Articles

Agile, which started off as a better and more practical method of software development proposed by a group of developers, is now transforming the way in which organizations are run. Agile is now adopted by banks, manufacturers, research & development centers, hospitals, and even airports for execution. 

When the scale and reach of Agile increased, newer frameworks such as Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Large Scale Scrum, Nexus, and so on gained popularity. Enterprise agility and business agility is radically changing the way in which organizations are structured. 

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Value Stream Management (VSM) is about empowering delivery organizations to measure, mitigate, and monitor complexity. Simply put, it aims at improving the flow of value in your organization. The VSM Consortium recently released their highly anticipated report on The State of Value Stream Management Report 2022.  

In this article, we recap some of the findings and look at it specifically from a software engineering and DevOps point of view. Can we capture some key lessons that lead to healthier and more productive engineering teams? What has worked and what has not? Can we simplify and adapt ideas of organizational change to create a thriving engineering organization?

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Each month we publish this roundup of the best new fonts for designers to help you find new ways of packing personality into your designs.

In October’s edition, you’ll find a number of revivals and a ton of vintage inspiration, all wrapped up with a modern twist. After years of geometric sans-serifs, a few decorative flourishes are more than welcome. Enjoy!

The Future

The Future and its accompanying monospace The Future Mono is a homage to the classic Futura. The Future is a great revision of classic forms, and The Future Mono is a blend of Western Modernism and Japanese typographic styles.

Rapidissima

Rapida and Rapidissima began as part of a master’s course at the Royal Academy of Art in Den Haag. While Rapida is a careful, usable serif with lots of thoughtful details, Rapidissima is a visually exciting exploration of speed.

Aiglon

Aiglon is a pseudo-geometrics sans-serif with beautiful proportions. It draws inspiration from 20th-century architectural lettering. It’s a tremendous alternative to Gotham for those looking for a more European aesthetic.

Raskal Oner Write

Raskal Oner Write is a script font for designers that don’t want a script font. All of the classic feel of handwritten letters is here, but the construction is entirely original. Contextual alternatives combine to create the visual look of lettering.

Grostino

Grostino is an elegant display typeface. The enormous contrast in width between its rounded glyphs and its square glyphs adds enormous personality. It’s ideal for branding projects that need to evoke classicism.

Figtree

Figtree is a highly usable sans-serif packed with practical features, including fractions, monospaced numbers, and scientific inferiors. It’s both minimal and friendly, making it an ideal choice for corporate design systems. It’s free to download.

Gills & Co

Gills & Co is a modern serif that draws inspiration from Art Nouveau to create beautiful finials and ligatures. It works really well as a logotype and for packaging.

Catalog

Catalog is a sturdy, easy-to-use serif with thick slab serifs. It has a simplified shape and is easily readable on lower-resolution screens. It features an unusual lowercase g, which adds visual interest to passages of text.

Kreol Display

Kreol Display is a didone typeface with some interesting details that raise it above similar designs. The lowercase ‘a’ and the uppercase ‘R’ are particularly pleasing.

Gwen

Gwen is a typeface family that includes a highly characteristic display face and a more subtle text face. There are seven different weights, and it is available as a variable font.

Benogi

Benogi is a display font run through with wave-like forms. The ’70s aesthetic is continued in the proportion of the glyphs. It’s a great option for health and beauty product branding.

Marcin Antique

Marcin Antique is inspired by early French grotesque typefaces. It has just been reissued with new widths, additional weights, and redrawn italics, making it an even more usable sans-serif.

VVDS The Dickens Tale

It’s horrifying to say it, but yes, the holiday season is just weeks away. If you’re preparing marketing material with a heritage feel, then check out The Dickens Tale, it’s as classic as candy canes and Peanuts reruns.

Povetarac Sans

Povetarac Sans is a workhorse of a sans-serif that performs well as both display and running text. Inspired by vintage designs, it comes with six weights and supports fractions.

Blothe

Blothe is a fabulously chunky display face that is drawn wide, thick, and rounded. Use it at huge sizes to make the most of its weighty presence.

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The post 15 Best New Fonts, October 2022 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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In this tutorial, we’ll go over how to use and understand React Hooks. This article is an extension of article how-to-manage-state-with-hooks-on-react-components. It has been expanded with other Hooks and logic and Lessons Learned.

Here we create a simple product page with a shopping cart (see image 2). The shopping cart represents the memory (or the ‘state’) of the product page. The state generally refers to application data that must be tracked.

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Efficient code doesn’t just run faster; if it’s using less compute-resource, it may also be cheaper to run. In particular, distributed cloud applications can benefit from fast, lightweight serialization. 

OpenSource Java Serializer

Chronicle-Wire is an OpenSource Java serializer that can read and write to different message formats such as JSON, YAML, and raw binary data. This serializer can find a middle ground between compacting data formatting (storing more data in the same space) versus compressing data (reducing the amount of storage required). Instead, data is stored in as few bytes as possible without causing performance degradation. This is done through marshaling an object.

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In a previous post, I showed you how to use AWS CDK to automate the deployment and configuration of your Apache Airflow environments using Managed Workflows for Apache Airflow (MWAA) on AWS. In this quick how-to guide, I will share how you can use Terraform to do the same thing.

You will need:

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Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) have led the way to software robots that reduce the manual, time-consuming, and repetitive actions performed on digital platforms. The concept of automating tasks on digital platforms is called robotic process automation (RPA). RPA is a software robot that interacts with computer-centric processes and aims to introduce a digital workforce that performs repetitive tasks previously completed by humans. This Refcard introduces RPA technology, how it works, key components, and how to set up your environment.
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Tabular data is one of the best sources of data on the web. They can store a massive amount of useful information without losing its easy-to-read format, making it gold mines for data-related projects.

Whether it is to scrape football data or extract stock market data, we can use Python to quickly access, parse and extract data from HTML tables, thanks to Requests and Beautiful Soup.

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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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The post How To Make Your Designs Scannable (And Why You Should) first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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I have lost count of the number of times I have been told that Java is not a suitable language in which to develop applications where performance is a major consideration. My first response is usually to ask for clarification on what is actually meant by “performance” as two of the most common measures – throughput and latency, sometimes conflict with each other, and approaches to optimise for one may have a detrimental effect on the other. 

Techniques exist for developing Java applications that match, or even exceed, the performance requirements of applications that have been built using languages more traditionally used for this purpose. However, even this may not be enough to get the best performance from a latency perspective. Java applications still have to rely on the Operating System to provide access to the underlying hardware. Typically latency-sensitive (often called “Real Time”) applications operate best when there is almost direct access to the underlying hardware, and the same applies to Java. In this article, we will introduce some approaches that can be taken when we want to have our applications utilise system resources most effectively. 

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