Ok, so I need to let everyone know about the rollercoaster of feelings my morning has had so far and how I ultimately became a victim. Of what? You'll have to read on to find out. First off, I should mention that today started off fairly normal. Went to bed the usual time last night, around 1:00am. However we got up a little late this morning, 8:00am. Daughter has to be at school at 8:30am so it was an all too familiar scramble around the PostIdol Media household getting ourselves ready and our now, all-of-a-sudden, incredibly slow daughter ready. But ultimately we get out of the house. By we, I mean me and my daughter. My wife tells me today she's busy this morning and not coming for morning wake up drive.......fine. So, I get our daughter to school, late, I might add. And then I go off on our usual routine, solo, to Tim Horton's (Biggest Canadian Coffee & Fastfood drive-thru for all my American friends who don't know). When I get to the turn into the complex the Tim's is in, the lineup is backed all the way to the entrance. I should mention that there is a McDonalds in the complex as well, but this lineup is for Tim's - My luck!! By this point, I am starting to see how this day is shaping up. I pull up behind an older green Mercedes. And the lady driving is texting or something, not sure, but she is not paying attention and the car ahead of her has pulled forward already. Annoying. And although it is maybe two seconds we sit there, it feels like 5 minutes. Now, I am pretty patient and because I drive a Chrysler 200, anyone who owns one knows it does not have a polite little honk. It's no honk or loud "Move your F$%in' Ass" honk", there is no polite "Hey lady, the car ahead of you has moved forward, can you pull forward so the car behind me can get into the complex and not hang out into the street stopping traffic?" type of honk. So, I just sit there. We move forward a little further and we are at the point where the cross-traffic from people leaving McDonald's crosses over our line. Everyone always leaves the lane open and then pulls forward when they see room for their car in the continuation of the line on the other side. Well, the lady in front of me continues to wait, and when a space opens up, in my head, she isn't moving fast enough to get over there, again delaying our line up. Finally, she pulls forward and I see that there is room for two cars there, and no McDonald's cross traffic coming, so I cross with her. But, she decides to leave half a car length between her and the vehicle ahead of her. By this point I am frustrated. Not aggressive, or visibly yelling or anything, but just getting into a little hissy fit in my head. So, I pull up right tight to the back of her car. Again, not wanting to use the Mack Truck horn I have in my Chrysler. On top of it, at this point, we have the regular homeless guys on the corner smoking up a storm, and the wind is going in my direction. All I can think is FML!! We get through the line, albeit slowly, and when she gets to the window to pay, she is talking with the cashier, taking her time paying with her debit card, and just being consistent with the whole performance to this point. Finally she drives off. I finally get to the window, and the cashier tells me that she already paid for my order....... She already paid for my order.......let that sink in a little. I know there are much worse people out there than me. But I was pretty frustrated and annoyed in my head......and then she paid for my order!! In that moment, my whole perception and attitude changed. It's not cause I didn't have to pay the $6.50 for my order. It's simply in the gesture. I was so taken back. For the first time ever I was a victim of "pay it forward". And I say victim, because like the victim of a small crime, I felt awful! I got my order, pulled out of the complex, and pulled up beside her. I rolled down my window and said "That was very sweet. Thank you so much!" and a very nice lady responded with a smile "Hey, no problem. I have had people do it for me and it just brightens the day. Just paying it forward! I hope you have a great day!". I said "thank you" once again and we drove off. Now, I am the type of person that I dress all in black, all the time, often wear sunglasses and generally look like a grumpy person. But if you actually talk to me, you would see, literally....."that's just how my face goes". lol. I am a very sensitive, emotional and caring person, especially to those I love. I am also a VERY reflective person, and this act of kindness gutted me! So I want it to be painfully clear, I don't really consider myself a victim. I am happy to have been the recipient of, not only a nice deed, but also a deed that made me reflect on my life, others' lives and humanity as a whole. Maybe we would all get along a little better if instead of cutting each other off, flipping the finger to each other and all out acting like asses......we took a little responsibility for ourselves and realized, it very well could just be us, our problem, WE ARE THE CAUSE! My bad morning was ALL ME. This nice lady showed me that. I was over-reacting, judging, and just getting myself in a worse mood by the minute, and in one gesture, she completely unraveled it and turned my outlook on the day around. *got goosebumps just writing that! So, thank you very much Miss Green Mercedes, for the breakfast and for the life lesson. "I hope you have a great day too!"
Do you remember the first websites from the mid-1990s? Some of them are still online, such as the Internet Explorer is Evil site, which was built in 1996. It relied heavily on Flash animation and tacky images.Modern websites don't look anything like that today. Technology has evolved. New technology has led to new customer expectations.Here are some technology trends that are changing the future of web design in 2017. Wearable Technology Affect Customer Experience and Web Design Optimization In the past, web developers had a single focus – creating a great user experience. They only had to make sure that the website they were building was engaging and communicated their message appropriately. Today, people are using multiple devices at the same time. They are also using wearable devices, such as Fitbit, which influence their behavior. Web developers need to consider how all of these devices influence the customer experience. Mobile Devices Force Brands to Trim Websites In 2015, the number of mobile Internet users exceeded desktop users for the first time. Since a growing number of people are accessing the Internet from their mobile devices, web developers need to make sure their sites provide a good mobile user experience. They are facing one major challenge - mobile data plan limits. Websites with lots of graphics take longer to loan on mobile devices than desktops. According to UX expert Rick Wittington, mobile users will abandon sites that take over 10 seconds to load. If you are redesigning a website, it's important to test it on multiple devices. If it loads too slowly on the average smartphone, then you will probably need to remove some of your graphics and consider using fewer applets. Video Will Play an Even More Important Role in Web Design Video has become a powerful medium in recent years. According to new research from Contently, people spend more time watching online videos than they spend on social media. Video will be even more important in the future. The Cisco Visual Networking Index shows that online video traffic will increase over 400% by 2020. Web designers can't afford to ignore this trend. They need to provide reliable way to host and stream videos. Since video can increase bandwidth and load times, they may need to trim the images from the rest of their site. Lower Attention Spans Lead to Simpler Designs I already mentioned that lower the increased popularity of mobile devices is leading to leaner websites. Another factor is also driving this change – lower attention spans. New technology has made customers less patient. This is partially due to their experiences on social media and a society that places even more of a focus on instant gratification. In 2017, customers will be even less forgiving of websites that take a long time to load. Bottom Line A lot of variables are influencing the role of web design. The biggest takeaway is this – websites need to be leaner. They need to load quickly. In the early days of the web, many brands tried to show off by creating very image intensive sites with a lot of Flash animation. Today, they need to create simpler sites that load quickly.
If charging up your mobile commerce strategy is on your to-do list for 2017, enjoy these 10 best practices from Mobify’s recent publication 50 Ways to Please Your Customers: A Guide to Mobile Web Design Best Practices. 1. Go to full site – the mobile website escape Always include a link to the full site for your users. No matter how good your design, some people just want the experience they’re used to. The only thing that likes change is a wet baby. 2. Keep headings shorter than short Headings that wrap over more than 2 lines push your content down the page and often out of frame for users. Keep them short, focused and descriptive without telling the whole story. 3. Use placeholder text on small, common form inputs On small forms where context is obvious, use placeholder text instead of labels (eg. login forms, search boxes or address forms). 4. Place labels above form inputs When you use labels they should be placed above form elements. Using top-aligned labels makes sure that if the mobile browser zooms in on the input, the user doesn’t lose the context of the input. 5. Pop-ups suck on mobile Window management on mobile still sucks. YouTube, Maps, anything that opens native applications takes the user outside the website’s flow and out of context. Do your best to integrate these elements on the page so that users can stay with the website they’re viewing. 6. Save time with font-based icons We (heart image) icons! They spice up your designs. To avoid managing a sprite sheet with both retina assets and smaller icons, opt for a font-based icon set like: Font Awesome; glyphish; iconsweets; or symbolset. Or, make your own. Here’s how. 7. Give your mobile website a mobile-first makeover Going mobile is about more than just squeezing an existing website into a one-column format. Examine your analytics and your user feedback. Tackle the opportunity to re-imagine your website for mobile and to focus on the important elements. Reorganize content so that it makes sense to the user. Drop extra content blocks. Move elements up or down the page. Add new elements for mobile devices. It’s your site to make amazing. 8. Make your default font size at least 14px Even if that seems really big, it’s the right thing to do. The only time to go smaller (and just to a minimum of 12 px) is on very precise labels for forms. 9. Respect the fat fingers and tipsy taps of your users None of us are as dexterous as we’d like to be on our mobile devices. We can all have a touch of “fat fingers” symptoms. So design your actions accordingly. Make the touch targets big. We recommend 40px by 40px. Give targets lots of margin too. We recommend at least 10px margins around the targets. Primary actions should always be big and tappable. 10. Embrace the wild and wonderful world of device APIs When making a desktop site mobile we sometimes forget that smartphones and other mobile devices access user location, can make phone calls, take pictures and much more. Don’t confine your creativity to what’s on your desktop site.
Now, I'm not sure if this is just my problem, or if every web designer has this issue, but I have no problem coming up with great ideas for different, custom web designs and layouts for my clients. But when it comes to our website, the actual PostIdol Media website I always draw a complete blank. Hence why this new website literally took 4 years to create. Now before you say "4 years! To create THIS site? It's nothing ground-breaking!". Agreed. And I don't mean it took 4 years to code and design it. I mean it took 4 years to finally settle on a design, style and motif for the website. As creative types, we are a bit of a loose cannon and unless we get a design out of our system fast, our brains will move on to another idea. That's precisely what had been happening with the PostIdol Media website. I have about half a dozen beginnings to great web designs, but then it took too long to come to fruition, so my creative mind moved on. And then, as if that wasn't enough, there's the whole point of finding time to do the website. We have about 10-15 projects running at any given moment, putting in 10-12hr days, 6-7 days a week. And somewhere in there we need to try and find time to design our one website....WITHOUT HAVING IT LOOK RUSHED! Not an easy task to say the least. Anyways, we are still working on this website. Slowly but surely it is coming along. We are starting to add the web design case-studies, and new pages, like this blog. I wrote this post to take the time to let you know, if you see any short-comings of the PostIdol Media website, or really on any web designer's website - it's not that we don't know what we are doing, it's not that the site is broken, it's simply that our clients' web design projects come first. And in those few off-hours we have, we get to work on our website, if we are not too exhausted. Thanks for reading. Jackson