40+ Excellent 3D Effects Photoshop Tutorials

Original Source: https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/40-excellent-3d-effects-photoshop-tutorials/

Comprehensive collection of high-quality 3D effects Photoshop tutorials.

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Differences between Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Designrfix/~3/947wk4xs5Zw/differences-between-adobe-photoshop-and-adobe-illustrator

Adobe Photoshop Adobe Photoshop is a graphics editor tool that enhances the work of graphic designers. This tool revolutionized the scenario of raster graphics and is considered as the benchmark of graphic editing. The very literal usage of the term “Photoshop,” as a verb denotes its global popularity and significance. Regular updates in the form […]

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Get Lifetime Subscription to Password Boss Premium for Only $19.99

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Designrfix/~3/VIuRB9SZ_QU/password-boss-premium

Passwords are required for almost everything we do online. They are the most common form of authentication. But hackers can get into your accounts for a number of ways. If a hacker is someone you know, the may try to guess your password in an attempt to break into your account. Hackers, on the other […]

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Attracting Users To Evaluate Your Product

Original Source: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/08/ux-lifecycle-attracting-user/

Attracting Users To Evaluate Your Product

Attracting Users To Evaluate Your Product

Joe Leech


(This is a sponsored article.) The entire ecosystem in which we are designing and researching the user experience is shifting and changing constantly. Traditional UX skills need to be expanded to meet the reality of the modern digital ecosystem. Understanding the user is essential to the job, but you also need to understand the wider user context. How do they discover they have a need? How do they find and evaluate a product to meet that need?

This three-part series outlines the three phases of the product life cycle, the future of UX, and the skills and approach you’ll need to design modern digital products.

Part 1: Attraction
Going out there to get users to evaluate your product.
Part 2: Activation
Signing up, onboarding users, asking for payment.
Part 3: Retention
Encouraging users to come back and keep using and paying for your product.

Due to their technical skills, creativity and deep understanding of user needs, UXers are in a perfect position to apply marketing, SEO and growth-hacking tools and processes to their work.

For focused UX efforts, it’s all about knowing user outcomes at each stage of their journey.

1. Attraction


Large preview

Getting Started

The days of changing the text on one button and having a dramatic effect on the user experience are behind us. Luckily, we have the processes and skills in our UX toolbox to meet this changing world.

More often than not, there are many small usability and experience issues throughout a user journey that cumulatively create a poor experience.

Mapping out the full user life cycle will help us discover and fix these problems. It’s often the case that a problem at the very beginning of the user journey only surfaces when a user drops out further along in the product life cycle.

We need data to help us understand how UX professional can improve performance. We’ll need user research data, business metrics, data to frame decisions made when improving UX, and metrics to help us understand the business values.

Marketing metrics tracked by team employing growth hacking.

Marketing metrics tracked by team employing growth hacking. (Source). (Large preview)

Plotting Out the Journey

When we talk about the attraction phase, we’re talking about users discovering they have a need, discovering our product and visiting our website to see if our product meets their needs.

Within the life cycle, we can split the larger three phases into smaller phases to help us plan our approach. In this case, we can use Philip Kotler’s model (expanded to six steps by Bryony Thomas):

Awareness: realizing they have a need;
Interest: looking for something to help with that need;
Evaluation: looking at products that help with their need;
Trial: trying the product to see if it meets their need;
Adoption: choosing a product and using it for a while;
Loyalty: deciding to continue using the product or switching to a different one.

We’re interested in the first three parts, which fall under the attraction phase.

the attraction phase

Large preview

We’ll look into trial, adoption and loyalty in future parts of this series.

We’ll use the customer life cycle to align user needs and expectations — what they want and when they need it — to business metrics. We’ll also look at a tool and UX process to use at each step on the journey.

As we move through the process we’ll use the example of a money management app that helps people understand what they are spending and save money.

1. Awareness: They Understand That They Have A Need

The first battle isn’t fought on the ground but in the mind of the customer.
It isn’t fought with your built out solution but instead with an offer.

— The Science of How Customers Buy Anything

This is most challenging phase because there is very little that is concrete in terms of user need.

Users can’t articulate what they want, but by looking at how they complete a task or the context of their life, we can identify the problems they face, how they address (or don’t!) the problems now, and potential product features to address the problems.

The goal here is to identify unmet, hidden user needs. This is something Amazon, for example, is very good at.

The secret to Amazon’s success? Be the first to uncover hidden needs.

The secret to Amazon’s success? Be the first to uncover hidden needs. Jeff Bezos, founder of amazon.com. (Large preview)

How To Identify A Need And A Solution Using Fro-Tos

A good technique to use here is to plot the current problem as articulated by the user and then the result of that problem being solved.

Al Ramadan, in his book Play Bigger, named this overarching science category design.

Category design takes people on a journey. We refer to it as creating a from/to. Actually, we use a shorthand term: frotos. Remember, a great new category is one that solves a problem people didn’t know they had, or solves an obvious problem no one thought could be solved.

You have to help them move from the way they used to think, to a new frame of reference. This is what it means to condition the market. You have to first define and market the problem — and only then can you help people understand that you can solve the problem better than anyone else.

The “from” is the problem the user is facing. The “to” is the solution your product offers. The solution described here are the words the user uses to solve the problem.

If we take the example of our money management tool, in user research, we would identify the from as:

I don’t have much money left at the end of the month. Why?

The user then identifies the to as:

I need to something to help me analyze what I spend.

Put the two together and you have frotos: a definition of the problem and an articulation of the solution.

There is a slidedeck that has a good overview of Play Bigger and its techniques.

Bonus: You can also use the jobs-to-be-done timeline as a great tool to map the intent phase.

User research helps us uncover the hidden needs and identify the frotos.

User Research To Uncover Frotos And Other Useful Details

Traditionally, user research has been focused on the experience of the product. We need to expand user research to include all parts of the user acquisition phase.

It’s not easy to research with users who aren’t yet interacting with you. We can turn to the same tools that we are using to raise awareness to also find users to research with.

Recruit and conduct research with users who might respond to your product’s messaging by using Facebook ads or Google demographic targeting. You can then use a tool like Ethn.io to ask them a few questions to aid with recruitment.

The value in researching users who are in the user acquisition phase is that they don’t bring any preconceptions of your product. In fact, when you are reaching out to users for them to give you feedback, don’t talk much about who you are researching for.

Ethnographic and contextual research is the most useful tool here. Going out and observing users in their homes and offices is a great technique. Watching a user go through a typical task will help you identify their needs. You can’t simply ask users what their unmet needs are because they won’t know. The only true way to get to unmet need is to observe behavior.

With our money management app, we might observe that some potential users under 30 years of age don’t have much money left at the end of the month to save or are curious about how much they spend on coffee.

The user research can also uncover any common identifiable traits (and patterns of behavior) that your users show, such as age-related (for example, they are under 30) or interests they share (love of coffee). We can use these traits to target them in our messaging.

The goal from the user research is to uncover unmet needs and identify the frotos: the from state and the to state.

An example of a froto might be:

I love coffee, but it can get expensive. I wonder how much I spend a month on coffee?

I need to know how much I spend on expensive luxuries like coffee, so that I can reduce my spend.

We can also use the jobs-to-be-done interview framework to help identify unmet needs.

Journey Maps To Understand The Details

Taking the frotos and other learnings, you can add more detail to the journey by mapping out the steps and behaviors at a granular level.

Niall O’Connor has a great overview of how to build a journey and experience map.

Below is a high-level journey map for our money management app, showing needs mapped against each phase of the life cycle.

Our money management app can help people understand their current spending.

In the awareness phase, we can see how the need is quite abstract, but we can clearly see a need for our product. Our money management app can help people understand their current spending. (Large preview)

Personas To Target

Personas are a divisive issue in the UX world. For the purpose of targeting users in the intent stage, we need to know demographic traits and interests.

We can then use tools such as Facebook ads to target the users who will respond to our frotos.

Facebook ad targeting

Facebook ad targeting: We can see how easy it is to find the users we are looking for based on their interests and age group. (Large preview)

In Facebook ads, we can target a specific age group who are coffee lovers. We can use this to target users who might be in the market for our product because they might spend a lot on coffee. Let’s roll up our sleeves and start designing the interactive elements to support this behavior.

Prototyping Attraction

Prototyping and wireframing have traditionally been limited to designing just the product. A modern UXer needs to take prototyping into the wider context and design interactions from the very beginning of the user journey. Rapid prototyping interactions at each step of the product life cycle to gather user feedback and validate ideas can save a lot of time, money and effort later.

For our money management app, we’ll design a Facebook ad to target potential users. We know what copy to include in the ad from our frotos.

An example showing how easy it is to create a Facebook ad prototype interaction.

An example showing how easy it is to create a Facebook ad prototype interaction. (Large preview)

When we get our target users and run user testing on the prototype, we’re testing the entire user experience — from awareness onwards — receiving high-quality UX insights from all parts of the user journey.

The attraction phase is really important for the user experience because it’s where expectations are set. As shown below, we need to use the tools and UX activities at our disposal to design the interactions with our user as we would design the interactions within the product.

An overview of tools and activities to use to improve the UX during the attraction phase.

An overview of tools and activities to use to improve the UX during the attraction phase. (Large preview)

2. Interest

The interest phase is characterized by the user looking for a product to help with the frotos we identified during the awareness phase.

Here, we’ll be working with our SEO colleagues, which means we UXers need to know the tools and processes that SEO practitioners use to help design the search and discovery journey.

Back To The Experience Map To Review The Interest Phase

We used user research to identify the frotos and the questions and information at each step of the journey.

We used user research to identify the frotos and the questions and information at each step of the journey.

Large preview

If we take the interest phase, we can see that the user has come to the conclusion they need something to:

Analyze what I spend, and
Manage my money.

We can take these interest statements and look to search and keyword-planning tools to refine the language used.

Using Google’s Keyword Planner:

Google’s Keyword Planner shows the suggested terms to target.

Google’s Keyword Planner shows the suggested terms to target. (Large preview)

We are offered the following:

After selecting a keyword, we are shown alternatives we might not have considered.

After selecting a keyword, we are shown alternatives we might not have considered. (Large preview)

Google’s documentation has some more useful help with the search terms report.

We can see from the related search terms what other words our target audience might type in when looking for our product. These words will help us design and improve the search user experience.

You can also use the free Google keyword research tool from SERPS.com to help define the terms used by your users to describe the problem. The higher the volume, the more likely a person is to search for that term.

A list of related search terms based on our initial query. Also shown is the relative popularity of each term.

A list of related search terms based on our initial query. Also shown is the relative popularity of each term. (Large preview)

We can use these search terms to refine the language we use when building the next part of our prototype.

Design The Ad In Your Prototype Tool

We can use Google’s Keyword Planner to design the interest phase of our prototype. You can update the text and the design will change in real time. This is the best approach because Google is constantly changing the format of paid and organic search listings, and any design templates will be quickly out of date.

Creating the ad in Google’s tool shows a live preview of how it will look.

Creating the ad in Google’s tool shows a live preview of how it will look. (Large preview)

You can also live prototype the ad in using Google’s tools on desktop and mobile.

You can preview the ad on desktop and mobile.

You can preview the ad on desktop and mobile. (Large preview)

Our prototype now contains details for the first two subphases of the attraction part of the user life cycle.

Now that we have generated interest in the product, we need to start looking at how our user will evaluate our product to see if it is something they would want to invest time in.

3. Evaluation

The evaluation phase is all about the first visit to our website and that all-important first impression.

We need to look at where users are landing from, be it Facebook ads, Google search results or indeed other routes to our product, such as YouTube, Instagram or Pinterest.

Google Analytics can tell us the most common landing pages and where people come from. A report named “Network Referrals” can help.

We can see here that Facebook is major source of inbound traffic.

We can see here that Facebook is major source of inbound traffic. (Large preview)

SiteTuners’ custom Google Analytics report identifies landing pages with a high bounce rate. We can interpret these as pages users are interested in, but users can’t find what they need or the messaging might not resonate with them. This report is fantastic for UXers to find pages that are causing problems and need to be improved.

Google Analytics shows pages with high-traffic and high-bounce rates

Google Analytics shows pages with high-traffic and high-bounce rates (i.e. problematic pages). (Large preview)

Quick Sprout’s tool is great for evaluating landing pages to give you some clues as to why the page we identified from the custom report is failing.

Prototype The Landing Page

User research has helped us define what our users need at each step, and we’ve mapped out those needs. If it’s an existing product, then we know which landing pages are causing us problems.

The journey map can help us determine the type of copy to include on the landing page — what the user is expecting to see, what questions they need answering and what concerns they may have.

The three parts of the attraction phase and user questions and information needs.

The three parts of the attraction phase and user questions and information needs. (Large preview)

We can then directly translate the user needs into the design for the landing page.

A quick mockup of the landing page meeting the user questions and information needs.

A quick mockup of the landing page meeting the user questions and information needs. (Large preview)

Understanding and mapping the problems users have, the solutions they need, as well as the questions they have when evaluating will make designing this page a straightforward task. If we have an existing but underperforming landing page, we’ll know what content the user is expecting and can evaluate and recommend what needs to change.

Previously, when prototyping we may have used lorem ipsum text. Now, we don’t need to because we have the copy we need. We can design the calls to action to reflect the problems our users are facing, increasing the likelihood of them using our product. No more need for lorem ipsum!

This landing page is just the start. In the next UX life cycle article, we’ll look at further enhancements.

Here’s more great guidance on How To Design An Effective Mobile Landing Page.

User Research The Journey, Including The Landing Page

We can now use the prototype to user test the whole attraction journey, from initial awareness to evaluation. Another Smashing Magazine article has some great suggestions to help with your user research.

Just Scratching The Surface

We’ve looked at how UXers can learn from other disciplines, such as marketing and SEO, to better understand, research, design and improve the attraction phase of the product life cycle.

If you’d like to learn more, I suggest these great books:

Watertight Marketing
Play Bigger (frotos!)
Researching UX: Analytics

In the next part of the series, we’ll look at the next phase, activation: helping users to sign up, onboard and pay for your product.

This article is part of the UX design series sponsored by Adobe. Adobe XD tool is made for a fast and fluid UX design process, as it lets you go from idea to prototype faster. Design, prototype and share — all in one app. You can check out more inspiring projects created with Adobe XD on Behance, and also sign up for the Adobe experience design newsletter to stay updated and informed on the latest trends and insights for UX/UI design.

Smashing Editorial
(ra, yk, il)

Exploring Hong Kong through Neon H-ART Series

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/abduzeedo/~3/-qPnAU-TPiM/exploring-hong-kong-through-neon-h-art-series

Exploring Hong Kong through Neon H-ART Series

Exploring Hong Kong through Neon H-ART Series

Aug 07, 2018

19 Tones is a visual artist, content creator and photographer based in Moscow, Russian Federation. He has created an incredible series entitled: H-ART series, what I love about it? Well even though it’s mentioning Neon, he is more focusing on the contrast instead of saturating the hues for a change (what we have been seeing a lot lately!). Well, it worked pretty well, I feel like it’s photography at its purest. Check it out!

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Exploring Hong Kong through Neon H-ART SeriesExploring Hong Kong through Neon H-ART SeriesExploring Hong Kong through Neon H-ART SeriesExploring Hong Kong through Neon H-ART SeriesExploring Hong Kong through Neon H-ART SeriesExploring Hong Kong through Neon H-ART SeriesExploring Hong Kong through Neon H-ART SeriesExploring Hong Kong through Neon H-ART SeriesExploring Hong Kong through Neon H-ART SeriesExploring Hong Kong through Neon H-ART SeriesExploring Hong Kong through Neon H-ART Series

hong kong

Digital display captures art like never before

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CreativeBloq/~3/pv_lcx7Djjs/digital-display-captures-art-like-never-before

For a lot of people, owning a piece of art is an ambition that's always going to be out of reach. Not only is a lot of original artwork itself beyond most people's budgets, but even the cost of sourcing and framing high-quality prints can be unfeasible. Factor in the possibility that lives and tastes change – rendering investing in expensive artwork or prints a risk not wholly unlike adorning your body in tattoo art – and it's clear to see there's a problem that needs solving.

Art techniques: top tutorials for painting and drawing

Enter Canvia, a recently launched Kickstarter project that aims to bring art to the masses. Canvia is a smart digital display that wants to make the process of choosing, displaying and enjoying art easier than before.

Canvia frame displaying a pastoral scene

Canvia makes it easier and more accessible to display art

Digital picture frames are nothing new, but often they aren't geared towards displaying the high level of detail that Canvia boasts. Thanks to cutting-edge hardware, proprietary image processing, and image-based sensors, Canvia presents and digital artwork as a high-quality painting or print.

This means that viewers will be able to see original artwork details such as colour, texture, contrast and even individual brushstrokes. And ambient light sensors, which adjust the colours depending on the image's surroundings, ensure the artwork looks as fresh and sharp as its creator intended.

Detail of a piece of artwork displayed on Canvia

Canvia captures the detail of individual brush strokes

Artwork for Canvia can be selected from a massive online library app, cutting out the hassle and expense of sourcing and displaying new pictures. And once you start using Canvia, you'll get recommendations of what to hang up next. Users can also take a photo and chuck it up on the screen.

Having worked closely with traditional artists, the team at Canvia understand how best to transfer painting from the canvas to the screen. The project has already smashed its goal on Kickstarter, with a week to go until its campaign ends. There's still time to donate though, so if you want to get in on the ground floor of this innovative device, be sure to head over to the Canvia Kickstarter page and make a pledge.

Related articles:

8 inspiring digital art portfolios and why they workHow to start your digital art journeyPainter 2018 blurs the line between traditional and digital art

How to Build Client Loyalty

Original Source: https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/08/how-to-build-client-loyalty/

Web designers are some of the hardest working people I know. Which is why I don’t envy them having to design websites and other content for clients while managing their freelance design business and continually being on the lookout for new clients.

Something I’m reminded of when I think about this, however, is the fact that it’s 25% more expensive to find new clients than retain the ones you already have. It makes sense when you think about how much time you put into scouring the web for clients, reaching out in the hopes of pitching your portfolio, and, possibly, onboarding them as a client.

it’s 25% more expensive to find new clients than retain the ones you already have

Retaining clients, on the other hand, just doesn’t require as much work. You’ve already laid the foundation and established a relationship with them. It’s simply a matter of doing things along the way that prove your continued value to their business while also occasionally surprising and delighting them. This is where loyalty comes into play.

Client loyalty is typically evidenced by one of three actions:

A client continues to purchase the same service or product from you.
A client is willing to be upsold or cross-sold on other services or products you offer.
A client regularly refers others to your business.

In so doing, the client has demonstrated that they prefer working with you over all others.

For web designers, client loyalty is huge. Think about how much easier it would be to run your business if you had a steady and predictable stream of revenue coming through. Not only that, consider the fact you’ll be able to work with the same clients (that you hopefully love as much as they love you) through the years. In exchange, your clients get a high-quality web design partner that helps their businesses grow.

7 Ways to Build Loyalty with Your Web Design Clients

In order to build loyalty with web design clients, you have to first figure out what they value most. This will differ from client to client, and industry to industry. However, these 7 ideas should get you thinking about how this could work for your business.

1. Handle the Initial Project Like a Pro

The work you do on a first-time project will lay the groundwork for any future relationship you have with the client, so make sure your process is refined and your service/solution is the best it’s ever going to be.

Take a look at Sonja Leix’s process for a good example of this.

Every base of the web design lifecycle is covered and well-explained.

For your own business, consider some of the following upgrades:

Create a client contract (if you don’t have one already) that covers every angle.
Conduct thorough research into a client’s background before meeting and, again, before commencing work.
Invest in a professional grade project management and collaboration platform.
Designs can go out of style fast, so always design with the future in mind.
Specialize. If you don’t have a design specialty or industry of focus, get one. It’ll make you a more effective designer if you’re awesome at one thing instead of being okay at a few.

2. Communicate Like a Partner

From the very first interaction you have with a prospect to the very last you have with a current one, be ready to leave a positive impression. While I realize that can get tricky—especially as you enter feedback stages—always remember that: 1) you are here to create something your clients will love, and 2) you are the professional designer that knows best.

If there happens to be a disconnect between what the client wants/loves and what you believe is the better course of action to take, the way you communicate may make all the difference in the world.

The 215 Guys are a fantastic example of this. If their website is this straightforward, relatable, and welcoming, think about how smooth their communications and relationships are when they actually work with a client.

3. Anticipate Their Needs

Web design agencies aren’t the only ones that can create tiered design packages for clients. Freelance designers could and should be doing this too. After all, your clients aren’t all going to be the same size or have the same needs as everyone else. Why not anticipate those needs to by developing packages that account for those varying needs?

Here’s an example from Tina Cook who is not only a web designer, but a marketer and coach as well.

As you can see, her packages are also a great way to up-sell clients and also get them thinking about what she can do for them in the future.

4. Offer Monthly Retainer Services

Even if clients didn’t think about what would happen after the completion of their project, you can bet they will quickly come to that realization once you’ve handed it off. Websites are a lot of work and not a lot of business owners, managers, or marketing executives have the time or know-how to maintain the design or create content; let alone do anything advanced like A/B testing.

So, have those monthly retainer service packages well-defined and ready to share with those clients when they inevitably call you a month or two later with the following: “Can you just make this small tweak?” “Can you help me publish my blogs?” “I feel like there’s more we should be doing, but I’m not sure what that is. Help!”

5. Offer Other Design Services

If you like the idea of having recurring monthly services to offer clients, but don’t want to do design tweaks and other support or testing-type services, think about using your design skills in other ways. For instance, you could design:

Blog visuals
eBooks or white papers
Email marketing templates
Social media skins
Branding elements
Website templates

Or you could branch out like Sumy Designs has done and offer writing, SEO, or development services.

6. Commemorate Special Days

From the very get-go, pay special attention to the shared moments that are important to you and the client. Like when you completed your first project together. Or celebrating the anniversary of your partnership. Send them a small gift for each special occasion or simply give them a discount on the next month’s services. Take this time to show them you value them as a client and partner.

7. Launch a Loyalty Program

Taking the last one a step further, think about launching a loyalty program. This means giving clients something extra—something that no one else has access to—in exchange for their continued loyalty. Some examples:

Lower pricing for signing long-term contracts.
Free month of service in exchange for referrals.
Discounted services when they try something new you’re about to launch.
Monthly rebate for paying each invoice by the 10th.
Free hour of support each month for filling out survey.

A loyalty program also gives you a chance to share high-quality blog and newsletter content with clients. Since they’re already primed to watch for offers and news from you, this is an audience that will be really receptive to this.

Focus on Loyalty

If you haven’t focused too much on generating longer-term relationships with clients by building loyalty, it’s not too late to start. Focus on creating opportunities in which you give them even more reason to trust you and to prefer your services above all others. If you can regularly give them something of value, you’ll find that they’re more willing to keep working with you or, at the very least, refer others to you.

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Collective #439

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/tympanus/~3/A7GvmHVh-eM/


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Collective #439 was written by Pedro Botelho and published on Codrops.

Understanding module.exports and exports in Node.js

Original Source: https://www.sitepoint.com/understanding-module-exports-exports-node-js/

As developers, we often face situations where we need to use unfamiliar code. A question will arise during these moments. How much time should I invest in understanding the code that I’m about to use? A typical answer is learn enough to start coding; then explore that topic further when time permits. Well, the time has come to gain a better understanding of module.exports and exports in Node.js. Here’s what I have learned.

Note: this post covers using modules in Node. If you want to learn how you can use modules inside of the browser, read: Understanding JavaScript Modules: Bundling & Transpiling.

For a high-quality, in-depth introduction to Node.js, you can’t go past Canadian full-stack developer Wes Bos. Try his course here, and use the code SITEPOINT to get 25% off and to help support SitePoint.

What is a Module

A module encapsulates related code into a single unit of code. When creating a module, this can be interpreted as moving all related functions into a file. Let’s illustrate this point with an example involving an application built with Node.js. Imagine that we created a file called greetings.js and it contains the following two functions:

// greetings.js
sayHelloInEnglish = function() {
return "Hello";

sayHelloInSpanish = function() {
return "Hola";

Exporting a Module

The utility of greetings.js increases when its encapsulated code can be utilized in other files. So let’s refactor greetings.js to achieve this goal. To comprehend what is actually happening, we can follow a three-step process:

1) Imagine that this line of code exists as the first line of code in greetings.js:

// greetings.js
var exports = module.exports = {};

2) Assign any expression in greetings.js that we want to become available in other files to the exports object:

// greetings.js
// var exports = module.exports = {};

exports.sayHelloInEnglish = function() {
return "HELLO";

exports.sayHelloInSpanish = function() {
return "Hola";

In the code above, we could have replaced exports with module.exports and achieved the same result. If this seems confusing, remember that exports and module.exports reference the same object.

3) This is the current value of module.exports:

module.exports = {
sayHelloInEnglish: function() {
return "HELLO";

sayHelloInSpanish: function() {
return "Hola";

The post Understanding module.exports and exports in Node.js appeared first on SitePoint.

Top tips for building a WordPress theme

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CreativeBloq/~3/SbhbDP7LFMA/top-tips-for-building-a-wordpress-theme

Creating your first theme is a big deal. You might know how to turn a functional site into a thing of beauty, but building a WordPress theme means acquiring a new set of skills to make it function the way you want it to. 

Here are some top tips for designers looking to build their first WordPress theme. You'll learn what makes a good theme, some of the tools you should be thinking about and what you need to know about coding. 

Not ready to build a WordPress theme yet, or looking for something different? Take a look at our roundup of great WordPress tutorials to pick up some more skills.

01. Explore existing themes first

Before you begin building your first WordPress theme, you need to have an idea of what works and what doesn’t. This is the inspiration stage. Now, that doesn't mean stealing other people’s work. 

What it means is researching into what different themes look like, how they function, and how they are put together, taking that idea, and turning it into something different. It’s all about the execution. Take a look at these WordPress portfolio themes for some inspiration.

02. Don't dilute the purpose

When it comes to building a WordPress theme, you should have the end goal in mind at all times. What do you want your site to do? Do you want to create a theme to sell products? Or maybe improve brand awareness? Or build a blogging platform? Or drive lead generation? Decide on the purpose of your theme, and keep it focused – don’t dilute things by choosing too many different aims.

03. Start with a template

You’ve got your goals in mind and the foundations for a strong theme are laid, so now you need to decide whether you are going to build your WordPress theme from scratch or customise an existing template. 

Starting with an existing template and adding your own customisation is an easy way to start. Take a look at our roundup of great free WordPress themes if you want to go down this route. Using an existing theme framework means you’ll get access to a lot of functionality and structure (which could be key if you don’t want to spend hours learning basic coding). However, you won’t have the same level of customisation you’d get if you were building a WordPress theme from scratch. 

04. … or code from scratch

To build from scratch, you need to be prepared to put in the time to learn code. If you do decide to go down this route, embrace Stack Overflow and the WordPress Codex to help you build and customise your theme. 

The WordPress Codex serves as an incredibly useful online manual from the developers of WordPress. It’s a huge resource bank of information on every template, function, plugin and feature you can think of, including tutorials on how to use and develop WordPress sites and themes. 

Stack Overflow, on the other hand, is an unofficial but trusted online community for developers to learn and share programming knowledge. Both are very useful. WordPress also has a helpful tutorial on how to develop a WordPress theme from scratch.

05. Hunt out some quality images

You want your website to look the best it can and perform to a high standard. This means you need images that will catch the eye. 

The good news is tools like Design Wizard are readily available and easy to use to help you create stunning images. Design Wizard actually has thousands of pre-made templates to suit every need. Other tools, such as Pikwizard, PixelDropr and IcoMoon allow you to gather free stock images, create buttons, icons and fonts. Check this out for more essential web design tools. 

06. Don't forget plugins

One of the best things about WordPress is the amount of tools – called plugins – that are readily available to add functionality to your site. WordPress plugins can easily be integrated with your theme to capture information, insert social posts, add Google Maps and so on. While building, you’ll need to ensure sure your theme is compatible with any major plugins you may want to include. Here are a selection of popular plugins to consider: 

Yoast SEO: An SEO plugin for improving website visibility and search rankingsContact Form 7: A customisable, flexible contact formAkismet: A spam-fighting plugin to protect against comment and contact form spamJetpack: An all-in-one plugin for analytics, design, marketing and securityWP Rocket: Rocket fuel caching for speeding up WordPress and improving web traffic
07. Don't mess with core code

Just keep in mind, everything you want to build should be done in the WordPress wp-content folder – you don’t want to be messing around with core code! There are lots of folders within WordPress, each of which are responsible for different functionalities. 

A word of caution before you make the decision to build from scratch or not – it’s fairly easy to end up building a theme that looks nice, but doesn’t work. So be careful to ensure you don’t end up with a theme that doesn’t actually function and requires hours of effort to improve the coding. 

Read more:

6 top tips for CRO success in WordPressHow to start a blog: 11 pro tipsThe 14 best iPad apps for designers