Articles

Cyber threats have become more sophisticated. Hence, it is a good idea to utilize the expertise of public cloud providers to better manage assets against security threats. Cloud security is a collection of proactive measures to protect your cloud assets from internal and external threats. In this Refcard, we will walk through common cloud security challenges, continuous security for cloud infrastructure, and advanced strategies for securing cloud workloads.
Source de l’article sur DZONE

Web2 software engineers have benefitted from design standards, mature programming languages, and vulnerability tools to minimize the risks of an attack. Failure to do so can result in a situation similar to my “Equifax Attack: Only a Matter of Time” publication back in 2017.

Those working in Web3 projects find themselves at an exciting stage. Initiatives like bounties and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) drive new opportunities for these pioneers to explore. Unfortunately, the Web3 landscape is not as mature or defined as earlier phases in the web frontier. Compounding the situation is the risk those challenges impose in a decentralized environment — where exploitation can result in losing a large volume of assets, as well as the time it takes to secure an auditing service for smart contract code and the duration of the audit itself

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Modern cloud environments are ever-changing, and so is the nature of cloud computing. The growing cloud assets accompany the attack surface expansion problem for organizations, which unveils the need for visibility of cloud resources. AWS Config addresses that exact demand. It can be challenging to understand resources within your infrastructure like:

  • Seeing what resources you have
  • Understanding your current configurations
  • Knowledge of configuration changes and change histories
  • Assessing if your resources are compliant with specific governances controls 
  • Having accurate and up-to-date audit information

Depending on the size of your AWS resources or deployment, overcoming these challenges and obtaining this information can become time-consuming and budget-intensive unless you use resource visibility and auditing tool like AWS Config

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Undertaking a digital transformation journey is easier said than done. Efforts to transform an organization often face significant challenges, including integration of legacy platforms with modern technology stacks, the skill sets required for implementation, and an organizational structure that can communicate and embrace change. According to a 2020 study by the Boston Group, 72% of digital transformations fail, falling short of their objectives, and are often met with radical consequences after. 

With so much at stake when it comes to transforming an organization, Adecco Group’s Sabine Laute suggests that a dedicated transformation office could be a viable solution.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

The introduction of the continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) process has strengthened the software release mechanism, helping products go to market faster than ever before and allowing application development teams to deliver code changes more frequently and reliably. Regression testing ensures no new mistakes have been introduced to a software application by testing newly modified code as well as any parts of the software that could potentially be affected. The software testing market size is projected to reach $40 billion in 2020 with a 7% growth rate by 2027. Regression testing accounted for more than 8.5% of market share and is expected to rise at an annual pace of over 8% through 2027, as per reports from the Global Market Insights group.

The Importance of Regression Testing

Regression testing is a must for large-sized software development teams following an agile model. When many developers are making multiple commits frequently, regression testing is required to identify any unexpected outcome in overall functionality caused by each commit. The CI/CD setup identifies that and notifies the developers as soon as the failure occurs and makes sure the faulty commit doesn’t get shipped into the deployment. 

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Personalized marketing is when you attune your marketing efforts based on customer data. This data can be anything from the first and last name to purchase intent, concerns, and history.

Personalized marketing has revolutionized the way businesses market their product and service to their audience. It brings value to people’s lives, spiking the sales graph for brands and businesses. So it’s a win-win situation for both the company and the consumer.

Even big companies do this for their campaigns. They do so because it gives them great results and ROI for their marketing initiatives. If these multinational businesses do this, it’s a good idea to incorporate this strategy and learn from a top resource on digital marketing.

This article aims to explain every nook and cranny of personalized marketing. By the end of this 5-minute read, you will know the impact of personalized marketing on our lives. And how you can integrate this into your marketing strategy to benefit your business.

What Is Personalized Marketing?

Have you ever encountered a business that knows what you’re going through? Or did you see an ad online that you closely relate to? Chances are, you were one of the target markets of those marketing materials. And if you could associate yourself with the ad, their marketing strategy worked.

That is what personalized marketing does to your audience, market, or particular demographic. This style of advertising leverages personalization in your marketing materials. The details of your marketing content are tailored to a specific audience and address the issues or real-time problems of a particular segment in your market.

Personalized marketing has become popular because more people demand it from businesses. Once the people have experienced what it felt like, they want to feel more of it.

To objectively see the demand for personalization, here are some statistics to back it up.

Accenture reported that 91% of consumers are likelier to shop with businesses that offer them relevant content. This shows that the right product recommendations can increase the chances of shopping with you.

Salesforce mentioned that 66% of consumers expect companies to understand their individual needs. This statement proves that a generalized way of marketing isn’t as effective as before. The consumer mindset has already developed, and they demand more personalization from businesses.

A striking piece of data from Statista showed that 90% of consumers in the US find the idea of personalization appealing. If that figure is accurate, almost all businesses should start incorporating this into their strategies. There’s no reason for them not to try this out.

Given the high positive demand for personalized marketing, it’s no secret why more and more businesses are doing this. However, not every company out there is doing this right. A wrong way of doing this can bring a loss of clients and a negative ROI.

To help you go on the right track of using personalization in your marketing, read up on the next section of this article.

Know These 6 Tips To Correctly Do Personalized Marketing

You’d agree that knowing your customer’s first and last name is essential. But with the dynamically changing strategies, personalized marketing is going beyond that. It’s actually about understanding what your targeted consumers need, merging with a way to convey the message that your business is the solution.

To help you achieve this, take note of the things below:

1. Leverage Your Customer Data

The foundation of personalized marketing is laid on customer data. The best marketing professionals and strategists emphasize gathering relevant data if you want to scale. Excellent digital marketing courses will teach you that customer data will help you build a solid foundation for your content and campaigns.

Consumer behavior has always been the most important detail for target marketing. With every click, it has become easier to gather data about individual customers, their interests, hobbies, purchase history, buying behavior, and more.

You’ll be able to get this information if you’ve practiced data management and collecting customer data throughout the years of your operation. However, it’s not too late to begin if you haven’t started with this yet. There is a lot of marketing automation software that aids marketing teams in doing this. For example, many businesses use lead scoring software to gain insight into their clients’ needs and categorize them appropriately.

For your personalization efforts, you can use questionnaires, surveys, and feedback forms to capture personal data on the internet. A customer will happily fill out a survey form if a reward in return entices him. This reward can be in any form– a voucher, a first buy discount, free shipping, or more.

This initiative will help you get more data in a shorter time frame.

2. Understand Your Customer’s Needs

Hoarding data will be a complete waste of marketing efforts, capital, and efficiency if you do not extract consumer behavior from it. When you have access to a rich set of data, you have the privilege to understand your customers’ trending needs deeply. After gaining insights from the data, create a marketing strategy based on those findings to target your audience.

Doing this doesn’t just apply to B2C; it also works for B2B companies, which is why the demand for custom software development, tailored services, personalized packages, and B2B data providers have been on the rise in these recent years.

It is a two-way road. While you are on the lookout for your target market, at the same time, the customers expect businesses to know what they need. The market you’re currently serving expects you to know what products or services are fit for them.

So this is where it gets crucial: you have to dig deeper into your niche and find the specs of your audience’s needs. Having a general idea about the needs of your target audience and personalized marketing usually don’t go harmoniously.

Planning a better-personalized marketing strategy will not be a piece of cake but will be much more rewarding for every aspect of your business. May it be sales, return on investments, customer relationships, or personalized marketing campaigns.

3. Personalize Every Stage Of The Customer Journey

The first rule of business is convincing the customer that you are their best friend. Now that you know what they want, you pledge to provide them with whatever best you can. Limiting personalization to marketing is not the solution. You have to be vigilant in meeting these individual requirements at every stage. And remember that consistency is the name of the game. That is how you bring your business into the running.

You can integrate CRM automation, email marketing tools and deploy other content marketing strategies to help make this process a lot simpler. Personalized live chat and chatbots, such as those offered by ThriveDesk, allow businesses to personalize their offerings and build their brand reputation.

As a customer, my requirement would be reading content, browsing, and experiencing products that would hit home. A personalized experience is what every consumer demands. And this is what makes them want to go back and do business with you again.

By creating helpful and relevant content, recommending the right products to them, and giving out convenient payment options, you are setting your business apart from the rest. Doing this allows you to have personalized every touchpoint that your customers do with your business.

4. Present In An Engaging Way

Consider customer engagement as absolutely necessary. Having the best data set and knowing what your customers want is not enough. In the competitive space of business and marketing, everyone is trying to get the attention of one another. And this is what you are supposed to do. This helps in building consumer-brand relations.

When a consumer engages, meaningful things happen. Engaging content pushes the consumer through the funnel and hence promotes conversions. Your content should be creative and eye-catching.

Engaging content blended with personalization boosts the brand experience. Increased loyalty, trust-building, and improved customer experience enhance the conversion and sales speed.

A great way to use personalization in an engaging manner that most businesses overlook would be through exit-intent popups.

5. Be Where Your Customers Are

This is an element that some businesses miss out on. They have created excellent social media marketing content but only distributed it on the wrong channel. For personalized marketing to be effective, it needs to be seen by people.

Are you questioning your marketing techniques because all you see is stagnancy? You have set up an engaging online store on Shopify or Wix, collected all the relevant data, your content is engaging enough, and your marketing strategy is top-notch. But you are still unable to reach your clientele.

You start wondering what you are missing out on. Your content and your strategies will not be prolific if you are on the wrong channel. Remember: the message of your content has to reach the right people for it to be effective.

Should you be on social media? If so, which one? Do you get more traction with email campaigns? Or do you have more engagements on forums?

Find out where your market is, then spend your focus there. Now the next step is how to know where they spend most of their time?

This is where we go back in the loop. And hence we again emphasize that data collection is the foundation of any great marketing strategy.

6. Improve Marketing Content

Don’t rest on your laurels when you’ve gotten everything down to a tee and have attained your desired marketing analytics behind your personalized marketing content. Always think of ways how you can improve.

Evolving at every step will keep you in the running. Don’t be misguided into thinking that your work is done if you feel like you have reached the pinnacle. Keep looking for ways to get better. Set bigger goals and status for your business.

Always go back to the drawing board and brainstorm with your team on how you can change and strive with the dynamically changing world and mindsets. In the end, all you want is to build better relationships with your customers, new and existing.

For enhanced productivity, your marketing team should always look for new strategies. This is how fresh and great marketing ideas are made.

See How You Can Benefit From Personalized Marketing

Irrelevant information can waste energy and time for both customers and the business. Personalized marketing hits the bull’s eye 99% of the time. It brings immeasurable value to the company as well as the customer.

Here are some of the top benefits of personalized marketing:

1. Better Engagement

The first target personalized marketing aims at is grabbing an individual’s attention. And this results in better engagement eventually. If you are presenting your customer with something that wows them, needless to say, it will grab their attention.

This will help bridge the gap between your customer and your brand. Identifying customers’ needs and then giving them what they want will help improve customer interaction with your brand.

It can even be enough for them to follow your call to action. The next thing you know, they will be checking your website, signing up for a list, or even purchasing a product right then and there.

2. Higher Conversions

Are you there for your customer at the right time and place? One-on-one marketing provides easy solutions to customers because you hit them with just what they are looking for at the right time.

When potential customers realize that you understand what they’re going through and provide the solution, most won’t hesitate to try your business out.

Personalization isn’t just focused on content. It can also be integrated into your processes. This results in aiding the increase of higher conversion rates.

3. Improved Customer Experience

Offering personalization will significantly improve the user experience. Once you provide the products, services, and content that meet their needs, their opinion of your business automatically improves.

Considering the statistics about personalized experiences, it is evident that consumers demand personalization strategies from companies. And if you offer such an experience, you increase the chance of making them do more business with you. Personalization helps businesses in reducing cart abandonment rates, better customer journey, increased customer satisfaction, and many more.

4. Customer Retention

Retaining persisting customers is equally important to your business as bringing new ones. Most businesses face low customer retention. It’s also a factor that some companies overlook. You must understand that it’s not all about converting prospects into paying customers. Your focus should also be on retaining those customers to make them loyal advocates of your brand.

One of the major benefits of consistent personalization is an improved customer retention rate. Consumers tend to stay with a business that understands their needs and provides solutions to their problems.

Once you can transfer a customer to a loyal advocate, you can also receive a ton of benefits. These are people that are going to defend your brand from critics. These are the same people who will give you free marketing via word of mouth and positive reviews.

5. Better Customer Relationships

Personalized experience leads to customer retention, eventually building better relationships with your nurtured customers. These entities are connected in a loop.

Customer relationships are an aspect of business that significantly helps with scalability and higher revenue. So connecting with your customers and building a relationship with them is as important as the product you are selling. This is why strengthening customer relationships should be a top priority for businesses.

Personalization makes you an expert on your target market trends. You get to know your audience deeper, which helps you build a foundation for creating a great customer relationship. And this requires marketing and customer experience teams to work together in a symphony.

For this, you can use team collaboration software which aids in the optimization of content and your approach toward the market. You’ll have a better strategy in getting their attention, providing what they want, and recommending things they’ll be interested in.

All of these things help in building customer rapport. When a customer feels that you treat them as more than just a paying customer, their customer loyalty goes to your business.

Best Examples Personalization Marketing

To inspire you to integrate this marketing strategy into your operations, below are different personalization marketing campaigns done exceptionally by various businesses. Grab inspiration, ideas, and motivation from these examples.

1. Coca-Cola

We all know the most basic form of personalization is addressing your customers’ names, but Coca-Cola took this simple idea into a massive global campaign. Their “Share a Coke” campaign started in 2011, wherein they printed different popular names on their Coke bottles and cans.

It seemed like a regular campaign at first, but it started getting traction as more customers wanted to get the name of their family, friends, and themselves. Coca-Cola said the campaign’s purpose was “to create a more personal relationship with consumers and inspire shared moments of happiness.”

The soft drinks giant used personalization and tied such a strategy with its mission: to bring memories and happiness to its consumers. You, too, can do the same – combine your mission and personalization strategy to create a unique campaign.

2. Spotify

Spotify leverages user data in its marketing strategy. They have several campaigns that make users want to use their application more often because it gives out a more tailored experience.

Other than their year-end campaign( #spotifywrapped), where they show the most played songs and podcasts their users listen to (which was a viral hit), they now also have an #OnlyYou campaign that shows your unique listening taste partnered with a musical astrology reading.

3. Nike

Nike has consistently been recognized for authentic, personalized, and heartfelt ad campaigns. This personalization always makes them capture an audience who can relate and those who start connecting to the brand. So Nike isn’t new to personalization. Their aim is robust community engagement.

Their highly inspirational campaigns with real-life heroes induce inspiration in their audience. Nike is great at converting people because of its excellent storytelling ability while adding personalization to the mix.

Nike’s just launched a new app that offers personalized content and rewards for committed fans. They tackle challenges and issues head-on, but they always make their marketing messages relatable to their audience. That is why they “just do it.”

Conclusion

Personalized marketing is the secret sauce to thriving businesses in the world today. However, incorporating this marketing strategy and finding success is not as simple as you might think. You will face challenges, but with enough perseverance and brainstorming, you can surpass them and successfully create a great campaign.

Remember, this marketing approach can be a hit or a miss. The first step to making it a success is relevant data collection followed by judicious implementation. This isn’t an overnight activity that you can do. It requires months of diligence in the right direction with the proper guidance. And you can gain valuable insights into this guidance via the content marketing strategies outlined in this article. But remember, once you start rolling, there is no looking back.

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Starting your own business is a process with a fair share of challenges. Even in the web design world, where you can potentially minimize costs by working from home and collaborating with freelance contractors, many expenses exist. 

To run a successful web design business, you need enough money to invest in everything from skilled colleagues to resources (like fonts and themes), software subscriptions, and technology tools. Finding a way to fund your company can be the most complicated part of ensuring its success.

For most new companies, the easiest option to generate opportunities is “bootstrapping.” Learning how to bootstrap a web design business means knowing how to bring your business to life with virtually no starting capital. 

Here’s how to get started.

What is Bootstrapping? 

Successful bootstrappers take an idea, such as creating a web design company and create a fantastic company without the backing of investors. It takes significant dedication, commitment, and single-mindedness to accomplish your goals, but some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs and Sam Walton, got their start this way. 

The term “bootstrapping” comes from the phrase “to pull yourself up by the bootstraps,” which indicates overcoming challenges on your own without any external support. 

The pros and cons of bootstrapping include:

Pros:

  • Full control: Bootstrapping allows entrepreneurs to retain full ownership over their business. Alternatively, engaging with investors means allowing other professionals to own a portion of your company or make a share of the decisions. 
  • Innovation: Business owners in a bootstrapping model are forced to invest in agile and innovative business models. You must develop processes to produce immediate, lasting cash flow from day one. 
  • Accomplishment: Building something from the ground up creates a powerful sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. 
  • Ownership: You won’t have to sell any equity in your business to other investors, which means you can benefit fully from the company as it grows.

Cons:

  • Risks: Self-funded businesses generally run out of funds faster and struggle to scale as quickly as other companies, limiting the brand’s ability to reach its potential.
  • Limited support: Traditional financing methods (like working with investors) also provide networking opportunities and support from specialists who want to see your company succeed. 
  • Pressure: Bootstrapping businesses need to be meticulous about everything from keeping books to making the right decisions for brand growth. 
  • Hard work: With limited resources, connections, and options, bootstrapping entrepreneurs need to work harder than most and take on more roles.

How to Bootstrap Your Web Design Business: Step by Step

Bootstrapping a web design business can be complicated, but it works for many companies if you follow the right strategy. The good news is web design companies generally don’t require as much initial capital as some other types of companies, like standard retail brands or companies with a need for brick and mortar offices.

However, there are still steps you’ll need to follow to ensure success.

Step 1: Source Some Initial Funds

While you might not work with investors when bootstrapping your web design business, you’ll still need some essential initial funds. To run a web design business, you won’t necessarily need a massive initial investment, but you will need something. 

To determine how much capital you need to raise from your income, savings, a line of credit, or other common bootstrapping sources, think about:

  • Where you’re going to work: The upfront costs of operating your own web design business will be a lot lower if you choose to work from home and with remote specialists. The less you have to pay for office space, the better.
  • Business fees: You may need to pay fees for registering your business name, hosting your own website for advertising, and dealing with any registration costs.
  • Equipment and software: Think about what you will use daily for web design. Subscription-based services like Adobe Creative Cloud can cost quite a bit to access. You’ll also need a good computer, and perhaps a tablet for sketching.

Step 2: Find a USP 

The easiest way to ensure a bootstrapped web design business is a success is to ensure you are offering specific clients something they genuinely need. In a service-based landscape like web design, you need to know what your customers want and offer something they can’t get elsewhere.

For instance, can you differentiate yourself from other web design companies by helping with modern trends like 360-degree video and XR-ready design? Can you build apps for companies from scratch and provide ongoing maintenance for the websites you make?

An excellent way to find your USP is to examine your competitors. Find out what other companies in your area are offering their customers, and listen to consumers in your industry when they talk about what they need from a website designer. 

Step 3: Choose a Cash Flow Optimized Model 

Since you’re relying only on your cash and the money you make from your web design business to fuel its growth, choosing a model optimized for consistent cash flow is essential. Bootstrapping a business often means you place most of the profit you gain from your company back into the development of the brand. 

With this in mind, consider how you’ll offer services and charge your customers. Are you going to ask for a portion of the fees up-front before starting a web design project? Can you provide your customers with subscription models to improve your revenue consistently?

For instance, you could provide help with ongoing maintenance, development, and support rather than just offering to build websites for companies. Another way to make additional income is with professional services, like consulting. 

Make sure there’s a market for the services you’ll offer before launching your business by examining the surrounding environments and services your competitors provide.

Step 4: Keep Costs Low and Profits High

Keeping costs low will be essential to ensuring your success when bootstrapping a business. Fortunately for web designers, it’s relatively easy to cut down on fees. For instance, WordPress is free to use for your development projects, making it an excellent choice for many web design strategies. 

You can also look into common free and cheap alternatives to web design tools online, like GIMP. Shop around for the things you will be paying ongoing fees with. For instance, it’s best to check out multiple vendors when looking for web hosting and marketing support. 

While keeping your costs low, it’s also essential to accelerate profits as much as possible. You can look for ways to boost customer retention by building stronger relationships with your clients and offering them deals on long-term subscriptions. 

If you have time outside of your web design business, you can also try taking on some side hustles. Options include:

  • Selling web design assets on sites like ThemeForest
  • Offering your services on a freelance basis with sites like Dribbble and Toptal
  • Designing and selling NFTs for the metaverse
  • Teaching web design or selling webinars

Step 5: Grow Cautiously

Finally, while the goal of successfully bootstrapping your web design business will be to grow as rapidly and consistently as possible, it’s important to be cautious. For instance, you’ll need to be able to afford the fees of every new designer you bring onto your team, so consider looking for freelancers and contractors rather than permanent hires.

Use organic channels for marketing your services, like blogging and content marketing which can help improve your SEO standing and attract attention among clients. Plus, encourage your customers to recommend your services to other brands. 

As new clients approach your business, ensure you only take on as many customers as you can reasonably handle. Compromising on quality will damage your relationships with customers and harm your reputation. 

Good Luck Bootstrapping Your Business

When you’re bootstrapping a business, you get the benefit of being able to eliminate any outside influences from your growth. You’re free to focus on building relationships with companies of your choice, and you get to make decisions about your growth. However, there are downsides, too, like significant stress and limited financial opportunities.

While bootstrapping your business is tough, if you manage to complete the process successfully, the results can be fantastic. 

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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Are you bored with some of your current design projects? This month’s collection of website design trends can help break you out of that rut with some fun and funky alternatives.

And all of these options are anything but boring. From visual display to technique, these trends present a different set of challenges.

Here’s what’s trending in design this month.

1. Layers on Layers

These website designs have so many layers of information that you almost don’t know where to look or where the design elements start and stop.

This can be a complex technique to make work because of the number of elements competing for the same attention in the design.

What you are likely to see with this design tend includes an image or video background with some motion but not anything that truly demands attention. Then add on a few still images in smaller frames throughout the design. Layer on text as well for a three-deep effect.

If you interact with these designs, you’ll find that they are not flat either. They all include animated elements, hover states, and interactions that help direct you through the layers of what can be a somewhat complex design.

Western National Parks Association uses a background image, middle images with animations, and multiple text layers (some on the pictures and some on the background). There’s also scroll animation to help build the design. A lot is going on, but it does not feel too busy.

WIP Architects is another design with layers that interact with each other and include motion. With a lot of scroll animation and layers that go in front of and behind other elements, engagement helps this site work.

The Shipwreck Survey uses the same basic layer outline with a little more overlap between elements and less overall animation. The primary animated effect on the homepage is the scroll bar.

 

 

2. Directed Click Actions

This interesting website design trend can be incredibly useful or a wasted element – directed click actions. These are buttons, icons, and animations that tell you to click somewhere in the design to move to the next stage of interaction.

The direct approach ensures that users see and have the best possible chance of doing what the design is intended for. On the other hand, if you need this much instruction, is the design too complicated? Or is there a middle ground where this trend looks great and is usable?

In each of the examples below, these directed click actions are a bit different.

HUG Co has a big circle to click in the bottom third of the screen. It’s almost designed like a bullseye, and you can’t miss it. The thing that is interesting here is that most of the video falls below the scroll. The click action also has two emojis to denote action – a smiling face or pointer when you are ready to click. (The click extends the video to full screen.)

ThinkOvery also uses a similar circular click icon. It also takes you to the next screen in a single movement so that you can continue to explore the design.

Living with OCD has a different approach with scroll and back-to-top icons paired in the bottom right corner. The scroll option includes words to help create direction and instruction. It consists of a small animation and an interactive hover state when you get close to the interactive element. The interesting thing here is that it is not actually a button, and you use a traditional scroll to interact.

 

 

3. Word Breaks

If you are a stickler for readability, this design trend might make you cringe.

In each of these designs, words are broken across lines – some with and some without hyphens. For the most part, there’s not much confusion about what the words are, but it does make you pause and think during the page experience.

Why would this be a design trend?

It’s a combination of using large typography, long words, and figuring out a solution to create a common experience between large and small screens. Many of these words would not fit on mobile screens, for example, with the same weight, scale, and impact as the desktop counterparts.

Hence, the word break solution. It creates a consistent user experience across devices.

This technique should be used only if you think your audience is savvy enough to understand what you are trying to communicate with the word break. It can be a tricky proposition!

Plantarium breaks at “plant” with a word that’s made up. But with the imagery and supporting terms, you still know immediately what the design is about.

Michelle Beatty takes a common word and breaks it. Because “photog” and “rapher” are the only letters on the screen, it’s pretty easy to figure out. What’s interesting is that the word break is not on the syllable, but the letters do stack nicely with this break visually.

Wreel Collective breaks a word with a hyphen in giant letters – something we rarely see in website design. Hyphens are not often used in this medium. Because of this, it gets your attention and makes you think about the words and the design.

 

 

Conclusion

There are a lot of rule-breaking trends in this month’s collection. They are interesting, fun, and require a certain level of risk to execute.

Could you see yourself (or your clients) opting for a design that features one of these trends? Time will tell if these visual compositions grow in popularity or begin to fade fast.

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Websites haven’t always been as adaptable as they are today. For modern designers, “responsivity” is one of the most significant defining factors of a good design. After all, we’re now catering to a host of users who frequently jump between mobile and desktop devices with varying screen sizes. 

However, the shift to responsive design didn’t happen overnight. For years, we’ve been tweaking the concept of “responsive web design” to eventually reach the stage we’re at today. 

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the history of responsive web design.

Where Did Web Design Begin?

When the first websites were initially created, no one was worried about responsivity across a range of screens. All sites were designed to fit the same templates, and developers didn’t spend a lot of time on concepts like design, layout, and typography.  

Even when the wider adoption of CSS technology began, most developers didn’t have to worry much about adapting content to different screen sizes. However, they still found a few ways to work with different monitor and browser sizes.

Liquid Layouts

The main two layout options available to developers in the early days were fixed-width, or liquid layout. 

With fixed-width layouts, the design was more likely to break if your monitor wasn’t the exact same resolution as the one the site was designed on. You can see an example here

Alternatively, liquid layouts, coined by Glenn Davis, were considered one of the first revolutionary examples of responsive web design. 

Liquid layouts could adapt to different monitor resolutions and browser sizes. However, content could also overflow, and text would frequently break on smaller screens. 

Resolution-Dependent Layouts

In 2004, a blog post by Cameron Adams introduced a new method of using JavaScript to swap out stylesheets based on a browser window size. This technique became known as “resolution-dependent layouts”. Even though they required more work from developers, resolution-dependent layouts allowed for more fine-grained control over the site’s design. 

The resolution-dependent layout basically functioned as an early version of CSS breakpoints, before they were a thing. The downside was developers had to create different stylesheets for each target resolution and ensure JavaScript worked across all browsers.

With so many browsers to consider at the time, jQuery became increasingly popular as a way to abstract the differences between browser options away.

The Rise of Mobile Subdomains

The introduction of concepts like resolution-dependent designs was happening at about the same time when many mobile devices were becoming more internet-enabled. Companies were creating browsers for their smartphones, and developers suddenly needed to account for these too.

Though mobile subdomains aimed to offer users the exact same functions they’d get from a desktop site on a smartphone, they were entirely separate applications. 

Having a mobile subdomain, though complex, did have some benefits, such as allowing developers to specifically target SEO to mobile devices, and drive more traffic to mobile site variations. However, at the same time, developers then needed to manage two variations of the same website.

Back at the time when Apple had only just introduced its first iPad, countless web designers were still reliant on this old-fashioned and clunky strategy for enabling access to a website on every device. In the late 2000s, developers were often reliant on a number of tricks to make mobile sites more accessible. For instance, even simple layouts used the max-width: 100% trick for flexible images.

Fortunately, everything began to change when Ethan Marcotte coined the term “Responsive Web Design” on A List Apart. This article drew attention to John Allsopp’s exploration of web design architectural principles, and paved the way for all-in-one websites, capable of performing just as well on any device. 

A New Age of Responsive Web Design

Marcotte’s article introduced three crucial components developers would need to consider when creating a responsive website: fluid grids, media queries, and flexible images. 

Fluid Grids

The concept of fluid grids introduced the idea that websites should be able to adopt a variety of flexible columns that grow or shrink depending on the current size of the screen. 

On mobile devices, this meant introducing one or two flexible content columns, while desktop devices could usually show more columns (due to greater space). 

Flexible Images

Flexible images introduced the idea that, like content, images should be able to grow or shrink alongside the fluid grid they’re located in. As mentioned above, previously, developers used something called the “max-width” trick to enable this. 

If you were holding an image in a container, then it could easily overflow, particularly if the container was responsive. However, if you set the “max-width” to 100%, the image just resizes with its parent container. 

Media Queries

The idea of “media queries” referred to the CSS media queries, introduced in 2010 but not widely adopted until officially released as a W3 recommendation 2 years later. Media queries are essentially CSS rules triggered based on options like media type (print, screen, etc), and media features (height, width, etc). 

Though they were simpler at the time, these queries allowed developers to essentially implement a simple kind of breakpoint – the kind of tools used in responsive design today.  Breakpoints refer to when websites change their layout or style based on the browser window or device width.

Viewport Meta tags need to be used in most cases to ensure media queries work in the way today’s developers expect. 

The Rise of Mobile-First Design

Since Marcotte’s introduction of Responsive Web Design, developers have been working on new ways to implement the idea as effectively as possible. Most developers now split into two categories, based on whether they consider the needs of the desktop device user first, or the needs of the mobile device user. The trend is increasingly accelerating towards the latter. 

When designing a website from scratch in an age of mobile-first browsing, most developers believe that mobile-first is the best option. Mobile designs are often much simpler, and more minimalist, which matches a lot of the trends of current web design.

Taking the mobile first route means assessing the needs of the website from a mobile perspective first. You’d write your styles normally, using breakpoints once you start creating desktop and tablet layouts. Alternatively, if you took the desktop-first approach, you would need to constantly adapt it to smaller devices with your breakpoint choices.

Exploring the Future of Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design still isn’t perfect. There are countless sites out there that still fail to deliver the same incredible experience across all devices. What’s more, new challenges continue to emerge all the time, like figuring out how to design for new devices like AR headsets and smartwatches. 

However, it’s fair to say we’ve come a long way since the early days of web design. 

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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