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Many firms’ design and development decisions are increasingly oriented toward human-centered innovation. Instead of rushing goods to market, these firms are using a user-centered design approach.

Design and development teams build high-performing digital products or websites that uniquely meet customers’ demands by concentrating on the user experience. After all, a good web design is helpful in boosting the business reputation or user experience.

This post will define user-centered design, discuss its fundamental principles, and describe the user-centered design process.

What Is User-Centered Design?

To create an enjoyable solution to a problem, user-centered design is a collection of iterative design processes concentrating on the user’s needs at each step. In UCD, the expectations, objectives, and preferences of the user significantly impact design decisions.

Additionally, users are actively involved in the entire process from start to finish. User-centered design principles encourage designers to create products with users rather than just for them. This strategy typically includes user research, interviews, usability testing, and a massive amount of feedback gathering.

UCD Requires Four Fundamental Components:

  • Visibility: Can people see what your website is about and how to utilize it the moment they land on your page?
  • Availability: Is your website user-friendly? Can they swiftly locate information? They should be able to find call-to-action buttons, menus, filters, and search choices with ease.
  • Legibility: Is the text simple to read for users?
  • Language: Is the language simple to grasp for users? Do you avoid using industry jargon in your UX authoring, which might lead to confusion and hesitation?

What Is The Significance Of UCD?

User experience is important in product design, especially in digital products such as app design, web and interface design, and marketing. Customers want their lives to be simplified. A website, app, or product exists to fulfill a consumer. Hence its success is determined by their interaction with it.

The following are some of the advantages of a user-centered design strategy for a business:

  • Customers keep coming back for more
  • There would be an increase in sales
  • Creating polished, efficient, and widely available goods
  • Understanding challenges thoroughly to provide suitable solutions
  • Customers and teams working together
  • Avoiding typical blunders
  • Enhancing Competitiveness
  • Assisting them in comprehending their market

It offers consumers the following advantages:

  • Making their life easier
  • Fulfilling their desires
  • Companies making them feel heard and understood
  • Making them feel important in the creation of things they use
  • Providing answers to challenges they were unaware they had or could not imagine solutions to

Let’s dig in to learn more about the advantages of UCD.

Businesses can benefit from using the user-centered design approach in various ways. As you incorporate this into your web development, you can enjoy the following four main advantages.

1. Prevent Project Failure

Your company might find it simpler to incorporate improvements and ensure your product is in line with actual user needs if you have a continuous feedback process assessing how customers react to your product, like a website.

Customers feel like their needs are better represented in the finished product, which can increase engagement and strengthen the bond with the company.

2. Improve ROI

This method produces products that more accurately reflect user expectations. The procedure also lessens mistakes made by website users, for instance. When combined, these factors motivate users to convert from leads to paying clients, boosting return on investment.

3. Increase Development Efficiency

In user-centered design, the objectives of the various team members are aligned. This can help clarify the best course of action for all parties involved. A more targeted, goal-oriented development process may be encouraged by the regular evaluation process.

Additionally, businesses can engage stakeholders and explain how their efforts and methodologies will improve customer interactions by using an iterative life cycle during product development.

4. Up The Level Of Competition

Customers will more fully appreciate what you offer, improve their engagement with your product or website, and be more likely to purchase from you if your product is created with their needs and expectations in mind.

As a result, this may increase your ability to compete in your sector.

5. KPIs Are Included

Given your user needs and business objectives, how do you move from the first to the second? You can measure key performance indicators with this in mind once you know what user needs are essential for the overall goals.

For instance, productivity may be the focus of office software, shopper activity may be the focus of sales tools, and retention rates may be the focus of other apps. All of these are necessary steps toward achieving business values like profit and revenue.

Human-Centered Design Versus User-Centered Design

There is a significant difference between humans and users. Simply put, all users are humans; however, not all humans will use your product. Therefore, you must thoroughly understand your target market to produce a successful user-centered design.

Detailed research should be done on the problems and goals of your users. Then, talk to them and give them several chances to offer feedback. By doing this, you’ll create a user persona that is complete and that you can use to determine the priorities for your design.

It’s critical to understand that different user groups may have additional requirements, levels of technical expertise, and expectations for using products like the one you’ve made.

What crucial guidelines or principles should designers consider when adopting a user-centric design?

The Process Of User-Centered Design

Certain fundamental principles underpin user-centered design. While the development process is always iterative, no explicit methods for implementation are specified. The approach can be implemented in either a waterfall or an agile environment.

1. Contextualization

The first step is to analyze the environment in which users will use the product. What are the intended applications of the product for future users? Teams working on projects can get answers by watching and talking to potential users.

2. Outlining The Prerequisites

Specifying the requirements for the new product is the second step. In this step, user requirements are described while considering corporate needs.

3. Design

Once the requirements are established, the actual design process can begin. Designers typically start by producing a straightforward prototype, like one made of paper, then move on to digital wireframes and a finished prototype.

4. Analysis

The project team solicits feedback from potential users after creating a prototype. This is typically done for digital applications through in-depth user testing and qualitative research.

Do surveys and tests evaluate user satisfaction, effectiveness, and efficiency? With the new information, the project team goes back to step 2 or step 3 of the design process to improve the product. Once the user feedback is satisfied, these iterations continue while taking into account corporate frameworks (time and costs).

Top 10 User-Centered Design Principles

Principles of user-centered design attempt to guarantee that usability is the primary priority throughout the development process. These principles, if successfully followed, will ensure that user experience is fulfilled not just during the initial introduction of a product but also during its use.

Furthermore, each of the following principles may be tailored to match the specific requirements and interaction demands of any product.

1. Use Simple Language

Professional Web Designer strives to provide the most readable discourse for the user while creating a product. This involves clarifying vocabulary, eliminating jargon, and simply providing information pertinent to the work.

Presenting users with irrelevant information throughout their use of the product taints its usefulness. Furthermore, basic language helps the user finish the work without being overwhelmed or confused.

2. Feedback

Users expect a reaction to all of their actions. This might involve modifying the look of the screen after completing an activity. If the job is finished after some time, it should display a loading page to notify the user that the task is in process.

Keeping the user informed throughout the process reassures them and keeps them on track with their job.

3. Maintaining Consistency

Keeping the product consistent is essential in ensuring an ideal user experience. Consistency affects how customers approach a product, and the time it takes to learn how to use it.

From the start of the project until its completion, the consistent philosophy underpinning the UCD process should be maintained. If the interface design needs to be updated, it is critical to maintaining consistency across new features to stay beneficial to the user.

4. Give The Complete User Control

Consumers are already aware of their requirements. They should be able to use a product with minimal effort and depend on the product’s help to accomplish the rest.

By removing the effort from the job, the user can do it quickly while keeping control of their activities.

5. Describe The Situation

Before developing a product, the designer must first investigate the ideal user and their wants. The designers can gain a comprehensive sense of some of the issues these people experience by studying their lifestyles.

Many of these observations are conducted through interviews. These interviews provide the designer with information on the exact goals that users want to attain and how they want to achieve them.

6. Examine the Design

Designers undertake usability testing with actual users of their product at this stage in the UCD process. This stage provides designers with insight into how consumers will interact with the product and how to modify it to suit them better.

It is advised that this stage be completed as quickly as feasible. The sooner customers provide input, the faster designers can comprehend their product from the user’s perspective.

7. Create Designs That Are Specific To The Needs Of The User

The design team must examine the distinctive features of their intended demographic as well as frequent real-world activities while beginning the design process. Furthermore, the product should be appropriate for the environment in which it will be utilized the most.

Making a product that needs a lot of work from the user reduces its usability and usefulness, ultimately defeating the objective of UCD.

8. The Design Process Is Iterative

Because user-centered design is based on putting the user first, the product team should constantly be working to improve the user experience. By introducing changes gradually, you will gain a better understanding of your target audience.

9. Adequate Navigational Tools

An essential component of the user experience is the capability to navigate between pages of your website and return to the previous one. Make sure users know where they are on your website and how to leave any pages they don’t want to see.

Customers can better understand how to navigate your page by giving them features like a navigation map, for instance. Make it simple for customers to change their order without leaving the current page if they buy clothing and discover they need a different size once they reach the checkout page.

10. Unflawed System

Customers should find it easy to navigate between your website’s pages and accomplish their goals. If they make a mistake, be there to help them fix it so they can achieve their goal.

The form may ask for specific, essential fields, such as the square footage, and may also include a gentle reminder or an alert that appears if the user accidentally leaves a required field blank.

Customers may feel more comfortable responding to your prompts and participating in a conversation if you ask questions one at a time and offer automated responses for each response.

Wrapping Up

User-centered design is more than just making a good product. It goes further than that. You demonstrate your motivations and intentions by putting your users in the spotlight. You’re demonstrating that it’s not all about meeting deadlines or turning a profit. Instead, you’re telling your users that you understand what they want and prioritize their needs.

It should come as no surprise that the most effective teams are user-centric. Knowing your customer is essential for success in any industry, including design. Create products that put the user first, and you will create products that people will love.

You can build a more robust, user-friendly website that is better equipped to respond to user needs and expectations by incorporating the User Centered Design process into your product design. However, it’s crucial to collaborate with a specialist who can apply these techniques and produce the result you’ve envisioned.

 

Featured image by pch.vector on Freepik

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Looking to save big and make your web design job easier at the same?

This carefully picked list includes top-tier quality items that have already been used by hundreds of thousands of people like you.

From WordPress themes, plugins, web apps, website builders, and illustrations, this list has everything for everyone.

Check all these 10 excellent deals for designers below:

1. Amelia

Amelia is a WordPress booking plugin that saves businesses time and money from the beginning by replacing their manual or semi-automated appointment and event booking operations with a fully automated one.

Amelia is easy to set up and use. Fitness centers, consulting organizations, training institutions, beauty salons and spas, photographers, medical centers, and other businesses that rely heavily on client and customer appointment or event bookings will profit from using it.

  • Clients can go online to make appointments 24/7, change or cancel appointments, and make payments. They can also purchase tickets for events and add special requirements.
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Amelia integrates with Google Calendar, Google Meet, Zoom, and Outlook Calendar. Click on the banner to learn more about what this amazing application could do for your business.

2. wpDataTables

Creating an informative table or chart for your website can be pretty labor-intensive.

  • You may have to work with and organize copious amounts of data.
  • You need to avoid compromising your website’s design at the expense of getting the tables or charts you want.
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wpDataTables plugin does all the above for you and more. It is packed with powerful table and chart-building features that include –

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wpDataTables integrates seamlessly with Avada, Divi, Elementor, Gutenberg, and WPBakery. Click on the banner to learn even more about this popular WordPress plugin.

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To automate a booking operation, you might need one tool to book appointments, one to accept payments, another to manage employee schedules, and so on. Of course, if your business provides services at multiple locations, then you would multiply the number of tools times the number of locations, and you’ll be good to go.

Or, you could go with Trafft, a single tool with which you can manage all of the above, at multiple locations, all from a single platform.

  • Clients can book appointments online 24/7.
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Click on the banner to learn about all of Trafft’s booking capabilities. You’ll be impressed.

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WordLift helps your website speak the language of Google. This way, your content will be discovered by users, giving you more organic traffic and helping your business website achieve excellent rankings.

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Three words summarize Total: flexible, easy, and complete. This aptly named WordPress theme is WooCommerce compatible and has everything you need to create one-of-a-kind sites.

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The 50% Black Friday discount is automatically applied when you order.

6. TheGem – Creative Multi-Purpose & WooCommerce Theme

TheGem – the versatile WordPress website builder – offers unlimited customizations, plenty of design & marketing focused features, an extended library of pre-built designs, and the fastest loading times: 

  • You have ready access to a rich selection of 400+ pre-built websites in outstanding design quality 
  • It enables you to build every part of your website right away in Elementor or WPBakery: headers & footers, WooCommerce pages, blogs, mega menus, popups, and much more.
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7. Mobirise Website Builder Software

The best offline website builder for 2022 is free to use. That is in itself a great bargain. Mobirise’s team has sweetened the pot by offering a 33% Black Friday discount for their All-in-One Kit with its 175 premium themes and extensions.

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More than 2 million sites have already been created using Mobirise.

8. Embed Instagram Feed

Instagram offers a terrific way to promote your business’s products or services. Its focus on visual communication makes it an extremely effective marketing tool.

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An Instagram feed is yours at a 33% Black Friday discount.

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Getillustrations is loaded with trendy illustrations you can pick and choose from, download once, and use forever.

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10. Rey Theme

Rey is an innovative WooCommerce theme that is loaded with WooCommerce-friendly features and is easy to set up and use.

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  • Quickview and Ajax search is also available

Headers are customized for eCommerce, and visitors will appreciate Rey’s helpful cart, wish list, and checkout features.

Black Friday is not far off. Before you know it, many producers of WordPress themes, tools, and services will be offering tempting discounts.

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[- This is a sponsored post on behalf of BAW media -]

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Jakob Nielsen’s How Users Read on the Web is 25 years old this week, and one glance at an eye-tracking study will tell you its key observations are still relevant today.

Simply put, users don’t read a web page; they scan it for individual words and sentences.

A typical pattern shown in eye-tracking reports is that users will rapidly scan a page, scrolling down to do so. Then either hit the back button and pump your bounce rate, or scroll to the top and re-engage with the content.

Even when content, volume, and quality tick all the user’s boxes, and they choose to stay on your site, they still don’t read; they scan; a slightly deeper scan, but still a scan.

As a result, it’s vital to design websites to be easily scannable, both in a split-second scan to decide if your page is worth the reader’s time and on a second or third pass.

Clarify the Page’s Purpose Immediately

Every page should have a primary goal. The majority of the time, that goal is embodied in a CTA (Call to Action).

The good news is, if your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) has gone to plan, your goal (i.e., to sell something) and your user’s goal (i.e., to buy something) will align. By clarifying the page’s purpose, you can show the user that your goals align.

You can be experimental if you’re an established company and the user knows what to expect. But if you’re new to the market or have a lower profile, you need to conform to established design patterns. This means that a SaaS should look like a SaaS, a store should look like a store, and a blog should look like a blog.

Including your CTA above the fold — which in the context of the web, means the user doesn’t have to interact to see it. Doing so makes it easier for the user to progress and clearly tells the user what you are offering.

The landing page for next month’s Webflow Conf 2022 clarifies the page’s content, with a clear CTA above the fold.

Employ a Visual Hierarchy

The Von Restorff effect states that the more something stands out, the more likely we are to notice and remember it.

Visual hierarchies are excellent for guiding a user through content. HTML has the h1–h7 heading levels — although, in reality, only h1–h4 are much use — which gives you several levels of heading that can be scanned by different readers scanning at different rates.

For example, we know that subheadings have little impact if a user diligently reads the page from top to bottom, but they are excellent for catching the eye of skim readers.

Amnesty uses very a very simple hierarchy, the only change for its subheading being increased weight. But it is enough to catch the user’s eye.

You can also create visual hierarchies with other forms of contrast; weight and color are often employed in addition to size. For accessibility and inclusive design, it’s wise to combine visual indicators when creating a hierarchy; for example, headings are usually larger, bolder, and colored.

Use Negative Space

Imagine a person standing in a crowd. Let’s say they’re wearing a red and white striped jumper and a red and white bobble hat — pretty distinctive. But if there are hundreds of other characters around them, they might be hard to spot.

Now imagine the same person dressed the same, standing on their own. How long will it take you to spot them? Even without the stripy outfit, it’s not much of a challenge.

Elements in isolation are not only easier to spot, but they pull the eye because the negative space (sometimes referred to as white space) around them creates contrast.

When using negative space, the key is to give elements enough room to breathe and attract the eye without giving them so much room that they are disassociated from the rest of your content.

Across its site, Moheim uses negative space to highlight UI elements while grouping associated content.

Use F Patterns

Users scan a page using either an F-pattern or a Z-pattern.

Because users scan your page in predictable ways, we can employ layouts that cater to this tendency.

Designers have been aware of F and Z patterns for some time, and because they’ve been used for so long, they may be self-fulfilling, with users being trained to scan a page in this fashion. However, both patterns are similar to how eyes travel from line to line in horizontal writing systems.

Whatever the cause, by placing key content along these paths, you increase the chance of capturing a user’s attention.

Kamil Barczentewicz uses a beautiful, natural layout that also conforms to a classic F pattern.

Include Images with Faces

Images are a great way of conveying brand values and making a site engaging. But when it comes to catching the eye of a user scanning your design, the best images include faces.

For example, a testimonial with an image of the customer will catch the eye more than a text-only testimonial.

The Awwwards Conference uses an animated computer with a face to capture attention. And large images of speakers making eye contact.

This is almost certainly due to social conditioning; we see a face, and we engage with it to see if it is a threat or not. Most of us naturally look to expressions of emotion to understand situations, and the distinction between a real-life person and an image hasn’t made its way into our mental programming yet.

You don’t need to use photos. Illustrations are fine. The key is to ensure there is a face in the image. That’s why illustrations of characters perform so well.

Copy Print Design

Print design is centuries older than the web, and many print applications, from newspapers to advertising, developed design elements to catch the eye of readers scanning the design.

Subheadings, lists, blockquotes, and pull quotes all catch the eye. Introductory paragraphs in a larger size or even italics draw users into the text. Shorter paragraphs encourage users to keep reading.

Horizontal rules used to delineate sections of text act as a break on eyes traveling over content with momentum. They are a good way of catching a scan-reader who is losing interest.

You can use a horizontal rule or break up your layout with bands of color that divide content sections.

Omono uses horizontal bands to highlight different sections of content.

Mass, Not Weight

We often discuss design elements as having weight; font-weight is the thickness of strokes.

But it is more helpful to think of design elements as having mass; mass creates gravity, pulling a user’s eye towards them.

The trick is to design elements with enough mass to attract the user‘s eye when scanning at speed without forcing the user to change how they engage with your content.

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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Typically in low-latency development, a trade-off must be made between minimizing latency and avoiding excessive CPU utilization. This article explores how Chronicle’s Pausers — an open-source product — can be used to automatically apply a back-off strategy when there is no data to be processed, providing balance between resource usage and responsive, low-latency, low-jitter applications.

Description of the Problem

In a typical application stack, multiple threads are used for servicing events, processing data, pipelining, and so on. An important design consideration is how threads become aware that there is work to do, with some general approaches including:

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It’s 2022, and React has a huge ecosystem to help developers bring complex UIs to life faster. Furthermore, with the extensive support of ReactJS libraries, there is hardly any case when a developer has to build a component from scratch.

However, not every ReactJS UI developer is aware of the best practices to build UIs faster in ReactJS. Therefore, I’ll be discussing the top five approaches (which I personally use) for building UIs quicker in a ReactJS project. So without further ado, let’s get started:

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WordPress has made it easy for everyone to launch a blog, but even though launching a blog isn’t a difficult task any longer, driving traffic to your blog certainly is!

In this article, I’ll share some tried and tested strategies that have worked well for my clients’ blogs. You do not have to be an expert or a marketing guru to get traffic to your WordPress website. Follow the helpful tips I share in this article and watch the visitors start pouring in.

Tip 1: Use Powerful Headlines

The first thing related to your blog that a user reads in the search engine results is your article headlines. Of course, nobody wants to click on a boring article title. But a powerful headline stands out from the rest and gets you more clicks. 

In most themes, your article headlines are translated into meta titles for the pages. Meta titles indicate the topic of your articles to Google and other search engines. 

Tip 2: Build an Email List

Consider offering your visitors a newsletter signup form through which they can subscribe and get notified about new posts on your blog. You can offer them an incentive for free to persuade them to subscribe to your blog. It can be anything from an e-book, membership, useful templates, or an e-course. 

Building an email list gives access to the inboxes of your visitors. You can share your blog content with this prospective audience every time you post a new article. This will help you get consistent traffic to your WordPress blog.

Tip 3: Use Free Giveaways and Contests

Free giveaways work as an incentive for your WordPress blog visitors. To offer an entry to your blog’s free giveaway, you can ask your visitors for an email subscription, comment on your blog posts, share it on their social media channels, and ask for other such things. 

The trick is to think about the actions of your visitors that will increase traffic to your blog and provide them with one or multiple giveaway entries for such actions. 

Tip 4: Optimize For Keywords

All successful bloggers optimize their content for keywords. You need to perform proper keyword research to find sentences and words that your target audience is typing in Google and other top search engines. 

Instead of guessing the keywords for your articles, consider using some helpful tools like SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool and Google Ads Keyword Planner. This way, you can find the terms people are genuinely interested in and the keywords that do not have too much competition.

You must ensure to choose the keywords that have some excellent traffic volume but, at the same time, have less competition. Such keywords will help in the better ranking of each of your articles.

Tip 5: Optimize WordPress Site Speed

It has been proven that loading time is a ranking factor for SEO, as Google tends to assume that fast sites are high-quality sites.

Signing up for a hosting provider specializing in WordPress guarantees you get the best optimization features for your WordPress site. However, that alone is not enough because you need a hosting provider that can also handle a high volume of visitors.

Optimizing your WordPress website will help in the faster loading of your blog pages. Images are generally the biggest culprit in slowing down your website. So you must first optimize them through an image optimization plugin like Smush, Imagify, or Optimus. 

Enabling caching on your WordPress blog will considerably improve its speed. You can store your website data locally with caching, thereby reducing your server load to a large extent. Your website will, therefore, load faster on your visitors’ end, especially when they are repeat visitors.

Tip 6: Take Advantage of Social Media

Try building your presence on some of the top platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Post multiple times a day on these websites and share your blog articles.

You must also include social sharing buttons with your blog posts to make sharing easier for your audience. It will allow your blog visitors to share your post on different social platforms. This dramatically increases the chances of your blog post going viral.

Tip 7: Internal Linking Strategy

The only key here is to link articles that are closely related to each other. Your visitors might be interested in such related content and read more of your blog posts, thereby increasing your page views. It also increases the chances of visitors sharing your blog content since they find it valuable.

Tip 8: Be a Guest Blogger

Guest blogging involves creating content for other websites for mutual benefits. It helps you establish your authority in the blogging world while attracting more visitors to your WordPress website. 

Becoming a guest blogger allows you to spread the word about your blog to a new set of audiences and bring in organic traffic. It expands your work portfolio and helps build or enhance your online reputation.

Tip 9: Pay for Traffic

Consider using Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Microsoft advertising, and other top advertising platforms when paying to bring traffic to your blog. Be aware of your blog audience and use the most suitable criteria to target it. 

I’d recommend setting a weekly budget for paid ads and tracking the ad performance at the end of the week.

If you are satisfied with the traffic results, use the same criteria for the next week. On the other hand, if the ad performance is not as per your expectations, try different criteria to reach your target audience.

Conclusion

Getting traffic to your WordPress blog is an incentive for all the hard work that you do in creating content and managing your website. It builds a name for your blog and improves its search engine ranking. All this leads to better user engagement and revenue.

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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While working on establishing short- and long-term goals with a client, my focus was establishing horizon two and three objectives in the McKinsey Three Horizons Model

For those who are not aware of this framework, horizons two and three focus on new and next-generation features and functionality. At the top of my priorities’ list for this project was the adoption of an API gateway.

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