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Marketing Leadership: Aligning the entire team around the unifying vision is an integral part of project management

Back in high school, I was in a TV production class. And I LOVED it! It was a chance to flex my creative muscles, which I would later turn into a career. The exact same activities I got in trouble for in other classes, I got rewarded for in TV production.

But I had to make my way through calculus. And chemistry. And French class in order to get to TV production.

Is the professional world really so different from high school? There are the tasks and activities and goals we have a natural affinity and passion for. Where we shine. We’re in our flow. We’re the cheetah out on the grassland. The dolphin bow riding next to the boat. The dog whose leash just broke.

And then, there are the tasks we endure so that we can do those things that are in our natural flow. Tasks that make us feel like the tiger pacing in the cage.

A well-balanced marketing team has people who find their flow from a variety of different tasks. The artists and the scientists. The creatives and the data folks. And a good leader distributes and balances that work to benefit from the team’s skills and abilities, interests and passions.

But since many marketing projects require a multi-disciplinary team — complicated by the fact that many essential skills don’t reside in the organization but are in an ecosystem of agencies, consultants, design firms, dev shops, copywriting experts, etc., etc. — the successful marketing leader must be able to present a unifying vision.

The Unifying Vision of a Marketing Project

As Stephen Covey said, “Begin with the end in mind.” I’d like to add to that with … “And tell people how you’re getting to the end.”

Here’s a nice example of a unifying vision I came across in a meeting with a prospective MECLABS Institute Research Partner (any identifying information about the prospective Research Partner has been removed to preserve anonymity).

Click on image to enlarge

There are three elements of this unifying vision that should keep a team informed, aligned and motivated.

The Project Objectives

“We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills …” — John F. Kennedy

Hey, JFK is a high bar. But he had a tough task. And he had to unite not only his team around it but the entire country. In 1962, the American space program’s biggest accomplishment was sending John Glenn around the Earth three times. A mission to the Moon would take so much more.

But this happened …

I use this example because projects can be a long, hard slog. Website redesign. New product launch. New software platform installation, integration or database migration. Rebranding.

You need the entire team aligned around the objective from the start and throughout the project. Vision leaks. Scope creeps. Morale flags. Keep the team focused on what you’re trying to accomplish.

Notice that there are two parts to each of the three objectives in the above diagram from MECLABS Institute (parent research organization of MarketingExperiments).

The first part explains what the team and the partnership will accomplish, for example.

“To develop a robust Customer Theory with high predictive power.”

The second part answers why the team wants to accomplish that. It explains the resulting experience of achieving the objective. For example:

“This will enable us to create ideal marketing collateral.”

The Project Plan

Oh, I know. You’ve got Gantt charts and Excels and Microsoft Projects set up.

But remember that diverse team of talent you have? Different people learn in different ways. And people can get lost in complexity.

It’s always helpful to communicate the project plan in a simplified, high-level, visually appealing manner. A few key steps in the project plan to call out:

  • Project Launch – Get the team aligned from the beginning and introduce the key players in the launch session. This is especially important if there are players from multiple companies or even multiple departments. Get a clear understanding of when and how the doers (weekly status call) and the leaders (quarterly executive strategy sessions) will monitor progress, overcome obstacles, collaborate and the like.
  • Value Proposition – Value chains can be complex. Multiple individuals within a company, multiple departments, and disparate agencies and other partners (from the ad agency to the contracted manufacturer) can significantly impact the ultimate value customers receive. Customers couldn’t care less about these internal silos. They expect a consistent experience that lives up to the brand promise made by your marketing organization. A clear, forceful value proposition will help all these groups successfully serve the customer.
  • Testing – What is your project’s feedback loop? How do you know you’re being successful? When should you stay the course, and when should you iterate to improve the outcome? Testing can help inform these decisions with data.

The Project Methodology

If a jam band is not playing in the same key, the output can sound like a cacophony. But when everyone is on the same page, you get magic.

The same goes for your projects. Is there any specific methodology you will be following? A commodity approach begets commodity results. An inconsistent approach yields inconsistent results.

Get your team aligned with any guiding principles that should shape the project, especially when difficult decisions are to be made. For example, if you take a customer-first marketing approach, difficult decisions might be solved by the principle that the customer should be the primary beneficiary of the project’s outcome. While of course, the company will benefit as well, it should come along with the customer, not at the expense of the customer.

Related Resources

Participate in a research project with MECLABS Institute and drive conversion increases

Customer Theory: How To Leverage Empathy In Your Marketing (With Free Tool)

Value Proposition: 3 Worksheets To Help You Craft, Express And Create Derivative Value Props

How to Prep Your Staff for Corporate Rebranding

The post Marketing Leadership: Aligning the entire team around the unifying vision is an integral part of project management appeared first on MarketingExperiments.


MarketingExperiments

Top Cheap EV SSL Certificate Provider around the World

When it comes to online security, compromise is a sure recipe for disaster. Why will you ever want to put your customer’s sensitive information, credit card numbers and several other records on the line of fire? SSL Certificates secure the data to travel between browser and server with strong 256-bit encryption.

Since prevention is better than cure, we recommend you enable your website with a Extended Validation SSL certificate. EV SSL certificate is one of the best available certificate in the industry and enable top level encryption over website.

To get EV or Extended Validation SSL Certificate, identity of the Domain Name as well as company will be verified by the Certificate Authority before issuing certificate. There are several benefits of Extended Validation Certificates like, it enables green text in the browser displaying your company name and address, users can easily recognize top level security right from the address bar and reduce cart abandonment ratio.

But, businesses not go for EV SSL certificate just because of its excessive price. We have listed out top cheapest EV SSL Certificate provider to help businesses. Here are the top EV SSL certificates in the market today from world top Certificate Authorities.

We have derived the list based on several criteria including, speed of certificate issuance, trust badge or seal provision, warranty amount provided, refund policy but price matters a lot so we have listed EV SSL provider in price ascending order.

1. Comodo EV SSL Certificate – $ 79/Year

Comodo EV SSL certificate provides the dual benefit of Extended Validation as well as high-end security for your domains. The SSL certificate will highlight your business name in green color in address bar and also prefix the URL with green HTTPS thus completing the SSL encryption requirement for PCI compliance as well as Google search rank signal. Armed with 256-bit encryption it can help thwart every possible phishing and security threat for online transactions.

Provider: Cheap SSL Shop
Issuance: 10 days from purchase date
Seal: Yes
Validation: Extended Validation
Warranty: $ 1750K
Refund: 30 Days

2. GoDaddy EV SSL – $ 99.99/Year

GoDaddy’s EV SSL is an apt choice for vendor websites and portal owners who want to give peace of mind to their visitors. The EV SSL Certificate also extends the promise of improving your search engine ranking through green address bar and padlock symbol presence. Strongest encryption as provided by SHA256 encryption and 2048-bit SSL certificate gives additional muscle to online security.

Provider: GoDaddy
Issuance: 10 days*
Seal: Yes
Validation: Extended Validation
Warranty: $ 1 Million
Refund: 30-day money back guarantee

(* : Issuance time can be vary)

3. GeoTrust EV SSL – $ 112.50/Year

GeoTrust EV SSL Certificate offers websites the ultimate protection imaginable against phishing and other cyber security threats. GeoTrust EV SSL certificate is also popular as GeoTrust True BusinessID EV certificate. Enabled to be compatible with every popular browser in use today, GeoTrust can secure your customer’s trust, fortify your web security and improve search engine ranking. Green address bar and padlock symbol complete the site’s security prowess.

Provider: Cheap SSL Shop
Coupon Code: CSHP153
Issuance: Maximum 10 days*
Seal: GeoTrust Site Seal
Validation: Extended Validation
Warranty: $ 1500K
Refund: 30-day money back guarantee

4. Thawte Web Server EV SSL – $ 117/Year

Thawte web Server EV SSL Certificate is one of the foremost players in the website security industry. In addition to providing the green address bar, it also renders security for unlimited server domains. Information traveling between browser to server will have strong 256 bit encryption and its root certificate is secured with 2048-bit encryption for secured end-to-end data exchange.

Provider: Cheap SSL Shop
Coupon Code: CSHP152
Issuance: 5 to 10 days
Seal: Thawte Trusted Site Seal
Validation: Extended Validation
Warranty: $ 1500K
Refund: 30-day money back guarantee

5. Comodo EV Multi Domain SSL – $ 180/Year

Comodo is a well-known name in IT-security and it is the best when it comes to website security. Their expertise in the domain is imparted to the EV Multi Domain SSL certificate which provides tight-security to websites with strong 256 bit encryption. SAN Support, Dynamic site seal, phishing protection are other noteworthy features of the SSL certificate that makes it a great buy. You don’t need to buy and manage individual certificates for your business as Comodo EV Multi Domain gives you a facility to add up to 100 SANs (Subject Alternative Names). Default price includes three SAN licenses.

Provider: SSL2BUY
Issuance: 7-10 Business Days
Seal: Yes
Validation: Extended Validation
Warranty: $ 1,750,000 relying party warranty
Refund: 30 Day 100% money back

6. Premium EV SSL – $ 233.10/Year

Premium EV SSL will provide the highest level of online security to websites. It also establishes the identity of the owner along with a trust symbol that will reinstate trust in customers. Notable feature of the Premium EV SSL is the free re-issues during the SSL certificate lifespan.

Provider: Trustwave
Issuance: 7 Business Days or more
Seal: Trustwave® Trusted Commerce® Site Seal
Validation: Extended Validation
Warranty: $ 500,000 identification guarantee + Free Re-issues
Refund: No refunds

7. DigiCert EV SSL – $ 234/Year

DigiCert’s EV SSL certificate is one of the preferred choices for most websites, including eCommerce websites when it comes to security. The SSL certificate comes with a unique assurance of quick issuance in matter of hours. EV certificate purchased from DigiCert will add instant credibility to your business with impressive site seal. As EV SSL certificate follows exhaustive verification process for entity but team at DigiCert makes it so easy by issuing certificate within few hours of purchase.

Provider: DigiCert
Issuance: Assured issuance in few hours
Seal: Yes
Validation: Extended Validation
Warranty: $ 1000K
Refund: Free reissues up to 30 days after purchase

8. Enterprise EV SSL – $ 239.50/Year

Enterprise EV SSL Certificate issued by SSL.com will be a value added certificate to eCommerce stores and B2B portals where data integrity and confidentiality has great importance. The extended validation establishes the authenticity of transactions carried across the web. SSL.com also offers trust seals which further helps in improving customer confidence and SEO ranking.

Provider: SSL.com
Issuance: At least 2 weeks
Seal: Yes
Validation: Extended Validation
Warranty: $ 250,000 USD Insurance Guarantee
Refund: 30 days unconditional refund

9. GeoTrust Multi Domain EV – $ 278.55/Year

This enterprise-grade Multi Domain EV SSL certificate is a great way to secure domain and additional 24 SANs. GeoTrust Multi Domain EV certificate comes with green address bar and multiple year validity which keep your domain security maintenance hassle free.

Provider: Cheap SSL Shop
Coupon Code: CSHP153
Issuance: Up to 10 days
Seal: Yes
Validation: Multi Domain Validation
Warranty: $ 1500K Extended Warranty
Refund: 30 days money back guarantee

10. GlobalSign ExtendedSSL – $ 375/Year

GlobalSign is considered to be one of the pioneers in web security. Considered to be of hallmark quality, their SSL certificates serve a large number of Internet giants thwart phishing attempts. In terms of speed of issuance, 256-bit encryption or even $ 1.5M warranty provided, GlobalSign Extended SSL is a great investment to keep security threats at bay.

Provider: SSL2BUY
Issuance: 7-10 business days
Seal: Clickable Secure Site Seal
Validation: Extended Validation
Warranty: $ 1.5 million underwritten warranty by GlobalSign
Refund: 30 day money back

11. Symantec Secure Site with EV – $ 550/Year

Symantec’s Secure Site EV certificate is an excellent way to secure your websites with Extended Validation certificate singed by world’s most popular Certificate Authority – Symantec. Symantec EV SSL is armed with vulnerability assessment, malware scanning and 99.99% browser recognition and it is a great choice for all sorts of websites including banks, eCommerce sites, enterprise web sites etc.

Provider: ClickSSL
Issuance: 3 to 7 days
Seal: Norton Secured Seal
Validation: Extended Validation
Warranty: $ 1,750,000
Refund: 30 day money back

12. Symantec Secure Site Pro EV – $ 799.20/Year

World most popular Banks and Financial Institutes always looking for top-notch security for their websites and Symantec Secure Site Pro with EV is the best option. It comes with a Norton Security seal, malware scanning and vulnerability assessment, security measures strong enough to infuse confidence into the minds of customers and help your website stay safe.

Provider: ClickSSL
Coupon Code: CLICK20DEAL15
Issuance: 3 to 7 days
Seal: Norton Secure Seal
Validation: Extended Validation
Warranty: $ 1,750,000 warranty
Refund: 30 day money back

Conclusion

Hope we have made it easy for you to pick an EV SSL certificate for your website with rock-solid security especially protects from Phishing Attacks.

From refund policy to extended validation or even warranty, we’ve dug up world most popular Extended Validation certificate providers and have listed Cheap EV SSL Certificate providers above.


Onextrapixel – Web Design and Development Online Magazine

Top Affordable Coding Bootcamps Around The World

Coding bootcamps are one of the best investments you can make in terms of education.

Unleash your inner Donald Knuth with these affordable coding bootcamps.

If you want to follow the footsteps of the founder of algorithmic analysis or you’re just tempted by the salary and lifestyle of an everyday programmer, you’ll need to check out these coding bootcamps. They vary from quick online lessons and self-guided learning sessions to extensive, year-long training courses.

Tuition comes in a wide diversity of length and specialization. They often range from quick online lessons and self-guided learning sessions to extensive, year-long training courses. Most education programs cost a hefty fee of over $ 10,000 USD. While these may offer an immaculate training course that usually guarantees a tasty internship in large SaaS companies, not many programmer enthusiasts can afford that price.

For those of you who are short on money but wish to go beyond the casualty of the free training sessions available at CodeCademy or Coursera, we’ve gathered a neat list of some of the most cost-effective solutions to rocket-launch your career in the IT business industry.

 

App Academy

There are various options to secure your return of investment. App Academy takes the winner price for one of the most tempting offers out there. This course doesn’t get paid unless you get a job offer afterward.

AppAcademy

Location: New York, San Francisco

Price: The payment scheme is simple – once you get an IT job after completing their training, you’ll give 18% off your first-year salary to the academy. You’ll also need to give an initial deposit of $ 5000 which you’ll receive back if you show up and do the work.

Duration: Around 100 hours per week for 12 weeks.

Craftsmanship Academy

Another excellent coding bootcamp with paid apprenticeship and residency. That’s right, you’ll get paid to learn and code in the later stages of your training to be able to pay off the course.

RoleModel

Location: Holly Springs, NC

Price: $ 15,000 deposit / Scholarship

Duration: 1 year ( with holidays ) working 48-80 hours per week.

Treehouse

Here, you can take advantage of a top-notch programming course that won’t cost you an arm and leg. For the incredible price of under $ 50, you’ll get access to a self-paced learning program that will guide you into the mystic realms of Ruby on Rails, PHP and more. This course is excellent for beginners and intermediate students who wish to explore new opportunities in the IT industry.

Treehouse

Location: Online, Remote

Price: $ 25 or $ 49 per month.

Duration: About 8 hours per week for 6 months.

Udacity

Yet another coding bootcamp that deserves the attention of the frugal IT specialist in you. Udacity offers a remote, online learning opportunity for beginner and intermediate students who wish to get a close encounter with web development, software engineering, and data analysis. The trade-off of this course are the unique “nanodegrees” you’ll be able to acquire throughout your education which are recognized by many industry experts.

Udacity

Location: Online, Remote

Price: $ 200 per month / Scholarships

Duration: 6-12 months, 10 hours per week.

Apprentice.io

If you already know your code and you’re confident enough to invest your efforts into developing a real-life project with a team of experts, you’ll love this course. At thoughtbot, you’ll receive free tuition and $ 500/week stipend for your hard work. You’ll even get the chance to become part of the company’s happy team of IT experts and further in your career as a Web or iOS developer or even a designer.

Apprentice.io

Location: Some cities in the US; London; Stockholm

Price: Free + $ 500 per week stipend

Duration: 3 months; 40 hours per week

 

Other honorable mentions:

Ada Developers Academy

A friendly women community that’s focused on Ruby on Rails and JavaScript.

Location: Seattle, WA

Duration: 27 weeks training + 5-month internship

Philly Dev Camp

Philadelphia-based summer coding program for college students and high school graduates.

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Program Length: 5 weeks

Simplon

Europe’s leading coding education center for Ruby on Rails and all things programming.

Location: Bucharest, Romania. Paris, France.

Program Length: 6 months

Want to learn a few coding trick right now? You should definitely check these out!

27 PHP/MySQL Tutorials for Building Web Applications

Coding a Minimalist Contact Form with CAPTCHA Spam Protection

 

The post Top Affordable Coding Bootcamps Around The World appeared first on SpyreStudios.


SpyreStudios

Discussion Around Ad Blocking

The discussion has heated up with the drop of iOS 9 and its ability to run apps that block ads. That was just the spark for the conversation, as ad blocking isn’t a new thing. Desktop browsers have had extensions that can block ads for a long time. There are ad blockers that work for Android. Not a new concept, just new to iOS.

Let’s round up some news and opinion.

“Ad blocking” is the moniker, but many people choose to do it not to block ads but because advertising is inserted via JavaScript that does “tracking” (look for a post we have on this coming soon) which has major privacy concerns and can seriously slow down a page. Install an ad blocker and you get:

  • A nicer looking web.
  • A faster loading web.
  • A safer web.
  • A more private web.

Pretty compelling.

Advertising is always pushing the limits of how atrocious and overwhelming it can be. Mobile has been especially bad. I think this screenshot by JD Graffam is hilarious and sums it up well.

But advertising is part of the circle of life on the web. I’ve written about this before:

There are lots of business on the web. One type of those is a website that sells products or services. Those websites employ people who work on the site, incur server costs, material costs, etc. The products and services they provide are useful to people, and they pay for them. Business. Cool.

Those websites need customers. They need people to come to those sites. There are all sorts of ways to do that. Word of mouth. SEO. Wear a costume and wave a sign at traffic. Some more effective than others. The most effective, generally is to do marketing and, as a subset of that, do advertising. Web advertising, in particular, as potential customers are just a click away.

Where do you do that advertising? Enter another type of business on the web: the publication.

Publications have very similar costs as product and service websites. They employ people who work on the site, incur server costs, material costs, etc. They just typically don’t sell anything directly to the people visiting the site. They give away what they produce for free. Thus they tend to have higher traffic and a larger audience. Their customers aren’t the visitors themselves. Their customers are the product and service websites. Their product is audience.

Seth Godin explains in another way (emphasis mine):

Ad blockers undermine a fundamental principle of media, one that goes back a hundred years: Free content in exchange for attention. The thing is, the FCC kept the ad part in check with TV, and paper costs did the same thing for magazines and newspapers. But on the web, more and more people have come to believe that the deal doesn’t work, and so they’re unilaterally abrogating it.

Completely stopping all advertising would be a problem for this circle of life. Not only do publisher lose their primary income stream, some companies lose their primary lead stream.

But does ad blocking completely stop all advertising? No. I think it’s safe to say that “most” people aren’t even aware of ad blockers, so there is that. And a huge type of advertising these days is “content marketing” (like you see here on CSS-Tricks sometimes: clearly labeled blog posts including a personal endorsement from me). Ad blockers typically don’t block those. And there are other ways for a publication to do advertising that don’t rely on garbage third-party JavaScript. It may drive new interesting advertising methods that haven’t even been explored yet.

Life finds a way.

As Kyle Neath put it.

So the conversation about all this can be things like:

  • How much do ad blockers really hurt a publication? Does anyone have good numbers?
  • Isn’t this pushback also part of the circle of life on the web?
  • What is the pushback from advertisers going to look like? Like this?
  • Is it too much to ask a business to adapt? Isn’t that the point of business?

Anil Dash has a tweetstorm that is really worth reading through. Including:

Most media and publishing companies can barely hold together a basic CMS. They aren’t gonna be able to invent all-new ad tech. Impossible.

Probably true. Especially because:

But most sites that you really _love_ reading don’t build their ad technologies. They’re good at making stories or videos, not ad platforms.

So what you’re really asking is that they divert resources from making the _stuff you like_ to making the stuff you already don’t like. Hmm.

This sure is a complicated issue. So complicated that Marco Arment created an iOS ad blocker called Peace, then pulled it down days later saying that it just didn’t feel good to be potentially hurting people with his app and that the solution is perhaps a more nuanced approach to blocking. I feel him – it’s much more fun and rewarding to work on things that simply help everyone.

Peace worked by bluntly using the entire Ghostery blocklist, which seems a bit weird since Ghostery on desktop asks you to disable scripts one-by-one as you encounter them. Curious that the mobile version didn’t take the same approach (perhaps too difficult of UX to pull off well).

Speaking of blunt, sledgehammer-style blocking, that does affect us CSS people a bit. I think we’ll need to be more careful with things like font stacks and layout. Of course we should have been doing things like this all along, but we get comfortable. For instance, Ghostery offers to block Typekit for you. How does your site look with custom fonts blocked? What about when a block that contains an ad is removed? Does your layout hold up?

Ghostery also offers to block Google Analytics, and other blockers may do so automatically. Uh oh. How can we make smart decisions then based on visitor data? Drew McLellan thinks maybe old-school server logs, but even that might be sketchy:

… by the time each request goes through Nginx to Varnish to (then maybe) Apache, I’m not sure if those logs would be of any use for anything.

I’m unclear as to the solution, but I suspect it’s server-side rather than client-side, and I suspect we’re going to need it in 2016. So we’d best get thinking.

I use and like Ghostery personally. I like how I opt-out of stuff as I desire. I don’t personally like ad blockers where I need to opt back in to things. Those seem to be more popular, and are a lot more heavy handed. For instance, a common support request on CodePen is “Where is the share button? I don’t see it anywhere.” to which we have to tell them “Disable your ad blocker for our site to work properly.”

As ever, this will be interesting to see shake out. Some people think it’s going to be rather apocalyptic (Google helps drive the web forward with the money from ads, ads are drying up, thus web slows down). Some people think it makes for a better web and happier web users and may grow the web.

Time will tell.

UNLESS PEOPLE INSTALL SOME KIND OF TIME-BLOCKER ON THE WEB, CRIPES.


Discussion Around Ad Blocking is a post from CSS-Tricks

CSS-Tricks

The Debate Around “Do We Even Need CSS Anymore?”

This has become quite the hot topic lately. It’s been talked about at a number of conferences and meetups I’ve been at personally lately. I’ve seen slide decks on it. I know people literally not shipping any CSS in production. Pretty wild, eh?

I thought we could have a little campfire here and talk about it as rationally as we can, covering all the relevant points.

We obviously still need to style things

Nobody is saying we don’t need styles. We still need to style things, what’s being talked about is how and where we do that. I was just on a panel at BrooklynJS and Jed Schmidt said:

The worst things about CSS are the “Cascading” and the “Sheets”

What does anyone have against CSS?

These are the main arguments against CSS:

  • Everything is global. Selectors are matched against everything in the DOM. You need naming strategies to combat against this and keep things efficient (which are hard to enforce and easy to break).
  • CSS grows over time. Smart people on great teams cede to the fact that they are afraid of their own CSS. You can’t just delete things as it’s so hard to know if it’s absolutely safe to do that. So, they don’t, they only add. I’ve seen a graph charting the size of production CSS over five years show that size grow steadily, despite the company’s focus on performance.
  • You can be more dynamic with styles in a programming language. The argument goes something like “we’re already juicing up CSS with preprocessors anyway, might as well kick it up a notch.” You could for instance (if you really wanted to make this controversial) base styles off a User-Agent string or a module’s current width.

What is the alternative to CSS then?

The alternative is inline styles. So instead of:

<div class="module">

We’re talking:

<div style="padding: 20px; background: #eee; margin: 0 0 20px 0;">

I haven’t heard anyone yet argue you should apply these styles directly to HTML you author. The idea is you apply styles to elements through JavaScript.

React is driving a lot of these thoughts

React is a JavaScript library that helps with view concerns in websites. It’s developed mainly by Facebook, extremely popular, and gaining momentum. It’s had it’s own conference and is even growing into a framework for building native apps.

One of it’s core concepts is the “Virtual DOM”. You build the HTML you intend to use right in the JavaScript. Seemingly quite weird at first, but this coupling between HTML and JavaScript is always there and it appeals to people to just write it together from the get-go. I quoted Keith J Grant recently, and I will again:

This coupling is real, and it is unavoidable. We must bind event listeners to elements on the page. We must update elements on the page from our JavaScript. Our code must interact bidirectionally and in real-time with the elements of the DOM.

… the mantra of React is to stop pretending the DOM and the JavaScript that controls it are separate concerns.

React has the ability to manage inline styles built right in. They call them what they are: inline styles. Here’s a basic example:

See the Pen Inline Styles with React by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) on CodePen.

The virtual DOM thing that React does is also important because of its speed. DOM manipulation stuff is generally regarded as slow in JavaScript, and thus managing styles through DOM manipulation would also be slow. But React has the magic dust that makes manipulation fast, so people don’t worry about the slowness issues when working with React.

Here’s another example by Chris Nager.

The style authoring is still abstracted

CSS is the abstraction of style away from anything else. Literally files you open and work on to manage styles. You likely aren’t giving that up when moving to a JavaScript-based inline-style setup. You’d just have, probably, `style.js` instead of `style.css`. You’d still be writing key/value pairs and smooshing files together in a build process.

It will be different, but the authoring abstraction is still there.

What do you get out of inlining styles?

Cascade-less

The scary “global” nature of CSS is neutered. The cascade, tapered. I don’t think you could say the cascade is entirely gone, because some styles are inherited so styles can still be passed down to child elements and that’s one definition of cascade. But the module-ish nature of this style of development likely leads to less overlapping style concerns. A module over here is styled like this, a module over there is styled like that – probably no conflicts in sight.

All JavaScript

One sense I get is that some people just like and prefer working in all JavaScript. You could certainly attribute some of the success of Node.js to that fact.

Dynamic Styles

“State” is largely a JavaScript concern. If you want/need style to change based on dynamic conditions (states) on your site, it may make sense to handle the styling related to the state change along with everything else.

In a recent talk at CSS Conf (slides), Colin Megill used the example of the Twitter new tweet input textarea as a dynamic place that changes the state of other elements.

Who’s actually doing this?

I heard Colin Megill say they are shipping literally zero CSS on “big stuff” and not seeing performance problems. I’ll update this with URL’s if I get them. I hear one big project will be live within a month.

I know Jed Schmidt works on the mobile version of UNIQLO, and you can see the inline styles at work there:

Update from Jed: This version of the site is all Sass and the inline styles you see there are from JavaScript animations.

Christopher Chedeau has been talking about this and is literally a Facebook engineer, so maybe Facebook a little?

Can this concept be combined with, you know, CSS?

Even if you bought into the concept of inline styles, can it live in harmony with some (do I have to say it) regular CSS? Is page layout appropriate as inline styles? Doesn’t base typography still make sense to do globally? I’m not sure if we’re far along enough in this world to see a best practice emerge.

In the m.uniqlo.com example above, they are shipping a 57k CSS file as well, and you can see evidence of state-based class in the DOM as well (e.g. “is-open”).

A lot of people really don’t like this

Surprise! There are more arguments against this kind of thing than for it. As I was collecting opinions about this, I told Lea Verou “Some people really like this idea!” to which she told me:

You can find people in the world who like eating excrement it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

Let’s run through other arguments:

Styling is what CSS is for

This is the “religious” angle that probably isn’t going to take us very far.

The separation of concerns is inherent to CSS

Separation of concerns is a very useful concept when building things as complex as websites are. You get seperation of concerns automatically when writing CSS: it’s a file just for styling.

Inline styles are at the top of the specificity spectrum

Keeping specificity low in CSS means that when you do need to rely on specificity to win a styling war, you have it available as a tool. When you’re already at the top, you don’t have that wiggle room luxury.

The !important declaration can still win a specific property/value styling war over an inline style, but that’s a slightly different concept and an even grosser war to fight.

Some simple states are much easier in CSS

How do you do :hover/:focus/:active in inline styles? You don’t. You fake it. And what about media queries?

Adding/removing classes is a perfect tool for state changes already

JavaScript is really good at adding/removing/changing classes on elements. And classes are a perfect way to handle state in CSS.

.is-open {   display: block; }

Plus you can change state on parent elements (by changing a class) to affect the state of lots of elements within:

.tweet-too-long {   .tweet-button {     opacity: 0.5;   }   .warning-message {     display: inline-block;   } }

Browsers aren’t made to deal with styling in this way

For instance, inline styles are literally data kept in an attribute right on the DOM element. DOM weight is a thing (it can cause browsers to be slow or crash). That styling information isn’t only just kept in the style attribute though, it’s also represented in the DOM in the element’s style properties. Is that the same thing, or is this kinda double-weighted styling?

Are there speed differences between…

var thing = document.getElementById("thing"); thing.style.width = "100px"; thing.style.height = "100px"; thing.style.backgroundColor = "red";  var thing2 = document.getElementById("thing-2"); thing2.setAttribute("style", "width: 100px; height: 100px; background-color: red;");

Has that been figured out to discover what’s best cross-browser? If this stuff takes off, will browsers need to evolve to handle things in a different way?

The browser has this whole concept of the CSSOM. Can we use that somehow more intelligently through JavaScript rather than inline styles?

CSS is successful because of it’s simplicity

CSS is a fairly easy to jump into. A lot of people know it. You can hire for it. It’s portable.

Some of these “dynamic” styling concerns can be solved with regular CSS

  • There are demos that include measuring widths and subtracting fixed values from them. CSS can do that with calc().
  • There are demos that include setting font-size or line-height that depends on the browser width or height. CSS can do that with viewport units. Using JavaScript for this kind of thing is overtooling.
  • There are demos that dynamically change colors on many different elements. CSS will be able to do that with native variables.

We tried this in 1996 and it was a bad idea then

Get off my lawn.

CSS is cacheable

The network is still the bottleneck. CSS files can be cached so the network doesn’t even come into play and that is smoking fast.

You can still use React

React is pretty awesome. Here’s an article by David Khourshid on Styling React Components in Sass. Mark Dalgleish doesn’t like the global nature of CSS, and has working concepts to localize selectors. Glen Maddern expounds upon this in Interoperable CSS.

Doesn’t anyone care about progressive enhancement anymore?

This is a wider conversation is perhaps out-of-scope here. Because sites (including React based sites using inline styles) can be rendered entirely server-side, it means they can be done with progressive enhancement in mind. Although “can be” and “what it actually encourages” are different things.


The Debate Around “Do We Even Need CSS Anymore?” is a post from CSS-Tricks

CSS-Tricks

1001freedownloads: The Best Free Resources From Around The Internet

Designers are always looking for free resources from both a time-saving point of view and an artistic point of view, so today we are reviewing a site that rounds up the best free resources that the web has to offer and puts them in one place for your convenience.

1001freedownloads in itself will save you time, then the resources they promote will save you even more time – and that is not to be sneezed at! With a range of categories such as Vectors, Photos, Icons, Brushes and Clipart, you can find a lot of the stuff you want and need right there. 1001freedownloads also produce exclusive content which can only be found on its site.

1001freedownloads

Here is a short quote from the 1001freedownloads About page: ‘Our site makes it easy and fun to seach and find the graphics you need in a quick and easy to use platform. We have a collection of tens of thousands of files and we are constantly expanding our content. We currently feature thousands of free vectors, photos, brushes, gradients, PSDs, fonts and we have much more to come….’

1001freedownloads

Here is a quick look at some of the freebies they currently have to offer:

Geometric Illustration

A nice background with a purple geometric illustration. Available in .ai and .eps formats.

Geometic Illustration

Abstract Vector Illustration

A symmetrical vector illustration with a green to yellow gradient. Available in .ai and .eps formats.

Abstract Vector Background

Vector Set of Ribbons

Ribbons in web design seem set to make a bit of a comeback – so here is a nice set of stylish vector ribbons, available in .ai format.

Vector Set of Ribbons

Photo: Man Looking At The City

A lovely, dreamy photo in monochromatic colors. Image size: 3264 x 2176px 72ppi.

Man Looking at the City

Photo: Cityscape Singapore

You can find images of many cities on this site – here is a cityscape of Singapore. Image size: 2880 x 1928px 72ppi.

Cityscape Singapore

Photo: Black Puppy

There are many, many animal images available. This black puppy image is totally adorable! Image size: 3500 x 2095px 72ppi.

Black Puppy

Font: Sounds Good

Sounds Good

Font: Midroba

Midroba

Metal Arhythmetic

Metal Arhythmetic

Iconset: 100 Flat Vol. 2

A set of 100 flat icons with long shadow. Each icon folder includes .png images in 9 sizes from 16px to 256px, and a 16px .ico image. You can also download the icons individually – a 256px .png icon or a 16px .ico image or a .icns image.

Iconset 100 Flat Vol 2

Iconset: Television Icons

A lovely set of 14 retro televisions. Each icon folder includes .png images in 9 sizes from 16px to 256px, and a 16px .ico image. You can also download the icons individually – a 256px .png icon or a 16px .ico image or a .icns image.

Iconset Television Icons

Iconset: eCommerce Business Icons

A set of 81 icons for ecommerce and business. Each icon folder includes .png images in 9 sizes from 16px to 265px, and a 16px .ico image. You can also download the icons individually – a 256px .png icon or a 16px .ico image or a .icns image.

Iconset eCommerce Business Icons

PS Brushes: Skylines

A selection of city skyline brushes – 9 brushes, size 1000px.

PS Brushes Skylines

PS Brushes: Simplicity

A selection of line/smoke-style brushes that are very easy to create an artistic abstract design with. 15 brushes of varying sizes.

PS Brushes Simplicity

PS Brushes: Floral Design 2

An assortment of floral ornaments in varying sizes.

PS Brushes Floral Design 2

Patterns 21

16 tileable .jpg images at 80px square.

Patterns 21

Weave Patterns 1

A variety of 16 weave patterns. Zip file includes .abr pattern file for Photoshop and tileable .png images at 96px square.

Weave Patterns 1

Vector Patterns

A set of vector patterns in retro colors.

Vector Patterns

Conclusion

That was just a very small selection of the resources available on 1001freedownloads.com, so why not pop over there and see for yourself all the free goodies that have been sourced.


Onextrapixel – Web Design and Development Online Magazine

Nocturnal Beer Drinkers Just Hang Around in This Batty Ad From Brazil

When you get to a certain point, usually around your mid-20s, you realize there's not much more to life than drinking delicious beer. Imagine a world where you only wake up when it's time to imbibe a bottle of suds. 

That's the strange reality in this dark, surreal Brazilian ad for Skol by agency F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, in which sleeping bat-people, hanging upside down all over town, wake up when they hear a Skol Beats beer opening.

I can dig it. Take a look below, and see if you're willing to suspend your disbelief (from the ceiling … without spilling your beer).

CREDITS
Client: Ambev
Product: Skol Beats
Agency: F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi
Spot: "Morcegos" ("Bats")
Creative Executive Directors: Fabio Fernandes, Eduardo Lima
Creative Director: Theo Rocha
Creative Staff: Theo Rocha, Thiago Carvalho
Account Supervisors: Marcello Penna, Ricardo Forli, Rafael Cappelli, Marcela Paiva
Planners: José Porto, Guilherme Pasculli, Victor Marx, Felipe Santini
Media: Fabio Freitas, André Cais, Bruno Storace, Vivian Simões, Caroline Pascuinelli
Agency Producers: Victor Alloza, Renato Chabuh, Gisele Campos, Maira Massullo, Rafael Paes
Production Company: Zohar Cinema E Comunicação Ltda
Director: 300 Ml
Executive Producer: Carlos Paiva, Isabelle Tanugi
DOP: Enrique Chediak
Producer: Angelo Gastal
Editor: Rami D’aguiar
Motion: Full Frame
Postproduction: Full Frame
Sound: A9
Client Supervisors: Pedro Earp, Fábio Baracho, Pedro Adamy, Taciana Ávila





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