Tag: UX

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 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 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 2016: Week 15

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

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

Around Spry

This week opened with an addition to our creative team, Jay Yerxa. Jay is Spry Digital’s new Sr. Digital Art Director. Warm welcome, Jay!

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The rest of the week was filled with celebration as Spry Digital turned 6 years old! On Wednesday, our festivities took us to the ever-delicious Clementine’s Creamery. Above you can see part of the team after indulging in a little too much ice cream!

Web Design & Development

Laugh in the face of your web development & programming woes with these brilliantly hilarious coding inspired captions paired with classical paintings.

Discover why all client questions, both the commonly easy and challenging ones, are as much a part of UX/UI as user testing itself in Orr Shtuhl’s “Looking for ‘Trouble’” on A List Apart.


Faster image loading and responsive preview are just two of many new features in WordPress 4.5 “Coleman”, which is now available and named after jazz saxophonist Coleman Hawkins.

Learn all there is to know about content quality audits and how they can rejuvenate your website with Content Strategy Inc.

Continue indulging in web design topics with the Top 10 Web Design Readings for April 2016 by Mybridge Design.

Misc.

Discussing & keeping track of individual topics in Slack just got a whole lot easier as the company announced that they are bringing threaded messaging to the application.

Find the solutions to your design problems as Bloomberg has brought together 25 original thinkers in The Design Issue 2016.

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Microsoft is officially joining Apple in the fight against the government secretly accessing citizen’s emails, suing the U.S. Department of Justice.

Check out the data behind about 2000 screenplay scripts and uncover what it means about the current state of film.

Who doesn’t enjoy a good 404 page or people who are able to laugh at themselves? Well, you’ll find both when you can’t find what you’re looking for on Hillary Clinton’s website.


That wraps up the news of the week. Don’t forget to stop by next week for more from the Spry Hive.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 11

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

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

Around Spry

This past Wednesday, we had the pleasure of hosting the Arts & Education Council of St. Louis’ Arts Marketers event, where we presented SEO strategies and tactics for content producers and website administrators that work for the Arts. We always enjoy sharing ideas with this group, so we can’t wait for the next one! Also, be sure to check out Arts & Education Council of St. Louis’ new website, a Drupal site designed and built by Spry Digital that includes a new crowdfunding portal.

While CiviDay, an annual, international celebration of all things CiviCRM, was originally February 24th, our local meetup was, unfortunately, postponed due to snow. The key word is “postponed”, though, as we are hosting a virtual CiviDay Makeup Meetup over lunch next week!

Artificial Intelligence

Find out what happened when the Google-owned Deepmind AlphaGo AI went head to head with the greatest Go player in the world.

UX Design / Prototyping

Adobe’s program for designing and prototyping websites and applications was recently re-branded as Adobe Experience Design (XD).

Looking to compete with Adobe XD, Invision has purchased Sketch’s prototyping plugin Silver Flows.

Web Design & Development

Government webpages are becoming significantly easier to create and navigate with the help of CivicActions, which is now available on Drupal.

Learn more about using Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project on your next WordPress website.

Ecommerce for WordPress just took a major step forward as you can now use Shopfiy for WordPress.

As if there were already enough reasons to secure your servers and website, research has shown that hacked sites suffer long term SEO penalties.

Misc

Managing the images on your social media profiles just got a whole lot easier with Landscape by Sprout Social.

What if kids presented your ideas? Full article http://goo.gl/NglYPS

Posted by Fantasy on Monday, March 14, 2016

There are times when you need something to that makes your presentation unique and easy to understand. So, why not have kids present your work?

Discover what’s so great about the Department of the Treasury’s DATA Act, a money tracking program that spurned out of the continuous push for increasing transparency in government,


That’s a wrap for Week 11 of 2016. Join us next Friday for more from the Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 51

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Even though the holidays and release of Star Wars Episode VII held most people’s attention this week, the forces behind web design and development kept up the hard work with numerous announcements and releases. So, find out what you missed with another week of the Spry Hive.

Web Design & Development

We’ve all heard and probably experienced the saying, “Mother knows best.” So, find out what this mom can teach us about UX.

Sharpen your skills in design with this massive bundle of free design resources.

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Source = Webflow

Break into the next dimension on your website with these beautiful 3D CSS transforms. The best part? No coding required.

WordFence is giving back to the WordPress community in a big way this holiday season, announcing the launch of their free security learning center.

Misc.

Take your music everywhere without wasting precious space by using the personal music streaming server, Koel.

kfk2

Source = Joytree

Combining an evergreen, multicolor lights, and tree topper isn’t the only way to build a Christmas tree this year. Use emoji’s too, to digitize the experience with Joytree.

Can’t get enough lights these holidays? Tune into a live stream and control other people’s house lights.

Get hyped with Jimmy Fallon, the Roots, and multiple cast members from the new movie as they perform an a cappella tribute to Star Wars.

Waiting for mad rush to pass before seeing the Star Wars Episode VII, then keep away from all of the inevitable spoilers online with this handy Google extension that force blocks everything from the movie.


There’s only two more weeks left in 2015, so keep an eye out for an extra special, end-of-the-year edition of the Spry Hive.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 42

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

While the first debate for Democratic Presidential Candidates took over our feeds this week, a world’s worth of news flew right by! So, sit back, relax, and catch back up with your weekly dose of the Spry Hive.

Tech

Dandelion

Boeing shocked the tech world with the lightest metal ever, which happens to be 99.99% air.

Without the help of Comcast, or any other large ISP, the town of Chattanooga, Tennessee now offers internet speeds of 10Gbps!

Web

Use caution with Adobe’s Flash Player, as the company just announced a critical vulnerability in the software.

Following Google Chrome’s lead, Mozilla recently announce that Firefox will stop supporting plugins.

It’s always nice to hear someone own up to their mistakes, especially when they are internet advertisers.

Apps

Math class just got a lot more musical with the newest mod for TI graphing calculators.

Design

151009145016-lexus-cardboard-3-super-169

While it’s no hoverboard, Lexus’ latest design was inspired by origami…and cardboard.

Here are a few UX habits that will aid any designer.

The countdown to Halloween has begun! Get excited with 31 days of your favorite horror characters, illustrated and motion animated.

Development

While Foundation 6 is still in production, Zurb has released a Sass library for custom CSS animations, Motion UI, for free.

Once again attempting to create a more user-friendly experience on the mobile web, Google has announced a new project for developers aptly named Accelerated Mobile Pages.

Misc.

Ever thought you’d have a shot at graduating from MIT? Well, now you have a better chance than ever, as the university announced their first degree using free online classes.

Forget about water on Mars, astronomers may have just found signs of life in space.

Evidently, some people were surprised to find Microsoft using the Start Menu to display ads. Thankfully, this feature is easily turned off.


And with that, we have caught up on at least a few of the stories that didn’t take center stage this week. Keep preparing for the fast-approaching Halloween and don’t forget to stop by next week for another weekly dose of the Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 41

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

As we move into October, NASA has unlocked a trove of old mission photos and robots decorate beaches. Sip on that pumpkin latte and enjoy another dose of the Spry Hive!

Tech

As if it wasn’t already hard enough to find a job as an artist these days, robots have started taking their jobs at the beach.

From the company that advertises their device as, “The tablet that can replace your laptop,” we present the new Surface Book – Microsoft’s first laptop ever.

Web

What do you get when you mix Twitter, eBooks, and Music? A quirky yet awesome karaoke generator for any party!

Haven’t updated Internet Explorer to IE11 yet? Well, it might finally be time, as Microsoft is cutting off support to IE 8, 9, and 10.

See your face from a different perspective with this webcam manipulator that’s full of emotion. You’ll want to zoom in to see what’s really going on. (WARNING: do not click if you are prone to epileptic seizures or motion sensitivity).

Design

comet1

Source = Adobe

Hey, UX designers, Adobe is working on a new prototyping tool that works beautifully with Creative Cloud called Project Comet.

Development

Looking to put a little bounce into your next web animation? You’ll love Popmotion.

Some Google interface developers have shared how they create better user experiences by optimizing their web products using the RAIL Model.

We love Gulp for how it speeds up front end development tasks. Now it’s even easier to use with one of our favorite code editors. Check out Sublime Gulp.

The tickets have been selling fast for the inaugural WordPress Community Summit, WordCamp US 2015, so grab yours while you have the chance!

Misc.

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Source = NASA

Still don’t believe we landed on the Moon? Well, see for yourself with the 8,000+ photos from the Apollo missions, recently released by NASA.

Now, we know the internet is a place for cats, but this puppy playing with baby goats will steal your heart.

Fallout 4 is one of the most anticipated games being talked about right now, but nobody is as excited as this guy.


We hope you were able to lose yourself for a while with the baby goats, artistic robots, and other stories from the week. Don’t forget to come back next week to grab your weekly dose of the Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 33

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Welcome back to another edition of the Spry Hive! Did you hear about the major changes to Google’s corporate structure or the exciting announcement from Winona Ryder, Michael Keaton, and Tim Burton? Well, then strap on your seat-belts and get ready to catch up on all of this week’s news!

Tech

s2 vs aw2

Sources = Samsung (left); Apple (right)

During Samsung’s Unpacked 2015 event, the tech giant announced their newest smartwatch. Dubbed the Gear S2, this model will use Samsung’s Tizen OS, a new (but familiar) user interface, and a traditional, circular watch shape. As they are clearly trying to one-up the already popular Apple Watch at this point, how do you think they will compare?

In other news, some technophiles are warning consumers to stay away from laptops released by the tech company Lenovo. Evidently, they have been using the BIOS to change Windows’ system files during a clean install. This means they are essentially making it impossible to clean the hardware of their bloated, unnecessary software.

Web

Over the past few years, Google has been scooping up small, innovative businesses left and right. Throughout this period of rapid expansion, it became increasingly difficult for consumers and investors to define what the once humble search engine company actually does these days. So, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google’s founding fathers, created Alphabet Inc. and announced that G is for Google.

For those of you using Mozilla’s Firefox browser, be sure to check which version you are currently running. In out-of-date editions, attackers are able to access and copy local files through a bug in their PDF reader. So, to be safe, make sure you are running version 39.0.3 or higher.

Design

wrf23

Source = Joe Freedman

If you haven’t seen the Cycloid Drawing Machine created by Joe Freedman, then you’ve been missing out! Luckily, Jim Bumgardner has released a digital simulation of the machine for anybody and everybody to try out online.

Most UX designers understand that the practices and methods used in the industry are in constant flux. As network connectivity continues to be built into an exponentially growing list of devices and methods of data collection become more abundant & sophisticated, some believe that users are becoming the new designers.

Development

Does your development team use Github to help collaborate on, manage, and organize their files and work? Well, you’ll be happy to know that Github Desktop was finally released on Windows and OS X this week, making the system faster and easier to use.

Recently, in an attempt to fight off the smug trolls in development, Chris Coyier, a writer at CSS-Tricks, sent out a fill-in-the-blank tweet that read, “Front end development is hard because __________.” While it may already seem like common sense, some individuals still need a healthy reminder that front-end development is development.

Misc.

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Source = Coloring Flower Machine

Next time you are about to do some shopping on Amazon, take a minute to count how many adult coloring books appear in their list of best sellers. You may be surprised to find more than a handful, but psychologists have been explaining that coloring acts as a form of relaxation, stress-reducer, and is actually comparable to meditation.

After twenty-seven long years, Winona Ryder has confirmed that she is finally teaming back up with actor Michael Keaton and director Tim Burton. While we will realistically have to wait until 2016 to see any glimpses of their work, fans can rejoice knowing that their beloved Beetlejuice will be back for round two.

This week wasn’t all fun and games, though, as citizens in the city of Tianjin, China were caught off guard by an unexpected, disastrous explosion. So, be sure to send your thoughts, prayers, and aid to our fellow humans suffering in China as they mourn those who were lost, begin to recover from the damage and rebuild their city.


And just like that, another week of exciting news has passed right by. While we can find joy in the announcements of Beetlejuice 2, Samsung’s Gear S2, and our new excuse for buying more coloring books, make sure you take some time and reach out to those in less fortunate situations. So, go make the most of your weekend and don’t forget to stop by next week!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2014: Week 51

Posted by Ben Scherliss & filed under Tips.

A warm Holiday Greetings to all of you, and we thank you for spending some of your pre-holiday time here with Spry Hive. With snowflakes falling outside of our windows as we type, we hope this week’s edition brings you glad tidings of joy and tech.

User Experience

Did you know the US government has a site to teach you UX? It’s Usability.gov and it contains sections on content strategy, project mangement, and visual design among many others. Bearing in mind that it is run by the government, it’s actually been rather well received.

On topic of UX, Uxmas has gifted a great digital advent calendar for user experience designers.

Web

For all of us who have ever awakened to the realization that the late-night photo we posted wasn’t nearly as funny as it was embarrassing, help may be on the way. Facebook wants to save us from ourselves with new software that could identify drunken photos. Here’s a bit more on how that would all work.

Source: eonline.com

And speaking of photos on Facebook, all those drunken uploads will now be displaying with brilliant clarity, lighting and shadow for all to enjoy. The social network has announced that it will now be automatically enhancing photos uploaded via mobile devices.

A rather simple nod, but if you need to quickly determine which browser version and OS you are using, whichbrowser.net could be a worthy bookmark.

Apps

We’re really liking Workflow, which is a bit like IFFFT along with the along with the added ability to tap into your native phone’s functionality and create your own ‘apps.’ Included are over 150 available actions for your device and your favorite apps. Just imagine the empowerment one could feel after, say, creating an app which calls the nearest pizza shop with one tap of the finger. Currently iOS only.

Development

In news being received as an excellent early Christmas present in these parts, Typecast just announced that it is now free. The app, which is a great tool for creating style tiles and guides says it will not make any changes otherwise, still allowing users to work with over 100,000 web fonts under one roof.

Content Development

The best way to get your content guidelines adopted is to put them right in the CMS itself.  As Eileen Webb writes, if you improve the author experience you can in turn improve the content for the long-term.

And if you could use some good perspective on content production planning, Sophie Dennis offers three simple questions to use in order to get everyone onto the same page.

Happy Holidays

Well, if you were hoping to jump onto the “Beard Baubles” Bandwagon this holiday season, unfortunately you may have missed the boat. It seems that with everyone’s Mother sharing the concept online (a personal truth), the demand for the novelty actually sold the supplier out. But not to worry, there’s always the beard mistletoe movement.

A Very Merry Drupal poem is a gift that keeps on giving, so enjoy ‘Twas The Night Before Drupal 8 Release.

In the spirit of the holidays, this week at Spry Digital we presented “The Misfit Toys of 2014” in celebration of creativity and technology run amok. We honored “what could have been” by revealing a new misfit toy each day. If you missed it, you can see them all here.


That puts a bow on this Mid-December edition. We do hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday break, and may the spirit of the holidays be with you throughout the New Year!