A guide to Google's Cloud Vision

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CreativeBloq/~3/WPVZ2bcZxK0/a-guide-to-googles-cloud-vision

Machine learning. Deep learning. Natural language processing. Computer vision. Automation. Voice recognition. You've probably heard all these and many other terms recently, all under the umbrella of artificial intelligence. In fact, the field is growing so rapidly, it's becoming increasingly difficult to nail down a definitive definition. AI is becoming part of nearly every aspect of our lives, from ecommerce websites and search engines to unlocking your phone.

Your websites and apps can leverage APIs to tap directly into the power of AI. Without having to 'train' AI agents, you can take advantage of massive quantities of data already analysed. Google, Amazon, IBM and many others have created endpoints for developers to hook into and start using AI right away.

On the front end, you can connect voice commands, chatbot interfaces or reactive WebGL creative elements. On the back end, databases use intelligent algorithms to maximise speed and analysis. APIs can provide a layer of abstraction from a wide range of AI functions, from predictions to collective training.

A guide to Google's web tools

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What is computer vision?

Computer vision is the study and creation of artificial systems that extract information from images. It can also encompass the mechanical system of vision itself. In terms of recognition, it is the process of analysing and determining the content of an image or series of images (including video). This could include medical scans, photos, 360-degree video and virtually any kind of imagery you can imagine.

AI-powered computer vision can:

Identify, label and categorise contentDetect faces and emotionsRecognise headwear such as glasses and hatsIdentify landmarks, buildings and structuresAssess pixel-level information such as colour data, quality and resolutionRecognise popular logosIdentify and read textIdentify potentially inappropriate images
Computer vision with Google's Cloud Vision API

There are lots of choices for Vision APIs but we'll be using Google's Cloud Vision API. Google hosts many AI APIs, including natural language processing, voice recognition, deep learning and vision.

The Cloud Vision API enables your sites and apps to understand what is in an image. It will classify the content into categories, labelling everything it sees. It also provides a confidence score, so you know how likely it is that what it believes is in an image actually appears there. You could use this to interact intelligently regarding camera input in AR or video apps. You could create tools to assist those who are visually impaired. You could create assistants to help identify buildings or landmarks for tourists. The possibilities are endless.

01. Set up a Cloud project

If you've used Google's APIs before, some of these first steps will be familiar. As with other Google services, you'll need to set up a cloud project. Go to the Google Cloud Platform console and create a new project or select an existing one. Like most of Google's services, the Cloud Vision API is free to use until you start making lots of API requests. You may need to enter billing info when you activate the API but this is not charged at a low volume of requests and you can remove the services after you're done testing.

02. Enable the Cloud Vision API

A guide to Google's Cloud Vision: Enable the Cloud Vision API

Browse the API library and then enable the Cloud Vision API

Browse the API library and select the Cloud Vision API for your project.

Once enabled you should see a little green check and the message 'API Enabled' beside it.

03. Create a service account

Next you'll need to set up a service account. Think of the API as a web service you're creating. Since we are going to set up usage like a typical service, this is the best practice. It also works best with authentication flow.

04. Download private key

A guide to Google's Cloud Vision: Create a service account

 Get your private key for the service account

Once you have a project with the API enabled and a service account, you can download your private key as a JSON file. Take note of the location of the file, so you can use it in the next steps.

If you have any problems with the first few steps there is a quick start guide that helps and ends with the download of the JSON key.

05. Set environment variable

You need to set the GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS environmental variable, so it can be accessed by our API calls. This points to the JSON file you just downloaded and saves you having to type the path every time. Open a new terminal window and use the export command like so:

Replace the [username] with your username. Be sure the path to the place you stored the private key file is correct. Replace the [file name] with your private key file and use the path to your file.

On Windows, you can do the same thing via the command line, like this:

Note: If you close your terminal or console window, you may need to run that again to set the variable again. We'll add this into our PHP code shortly as well, so you don't have to worry about it again.

06. Make a call to the API

Now you're ready to dig into the Cloud Vision API. You'll use curl to do quick tests of the API. You can also use this method from your code as well.

The curl requests can be made in most languages, whether that's PHP, Python or Node. This way you can make the calls direct in command line or assign the result to a variable in the language of your choice. FInd some quick tips on using curl here.

Create a simple JSON file to hold the details of the request. Call it google_vision.json. Store it local to where you want to run the terminal commands from.

In the above code, you've indicated an image to analyse, as well as specific API features to use, including face detection and landmark detection. SAFE_SEARCH_DETECTION is great for knowing if the image is safe and in what category it belongs to, such as adult content or violent. IMAGE_PROPERTIES tells you about colours and pixel-level details. 

To execute the curl command, in your terminal or command line interface, enter the following.

By using the > results syntax, you'll have the results stored in a new file called results for you. You indicated the URL to the API ("https://vision.googleapis.com/v1/images:annotate") and included your JSON data to POST to it.

You may get prompted the first time you use this to activate the API or allow access. Answer yes or Y to that prompt and it should return the JSON.

If you open the results file, you'll get JSON data results from the Vision API request. Here's a snippet:

You see some very useful results right away. Under the labelAnnotations node, you can see a 98 per cent match that the image contains a "dog" and a 95 per cent match that it contains a "golden retriever"! The AI already identified the content of the image and other detail, including a "snout" and the fact it is likely a "sporting dog". 

This required no training on your part because of the already-trained Google Vision AI system. Scanning through the results, you'll see everything from recommended crop regions – for auto-cropping images to subjects – to incredible detail of what is in the images, including colours and content. Try it out with other images to see how powerful the API is.

You can continue using this method to test out the calls we'll use. You can also set up a local SDK in a language you prefer and integrate it into your app.

07. Install client library

Next you will make a simple web-based app to show how to integrate the API into your projects. 

There are a number of SDKs available in a variety of languages to make integration easy. You'll use the PHP SDK for this next section. If you wish to tweak the code that follows into a different language, there is a great resource of SDKs here.

Start by making sure you have a project folder set up on your local or remote server. If you don't have it already, get Composer and install it to your project folder. Optionally, you may have Composer already installed globally and that is fine too.

Run the following Composer command to install the vendor files for the Cloud Vision SDK.

Composer makes a vendor folder in your project folder and installs all the dependencies for you. If you get stuck setting this up and want to use PHP, you can check out this installing Composer resource.

08. Create a new file

Create a new PHP file in your project folder. Set it up however you like but include a simple HTML form to upload images for quick testing. Here's an example PHP file with the form included:

The code includes a basic HTML file with a form and a placeholder for PHP code. The code starts checking for the existence of the image, submitted from the form. If it's not submitted yet, it does nothing.

09. Store the image

If you'd prefer to point to images online or on your system, skip this step. If you'd like to process images you select, add this code to save the image selected.

10. Add environment variable 

You need to set the GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS variable for it to authenticate. In PHP we use the putenv command to set an environment variable. Add this code next in your PHP code:

Replace the path and file name to your JSON private key file.

11. Include the library 

Add the library and initialise the LanguageClient class in your code. Add this code next:

Start by requiring the vendor autoload. This is similar in Python or Node when you require your dependencies. Import the ImageAnnotatorClient next, to make use of the class. Define your projectId. If you aren't sure what this is, look it up in your Google Cloud Project console. Finally, create a new ImageAnnotatorClient object using your projectId and assign it to the $imageAnnotator variable.

12. Analyse image content

Start submitting the image to the API for analysis. You'll display the result as JSON to the screen for now but in practice you could assess the results and use them any way you wish. 

Add the following to submit the image to the API.

This submits the content from the submitted form to the imageAnnotator endpoint and stores the result in the $response variable. It specifies the labelDetection feature. You can also use faceDetection, logoDetection, textDetection and many other functions. For a full list, check here. 

Next, iterate over the list of labels. This is just an example to show how to use it: you could process it and react to the results however you need.

13. Detect faces

A guide to Google's Cloud Vision: Face detection

Using the faceDetection function of the Vision API, you can find the emotions and bounding boxes of faces in the image

Another quick example of how powerful the API is lies in the faceDetection function. This will return emotion data as well as location information of where in the image the faces are. Try out this code to see how it works.

You start out by using the faceDetection function of the Annotator and pass in the image like the previous example. Then you get the faceAnnotiatons. You use an array of response weights in more common language, so you can see the likelihood of certain emotions. Following this, you iterate the response like before. You check for two of several possible emotions, anger and joy, returning the results of those. This will also give you the corners of the bounding boxes that define each face found.

This article was originally published in issue 316 of net, the world's best-selling magazine for web designers and developers. Buy issue 316 here or subscribe here.

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How to Speed Up Website With <LINK> Tag

Original Source: https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/html-resource-hints-speed-up-websites/

Editor’s note: This article is part of our Code Optimization series, where we take a look at how to optimize coding for better efficiency in a bid to be better coders. “Foreseeing” browsers are…

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Visual Identity Inspiration: Monument

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/abduzeedo/~3/Er3ny0UjZqg/visual-identity-inspiration-monument

Visual Identity Inspiration: Monument
Visual Identity Inspiration: Monument

abduzeedoMay 02, 2019

Umer Ahmed shared an incredible visual identity project he worked for Monument, which was built around an online magazine (www.mnmt.no), a wide range of informative and entertaining podcasts, event series and club culture.

They aim to support the vast underground realm of Techno music by highlighting festivals, clubs and artists you otherwise wouldn’t hear about anywhere else.

Today, Monument is the only online platform that focuses exclusively on Techno music, its sub-genres, and the culture surrounding it, giving Monument the advantage to dig deep into underground stories and music to be shared worldwide with other electronic music enthusiasts. As a dedicated and inspirational platform Monument wanted a visual identity that appealed to the hardcore fans and the new audience who want to expand their music library.

Monument focuses on delivering uncompromising content, and to come across as an inspiring collective to their team members and their supporters. With this insight, the identity was built with minimal design elements while still creating room to experiment.

Old-school DIY rave flyers and posters inspire the color pink, while the color green is inspired by the nature where several events (raves) take place.

Redesigned logo features an experimental typographic hierarchy, obscure illustration style and minimal colors are the primary identity elements that express Monuments true values through diverse execution.

Logo features an experimental typographic hierarchy, obscure illustration style

Visual Identity

For more information check out:



Design Your Website to Sell While You Work

Original Source: https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2019/05/design-your-website-to-sell-while-you-work/

Design work is very time consuming. But it’s not just the labor you put into building websites that takes time and concentration.

Because the projects you work on typically have a short shelf life, you’re constantly having to find new gigs, woo potential clients, and sign them onto your service — which is like another job in and of itself. So, when do you find time to look for more work when you’re so busy actually doing it?

You could set aside time on the weekends to work on drumming up new projects, but that’s the last thing you want to do. Imagine spending that time booking new business and then being too burned out to get started with any of them? That’s no good.

You could, of course, do it during the workweek. It would just require you to dedicate otherwise billable hours to non-billable work and cut into your business’s profitability.

Without hiring someone to handle sales for you, what’s the solution?

It’s your website.

Here are some things you can do to design a website that relieves you of at least some of the burden of finding and selling to new clients.

1. Design for Your Niche

One of the best things you can do as a web designer (or any creative freelancer, really) is to carve out a highly specific niche. For instance, you could design websites for:

Real estate agents
Female-owned businesses
Restaurants in your city

The more targeted your audience, the easier it will be to sell to them (and to build their websites).

I’m going to take this one step further as I don’t just think it’s enough to choose a niche to design for.

I think your own website should be reflective of your niche. More specifically, it should be designed to look like a website your client would want as their own. What better way to sell a prospect on a website than to show them that you know exactly how to build the solution they need?

The Modern Firm is an excellent example of this:

Visit the website and you’ll notice:

The company name sounds like it should be working for law firms.
The design is super buttoned-up — traditionally-structured, muted color palette, and minimalism at its best.
Copy is professional, honest, and straight to the point.

In other words, this website looks and sounds like one that its target clientele would want for themselves.

2. Answer Their Questions

Think about how much time you spend dealing with objections as you talk to prospective clients. That’s either because their expectations haven’t been set properly before meeting with you or they’re a bad fit.

If you use your website to answer those questions, though, you can significantly decrease the amount of time you spend on sales calls with prospects.

One way to do this is to explain in the simplest terms what your clients get. Here’s how I handle this for prospective copywriting clients:

I was frustrated that I had to explain over and over again to prospects what it meant to create optimized content. The question continued to come up on calls, so I decided to just provide the answer on my website.

I now no longer get questions about my services. Prospects hop on the phone with me and ask how much they have to pay to get started. It’s been a huge time-saver.

As a web designer, it might not be as simple as to say, “You’ll get a 10-page website, built using X theme, optimized for speed with caching, etc.” When it comes to websites, you’re just delivering too technical of a product.

So, for you, I’d suggest taking the same basic principle of “answer their questions”, but tackle them with an FAQs like Eternity does:

They’ve done such a great job of providing simple and straightforward answers to the kinds of questions I’m sure all of you get. Not only will this decrease the amount of time people have to spend with them on sales calls, but it’ll help weed out bad-fit clients.

3. Create a More Impressive Portfolio

There’s absolutely no question that your website needs to include an awesome portfolio of websites. Just make sure that any samples you include in your portfolio:

Are 100% something you’re proud to show off;
Are relevant to your target audience;
Are consistently designed.

Here’s what I mean:

Bluetext is in the business of creating digital campaigns (including web design) for clients. Although they build solutions for a couple dozen industries, they keep their portfolio well-organized, grouping sample work based on category.

For example, this is what their “Cybersecurity” portfolio looks like:

Notice how well put together this portfolio is — everything is clearly labeled, designed in a similar style, and is impressive to look at. It also helps clients in quickly see the potential for their specific business without the distraction of other types of websites getting in the way.

4. Establish Trust

As a web designer, you have to build trust with clients if you want them to pay top-dollar for your services. While you can certainly do that throughout the web design process, why wait? Use your website as a vehicle for establishing trust now.

One way to do this is with your portfolio.

Another way to do this is by including testimonials or, at the very least, logos from clients who are happy to connect their brand to yours. Interactive Strategies uses a dedicated banner on its home page to show off brands who’ve trusted them:

If you don’t have a client base with recognizable names, or you’re still working to amass an impressive list of clients, don’t worry. You can use other trust marks to establish trust now as Direction.com does:

Prospective clients can see all of their awards and certifications in one place — and it’s definitely something to marvel at.

5. Simplify Next Steps

If you’ve been doing this for long enough, I bet you can anticipate what prospective clients’ next steps are after they’ve visited your website.

For my business, I know that they’ll see my site and then reach out for pricing. However, I know that I can’t actually answer that question during a first phone call. I have to review their needs, business, industry, and a whole host of other details before I can provide a quote.

So, I give them two options:

Fill out a contact form if you have further questions;
Schedule a 15-minute call with me through Calendly.

There’s just one caveat to the phone call though. I don’t get on the phone with anyone until they fill out my questionnaire (which their “Thank You” email sends to them). It asks them everything I need to know to provide them with a quote.

That way, when I do get on the phone, I’m fully prepared to talk about my process, explain final questions, and give them a number.

I would suggest building out a similar set of contact options (e.g. contact form and scheduler, chatbot and scheduler, chatbot and email, etc.), so you can spend less time going back-and-forth on the phone or over email and instead get them a quote and contract right away.

Design Your Website to Sell While You Work

Would you like to stop spending so much time on job boards, social media, and in search trying to find new clients? You already know how to build websites to help your clients sell their businesses, so why aren’t you doing the same for your own?

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body#browserfriendly p, body#podcast p, div#emailbody p{margin:0;}

Collective #512

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/tympanus/~3/VV820Ts2Qf4/


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Collective #512 was written by Pedro Botelho and published on Codrops.

Free One-Page Portfolio Website Builders

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/1stwebdesigner/~3/oKBT6B9eBao/

In the growing world of designers, developers and other online service providers, having a great portfolio is essential to getting hired. You won’t get work if you don’t put yourself out there, and what better way than with a portfolio? These one-page website builders are free, easy to use, and simple to set up, so you can get your portfolio online fast.



Carrd is a one-page site maker that uses a super straightforward interface to help you set up your portfolio. If you’re looking to create something elegant and minimalistic, you’ll love this. Many builders can be overwhelming before you get used to them, but Carrd is easy to use right from the get-go. Just pick a theme and click one button to add elements.

There’s a really cheap Pro version, which offers various forms, custom domain compatibility, and custom code + third party widgets. At $9 a year, this is about as affordable as it gets. However, all the core features are free, so feel free to test it out and even publish your website.



An offline web builder solution for Mac and Windows, Mobirise allows you to easily create mobile-friendly websites. It was specifically designed to be as easy to use as possible for non-programmers and visual thinkers. If you’re new to this, try it out.

Once you’ve finished putting together your website in this block-based builder, publish it for free wherever you want. No domain? Mobirise can publish to Github Pages at no cost to you.



Simple and professional, creating an about.me website is a great way to introduce yourself. Just type in some info about yourself, pick from one of three clean themes, and you have a mini portfolio! From there you can customize the website further, changing text and adding links. There’s also a nifty email signature feature, which adds your about.me as an email signature.

The Pro version has various other features, testimonials, image and video embeds, messages, appointment scheduling and newsletter building. With the free version, you can still build a professional biography.



If you’d rather do it yourself than use a simple website builder, but don’t have the technical know-how to create a website from scratch, WordPress is probably the solution. Choosing a one-page WordPress template still gives you something to work off of, but you’ll be more in control of your website’s appearance. And there’s hundreds of thousands of themes – no website builder can boast that.

Customizing and making it your own may require HTML and CSS knowledge, and you’ll also need to handle hosting, domain and WordPress installation. WordPress itself is free and open source, but these aspects will probably cost money.

Diving blindly into WordPress is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up for a challenge, this might be the solution for you.



Wix is considered by many to be similar to WordPress, but much easier to use. Its interface is intuitive enough, and setting up and publishing a website is super easy. There’s a ton of functionality in this builder if you’re willing to learn it.

The free version of Wix allows you to create and publish your site under a Wix domain. Premium plans let you get a custom domain, remove Wix ads from the site, or add apps, but it isn’t necessary to make your portfolio public.



Persona does absolutely no beating around the bush. Just click to get started, pick a theme, and start editing. The WYSIWYG editor is super powerful. It takes some adjusting to, but once you have the hang of it, you can create basically whatever you want.

However, note that you can only create a private Persona without upgrading. If you want to publish your portfolio, it will cost a relatively cheap $24/year or $4/month. Trying before you buy will at least let you know if this is the right tool for you.

Building a Simple One-Page Portfolio

Never underestimate the power of a one-page portfolio. A site that’s too complex can drive away potential clients, especially if you can’t hold their interest long enough to direct them to the contact page. But a well-crafted one-page website is concise and gets the point across quickly, while still showing off your skills to visitors.

Free Programming Courses from Harvard, MIT, Microsoft and More

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/1stwebdesigner/~3/O4jAGc1SW2A/

Did you know that you can learn computer science and programming online from institutions like Harvard, MIT, Berkeley and Microsoft on edX.org? The nonprofit site offers 2,000 online courses from 140 institutions worldwide. Courses are free to try.

edX Online Courses

Popular Courses

Here are some of the most popular courses and programs offered on edX:

CS50 from Harvard

The most popular course on edX gives you an introduction to computer science and programming. Learn how to think algorithmically and solve programming problems efficiently. Gain familiarity in a number of programming languages including C, Python, SQL, JavaScript, CSS and HTML.

Front End Web Developer from W3C

W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) is the organization that develops web standards. It was founded by the inventor of the web, Tim Berners-Lee. In this 5 course program, learn how to code with modern HTML5 tags, draw and animate fun web graphics, and play audio and video elements. Learn CSS best practices for web page design and the fundamentals of JavaScript to help you develop interactive web apps.

Introduction to Computing in Python from Georgia Tech

In this 4 course program, learn the fundamentals of computer science in one of the field’s most popular programming languages, Python 3, including writing code, executing it, interpreting the results, and revising the code based on the outcomes. Rated as one of the most in-demand and beginner-friendly programming languages, a background in Python will give you a solid foundation to build your career. Short videos (2-3 minutes each) are rapidly interwoven with live programming problems and multiple-choice questions to give you constant feedback on your progress and understanding.

C Programming with Linux from Dartmouth

Did you know that smartphones, your car’s navigation system, robots, drones, trains, and almost all electronic devices have some C-code running under the hood? Along with the C programming language comes Linux, an essential operating system that powers almost all supercomputers and most of the servers worldwide, as well as all Android devices and most “Internet of Things” devices.

In this 7-course program, develop and debug code in the C programming language. Discover the foundations of computer programming and Linux, manipulate the command line, manage processes, files and memory, and compile C code with Linux.

Data Science from Harvard

Data science is one of the hottest fields in programming. Learn key data science essentials in this 9-course program, including R and machine learning, through real-world case studies to jumpstart your career as a data scientist. Also learn statistical concepts such as probability, inference, and modeling and how to apply them in practice. Gain experience with data visualization with ggplot2 and data wrangling with dplyr. Become familiar with essential tools for practicing data scientists such as Unix/Linux, git and GitHub, and RStudio. This is one of the most popular programs on edX.

Blockchain for Business from the Linux Foundation

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Microsoft Courses

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Introduction to jQuery

jQuery is the most popular library for JavaScript. In this course, you will learn how to use jQuery to add additional power and interactivity to your web pages. You’ll see how to take advantage of jQuery in your web pages, how to work with the HTML document, and even make server-side calls.

Introduction to Angular

In this course, you will learn about the basics of how Angular works, and why Angular has emerged as a popular framework for JavaScript/TypeScript application development. You will also learn how to properly set up your development environment for creating an Angular app, including installing VS Code, Node.JS, TypeScript, and the Angular CLI.

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ReactJS is the latest JavaScript framework to capture the hearts and attention of the frontend developer community. Developers love ReactJS because it’s highly performant and renders changes almost instantly. The best part about ReactJS is that it is a relatively small framework and does not take too much time to learn!

Start Learning Today

If you are looking for something else, edX offers beginner to advanced programming courses in C++, C#, Java, Power BI, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Cybersecurity, IoT, Cloud Computing, AWS, Azure, DevOps, and more. View more courses here.

5 Signs That Web Design Is Reaching Its Own Industrial Age

Original Source: https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2019/04/5-signs-that-web-design-is-reaching-its-own-industrial-age/

The Internet as a concept, and as a community, is much like a teenager: it’s struggling to establish its identity, everyone is trying to tell it what to do, and it tends to lash out at both people who deserve it as well as those who don’t. It does so at random, and you’re not its real dad, anyway.

The practice of designing websites, however, has gone right past the teenage years and blown past the whole human-life-span metaphor entirely. Web design is, in my opinion, reaching an industrial age, of sorts. You know, the era of smokestacks and Charles Dickens’ really depressing novels.

Let’s see how:

Increased DIY Capability

The sewing machine was invented in 1755, about five years before the “official beginning” of the industrial age. This machine, and others like it, heralded the beginning of that age and the massive machines that would come after, but they also drastically expanded the production capabilities of individuals working at home, or in their place of business.

It started with software like FrontPage and Dreamweaver, and now we’ve got Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, Duda, Webflow, and a host of other options. They’re all designed to enhance the output of the individual, the hobbyist, the business owner, and the freelancing professional. Work that once might have taken a very long time for one person, or a reasonable amount of time for ten people, is all being done by one person, in a lot less time.

And if you’re a purist, you can always sew the buttons onto your web page by hand.

Increased Automation At The Professional-Level

Think of the massive looms in old factories. Now it’s not particularly easy to automate creative visual work, as such. Most of the automation in web design is done at the coding stage, in both front and back end. But even with such simple tools as Symbols in Sketch or Affinity Designer can drastically reduce the work required to produce a large number of designs.

Or at least something like a large number of buttons. It’s not a perfect analogy to the factories of old, but the tools we have are making it consistently easier to produce designs of consistent quality, even if they also have pretty uh… “consistent” layouts and aesthetic styles. This sort of drastically increased output is the very definition of industry.

Expansion Of The Digital Middle Class

Increased DIY capability and automation in the industrial age led to a dramatic expansion in what people could afford. The increased amount of work in general meant that more people could afford that stuff, and thus, the middle class was born.

The same thing is happening in web design. For the hobbyist or professional building sites on the cheap, shared hosting can cost as little as a few dollars a month, and code editors are free. For less code-focused hobbyists and business owners alike, code-free website builders are attractive and largely affordable options, too. Plenty of platforms offer a straight-up free plan.

Getting a web presence of some kind has literally never been easier, and it’s going to keep getting easier.

Outsourcing And Subcontracting

Then, of course, there’s outsourcing and sub-contracting. These come in two major forms: software as a service, and labor. SaaS in particular has become exceedingly popular as a way to build a product that constantly pays for itself, leaving you to focus on maintenance, and improvements. The train engineers of old wish they could have worked on their trains while they were still running.

While few websites are, I think, built by orphans trapped in smoke-filled factories, we should not ignore the fact that there is a lot of cheap labor out there. And you know what? A lot of them are actually really good, and are only cheap because of the economic disparity between nations. This actually leads me to my next point…

Poor Enforcement Of Industry Standards

One of the downsides of industrial ages as they happen all over the world is this: the constant push for progress sometimes leaves much to be desired in the way we treat our fellow humans. Of course, this isn’t happening to web designers in a bubble. The “gig economy” is often used as an excuse not to provide benefits for employees. Cheap labor is often taken advantage of in the worst ways. Overworking people to near-death is accomplished not with whips, but with Instagram and Twitter feeds praising the eighty-hour work week.

And the actual standards meant to ensure the quality of the product are often ignored. The W3C does a lot of good work, but they don’t actually have the power to enforce HTML validation. Well… that’s probably for the best, all things considered, but as we’ve seen, governments are also poorly equipped to provide QA for the Internet as a whole.

However, I should note that I greatly appreciate some of the government-led work done in the field of accessibility, particularly in countries that require WCAG compliance.

Fear Of Obsolescence

The proliferation of industry created a lot of jobs, and killed a lot of others. Design, however, is still a creative discipline, and thus there will always be room for good designers. Even so, automation and code-free design tools have people worried, and I can understand why. That said, lots of people will actually hire you to use Wix for them, so… shrug.

People outsourcing relatively easy tasks might save us, yet.

It’s Not All Doom And Gloom…

We call hand-crafted websites… well… that. Sometimes “bespoke”. Perhaps a better word would be “artisanal”, and we should just get used to being hipsters. I’m only mostly kidding.

In every industrial age we’ve witnessed, things got bad, and then they got better. We haven’t gotten rid of all the smoke stacks yet, but the world is in most ways a much better place than it was, and the Internet is developing faster than the rest of the world. It may be an industrial age now, but imagine what it will be like when they invent computers.



Featured image via Unsplash.

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Guide to Linting JavaScript with JSHint

Original Source: https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/code-optimisation-linting-jshint/

Editor’s note: This article is part of our Code Optimization series, where we take a look at how to optimize coding for better efficiency in a bid to be better coders. Linting in computer…

Visit hongkiat.com for full content.

3 Essential Design Trends, May 2019

Original Source: https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2019/04/3-essential-design-trends-may-2019/

Sometimes designs are of an acquired taste. That’s our theme for this month.

Each of the projects and trends featured here are things that you’ll probably either love…or hate. But wait to judge these projects until you navigate through them; most of them seem to grow on you the more you dive into the content. Here’s what’s trending in design this month:

Chaos by Design

Have you ever looked at a design and wondered “what were they thinking?”

But then … “that is actually pretty nice.”

It seems like there are plenty of designs out there right now that feature a structure of chaos. These projects are identifiable by an aesthetic that seems to be all over the place, but the more you dig into it, the more it seems to come together.

Common themes include:

Lack of an obvious grid
Lots of motion or animation across multiple elements
Website elements with the same visual weight
“Too many” fonts or colors
Oversized elements that make you think about content
“Trendy” word breaks without hyphenation
Peeking elements from the edges of the canvas

If these things sound like they could make a mess out of the design, you are totally right. But what’s happening with these projects – and the super talented design teams behind them – is that they break all the rules and work.

You will want to keep scrolling through these designs to see what comes next. Each of the examples below incorporates some of these themes and they are stunning.

Oversized Lettering

Big, bold typography has been a trend in website design for some time (we’ve explored that here on multiple occasions.) But there’s been a common theme until now: Most oversized type has been of the sans serif variety.

Now the trend is shifting to an even bolder display above the scroll: Oversized lettering and script fonts.

Each of the examples below uses this trend in a different way:

Kota uses a subtle gradient-color animation in a minimal style design. The letters KOTA are the brand of the website and have a memorable design. While the main logo of the site uses a simple square mark with a sans serif, the funky lettering style is carried through the design in the form of call to action links/buttons.

Feral also features its name in the center of the screen with a handwriting style font, but the bright yellow letters are on top of a dark image and behind a simple tagline for the company. The rest of the design is brighter and more minimal, but hints of the funky font carry through in surprising details.

Alt is a little less big than the other featured trending designs, but it is just as bold. What’s nice about the handwriting-style font here is that it is sleek and has a retro feel. As a center-screen element, it draws the eye in among multiple smaller photos and helps create a sense of cohesion among elements. The font and bright blue color combination do a great job of setting the mood for this website design. (Pay attention to the animation as well. The words don’t move while the image pop around it, some behind and some in front.)

The common theme among all three projects is that this style of typography works best with a single word or short phrase. This style of type can be a challenge in terms of readability, so sticking to a simple use is the best option.

Poster-Style Hero Images

Creating a poster-style hero image or homepage screen might be the least controversial trend in the roundup this month, but it can be equally challenging when it comes to design. With multiple layered elements and bold elements, getting the visuals to collapse (or expand) to different responsive viewports can take some work.

There are so many different ways to create a design that follows this trend. The commonality is that the first screen is an immersive visual experience. It’s not a about how much to read or three places to click; it’s about setting the scene for interactions to come.

What often makes this design style work is a combination of amazing imagery – each of the examples below start with stunning images – impactful text and enough of a curiosity tease to get users to explore the design more. (It’s also interesting that all three examples are from design studios; that’s where many envelope-pushing trends show up first.)

Deep Blue does this with an amazing visual. You might not know exactly what the website is about at first glance, but it’s so pretty that you’ll probably scroll to learn more. If you do, the design has done its job.

Chaptr Studio uses a striking image in a different way. It grabs your attention with a tiny, animated cursor that expands on clickable elements. Users hardly have to try to understand that there’s much more to this design.

Alber Graphics tugs at your curiosity with a stunning image and visual theme that is reminiscent of “Through the Looking Glass.” The visual presentation is so strong that users want to know what’s next; can you feel yourself wanting to engage with the CTA just to see how they respond?


How many of this month’s trends could you see as part of future design projects?

Working with super trendy elements, especially ones that break common design rules or contrast with principles of design theory, can be a challenge. But if you get it right, there’s a huge upside. That’s what you get with each of the projects above; these risky design concepts are well worth the time and are a lot of fun to explore.

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