Archive for Web Design

This post I saw on LinkedIn caught my eye. The author argues that there’s too much clicking involved when performing common tasks using ‘modern’ CMS tools. I have to admit, I’ve often thought this myself, but when I think again about all the hard work expended when hand-coding websites in the past, maybe the clicking isn’t so bad? Of course it could be better, and I think that’s the point of the post. It’s about time to re-evaluate how we use (should use) our CMS tools and demand better interfaces.

Responsive Design reading

New topics around Responsive Design such as Responsive Content and Responsive Content Thinking are emerging, and this ClickZ article handles these in a Feb. 1 post titled Responsive Design, Nimble Architecture. The bottom line is that a lot of upfront preparation and thought go into achieving a responsive site and good information architecture is essential. Web analytics can play an essential part of migrating an existing site into a new information architecture and responsive design. On the other hand, implementing a new design/architecture is a great time for a web analytics implementation checkup.

Toolbox Post:

Most of my posts are probably ‘toolbox posts’ as it turns out. Ever wondered which of two sites load the fastest? A site called Which Loads Faster can help you win bets, or at least get a handle on what is going on when two web sites load in the browser. Use the site to perform a test between two sites in the splash screen when you first hit the site, or select your own matchups. Have fun learning!

Web-enabled Wireframes

IA people, it’s time to get excited! Mockingbird is a nominally priced web-based wireframing tool which works in your browser. It was created by San Francisco based Some Character.

Mobile User Experience (UX) topics

This well laid-out writeup of mobile web experience delivery came through a LinkedIn discussion today. I enjoyed reading it, because it mentioned the Responsive Web Design concept, which I can’t seem to get enough of. The following methods are detailed, and pros and cons for each delivery method are listed:

  • Standard Website
  • Responsive Web Design
  • Mobile Website
  • Mobile Application (mobile apps)


Lightbox for Cforms II plugin on WordPress

So when exactly did the lightbox craze hit? I’m not sure exactly, but everyone seems to love lightboxes! They are indeed a visually attractive way to create a modal window within a browser which has a nice ‘set off’ from the background page without opening a new browser window or popup window.

Recently I needed to use the powerful Cforms II plugin to create some interactive forms on a WordPress site and I needed to make some of the forms appear in a lightbox. Much to my surprise, it seems no one has combined Cforms II and a lightbox for some reason. Or if they have, they didn’t write about it.

So I tried to write my own shortcodes to get Cforms to work with a certain lightbox plugin. Only had marginal success, in that the lightbox popped, but the form would not render on the screen. Plus the shortcode processing caused WordPress to try to render the lightbox in Admin. Not cool. I quickly abandoned this effort when I found the Form Lightbox plugin. Form Lightbox was flexible enough to work with the special Cforms II tags as follows:

Perhaps others will find this info useful. WordPress is a fantastic CMS platform and it has spawned many excellent plugins. I’m very grateful for WordPress and the vibrant WordPress developer community.

Scratchpad post

Here’s a scratchpad post to help me remember to look further into Composite C1, a free open-source CMS based upon Microsoft dotNet. The other day I was searching for some alternative .Net CMS tools and it is good to know some exist! Check this Wikipedia entry for a complete, platform-independent list of content management systems paid or free.

Here’s another random item: ain interactive marketing ROI calculator. It is a neat toy for Business Intelligence geeks.

Don’t let the fact that this link will take you to a page written in Brazilian Portuguese (my second language) hold you back: all the links are to content written in English. The IdealMind blog contains many valuable tips and discussions about web development, web analytics and more. But this list of conversion rate tips all in one place is a great find. What’s more, there’s a link to the post which originally inspired IdealMind’s author: a link to more than 600 (at the present time) links to help you improve your site’s conversion rate. Enjoy!

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