You know, we use ad-blockers as well. We gotta keep those servers running though.
Did you know that we publish useful books and run
friendly conferences — crafted for pros like
yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona,
dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.
I want to let you in on a secret — writing a book is a scary experience. You pour your heart into it and then wait for the reaction when it is published. You can be certain of only one thing: You will be criticized.
My book Digital Adaptation will soon be officially released, and I know a lot of clever people are going to disagree with what I have written. They are going to argue that I focus too much on digital and its characteristics and its implications and its impact on business and on the way we work and organize teams, when ultimately digital is just a tool.
Can you imagine your company having a chief electricity officer? Seems ridiculous doesn't it, but many large businesses did when electricity first started to power the industrial economy. Electricity is such an integral part of our working life that it is impossible to imagine life without it. Companies just couldn't operate without power, but it wasn't always that way.
Many business leaders failed to grasp the full potential of electricity after it was first introduced. Over a decade after introducing electricity, they were still building factories by water, despite no longer needing it to power their machinery. These business leaders needed help integrating the new technology into their thinking and that is where the chief electricity officer came in.
“Can you put together a digital strategy for us to review?” Requests like this strike fear into those of us who work on the Web. What do we know about putting together strategy documents?
Yes, we understand the Web, but we don’t know how to write a document that is essentially a business strategy. What even goes into a digital strategy! Unfortunately, this is something management seems to increasingly request from Web designers.
In the 1950s, when consumer electronics such as vacuum cleaners and washing machines emerged, there was a belief that household chores would be done in a fraction of the time.
We know now it didn’t work out that way. Our definition of clean changed. Instead of wearing underwear for multiple days, we started using a fresh pair every day, and so the amount of washing required increased. In short, technology enabled us to do more, not less.
For most websites, navigation is not particularly challenging. A primary navigation bar, supported by sub-navigation, is often enough. Typically, sub-navigation displays the parent, siblings and children of the current page.
A persistent primary navigation bar shows top-level pages, allowing users to move between sections. However, there is one class of website for which this traditional form of navigation falls short. It is what I refer to as a "mega-site".
Spam! Monty Python may love it, but the rest of us are not so convinced. But what is spam? Are you spamming users without realizing it? And is there any place in the world for email marketing?
Most of us have a love/hate relationship with email. Its one of those necessary evils. Nowhere is our relationship with email more confused than when it comes to spam. For a start, spam is hard to define.
Do you own a website? Do you want to be number one on Google? Whatever you do, don’t spend money on aggressive search engine optimization (SEO). I know that sounds like an extreme position to take. However, a lot of website owners see search engine optimization as the answer to their search ranking woes, when things are considerably more complex.
The inconvenient truth is that the best person to improve your ranking is you. Unfortunately, that is going to take time and commitment on your part. The answer doesn’t lie in hiring a SEO company to boost your website ranking for Google.
Which category does your organization’s Web presence fall into? Over- or under-managed? When it comes to the Web, few organizations have found the Goldilocks zone. Their online activities are either under-managed with minimal policies and procedures, or dogged by bureaucracy and internal politics.
Those that fall into the former category are vulnerable to legal threats, internal disputes and knee-jerk management where the website lurches from one crisis to the next. Those in the latter are crippled by indecision and fail to respond to the fast-changing nature of the Web.
Are we cheating our clients when it comes to mobile? More precisely, are we allowing our desire for mobile work to get in the way of providing our clients with the best solution for their business needs? This is the uncomfortable question we asked ourselves recently when redesigning our agency’s website, and we want to discuss it with the broader Web community: You, dear reader.
We are not for a minute suggesting that either we or anyone else is intentionally taking advantage of the current excitement about mobile to “con” our clients. However, we do wonder whether our clients’ excitement and our own desires are hindering our ability to make rational business decisions — decisions that would lead to the best solution for our clients.
We love to tell users that they have done something wrong. We have error messages for everything from poorly formatted telephone numbers to incorrect logins. But what about our user's successes, do we celebrate them? Do we tell them they are doing something right?
It is as important to tell users that they are doing things right, as it is to inform them when they make a mistake. This kind of positive reinforcement is key to a pleasurable user experience. In this post, I want to explain why positive feedback matters, suggest when it is appropriate and how to integrate it into your website.
Working as a Web designer can suck sometimes. This is especially true when you don’t get to work alongside the client. Unfortunately this scenario is more common than you would think. Many organizations have been carefully structured to keep the Web designer and the client apart. But is that really sensible? Would projects run much smoother without your account manager or boss acting as the middleman?
This issue came to my attention following the release of my latest book “Client Centric Web Design.” In this book I provide advice about how to work more effectively with clients. However, I had made an assumption in the approach I presented, an assumption which turned out not always to be true. It assumed that the Web designer and client can work collaboratively together. Following the book's release I realized that for many Web designers that this is not the case.
There is no doubt about it, I am a hypocrite. Fortunately nobody has noticed… until now. Here’s the thing. On one hand I talk about the importance of having a good work/life balance, and yet on the other I prefer to hire people who do personal projects in their spare time.
Do you see the problem with this scenario? How can one person possibly juggle work, life and the odd side project? It would appear there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Being the arrogant and stubborn individual I am, when this hypocrisy was pointed out to me, my immediate reaction was to endeavour to justify my position. A less opinionated individual would probably have selected one or the other, but I propose these two supposedly contradictory viewpoints can sit harmoniously together.
Can you have your cake and eat it, by working on side projects, holding down a job and still having a life beyond your computer?
To understand how this is possible we must first establish why a work/life balance is important and what role side projects play. Let’s begin by asking ourselves why it is important to have a life beyond our computers, even when we love what we do.