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Smashing Conf San Francisco

We use ad-blockers as well, you know. 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. upcoming SmashingConf San Francisco, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.

Improving The UX Of Names With Vocalizer.js

We have all encountered names that are difficult to pronounce. Having a challenging name myself, I get different pronunciations of my first name, Atif, all the time. In order to solve my own naming problem, I built a Javascript plugin called Vocalizer. In this article, I will introduce what Vocalizer is and a few different ways to use it.

Improving The UX Of Names With Vocalizer.js

Earlier this year, I redesigned my portfolio website. During this process, I decided to add a feature that educated visitors on how to say my name. One day, I opened the "Voice Memos" app on my iPhone, tapped "Record", and asked my wife to say my first name. Then, I embedded a small button onto the landing page after my first name. Clicking on that button would play the audio file of my name.

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☑️ The Ultimate Digital Clean-Up Checklist: Are You Prepared For The New Year?

With a couple of days left until New Year's Eve, it's just about time to set aside 60 minutes to clean up, sort out and back up your digital footprint, to ensure a good smooth start to 2017. So many little details tend to get forgotten or overlooked every single time, only to get fixed hastily later — but doesn't it just feel right when everything is in the right place, neatly organized, even if you aren't a compulsory cleaner or an obsessed perfectionist?

The Ultimate Digital Clean-Up Check: Are You Prepared For The New Year

This is not a generic article about unspectacular things like getting to inbox zero or changing the copyright year in your footer (although that's a good idea!) — we published a detailed checklist of all of those details a couple of years ago. Instead, you'll find below an overview of all of those obscure little things that I forget about every year; so, I decided to gather them all in one place once and for all.

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Strategies For Effective Mobile Landing Pages

When designing a landing page to promote a product or service online, you're ultimately pointing users toward one goal. That goal most often relates to generating business via sales or leads. You may want users to purchase a product immediately, or you may simply want them to sign up for a mailing list. Whatever the goal, you want to ensure that every piece of the user experience works toward fulfilling that goal.

Strategies For Effective Mobile Landing Pages

If you don't yet have goals in mind, start by defining goals. Are you seeking to generate a 10% increase in qualified leads? Are you looking to build sales by 20%? Establishing clear key performance indicators based on what will benefit your business will ultimately help you understand how to properly approach a landing page.

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Web Development Reading List #164: Enjoy The End Of 2016, It Wasn’t The Worst

Welcome to the last reading list of the year. I'm happy to still have you as a reader and very grateful to all the people who value and support my work. I hope you'll be on vacation for the upcoming days or can relax a bit from your daily work. Remind to take care of yourself, and see you next year!

Web Development Reading List #164: Enjoy The End Of 2016, It Wasn't The Worst

New year's resolutions — you know it, they're hard to reach. Find out why it's easier to use recurring systems instead of setting goals. As James Clear explains, "It all comes down to the difference between goals and systems."

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Conversational Design Essentials: Tips For Building A Chatbot

Human interactions are incredibly fascinating if you take a close look at them — the social awkwardness, the communication styles, the way knowledge is transferred, the way stories are told and trust is built. But what happens when a machine evokes the same response?

Conversational Design Essentials: Tips For Building A Chatbot

Conversational interfaces have become the new hotness in UX design. Google is about to release a new virtual assistant chatbot; Facebook has already launched the updated Messenger platform with chatbots; and Microsoft went as far as to claim that the operating system of the future isn't Windows, but "conversation as a platform."

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Front-End Performance Checklist 2017 (PDF, Apple Pages)

Are you using progressive booting already? What about tree-shaking and code-splitting in React and Angular? Have you set up Brotli or Zopfli compression, OCSP stapling and HPACK compression? Also, how about resource hints, client hints and CSS containment — not to mention IPv6, HTTP/2 and service workers?

PRPL Pattern in the application shell architecture

Performance isn’t just a technical concern: It matters, and when baking it into the workflow, design decisions have to be informed by their performance implications. Performance has to be measured, monitored and refined continually, and the growing complexity of the web poses new challenges that make it hard to keep track of metrics, because metrics will vary significantly depending on the device, browser, protocol, network type and latency (CDNs, ISPs, caches, proxies, firewalls, load balancers and servers all play a role in performance).

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App Development Showdown: Why You Should Care About Revisiting The Native Vs. Hybrid Debate In 2017

Back in 2007, the world met the iPhone for the very first time. After Apple’s product debut, it took less than six months for work to begin on PhoneGap, which would become one of the first and most adopted frameworks for hybrid mobile app development — that is, for apps written simultaneously for multiple platforms using HTML, CSS and JavaScript, rather than coded in native languages.

App Development Showdown: Why You Should Care About Revisiting The Native Vs. Hybrid Debate In 2016

When compared with the prospect of learning an entirely new language and development environment in order to program iOS (and soon Android) apps, the appeal of this type of development to the already huge population of web developers in the world was palpable.

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The (Not So) Secret Powers Of The Mobile Browser

Apple taught us, "There's an app for that." And we believed it. Why wouldn't we? But time has passed since 2009. Our mobile users have gotten more mature and are starting to weigh having space for new photos against installing your big fat e-commerce app. Meanwhile, mobile browsers have also improved. New APIs are being supported, and they will bring native app-like functionality to the mobile browser.

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We can now access video and audio and use WebRTC to build a live video-chat web apps directly in the browser, no native app or plugin required. We can build progressive web apps that bring users an almost native app experience, with a launch icon, notifications, offline support and more. Using geolocation, battery status, ambient light detection, Bluetooth and the physical web, we can even go beyond responsive web design and build websites that will automagically adapt to users' needs and context.

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Web Development Reading List #163: The End-Of-Year Wrap-Up

Only one week left until Christmas, and people already start freaking out again. No gifts purchased yet, work isn’t finished either, and suddenly some budget has to be spent until the end of the year. All of this puts us under pressure. To avoid the stress, I’ve seen a lot of people take a vacation from now until the end of the year — probably a good idea.

Web Development Reading List #163

And while it’s nice to see so many web advent calendars, I feel like I’ve never written a longer reading list than this one. So save this edition if you don’t have much time currently and read it during some calm moments later this year or early next year. Most articles are still worth reading in a few weeks.

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