All posts tagged “Embrace”

Why Your Company Should Embrace The Four-Day Workweek

The talk about a four-day workweek has been around for awhile, but lately more and more companies are adopting it and bloggers worldwide are talking about it. Working just 4 days and having 3 days off is heaven for employees but not so much for employers who aren’t (yet) well acquainted with the benefits.

Efficiency should not be equated with number of hours or days worked, they are not the same, but in today’s trend almost everyone believes this to be true.

In this article, we will talk about how a four-day workweek is the best schedule for creative and knowledge-centric firms. The standard work hours is 8 hours daily or 40 hours per week for a full-time job. With a four-day workweek, the setup can be either a 32-hour workweek or 10-hour daily for 4 days. We’ll take a look at just what this means.

Less Time to Work Means Less Time to Waste

The more hours there are for work, the more people find ways to distract themselves because they desire change from their routine. It doesn’t necessarily mean more time for efficient work. In fact, forcing more working hours onto creative and knowledge workers has a detrimental effect.

You see, creativity and critical thinking can’t be forced. They both thrive in freedom. Freedom in the sense that they are not robots meant to work 8-12 hours a day for 5 days. It might sound counterintuitive to say that in order to have quality work and in order to squeeze every second of every working moment for maximum efficiency, employees should spend less time at work.

In fact, this is what Jason Fried did on 37Signals, now known as Basecamp. According to him, “Better work gets done in four days than in five.” He said that during our school days, we were given a summer vacation from school and that time off from school was tremendously helpful in breaking the monotony. But as we grow older and life becomes more serious, these breaks shorten. Some even go for years without having a real vacation.

When people have more time to work, they inadvertently try to fill every possible hour. In between they are looking for ways to distract themselves from the desolation of a monotonous work environment. Having a shorter workweek might just do the trick of increasing productivity, since there’s less time to fool around.

Here’s the kicker, officials in Sweden have been working on a 6-hour work day in the hopes of helping workers increase their happiness, productivity, and ultimately be more healthy.

More Personal Time Means a Happier Work Environment

Suppose you are a web designer and your employer told you to design five unique landing pages within the week. Sounds like an easy job especially if you enjoy designing. If you are skilled and experienced enough, you can definitely pull this off. You might even work overtime just to please your employer.

But no matter how skilled and experienced you are, if this goes on for several weeks to months, you’ll just feel all spent and be mentally exhausted, right? People don’t want to spend the majority of their lives at work.

The current setup of many companies is to give their employees both one or two days off and a lot of overtime during workweeks. This leaves employees to just spend their free time at home, catching up on their sleep. In western culture, this is seen as a positive thing, being a workaholic. However, in many South-East Asian countries, working overtime suggests employees aren’t efficient enough to finish their work on time.

Can you imagine employees being happy under this setup, where they only have one or two days to rest and not enough time for family, friends, and for themselves?

Let’s take a peek at how happiness and more free time work in a grander scale. Countries who work shorter hours are the happiest and their economies are doing just fine. Take for example; Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Sweden. According to the World Happiness Report 2013, these countries were the top 5 in terms of highest levels of happiness.

The report shows that one major benefit of being happy is that people become more productive. Other major benefits include people living longer lives and low crime rates due to people being generally good.

Coincidentally, these countries have the shortest work hours per week in a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2013. The Netherlands’ average hours per week is 29, the shortest in the world for full-time salaried workers. This is followed closely by Denmark (33), Norway (33) Switzerland (35), and Sweden (36). The Swedes work 143 hours less than Americans per year.

Great Work Satisfaction Means Longer Work and Talent Retention

Why do you think people change companies or careers? It’s not because they just feel like doing so. It’s because they’re not satisfied with their work. Most of us have been there. Why did you leave your previous job? Probably because the salary is too low or the work setting is terrible, but often times for most people it’s because a better opportunity presented itself elsewhere.

The World Happiness Report 2013 published a study that strengthens the idea that the happier people are at their workplace, the more they tend to cooperate and help improve the entirety of their work.

If you own a company with a high turnover rate of employees, you might want to consider investigating your employees’ key motivators. Usually these motivators are: security, recognition, purpose, and freedom. If you want to seriously understand what motivates others, a great starting point is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Give people these four key motivators and they will be happy, and in turn they will work with you for as long as you satisfy them.

A four-day workweek also solves the issue of a high turnover rate too. Happy employees usually find their purpose easily and will do their best to perform well. In turn, they might just get recognized for their outstanding work which leads to job security. And finally, they will have more time for themselves.

Another thing is that great talent will gravitate towards you. Adding an extra day of freedom can go a long way for many people. And if your goal is to attract great talent, a four-day workweek is probably one of the best deals out there (especially now that it’s popularity is still rising).

Conclusion

If you are thinking of starting your own company or doing freelance work, don’t forget to consider the benefits of having a four-day workweek. I know that 5 days is the most popular, followed by 6 working days, but don’t forget about what motivates you as well as your employees.

Most people’s motivation boils down to freedom. Some people work in order to have money whilst others want to save enough money to live a particular lifestyle. Regardless of what it is, the appeal of a four-day workweek is something that can act as a big motivator.





hongkiat.com

Why web designers should embrace reactive design

Read more about Why web designers should embrace reactive design at CreativeBloq.com


BaseKit’s founder Richard Healy A brand’s website design speaks volumes. And yet many businesses are choosing to forego updating their websites, instead posting content directly to Facebook.




Creative Bloq

Create Native Apps for WordPress: Can Mobile Dreams Embrace Reality?

There are many reasons why the shift to mobile is a good thing. First off, the need to translate between desktop and mobile has always been a big barrier. As of late though, developers have been making apps and sites that run on both, seamlessly.

Create Native Apps for WordPress: Can Mobile Dreams Embrace Reality?

So it is no wonder that Native apps that run on WordPress are becoming the next trend. You see, there are countless sites that run through WordPress so sometimes they need apps that have the permission to use the full scope of the phone. Of course, at some point it would seem that the translation can be impossible.

How Native Apps Work

For the uninitiated, the term Native app may seem hard to differentiate from a normal app. The difference between a normal app and one that runs natively is permission. A program that is built within the framework and language of a specific OS can run all the hardware and software within the device. Basically, programs will have permission to access all aspects of your phone. That full control is what makes native apps have an edge over other forms of apps built within other platforms. The following are the other forms of apps that you may want to look into.

Web Apps

The prime difference that defines a web app is that it functions like any other program would except that it isn’t necessarily running from your PC. The program is stored on a separate server and is run partially through your hardware. They’re found online and usually run through the browser itself. Some smart phones may not have the ability to run these programs because of plug in support. However, they have been proven to be a popular choice among desktop developers that have limited resources.

Cloud App

Cloud App

This form of application is basically a hybrid that was built with both desktop programs and web apps in mind. You see, when you install this type of program, it usually deploys a desktop app that needs to run on your PC’s hardware. Then there is the secondary process, which is run from a remote server. Both in tandem tax a different type of resource but has streamlined interactions between the cloud and your PC.

What Does This Have to Do with WordPress?

So what do apps have to do with WordPress? Well, the fact here is that recently, standardized web APIs have been the way to go. They help simplify the process of designing sites and they also make development much easier on the average user. Now that there are so many of them that cater to many different needs, it was only a matter of time before you could develop programs through the use of a web API. At the same time, the can be programmed in the native language of certain mobile OS’ so they can actually have the same access native apps can have.

This makes development in between web APIs much smoother because sites can now access some of the hardware capabilities of a smart phone. That can make web pages look and run even better. Of course, there is a bit of a problem when it comes to giving permission.

The Risks of Permission

The very nature of security is that it doesn’t allow unsavory things into private places. Whether it’s access to your hardware or your email account, security strives to keep everything in your life running smoothly. In fact, many developers and programmers have even worked on a system that provides safe email for kids 3 and above ages. This is why many different measures have been taken so that it isn’t so easy to manipulate the important details. However, all it takes for that security to crumble is to give your permission. The ever present issue of allowing third party programs to run on your hardware is that you never know how they’re manipulating you. As it stands, there are many rumors that state a lot of your data have been manipulated by numerous different websites.

Of course, WordPress isn’t by any means a small website. In fact, it’s one of the largest standardized web APIs that host thousands of different sites at any one time. This means that when you develop native apps through their platform, they’ll check your product before releasing it to the public.

The Benefit: Easier Programming for Everyone

The point of software and computers is that they’re supposed to make things easier for everyone. So it was only a matter of time before streamlined app development became a big thing. Most of these new development tools include the use of a click and drag plus point and click scheme of design.

It’s a means of readying tools on the fly so that experienced developers won’t have to build from scratch and newbies can learn a thing or two. This ease of use can open up new dimensions of exploration because no time will be wasted on line by line coding.

Many Resources are Open Source

Open Source Resources

The problem with many different programs is that they’re used for enterprise, which means you’ll be paying for stuff that’s already free. Open source languages and programs are often overlooked because they don’t seem professional. The biggest benefit of open source software is that they’re mostly free and none of the developers ask for payment. Just look up programs like blender or audacity and check out how high their quality is.

So from there, you can probably tell that open source programs are much more useful to programmers and developers. Those same developers create applications that make it easier for others to create new programs. Basically, this means that you can make programs for free and without the hassle of any further translation.

The Resources

Okay, so mentioning the programs in passing would seem like a pointless endeavor if none of those resources were mentioned. Here are some of the best you should be considering if you’re designing apps through a standardized web API.

WiziApp

The beauty to WiziApp is that it makes great use of AdSense, which makes it easier for business sites to integrate into the framework. Google Analytics is also heavily integrated within the framework, allowing you to gain valuable data for your site and Google. At the same time, Wiziapp makes proper use of its capability to emulate HTML 5. For those that don’t know, HTML 5 works much better with mobile and is also the most elegant iteration of HTML.

Titanium

If you’re not looking into plugins or simple enhancements, then titanium is the framework for you. The program is very versatile. It allows you to code within the native languages of Android, HTML 4, Blackberry, and finally, iOS. The extensible nature of titanium also allows for growth within the programs boundaries, which means you can even learn how to improve your experience on your own.

Phone Gap

Phone Gap is another detailed program that uses the permission you give it to access the different hardware aspects of a phone. It uses features like the camera and the accelerometer, which is a bit strange when considering the nature of web apps. However, it also uses your contact list and local files, which can be very beneficial. It gives your site some new tools to work with and streamlines the general user experience.

Why is This Important?

So we’ve been discussing everything from mobile apps to how native programs work, but you may have been asking a different set of questions. Why would it be so important for you to use a mobile site when your WordPress pages get enough views as it is? Well, there are a lot of different reasons for this, and some of them may surprise you.

Importance of Native Apps

The smart phone boom is a very recent trend, which makes it hard to see how many benefits it yields to many different developers. To break it down; the recent trend doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. More and more users have been ignoring their laptops and desktops in favor of their phones and tablets. In fact, a large chunk of users actively favor the use of their phone when the browse the internet.

The need for both a mobile and a desktop presence is very evident from that fact alone, but that’s enough, you can always look to the monetary reasons. Since most sites, mobile or otherwise, can still access advertising, you’ll be able to make extra revenue from different devices.

Lastly, you’ll also have to remember that a lot businesses and site owners have been taking the shift. That’s right, if you don’t shift and use plugins or frameworks that exploit HTML 5 or responsive design, your site can be considered outdated. Nothing kills a website faster than outdated programming tricks and archaic code.

So now that you know about native apps, how they work with WordPress, and why you should start shifting to mobile, maybe you want to build something from the ground up. For younger developers that want to learn the tools of the trade, these are some of the things you’ll need to learn.

HTML 5

HTML 5 has been around for a while, but when it first came out no one knew exactly how to use it. In fact, many different programmers are still trying to work new tricks out of HTML 5. Of course, the platform is still using most of the fundamentals of HTML, so the procedure will be less jarring. Most of what’s new is improved support of new tags and online features.

These different tags are mostly aimed at improving media support without the use of Java or third party languages. The <video> and <audio> tags make it easier to work with multimedia resources. Developing games straight in the code is also a new feature. It has a ton of potential but has limited support when it comes to some browsers. However, one can already see how ambitious this program is and how it might actually eliminates the need for the use of multiple languages to make one site.

There are many different resources through which you can learn HTML. The most brutal but effective resource is to check out HTML.net as it contains everything you need to know about HTML. Tizag is also another resource for lessons regarding the language. It takes the user from the most basic lessons to advance lessons using more than just HTML.

WordPress

While WordPress tries its best to simplify the creation of websites, you’ll still have to learn about in order to make full use of web standardized API app development. Okay, so the first thing you’ll need to know is that WordPress is still considered a Content Management System. It has been used as a blogging tool more often than not but the plugins have expanded their uses. As it stands, you can make nearly any kind of site using WordPress and its different resources. Unfortunately, those same plugins also make it harder to learn how to use the CMS program.

As with HTML, there are a ton of different tutorials you can refer to in order to learn a little bit more about WP. The most reliable source to learn how to create your own WP template is to hit the codex itself. The developers of WordPress have gone to great lengths in order to provide newbies important lessons. Siteground takes this a step further by providing an extensive list of the different plugins and themes you can work with as well. Lastly, they also help you improve security and optimize the CMS program.

Responsive Design

Responsive design is a set of principles and methods that are designed to make desktop sites more accessible to mobile platforms. At the same time, it removes the need for site owners to develop two different sites in order to maintain an online presence. The basic idea is that users on the phone and the desktop will still be treated to all the features of a normal website.

The idea behind this concept is to provide a single URL for mobile and desktop apps. Every piece of content on the site in question adjusts to the screen size. This way, mobile users won’t have to keep zooming in so that they can see the content on the page.

Along with the proper resizing of images, here are the other things that drive the concept of responsive design. The fluid grid concept removes the need for a defined unit and instead pushes for percentages in order to accommodate smart phone resolutions. Media queries will let CSS elements work better with mobile browsers. It does this through the use of the dimensions that the browser itself takes.

Conclusion

Can mobile dreams embrace reality? Well the short answer is yes. First off, because there are numerous frameworks and programs that enable you to do this through simpler means. Barring that, you can also learn the very basics of how these functions would work. While the trends are slowly changing, it never hurts to future-proof your site or at least learn some of the skills to do so. Whichever way you want to look at it, mobiles are important. This is why major sites are starting to find ways to use systems hardware rather than rely on web and cloud services. If you want to know more, all you’ll have to do is to learn a little more about these systems. At the same time, you’ll stay ahead of the curve so that you’ll stay in the know about important updates about mobiles and web technology.

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PSD to HTML


InstantShift

Why designers fail – and how to embrace failure

Read more about Why designers fail – and how to embrace failure at CreativeBloq.com


“Ultimately, we are deluding ourselves if we think that the products that we design are the ‘things’ that we sell, rather than the individual, social and cultural experience that they engender, and the value and impact that they have. Design that ignores this is not worthy of the name.” – Bill Buxton, computer scientist, designer, and a pioneer of the human–computer interaction field
    




Creative Bloq

Don’t Be Afraid, Embrace the Mantra of Collaboration

Today’s business world certainly looks a lot different than it did just a few decades ago and it could be argued that a large part of the change has come with the rapid adoption of the Internet not…

For full article and other interesting tech related stuff visit the website.
SkyTechGeek

Why graphic designers need to embrace strategy

Read more about Why graphic designers need to embrace strategy at CreativeBloq.com


In the October issue of Computer Arts, design commentator Adrian Shaughnessy wrote an article – ‘Why designers should give branding back its soul’ – arguing that brand identity design should be taken out of the hands of strategists and returned to graphic designers. As someone who trained as a graphic designer and who is choosing to specialise in identity design, I thought it as an opportunity to share some of my thoughts and opinions on branding and identity design.
    




Creative Bloq

Beautiful Websites that Embrace Responsiveness At Its Best

Responsive website design is selling like freshly baked breads in the web development industry, and it is not difficult to see why.

One of the reasons behind the popularity of responsive web design is its compatibility to mobile devices through high speed Internet. The remote accessibility can be accounted for the 10% average increase in the conversion rates of various e-commerce websites. The spike in the number of WordPress themes tailored after this raging trend also contributed greatly to the buzz.

Ultimately, responsive web design is currently meeting maximum demands for its voluminous advantages both to webmasters and users. Creators are spared from the arduous task of organizing too many elements in the web page for easy navigation.

Through this specific structure, they also gain more flexibility in implementing designs. Users, on the other hand, benefit from the ease of finding contents. The integration of buttons and links that can lead them directly to relevant web pages facilitates a wiser use of time on the Internet.

Here are some of the websites that managed to embrace the responsive web design at its best.

Breaking News
Housing some of the hottest news, this website maximized the “responsiveness” and created a form of action. It wowed many critics for its modern and advanced way of displaying live and aggregating news takes from different sources.

Breaking News
Breaking news’ web page comprises three main sections, two of which are earmarked for news consumption. The ‘Popular’ section is the basket for photographs and snippets of information. ‘Latest’ area, on the other hand, includes the most recent hot-of-the-grill reports.

Breaking News
Conventional users may not take notice, but tech savvies are highly appreciative of the crisp and smooth motion in navigating. Thanks to the layout of the page that adapts well to the decreasing width.

Fork
Fork is a website built with a CMS platform, and is a known epitome on how a responsive design can be showcased elegantly. Simple and chic, the slogan in the homepage is stationary in the layout of every web page. The way at which the icons are utilized to display extensions is remarkable.

Fork2
Fork
As the screen scales down, the number of icons is reduced. Nonetheless, there is an option to view “more extensions.” This works well for mobile devices, and to companies who strive to convert the design principles applied for bigger screens on default browsers to make their page friendlier to smart phones.

Hiut Denim
Hiut Denim
Web developers from this company apparently put loads of efforts in taking advantage of responsive web design in a method that is not seen elsewhere. The website is laden with sharp photography that concur with the theme and overall appeal of the website. The high-resolution pictures breathtakingly display the fabulous fashion pieces. And just when you think this is another high-end designer, webmasters left everyone at awe on how they laid out the elements to make the site compatible to smaller screens.

Hiut Denim
Hiut Denim
The technique worked well in garnering online order placements from fashionistas on the run. Over the time period that this design was implemented, the company gained a significant spike in the number of their sales.

Jamie Cody is a writer of various topics in web technology. He also writes reviews on hosting companies like GoDaddy, BlueHost and FatCow. Feel free to check out Centernetworks.com reviews before purchasing any hosting for your site.
MedleyWeb.com

The new Mac Pro: will professionals embrace Apple’s brave, expensive vision of the desktop?

There’s no doubt that Apple’s brand-new Mac Pro is as much a statement as a computing tool. From its dramatic introduction at WWDC 2013 (marked by SVP Phil Schiller’s bravado) to its radically engineered internals, the Mac Pro is meant to remind the public that no other company designs or builds hardware quite like Apple. At $ 2,999 — $ 500 more than the outgoing model — its price is also a statement. It’s a powerful, beautiful, aspirational computer that makes very little sense for the vast majority of the population. However, it’s a computer Apple felt it had to make.

The question facing Apple now: is the Mac Pro still a computer that professionals in fields like photography, videography, and audio (once Apple’s…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

New Apple Look Doesn’t Fully Embrace Flat Design

New Apple Look Doesn’t Fully Embrace Flat Design

The web was full of speculation in the weeks and days leading to WWDC 2013 – iOS 7 would be flat. I’m glad I did not jump on that train. Apple will not employ a completely flat design scheme with the iOS upgrade; it just touches on it. The company did all but ditch the […]


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You’re reading New Apple Look Doesn’t Fully Embrace Flat Design, originally posted on Designmodo – UI Kits. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook, Google+!


Designmodo

Beautiful Websites that Embrace Responsiveness At Its Best

Responsive website design is selling like freshly baked breads in the web development industry, and it is not difficult to see why.

One of the reasons behind the popularity of responsive web design is its compatibility to mobile devices through high speed Internet. The remote accessibility can be accounted for the 10% average increase in the conversion rates of various e-commerce websites. The spike in the number of WordPress themes tailored after this raging trend also contributed greatly to the buzz.

Ultimately, responsive web design is currently meeting maximum demands for its voluminous advantages both to webmasters and users. Creators are spared from the arduous task of organizing too many elements in the web page for easy navigation.

Through this specific structure, they also gain more flexibility in implementing designs. Users, on the other hand, benefit from the ease of finding contents. The integration of buttons and links that can lead them directly to relevant web pages facilitates a wiser use of time on the Internet.

Here are some of the websites that managed to embrace the responsive web design at its best.

Breaking News
Housing some of the hottest news, this website maximized the “responsiveness” and created a form of action. It wowed many critics for its modern and advanced way of displaying live and aggregating news takes from different sources.

Breaking News
Breaking news’ web page comprises three main sections, two of which are earmarked for news consumption. The ‘Popular’ section is the basket for photographs and snippets of information. ‘Latest’ area, on the other hand, includes the most recent hot-of-the-grill reports.

Breaking News
Conventional users may not take notice, but tech savvies are highly appreciative of the crisp and smooth motion in navigating. Thanks to the layout of the page that adapts well to the decreasing width.

Fork
Fork is a website built with a CMS platform, and is a known epitome on how a responsive design can be showcased elegantly. Simple and chic, the slogan in the homepage is stationary in the layout of every web page. The way at which the icons are utilized to display extensions is remarkable.

Fork2
Fork
As the screen scales down, the number of icons is reduced. Nonetheless, there is an option to view “more extensions.” This works well for mobile devices, and to companies who strive to convert the design principles applied for bigger screens on default browsers to make their page friendlier to smart phones.

Hiut Denim
Hiut Denim
Web developers from this company apparently put loads of efforts in taking advantage of responsive web design in a method that is not seen elsewhere. The website is laden with sharp photography that concur with the theme and overall appeal of the website. The high-resolution pictures breathtakingly display the fabulous fashion pieces. And just when you think this is another high-end designer, webmasters left everyone at awe on how they laid out the elements to make the site compatible to smaller screens.

Hiut Denim
Hiut Denim
The technique worked well in garnering online order placements from fashionistas on the run. Over the time period that this design was implemented, the company gained a significant spike in the number of their sales.

Jamie Cody is a writer of various topics in web technology. He also writes reviews on hosting companies like GoDaddy, BlueHost and FatCow. Feel free to check out Centernetworks.com reviews before purchasing any hosting for your site.
MedleyWeb.com