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Muz.li Joins InVision, but why?

28 septembre, 2016 - 15:00

The Muz.li team joins forces with the great people behind InVision Labs. As both have the same understanding of quality, this move is no bad news for designers and developers. So no worries, it’s only me. I am having a hard time understanding what the deal could be about.

A Short Introduction to InVision and Muz.li

Noupe readers know Mus.li, which we introduced here, as well as InVision, which we covered extensively here. InVision has created waves in the developer pond ever since its inception and is today one of the most active contributors of free design assets out there.

The core of the business is prototyping, however. Read the linked article above to learn more. In short words, InVision makes it easy for you to create an operational prototype of your design project and share with stakeholders. Collaboration is possible; communication is tied right to the item that needs discussion. I would confirm that there are not many solutions covering the same problem, and there is not one that does it better. So, InVision is the place to go to when you are in need of a prototyping and collaboration platform for your design projects.

Muz.li, on the other hand, has nothing to do with this core business. They are just the provider of a Chrome extension that overtakes the New Tab in your browser to populate it with inspirational content drawn from third-party websites. For more information turn to the above-mentioned article. Since 2014 Muz.li has evolved and started to come up with their own line of content that they publish over at Medium.

Still, the core of the extension is curating content from around the web and presenting it in each new Chrome tab you open. Besides relying on their curation powers, you can also add RSS feeds you want to see on the same page. The mixture they present looks visually appealing and is certainly diverse.

For a short while the Muz.li Chrome extension stayed installed in my browser. Rather sooner than later I found that inspiration curation is a thing I need to do on my own. No premade service can deliver me exactly the sparks I am looking for and – to be honest – Muz.li picks on the lowest hanging fruit in the designer space anyway. There was nothing that I would have missed had I not installed Muz.li.

Even worse was the constant distraction each new tab opening exposed me to. Work is still about getting things done in the first place. Inspiration needs to be searched for when it is not coming voluntarily. Having inspiration sources pop up all around me did more harm than good to my work output. It must have been at least a year ago that I decided to delete the extension again.

Is Muz.li InVision’s Content Marketing Strategy?

Now Muz.li and InVision announce that Muz.li will be run as part of InVision Labs. Muz.li will continue to do what they did up until now, and it will also keep running independently from InVision. That’s about all information we get. Besides the mutual praise of the teams and the philosophy and what not. What isn’t explained is the question why InVision would want Muz.li on board. By the way, what does “Today we join the amazing InVision Labs family” even mean?

There are two interpretations to make sense of it. One might be that the Muz.li team might be highly skilled in making apps work in the browser. That would certainly mean the end of the extension sooner or later. The second might be that InVision, already highly active regarding content output, is looking to strengthen their content marketing efforts. It would certainly be a question of price, but this approach makes the most sense to me. We will see whether or not promotional aspects will come up in the operation of Muz.li.

Either way, from a business point of view I cannot find a solid explanation for that move. Can you?

Catégories: News dév web

Ten Great Free WordPress Themes of September 2016

27 septembre, 2016 - 17:00

Same procedure as every month. I look through the official WordPress theme index to bring you the best free WordPress themes that give your website a fresh new look. Surprise your readers with a new design that you didn’t need to pay a single cent for. This month, there are real treasures among the various themes.

1 – Halcyon

Halcyon is a very clean theme for blogs or photographers. It provides a modern display of your photos and a slider on the landing page. Custom logos, social media links, as well as four theme-exclusive widgets are available.

  • Created by: Rara Theme
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: Halcyon Demo
  • Download on WordPress
2 – Ocin Lite

Ocin Lite is a theme for online shops, based on the popular WooCommerce plugin. You get to customize both header and background colors. The theme has a minimalistic design and focuses on the presentation of products.

  • Created by: Quema Labs
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: Ocin Lite Demo
  • Download on WordPress
3 – Gridbox

Gridbox is a good choice for an online magazine, a blog, or a portfolio. The three-column grid sets itself apart from the competition very nicely.

  • Created by: ThemeZee
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: Gridbox Demo
  • Download on WordPress
4 – Verbosa

Verbosa is an appealingly designed theme for bloggers, authors, and photographers. The background, the colors, as well as the header can be customized to your personal needs. Such a lovingly designed theme is a rare sight nowadays.

  • Created by: CryoutCreations
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: Verbosa Demo
  • Download on WordPress
5 – Illdy

Illdy is a one-page business theme. However, using it to create portfolios and landing pages should also be possible.

  • Created by: Silkalns
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: Illdy Demo
  • Download on WordPress
6 – Travelers

Travelers is a theme for travelers and globetrotters. However, it can also be used for many different areas, such as blogs or magazines. The logo, the colors, and the layout are adjustable. To allow for better customization, the theme comes with a couple of widgets.

  • Created by: Daisy Themes
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: Travelers Demo
  • Download on WordPress
7 – EaterStop Lite

The EaterStop Lite theme aims to be a special theme for restaurants, cafés, and bistros. However, it is definitely possible to use it in other industries as well, due to its business-theme structure. Business and corporate websites seem like valid options.

  • Created by: gracethemes
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: EaterStop Demo
  • Download on WordPress
8 – Interior Lite

Interior Lite is a theme for multiple purposes. A website for furniture stores is just as possible as any other business website. The theme is prepared for the shop plugin WooCommerce. Colors, background, and logo can be adjusted.

9 – Boston

Boston is a blog theme that was specifically designed for female bloggers, which is why it has a light feminine touch to it. Nonetheless, emancipated men are allowed to use the theme as well. You get to customize the colors, the logo, as well as the background, and a landing page slider is also included.

  • Created by: FameThemes
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: Boston Demo
  • Download on WordPress
10 – Good

Good covers the entire blogging sector. This theme also lets you adjust background, colors, and logo.

  • Created by: FancyThemes
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: Good Demo
  • Download on WordPress
Catégories: News dév web

Coverr: Over 300 Free Videos for Your Website

26 septembre, 2016 - 14:00

A new video every day, or seven new videos every Monday, that’s what the operators of Coverr promise to provide. Since they have already added over 320 videos to their supply, there’s no reason to doubt this pledge. As the name says, the videos work best when used as covers, so-called hero videos, for a website’s background.

Veed.me and CodersClan Create the Video Platform Coverr

Coverr is operated by the teams of Veed.me and CodersClan. Veed.me is a platform in which customers get to search and book videographers for their needs. Veed.me lives off of a 15 percent share that the filmmaker pays. The platform is free for the customer. The prices are not getting dumped, and the platform doesn’t pretend to be a cheap supplier. To me, that makes it likable already.

I have similar feelings towards the CodersClan. They are a community of professional developers that don’t accept everyone. They are proud to say that they only take six of 100 applications. This serves the protection of quality and is bound to please the customer. With this preselection, I would not have any worries when asking for a commission.

Coverr: Finding and Downloading Videos Without Any Detours

The CodersClan maintains the website, while Veed.me provides the videos for Coverr. As expected, the result is well-rounded. By now, the website presents over 320 videos in an infinitely scrolling grid that can be further filtered using category tabs.

Coverr: Clear Presentation as a Thematic Grid (Screenshot: Dr. Web)

If you click on a video, it will open in a popup. Here, the video is started. It is also possible to download the video or to have it be displayed as a cover, a background. If you choose this option, the Coverr website’s background video is replaced with your current choice, so you can judge the suitability for yourself.

If you decide to download it, you’ll immediately download a zip to your disk. The zip contains three folders in which the video is included as an MP4, WEBM, and as a JPG screenshot.

You should use all three versions on your website. The operators of Coverr will also show you how to do that. Here you’ll find three snippets in HTML, CSS, and JS, which only need minor adjustments before you can use the respective video as your website’s Hero area.

Coverr is Public Domain; it Doesn’t Get More Free Than That

As I mentioned before, all short clips are free-to-use. The chosen license is the most liberal one possible, called CC Zero, better known as Public Domain. Assets with this license can be used by anyone for any purpose without restrictions or costs. This way, you’re on the very safe side.

Catégories: News dév web

Fall 2016: New Animation Tools With and Without JavaScript

23 septembre, 2016 - 09:00

The two animation tools that I would like to introduce you to today are not of the run-of-the-mill kind. They are not animation generalists, but rather specialists for small application areas. The JavaScript Granim.js allows you to create animations with color gradients, while Radiobox.css is all about the looks of your radio buttons.

Granim.js: Simple Gradient Animations With a Large Impact

Granim.js is a fresh JavaScript penned by the Parisian developer Benjamin Blonde. This tiny script lets you animate gradients in, on, and around anything that can be displayed in a canvas element.

Granim.js Animates Color Gradients in Many Different Ways. (Screenshot: Dr. Web)

Using it is Simple:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 <!-- Create a <canvas> element --> <canvas id="granim-canvas"></canvas> <!-- Call the script -->   <script src="granim.min.js"></script>   <!-- Create a Granim instance --> <script> var granimInstance = new Granim({ element: '#granim-canvas', name: 'granim', opacity: [1, 1], states : { "default-state": { gradients: [ ['#834D9B', '#D04ED6'], ['#1CD8D2', '#93EDC7'] ] } } }); </script>

As the JavaScript only weighs a meager 10kb, the overhead can be neglected. This also justifies the application in the smallest possible way, like animating a page logo with a color gradient, as it can be seen on the project’s demo page. Pay attention to the Granim.js logo in the top left.

This example also shows you that the JavaScript can not only create simple gradients but is also capable of working with image masks. Launching gradients works via click or event, which is shown in a very impressive way on this page. Just move the mouse over the ghost buttons and you’ll surely get to like Granim.js very quickly.

The script is available for free download on Github. It is equipped with the very liberal MIT license, so you also get to use it in commercial projects, like customer websites.

Radiobox.css: Animated Option Choice

720kb has created a small collection of CSS animations that are supposed to free radio buttons of all the boredom. There are 12 variants available in total. The effect is triggered when the respective radio button is clicked. Depending on the effect, the button will then start bouncing, rotating, growing, and so on.

Radiobox.css is a Collection of 12 Small Stylesheets for Radio Button Application. (Screenshot: Dr. Web)

Just try it. Radiobox.css provides interesting effects for one of these buttons that get ignored design-wise most of the time. Radiobox.css works with CSS3 and requires a modern browser to function.

Getting it to work is very easy. Just assign the class to your radio button that represents the desired effect, for example:

<input type="radio" class="radiobox-boing"/>

Radiobox.css comes, like the previously presented Granim.js, under the MIT license, and can thus be used commercially as well. Download it via Github.

Catégories: News dév web

Vectr 1.0: Free Vector Graphics App for Everyone

22 septembre, 2016 - 16:00

Vectr is a brand-new graphic software from Taipeh. The founders have been secretly working on the ambitious project for almost two years. Two days ago, they ended the beta stage and released the software into the wild.

Vectr: Platform Independent, Free, Powerful

Vectr does not aim to be less than the Google Docs of vector processing, and a superior rival to Inkscape. In fact, the feature set is impressive. Vectr can be used as a web app, or as a downloadable app for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. The functionality is identical. Under Chrome, the web app is capable of working offline.

The team is currently working on the creation of integrations with Slack and WordPress. Then, Slack can be used for visual communication. Via plugin, you’ll be able to edit graphics directly within WordPress.

Generally, Vectr is suitable for any 2D graphic, making it a rival to Canva, which we introduced you to here. Similar to Canva, you’ll find predefined layouts of the large social networks in Vectr, and all that’s left to do is fill them with content. However, Vectr is far more capable than Canva, which is impressive, especially considering that it’s free.

In contrast to Canva, Vectr does not only aim for the group of presenters, bloggers, and social media users. Vectr is even powerful enough to solve complex tasks.

Vectr’s UI Seems Familiar. (Illustration: Vectr)

For web design, the ability to directly implement Vectr graphics into your designs is fascinating. When you then edit it with Vectr, changes made are automatically updated on the website that uses the graphic. Handy, right?

As you probably already thought, the name lets you draw a conclusion regarding the used technology. Vectr works based on vectors, and not on pixels, putting it on the same line as Inkscape or Illustrator.

One of the nearly finished core features is the option to work on the graphics in teams. This is supposed to work in real time, just like Google Docs.

Vectr: Where is the Business Model?

Vectr wants to stay free forever. There is no way to know if there will be charged extras in the future. Vectr already successfully completed the first round of seed funding. This brings up the question about the business model sooner rather than later.

Thoughts on this are already coming up. Shortly, there will be a marketplace in which you get to share, sell, or buy designs. The marketplace will be fully integrated into the editing interface so that the buying process can run smoothly while editing a project.

Overall, the team behind Vectr is very ambitious, as you can tell from the massive roadmap, which lists 55 very demanding features, that will supposedly get taken care of anytime soon.

Catégories: News dév web

You, the Font Designer – with Prototypo

21 septembre, 2016 - 14:00

Did you know that there is one web-based software that allows you to create your very own font? And did you know that it is easier to use than whatever easy-to-use item you could come up with? I ain’t lying. The web app I am talking about is Prototypo. And it’s fun.

Say Goodbye to Comic Sans

I well remember the days of Comic Sans, and if you are living in carpet land, you will still suffer from the impact of that ubiquitous typeface on a daily basis. Powerpoint, I can smell you. Out of carpet land, the importance of Comic Sans has steadily decreased over the years, and that’s a good thing.

Today, web and graphic designers alike are faced with a variety of choices from larger and smaller type foundries around the globe. Google Fonts alone comes with hundreds of free fonts to choose from.

But still, with all the choices available, are we in paradise yet? Not really, as not only the free and paid font repositories grow fast. The need for fresh fonts grows even more quickly. And who wants to have his design look like that of the company around the corner?

Despite the plethora of fonts surrounding us, there is one thing missing – individuality. You simply cannot stand out by using the same assets that thousands other use. What you need and what you want is something unique.

In these days of deep pockets and short arms uniqueness is a thing customers do not want to pay for. Sure do they want it but as soon as you name a price you can see that look on their faces. Like they put their hand on a hot plate or suffered a lion’s bite in the neck. You know what I mean.

Designing a custom font is a whole lot of work. We both know it. And Adobe Illustrator is not a point-and-click tool for achieving rapid results, either. In the end, you do not design the custom typeface but go for a more or less valid choice from Google Fonts or some other type foundry. Your customer is not entirely satisfied, neither are you. But, hey, no ticky, no washy.

Say Hello to Prototypo

Now sit back and relax. What if I told you that there is a way of reaching that level of exclusivity and individuality without having to invest a fortune in terms of client money or designer time? Would you believe me?

I won’t put you on the rack any longer. Let me introduce you to Prototypo. Prototypo is your solution for all things font. Based on three free-to-use base fonts you can design your very own typeface whether you want it straightforward and clean or complex and vintage or whatever strange or less strange ideas you pursue. Prototypo gives you full control over the process. The only limit is your imagination.

You don’t need to be a skilled font designer, however. You don’t even need to be a designer at all, though being one will help as the general sense of aesthetics is stronger in designers than in ordinary people. Think of the force. That’s also stronger in Jedi than in other people.

Creating a font in Prototypo can be done the hard way, letter by letter or in one go on a whole typeset. Prototypo features a plethora of sliders with which you customize every aspect of your own font in great detail.

You can modify individual letters by adjusting their paths and nodes just like you would in Adobe Illustrator. Yes, Prototypo is that powerful. But I bet you will go for the way of designing whole sets in one go as this saves you time which as we all know equals money.

Take the two minutes to watch the following video. It gives you a pretty complete impression of what to expect from the product:

Prototypo looks back at three years of development time. We can sure call it a ripe product by now. It is definitely not one of those quick shots we see more often than not these days. Prototypo grew slowly but steadily and today serves more than 8,000 designers that have created more than 10,000 unique fonts since.

Prototypo is not free, however. You can choose between two models. The simpler one comes at 15 dollars a month flat. If you are not into monthly subscriptions, you can as well purchase export credits. Each credit allows you to export one font. These credits come in packs of five and cost five dollars, one dollar per credit.

The choice of the plan will largely depend on what you intend to use the service for. Will you become a heavy user? Then you should probably opt for the yearly subscription even. This saves you quite a buck compared to the monthly plan as it costs 99 dollars per year. Do you expect to just export a font now and then, buy a batch of export credits.

In any case, make sure to play around with the free version to get a feel for what Prototypo can help you achieve. Stay updated by following their Twitter account.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Prototypo. They took no influence on what we wrote, however.

Catégories: News dév web

Visual Hunt: More Than 350 Million Photos For Free Commercial Use

20 septembre, 2016 - 10:00

Pictures say more than words. Especially graphic and web designers value the use of meaningful, professional photos. On the search for the right picture, we often end up with a commercial provider. Often neither the quality nor the quantity of the free providers is sufficient. Here, Visual Hunt is an exception in the truest sense of the word. With more than 350 million photos, you’re almost guaranteed to find the right images for any project. And even the quality of the photos is impressive.

The Best of Flickr and Co.

The reason why Visual Hunt provides over 350 million high-quality photos is, that the service collects the best images from creative-common, and public-domain websites on the internet. Don’t worry, the service doesn’t accumulate the material from random sources. Instead, it focuses on sources like Flickr, and other services with a good reputation and quality.

Search Results in Visual Hunt

Additionally, all of Visual Hunt’s photos are hand-picked, were sighted, and equipped with keywords, guaranteeing good search results.

Over 60,000 Public-Domain-Photos

The different licenses under which the photos are provided are creative-commons- and public-domain-photos. The creative-commons license is in wide use on the internet. It allows you to use photos for free. However, the originator of the photos has to be mentioned.

If you are allowed to use a picture under the creative-commons license for commercial purposes or even edit it, depends on the originator. Licenses vary widely. However, you will get to see a very clear overview on what exactly you are allowed to do with a photo.

Preview With Information on License, Limitations, as Well as Conditions

Aside from the creative-commons license, there are also about 60,000 photos available that are under the public-domain license. These photos can be used without any limitations, even without naming the originator. Thus, these images give you the highest level of freedom possible, although Visual Hunt would prefer if you named the originator of every picture you use.

It is even possible to specifically search for public-domain photos if you don’t want to name the originator, for design-related reasons, for example.

Search For Keywords, Colors, and Licenses

When offering this amount of photos, a good search function is key. Visual Hunt is also able to score in this regard. First, there’s the classic keyword search, which lets you find appropriate imagery. Here, you get to combine search terms, and you’re also able to exclude specific terms.

Search For Images of Specific Colors

This lets you narrow down the number of photos by a good amount. When you’re not using photos for editorial, but for design purposes, the colors of the images are often an important factor. Here, Visual Hunt allows you to limit the results to a particular color. You get to pick one of eleven predefined colors that comes the closest to your expectations.

Last but not least, as mentioned before, you can also limit the results to certain licenses. The sorting function also helps you move results into different orders. For example, you can make it show the most relevant, or the newest photos that meet your search criteria most perfectly.

Download and Embed Without Registration

If you think you’ve registered on enough web services already, you’ll like Visual Hunt even more. The download of photos is possible without registration. You get to pick one of a couple of different resolutions. They are sorted into groups of different sizes.

Depending on the photos, they are available from S (640Pixel wide) up to 3XL. The size of 3XL also depends on each photo. Usually, it’s between 3,000 and 5,000 pixel, though. Thus, the photos can even be used for printing.

Downloading Via Lightbox

When searching for multiple photos, you don’t need to download them one by one. Instead, you can add all of them to a Lightbox, and download them later on. This way, you get to search through the images first and add every single that you wish to use to the Lightbox. The images in the Lightbox are displayed at the bottom border of the page.

Once you’re done, pick one size for the resolution of all the images, and download the complete content of the Lightbox as a single ZIP file.

Instead of downloading photos, Visual Hunt also provides the option to embed photos into your website or blog via an HTML snippet. Here, you can define the resolution using a slider, and simply copy the HTML part.

Embedding Photos Instead of Downloading Them

The information on the originator and the license will then automatically integrate. You also pick the orientation of the image, which can either adjust to the left, the center or the right. A preview shows you how the image will look.

The integration comes with the advantage that you don’t need to download the photos first, just to upload them again immediately afterwards. This also saves web space and traffic.

Uploading and “Liking” Photos

If you do choose to register at Visual Hunt, you are allowed to upload photos yourself. These are then sighted and, if they meet the quality criteria, added to the image portfolio of the public-domain license.

But be careful: as soon as a photo was uploaded, there’s no way back. In contrast to many other providers, you are not able to remove your photos later on.

Uploading Photos

As a registered user, you can also rate pictures by distributing “likes.” This helps improving Visual Hunt’s supply, as you highlight only the very good photos (hopefully).

Conclusion

Even though 350 million photos is an impressive supply, the amount of available photos continues to rise. When visiting the page regularly, you’ll notice the constantly increasing number of photos in the tally. It does not only tell you about the total number of photos of Visual Hunt, but also the number of public-domain photos.

Not only the image quantity but also the quality is impressive. Thus, Visual Hunt is not just something for bloggers, and private projects. Visual Hunt is also a good fit for professional use in graphic and web design.

Catégories: News dév web

Design Seeds: Daily Inspiration From Photos and Colors

19 septembre, 2016 - 15:00

Creativity rarely comes from nowhere. Inspiration is an important aspect for all graphic and web designers. Get your daily dose of inspiration in the form of photos and colors at Design Seeds. There, you’ll be provided with sophisticated pictures and a fitting color palette every day.

Inspiration From Nature and Environment

In 2009, Design Seeds was created by Jessica Colaluca, who went freelance as a designer at that time. She turned her passion for colors, flowers, and landscapes into a blog. Her touch with nature and her design-related job are also reflected in the name Design Seeds.

Rose Roses and a Palette With Six Pastel Shades

Usually, she publishes two photos a day, where the colors play a vital role. The pictures vary from vividly colored flowers to impressive landscapes or something very common in our daily lives. The colors are always the primary factor that makes the photos so unique.

One Photo, Many Colors, One Palette

The composition of colors for a project is not always an easy task. Which colors harmonize especially well, which do a good job at complementing each other? Every designer has to answer these questions over and over again. Design Seeds provides answers through photos, which always come with a color palette of six colors. Each one is taken from the respective image and represents one of the pictures’s dominant colors.

This way, a spray of roses results in a palette of six pastel colors. In contrast to that, a winter landscape in the mountains leads to a palette with cold blue and gray shades.

Six Cold Blue-Grey Colors Fitting to the Winter Landscape

The color values of each of the palette’s six colors are also provided as a hexadecimal value. This makes it easy to copy them and use them for your design purposes.

Searching for Colors and Collections

Those looking for unusual colors for a particular project aside from the daily photos can also go for a targeted search through Design Seeds. For example, it is possible to find pictures of specific colors. To do that, simply pick a color, and Design Seeds will show you all photos that the color is a part of.

Search for Colors

For instance, this is very helpful when one color is already fixed due to a logo or other client-mandatory asset. You’ll quickly find various harmonious color palettes to choose from.

Alternatively, you can also have photos displayed in collections. For example, Design Seeds can show photos related to each of the seasons, related to nature, or everyday situations.

… or Look for Collections

Follow on Instagram

To not miss a photo, you should become an Instagrammer, as Jessica Colaluca also posts here photos on there. This way, you won’t miss anything, and you’ll automatically receive your daily seed of inspiration. If you prefer Twitter, you can also follow her there.

Design Seeds is a small, but lovely blog that shows you the diversity of colors, and how to properly use and combine them every day.

Catégories: News dév web

20 Free Massive UI Bundles to Kickstart your Project

16 septembre, 2016 - 17:00

What does it take to breathe life into your idea, converting it from simple notion to digital mockup? The answer is trivial – lots of things. Starting from fundamental knowledge in design and not ending with working experience in image editor software such as Photoshop or Sketch, to say nothing about the time and efforts that should be put in, you need to be one smart apple. However, do not give up if you lack in web design skills or are familiar with Adobe Illustrator just by hearsay. In the era when the huge treasure chest called the Web is at your fingertips, it is much easier to achieve your goal and make your dream come true, destroying all the stereotypes. All you need are the proper tools of the trade. And when it comes to web or app design, there is no better assistant in creating prototypes than a pack of pixel-perfect retina-ready vector-based general user items that were crafted by real pros.

They are eager to keep you away from all the hassle inherent to early stages of design, save you time and brighten up the workflow. Each component will not only boast of matching color schemes, the optimal amount of white space or a perfect balance between the graphics and the content but will also convince you with a stylish look and contemporary features. With a well thought-out UI set, you can quickly and easily shape your idea. To give you some convincing proofs we have rounded up a list of 20 large bundles that are suitable for fulfilling different tasks.

 

GUACAMOLE 3-IN-1 UI KIT


Creator: avocode
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Deadline UI Kit


Creator: Rajesh Rajput
License: Free for personal and Commercial use.

Stella — Best Blog UI Kit


Creator: Arsen Kolyba
License: Attribution-NonCommercial.

Sweety iOS UI Kit


Creator: Damir Bektilov
License: Attribution.

Spot UI Kit


Creator: Arun
License: Attribution 4.0 International.

20 Splash UI Kit Screens


Creator: Nick Parker
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

UI Tiles


Creator: pixelbuddha
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Wyre – Web Layout Flowcharts


Creator: Petr Knoll
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

iOS9 Kit


Creator: ozzik
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Kauf UI Web Kit


Creator: Yebo creative
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

 

Relate UI Kit


Creator: invisionapp
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Puzzles – iOS UI Kit


Creator: CARLOS & RAMON
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Sign In Project


Creator: Jardson Almeida
License: Creative Commons 4.0.

Android M GUI Kit


Creator: Hanii
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

iOS 9 UI Kit


Creator: Facebook
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

iOS 9.3 iPhone UI Kit for Illustrator and Sketch


Creator: Rusty Mitchell
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Platforma iOS and web wireframe kits


Creator: platforma
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Tilt – UI Kit


Creator: JARED LODWICK
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Elton UI Kit


Creator: pixelbuddha
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

EarthShift — UI Kit


Creator: Arsen Kolyba
License: Free for personal and Commercial use.

Catégories: News dév web

Project Muze: Cry for Joy?

15 septembre, 2016 - 17:00

Project Muze, the new fashion experiment created in a cooperation between the companies Zalando and Google is well worth seeing. It might not do justice to the Zalando slogan “cry for joy”. But I cried nonetheless.

Project Muze: Even the Muse is Astonished. (Foto: Pixabay.com)

Can the Machine Inspire Your Clothing Style?

Project Muze may be great when looking at it from an academic level. Here, Google tries to display an example of applied machine learning. The project is supposed to be some type of muse for your clothing inspirations.

Sounds interesting, eh? This sure is a rather unconventional way to get to one’s own clothing design. All the algorithm asks of you is to answer a couple of questions that only deal with clothing in a peripheral way. The gender question seems feasible, although the answer won’t necessarily be evident when looking at the result. At this point in the process, I didn’t know that.

In the further progress of the “design process”, I need to classify my mood, name my taste in music, as well as enter my favorite type of art. In the end, Google believes that it has gathered enough information to be able to give me a personalized clothing suggestion.

This is the result:

This is Supposed to be My New Look? Interesting. (Screenshot: Dr. Web)

Cry of Surprise: I Can’t Accept This!

Well, tell me what you think. Dieter wearing feminine pyjama pants, basically topless, and cluttered with black crystals? Seriously? Not even the most progressive stage director of any opera house in the world would make up something like that. And they do come up with some esoteric stuff often enough.

I thought I might just be difficult to classify, so I looked through the gallery of already existing drafts of other muse interviewers. And, what should I say? It’s not looking any better over there. Judge for yourself:

The Most Recent Trend Shows That Targes Are Back in Fashion. (Screenshot: Dr. Web)

Two green targes are floating freely before and behind my upper body, while a swirling pattern is making my shirt and pants look like a colony of laevorotary bacteria, basically the Activia of overgarments. The attached targes remind me of the prime of the guillotine. Robespierre sends his greetings.

Or take a look at this design:

What Are You Supposed to Call This? A Generous Design? (Screenshot: Dr. Web)

This looks like it could be taken from a gender-mainstreaming version of the Avengers. But nobody would put on something like this voluntarily. The bloomer-like bodysuit might prove to be quite comfortable on the couch after work. However, it doesn’t matter how long I think about this, I simply can’t wrap my head around what the strange cape, which is also able to float, is supposed to do.

Do You Really Have to do Everything That’s Possible?

Either I just don’t spend enough time in the world of modern fashion, which is certainly possible. Or this Google Experiment is just straight up garbage.

Of course, Project Muze is based on Google’s TensorFlow, which is a library for machine learning, and is most likely very challenging technologically. Zalando‘s 600 fashion experts also contributed significantly towards the predictive decisions based on current trends. From a technological standpoint, we most likely can’t address reproaches to the agency Stinkdigital either, which also worked on the realization of the website.

The result of all this effort is, simply put, unnecessary, and a good example that proves that you shouldn’t do everything just because you are able to do it.

I’m sure you’ll understand that I won’t get any more “inspiration” regarding my clothing style from Project Muze. That should be in the interest of all of us.

Catégories: News dév web

Stocky.pro: Free Commercial-Use Photos, Music, Videos, and Graphics

14 septembre, 2016 - 10:00

Is there a state called enough when it comes to free resources? I don’t think so. The fresh service Stocky.pro is additonally special, as it doesn’t only offer photos and graphics, but even music and videos for free use.

Stocky.pro: the Rather Plain, but Appropriate Landing Page. (Screenshot: Noupe)

Stocky.pro: A Lone Wolf From the Ural Has High Ambitions

Stocky.pro was brought into my filter bubble via Product Hunt. The page has gone online not too long ago. It is being run by the lone fighter Alexey Kokov from Yekaterinburg in the Russian Ural. Kokov’s goal is to offer all types of digital media that someone could ever need for commercial purposes for free via Stocky.pro.

This goes so far, that he actively asks his visitors to order certain content. He’ll take care of it and deliver just these materials on Stocky.pro. This sounds altruistic, and it probably is, at least for now. According to his own statement, Kokov prefers working on Stocky.pro during the night and on the weekends, as his main job and family already take up a majority of his time.

Preview on a Thematic Image Download. (Screenshot: Noupe)

Kokovs vision for Stocky.pro is running a content marketing hub, on which companies can both provide and freely access content. At the moment, he’s excluding advertisements. He does not want to sell premium services.

For us users, this means that Stocky.pro is completely free, and it is supposed to stay like this. The provided material can be used for free for any legal purpose, in private, commercial, and customer projects.

I was not able to make out how Kokov wants to earn money with this, yet. After all, he considers Stocky.pro to be his startup. Well, let’s just wait and see.

Stocky.pro: Manageable Offer With Any Theme Focus

When designing such a service on a drafting table, you most certainly would not act the way Kokov is acting with Stocky.pro. At the moment, you’ll already find a decent amount of different resources for digital use on Stocky.pro. However, the material provided is somewhat random, because the owner has dealt with some topics more than with others.

Thus, you need a good amount of luck trying to find what you really need in your current project on Stocky.pro. Things will be much easier on larger, classic stock providers.

However, one has to admit that the provided elements have good to very good quality. This includes the vector files as well as photos, videos, and music. The product range is small but the products are worth a look.

Stocky-Example: If You Are a blogging Knitter or a knitting Blogger, this Video could be Useful for You…

When it comes to music and videos, one thing that’s nicely done is the preview. Kokov uses YouTube for the videos, and Soundcloud for music. This way, you won’t have to blindly download something, and you’ll get to test whether the elements satisfy your needs in terms of content and quality.

There are no thematic divisions into categories (yet). Finding interesting elements is either done via browsing through what’s there, or using the free text search, which can be found hidden in a hamburger menu. Alongsinde the resources you’ll find a few tags to characterize the respective element. Clicking one of these tags will open a grid that contains all content with the same tag attached to it.

Talking about grids, Stocky.pro strongly reminds me of Pinterest and other card based designs.

Conclusion: At the very least, Stocky.pro should be in your bookmark collection for observation purposes. Free music and video sources are still quite rare. The rest is also promising.

Catégories: News dév web

Create SEO-friendly URLs for Web Images with Cloudinary

13 septembre, 2016 - 17:00

URLs for images are typically not useful for search engines because they’re comprised of an extensive list of random characters. To boost your site’s SEO ranking, you need concise, meaningful image file names that make it possible for search engines to extract information about a picture. Because uploaded image files rarely have descriptive names, it poses a challenge for developers and site content managers, who are tasked with maintaining short, meaningful, SEO-friendly URLs.

Cloudinary offers two features that can help developers improve search engine optimization of their images – Root Path URL and Dynamic SEO suffixes – and enables you to use your domain in the URL. These features are useful for a website, as well as a web application, owners, and are recommended for content-heavy sites, such as online magazines and news sites.

Root Path URLs

Cloudinary’s image URLs are delivered via CDN and use folder names as their path prefixes. These include resource and image types, such as /image/upload and /raw/upload. The most popular prefix among Cloudinary’s users includes /image/upload in its URL. Now, with Cloudinary’s Root Path URL feature, the /image/upload section of URLs can be removed, leaving only the image’s public ID (file name) at the path’s root – significantly simplifying the URL.

Below is an example of an image that was uploaded to Cloudinary and was assigned basketball_shot as the public ID:

http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/upload/basketball_shot.jpg

And here is an example of a Cloudinary image URL that uses the Root Path URL feature:

http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/basketball_shot.jpg

Both URLs yield the same uploaded image:

The Root Path URL capability also enables users to add parameters for on-the-fly image manipulation. For example, if an uploaded image needs to be cropped to 200 x 200 pixels, it can be transformed just by setting the width and height parameters to 200 and the crop mode to ‘fill’ (see text in red in URL below).

http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/w_200,h_200,c_fill/basketball_shot.jpg

Cloudinary’s client libraries (SDKs) can be used to build delivery URLs and add image tags. To do so, you only need to set the new parameter, use_root_path, to true.

For example, the code sample below was used to create an HTML image tag with an image URL using the Root Path URL feature:

cl_image_tag("basketball_shot.jpg", :width=&gt;200, :height=&gt;200, :crop=&gt;"fill", :use_root_path=&gt;true) Dynamic SEO Suffixes

Cloudinary offers users the ability to create image URLs that are more comprehensive and descriptive. Each image uploaded to Cloudinary is given a public ID, which is its name for delivery URLs. Users can define custom public IDs with a string of text or multiple folder names (separated by slashes) while uploading images. These public IDs can be as descriptive as necessary.

The Dynamic SEO Suffix feature goes further, allowing users to separate the process of uploading an image and assigning a public ID from creating descriptive URLs. If an image is not given a suitable name during the upload process, you will be able to assign additional URLs to the image afterward. For example, with this feature, you can dynamically add multiple suffixes to create as many descriptive URLs as necessary for your site. You may want to use these URLs to support different languages for a single image or to reflect specific content on certain pages.

To add a Dynamic SEO Suffix, an image’s path prefix must first be changed from the default /image/upload to the shorter version /images.

Here is an example of an image that was uploaded with the ID tepu4mm0qzw6lkfxt1m and is delivered by the following CDN optimized URL using a standard path prefix:

http://demo-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/ltepu4mm0qzw6lkfxt1m.jpg


Below, the suffix basketball-game-in-college was added, which is the text that search engines use to index the page and image:

http://demo-res.cloudinary.com/images/ltepu4mm0qzw6lkfxt1m/basketball-game-in-college.jpg

In the URL below, the same image is given an additional, separate suffix in Spanish:

http://demo-res.cloudinary.com/images/ltepu4mm0qzw6lkfxt1m/baloncesto-juego-en-universidad.jpg

Additional image transformations then can be easily made by adding parameters to Cloudinary’s on-the-fly manipulation URLs. Here, the same image is transformed to a 200 x 200-pixel crop with rounded corners and increased saturation:

http://demo-res.cloudinary.com/images/w_200,h_200,c_fill,g_west,r_30,e_saturation:50/ltepu4mm0qzw6lkfxt1m/basketball-game-in-college.jpg

This capability is also applicable for non-image raw file uploads and private images. For raw files, the resource type /raw/upload should be replaced by /files, and for private uploads, the resource type /private/upload should be replaced by /private_images. When using Cloudinary’s SDK for various development frameworks, set the new url_suffix parameter to any text, and the URLs will be built automatically with either a /files or /private_images prefix, as well as the added suffix.

Use Your Own Domain

You can also make your URLs more SEO friendly by using a custom domain (CNAME) for your URLs instead of the shared res.cloudinary.com. The SEO suffix and CNAME features also can be used together, for example:

http://images.<mydomain.com>/w_200/afe6c8e2ca/basketball-game.jpg

It’s important to note, though, that to use the SEO suffix or CNAME features, your account needs to be setup with a private CDN configuration, which is only supported by Cloudinary’s Advanced Plan or higher.

With these capabilities, Cloudinary can help you easily create advanced image manipulation and delivery URLs, which will assist in optimizing your site for search engines. Cloudinary users can use both the Root Path URLs and Dynamic SEO Suffix features together to build a short and descriptive image URL. The Root Path URL capability is available for all accounts, including the free tier, and the Dynamic SEO Suffix capability is available with Cloudinary’s Advanced Plan or higher with a private CDN setup.

For more information, or to sign up for an account and test these features, visit the Cloudinary website.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Cloudinary

Catégories: News dév web

Sitemap With WordPress: A Table of Contents for Your Readers

13 septembre, 2016 - 10:00

A professional blog is not only useful because it offers valuable content that the visitors like to read. Many other aspects also play a significant role when it comes to a professional appearance. One of them is the highest possible user-friendliness, as a good blogger will always think about his visitors first. To allow them to find the information they’re looking for as fast as possible, a sitemap for your blog makes sense.

A sitemap is very useful for your readers. They have an overview of all options that help them find the desired information as fast as possible. There’s no reason to not offer this service to your visitors as the sitemap itself is created very quickly. The structuring of your site before will require quite a bit of brainpower.

Before getting started, consider the following: you need to set yourself apart from the many blogs that already deal with your topics. Thus, it is necessary to empathize with your visitors and ask yourself what would help you on a stranger’s blog.

By the way: I’m not talking about the XML sitemap that Google and other search engines can access to better index your website.

Creating a Good Sitemap – How to

A sitemap for your visitors should contain the following elements:

  • An option to search for articles depending on year and month
  • A certain amount of articles per year should be displayed – maybe the last twenty
  • All articles categorized
  • All pages that you use in the theme
  • All categories with an RSS feed

This allocation gives your visitors a bunch of well-structured options to find the desired information. Two free plugins and a WordPress function are necessary to create the sitemap described above.

It is possible to compile the entire table of contents in the WordPress text editor, and no template files need to be altered.

1 – Compact Archives

Compact Archives categorizes archives depending on year and month. It provides a simple shortcode that allows you to add your sitemaps according to your requirements.

  • Developer: Syed Balkhi
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: Eleven months ago
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known compatibility issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
2 – List category posts

This plugin provides lots of possibilities to set up a good sitemap, due to its plethora of shortcode configuration options. You get to categorize the articles depending on the year, month, category, tag, and many other characteristics. Here’s a full overview of the configuration variety of the shortcode.

  • Developer: fernandobt
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: three months ago
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known compatibility issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
3 – Displaying all Categories With the RSS Feeds

The following code snippet belongs into the theme’s functions.php.

View the code on Gist.

Creating the Table of Contents (Sitemap)

I promised you that you wouldn’t need to touch a template file to compile a good sitemap. Of course, I’ll keep my promise. Thus, go to the WordPress dashboard, choose “Create => Pages”, and set up a new page titled “Sitemap”.

To get started, write a couple of words explaining on your sorting, so that readers receive a first orientation on what and where they need to search.

1 – Listing Articles by Year and Month

First, I list up the articles by year and month. This list also shows me the months in which nothing was posted. Months and articles are not clickable here.

View the code on Gist.

[compact_archive style="block"] 2 – Listing all Articles by Their Respective Years

The shortcode displays all articles from the respective year. When there are too many articles, you should alter the amount of displayed posts.

&lt; ?php [catlist year=2016] // or reducing the amount of posts [catlist year=2016 numberposts=-20] 3 – Sort Articles by Category

For this, we use the slug – meaning the URL – of the category. IDs can be used as well.

&lt; ?php [catlist name="wordpress"] // Or by ID [catlist id=20]

Find all configuration options of the list category post shortcode on this site:

How to use the Plugin

4 – Listing up all Categories With an RSS Feed

Now, the shortcode we created earlier will be put to use. It has no configuration options at all.

View the code on Gist.

Bonus: My Entire Configuration to Copy Into the Editor

If you aren’t sure how you can use shortcodes, just copy my configuration into the text area of the WordPress text editor. At this point, you will want to switch from the visual view to the text view:

The Gist With my Settings:

View the code on Gist.

 

Screenshot of the Final Result

A part of the sitemap. Please click on the graphic to view the entire info.

Demo: TechBrain.de/sitemap/

Conclusion

Now link your sitemap prominently, so that your users will find it at first sight. That way you’ve already done a lot for user friendliness. On top of that, the advised table of contents should lower your bounce rate, and make Google happy, too.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Fixed: Google Analytics and the Warning “Leverage Browser Caching”

12 septembre, 2016 - 10:22

When optimizing your website’s speed while following the GooglePage Speed Insights guidelines, you’ll know this alert. Activate “Leverage Browser Caching” for the Google Analytics Script. Often, this alert is to be blamed when a website doesn’t reach the infamous 100 of 100 PageSpeed points. That’s exactly where the problem is, because how can you cache a file that is not on your server? Today, we’ll show you three solutions.

Google Analytics is a good thing and still the tool of choice for every user that wants to take a close look at their website’s traffic. However, the script can also cause quite a headache when the goal is to optimize your website to achieve the famous 100 points from GooglePage Speed.

One problem is that some of the aspects desired and recommended by Google will not accelerate your blog, so they are not recommendable. For example, when you implement your entire CSS (often multiple files, including the plugin stylesheets) in the HTML inline, Google will congratulate you for making this decision.

However, when you only have a small perfectly cacheable stylesheet in the header, and the rest of the CSS in the footer, Google will try to tell you that this will slow your website down. Of course, the opposite is the case.

The same applies for the Google Analytics error. The script will be cached by Google for two hours. However, Google wants to have a longer period. This doesn’t increase your website’s speed either.

Google criticizes the short caching of the Analytics script, and thus, it only shows a maximum of 99 out of the 100 points. To solve this, there are multiple options. Three of which I’ll introduce you to today.

Before We Start: Make Sure To Use Browser Caching

If you’re still not using a code for a caching in your .htacess file, it’s about time. A simple browser caching combined with a compression of files already causes a significant speed boost. Here, you’ll find the necessary code, add it into the .htaccess in your blog’s main index.

View the code on Gist.

Solution 1: Host the Analytics Script Locally

Host the script on your server. This solution is ambivalent. On one hand, it immediately removes the error, and you’ll easily get the 100 points. On the contrary, it is quite troublesome, as you have to make sure that the script is getting updated.

To me, this solution seems to be good, as firstly, the script is delivered faster on my server, and secondly, with a little effort, it can also be updated automatically if you can start the proper cronjob on your hosting package.

Step 1: Downloading Analytics.js

Download the script used in the Google Analytics code. The URL is the following:

https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js

Load the script into the WordPress main index. The new path to the file could look like this:

https://yourwebsite.com/analytics.js

Now, search for your Google Analytics code in the theme or your plugins. If you happen to use a plugin that adds your Analytics code to the theme, deactivate the automatic addition to your theme. Otherwise, look in the header.php or the footer.php. You might also find it in your theme’s functions.php.

Replace the Original URL With Your URL. View Script:

View the code on Gist.

Add the edited code into your theme’s footer – in the footer.php above or below of wp_footer();. Subsequently, upload the file into your theme folder.

Step 2: Create a Script That Keeps Your Local Script Up to Date

Create an empty file and name it analytics-update.php. Implement the following code into the file.

View the code on Gist.

Now, you need to extend this update file by the absolute path to your Google Analytics file. To do so, line 6 of the PHP file has to be added.

To transmit the absolute path, create an empty file called dir.php and enter the following code:

View the code on Gist.

Copy this file into your WordPress’ main index and call up the file in the browser:

http://yourwebsite/dir.php

The lower path is correct, copy it, and replace the information in the analytics-update.php in line 6 with it.

Afterward, delete the dir.php from your server, as it poses a security risk. Now make sure that both files on your server are writable. The file rights CHMOD 755 should be okay and work.

Now, all you need to do is create a cronjob that calls up the analytics-update.php once a week. This works differently for each host and operating system so that I won’t post a code for this job.

If your server doesn’t allow for Cronjobs, use an external service like cronjob.de.

More Information:

HowTo: Add Jobs To cron Under Linux or UNIX?

The Final Result of Our Efforts

By hosting it on our server, the file can be moved into the cache, and GooglePage Speed Insights now shows the desired 100/100 points.

Solution 2: Use ga-lite.js Instead of Google-Analytics.js

Ga-Lite is a slim version of the Google Analytics script. It was developed and optimized to have the best speed and optimal browser caching. It works perfectly and records the basic functions of the original code by Google Analytics. Another advantage: the ga-lite.js script loads much faster than the original.

When you don’t just want to trick Google, but want to do something for the performance of your website, ga-lite is the right choice.

However, it does have downsides at the moment. Custom quotations can not be used. The bounce rate can not be adjusted, and links can not be tracked. By now, the IPs can be marked up anonymously, however.

The Installation of ga-lite:

Implement the following code into the footer.php of your theme, above or below of wp_footer().

View the code on Gist.

ga-lite will also get you to the desired result at GooglePage Speed.

Solution 3: We Outsmart Google

You’re using an adjusted Analytics code, and both solutions are out of the question? You want to keep everything the way it is, but you still want the 100 points for your ego?

No problem, we also got an ego-solution to offer. For that, we use a small PHP function that simply makes the Google Analytics code “invisible” for PageSpeed Insights. This way, the Analytics.js works perfectly fine everywhere, except for the page of Google PageSpeed.

Extend the Analytics Code With the Following:

View the code on Gist.

This code also gets you to the 100 points, but won’t speed up your website. This code is only there for your ego and lets you reach the 100 points without any significant modifications.

Conclusion:

The first solution seems to be the best to me but is not recommended by Google. It can only be used with a cronjob that always keeps the local file updated. Without this update step, the first solution is not recommendable at all. The second one is ideal when you have not made any changes to the Google Analytics code yet, and only use the analysis software’s default functions. You’ll still have access to them without any issues, and your website will be sped up at the same time.

The third solution also works, but I don’t recommend it. Personally, I would prefer living with 99 points or less. The main thing is that my websites load in much less than a second.

Source: KeyCDN

Catégories: News dév web

20 Exceptional Three.js Experiments

9 septembre, 2016 - 10:00

Getting the most out of advanced JavaScript APIs has come into fashion these days. Mind-blowing Chrome experiments driven by WebGL,  personal portfolios of creative art directors that are marked by high-end abstract animations based on Three.js, or just hero sections that are set in motion with the help of Tween.js, all these libraries are extremely popular nowadays.

They power projects that are so overwhelming and awe-inspiring that even the banal lack of full browser compatibility ( the majority of such projects are capable of working in its full capacity only in the latest browser versions) does not slow down this raging mainstream nor does not prevent people from loving them.  More and more developers are joining this flow, trying out its possibilities and pushing boundaries. Today we are going to take a glance at one of them and pay attention to some successful experiments with Three.js.

Three.js is a relatively lightweight and quite intuitive JavaScript library, a constant companion of projects that were created on the basis of WebGL. When it comes to dealing with 3D graphics, it is in its element. With it, it becomes possible to generate complex animations massively overload the system. It lets you manipulate and tune all the vital details of the composition such as lights, materials, shaders, cameras, objects, etc. It programmatically creates a render and charges it with dynamic behavior taking into account all the rules of geometry, perspective, and physics. To sum up, it has something to offer to any sophisticated developer.

We have compiled a collection of Three.js experiments that are available on Codepen. Some of them such as the wave of particles have already found their place in real projects while others such as the water shader are just outstanding pioneering concepts.

Many Icons in 3D Using Three.js


Creator: Yasunobu Ikeda a.k.a @clockmaker

Three.js Particle Test


Creator: Eric J Nesser

Wave of Particles


Creator: Chris Aldridge

Three.js Particle Stream 


Creator: Szenia Zadvornykh

My Three.js Practice


Creator: Esambino Wei Cheng Hsieh

Water Shader Implement in Three.js


Creator: Khangeldy

WebGL Particle Head 


Creator: Robert Bue

three.js Points Anti-gravity is Applied, ver2


Creator: yoichi kobayashi

Three.js + TweenMax (Experiment)


Creator: Noel Delgado

Test of Three.js and Tween.js 


Creator: cx20

Pixel Particles


Creator: Szenia Zadvornykh

3D Particles Forming Shapes


Creator: Pål Smitt-Amundsen

Gridspace


Creator: halvves

Three.js CSS3D – Periodic Table


Creator: i2801

Procedurally Generated Minimal Environment 


Creator: Marc Tannous

3D Panorama Viewer by Three.JS 


Creator: Max Chuhryaev

Ace Editor


Creator: Jacob Davidson

Image Slider


Creator: Kenji Saito

Water Shader


Creator: Arnaud Rocca

Smoke


Creator: Teo Litto

Catégories: News dév web

Top 6 Reasons Designers Should Use JotForm

8 septembre, 2016 - 10:00

JotForm’s Form Designer is a tool Noupe readers already know quite well. Throughout the years we have covered all of JotForm extensively because we are entirely convinced of its value. Today we present you the six most important reasons why you as a designer should be using JotForm.

Reason 01: The Point-and-Click CSS Form Theme Designer

Form Designer is the most advanced form designing tool available and is the fastest way to customize a form’s look and feel. We have reviewed this part of the service in-depth in this article. With JotForm designers find the best form creator available. This alone is enough reason to use the service.

If you don’t know about JotForm’s Form Designer, let me just throw the best features at you. Form creation with Form Designer is far faster than traditional CSS, yet also allows you to add custom CSS. The forms are mobile-ready by default. Form Designer is seamlessly linked to Google Fonts which gives you the freedom to choose from hundreds of fonts to create an outstanding typographic experience. You can even monetize your designs by offering them through the JotForm Theme Store. Noupe has covered the Theme Store in more detail in this post.

JotForm-designed Forms on Multiple Devices

Reason 02: Outstanding Features

Web forms don’t need to be boring. With JotForm’s Form Designer even less so. However, a nicely designed web form might still not cut it. What if we could add almost any element to our web forms quickly? Think of image sliders, YouTube videos, SoundCloud files and more.

JotForm works hard on providing you with the best widget experience any web form can offer. Besides the few that I named there are almost 400 widgets available altogether spreading over 18 categories of use cases. Chances are, the widget you need already exists.

Sometimes filling out a form is not a simple linear process. Instead, you might want to react differently to form actions the visitor takes. With JotForm you can create conditional logic using simple commands in a point-and-click manner.

The most simple example could be serving a custom “Thank you” page to different visitors with different form information. Besides that, you can always serve custom “Thank you” pages after the form is sent. You might want to open a page with the latest offerings or a special promotion or just a downloadable present as a reward. Whatever you want, do it with JotForm.

Setting up Conditional Logic in JotForm

If your forms are to be of the most sophisticated kind, you will like the collaboration features JotForm offers. With sub-users, you can build a team of designers working together in-house or in a spread environment that might even involve the client.

JotForm is available in 18 languages and provides full reports on all activity around your forms.

Learn more about JotForm features

Reason 03: Integrations Galore

JotForm has over 100 Form Apps, which give users the ability to send form response information to dozens of other helpful tools. This includes:

  1. CRMs like Salesforce, Highrise, Zoho, and Insightly;
  2. Email marketing software like Constant Contact, MailChimp, VerticalResponse, and GetResponse;
  3. File storage providers like Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive.

Besides that you can send response data to Google Sheets so that your whole team will see real-time updates made to shared spreadsheets. Store owners will want to collect payments through a form by connecting with PayPal, Dwolla, Stripe, and Authorize.Net.

Examples of PayPal Payment Forms

Reason 04: Time-saving Ease of Use

JotForm’s famous drag-and-drop form builder has been dubbed the ‘easiest form builder” by Entrepreneur Magazine. We here at Noupe had only praises, too. With this ease of use comes a time-saving aspect that’s not to be underestimated.

It’s not only that building forms is faster than with other tools. You also get into the driver’s seat much more rapidly, because there is no learning curve involved. JotForm is as intuitive as can be.

The next time-saving aspect is that you need no technical expertise whatsoever. It requires no more than five minutes from never having heard of JotForm to having your first form built successfully.

Reason 05: Affordability

JotForm offers more for free than any other form builder, with a starter (free) plan allowing users to receive up to 100 form submissions per month. For heavier usage, paid plans start at only $19 a month.

I know, it’s only a form in the end. And who wants to pay big time for something so subtle? JotForm definitely has that in mind when you look at their paid offerings.

Reason 06: Security

JotForm prides itself on being the most secure form builder. It uses Form encryption as well as secure (SSL) forms by default.

If you or your client resided in the European Union, you must make sure to adhere to the much stricter European data privacy regulations. That’s why JotForm decided to proactively make an offer. Starting December of last year clients can choose to store their data in JotForm’s European data centers with EU Safe Forms.

These data centers reside in the heart of Europe, namely the German cities of Frankfurt and Nürnberg. Those internet-savvy readers among you probably know that the DE-CIX in Frankfurt is the world’s largest internet exchange point. You will hardly find a better connection anywhere.

Conclusion: JotForm is the best form management solution out there. There is not a lot to be missed. In fact, I cannot think of one thing, even. It is affordable, secure, flexible, easy to learn and use, feature-packed and handsome. Go for it!

Catégories: News dév web

Images Solved: Cloudinary is a One-Stop-Shop for Web Developers

7 septembre, 2016 - 10:00

As we develop web projects, we always want to enhance our end users’ experience. We want the sites to be fast and use minimal bandwidth, while also being visually impressive. Use of images is the key to making sites visually appealing, but in most cases they do not load fast and they add unneeded weight to the site. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Cloudinary offers the perfect solution to managing images, which helps you maintain that delicate balance between file size and quality.

Images: Sizes, Resolutions, Weight, Focus, Format

Images have always been complicated to manage. This was the case years ago when we were developing for fixed resolutions that were based on a common compromise. At first we designed for 800 pixels width, then for 1,024 pixels width – long before the mobile web came into being.

The evolution of mobile devices has confronted us with a slew of additional intricacies. Mobile internet connections are unpredictable, fast in some areas, but slow and limited in other areas. To ensure acceptable performance of our site on smartphones, small file sizes are a necessity.

Mobile devices also come in a plethora of screen resolutions and pixel densities. We must make sure that we can deliver a variety of image sizes to the appropriate devices, while ensuring they look sharp on every device.

But mobile isn’t the only issues. Some browsers still offer only mediocre support for modern formats. As a result, we’ve been forced to stick with more common formats, rather than taking advantage of the benefits of modern formats like WebP, BPG and FLIF.

Another issue we face in image management is that when reducing an image’s resolution we are forced to cut off content in order to maintain the primary focus point.

Because of these complexities, it was too difficult, time-consuming and resource-intensive to serve different formats to specific browsers, or crop images to keep the focus in place.

Cloudinary Solves Image Management Challenges

But what if there was a service that made it easier to do all these transformations?  Imagine only having to upload a single high-resolution image file, which the service would use to generate all the resolutions, sizes, densities, formats, weights and crops as needed, on-the-fly. Even better – it would run automatically, without you having to manually make adjustments.

This service does exist, and it comes from Cloudinary, the well-known cloud-based image and video management system. Recent upgrades to the solution enable you to use their unique algorithms to take advantage of full automation.  Here’s a look at some of the new features available through Cloudinary:

Automatic Content-aware Cropping

The new parameter g_auto ensures that images are cropped according to their main content element. With face detection and a content-aware cropping algorithm, Cloudinary guarantees to never lose the focus of your images.

Not the best examples for content-aware crops. (Photos: Cloudinary)

Automatically done content-aware crops using Cloudinary. (Photos: Cloudinary)

Intelligent Content-aware Encoding

The parameter q_auto is equally as powerful. Cutting down on file size is a process that involves decisions. How much clarity, sharpness, image quality are you willing to lose? What can you accept or – even more important – what level of quality do your visitors expect?

The answer is always the same. You want to keep the image quality as high as possible and the file size as small as possible. Cloudinary now takes care of that for you. It automates the file size versus quality trade-off decision, on-the-fly, by using perceptual metrics and heuristics that tune the encoding settings, then select the appropriate image format.

With Cloudinary, you will be guaranteed to always have the best quality at the lowest weight delivered to your site’s visitors.

Dynamic Format Selection

Adding to the effects of the content-aware encoding, Cloudinary now offers dynamic format selection. This algorithm does two things: it looks for the capabilities of the visitor’s browser, then delivers a format that might only be supported by that specific browser, such as WebP in Chrome. In addition, the parameter f_auto analyzes the image content to generally select the appropriate format.

If you’d upload a file like this as a JPEG, Cloudinary would make sure it gets delivered as a PNG. (Illustration: Cloudinary)

Automatic Responsive Images

Responsive images have created even more challenges for developers. Consider how many different devices, of different resolutions that are on the market now. Then you have to consider dealing with orientation change when devices are moved horizontally or vertically. This requires the creation of multiple versions of the same image, to ensure visual quality regardless of device or screen.

Cloudinary offers new parameters w_auto and dpr_auto do the job for you. The service simplifies dynamic image delivery for responsive websites on retina and regular displays, by automating the image width and Device Pixel Ratio (DPR) value decision based on the viewing device, display size and layout. All of this is derived from the single high-resolution image you uploaded.

For more details on Cloudinary’s new features read this blog post. It gives you code snippets and in-depth information on the processes behind the curtain. To test drive the features and see what they can do, visit Cloudinary’s demo page.

Disclaimer: This article is sponsored by Cloudinary.

Catégories: News dév web

Cookies & Co.: Storage Options in the Browser

6 septembre, 2016 - 10:00

For the longest time, cookies were the only option to store information locally within the browser. Even today they are mainly used in combination with server-side sessions. However, thanks to HTML5, we have another option to locally deposit data in the browser. There’s the “Application Cache”, as well as “Web Storage”, and IndexedDB. But what are the different storage options there for and what can they do?

Saving Settings and Sessions Using Cookies

Cookies were already around during the Netscape days. They are used even today to save settings for websites and web services, or to manage sessions. A cookie is a text file that can contain up to 4 KB of text. You can set up cookies via JavaScript or server-side via PHP.

They are mainly important in combination with sessions. Whether it’s about the log in on social networks or in online shops: a cookie placed after the log in makes sure that the website recognizes you as a user.

The special thing about cookies is that you can add an expiry date to them. Thus, cookies usually have a limited lifespan. If no lifespan is set, a cookie will expire upon closing the browser.

Generally, cookies can only be read by the domain from which they are placed. Oftentimes, it’s also possible to restrict a cookie to certain subdomains or indices.

Saving Via “Web Storage”

With the introduction of HTML5, two other storage options were established: the “Web Storage”, which consists of “loacalStorage”, and “sessionStorage”. Both versions allow you to save variables and values in the browser, purely via JavaScript.

localStorage.setItem("name", "Manfred"); sessionStorage.setItem("name", "Manfred");

While using “localStorage” will keep deposited data in the browser permanently, “sessionStorage” only keeps them until the browser is closed.

In contrast to cookies, which are a simple text files, you get to distribute as many variables as you like, letting you save and access different information.

localStorage.getItem("name");

While cookies often work in conjunction with server-side session variables, “localStorage” and “sessionStorage” only provided a local storage option.

Saving Entire Websites Offline Using”Application Cache”

HTML5 focused more on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Thus, “Application Cache” lets you make an entire website available offline. Here, you can use a so called manifest file that determines which of a website’s resources are stored and made available on a device.

CACHE MANIFEST index.html stylesheet.css logo.png

This file induced via “CACHE MANIFEST” contains all information needed for offline operation. Once downloaded, no internet connection is required to access the page. In contrast to browser cache, the information is permanently saved locally, similar to native mobile apps.

The manifest file has to be referenced in the page’s “<html>” element.

<html manifest="http://www.example.com/manifest.mf"> IndexedDB: Database Within the Browser

IndexedDB and WebSQL are two approaches to establish databases set up locally within the browser. In the end, IndexedDB prevailed. In contrast to “Web Storage”, which only allows for the storage of simple variables and text based contents, IndexedDB provides much more complex storage options.

Using IndexedDB, you are able to create a full-fledged database in the browser, where you can not only deposit character strings, but also numbers and objects.

var request = indexedDB.open("example", 1);

In the example, a database is set up. Subsequently, you create so-called “stores”, in which you place single data sets.

request.onupgradeneeded = function() { var db = request.result; var store = db.createObjectStore("article", {keyPath: "id"}); var titel_index = store.createIndex("by_title", "title", {unique: true}); var autor_index = store.createIndex("by_author", "author"); store.put({title: "HTML5 and CSS3", author: "Denis", id: 123456}); store.put({title: "Mobile Apps", author: "Dieter", id: 234567}); }; request.onsuccess = function() { db = request.result; };

Here, a “store” with articles is created. Afterwards, two indices are defined, both of which sort data sets differently. In the end, the data sets are written into the database via “put()”.

Conclusion and Developer Tools

Developer Tools in Chrome

If you want to develop contemporary web applications with HTML5, “Application Cache”, “Web Storage”, and IndexedDB are three options for you to store information locally in the browser, as well as make them available offline. This is an especially important aspect when it comes to mobile web apps. Server-based solutions are not needed.

The developer tools of the recent browsers also let you display the stored content, as well as delete it if need be.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Images for Websites: Common Mistakes and Solutions

5 septembre, 2016 - 11:00

Today, in the year 2016, all modern websites are rich of media, with even large format images being used. On average, images have a loading volume share of over 60 percent. This should be enough reason to take care of the optimization of photos and graphics, as well as to uncover the most common mistakes.

Many mistakes when it comes to images are made by designers and developers already. However, users are very careless as well, and often approach using photos for the web without the necessary knowledge.

The careless use of image media can come with disadvantages for a website’s loading speed. Taking a close look at a typical blog makes the problem evident:

Image Shares of a Regular Blog

To illustrate this, I measured my personal blog. Here, it becomes apparent that the image shares make up 76,8 percent of my website’s file size. In addition to that, the graphics trigger 20 HTTP queries.

The Images Make Up 76,8% of the File Size and Trigger 20 Queries.

Enough reason to take a close look at the most common mistakes when it comes to images, and provide the proper solutions.

1 – Using Graphics for Things That Could be Done Via CSS

Before CSS3, there was a time where graphics were used for all kinds of layout purposes. Back then, they were used for backgrounds, shadows, and symbols. Graphics were used for processes as well. Before CSS3, there was no other way to accomplish all of the above. However, there are still too many designers and developers that don’t use pure CSS, but instead leave the job to graphics and icons.

The Solution

Now, however, CSS3 is supported by all standard browsers. There is no reason to use graphics for any job anymore. Literally, all possible areas of application can be solved with pure CSS and Icon fonts. This brings big advantages regarding loading speed and helps saving bandwidth.

2 – The Wrong Graphic Format is Used

A very common mistake when it comes to using images on the web. All in all, one can say that the three most common graphic formats for the internet are JPG, PNG, and GIF. That’s the difficulty, as not every format can be used for every area of application.

Every format has advantages and disadvantages. So generally, the goal is to find the right format for a particular area, because that’s the only way to assure that the website loads fast, while the images are still displayed in high quality.

The Solution

Photos should always be used as a JPG. This helps both loading time and quality. The right format for logos, diagrams, supportive graphics with shadows, and anything similar is the PNG format. Here, you should check if a PNG8 is sufficient or if you need to use a PNG24. This can also save file size.

The use of GIFs can still be justified as well. Nowadays they are used to display short videos. However, it is often ignored that their file size is enormous. A conversion into a modern MP4 format helps you save a lot of file size. Did you know that a 6,3MB GIF is only 311KB after being converted into MP4??

Activating WebP Support

To save lots of bandwidth and file size, you could use the WebP format, developed by Google, to accelerate the internet. However, Chrome and Opera are the only browsers currently supporting the image format. There is no doubt that other popular browsers will follow soon, though. As you can see from this screenshot, the advantage is quite evident:

3 – Using Non-optimized Images

Unoptimized images are one of the biggest speed hazards for websites. A lot of times, the images used are way too large, forcing the CSS to scale them down. I’ve seen countless amounts of blogs that used extremely high-resolution images. Accordingly, the loading time drops into unacceptable areas.

The Solution

Every image and every graphic should be optimized for the web before you use it for your website. The easiest way to do so is the “save for web and devices” function of Adobe Photoshop. Before that, the photo should be cropped to the proper size. Here, the article image sizes and the width of the content area can help you.

When using WordPress, a plugin for the optimization is a good idea. At the moment, the best one is Optimus HQ (19 Euro a year). But a free plugin like WP Smush is capable of achieving good results as well. Both plugins offer a function that lets you optimize all images in the media library belatedly.

When using one of these plugins, every image will automatically be optimized upon being uploaded into the library.

4 – Using Way Too Large Image Formats

Today, the majority of websites is responsive. It adjusts to any screen resolution so that it can be utilized on both smartphone and desktop computer without any issues. This makes the right way to handle images even more challenging.

Now you may be tempted just to use images that are needed for the maximum resolution. The CSS will take care of the adjustment to smaller screens. However, the file size stays the same, meaning that the image displayed on the smartphone is still huge, but merely adjusted to the small screen.

This will drive up the loading time on mobile devices for no reason.

The Solution

The answer to this problem is to create different miniature versions of the same image and deliver the proper size depending on the device’s resolution. WordPress is already following this approach. However, the service Cloudinary is a far more efficient choice that offers a CDN for the images at the same time. Cloudinary also offers a free account which should be sufficient in most cases. A WordPress plugin is available as well.

5 – Not Using a Browser Cache for Images

This mistake is also very common, although very easy to remove and significant. Without a browser cache, the image material is reloaded upon every page call up. With a cache, however, it will only be loaded once and after that, it will be accessed from the cache, which takes significantly less time.

The Solution

A couple of lines of code for the .htaccess file can get rid of the problem very quickly. All necessary files are included in the cache.

View the code on Gist.

Conclusion

In 2016, handling images and graphics is still the most important task when it comes to a website. In this section lies the largest potential for the increase of a website’s loading speed. When all addressed points are taken care of, a significant performance boost is to be expected. Depending on how you handled the image material before, the difference can be up to multiple seconds.

Via: Source

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

How to Protect Your Website From Content Theft

2 septembre, 2016 - 10:00

Content theft is not an attractive issue. Many bloggers that are in the business for a while have already had to experience this. Sometimes, content was ever so slightly changed, sometimes it was a blunt copy. This brings up the question what can be done to prevent content theft.

First things first: You’re definitely not alone with this problem. I’ve had some of my most successful content stolen, as well as one of my themes. I was able to solve both of these issues with a couple of “friendly” words in an email.

However, you need to be aware of the harsh reality: this is the internet. Thus, there can be no absolute protection from theft of intellectual property. Nonetheless, there are a couple of things that make it more difficult for the thieves.

Preventing Content Theft

Prevention is always better than aftercare. For that reason, I’ll give you some tips that will often let you prevent someone from stealing your content.

1 – Cater for a Clear Copyright

You need to make very clear what you want to allow others to do when it comes to your texts. Every visitor has to be able to find and view your copyright terms quickly. A clear copyright could look like this:

© Copyright [your full name] and [website name], [current year]. Unauthorized use of content or parts of content is prohibited without a written permission by the author. Excerpts may be used, however, only with a clear credit to the source. This needs to be done as follows: mention of the author, website, as well as a link to the original article.

Maybe you could place the terms in the sidebar, as it is easily noticeable and accessible there. However, you could also place a link to the copyright in the footer, which redirects interested viewers to a certain page. Of course, you can also prohibit any usage, all depends on your wishes.

2 – Use a Creative Commons-License

Similar to the previous option, you get to define exactly which type of use you want to permit, and how you want to be linked back to. Creative Commons is one of the most popular providers of free licenses in multiple versions. On the organization’s website, you’ll also find a license generator, which lets you define your personal copyright license.

If you decide for one of the Creative Commons licenses, you should make it very visible as well. A link in the footer is completely sufficient. It could look like this, for example:

© Copyright [your full name] and [website name], [current year] – Link to the license

3 – Make Your RSS Feed Show Excerpts Only

Content theft often happens via RSS feed. All the thieves need to do is configure your website feed once, and they will always have your latest content on their page. Here, it can be very helpful to only show excerpts.

However, this type of prevention could come with heavy disadvantages. Many users still like to read new blog content via RSS feed. These users might be angry when all you get to offer are excerpts.

The Solution: Yoast SEO

One solution could be to use Yoast SEO. This SEO plugin lets you implement custom copyright messages into the feed. This way, your copyright would be placed under each of your thief’s articles, letting you deliver the full feed again.

4 – Use Google to Search For Your Content

Your content could already be located on other websites that you are not aware of. Content theft is rather common, so use Google and other search engines to look for your texts. Copy an excerpt of one of your articles, use it in quotes for more precision, and start a search.

5 – Protect Your Images

Without your images, your content is only worth half as much. Thus, you should protect your images from unauthorized use. A small entry in the .htaccess file makes sure that your images can not be hotlinked from your server into other blogs.

Using the image material would only be possible when the images were downloaded and implemented into the articles before.

View the code on Gist.

6 – Use Google Alerts

For this Google service, a Google account is required. In the settings, you get to pick which types of content are important to you. Once that content pops up somewhere, you’ll receive an email from Google.

7 – Use Copyscape or Plagium

Copyscape is a rather useful online tool which helps you find copies of your content very fast. The free function is generally sufficient, but there is a paid version with significantly more features.

Plagium is another tool that lets you find out if there are plagiarizations of your articles on the web.

Content Theft Detected?

If all measures to prevent theft of your intellectual property failed, you have to react. Here, the following three options remain.

1 – Message the Thief

Find the content thief’s email address and message him. Be friendly, but make it clear that you will make use of legal measures if the content is not removed immediately, and if the thief does not stop stealing.

I always had success that way, thus, further steps were not necessary.

2 – Contact Google

It is also possible to contact Google directly, requesting the removal of the duplicates from the index.

Google reacts to copyright complaints according to the USA’s copyright law (Digital Millennium Copyright Act, DMCA).

If you happen to host your blog on WordPress.com, you can contact Automattic. That’s the company behind WordPress. However, this only works with WordPress.com and not when it comes to the self-hosted version of WordPress.org.

Automattic: Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Notice

3 – Inform the Thief’s Web Host

If sending an email to the thief did not result in a solution, all that’s left is contacting the online gangster’s host, and notifying him of his customer’s practices. This type of combat has proven itself to be effective as well. It is easy to find the host with a simple whois query of the respective domain.

Conclusion:

Content theft will always be a topic, and there is no 100 percent safe protection from it. We can not always prevent it, but we can keep an eye on our content. We are also able to make it a little harder for the thieves, hoping that they move on to an easier victim instead.

Source: Prevent Content Theft

Catégories: News dév web

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Yves Bresson, ingénieur en informatique, consultant freelance, spécialisé dans le développement web (CMS, PHP, Laravel, Ajax, jQuery, Bootstrap, HTML5, CSS3) et d'applications mobiles (iPhone, Android). Voir le profil de Yves Bresson sur LinkedIn