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20 Best New Websites, February 2021

Original Source: https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2021/02/20-best-new-websites-february-2021/

It’s February, and the spring sun is finally starting to peep through the winter clouds. While many of us are still largely restricted to our homes, the web has kept on growing.

We see a shift in attitude towards natural health, wellbeing, and sustainability, and these are now being branded less often as outliers and increasingly mainstream. We’re also seeing more and more color all the time, ranging from an emotional signifier in the background to being a functional element in its own right.

GOOD Meat

Gorgeous color in the background image and the scrolling narrative pull the user in on this site for lab ‘grown’ meat.

Hanwag 100 Years

This page celebrating 100 years of outdoor footwear company Hanweg uses a mix of illustrations and photographs to create a timeline marking the company’s highlights alongside what else was happening at the time. Any excuse to get Yoda in.

Gaffer

Gaffer describes itself as bridging the gap between football, music, fashion, and culture. The site has a glossy feel, with strong art direction and an easily navigable architecture.

Remember MLK

This rather beautifully made tribute to Martin Luther King uses some great typographic effects, and the variations, in contrast, create a layering of the different content elements.

Bonjour Agency

The home page for design agency Bonjour Paris uses sideways scrolling to give an overview of the whole site. There is a lot of content, but it doesn’t feel like waffle, and exploring the site is a pleasant experience in itself.

Wild Souls

Wild Souls is a Greek company that principally makes nut butters, tahini, and halva. The site is very colorful but warm, and the display type — Canela — has a slight softness to it that is appealing.

Nicolas Loureiro

This is a strong portfolio site for interactive and graphic designer Nicolas Loureiro. The work is front and center, and the navigation is pleasing.

Studio Nanna Lagerman

Studio Nanna Lagermann is a small interior design studio that works on private homes, public spaces, and set design. The site creates a feeling of space and calm. Colors are soft and neutral, and the type, although massive in places, is clean and sophisticated.

Aurelia Durand

Illustrator Aurelia Durand created her own typeface that she uses in her work, and it is used as the main display font here too. This site has a sense of joy about it that is hard to resist.

Archivio Mario Russo

This site documents the life and work of 20th-century Italian artist Mario Russo. The layout is thoughtful, and the text, while informative, doesn’t detract from the work being shown.

Gigantic Candy

Gigantic Candy makes vegan chocolate candy bars. The site is big, bold and lo-fi, and has a sense of fun to it.

dBodhi

dBodhi sells handcrafted furniture from Java, made from reclaimed teak and locally grown plant materials. The clean layout combined with a slight sepia tone on all the photography creates a feeling of quietness and nature.

Menu Durable

Menu Durable is a guide to creating healthier, sustainable food menus in Canadian healthcare facilities. There is a lot of information here, and it is well written and attractively presented with clear color coding.

Virgile Guinard

This is a lovely, simple portfolio site for photographer Virgile Guinard. By using blocks of color pulled from each photograph’s predominant color and only revealing each photograph on rollover, each image is allowed to stand out.

The Bold Type

This site for The Bold Type Hotel in Patra, Greece, is a boutique hotel website archetype, but it is done well. The pinky sand background color is a good choice, and the photographs are excellent.

NOR NORM

Nor Norm provide an office furniture subscription service. The site is clean with a feeling of light and space. There is a good balance between an overview of the process and details of the individual items available.

Ask Us For Ideas

At first glance, Ask Us For Ideas looks like a creative agency, but it is actually a creative broker, matching clients with agencies.

Prinoth Clean Motion

Prinoth has been making snow groomers since the 1960s, and this microsite is to mark the launch of their new hydrogen and electric versions. It is as slick and glossy as any luxury car website. And now I know what a snow groomer is.

Pschhh

Design agency Pschhh has embraced the use of circles, reflecting the sound of bubbles their name suggests.

CōLab

CōLab is a design and marketing firm. There is a great use of color and movement here, and you don’t really notice initially that there is no actual work on show.

Source

p img {display:inline-block; margin-right:10px;}
.alignleft {float:left;}
p.showcase {clear:both;}
body#browserfriendly p, body#podcast p, div#emailbody p{margin:0;}

The post 20 Best New Websites, February 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

Collective #649

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/tympanus/~3/H68nr62k0g4/

Inspirational Website of the Week: Wild Souls

A beautiful font pairing and saturated colors make this design really inviting. The result of a fantastic collaboration between Big Horror and No Matter.

Get inspired

Collective 643 item image

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Instant websites for your clients with Divi Layout Packs

With the Divi Layout Packs you’ll get world-class designs ready to be used for your client projects.

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Page Transitions: Creative Examples, Resources and some Tips

Dive into the world of transitions and get inspired by wonderful examples and creative ideas.

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Penpot

Penpot is the first Open Source design and prototyping platform meant for cross-domain teams.

Check it out

Managing focus in the shadow DOM

Nolan Lawson describes what JavaScript libraries for focus management would need to do to support shadow DOM.

Read it

SmolCSS

Minimal snippets for modern CSS layouts and components, created by Stephanie Eckles of ModernCSS.dev.

Check it out

Remotion

Create MP4 motion graphics in React. Leverage CSS, SVG, WebGL and more technologies to render videos programmatically with this tool.

Check it out

Understanding Z-Index in CSS

A visual guide on how z-index and stacking contexts work in CSS.

Read it

The CSS File Size and Count Report for Premier League sites

An interesting file size report of CSS used on Premier League sites. Silvestar Bistrovi?.

Check it out

github1s

One second to read GitHub code with VS Code. Just add 1s after github and press Enter in the browser address bar for any repository you want to read.

Check it out

Building a Tabs component

A foundational overview of how to build a tabs component similar to those found in iOS and Android apps.

Read it

Fitting Canvas Snow In a Tweet

Jon Kantner shows how to code up a really nice snow effect with minimal code.

Read it

Programmatically Generate Images with CSS Painting API

Viduni Wickramarachchi’s tutorial about the CSS Paining API and how to use it to generate a geometric image programmatically.

Read it

The web didn’t change; you did

A very interesting article by Remy Sharp where he explains why “the problem with developing front end projects isn’t that it’s harder or more complicated, it’s that you made it harder and more complicated”.

Read it

Only CSS: Placer Gold Rush

A beautiful CSS demo made by Yusuke Nakaya.

Check it out

Faster JavaScript calls

Victor Gomes explains how the simple idea helped improve performance of JavaScript calls.

Read it

CSS Border Font

A supercool CSS based font made by Davor Suljic using borders.

Check it out

Managing CSS Z-Index In Large Projects

Steven Frieson shares an easy-to-implement mini-framework based on existing conventions for better managing z-index in larger projects.

Read it

CSS Switch-Case Conditions

Yair Even Or explains how to emulate switch-case conditions in CSS.

Read it

How to Greatly Enhance fetch() with the Decorator Pattern

Dmitri Pavlutin writes about how to use the decorator pattern to enhance the possibilities and flexibly of the fetch() API.

Read it

Is CSS float deprecated?

Robin Rendle explains why we can pack away float and only use it for making text flow around images.

Read it

Dialy: Open source UI Kit for Figma

Dialy UI Kit is a free, open source User Interface Kit for Figma, designed and released by Aayush Gupta.

Check it out

Front-of-the-front-end and back-of-the-front-end web development

Brad Frost writes about the much-needed distinction between the types of web development that need to occur in order to build successful web things.

Read it

Accessing hardware devices on the web

François Beaufort explains how to pick the appropriate API to communicate with a hardware device of your choice.

Read it

From Our Blog
Ideas for CSS Button Hover Animations

Some inspiration for button hover animations using CSS only.

Check it out

The post Collective #649 appeared first on Codrops.

App Design Workout,Stay In

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/abduzeedo/~3/DQWlx802u78/app-design-workoutstay

App Design Workout,Stay In
App Design Workout,Stay In

abduzeedo02.22.21

Elvis Benício shared a visual proposal for a WFH (“workout” from home) fitness app that helps people to build healthy habits. Both visuals and typography were inspired by the concept of the body movement creating a narrative across branding and product. The result at once communicates, contains, and embodies the inclusion of fitness for everybody. The visuals are clean and the bold typography gives it the app design a nice editorial look.   

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Interaction Design for SYYNCC App, a Multicam editing tool

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/abduzeedo/~3/OpzVLnlY2JU/interaction-design-syyncc-app-multicam-editing-tool-0

Interaction Design for SYYNCC App, a Multicam editing tool
Interaction Design for SYYNCC App, a Multicam editing tool

AoiroStudio02.21.21

With the market we have today, it’s not every day you stumbled across an app that gives you that impression that is a cool idea. But after a few surf on the subject, it also deserves much more exposure. Well it’s the case with SYYNCC, a Multicam editing app designed by Alexander Plyuto. It’s basically an app that as I quote “main functionality is to intelligently adjust video of a single moment taken from different angles.” It would very interesting to give it a try, props on the work by Alexander and team.

plyuto.design
behance.net/plyuto
Check out the SYYNCC app

Image may contain: screenshotImage may contain: screenshot

Image may contain: screenshot

Image may contain: screenshot

Image may contain: screenshot, mobile phone and video game

Image may contain: screenshot, video game and computer

Image may contain: screenshot, black and computer

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How ImageEngine can Optimize Contentful CMS For Faster Web Performance

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

A headless CMS is a content management system with only a back-end configuration. The content repository is accessible through a RESTful API for display on any platform. The only focus is to create, manage and deliver structured content wherever it’s needed. Contentful is a headless content infrastructure, especially designed so that everyone without writing code can publish or update the content. It has a separate images API to handle images as it’s a powerful way to attract user’s attention and have the potential to create an impact. In this article, we will review how ImageEngine’s API can transform images better than the native API of Contentful. ImageEngine displays images the way users want and creates a faster website.

How Does Contentful API Manage Images?

Contentful image API refers to images as assets and allows manipulation and retrieval of image files. The asset URL is appended with a specified field to convert and manipulate the image file. An image of more than 20MB is treated as an asset and its size is reduced for uploading. The contentful API image processing includes:

1. Retrieval

The original image can be retrieved from that same asset’s URL.

2. The image can be converted to a different format

JPEGs: Image detail progressively improves until it’s downloaded fully and displays the image as quickly as possible.

PNGs: The PNG is an 8-bit image format, supports up to 256 colors, and is mostly used for simple icons or images.

WebP: This format compresses images on the web while providing a rich image of superior quality.

3. Resizing and cropping the image

Crop: The image can be resized to the required width and height. Images up to 4000 pixels can be uploaded.

Resizing: Resize images with specific dimensions through the padding, filling, scaling, dropping, or thumbnail.

Specify focus: The focus area can be selected for resizing. The values accepted are center, top, right, left, bottom, top_right, top_left, bottom_right, bottom_left, face, and faces. The circle radius in pixels is taken to crop the image for rounded corners.

4. Manipulate Image

The image quality can be altered and can be expressed in percentage. Set the RGB values for background color while setting the pad fit type and corner radius.

How Does ImageEngine Manage Images?

ImageEngine’s image management process adopts next-level optimization techniques to help websites achieve maximum performance. The developer might need to modify the HTML of the site to change the way images are displayed in native apps.

ImageEngine provides automatic image optimization based on client hints, WURFL device detection, and information such as resolution, optimal size, format, and compression. Its auto-mode supports diverse sizes, resolution, and much more which is compatible with desktop and mobile as well. It ensures that the user will get a quality image in the lowest possible size.

ImageEngine’s CDN receives an image request and then carefully searches for efficient edge servers. The servers detect the requesting browser and device to extract details such as:

Device screen sizeScreen resolutionDevice pixel ratioViewport sizeSupported image formats

So it generates different versions based on device size, capability, or compression rate. It embeds unique edge servers and its cache serves fast service even with several versions.

Format Conversion

After the device detection, the most suitable image format is automatically chosen. It’s performed through manual verification, WURFL device detection, and advanced systems. It confidently converts the image to a device supported format while reducing its size to improve the website experience.

Resizing

To provide a great user experience, the image is resized perfectly to fit in the viewport. With the help of client hints, it can handle Retina like high-resolution displays and would make sure to serve the appropriate image size according to the needed pixel size.

Metadata & Compression

The embedded metadata is removed for image optimization. Image compression is performed according to device screen size without compromising the image visual quality.

Client Hints

The Blink-based browsers support client hints, and it sends viewport details for generating perfectly optimized images. With this information, ImageEngine will automatically deliver the lowest possible file size with the best visual quality.

How to Integrate ImageEngine to Contentful?

It’s easy to integrate the ImageEngine image optimization API with Contentful to manipulate, convert, and transfer the image files for quick retrieval. To configure ImageEngine API with Contentful:

Step 1: Sign up for an ImageEngine Account to get started with optimizing images and obtaining a delivery address for faster web page loading.

Step 2: Next, define the origin of the images. Enter the URL of the Contentful-powered website, or simply enter the Contentful API base URL: images.ctfassets.net (read-only) as image origin location.

Step 3: An ImageEngine delivery address is generated. Copy this delivery address.

Step 4: Update the image tags to direct image requests to ImageEngine by replacing any occurrences of the default Contentful image API (images.ctfassets.net) with the new ImageEngine delivery address just provided.

For example, if the original image tag looked like this:

<img src=”https://images.ctfassets.net/yadj1kx9rmg0/wtrHxeu3zEoEce2MokCSi/cf6f68efdcf625fdc060607df0f3baef/quwowooybuqbl6ntboz3.jpg”/>

Then modify the image tag URL with the ImageEngine Delivery Address to look like this:

<img src=”https://<ImageEngine-Delivery-Address>/yadj1kx9rmg0/wtrHxeu3zEoEce2MokCSi/cf6f68efdcf625fdc060607df0f3baef/quwowooybuqbl6ntboz3.jpg”/>

Contentful Image API vs ImageEngine Image API

Contentful API Image

The Contentful optimized image has a content length of 46967 bytes in PNG format. As shown below.

ImageEngine Optimized Image

The ImageEngine optimized the same PNG image to WebP format and reduced content length to 7924 bytes. As shown below.

Therefore, ImageEngine compresses the image far better than the Contentful without compromising with the content quality.

Thus, by directing image requests to the ImageEngine Delivery Address, ImageEngine will automatically detect the device, optimize the image, and deliver via its global server network. This will greatly accelerate image loading time, decrease the physical distance between the user and content cached on the network, and maintain the image quality.

Step 5: Tune-up the account with the help of the ImageEngine control panel. The settings can be modified, set engine origins, and customize the delivery addresses.

Let’s compare ImageEngine’s image and Contentful published image.

Contentful
ImageEngine

JPG Format – 629 KB
JPG Format – 314 KB

PNG Format – 631 KB 
PNG Format – 387 KB

WebP Format – 329 KB
WebP Format – 297 KB

As you can see, the image size published by Contentful is significantly larger than ImageEngine’s optimized image, but there is negligible visual difference between the two. In addition to these formats, ImageEngine can also convert images to the new AVIF format which is not possible with Contentful API.

Conclusion

Organizations can integrate Contentful CMS with ImageEngine’s image optimization API and CDN to gain competitive advantages. One such advantage is climbing to the better spots on the search engine result pages. The faster speed has a direct connection with the improved user experience of the website and when the user experience improves, it improves the core web vitals that help in the achievement of goals related to the long-term presence on search engines.

The post How ImageEngine can Optimize Contentful CMS For Faster Web Performance appeared first on Codrops.

Plum – Branding and Visual Identity for Food Delivery

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/abduzeedo/~3/zLpYsTXrUgw/plum-branding-and-visual-identity-food-delivery

Plum – Branding and Visual Identity for Food Delivery
Plum - Branding and Visual Identity for Food Delivery

abduzeedo02.18.21

Judy Chen and Crystal Ho shared a branding and visual identity project for Plum, a lifestyle curator that shares their taste via their food delivery app. Like harvesting ripened and succulent fruit while filtering out the rest, the team thoughtfully selects products based on quality, affordability, and distinctiveness. The result is a refined collection of the best — tasted by experts, with insider prices, and customised to each individual’s preference. The identity is the expression of consumer decisions made easier.

Credits

Agency: A Work of Substance


Useful DevTools Tips And Shortcuts (Chrome, Firefox, Edge)

Original Source: https://smashingmagazine.com/2021/02/useful-chrome-firefox-devtools-tips-shortcuts/

Out of all the tools available at our fingertips these days, DevTools is probably one of the most advanced ones. Over the years, it has become a tool for debugging, profiling, auditing and even prototyping — all living within the same interface, and always just a keyboard shortcut away. Still, DevTools has plenty of obscure gems and undiscovered treasures, living on the remote fringes of hidden tabs and experimental settings. Let’s fix that.

In this article, let’s dive into some of the useful and obscure features in DevTools. We’ll look into all modern browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari) and look into the useful tools that they provide to us, web developers. We’ll focus on the ones that we use frequently on SmashingMag, and some of the little techniques and strategies that help us fix pesky bugs and write better code.

Creating Browser Profiles

When it comes to profiling a website for performance, or tracking a particular accessibility issue, we’ve been creating separate browser profiles for each task for a while now. We usually work with at least 5 user profiles, each with its own extensions, bookmarks, bookmarklets and features turned on or off. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Accessibility profile
A clean browser profile that includes various tools for checking accessibility, e.g. Accessibility Insights, aXe and a11y.css, along with a few other accessibility linters and color vision simulator.

Debugging profile
A profile with a few experimental settings for profiling turned on, as well as an option to automatically open DevTools for every new window, along with a custom diagnostics CSS for quick auditing and profiling.

Performance profile
A clean profile without extensions, with a few special bookmarks for auditing with Lighthouse, RequestMap, a performance diagnostics CSS and a few performance-related links to keep in mind (e.g. resource priority in loading). Always goes well with 4 × CPU throttling and Network throttling (Slow 3G).

Happy customer
Based on the data we have from our analytics, that’s a profile that is close enough to the one that many of our readers (wonderful people like you) will have. It will contain a few popular extensions, common web development extensions, ad-blockers, tab management, Google Docs offline, LastPass, VPN, Browserstack, Grammarly etc. No throttling in use.

Unhappy customer
A profile for a reader on a slow, throttled connection (slow 3G), low memory, poor CPU, with 10 most popular browser extensions on. We usually use this profile to test our heaviest pages to experience the worst possible customer experiences.

Depending on the task at hand, we can jump to one of the dedicated profiles. The actual convenience comes from the simple arrangement that each of the profiles has specific extensions, bookmarklets and browser settings all set and ready to go. So if needed, we can get right to performance debugging or accessibility auditing without any hassle for searching the right extensions.

It probably goes without saying that we do our best to keep each profile clean and uncluttered — that goes for browser extensions as well as browser bookmarks, cookies and cache.

Global Keyboard Shortcuts

Admittedly, with the sheer amount of features available in DevTools, it’s not very surprising that some of them are quite difficult to find between tabs, panels, gear icons and dots. However, there is no need to memorize the place where they are placed. Instead, it’s worth remembering just a couple of useful global keyboard shortcuts — they will help you jump to specific features faster.

Opening the Command Menu (Chrome, Edge)
Being probably one of the most well-known ones, this command actually has two features. Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + P opens a quick autocomplete search for panels, drawers and all the features within DevTools. Cmd/Ctrl + P opens a drawer with all available files used on the current page. If you need to quickly access any DevTools feature, the Command Menu is a quick way to get there — for general drawers, hidden menus or specific features.

Opening DevTools Settings (all modern browsers)
Usually there are plenty of obscure tools and features hidden in the “Settings” panel — from emulated devices to network throttling profiles and experiments. In Chrome, you can click on the gear icon in the right upper corner or use Shift + ?. In Firefox, you can jump to Settings with F1.

Toggle Inspect Element Mode (all modern browsers)
Instead of clicking on an Inspect icon and then focusing on the element you’d like to debug, you can toggle Inspect Element Mode with Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + C.

Toggle the HTML mode (all modern browsers)
While inspecting an element, you might want to change its attributes, e.g. classes or states. Instead of right-clicking on the element and adding values one-by-one, you can toggle the HTML mode on the currently selected element with Fn + F2 (or just F2 on Windows).

Toggle Device mode (all modern browsers)
To jump into the device toolbar mode, e.g. to preview how the mock-up looks like on narrow screens, or trigger a media query debugger, you can use Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + M in Chrome, and Cmd/Ctrl + Opt/Alt + M in Firefox.

There are also plenty of other useful keyboard shortcuts, e.g. for pausing and resuming script execution, and go to matching bracket (for lengthy media queries and JS functions) in the source editor.

You can find a full overview of all keyboard shortcuts on Chrome DevTools Keyboard Shortcuts and Firefox DevTools Keyboard Shortcuts — more often than not, they are quite consistent across modern browsers.

Turn On Experimental Settings

DevTools comes along with a set of experimental settings which aren’t quite recommended for a wide audience, but can indeed be very useful for debugging. A word of caution though: sometimes these settings might freeze Chrome or make it quite sluggish (which is why they are experimental in the first place).

However, with separate profiles in place, you could safely turn on some of these settings for each profile, and then turn them off if necessary. So while we use our regular profiles without experiments turned on for casual browsing, in debugging mode we always pick a dedicated profile first, to squish those bugs just a little bit faster.

With DevTools open in Chrome, jump to “Settings” (Shift + ? with DevTools open) and find “Experiments” in the sidebar. Obviously, there are plenty of experimental settings available in every DevTools, but the ones mentioned below are just the ones we find quite helpful at our work.

Across the featured listed there, it’s worth turning on “Automatically pretty print in the Source Panel”, which would prettify compressed styles and scripts by default when viewing source. You can also enable CSS Grid debugger and Flexbox debugging for dealing with layout issues. There is also a source diff and a source order viewer that can come in handy.

And for performance audits, you could mark “Timeline: event initiators” and “Timeline: invalidation tracking” that will show in the Performance panel, highlighting scripts that caused expensive operations such as Long Tasks and Style Recalculations. Additionally, in Edge, you can enable composited layers in 3D view.

For a given profile, you can access more hidden features by heading to chrome://flags/ in the browser profile of your choice. for example, that’s where you can turn on latest and experimental JavaScript features, experimental Web Platform features or enable resource loading hints to provide a preview over slow network connections.

In Firefox, jump to Settings with F1. At the bottom of the dock, you can prompt the browser to show browser styles, turn on/off autocomplete CSS, change editor preferences, toggle paint flashing, adjust screenshot behavior and enable source maps (not turned on by default). In Safari, you can find Experimental Settings under “Develop → Experimental Settings”.

Switching Between Dock States (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

Admittedly, the pane view in DevTools isn’t a particularly big revelation. In the “Styles” tab of the dock, styles appear from top to bottom, ordered by their CSS specificity. However, one little thing we’ve been overlooking a lot for years is a little toggle button :hov placed just above the styles.

It allows you to force an element state (:active, :focus, :focus-within, :hover, :visited and :focus-visible, and most recently :target) on a particular interactive element — e.g. to enforce :focus and :active states on buttons for accessibility checks.

In Firefox, you can change a pseudo-class for a DOM element as you are inspecting it — the feature is available with a right-click on a DOM node.

One thing that always gets in the way though is the position of the dock, which sometimes works better on the right hand side, and sometimes at the bottom — depending on where your bug has invaded your DOM tree.

To quickly switch between dock states, you can use Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + D. One catch to keep in mind is that the shortcut will undock DevTools into a separate window only if DevTools has been in its default position (docked to the right). Otherwise the shortcut will just switch between the default position and the one you’ve changed it to.

Triple Panes View (Firefox)

While we might be used to a double-pane view, Firefox provides a helpful triple-panes-view by default — it looks slightly differently across different sections. In the Inspector view, alongside HTML and styles you can place layout debugger, show computer styles or track CSS changes — it’s very useful to have quick access to all this information without having to switch between tabs.

Whenever you are editing styles in Firefox, DevTools highlights media queries used across the page, with quick jumps to CSS sections where a breakpoint behavior is defined. All of it is displayed right next to the source code, so no need to search for a specific breakpoint. (Not to mention styles pretty-formatted by default — that’s handy!).

A similar view is also available in Chrome and Edge as well, but it’s available only in the “Elements” panel (sidebar icon in the right upper corner), and so far it shows only computed styles (which is why it’s called “Computed Styles Sidebar”).

Filtering Styles By Property (Firefox)

In general, Firefox DevTools are heavily underrated. Another remarkable feature that Firefox provides is an option to filter all styles by a particular property (indicated with a filter icon). For example, if you notice that some styles are overwritten by other ones scattered somewhere across the stylesheet, you can hide all the definitions that don’t affect that particular property with a quick filter and see where exactly overrides are happening.

Also, on a given page, you can highlight all instances that match a particular selector. For example, if you notice a bug with a rendering of profile images on dark and light sections of the page, you can highlight all instances of a particular class without manually searching for them or adding extra styles to highlight them. It’s enough to locate the selector in Styles panel and choose a target icon to “highlight all elements matching this selector”.

In the “Styles” panel, Firefox also explains which CSS properties aren’t affecting the selected element and why, along with recommendations of what might help to fix the issue or avoid unexpected behavior (the feature is called Inactive CSS).

Another handy feature is that Firefox assigns scroll and overflow badges to elements that are causing the container to overflow or scroll (overflow debugging) — very helpful when you are trying to figure out why a horizontal scrollbar appears all of a sudden, or an element doesn’t behave as expected.

Expanding Nodes Recursively (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

When inspecting an element with a deeply nested DOM, sometimes it might take a while to traverse down the tree, from one nested node to another. By right-clicking on the arrow on a node, you can choose “Expand recursively” and the currently-selected node (and all of its children) will expand with one single click. Alternatively, you can hold Option (or Ctrl + Alt on Windows) while clicking the arrow icon next to the element’s name.

Gather And Export Code Coverage (Chrome, Edge)

On a given page, much of the CSS and JavaScript might not be used at all, although it will be shipped to the browser. The “Code coverage” panel (Command menu → “Show coverage”) allows you to explore which styles and code aren’t used on a given page. We use code coverage to collect critical CSS for each of the templates used on the site, and doing so manually can be quite tiring.

With “Code coverage” in place, going through a couple of scenarios that include a lot of tapping, tabbing and window resizing, we also export coverage data that DevTools collects as JSON (via the export/download icon). On top of that, you could use Puppeteer that also provides an API to collect coverage (but we aren’t there yet).

Media Queries Debugging (Chrome, Edge)

With dozens of media queries in flight for a given page, it can easily become difficult to keep track of the styles being overwritten by other styles scoped within a media query. To find the specific section in your CSS file that might be causing unexpected behavior, we could turn our attention to the media query debugger. By default, it’s hidden away behind the “Settings” cog in the device toolbar, but it’s actually quite helpful when it’s available by default.

Toggle the device toolbar (responsive mode) with Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + M and choose the three dots in the right upper corner. Then choose “Show media queries”. Now you should be able to see horizontal bars representing the scope of each media query.

They might appear a bit confusing at first, but the way these bars are aligned represents screen width, and is replicated on the left and on the right side of the viewport. The bars closer to the center of the screen are overwritten by the ones further away from the center. The blue bar on the top indicates max-width media queries, the green one min-width and max-width media queries, and orange one stands for only min-width media queries.

For all of the bars, you can track which media queries they contain when hovering over them. You can jump to a specific media query range and inspect layout issues in detail with Styles panel open. By clicking on any position on a bar, you can trigger specific breakpoints, and if you right click on a bar, you can reveal its position in the source code. In fact, you can quickly jump back and forth between media queries, rather than resizing the screen manually and checking the screen width over and and over again.

As a quick side note, you can also specify your custom emulated devices instead of the pre-defined ones — in fact, there are plenty of device presets available already. Plus, you can use the “Sensors” pane to control specific device sensors if needed. Additionally, in Firefox you can enable and disable touch simulation, and define a specific User Agent, e.g. to check how the page behaves with a search engine crawler requesting the page.

Emulate Preference Media Queries (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

Additionally to screen size-related media queries, we can also emulate accessibility-specific media queries, e.g. prefers-color-scheme, prefers-reduced-motion and vision deficiencies. To toggle the emulation, head to the Command Control panel (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + P) and type “Show rendering”. Now, in the settings you can choose a preferred emulation.

(That’s also where you can choose to highlight areas that need to be repainted (“Paint Flashing”), areas that have shifted (“Layout Shift Regions”) and debug scrolling performance issues.)

Talking about emulation: remember how in the past you might have struggled with finding a layout bug for you print stylesheet? In the same panel, you can preview how your print styles work here as well — no need to print a PDF of a random page over and over again to figure out what caused a major rendering issue any more.

Also, in the same panel in Chrome you can add all sorts of rendering debugging features — e.g. paint flashing, layer borders, scrolling performance issues, disabling AVIF and WebP.

As a side note, there is a DevTools toolbar option for “Force Dark Appearance” and a “Force Print Media styles” in Safari, and you can simulate vision deficiencies in the “Accessibility” tab in Firefox. (We’ll talk a bit more about Accessibility later.) In Firefox, the print view is also available above the “Styles” pane in the “Inspect” mode.

Automatically Open DevTools In Each New Tab (Chrome)

With performance audits, we might want to be exploring multiple page at once, and observe how they behave with separate DevTools, without having to wondering which DevTools is responsible for which window. To save a bit of time during debugging, you could create a shortcut with a Terminal command that would open a browser with DevTools automatically opening by default in each new tab.

To achieve that, we need to pass the flag –auto-open-devtools-for-tabs when running a Chrome, Edge-based browser. We run a simple Alfred script to open the Canary browser with the flag when needed (hat tip to Addy) — very useful when you really need it:

/Applications/Google Chrome Canary.app/Contents/MacOS/Google Chrome Canary –auto-open-devtools-for-tabs htps://www.smashingmagazine.com

You can find a very comprehensive overview of all Chrome, Edge command line switches in Peter Beverloo’s guide on Chrome Command Line Switches.

Full Page Screenshots (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

When selecting an HTML node in the “Elements” pane, you could right-click on the node and prompt the DevTools to create a screenshot of that node, and in the “Responsive mode” you can capture a screenshot of the visible portion of the page or a full size screenshot (three dots in the right upper corner).

To create a full size screenshot a little bit faster, you can also prompt a “Full page screenshot” in the Command Menu (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + P → “Full page screenshot”). Usually it’s a little bit faster. Just keep in mind that portions of the page that are lazy-loaded or rendered progressively (e.g. with content-visibility) might not show up properly in the screenshot, so you might need to scroll all the way down the page first.

In Firefox, you can generate a screenshot of the visible portion of the page by going to the “Device Toolbar” mode first, then spotting the camera icon in the right upper corner and activating it. Or for a full page screenshot, you’d need to toggle “Take a screenshot of the entire page” in “Settings” first, and then you’ll find the camera icon in the DevTools toolbar.

Rulers For Components (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

Perhaps you’d like to quickly check the width and height of an image, or an advertising spot. But rather than taking a screenshot, or inspecting element and copy/pasting width and height values, you can use a rules to measure the size of a component. Rules are provided all across modern browsers, but Firefox DevTools also allows you to measure a portion of the page. You can find the measurement tool on the right hand side of DevTools, right next to the “Responsive mode” icon.

Tracking Changes (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

As you are debugging a particular problem, you might have commented out some lines of code, and probably added some new code that seems to be fixing the problem for good. Your changes now have to be replicated in the actual source files. To do that, there is no need to manually collect all the changes you’ve made all across your files.

In Chrome, toggle “Local Modifications” command when editing the source file. You should see a tracker of changes appearing in the panel below. If it’s collapsed, pull it out by dragging it vertically. The pane highlights changed properties and what exactly has changed, so you can copy-paste modifications right away.

One thing to keep in mind is that it’s probably a good idea to track changes while running your local server — without automatic removal of line breaks and spaces as they would show up as changes as well. This problem doesn’t exist in Firefox, where you can also find a “Changes” pane which does the same thing, along with a friendly button “Copy All Changes”.

Local Overrides (Chrome, Edge)

You might have been in this situation before: you just want to experiment with a few changes, but might be quite afraid to accidentally hit “Refresh” in the browser to lose all the changes made on the page. Perhaps you can’t really run the site locally, or perhaps you just don’t want to run your entire build for some minor local modifications. In such cases, Chrome’s “Local Overrides” can be a godsend.

First, create a folder on your machine where all your local modifications will be stored (local-overrides on Desktop seems like a reasonable name and place for this kind of task). Then head to the “Sources” tab, and choose “Overrides” in the top-left corner of DevTools (it might be hidden behind a double-chevron). Now click on “Select folder for overrides” and choose your freshly created folder — that’s the folder that Chrome will be using to store your local modifications. You’ll need to click “Allow” to grant Chrome permissions to save files to your hard drive.

Now, you can choose any file in the “Sources” panel, right-click anywhere in the code and choose “Save for overrides” with the right-click. That’s a clue for Chrome to create a new file, and store all contents of the file, along with your modifications, to your hard drive. (You might want to click the {} button first to make the code slightly more readable). (Thanks to Trys for the hint!)

Once you’ve defined your local overrides, Chrome will intercept network requests and use your code instead of the actual response. It will also watch out for modifications made to the file and inject changes into the page automatically, very much as if you had a local development installed with the watch mode on. Any files that are overwritten by local overrides will have a little purple dot next to them in the “Elements” panel.

The best part: now you can open the file in your text editor and make changes from there, while seeing these changes appearing in DevTools as well — and if you need to switch to DevTools to add breakpoints, you can do it from DevTools, make changes to the code, and these changes will be visible in your text editor as well. Almost magic!

Pro-tip from Harry Roberts: Local Overrides don’t allow you to keep or track versions or variants, but you can attach a query string to the URL and load separate variants of the same page. Extremely useful when editing HTML pages.

Ah, and if you need to disable local overrides again, just check off “Enable Local Overrides” in the same pane — otherwise the styles will overwrite existing styles over and over again, which is something you might not want.

Remote Debugging (Chrome, Safari)

If you need to debug your apps or pages on a mobile phone, you can use a Devtools proxy for iOS devices to debug Chrome on iOS, and also use DevTools to debug Mobile Safari on iOS with Chrome DevTools.

To debug Mobile Safari with Safari Inspector, enable “Web Inspector” in “Settings → Safari → Advanced → Web Inspector” and open the debugger with “Develop” → (Your phone’s name). You should have Safari’s DevTools opening up for you.

For Android devices, open the Developer Options on Android and select “Enable USB Debugging”. On your development machine, you can then discover your mobile device by going to chrome://inspect#devices and choosing your “Remote Target”. You can find plenty of details and instructions on “Get Started With Remote Debugging Android Devices”. That’s also where you can find a dedicated DevTools for Node.js debugging.

Pause Script Execution (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

When testing critical CSS or debugging JavaScript, you might want to hold on to the state of the DOM before a particular script gets executed or a particular style gets applied. That’s what DOM change breakpoints in DevTools are for.

By right-clicking on the three ominous dots next to the element’s name, you could pick “Break on” subtree modifications (node insertions and removals in the DOM tree rooted at the given node), attribute modifications (e.g. when an attribute is added or removed, or an attribute value changes — e.g. with classes) or node removal.

However, you can also use a conditional line-of-code breakpoint when you know the exact region of code that you need to investigate, but you want to pause only when some other condition is true. Plus, not to forget logpoints to output a value in a code snippet without writing console.log over and over again.

Code Snippets (Chrome, Edge)

If you have a couple of code snippets that you use often to track what might have caused the buggy behavior, you can store and access these snippets in the “Snippets” pane. In a way, these JavaScript snippets are similar to bookmarklets, but unlike the latter, you can manage them from the convenience of a dedicated area in DevTools.

Because they are scripts, we can add breakpoints when these scripts are running, or select portion of your code inside “Snippets” and run that particular portion of the code instead of executing the entire snippet.

The “Snippets” pane is located among “Sources”, next to “Local Overrides”. Once you’ve added a snippet, you can run it either by right-clicking and selecting “Run”, or with Cmd/Ctrl + Enter. Of course, each snippet is available from the Command Panel as well.

In general, if you find yourself running a routine task over and over again, there is a good chance that you might want to place it in “Code Snippets” and automate this task with a script. DevTools Snippets includes some useful scripts for cache busting, showing headers and saving objects as .json files from the console, but you could use it to modify the DOM or display any useful information, such as performance marks (which is what we do). Plus, you could also plug in a performance diagnostics CSS to indicate lazy-loaded images, unsized images or synchronous scripts.

Run Custom Automated Tests (Safari)

One of the often forgotten features in Safari DevTools is the option to define and run a series of automated checks. Think of it as a custom-built testing suite, with a series of small tests, which can be fully defined based on the type of audit a developer would like to run. By default, the test suite is focused around accessibility, but you can adjust it as you see fit, e.g. in order to check if there are any sync scripts in the DOM, or if all of the images have a defined width and height attribute, or even if all images are lazy-loaded. (thanks, Nikita!)

Source Maps (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

When debugging production code, it’s extremely handy to be able to track down the changes to a specific component or module that you use in your code base. To map minified code to source code, we can use source maps. If you generate a source map as a part of your build, you can use source maps while debugging your code in DevTools.

In Chrome, you need to enable source maps for JavaScript and CSS in “Settings”, and then add a folder to “Workspace”. DevTools with then try to infer all mappings automatically and load your source files in addition to your minified ones. You can then read and debug compiled code in its original source. Even better than that: you can still walk through your breakpoints, and all errors, logs and breakpoints will map to the actual code. To build out your source map, Webpack’s Devtool might help.

For Firefox, once the source map is generated, a transformed file has to include a comment that points to the source map. Just make sure that your bundler does the job for you. Once it’s in place, in the source list pane, the original source (.scss or .ts files) will appear, and you can debug it right there.

Clear Service Worker’s Cache And Storage (Chrome, Edge)

When we hit “Hard Refresh” in the browser, the browser will not use anything from the cache when reloading the page. Instead, it will re-fetch all assets from the server, without relying on caching.

If you right-click the “Refresh” button with DevTools open, you’ll find another option: “Empty Cache and Hard Reload”. The difference is that if the page prompts any dynamic fetches via JavaScript, they might still use the cache. The latter option clears them, too, while the former doesn’t.

Both of these options, however, don’t clear cookie or service worker’s cache — which you might want to do in some scenarios. Jump to the Command menu (Cmd + Shift + P) and type/autocomplete “Clear site data”. When this option is activated, the browser will clean all of the data (as the name assumes), including the service worker’s cache as well as the unregistering of the service worker. (Alternatively, you can click “Clear Site Data” in the Application panel.)

And if you want to delete only cache or only cookies quickly, you can right-click on any request in the “Network” panel, and choose “Clean browser cache” from there.

In Firefox, you’ll need to head to the “Privacy & Security” panel and find the “Cookies and Site Data” section there.

Filters In The Network Panel (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

There seems to be not much to explore in the “Network” panel as it basically just shows the list of browser requests (along with server responses) in chronological order. However, there are plenty of obscure little helpers as well.

First of all, with an overview of requests in front of us, we can choose which columns we’d like to see. Right-click on the header of one of the columns and select the ones that you find useful for the task at hand. We always choose the “Priority” column to see in which priorities assets are being requested, and if we need to adjust that order to deliver critical assets faster (based on JavaScript Resource Loading Priorities in Chrome, Edge).

We can also filter requests to find specific ones that might be causing trouble (thanks for the tip, Harry). At the top of the “Network” panel you’ll find an input field, which accepts not only keywords but also commands for filtering. Here are a few examples of the useful ones:

is:from-cache shows all resources that were delivered from the cache,
is:service-worker-initiated, shows only requests prompted by a service worker,
is:running shows all incomplete or unresponsive requests,
larger-than:250k shows all resources that are larger than 250 Kb,
-larger-than:250k shows all resources that aren’t larger than 250 Kb (same size and smaller),
mixed-content:shows all assets that are loaded over HTTP instead of HTTPS,
-has-response-header:Cache-Control highlights assets that don’t have any caching headers,
Obviously we can also search for bad practices like document.write and @import in HTML and CSS, plus we can use regular expressions as well.

All filters can be combined as well, separated by an empty space. You can check a comprehensive list of all filters as well, or just type – in the filters input and get an autocomplete preview of all features (huge thanks to Harry for the tip!).

Check Initiators In The Network Panel (Chrome, Edge)

If you want to quickly check which assets a particular resource has requested, or by which resource an asset was requested, there is a simple way to discover it in DevTools as well. This is especially useful in cases where you might have a couple of third-party scripts that might be calling fourth-party-scripts.

When you are inspecting a request in the “Network” panel, hold Shift while hovering over an element. The pink background color will indicate resources that this element has prompted to download, and the green background color will indicate the initiator that actually prompted the request.

Choose a User Agent (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

Sometimes you might want to check how the page will render with a different user agent, e.g. to make sure that a Googlebot gets a properly rendered version of the page. By heading to “Network conditions”, you can define the behavior for caching, network throttling and a user agent.

By default, the latter is “automatic” but there are 10 predefined groups, ranging from GoogleBot Desktop and Mobile to Android and UC Browser. You can also define your own user agent if you need to. However, these settings will not remain preserved as you navigate from one tab to another.

In Firefox, you’ll need to head to Firefox’s about:config page and define a general.useragent.override string.

Change Scrolling Behavior In The Performance Panel (Chrome, Edge)

At first glance, the Performance panel might appear quite daunting with its flame charts, plenty of data displayed at once, and quite non-conventional scrolling behavior. By default, regular vertical scrolling acts as zooming into a selected portion of the timeline, but we can change it.

In “Settings”, you can switch “Flamechart mouse wheel action” from “Zoom” to “Scroll” — and voilà, your preferred scrolling will be preserved! But what if you wanted to use both zooming and scrolling though? The key hint there is to hold “Shift” while scrolling to toggle the preferred behavior.

Making Sense Of The Performance Panel (Chrome, Edge)

Remember “Timeline: event initiators” and “Timeline: invalidation tracking” we mentioned in the Experimental settings? These experimental features come in handy in the Performance panel when you are looking for a cause of expensive operations — so-called Long tasks (tasks that take over 50ms to complete). The goal then is to break down Long tasks into shorter tasks, and usually it makes sense to focus on the longest Long tasks first.

Jump to the Performance panel and start profiling with Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + E. After a bit of time needed for refresh and collecting data, those expensive long tasks will show up in the timeline, highlighted with a red rectangle in the right upper corner. Their length indicates how expensive the operation actually is. Tasks have a friendly budget of 50ms to finish, which is why the first 50ms-portion of the task is displayed in solid grey. Whenever you are beyond that budget, the rest of the task is highlighted with red/grey stripes.

The flame chart is a visualization of what each task consists of. All parts of a task are displayed under the actual tasks, with a yellow background representing scripting. If you click on “Evaluate script” under each of the tasks, you can pull up the “Summary” drawer at the bottom and see which script caused the cost. If you click on the purple bar labeled “Recalculate style”, DevTools will show what exactly has triggered styles invalidation.

Probably the most underrated feature in DevTools is indeed the “Summary” drawer which would then also show up which elements were affected by style recalculation (so you can jump to them right away) and what has initiated this task in the first place.

Debugging Janky Animations With Layers (Chrome, Edge, Safari)

You just need a couple of animations, perhaps with a little bit of parallax, a sliding navigation or mischievous z-index manipulation, to run into dropping frames and janky animations. The FPS meter from the performance panel (Chrome) will reveal if you are running frames smoothly, but if it isn’t the case, you can explore rendering issues in the “Layers” tab.

Some of the issues can be easily detected by tracking which of the elements are missing a will-change property, and which ones are using a disproportionate amount of memory. That’s how we spotted a large component that was hidden away off the screen with relative positioning of -1000px off the screen, causing a couple of MB of memory usage. Also, when debugging a canvas issue, keep in mind that Safari has a Canvas Memory Usage debugger.

3D View Z-Index Debugger (Edge)

Another helpful tool to track rendering issues and z-index issues is Edge’s 3D View of the DOM (“Settings” → “More tools” → 3D View). The tool provides an interactive visualization of the DOM and z-index layers. You can even choose to view the DOM colored with the actual background colors of the DOM elements or show only stacking contexts.

It really has never been simpler to see how z-index values are distributed across the page, and why overlays or panels don’t appear as expected when triggered.

Better Accessibility Profiling (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

Wouldn’t it be great to have one-in-all accessibility tool that would provide details and guidance about everything from tab order to ARIA-attributes and screen reader announcements? To get close to that, we’ve set up a dedicated accessibility profile with useful extensions and bookmarklets mentioned at the beginning of the article. However, DevTools provides some useful features out of the box as well.

In Chrome and Edge, the “Accessibility” panel shows the accessibility tree, used ARIA attributes and computed properties. When using a color picker, you can check and conveniently adjust the colors to accommodate for a AA/AAA-compliant contrast ratio (along with the ability to switch between HEX, RGB, HSL with Shift + Click on swatch — thanks Ana!).

As already mentioned, the “Rendering” panel also allows you to emulate vision deficiencies. Lighthouse audits also include a section with recommendations around the accessibility of the page. Plus, when you inspect an element, accessibility information is appearing in the overview as well.

Firefox has advanced accessibility tooling as well. Additionally to the accessibility tree and contrast checker, Firefox DevTools highlights roles and landmarks, along with accessibility recommendations and checks. For example, you can check for contrast issues on the entire page, check if all links are focusable and include focus styling, and review text labels. Plus, you can toggle tabbing order as well.

Additionally, you can install accessibility-focused extensions such as Accessibility Insights, aXe and a11y.css, along with a few other accessibility linters and color vision simulators.

Worth Mentioning

Obviously, there are literally hundreds, and perhaps even thousands, of other useful features available in DevTools. Many of them are quite well-known and don’t need much introduction, but are still worth mentioning.

CSS Grid / Flexbox Inspectors (Firefox, Chrome, Edge)
If you have any layout issue related to Grid and Flexbox, you’ll probably find a cause of the problem via DevTools. Grid and Flexbox inspectors are very useful as they show grid overlay and the boundaries of containers, as well as hints on everything from flex-basis to grid-gap.

Live Expressions
If you’ve been running into habit of typing the same JavaScript expression in the console, you could look into automating it with Live Expressions. The feature, available in Chrome, Edge and Firefox, allows you to type an expression once and then pin it to the top of your console, and the value of the live expression will update automatically.

Animations Panel
Firefox has a very handy panel to track issues with animations, including slowing it down and visualizing how an element is changing over time.

Fonts Panel
Firefox also has a handy “Fonts” panel that’s worth exploring for any kind of font-related issue. We used it quite a lot when trying to match the fallback font against the web font, for example, as you can refine typographic properties with a slider and see impact in action. It also provides text previews when hovering over a font-family in styles.

CSS Overview
If you activate the “CSS Overview” in Chrome’s experimental settings, DevTools will add a tab with a comprehensive report of CSS declarations used on a page. It will also list all colors and fonts used, as well as media queries and unused declarations which you can jump to right away.

And That’s A Wrap!

When we set out to prepare this overview, it was supposed to be quite short, featuring just some of the useful features that DevTools provides. It turned out that there are plenty of features that we didn’t know of before we started writing this article — and we were able to stumble upon them with the kind help of wonderful Smashing readers who contributes their experiences on Twitter. Thank you so much for your kind contributions!

Also, a huge thank-you to all contributors of all DevTools across all browsers — we applaud you for your efforts, and your time and effort to make our development experiences better. It matters.

If we missed something valuable, please reply in the comments. And if you found something useful, we hope you’ll be able to apply these little helpers to your workflow right away, and perhaps send a link to this post to a friend or two — perhaps they’ll find it useful. Ah, and don’t forget: you could also debug DevTools with DevTools — just hit Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + I twice in a row. 😉

Now, happy debugging, everyone!

Anatomy of High Converting Mobile Web Pages: Learn What Makes or Breaks a Responsive Design!

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

In 2020, smartphone sales were 1.57 billion units worldwide, an increase from 1.52 billion units in 2019. Such impressive figures continue when we look at the world’s tablet shipments and deliveries. In the third quarter of 2020, Apple alone shipped 13.9 million units of tablets. These figures, as surprising as they are, make us think about the impact on mobile websites and website owners. The demand for smartphones and other mobile devices have been responsible for connecting 4.66 billion people with the internet. This number has gone up by 7.3 per cent since last year. Out of this, mobile internet traffic has been more than half of all the internet traffic all around the world. As a website owner whose website is not mobile-friendly, this is a matter of great concern and something to help shape our website in the correct direction.

It is now time that website owners understand that mobile users are top priority and should be taken seriously. If you are still backing on the desktop website with a bunch of media queries and letting luck shape your revenue, I will help you decode the importance of responsive design and how to make a high converting mobile web pages.

Responsiveness and Conversion Rates

A lot of the people take the responsiveness and conversion rates as a cause and solution pair in the website world. But converting a mobile web page is a much more complex process than just making your website responsive or mobile-friendly. Sure, responsiveness is an important aspect of conversion and is the first step in the website development but it alone cannot increase your CTR. In 2015, Google started giving more preference to responsive and mobile-friendly websites. Improving for a better experience for their users, Google does not want people to keep searching for that one perfect website which is rendered proportionately on the device. This move gave the website owners a wake-up call to focus on the user experience and mobile-friendliness as much as possible.

So how can we improve our conversion rates once we have the responsive website built? To be fair, responsiveness is more concerned towards scaling your website up and down. If my images are scaled in the proper ratio on a 5.5-inch device, I have got a responsive website. But the user is never concerned about responsiveness. Instead of praising the scalable elements, the user is more concerned about how fast those elements rendered on to the device? My user is more concerned about their own preferences and benefits.

Nearly 8 out of 10 users bounce back when the content is not properly visible on the mobile device. Such anomalies on the mobile website bring down conversion rates and affect the business. In the subsequent sections, we will focus on things that are responsive in nature (no doubt!) but is not enough that can make the user click that CTA of yours or purchase a product from your website. Soon we will realise that responsiveness has much more than what meets the eye. Let’s see how we can put ourselves up to the user’s expectations.

PS – We have used LambdaTest LT Browser to show website view in various device viewports. Know more here – https://www.lambdatest.com/lt-browser

Do you need all the content on the mobile?

The first thing to ask in developing a website for mobile is the content you are about to show on the device. A device’s screen is small, which means you have to show less but relevant content on the small space provided to you. The content should be able to communicate to the user without using too many words. A user is not going to read everything just to find if he gets anything pleasing for himself. That is your job to show him what he needs to see. The content analysis can be boiled down to three major categories: the headline, the font size and the content.

What’s a perfect headline?

A web page starts with a headline which is probably the first thing a user sees. This is your chance, the moment that decides whether the user will increase the session duration or will bounce back. The following two website ranks on the first page of Google for “real estate solutions”:

Anatomy of High Converting Mobile Web Pages - 1

The above landing page is from RESGroup while the below screenshot is from Getrealestatesolution.

Anatomy of High Converting Mobile Web Pages - 2

Apart from a weird header which is taking 25% of your valuable screen space, the headline is concise and easy to read. The RESGroup have focussed on a long heading (if that what it is) and forces users to scroll the entire page to find something meaningful for them. A good point to note is that although building up trust on the user is important by embellishing the web page with your achievements, a user needs to find something which they can use. They rarely care about what you have to offer but more about how they can be benefitted. Remember, a user makes up his mind about the website in just 50 milliseconds.

Scrolling from up to bottom and reading about your achievements will result in an increased bounce rate. Getrealestatesolution is building up trust and showing their achievement both cleverly into a single line: “We make realtors and brokers more successful”. This more or less would translate to “We are capable enough to make you successful” and “You will be successful if you join us”.

Font-Size: Should my user zoom in?

Font-size is an extremely important part of a landing page (or any other page) to determine the conversion rate of your website. A font-size of 16 px or 1 em is considered perfect for good readability of the content. Although one might argue that they can still read properly on 14 px, there are a large percentage of visually impaired people to be taken into account. The main target audience of the majority of businesses lies in the range of 15-49 years which is 28% visually impaired, as per WHO data. The following screenshot shows a blog on CSS Subgrids with 12 px font and the original font below it.

Anatomy of High Converting Mobile Web Pages - 3

Although text can be enlarged by zooming into the mobile device, it moves the content out of the screen and makes the screen scrollable which is not liked by the users.

The relevance of Keywords- Which words to choose?

The final thing to remember while presenting content to the user is to use specific keywords which are relevant to the user. Mobile screens are very small with 5.5 inches being the most popular among the users as per a 2019 study. With a little time and smaller space in our hands, we want to gain a user’s trust as soon as possible so that he sticks on the website and does not bounce back.

The specific keywords process first starts by eliminating all the redundancy and loose words. Words such as “very”, “extremely”, “best” etc are considered fillers in the content. “We are very professional and provide the best services” could be transformed to “We are professional in providing real-estate services”. The second sentence is more effective and uses 1 less word than the first.

After elimination comes the relevant keywords to pitch to help you convert through the web page. These keywords will work as something your user can trust upon. At least, the user should be well convinced that you are the best and believe me, writing “best” does no charm in conversions. So, instead of being verbose and explicitly pitching your projects, choose minimal but effective words that show your confidence, experience and professionalism. In my analysis, I found two interior design services websites that portray this point quite clearly.

This is the landing page of Woodenstreet

Anatomy of High Converting Mobile Web Pages - 4

In addition to proving our point of small font-size, the only effective sentence in this segment is “Customize them to your liking!” which makes me feel the fact that I will have control over customizations but not a strong one. The words are loose to build trust over to the service company.

Another competitor of this website is Livespace. The same section on their website looks like this:

Anatomy of High Converting Mobile Web Pages - 5

The segment focuses on keywords and experience by the lines of sophisticated keywords that will lure the user. I too want someone who knows a bohemian bedroom!! (Just Kidding!)

Also, notice the transformation of the same sentence in these two websites. Where Woodenstreet says, “Customize them to your liking!”, Livespace says, “Your wish is our command!”.

Which one do you think has more weight to convert your page?

For the enhancements of the content, you do not need to remove the white spaces and fill every gap on the web page. White spaces are good! They let the elements breath in the congested space and every element can get proper attention from the user. For larger content, you can also use bullets that can deliver more information in lesser sentences.

To ensure yourselves of the appearance of your website on mobile devices, you can use tools which can help you emulate the experience. A developer-friendly browser such as LT browser is also a great choice since it provides a complete solution with loads of features (including a debugger) and performance reports to analyze. LT browser can show you your website on any mobile device of your choice in a couple of clicks.

Test Responsiveness on LT Browser

Emulators and simulators have been long used to test the website on different devices. But today, for a specific tester’s need, we can take advantage of a mobile-specific testing browser that provides a complete environment for the tester. A developer-oriented browser such as LT browser can provide additional features highlights of which are given below:

A large list of in-built tools: A list of 40+ in-built screens can render the website in a couple of clicks.
Comparison Grid: A comparison grid shows two mobile devices side by side for the testers to compare. The tester can also use scroll-sync to mirror his actions on both the devices simultaneously.
Screenshot capture and Session recording: The tester can take screenshots of the device screen and mark a bug and send the video/image to the team.
Third-Party Integrations: The third-party integrations allow the developer to share the bugs or issues with their teammates with a single click.
Network Throttling: A very important feature to check user experience is how the website performs under various network bandwidth. This can be achieved with network throttling in LT browser.
Local Testing: Local testing allows the developer to test their website even before publishing it on a domain service. With the local tunnel, they can view the website on any device from the local system.
Performance Report: To analyse the final performance, developers and testers can view the performance report and share it or save it for future use.

The thumb zone and its importance in conversion

The thumb zone has been a conclusive argument for some time now and a strong foundation to many pieces of research in mobile designs and mobile web implementation. The thumb zone is the area on the mobile screen determining how hard or easy it is for our thumb to reach a certain point. A research study by Hoober concluded that 49% of people operate their mobile phones with one hand and only a 15% with two hands. Among those who do, 67% are operating through their right thumb with two major positions:

Anatomy of High Converting Mobile Web Pages - 6

Note: The second image is placed slightly above as compared to the first image.

The color that you see in the above image: is our thumb zone. A thumb zone in general for a person using their phone with one-hand can be magnified as follows:

Anatomy of High Converting Mobile Web Pages - 7

The green zone is the easiest to achieve: hence the most important for our conversion goals. The yellow zone is a bit hard to reach but manageable: something we can put less important things in such as headings and other content, things which are not clickable. Finally, the red zone is the toughest to reach and is the worst place to put our CTA.

Another worst position to put our CTA is at the bottom of the page or deep down below. No user would want to scroll down 4 5 times and search your CTA on the webpage. A lot of them probably don’t even know about CTA buttons and if it exists on that website or not.

The best way is to put CTA in the thumb zone and on above-fold in the first web page view. Amazon has put similar thought into their CTA and the following is their landing page:

The Sign In button is exactly where our green zone lies with the width being enough that we do not touch anything accidentally.

From the above page, we observe two interesting things: first the Sign In is also available at the top right (the hardest) position too and our green zone has another CTA “Create Account”.

Having two sign-in options reminds the user about signing in two times. You would see the button anyway even if you do not click that. LiveSpace uses the same approach on its website in a little different way:

The bottom button is fixed and is a constant reminder to “book design consultation”. The second approach is interesting. There are two possibilities of an unknown user: either he signs in (given that he has already registered) or he creates a new account.

Deciding among the two is important for an owner to come to a final conclusion of primary CTA and secondary CTA. Having two CTAs is generally not considered a good approach as it confuses the user but even if you do, one of them should stand out in comparison to another, as in Amazon.

What CTA to use?

As a website owner, you might have a lot of services to provide: a consultation booking form, you want to showcase your cheap pricing too! And you want them to call you by a single click from the home page itself!! A CTA can increase your revenue with high conversions but a CTA cannot be the developer’s wish. It has to be what the audience wants. To increase your mobile conversions through CTAs, you need to analyse what your visitors are more interested in.

Google Analytics is a great way to start here. Google Analytics provides the keywords your visitor is most interested in. Mailchimp has a lot of good features which can be used as CTAs for example, “Start Campaign”. But their website on mobile uses the CTA linked to pricing:

CTAs are something to ponder upon and it is also a good idea to include a good input from the marketing and sales team which can suggest to you the user’s inclination quite well.

With keywords in hand, the next step is to think about the CTA text that can bring out more conversions through a responsive mobile web design. In the above screenshot, Mailchimp could have used, “See pricing” but they went with “Pick a plan” even though the page links to the pricing page.

Similarly, Youneedabudget provides the user with “Try YNAB Free For 34 Days” instead of Sign Up or Try YNAB Free.

Research these words and find out why your user visits your website. Show them exactly what they are looking for through the CTAs and the conversion rates would see an increase.

The CTA should also look like a “CTA” and work like one. If the CTA gets blended into the background and looks like a ghost button, it loses its purpose. CTAs should be a contrast in colour speaking out loud and demanding attention from the user; that is what they are there for.

Mailchimp does that perfectly with a little darker shade of yellow in the background and CTA with blue; a complete contrast.

For business providers looking for direct leads, forms work as fine as a button since they cannot provide all the information in concise segments and users have a lot of other doubts. For example, interior designing. Interior designing has different requirements for different users and personal contact is necessary. A responsive form works as a great CTA here:

The number of fields is important to understand the conversion rates. A user is not interested in filling too many fields and will bounce back too easily. Quicksprout shows how the number of fields leads to a lower conversion rate on the mobile:

More than 5 fields in a form is intimidating for the user and the user is unlikely to complete the form. If you cannot manage to lower down the fields below 6 or 7, use the autocomplete feature of the browser in your HTML code so that the user can quickly fill out the form in one tap. Autocomplete is available in major browsers today and is helpful for the user.

If your CTA is a call button, it should be a one-click button instead of plain text. Do not expect your user to take the burden of copying the number and moving onto his dial pad, paste it and then call you.

Remember the 2-second rule!

Google aims at 0.5 second load time when it comes to loading any Google’s product. But don’t worry, we still have not touched such a high-performance statistic practically although we have come a long way in the last decade. Google states that 2 second is the user’s “acceptability” for the website load time. So how is it affecting our conversion rates?

As it turns out, the bounce rate depends heavily on the website loading time:

Gone are the days of 2G connection when people could wait a hundred seconds for the website to load. With the increase in elements on the website leading to a lower load time, the conversion rate drops by a whopping 95%!!

What can we do to increase loading speed?

The question drops to the mind as to what we can do as web developers to decrease the web page load time when the network plays a vital role which we have no idea about. As a developer, we can follow a series of checks on our responsive mobile design to ensure higher conversion rate and simultaneously lower bounce rates:

Content Display Improvement

A good way to start is to code the web page to display something (if not all) to the user as early as possible. For example, AJAX queries are a great way to show a partial content to the user on the first view.

Server Improvement

Use a good server!! Servers play an important role as they are responsible for not only communicating with requests but also sending the first byte to the user. Google recommends a time of 1.3 seconds for the mobile server to communicate with the first byte. The lower the better.

The figure shows recommended average response time of the mobile server in various categories:

Request Count Optimization

Lowering the number of requests to the server also decreases the overall page load time. The lesser number of requests would generally mean lesser elements to fetch. While Google recommends less than 50, today’s average lies somewhere between 120-170.

Weight of Elements

An extremely important factor in determining the loading speed of the website is the weight of elements present in the mobile web page. The study found out that websites use too many elements in order to lure the users which slows down the loading speed even on the 4G connection (which is the most popular). 70% of the pages took 5 seconds for any visual element to first appear on the web page. This has made the average loading time to 15 seconds as compared to the recommended 2 seconds.

The main culprit; images. Providing an extremely high-quality image will just decrease the conversion rates especially the ones which are nowhere related to the product such as background or achievement thumbnails. Applying very high-quality images without compression can load up the page to as high as 4MB which is more than the average.

The analysis is done in the study also found an image worth 16 MB of size on a web page which is a simple blunder, an invitation to decrease the conversion rates. What can we do? Compress these images and use proper image formats.

By simply compressing the images on the web page, the developers can save up to 250 KB of size on as high as 25% of the website analysed. Image format can help you in decreasing the load time too. Out of all the mobile-friendly websites, 46% use JPEG and 28% use PNG. The reason behind the success of JPEG is that it is a lossy compression losing bits in the process. JPEG is a great format to use when too much focus is not on the extreme detail of the image like nature images, landscapes or background color shades etc. PNG on the other hand is lossless and saves the bits in the process. PNG images are great when sharpness, details and observations are required in the image.

The following image is a JPEG image:

This image is of a natural scene and hence does not demand very small details for the user. Your user will not zoom into the Taj dome to check out the colour shade. This image makes about 127 KB in size.

The same image in PNG consumes 714 KB of the web page which is extremely unnecessary.

To determine your website’s performance, you can use a trusted tool PageSpeedInsights by Google.

To increase the speed of the landing page, developers can also make use of CDN or Cache that web service providers such as Amazon offer. These are very fast and help store data according to the geographic locations.

A/B Testing and you are done!

When Google launched ads on Gmail, they were not sure which blue colour to use. In their experiment, they decided to provide different shades of blue to different users and see their response. With 1% of users getting one shade and another 1% getting another, Google ended up testing among 40 shades of blue to 40 different groups. The final blue selected in this experiment earned them an additional $200 million in revenue.

This is termed as A/B testing. A/B testing is a process of comparing two different versions of a web page by giving them to different groups and recording their response. A/B testing has been used extensively today to finalize the colour, location or size of the CTA button. An experiment between green and red CTA buttons showed that the red CTA button performed 21% better on 2000 page visits. The 21% increase in the conversion rates points towards how important A/B testing is today.

This does not mean every red CTA button will outperform green ones. Performing A/B testing will provide conclusive results by which you can increase the conversions and they are different for different websites.

Not only CTAs, as a developer you can also test the headlines, buttons and other important content to decrease the bounce rate which eventually does result in increased conversions. You can use Heatmap tools for A/B testing.

Conclusion

If you ever believed that responsiveness is everything there is to increase the CTR, you are not alone. The researches and studies have brought out a lot more about the behavioural aspect of a user than we knew before. From colour to the font-size, conversion rates on a mobile device is like a house on wooden pillars. All of them together increases the CTR to its capabilities and give your revenue a boost up.

Apart from the points discussed in this post, as a developer, you can also perform certain enhancements on the website for better conversions. User experience always matters on a mobile website. Whether it is conversions, word of mouth or any other target, you will always be rewarded for a better user experience. Enhancements such as not losing the sessions when the back button is pressed, providing cart support on multiple devices or shutting up the navigation bar in a hamburger menu. These enhancements are always noticed by the user and the easier it is for him, the better are the chances of conversions. So the next time you are busy developing your website, make a checklist and boost up that conversion rate from mobile web pages.