Keyword Research Using Scribe

Scribe allows you to optimize content of any kind whether it be a blog post, press release, article, etc. Membership entitles you to analyze a certain number of pieces of content and a certain number of keyword research requests depending on which plan you signed up for. The new Keyword Research Tool is the subject of this tutorial. Recently they have also updated their WordPress, Joomla and Drupal plugins to include this feature.

Supplies Needed:

* Affiliate link for Membership to Scribe SEO
* Computer with Internet Connection
* List of keyword phrases you want to research

Step 1: Login to your Scribe SEO account

In your browser’s address bar, navigate to https://my.scribeseo.com and login to your account. If you can not remember your password, click on “Forgot Password” and Scribe will email it to you.


Scribe SEO software

Scribe allows you to optimize content of any kind whether it be a blog post, press release, article, etc. Membership entitles you to analyze a certain number of pieces of content and a certain number of keyword research requests depending on which plan you signed up for. The new Keyword Research Tool is the subject of this tutorial. Recently they have also updated their WordPress, Joomla and Drupal plugins to include this feature.

Supplies Needed:

Step 1: Login to your Scribe SEO account

In your browser’s address bar, navigate to https://my.scribeseo.com and login to your account. If you can not remember your password, click on “Forgot Password” and Scribe will email it to you.

Step 2: Choose the Web Version

Under “Supported Platforms”, click on “Click here to optimize with Scribe Web.”

Step 3: Choose “Add Content”

Click on the link that says “Add Content”

Leer más “Keyword Research Using Scribe”

Talk to Strangers – and Listen

The whole process traversed four stages that make recommendations effective: discovery, validation, confirmation, and actualization. We’ll look at all four, specifically in how they’re used in mobile situations.

1) Discovery: Recommendations need to be readily accessible. Right now, more technologically savvy consumers can find location-based recommendations easily through check-in services, Twitter, barcode scanning, and other means. To gain wider adoption, they’ll have to gain even wider distribution, especially through default mapping and local search offerings on both feature phones and smartphones.

2) Relevance: The recommendations need to resonate in some way with their audience. At Birch & Barley, there were more recommendations for the Brussels sprouts than brunch, but I quickly ignored them and forgot about the vegetables. Food’s a salient example, but this could relate to anything. When I shop at J. Crew, it won’t help if I only see mentions of women’s clothing. When I’m at a hotel, I’ll care more about the WiFi than the spa. Venues and location-based marketers will need to know their audience.


Originally published in MediaPost’s Social Media Insider

The whole process traversed four stages that make recommendations effective: discovery, validation, confirmation, and actualization. We’ll look at all four, specifically in how they’re used in mobile situations.

1) Discovery: Recommendations need to be readily accessible. Right now, more technologically savvy consumers can find location-based recommendations easily through check-in services, Twitter, barcode scanning, and other means. To gain wider adoption, they’ll have to gain even wider distribution, especially through default mapping and local search offerings on both feature phones and smartphones.

2) Relevance: The recommendations need to resonate in some way with their audience. At Birch & Barley, there were more recommendations for the Brussels sprouts than brunch, but I quickly ignored them and forgot about the vegetables. Food’s a salient example, but this could relate to anything. When I shop at J. Crew, it won’t help if I only see mentions of women’s clothing. When I’m at a hotel, I’ll care more about the WiFi than the spa. Venues and location-based marketers will need to know their audience.

3) Validation: Consumers must make sure there’s some credible reason to listen to the recommendation. If there’s one reviewer saying something that strikes a deeply personal chord, it may not matter at all who that reviewer is. In my case, there could be one tourist from Kazakhstan raving about fried chicken, and I’m fine taking a chance. Most of the time, other cues are needed. These factors include: quantity — the sheer number of recommendations listed; convergence — several reviews echoing similar notes; and proximity — how closely you identify with the reviewers. Leer más “Talk to Strangers – and Listen”

Findings from the A LIST APART Survey, 2009

Once again, A List Apart and you have teamed up to shed light on precisely who creates websites. Where do we live? What kind of work do we do? What are our job titles? How well or how poorly are we paid? How satisfied are we, and where do we see ourselves going?

Once again, we present our findings on the web, with XHTML table data converted to beauteous charts care of CSS, Jason Santa Maria, and Eric Meyer. Others who worked on these findings include editor Krista Stevens and publisher Jeffrey Zeldman.

Analyses contained in this report should be considered primarily descriptive; no attempt was made to assess causality among survey variables. In plain English, be careful not to extrapolate the observations that follow into predictive or causal relationships.


http://aneventapart.com/alasurvey2009/

Once again, A List Apart and you have teamed up to shed light on precisely who creates websites. Where do we live? What kind of work do we do? What are our job titles? How well or how poorly are we paid? How satisfied are we, and where do we see ourselves going?

Once again, we present our findings on the web, with XHTML table data converted to beauteous charts care of CSS, Jason Santa Maria, and Eric Meyer. Others who worked on these findings include editor Krista Stevens and publisher Jeffrey Zeldman.

Analyses contained in this report should be considered primarily descriptive; no attempt was made to assess causality among survey variables. In plain English, be careful not to extrapolate the observations that follow into predictive or causal relationships.

Who are you?

Come here often? What’s your sign?…. Leer más “Findings from the A LIST APART Survey, 2009”

Personality and Entrepreneurship: Why are some people more entrepreneurial than others, and why should you care?

This is why you should care about entrepreneurship, and why that implies caring about personality: Personality rules the world, and the more power a person has, the more important is personality. Social psychology has shown us how our lives are affected by others, but personality psychology explains why some people are much more likely than others to affect our lives. Entrepreneurship is just another process by which this influence occurs; it is (like leadership) the natural consequence of differences in personality and yet another proof that the personality of some is much more influential than others’.

So, how entrepreneurial are you? To find out whether you may be the Richard Branson or Oprah Winfrey of tomorrow, or whether you should just stick to a 9-to-5 job, just take our test!


(…) http://www.psychologytoday.com

Mr. Personality

A personality expert talks character and destiny.
by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Ph.D.
Do you have what it takes to be the next Richard Branson?

So far, psychologists have failed to explain why some people are more entrepreneurial than others, but the answer is straightforward: personality. Indeed, individual differences in creativity, ambition, and risk-taking explain why some people have much more potential for entrepreneurship than others, and valid personality measures can help us identify who the entrepreneurs of tomorrow will be. Of course, there are also socio-political factors contributing to entrepreneurship, which is why it is a lot harder to be entrepreneurial in North than in South Korea, or why unemployment may actually foster entrepreneurship. Still, in any country at any given point of time there will be more and less entrepreneurial people and a country’s economic and social development is much more dependent on the former. Leer más “Personality and Entrepreneurship: Why are some people more entrepreneurial than others, and why should you care?”

You Already Have the Life You Want

So how do we bridge that gap? How can we turn what we think we want into what we actually get? Here are some strategies I use. Maybe a few of them will work for you:

* Focus on one thing. When I get the idea to make a big change, I usually want to do 100 things all at the same time. This never works. Focus on one thing that will improve your life and don’t move on until you’ve mastered it.

* Find a daily action. Big changes don’t always happen overnight, but what you do every day between sunrise and sunset is the most important part of ensuring it actually does happen. What’s one little thing you can do right now without waiting for anything else to get started? Ask yourself that every’ single’ day. [Más…]

* Reflect on your changes. Is this big transformation you’re after actually making you happier? Best to take a second every now and again to make sure you’re not perpetually suffering from ‘the grass is greener on the other side‘ syndrome. Make sure you’re headed the right direction.

* Change your environment. Sometimes I don’t realize just how much my surroundings affect my behavior. A routine environment perpetuates routine behavior. If you want change to come a little easier, change the scenery for a while and build a new set of behaviors to associate with it.

* Rebalance relationships. Just like your environment, the people you’re around influence how you act. Truth is, your friends don’t want you to change even if they say they do because that makes them uncomfortable. The first time I decided to be a writer, I hung around with all the same people that didn’t understand me. The second time I decided to be a writer, I started hanging around other successful writers. Which one worked?

* Eliminate barriers. Sometimes they’re mental, and sometimes they’re physical. Either way, you have to get creative to find ways around them. If you don’t have the time to do something, how can you fit it into little sessions that will add up over time? If you don’t have the money to do something, what else do you have that you can trade for what you want?

* Ask for help. We all get stuck. I do regularly. I used to have too much pride to ask for help ‚’I’d rather figure it out on my own. Now I realize that’s foolish and asking for help is a hell of a lot faster and easier. There’s no shame in being more efficient.

* Find a role model. One of the fastest ways to success is to model it. Who’s already done what you’re trying to do? What things did they do that got them there faster? What slowed them down? Model what worked, avoid what didn’t.

* Relax already! Active relaxation ‚’doing things that engage you but aren’t your main focus ‚’ can bring a lot of clarity when you’re obsessing over something. I can brainstorm all day, but it doesn’t mean I’ll come up with a good idea. Those usually creep in when I finally take a break and do something else.


(…)

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/you-already-have-the-life-you-want/

Written by Tyler Tervooren

So how do we bridge that gap? How can we turn what we think we want into what we actually get? Here are some strategies I use. Maybe a few of them will work for you:

  • Focus on one thing. When I get the idea to make a big change, I usually want to do 100 things all at the same time. This never works. Focus on one thing that will improve your life and don’t move on until you’ve mastered it.
  • Find a daily action. Big changes don’t always happen overnight, but what you do every day between sunrise and sunset is the most important part of ensuring it actually does happen. What’s one little thing you can do right now without waiting for anything else to get started? Ask yourself that every’ single’ day. Leer más “You Already Have the Life You Want”

What Is User Experience Design? Overview, Tools And Resources

Those who work on UX (called UX designers) study and evaluate how users feel about a system, looking at such things as ease of use, perception of the value of the system, utility, efficiency in performing tasks and so forth.

UX designers also look at sub-systems and processes within a system. For example, they might study the checkout process of an e-commerce website to see whether users find the process of buying products from the website easy and pleasant. They could delve deeper by studying components of the sub-system, such as seeing how efficient and pleasant is the experience of users filling out input fields in a Web form.

Compared to many other disciplines, particularly Web-based systems, UX is relatively new. The term “user experience” was coined by Dr. Donald Norman, a cognitive science researcher who was also the first to describe the importance of user-centered design (the notion that design decisions should be based on the needs and wants of users).


Websites and Web applications have become progressively more complex as our industry’s technologies and methodologies advance. What used to be a one-way static medium has evolved into a very rich and interactive experience.

But regardless of how much has changed in the production process, a website’s success still hinges on just one thing: how users perceive it. “Does this website give me value? Is it easy to use? Is it pleasant to use?” These are the questions that run through the minds of visitors as they interact with our products, and they form the basis of their decisions on whether to become regular users.

User experience design is all about striving to make them answer “Yes” to all of those questions. This guide aims to familiarize you with the professional discipline of UX design in the context of Web-based systems such as websites and applications.

[Offtopic: by the way, did you know that we are publishing a Smashing eBook Series? The brand new eBook #3 is Mastering Photoshop For Web Design, written by our Photoshop-expert Thomas Giannattasio.]

What Is User Experience?

User experience (abbreviated as UX) is how a person feels when interfacing with a system. The system could be a website, a web application or desktop software and, in modern contexts, is generally denoted by some form of human-computer interaction (HCI).

01 User Experience Graphic in What Is User Experience Design? Overview, Tools And Resources

Those who work on UX (called UX designers) study and evaluate how users feel about a system, looking at such things as ease of use, perception of the value of the system, utility, efficiency in performing tasks and so forth.

UX designers also look at sub-systems and processes within a system. For example, they might study the checkout process of an e-commerce website to see whether users find the process of buying products from the website easy and pleasant. They could delve deeper by studying components of the sub-system, such as seeing how efficient and pleasant is the experience of users filling out input fields in a Web form.

Compared to many other disciplines, particularly Web-based systems, UX is relatively new. The term “user experience” was coined by Dr. Donald Norman, a cognitive science researcher who was also the first to describe the importance of user-centered design (the notion that design decisions should be based on the needs and wants of users).

Full article here:
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/10/05/what-is-user-experience-design-overview-tools-and-resources/

Internet Marketing: Landing page optimization for beginners

Dustin Eichholt |
http://www.marketingexperiments.com/blog/research-topics/internet-marketing-for-beginners.html

C = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) – 2a ©
Wherein:
C = Probability of conversion
m = Motivation of user (when)
v = Clarity of the value proposition (why)
i = Incentive to take action
f = Friction elements of process
a = Anxiety about entering information

By dealing with the heuristic piece by piece, you’re able to get in the mindset of your visitor/ potential customer and deal with the page as they would.

So far, some work I’ve done with the CIA includes analyzing motivation of visitors – are they getting what they’re expecting? Does it match what they’re looking for at that point in time?

Clarity of the value proposition is a very important part of any landing page. It’s important to not only state it clearly but ask yourself if the other elements support that value proposition. The customer wants to know not only why they want a product, but why they should get it from you.

Friction can be pretty straightforward– are you asking too much of your visitor? Is it difficult to navigate or are you asking them to enter a lengthy signup process? In addition to length, you must also ask yourself if there is any field or informational request that causes concern or anxiety. Do you explain that the visitor’s email address will not be used deceitfully?

You can think of all the elements of the conversion heuristic working together as a fulcrum or scale. Positive elements, such as matching visitor motivation and communication of value, are on one side of the scale. Negative elements, such as friction and anxiety, are on the other.

On a particular landing page, does the balance of the scale tip too much towards the negative or positive? If it’s tipped towards the negative elements, what steps can you take to tip it the other way? Would an incentive such as a free gift or free shipping help offset some of the friction you can’t get rid of?

All of these questions can be daunting. Writing, designing, and building a website is hard, a successful one even harder. However, at MarketingExperiments, we look at these questions as opportunities for testing. The team I’ve been working with in the labs is very good at looking for opportunities, even on already successful sites.


Dustin Eichholt |
http://www.marketingexperiments.com/blog/research-topics/internet-marketing-for-beginners.html

C = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) – 2a ©
Wherein:
C = Probability of conversion
m = Motivation of user (when)
v = Clarity of the value proposition (why)
i = Incentive to take action
f = Friction elements of process
a = Anxiety about entering information

By dealing with the heuristic piece by piece, you’re able to get in the mindset of your visitor/ potential customer and deal with the page as they would.

So far, some work I’ve done with the CIA includes analyzing motivation of visitors – are they getting what they’re expecting? Does it match what they’re looking for at that point in time?

Clarity of the value proposition is a very important part of any landing page. It’s important to not only state it clearly but ask yourself if the other elements support that value proposition. The customer wants to know not only why they want a product, but why they should get it from you.

Friction can be pretty straightforward– are you asking too much of your visitor? Is it difficult to navigate or are you asking them to enter a lengthy signup process? In addition to length, you must also ask yourself if there is any field or informational request that causes concern or anxiety. Do you explain that the visitor’s email address will not be used deceitfully?

You can think of all the elements of the conversion heuristic working together as a fulcrum or scale. Positive elements, such as matching visitor motivation and communication of value, are on one side of the scale. Negative elements, such as friction and anxiety, are on the other.

On a particular landing page, does the balance of the scale tip too much towards the negative or positive? If it’s tipped towards the negative elements, what steps can you take to tip it the other way? Would an incentive such as a free gift or free shipping help offset some of the friction you can’t get rid of?

All of these questions can be daunting. Writing, designing, and building a website is hard, a successful one even harder. However, at MarketingExperiments, we look at these questions as opportunities for testing. The team I’ve been working with in the labs is very good at looking for opportunities, even on already successful sites. Leer más “Internet Marketing: Landing page optimization for beginners”

Ogilvy One promotes Peter Moss, Lucy McCabe to reinforce global focus

Moss is promoted from regional executive creative director to vice-president of customer experience. His new role sees him move away from directly managing the creative team to take on a planning function in working to understanding how consumers connect to define specific roles for communications and appropriate channels to achieve them. He will be responsible for mapping the connections between customers and channels, platforms and media and identifying key areas of ROI impact.

Reporting to Smith, McCabe joins Moss in driving the global focus in her new role as vice-president of consulting services as they aim to implement customer value measurement and optimise the buying process accordingly. Both Moss and McCabe will remain based in Singapore and continue working with country head Stephen Mangham as they still have a part to play in the agency’s operations there.

Prior to her promotion, McCabe was head of consulting in Singapore in working with regional planning head Mark Sinnock. She will continue working with Sinnock in her new role.

“I am delighted to have Lucy and Pete on the regional team. They are both really smart people who bring the experience and new thinking that is required to maximise the opportunity for our clients in today’s and tomorrow’s world,” said Smith, who was appointed as regional president in July.


ASIA-PACIFIC – Ogilvy One has promoted Peter Moss (pictured right) and Lucy McCabe (pictured left) to regional VP roles in working with Asia CEO Jerry Smith to implement the network’s global focus.

Ogilvy One promotes Peter Moss, Lucy McCabe to reinforce global focus

Ogilvy One’s Lucy McCabe, Peter Moss

Moss is promoted from regional executive creative director to vice-president of customer experience. His new role sees him move away from directly managing the creative team to take on a planning function in working to understanding how consumers connect to define specific roles for communications and appropriate channels to achieve them. He will be responsible for mapping the connections between customers and channels, platforms and media and identifying key areas of ROI impact.

Reporting to Smith, McCabe joins Moss in driving the global focus in her new role as vice-president of consulting services as they aim to implement customer value measurement and optimise the buying process accordingly. Both Moss and McCabe will remain based in Singapore and continue working with country head Stephen Mangham as they still have a part to play in the agency’s operations there.

Prior to her promotion, McCabe was head of consulting in Singapore in working with regional planning head Mark Sinnock. She will continue working with Sinnock in her new role.

“I am delighted to have Lucy and Pete on the regional team. They are both really smart people who bring the experience and new thinking that is required to maximise the opportunity for our clients in today’s and tomorrow’s world,” said Smith, who was appointed as regional president in July. Leer más “Ogilvy One promotes Peter Moss, Lucy McCabe to reinforce global focus”

Mars appoints OMD Taiwan following month of pitches


TAIPEI – OMD Taiwan has been appointed to the media business for Mars following a month-long competitive pitch against Mindshare and incumbent Dentsu Media Palette.

Mars appoints OMD Taiwan following month of pitches

OMD will be handling both traditional and online media for Mars, effective immediately.

“During the pitch process, OMD Taiwan impressed us with their positive energy and stellar presentation,” said Yin Wei Lee, commercial head of Mars Taiwan.

According to a company statement, Mars generates global sales of US$28 billion annually across six business segments, including chocolate, petcare, Wrigley gum and confections, food, drinks and symbioscience. Leer más “Mars appoints OMD Taiwan following month of pitches”

Unilever adds global marketing roles

The FMCG company is introducing three roles, including Helena Ganczakowski as global vice-president for agency relations, Jorgen Bartsch as global vice-president for marketing services and Paula Quazi as global vice-president for futures communications.

Ganczakowski, currently global vice-president of heart health, is a former marketing director for Unilever UK. Bartsch is director of marketing operations, based in Singapore, while Quazi has held several roles at the company, including vice-president of marketing in Europe.


GLOBAL – Unilever is boosting its global marketing team in an effort to improve the return from its US$7.2 billion annual spend.

Unilever adds global marketing roles

The FMCG company is introducing three roles, including Helena Ganczakowski as global vice-president for agency relations, Jorgen Bartsch as global vice-president for marketing services and Paula Quazi as global vice-president for futures communications.

Ganczakowski, currently global vice-president of heart health, is a former marketing director for Unilever UK. Bartsch is director of marketing operations, based in Singapore, while Quazi has held several roles at the company, including vice-president of marketing in Europe. Leer más “Unilever adds global marketing roles”

WordPress Custom Post Types Guide

One of the most anticipated features of WordPress 3.0 was the ability to add your own custom post types to WordPress, which allows you to display and categorize different types of content outside of the 5 native WordPress content types (i.e. Post, Page, Attachment, and so forth). The addition of this feature is a big step forward in making WordPress a full-fledged CMS, extending outside its normal use as a blogging platform.

In this guide, we’ll go through the process of creating and using your own custom post type. More specifically, we will create an “Event” post type for your special events and dates, sort of like a calendar.
What is a Custom Post Type?

If you’re familiar with WordPress, then I’m sure you’ve already had some exposure to the default WordPress post types used for content creation: Post and Page. Almost all of the content in any WordPress site prior to 3.0 is composed of some combination of posts and pages.

Posts are generally used for content that is updated frequently (blog posts, for example), and pages are generally used for static content (such as the About page of a site).

Often, however, you may have a more specific type of data that you want to include on your site. This is where custom post types come in.

We’re going to create a custom post type that we’ll call “Event”. This content type will let us add events such as birthdays, holidays, conference dates, and so forth.

We’ll be working with the default TwentyTen theme that comes with WordPress 3.0 so that we have a uniform code base, but the concepts and techniques will be applicable to any theme.


October 5th, 2010 by John Gadbois
http://sixrevisions.com/wordpress/wordpress-custom-post-types-guide/

WordPress Custom Post Types Guide

One of the most anticipated features of WordPress 3.0 was the ability to add your own custom post types to WordPress, which allows you to display and categorize different types of content outside of the 5 native WordPress content types (i.e. Post, Page, Attachment, and so forth). The addition of this feature is a big step forward in making WordPress a full-fledged CMS, extending outside its normal use as a blogging platform.

In this guide, we’ll go through the process of creating and using your own custom post type. More specifically, we will create an “Event” post type for your special events and dates, sort of like a calendar.

What is a Custom Post Type?

If you’re familiar with WordPress, then I’m sure you’ve already had some exposure to the default WordPress post types used for content creation: Post and Page. Almost all of the content in any WordPress site prior to 3.0 is composed of some combination of posts and pages.

Posts are generally used for content that is updated frequently (blog posts, for example), and pages are generally used for static content (such as the About page of a site).

Often, however, you may have a more specific type of data that you want to include on your site. This is where custom post types come in.

We’re going to create a custom post type that we’ll call “Event”. This content type will let us add events such as birthdays, holidays, conference dates, and so forth.

We’ll be working with the default TwentyTen theme that comes with WordPress 3.0 so that we have a uniform code base, but the concepts and techniques will be applicable to any theme. Leer más “WordPress Custom Post Types Guide”

Giveaway: PSD to HTML Conversion Service from P2H.com

Their expansive resources of over 300 full-time employees, coupled with guaranteed effective communication and customer care, ensure the highest quality for each project.
P2H Features

P2H’s work includes:

* The highest level of W3C-standards-compliant markup
* Table-less layouts
* XHTML 1.0 Strict DOCTYPE
* SEO-friendly
* Semantic HTML/CSS that follows best practices
* Optimized shorthand CSS
* Separation of presentational (CSS), structural (HTML), and functional (JS) layers
* Emphasis on page load speed
* Cross-browser compatible with IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and other browsers
* It takes only 1 working day to do the conversion of the 1st page, and 3-6 hours for each additional page

For additional details about the P2H features and the prize you could win, check out p2h.com order page.


October 6th, 2010 by Jacob Gube
http://sixrevisions.com/contests/giveaway-psd-to-html-conversion-service-from-p2h-com/

Giveaway: PSD to HTML Conversion Service from P2H.com

This one’s going to be a treat for you web designers out there: P2H, the first and premier PSD to HTML conversion service provider, has decided to provide up to 3 pages of their Hi-End Package markup, valued at $450, to a lucky Six Revisions winner. Read on to see how you can win this spectacular service.

What is P2H?

Founded in early 2005, P2H.com (also known as PSD2HTML.com) was the first service of its kind to provide taking a web designer’s Photoshop file (PSD) and converting it into standards-based, high-quality HTML/CSS template. Since then, they have established over 40,000 clients and is recognized as the most experienced and trustworthy company in the Design and HTML marketplace.

order now

Their expansive resources of over 300 full-time employees, coupled with guaranteed effective communication and customer care, ensure the highest quality for each project.

P2H Features

P2H’s work includes:

  • The highest level of W3C-standards-compliant markup
  • Table-less layouts
  • XHTML 1.0 Strict DOCTYPE
  • SEO-friendly
  • Semantic HTML/CSS that follows best practices
  • Optimized shorthand CSS
  • Separation of presentational (CSS), structural (HTML), and functional (JS) layers
  • Emphasis on page load speed
  • Cross-browser compatible with IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and other browsers
  • It takes only 1 working day to do the conversion of the 1st page, and 3-6 hours for each additional page

For additional details about the P2H features and the prize you could win, check out p2h.com order page. Leer más “Giveaway: PSD to HTML Conversion Service from P2H.com”

The design process vs. design-as-product

The trouble with the word “template” is that its meaning depends on one’s point of view.

To some, a template is a ticket to an instant website. Many content management systems allow owners to change plug-and-play themes as easily as they change clothes, and inexpensive skins are just a Google search away.

To others, templates are learning tools. Studying samples of real-world code and style is more practical for them than following examples in a book or reviewing lecture notes.

Templates can represent independence. Anyone, even someone without basic design or development skills, can choose from hundreds of templates without fear that a “design expert” will question their decision.

Templates can also mean efficiency. They are generic enough to fit most information, and they are reusable. Fill the space with a dash of content and you’re done.

Many people I’ve worked with-designers, managers and clients alike-equate templates with design. To create a design is to build a chair in which the content will sit. To choose a design is to select a vehicle to carry information.

The noun “design” differs from the verb “design”: one is a product, the other a process. This thought begs the question: is web design skin deep, or are designers more than purveyors of templates?

intentional design stands out [Más…]
Chasing Keyboard Shortcuts

Thinking of the process of designing a website as “producing the best template” is the wrong approach. I know from experience.

Not long ago I was hired to design a law firm’s website. The business’ owners knew what they wanted, more or less, and provided JPG mock-ups. Aware of the tight deadline, the developer and I hammered out a database, a custom CMS and, of course, the HTML template.

Their three-column composition had pale boxes on a paler background. We measured space for ads on the right, worked to fit the search tool on the left, checked spacing in three versions of Explorer and tweaked the drop-shadows under the navigation bar. In short, we fretted over everything except the center column.

As deadline approached, we met to address last-minute problems. One person wasn’t satisfied with the arrangement of certain information. Someone suggested a solution and asked me to try it out. A few HTML changes later, we saw the new page. Everyone settled for this compromise, and the website went ahead.

After the launch, the client complimented my design skills and particularly my knowledge of keyboard shortcuts. At first, I didn’t recognize the unintended insult, but I’d been cast in the role of “button pusher,” and the field of design was button pushing. Worse, it was my fault: by acting on the committee’s whim, I put myself in this position. The job paid well, but the result was uninspired and the experience belittling.

The best way to design, and I mean the verb, is to keep on designing, to seek problems. To insist that “less is more” is the same as saying “Don’t do something unless the project suffers without it.”

template design vs. content design

How Does It Work?
1. Ask questions.

“What do we want to accomplish?” is just the beginning, and “To build a website” is not a sufficient answer.

* “Who are we trying to help, inform or influence?”
* “Why should people come to us instead of the competition?”
* “Who is responsible for what?”
* “What do we need in order to launch, and what can wait for later?”
* “How will we maintain this website? Who will make changes, monitor traffic and troubleshoot problems?”
* “Has this been done before? If so, how can we improve on it? What mistakes can we learn from?”


design-process-mass-producedhttp://www.webdesignerdepot.com

The trouble with the wordtemplate is that its meaning depends on one’s point of view.

To some, a template is a ticket to an instant website. Many content management systems allow owners to change plug-and-play themes as easily as they change clothes, and inexpensive skins are just a Google search away.

To others, templates are learning tools. Studying samples of real-world code and style is more practical for them than following examples in a book or reviewing lecture notes.

Templates can represent independence. Anyone, even someone without basic design or development skills, can choose from hundreds of templates without fear that a “design expert” will question their decision.

Templates can also mean efficiency. They are generic enough to fit most information, and they are reusable. Fill the space with a dash of content and you’re done.

Many people I’ve worked with-designers, managers and clients alike-equate templates with design. To create a design is to build a chair in which the content will sit. To choose a design is to select a vehicle to carry information.

The noun “design” differs from the verb “design”: one is a product, the other a process. This thought begs the question: is web design skin deep, or are designers more than purveyors of templates?

intentional design stands out Leer más “The design process vs. design-as-product”

Pixel Art: Create a Better Favicon For Your Website

Having a good favicon can make a website more noticeable and relevant when a past visitor is searching through bookmarks, history, or favorites. It can also help for users to find a website quickly when trying to search their way through multiple tabs. In this post we’re going to take a look at some great Favicons that represent the respective brand well, and also cover some tutorials and how-to’s for creating your own effective Favicon on your website.
Tutorials and How-To’s

Creating and implementing a Favicon is relatively easy. Favicons in the URL field and in browser tabs are at 16×16 pixels, but 32×32 pixels are used in some browsers in the Favorites section. Below is a step by step guide to first designing your favicon, and then placing it into your website.
Step-by-Step Guide to Putting a Favicon on Your Site

* Open up MS Paint or another graphics program of your choice. MS paint works just fine since you’ll be having to work in simple pixels and a simple color palette anyway, and because it supports saving files in the Favicon format: .ico. However, a Favicon can be created in another program and then translated into .ico with an online generator fairly easily as well.
* Create a 16px by 16px document and begin designing within this space. It can be difficult to create something with a lot of detail in this small space, so be sure to check out the best practices and guidelines below for creating an effective Favicon. You may also want to create a 32px by 32px icon with more detail, since some browsers display Favorites at this size. For practicality purposes, though, 16×16 pixels is usually sufficient for most uses and modern browsers.
* Save the icon in a .ico format. This can be done in MS Paint, through Photoshop with this plugin, or use one of the online generators below. It can also work to simply save the icon in any common web image format, and then rename the file to .ico instead of .jpg, .gif, or .png. However, this is just disguising the real format, and using this method may not be fully compatible among all browsers.
* Place the icon in your images folder, or in the root folder of your website.
* Use the following code in the head section of your webpage, preferably next to your meta tags or other link tags:
view sourceprint?
1


http://www.onextrapixel.com/2010/10/06/pixel-art-create-a-better-favicon-for-your-website/

Favicons are small pixel-size icons which are short for Favorite Icons, or icons that are intended to be viewed next to a website title when bookmarked. They also show up in the URL section of a web browser and in tabs. The purpose of a Favicon is not just for visual impact, but it is an essential branding tool, that can support the greater branding images of a website like the logo, overall color scheme, and theme.

Pixel Art: Create a Better Favicon For Your Website

Having a good favicon can make a website more noticeable and relevant when a past visitor is searching through bookmarks, history, or favorites. It can also help for users to find a website quickly when trying to search their way through multiple tabs. In this post we’re going to take a look at some great Favicons that represent the respective brand well, and also cover some tutorials and how-to’s for creating your own effective Favicon on your website.

Tutorials and How-To’s

Creating and implementing a Favicon is relatively easy. Favicons in the URL field and in browser tabs are at 16×16 pixels, but 32×32 pixels are used in some browsers in the Favorites section. Below is a step by step guide to first designing your favicon, and then placing it into your website.

Step-by-Step Guide to Putting a Favicon on Your Site

  • Open up MS Paint or another graphics program of your choice. MS paint works just fine since you’ll be having to work in simple pixels and a simple color palette anyway, and because it supports saving files in the Favicon format: .ico. However, a Favicon can be created in another program and then translated into .ico with an online generator fairly easily as well.
  • Create a 16px by 16px document and begin designing within this space. It can be difficult to create something with a lot of detail in this small space, so be sure to check out the best practices and guidelines below for creating an effective Favicon. You may also want to create a 32px by 32px icon with more detail, since some browsers display Favorites at this size. For practicality purposes, though, 16×16 pixels is usually sufficient for most uses and modern browsers.
  • Save the icon in a .ico format. This can be done in MS Paint, through Photoshop with this plugin, or use one of the online generators below. It can also work to simply save the icon in any common web image format, and then rename the file to .ico instead of .jpg, .gif, or .png. However, this is just disguising the real format, and using this method may not be fully compatible among all browsers.
  • Place the icon in your images folder, or in the root folder of your website.
  • Use the following code in the head section of your webpage, preferably next to your meta tags or other link tags:
    1 <link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" href="images/favicon.ico" />

Further and More Specific Tutorials

Best Practices

As anyone can see, creating and implementing a Favicon is pretty easy. Most web designers know this, but above is a quick guide regardless. Now, though, let’s look into Favicon design in a bit more detail. Like with any web design practice, there are a set of best practices when it comes to designing and implementing favicons onto your website. Below are just a few ideas, some technical, and some not.

Name Your Favicon “favicon.ico”

Many websites name their favicons “favicon.ico” for a number of good reasons. The most important reason is browser compatibility with IE. Yes, even with classic Favicons we must still deal with issues in Internet Explorer. Fortunately, issues are easy to overcome. IE6 may only recognize icons as favicons if the icon ends in .ico. There are ways to make other image formats (such as .png, .jpg, and .gif) work as Favicons by just altering the HTML code above, and it will work just fine in modern browsers. However, we won’t even get into how to do that since it’s just much easier and more compatible to make favicons in the standard .ico format.

Also, IE5 and earlier may not even recognize a favicon if it is named anything different than ‘favicon’. Many will argue that the percentage of those who still use anything IE5 and earlier is next to nothing, and that it barely matters. While this is a very good point, it doesn’t take much extra effort to name a favicon appropriately to include that small percentage regardless.

The third good reason to name your favicon exactly “favicon.ico” is for consistency purposes. When working with websites from developer to developer, this is the standard name for such an icon and therefore it can be recognized and worked with more easily.

Directory Structure

Place Your Favicon in the Top Directory

While our how-to example above did indeed place the favicon in an images/ folder, it is generally a best practice to place the favicon in the root directory of your website. While it is possible to place a favicon in any directory and link to it respectively, most developers place it in the top directory for consistency purposes.

It may make more sense to some to put it into an images folder since it is an image, but the standard developer-to-developer directory structure includes it in the top directory with the main pages.

Create a Multi-Resolution Icon

We were discussing above what the common size dimensions were for favicons. 16px by 16px was the most common, and many websites choose to just use this. A standard 16px by 16px icon works just fine in the majority of cases. Yet, there is a way to create a multi-resolution favicon that supports larger versions of the icon, just in the case that the icon was translated to a desktop or application icon. This prevents the 16px by 16px icon from being stretched out into something hideous, in the rare cases of its expansion.

Multi-Resolution Icon

For a detailed tutorial on how to create multi-resolution icons, check out this post: Creating a multi-resolution favicon including transparency with the GIMP. While this tutorial is based in GIMP, the same principles can be translated to Photoshop or another photo-editing program as well.

Use the 256 Color Palette

This simple color palette is the default Windows color palette. It is what most browsers that view your favicon will support, plus, the simplicity in colors means a better visual outcome for a design in such a small space.

Keep It Simple & Consistent with Branding

Of course, keep to the main purpose of using a favicon: let it support your website brand. Many favicons are a simple version of the website logo, or a relative image otherwise. They are in the same color scheme as the main color of the website, and don’t stray too far away from the overall look and theme of the website. Never just use a random image or interesting piece of pixel art for a favicon. There’s just no point to that. Make it relevant, specific to your branding, and relative to your website’s overall look.

Also keep the design as simple as possible. There is just simply not enough room for extra design features such as drop shadows, texture, and so on. Clean lines and shapes are the best way to create a crisp, clean, and effective favicon. Without a minimal design, the overall use can backfire by becoming too crowded and blurred for effective branding. Leer más “Pixel Art: Create a Better Favicon For Your Website”

Spice Up Your Galleries with jQuery clickCarousel Plugin

Property Options:

* direction: The direction the carousel will shift. Valid arguments are the string “left” and “right”. Default value: “left”
* margin: The space between the shifting elements in pixels. Argument should be an integer. Default value: 0
* hideSpeed: How long the retracting element takes to retract in milliseconds. Default value: 500
* shiftSpeed: How long the elements take to shift in milliseconds. Default value: 500
* shifting: The elements that will shift and/or retract in the carousel. Default value: The children of the object that calls .clickCarousel.
* clicker: A jQuery object that represents what element(s) will trigger the retraction effect when clicked. Default value: The shifting elements themselves
* shiftOnly: A boolean variable that deactivates the retract function of the carousel when set to true. Default value: false
* left: A jQuery object that represents what element(s) will cause the carousel to shift left when clicked. Default value: $(“#carouselLeft”);
* right: A jQuery object that represents what element(s) will cause the carousel to shift right when clicked. Default value: $(“#carouselRight”);


Plugin Implementation

jQuery clickCarousel Plugin
Image credit: cubagallery

.clickCarousel (Properties) Leer más “Spice Up Your Galleries with jQuery clickCarousel Plugin”