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Bedrock & Trellis WordPress Development

Trellis & Bedrock For Fast WordPress Development

I am continually trying to speedy up and improve my WordPress workflow process. Unlike a lot of JS framework communities, WordPress seems to be a little behind in creating a fast and efficient roll out process. The whole thing seems a little “work it out yourself”.

 

That being said, there are hundreds of tools littered around the interwebs once you start looking. I have been aware of Roots, and the resources they have created for a while, but never had the time to properly look into them. Today I decided to look into Trellis and Bedrock.

 

What the Hell is Trellis? Bedrock who?

 

Trellis is labelled as “WordPress development and production servers done right”. Basically a complete WordPress server on your local machine, with the ability to deploy and update with a single command. This also means that if someone else on your team needs to spin up the theme to take a look, it is as easy as a few commands. No more sending a zip file across email.

 

Bedrock is a WordPress boilerplate that completely overhauls the standard environment setup. It means that the project is organised, and just easier to work with.

 

I will only go as far as setting up a local development environment in this article. I will come back and write an article on remote servers once I have my head around the process.

 

Installing the Requirements

To begin with Trellis runs on Vagrant – a tool for building and distributing development environments. And Vagrant runs on VirtualBox. So before we can do anything, these two need to be installed.

 

Firstly, to install VirtualBox, go to https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads and find the package for your machine. As I am running Windows I have a feeling this process is going to be harder for me, than someone on Mac on Linux. We shall see…

 

Once VirtualBox is installed, go to https://www.vagrantup.com/downloads.html and download the package.

 

Vagrant takes care a dependency called Ansible for us. This is a automation system that handles application deployment and task execution. In essence removes the need to run repetitive tasks ourselves. Vagrant only installs Ansible within the project, so if you are going to consistently roll out new project, to save time it would be worth installing locally from https://github.com/ansible/ansible. This is not essential thought.

 

Create a Project

Now to get into the fun bit. Roots recommend a directory structure that is not the WordPress standard. This is handled by Bedrock, so no problems here.

It looks like this:

Bedrock directory structure for WordPress development

Firstly we need a project folder to put everything in.

 

mkdir example.com && cd example.com

 

Now we need to introduce Trellis.  

At this point you are working with GitHub and SSH. Make sure that you have a SSH key set up on your computer, and also on your GitHub account. If you have not, you will need to do this now.

 

git clone --depth=1 [email protected]:roots/trellis.git && rm -rf trellis/.git

 

And now Bedrock

 

git clone --depth=1 [email protected]:roots/bedrock.git site && rm -rf site/.git

 

So far so good!

 

Configure Your Site

Trellis is built around the concept of “sites”. Each Trellis managed server (local or remote) can support a single, or multiple WordPress sites. Trellis handles the configuration everything required to host a site. This includes the databases, folder directories and Nginx vhosts. This means that this process only needs to be carried out once. After this everything can be run from here.

 

Trellis uses YAML files for each environment. There are two files that you need to be aware of.

 

Normal settings file: group_vars/development/wordpress_sites.yml

Passwords and secrets: group_vars/development/vault.yml

 

Normal Settings

This file manages the top level settings that is used to define all your sites. This is the bare minimum example that is given in the Trellis documentation.

Trellis normal WordPress settings

Each site starts with the website name as the key. This is used by Trellis internally to name the site and as a default variable throughout the build. It is recommended that sites are named after the domain, so that it is easy to understand which is which.

 

To access the development site on your localhost, set the canonical link to the URL of your choice. Trellis will set your system to show your WordPress site when you visit this domain. In the example above, visiting www.example.test will take you to the site.

 

Under this site name are the settings for that particular site. There is no need to redefine these variables, but if you do, be aware you will also have to edit the corresponding entry in the Password file.

 

Passwords and Secrets

This file is used by Ansible. It is used as we do not want to include passwords in our Git repository. This is an example of the vault.yml file given in the documentation. As you can see the site names match in both files.

Trellis WordPress Password Settings

Spinning Up

To get the server up and running, three things need to happen. Firstly move into the Trellis folder, inside your project root. Secondly, run the following command:

 

Vagrant up

 

Vagrant will go away and get certain dependencies it needs to run. Once these are installed you will need to re-run the command.

 

At this point I found on my work machine Vagrant got an error when trying to download a build essential: build-essential_12.1ubuntu2_amd64.deb

 

The console returned the following error message:

 

The following SSH command responded with a non-zero exit status.
Vagrant assumes that this means the command failed!

apt-get install -y -qq build-essential curl git libssl-dev libffi-dev python-dev

Stdout from the command:

Stderr from the command:

E: Failed to fetch http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/b/build-essential/build-essential_12.1ubuntu2_amd64.deb 400 Bad Request [IP: 91.189.88.152 80]

E: Unable to fetch some archives, maybe run apt-get update or try with --fix-missing?

 

I found by logging into the Vagrant machine:

 

vagrant ssh

 

and following the command given in the console

 

apt-get install -y -qq build-essential curl git libssl-dev libffi-dev python-dev

 

I was able to fix the issue. Once these packages had properly installed, I ran

 

vagrant reload --provision

 

To kick off the machine again.

 

Once running, this will take around 5 – 10 minutes to complete. As soon as this is finished, your WordPress site is accessible. In your browser following the canonical URL set in settings earlier to see the site.

When you need to shut down the machine, you can roll it down without deleting the whole machine by running:

 

Vagrant halt

 

This is essentially shutting the computer down. To start it back up just run:

 

Vagrant up

 

Once this has been run once and you have the hang of it, your workflow speed is dramatically increased. By including Gulp into your theme development will turn the whole process of developing WordPress themes so much more enjoyable. Rather than messing about with the setting up of environments you can just be creative!

Coloors - Colour Scheme Generator

Creative / Development Inspiration 51

This week was a hard week to work out what not to put in this design development rundown. There were so many great choices. A brilliant website inspiration, some great design based tools, and all the articles. Enjoy!

 

Website Inspiration

St. Phillips Homes

A development company, specialising in building homes in desirable locations. The site is fast to load, and has a sleek look and feel. A nice change from tech sites.

https://stphilipshomes.co.uk/

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

Coolours

The super fast colour scheme generator that looks pretty!

https://coolors.co/

 

Dribbles 404 Page

Sometimes users do get lost. Dribble has created an interactive 404 page to get them back on track!

https://dribbble.com/404errorpage

 

Confessions of a Flawed Designer

A comic on some bad habits this designer is trying to fix.

https://thedesignteam.io/confessions-of-a-flawed-designer-11746ff42675

 

Refill me

A brilliant real world example of UX. Each table has a small painted area where you put your glasses if you want a refill.

https://www.waveguide.io/patterns/else/entry/refill-me

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

30 Seconds of CSS

A curated collection of useful (and not useful) CSS snippets that you can understand in 30 seconds or less. Some really helpful ones, like a load bouncer or how to make a Circle.

https://30-seconds.github.io/30-seconds-of-css/

 

Easier Scrollytelling with Position Sticky

Use minimal CSS to produce an engaging story telling process, without the weight of JavaScript

https://pudding.cool/process/scrollytelling-sticky/

 

The Architecture No One Needs

Why don’t you use React?! Make it a SPA! Hold up, maybe a single page app isn’t the right call for this project…

https://www.gregnavis.com/articles/the-architecture-no-one-needs.html

 

Turbolinks

Originally built for Ruby on Rails apps (look at the BaseCamp example) this JS script makes navigating a site super speed fast. All by not reloading the page. Simples.

https://github.com/turbolinks/turbolinks

 

Lozad.js

On the same vein of speedy loading. Here is a 0.9kb lazy loader for images and iframes. No dependencies. One of the better packages I have seen.

https://github.com/ApoorvSaxena/lozad.js

 

A bit of everything

Only One Deliverable Matters

So much varied work goes into producing a digital product. Mock ups, sketches, user flows. This is all incredibly important. The documents that it generates are not. Remember what you are creating.

https://bigmedium.com/ideas/only-one-deliverable-matters.html

 

The Web Accessibility Introduction I Wish I Had

Hello past self. Here is why web accessibility matters to your job. Turns out web accessibility affects all users, not just thought with disabilities. Sort it out.

https://dev.to/maxwell_dev/the-web-accessibility-introduction-i-wish-i-had-4ope

 

How (properly) Wasting Time at Work Increases Productivity

Our workaholic culture and the business epidemic tend to villainize time-wasting behaviours during work — like leisurely lunches and web browsing — but research proves that breaks can enhance your performance, on many levels.

https://medium.com/swlh/how-wasting-time-at-work-properly-increases-productivity-76272d651ef0

 

Pitfalls of Running A/B Tests

This is something close to my heart. I am a bit advocate of testing all data you can lay your hands on. However, remember to consider all the results…

https://medium.com/joytunes/the-pitfalls-of-running-a-b-tests-4da7141960d7

 

My First Taste of Grav

I have been looking for alternatives for small site development systems for a while now. I came across Grav. These are my first thoughts.

https://thoughtsandstuff.com/first-taste-of-grav/

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/

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

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/

Design audit banner

Creative / Development Inspiration 44

More thought pieces than inspiration, which is sometimes needed in this industry. Take a moment to sit back, read a few and consider the direction you want to take the web. This weeks design and development inspiration I listed an article on designing for accessibility, how AMP can go to hell (it really can), how to run a design audit, and how to stay scrappy.

 

Website Inspiration

Fleur Moreau – Design Portfolio

Not my usual type of website, but I really enjoyed this. Subtle transitions and a great display of content and image.

http://fleurmoreau.fr/

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

Fake Clients

Practice logo design using randomly generated client briefs!

https://fakeclients.com/

 

Designing UI with Color Blind Users in Mind

Colour plays an integral role in UI design. When done right, it improves user experience, influences purchasing decisions, and reflects the brands voice. So, how do you design effective, accessible, and aesthetically pleasing interfaces for coluor blind users?

https://www.secretstache.com/blog/designing-for-color-blind-users/

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Progressive Tooling

A list of community-built, third-party tools that can be used to improve page performance. Well worth a bookmark!

https://progressivetooling.com/

 

How to Use GIT Efficiently

Apart from knowing git add, git commit , and git push , there are a bunch of other important techniques in Git. Knowing these will help a lot in the long run.

https://medium.freecodecamp.org/how-to-use-git-efficiently-54320a236369

 

AMP Can Go To Hell

An article after a piece of my heart. Google are trying to monopolise the “World Wide Web”. Can we please stop them?

https://www.polemicdigital.com/google-amp-go-to-hell/

 

A bit of everything

What is a Design Audit and Why You Should Conduct One?

Inconsistencies won’t make anyone trust you or like you. A design audit is essentially a brand checkup. They help ensure everything is consistent and on point. This article discusses what exactly they are, how to conduct them and what results to expect from them.

https://designmodo.com/design-audit

 

How to Stay Scrappy

How to keep your team “scrappy”. How to keep motivated, and fighting for the win. Well worth the read to see how Paper pushes their company forwards.

https://medium.com/dropbox-design/how-to-stay-scrappy-9c42af21c996