Sunday, 17 December 2017

Popular Design News of the Week: December 11, 2017 – December 17, 2017

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers. 

The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week.

Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news.

Reviewing the Most Popular UI Design Tools in 2017

 

Top 5 UI Trends for 2018

 

The Grumpy Designer: These are a Few of my Least Favorite Things

 

The Future of Web Typography: CSS Fonts Level 4

 

A Showcase of the Best Designs 2017 ✨

 

Epic Guides for Bootstrappers – 2017

 

UI/UX Case Study : Designing a Better Cinema Experience

 

Pinterest Sees the Future

 

What UX Designers Can Learn from Disney

 

How to Design for iPhone X (without an iPhone X)

 

Sneak Peek: A New InVision

 

Graphic Designers: Here’s How to Make a Difference Right Now

 

Quiz: Logo Integrity

 

Site Design: Huge

 

Tracy – From Paper to Vector

 

Why Design Systems Fail

 

The Rise of Conversational Website

 

Xmas Card AR – Simply Add your Picture and Message to Send a Card with AR

 

How We Design Enterprise Software

 

The Importance of Side Projects to Designers

 

The Vicious Circle of Mediocre Work

 

Estonia, the Digital Republic

 

Google’s Spectral Typeface

 

Gif Without the GIF

 

Google Storyboard Turns your Videos into Comic Strips

 

Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News.

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from Webdesigner Depot https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2017/12/popular-design-news-of-the-week-december-11-2017-december-17-2017/

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Comics of the Week #419

Every week we feature a set of comics created exclusively for WDD.

The content revolves around web design, blogging and funny situations that we encounter in our daily lives as designers.

These great cartoons are created by Jerry King, an award-winning cartoonist who’s one of the most published, prolific and versatile cartoonists in the world today.

So for a few moments, take a break from your daily routine, have a laugh and enjoy these funny cartoons.

Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below as well as any related stories of your own…

Outsourcing Santa

 

Generous hacker

 

New Year’s Resolution

Can you relate to these situations? Please share your funny stories and comments below…

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from Webdesigner Depot https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2017/12/comics-of-the-week-419/

Friday, 15 December 2017

The Simple Way to Turn Your WordPress Website Into a Mobile App

Even if your WordPress website is mobile-first and responsive, you could still be missing out on a huge chunk of traffic by not offering your visitors a mobile app, and the smooth user experience that comes with it. The only problem is that it’s incredibly difficult (and expensive) to build a native mobile app from scratch.

Thankfully, there are a number of high-end plugin solutions that can help you turn your existing WordPress website into a fully functional mobile app at a fraction of the cost.

In this post, we’ll run the rule over some of the best plugins to help you turn your WordPress website into a mobile app. But before we begin, let’s quickly take a look at how you can determine whether you need a mobile app for your site and whether or not your site is mobile app ready.

Does Your WordPress Website Need a Mobile App?

The customizable and refined user experience that apps offer has greatly influenced the recent upsurge in mobile traffic. And while having a responsive website that’s optimized for all kinds of devices is enough for some, others may be better off with a mobile app.

That said, not every business needs a mobile app; especially if interacting with it won’t improve your customers’ experience with your brand. However, if your online business will benefit from allowing your visitors to access it offline or store data locally then you might consider developing a native mobile app.

Those of you who are running businesses where it makes sense to have a mobile app need to first make sure your site is mobile app ready before you scramble to find a way to build one. This means that, at the very least, your WordPress website should be mobile-friendly and responsive to help you understand which bits of functionality you’ll need to translate to your app, and which to leave out. In addition to this, it’s also a good idea to take a step back and study your site’s analytics—mainly the metrics that offer insight into your audience’s behavior and the devices they use to access your site.

Once you’ve ticked all these boxes off your list and are ready to jump on the mobile app bandwagon, you’ll presumably want a low-cost solution to help you get there.

4 Plugins to Turn Your WordPress Website Into a Mobile App

If you’ve been thinking of turning your site into an app for some time now then you probably already know how much it costs to have one built from scratch. And, of course, there’s always the lurking fear that your app won’t take off.

The good news is that there are a number of WordPress plugins out there that allow you to dip your toe in the mobile app waters without breaking the bank. In this section, we’ll take a look at four of the best plugins to help you turn your WordPress website into a mobile app and highlight their standout features.

MobiLoud

MobiLoud is a mobile app service that takes your WordPress website and turns it into a native mobile app without requiring you to do anything. As of this writing, the service offers two different solutions to their customers: MobiLoud News and MobiLoud Canvas.

MobiLoud News is designed specifically for blogs and news websites whereas MobiLoud Canvas lets you turn all kinds of websites (community, e-commerce, directory, conference, event, and more) into native mobile apps for both the Android and iOS platforms.

The key benefit you get with MobiLoud is that you can instantly publish your app to your own Google Play or AppStore account and even charge for downloads if you’d like.

Key Features:

  • Build a native Android and iOS app.
  • Compatible with BuddyPress and WooCommerce.
  • Allows you to enable rich push notifications and leverage mobile advertising.

Price: Starting at $69 per month

AppPresser

AppPresser is a hybrid mobile app solution that allows users to build Android and iOS apps from their WordPress websites. Unlike MobiLoud, AppPresser is built on top of WordPress and Phonegap (an open-source framework) which means that it creates an additional layer.

If you’re a developer then you’ll feel right at home with the extensive customization options that go into creating a mobile app from scratch with AppPresser. However, if you’re not particularly technically inclined, you may have difficulty getting started.

With AppPresser, you can create an app from just about any WordPress website such as school apps, event and conference apps, WooCommerce apps, and BuddyPress apps.

Key Features:

  • Powerful visual app builder with side/tab menus.
  • Comes with custom extensions for WordPress that allow users to enable camera, geolocation, Facebook login, etc.
  • Makes it easy for users to setup push notifications.

Price: Starting at $19 per month

Web2App

Web2App is a premium WordPress plugin that allows you to turn your mobile-responsive website into a full, native application. It comes with a wide-range of features that you can use to improve your app’s user experience including push notifications, analytics, splash screen, and pull-to-refresh.

The standout feature on offer with Web2App is that you can turn your WordPress website into a functional app in four simple steps—without having to code a single line. In addition to this, its built-in tabs and drawer feature lets you add as many pages as you’d like and customize them with color and display options, loading bar styles, and tabs.

Web2App is compatible with Admob allowing you to monetize your app from the get-go. In addition to this, you also get access to its rich documentation and series of video tutorials from the user panel to help you get started.

Key Features:

  • Comes with push notifications and pull-to-refresh functionality.
  • Tons of customization options and editable templates.
  • Allows you to display a splash screen and rate my app dialog boxes.

Price: $19

Wapppress

Wapppress is a premium lightweight plugin that is designed to help you turn your WordPress website into a simple yet functional mobile app. Compared to the other solutions in this roundup; Wapppress doesn’t pack an extensive list of features. That said, it does offer support for e-commerce sites and allows users to enable push notifications and auto updating.

The Wapppress plugin works by taking your site and converting it into a simple, classic mobile app layout. While it may not be the best choice for online store owners, it offers enough functionality for content-based sites like news sites and blogs to get started in the mobile app space.

Key Features:

  • Simple, three-step app creation process.
  • Allows you to enable push notifications and auto updating.
  • Makes it easy for users to add custom functionality and third-party scripts.

Price: $19

Conclusion

There are a number of ways your business could benefit from having a mobile app. However, the heavy cost and time concerns linked with native mobile app development have made it difficult for small business owners to explore this ever-growing digital channel.

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p class=”p2″>We looked at some plugin solutions that are designed to help you turn your existing WordPress website into a mobile app and, hopefully, you’re in a good position now to take things further yourself.

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from Webdesigner Depot https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2017/12/how-to-turn-your-wordpress-website-into-a-mobile-app/

Thursday, 14 December 2017

10 Game-Changing SEO Tips For Ecommerce in 2018

Traffic is among the deciding factors which determine the ultimate success of an e-commerce website. As it brings potential customers to the businesses, it also helps maintain a robust rank among competitors in Google SERPs.

Visibility is the key factor that ensures a website remains displayed on SERPs and keeps attracting users towards its products and services. By upholding SERP rankings, an e-commerce website can generate profitable returns and bring the business to an exposure point where it can progress and grow into a reliable selling machine.

But how does a business achieve this milestone and which factors stimulate this process? The answer is SEO.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) improves website visibility, engagement, retention, and rankings for enhancing search engine results and attracting relevant users towards products and services.

In this article, we will reveal the 10 game-changing practices that dominate SEO. By strategically applying these techniques, your website can gain the edge it needs to stay ahead of the competitive curve and return a healthy revenue.

1. Generate Original Content

Among the primary factors that help search engines’ algorithms grade websites is original content. Since e-commerce websites feature products and services which are also marketed by competitors, they often find themselves publishing generic content.

Rather than displaying stock descriptions and tags for products and services, generate original content which can be detected and graded positively by search engines. Write content which is helpful and distinguishes products and services from the customer’s perspective.

The same rules apply when using predefined templates and databases, which can lead to lower SERP ratings since the content is detected on competitor websites. Modify the content so it is unique, with keywords related to the topic.

2. Optimize Meta Descriptions

While meta descriptions are not the deciding factor for search engine rankings, they can be optimized efficiently to increase the Click Through Rate (CTR), subsequently growing traffic. Here are a few ways meta descriptions can be optimized for maximum effect:

• Self-Explanatory: Meta descriptions help users decide whether a website will provide the items they are searching for, and therefore should be written from a user’s point of view to boost CTR.

• Concise: Use short and meaningful descriptions to leverage the average user’s reading preference. Limit the description under the benchmark 156-character limit to bolster maximum engagement.

• Convincing in Nature: Meta descriptions should prompt an action from the customer through Call to Actions (CTR) and should persuade them towards purchasing products and services offered by your store, such as “Delivery Free for Orders over $80” or “Get Offer Now”.

3. Enable Product Reviews

One of the major reasons behind e-commerce site abandonment is mistrust. Even if a customer does end up selecting their choice, there is no reference material to validate the quality of their choice.

Adding customer reviews provides your potential leads the information they need to finalize their purchase. Reviews are regarded as reliable content by customers since they are provided by users who have previously purchased their choice of items and submitted honest responses absent of promotional intent. Customer reviews also serve as freely submitted, original content on your website which increases SERP ratings and enhances user experience.

4. Link Building (Quality Over Quantity)

A prevailing misconception about link building is that if an e-commerce marketer has a diverse network of links, it will automatically direct maximum traffic towards his or her website.

Contrary to this belief, successful influencers and veteran e-commerce professionals know that placing inbound and outbound links everywhere can reduce website credibility and traffic.

Placing links indiscriminately on low rated websites can ultimately cause lower SERP rankings since search engines also penalize websites that promote their links on sites blacklisted by them.

5. Implement 301 Redirects

Implement 301 redirects to cultivate the benefit of inbound links present in website pages which no longer exist. Providing a 301 redirect allows you to send users towards another page of the website that is relevant to their query.

6. Adding Keywords to Anchor Text

Optimize your content by integrating keywords within the anchor text of internal links to increase visibility and provide users with a descriptive, clickable link. This also enhances user experience through readability since the links provide the only information needed to help customers find pages, contributing to a much higher CTR.

7. End Reliance on Pay Per Click (PPC)

PPC is essentially the fastest means available to advertise your online presence on Google and other third-party websites. It works by placing textual and visual ads on top ranks, so it gets the best attention on SERPs and web pages. The catch to it is each time a click is made the advertiser will pay for it, hence pay-per-click.

Although it is an affordable fast-track method of bringing leads to your site, PPC strategies can also backfire. Badly optimized ad copy and poorly developed landing pages can nullify the campaigns and instead damage the website’s integrity. Moreover, customers tend to place little credibility in ads hosted on other sites and are naturally reluctant to click on them.

Google statistics revealed that reliance on PPC could result in negative consequences as 89 percent of clicks were lost on average when use of AdWords was discontinued. Instead, develop strategies which incorporate organic SEO techniques for ensuring your website visibility does not decrease even with the use of PPC.

8. Utilize Product Images for SEO

Search engines’ algorithms enable image searches to allows users to find their required products and services. While many e-commerce stores tend to neglect the potential offered by optimizing images in their stores, modifying alt tags through the integration of relevant keywords is a proven strategy that can significantly enhance the crawlability your website content.

9. Specifying Priorities in SiteMap.xml

Search engines rely on sitemap.xml for crawling a website. This can be modified to prioritize certain areas of the web store and develop an order by which the pages will be identified by Google. The highly optimized pages can be assigned a higher priority through sitemap.xml to make sure they contribute to higher SERP rankings.

10. Modifying the Robots.txt file

Search engine crawlers can be directed to crawl only specific website pages by modifying the Robots.txt file. This saves website bandwidth and streamlines the operations the search engine has to perform to ascertain rankings.

You can also exclude certain areas of your website for temporary periods, allowing you to submit portions of your site to search engines while you develop the SEO strategy for other sections.

Applying SEO Effectively

Deploying result-oriented SEO techniques remains the corner stone of any successful online business. These practices will not only ensure your portal gets the right publicity on the search engines, but also bring your website to a competitive business environment where trends can be set.

Simple steps can achieve major boosts and consistently practicing them can cultivate a much greater yield in the long run. With time, your store will convert users into happy, satisfied, and loyal customers.

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from Webdesigner Depot https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2017/12/10-game-changing-seo-tips-for-ecommerce-in-2018/

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

How to Teach Marketers to Design: 3 Tips and 4 Essential Tools

Professionals often interpret things differently: a common problem when a marketer sets a brief for a designer without clear instructions, is the designer has to redo the project countless times until they are both satisfied with the final result.

Sometimes the task can be trivial, so much so that it’s quicker and easier for marketers to do it themselves. But what if they have no knowledge of design? What if they know nothing about type, color, and composition?

There are three common fears that prevent marketers from designing even basic jobs:

  • Only designers can create good images;
  • It takes a lot of time to create a good image, video, or a landing page;
  • Design tools are expensive and too complicated to use.

Fortunately, none of these myths is true. There are tools that can help you create an image in 5 minutes, a video in 20 minutes, and a landing page in 2 hours. Below you will find 3 tips and 4 tools that will help marketers create great designs.

Tip 1: Use High-Quality Images

90% of the information we get is visual, that’s why a high-quality image is a core element of every design. Good images attract our attention, make marketing materials look professional, and help to reinforce a brand.

The Internet is full of the same old photographs that have been used thousands of times on other websites. So you’ll see a difference when you start using high-quality stock images. You can buy images, vectors or videos on photobanks (like Depositphotos) and make them fit your projects.

Tip 2: Customize Your Materials According to your Marketing Message

You need to keep the unified style of all the materials you create. It will be easier for people to recognize your brand and it will form a positive first impression. You can add a watermark with the name of your brand to your images or select a certain color palette to set up certain associations.

Tip 3: Use Online Platforms

There are many online graphic editors you can use to create great marketing materials. Whether you’re creating a presentation, a blog post or an animation, there are thousands of free templates available on the Internet. They make things much easier, as you don’t need to look for the colors that fit, select fonts, or learn composition rules. You’ll find readymade examples and customize them easily. For example, most of these editors enable the creation of posts for social media, covers, posters, and animations.

4 Essential Design Tools

Crello

Crello is an online graphic editor offering thousands of free templates and high-quality stock images for your visuals. All the templates were made by professional designers and are absolutely free.

Formats: 31 basic formats including social media posts, banners, flyers, posters, gift certificates, and animations.

Fonts: More than 100 free fonts.

Photos and graphics: 10,000 free photos and vectors, the price for the paid images is $0.99

Advice: You can choose the topic for your design. It’s convenient if you need to prepare an image for holidays or special occasions

Magisto

Magisto is a great tool to create videos for your brand.

Formats: automated video editor.

How it works: You add videos or images, then select the mood for them, add music, and customize them.

Plans: There are three main subscription plans: $2,49, $9.99, and $39.99 per month.

PowToon

PowToon allows you to create animated videos and presentations.

Formats: More than 30 templates for personal, educational and work purposes. About half of the templates are free.

Special effects: Templates can be customized, you can upload your pictures, videos and icons.

Saving: You can upload video to YouTube in 480p and with a small logo for free. If you buy a subscription—from $19 a month—you can freely download videos in high resolution and without brand marks.

Tilda

If you need to design a landing page and have no idea about coding, Tilda is a great option for you.

Formats: Stylish, convenient, and most importantly, an ultra-simple platform for blogs, landing pages, and shops.

Admin panel: There is no classic admin page, you directly add blocks to your future page. That’s why it’s so easy to use; You see how the blocks look and directly add the ones you prefer.

Design: You can upload your pictures, add links to them or search in Google directly in the template. You don’t need to spend a lot of time selecting fonts—they all look great. Additional features are available only for subscribers starting at $15 per month.

Accommodation: You can create one site with 50 pages for free. The most expensive business plan allows you to create up to 5 sites with 500 pages per a domain.

 

[– This is an Advertorial post on behalf of DepositPhotos –]

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from Webdesigner Depot https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2017/12/how-to-teach-marketers-to-design-3-tips-and-4-essential-tools/

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

5 Ways to Make Your Users Angry (And Productive)

Now why on Earth would you want to make anyone angry? Angry people are unpleasant to deal with at the best of times. Getting users angry seems awfully counterproductive. Why did you even write this stu…

Well, you don’t want them angry at you, of course. I wrote a whole article about that. Anger, temporary as it might be in most circumstances, is a fantastic way to inspire action. More specifically, it’s a great way to inspire social change. While you could theoretically use anger at your competitors to get users to buy your products; that’s more than a bit skeevy, and could very easily backfire, besides.

But if you’re trying to make the world a better place; that’s another story. Anger can absolutely be effective in driving people to help you make a change in the world, or their country, or even just their neighborhood. It can also backfire and cause way more trouble than you ever intended. So, you know… be very careful if you plan to go this route.

Here are a few ways to do it in your content, and in your design:

1. Have a Clearly Identified Villain

I don’t mean that you should put a specific individual on blast, as such. That’s how Internet mobs get started. Internet mobs are bad. You want your users to use their anger constructively. The type of Internet justice typically meted out to individuals is often counterproductive at best, and usually just terrifying.

But it does help to have a bad guy; and it needs to be clearly named. It’s entirely possible for people to get somewhat angry at no one in particular; but that’s rarely constructive. Your villain can be a fairly vague concept (ignorance), an organization (Comcast or Electronic Arts), a disease, or what-have-you. The point is that you should start pointing fingers.

2. Mimicry as Provocation

Tying in with the idea of clearly identifying your villain, you might try mimicry. The best, and most classic example of this is the now-long-gone Green My Apple website which was created by Greenpeace. It was designed to pretty accurately mimic Apple’s website at the time; and it inspired a lot of talk about Apple’s role in environmental pollution. It’s regarded by most as a success story, which you can read on Greenpeace’s website. Heck, it won a Webby award, too.

It caught the attention of Apple’s fans because it so obviously looked like Apple’s site. It caught the attention of the web design community because of course it did. We love stories like Green my Apple. It also caught the attention of enough mainstream news sources, and made enough people mad that Apple took notice.

3. Show Your Users How it Affects (or Could Affect) Them

It’s sometimes not enough to just tell users that “Thing X” is bad. In these cases, it’s a good idea to clearly illustrate how “Thing X” is bad for them. And they might need to see it visualized. Battleforthenet.com does this by featuring videos on Net Neutrality by a variety of creators, including: John Oliver, Vimeo (the website), Youtuber Tay Zonday, a few politicians, and more.

Other options include infographics, comics, plain old presentations, and plain text. I list plain text last because it only works if people read it all. It is notoriously difficult to get web users to do this, as they tend to skim. [Leave a comment if you read this.]

4. Use Imagery that Shows the Aftermath

When the cause you’re promoting doesn’t directly affect your users, you might try showing them the consequences of inaction. Depending on the subject matter, this may be the nuclear option, as sometimes the consequences can be rather disturbing.

Even when we’re not talking about something as violent as war, photos that show the aftermath of bad things can be kind of disturbing. Take for instance the photos on the website Too Young to Wed. When I featured this site a few years ago in an article about designing for non-profits, one user commented on how haunted the girls looked, and how that disturbing that was.

In this case, that’s exactly what they were going for. They wanted people to see how sad it was for little girls to be married off to old men. They wanted people to get mad, and do something.

5. Outline the Win Condition

Okay, now that you’ve made everybody angry, it’s time to be responsible about this. You need to have a specific goal, or a win condition. You can have more than one, with short, medium and long-term goals, but they need to be clearly defined.

Undirected rage can result in those mobs I mentioned earlier. The other possible outcomes can be just as bad: Undirected rage can be stifled by simply having nowhere to go. Worse, it might manifest in some unrelated situation, and people could get hurt. Making people mad without clearly defining the circumstances under which they can stop being quite so mad is the path to apathy and/or disaster.

Bonus Tip: Make it Easy to Act

Rage doesn’t last long, as a motivation. It’s loud, it’s messy; but people get tired. It’s usually not a long-term motivation. You need to make it very, very easy for them to take one initial step. They just need one small action to make the world a better place.

Once they’ve taken that step, you should follow up on them. Turn outrage into determination, and you’ve got a life-long supporter of your cause.

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from Webdesigner Depot https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2017/12/5-ways-to-make-your-users-angry-and-productive/