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Why Retailers Need to Care About Web Development Platforms

Brands are struggling to build and grow customer loyalty in an increasingly complex omnichannel environment. According to Wanda Cadigan, VP commerce, Sitecore, many are struggling with mobile enablement, in addition to the ultimate vision of delivering a uniform experience over every customer channel imaginable.

For example, in the UK, there might be a really cool and exciting mobile app that allows customers to shop with one click, personalises their recommendations, and allows them to organise returns easily, possibly built on a proprietary platform. But in the U.S., perhaps this same platform either doesn’t exist or a similar experience is built on a completely different platform. And when you deal with that in two markets, imagine what complexity emerges when you’re active in 30-40, or 130-140 markets around the world?

What if a brand worked differently in every market? The customer experience wouldn’t be universal and would cause many frustrations for both the brand and its customers. The more platforms that are used, the more difficult it is to provide your customers with the consistent, high-quality experience they demand across all your markets.

How does this problem emerge? Well, often siloed systems are deployed in a market to meet specific needs. You want to do something specific in France? You buy and deploy a service locally, which unfortunately may or may not talk to the system that runs the rest of the business’ operations, and may not be available in the UK, Germany, the U.S., or other markets. In many cases, the systems deployed may only support specific countries, due to limitations in currency support, language support, local tax frameworks, and more. This makes scaling a consistent brand experience difficult.

Even more challenging is the fact that often brand experiences that are tailored and owned in-market (only sometimes abiding with global brand guidelines) can be impacted by being delivered on different systems or platforms.

Read more: Why Retailers Need to Care About Web Development Platforms

 

5 Best Online Front-End Web Development Playgrounds

As much as I love offline web development editors and IDEs, I hate the inconveniences which come with having to edit code, then open a browser to test changes. Even when a browser tab with the test file is open, you constantly have to jump from editor to browser and refresh the tab before any changes will show in the output. I have the preference of working on sites where the output is shown in real-time.

As soon as the code is written, the test-ready output is delivered within seconds. Conveniently, editable code and testable output are shown side-by-side. Another joy of these online playgrounds is the huge community of web designers and developers publishing code snippets for the world to take a look at.

1. Codepen

CodePen is one of the largest communities for web designers and developers where users can test and showcase user-created HTML, CSS and JavaScript code snippets. It functions as an online code editor and open-source learning environment, where developers can create code snippets, named “pens”, and test them. Codepen’s editors come with some common functionality like normal ones, with respect to code indentation and colorful syntax highlighting. It also supports a huge array of preprocessors for HTML, CSS, and JS, including but not limited to, Pug, Slim, SCSS, TypeScript. The collaboration mode is also very helpful. You never have to lose your work, because it is automatically saved, and you can resume whenever you please. With similarities close to Github, feel free to fork and edit other user’s code as you wish.

2. JSfiddle

JSFiddle is a vibrant online community for testing and showcasing user-created and collaboration HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code snippets, most appropriately known as ‘fiddles’. It allows for simulated AJAX calls. Just like with Codepen, the clean interface puts the code and the result side by side, and results are applied immediately after clicking the run button. It features support for SCSS, as well as JavaScript libraries such as TypeScript, CoffeeScript, Vue and React. It keeps on improving, and recently rolled out a code hinting feature which will suggest some common CSS property and value names, same for JavaScript. Collaboration with other developers supported too.

Read more: 5 Best Online Front-End Web Development Playgrounds

 

Enjoy web development success with the best UI/UX design

Without an excellent UI or user interface, a website fails to deliver a better user experience that is crucial for the impending success of any business. However, keeping up with the latest and best UI and UX design trends as well as implementing them in web development, custom website development services face various challenges. They have to adapt according to changing realities and demands of the users. Now they have to visualize the importance and scope of UI and UX design in business websites. To obtain better results, web designers have to make significant efforts to create an entirely new and appealing website.

They have to look for best UI/UX design trends as well as layouts in mind to meet the needs of the customers. Here we present the best tops for web development with best UI/UX design.

1. Mobile friendliness

Well, you have certainly heard about responsiveness concept. It is the most significant part of offering a better user experience. As a UI and UX designer, you need to follow certain UI design principles and also consider the preferences and choices of the users. However, it isn’t necessary that all of the users can only access your site from their own desktops. They might access them on their mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. In this mobile age, the users like to access almost anything on their smartphones. Hence, when you are deciding to design a business website, you need to create mobile-friendly features. With this important addition to your own website, you can certainly see significant changes in the business results.

2. Using appealing images to attract user’s attention

We are quite aware that attractive layout, as well as content, significantly improve the user interactivity with the website. Images are another aspect which plays a vital role in achieving the user’s attention at first look. Hence, having unique images is among the best ways to get users attracted to your website. It also enhances the visual hierarchy as well as increases the users. You can easily manage it by inserting relevant text on the images that clearly mention the actual purpose and meaning of your business service.

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21 Steps to Becoming a Successful Web Developer

This is important to ask, because so many people around the world are web developers, but how many of them are successful at it?

My goal for this article is to equip you with the mindset, knowledge and skills to stand out from the crowd and make a success of your web development career — whether that’s at a company or freelancing for yourself.

This article is intended for aspiring web developers and web developers who are struggling to break through the “barrier of mediocrity.”

These 21 steps will help you succeed in web development and beyond.

1. Is This Something You’re Truly Passionate About?
“Passion” is a word so commonly used that the actual meaning gets distorted. It actually means “a strong and barely controllable emotion.”

Passion is not passive: it’s a pursuit to act. Most people hate their 9–5 jobs, but few do jobs they love and are passionate about.

It’s important to ask yourself these three questions:

    1. Does the thought of creating websites and web apps excite me?
    2. Would this be an exciting career for me to do?
    3. Would becoming a web developer be in line with the lifestyle I’d like to have for myself (and my family)?

If you answered yes to the above questions, you’re on the right path to becoming a web developer.

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Forbes – 7 SEO Trends That Will Dominate 2017

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a game that’s all about staying one step ahead of your opponents.

One of the best ways to accomplish this competitive dominance is to be aware of how search engines are changing, and adjust your content and SEO strategy before your competitors have a chance to catch up. The SEO industry is always moving, so it pays to be aware of these evolutions.

It looks like 2017 will be an interesting year for SEO, with the following trends dominating the arena:

1. The Rise of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs).

2. The Rise of “Dense” Content.

3. Machine Learning Will Change the Way the Algorithm Works.

4. Personal Branding Will Become an SEO Secret Weapon.

5. User Experience Optimization (UEO) Will Start to Blur the Lines with SEO.

6. Apps Will Feel the Love.

7. Personal Digital Assistants will Become More Sophisticated, Changing the Way Many of us Perform Search Queries.

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7 Suggestions for Better Mobile-Friendly Web Design

Recently, Google made a statement that the volume of search queries on mobile devices has now surpassed desktop. This along with their most recent algorithm updates means that much more value is being given to well-designed mobile websites. Desktop sites failing to conform to the standard are likely to witness a marked decline in SEO rankings and traffic.

So what does this mean for mobile web designers & marketers?

Well for starters, if you haven’t created a mobile website or introduced responsive features into your existing one, you are likely missing out on valuable SERPs rankings and traffic since the majority of your users will likely be visiting on their phones.

Here are 7 suggestions you need to know to update your website to modern mobile standards.

1. Understand usability
Usability is arguably the most important aspect of a mobile website, after all; would you buy an unsteerable car? The same point can be made for your website, your users don’t want to visit a site they can’t use.

You should start off by viewing your current website on your mobile. If you have to pinch in and zoom around to read everything, and it takes several attempts to navigate to a new page, you’ve gotten a clear view of the mobile experience you are offering your users.

2. A responsive website isn’t always the best answer
Depending on your current website, you may want to consider developing a responsive theme that adapts to your users’ browser or device resolution. However, sometimes this isn’t achievable and you may want to opt for a dedicated mobile website instead.

Building a separate mobile site has its benefits, for example they are often easier to develop than integrating responsiveness into your existing site and costs can often be significantly less (especially when using a third-party mobile website builder), however a separate mobile page means you will have to maintain 2 different code bases and upload content to both.

Whichever route you decide to go down, research is needed to ensure which option is more suited to your marketing and business model in the long run.

Read more: 7 Suggestions for Better Mobile-Friendly Web Design

5 Ways Web Designers Can Create Amazing Websites

All masters in their domain have secrets they might not be willing to reveal, but their products and practices can speak for themselves and offer clues to achieving greatness. Web designing is such a field. It demands creativity, attention to detail, and practice. Understand what the best web designers do and you can become a master yourself. Here are 5 ways to amp up your web design skills and create powerful websites:

Avoid slideshows and carousels

Slideshows and carousels are suitable only if you are seeking to feature a lot of information on a single page. Remember though, many of your visitors might not stay on your website long enough to absorb all the information in a slideshow or carousel. Given visitors’ short attention spans, it’s typically better to offer a concise value proposition, especially on your home page, and avoid slideshows carousels. When you are seeking the attention of someone, it is important to deliver content that’s meaningful and remove anything not relevant.

Simplify the navigation through your design

A complex website might seem appealing at first, but it will not be very welcoming for a random visitor. Infusing too many options can be counterproductive. Simplifying the visitor’s experience is recommended so a visitor won’t lose time in an attempt to find the information they need the most.

Do not crowd your header or sidebar. Remove as many links as possible. Dropdown menus might adversely affect the aesthetics of your design and the user experience and can be difficult to use on mobile devices – consider eliminating them

Use a sketchbook!

This old-school hack is a must for designers. When ideas come or you feel like organizing a concept, grab your book and sketch it out as the inspiration flows. Tablets can also help you in drawing your design thoughts, but the feeling of sketching out a design on the paper is irreplaceable. This method can assist you during brainstorming and help organize your design process better.

Read more: 5 Ways Web Designers Can Create Amazing Websites

Forbes – 9 Web Design Trends To Watch In 2016

If there’s one thing that’s true about design, it’s that it is always evolving. Design is dynamic, and must adjust to accommodate both form and function. Because of this ever-changing nature, it can be a challenge to keep up with the newest design trends.

Duotones, Split Screens, Hero Images and Other Web Design Trends to Watch in 2016

User experience is the central focus of the most relevant design trends. Creating content that’s responsive, accessible, and simple to use, enhances user satisfaction. This year’s emerging design trends aim to streamline and perfect that user experience.

  • Hero Images
  • Material Design
  • Typography
  • Background Videos and Animations
  • Hover Animations
  • Scrolling
  • Motion Animations
  • Full Screen Forms
  • Duotone Color Schemes

Read more…

New Web trends: Immersive Interaction Design

The wheel of progress is changing what we think of as “new” or “old,” and users can easily scorn the sites and apps they loved only a few months ago. But for every door that technology closes, a new one is opened. The Good News… Since inception TotalWeb Partners has building the immersive interaction designs into all sites we build.

Below we’ve collected some of the modern IxD techniques that users are flocking to. Some are genuinely new, while others are just new takes on old ideas. Either way, they’ll help you stay ahead of the curve…and the crushing wheel of progress.

1. Animation & Transitions
When it comes to interaction design, one of the most popular concepts is animation and animated effects. Animation can include anything from a cool hover state effect to a full-screen cartoon that plays in the background.

Animations may not be new to interaction design, but their popularity is really only possible thanks to developments in HTML5, Javascript, and CSS. While they were once considered an aesthetic luxury (“Wow, the icon bounces!”) during the age of Flash, they are now becoming a functional necessity (“Ugh, the icon doesn’t do anything except bounce?!”).

Read more: New Web trends: immersive interaction design

Why Website Optimization is Out and Website Marketability is in

Why website optimization is out and website marketability is in.

Read how Crain’s Detroit Business lays out Website Marketability, explains SEO, and defines the value of a website as being related to it’s structure, content, and evolution.

Of all articles in our blog, this is the most important to us as it explains how internet marketing works in 2015, noting that this precisely matches TotalWeb Partner’s value proposition.

“Building a site is not an end game, it is just the first step… and all of TWP’s standard offers include ongoing support, updating, and marketing to meet the requirements of marketing on-line in 2015.”


Defining Website Marketability

From Crain’s Detroit Business April 17, 2015

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