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How We Can All #BeBoldForChange

Posted by Sheila Burkett & filed under Events.

I was asked the other day what I planned to do for International Women’s Day this year. The phrase resonating in the campaign is #BeBoldForChange, which moved me to reflect on how I could be bold, make a statement and initiate change.

Many women in the U.S. are taking part in the Day Without Women strike. The thought of me taking the day off as a form of protest causes me stress and would have little impact on those around me. Another option is to take part in the Women’s March on St. Louis happening during lunch in downtown St. Louis.

I believe the best way for me to make a difference though is to use my voice and take action to improve equality for all women.

Promoting Women

I regularly advocate for women by sharing information about their business on social media, making business referrals and submitting these women for awards. My business partner Julia Koelsch and I were recently recognized by St. Louis Small Business Monthly as one of several St. Louis’ Top Business Owners. It was a great honor and we are thankful for the recognition.

Small Business Monthly Cover. We can do better.

Small Business Monthly Cover. We can do better.

When we met the rest of the award winners, one thing was immediately apparent: the group did not reflect the rich multiculturality that makes St. Louis a wonderful place to own a business.

Based on the Missouri Office of Equal Opportunity 2016 report,  there are over 419 certified Women Business Enterprises (WBE) in the St. Louis area and over 130 of those are Minority Business Enterprises (MBE). We should see this diversity in our award ceremonies and panels – yet it is often conspicuously absent.

My commitment for International Women’s Day is to promote all women business owners and nominate them for opportunities for recognition.

My challenge to you is to identify one thing you will do to promote women.

Broaden Networks

Over the years, my personal and professional network has grown. My family teases me when we go out to dinner as I always run into someone I know. Meeting new people, getting to know their story and hearing about their success always energizes me. The reality though is my network is homogeneous (i.e., I have a network that looks like me).

Learning about others’ unique perspectives and challenges – attracting talent that doesn’t look like you, act like you, or have the same experiences as you – helps grow your business and create a work environment that is inclusive.

My commitment is to build intentional relationships with women I meet, especially if they differ greatly from me.

My challenge to you is to go to an event where not everyone is like you.

The Gap Is Real

Julia Koelsch (Chief Technology Officer) and I (Chief Executive Officer) hold leadership roles that are not typically held by women.

In a National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) report, Women In Tech: The Facts”, women find it difficult to advance into leadership roles such as CTO, CEO and board of directors. Only 11% CIO positions in the U.S. are held by women, and only 4% CEOs of S&P 500 companies are women.

The World Economic Forum reports that it will take 170 years before women gain equity across the world. In the US, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research shows that Hispanic women will have to wait until 2248 for pay parity and Black women until 2124.

Mentor Women

We can all take action to accelerate this change. Mentoring and supporting women is a great way to help create equality for all women. This includes working with women on how to negotiate salaries, titles and positions of authority.

Julia helps organize and support local tech meetups, camps, and hackathons. She has been a mentor for UMSL’s Women’s Hackathon, which helps college women gain exposure and experience in technology.

Her commitment is to increase women’s awareness and participation in these community resources and events, so that any woman who has an interest in technology has the support, encouragement, and guidance necessary to achieve her goals.

My commitment is to continue our internship programs, including our participation in St. Louis Youth Jobs. I also plan to continue my support of UMSL’s IS area programs, especially their effort to send students to the Grace Hopper Women’s Conference and the Women’s Hackathon.

My challenge to you is to take a child, college student, or adult under your wing and help them soar.

#BeBoldForChange

I am one of those people who wants to change the world, and this is reflected where I spend my free time. Whether it’s raising money for women scholarships, telling my story to encourage bravery in others or making the connection that ignites the spark to help a women’s business take off, I will continue doing my best each day.

But I know the only way I can continue to grow and be an agent of change is to step outside my bubble – being challenged and uncomfortable is the only way I can move forward.

Chrome HTTP “Not Secure” Warning Fixed with SSL

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Security.

Google, in their latest effort to ramp up security, has begun rolling out changes in its Chrome browser that will alert users when they are visiting any non-encrypted HTTP website. Formerly considered neutral, HTTP websites are now deemed not secure by the browser. If you’re a site owner or developer, this can impact your site’s traffic and trustworthiness.

HTTPS is not the plural of HTTP

When checking your bank account or shopping online, you probably already know to look for the lock icon in your web browser’s address bar. This indicates your client (browser) is passing data to the site with encryption.

By default, a web page is served to the browser using the non-encrypted HTTP protocol. The protocol is the bit found at the beginning of a URL, or web address.

Web address protocol

HTTP is the web protocol

When a site is secure, the protocol changes to HTTPS, which stands for “HTTP over SSL”.  An HTTPS site means that the website operator has secured an SSL (or secure socket layer) certification, and any web traffic passed to that website is encrypted. When using HTTPS, this protocol is often highlighted in the address bar, along with lock icon, to tell users that the connection is encrypted and thus secure.

Until recently, purchasing SSL certificates was expensive and difficult to install, so unless the website provided a login or shopping cart, website operators typically opted not to buy a SSL certificate and relied on HTTP for general web traffic.

Encryption for all!

A lot has changed in the last couple of years, driven in part by high-profile data breaches. In response to the current threat environment, organizations like Let’s Encrypt now provide SSL certificates for free. Furthermore, if your hosting provider uses CPANEL, you are able to use HTTPS instead of HTTP, so there are no reasons to not encrypt your site. Google even rewards HTTPS in search rank – secured sites are deemed more trustworthy by the search giant.

Google is not waiting for developers

Initially, only pages that accept a login or provide a shopping cart will show the alert, but eventually this alert will be displayed site-wide across all HTTP pages.

Chrome-HTTP-warning

The Not secure warning in Chrome

Receiving this alert may be alarming to site visitors who are already skittish about web security, so if you own or operate a website you should get to work implementing a SSL certificate for your website. In web security, we’re only as strong as our weakest link, so this push by Google to encourage all websites to go HTTPS is a step in the right direction.

How To Fix It

Site owners and developers should take immediate steps to implement a SSL certificate to avoid the not secure warning in Chrome. Instructions how to do so can be found here.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 38

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

“Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.”
– Robert L. Peters

Around Spry

Murmuration Festival

Add to the list of things to do when visiting St. Louis, Murmuration Festival is happening this weekend. The first festival of its kind in St. Louis, the three day event, kicking off tonight with a free and open-to-all party, promises to “bring together artists, musicians, innovators, scientists, and entrepreneurs to engage the public and share their work via conversations, talks, panel discussions, and musical performances.” With so many groundbreaking talks and music, Monday will surely come too fast.

St. Louis Design Week is coming this October, and Spry Digital is once again proud to be an agency sponsor. As part of the festivities, we will be opening our doors to show off our design and digital wares as well as meet other folks in the design community. Visit the St. Louis Design Week website for a full list of events, and their Facebook page to RSVP for the Spry Digital Studio Tour.


Typography

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the first sans-serif typeface, designers at Tipotype have created Brother 1816, a font which they describe as “a very flexible, multifaceted and solid typeface, mixing Geometric shapes with Humanistic strokes at the same time.” Go grab it while it’s cheap.


Web Design & Development

If you’re learning web design or development, you can’t do much better than A Book Apart series. The newest book in the series addresses JavaScript (finally).


Around the Web

Yahoo has announced that 500 million user accounts have been stolen. Even if you’re only using your Yahoo address to catch promotions and spam these days, you’ll want to change your password immediately.


Discover Your Patronus

Discover your Patronus as part of the latest promotion for J.K Rowling’s “Pottermore.”


Researchers from Intel Labs and Darmstadt University in Germany have developed a clever way to extract useful training data for self-driving car AI from Grand Theft Auto. Who said GTA can’t be educational AND fun?


Express yourself with expressions and operators with this JavaScript dress, found on Think Geek.

 

That’s all for Summer and this week’s Spry Hive! Catch you next week after we’ve pulled our heads back together following Murmuration Festival!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 37

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

“You don’t think your way to creative work. You work your way to creative thinking.”
– George Nelson

Around Spry

Last weekend was the 3rd annual DrupalCamp St. Louis. DrupalCamp is a local conference for all things Drupal, an open source CMS that powers some of the world’s largest websites. Speakers and visitors came from as far as Chicago, Austin, and Belgium!

DrupalCamp St. Louis

Spry Digital uses Drupal extensively, and was proud to be a Platinum Sponsor for the event. Three team members also gave talks this year, which you can find below:

Managing Drupal Projects by Simon Yost

Type Systems! Why, What, How by Brian Goldstein

Doubleclick for Publishers and Drupal by Benji Damron


Graphic Design

Adobe Apparel

Courtesy Adobe.

Adobe has released a line of apparel that celebrates common stock photography themes, like “man sitting at desk, frustrated with technology.”


Typography

OpenType Font Variations is a joint effort by Microsoft, Apple, Google and Adobe to specify font formats, creating more harmony between font families and systems.


Webfonts are here, big time. If you aren’t using webfonts, should you be? This A List Apart article covers both sides of the argument for using webfonts, including adoption patterns and common challenges.


User Experience Design

UX Tools

UX Tools is a list of design, prototyping and collaboration tools that helpfully provides feature sets and pricing, to help you choose the right tools for the job.


Web Design & Development

Angular 2 has been officially released!


Everything you need to know about using color with A Nerd’s Guide to Color On The Web.


Gmail has been a little late to the game supporting responsive emails across their email clients, but now you’ll be able to use media queries for Gmail and Google’s Inbox.


Technology

Evernote is migrating all of its user data to Google’s Cloud Platform. That’s some 5 billion notes and attachments that Evernote believes users will be able to access in new and better ways thanks to Google’s machine learning APIs.


Misc

Further proof that we are all made of stars, solid organic matter has been found in dust particles on Rosetta’s comet.


CVS Keurig Cold Remedy

As we head into cold season, you can now bring the fight to colds with your Keurig machine.


Skip the tedious step of making coffee in the morning for your daily dose of caffeine. Power Toothpaste will give you the jolt you need.


 

There’s some web design and life hacking links to carry you through to next week, when we’ll have more to share from the Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 35

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

“I write funny. If I can make my wife laugh, I know I’m on the right track.”
– Gene Wilder

Graphic Design

Thanks to these DIY resources, you don’t need to accrue a ton of student debt to get a design education.


Courtesy The Academy on Medium.

Courtesy The Academy on Medium.

The American Academy of Motion Picture & Sciences shares the design process behind seven iconic movie posters.


Content Strategy

18F has updated their content guidelines for Government projects, and its worth a look.


Web Design & Development

Pantsuit: The Hillary Clinton UI pattern library.

Pantsuit: The Hillary Clinton UI pattern library.

How do web designers achieve Hillary Clinton’s “I’m with her.” look? With the aptly named Pantsuit UI pattern library.


An article about building extensibility with HTML/CSS components.


Technology

You can now Google Cast to Hangouts directly from Chrome.


Watch a SpaceX rocket explode and take Facebook’s Internet.org satellite along with it.


Misc

EpiPen Tycoon

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch made waves last week with a multifold price hike of the company’s EpiPen product, while giving herself a size-able pay raise, and the Internet has responded with Epipen Tycoon, a brilliant exercise in corporate greed vs. public health.


QRATES helps recording artists with “vinyl as a service”. Only $15 per pressing.


In Memoriam

 

Gene Wilder captured our imagination with his portrayal of Willy Wonka and many other characters. The essence of Wilder’s style can be seen in this video essay of every comedic pause across his career.


 

Spry Hive will be back next week. Enjoy your long Labor Day weekend!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 34

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

“The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”
– Tim Berners-Lee

Advertising

The Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri School of Journalism delivers the scoop on malvertising and its affect on the publishing and advertising industries.


Custom Avocados

Custom Avocados is pushing the boundaries of corporate tchotchke. That’s expensive guacamole.


Web Design & Development

Accessibility Refresher

If you design and build web products for humans, then this article about accessibility design from the team at Vox Media is a must read. Slide show included.


Some friendly pointers from UX Thought of the Day about designing a better style guide.


Misc

Blackbox Shipping

The creators of Cards Against Humanity have started a new shipping company that “works like a co-op” for independent artists and creators to get the lowest price.


Nextdoor has tweaked its algorithm for reporting incidents that has resulted in a significant reduction of racial profiling by its online community.


 

The Revenant movie reimagined as an 8-bit battle game. Warning: possible spoilers.


NASA wants YOU to go to Mars. These official posters put the call out for teachers, explorers, and farmers to help inhabit the red planet.


Enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you next week for the final Spry Hive of Summer, 2016!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 33

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

“My opinion is it’s a bridge too far to go to fully autonomous cars.”
– Elon Musk

Web Design & Development

Chris Coyier decided to jot down what goes through his head when examining a website. Good items to think about when building your next website.


Microsoft and An Event Apart are teaming up for another 10k Apart, a contest for web designers and developers to create ultra lean, compelling experiences that are under 10 kilobytes in size and don’t use JavaScript. Did we mention there are awards?


Dan Mall, former design director at Happy Cog and technical editor at A List Apart, shares his design trade secrets.


When PHP attacks:


Also found on Twitter… The importance of code reviews:


More emails are opened on mobile devices and that number is growing. Here is a great list of lessons learned from building responsive emails.


Still exploring what you can do with scalable vector graphics (SVG)? Well, learn what’s new with SVG 2.


If you prefer your sites on the static side, then you’re probably familiar with Jekyll. If you’d like to try the new Jekyll Admin before its release next week, they’re looking for early user feedback.


Misc

Twitter has some new features that allow you to better control your experience.


Uber Driverless Car

Courtesy Foo Conner / Flickr via Motherboard

Uber will begin transporting customers around with driverless cars starting this month in Pittsburgh.


After years of financial troubles and its share of controversy, Gawker will end operations come next week.


NASA is making 861 research papers available for free as part of their new PubSpace database. While you can expect the number of NASA-funded articles published to PubSpace to increase over time, the space agency will not be releasing all of their research. Exempt are materials governed by personal privacy, proprietary, or security laws.


Kick your legs up at the pool, beach or backyard and enjoy a lazy summer weekend with the Spry Hive. See you next week!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 32

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

“The important thing in life is not to triumph but to compete.”
– Pierre de Coubertin

User Experience

Help your human audience succeed with these eight psychology tips that can improve your designs.


Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 1.29.21 PM

John Saito from Dropbox explains perspective in interface design in his article Is this my interface or yours?


A solid overview of what companies are testing when they conduct A/B tests.


Graphic Design

1960 Olympic Logo

Olympic logos are often the source of design controversy, so we were gleeful to see Milton Glaser rate every Olympic logo design in history.


Web Design & Development

WooCommerce is a popular ecommerce solution for WordPress, but the lack of a POS option left some stores needing more. Well, WooCommerce has just announced that it will now accept Square payments, allowing retailers to accept purchases from anywhere.


Site performance is affected by numerous factors, including image optimization, code structure and bloat. Many believe that a content delivery network (CDN) can help improve the performance of your site, but it’s not a silver bullet.


The scalable vector graphic (SVG) has numerous advantages over the traditional PNG or JPG. Chris Coyier drops science of how to correctly treat SVGs for resizing and placement.


Misc

The father of the World Wide Web is working on something that could transform the way we interact and share private data on the Internet. Help us TBL, you’re our only hope.


 

A new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has surfaced and it does not disappoint. If you like your movie trailers overly analyzed, check out Wired’s take on it.


Thanks Obama – for the Summer playlist, that is. The White House has shared a Spotify playlist featuring favorite jams from the POTUS himself, so our source in D.C. says.


Apple Campus 2

The latest drone footage of Apple’s Campus 2 revealing the scale of the project simply boggles the mind. Our favorite features include the foam formed underground parking structure, the combination solar and fuel cell energy source powering the entire campus, and the security kiosk shaped like a late model Macbook.


We’ll be back to share more from the Spry Hive next week!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 31

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

Graphic Design

While Shepard Fairey’s Barrack Obama “Hope” poster became the defining image of the 2008 election, some are asking, what is this election’s HOPE poster?


Web Design & Development

Share buttons. Every site has them, but some of the more common methods for adding them includes extra code that tracks user behavior. Sharingbuttons.io is the easy way to add share buttons, without JavaScript or tracking script.


Courtesy Nick Babich, Medium

The simple button is one of the most used elements in UI design. We enjoyed this article about the evolution and best practices of this oft overlooked website element.


When you design and develop websites for a living, it means you’re often flipping between browsers, terminal windows, code editors and IDEs. Lumen lets you control your screen’s brightness based on the contents of your screen, reducing eye fatigue.


Mozilla devs see a future where devs can drag elements around a web page just by clicking and dragging on them. Starting in v48, they will be able to do just that.


Even good developers need to tell others to shove off at times. Now, they can politely do so as a service.


Get your font stack in order with Type Scale.


Apps

Venmo, owned by Paypal, is a popular app for sending and receiving money from peers. Some consumers are claiming that Venmo swiped $3,000 from them, even though they never had accounts.


Lurchr

For teams like ours, Slack is an integral tool for communication, but sometimes the stuff that is shared by team members creates a distraction from the task at hand. Lurchr helps keep track of links shared in Slack so that your team can stay focused on their work.


What the color? Grab the new iOS app by Pantone, the “authority on color”.


Misc

 

Verne is a 500ft Yeti that aims to teach children about the tallest mountain range in the world using Google Earth.


This is Fine became one of the hottest memes of the year. Now you can own a piece this Internet sensation, in plush form.


IBM creates world’s first artificial phase-change neurons

Courtesy IBM via Ars Technica

IBM has created the first artificial phase change neurons that behave like biological neurons with low power usage and dense scaling.


Did Dominos create an app that tracks pizza’s movement through the digestive system? While this article did originate from The Onion, we have learned not to put anything past the marketing and development geniuses at Dominos.


You’re all caught up on the latest buzz from around the Spry Hive. Come back next week for some more web design and tech news!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 30

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

“When people talk about the good old days, I say to people, ‘It’s not the days that are old, it’s you that’s old.’ I hate the good old days. What is important is that today is good.”
– Karl Lagerfeld

Web Design & Development

The design director from Spotify shares some lessons on scaling design in a modern web app with remote teams.


Want to craft beautiful experiences? You’re going to need the right tools. Sanfrancis.co is a collection of tools for the discerning UX or web designer.


Learn web design in 4 minutes. Well sort of…


Boston.gov

Add Boston.gov to the list of government site refreshes on the Drupal content management system. Here’s a case study of the project by the founder of Drupal, Dries Buytaert.


Typography

Fans of Stranger Things have fallen in love with the 80s nostalgia that includes fashion, music, and even the show’s opening title sequence typography.


Misc

Talk about a new economy, a new study by the University of Pennsylvania has found that Kickstarter has created 8,800 companies and nearly 30,000 new full-time jobs!


Pixar engineers are known for pushing the boundaries of digital animation, but they’ve outdone themselves again with the design of this character for their latest, Finding Dory.


This New York City Sanitation office collects items it finds in the trash, and it’s like the best thrift shop ever. They even give tours.


“Be kind, rewind.” may already be irrelevant phrase, but that’s because consumers ditched VHS years ago, right? Apparently somebody was still buying them, as the last VHS manufacturer has announced that they’re finally killing the VHS.


Stitch together your own stump speech with Trump Sounds.


 

We’re glad that you decided to stop by. Won’t you join us again next week for more Spry Hive?