Popular Design News of the Week: June 10, 2019 – June 16, 2019

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.

Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news.

How to Design for the Web in 2019

 

Write HTML like it’s 1999

 

A Simple Guide to Design Thinking

 

Why Text Buttons Hurt Mobile Usability

 

CodyHouse Framework 2.0

 

Colors in UI Design — Theory, Psychology & Practice

 

Birth of Our New Design System

 

This Page is a Truly Naked, Brutalist Html Quine.

 

Milkshake – Make Websites from your Phone

 

Different Faces of Gamification in Web Design

 

Why Dark Gray is Brighter than Gray on the Web

 

A Future Design Tool with Git-like Asset Versioning

 

Firefox’s Bold New Branding is a Glimpse into Mozilla’s Grand Plan

 

Introducing Sideway

 

The State of CSS 2019

 

Your Website Content Migration Checklist

 

Gmail’s Dynamic Emails Roll Out to all Users on July 2

 

Typography for AR Interfaces

 

The Must-Have Elements of a Successful SEO Strategy

 

What I Learned from Rebranding a Company in 3 Months

 

The New Mac Pro is a Design Remix

 

This Just Might Be the World’s Most Beautiful Refrigerator

 

Designing for the User’s Emotional Journey

 

User Experience Is… User Research

 

To Be Great, Be Good Repeatably

 

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

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7 Ways to Convey Sarcasm in Web Content

Pop quiz: which of the following statements is sarcastic?

  1. Edge is actually a kind of decent browser, just missing some features.
  2. Writing CSS using JavaScript is a viable and sensible way to get things done, now that we use JS for everything else. We might as well.
  3. Brutalism as a movement has, in some ways, made some of us into better designers.

It can be hard to tell, can’t it? For the record, it’s number 2. But really, you might have seen people say each one of those things somewhere on the Internet, and some of them even meant that second one. And then, some of them said it and didn’t mean it, but other people thought they meant it and got mad at them. Even in real life, I’ve occasionally said something out loud that I thought had a clearly sarcastic tone, only to have to clarify my statement afterward.

As web designers (who are often tasked with also making website content), you may run into a situation where sarcasm is called for, and you have to make sure people don’t get it wrong. That’s a tough call. We live in a world where it can be darned difficult to tell sarcastic opinions from trolling.

We live in a world where people aren’t always ready to see sarcasm, or even humor for what it is. You sometimes have to prime your audience to expect something funny, rather than something glaringly stupid or offensive. This is why comedians have “hype men”, or other opening acts to warm up an audience. This is why sarcasm on Twitter often goes very, very wrong.

So how do you convey this to your users? How do you tell them that sarcasm’s coming? Well, there are a few simple ways:

Don’t Tell Them

This approach depends on the apparent absurdity of your statement to make the joke work. Now, I already listed a few reasons above as to why you wouldn’t want to use this approach. Well, the fact is that it can actually work, …

Using KPIs to Improve Web Content

Tracking content performance is the key to a successful campaign, but you can’t do that unless you know which metrics to track.

How do you measure whether a content piece (blog post, ebook, social media post, etc.) is meeting the goals it needs to? In order to meet these goals, you’ll need measurable indicators that can help you gauge the progress and make any necessary adjustments. These measurable indicators are known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

A KPI is a…metric that helps you measure performance

A KPI is a measurement or metric that helps you measure performance (for example, of a blog post) relative to the goals you want to achieve. When setting up KPIs, it’s important to be focused and set up KPIs that directly lead to your goal.

Focusing on the wrong set of KPIs can give you an inaccurate view of how your campaigns are performing. Far too many marketers have encountered disaster because they were tracking the wrong KPIs…resulting in large amounts of wasted budget and poor results.

With the correct KPIs set, you’ll be positioned to ensure your campaigns are highly successful.

How to Choose the Correct KPIs

There’s no one-size fits all KPI – the right one depends on what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Keep the following factors and tips in mind when you’re setting up KPIs for your content marketing campaigns:

Set Clear Business Goals

The primary function of KPIs is to help your content achieve your business goals by measuring their progress and contribution. As such, your KPIs can only work if you have clear and specific business goals that you want your content piece or campaign to achieve, such as:

  • Acquire new customers;
  • Increase ecommerce revenue;
  • Generate more marketing qualified leads (MQLs);
  • Generate more sales qualified leads (SQLs);
  • Generate more leads that convert into a purchase.

Understand Your Revenue Model & Sales Process

Websites typically fall into one of three broad business types: ad-driven, ecommerce, and leads-driven. This article will focus primarily on businesses who need to generate …

Claim Your Free .Design Domain

Everyone is familiar with .com and .net, but did you know you get your own free .design domain?

Because it’s a fairly new domain, there are still plenty of short .design names available. So the good news is, you can shorten or improve your existing branding by switching to the .design domain. Eg. johnsmithdesign.com -> johnsmith.design

You can also get your own unique email address such as hola@yourname.design or you can even use it as a clever redirect to another site, like a Behance profile.

Get Your FREE .design Domain

We have teamed up with Porkbun to offer all Webdesigner Depot subscribers a free .design domain name. The first year is free, and yearly renewals will be just $35 instead of the $70 offered at some registrars.

You also get:

  • Free email hosting – you can add an email address (or multiple addresses!) that matches your domain name. For example, anne@goldsmith.design or info@goldsmith.design, or any other name you want.
  • SSL Security – An SSL certificate will encrypt your visitors’ sensitive data, and also display your site with “HTTPS” in your address bar, which will let visitors know that you’ve made their security your top priority. You’ll also avoid the “NOT SECURE” label from Google.
  • Free WHOIS Privacy – Your contact information will be private, and protected forever. Other registrars charge you for this. PorkBun won’t.
  • Free website builder – If you want to build your .design website with no code, you can build it for free using their site builder, powered by Weebly. And with this option you don’t have to pay for website hosting.
  • Free domain connection – Whether you built your website (or plan to build it) with other services like WIX, SquareSpace, or Weebly, you can easily connect your .design domain to your website platform. Your website content will stay exactly the same, but you’ll have a modern .design domain name for your website to show off!

Here’s your chance to get a free website domain name that reflects what you do and helps you …

Freelance to Agency: Hiring Your First Employee

Which Roles Do You Need to Fill?

This really depends on why you’re hiring someone as well as the direction you see your business going.

Consider the following:

Your client base is growing and you’re tired of turning down work. In that case, you’d likely want to hire designers and developers to share your workload with.

You spend more time responding to emails and managing finances than actually building websites. If you’re passionate about doing the revenue-generating activities in your business, you should hire an assistant, sales rep, or maybe even an accountant to pass the tedious and ill-filling tasks to.

You want to offer an end-to-end digital solution, but don’t have the capacity or skills to do it. First, you need to clearly define the services your agency is going to offer. If they’re not in your wheelhouse, that’s exactly who you need to hire for: copywriter, marketer, SEO specialist, and other creatives will round out your team.

Do You Need Full- or Part-Time Assistance?

Just because you’re in a position to bring someone onto your team doesn’t mean that they automatically need to become a full-time employee.

Evaluate where your business currently stands:

  • How much overflow work do you have?
  • How much work have you turned away in the last six months?
  • Do you have enough clients and a predictable revenue stream that can support a new hire?

Decide how much time you need from a new hire along with how much you can realistically pay before setting a work schedule.

What Kind of New Hire Do You Need?

There are three kinds of new hires you might need:

  • An independent contractor
  • A part-time employee
  • A full-time employee

Keep in mind that contractors cannot be managed the same way employees are. This means you can’t dictate when they work, where they work from, which tools they use, and so on. You can provide guidelines and processes for their work, but there can be no direct training or supervision.

How Much Do You Pay Them?

First, you have to …

20 Best New Portfolios, June 2019

Hey WDD Readers, it’s June! Depending on where you live, you could either be heading out for a day of Summer fun, or curling up in your home at the bottom of Chile with a hot drink. And if you’re in Chile keeping warm, can I join you?

This month, we got lucky enough to have lots and lots of pretty colorful designs in the mix, as well as a bit of classic minimalism and monochromatic goodness. Enjoy.

Note: I’m judging these sites by how good they look to me. If they’re creative and original, or classic but really well-done, it’s all good to me. Sometimes, UX and accessibility suffer. For example, many of these sites depend on JavaScript to display their content at all; this is a Bad Idea™, kids. If you find an idea you like and want to adapt to your own site, remember to implement it responsibly.

The McBride Company

The McBride Company has a simple portfolio that makes excellent use of a vector-based background to maintain a consistent visual identity all across the site. While there are parts of the design that might benefit from more contrast and larger body text, the overall effect is striking and beautiful.

Platform: Craft CMS

Paulina Hanzel

Paulina Hanzel’s portfolio is minimalist, visually striking, and does little more than it needs to to get the job done (something I can always respect). While the neon-on-white color scheme can occasionally blast the eyeballs, it’s a memorable design.

Plus the “hamburger menu” icon actually includes text that says, “menu”, and I can absolutely get behind that kind of microcopy.

Platform: Static Site

The Digital Panda

The Digital Panda combines two things I absolutely love: pandas (and who doesn’t love them?), and those sort of blob-like design elements that I’m still a bit obsessed with. And let’s be honest, I’m most likely going to be obsessed with them until I next redesign my own portfolio.

Now the main navigation doesn’t always get all the contrast it needs as you scroll …

Popular Design News of the Week: June 3, 2019 – June 9, 2019

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.

Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news.

Apple is Designing for a Post-Facebook World

 

21 Tips to Become Better in JavaScript, Much Much Better!

 

I’ve Redesigned my Website and it Looks Exactly the Same

 

Firefox Monitor

 

Has Firefox Accidentally Revealed its New Logo?

 

CSS Grid Generator

 

Uibot: Infinite UI Designs

 

Apple Introduces New York Font, an All-new Serif

 

Mercury OS Concept

 

Samsung Announces its Answer to the MacBook Pro

 

24 Years of Amazon Website Design History

 

All Free Patterns

 

Free Static HTML Website Templates, 2019 Updated

 

The 4px Baseline Grid  – The Present

 

Webframe – > 800 Screenshots of Beautiful Designs and UX Patterns from the Internet’s Top Web Apps

 

Spero – Another Trendy Looking Free Bootstrap Template

 

All in One Bookmark Links for Designer

 

How to Become a UX Designer by Learning UX Design on your own

 

2019 Logo Trend Report

 

Does the Perfect Portfolio Exist? Top Creatives and Studios Offer their Advice

 

9 Timeless Ways to Increase Conversions

 

Apple Now a Privacy-as-a-service Company

 

Dungeons & Dragons & Design Thinking

 

Giphy Launches New Range of Animated Emojis Because that’s Life in 2019

 

Double Down on your Strengths

 

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

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Top 10 Drawing Apps for IOS and Android

Drawing is one of the most common and fun past times. Nowadays, with the release of new and powerful Android tablets and iPads, you don’t even have to break out your drawing pad and favorite drawing utensils.

There are dozens of drawing apps that allow you to draw digitally and hone your artistic skills. The only problem is, which drawing app to pick? To help you answer that question, we’ve rounded up the best drawing apps for Android and iPad.

Procreate

Procreate is an exclusive iPad app that was built with professionals in mind and works flawlessly with the Apple Pencil. It has an unobtrusive UI and and easy-to-use color picker as well as over 136 brushes.

A few exclusive tools include dual-texture brushes and incredibly responsive smudging tools. You can export your finished masterpiece as PSD, native .procreate, TIFF, transparent PNG, multi-page PDF, and JPEG file formats.

Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is another well-known app for all of you who want to use iPad and Apple Pencil to create works of art and digital drawings. Affinity Designer supports both CMYK and RGB color formats and comes with a full-blown Pantone library in the swatch panel.

The finished drawing can be exported to a wide variety of formats such as JPG, PNG, PDF and SVG. You will also find more than a 100 brushes, in a variety of styles including paints, pencils, inks, pastels, and gouaches.

Adobe Illustrator Draw

Be sure to check out Adobe Illustrator Draw if you use an Android tablet. Adobe Illustrator Draw has full layer support, much like its desktop counterpart. It also supports zoom up to x64 so you can easily see all the fine details.

The app comes with 5 different pen tips, all of which have various customization features. You can export your work to other devices and open it later in the desktop version of Illustrator or Photoshop. Adobe Illustrator Draw is free and it’s also available as an iPad app.

ArtRage

ArtRage is a full-fledged painting and drawing software that …

10 Simple Strategies for Successful Content Marketing

Whether you are an established brand or a startup, content marketing is one thing you should be thinking about. In fact, 98% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are advocating for the trend and their reasoning is simple; it works.

In recent years, many startup founders have talked about how sales of their products skyrocketed after being featured in popular websites like Techcrunch and Business Insider. So, without beating around the bush, here are ten content marketing strategies that will propel your business to the next level:

1. Make it Short

While you can be proud of the long-form articles your team produces, the reality is that most people prefer short-form articles. In fact, according to research, most people prefer articles to be 1000-words and less. Another report found that readers spend about 15 seconds or less. This is because your readers have a short attention span and are on the look-out for the next interesting thing to read.

2. Use Visuals

As a follow-up to the first point, most people prefer quality visuals in the content. These visuals could be infographics, quality images, or video. The reasoning behind this is simple: When you visit a website, what do you look at first? Is it the sea of the words or the graphics on the site? The visuals have another advantage: They help in optimizing your content for search engines.

3. Keep Content Light

As a content manager, you might be proud of the formal content you produce. The truth is that readers are more interested in content that is formal but written in a fun, light way. Make the paragraphs short and add informal words. Doing this will make the content fun to read and more shareable.

4. Optimize Content for Search

As you write, remember that you are targeting people and search engines as well. Most people find your content by searching using the search engines. Therefore, you should ensure that your content is optimized for all the search engines. A few things that will help you in …

Does the Web Really Need Cookies?

Every day, millions of people visit websites all over the world, and are confronted with a simple message: “We use cookies to make our site work, because we have yet to find a viable alternative to this somewhat insecure method of tracking our users, their preferences, their purchases, their mood swings, and the color of their aura. Mmkay? We good?”

Okay, you can probably tell there was a little sarcasm, there, but I’m not entirely kidding about, well, any of that. Cookies are inherently insecure, and they are one of the bits of tech used to track so very many things about us all over the Internet. Used correctly, there’s nothing really wrong with them, but implemented incorrectly, they can be a bit of a security risk.

Cookies are inherently insecure

Just like everything else in computing, really.

Well, someone in Europe got a bee in their bonnet, and now I have mobile ads loading under cookie notices on mobile sites, and I have to close five things just so I can see the content I came to see. Ain’t progress grand?

Well, most people would agree that these little notices aren’t terribly great for the general experience, aren’t good for usability, aren’t good for the aesthetic, and aren’t good for our mood as users. But short of the entire Internet pulling a Brexit (which would be both a terrible move, and hilarious from the outside), what can we do?

Just Don’t Use Them

Look, we’re all gathered here, Internet Advertising Companies (and pretty much everyone else) because we love you. We’re concerned about your health, your wellbeing. We just want what’s best for you. (What, the coke? Who cares?) We’re concerned about all the user tracking you’re doing. It’s a very serious addiction, even if it is mostly legal.

You just don’t need all that information about us. I know you think it’s interesting that I bought an air purifier, but what have you done with that information? You advertised more air purifiers. I’m not starting a damned collection. …