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The year might be coming to an end, but plenty of design trends are still beginning to emerge. It’ll be interesting to see how many of these website design elements remain popular into the new year. From vintage elements to circles to happier feelings, there’s a lot to play with here.

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

Old-School Print Inspired

Vintage design elements seem to circle back in new iterations at a pretty frequent pace. This time website designers are finding inspiration from old-school print design.

These projects mimic the look of old newspapers and magazines with styles that look like news or advertising content. One of the most exciting takeaways might be color, with beige backgrounds that almost seem like aged paper.

Note the font choices, scale, and imagery as well. All of these things have an old-school feel that’s modern enough to help encourage interaction.

Each of these designs keeps visitors engaged with trendy effects that pair with the vintage aesthetic so that while there’s an old-school look, the overall design is modern and fresh.

The portfolio of Niccolo Miranda feels like a “WAR” day on the front page of a major newspaper, but with modern touches – computer illustrations, animated images, and button-style icons.

Enfant Sauvage Music takes on the feel of an old-style newspaper or magazine ad with a single color design and grainy imagery. An oversized funky pointer on hover and side navigation keeps the design interesting.

Kalso uses a giant timeline with typography and effects that mimic the era on the screen. Animation and motion keep the design with the times and on-trend.

Center-Screen Circles

Circles seem to be a website design trend that just never goes out of style – it only evolves.

The newest iteration includes center-screen circles. And you can use them in all kinds of different ways. The nice thing about a circle is the shape is innately harmonious and can pull a design together and make everything feel together and unified.

They can be an excellent container for text or other elements or serve as a button.

Circles work with almost any overall design pattern, in any color, and with virtually any type of image or video. The shape is practically perfect! (That’s why it’s a trend that never really gets old.)

Each of these examples uses a center-screen circle in a slightly different way.

Aflote uses a center circle as part of its overall branding effort and to help draw the eye from the split-screen images to the center arrow, encouraging users to scroll to the next bit of content. Color helps here, and the circle is a container for brand and some other content with a nice layer on top of the images.

One Ocean Science uses one of the oldest circles we know – the globe – as a dominant art element that rotates in the center of the screen. The layer on top – the exact text in multiple languages – gets extra attention thanks to the center placement. The design also uses a top left corner circle for branding and a bottom right corner circle as a CTA, helping create a visual flow through the design from top to center to bottom to click.

To Be Love uses a fantastic animated set of concentric circles to pull together the name of the event and draw interest to the CTAs. The circle is just the right size in a sea of black sky to draw the eye to the content in the middle of the screen.

Lighter, Happier Designs

After a couple of years of pandemic life and a world that’s just been a little less than cheery, website designers include lighter, happier elements to projects. This might just be the design trend we all need right now.

This effect can be designed in several ways, including color, imagery, animation, scale, and even typography. It’s hard to pinpoint what makes a design lighter and happier until you see it, but when you do, you’ll know it. (It might just be that little grin at the corner of your mouth when you see it.)

Meanpug uses fun, animated illustrations as a load screen with a full-text homepage (you’ll have to click through to see it). Between color and animation, you can’t help but feel good looking at the design. What might be most interesting is that the website is for a marketing agency that works with law firms. (Probably not what you expected at all.)

Happy smiling faces are hard not to feel good about. Even the devil emoji seems somewhat joyful. Add in big, bold typography and the yellow smiley, and the world just feels a little less dark.

Oatly uses lots of small elements in a cartoon-style aesthetic that is light and interesting. In addition to fun fonts and animation, all of the words on the website also contribute to a feeling of ease and happiness. It’s a solid strategy for sales; make people feel good about what they are thinking of buying to help propel them toward a purchase.

 

Conclusion

One of the most exciting things that we’ve seen with design trends in the past year is how world events – from the pandemic to isolation to working remotely – have impacted design projects as a whole.

We’ve seen fewer faces, more illustrations and typography, and an overall shift in feeling to some of the lighter, happier design elements featured here. Cheers to 2022!

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The post 3 Essential Design Trends, December 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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Every day 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!

Top Web Design and UI Trends for 2022

WordPress 5.9 Delayed Until January 2022

20 Best New Websites, November 2021

Parallax Powered by CSS Custom Properties

Icons in Pure CSS

How to Make Basic and Advanced Shapes with Pure CSS

2022 Color Trends: The Year’s Top Colors

CasaOS – A Simple, Easy-to-use, Elegant Open-source Home Cloud System

Frontend Store – Buy and Sell Interface Elements

Launching Fig

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

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Jamstack (JAMstack), is one of the most popular (and rapidly growing) tools for app and website creation. A unique ecosystem of functionality, Jamstack promises developers the support they need to create powerful websites and progressive applications. 

For a while, Jamstack was mostly written off as just another buzzword in the developer space. However, today, it’s growing to become a powerful investment for many business leaders. Even big companies are getting involved, like Cloudflare, with Cloudflare pages, and Microsoft with Azure Static Web Apps. Elsewhere, we’ve seen brands like Shopify, PayPal, and Nike getting involved too.

So, what exactly is Jamstack, and is it time you transitioned over? Let’s find out…

What is Jamstack?

Jamstack, otherwise known as “JAMstack,” is the name of a developer ecosystem made up of JavaScript, APIs, and Markup (hence: JAM). The solution is a web development architecture allowing developers to access static website benefits, such as higher security and better performance, while still unlocking dynamic database-oriented CMS.

The Jamstack solution allows companies and developers to build a dynamic website where real assets are pre-rendered static files in a CDN. The dynamic environment runs on JavaScript client-side, through serverless functions. 

For a better insight, let’s compare Jamstack to the LAMP stack development strategy, which originated from the four open-source components many developers used to build sites: Linux, Apache HTTP, MySQL, and PHP.

With LAMP, each user request for a page forces the server to query a database — unless the page is cached — and combine the result with page markup data and plugins. Jamstack websites serve pre-built optimized assets and markup solutions quickly because the files are already compiled on a CDN. There’s no need to query the database. 

Jamstack workflows dramatically reduce cumbersome issues with development and excess maintenance, making them highly appealing to developers. 

What Are the Benefits of Jamstack?

Jamstack won’t be the ideal development tool for everyone, but it has a lot of benefits to offer. By fetching HTML from a CDN, the system doesn’t have to wait for HTML to be combined and returned to clients. The solution also provides an improved developer experience with static methods. 

Using Jamstack, developers can build fantastic static files ready to serve by request, hosted on a global CDN. Some of the biggest benefits of Jamstack include:

  • Performance: Because you’re serving pre-built static files from a CDN directly, you’ll achieve much faster loading times, unmatched by typical server-side rendering options. Because you’re serving static files, you’re also better equipped to handle any traffic spikes you might encounter, with minimal slowdown.
  • User experience: Better website performance significantly improves user experience and website traffic, as well as SEO efforts. User experience has always been a critical factor in ensuring the success of a website, and it’s essential to keeping your customers around for as long as possible. Websites optimized for performance will always delight users. 
  • Security: With Jamstack, there are no servers or databases to worry about. You use third-party solutions to handle these issues for you. The architecture of Jamstack means the back and front end of your development processes are decoupled, and you can rely on APIs to run server-side processes easily. Jamstack also comes with security benefits other approaches can lack. Clear separation of services is essential here. 
  • Hosting and scaling: Scaling and hosting can often be problematic in the development world, but because you’re serving files from a CDN, you’re less likely to encounter issues. CDNs are almost infinitely scalable, so you get excellent extensibility built into your development environment. CDN hosting for static files is also cheaper than traditional hosting, so you can keep costs low. 
  • Maintenance: Jamstack makes it easy to push your front end to the edge rather than managing infrastructure directly. Ditching plugins, databases, and other hosting services can help you to save more time and money on a significant scale. 
  • Developer experience: From a developer perspective, there are tons of benefits from Jamstack. You get the ease of a Github, CI/CD, CDN flow, and auto previews with simple rollback to reduce the need for backups. Local developer environments and the ability to run and debug cloud functions locally are all fantastic.

Does Jamstack Have any Limitations?

In a lot of ways, Jamstack is an innovative and revolutionary solution for development. It can help you to create a far more engaging website and present your company in an incredible way. Of course, that doesn’t mean there are no limitations to be aware of. 

Jamstack is developer-friendly, for instance, but it’s not beginner-friendly. You will need at least some knowledge of web development to start unlocking the benefits. You’ll need to understand things like Vue or React, but you should develop a tool anyone can use with a bit of work.

There’s also a handful of things you can’t pre-generate, like user-specific and real-time data. So, this means you may not be able to use Jamstack effectively on projects requiring these kinds of data. Building an analytics dashboard, for instance, probably isn’t a good idea with Jamstack. Other issues for some developers may include:

  • API complexity: It can be overwhelming to try and find the right solution for your needs among so many different options. Of course, this could also be something you’d say about the WordPress ecosystem and its huge variety of plugins. An API usually won’t break your production website, at least. 
  • Long building processes: If you have a large number of pages, there’s more likely to be an extensive building process to think about. Whenever you make a change to a single page, even a little one, you’ll need to rebuild your entire website. This is a problem if you run into a website with thousands of pages. There are solutions to this problem available, however.
  • Handling dynamics: Going with Jamstack doesn’t mean abandoning your backend. An important part of the approach is accessing serverless functions, which are becoming more effective over time. These serverless functions can also be executed on the edge. The backend parts of your website will require regular maintenance as they scale.

Best Jamstack Tools to Check Out

Now you know the basics of Jamstack, let’s look at some of the tools you can use to design an incredible website or application within the Jamstack environment. 

The Git Tool Landscape

There are tons of tools within the Git ecosystem common among Jamstack developers. Starting with Git itself. Git represents a powerful free, and open-sourced distributed version control system. With this solution, companies can handle everything from small to enterprise-level projects with efficiency and speed. The solution is extremely easy to use and learn, and outclasses a range of tools like Perforce, ClearCase and Subversion. 

GitHub Pages and GitLab pages are two hosting services for Git repositories with built-in services to host static pages from out of your codebase. This makes the two solutions fantastic for when you’re building a Jamstack website. You can access the functionality for free too. 

GitLab gives you a comprehensive DevOps platform to work with, where you can enjoy a comprehensive CI/CD toolchain out of the box. The comprehensive solution, delivered as a single application, changes the way security, development, and Ops teams integrate and collaborate. Gitlab helps to accelerate software delivery on a massive scale.

AWS Amplify

AWS Amplify, created by Amazon Web Services, is a development platform packed full of useful features for people in the Jamstack environment. The Amplify offering aims to reduce the complexities associated with Amazon Web Services for mobile and web deployment. You get 12 months of hosting for free with new accounts, and you get Storage with Amplify too. 

The Amazon Amplify solution dramatically improves the regular AWS workflow, especially if you’re just a novice user. There’s a huge documentation hub to help you too, which is way more convenient than Amazon’s usual documentation solutions. Amplify is still accessed from a somewhat bloated console, however. 

With AWS Amplify, companies can access features like a comprehensive data store to sync data between the cloud and websites. There’s also easy-to-use interface access across all different categories of cloud operations. The service works well with a range of JavaScript central tools. 

Netlify

Netlify is a pioneering solution in the Jamstack environment, allowing users to go dynamic with their websites and applications on their own terms. You can access a range of add-ons and integration, access your favorite tools, and make your own. The flexible environment enables developers to run websites on a multi-cloud infrastructure designed for speed and scale automation. 

Built to be entirely secure from the ground up, Netlify makes it easy to build a site that’s custom-made for performance and deployed directly. You don’t need to worry about managing, scaling and patching web services, which means you can more quickly implement your Jamstack architecture. 

Unlike other large legacy apps, Jamstack projects are neatly separate from your front-end pages and UI from the backend databases and apps with Netlify. Using this service, the entire front-end can be pre-built with highly optimized static assets and pages, and developers can deliver new web projects faster than ever before.

Next.JS

Inspired by the functionality of PHP, Next.JS is a solution for pre-rendered JavaScript modules. The solution allows developers to easily export the components of their apps and perform individual tests to determine how each element works. You can also access a wide range of components and modules from NPM. The Next offering allows developers to save time, removing the need to use webpack bundles and transform with compilers. 

The full solution is extremely intuitive, ensuring developers can create solutions quickly. What’s more, the technology you build will allow you to load only the bundle needed from your JavaScript workflow, rather than all the JavaScript at once. Pre-fetching, one of the features of Next.JS, also picks up where standard code-splitting leaves off, allowing for optimized bundles of code to load seamlessly. 

Next.JS also supports hot-module replacement. This means instead of reloading an entire application when you change the code, you only recreate the modules you’ve altered.

Angular

Probably the most widely-recognized of all the JavaScript frameworks, Angular, designed by Google engineers, appeared first in 2012, offering developers a new way to create dynamic pages. Before this technology, there were other opportunities for creating dynamic pages, but they were nowhere near as convenient or speedy. 

Angular is probably one of the most essential tools companies can use when building a Jamstack website or environment. The front-end web development tool attracts developers from all over the world. Every version is packed with features and constantly upgraded to ensure you can generate the best results. 

Angular extends HTML file functionality with powerful directives, and it requires very little effort to enable these directives too. All you do is add the ng- prefix to your HTML attributes and you’re ready to go. Angular also allows developers to create widgets leveraging editable data with two-way binding. This means developers don’t have to write code that syncs constantly between the model and view. 

With Angular, developers also get access to things like virtual scrolling, which can help with displaying large lists of elements performantly, rendering on the items that fit on the screen to reduce loading times. 

React

Another must-have tool in the JavaScript world for Jamstack, the React solution was launched first in 2013, and has won thousands of customers across the globe thanks to fantastic functionality. Today, the full landscape is maintained by Facebook, along with all the members of the standard developer community. The solution is used by some of the biggest giants in the tech industry, like Netflix, PayPal, and Apple. 

React is a true pioneer in the Jamstack ecosystem, with its sensational approach to simple and straightforward solutions for JavaScript management. You’ll be able to access batched and virtual DOM updates, which makes it easier to unlock components quickly, and write your components the way you see them. There’s also the added benefit that React is compatible with a lot of tools. 

You can build a comprehensive app or website with the help of React, and you’ll have no trouble accessing some of the top features, particularly with plenty of support available from the React community. 

Gatsby

Created from the ground up to improve user experience on a comprehensive level, Gatsby is a static site generator with heavy focus on things like SEO, performance, and accessibility. The solution offers plenty of out-of-the-box features to help developers deliver the most immersive solution for their users, without unnecessary complexity. 

Gatsby users pre-configuration to develop static websites giving developers faster loading pages, stronger code splitting, and server-side rendering. You can also access features like data prefetching, asset optimization, and quick image loading. Gatsby boasts excellent documentation and starter packs to help you get your site up and running more quickly.

The GraphQL data layer of Gatsby also means the system can collect your data from anywhere, including your CMS, JSON, Markdown, and APIs. More than just your standard site generator, this is a tool built specifically with performance in mind. 

Agility CMS

Developing an effective Jamstack website means having access to the right CMS technology. Agility CMS wasn’t the first CMS solution to support Jamstack, but it is one of the better-known options. As one of the first headless CMS solutions to hit the market, the company has quickly captured the attention of a huge range of developers worldwide.

Agility CMS is a Jamstack pioneer, capable of helping developers to build a foundation for any online ecosystem. The technology is an API-first CMS with support for REST APIs, so developers can connect all the third-party apps and front-end frameworks they like.

The technology also gives developers the freedom to code their solutions their way. You don’t have to follow a specific set of guidelines for how content is created, but templates are available to fast-track development. Agility CMS also hosts and abstracts your database, so you don’t have to worry about connection strings, backups, and maintenance. 

With a strong content architecture to help companies manage digital content and a partnership with Gatsby, Agility is ideal for Jamstack development strategies. 

Building Your Jamstack Website

The Jamstack solution is more than just a buzzword in today’s development world. This unique approach to building incredible development experiences delivers an excellent advantage to both developers and their end-users. Fast, scalable, and full of solutions for customization, Jamstack is a powerful way to bring websites to life with simplicity and speed. 

Every day, more companies take advantage of the Jamstack environment, and we’re constantly seeing a wide selection of new tools, APIs and offerings emerging to help enhance the Jamstack landscape too. This environment is definitely worth consideration for any developer looking to significantly speed up their development strategy.

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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The post Is it Time to Transition to JAMStack? first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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It’s that time again. Black Friday. November 26, to be exact. And the many enticing deals you’ve been looking forward to at this time of the year are here as well.

There are three types of Black Friday shoppers. Those who are successful because they have prepared. Those who are successful because they got lucky. And, those who let some good deals simply slip away.

Your best bet, of course, is to be prepared, which is the purpose of this guide.

As you go down this list, you’ll find discounts, some pretty amazing offers, a few surprises perhaps – and plenty of inspiration.

We’ve been keeping close tabs on the various Black Friday discounts and promotions, and we’ve corralled the best of the bunch for you.

Starting with:

1. Brizy – The No-Code Website Builder For Non-Techies

Brizy is a fast and easy-to-use website builder for designers and agencies. Take advantage of Brizy’s Black Friday special and tap into the skills of a team that has been creating website-building tools for over 11 years.

This premier website builder gets better with each update.

  • Web designers can choose between Brizy for WordPress and the Brizy Cloud website builder, which includes hosting;
  • Agencies can choose among several white-label options;
  • Brizy brings power to the novice; use the pre-made designs or start with a blank page and let the imagination be the guide.

Black Friday is a time to take advantage of great deals, and this year is no different.

  • Big discounts are available on Brizy’s white label agency plans;
  • Participate at no cost to win a MacBook PRO;
  • Partner perks and discounts;
  • And exclusive new designs.

Design or coding experience is not a requirement to use Brizy’s drag and drop visual builder.

Click on the banner to take advantage of these great Black Friday specials.

2. Portfoliobox

A 50% discount on any portfolio website builder would seem like a good deal. On the other hand, getting one at 50% off that enables you to quickly create a portfolio website that reflects your creative personality and will truly set you apart from the crowd is definitely worth taking advantage of.

Portfoliobox offers:

  • Mix and match templates to help achieve a unique look;
  • Powerful eCommerce functionality built right into the platform;
  • Safe and secure private client galleries;
  • An included Domain (custom domain with Pro plans);
  • Fantastic 24/7 support to keep problems to a minimum;
  • Affordable, transparent pricing plans that let you know what you are getting before you buy.

Click on the banner to find out more about this fast, affordable, and easy to work with a portfolio website builder for creatives.

3. wpDataTables

wpDataTables is a popular, power-packed plugin that can manage vast amounts of data in seconds and organize it to build a table or chart the way you want.

  • wpDataTables and charts are responsive, customizable, and easy to edit and maintain;
  • wpDataTables readily accepts data from a variety of data sources, from multiple database connections, and in the most used formats;
  • Tables and charts can be configured to nicely blend in with other website content and a website’s overall design, plus it is easy to add spice to a table or chart by using colors, adjusting font sizes, and highlighting key data using conditional formatting.

wpDataTables features Elementor and Gutenberg integration, provides the ability to connect WordPress tables with Google API, allows cascade data filtering, and much more.

Click on the banner to take advantage of the 30% off Black Friday special.

4. Amelia WordPress Booking Plugin

Amelia can be a genuine time and money saver for a variety of business types. Amelia automates and streamlines a business’s booking process.

  • Amelia relieves business owners and managers from the task of managing multiple appointments and events;
  • Clients and customers love the ability to make and manage their appointments 24/7;
  • Bookings and events are managed from a single platform, even when multiple locations are involved.

Annual and lifetime subscriptions are available.

5. Mobirise Free Website Builder

As it is an offline builder, Mobirise does not tie you to any platform, you can host it anywhere, and you have total control over creating the website you have in mind.

Mobirise:

  • is drag and drop and easy and simple use;
  • is based on the latest Google AMP or Bootstrap 5, so your site will be mobile-friendly and crazy fast;
  • comes with eCommerce, huge selections of themes, blocks and templates, and a shopping cart.

Mobirise is free for both personal and commercial use.

6. Slider Revolution

There is a difference between an “interesting” website and one whose WOW effects cause it to stand far above the competition.

Slider Revolution specializes in WOW effects that can take any website to the next level, and it can be yours on Black Friday at a 33% discount on all licenses.

The Slider Revolution package includes:

  • Innovative templates and add-ons;
  • Advanced automation and special effects tools.

Grab the Black Friday offer now.

7. Getillustrations Bundle – Commercial illustrations for the web

Digital illustrations help attract attention to and pique interest in your website.

Getillustrations.com features a package of more than 9000 commercial web and app illustrations in a wide range of topics.

  • This package features all the design formats you’re likely to need, e.g., Ai, SVG, PNG, Figma, Sketch, and more;
  • Great illustrations to spice up landing pages are included.

The package is available at a 25% discount. Use coupon code EliteDesingers25.

8. Litho – Multipurpose Elementor WordPress Theme

Litho is a creative, modern, and highly customizable theme that can be used for any type of business niche as well as for creating eCommerce, blog, and portfolio websites.

This multipurpose Elementor WordPress theme’s features include –

  • 36+ ready home pages, 200+ creative elements, and a 300+ template library;
  • One-click demo import;
  • Top loading speed and SEO result capabilities.

Litho also features detailed online documentation and top-of-the-line customer support.

9. 8bio – Linktree Alternative

Instagram and TikTok enthusiasts, take note!

With the 8bio tool at your fingertips, you can add a clickable URL to your social media platform profiles so visitors can visit your website, product page, or any other important page.

8bio offers:

  • Beautiful skins and catchy animated backgrounds;
  • The ability to link to your own domain or to *.8b.io;
  • Powerful SEO and tracking options.

The 8bio tool can also be used for your Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube posts.

10. XStore – Highly Customizable WordPress WooCommerce Theme

XStore is designed to work with the best page builders on the market and is fully compatible with the Elementor and WPBakery builders.

The XStore package includes

  • $510 worth of carefully handpicked Premium Plugins for WooCommerce;
  • More than 110+ awesome Prebuilt Shops;
  • A built-in AMP for WooCommerce, a Full Ajax Shop, multi-vendor support, and much more.

Become one of XStore’s more than 60,000+ happy customers by taking advantage of the Black Friday special.

Knowing that it’s the early bird that gets the worm, we’ve worked hard to place before you and your fellow website designers and agencies this enticing selection of the best Black Friday offers.

You will no doubt find some of the products familiar. A few might not be. In either case, the opportunities are here for you to get some great deals on some premier products.

Happy shopping!

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The post Live Now: Top 10 Black Friday 2021 Deals for Designers and Agencies first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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Every day 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 9 Best XAMPP Alternatives for Hosting your Website Locally

Exciting New Tools for Designers, November 2021

Why Developers are so Divided Over WordPress

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Design a Website Homepage

How to Build F and Z-Patterns Using HTML and CSS

UX Design Psychology Tricks for Design Excellence

What if Phones were Actually Designed for Hands?

Dddoodle – Collection of Fun Hand-Drawn Illustrations in SVG Format

Layout Patterns – Collection of Layout Patterns Built Using CSS

22 Impressive Web Design Concepts for Various Business Objectives

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

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Every day 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!

10 Free Christmas SVG Packs

5 Exciting Web Design Trends for 2022

22 Inspiring Web Design Trends for 2022

Microsoft’s Wild New Mouse Design is Both Brilliant and Bizarre

Codify Images – Decompose any Image with Some Letters

Everything I Hate About Material You

How I Made Google’s Data Grid Scroll 10x Faster with One Line of CSS

Automating Figma

What the H*** is ‘Right-Clicker Mentality’?

8 Critical Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Web Designer

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The post Popular Design News of the Week: November 8, 2021 – November 14, 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

Many websites today use some type of traditional Content Delivery Network (CDN), which means improvements in website load times, decreases in bandwidth, and better redundancy and security. But not everything is optimized, specifically when it comes to images, and image CDNs can help with that! 

Traditional vs. Image CDNs

A traditional CDN treats images as static. If you want to tailor images to better match various mobile device types, then you need to create many variants of each image and upload them to your web server. It also means you must develop responsive code that will tell the server and CDN which image variant to deliver. This is clunky, time-consuming, and inefficient. For a large website, the amount of code needed can be astronomical. Using this static image model, there’s just no realistic way for each image to be effectively sized and compressed for every possible device model – at this point, there are thousands of them. The combination of these two unfortunate factors leads to potentially slow load times and poor UX caused by oversized images delivered to mobile devices.

So what is an image CDN? An image CDN builds on the traditional CDN model with the addition of device detection and image optimization. Instant detection of the device model and browser requesting the images is done right at the device-aware edge server (true edge computing!) Additional information, including screen resolution and dimension, pixels per inch, and support for next-gen image formats (such as WebP, JPEG 2000/JP2, and AVIF), provides even more details crucial for superior image optimization. Using this information derived from device-aware edge servers, the image CDN optimizes each image and serves the perfect version for each device and resolution, meaning users get the finest webpage experience faster.

A Bit About the Edge (Whoa, Living on the Edge?)

With a single server website, a web request would have to travel from the requestor, back to the origin server (wherever that was geographically located), be processed, and then travel back to the requestor. Depending on the physical distance between the requestor and the origin server, this could introduce a great deal of latency, which means lag time on page loads. 

A traditional content delivery network (CDN) is a global network of servers that optimizes web performance by using the node geographically closest to the user for faster delivery of assets. It takes static content like images and stores them on the edge. But usually, these edge servers are relatively simple in terms of their role in business processes. They mostly index, cache, and deliver content. And traditional CDNs like to keep edge servers simple because of concerns over CPU usage, storage, and scalability.

But what if these edge servers could also provide computing power that enhances performance and business processes? This is called edge computing. Slowly, CDNs are starting to open their edge servers to allow enterprises to deploy apps/services on the edge. Likewise, Cloud computing networks (e.g., AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) provide virtualized server capacity around the world for those who want to use geographically distributed servers. In a sense, Edge Computing is a marriage of the CDN (where edge servers synchronize/work with each other) and Cloud computing (where servers are open to applications). 

Edge computing is a fascinating concept, but what is the killer app that will enhance business processes and improve website performance? The addition of device detection to edge computing provides the ability to transform from delivery of static images to a new model where images are dynamic and tailored exactly to devices. 

Edge computing is computing that is done in a geographically distributed space, with many servers located at or near the source of the web request. This reduction in bandwidth and latency leads to fast processing times, increased site speed, and improved customer experience. And edge computing doesn’t require new infrastructure — it leverages the networks of existing providers to create Points of Presence (POP) around the globe. 

The Edge Servers are…Aware?

Device-aware edge servers, like those used by the ImageEngine image CDN, take edge computing to a new level. Device detection is actually one of the use cases where edge computing really shines. Normally, the edge server would have to send a Javascript query to the device to figure out any information about a requesting device’s model, browser, operating system. But with a device-aware edge server, the User Agent string is captured and decoded. This contains all of the information necessary for device detection without the need for any back and forth – a definite speed improvement. So you’re starting ahead of the game! 

Each time a new request comes to the device-aware edge server, the image is processed by that server (meaning optimized for that specific device parameters) and stored right there in cache, primed for future use. This is done in three stages: changing image size based on device resolution, compressing the image using an image optimization tool, and selecting the most efficient file format for the device. 

If the device-aware edge server has already processed a request from a similar device model before, then it can serve the device-optimized image from its edge cache, leading to a lightning-fast server response — and ImageEngine’s device-aware edge servers can serve up cached images 98% of the time! Not only is there geographical proximity because of the distributed global POP network, but the smaller size of the optimized image compared to the full-sized original cuts up to 80% off the image payload. This can cut up to several seconds off page load times. When almost 70% of people say that page speed influences their likelihood of making a purchase, every single second counts! 

Some image CDNs detect the device information and group the devices into “buckets” of similar types and serve an image based on that type. While this is certainly an advancement over a traditional CDN, and works passably well for some common devices, it still isn’t a truly optimal solution. There are so many variants of browser, screen size,  resolution, etc., even among very similar devices, that images are still often oversized (too large payloads) and lead to poor load speed. A true image CDN, such as ImageEngine, serves the perfect image for every device, every time.

So Now You Want To Get Started (Don’t Worry, It’s Really Simple)

One of the best things about the ImageEngine image CDN is the ease of integration – and it can integrate into any platform that supports a 3rd-party CDN. All you need is to sign up for an account and receive a delivery address during your two (yes, 2!) minute signup process. This delivery address is used to redirect image traffic for optimization and superior delivery performance. Next, you’ll have to make some slight adjustments to img tags on your website, but that’s really all the work you’ll need to do. There are no DNS changes during a standard (generic delivery address) integration. You read that right, none at all. Contrast that to a traditional CDN integration, where there is just no way around some messing around in the DNS – in fact, usually some fairly extensive DNS changes. 

This low-code, virtually no code, integration saves you time. It saves you money. It saves you the hassle of putting multiple team members on a new project. And it means that you can be up and running in about 15 minutes with a standard install. You can be serving optimized images to your site visitors at blazing fast speeds before lunch! And don’t worry, ImageEngine has an experienced integration support team available to answer any questions you might have. 

There’s also no issue with adding the ImageEngine image CDN on top of an existing CDN. Traditional CDNs may have security features that you may prefer to keep for your site. It requires slightly more integration but provides the same benefits of a solo ImageEngine implementation — screaming fast image load times and perfectly optimized images from device-aware edge servers. All that is recommended is that the ImageEngine image CDN actually serve the images directly, not simply process them, to get maximum benefits.

Adopt an Image CDN and See The Benefits

We’ve learned that image CDNs bring numerous benefits to your site AND your business. Using device-aware edge servers, image CDNs provide measurably better UX to your visitors. Pages load potentially seconds faster with perfectly optimized images, meaning your customers get to the heart of your message right away, and you don’t lose potential sales. 

Image CDNs are actually 30%+ faster than most traditional CDNs, improving site speed accordingly. From an SEO perspective, that’s huge! And your SEO gets an additional boost from the improvement to your Largest Contentful Paint scores (which can help you gain valuable rank on Google’s SERPs). Implementation is simple and fast. You get all this, plus cost savings: since you have smaller payloads because of the fully optimized images, you’re delivering fewer gigabytes of data.

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Every day 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!

Fresh Resources for Web Designers and Developers

The Metaverse is BS

8 JavaScript Set Methods You Should Master Today

7 Web Design Tips To Improve Your Site

Visual Git

Nazca – New GUI for the Web

Dashana – Visualize your Data in Less than a Minute

Color Peeker – Color Code in the Menu Bar

Bootstrap V4.6.1

Why We Love FIFA’s New Women’s World Cup 2023 Logo

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The post Popular Design News of the Week: November 1, 2021 – November 7, 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


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As the year begins to wind down, there are still plenty of new and evolving website design trends going strong. Much of what you’ll see this month carries over from things we’ve been seeing all year but with fresh touches.

From peek-a-boo designs with neat animated elements to vertical bars to brutalist blocks, there are a lot of highly usable trends to work with.

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

Peek-a-Boo with Animation

Designers have been experimenting with cut-out and layering elements with animation for some time, which has evolved into full peek-a-boo styles with a lot of visual interest.

How each design comes together is a little different. Some have the animation in the back, others in the front, and some include text as part of the style. There’s almost no set of actual rules to how to make this design trend work.

Each of the examples below does it somewhat differently with varying degrees of success. The commonality here is that it is almost one of those visuals that you either see and love or hate.

Jatco Insurance is the most stunning example here, with a bold color choice and a peek-a-book element inside the oversized “J.” The overall effect is soothing and interesting and naturally draws the user across the screen from the top left to the background video layer. The small tagline, “Individual attention you deserve,” is perfectly placed.

Liron Moran Interiors takes a different approach with the peek-a-boo concept with the letters peeking out from behind an image. The animation is restricted to a hover and scroll effect that adds a liquid element to the image as well as changes to the image and color background. The challenge here is in readability. More of the words show on wider screens, but is it enough?

Melon Fashion also layers text and animated effects for a neat peek-a-book style that almost seems cut out from the background. The overall look appears to have three layers: background video, middle layer for the yellow color block, and text on top. The opacity of text elements with the peeking video is interesting and well pulled together without sacrificing too much readability.

Vertical Bars

Vertical color bars are a design element that keeps popping up in different ways. Designers can use it as a standalone element or container for content, such as navigation or other click actions.

Vertical elements are helpful because they can help create a more consistent and unified user experience from desktop to mobile screens. This shape can also be somewhat disruptive because you don’t see it featured that often. (Although with this style trending that might become less true over time.)

New Classrooms uses a vertical color bar on the left to help you move through the design. The color actually changes as each slide progresses on the homepage.

Serving uses multiple vertical bars as links to different content entry points. Clickability is emphasized with a change from a red overlay to a full-color image. The navigation is also tucked inside a white bar on the left side of the screen with a hamburger menu therein.

TechnoAlpin goes with a skinny vertical navigation menu on the right side of the screen. The icons with menu elements make navigation highly visual and intuitive. The color, which significantly contrasts with the rest of the design, also helps.

Brutalist Blocks

Not many people thought brutalism would stick around when it started trending. Elements of brutalism keep sneaking in, though, although they are much less stark and harsh than some of those original trending website designs.

This version of brutalism focuses on block elements that contain images or text and often click to other pages in the design. The blocks themselves are essentially the buttons that help you navigate to additional content.

The critical question about this design technique is whether this click action is intuitive enough. Will users interact without buttons?

The answer likely depends on your audience base, but if you opt for a style like this, it is essential to keep a close eye on analytics to ensure that users know and understand how to engage.

Milli Agency might be the most intuitive example of the brutalist blocks trend. The homepage is essentially a giant navigation menu. Each block changes from white to yellow on hover and expands, further encouraging clicks.

Sick Agency uses brutalist blocks with experimental typefaces and bold color for an in-your-face design. You can’t help but look at all the different things happening here. The biggest question might be, where should you focus and click next? The cursor provides some visual cues, but it’s not quite as intuitive as you might want it to be.

Mawo mixes brutalist blocks with a big blue cursor to help users click through the design to see more clothing options. Even the images here have a rather stark feel, which isn’t typical for e-commerce. Every block element above the scroll on the homepage includes a click action from the navigation blocks across the top to the “Shop Women” and “Shop Men” images. Further, the blue cursor dot helps show where users can click, and text buttons change to blue on hover as well.

Conclusion

Most of the examples here show trends as homepage elements, but you aren’t limited to that application. Try some of these techniques on landing pages or interior pages that you want to add a little something special to.

This can be an excellent way to test the design and see if your users like the style and know-how to interact with it. If it works, then you can extend the aesthetic to more of the design.

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