It’s perhaps no big secret that usability, if done with both a coding and user-facing mindset, can provide a lot of SEO benefits. The same synergies exist between a lot of different aspects in the creation and successful execution of a website, and perhaps more so in an e-commerce setting. Continue reading Synergies between Design, Usability and SEO
The post thumbnails feature aka. Featured Image was added to WordPress back in version 2.9 and made it significantly easier for users to associate images with posts or pages. Prior to that we we had to upload an image, copy the url for the image and add that as a custom field if we wanted to do something similar, which is ok when you know how to do it yourself but less than ideal when having to explain the process to clients or other authors. The post thumbnails feature allows you to easily set a single “Featured Image” for a post or page via a separate meta box in the WordPress admin. You simply click on the “Set featured image” link, open up the image dialog, upload or select an image then click the “use as featured image” link.
This works fine for the vast majority of cases but sometimes it would be great to have have more than one image for a post. For example if you have a folio section or a product where you may want to have multiple images. I tried searching for “mulitple post thumbnails”, “multiple featured images” and so on but most of the “solutions” were mainly about looping through all post attachments and displaying these. This can work in some instances but it didn’t provide as much control as I wanted and if you happened to have other images in the post then these would also be displayed.
Eventually I came across a plugin called Multiple Post Thumbnails and decided to tweak that slightly and integrate it directly into my theme instead of using it as a separate plugin. This is how I did it.
If you’re a UX, UI or Web Designer it can perhaps be a bit daunting at first to jump into the relatively new field of Mobile App Design, but don’t worry almsost all of your design, UX and UI skills are still very relevant. There are just a few new rules and tools to get your head around, or perhaps just a slightly different way of using tools that you’re already familiar with. At the time of writing I’m also still quite new to this game and this article is aimed at helping you get a bit of a start and an overview of the tools available. Whilst this article will focus mostly on getting started with App Design for iOS but general guidelines apply to all types of mobile devices.
Continue reading Getting Started with Mobile App Design
Responsive Web design is an approach to design and devlopment aimed at creating designs that respond to the behaviour and environment of a user based on platform, screen size and orientation. This typically involves using a combination of flexible layouts, images and grid as well as a bit of clever use of CSS media queries to adapt the design depending on screen resolution.
Over the years I’ve had quite a few eureka moments when it comes to CSS, when pieces fall into place and I realise a much better way of doing things. It’s both extremely satisfying but also somewhat annyoing since having that knowledge earlier could have saved me hours and hours of frustration and effort.
In Scrum there are typically 3 clearly defined roles; the Product Owner, the Scrum Master, and the Scrum Team. In addition there may also be additional stakeholders (customers, vendors) and managers involved as well as collaboration between other Scrum teams and/or shared resources. It’s important that there is a clear distinction between people that are committed to the process and project and people that are just involved.
Continue reading Scrum in Practice – Part 2: The Roles
In my first article Introduction to Agile Development and Scrum we looked at Scrum from a more of a holistic perspective. In this series of articles which I’ve named "Scrum in Practice" we’ll be looking at Scrum in a much more pragmatic way and look at examples of how to actually do Scrum in a more practical and fundamental way. Since Scrum is not a strict methodology but rather a process framework for development it is typically done a bit differently from organisation to organisation. There are however some basic elements that need to be in place to do Scrum well and some best practices that everybody should know. I’ll try to cover what has worked well for me over the years as well as some potential problem areas and solutions.
If you’ve ever been involved in web, application or software development or any kind of media production or IT project then chances are you’ve run into some sort of methodology or project management methods. You might be familiar with PRINCE2, PMI and the Waterfall Model. In some cases companies also develop their own internal project methodologies or cusomise or adapt existing methodologies to fit their own structure with varying degrees of success. If you are familiar with any of these methods you may also have reconised that a lot of their principles often don’t work as well when internal and external requirements as well as market conditions frequently change. This is very often the case when dealing with website development and web application development projects and perhaps even more so with mobile application development projects. If some of this sounds familiar then perhaps it’s time for you to have closer look at Agile Development. In this article we’ll cover the basics of Agile and in particular a at Scrum.
WordPress offers pretty good basic SEO by default and by spending a bit of time focusing on a few additional areas your on-page and on-site SEO will gain a significant boost. If you’re creating a new site, creating a new design and theme for an existing site or just updating your current theme to be a bit more SEO friendly the principles are pretty much the same. If you already have a working site and theme then don’t worry most of the following SEO tweaks can be done with a few code snippets and plugins added to your existing WordPress site. This article will cover 5 optimisation areas that will improve your WordPress on-page and on-site SEO.
The latest release of XBMC (9.11 Camelot) was a major milestone for the media centre with regards to both stability and usability. The release stabilised and improved a lot of the core features, vastly improved the skinning engine and came with a completely new and much improved default look and feel.