Category Archives: Responsive Design

Grid Based Web Design Tools

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If you are looking to work with Grid Based Web Design, here is a link with a lot of choices for you to try out.

Dreamweaver currently uses the Golden Grid System in its Responsive Design Boilerplate.

My actual favorite “du jour” , but not listed here,  is Gridulator.com.

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Minimalist web design…is less really more?

I was tweeted an interesting article about minimalist design and how it is not appropriate for every website. I am a huge fan of minimalist, clean design but I do agree with the article that it is only good where appropriate. I just myself have been working on two different web sites. On one website there is a lot of visual stimulation through photos and color etc. On the other site, it does have the stimulation of color but it is purposely quite minimalist. The customer for this site is there for a reason. You aren’t trying to do a hard sell or trying to get them to click a button and buy anything. In the second site it’s about instilling trust and demonstrating a capability of the service for which you are visiting the site.
I do agree though that sometimes more is more. It’s a case by case scenario. And it depends on what your ultimate goal of the site is and what you need your customer’s experience to be and most of all what your client desires.
Read the article and see what you think:
Sometimes More is More by Justin Hubbard

“Front End Web Developer” has a whole new definition

I’ve believed that being a serious Web Developer today has a lot more requirements than it did 10 years ago. I’ve been looking for an article like the one I read recently for a long time to support my theory.
Paul Irish from google mentioned this subject in a recent interview by Nick Petit from Team Treehouse and confirmed my belief.
And then I came across an article, A Baseline for Front End Developers which really broke down the skills a Developer today needs.

Once upon a time front end web development was about marking up some files with HTML later on with CSS as well and uploading them to a host and boom you were a web designer. Those days are over! Now, due to the increase of devices and app creation and the desire for browser control, plus the fact the front end web development is now being taken seriously and viewed in a different light, the expectations are becoming much higher. HTML, CSS & Jquery/Javascript will no longer suffice as credentials of a front end web developer.

Blogger Rebecca Murphey says in her article (April 2012),  A Baseline for Front End Developers:

Maybe it’s the result of people starting to take front-end dev seriously, maybe it’s browser vendors mostly getting their shit together, or maybe it’s front-end devs – again, myself included – coming to see some well-established light about the process of software development. Whatever it is, I think we’re seeing the emphasis shift from valuing trivia to valuing tools. There’s a new set of baseline skills required in order to be successful as a front-end developer, and developers who don’t meet this baseline are going to start feeling more and more left behind…….

She goes on to say in much more detail than I will go into here, that a front end web developer today is expected to be familiar with:
1) Git (github)
2) Modularity, dependency management and production builds
3) In Browser Development Tools ( I love Mozilla Firebug but most popular now is probably Chrome’s Developer tools)
4) Command Line use (definitely much more practical to do on a mac than on a pc)
5) Client side templating
6) CSS Preprocessors (SASS, LESS, etc.)
7) Testing
8) Process automation
9) Code quality

and I would probably add
10) Knowing another language (Java, PHP, C, C++  to name a few)
11) and being able to use software like photoshop, illustrator, or indesign
12) having, at least, basic graphic design skills
13)  Search Engine Optimization  (SEO)
14) Social Media Tools (on a developer level not just a user level)

This is just the basics of being a front end web developer today.
Yes it is intimidating.
But that’s the direction in which this whole developer category is going.
We can either choose to hop on the train or watch the train go by.
Today I still choose to hop on the train & go for the ride.

meta tag keywords are “fossils”!

I was working on several websites this week and suddenly remembered that I had been told once upon a time to put in meta tag keywords in the head of your website pages to make your website more searchable and to make it rise on Google and other search engines. So I looked online for best practices for meta tags keywords. I found a popular website called Search Engine Watch. On the website I came across an article called How to Use HTML Meta Tags (dated May 1st, 2012) by Kristine Schachinger .  She basically lets us know that not only is the meta tag keyword a “fossil”  in the in terms of search engine optimization. The only company that actually searches these keywords is Microsoft Bing. And they search it only to detect spam.

So no longer do I need to start thinking of appropriate keywords for my meta tags.

Schachinger also refers to creating title tags which although they have nothing to do with meta tags are still used for search engine optimization. Her article, How To Write Title Tags For Search Engine Optimization is also a very useful article if you are developing websites.

Social Media is Dead

I hate to keep re-posting but there are so many blogs out there that say what I want to say but more eloquently..I will follow this though with a blog about where I am at at the moment. Meanwhile this article  by Chris Dessi, CEO of Silverback Social, struck me:

 

The past two weeks have been unique. Last week I was in Syracuse, New York training a brilliant sales team at BlueRock Energy. The week before was spent hopping from borough to borough with the talented team at Vanguarde Consulting speaking with small business owners (save the Bronx due to a scheduling mix up).

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Both weeks were filled with powerhouse executives who were charging headlong into the world of social media. All of them embracing the seismic shift of social media, and frankly it was inspiring.

I saw sales representatives like Wendy Defazio of Bluerock Energy migrate from a barren LinkedIn profile into a thriving, engaged, and appropriate profile that will surely help her close business in the coming months.

While working with the City of New York for a special program sponsored by the Pivot Conference and Social Week called “Social Week Gives Back”  I was able to chat with small business owners in each borough and discuss how sales professionals can leverage social connections to boost sales.  I was inspired by the work Natasha Bernardez is doing with her Twitter account for her holistic and socially responsible food business. We were Tweeting just moments after I lectured in Queens – she “get’s it.”

It took all of this (every interaction with every person over the past two weeks) for me to realize this.

Social Media is dead. 

So here I am – climbing up on my soapbox to proclaim a bombastic (seemingly negative) platitude about social media. Why on earth would I do this? I mean, after all – social media is my bread and butter, the core competency of my business and the lifeblood of all television appearances, radio appearances, and blog posts (this one included). The reason? It’s 2012 – there are 1 Billion people on Facebook, the average Facebook user is 40.5 years of age (Pingdom). Twitter generates 1.6billion search queries per day (yesmail).

It’s clear to me that the manner in which we aggregate and disseminate information as a culture has definitively changed. Social media is dead because EVERYTHING is social media.

If you have no mobile device, and you decide that you don’t want to participate in social media – chances are that someone has photographed you with a mobile device and that image is on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If you own a business the chances of social media happening to your brand are even greater.

Five Mobile Systems
Five Mobile Systems (Photo credit: carnero.cc)

Recently, while speaking on a panel in Greenwich, CT a woman in the audience stood up to complain about this very message – that whether you like it or not social media is happening to you – and that EVERYTHING is social media. She was proclaiming that she wanted her potential clients to call her. Stating that she had posted her phone number on her website in huge font and expected people to call her and that she had no desire to “do” social media. I calmly explained to her that before she stood to make her proclamation during the event that I had photographed the audiences (this woman included) and Tweeted to my followers. Whether she liked it or not – social media was “happening to her.”

Social media is dead because everything is social media now. We’re surrounded by social media every day in every way. Either proactively engage in this phenomenon – or become obsolete. You’ve been warned.

Authored by:

Chris Dessi

Title: CEO, Author, Television Commentator

Company: Si

Chris Dessi

Chris Dessi is a CEO of Silverback Social. He is also an award winning digital thinker, television & radio commentator, author, blogger, and public speaker. Throughout his career in New York and London Chris has worked with Fortune 500 businesses and start-ups alike. His deep marketing acumen combined with his passion for psychology, sociology and cultural studies all reside at the fulcrum of …

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More personal stuff to come this week as well…..stay tuned!