Relax. We Code.

PSD to WordPress. WordPress Customization.

Get Started

Decentralization 2.0: Beyond the semi-monopolies of Uber and Airbnb

Four years ago, on Christmas Eve in my small hometown of Yakutsk, the temperature fell down to freezing -45°C and all the local taxi services simultaneously doubled their prices — leaving loads of people stranded in the Siberian winter. Angry and frustrated, a bunch of students formed a public group on, a popular Russian social network, where anyone could submit a request for a ride, and those who owned cars could accept their calls for help. A year later the group had 50,000 subscribers. A little later on, I gathered a lean team and transformed the group into a…

This story continues at The Next Web

Weekly News for Designers № 420

Get FullStory for Free, Forever.
Get FullStory for Free Forever

HEY META – Check your site and generate useful Meta tags.

Half Second Hamburger Helper – A collection of hamburger menu click events.
Half Second Hamburger Helper

Laws of UX – The key maxims that designers must consider when building user interfaces.
Laws of UX

10 Up-and-Coming WooCommere Plugins – Some lesser-known, but useful companion plugins for WooCommerce.
10 Up-and-Coming WooCommere Plugins

Freebie: “Scribbler” Website Template (HTML, Sketch) – A responsive HTML template for coding projects with a clean, user friendly design.
Freebie: “Scribbler” Website Template (HTML, Sketch)

HTTPS explained with carrier pigeons – A plain-language guide to understanding HTTPS.
HTTPS explained with carrier pigeons

FontRapid – A free font creator for Sketch.

9 Custom Open Source File Upload Field Snippets – Do more with the upload field using these snippets.
9 Custom Open Source File Upload Field Snippets

Design Style Guides to Learn From in 2018 – Big brands with excellent style guidelines.
Design Style Guides to Learn From in 2018

AnimTrap – A CSS/JS framework for animations.

Turning Design Mockups Into Code With Deep Learning – Creating HTML and CSS automatically through AI.
Turning Design Mockups Into Code With Deep Learning

CSS Alignment Cheatsheet – A nicely-illustrated guide to aligning all the things.
CSS Alignment Cheatsheet

Decorative Letter Animations – Shape and letter animations based on the Dribble shot “Us By Night”.
Decorative Letter Animations

How To Create a Living Style Guide – Using DocumentCSS to create your own living style guide.
How To Create a Living Style Guide

Better Typography with Font Variants – Learn how font variants can make a more beautiful web.
Better Typography with Font Variants

Material Design for Bootstrap 4 (Vue version) – A Bootstrap 4 template that leverages Vue.js.
Material Design for Bootstrap 4 (Vue version)

Crooked Style Sheets – Analytics and tracking using CSS only.
Crooked Style Sheets

TOAST UI Editor – A GFM markdown WYSIWYG editor.

Follow Speckyboy on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ for a daily does of web design resources and freebies.

The post Weekly News for Designers № 420 appeared first on Speckyboy Web Design Magazine.


Ōkami HD review: rebirth of a goddess

2006’s Hokusai-inspired video game is transformed in an exemplary HD rerelease

If the American novelist Chuck Palahniuk skewered the almost-lie that money buys happiness with his quippy adage that the things we own end up owning us, the newly rereleased Ōkami (and pretty much every other video game in which you play God) spoils the idea that the life of a deity is in any way enviable. Sure, as the benevolent goddess Amaterasu, freshly incarnated as a white wolf, you have the power to change the world in extravagant ways, both galactic and molecular.

With a flourish of that mystical calligraphic brush clenched between your fangs you can, for example, paint entire suns into the world, daub leaves back on to the branches of barren trees, or splotch a missing star on to a lapsed constellation. More often, however, you are a god of small things, engaged in the mundane busywork of answering the prayers of the villagers who live within your domain. With a swipe of the bristles you must light their fires, fix their bridges, repair their tools, replace their lost objects and, when cleaving passing demons in two, save their lives. To crib Palahniuk’s format: the god we follow ends up following us.

Continue reading…

Pyeongchang 2018: welcome to the future…

In the first of a new series on ideas and advances in science, nature and tech, we look at the innovations coming to this year’s Winter Olympics

South Korea boasts the speediest broadband in the world (an average of 28.6Mbps compared to the UK’s 16.9) and connectivity will be further boosted at Pyeongchang by the introduction of a 5G mobile network at games venues, courtesy of Intel. 5G delivers download speeds of 100Mbps (Stoke-on-Trent was recently crowned the town with the fastest 4G connection in the UK at 26.6Mbps). The tech giant is planning to show off the capabilities of its enormous mobile bandwidth by offering such delights as transcendent live streaming and unsurpassed live VR experiences to visitors.

Continue reading…

Rocket Lab Test Flight Launches Three CubeSats to Orbit

The launch company Rocket Lab sent three small satellites to orbit during a test flight from New Zealand.
Source: WIRED

Apple's Beats is on Tom Brady's side – CNET

Commentary: In an ad to coincide with the AFC Championship game, Beats features the New England Patriots quarterback being deaf to criticism.
Source: CNET

Millions could save £180 a year on broadband by chasing deals

Service providers put out their best tariffs at set times of the year, but many users are failing to take advantage of them, says comparison site

Broadband providers put out their best deals at the end of the month or every three months when they want to push up their subscriber numbers, it has been claimed.

A new analysis of broadband usage has found that the average household could save almost £180 a year by switching providers. However, the best deals are only available at certain times of the month, according to ctrlio, a website which compares tariffs according to use.

Continue reading…

The Chinese think Palo Alto is dumpy

 Good news! The great Raw Water Story of 2017 is finally over. Google tells me that searches went up ten-fold over the raw water craze, but thankfully, humans seem to have filtered out any more stories or follow ups. Silicon Valley can rest easy. But wait! There is another crisis brewing, and it isn’t the animal fecal matter in your algae water. Over the past few days, we’ve seen… Read More


Facebook shirks responsibility, says experts can't be trusted – CNET

Commentary: In asking Facebook’s so-called community to decide which news sources are trustworthy, Mark Zuckerberg offers a truly disturbing rationale.
Source: CNET

Eight Microinteractions to Help Improve UX

As your users spend time on your website, they are constantly interacting with its features – and some of those small interactions matter more than you might think.

Each small movement has an impact on their overall experience. Use these small moments to improve your user experience, and ensure users follow through on further interaction as they begin navigating your website.

What Are Microinteractions?

These small interactions are aptly named microinteractions. They are the basic tasks users do when interacting with your site. When designed well, a site offers a kind of positive feedback when users interface with it – users should feel like they are part of the transitions and movements of the site, but responses to these interactions must feel natural and intuitive as well.

These interactions allow users to accomplish a single task, like sync their devices to your website, interact with a feature on your page, control volume or brightness, upload a comment, like a page, or turn a function on or off. The microinteraction is the acknowledgement that users have accomplished their task.

Examples of Microinteractions

A responsive interaction shows users their action worked or was accepted by the website, and most times, users don’t notice them. Your site’s response to a microinteraction should be a seamless aspect of the interface. Users might not realize it, but microinteractions can make or break UX.

Microinteractions aren’t only about a website’s design, however. They are part of any device with responsive design features. A few examples of microinteractions include a smartphone vibrating when set to silent or the sound that occurs when you “like” something on Facebook.

Such interactions can be Pavlovian – users feel like they are given a treat for their interaction. “Like” someone’s status, and there’s a click of accomplishment; switch the phone to vibrate, and it responds by telling you – in the quietest way possible – it’s done its job.

When creating microinteractions for a website, you want users to have this same positive experience. When you do, your users will automatically have a better experience, without even knowing why.

Leverage Microinteractions for Better UX

Now that you understand the why, consider where your microinteractions can have the most impact. Here are nine microinteractions to enhance your user experience.

1. Adjusting Preferences

If your users have control over volume settings, brightness, or other preferences on your website, include a microinteraction. A small logo that animates or moves along with users while they adjust levels is a nice way to interact with your users.

volume control animated microinteraction
Image: Volume Control Micro Animation by Nick Buturishvili

2. Messages or Comments

An area for feedback or comments is itself a microinteraction. Your users should have an area where they have some access to you. If you don’t respond – or respond unkindly – this could backfire.

Consider the ticket sales company, TickPick. When it failed to include the Upper Peninsula on its map of Michigan, its residents were quick to let the company know.

TickPick’s social media response didn’t win them any points: “We got the important part of Michigan, isn’t that good enough?” Then, they not-apologized by saying, “We’re sure the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a lovely place to live, and I assure you we didn’t intentionally leave it off the map. But seriously, it’s just a bunch of forests.”

Though the owner did make amends with the community, it wasn’t cheap. He flew to the area and covered the tab for the locals at an upscale brew pub. It’s a lesson all businesses can learn from – train your social media response team and keep it positive.

3. Upload or Download Status Bar

No one wants to feel left out after they decide to upload or download something. Keep your users aware of what is going on when they are uploading or downloading, and they will likely stick with it. If they are unsure if they accomplished their task, they won’t feel good about the experience.

Download Status Bar animated microinteraction
Image: Download Button Transition by Arto Baghdasaryan

4. Notifications

If your users are receiving any type of notification from your website, a microinteraction is involved. Developing animated notifications catches your user’s attention and shows there is something important they need to check out.

When your notifications are fun and engaging, users attach those feelings to your business.

Notification badges animated microinteraction
Image: Notification Badges by Blaine Billingsley

5. Pull-Down Menus

When users are viewing your website on a mobile device, separate pages will need to be split up. Pull-down menus on your page allow users to quickly move back and forth between pages without losing their place. Without this simple response, users will likely get frustrated with navigation.

Notification badges animated microinteraction
Image: Pull Down and Refresh by Odneoko

6. Loading Page

Your website may contain pages that take longer to load than others. A small interaction notifying users the page is still loading keeps them engaged and gives them an idea of when it will finish loading.

This works as a courtesy for your user and helps keep your bounce rate low. When consumers know a page is loading, they are less likely to ditch the page, assuming your site is simply unresponsive.

7. Visualize Input

Users who input data onto your website want to be able to view it. If they are filling out a contact page or inputting credit card information, the visualization shows they have entered the information correctly. This microinteraction is less about fun engagement and more about clarity and security.

Visual input builds trust with your users and creates a feeling that your site is credible.

Login Animation animated microinteraction
Image: Login Animation by Cooper Maruyama

8. A Responsive Call-To-Action

Microinteractions are engaging to your users and can entice them to act on your call-to-action (CTA), which is a crucial reason for having a website.

Use visual cues or animations to draw users’ attention and encourage them to click. You don’t want this interaction to be obtrusive or annoying because your users well be less inclined to respond.

UI buttons animated microinteraction
Image: UI Buttons by Michał Wójtowicz

Effective Microinteractions

There are four key steps to include in your microinteractions that makes them effective:

  • Trigger. This is the cue or visualization that prompts your users to continue forward.
  • Rules. The parameters of the microinteraction shows users what the interaction will do.
  • Feedback. When your users click on a microinteraction, they should receive a response.
  • Loops and modes. Consider how often your microinteractions will be used and how to make them recognizable to new and old users. The loop is where your interaction becomes familiar. The mode is a different feedback response showing users the interaction was not the same as the first time.

When you leverage microinteractions for a better user experience, you’re creating positive associations with aspects of your web design that likely need to be there in some capacity, anyway. Consider these ideas when creating microinteractions for your site.

The post Eight Microinteractions to Help Improve UX appeared first on Speckyboy Web Design Magazine.