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What Does It Take to Test in DevOps?: QA Best Practices

Traditionally, testing has been perceived as a bottleneck in SDLC, something that causes delays in delivery. Organizations have long adopted the Agile/DevOps model, but not without its pitfalls and stumbling blocks, especially in achieving the ideal speed/quality balance.

For enterprise DevOps, it is vital to rethink testing approaches to achieve agility at scale. There is much of an overlap of roles, for instance between business analysts and QA testers. Is the tester’s role diminished because of this overlap or because of automation?

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.


Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

Scale to Zero With Kubernetes

In the era of web-scale, every organization is looking to scale its applications on-demand, while minimizing infrastructure expenditure. Cloud-native applications, such as microservices are designed and implemented with scale in mind and Kubernetes provides the platform capabilities for dynamic deployment, scaling, and management. 

Autoscaling and scale to zero is a critical functional requirement for all serverless platforms as well as platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution providers because it helps to minimize infrastructure costs.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

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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The post Try the New Material Design Capabilities for WordPress first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


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10 of the Best Chrome Extensions to Find XPath in Selenium

Are you facing problems while trying to find XPath in Selenium? Well, you are not alone! This is among the most common challenges most developers face while using Selenium for web testing. But not anymore, as we have picked 10 of the best Chrome extensions to make it easier for you to find XPath in Selenium.

Before we begin, we think it’s a good idea to point out what XPath in Selenium is.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

20 Best New Websites, February 2021

It’s February, and the spring sun is finally starting to peep through the winter clouds. While many of us are still largely restricted to our homes, the web has kept on growing.

We see a shift in attitude towards natural health, wellbeing, and sustainability, and these are now being branded less often as outliers and increasingly mainstream. We’re also seeing more and more color all the time, ranging from an emotional signifier in the background to being a functional element in its own right.

GOOD Meat

Gorgeous color in the background image and the scrolling narrative pull the user in on this site for lab ‘grown’ meat.

Hanwag 100 Years

This page celebrating 100 years of outdoor footwear company Hanweg uses a mix of illustrations and photographs to create a timeline marking the company’s highlights alongside what else was happening at the time. Any excuse to get Yoda in.

Gaffer

Gaffer describes itself as bridging the gap between football, music, fashion, and culture. The site has a glossy feel, with strong art direction and an easily navigable architecture.

Remember MLK

This rather beautifully made tribute to Martin Luther King uses some great typographic effects, and the variations, in contrast, create a layering of the different content elements.

Bonjour Agency

The home page for design agency Bonjour Paris uses sideways scrolling to give an overview of the whole site. There is a lot of content, but it doesn’t feel like waffle, and exploring the site is a pleasant experience in itself.

Wild Souls

Wild Souls is a Greek company that principally makes nut butters, tahini, and halva. The site is very colorful but warm, and the display type — Canela — has a slight softness to it that is appealing.

Nicolas Loureiro

This is a strong portfolio site for interactive and graphic designer Nicolas Loureiro. The work is front and center, and the navigation is pleasing.

Studio Nanna Lagerman

Studio Nanna Lagermann is a small interior design studio that works on private homes, public spaces, and set design. The site creates a feeling of space and calm. Colors are soft and neutral, and the type, although massive in places, is clean and sophisticated.

Aurelia Durand

Illustrator Aurelia Durand created her own typeface that she uses in her work, and it is used as the main display font here too. This site has a sense of joy about it that is hard to resist.

Archivio Mario Russo

This site documents the life and work of 20th-century Italian artist Mario Russo. The layout is thoughtful, and the text, while informative, doesn’t detract from the work being shown.

Gigantic Candy

Gigantic Candy makes vegan chocolate candy bars. The site is big, bold and lo-fi, and has a sense of fun to it.

dBodhi

dBodhi sells handcrafted furniture from Java, made from reclaimed teak and locally grown plant materials. The clean layout combined with a slight sepia tone on all the photography creates a feeling of quietness and nature.

Menu Durable

Menu Durable is a guide to creating healthier, sustainable food menus in Canadian healthcare facilities. There is a lot of information here, and it is well written and attractively presented with clear color coding.

Virgile Guinard

This is a lovely, simple portfolio site for photographer Virgile Guinard. By using blocks of color pulled from each photograph’s predominant color and only revealing each photograph on rollover, each image is allowed to stand out.

The Bold Type

This site for The Bold Type Hotel in Patra, Greece, is a boutique hotel website archetype, but it is done well. The pinky sand background color is a good choice, and the photographs are excellent.

NOR NORM

Nor Norm provide an office furniture subscription service. The site is clean with a feeling of light and space. There is a good balance between an overview of the process and details of the individual items available.

Ask Us For Ideas

At first glance, Ask Us For Ideas looks like a creative agency, but it is actually a creative broker, matching clients with agencies.

Prinoth Clean Motion

Prinoth has been making snow groomers since the 1960s, and this microsite is to mark the launch of their new hydrogen and electric versions. It is as slick and glossy as any luxury car website. And now I know what a snow groomer is.

Pschhh

Design agency Pschhh has embraced the use of circles, reflecting the sound of bubbles their name suggests.

CōLab

CōLab is a design and marketing firm. There is a great use of color and movement here, and you don’t really notice initially that there is no actual work on show.

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The post 20 Best New Websites, February 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


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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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Time Anxiety: What It Is and How to Deal With It

Do you have the recurring thought that you don’t have enough time or that it is too late to accomplish what you want to?  If so, you may be suffering from what is referred to as “time anxiety.” It is pretty common, especially in today’s day and age with social media portraying unrealistic expectations and forcing our lives to rush us by.

Time anxiety is no fun and can be weighing you down in your everyday life. Here is everything you need to know and some strategies and tips to overcome this anxiety and work towards being more at peace with the way that you are living.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Poll: Is Minimalism a Dead Trend Walking?

Since the skeuomorphism of the early 00s, the design trend of choice has been minimalism. In fact, minimalism has been de rigueur for substantially longer than that.

You can make a fair case that minimalism was the defining theme of the 20th century. Beginning with the widespread adoption of grotesque typefaces in mass advertising the century before, continuing through the less-is-more philosophies of the middle part of the century, and culminating in the luxury of 80s and 90s consumerism.

Minimalism has been central to the design practice of almost every designer that we recognize as a designer. It underpins the definition of the discipline itself.

With the weight of such illustrious history, it’s no wonder that the fledgling web — and in the scale of history, the web is still a very new phenomenon — adopted minimalism.

And then there’s the fact that a minimalist approach works on the web. Multiple viewports, multiple connection speeds, multiple user journeys, all of these things are so much easier to handle if you reduce the number of visual components that have to adapt to each context.

And yet, despite this, an increasing number of designers are abandoning minimalism in favor of a more flamboyant approach where form is function. It’s clearly happening. What’s not clear is whether this is a short-lived, stylistic fad or something altogether more fundamental. In other words, are designers about to abandon grids, or are they just slapping some gradients on an otherwise minimal design?

Featured image via Pexels.

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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