October 30, 2013 in WordPress Designer News

WordPress 3.7.1 Released

WordPress 3.7.1 has been released, and in typical style it’s a maintenance patch to polyfill bugs from the big WordPress 3.7 release.

The WordPress blog says:

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October 28, 2013 in WordPress Designer News

WordPress 3.7 released, This time, It’s Automatic

WordPress 3.7 is released, thanks Automattic, and also; it’s automatic. WordPress 3.7 comes with auto updating feature, the computers are thinking for themselves!

WordPress 3.7 is called Basie, in honour of Count Basie, or; if you read between the lines; Basie is short for Basinger, Kim Basinger is an American movie star, and so is Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred in, Terminator. Wordpress has gone all Skynet, terminating our need to click update.

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10 Best Web Design Podcasts 2013

It’s time to share my full Podcast Library for 2013, covering 10 of the best Web Design podcasts and then moving into General design, Business, Tech, Marketing and some miscellaneous podcasts worthy of your ears.

Podcasts are great for keeping up-to-date with Web Design news, expert opinions, general trends and process.

These web design podcasts have all been updated regularly through 2013, and offer a high level of quality and great hosts:

Web Design Podcasts

  1. Boagworld – One of the longest running web design podcasts, the quality is high and content is up to date and relevant, Paul & Markus host with a typical english self deprecating, laid back, Jeremy Clarkson-esque approach.
  2. Shoptalk – Chris and Dave are entertaining, silly, and very knowledgeable, it’s the web design podcast with comedy timing sound effects and one I look forward too every week.
  3. Web ahead – Jen Simmons is friendly and informative, often let’s other experts take the reins. Web ahead truly out-shone other podcasts with informative Mobile Web coverage.
  4. Unfinished Business – Andy Clarke bangs on a bit (no offence Andy), but the show is getting better with every listen. Refreshingly – Andy speaks from his heart and shares his own vast web company knowledge concentrating on the business side of web design.
  5. Pagebreak – Niki & Liz are truly likeable hosts, that discussing blog posts of interest. High quality content that is informative and relevant.
  6. The Non Breaking Space – Interviews of the best and brightest of the web, high quality, informative and thorough.
  7. The Big Web Show – Jeffrey Zeldman , say no more.
  8. UIE Brain Sparks – Jared Spool and Co present interviews and discussions based around UX, great guests, high quality, I enjoy each one.
  9. CSS Tricks Screencasts – Every time I wonder about a technology and think about doing a screencast, Chris has it covered.
  10. Design Critique – Products For People – Tim hosts with the precision and delivery of a military sniper, great quality, with varied topics based around UX.

General Design

  • 99% Invisible – The best produced podcast, bar none. Covers Architecture and General design, my favourite podcast if I can’t sleep. Thought provoking.
  • Design Matters – Debbie does a great job interviewing designers, artists, creatives, professional polish and inspirational.

Business

  • TED Business – Inspirational, thought provoking, TED.
  • Peter Days World Of Business – Peters is like an old friend. BBC quality.
  • Seth Godin’s Startup School – Seth Godin, spills everything in a classroom.

Tech

  • Wired – Highly informative, excellent quality.
  • TWIT – Another old tech friend, Leo, and co, discuss tech with unparalleled insider experience.
  • PRI The World – Marko hosts the “Stories that matter”, and it’s true; high quality, highly informative.
  • BBC Click – Great tech coverage, BBC quality, hosted by Gareth with a professional polish, and Bill chimes in with expert opinion. Warm and English.

Marketing

  • Six Pixels Of Separation – Mitch Joel on marketing, thought provoking, this podcast matters.
  • Internet Marketing – Intuitive Websites – Great coverage of web marketing, dig into the archives as they cover web conversion and lead generation better than anyone.
  • Internet Marketing – Sitevisability – Kelvin delivers news, techniques and a real insider into the world of Internet Marketing, high quality and informative.
  • Social Media Marketing – Social Media Examiner – Michael presents with enthusiasm and shares his vast knowledge. High production value, highly relevant content, precisely delivered.
  • Top Marketing Strategies – Mike and Troy have been there and done that, two experts, short form delivery, high quality.
  • SEW Weekly – Search and Social marketing delightfully packaged and delivered by Thom and co.
  • I Love Marketing – This show is new to me but Dean and Joe have delivered so far with great quality content and insider marketing techniques.

Misc

  • Friday Night Comedy – BBC – political and funny
  • Moral Maze – BBC – Thought provoking and thorough
  • Stuff You Should Know – Great hosts that help me look smart at parties
  • Guardian Football Weekly – A hit of Premier League football roundup.
  • The Football Ramble – great hosts, deliver a funny roundup of football.
  • British History Podcast – Informative and entertaining
  • A State Of Trance – I find Trance a good sound track to program too.

WordSesh 2013, Free WordPress Web Conference

WordSesh 2013 has been announced to take place on December 6th and 7th, 2013. Just in case you missed last years, WordSesh is a free WordPress web conference, a bit like a WordCamp event, but you can do it in your pyjamas.

WordSesh 2103 is a 24 hour WordPress-athon; 1 session per hour for 24 hours! and it’s absolutely free. Check out the official website at WordSesh.org for more details.

Wordsesh is published through Google Hangouts, from 24 speakers broadcasting to a worldwide WP audience.

Get a taste for WordSesh now on the official youTube channel with the archive of last years sessions.


Blog design bit bbc mashable

October 16, 2013 in Blog Design Bits, Web Design Bits

Blog Design Bits: How BBC & Mashable Do Social Media Sharing

A collection of blog design bits that showcase the different approaches the BBC and Mashable have taken in their social media sharing.

BBC Homepage

The BBC’s homepage is based around a large content slider, with literally no social media profiles or sharing buttons in sight. Have the BBC gone Stalin!, dictating our sharing? Well, yes; I expect the BBC know that their visitor ship is here for their news content, and at this stage, are not ready to share.

It’s interesting to note that the BBC homepage does not show what readers are sharing the most, instead – the hierarchy and size of the news posts sets the importance level to the reader.

BBC Homepage

BBC Single Post page

Once you’ve clicked on a news piece and arrive at a single post page the BBC offer a quaint placement of social sharing buttons, a simple row of small icons atop and below the news post.

BBC Social Share Icons

They have 3 main icons in each space; 1.Share This, 2.Facebook, 3.Twitter.

Interestingly the ‘Share” isn’t the typical “Share This” widget you’d normally get from the official Sharethis.com service, it seems the BBC have used the iconology of the green badge with connected node icons and the word “Share” alone.  Click on the Share icon and a box pops up with more social media icons, just like the original Share This service. Obviously, the BBC feel the iconology of the Share This mark is a worthy convention, even for a website of this size.

Mashable Homepage

The Mashable homepage has more shares than a 90’s web start-up. The big blue header houses a row of social media icons (1.Facebook, 2.twitter, 3.Google+) that when hovered over pops up with a large bar with their social media icons, leading to their social network profiles.

Mashable homepage

Mashable know their audience is technical and have designed their social media to be plentiful. You wont find any social media icons further down the homepage though – as Mashable use one of those ‘bottomless glass’ type of content scrolling systems that just keeps popping up with content forever and ever.

Mashable news post

The Mashable homepage is split into three columns of news posts; The New Stuff, The Next Big Thing, and Whats Hot. Each news item has it’s overall shares displayed. If you hover over the latest news post in the Whats Hot column the shares area becomes  a list of social media sharing icons.

They have 6 icons: 1.Facebook, 2. Twitter, 3.Google+, 4.LinkedIn, with each icon displaying the number of individual network shares.

Mashable Single Post Page

Once you’ve clicked on a news post and arrive at a single  post page,  Mashable slap you across the head with a wet haddock full of social.

Mashable single news

This layout has more icons than an Xfactor contestant. We start with a giant overall social share number positioned at eye level (top, left), followed by a large row of social media icons, with the bubbles displaying the different social networks share numbers.

Then follows a line graph, yep, I said that, a line graph. Mashable know how to appeal to their technical audience, it turns out it’s the Mashable Velocity Graph, it shows how quickly people are sharing this news post, it’s technical and geeky, I love it. Though I do feel it’s too abstract and holds no value or clarity of data, a thermometer or speed dial may get across this data with more clarity.

Then to the the right theres a row of social media profile links: 1.Facebook, 2.Twitter, 3. Google+ – just in case your convinced to Like Mashable now you’ve read their content.

Mashable have taken note of how we all love sharing photos, they have a row of social media icons appear when you hover over an image.


Media Queries To Gain Super Powers

As W3C release a new editors draft of media Queries level 4, it seems our current meagre media query abilities are to be upgraded. We currently have abilities based mainly around viewport sizes, but we’re to gain mega super powers with the ability to deliver upon colour, pointers and luminosity.

Just in case you’ve never used Media Queries before, the Editors Draft explains: Media Queries allow authors to adapt the style applied to a document based on the environment the document is being rendered in. [HTML401] and [CSS21] introduced this mechanism, by allowing detection of the media type. For example, a document may use sans-serif fonts when displayed on a screen and serif fonts when printed.

Expanding device landscape, it’s soooo Needy!

There is a great need to go beyond  just viewport sizes, as our device landscape expands further from our smart phones and tablets along with our traditional desktop and laptops and into Household devices such as TV’s and game consoles, and other highly portable devices such as GPS systems on cars and bikes. Media queries will need to be more specific to different types of conditions.

The device landscape is going to keep changing and there are some interesting user case’s to be designed for – for instance our GPS Systems would have a changing climate, with different weather and light conditions.

I went mountain biking yesterday with my iPhone 5 running a GPS App, I started the ride in overcast weather in good light and an hour later checked my average ride speed atop a hill with a dark cloud and rain. A higher contrast style on the App would have certainly helped me in the afternoon.

Highlights from the Editors Draft:

Luminosity Media Feature

The ‘luminosity’ media feature is used to query about the ambient luminosity in which the device is used, to allow the author to adjust style of the document in response.

Hover Media Feature

The ‘hover’ media feature is used to query whether primary pointing system used on the output device can hover or not.

Pointer Media Feature

The ‘pointer’ media feature is used to query about the presence and accuracy of a pointing device such as a mouse. If a device has multiple input mechanisms, it is recommended that the UA reports the characteristics of the least capable pointing device of the primary input mechanisms.

Read the official W3C Editors draft here and get excited, in the future we’re going to get some pretty cool super powers.