Browsing all articles in Website Development
Jun
21

The Top 30 Web Designers and Developers You Need to be Following

Twitter is the ideal social media network for sharing ideas, joining an industry conversation, finding inspiration, and catching up on news. The 140 character limit discourages long rants, while hashtags allow you to hone in on your topics of interest. Twitter is full of tips, resources and advice from the best web developers out there, covering topics like HTML, CSS, Javascript and more. We have picked the best web developers and web designers that you need to be following right now.

Aarron Walter (@aarron)

Aarron is the person behind the UX practice at Mailchimp. If that doesn’t make you consider him a user experience expert, take a look at all of the handy tweets Aarron publishes.

Alen Grakalic (@alengrakalic)

This Croatia native has a Twitter feed filled with all sorts of design articles that will give you hours of reading resources.

Arpad Szucs (@whitex3d)

This Romania native is constantly tweeting new material about design, business, the latest trends, and common mistakes to avoid.

Brad Frost (@brad_frost)

Brad is a web designer, author and speaker who has helped lead the responsive design movement. User experience is always an important factor in everything he creates. With clients, like TechCrunch and Entertainment Weekly, he is obviously an accomplished web designer.

Brett Widmann (@BrettWidmann)

This Chicago resident shares so many web articles, he’ll have your reading list filled. Make Brett your go to resource when you want to stay up to date on everything happening in the industry.

Brian Hoff (@behoff)

Brian is the Founder and Creative Director of Brian Hoff Design, an agency providing web, mobile and interactive design. He posts many of his most recent projects, which makes his account the perfect place to boost your inspiration.

Chad Engle (@chadengle)

Although he might not tweet all that much about web design, he provides plenty of awesome design tips and inspiration for his many followers.

Dan Cederhold (@simplebits)

As the co-founder of Dribble, what designer wouldn’t want to follow him? He shares industry based content as well as some funny commentary on his personal life.

Jacob Gube (@sixrevisions)

From coupon codes to amazing resources, Jacob finds and shares it all. He is a must follow for all web designers who want to stay on top of everything happening in the industry.

Jan Jursa (@IATV)

Jan is a German native UI/UX designer. His followers will see articles about not only web design, but also about upcoming events that are relevant to the design industry.

Jeff SanGeorge (@jeffSanGeorge)

This well-rounded designer is a master of SEO, web design and digital marketing. If you don’t believe us, go check out his feed!

Jeffrey Zeldman (@Zeldman)

Jeffrey is the publisher of A List Apart and founder of Happy Cog Studios. His tweets show his expertise in web design, as he frequently shares his best practices.

Jen Simmons (@jensimmons)

Located in Brooklyn, New York, Jen Simmons regularly voices her opinion on the future of the web throughout her feed. She also runs the podcast, The Web Ahead, where she discusses web development and how technology is changing.

Jenn Lukas (@JennLukas)

Based in Philadelphia, PA, Jenn is a front-end developer who shares all of her helpful tips she has collected. Jenn also tweets out questions and interacts with those that follow her.

Jon Phillips (@jophillips)

Jon shares articles like how to speed up your workflow, how to design a smooth onboarding process for mobile app users, and how to keep the user in mind throughout the design process.

Jonathan Torke (@jonathantorke)

Jonathan is a web designer from Germany who is always sharing his great insights and fresh thoughts on all things CSS, HTML, Javascript and UX.

Kim Goodwin (@kimgoodwin)

Kim is experienced in UX and graphic design. Through this experience she has picked up great tips on how to be the best designer possible, which she shares with her 10,000+ followers.

Lars Vraa (@tripwiremag)

He is a sharer of WordPress themes, a tweeter of Adobe articles, and author of his active blog. Lars has it all, and everything is there in his twitter feed.

Luke Wroblewski (@lukew)

As the founder of, Google acquired company, Polar and, Twitter acquired company, Bagcheck, Luke definitely knows his stuff. He shares his thoughts and inside tips of mobile and responsive web design.

Mahfuz Mandal (@mahfuzweb20)

Mahfuz is a talented web designer who is a master in WordPress. Throughout the feed, you will find WordPress tips and tricks that will take your development to the next level.

Max Stanworth (@designshard)

Many designers tweet about their best tips and best practices. Max also includes web design’s best trends (so you can learn them) and worst trends (so you can avoid them). Let Max help you learn from other’s mistakes by giving him a follow.

Michael Wong (@mizko)

This Australian UI and UX designer frequently shares his insight and is constantly keeping his followers inspired. He also recently launched a newsletter that’s filled with great insider tips that he only makes available to his subscribers.

Mike Hansen (@moosesyrup)

Mike has a background in marketing, graphic design, web development, and product design. He keeps his followers updated on the latest trends and posts sneak peaks into his latest design work.

Nick La (@nickla)

Nick is a busy designer and entrepreneur. His studio is called N.Design and he is the creator of the wellknown blogs Themify, Web Designer Wall, Best Web Gallery and IconDock. Through his tweets, he shares his expertise, thoughts on designs, and informative resources.

Nishan Joomun (@nishanjoomun)

Nishan loves to tweet quick tips and daily quotes. These snippets of insight and inspiration are intermingled with educational articles.

Richard Lemon (@RichardLemon)

Richard shares top notch articles with his followers. Sprinkled into his feed are free downloads and resources that you’ll want to be on the watch for.

Sarah Parmenter (@sazzy)

Not only does Sarah tweet about web development, she is also interested in streamlining her workflow. She shares her industry knowledge while also sharing her thoughts on productivity.

Timothy Whalin (@TimothyWhalin)

UX design, workflow tips, and design insight are just some of the topics that Timothy tweets about. He is a web design expert and technology advocate who shares his enthusiasm with his followers.

Tina Cook (@tinacook)

Like any great expert, Tina shares her wisdom of web design. However, she also shares inspiration that is useful for both novice and experienced designers.

Veerle Pieters (@vpieters)

If you are searching for great resources, links to tutorials, and awesome freebies related to web design, Veerle is a designer you need to follow.

Dec
23

29 Tips for Mobile Website Design

How to Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

website design Hawaii

MOBILE BALLET: Responsive design creates websites suitable for all devices.

It is actually more difficult to create a designing for mobile than it is to create a desktop version.  That’s because there is simply so much less real estate to work with.  Following these guidelines will help provide your mobile customers with a satisfying user experience.

Homepage

  • Call to Action — This is the single most important element of your website.  It is the action that you want the consumer to take.  Therefore, make sure that it’s easy for your users to find them.  Put the call to action graphics and buttons in an obvious place where they cannot be missed.
  • Menus — Mobile users have a lot less patience than desktop users do.  They do not want to scroll through a long list of options to find what they want.  Present the fewest number of menu options possible and make the categories obvious and distinct to make it easier for mobile visitors to navigate.
  • Navigation — Users should be able to access the most important content in one click from the home page.  This usually involves using the three line “hamburger” button in the upper right.  A back button should be at both the top and the bottom of each page.
  • Homepage Access — Be sure that it is always easy to get back to the homepage without having to hit the back button multiple times.  Be sure that the top banner logo allows users to retreat back to the home page.
  • Video — A lot of text on the home page of a mobile site is not a great first impression.  Better to include a video to engage users right away.
  • Sale Promotions — it is tempting to hit users with prominent display of sale items on the home page and this is fine so long as the short term promotions do not interfere with the navigation or most important call to action.

Site Search

  • Site Search Boxes — If your site is a large ecommerce or information site, visitors will want to be able to search within your site search box.  Make sure it is prominent, visible, and at the top of the page.
  • Misspellings — it is certainly more difficult to type in a search item in a search box on a mobile phone.  Make it easier on your customers by adding misspellings and auto-complete.
  • Guide Users — To get better search results, ask as many questions upfront as possible.  For instance, a shoe site might ask for sizes since showing shoes that are not available in a particular size probably is not going to do the customer much good.

Registration

  • Let them Visit First — it is often kind of annoying when you walk into a retail store and the clerks are immediately asking you what you are looking for.  In most cases, you just want to look around first.  Same with your website.  Don’t ask them to register before looking for the product they are interested in.  Registration is a turnoff.  Engage them with an interesting product first.
  • Guest — Permit guests on the site.  As much as you might want the user’s information, some simply do not want to give it to you and if you demand it, you’ll likely get false information anyway.  Let them purchase without registering.  After using the guest registration and making the purchase, ask them again to register, but this time give the user a good reason why they should register such as receiving email discounts.
  • Convenience — If it’s a return visitor, remember their information to make it more convenient when checking out.
  • Use Tap to Call — Some aspects of the checkout process might be confusing to some users.  Others may be nervous about providing their personal data online.  Therefore, you should always allow for a tap to call help button during the checkout process.  If your business is too small to allow for 24/7 live operators, at least provide a recorded IVR program to get leads to call back the next business day.
  • Use Tap to Text — Same as tap to call, although simply touching a button will enable the customer to send a text message to the business.
  • Use Tap to Chat — Initiate an interactive chat service with the business.
  • Convert on Another Device — It can be difficult to fill out long forms on the small screen of the mobile phone.  Allow the customer to be sent information via email to convert the process when they are on a desktop.

Forms

  • Short Forms — Just ask for the information that is absolutely needed and nothing more.  You can collect more details later.
  • Information Entry — If the field requires numbers, such as a phone number or zip code, automatically shift the user’s mobile phone to the numeric section.
  • Use Toggles — A toggle is easier to navigate than a dropdown.  Users will prefer using them.
  • Calendar — People often do not know what date it is, but they usually know what day of the week it is.  Offering a visual calendar for events and travel sites make it a lot easier on the mobile user and will help them make less mistakes on date selections.  It also solves the problem where much of the rest of the world puts the date first and the month second as opposed to North America where the month always comes before the date.
  • Label within Text Boxes — Your site will be dealing with many different sizes of mobile devices and screen sizes.  A mobile user can easily get confused, often not knowing whether they should use the input copy at the top or bottom of the box, for instance.  That’s why you cannot fail if you have the labels inside of the boxes.
  • Efficient Forms — When entered, the zip code, for instance, should auto-fill the city and state to reduce the amount of fields required.  Put the zip code form before the city and state to save time.  Do the same in Canada, but remember that Canadians use alphanumeric postal codes instead.
  • Skip Ahead — When the form is filled, automatically have the cursor jump to the next field box.  Of course, you cannot do this for a name or address, but you can do it for phone numbers and zip codes where there are always a standard number of digits.

Usability

  • Test — it is critical to test, test, and test more.  Don’t just use the people in your office; they are probably too close to the product to find errors that outsiders may find.  There are online services that will enable you to test on a range of devices without having to purchase all of the devices.
  • Pinch and Zoom — A good mobile site should never require the user to pinch and zoom to see items.
  • Expandable — While a good site will avoid pinch and zoom, it’s great to offer expandable images, especially on ecommerce sites.
  • Portrait & Landscape — Whatever is used on your homepage should be used throughout the site.  Don’t make users turn their phones between portrait and landscape!
  • Windows — Users should never have to open new windows on mobile.  it is a pain for them and will help you lose the sale.
  • Desktop Site — Some users may prefer using the desktop site to the mobile site for whatever reason.  Do not deny them the ability to use the desktop site.  But, do not label it “full site” either.  If you do label it “full site,” users tend to choose it, fearing that they miss out on something, and then they get frustrated, because it does not look great on mobile.  Use the term “desktop site” in the footer to denote the site instead of “full site.”  And, do not always link back to the home page of the desktop site; it’s better to link back to the most relevant page on the desktop.

Technical Checklist

  • Configuration — Make sure that your configurations are correct and you are taking mobile users to the mobile site and desktop users to the desktop version.  This sounds basic, but it happens.
  • Landing Pages — Landing pages often work best on mobile where the theme can be exactly based on the mobile advertisement or source of the click through.
  • Analytic — Ensure that your analytic tools are tracking both mobile and desktop separately.
May
14

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

Web Development — Syracuse

Syracuse web development

Attention Syracuse businesses: If your website looks like this to Google, it may be time to update.

On April 21, 2015, Mobilegeddon was released and now Google has new rules in place to make sure that your sites are mobile friendly.  While the impact of the new algorithm may not have changed much for most sites, the message was clear: Google cares that your website is mobile friendly.  And, the importance of that will only continue to increase.

Not sure if your website is mobile friendly?  There’s no better place to check than to ask the experts themselves: Google.  Use this convenient link to see if Google thinks your website is optimized for mobile.

ATS Mobile has developed several sites for businesses recently in the Syracuse, New York market.  All are, of course, mobile friendly.

One site, developed for Brogan Brands, shows the outstanding outdoor advertising that the agency does.  Another site is for the Notch 8 Cafe, a new restaurant in suburban Syracuse.

If you haven’t mobile-optimized your site, there’s no time like the present to make sure that you do.  So, whether your business is in Syracuse, or anywhere else for that matter, optimizing your site for mobile just may be the most important thing that you can do for your business right now.

Feb
10

Mobile-Optimized Websites

The Foundation for an Effective Mobile Strategy

Responsive Web Design

According to eMarketer, 79.1% of Americans accessed the web from a mobile phone in 2014.

Moreover, more than a third of all accesses to the internet in the USA come from a mobile phone. That number rises if the target group is Black or Hispanic. And, in vertical markets like restaurants, the number is understandably significantly higher. In countries such as India, where broadband is not popular, mobile access to the internet is the predominant form of web access.

 

Why You Need a Mobile Optimized Website

You’ve heard of Google. It’s kind of becoming a big deal. So, when Google speaks, most business owners listen. According to Google, 61% of consumers accessing a site that is not mobile friendly will simply leave for a competitor’s site.

Despite all of the evidence, however, a surprisingly low number of small businesses have a website that is optimized for mobile. In fact, only 6% of small business websites are mobile optimized, according to this study. I happen to think that’s kind of a low estimate, but nevertheless, you get the point: there’s a lot of websites that are turning away business due to not being mobile optimized!

 

 

Take the Thumb Test

Google has put together a great presentation on what makes for a great user experience on mobile. You should learn these and know them well when designing your mobile website.

But, I like to simplify things even more. I call it the “thumb test.” Open up a website on your mobile phone and navigate through it using only your thumb. Now, imagine that you are large man with really big thumbs. Were you able to easily get to where you needed to go? How many “fat finger” clicks did you make?

 

How to Optimize Your Website for Mobile

Until about 2012, most businesses created a mobile version of its website. This was a smaller, easy to navigate, version of the website. It often used a different domain like http://m.website.com.   When a consumer came to your domain from a mobile device, the visitor was simply directed to the different mobile site.

Then, things began to change for the lowly mobile only website. Google best practices announced that you really should be using the same domain for desktop and mobile users and the SEO community began endorsing responsive design as the best way to obtain high search engine rankings. Hence, Google’s announcement caused the near death of the mobile website.

 

What Technology Should I Use for My Mobile Website?

There are really four potential solutions to how you should design your new mobile website:

  • Unique Mobile Site – using the m.website or simply a unique site solely for mobile users
  • Responsive Design – fluidly changes to any screen or device size
  • Adaptive Design – changes to fit a predetermined set of screen and device sizes
  • Hybrid Approach — uses some aspects of both responsive and adaptive design

Regardless of which approach is best for your particular needs, the important thing is that you provide an improved mobile user experience and gain the search engine rankings, and sales, that your business deserves.

Oct
16

VIDEO: How To Update Your WordPress Website

Quick and Easy Web Development for Harrisburg Businesses

Ever get those boxes that say “easy installation”?

It never is, right?

Until now.

At ATS Mobile, we’ve found the key to giving our clients easy access to updating their company websites.

We provide handy videos like the one you see below.  We know it’s a lot to take in from the initial meeting if you don’t have experience with WordPress.  That’s why we give you these video tutorials.  You probably won’t be updating your website that often, so now you’ll have something easy and efficient to refer to when you need to.  Just watch the video!

We’ve been developing new websites for businesses in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas for several years.  Those sites will always be optimized for mobile phones and tablets and if you aren’t doing so already, you should be.  Just take a look at the statistics of the amount of accesses to the internet from mobile!  And, it’s still climbing every year!

Percent of Accesses to Internet from Mobile – 2014

mobile access to web

38% of all organic web accesses are now from mobile phones.

Video Tutorial:  Update Your WordPress Website with Ease

Take a look at the handy video tutorials that we do for all of our web development clients and let us know if we can help your Harrisburg business, or business anywhere, with a new website.  All in responsive and/or adaptive design to ensure that you have a mobile-first approach to your business marketing.

 

Apr
8

Let Your Users’ Fingers Do The Talking (UI Design & Testing)

While the Windows team at Microsoft faced widespread shock and dismay at the radical UI changes in Windows 8, feedback from users helps them to shape the OS into what the world wants it to be, and they've accelerated their typical release schedule.

While the Windows team at Microsoft faced widespread shock and dismay at the radical UI changes in Windows 8, feedback from users helps them to shape the OS into what the world wants it to be, and they’ve accelerated their typical release schedule.

Beyond the thousands of aesthetic and functional decisions that designers and developers make before an app goes live, the most overlooked step in designing and optimizing UI (User Interface) for native & web apps is recognizing that your users are in the best position to help improve the interface because they are the ones who don’t carry the baggage of product history.

The problem comes from the way the software life cycle used to exist – periodic major releases incorporating many improvements, and fixes to all the bugs since the previous release. But in today’s fast-paced development environment, too often when releasing an app, designers and developers are so caught up in the rush to market that the metrics they use to measure success are based on whether people are using (or continue to use) their application instead of why and how the users are using it. And simply plugging in Google Analytics, or any of the myriad other measurement platforms available, isn’t enough.

Designers must conceive – and then communicate to developers – the specific ways how and places where they want to streamline user interaction. And developers must work with designers to turn broken, under- or misused interface elements into opportunities for out-of-the-box re-design. There may be five ways to return to the app’s main view or site’s homepage – which one is being used the most? What views/interfaces/pages seem to have the best and worst user flow and bounce rate? What features aren’t being used as often, and should they be de-emphasized, or promoted more heavily?

Putting together a focus group (it can even be staff from within your company, or friends and family!), A/B testing new UI features in the field (you’ll be surprised how streamlined this is with today’s tools!), and simply asking for direct feedback from users are all critical steps to implement, and not just once. The “set it and forget it” mentality of compartmentalized design and heavy development followed by light refreshments and a tropical vacation is no longer sustainable for a business of any size. Today’s application development is agile in every sense of the word, and today’s most innovative companies and products – that’s most innovative, not just biggest – are constantly testing and improving their products with a “fail fast” mentality.

Here at ATS Mobile, we work with our clients to closely track the apps and websites we create after they are released, and continually make changes to improve the user interface so that users keep coming back. We leverage major analytics platforms as well as some of our own proprietary tools that help us link apps and web services to the ad campaigns that feed new users in, and work to improve attribution in this constantly evolving multi-channel world. In short, our work is never done because a product is never finished. Today’s bug may become tomorrow’s new feature, and with an open-minded attitude toward design and function and the help of your users, digital products can take on a life of their own.

Apr
3

You May Be Losing up to 47% of Your Sales!

Main Line Philadelphia web design

New responsive design website with video.

Need a New Website?

Ask most business owners and they’ll probably tell you that they aren’t completely happy with their website.

And, if they’re happy now, ask them to check how their site looks on a mobile phone and even more are going to be unhappy.

Why Your Business Needs Responsive Design

With responsive design, your site will render properly whether its on a PC, tablet, smartphone, or feature phone.  That’s because a responsive design website uses the same elements, and the same URL, regardless of the device that is accessing it.  Hence, a good user experience for all!

According to recent research, only 9% of the top 100 retail e-commerce sites use responsive design.  So, you can see why a business will stand out given the much improved user experience for the consumer if he or she is on a smartphone or tablet.

It’s even more important if you are a restaurant that relies on takeout, because so much of your business will come from mobile.  And, in the restaurant industry, over 47% of your web access will come via mobile.

Google Will Love You!

Responsive design is relatively new so don’t panic if you aren’t totally up to date on it.

Just over a year ago, we were recommending to our clients that they should be using a website optimized for mobile and another website as their desktop site.  In many cases, the mobile website had a URL something like http://m.atsMobile.com and then they had their desktop website on their primary domain.  The problem with this strategy was that Google saw these as two different domains.  So, for SEO purposes, you needed to optimize what essentially amounted to two separate home pages.

No more.  With responsive design, your site will be seen by the search engines as just one site.  Hence, any backlinks, for example, are going to help you with both desktop and mobile search.

Add a video to your site and Google will love you even more since getting a video ranked is much easier than a web page that doesn’t have video.

ATS Mobile and Responsive Design

At ATS, we never really set out to be in the desktop web design business, but as a full service mobile marketing agency, you can see where we were forced into becoming more than just a mobile web designer, because of responsive design.

So, we’ve beefed up our web design business and are now ready to serve local businesses not only in our native Philadelphia and Toronto, but also across the USA and Canada.

Give us a call.  We’ll give you a mobile website and a new and updated desktop website for FREE!

 

 

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