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Responsive Web Design | Beyond Media Queries

responsive web design Responsive Web Design

I wanted to blog this video as it has some really important tips and suggestions as to how to do responsive code with respect mostly to css and take some pressure off media queries. Also I like the fact that typography is taken well in hand and also a good look at SVG images. The ability to scale parts of an image (remember chopping up a rounded box graphic with corners so it scales but doesn't have grotesque scale corners?) 

Talk By Michael Riethmuller find him on twitter @MichaelRiethmuller

I have selected a few links that take you to the relevant sections as it is quite a long talk. 

Breakpoints Under Pressure Breakpoints are really just an awkward start.

Fluid Typography
Calc() - Using expressions to get a dynamic size.

Modular Scales - You have to see this image of TRUMP!

Responsive SVG- Very powerful image rendering.

CSS Grid


At the end what I love most is that very self degrading remark that he cannot design (he is a developer) and he wants to see where a designer can take his ideas and self discovered responsive solutions. It does remind us that this stuff is very complicated when you consider knowing also html and then javascript. I hate that recruiters don't get that or that design and development should come cheap this is no less skilful than some electronic engineer using applications and logic or an engineer making a bridge from software.

Lets start to credit developers and designers.

Also if you are buying a templated design this is the reason why, do you think that all this is possible as a custom solution each time? Templates are good they represent progress and we hope that Michael's work starts to make it into more and more of them.

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Need a website? DIY website | create your own website options and tips

diy-web-design DIY Web Design Tips

You must have seen the adverts (huge budgets), sites like WIX have been spending on advertising (mostly YOUTUBE) and have been tempted to create a WIX website, Regardless of the provider WIX, Squarespace, site123.com etc some things remain the same. And our experience of delivering websites will help you in creating your own.

3 Things some clients can't ever seem to deliver

Of course I value my clients and I don't want to be unkind but without your deliverables how do you want to have an awesome website! These are very helpful if you are creating your own website too. writing for your own business is hard.

What should a client deliver better to get a better website?

  1. COPY and MESSAGE! Before much at all I ask new prospective clients to look at the sections or pages of the site and copy to determine the size of the project. However it's the message and narrative that also needs to give me some inspiration for understanding what you need to achieve. We can help but the better you do in this the better will be your shiny new website.
  2. IMAGES- Of course we can help with getting quality images and video but you are sure to have assets already that can help and yes we can lift them from your existing online assets such as facebook but the quality and lower resolution should mean then they are only placeholders. Also the issue with this is that they then drive a negative view. When you are reviewing something NEW to see OLD images you already know takes your mind to a negative view.
  3. GRAPHICS- If you don't have a logo then perhaps some branding might be a good idea. So if you have the cash get some business cards and stuff done at the same time.

Beyond that you might also look at:

VIDEO- You may think that getting a professional video made is not possible but there are so many useful tools that you can get a professional video made to send a message for under £100.

If you take care of the above in say word or notepad or even you can write it in an email save as a draft for each page. After you do this exercise you will start to visualise the way you will link the pages together. It really helps me design you a better website. A popular trend in 2017 and continues is that of a scrolling narrative for the home page. So as you scroll down you have horizontal bars that send a message or offer some function like a contact form.

Tips to build your own website

Get the menu right first time

​Every single piece of content should be accessible with as few clicks as possible hopefully just 3. But as important is the way in which people understand your offering and how the menu serves to show and underline this. If you mess with the menu you can also mess with your url's which doesn't allow google time to learn what your website is about in short it's bad (really bad) for SEO.

Don't change the url's

If you have mapped out your site correctly as stated earlier you shouldn't need to have issues with changing url's. If you do decide to split content into two different pages then do it, but not after 2 months of the site being live. It is often helpful to block search robots until you are fully happy with the website. But you might loose some valuable crawl time if you do that too. So again a nod back to getting the pages and map right first time.

Optimise your website

There are GZIP compression optimisations, image optimisations as a minimum, beyond this cache pages and reduce calls to the server for content that doesn't change. We are getting a bit technical if we carry on. I just wanted to offer this as something you can learn and do some DIY with. Please try and make your site https which is encrypted pages. Of course some of the paid site builders do this for you and that can be very good news.

Minimise the use of plugins 

Try not to install too many plugins unless you really need them. Plugins offer useful functions but also can leave you with a headache when the CMS updates or the plugin updates. For this we offer a service to get your website up to date and offer a cheap plan to keep your site secure and running smoothly.

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10 Practitioner Tips for Junior UI Designers

With over a decade of experience, Lead Designer Paul Goins offers practical advice to junior designers.
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Targeting an Audience on Linkedin

Targeting an Audience on LinkedIn

With LinkedIn, you're targeting a quality audience in a professional context. Market to influencers, decision makers, and executives who act on new opportunities.

Combine targeting criteria to build your ideal persona: IT decision makers, C-level executives, prospective students, small business owners, and more.

by Linkedin copywriters
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Is SEO a full time Role? NO! Why are people hiring SEO's

recruit-seo Why hire an SEO?

I love sinusoidal motion. When I first learnt about it in science at school it made perfect sense to me about how things eb and flow. The peaks of a sine wave represent success and something positive but as we know nothing rests and then it dips down and reaches neutral.  If you have not reacted yet to the wave coming down it shall continue and then you panic. You reinvest and say you got it wrong...so things start to improve and you bottom out and return to more profitable ways. The curve heads back up. It's not always a lack of good business acumen of course it often is more to do with capacity and scale and this is a rough representation. I see the fact that some companies are hiring full time SEO's as a big mistake. It makes no sense. I fear those are bottoming out and are reacting to some perceived need. Yes sales could be down due to a fall in your website position in google search and I agree with the need for SEO. I am disagreeing that it is a full time position.

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Is SEO worth it?

is SEO worth it

I am often surprised that people think they should be able to get SEO on the cheap. Fiverr for example and their promises of ranking for $5 if you think that works, or are swayed by their reviews then let me tell you about my own experiments. 

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Cambridge American Cemetery Madingley

madingley american cemetery cambridge Cambridge American Cemetery

The Cemetery

​In 1943 University of Cambridge donated the 30+ Acres of land as a temporary cemetery. After world war 2 it was made a permanent cemetery. The cemetery serves to commemorate those servicemen and women in the American forces who died during world war 2.

Access is free and there is ample parking. It is located at Madingley outside of Cambridge.

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Spring 2018 Ads and Commercials We Like and Why

jermaine-jenas-jj-jacamo Hardly A BIG bloke but the viewers ARE!

A small roundup of Ads wether tv or online etc that caught our eye and are worthy of a mention.

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GDPR Data Protection

gdpr checklist GDPR - Did they think it through?

The GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulations. It is a strict act and lawful across the world. I have recently taken a course on the GDPR to understand the implications for myself and my clients. This is an online guide and an aide memoire. You might find some of the links and information interesting and useful. 

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Advertise with Instagram and Facebook

instagram-ads-cover

I thought I would share a few key stats and some intel on our experience with advertising on instagram and facebook. This is real social media marketing, yes there is so called organic social marketing where you push out tweets and posts on your own channel and grow your audience, of course you should be doing that. However you must also realise the power of being able to reach audiences you really want to reach with pure advertising. Making sure that you have great ad copy is essential and better still as you will see video is a key and works best. Video advertising can also be very affordable these days, it makes sense to invest in video.

80% of people follow a business on instagram. 

Over 200 million people look at a business profile every day. 

One in three small businesses say they built their business with Instagram.

​In 2018 eMarketeer estimates that instagram ad revenue will be 6.84 billion.

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Mac Mail Issues | Cannot Open Links in Email

mac mail open links in chrome issue

Are you finding that post updating Mac OSX now in the default Mac Mail client you can't launch Chrome? I got in touch with support and interestingly they push you to try with Safari. Great browser and at the moment I am now using this as a default. Why? Because I really love opening links from email. It's not that links from chrome didn't open it's very awkward to get the url and do it as well. 

So it's not a fix if you like Chrome. Perhaps it could be a Chrome issue. Would like to see the comments you have on it.

 

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Playing With Aerial Footage Cambridgeshire

cambs digital aerial footage

I finally got some time to play with footage I took with our in house drone. An aerial shot shouldn't cost you the earth with the technology of today- but look at what it can give you! 

Our Business From The Air!

We offer web design and digital marketing for cambridge and Cambridgeshire.
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Greggs Vs Costa

greggs vs costa

 If you hadn't noticed Greggs have been trying to get in on the coffee revolution that took over the high street and by and large they did well. Take myself and friend after swimming we would visit each of the establishments.

Our local Costa was often not fast and we got a bit fed up so thought we would try Greggs. And you know what it took me a while longer than I want to admit that I noticed the small size of the standard coffee at Gregg. Compared with the normal size of Greggs as you see in the image you get through a Greggs coffee much much faster. 

Both coffee's taste good but Costa is better. So now we battle the queues at Costa despite some wins for greggs, Greggs also charge to sit down and the cost was really comparable between the two. Greggs have much more of a choice of foods but don't quite compete if you have a cake and sweet tooth IMO. I don't look to do that in a coffee shop however greggs soups are great. Also the Greggs app is pretty good and worth the download and acts as a loyalty scheme - costa do the same with the card, I don't own their app. 

greggs coffee
A festive twist

I am willing to bet that cup size might be very similar across franchises. So long as costa continue to be much better value for their coffee then we will brave the queues. I think Greggs have something a little wrong. Would value your thoughts.. To stay in and drink the price of the coffee - cappuccino in this case is around 2.70 for both. The large Costa size is huge! I don't go for that. I think Greggs have the chance to get some of the cost market but they need to lower the cost of sitting down and increase the cup size. I am less into the harder seats in both and I think both need to sort that ratio better..

I shall add to this post so subscribe if you want to keep updated. I would value your opinion on your coffee preferences.. 

​If you are a lover of latte then the costa mugs are a bit of a hassle, they are tall and top heavy. The cheese and mushroom toastie is excellent however.

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Logo work for Nasa Taxis

logo in photoshop

A few graphics and thoughts that I went through while designing some branding for nasa taxis.

I wanted to use and get a color combo that was not in direct relationship to a competitor though the client did like those yellow and black colours..so experimenting with purple and yellow seemed to work. 

In the shot below I started bottom left and worked up, quickly moving to a faster looking font verdana italic and I incorporated the rhomboid shape that is iconic for taxis. I played with the lines and fills thicknesses and colour. The  bottom right would have been my pick as I think the rhomboid hasn't lost anything here. But at the end of the day I am here to please the client and I absolutely get subjectivity. 

Responsive Website Design

I am building Nasa Taxis a wordpress site because before this they just had a facebook page which was not easy to market and impossible to rank in google search. His new website is going to save a lot of money in the end and also give his new customers a lot of confidence moving forwards.

Quick facebook pages can be created by anyone! And that's the problem if you are serious about your business you need a website.

Nasa Taxis Website

The Final Logo

Well for me it's not the final final logo. For getting the website started I need colours and a logo. It is very difficult to design a website without some kind of brand guidance. 

If you liked this walk through of some REAL WORK then share this post as it really helps thanks.

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Photoshop 3d for your company branding

3d postcard

It's not that often that I get to play with 3d anymore so it was with surprise that I see how far photoshop has come when it comes to 3d. You can really achieve some impressive looks quickly which is important when you are on a creative budget.

You need to be quite good at saving out files or at least organising yourself as you can't easily go back to 2d world. That being worked out you can create primitive shapes like cubes and postcards which you can arrange lighting for. You can quickly setup a nice visual or 2. I did see few rendering options for the version I have but results as you can see seem pretty ok to me. 

Perfect for flyers and corporate design like van decals etc..think about how your brand looks in 3d.

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Content Marketing

Turn Your Coffee Budget Into Clicks

The wider term content marketing is misleading as it can mean so many things you need to clear up the context quickly. For the purposes of what we do at Cambs Digital and this post Content Marketing is referring to advertising creative. Once thought to be the preserve of big brands now the florist around the corner can get a creative marketing campaign for the price of her coffee it seems. Well the Ad says so anyway.

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SEO and Web Design as a Marketing Strategy

web-design-mac-laptop

Using SEO and Web Design for Your Company's Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing is now more important to business than ever, especially because a majority of consumers are avid internet users. This makes online channels a useful tool in communicating with them and a website is a foundation for a wide range of digital marketing strategies

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admin
I do love that minimalist design is coming back, less IS more and the image is taking us centre stage making us FEEL something.... Read More
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 19:57
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Fenland for Business Network Meeting

Fenland For Business

I had intended to just visit the Fenland for Business meeting this morning for half the duration but ended up staying and calling off my 12 O'Clock appointment. The reasons for this were:

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Using Letsencrypt to Make Your Website Secure [https]

Let's Encrypt

Thank goodness for Let's encrypt. Google is the monopoly on internet search maybe because Bill Gates is more interested in curing the world of Malaria. So much so is Google a monopoly it is running into issues we know it will get around because it's almost God. So why is LE GREAT? 

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White Swan Conington

biker meetup conington

Noteable for bikers who have a nice meetup tuesday evenings. The White Swan is the only pub in Conington Cambridgeshire. 

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How to Use Wildcard (GLOBBING) in Robots.txt [SEO TIP]

crawl-error_20170712-090141_1

I am making a note of this for anyone that is not seeing any documentation for robots.txt and using patterns sometimes called globbing patterns. Here is a decent resource on using Robots and wildcards but to add to that which I do now you need something more powerful.

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