Web Design Tidbits #1: WordPress.org’s notification bar

In a series of blog posts, we’ll discuss web design’s best practices when it comes to usability, responsiveness and accessibility. We care about great design and we’d love to show you that a little CSS love goes a long way. In this post, I’ll show you how to create a neat notification bar, as it’s currently in place on WordPress.org.

Continue Reading “Web Design Tidbits #1: WordPress.org’s notification bar”

6 tools to get started with responsive web design

Nowadays – when building a website – one is confronted with a number of different sizes and browsers that is daunting.* Plus, with mobile adoption skyrocketing, the diversity of mobile devices on the market doesn’t fail to grow exponentially. Thank god / the vivid web design community no custom coding is needed for each device or screen size with current responsive web design frameworks and testing tools.

We’ve selected 6 tools and libraries to get you started with responsive web design:

Bootstrap

Built at Twitter by Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton, Bootstrap offers an easy configurable CSS front-end framework. Bootstrap was made to not only look and behave great in the latest desktop browsers (as well as IE7!), but also in tablet and smartphone browsers with a 12-column responsive grid, dozens of components, JavaScript plugins, typography, form controls, and has a web-based Customizer. Bootstrap comes in different shapes and forms, like Google BootstrapRetriever Bootstrap and the super fun (and equally ugly) Geo Bootstrap. Continue Reading “6 tools to get started with responsive web design”

An Intro to Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience. That means: easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling across a gradient of different devices. At Usersnap we think a great deal of Responsive Design. Simply re-size your browser window, or open this blog on your smartphone, and you’ll know what we’re talking about.

Ethan Marcotte coined the term responsive web design in a May 2010 article in A List Apart. He then described the theory and practice of responsive web design in his 2011 book Responsive Web Design. Subsequently, Responsive Web Design was listed second in Top Web Design Trends for 2012 by .net magazine. Mashable called 2013 the Year of Responsive Web Design, as they see a ‘major shift in the consumption habits of their audience: Continue Reading “An Intro to Responsive Web Design”

Eric Meyer: we’ve got the solution for your problem!

Eric Meyer, a renown web consultant, wrote a post on the problem of receiving and processing feedback on his own blog, meyerweb.com, and highlighting small things like typos on other blogs, without writing lengthy emails. “As I was reading an article with a few scattered apostrophe errors, I wished that I could highlight each one, hit a report button, and know that the author had been notified of the errors so that they could fix them.  No requirement to leave a comment chastising them for bad grammar, replete with lots of textual context so they could find the errors. (…)”

Continue Reading “Eric Meyer: we’ve got the solution for your problem!”

Lessons from a 125 year old business.

When I was 3 years old, my parents had a grocery store selling almost anything. I spent my days observing customers and finally I came up with the idea to sell onions in front of the store, directly on the sidewalk to attract more customers. My mum told me that I need to address everyone to offer what I had to sell. Finally, I sat there waiting for my  first customer to do business. I took all my courage I had as toddler and did what I was told: I asked everyone passing my kiosk if they needed onions. Surprisingly an old lady wanted to buy a kilo of onions when I suddenly realized that I was not able to weigh them – I couldn’t even read numbers at this time.

At the end of that day my conversion rate was zero – I sold not a single onion but I learnt a very important lession: You’ll only have the chance to sell if you get in touch with your customers and if you can deliver exactly what they need.

My parents are still running their 1887-founded business. In the 125 years of its existence, some major pivots were made (they made pivots before it was cool) ranging from selling leather propulsions followed by a grocery store which transformed to a successful niche player: today Betten Leimer produces and sells feather beds.

Continue Reading “Lessons from a 125 year old business.”

Basecamp as a project management tool for web projects

Launched in 2004, Basecamp is one of the oldest web-based project management and collaboration tools on the web.  With 150,000 companies using Basecamp, it’s definitely one of the most successful PM tools out there. 37signals, the company behind Basecamp relaunched Basecamp as “New Basecamp” back in March this year. The “old” Basecamp Classic is still available and it is still possible to sign up for a Basecamp Classic account. Since the classic version is not actively promoted any longer, this blog post refers only to the “New Basecamp“.

Instead of reviewing all features of Basecamp and comparing them to other tools, let’s focus on five real life requirements for a project management tool which is used for managing web development projects. These requirements are experiences we gathered in the last couple of years.

Continue Reading “Basecamp as a project management tool for web projects”

Eat your own dogfood!

It’s common knowledge: in a startup, you are your first customer. You are the first one eating your cooking – and unless you have some secret product-guy super powers it will taste like dog food. Dogfooding is a great way to get an idea of how your customer will perceive your product. Using your own software on a day to day basis takes you a long way finding the most important product improvements.

Continue Reading “Eat your own dogfood!”