Articles

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.

Source

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


Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

Quatre manières de préserver notre planète

La plupart des pays industrialisés recyclent leurs déchets depuis déjà des décennies. Nous trions le verre, le plastique, le papier et le textile en les jetant dans les poubelles prévues à cet effet. Mais qu’advient-il ensuite de ces déchets ? En faisons-nous assez ? Et qu’en est-il des régions qui sont devenues des dépotoirs ou qui n’ont pas mis en place de systèmes de recyclage ?

Malgré nos efforts, près de 9 millions de tonnes de plastique sont déversés chaque année dans les océans en raison de notre modèle de consommation linéaire actuel Extraire, Fabriquer, Jeter.

L’entassement des déchets dans les décharges n’arrange rien. Pas moins de 1,3 milliard de tonnes de déchets sont mis en décharge chaque année et ce chiffre devrait grimper à 2,2 milliards de tonnes en 2025. Les dommages causés à l’homme, à la faune sauvage et à l’environnement sont considérables, mais nous pouvons prendre des mesures pour les atténuer.

Le cas des vêtements

Outre les déchets plastiques et électroniques, les textiles, notamment les textiles non biologiques, sont en grande partie responsables du problème. Selon l’Agence de protection de l’environnement des États-Unis (EPA), les Américains jettent 13,1 millions de tonnes de textiles par an, dont 15 % seulement sont recyclés. Cela signifie que plus de 11 millions de tonnes de textiles sont déversés chaque année dans les décharges, libérant dans le sol des colorants et des produits chimiques qui contaminent les eaux souterraines et nuisent à l’environnement. Pire encore, à mesure que les textiles se décomposent, ils libèrent du méthane, un gaz à effet de serre nocif qui contribue de manière significative au réchauffement climatique.

L’industrie textile est la plus polluante après le logement, le transport et l’alimentation. L’apparition des achats en ligne a bouleversé nos habitudes. Aujourd’hui, les consommateurs commandent les articles en plusieurs tailles ou plusieurs couleurs, les essaient et retournent ce qui ne leur convient pas, ce qui crée de nouveaux défis pour les commerçants. De nombreux détaillants sont contraints de jeter plus de 25 % des articles retournés, soit des tonnes de marchandises neuves déversées chaque année dans les décharges.

Dans ce contexte, le secteur de la mode éphémère est soumis à de fortes pressions pour repenser sa stratégie de production et merchandising en vue de réduire les dommages écologiques.

Quatre gestes pour réduire les déchets

La protection de l’environnement relève de la responsabilité collective. Si les gouvernements, les consommateurs, les fabricants et les détaillants font leur part du travail, il est encore possible d’inverser la tendance. En tant que citoyens et consommateurs, nous avons un rôle important à jouer.

Nous pouvons tous refuser d’acheter des articles en plastique à usage unique, des produits vendus dans des emballages superflus ou des vêtements bon marché qui finissent dans des décharges après avoir été portés une ou deux fois.

Nous pouvons réduire les déchets en évitant d’en générer, par exemple en réduisant le volume des marchandises achetées en ligne, puis retournées au vendeur. Pour ce qui est de la réutilisation, cette pratique est en plein essor. Des friperies aux associations caritatives, il existe de nombreux moyens de remettre des textiles, meubles et appareils sur le marché plutôt que de les déverser dans les décharges.

Enfin, le recyclage doit être l’objectif ultime. Il permet non seulement de réduire la dépendance à l’égard des matières premières, mais il crée des emplois et diminue l’impact de notre société de consommation sur l’environnement.

Toutefois, il existe encore un énorme fossé entre ce que nous aspirons à faire en tant que consommateurs et notre comportement au quotidien.

Même si plusieurs études, telles que l’enquête sur les emballages plastiques de 2017 réalisée par l’institut britannique de sondage Populus, confirment la motivation des consommateurs à mieux gérer leur consommation et leurs déchets de matières plastiques, il reste encore beaucoup à faire. Par exemple, les étiquettes d’emballage sont souvent source de confusion et la communication des collectivités locales sur les options de recyclage disponibles n’est pas suffisamment claire.

Une participante à une enquête a donné un excellent exemple de la complexité à laquelle les consommateurs sont confrontés lorsqu’ils tentent d’adopter les bons gestes. « J’ai effectué des recherches sur les couches biodégradables, qui me semblent être une bonne idée », a-t-elle déclaré. « Mais apparemment, ces couches peuvent uniquement être recyclées dans un composteur. Si elles sont mises en décharge, elles produisent du méthane, ce qui est réellement nocif pour l’environnement. »

Le défi de SAP concernant les matières plastiques

S’agissant des matières plastiques et de la pollution qu’elles engendrent, une manière de résoudre le problème serait de les éliminer tout simplement de la chaîne logistique.

L’an passé, l’équipe SAP Leonardo a lancé un projet d’innovation collaborative dans le cadre du UK Plastics Pact de WRAP afin de trouver de nouvelles solutions face au problème de pollution plastique. L’initiative a débuté par une enquête ethnographique visant à déterminer comment les citoyens perçoivent le défi de la pollution plastique. Sur la base des résultats de l’enquête, cinq personas ont été développées pour représenter les attitudes et comportements qui prévalent aujourd’hui dans la société britannique, depuis les sympathisants jusqu’aux ardents défenseurs de l’écologie.

Plusieurs thèmes sont ressortis de cette étude : le devoir de réduire la consommation de matières plastiques, la confusion et les mythes sur le recyclage, la nécessité d’apprendre et de répondre de manière appropriée et, enfin, la nécessité de sensibiliser.

Dans le cadre de la deuxième phase du projet, un marathon de programmation et une session de conception créative organisés sur trois jours ont rassemblé des experts et des innovateurs de SAP et de grandes entreprises internationales comme Unilever, HSBC et Deliveroo. Les équipes ont été invitées à concevoir des prototypes de produits et services autour des cinq thèmes pour les différents personas. Les prototypes sont en cours de développement et de test dans une phase d’incubation. Les solutions visant à éliminer le plastique seront présentées à l’occasion de l’exposition collective Design Frontiers, qui se déroulera au London Design Festival en septembre prochain.

Autres bonnes nouvelles

Pour ce qui est de la gestion des déchets industriels et ménagers, le lot d’efforts déployés varie d’un pays à l’autre. La Suède importe à présent des déchets, car moins de 1 % de ceux générés dans le pays se retrouvent dans des décharges. Le reste est recyclé ou brûlé pour chauffer les maisons. Le processus est tellement efficace que la Suède s’est mise à manquer de déchets et a commencé à en importer auprès de pays voisins pour alimenter son programme national de valorisation énergétique.

L’Allemagne est un autre exemple : sur les 45,9 millions de tonnes de déchets ménagers produites en 2017, seules 0,5 million de tonnes ont été mises en décharge grâce aux directives de l’UE, à des réglementations nationales strictes en matière de gestion des déchets et à des installations de traitement des déchets de pointe. La ville de Heidelberg, par exemple, a ajouté des capteurs intelligents à ces bacs à ordures et les a connectés à la solution SAP Connected Goods. La ville dispose désormais d’une visibilité en temps réel sur l’état des déchets, ce qui réduit le nombre de camions à ordures sur la route, en éliminant le ramassage inutile et le remplissage excessif. Cela a également contribué à la réduction du bruit, du trafic et de la pollution.

On constate aussi des progrès dans le Global Fashion Agenda. À la fin du premier semestre de l’année dernière, l’Engagement 2020 en faveur du système de mode circulaire avait été signé par 94 entreprises représentant 12,5 % du marché mondial de la mode. Ces entreprises se sont engagées à collecter et revendre des vêtements et des chaussures, de même qu’à accroître la part de vêtements et chaussures fabriqués à partir de fibres recyclées. Elles ont également promis de rendre compte des progrès annuels et, plus important encore, de transformer leurs pratiques commerciales linéaires actuelles.

De plus en plus d’entreprises prennent conscience des avantages d’une approche circulaire et de plus en plus de consommateurs réclament des produits et services plus durables. Dès lors, il est encore possible d’inverser la tendance.

Découvrez Isabelle Pierard et son entreprise Soulyé

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Découvrez Isabelle Pierard et son entreprise Soulyé

Publié initialement en anglais sur Forbes dans la catégorie Brandvoice

The post Quatre manières de préserver notre planète appeared first on SAP France News.

Source de l’article sur sap.com

Java Code Quality Tools Recommended by Developers

The best way to protect your Java code from avoidable bugs is to use static code analysis tools that can help you find and fix problematic code before it reaches production. Let’s look at some popular static code analysis tools that can be used to test code from a number of different angles.

DeepSource

DeepSource delivers what is probably the best static code analysis you can find for Java. The DeepSource Java analyzer detects 190+ code quality issues, including performance bugs, security risks, bug risks, and anti-patterns. Currently, It supports Gradle Java projects, and in the future, DeepSource will add support for Maven and Android too. DeepSource is also working on bringing Autofix support to the Java analyzer, which will let developers fix issues without writing a single code line.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Une méthodologie claire pour une migration réussie – Laboratoire Renaudin adopte l’ERP SAP S/4HANA avec STMS

2020 aura été une année clé pour le SI de Laboratoire Renaudin. L’industriel basque a en effet basculé vers l’ERP intelligent SAP S/4HANA, avec son partenaire STMS, en s’appuyant sur la méthodologie Move to SAP S/4HANA.

PME familiale indépendante, Laboratoire Renaudin est devenu au fil des décennies un véritable industriel de la pharmacie, avec son site de production de 20 000 m², situé à Itxassou, au cœur du Pays Basque. Sa spécialité ? Les injectables de petit volume (ampoules, flacons et poches). En 2019, l’entreprise a ainsi écoulé 87 millions d’ampoules, essentiellement auprès d’hôpitaux et de cliniques, en France comme à l’étranger.

Laboratoire Renaudin utilise des solutions SAP depuis 2012, avec un ERP très intégré, présent tout au long de la chaîne de production. Une solution qui gère la plupart des processus et est utilisée par 120 des 220 salariés de l’entreprise. La tierce maintenance applicative de cette offre est assurée par l’intégrateur STMS, spécialiste depuis plus de 10 ans des solutions SAP.

Le SI de l’entreprise était arrivé à un tournant. Les conditions étaient favorables à la migration d’ECC vers SAP S/4HANA et l’entreprise craignait de devoir faire face par la suite à un embouteillage de migrations réalisées sur le tard. Certains développements programmés en interne avaient également intérêt à être réalisés pour l’ERP intelligent SAP S/4HANA et non pour ECC, afin de ne pas rajouter de dette technologique supplémentaire.

Cette mission de migration a été tout naturellement confiée à STMS, qui a appliqué la méthodologie Move to SAP S/4HANA en prélude au projet. « Nous avons souscrit à l’offre Move, dans des conditions tout à fait transparentes, explique André Mateescu, directeur commercial de Laboratoire Renaudin et sponsor du projet. Nous n’avons eu aucune mauvaise surprise, dans la mesure où tout a été bien cadré et les budgets tenus. »

Une méthodologie claire pour une migration réussie

Première étape, comprendre quelle valeur attendre de SAP S/4HANA et quelle approche adopter pour répondre aux besoins métiers et à la stratégie générale de l’entreprise. Cette phase permet aux utilisateurs et à la direction de se projeter dans le futur ERP. Seconde étape, analyser la solution existante afin d’en détecter les points faibles, de recenser les spécifiques et d’identifier les opportunités de simplification du SI et d’adoption de nouvelles technologies.

L’utilisation de SAP Readiness Check 2.0 permet de disposer d’une vue d’ensemble des applications et modules recommandés. L’ABAP Test Cockpit offre pour sa part de tester les spécifiques existants sous SAP S/4HANA. Enfin, les processus de l’entreprise sont comparés aux standards du marché et les outils obsolètes décommissionnés.

Fort des enseignements tirés de ce travail préparatoire, STMS a pu proposer plusieurs trajectoires de migration vers SAP S/4HANA, appuyées chacune par un budget et un planning. Laboratoire Renaudin a opté pour une migration à périmètre constant, permettant de limiter la durée du projet au strict nécessaire. Mais avec une réduction des pain points, la recherche de quick wins, des optimisations autour de la base de données et une modernisation des cockpits, au travers de Fiori.

Un projet mené à bien en 10 mois

Le projet s’est composé d’une phase de migration technique effectuée entre mars et mai 2020. Puis d’une recette métier menée avant et après les congés d’été, suivie d’une bascule à blanc réalisée en octobre. La première phase de la recette a permis de tester les différents flux et de faire remonter les écarts. Pendant l’été, l’équipe technique a pu se pencher sur ces problèmes, avant une seconde phase de recette dédiée à la qualification opérationnelle de la nouvelle solution. La phase de bascule à blanc s’est révélée essentielle pour mesurer avec précision la durée du basculement entre l’ancienne et la nouvelle solution.

La crise sanitaire a eu un effet inattendu sur le projet en reculant son déploiement du 11 novembre 2020 à mi-décembre. Un déploiement qui devrait se dérouler sur trois jours. « Nous fournissons nos produits à des services de réanimation et d’urgence. Nous ne pouvions donc pas nous permettre d’arrêter notre activité en pleine montée de la seconde vague de la Covid, constate André Mateescu. Mais je reste serein quant à la mise en production de la solution. »

Des gains importants sur la base de données

Les premiers bénéfices des technologies SAP HANA se font d’ores et déjà sentir. À commencer par d’importants gains sur la taille de la base de données, qui est passée de 345 Go à 170 Go. Un bénéfice direct de la méthodologie Move to SAP S/4HANA, qui offre l’occasion de réorganiser les données. L’analyse préparatoire a permis également de décommissionner 23 % de spécifiques qui n’étaient plus utilisés.

Laboratoire Renaudin travaille dans un secteur particulier, nécessitant de nombreux développements sur mesure. « Nous avions un peu peur de changer de système de base de données du fait de nos spécifiques, en particulier sur la production, témoigne Amaia Sedes, responsable qualification de l’entreprise. Si cette partie a nécessité beaucoup de travail, elle n’a finalement pas eu d’impact majeur sur la phase de recette. »

C’est là encore un des bénéfices de l’approche Move, qui permet de bien cadrer, planifier, puis traiter les différents thèmes d’une migration vers l’ERP intelligent SAP S/4HANA.

The post Une méthodologie claire pour une migration réussie – Laboratoire Renaudin adopte l’ERP SAP S/4HANA avec STMS appeared first on SAP France News.

Source de l’article sur sap.com

Popular Design News of the Week: January 11, 2021 – January 17, 2021

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers.

The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week.

Front-End Performance Checklist 2021

 

Google Design’s Best of 2020

 

Skynet – Build a Free Internet

 

An Early Look at Full Site Editing in WordPress

 

30 Basic Fonts

 

5 Great Ways to Develop your Eye for Design

 

No More Facebook – Privacy-friendly Alternatives to Facebook Products

 

Bold CMS – The CMS that Understands your Content

 

Design in 2021 – What will Design Activism Look Like?

 

LT Browser – Next-gen Browser to Build, Test & Debug Mobile Websites

 

40 Best Canva Alternatives for Effortless Graphic Design

 

How to Design with Contrast

 

Design in 2021 – What will Interactive Design Look Like?

 

20 Essential WordPress Settings to Change

 

No Meetings, no Deadlines, no Full-Time Employees

 

Free Porto Illustrations – Free 20 Stylish Hand Drawn Illustrations

 

Digital Images 101: All You Need to Know as a Designer

 

8 Typography Design Trends for 2021 – [Infographic]

 

Learnings from Designing for Multi-language User Interfaces

 

A UX Analysis of Cyberpunk 2077′s HUD

 

Five Websites Inspired by Vintage Games

 

Effective User Onboarding: Top Proven Tips and Examples

 

Overcoming Common Designer Biases

 

What Makes a Great Business Idea?

 

How to Use Design Thinking to Improve your Daily Workflow

 

Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News.

Source

The post Popular Design News of the Week: January 11, 2021 – January 17, 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

6 Tools for Rapid Cross-Device Website Testing

When creating a website, it’s vital to remember that not only does it need to work and look great on the device you are creating it on, but on all the other devices, it might be used on too.

Mobile and tablet optimization is important not only for the user journey but from an SEO point of view too, and badly created mobile sites just don’t cut it anymore.

With more and more devices entering the market, you need to check any website you create is compatible across the board. One bad experience and users are likely to leave and not come back again, which can be catastrophic for a business, particularly if it is just starting out.

It’s vital to check how a site looks and behaves when browsed differently from how you would use it. A common mistake is to assume users only browse websites on mobile devices in portrait mode; they don’t; landscape browsing is common, especially if the user is used to watching video.

Here are some of our top tools for testing websites on devices without the need for an entire device library:

1. Multi-Screen Test

WhatIsMyScreenResolution offers a great little tool to test how your site will look on different devices easily, and it costs absolutely nothing. You put the URL and choose between desktop, mobile, tablet, and television and then the orientation. Each device can also be broken down into different sizes and resolutions (or you can enter your own), making it easier than ever to test what a site will look like on different devices.

2. Responsinator

Responsinator is another great tool to test how a site looks on other devices without dipping into your wallet. Put your URL in the top bar, and it will instantly show you what it looks like on generic devices. This is a great, easy to use tool, and you can click through any links on your site to check the usability of multiple pages. This site is free, but if you want to “create your own” template, you need to sign up.

3. Google Dev Tools

Google Dev Tools is one of the most commonly used free tools. Add it to Chrome, and you can see how your site looks in a multitude of different screen sizes and resolutions. You can simulate touch inputs, device orientation, and geolocation to test how they work. It’s great to easily spot problems using their remote debugging tool to view, change, debug and profile a page’s code directly from your laptop or computer while viewing it on your mobile device.

4. Browser Stack

Browser Stack allows you to test your site on over 2,000 real devices and browsers, enabling you to see in real-time how your site looks. It is no hassle to set up, and it can be seamlessly integrated into your setup. As it tests on real browsers on real machines, you know the results are more reliable and accurate. It also enables you to debug in real-time using their pre-installed developer tools for ease of editing. The tests are all run securely on tamper-proof physical devices and are wiped clean of all data after each session, so you don’t need to worry about security being compromised.

5. TestComplete Mobile

TestComplete Mobile allows you to create and run UI tests across real mobile devices, virtual machines, and emulators. You can test both mobile device layouts and apps with script-free record and replay actions. This can help you to edit and fix any potential issues that may arise during the tests. Due to them being conducted on real devices, you know it is less likely to have errors in the system than a simulated device. This is free for 30 days then can get pricier, so make sure you take advantage of the trial and try the service before committing to it.

6. Sizzy

Sizzy is a great tool for checking sites, and it has a host of features to assist you. You can rotate the screen between portrait and landscape, filter by OS and device type, switch themes, and take screenshots. These little things mean it’s a super easy to use and convenient tool. It claims to simulate each device’s viewport and user agent, meaning the results are the same as what you would actually see on that phone/ tablet, etc. It can’t simulate different browser rendering engines however, so there’s a chance there might be some minor differences compared to the actual thing. Sizzy offers a free trial or has different price packages starting at $5 per month.

 

Featured image via Unsplash

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Popular Design News of the Week: December 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers.

The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week.

10 Free Calendar 2021 Vectors

 

Free HTML/CSS Landing Page Templates Without JavaScript

 

Botsman – Free Platform to Develop, Test and Monitor Telegram Bots

 

Typography Principles

 

Top 10 Web Development Trends to Look Out for in 2021

 

Parametric Color Mixer

 

Add to Calendar Generator – Generate ‘Add to Calendar’ Buttons for your Website

 

What Designers Need to Know About Copyright Infringement

 

Lose the Very – “Very Good English” is not Very Good English. Lose the Very.

 

Linkish – All-in-one Bookmark Manager

 

Life of a Designer Through Funny Memes

 

APIs all the Way Down

 

Got Milk Font

 

14 Bootstrap Profiles

 

Big Review of Major UI Design Trends for Web and Mobile in 2020

 

How to Use Figma’s Inspect Panel

 

Reducing Motion in Animations

 

Dopely Colors – Free Color Palette Generator

 

How to Upload an HTML File to WordPress

 

Using Math in Photoshop

 

How to Set up your WFH Space for Creative Success in 2021

 

StackWhats – Add the WhatsApp Live Chat to your Website

 

How to Export a WordPress Site (Beginner’s Guide)

 

Podpage – Build a Podcast Website in Less than 5 Minutes

 

How to Paginate Data with PHP

 

Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News.

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The Potential of AR in Web Design

Over the years, experts have repeatedly discussed the possible impact of mixed realities on web design. Concepts like AR and VR are expected to have the potential to change the way that we interact with websites on a fundamental level.

Now that we’re in the year 2021, however, discussions about AR aren’t just observational anymore. The age of mixed-reality interfaces is here, in everything from Pokémon Go, to Snapchat filters.

The question is, how do web designers create incredible user experiences in a world where there are now multiple digital realities to consider?

The Benefits of Experimenting with AR

Before we look at some of the steps that web designers can take to enhance their projects with AR, it’s worth examining the benefits of interacting with augmented reality in the first place. 

While virtual reality replaces the typical world around us completely with digital components, AR augments it. This means that developers and designers need to learn how to thrive in an environment where the real world and the digital one work together. 

The most common AR application for website owners is to provide a solution for real-time and remote product visualization. Imagine being able to try on a pair of shoes before you buy them online. That’s a service that the Vyking brand can deliver by creating technology that “reinvents” the digital shopping experience. 

This test functionality plays a massive role in purchasing decisions. In a world where people can’t see a shade of make-up in person when they’re shopping online, or check how an item of furniture looks in their home, AR has a crucial role to play. 

In simple terms, AR helps shoppers to make more informed purchases. 

Here’s how you can use augmented reality to deliver incredible UX. 

1. Focus on Real-Time Feedback

Augmented reality is all about connecting the real world to the virtual world. 

Doing this provides users a unique experience – one that’s filled with real-time feedback that can deliver crucial and insightful information. For instance, an augmented reality system in a GPS app can calculate the average time before reaching a destination based on previous trips.

Another option is for an augmented reality to use solutions like face-mapping to help customers determine how a certain makeup product will look before they buy it. For instance, that’s the case for the Mary Kay Mirror Me app, which simplifies the process of shopping for make-up. 

When designing for AR, experts need to consider how they can provide customers with real-time information that they can use to make better purchasing decisions. 

2. Define input and output

Although you’ve probably performed similar exercises when designing for traditional websites and applications in the past, defining inputs and outputs of UX in AR environments can be tough.

Defining inputs and outputs allows you to determine which elements of an interface your user can actually interact with, in your interface. This gives you a better idea of what to “augment.” For instance, you might decide that physical gestures like a swipe of the hand will be essential for AR inputs. However, you’ll also need to consider how each mobile device offers different input possibilities. 

Outputs are a little simpler. For instance, you could offer a three-dimensional model of a product that your customers are interested in. Once you have that output, you can think about how the customer will interact with it by changing colors or position.

3. Embrace Customer-Friendly Performance

Another feature at the heart of AR applications is interactivity. 

Good designs in the augmented reality world need to be simple to access and use, otherwise customers will end up avoiding them. For instance, 60% of customers say they want to use AR when they’re shopping for furniture. However, they’re only going to use your app if it actually works. 

The Décor Matters website and app mix gamification with home decorating features that help customers get a better view of the home goods they’re planning on buying. The website even has inspiration pages available to help users find and try new design options with their AR technology. 

When designing for AR, think about how you can make your applications or technology as simple to use as possible, so customers actually want to interact with it. 

4. Address the Environment

In augmented and virtual reality applications, it’s important to remember that interfaces aren’t bound by physical screens. The viewport will move with the user, shifting perspectives in response. Most AR designers will use four different signifiers to describe AR environments:

  • Public environment: The entire body of the user is involved as a controller, like with the Xbox Kinect or Nintendo Wii;
  • Intimate environment: Where a user can be seated – often in a desktop environment;
  • Personal environment: AR on smartphones, mobile devices, and tablets, like Pokémon Go;
  • Private environments: Completely private spaces, such as with wearable technology like the Google Glass solution.

The environment that you’re designing for will be crucial for your project outcomes. Remember, spatial considerations need to be carefully considered when accounting for how users will interact with objects in a frame. 

5. Remember User Fatigue

Another thing to keep in mind when designing for AR technology is that user fatigue is likely to be a much more significant consideration. After all, people interact with websites and applications in a much more intimate and in-depth way when AR is involved. 

AR applications can often use the entire body of a customer as a controller. Because of this, designers need to be careful about exhausting interactions. High-effort and repetitive interactions could tire the user out mentally and physically, causing them to give up on the interaction. 

When designing, you’ll need to consider how you might over-stimulate the user with too many interaction-focused elements at once. Keep it simple.

6. Remember the Essential Principles of UX Design

Remember, just because you’re tapping into a relatively new technology doesn’t mean that you should abandon all the basic tenets of user experience design that you’ve come to understand over the years. Although UX is constantly evolving and changing, it’s always going to keep a few fundamental principles in mind. 

For instance, you’ll always strive to give users the best digital experience in exchange for the lowest amount of effort on their part. Additionally, you’ll need to think about how you can make end-users as comfortable as possible when they’re interacting with new types of technology on websites and apps. 

For instance, since AR is most commonly associated with gaming in the current environment, it might be a good idea to implement gamification concepts into your AR design. What can you do to make sure your customers are having fun?

For instance, Inkhunter is an app that allows users to try on tattoos just like using a filter on Snapchat. The experience feels familiar, comfortable, and exciting.

Unlocking the Potential of AR Web Design

Augmented Reality technology has come a long way over the years. Today, developers and designers can access simple plug-in tools like WordPress VR, allowing designers to upload 360-degree videos into WordPress sites and other unique web extensions. 

Augmented reality is becoming much more readily available on sites and apps of all shapes and sizes. Additionally, customers are accessing more ways to unlock AR’s power through everything from headsets to mobile interfaces. 

However, just like any new technology in the web design world, designers need to think carefully about how they will overcome the challenges in user experience that AR can present. For instance, though AR can offer more information for a customer and help them make purchasing decisions faster, there are also risks. For instance, add too many interactive features to a single website or application, and you could scare users off with too much information. 

In the short-term, web designers need to explore the new tools that are available to them and think about the customers they’re designing for. Only this way will we be able to make any considerable advances in the possibilities of AR. 

Are You Ready to Embrace AR?

Designing for augmented reality applications and websites can be an intimidating concept – even for seasoned designers. However, this is just another technology that creatives can use to drive better experiences for end-users. 

Learn how the latest technology works and get an insight into your customers’ needs, and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in the AR world.

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7 UX Principles to Apply to Your SEO

User experience is one of the most important aspects of web design, but many experts overlook that UX doesn’t just apply to web pages. User experience as a concept encompasses all aspects of end-user interaction with a company.

That means you need to discover the right UX strategies for everything from your homepage to your email marketing and even your listings on Google.

Today, we’re going to explore some of how you can apply UX principles to your client’s image on search engines.

Why Your Search Engine Listing Matters

Let’s start with the basics: 89% of customers start their purchasing process with a search engine. That means that whether you’re creating a portfolio to sell your services or building a website for a client, the first connection a customer has with your design isn’t on the homepage.

Most of the time, you’re driving a specific experience for an end-user before you even realize it. Before you can wow an audience with a beautiful site design or an amazing CTA offer, you need to convince them to click on your Google link.

When you invest in user experience, you think carefully about the journey that an end-user goes through when interacting with a brand. This often means considering things like the user’s intent, their needs, and their pain points.

Those same principles apply to create an impressive search engine listing.

UX on a website is all about giving your audience what they need in an informed, and strategic manner; UX in the search engine results works the same way.

How to Make Your Search Listing Stand Out with UX

So, how do you begin to apply the principles of UX to your Google Search results?

It’s much easier than you’d think.

Step 1: Show Immediate Value

Delivering an excellent experience on a website often means providing end-users with the information they need as quickly as possible. Imagine designing a landing page; you wouldn’t want your audience to scroll forever to find what they need. Instead, you’d make sure that the value of the page was immediately obvious.

When creating an image for your search engine listing, you’ll need to take the same approach. This often means thinking carefully about two things: your headline and your meta description.

Around 8 out of 10 users say that they’ll click a title if it’s compelling. That means that before you do anything else to improve your SEO strategy, you need to make sure that your web page’s title is going to grab your audience’s attention.

The best titles deliver instant value. These titles tell the audience exactly what they’re going to get when they click onto the page. The promise drives action, while clarity highlights the informed nature of the brand.

The great thing about using an excellent title for a page is that it doesn’t matter where you’re ranked on the search results. Whether you’re number 2 or number 5, your customers will click if they find something they want.

It’s just like using a CTA on a landing page. Make sure your titles are:

  • Informative — show your audience value immediately;
  • Optimized for mobile — remember, your audience might not see your full title on some screens; this means that you need to make the initial words count;
  • Easy to read — keep it short, simple, and clear, speak the end-users’ language.

Step 2: Build Trust with Your URLs

Trust factors are another essential part of good UX.

When you’re designing a website for a new brand, you know that it’s your job to make visitors feel at ease. Even in today’s digital world, many customers won’t feel comfortable giving their money or details to a new company.

Within the website that you design, you can implement trust symbols, reviews, and testimonials to enhance brand credibility. On search engines, it all starts with your URL.

Search-friendly URLs that highlight the nature of the page will put your audience’s mind at ease. When they click on a page about “What is SEO” in the SERPs, they want to see an URL that matches, not a bunch of numbers and symbols

Use search-friendly permalink structures to make your listing seem more authoritative. This will increase the chances of your customer clicking through to a page and make them more likely to share the link with friends.

Once you decide on a link structure, make sure that it stays consistent throughout the entire site. If a link doesn’t appear to match the rest of the URLs that your audience sees for your website, they may think they’re on the wrong page. That increases your bounce rate.

Step 3: Be Informative with Your Meta Description

To deliver excellent UX on a website, you ensure that your visitor can find all of the answers to their most pressing questions as quickly as possible. This includes providing the right information on each page and using the correct navigational structure to support a visitor’s journey.

In the SERPs, you can deliver that same informative experience with a meta description. Although meta descriptions often get ignored, they can provide a lot of value and help you or your client make the right first impression.

To master your meta descriptions:

  • Use the full 160 characters — make the most of your meta description by providing as much useful information as you can within that small space;
  • Include a CTA — just as CTAs help to guide customers through the pages on a website, they can assist with pulling in clicks on the SERPS; a call to action like “read about the” or “click here” makes sense when you’re boosting your search image;
  • Focus on value — concentrate on providing your customers with an insight into what’s in it for them if they click on your listing.

Don’t forget that adding keywords to your meta description is often helpful too. Keywords will boost your chances of a higher ranking, but they’ll also show your audience that they’re looking at the right result.

Step 4: Draw the Eye with Rich Snippets

You’ve probably noticed that the search engine result pages have changed quite a bit in the last couple of years. As Google strives to make results more relevant and informative, we’ve seen the rise of things like rich snippets. Rich snippets are excellent for telling your audience where to look.

On a website, you would use design elements, like contrasting colors and animation, to pull your audience’s attention to a specific space. On search engines, rich snippets can drive the same outcomes. The difference is that instead of telling a visitor what to do next on a page, you’re telling them to click on your site, not a competitor’s.

When Google introduced rich snippets, it wanted to provide administrators with a way of showcasing their best content. Rich snippets are most commonly used today on product pages and contact pages because they can show off reviews.

Install a rich snippet plugin into your site if you’re a WordPress user or your client is. When you enter the content that you need into the website, use the drop-down menu in your Rich snippet tool to configure the snippet.

Ideally, you’ll want to aim for the full, rich snippet if you want to stand out at the top of the search results. Most featured snippets have both text and an image. It would help if you aimed to access both of these by writing great content and combining it with a relevant image.

Step 5: Provide Diversity (Take Up More of the Results)

As a website designer or developer, you’ll know that different people on a website will often be drawn to different things. Some of your visitors might immediately see a set of bullet-points and use them to search for the answer to their question. Other visitors will want pictures or videos to guide them. So, how do you deliver that kind of diversity in the SERPS?

The easiest option is to aim to take up more of the search result pages. Google now delivers a bunch of different ways for customers to get the answers they crave. When you search for “How to use Google my Business” on Google, you’ll see links to blogs, as well as a list of YouTube Videos and the “People Also Ask” section.

Making sure that you or a client has different content ranking pieces for the same keywords can significantly improve the experience any customer has on the search engines. Often, the process of spreading your image out across the SERPs is as simple as creating some different kinds of content.

To access the video’s benefits, ask your client to create YouTube videos for some of their most commonly asked questions or most covered topics. If you’re helping with SEO marketing for your client, then make sure they have an FAQ page or a way of answering questions quickly and concisely on articles, so they’re more likely to appear in “People Also Ask”:

Step 6: Add Authority with Google My Business

Speaking of Google My Business, that’s another excellent tool that’s perfect for improving UX in the search results. GMB is a free tool provided by Google. It allows business owners to manage how information appears in the search results.

With this service, you can manage a company’s position on Google maps, the Knowledge Graph, and online reviews. Establishing a company’s location is one of the most important things you can do to help audiences quickly find a business. Remember, half of the customers that do a local search on a smartphone end up visiting the store within the same day.

Start by setting up the Google Business listing for yourself or your client. All you need to do is hit the “Start Now” button and fill out every relevant field offered by Google. The more information you can add to Google My Business, the more your listing will stand out. Make sure you:

  • Choose a category for a business, like “Grocery store”;
  • Load up high-quality and high-resolution images;
  • Ensure your information matches on every platform;
  • Use a local number for contact;
  • Encourage reviews to give your listing a five-star rating.

Taking advantage of a Google My Business listing will ensure that your audience has all the information they need to make an informed decision about your company before they click through to the site. This means that you or your client get more warm leads and fewer people stumbling onto your website that might not want to buy from you.

Step 7: Use Structured Data Markup to Answer Questions

If you’re already using things like rich snippets in your Google listings, you should also have a structured schema markup plan. Schema markup on Google tells the search engines what your data means. This means that you can add extra information to your listings that will guide your customers more accurately to the support they need.

Providing additional schema markup information to your listings gives them an extra finishing touch to ensure that they stand out from the competition. You might add something like a “product price” to a product page or information about the product’s availability.

Alternatively, you could provide the people who see a search result with other options. This could be an excellent option if you’re concerned that some of the people who might come across your listing might need slightly different information. For instance, you can ask Google to list other pages along with your search results that customers can “jump to” if they need additional insights.

Baking structured data into your design process when you’re working on a website does several positive things. It makes the search engine’s job easier so that you can ensure that you or your client ranks higher. Additionally, it means that your web listings will be more thorough and useful.

Since UX is all about giving your audience the best possible experience with a brand, that starts with making sure they get the information they need in the search results.

Constantly Improve and Experiment

Remember, as you begin to embed UX elements into your search engine listings, it’s important to be aware of relevant evolutions. Ultimately, the needs of any audience can change very rapidly. Paying attention to your customers and what kind of links they click on the most will provide you with lots of valuable data. You can use things like Google analytics to A/B test things like titles, pictures, featured snippets, and other things that may affect UX.

At the same time, it’s worth noting that the Google search algorithms are always changing. Running split tests on different pages will give you an insight into what your customers want. However, you’ll need to keep an eye on the latest documentation about Google Search if you want to avoid falling behind the competition.

Like most exceptional UX aspects, mastering your SERP position isn’t a set it and forget it strategy. You’ll need to constantly expand your knowledge if you want to show clients that you can combine UX and SEO effectively.

It’s easy to forget that there’s more to UX than making your buttons clickable on mobile devices or ensuring that scrolling feels smooth. For a designer or developer to deliver wonderful UX for a brand, they need to consider every interaction that a company and customer have. Most of the time, this means starting with the way a website appears when it’s listed on the search engines. Getting your SEO listing right doesn’t just boost your chances of a good ranking. This strategy also improves your reputation with your audience and delivers more meaningful moments in the buyer journey.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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