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Popular Design News of the Week: February 22, 2021 – February 28, 2021

Everyday design fans submit incredible industry stories to our sister-site, Webdesigner News. Our colleagues sift through it, selecting the very best stories from the design, UX, tech, and development worlds and posting them live on the site.

The best way to keep up with the most important stories for web professionals is to subscribe to Webdesigner News or check out the site regularly. However, in case you missed a day this week, here’s a handy compilation of the top curated stories from the last seven days. Enjoy!

The Application of Augmented Reality in Web Design

15 Funny Web Design Memes Only Web Designers Will Get

Tauri: Build Desktop Applications with a Web Frontend

20 Best New Websites, February 2021

Spotify is Testing a Redesigned (and Much-Improved) Library UI

Boardly – A Minimalistic Planning Board for Your Projects

A Big List of Must-Bookmark Sites for Digital Designers

10+ HTML CSS Marquee Examples

7 JavaScript ES2020 Features You Should Try

16 Office Pranks For When Life Goes Back To Normal

What Is the Best Ecommerce Platform?

Choosing New Tools and Technology for Your Web Projects

Getting Deep into Shadows

Bablab – Portfolio Websites for Photographers and Artists

7 Essential WordPress Plugins for a New Client’s Website

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The post Popular Design News of the Week: February 22, 2021 – February 28, 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


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A Step by Step Guide to the Final Upgrade From Agile to Cloud PLM


How Does Cloud PLM Differ from On-premise Solutions?

While on-premise Agile PLM allows for product development, processes, and development of product records and more; these are essential features of any PLM. Moving to the Cloud brings you a step ahead in the product conception, with the following advantages:

  • The cloud allows for the identification of individual tasks related to each status of the workflow and the overall change.
  • The cloud has powerful security that enables roles and privileges control to directly. Agile PLM on the other hand has no team security.
  • Cloud provides Page Composer that allows complete customization of the page layout while Agile does not.
  • Sub-classes are of unlimited levels in the cloud, and only of three levels in Agile: base class, class, and subclass.

To make the transition to the cloud easier, GoSaaS has a clear and well-defined process that captures input from within the company to ensure every requirement is fulfilled.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

12 Tips to Improve Your Web Design Skills in 2021

There are many reasons you might be wanting to improve your design skills this year. Perhaps you have extra time on your hands and want to put it to good use. Or maybe you’re new to web design and finding that there’s a lot you still don’t know how to do. It could also be that you recognize that the web is changing, and your skills could use some refreshing to keep up.

Whatever the reason, there are many ways to level up your web design skills in 2021. Here are 12 ideas to get you started:

Tip 1: Niche Down If You Haven’t Already

Jack-of-all-trades designers might be able to say “yes” to everyone. However, they’re going to be stretched very thin as they attempt to strengthen every skill needed to keep up with demand.

It’s much easier to become a trusted designer and to improve your skills if you have a smaller and more specific skill set to develop.

Just keep in mind that niching down doesn’t necessarily mean focusing on a particular industry. For instance, you might choose to be a UX designer instead of a web designer. Or you might specialize in designing ecommerce websites instead of monetized blogs. Just find something that you’re passionate about and will be good at doing, and zero-in on the skills needed for it.

Tip 2: Play Around in the Sandbox

Local development environments are useful for staging websites, doing redesigns, and testing updates safely away from live sites. But you can also use them for experimenting with new design techniques, trends, templates, plugins, and more.

Local by Flywheel is the one I prefer to use:

Here’s a good exercise to start with:

Take a website you like — something you’ve looked at in awe and couldn’t imagine ever building on your own. Then, put yourself to the test. See if you can recreate it in your sandbox.

Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t figure it out right away. Consult your resources and give yourself time to make sense of what’s going on and implement it with the available skills and tools.

Tip 3: Redesign One of Your First Projects

There’s always a clear evolution in a designer’s skill set, from the day they begin designing to the present day. And that’s a good thing. If your work doesn’t improve or change with time, then you’re going to have a lot of catching up to do when the stagnation begins to hurt your business.

Want to see how much progress you’ve made so far? Revisit one of your first projects and look at it with fresh eyes. I bet you’ll see a big change in how you design today from how you designed that site then.

Now, ask yourself what you would do differently. And then, go to your sandbox and do the redesign.

Tip 4: Work on a Passion Project

A friend of mine is taking a UX design course and needed some users to run through a prototype he created for the class. He could create anything he wanted, so he designed an app related to his other love: Music.

While he could’ve easily thrown together some carbon copy of Spotify or SoundCloud, he came up with a completely new concept. And it was really impressive, to the point where I urged him to put it into production and see if he could list it in the app stores.

I think it’s when we’re really passionate about something that we’re willing to push past our limits. So, carve out some time to tackle that passion project you’ve been toying around with and see where it takes you.

Tip 5: Share Your Designs on Dribbble and Ask for Feedback

One of the reasons UX designers do user testing is how valuable users’ raw input is. While it would be nice to think that design is a completely subjective matter, that isn’t really the case when usability becomes compromised due to design choices.

Understanding what users like and dislike is an important part of taking your design skills to the next level. And a good way to do that is to share your designs on Dribbble.

Here’s an example of UI8 asking for feedback:

Tip 6: Create a Design Toolbox

I’m a huge fan of automation and shortcuts powering things behind the scenes in business.

After all, one of the reasons you become a web designer is so you can design, right? When you’re bogged down with administrative and logistical tasks, that’s time spent away from doing what you enjoy.

One way in which you can streamline your backend processes is by putting together a design toolbox. Your preferred CMS. Flexible templates or apps you use from project to project. Website testing tools. And so on.

As you do this, it’ll force you to examine how you build websites. Are you really working as efficiently as possible? Are there newer apps or systems that’ll help you design better sites? And as you improve your design toolbox, you’ll improve your design skills.

Tip 7: Subscribe to Your Favorite Blogs

I have a hard time recommending this one, only because I’m reluctant to sign up for yet another newsletter. That said, I do see the value in subscribing to some blog newsletters as I don’t always remember to revisit their websites and check out the latest content.

What I’d suggest you do is pick one or two design blogs that have a good variety of content and publish regularly. And then pick one small business or freelance blog.

WebdesignerDepot, of course, is a good one to start with as it comes at a good frequency, recommends great reads from all around the web, and is fluff-free:

I’d also recommend signing up for one that’s focused on your niche as well as one for business.

As a freelancer, I’d vote for the Freelancers’ Union newsletter. There’s always something timely and useful in there.

Tip 8: Listen to a Podcast

I just adopted a second dog, so I’ve spent a lot more time on walks while house-training her. At first, I was stressed about it because it was time spent away from work. However, I started to fill that time with podcasts and found that it helped me work better for the rest of the day.

One reason is that I’ve been listening to work-related podcasts, which are always chock full of helpful tips. Another reason is that it gives my eyes a rest from looking at the screen so that when I come back 15 or so minutes later, I feel refreshed and ready to go.

Rebekah Carter has a good set of web design podcast recommendations to get you started.

Tip 9: Take a Free Online Design Course

There’s an overabundance of information online. If you want to brush up on CSS, there are hundreds of YouTube courses that cover it. If you want to learn how to use a new WordPress plugin, you’ll find dozens of great tutorials across various online course platforms, YouTube channels, and even people’s blogs.

There’s no need to go back to school to become a better designer. Here are five places where you’re bound to find free courses for web designers.

Tip 10: Read a Book on Design Principles or Theory

It’s easy to lose sight of design principles when your clients are clamoring for a website that will make them a lot of money, get them a lot of readers, and so on. Sure, you can design a UI and UX that works, but do you remember why the design choices you made are effective?

Choose a book — just one to start — that’ll help you reconnect with the roots of good web design. Not only will you get a good refresher on web design principles or design theory, but you might learn something brand new.

Here are some of my favorite books for web designers:

Tip 11: Find Your People

Now more than ever, finding a community of like-minded web designers, developers, or freelancers is important. It’s not just about having a group of people to vent to when clients drive you nuts (though that’s great, too).

It’s about finding a group that brings something new to the table and enriches your understanding of web design and what it means to be a web designer.

If you’re on Facebook or LinkedIn, start there. There are tons of web design and freelance groups that have productive discussions every day. If you prefer to meet up with local designers and developers, check out Meetup.

You may be surprised by how many groups there are and the kinds of meetups they have planned.

Tip 12: Attend a Virtual Conference

Did any of you attend a design conference last year? I did. I virtually attended Adobe MAX — from the comfort of my home, in my pajamas, for three days.

I scheduled my assignments around the sessions I wanted to attend and didn’t have to pick one over the other (i.e., “Do I make money or do I learn something new?”).

Some of the sessions showed us how to do more with Adobe’s tools, while some of them featured design and business leaders who shared personal insights on how to work more effectively. It was a great way to shake up my normal routine and to get a ton of information about the future of web design in a short period of time.

Which of These Tips Will You Use to Improve Your Design Skills?

Like I said before, there’s a lot you can do to improve your design skills. Just be careful not to overdo it.

Pick one or two things on this list to start with. If you have more time in your schedule and you’re excited about what you’ve learned so far, add a couple more.

Just take it slowly. Your brain will only be able to absorb so much at once. Plus, the last thing you want is to burn yourself out on skills training and not have the energy to complete your work.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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The post 12 Tips to Improve Your Web Design Skills in 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


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Try the New Material Design Capabilities for WordPress

If you like to build websites with WordPress, then you’re in for a treat.

Now, for the first time, you don’t need to know how to code to use Google’s popular Material Design system on your WordPress website; the web giant has released a WordPress plugin and theme to import its colors, icons, UI elements, and typography straight into your CMS.

Google already provided a set of tools for generating Material Design themes, but until now you needed to know how to copy that code across to your site files. With this latest plugin and theme, all you need to do is click and go.

 

You need to install both the plugin and theme to take advantage of Material Design for WordPress. Using the add-ons, you can tweak your typography via Google Fonts, add-in MD color, and even choose your own icons. If even that’s too much, pick one of the pre-built themes. One of the best features is that the plugin warns you if your customizations break accessibility guidelines, saving you a do-over when you discover it later on.

Google calls it “an experimental plugin and theme,” which means it’s subject to change. And Google has been quick to emphasize that the plugin is very much a work in progress, asking for feedback to help them direct future development efforts.

It’s a really great option for anyone who’s starting on the web, building their first site, or who really wants a nice reliable design system that they can build on in the future.

It’s yet another automation tool that has driven WordPress to the top of the technology pile and made it the CMS of choice for 40% of the web. As tech hots up and AI continues to develop, it’s hard to dismiss the idea that one day soon, our only contribution to websites will be paying the hosting bill!

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Popular Design News of the Week: February 15, 2021 – February 21, 2021

Everyday design fans submit incredible industry stories to our sister-site, Webdesigner News. Our colleagues sift through it, selecting the very best stories from the design, UX, tech, and development worlds and posting them live on the site.

The best way to keep up with the most important stories for web professionals is to subscribe to Webdesigner News or check out the site regularly. However, in case you missed a day this week, here’s a handy compilation of the top curated stories from the last seven days. Enjoy!

The New Trello – Going Beyond the Board

Flameshot – Superb Screenshot Tool

GitHub Surf – Open repositories in a VSCode Environment

The Never-Ending Job of Selling Design Systems

The Secret Ingredients to Design

What Saul Bass Can Teach Us About Web Design

2021 Planner for Notion – A Smart Notion Workspace

Ideas for CSS Button Hover Animations

Ray.so – Create Beautiful Images of Your Code

Variable Font Reveals The Full Horror of The Climate Crisis

Design Systems For Figma: Year In The Life Of A Material Design Advocate

Interface Market – An Extensive Collection of App UI Kits

DogeHouse – Open-Source Audio Chat on the Web

Interaction Design is More Than Just User Flows and Clicks

Design Trends 2021

Straw.Page – Extremely Simple Website Builder

The Impact of Web Design and SEO Conversion Rates

Powerful Microinteractions to Improve Your Prototypes

What’s New in Ecommerce, February 2021

Colortopia – The Easiest Way to Find Colors

5 Simple Design Patterns to Improve Your Website

TextBuddy for macOS – A Swiss Army Knife for Plain Text

Upcoming Interesting JavaScript ES2021 (ES12) Features

WordPress 5.7: Big ol’ jQuery Update

JavaScript reducer – A Simple, Yet Powerful Array Method

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The post Popular Design News of the Week: February 15, 2021 – February 21, 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

Beyond Observability: Putting Intelligence in Modern Monitoring

If you’re paying attention to anything that’s happening in the development world, you’re likely familiar with the term “observability.” We’re seeing more and more monitoring companies from all different backgrounds jumping on the term to describe their solutions, many claiming their observability tool to be the factor that will take businesses to the next level.

Growing out-of-control system engineering, observability allows dev teams to unify and study the behaviors of various IT systems through the external outputs of the internal systems. In the case of software, that’s log events, distributed tracing, and time-series metrics. By unifying the data streaming through today’s complex IT environments, it certainly gives SREs and DevOps practitioners a leg up from traditional monitoring. But the data alone is no longer enough.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Running an IT Company During the Pandemic: 5 Key Insights From the CEO of Erbis.

2020 was a transformative year for many industries, and IT and software development was no exception. Customer demands and behavior have changed in many ways, causing companies to quickly react and adjust to these shifts.

Aside from the unpleasant side of the pandemic, such a dynamic environment has led to new solutions and better business models.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

10 Best Alternatives to Google Analytics in 2021

When you think of installing analytics, you probably reach for Google Analytics. And you wouldn’t be alone. The platform’s tight integration with SEO and the implication that using Google products is beneficial to ranking means that Google Analytics is the most commonly installed analytics solution globally.

Google Analytics isn’t a bad choice: it’s free, it’s fairly comprehensive, and it does indeed tie most SEO efforts up with a nice bow.

But Google Analytics is also slow, extremely bad for privacy — both yours and your users’ — and for many people, it’s too unwieldy, having grown organically over the years into a relatively complex UI.

Some alternatives are fast, privacy-friendly, and geared towards different specialisms. Today we’re rounding up the best…

1. Heap

Heap is an event-based analytics platform. That means you can tell not just how many people visited your site but what actions they took when they were there. This isn’t a unique proposition, but Heap is one of the best implementations.

Heap offers an auto-track tool, which is ideal for new installations because you can get up and running immediately and fine-tune the details later. That makes it great for startups, although it’s also the choice of major corporations like Microsoft.

Heap’s free plan includes 60k sessions per year and 12 months of data history, but when you outgrow that, the business plans start at $12,000/year.

2 ChartMogul

ChartMogul is geared towards SaaS that offer subscription plans, staking a claim as the world’s first subscription data platform.

Services like Buffer and Webflow use ChartMogul to monitor their revenue and analyze the ROI of changes to their features, design, and user experience.

Ideally suited for startups, ChartMogul pricing is based on monthly recurring revenue; it has a free plan for up to $10,000 MMR; after that, pricing starts at $100/month.

3. Fathom

Fathom is an awesome, privacy-first analytics solution. It offers a simple dashboard and is ideal for anyone looking for simple analytics information to verify business decisions.

Fathom is ideally suited to freelancers, or entrepreneurs with multiple projects, as it allows you to run multiple domains from a single account. Fathom is entirely cookieless, meaning you can ditch that annoying cookie notice. It’s GDPR, ePrivacy, PECR, CCPA, and COPPA compliant.

There’s a seven-day free trial; after that, Fathom starts at $14/month.

4. FullStory

FullStory is designed to help you develop engaging online products with an emphasis on user experience.

FullStory is a set of tools, making it ideal for large in-house teams or in-house teams working with outside agencies or freelancers. It pitches itself as a single source of truth from which everyone from the marketing department to the database engineers can draw their insights, helping digital teams rapidly iterate by keeping everyone in the same loop.

FullStory uses AI to track and interpret unexpected events, from rage clicks to traffic spikes, and breaks those events down to a dollar-cost, so you can instantly see where your interventions will have the most impact.

There’s a free plan for up to 1k sessions per month; once you outgrow that, you need to talk to the sales team for a quote.

5. Amplitude

Amplitude has one of the most user-friendly dashboards on this list, with tons of power behind it. For project managers trying to make science-based decisions about future development, it’s a godsend.

The downside with Amplitude is that to make the most of its powerful data connections, you need to pump a lot of data in. For that reason, Amplitude is best suited to sites that already have a substantial volume of traffic — among those customers are Cisco and PayPal.

Amplitude provides a free plan, with its core analytics and up to 10m tracked actions per month. For premium plans, you have to contact their sales team for a quote.

6. Mixpanel

Mixpanel is a little bit more than an analytics program, aiming to be a whole suite of web tools it has ventured into split testing and notifications.

Mixpanel is laser-focused on maximizing your sales funnel. One look at the dashboard, and you can see that Mixpanel, while very well designed, has too many features to present them simply; Mixpanel is ideally suited to agencies and in-house development teams with time to invest — you probably want to keep the CEO away from this one.

Mixpanel has a generous free plan for up to 100k monthly users, with its business plans starting at $25/month.

7. Mode

Mode is a serious enterprise-level solution for product intelligence and decision making.

Ideally suited to in-house teams, Mode allows you to monitor financial flow and output the results in investor-friendly reports. You can monitor your entire tech stack and, of course, understand how users are interacting with your product. Wondering who handles the analytics for Shopify? That would be Mode.

Mode has a free plan aimed at individuals, but this tool’s scope is really beyond freelancers, and the free plan’s only likely to appeal to high-price consultants and tech trouble-shooters. For the full business plan, you need to contact Mode’s sales team for a quote.

8. Microanalytics

Microanalytics is a relatively new analytics program with a lightweight, privacy-focused approach.

Microanalytics provides a simple dashboard with acquisitions, user location, technology, and the all-important event tracking to monitor user behavior. Microanalytics is compliant with the web’s most stringent privacy laws, including GDPR, PECR, and CCPA. The tracking code is just 1kb in size, meaning that you’ll hardly notice its footprint in your stats.

Microanalytics is free for up to 10k pageviews/month; after that, the monthly plan starts at $9.

9. GoSquared

GoSquared is another suite of tools, this time aimed at SaaS. Its primary product is its analytics, but it also includes live chat, marketing tools, and a team inbox.

If you’re tired of comparing multiple tools to help make the most of your startup, GoSquared kills several birds with one stone. Perhaps most importantly, if you’re beginning to build a team and don’t have any engineers onboard yet, GoSquared has an award-winning support team and an idiot-proof setup process.

GoSquared has a free plan that’s fine for evaluating the suite and integrating data from day one. As you begin to grow, paid plans start at $40/month.

10. Segment

Segment is a little different from the other analytics tools on this list; Segment is a layer that sits between your site and your analytics. It integrates with many of the tools on this list.

There are several benefits to this approach. The main one is that different teams within your enterprise can access analytics data in a form that suits them — designers can access complex data, and management can stick to revenue flow. It also means that you can switch analytics programs with a single setting in Segment and even migrate historical data into new apps. If you’re an enterprise that wants to future-proof its customer intelligence gathering, Segment is worth considering.

Segment is trusted by some of the web’s best-known names, from IBM to Levis, and…ahem…Google.

Segment is free for up to 1k visitors per month, and after that, the team plan starts at $120/month.

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The post 10 Best Alternatives to Google Analytics in 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


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Scale Salesforce Apps Using Microservices on Heroku

This is the eighth article documenting what I’ve learned from a series of 13 Trailhead Live video sessions on Modern App Development on Salesforce and Heroku. In these articles, we’re focusing on how to combine Salesforce with Heroku to build an “eCars” app—a sales and service application for a fictitious electric car company (“Pulsar”) that allows users to customize and buy cars, service techs to view live diagnostic info from the car, and more. In case you missed my previous article, you can find the link here.

Just as a quick reminder: I’ve been following this Trailhead Live video series to brush up and stay current on the latest app development trends on these platforms that are key for my career and business. I’ll be sharing each step for building the app, what I’ve learned, and my thoughts from each session. These series reviews are both for my own edification as well as for others who might benefit from this content.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Build a REST API with Node.js and HarperDB

If you are building an application using Node.js, it can get a little overwhelming since there are a variety of databases to choose from and different ways to build APIs. One way to reduce development time and focus on the problem you are trying to solve is to use a Database as a service to store the data. The advantage of this approach is to use a cloud database system without purchasing hardware which can be cost and time-effective.

One such database service is HarperDB Cloud. To build REST APIs rapidly this service allows us to perform all database operations using a single endpoint. It supports a variety of programming languages such as JavaScript, Java, Python, and so on. Some of the features of HarperDB are the following:

Source de l’article sur DZONE