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26 Exciting New Tools For Designers, May 2021

From dev tools to productivity to a little bit of fun with sudoku, this month’s collection of new tools is packed with something for everyone.

Here’s what new for designers this month.

May’s Top Picks

Am I FLoCed?

Am I FLoCed? Is a tool to see if you are part of a Google Chrome origin trial. It tests a new tracking feature called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). According to Google, the trial currently affects 0.5% of users in selected regions, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, and the United States. The page will try to detect whether you’ve been made a guinea pig in Google’s ad-tech experiment.

According to the designers of Am I FloCed: “FLoC runs in your browser. It uses your browsing history from the past week to assign you to a group with other ‘similar’ people around the world. Each group receives a label, called a FLoC ID, which is supposed to capture meaningful information about your habits and interests. FLoC then displays this label to everyone you interact with on the web. This makes it easier to identify you with browser fingerprinting, and it gives trackers a head start on profiling you.”

Uncut

Uncut is a Libre typeface catalog that just got started in April. It features contemporary typefaces and styles and is set to be updated regularly. Sort by sans serif, serif, monospace, or display typefaces. Plus, you can submit a typeface for inclusion.

Dashblock

Dashblock allows you to build automations without coding. Use it to create visual automations, or turn blocks into use-cases. (It is a premium tool, but comes with a 14-day free trial to test it out.)

Instant

Instant is a fast and secure one-click checkout tool that works with WooCommerce. Users fill out a short form the first time they shop and then join the network to enable instant, frictionless, 1-click checkouts without passwords. It makes shopping easier and cuts abandoned carts.

5 Image Tools

Triangula

Triangula uses a modified genetic algorithm to triangulate images. It works best with images smaller than 3000px and with fewer than 3000 points, typically producing an optimal result within a couple of minutes. The result is a nifty-looking image.

Content-Aware Image Resizing in Javascript

Content-Aware Image Resizing in Javascript solves that problem with images where you have a photo but it just doesn’t quite fit. A crop doesn’t work because you lose important information. The carver slices and cuts photos to give you the image elements you want in the size you want them. It’s probably a good idea to read through the tutorial before jumping into the open-source code on GitHub.

Globs Design

Globs Design uses toggles and drag and drop to help you create funky shapes and fills that you can save in SVG format for projects.

Root Illustrations

Root Illustrations is a stylish set of people-based illustrations that you can customize to create scenes for your projects. Construct a scene and then snag your set of vector graphics that also work with Sketch and Figma. The set includes 24 characters, more than 100 details, and the ability to change colors and styles.

Make Your Photo 16×9

Make Your Photo 16×9 is as simple as it sounds. It is a cropping tool that allows you to upload any shape of photo – even vertical – and pick options to fill the space to make it fit the standard 16×9 aspect ratio.

6 Dev Tools

Devbook

Devbook is a search engine for developers that helps them to find the resources they need and answer their questions faster. Fast, accessible right from a code editor, and fully controllable with just a keyboard.

Madosel

Madosel is a fast, advanced responsive HTML front-end framework that’s in an alpha version. The open-source tool is made to create websites and apps that look great on any device. Plus, it is semantic, readable, flexible, and customizable.

Say Hello to CSS Container Queries

Say Hello to CSS Container Queries helps solve a problem with media queries and smart stacking of elements. CSS Container Queries allow you to make a fluid component that adjusts based on the parent element and everything is independent of viewport width. This post takes you through everything you need to do to implement this yourself.

Frontend Toolkit

Frontend Toolkit is a customizable dashboard that you can use to keep up with recurring tasks. It’s one of those little tools that can speed up workflows.

Flatfile

Flatfile is a production-ready importer for SaaS applications. It allows you to auto-format customer spreadsheets without manual cleaning of data and you can do it all without a CSV parser. The tool also includes an elegant UI component to guide users through the process.

Plasmic

Plasmic is a visual website builder that works with your codebase. It’s designed to speed up development with developers focusing on code (not pixel pushing) and allows non-developers to publish pages and content. The premium tool works with any hosting, CMS, or framework and you can adapt it by the component, section, or page.

2 Productivity Tools

Calendso

Calendso is an open-source calendar scheduling tool. It’s flexible with the ability to host it yourself or with the makers of the calendar. It is API-driven and allows you to control events and information. The interface is simple and sleek and can integrate into your website.

Slidev

Slidev is a set of presentation slides for developers. What’s different about this presentation deck is that you can write slides in a single markdown file with themes, code blocks, and interactive components.

4 Icons and UI Kits

Iconic

Iconic is a set of pixel-perfect icons that gets updated each week. The collection of 24×24 px elements in SVG format contains 160 icons and counting. The simple style is easy to implement and you can search for just what you need by category.

5 Dashboard Templates for Figma

5 Dashboard Templates for Figma is a set of free ready-made screens with light and dark modes for each that you can use with components such as calendars, charts, tables, and more. The free elements are a preview of a larger premium Figma set if you like how they look and work.

Free Mobile Chat UI Kit

Free Mobile Chat UI Kit is a tool of components for Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD that includes more than 50 messaging screens with light and dark modes.

Stratum UI Design Kit

Stratum UI Design Kit is a collection of more than 9,000 consistent elements for Figma. It’s packed with elements and tools that make this premium UI kit a tool that gets projects moving quickly.

4 Type Tools and Fresh Fonts

Fluid Typography

Fluid Typography is a nifty tool that allows you to test headings in any size at different viewports to ensure it looks great everywhere. Then you can copy the CSS and use it in your projects.

Eighty-Eight

Eighty-Eight is a funky block-style typeface for display use.

Harmonique

Harmonique is a robust typeface family with lovely serifs and alternates. It’s a type family of two styles that work in harmony together to add distinction and personality to your own typographic compositions. Harmonique’s low contrast forms have the appeal of a humanist sans serif typeface.

Sketchup

Sketchup is a charming display typeface that has a nice pen style. The free version has a limited character set.

Just for Fun

Generating and Solving Sudokus in CSS

Generating and Solving Sudokus in CSS by Lee Meyer for CSS-Tricks is a fun deep dive into using CSS for something you might not expect. It’s a complicated – but fun – look at some of the things CSS can do with plenty of code snippets. The final result is a solvable puzzle with 16 squares.

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Popular Design News of the Week: May 3 2021 – May 9, 2021

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!

White House Launches AI Website

Become A Better Frontend Developer

Hello Weather

Sprint UI Design System Generator

How Pixar Uses Hyper-Colors to Hack Your Brain

Bootstrap 5

Microsoft’s New Font: Your Work Will Soon Take On A New Character

HTML Tips

Everything You Need to Know About UX Writing In Web Design

3 Essential Design Trends, May 2021

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Create Beautiful WordPress Pages with Optimized Images Using Elementor and ImageEngine

WordPress powers nearly 40% of all websites, thanks to its commitment to making publication possible for everyone, for free. Combined with premium plugins and themes, it’s possibly the ultimate tool for building attractive, unique, and feature-rich websites without any coding or design experience.

However, you do pay the price for this experience, with WordPress and its third-party products not always being built for performance – whether it’s page loading times or SEO.

Image optimization is a particularly big concern. Images are one, if not the largest, contributors to page weight, and it’s growing significantly by the year. So, while images are crucial for beautifying your website pages, they are also one of the biggest factors slowing it down.

In terms of image optimization, WordPress+Elementor brings very little to the table. WordPress core now comes with both responsive syntax and lazy-loading. Elementor itself also only comes with responsive syntax out-of-the-box. However, these are baseline techniques for image optimization that will deliver the bare minimum of improvements.

This means that, while Elementor makes it easy to design sweet-looking WordPress pages (with tonnes of creatively utilized images), you will probably pay the price when it comes to performance. But don’t worry. We will show you how to dramatically improve web performance by over 30 points on scoring tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insight

Why Optimize Your Elementor Images with ImageEngine?

In general, image CDNs use various techniques to get image payloads as small as possible and deliver image content faster, all while minimizing the visual impact. ImageEngine is no different in that regard.

Firstly, ImageEngine, when used in auto mode, will apply all of the following optimizations that web performance tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insight recommend. For example:

  • Properly size images – ImageEngine automatically resizes images for optimal size-to-quality ratios depending on the screen size of the user device. ImageEngine supports Retina devices.
  • Efficiently encode images – Applies different rates of compression depending on the PPI of the user devices. For example, ImageEngine adapts and more aggressively compresses on higher PPI devices without losing visual quality.
  • Next-gen format conversion – Automatically converts images to the optimal next-gen format according to the browser, device, or OS. ImageEngine can convert images to WebP or JPEG-2000 as well as GIFs to MP4 or WebP.  AVIF is also available in a manual directive mode.
  • Strip unnecessary metadata

While these features are standard for most image CDNs, ImageEngine is unique for its use of WURFL device detection. This gives ImageEngine much deeper insight into the user device accessing a website page and, by extension, its images. Using the screen size, resolution, PPI, etc., ImageEngine can make more intelligent decisions regarding how to reduce image payloads while maintaining visual quality.

This is why ImageEngine brands itself as an “intelligent, device-aware” image CDN and why it can reduce image payloads by as much as 80% (if not more).

ImageEngine also provides a proprietary CDN service to accelerate image delivery. The CDN consists of 20 globally positioned PoPs with the device-aware logic built-in. This allows you to deliver image content faster in different regions while also serving images straight from the cache with a ~98% hit ratio.

ImageEngine also supports Chrome’s save data setting. If someone has a slow connection or has activated this setting, ImageEngine will automatically compress image payloads even more, to provide a better user experience on slower connections.

How to Use ImageEngine with WordPress and Elementor

If you’re using WordPress and Elementor, then chances are you want to spend as little time on development and other technicalities as possible. Luckily, ImageEngine is a highly streamlined tool that requires little to no effort to integrate or maintain with a WordPress site.

Assuming you already have a WordPress website with Elementor, here are the step-by-step instructions to use ImageEngine:

  1. Go to ImageEngine.io and sign up for a 30-day free trial.
  2. Provide ImageEngine with the URL of the website you want to optimize.
  3. Create an account (or sign up with your existing Google, GitHub, or ScientiaMobile account).
  4. Provide ImageEngine with the current origin where your images are served from. If you upload images to your WordPress website as usual, then that means providing your WordPress website address again.
  5. Finally, ImageEngine will generate an ImageEngine delivery address for you from where your optimized images will be served. This typically takes the form of: {randomstring}.cdn.imgeng.in. You can change the delivery address to something more meaningful from the dashboard, such as myimages.cdn.imgeng.in.

Now, to set up ImageEngine on your WordPress website:

  1. Go to the WordPress dashboard and head to Plugins -> Add New.
  2. Search for the “Image CDN” plugin by ImageEngine. When you find it, install and activate the plugin.

  1. Go to Settings -> Image CDN. OK, so this is the ImageEngine plugin dashboard. To configure it, all you need to do is:

a. Copy the delivery address you got from ImageEngine above and paste it in the “Delivery Address” field.

b. Tick the “Enable ImageEngine” box.

That’s literally it. All images that you use on your WordPress/Elementor pages should now be served via the ImageEngine CDN already optimized. 

ImageEngine is largely a “set-it-and-forget-it” tool. It will provide the best results in auto mode with no user input. However, you can override some of ImageEngine’s settings from the dashboard or by using URL directives to manipulate images.

For example, you can resize an image to 300 px width and convert it to WebP by changing the src attribute like this:

<img src="https://myimages.cdn.imgeng.in/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/banner-logo.png?imgeng=/w_300/f_webp">

However, use this only when necessary, as doing so will limit ImageEngine’s adaptability under different conditions.

What Improvement Can You Expect?

Let’s see what results you can expect from using an image CDN to improve your page loading times.

For this, I created two identical WordPress pages using the Elementor theme. The one page purely relied on WordPress and Elementor, while I installed and set up ImageEngine for the other. The page had some galleries as well as full-size images:

The pages used many high-quality images, as you might expect to find on a professional photography gallery, photography blog, stock photo website, large e-commerce site, etc. I then ran page performance tests using Chrome’s built-in Lighthouse audit tool, choosing scores representing the average results I got for each page.

For thoroughness, I tested both the mobile and desktop performance. However, I focused on the mobile results as these showcase more of the image CDN’s responsive capabilities. Mobile traffic also accounts for the majority share of internet traffic and seems to be the focus for search engines going forward.

So, first of all, let’s see the mobile score for the page without ImageEngine:

As you can see, there was definitely a struggle to deliver the huge amount of image content. Google has shown that 53% of mobile users abandon a page that takes more than 3s to load. So, clearly, this page has major concerns when it comes to user experience and retaining traffic.

The desktop version fared much better, although it still left much to be desired:

When digging into the reasons behind the slowdown, we can identify the following problems:

Most of the issues related somehow to the size and weight of the images. As you can see, Lighthouse identified a 3.8 MB payload while the total image payload of the entire page was close to 40 MB.

Now, let’s see what kind of improvement ImageEngine can make to these issues by looking at the mobile score first:

So, as you can see, a major improvement of 30 points over the standard WordPress/Elementor page. The time to load images was cut down by roughly 80% across the key core web vital metrics, such as FCP, LCP, and the overall Speed Index.

In fact, we just reached that critical 3s milestone for the FCP (the largest element on the visible area of the page when it initially loads), which creates the impression that the page has finished loading and will help you retain a lot of mobile traffic.

The desktop score was also much higher, and there was further improvement across the key performance metrics.

If we look at the performance problems still present, we see that images are almost completely removed as a concern. We also managed to bring down the initial 3.8 MB payload to around 1.46 MB, which is a ~62% reduction:

An unfortunate side effect of using WordPress and WordPress plugins is that you will almost inevitably face a performance hit due to all the additional JavaScript and CSS. This is part of the reason why we didn’t see even larger improvements. That’s the price you pay for the convenience of using these tools.

That being said, the more images you have on your pages, and the larger their sizes, the more significant the improvement will be.

It’s also worth noting that lazy-loaded images were loaded markedly faster with ImageEngine if you quickly scroll down the page, again making for an improved user experience.

Thanks to its intelligent image compression, there was also no visible loss in image quality, as you can see from this comparison:

Conclusion

So, as you can see, we can achieve significant performance improvements on image-heavy websites by using the ImageEngine image CDN, despite inherent performance issues using a CMS. This will translate to happier users, better search engine rankings, and an overall more successful website.

The best part is that ImageEngine stays true to the key principles of WordPress. You don’t have to worry about any of the nuts and bolts on the inside. And, ImageEngine will automatically adjust automation strategies as needed, future-proofing you against having to occasionally rework images for optimization.

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Popular Design News of the Week: April 26, 2021 – May 2, 2021

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!

Curated List Of Awesome Lists

20 Best New Websites, April 2021

I Studied The Fonts Of The Top 1000 Websites; Here’s What I Learned

Markdown To Slideshow

WordPress Checklist: 17 Steps to Launching Your Site

Understanding Easing Functions For CSS Animations And Transitions

This is Tech! Illustrations About Technical Processes

This Amazing AI Tool Lets You Create Human Faces From Scratch

When You Shouldn’t Display Radio Buttons in a List Format

Lightweight, Privacy-First, Open-Source Comment System

8 Stunning Examples of CSS Glassmorphism Effects

CSS Tips

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Flutter 2.0 State Management Introduction With Provider 5.0

With Flutter 2.0, you can build apps on mobile, web and desktop.  Graphics performance is fantastic and the development tools are great. The main barrier to learning Flutter is an understanding of state management.  This tutorial covers the Provider package, one of the most popular and easiest tools to manage state in Flutter.

A video version of this tutorial is available. Code and image files are on GitHub. 

Source de l’article sur DZONE

How I Visualize My Spreadsheet Formula Dependencies in a Chart


Overview

The formula is the heart of an Excel file. And of course, we all want to do correct calculations and deliver accurate results. When there is something wrong, we want to trace back to those referenced cells to find the root cause. Excel natively has a built-in convenient formula dependent/precedent trace feature, it highlights the dependent/precedent cells and displays arrows to indicate the relationships. This helps users to trace back and find any error formulas easily.

Now, when bringing the spreadsheet online, we can do more. We can display the relationships in a custom way that is most useful according to the application context, or bring them to a different service or application for doing the validation programmatically.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Popular Design News Of The Week: April 19, 2021 – April 25, 2021

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!

Coca-Cola Presents New Packaging Design

Seven Mistakes To Avoid In Your Technical Interviews

10 Interesting Ways to Plan Web Design Projects

Web Developer’s Guide To AVIF Images

 

3 Effective Ways To Improve Your Site’s Carbon Footprint

Pure CSS Before & After Image Slider

Blank

25 Exciting New Tools For Designers, April 2021

Text In A Circle Using CSS & JavaScript

A to Z of Adobe XD: Tips & Tricks!

Content-Aware Image Resizing In JavaScript

Remove Distractions and Waste from Your Website

Top 18 Best Practices for Writing Super Readable Code

Atriom

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Beginner’s Guide To Developing a Scalable Web Business


Introduction

In today’s world of fast-developing technology, people want access to data instantly. Waiting for a web page to load or an image to upload is no more an option. An application not designed aptly and flexible to handle increased workload and users—everything will be simply left in the dust.

Scalability is all about handling growth. A scalable web business should be able to efficiently and seamlessly adapt to the growth, handle an increase in load and users, without disturbing the end-users. A web application and website that is designed for scale will grow with the growing needs of the company. That’s why it is important to design a web business by keeping scalability in mind.

Source de l’article sur DZONE