Tips

Dispatches From the Spry Hive 2016: Week 17

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

Around Spry

The latest article from our blog focuses on what went so wrong for the law firm Mossack Fonseca that led to the Panama Papers. Insert facepalm here.

 

 

For a taste of we’ve been working on, head over to Pacient, a new company born in St. Louis that is going to change the way that we all navigate healthcare.

Just a reminder to check out some conferences that we’ll be watching, attending, sponsoring, or participating in over the next month:

May 23 – 27: PHPTek Conference
May 9 – 13: Drupalcon New Orleans
May 14 – 15: Wordcamp St. Louis

Graphic Design

Dolph Lundgren Wallpaper

Image courtesy of Signalnoise

Ask yourself… Do you have enough Dolph in your life? If the answer is no, head over to Signalnoise and grab these totally bitchin’ Dolph Lundgren wallpapers.

Content Strategy

Content strategy has long been the domain of the front-end marketers. Create better customer experiences by thinking about your content strategy as a whole.

Web Design & Development

Airbnb opens the curtains to the design process of their new app that led to innovative thinking for the company.

Typewolf curator Jeremiah Shoaf shares 30 of his favorite websites that, as you would expect, make beautiful use of web typography.

Get all of Google’s fonts in Photoshop with this free plugin by Source. See how its done Adobe/Typekit.

Misc

Librarians routinely weed out their library’s holdings to make space for new books, and in that process, they sometimes find Awful Library Books (possibly NSFW).

Our team loves Venmo for transferring funds. Well if you do use Venmo, just make sure that you don’t type in the wrong word.

http://mondotees.com/collections/archive/products/aliens-original-motion-picture-soundtrack-liquid-filled-2xlp

Image courtesy of Mondo News

As if the soundtrack to Aliens wasn’t enough to conjure up thoughts of chestbursting Xenomorphs, Mondo is releasing a version of the LP that is surely to produce nightmares. Whether that’s food coloring or actual Xenomorphic acid blood, we think it’s pretty rad.


That’s it for this week’s Spry Hive. It’s been real, April… See everybody in May!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 16

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 we were excited to host the Girls on the Run St. Louis Pacesetters group, where Partner Sheila Burkett led a discussion on intentional decision making and how to make decisions that you can stand behind.

Thursday we also attended the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference put on by University of Missouri St. Louis’ Digital Marketing program. The event was hosted at the beautiful Union Station, and included speakers from Google, Buzzfeed, Pandora and eHarmony. The theme was disruption through innovation, and we attended many good sessions about how these companies are using big data and innovative, human-centric marketing to engage their customers.

Mark May 3rd on your calendar and get ready to participate in one of the largest days of fundraising for nonprofits in the St. Louis Area! Spry Digital has a number of clients and friends participating in this year’s Give STL Day, so be on the lookout for more information on the different ways to give back to our community.

Design

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Are you a fan of all things design and Star Wars? Get ready to geek out over these gorgeous, laser-engraved skateboards inspired by a galaxy far, far away.

Content Strategy

Head over to 18F to find an effective strategy for auditing old or testing new content for your website.

It’s really easy to waste time developing content without a clear plan of action. That’s why it’s important to recognize the many disciplines of content strategy, specifically content engineering.

Web Design & Development

The difference between a successful and failed mobile user experience can be a matter of seconds, so learn how to speed up your load times with course title Wicked Fast Websites by Go Make Things.

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Sometimes, for the sake of your own sanity, all you can do is laugh after running into a horrendous user interface online. These hilariously bad phone number web forms act as a prime example.

Misc.

The best solution for increasing productivity isn’t always to reduce stress. In some circumstances, you might not be stressed enough.

Dig into the histories and thought-patterns that led to the computer sciences becoming so male-dominant with Born For It by Martin Fowler.

While photoshop has plenty of professional applications, let not forget that the real reason the program exists is for hilariously imaginative Photoshop battles.

Turn your ‘French’ and buzzwords into an avenue of giving on Slack. Become a ‘Slacktivist’ and install SwearJar today!

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As if the followers and members of pop music culture hadn’t been through enough in 2016, the disheartening news broke this past Thursday that superstar Prince (57) had passed away.


That’s it for the Spry Hive this week. Enjoy the last weekend of April and don’t forget to stop by next week for another dose of the Spry Hive!

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 14

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

We are excited to provide on-site web support for the 2016 U.S. Chess Championships that begin next week. The tournament is being held at the world renowned Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, so be sure to grab yourself tickets for a round or two!

Next week is also a special week around the Spry Digital office as we celebrate 6 years as a company. We love what we do, and grown in staff by over 450% in five years. Thanks to everybody who works with us, our clients and friends and family that support our business!

Web Design & Development

Next time you are building a Shopify ecommerce site with the Liquid template language, keep this handy cheat sheet by your side.

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Stay sharp with your web design skills and practices with The Manual, a journal centered around design for the web that’s only released three times a year.

Find out how developers around the world were stopped in their tracks by one infuriated individual who broke JavaScript.

18F, an organization dedicated to designing, developing, and assisting the digital interactions between citizens and their government is now giving away the code for 35 different projects they worked on.

Misc.

If you haven’t discovered Modstock, a stock photography site for the “lives we really live”, you’ll want to get there before your parents discover it.

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Whether you’re a teacher or frequently use the whiteboard around the office, this new device and app on Kickstarter called Kaptivo will make sharing your work significantly easier.

Heralded as being a bigger leak than WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden combined, a group of 100 reporters from 100 different countries released the Panama Papers this week, laying out the paper trail of documents connecting some of the most powerful people in the world to shell companies in Panama being used as tax havens.

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This week we pay tribute to two more individuals who are no longer with us. Zara Hadid, 65, world famous experimental architect passed away, as well as country music legend Merle Haggard, 79.


Enjoy the first weekend of April and don’t forget to stop by next week for more from the Spry Hive.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 13

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

0This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

Around Spry

This week we hosted the St. Louis Drupal Users group for the first of many planning meetings for 2016 Drupal Camp St. Louis. Keep your eyes peeled here for more information about the event that will be happening this Fall. To get involved, visit the DrupalSTL Meetup Page.

Members of Spry will be representing the Drupal Association at the PHPTek Conference from May 23-27, so make sure you visit us at the Drupal table in-between the excellent sessions scheduled throughout the week.

Web Design & Development

Ensure that the website you’re designing meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines with these helpful tips.

The Spry team is a fan of Zurb’s Foundation tools as we’ve discussed previously. This week, we had the opportunity to hear from the Zurb team and ask them questions about their products in the form of an AMA.

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Rep your favorite brands in programming and development tools with three free dev stickers.

Developers can sign-up for the Safari Technology Preview to get early glimpses into future browser and Webkit application releases.

To much applause, Microsoft has announced that Bash, the Linux command line, is finally coming to Windows.

Misc.

The FBI officially dropped their headline case against Apple. Now the tables have turned, as Apple is demanding that the agency reveals how they hacked the San Bernardino iPhone.

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Find out how Google caused a panic among users with this year’s April Fools Day joke, Google Mic Drop (that’s already been disabled).

Just when you thought Microsoft had learned its lesson after last week’s gaff with their Twitter AI, Tay, the company once again had to shut off the A.I. after it got stuck talking to itself.

There’s no excuse not to make your photos look great, as Google has announced that their photo editing software, the seven plugin Nik Collection, is now free.

Dig into the roots and legacy of the blues at the grand opening of the National Blues Museum in St. Louis this weekend.


 

Stay safe out there during the rest of April Fools Day and don’t forget to stop by next week for more Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 12

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 we hosted St. Louis DevOps monthly meetup. The topic (presented by Spry partner Julia Koelsch) was Ansible. If you want to get in on this meetup, you can join the group here.

The Web & Apps

Compare and shop for TV, internet, and phone services, starting with Comcast, in the new Amazon Cable Store.

For the time-crunched bookworms out there, check out Serial Reader, a new iOS app with huge educational potential, that serves up bits and pieces of classic literature.

Design

See what the world’s top architecture firms created when The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Chicago sent them each 1,200 white legos for their newest exhibit.

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Since the 1940’s, Batman and Superman movies have had one iconic poster after another. Take a look back at some of the classics and see what The Poster Boys have come up with for Batman vs. Superman.

Web Design & Development

The Accessibility Team and WordPress are combining forces, announcing a set of Accessibility Coding Standards for all new or updated code releases.

Make your life significantly easier with these dirty tricks for front-end developers.

While on the topic of front-end, head over to Sitepoint to learn more about cleaning up a CSS codebase.

Misc.

Discover which Irish novel was so good that people have been afraid of translating it for almost 70 years, until now.

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The third full week of March saw the unfortunate passing of two revolutionary minds. Andy Grove (79), former CEO of the tech giant Intel, left his mark world as one of the integral pioneers of the personal computer, while Malik Taylor (45), also known as Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest, brought a social consciousness to hip-hop and helped shape the world of music as we know it.

Get in the mood for Easter with these hilariously anthropomorphic pictures of Peeps.

Not all Easter bunnies cute and cuddly, something clearly portrayed in a new Tumblr feed titled Sketchy Bunnies.


Enjoy the holiday weekend and don’t forget to fly by next week for more buzz around 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 2016: Week 10

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

The first full week of March saw some big news coming out of the tech giants like Microsoft and Google. So, catch up on everything you missed in this week’s Spry Hive!

The Web

Can Chris Poole save Google+? Hoping to revitalize their social efforts, Google has hired Chris Poole, the founder and developer of the popular online community 4chan.

Music

Learning about and visualizing music just got a lot easier and more convenient with Chrome Music Lab.

See Martin Molin bring his music to life with the fascinating Wintergatan Marble Machine.

Adding to the list of fallen stars in 2016, it was announced with much sorrow that the Beatles “fifth-member”, producer George Martin, has passed away this week.

Open Source Technology

Access to data may equal access to opportunity! Attempting to aid both families and communities, the White House has launched a program that provides access to local and federal data called the Opportunity Project.

Microsoft is evidently opening it’s front doors to the open source community, announcing that SQL server will now run on Linux.

The Getty Research Institute knows a thing or two about the obstacles of collaboration, which is why they’ve built a single platform to simplify the processes of communicating and file sharing called Getty Scholar’s Workshop.

Web Development and Design

Express yourself with emojis and code at the same time with Emojicode.

Version control your designs with ease using the new Git Sketch Plugin.

migration-trail

RIP Drupal 6. After seven years of success, Drupal 6 has finally been laid to rest. Find out what that means for sites still using D6 and how to plan your migration.

Still need convincing for making the jump to the latest Drupal release? Explore the various ways Drupal 8 makes things easier with Configuration Management.

Misc

Secret societies have been a topic of history and legend for as long as society itself, so sate your imagination with this inside look at San Francisco’s $2 Million Secret Society Startup.

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Eating chocolate makes you smarter! Ever since it’s discovery, humans have been trying to justify their love for chocolate. Well, after 40 years of dedicated research, we now know the magical effects chocolate has on the brain.


That concludes another week of the Spry Hive. Don’t forget to spring your clocks forward this Sunday and stop by next week!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 9

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

With the Primaries commanding the headlines, it’s never a bad idea to take some time to catch up on all the new you may have missed throughout the week. That’s where the Spry Hive comes in, so sit back and enjoy!

The Web

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Show someone how you really feel about their status with the new Facebook reaction buttons.

Design

The futura font is getting a lot of use these days, so mix things up with these 10 alternatives.

Cyber Security

Evidently, after 724,000 Americans had their data stolen during a cyberattack on the IRS in 2015, the IRS failed to upgrade their systems and the same data was hacked again.

It was also announced this past week that there is a major vulnerability in internet security called the DROWN Attack. Here is a list of the most popular sites affected by the weakness.

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On the bright side, companies like Google are still looking out for internet users everywhere, developing protective measures like Project Shield.

Web Development & Design

Put your Angular skills to the test with the 48-hour, online hackathon known as Angular Attack.

While not fully supported by all browsers (IE 10 and below), here are 6 good reasons to start using Flexbox

Let’s look at design systems like a living, changing product instead of a project with end.

Misc.

How long would it take you to bring society to a screeching halt? Find out with Collapse, a quick, interactive introduction to Ubisoft’s new game title The Division.

We got an “extra day” this month on Monday, February 29th! If the calendar never shifted we would be in the heat of summer (next year) right now. See what happens to the calendar
if we didn’t have a Leap Day?

Nostalgia has been a driving force of the movie industry for quite awhile now, and this is more present than ever with the announcement of Nikelodeon’s Legends of the Hidden Temple movie and the reboot of Ghostbusters.

Ever dreamed of owning a military grade flamethrower? Well, now you can for just $1,600!

From time to time brevity can describe an experience more powerfully and clearly than a paragraph, essay, or entire book. The University of Pennsylvania provides a beautiful example of this with their collection of Six Word Memoirs.


Well, that’s all for this week, folks. Enjoy the first weekend of March and don’t forget to stop by the Hive again next Friday.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 8

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

The final week of February saw a handful of developments in technology alongside a plethora of news from the web development industry. So, dive into this week’s news with another exciting Spry Hive!

Apps

The wishes & dreams of millions have finally become a reality as the navigation app Waze will allow you to receive directions from Morgan Freeman.

Web Development & Design

The saying, “Never judge a book by it’s cover,” applies to more than just paperbacks and hardcovers. For example, while studies show that women tend to produce better computer code, their work is less often approved when the public knows they are female.

Robots don’t only exist in the physical world. Find out how and why graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are finally being replaced by bots on Slack, Facebook, and SMS.

Jump on Google’s newest mobile-bandwagon by enabling Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) on your WordPress site.

Software fixes can sometime lead to more problems than they solved. That’s because software maintenance is an anti-pattern that desperately needs more attention.

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Bring your code to life and get a better idea of how unique each piece of code truly is with Codeology.

Are you familiar with SASS? Well, you may recognize more of the features in ES2015 than you first thought.

Skip the constant bouncing back-and-forth between applications and prototype your design in Sketch with Silver.

Tech

Keeping up with the ever-changing computer industry can be quite the chore, but blogger Chris Dixon just made it a little easier with a comprehensive overview of what’s next in computing.

While the video game industry has already begun dabbling in virtual-reality and 3D scanning, Sword Art Online: The Beginning may be the first to combine these technologies with IBM’s supercomputer, Watson.

Boston Dynamics released a new video this week, announcing the newest version of Atlas and demonstrating the robot’s ability to navigate and manipulate objects.

Misc.

Cable cutters took a huge step forward this week as the FCC proposed that cable companies should allow people to access your favorite channels via devices like Apple TV, the Roku Box, or Amazon Fire.

Wish starting a business was easier? Most people agree, which is why Stripe Atlas launched a service that helps you easily incorporate your business, open a bank account, receive payments, and get legal advice.


And like that, February is now behind us as we push towards Spring. Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to stop by next week for another dose of the Spry Hive.