense, but apparently not.

https://webflow.com/blog/the-modern-web-design-process-setting-goals

 

User Research is a Team Sport

Big reveal research does not work. As in, one person going away and doing all the work, ending in a presentation does not allow the team to immerse in the user information. The team must be there from the start.

http://www.myddelton.co.uk/blog/user-research-is-a-team-sport

CSS Shape Radius Blog Banner

Creative / Development Inspiration 49

This week is more developer heavy, but with reason. There have been some brilliant tools and articles this week, and I really wanted to share them all! Enjoy this weeks design (little less) and development (little more) inspiration rundown.

 

Website Inspiration

ACLU — 50 State Blueprint

Not your typical website, but incredibly effective. ACLU have created this simple website showing each one of the 1,942,600 people in state prisons and jails in the US.

https://50stateblueprint.aclu.org/

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

Stop Solving Real Problems Once in a While

We sometimes take things too seriously and thus overrate people sharing their shiny design and code experiments with the world.

https://uxdesign.cc/stop-solving-real-problems-once-in-a-while-e7e1ecdaf9c1

 

Logo Lab

A tool to help you make your logo better. Checks balance, colour, accessibility, and more to ensure your brand is more able to catch that attention!

https://logolab.app/lab

 

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Introducing GitHub Actions

This makes me very excited. GitHub actions allows build and deploy (actually, any task you can think of) to be run when specific commit commands are made. Yes.

https://css-tricks.com/introducing-github-actions/

 

Experimental Gradient Editor

A great Codepen project by David A, showing colour gradient manipulation. Doesn’t really work on mobile, but looks great on desktop!

https://codepen.io/meodai/full/xyqoEO/

 

Rythm JS

Spelling issues aside. This JavaScript library is has an interesting take on using music on websites. Lets make your website dance.

https://okazari.github.io/Rythm.js/

 

Keys to Maintainable CSS: Order

Krisztian makes some great points on how CSS should be organised in a project. From ordering, layout, and simple spacing, this article helps developers write better, more readable CSS.

https://pyx.space/post/keys-to-maintainable-css-order

 

Relax – A Promise Based State Management Library

Think Redux, but smaller. Written from scratch, with no action types, switch statements or middle ware. It’s only 2.23kb gzipped!

https://github.com/relax-js/relax

 

CSS Border-Radius Can Do That?

When you use eight values specifying border-radius in CSS, you can create organic looking shapes. The article goes through how this is done, and also links out to a handy tool to help in shape creation.

https://medium.com/9elements/css-border-radius-can-do-that-d46df1d013ae

 

A bit of everything

How to Create a Design System

I am not going to give this up yet! I am big on this idea. This article covers the autonomy of a design system, and how you can build one.

https://medium.com/dev-channel/how-to-create-a-design-system-460b93a6565

 

The Inclusive Web – Why It Should Matter to Businesses

An article I wrote last week about how businesses seems to forget about accessibility. This makes no sense, as they seem to be missing a trick…

http://thoughtsandstuff.com/the-inclusive-web-why-it-should-matter-to-businesses/

 

Of Deadlines and Due Dates

This article stood out to be due to this one like – “Do not commit to a deadline you did not help set”. I think this sentiment is something that needs to be considered by a lot of people in this industry. Interesting read.

https://blog.calevans.com/2006/02/03/of-deadlines-and-due-dates/

 

So We Got Tracked Anyway

A brilliant article about how SSL means bugger all to the monopolies of the interwebs, and how Google and Facebook track you everywhere you go.

https://youbroketheinternet.org/trackedanyway

 

Realtime Board

I stumbled across this tool on Reddit. A real time, whiteboard like interface to keep everything in one place. A simple white boarding platform for cross-functional team collaboration

https://realtimeboard.com/

Inclusive Web Banner

The Inclusive Web – Why It Should Matter to Businesses

What is Web Accessibility?

Web Accessibility is about designing the web so that everyone can use it. The web is a resource that is used across all aspects of life. Education, employment, government, health care, the list goes on.

 

The United Nations Convention define the web as a basic human right, which is understandable. The right to work, the right to access to education, the right to participate in culture; all connected and obtainable through the web. An integral part of society and daily life. If a user is denied access to the web, surely their access is limited to the fore-mentioned.

 

However, in a broader perspective web accessibility benefits all users. For example, one of the key principles in accessibility is to meet certain users needs and situations. This could range from a physical or mental disability, to having a slow internet connection. Web Accessibility is about being fully inclusive of each and every user.

 

So why is the article called ‘The Inclusive Web’, not ‘The Accessible Web’? Because that’s exactly what it should be. Your site should not be designed, and then accessibility factored in afterwards – the whole approach should be a unified, considered, and inclusive of everyone.

 

Why Should Businesses Care About Web Accessibility?

It’s a fair question. At the end of the day businesses (at least most of them) are in it for the profit. If making their site accessible costs money, with no obvious return, surely it isn’t worth it?

 

People with disabilities are a large market segment

19% of adults working in the UK age are disabled. That is almost 1 out of 5 people that may be in a situation where they are unable to view, or navigate a website not built with accessibility in mind. If there is a perception that an organisation doesn’t support the disabled, the fallout can be disastrous. I never thought I would mention her in a blog post, but a perfect example is Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics website being sued for not being accessible – not a good look. Not only that, having a fully inclusive website open the doors to a much larger market. An almost 20% larger market.

 

Every business has customers with accessibility needs. The thought that a business doesn’t is categorically false. Unfortunately, there are no statistics to see which of user are disabled, so a business is unable to see how many of its customers are being turning away.

 

Search Engine Optimisation

It goes without saying, fully accessible websites have better search rankings.

When designed accessibly, the site is more user friendly for all users. The font is larger, which makes it easier to read. How many times have you been on a website with size 12 font, in a terrible type face. I tend to read half a sentence and leave. It is just too much work! Not only that but the messaging is simpler, once again, making the site easier to digest. Already the time spent on the page has increased and reduced the bounce rate.

 

Images have fully thought out alt tags, and all elements within the site are properly labelled. This means that suddenly Google (or whomever) has so much more content to get hold of and index.

 

Key word ranking (if done properly) increases. Why? Because 19% more people can use the site! This is a big thing!

 

On top of all of this remember, Google doesn’t have eyeballs! The easier a site is to screen read, the better the businesses SEO score will be.

 

Ahead of the Curve

Currently, less than 30% of the websites on the internet are Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. Now although not a UK act, the requirements exist. Users with accessibility needs use the internet in the UK. This lack of uptake means there is a high chance a business’s competitors are not inclusive. By ensuring their website is compliant, this provides a real opportunity to increase thei market share and have a better competitive edge!

 

Lawsuits

In America companies are facing an alarming number of lawsuits for websites and mobile applications that are not accessible. The belief is that the ADA should apply to website, and that they should be accessible across all devices. Currently these lawsuits are only happening in the States, but I can believe that this mindset will cross the pond.

 

So why is it that so many large businesses, both in B2B and B2C are not fully accessible?

This stems from a lack of understanding and availability of information on the subject. There are no statistics on what percentage of users visiting a business’s website are disabled, which may make it tough to justify the extra expenditure. It may also be that agencies that businesses use for web development are unaware of the benefit of an inclusive website, so do not provide it as a service.

 

However, the facts on SEO and related analytics are not so easy to ignore – if a business has an existing digital marketing strategy, accessibility should surely be integrated to achieve the best results.

Mawla Banner

Creative / Development Inspiration 48

A focus on design systems this week, with a brilliant piece on Ubers rebrand, website inspiration, and micro nudges. Plus a few more in this weeks design development inspiration rundown.

 

Website Inspiration

Mawla – Mobile & Web Development Studio

Firstly, I love these bobble shapes used across the Mawla site. That, combined with the pastel colours makes it friendly, and welcoming. Lots of white space between sections allows the user to fully digest each point. And it works well on mobile!

https://mawla.io/

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

Uber’s Undoing Part I: Whipping Boy

Uber has been through so many re-brands, they don’t seem to know who they are any more. Eli pulls apart the company, and looks at the way their re-brands have seemingly had no grounding.

http://www.elischiff.com/blog/2018/10/10/ubers-undoing-part-i-whipping-boy

 

A Guide to Colour Accessibility in Product Design

Accessibility is getting a lot of traction now, with more designers and developers trying to get the upper-hand. With that in mind, have you ever thought about colour accessibility?

https://medium.com/inside-design/a-guide-to-color-accessibility-in-product-design-516e734c160c

 

Micro nudge: a micro animation for behavioural change

A micro nudge is a well-timed small animation that prompts a user to complete a small task. This article includes examples from Instagram, and walks us through the process.

https://uxplanet.org/micro-nudge-a-micro-animation-for-behavioral-change-dd15ecd4fab3

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Building an Image Generator for the Number 1 Track on Spotify

DJ Snake, Cardi B, Selena Gomez, and Ozuna have released their new song, Taki Taki, into the world and it has quickly soared to #1 on Spotify’s Global Top 50. Lee Martin was asked to create a marketing concept. This is what he came up with.

https://medium.com/@leemartin/taki-taki-eb45d03a8fb1

 

Cross Browser Testing Cloud

LambaTest allows you to test your website or application across 2000+ browsers and operating systems.

https://www.lambdatest.com/home

 

A11Y Style Guide

This application is a living style guide or pattern library, generated from KSS documented styles…with an accessibility twist. A well build, well documented style library.

http://a11y-style-guide.com/style-guide/

 

 

A Collection of Design System Articles

I have recently become interested in design systems. The concept makes complete sense, allowing all stakeholders to understand the brand – as well as making future design much faster!

Designing Design Systems

Clearlefts Jerlyn walks through the process of designing a design system, and how they run workshops to encourage stack holders to work through pain points.

https://clearleft.com/posts/designing-design-systems

 

Design Systems and Agility

A piece extended from a talk at UX Australia on design systems and their importance. Who do they serve? What is the point?

https://medium.com/interactive-mind/design-systems-and-agility-part-1-of-2-b96c188acfca

 

Understanding Design Systems and Patterns

The concept of design systems is not new to creative industries, but it has only recently been picked up by the digital side.  This article breaks down what a design system is, and can be.

https://www.toptal.com/designers/ux/design-system

 

A bit of everything

You can’t do human-first design without looking after your humans.

Our industry has a poor reputation of burn-out, long hours and stress. How can you keep moral high in the office?

https://perspective.despark.com/you-cant-do-human-first-design-without-looking-after-your-humans-726a0074834f

Creative / Development Inspiration 47

12 articles to help inspire you from last week. This website design and development inspiration has some great pieces on UX, a few website examples, and some more code snippets.

 

Have you ever considered that web performance goes hand in hand with UX, or why you should definitely user test. Well I have some thought piece for you!

 

Website Inspiration

Torch App

A simple site that works well on desktop and mobile. An interesting product as well. Love a bit of AR.

https://www.torch.app/

 

Poor Millennials

An article by Huffington post that walks you through the issues millennials have, using modern website techniques. Good work. Interesting read.

https://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/poor-millennials/

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

The product design tool for the day after launch

Site has gone live, but you have seen tweaks are needed. No need to write each one down and send to the developer. With this extension you can make the changes in the console and send with comments. Cannot believe its taken this long!

https://mod-dot.com/teaser/

 

Microcopy Inspirations

All those pages (like 404) that you don’t know how to style, or what copy to use. Well here you are.

https://www.microcopyinspirations.com/

 

Icondrop

One place for all your icons – easily used, easily passed on to the next user.

http://icondrop.io/

 

Understanding Design Systems

While it may seem like a new way of approaching digital workflow, the concept of a design system is not “new” to creative industries. At the core of any design system is a language of design patterns that solve common problems a designer might face.

https://www.toptal.com/designers/ux/design-system

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

 When to use target_blank

Chris Coyier breaks down when you should, and shouldn’t use target_blank.

https://css-tricks.com/use-target_blank/

 

Random Colour Harmonies

Last week I showed you how Lyft had created a colour palette generator. Well here is another one!

https://codepen.io/meodai/full/RerqjG/

 

Google Maps stopped working? This could be why…

Google recently updated their billing model, and changed the way the APIs were set up. Here I outline how to sort that.

http://thoughtsandstuff.com/google-maps-not-working-with-api/

 

A bit of everything

Breaking the Deadlock Between User Experience and Developer Experience

We cannot talk about user experience, without also including performance. This article opens this issue up. Very interesting read.

https://alistapart.com/article/breaking-the-deadlock-between-user-experience-and-developer-experience

 

Getting to Yes — Convincing Stakeholders to Invest in User Testing

Those who understand the importance of UX know that design-centric companies have a higher ROI so including user testing in a design project comes as a no-brainer. On the contrary, unfamiliarity with its potential benefits means that many product owners don’t consider testing in the first place.

https://blog.maze.design/stakeholders-user-testing/

 

No Conversions? Here are 4 Reasons that Might Help

Getting users to convert can be a tricky one. This article highlights for places where your website might be falling down, and how to fix it.

https://www.cortes.design/post/some-traffic-but-no-conversions-here-are-4-reasons-your-page-is-not-converting-any-why

Google Maps Banner

Google Maps API Error: ApiNotActivatedMapError

I have worked on loads of projects using the Google Maps API. It used to be a simple case of enabling the the Maps JavaScript API and you were off. This is not the case any more.

 

After setting up a new project to get a location from a postcode the other day I came across the error “ApiNotActivatedMapError”. I checked and the Maps JavaScript API was enabled.

 

After a bit of digging, since 22nd June 2018 Google has updated their business model. Each API has its own separate billing, and for that reason each API must be enabled individually. To get Geocoding on Google Maps to work properly the following APIs need to be enabled.

  • Maps JavaScript API
  • Geocoding Service
  • Directions Service
  • Distance Matrix Service
  • Elevation Service
  • Places Library

 

Unfortunately the Google Console API Manager doesn’t seem to work properly. When you search for an API other than Maps JavaScript API they wont show up. To access them you must go back to the project dashboard, click “Go to APIS overview”, and then click “ENABLE APIS AND SERVICES” This is where you will be able to see the correct APIs.

 

Now your maps should work!

Proper UX Animation Banner

Creative / Development Inspiration 46

So much has happened this week in web! Here is a great overview on UX animation, Lyft has created a colour palette tool. A brilliant article on why select boxes might not be the best option for users, and what to do with user mistake? All this and more on this weeks website design rundown.

 

Website Inspiration

Tubik Studio

A digital design agency based in Ukraine, this website is so smooth. The animation of information entering the page, as well as the use of 3D animation on the home banner made me a massive fan. Easy to find information laid out effectively.

https://tubikstudio.com/

 

Stripe

This is a well known company, but god damn I love this website. Designed so that the user can get to where they need, as quickly as possible, and so pretty at the same time! Subtle animations across the website add that little bit extra.

https://stripe.com

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

The Ultimate Guide to Proper Use of Animation in UX

The main principles and rules for animation in UX, laid out in a single succinct article.

https://uxdesign.cc/the-ultimate-guide-to-proper-use-of-animation-in-ux-10bd98614fa9

 

Color Box

A tool designed by Lyft, to help select a colour range from two colours. Pick the way the colours are picked, and output the HEX codes.

https://www.colorbox.io/

 

User Experience: How to Design Onboarding for Your Mobile App

How to create an attractive, and effective onboarding process for your mobile app. It’s a pretty article as well!

https://icons8.com/articles/ux-design-onboarding-mobile-app/

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Yubaba – React Element to Element Animator

A easy to use React package to animate between elements.

https://github.com/madou/yubaba

 

Stop Using Select Menus for Known User Input

If a user knows what option they want from the select input, maybe you shouldn’t use a select input…

http://uxmovement.com/forms/stop-using-select-menus-for-known-user-input/

 

Vapid

Vapid is an intentionally simple content management system built on the idea that you can create a custom dashboard without ever leaving the HTML.

https://www.vapid.com/

 

A bit of everything

Using Lorem Ipsum? Don’t! Just do this instead

“Eating our own Dogfood” is now a commonplace phrase and philosophy for using the products you create so you can better experience those same products through the eyes of a real consumer. Stop using fake content, and your designs might just get better!

https://medium.com/the-set-list/lorem-ipsum-generator-skip-it-do-this-instead-944124e754dc

 

What is the Design Sprint?

There are many different methodologies that help designers be more productive and efficient. One of the most popular frameworks that’s heavily focused on teamwork and collaboration with the client is the Design Sprint.

https://phase.com/magazine/whats-the-design-sprint-2-0/

 

6 Ways to Speed up Slow Clients

Frustrated with your client? Beginning to wish you’d never taken this job on in the first place? Do you just need some feedback so that you can move forward?

https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/09/6-ways-to-speed-up-slow-clients/

 

What To Do With User Mistakes

How should you manage user mistakes? This article covers the common practices and points you in the right direction

https://uxdesign.cc/what-to-do-with-user-mistakes-305d084ae1f9

Fixed Menu Banner

To Sticky or Not to Sticky

Fixed headers are used across the web, with little to no thought to the user’s experience. I have just started working on a new project and am intrigued in how useful fixed headers actually are for the user. Do they help navigate the site faster or do they just get in the way?

 

Very simply, are fixed headers (think menu, logo, ect) good for user’s experience. Do they work?

 

Excited? I know right.

 

I came across a few articles that held both points of view. Here are the links, described, and I summarize the outcome at the end. If you can’t be bothered to read them all 😉

 

A sticky menu is quicker to navigate

https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2012/09/sticky-menus-are-quicker-to-navigate/

Pro

Navigation is the most critical part of a website. According to this study, stick menus are 22% quicker to navigate, and 100% of users preferred them. However, this study was only carried out on desktop.

Con

However sticky menus can be intrusive. The menu should be easily assessible but not compete for attention. There is also the issue of device support – does it work every time?

 

Top 5 Common UX Mistakes

https://www.toptal.com/designers/ux/top-5-common-ux-mistakes

Pros

There are benefits, but only when considered correctly.

Cons

If the menu is too big then the amount of content seen is reduced leaving users feeling claustrophobic. This also falls on mobile, especially on small 320px wide devices. When using a website on landscape, the sticky menu can take up a massive amount of screen space.

 

The Pros and Cos of Fixed Header Bars

http://creative.artisantalent.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-fixed-header-bars/

Pros

They prevent leaks. If a user is halfway down the page and cannot navigate they may use the back button – causing them to potentially leave the site.

Con

If buggy or jerky they put the user off. On top of this, when being used on a device with an on-screen keyboard, sometime the whole section of content is hidden.

 

Summary

Users seem to prefer fixed headers, but only if they are implemented correctly.

The header should be small large enough to use, but small enough to not take up too much space. The code used to keep them in place needs to be considered to stop it bugging out on all devices.

When being used on very small devices, headers need to be hidden to provide a larger content space.

The best outcome seems to be hiding the header when the user scrolls down the page and reveal it as soon as they begin to scroll up the page. Whilst they are not at the top of the page show a reduced sized menu (but still large enough to use the links), and only return it to the full height when they are at the very top of the page.

Card 2.0 Web Banner

Creative / Development Inspiration 45

Persuasive design, portfolio redesign, and how to run a dev sprint. This weeks design and development inspiration rundown has a great selection of articles and code snippets to keep you up to date with last weeks tech.

 

Website Inspiration

Resn

A global creative digital agency. Although hard to work out how to get their contact details, I love this site! Clever use of JS animation and video.

https://resn.co.nz/

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

How and why I redesign my portfolio every year

Lessons this designer learned after iterating their site design over 6 years.

https://uxdesign.cc/how-and-why-i-redesign-my-portfolio-every-year-bf3bba3833fc

 

Using persuasive design and triggers to increase conversions

Learn how to improve your conversion rate and increase sales by adding persuasive design elements and triggers to your eCommerce websites.

https://webflow.com/blog/using-persuasive-design-and-triggers-to-increase-conversions

 

Cards 2.0

100 symbols and elements ready for use in any UI. Really nicely designed, with a light modern look.

http://cards2.webflow.io/

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Prettier

An opinionated code formatter that makes your code prettier.

https://github.com/prettier/prettier

 

KY

Ky is a tiny and elegant HTTP client based on the browser Fetch API

https://github.com/sindresorhus/ky

 

Sal

A lightweight scroll libary. Just remember don’t overuse, as I explain in week 27.

https://mciastek.github.io/sal/

 

Brownian Gnats

A great JS animation (ish) example on random paths to create little animals. Although a very basic concept, you could built a lot on top of this.

https://codepen.io/DonKarlssonSan/pen/aJVxbO

 

18 Tips for Running a Successful Design Sprint

Development time is a precious resource. In order to be more efficient and responsive, product teams continuously try to use advanced techniques for product creation. One of the most popular frameworks that help the product team to achieve this goal is a design sprint.

https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/09/18-tips-for-running-a-successful-design-sprint/

 

A bit of everything

Real Work vs Imaginary Work

How do you catch more problems in the uphill phase before they catch you later on in the process? The problem with uphill work is it ‘imaginary’.

https://m.signalvnoise.com/real-work-vs-imaginary-work-8bdb84a7d1da

 

The Importance Of Manual Accessibility Testing

Automated accessibility tests are a great resource to have, but they can’t automatically make your site accessible. Use them as one step of a larger testing process.

https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/09/importance-manual-accessibility-testing/