Learning Framer By Creating A Mobile App Prototype

Original Source: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/02/introduction-to-framer/

The time of static user interfaces is long gone. Designing interactive prototypes is the best approach to expressing your ideas and explaining them to clients and stakeholders. Or, as Jerry Cao of UXPin puts it: “Nothing brings you closer to the functionality of the final product than prototyping. It is the prototype that brings to life the experience behind user experience.”
Prototyping is an important part of the modern UX design process.

Getting Traction for Your Newly Launched Website

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/1stwebdesigner/~3/eg7TNuh4Eac/

Website Launch Day. How it Goes, Every.. Single.. Time..

Day 1. Your site is now live. It is the best thing ever. Install Google Analytics. Remember to write a privacy page and disclaimer page about Analytics and cookies. Sit glued to your Analytics account for the rest of the day tweaking every aspect in the Analytics console. Oh yeah, while we’re at it, don’t forget to add the site to Google search console too. Great. Done. Sit back and relax. Have a beer. You have done well young Padawan.

Day 2. Enthusiastically dive into your Analytics account. “Hmm, not many views today. Ok I will give it some time.”

Day 3. Open Analytics. “Oh I have a couple of clicks. No, wait – those were me. Doh.” Hound a bit on social media about how great your site is… Check back on Analytics.



Day 5. Distress, sadness, and an overwhelming feeling of failure. “Maybe I’m not cut out for this web design lark?”


You are in this for the long haul and I am afraid to say there are no easy routes to success here. I am here to tell you it’s going to be tough. Perhaps tougher than you think. Have you got what it takes to succeed? Good! I admire your determination. Now, read on and find out about tried and tested ways to get traction for your website.

I hate to say this, but without visitors your website is dead

No matter how innovative the product or service is, or how asthetically pleasing the design, if people are not visiting your website the simple fact is – it is a dead website. The thing is though, you think your site is brilliant, and do you know what? It probably is! But who cares?! Who knows about it? Why should a perfect stranger be interested in it?

You could use social media or send out press releases, but with so many brands clamouring for attention, those messages can often have little effect.

Without Good Content Your Website is Dead

Again, it could be visually the best thing ever, but if there is no content, nothing of real substance, it is a dead website. Content is everything. Think carefully about headlines for page articles. Keyword research will help you a little here but use it as a guide only.

If your site is not primarily a blog, think about adding a blog section. It can be tough and hard work, but a blog is very important . Write at least 1 or 2 articles about your field every week. Let the world know you are an expert in your field. If you are not an expert, give them another reason to visit. Matthew Inman gets visitors by making people laugh. It might not work for everybody, but it sure worked for him. (5 million monthly views).

Give people what they want. Make your ‘about page’ about the visitor, not about you, i.e. written with them in mind. Enlist the help of a skilled copywriter if you feel out of your comfort zone. Most web designers probably are in this regard. They can make a site work well and look nice, analysing the code in depth. As for writing about themselves and their business in a compelling and engaging way, that’s another matter entirely.

First Things to do After Your Site is Launched

Get your site indexed. Submit your url to Google. You should also consider submitting it to Bing and Yahoo as well. You don’t necessarily have to do this as the search engines will pick up your website in time. However, this step will often speed up the process. (We give Google particular attention as they are the biggest player with over 70% of the world’s market share of search.)

Submit a sitemap in the Google search console and check that there are no issues with the site and that your site has a robots.txt file.

Keep calm. Frantically changing things around too soon won’t do you any favours in the search results, especially if it is a newly registered domain. Give it some time. Keep drip feeding new, quality articles periodically over the next couple of weeks.

Pitfalls to Avoid

1) Write for your users, not for robots. It’s ok to listen to SEO advice but if you are not careful your articles will lose their appeal and become spammy and your readers will not appreciate it. This has been said before, and many so called SEO experts that have fixated on certain things are having to constantly re-evaluate their approach.

If you want your site to do well in the long term, filling your page and site with spam is not going to work. Google is constantly looking at this. Do it right and you will be rewarded. Write content for your user first, and for search engines second.

2) Avoid any tool that says it is easy, quick, or cheap. Anyone making you promises in that regard will only do you harm in the long run.

Tried and Tested Tips that Work

Here are some top tips from people at the top of their game who have either tried this or witnessed first hand what happens when people do. These are not just my words, they are things that have been proven to work.

1) Invest in a short, aesthetically pleasing video.

“If there’s one thing every startup should invest in, it should be a short, aesthetically pleasing video that explains exactly how its product works. As a journalist covering startups, I guarantee no amount of selling a concept over the phone is as effective as a well-produced video that clearly communicates the benefit of the app or software. If there’s a good video, I almost always embed it in my article. Bonus points if it’s funny.” Omar Akhtar is the senior editor for The Hub, based in San Francisco

2) Write an article for a popular online resource in a similar field. Often you will get a credit and link to your website.

3) Offer something for FREE: Like an ebook, website template or plugin (maybe you have some code for a project that never saw the light of day) and then aggressively promote it. It will definitely attract a lot of new visitors. For web designers, try to get a free theme featured on WordPress.org and make sure to link to your website, or create a free theme in a niche that people are looking for and feature it prominently directly on your site. It will help immensely.

4) Submit your page to StumbleUpon. Be prepared to expect a high bounce rate, but it can create interest (sometimes a lot of interest at once). That said, it can be very hit and miss, so there are no guarantees here. People have also reported success with their paid results, but here we are particularly looking at organic methods.

Other Tips

Performance. Look at page speed (or site speed). Yes Google has made page speed part of its search algoritm, so it’s going to affect your search engine results (to what degree I am not sure, but it’s a fact). However, more importantly, people aren’t likely to stick around or come back for more if your page takes an eternity to load. This applies even more so to mobile. Start with your theme, keep it clean and functional. Don’t do with an image that could be done with css. Optimise images (especially for small screen widths). Look carefully at your typography and ensure it reads well on all devices.
HTTPS? Regarding search engine results, the jury is still out on this one for many people. Clearly if you are selling online or passing sensitive information an SSL is a must. Since you are just starting out you won’t have the worry of losing your position in Google so it’s probably a good idea to start with HTTPS from the off rather than have to switch down the line. The web is certainly moving that way, and it will show that you value your visitors security, which is always a good thing, and can go a long way to building trust.
Link building. Just to be clear here, we are talking about building meaningful relationships with other website owners and working to build a meaningful brand online. This takes time. We are not talking about artificial manipulation of the search engines with spammy link building campaigns.
Get social. Love it or loathe it, you cannot really afford to ignore social media. Promote your website on Twitter and Facebook. Whilst you may want to utilise some automated tools for sharing your articles (time is precious after all) remember to keep the human element, engaging with your followers whenever possible.
Learn from your mistakes. Of course, success comes from doing things “right”, but when you are just starting out you will likely make many mistakes. Don’t let fear of failure stop you. Successful people have often made a lot of mistakes, but the key thing is that they don’t quit. They keep moving until they arrive at their goal.
Above all else – Be patient, be persistent and keep positive.

Let’s face it, there are not many overnight sensations when it comes to a website. There may be the odd exception of course, but if you are like the vast majority of us, it is going to take time. Try to avoid the temptation to take shortcuts – to the dark side you will stray!

Ok, there is nothing new here. It has all been said before many times, but it is worth repeating. Be determined, and your hard work will pay off. 3-6 months of following the above advice and your site is bound to be getting relevant traffic and traction.

Collective #390

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/tympanus/~3/CW8V7BsE4cQ/


Cheapass Parallax

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Collective #390 was written by Pedro Botelho and published on Codrops.

5 Benefits of Animating Your Website

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Designrfix/~3/7Bdd7A4EkXs/5-benefits-animating-website

The rise of the online video opened the doors to endless possibilities for non-static graphics in website design. One trend that has taken web design by storm is website animation. Animating certain elements of a website has the potential to grab user attention, increase engagement, seal more conversions, and increase sales. Explore all the exciting […]

The post 5 Benefits of Animating Your Website appeared first on designrfix.com.

Scrolling Letters Animation

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/tympanus/~3/zK3B99lm0vE/

Recently we’ve stumbled upon a really nice effect on Akademi’s website: the main title of the page moves along as one scrolls down and changes depending on the section that is currently in the viewport. We thought this would be an awesome effect to recreate and play with different animations for the text as it changes. For detecting when a certain section is entered, we use the Intersection Observer API. Note that the API is currently not supported in Safari.


The animations are powered by anime anime.js. We also use imagesLoaded for preloading the images and Charming.js for the handling the letter structure of the titles.

The demo is kindly sponsored by monday.com: The visual project management tool built for designers.
If you would like to sponsor one of our demos, find out more here.

Attention: Highly experimental demo with modern CSS properties in use. The Intersection Observer API is currently not supported in Safari.

For the demos, we’ve created a layout that starts with some intro text and another text element that will scroll along. Once that element reaches the next section, it will switch to a new title.

In the first demo shuffles the letters in a sequencial way and the second one shows some random characters.





We hope you enjoy the demos and find them inspirational.

References and Credits

Hand-drawn skull set by Freepik
Images made from the “Flight” Collection copyright by RuleByArt
Images by Unsplash.com
anime.js by Julian Garnier
imagesLoaded by Dave DeSandro
Charming.js by Yuan Qing

Scrolling Letters Animation was written by Mary Lou and published on Codrops.

Native And PWA: Choices, Not Challengers!

Original Source: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/02/native-and-pwa-choices-not-challengers/

It’s hard to tell exactly where the rift between “native” and “web” really started. I feel like it’s one of those things that had been churning just below the surface since the early days of Flash, only to erupt more recently with the rise of mobile platforms. Regardless, developers have squared off across this “great chasm,” lobbing insults at one another in an attempt to bolster their own side.

How to draw: the best drawing tutorials and tips

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CreativeBloq/~3/JBf2Wk8ZEN8/how-to-draw-animals-people-landscapes

Whether you want to learn how to draw animals, or you’re pondering how to draw people, faces, scenery, landscapes or more, we’ve got you covered with our ultimate collection of drawing tutorials. 

You’ll find pro techniques and tips on how to draw anything you can imagine in this article, so bookmark it and come back whenever you get stuck, or want to sharpen your drawing skills in another area.

Some of the drawing tutorials here use digital tools, while others focus on traditional methods – but there's plenty of core skills to learn from both. So no matter what you want to learn how to draw, you'll find something helpful here. 

On this page we focus on how to draw animals. If you’re looking for tips on how to draw something else, you can use the page drop-down or links below to navigate to any of the following sections: 

How to draw people How to draw faces How to draw landscapesHow to draw mythical creatures 

Read on for these insider tips on how to draw animals… 

01. How to draw dogs
02. How to draw cats
03. How to draw horses
04. How to draw birds
05. How to draw bears
06. How to draw feathers, fur and scales
PAGE 1 How to draw people
How to draw faces
How to draw people: Basic tutorials
How to draw people: Advanced tutorials
PAGE 4 How to draw mythical creatures

Using SSE Instead Of WebSockets For Unidirectional Data Flow Over HTTP/2

Original Source: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/02/sse-websockets-data-flow-http2/

When building a web application, one must consider what kind of delivery mechanism they are going to use. Let’s say we have a cross-platform application that works with real-time data; a stock market application providing ability to buy or sell stock in real time. This application is composed of widgets that bring different value to the different users.
When it comes to data delivery from the server to the client, we are limited to two general approaches: client pull or server push.

How to Take Your Idea from Concept to Creation with Moqups

Original Source: https://www.sitepoint.com/how-to-take-your-idea-from-concept-to-creation-with-moqups/

This article was created in partnership with Moqups. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.

So, you have a great idea.

You’ve already told your family, friends, and colleagues, and the feedback has been great. Everyone loves the concept, and can see its potential. They think you should just go for it!

But, you know it’s not quite that simple.

Before committing time and money – both yours and other people’s – you need to get real, and work out the details.

As you move your concept from ideation to realization, you’ll need to assemble your team and put together your financing. That means pitching to a wide range of industry professionals: product managers, developers, designers, business analysts, marketers, and investors.

To show them that your vision is both viable and executable, your pitch needs to be abstract enough to capture their imagination, but specific enough to be clear and credible.

You need to build out your concept, assess its technical complexity, and map out its full scale. In other words, you need to get real.

And that’s where Moqups can help.

We designed Moqups as an online, all-in-one creative platform, so that it could take you from your first brainstorming session – capturing and connecting ideas – all the way to fully-realized, interactive, hi-fi prototypes.

Our goal was to create the perfect “low effort – high impact” app.

We think Moqups’ real strength is that it’s UI is both intuitive and easy to master. So, without switching apps, you can produce a wide range of materials that outline the requirements of your project, including workflow diagrams, sitemaps, wireframes, mockups, and interactive prototypes.

Sure, there are a number of more complicated and detailed tools out there for each of these specific artifacts (i.e diagramming apps that just do diagrams, or apps that focus exclusively on wireframing or prototyping).

But when you’re frantically building out your concept, every hour spent struggling with a new and unfamiliar interface is an hour NOT spent on your own product’s future.

So, let’s take a look at three artifacts that you’ll probably want to have as part of your eventual pitch package:

Wireframes and prototypes
Flow diagrams

Begin Anywhere

During the incubation process, you may be the only one who can make sense of your vision. But even with all that information in your head – or maybe because of it – your ability to explain its intricacies may still be fuzzy, and chaotic.

The best thing you can do is give shape to those scattered ideas by getting them out of your brain and onto the page. That way, you can turn them into something tangible and organized.

But where to begin?

Bruce Mau, in his Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, has a great prompt:

Begin anywhere. John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.

So don’t worry about prescriptive methodology. Just rely on your intuition. No matter where you start, each artifact will inform the others – and develop in parallel – as your vision comes into focus and becomes more concrete.

A real advantage of an all-in-one tool like Moqups is that it frees you to jump back and forth seamlessly between assets as they develop.

So, let’s get going!

If you want to play along, just head to moqups.com and click on "Try it now for free".

Wireframes & Prototypes

Software helps users accomplish certain goals by leading them through a series of steps towards those objectives – and your concept is no different. Building a wireframe will help you empathize with your users by putting you in their shoes, and helping you visualize each step they take.

Creating a wireframe is also the most immediate way of getting your vision out of your head, and onto the page, because it lets you experiment with different options and layouts – without worrying about details like colours, fonts, logos, exact sizing, etc.

Chances are, you’ve probably already identified some primary use cases, and imagined the sequence of steps the users should follow. Wireframes give you the chance to figure out what essential elements are required by those screens – content, input fields, buttons, menus – and which ones you may have overlooked.

So, choose a single objective. In this case, I’ve chosen ‘Create an Account’ as my objective. I’ve decided to embed the sign-up fields directly into the home page – in the hope of capturing more leads.

Now, identify the steps required to achieve that goal:

Visit the landing page and enter personal credentials in the sign-up fields
Get confirmation

In this Moqups project, I want every objective – in this case, ‘Create an Account’ – to have its own page. Further, that page will contain a series of nested pages that detail the steps/screens required to achieve that objective.

In the Moqups app, your assets (stencils, pages, icons, images, etc.) are accessed from the left sidebar. Formatting and interactivity is controlled via the right sidebar.

From the left sidebar, click on the Pages tab. From the Pages panel you can create, name, and nest both folders and pages.

If you want to change your page dimensions to suit the device you’re designing for, the Workspace dropdown in the top toolbar (the little gear icon) will give you access to page settings, as well as snapping, guides and grids.

(Moqups UI is intuitive, so I won’t go into too much detail here… but if you need more granular instructions, just visit the Help Center which is pretty comprehensive and user-friendly.)

Now, it’s time to start mocking up your screens.

Click on the Stencil tab in the left sidebar. From the open panel, you can search for relevant stencils to add to your screen; for example, an account registration form is composed of text inputs, checkboxes, radios, and buttons.

Simply drag and drop these stencils onto the page. Then move them around, resize them, or style them by using the Format tab in the right sidebar.

Add as many details as you want, but don’t sweat them too much. At this point, aesthetics aren’t really important. You can always come back and polish your work. It’s more important that you discover whatever input is required from your users – and how the basic navigation will work for them.

Watching your amorphous vision take concrete shape can be wonderfully energizing… so you may want to add a bit of color and tweak the fonts, just to get your blood pumping, and to give you an inspiring sense of your future brand. The important thing is to keep moving, building, and making progress. You can always change, edit, and iterate later.

You may want to go even further, turning your wireframe into a preliminary prototype by adding interactivity. This can provide your stakeholders with a visceral sense of the user experience (UX) and navigation.

A well constructed wireframe/prototype not only helps you communicate your vision in a comprehensive and comprehensible way, but it’s also the kind of document that your designers and developers will need in order to get right down to work.

Flow Diagram

Now that you’ve used the wireframe/prototype to explore the user interface, and you’ve got a feeling for the navigation, it’s time to go explore the business aspects of your project by creating a flow diagram.

Continue reading %How to Take Your Idea from Concept to Creation with Moqups%

Collective #389

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/tympanus/~3/zuWVpCboK8U/


Inspirational Website of the Week: Okkapi

Engaging details and a beautiful layout combined with nice transitions made us pick Okkapi this week.

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Collective #389 was written by Pedro Botelho and published on Codrops.