OUT OF THE BOX

OUT OF THE BOX

Common On-Site Search Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Making sure that your search functions are working for your users instead of against them is absolutely crucial. Here's a list of the most common search mistakes so that you can keep your website's user experience in check!

Your website’s search function could be damaging your conversion rates. And if it’s not acting as a bane to your conversion rates, it could be doing something almost as bad: not helping them either. On-site search, if well optimized and put in the frame of increasing user experience, can greatly enhance the usability and enjoyment of your site.

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20 WordPress Core Functions That Don’t Scale and How to Work Around Them

An interesting list including some very commonly used functions in Wordpress. Some of the comments and advice is specific to Wordpress.com VIP hosting, but it's a useful reference nonetheless.

WordPress comes with a set of core functions that are globally accessible. Most theme and plugin developers rely on these function to extend the functionality of the WordPress framework. There are however a collection of functions that are not necessarily fast when used repeatedly, in other words, they do not scale. Fortunately, Automattic, the company behind the paid VIP WordPress service, has released a set of functions that do not scale properly because they are not cached and possible workarounds around those functions.

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How Empathy & Personalized Interfaces Can Help You Build Better UX

Empathy, one of the essential driving forces of UX design, is becoming increasingly more important in today's digital world. Empathetic design helps your organisation create relevant, personalised experiences that break through digital barriers and communicate your message in a way that your audience understands and connects with.

Web design trends can pivot on a dime, but some design concepts have proven their efficacy and timelessness. Two of these concepts, personalization and intuitiveness, are integral parts of modern web design and are vital to crafting amazing user experiences. Thanks to modern developments, it’s easier than ever to capitalize on these design concepts to the benefit of the user. To leverage these concepts effectively, designers have to empathize with their users.

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When You Should (and Shouldn’t) Use a WordPress Plugin

Proper testing and risk evaluation are key when deciding whether or not to introduce a plugin into your WordPress site.

The key to effective use of plugins is to deploy them only from properly vetted sources, and only when necessary. Plugins should solve a specific problem or provide an essential function. They should not indulge our vanity or our desire for a “shiny new object”. In this post, let’s get specific and discuss a decision-making framework for a specific type of plugin that can be applied across many different plugins. We’ll focus on a type of plugin that we see often, and whether it’s needed or not — plugins for Google Analytics.

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Online Donation Tools: The Benefits of Accepting Donations on Your Website

Keeping your donors on your site is WAY better for user experience! Love how this article points out why.

Simplicity and trust are key here. Kicking visitors off of your website and onto a vendor site encourages neither simplicity nor trust. However, housing your donation process directly on your site is not only simpler and more trustworthy, but it also gives you the freedom to mold and customize your donor experience.

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Introducing The Website Speed Test Image Analysis Tool

This is an interesting new tool for measuring the performance and optimisation of your site, specifically with regard to images. Initial impressions are positive, but we'll be evaluating this over this next little while and considering whether to add it to our arsenal of performance testing tools.

Enter Website Speed Test, a free and drop-dead-simple tool that leverages our (Cloudinary’s) image smarts to let you measure, diagnose and (crucially) communicate about the image performance of any website.

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Storyframes before wireframes

Interacting with a successful web design is like reading a compelling story. Starting your designs in your text editor can be a quick way to streamline your design approaches and achieve better outcomes by creating compelling stories. Check out this article for more.

Before jumping into wireframing (and spending time moving gray boxes and blocks of text around on the screen), or even sketching things on paper with the level of polish I would like people to see in my work, at some point I have decided to start my design process with what I later named as storyframes: a hybrid document between a script/story and a wireframe.

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WordPress 4.8 Improves Accessibility on Admin Screens

As accessibility reaches the foreground of web design and development, more and more users are able to access the web than ever! Increased accessibility surrounding the WordPress Admin screens now means that more and more people are able to manage and use WordPress admin screens!

In WordPress 4.3, the Accessibility Team restored H1 headings to the admin screens. This paved the way for the team to change the headings hierarchy in WordPress 4.4. In WordPress 4.8, admin screens are more accessible thanks to organizing the header text on pages.

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WordPress 4.8 “Evans”

Wordpress 4.8 was released a few days ago. As they've said themselves many of the updates seem fairly minor, but there are some significant improvements to a number of areas. The new option in widgets is certainly one we'll be diving into a bit deeper - we've avoided using widgets in the past due to their inflexibility and lack of user-friendliness, so we're keen to see whether this update means they should find their place back in our toolbox. If you subscribe to our Managed Maintenance service we'll be looking at updating Wordpress to 4.8 for you early in July.

Though some updates seem minor, they’ve been built by hundreds of contributors with you in mind. Get ready for new features you’ll welcome like an old friend: link improvements, three new media widgets covering images, audio, and video, an updated text widget that supports visual editing, and an upgraded news section in your dashboard which brings in nearby and upcoming WordPress events.

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Using Card-Based Designs To Enhance UX

As card designs trends continue to grow in popularity, it's great to a take an in-depth look into what makes them work! Card-based designs are easily convertible into strong mobile responsive outcomes so you should definitely check out this article to learn more.

Web and mobile apps move away from pages, towards completely personalized experiences. And this experience built on an aggregation of many individual pieces of content. Cards are the new creative concept. Regardless of how you feel about the concept, cards are here to stay.

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How to Become a Consultant For Your Clients

Providing your clients with the right guidance needed to protect them from themselves and their mistakes can be just what they need to achieve their goals. Sometimes a bit of proactive thinking is what can make difference between being a technician and being a consultant.

“Can you make this small change to our website?” How many times have you heard that from a client or some variation and thought, “if they only knew what it took to make that ‘small change’ to their site” or “I wish they could understand the impact of doing what they’re asking”? Probably more times than you’d care to count. I find most of us will fit into one of two roles when we’re asked by clients to make changes or updates – a technician or a consultant.

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What if companies interviewed translators the way they interview coders?

A humorous take on the approach that far too many companies take when interviewing software developers.

Welcome to the Tower of Babel. We require you to speak all languages known by the humankind. By the way, how do you feel about doing translations for free over the weekend?

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You've Set Up an Email Welcome Series, So Now What?

An Email Welcome series is an amazing tool to kick off your new digital relationships, but what comes next?

Now we’ve seen a lot of nonprofits set up a welcome series, but very few go beyond that. Last year, my colleague Michelle Shefter wrote about the . The second email series mentioned was the re-engagement series. This is a vital series for your organization and is as important as the welcome series.

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The anatomy of a perfectly optimized landing page

A great breakdown of the many varying ways that you can optimise your page content for SEO

Search Engine optimization for landing pages
seo 

Mastering SEO is a tough job, and if you are new to SEO, most likely you feel lost in countless optimization tips and techniques.

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404s: How to Turn An Error State Into A Conversation Starter

Sometimes 404s happen. This article suggests using 404s (and other error states) as opportunities to drive a positive action. Check it out!

Bad stuff sometimes happens to good designers. But rather than unpacking the near endless challenges you face, this article is focused on the value good design has in these situations.

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To support or the cost of not supporting

Treating your clients just how you'd like to be treated is key to successful support. Helping solve issues and working through problems are essential to maintaining strong relationships and ensuring satisfaction!

Before I dive into the meaning of support, I would like to tell you something about myself, so that you can have the full picture! Oh and, the following story was my talk at WordCamp Belgrade! Before I even thought of being a member of any kind of support, I was a front end developer, who was building websites on Drupal and WordPress. I can’t say that it was going badly as much as I got sick of it. The usual stuff when dealing with clients; educating them, bargaining, put this color, make it pop, make it flash etc. Pretty much standard things. At one point, a friend of mine approached me with an idea. It went like this (more or less):

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Creating Better, Faster And More Optimized WordPress Websites

There are some great pointers here - such as making sure you have a development version of your site, and using tools like Cloudflare. Definitely worth a read.

There is a reason why WordPress is used by over 28% of all websites on the internet. And that is because it’s a very robust, easy to use and feature rich content management system (CMS). Everyone from stay at home bloggers to fortune 500 companies rely on it every day. Just like with most platforms, if it isn’t properly used or optimized it can turn into a big headache very quickly.

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4 Ways Use Functional Animation in UI Design

Animation that's used to enhance the user experience of a website can be extremely powerful. Instead of viewing animations it as an add-on or extra, the best animations feel sophisticated because they were considered from the start.

We’re no longer just designing static screens. We’re designing for how the user gets from those screens to actually view content. If we are to design better digital products, then we need to embrace the interactive nature of the app and websites from the very beginning.

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