New Post has been published on http://freesourcecode.info/20-geometric-texures-and-pattern-sets-free-to-download/20 Geometric Texures and Pattern Sets Free to DownloadBy  Nancy Young

Advertise here with BSA
Geometric shapes are widely used in web and graphic design. From complex large-scale patterns to simple shapes, geometry is one of the biggest trends that is easy to define. Textures with geometric shapes like triangles or circles are used for various illustrations, backgrounds, foregrounds, banners, buttons, and other design elements. Polygon graphics (3D-shaped textures) are especially trendy these days.
So, I’d like to bring to your attention geometric patterns and textures that are absolutely free to download. The entire showcase consists over 200 patterns and textures you can use. Vivid, complex, elegant, bright, polygon, abstract textures are waiting for you to come and download them!
Polygon abstract background set

Freebie Pack Retro Backgrounds by Code-P

Geometric Links Blue

Something 70s (Bright)

30 Free Polygonal Low Poly Background Textures by Rounded Hexagon

5 Triangulation Mosaic backgrounds by mariannizmo

Geometric free wallpaper

Geometric free abstract background

5 High Definition Geometric Backgrounds by bestpsdfreebies

Polygon abstract vector backgrounds

Blue background triangle design

Polygon free vector backgrounds

Rhomboidal vector seamless pattern

Geometry seamless pattern

Vector colorful background triangle

Photoshop: 14 High Resolution Geometric Patterns

3 GEOMETRIC BACKGROUNDS BY MICHAEL REIMER

Monochrome Geometric Patterns by MartinIsaac

Geometric Textures by Roberto Savino

Orange Discs

Source: Web Design Ledger
    

New Post has been published on http://freesourcecode.info/20-geometric-texures-and-pattern-sets-free-to-download/

20 Geometric Texures and Pattern Sets Free to Download

By Nancy Young

Advertise here with BSA

Geometric shapes are widely used in web and graphic design. From complex large-scale patterns to simple shapes, geometry is one of the biggest trends that is easy to define. Textures with geometric shapes like triangles or circles are used for various illustrations, backgrounds, foregrounds, banners, buttons, and other design elements. Polygon graphics (3D-shaped textures) are especially trendy these days.

So, I’d like to bring to your attention geometric patterns and textures that are absolutely free to download. The entire showcase consists over 200 patterns and textures you can use. Vivid, complex, elegant, bright, polygon, abstract textures are waiting for you to come and download them!

Polygon abstract background set

Freebie Pack Retro Backgrounds by Code-P

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Geometric Links Blue

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Something 70s (Bright)

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

30 Free Polygonal Low Poly Background Textures by Rounded Hexagon

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

5 Triangulation Mosaic backgrounds by mariannizmo

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Geometric free wallpaper

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Geometric free abstract background

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

5 High Definition Geometric Backgrounds by bestpsdfreebies

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Polygon abstract vector backgrounds

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Blue background triangle design

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Polygon free vector backgrounds

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Rhomboidal vector seamless pattern

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Geometry seamless pattern

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Vector colorful background triangle

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Photoshop: 14 High Resolution Geometric Patterns

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

3 GEOMETRIC BACKGROUNDS BY MICHAEL REIMER

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Monochrome Geometric Patterns by MartinIsaac

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Geometric Textures by Roberto Savino

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Orange Discs

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Source: Web Design Ledger

    

New Post has been published on http://nzbusinessdirectory.info/webdesign/20-geometric-texures-and-pattern-sets-free-to-download/20 Geometric Texures and Pattern Sets Free to DownloadBy  Nancy Young

Advertise here with BSA
Geometric shapes are widely used in web and graphic design. From complex large-scale patterns to simple shapes, geometry is one of the biggest trends that is easy to define. Textures with geometric shapes like triangles or circles are used for various illustrations, backgrounds, foregrounds, banners, buttons, and other design elements. Polygon graphics (3D-shaped textures) are especially trendy these days.
So, I’d like to bring to your attention geometric patterns and textures that are absolutely free to download. The entire showcase consists over 200 patterns and textures you can use. Vivid, complex, elegant, bright, polygon, abstract textures are waiting for you to come and download them!
Polygon abstract background set

Freebie Pack Retro Backgrounds by Code-P

Geometric Links Blue

Something 70s (Bright)

30 Free Polygonal Low Poly Background Textures by Rounded Hexagon

5 Triangulation Mosaic backgrounds by mariannizmo

Geometric free wallpaper

Geometric free abstract background

5 High Definition Geometric Backgrounds by bestpsdfreebies

Polygon abstract vector backgrounds

Blue background triangle design

Polygon free vector backgrounds

Rhomboidal vector seamless pattern

Geometry seamless pattern

Vector colorful background triangle

Photoshop: 14 High Resolution Geometric Patterns

3 GEOMETRIC BACKGROUNDS BY MICHAEL REIMER

Monochrome Geometric Patterns by MartinIsaac

Geometric Textures by Roberto Savino

Orange Discs

Source: Web Design Ledger
    

New Post has been published on http://nzbusinessdirectory.info/webdesign/20-geometric-texures-and-pattern-sets-free-to-download/

20 Geometric Texures and Pattern Sets Free to Download

By Nancy Young

Advertise here with BSA

Geometric shapes are widely used in web and graphic design. From complex large-scale patterns to simple shapes, geometry is one of the biggest trends that is easy to define. Textures with geometric shapes like triangles or circles are used for various illustrations, backgrounds, foregrounds, banners, buttons, and other design elements. Polygon graphics (3D-shaped textures) are especially trendy these days.

So, I’d like to bring to your attention geometric patterns and textures that are absolutely free to download. The entire showcase consists over 200 patterns and textures you can use. Vivid, complex, elegant, bright, polygon, abstract textures are waiting for you to come and download them!

Polygon abstract background set

Freebie Pack Retro Backgrounds by Code-P

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Geometric Links Blue

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Something 70s (Bright)

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

30 Free Polygonal Low Poly Background Textures by Rounded Hexagon

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

5 Triangulation Mosaic backgrounds by mariannizmo

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Geometric free wallpaper

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Geometric free abstract background

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

5 High Definition Geometric Backgrounds by bestpsdfreebies

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Polygon abstract vector backgrounds

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Blue background triangle design

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Polygon free vector backgrounds

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Rhomboidal vector seamless pattern

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Geometry seamless pattern

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Vector colorful background triangle

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Photoshop: 14 High Resolution Geometric Patterns

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

3 GEOMETRIC BACKGROUNDS BY MICHAEL REIMER

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Monochrome Geometric Patterns by MartinIsaac

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Geometric Textures by Roberto Savino

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Orange Discs

30 Geometric Texures and Patterns Free to Download

Source: Web Design Ledger

    

New Post has been published on http://nzbusinessdirectory.info/webdesign/declarative-programming-and-the-web/Declarative Programming And The WebBy  Scott Reynen

Like most web developers, I spend my days giving instructions to computers. These instructions generally involve some input (a request for a web page), some logic (get the right content from a database) and some output (send the content to the requesting browser). This process of telling a computer how to perform a task, such as generating a web page, is what we commonly call “programming,” but it’s only a subset of programming: imperative programming.
There’s another type of programming, declarative programming, that most web developers also use every day but don’t often recognize as programming. With declarative programming, we tell a computer what, not how. We describe the result we want, and the details of how to accomplish it are left to the language interpreter. This subtle shift in approach to programming has broad effects on how we build software, especially how we build the future web.
So, let’s take a moment to investigate declarative programming and the web we can build with it.
Hidden In Plain Sight
Declarative languages tend to fade into the background of programming, in part because they’re closer to how we naturally interact with people. If you’re talking with a friend and you want a sandwich, you don’t typically give your friend step-by-step instructions on how to make the sandwich. If you did, it would feel like programming your friend. Instead, you’re far more likely to talk about the result you want, such as “Please make me a sandwich” (or, perhaps, “Sudo make me a sandwich1”). If your friend is willing and able to follow this instruction, then they would translate the phrase “Make me a sandwich” into a series of steps, such as finding a loaf of bread, removing two slices, applying toppings, etc.
This type of result-focused instruction is how declarative programming works, by leaving the logic of how to implement requests to the system that is interpreting the language (for example, your friend). When we want an image in an HTML document, for example, we simply include an  tag, and then the system that interprets the HTML (typically, a browser) would handle all of the steps needed to display that image, such as fetching it from a server, determining where exactly to render it, decoding the binary data, scaling the image and rendering it to the screen. We don’t have to explain any of this, so we often forget that it’s all happening and that someone programmed both how it happens and how that complex process is derived from a simple .
Another factor that makes declarative programming hard to see as programming on the web is that it “just works.” A lot of work went into making languages like HTML, CSS and SQL capable of providing enough clarity on what needs to be accomplished that the steps required to achieve a result can be determined without detailed instruction. But most web developers began using these declarative languages long after the hard work2 of building them was complete, so we just see them as normal and ordinary and just a natural part of the way the web works3.
When web developers do get involved in declarative programming before the interesting work is done, it’s typically while developing an API for a website. Most APIs are implemented via declarative programming. Rather than provide a way to give a website step-by-step instructions, APIs usually have a simple language that can be used to express the desired result. When we want to get some tweets from Twitter’s API, for example, we give a description of the tweets we want, such as “everything from @A_single_bear.” If the API is imperative, we would instead describe the specific steps we want Twitter to implement on our behalf, explaining how to load, format and return the tweets. Thankfully, the API hides all of that logic behind a simple declarative language, so we only need to describe what we want, not how to get it.
Two Paths Forward
Once we realize how widespread declarative programming languages are on the web, it’s hard to imagine the web without them. Hard, but not impossible. As JavaScript has grown to be ubiquitous, the tools we would need for an imperative-only web are easy to find. We could swap out HTML and CSS for rendering directly in JavaScript4. We could swap out SQL for a JavaScript-native database5 (or two6). And we could swap out calls to declarative web APIs with imperative calls to JavaScript functions, even across the gap between client and server7.
We could put all of this together and entirely stop using declarative languages on the web, even before we get into more advanced technologies heading in our direction, like asm.js8. We can, now, build the web equivalent of mainframes: large, powerful systems built not as a collection of disparate parts but as a cohesive whole. We can now JavaScript all the things9. We’ve tried this before, with technologies like Java and ActiveX. And some organizations, such as AOL, have even had success building a less messy web-like stack. The difference this time is that the technology available to build these “mainframes” is part of the open web stack, so that anyone can now make their own self-contained web-like stack.
An imperative-only JavaScript web is enticing if we understand the web as open technologies and connected documents. But if we expand our understanding of the web to include connected systems, then declarative programming is a key part of how we connect those systems. With that understanding, we should be heading in another direction. Rather building more complex systems by replacing declarative programming languages with imperative programming, we should be wrapping more and more of our imperative code in more and better declarative languages, so that we can build future complex systems on top of our current work. Rather than looking at JavaScript as the modern Java or C++, we should be treating it as the modern shell script, a powerful tool for connecting other tools.
By defining the implementation details in the language itself, declarative programming allows imperative languages such as JavaScript, PHP and Ruby to use the results as steps in more complex behaviors. This has the advantage of making a behavior available to a variety of languages, including languages that don’t exist yet, and it also gives us a solid foundation on which to build higher. While we could build our own document-rendering system in JavaScript or Python, we don’t need to because HTML has already solved that problem. And we can reuse that solution in any imperative language, freeing us to solve new, larger problems. JavaScript can draw an image on a canvas and place it into a document with HTML. Your friend can make you a sandwich and a fresh lemonade. But we’ll get to this future web only by valuing declarative programming as an approach worth maintaining, now that it’s no longer the only option.
Declarative First
When we start building a tool on the web, we often jump right into making it do what we want it to do. A declarative-first approach would instead start with defining a language to succinctly describe the results we want. Before we build a new JavaScript library for building sandwiches (or, of course, another10), let’s consider how we might describe the results in a declarative programming language. One option would look something like "bread": "rye", "cheese": "cheddar", while another would look more like . There are many choices to make when designing a declarative language, from high-level format choices (JSON? XML? YAML?) to details of data structure (is cheese an attribute of a sandwich entity or an entity in the sandwich’s toppings list?). Making these decisions early could improve the organization of your later imperative implementation. And in the long run, the declarative language might prove to be more important than the amazing sandwich-making implementation, because a declarative language can be used far beyond an individual implementation.
We can see some of the advantages of a declarative-first approach in public projects that have taken both approaches. For example, three years ago the Sunlight Foundation started working on a project to make it easier for people to contact members of the US Congress. They began with a Ruby app to automate the submission of contact forms, Formageddon11. This year, they launched a new declarative-first effort toward the same goal, the Contact Congress12 project, starting with a declarative language that describes contact forms13.
The activity14graphs15 and timelines of the two projects make it clear which approach won out, but the benefits of the declarative approach go beyond the direct results. The YAML files produced by the declarative approach can be used to build apps like Formageddon, but they can also be used for other purposes, ones not even intended by their creators. For example, you could build an app to analyze the descriptions of contact forms to see which topics members of Congress expect to hear about from their constituents.
Successful declarative programming is in some ways more challenging than imperative programming. It requires clear descriptions, but also requires knowing enough about imperative implementation to know what needs describing. You can’t just tell an app where a form is and expect a valid submission, nor can you say  to a browser and get what you want. But if you’re up for the challenge, the rewards of a declarative-first approach are also greater. Declarative languages often outlive their imperative implementations.
Try starting your next web project with declarative programming. See what languages you can find that already describe what you’re making, and write your own simple languages when you can’t find anything. Once you have a declarative definition of what you want to make, build it with an interpreter of those languages. You’ll probably end up making something more useful than you would have with an imperative-first approach to the same problem, and you’ll improve your imperative approach in the process.
(al, ml)
Footnotes
1 http://xkcd.com/149/
2 http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/tr
3 https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/39828-i-ve-come-up-with-a-set-of-rules-that-describe
4 http://vps2.etotheipiplusone.com:30176/redmine/projects/emscripten-qt/wiki
5 http://www.taffydb.com/
6 https://github.com/kripken/sql.js
7 https://www.meteor.com/
8 http://asmjs.org/
9 http://www.quickmeme.com/img/8d/8d30a19413145512ad5a05c46ec0da545df5ed79e113fcf076dc03c7514eb631.jpg
10 https://github.com/sudo-js/make-me-a-sandwich
11 https://github.com/sunlightlabs/formageddon
12 https://github.com/unitedstates/contact-congress/
13 https://github.com/unitedstates/contact-congress/blob/master/documentation/schema.md
14 https://github.com/sunlightlabs/formageddon/graphs/code-frequency
15 https://github.com/unitedstates/contact-congress/graphs/code-frequency
The post Declarative Programming And The Web appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
Source: Smashing Magazine
    

New Post has been published on http://nzbusinessdirectory.info/webdesign/declarative-programming-and-the-web/

Declarative Programming And The Web

By Scott Reynen

01-sandwich-opt

Like most web developers, I spend my days giving instructions to computers. These instructions generally involve some input (a request for a web page), some logic (get the right content from a database) and some output (send the content to the requesting browser). This process of telling a computer how to perform a task, such as generating a web page, is what we commonly call “programming,” but it’s only a subset of programming: imperative programming.

There’s another type of programming, declarative programming, that most web developers also use every day but don’t often recognize as programming. With declarative programming, we tell a computer what, not how. We describe the result we want, and the details of how to accomplish it are left to the language interpreter. This subtle shift in approach to programming has broad effects on how we build software, especially how we build the future web.

So, let’s take a moment to investigate declarative programming and the web we can build with it.

Hidden In Plain Sight

Declarative languages tend to fade into the background of programming, in part because they’re closer to how we naturally interact with people. If you’re talking with a friend and you want a sandwich, you don’t typically give your friend step-by-step instructions on how to make the sandwich. If you did, it would feel like programming your friend. Instead, you’re far more likely to talk about the result you want, such as “Please make me a sandwich” (or, perhaps, “Sudo make me a sandwich1”). If your friend is willing and able to follow this instruction, then they would translate the phrase “Make me a sandwich” into a series of steps, such as finding a loaf of bread, removing two slices, applying toppings, etc.

This type of result-focused instruction is how declarative programming works, by leaving the logic of how to implement requests to the system that is interpreting the language (for example, your friend). When we want an image in an HTML document, for example, we simply include an tag, and then the system that interprets the HTML (typically, a browser) would handle all of the steps needed to display that image, such as fetching it from a server, determining where exactly to render it, decoding the binary data, scaling the image and rendering it to the screen. We don’t have to explain any of this, so we often forget that it’s all happening and that someone programmed both how it happens and how that complex process is derived from a simple .

Another factor that makes declarative programming hard to see as programming on the web is that it “just works.” A lot of work went into making languages like HTML, CSS and SQL capable of providing enough clarity on what needs to be accomplished that the steps required to achieve a result can be determined without detailed instruction. But most web developers began using these declarative languages long after the hard work2 of building them was complete, so we just see them as normal and ordinary and just a natural part of the way the web works3.

When web developers do get involved in declarative programming before the interesting work is done, it’s typically while developing an API for a website. Most APIs are implemented via declarative programming. Rather than provide a way to give a website step-by-step instructions, APIs usually have a simple language that can be used to express the desired result. When we want to get some tweets from Twitter’s API, for example, we give a description of the tweets we want, such as “everything from @A_single_bear.” If the API is imperative, we would instead describe the specific steps we want Twitter to implement on our behalf, explaining how to load, format and return the tweets. Thankfully, the API hides all of that logic behind a simple declarative language, so we only need to describe what we want, not how to get it.

Two Paths Forward

Once we realize how widespread declarative programming languages are on the web, it’s hard to imagine the web without them. Hard, but not impossible. As JavaScript has grown to be ubiquitous, the tools we would need for an imperative-only web are easy to find. We could swap out HTML and CSS for rendering directly in JavaScript4. We could swap out SQL for a JavaScript-native database5 (or two6). And we could swap out calls to declarative web APIs with imperative calls to JavaScript functions, even across the gap between client and server7.

We could put all of this together and entirely stop using declarative languages on the web, even before we get into more advanced technologies heading in our direction, like asm.js8. We can, now, build the web equivalent of mainframes: large, powerful systems built not as a collection of disparate parts but as a cohesive whole. We can now JavaScript all the things9. We’ve tried this before, with technologies like Java and ActiveX. And some organizations, such as AOL, have even had success building a less messy web-like stack. The difference this time is that the technology available to build these “mainframes” is part of the open web stack, so that anyone can now make their own self-contained web-like stack.

An imperative-only JavaScript web is enticing if we understand the web as open technologies and connected documents. But if we expand our understanding of the web to include connected systems, then declarative programming is a key part of how we connect those systems. With that understanding, we should be heading in another direction. Rather building more complex systems by replacing declarative programming languages with imperative programming, we should be wrapping more and more of our imperative code in more and better declarative languages, so that we can build future complex systems on top of our current work. Rather than looking at JavaScript as the modern Java or C++, we should be treating it as the modern shell script, a powerful tool for connecting other tools.

By defining the implementation details in the language itself, declarative programming allows imperative languages such as JavaScript, PHP and Ruby to use the results as steps in more complex behaviors. This has the advantage of making a behavior available to a variety of languages, including languages that don’t exist yet, and it also gives us a solid foundation on which to build higher. While we could build our own document-rendering system in JavaScript or Python, we don’t need to because HTML has already solved that problem. And we can reuse that solution in any imperative language, freeing us to solve new, larger problems. JavaScript can draw an image on a canvas and place it into a document with HTML. Your friend can make you a sandwich and a fresh lemonade. But we’ll get to this future web only by valuing declarative programming as an approach worth maintaining, now that it’s no longer the only option.

Declarative First

When we start building a tool on the web, we often jump right into making it do what we want it to do. A declarative-first approach would instead start with defining a language to succinctly describe the results we want. Before we build a new JavaScript library for building sandwiches (or, of course, another10), let’s consider how we might describe the results in a declarative programming language. One option would look something like "bread": "rye", "cheese": "cheddar", while another would look more like . There are many choices to make when designing a declarative language, from high-level format choices (JSON? XML? YAML?) to details of data structure (is cheese an attribute of a sandwich entity or an entity in the sandwich’s toppings list?). Making these decisions early could improve the organization of your later imperative implementation. And in the long run, the declarative language might prove to be more important than the amazing sandwich-making implementation, because a declarative language can be used far beyond an individual implementation.

02-sandwich-opt

We can see some of the advantages of a declarative-first approach in public projects that have taken both approaches. For example, three years ago the Sunlight Foundation started working on a project to make it easier for people to contact members of the US Congress. They began with a Ruby app to automate the submission of contact forms, Formageddon11. This year, they launched a new declarative-first effort toward the same goal, the Contact Congress12 project, starting with a declarative language that describes contact forms13.

The activity14graphs15 and timelines of the two projects make it clear which approach won out, but the benefits of the declarative approach go beyond the direct results. The YAML files produced by the declarative approach can be used to build apps like Formageddon, but they can also be used for other purposes, ones not even intended by their creators. For example, you could build an app to analyze the descriptions of contact forms to see which topics members of Congress expect to hear about from their constituents.

Successful declarative programming is in some ways more challenging than imperative programming. It requires clear descriptions, but also requires knowing enough about imperative implementation to know what needs describing. You can’t just tell an app where a form is and expect a valid submission, nor can you say to a browser and get what you want. But if you’re up for the challenge, the rewards of a declarative-first approach are also greater. Declarative languages often outlive their imperative implementations.

Try starting your next web project with declarative programming. See what languages you can find that already describe what you’re making, and write your own simple languages when you can’t find anything. Once you have a declarative definition of what you want to make, build it with an interpreter of those languages. You’ll probably end up making something more useful than you would have with an imperative-first approach to the same problem, and you’ll improve your imperative approach in the process.

(al, ml)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://xkcd.com/149/
  2. 2 http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/tr
  3. 3 https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/39828-i-ve-come-up-with-a-set-of-rules-that-describe
  4. 4 http://vps2.etotheipiplusone.com:30176/redmine/projects/emscripten-qt/wiki
  5. 5 http://www.taffydb.com/
  6. 6 https://github.com/kripken/sql.js
  7. 7 https://www.meteor.com/
  8. 8 http://asmjs.org/
  9. 9 http://www.quickmeme.com/img/8d/8d30a19413145512ad5a05c46ec0da545df5ed79e113fcf076dc03c7514eb631.jpg
  10. 10 https://github.com/sudo-js/make-me-a-sandwich
  11. 11 https://github.com/sunlightlabs/formageddon
  12. 12 https://github.com/unitedstates/contact-congress/
  13. 13 https://github.com/unitedstates/contact-congress/blob/master/documentation/schema.md
  14. 14 https://github.com/sunlightlabs/formageddon/graphs/code-frequency
  15. 15 https://github.com/unitedstates/contact-congress/graphs/code-frequency

The post Declarative Programming And The Web appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Source: Smashing Magazine

    

New Post has been published on http://freesourcecode.info/declarative-programming-and-the-web/Declarative Programming And The WebBy  Scott Reynen

Like most web developers, I spend my days giving instructions to computers. These instructions generally involve some input (a request for a web page), some logic (get the right content from a database) and some output (send the content to the requesting browser). This process of telling a computer how to perform a task, such as generating a web page, is what we commonly call “programming,” but it’s only a subset of programming: imperative programming.
There’s another type of programming, declarative programming, that most web developers also use every day but don’t often recognize as programming. With declarative programming, we tell a computer what, not how. We describe the result we want, and the details of how to accomplish it are left to the language interpreter. This subtle shift in approach to programming has broad effects on how we build software, especially how we build the future web.
So, let’s take a moment to investigate declarative programming and the web we can build with it.
Hidden In Plain Sight
Declarative languages tend to fade into the background of programming, in part because they’re closer to how we naturally interact with people. If you’re talking with a friend and you want a sandwich, you don’t typically give your friend step-by-step instructions on how to make the sandwich. If you did, it would feel like programming your friend. Instead, you’re far more likely to talk about the result you want, such as “Please make me a sandwich” (or, perhaps, “Sudo make me a sandwich1”). If your friend is willing and able to follow this instruction, then they would translate the phrase “Make me a sandwich” into a series of steps, such as finding a loaf of bread, removing two slices, applying toppings, etc.
This type of result-focused instruction is how declarative programming works, by leaving the logic of how to implement requests to the system that is interpreting the language (for example, your friend). When we want an image in an HTML document, for example, we simply include an  tag, and then the system that interprets the HTML (typically, a browser) would handle all of the steps needed to display that image, such as fetching it from a server, determining where exactly to render it, decoding the binary data, scaling the image and rendering it to the screen. We don’t have to explain any of this, so we often forget that it’s all happening and that someone programmed both how it happens and how that complex process is derived from a simple .
Another factor that makes declarative programming hard to see as programming on the web is that it “just works.” A lot of work went into making languages like HTML, CSS and SQL capable of providing enough clarity on what needs to be accomplished that the steps required to achieve a result can be determined without detailed instruction. But most web developers began using these declarative languages long after the hard work2 of building them was complete, so we just see them as normal and ordinary and just a natural part of the way the web works3.
When web developers do get involved in declarative programming before the interesting work is done, it’s typically while developing an API for a website. Most APIs are implemented via declarative programming. Rather than provide a way to give a website step-by-step instructions, APIs usually have a simple language that can be used to express the desired result. When we want to get some tweets from Twitter’s API, for example, we give a description of the tweets we want, such as “everything from @A_single_bear.” If the API is imperative, we would instead describe the specific steps we want Twitter to implement on our behalf, explaining how to load, format and return the tweets. Thankfully, the API hides all of that logic behind a simple declarative language, so we only need to describe what we want, not how to get it.
Two Paths Forward
Once we realize how widespread declarative programming languages are on the web, it’s hard to imagine the web without them. Hard, but not impossible. As JavaScript has grown to be ubiquitous, the tools we would need for an imperative-only web are easy to find. We could swap out HTML and CSS for rendering directly in JavaScript4. We could swap out SQL for a JavaScript-native database5 (or two6). And we could swap out calls to declarative web APIs with imperative calls to JavaScript functions, even across the gap between client and server7.
We could put all of this together and entirely stop using declarative languages on the web, even before we get into more advanced technologies heading in our direction, like asm.js8. We can, now, build the web equivalent of mainframes: large, powerful systems built not as a collection of disparate parts but as a cohesive whole. We can now JavaScript all the things9. We’ve tried this before, with technologies like Java and ActiveX. And some organizations, such as AOL, have even had success building a less messy web-like stack. The difference this time is that the technology available to build these “mainframes” is part of the open web stack, so that anyone can now make their own self-contained web-like stack.
An imperative-only JavaScript web is enticing if we understand the web as open technologies and connected documents. But if we expand our understanding of the web to include connected systems, then declarative programming is a key part of how we connect those systems. With that understanding, we should be heading in another direction. Rather building more complex systems by replacing declarative programming languages with imperative programming, we should be wrapping more and more of our imperative code in more and better declarative languages, so that we can build future complex systems on top of our current work. Rather than looking at JavaScript as the modern Java or C++, we should be treating it as the modern shell script, a powerful tool for connecting other tools.
By defining the implementation details in the language itself, declarative programming allows imperative languages such as JavaScript, PHP and Ruby to use the results as steps in more complex behaviors. This has the advantage of making a behavior available to a variety of languages, including languages that don’t exist yet, and it also gives us a solid foundation on which to build higher. While we could build our own document-rendering system in JavaScript or Python, we don’t need to because HTML has already solved that problem. And we can reuse that solution in any imperative language, freeing us to solve new, larger problems. JavaScript can draw an image on a canvas and place it into a document with HTML. Your friend can make you a sandwich and a fresh lemonade. But we’ll get to this future web only by valuing declarative programming as an approach worth maintaining, now that it’s no longer the only option.
Declarative First
When we start building a tool on the web, we often jump right into making it do what we want it to do. A declarative-first approach would instead start with defining a language to succinctly describe the results we want. Before we build a new JavaScript library for building sandwiches (or, of course, another10), let’s consider how we might describe the results in a declarative programming language. One option would look something like "bread": "rye", "cheese": "cheddar", while another would look more like . There are many choices to make when designing a declarative language, from high-level format choices (JSON? XML? YAML?) to details of data structure (is cheese an attribute of a sandwich entity or an entity in the sandwich’s toppings list?). Making these decisions early could improve the organization of your later imperative implementation. And in the long run, the declarative language might prove to be more important than the amazing sandwich-making implementation, because a declarative language can be used far beyond an individual implementation.
We can see some of the advantages of a declarative-first approach in public projects that have taken both approaches. For example, three years ago the Sunlight Foundation started working on a project to make it easier for people to contact members of the US Congress. They began with a Ruby app to automate the submission of contact forms, Formageddon11. This year, they launched a new declarative-first effort toward the same goal, the Contact Congress12 project, starting with a declarative language that describes contact forms13.
The activity14graphs15 and timelines of the two projects make it clear which approach won out, but the benefits of the declarative approach go beyond the direct results. The YAML files produced by the declarative approach can be used to build apps like Formageddon, but they can also be used for other purposes, ones not even intended by their creators. For example, you could build an app to analyze the descriptions of contact forms to see which topics members of Congress expect to hear about from their constituents.
Successful declarative programming is in some ways more challenging than imperative programming. It requires clear descriptions, but also requires knowing enough about imperative implementation to know what needs describing. You can’t just tell an app where a form is and expect a valid submission, nor can you say  to a browser and get what you want. But if you’re up for the challenge, the rewards of a declarative-first approach are also greater. Declarative languages often outlive their imperative implementations.
Try starting your next web project with declarative programming. See what languages you can find that already describe what you’re making, and write your own simple languages when you can’t find anything. Once you have a declarative definition of what you want to make, build it with an interpreter of those languages. You’ll probably end up making something more useful than you would have with an imperative-first approach to the same problem, and you’ll improve your imperative approach in the process.
(al, ml)
Footnotes
1 http://xkcd.com/149/
2 http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/tr
3 https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/39828-i-ve-come-up-with-a-set-of-rules-that-describe
4 http://vps2.etotheipiplusone.com:30176/redmine/projects/emscripten-qt/wiki
5 http://www.taffydb.com/
6 https://github.com/kripken/sql.js
7 https://www.meteor.com/
8 http://asmjs.org/
9 http://www.quickmeme.com/img/8d/8d30a19413145512ad5a05c46ec0da545df5ed79e113fcf076dc03c7514eb631.jpg
10 https://github.com/sudo-js/make-me-a-sandwich
11 https://github.com/sunlightlabs/formageddon
12 https://github.com/unitedstates/contact-congress/
13 https://github.com/unitedstates/contact-congress/blob/master/documentation/schema.md
14 https://github.com/sunlightlabs/formageddon/graphs/code-frequency
15 https://github.com/unitedstates/contact-congress/graphs/code-frequency
The post Declarative Programming And The Web appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
Source: Smashing Magazine
    

New Post has been published on http://freesourcecode.info/declarative-programming-and-the-web/

Declarative Programming And The Web

By Scott Reynen

01-sandwich-opt

Like most web developers, I spend my days giving instructions to computers. These instructions generally involve some input (a request for a web page), some logic (get the right content from a database) and some output (send the content to the requesting browser). This process of telling a computer how to perform a task, such as generating a web page, is what we commonly call “programming,” but it’s only a subset of programming: imperative programming.

There’s another type of programming, declarative programming, that most web developers also use every day but don’t often recognize as programming. With declarative programming, we tell a computer what, not how. We describe the result we want, and the details of how to accomplish it are left to the language interpreter. This subtle shift in approach to programming has broad effects on how we build software, especially how we build the future web.

So, let’s take a moment to investigate declarative programming and the web we can build with it.

Hidden In Plain Sight

Declarative languages tend to fade into the background of programming, in part because they’re closer to how we naturally interact with people. If you’re talking with a friend and you want a sandwich, you don’t typically give your friend step-by-step instructions on how to make the sandwich. If you did, it would feel like programming your friend. Instead, you’re far more likely to talk about the result you want, such as “Please make me a sandwich” (or, perhaps, “Sudo make me a sandwich1”). If your friend is willing and able to follow this instruction, then they would translate the phrase “Make me a sandwich” into a series of steps, such as finding a loaf of bread, removing two slices, applying toppings, etc.

This type of result-focused instruction is how declarative programming works, by leaving the logic of how to implement requests to the system that is interpreting the language (for example, your friend). When we want an image in an HTML document, for example, we simply include an tag, and then the system that interprets the HTML (typically, a browser) would handle all of the steps needed to display that image, such as fetching it from a server, determining where exactly to render it, decoding the binary data, scaling the image and rendering it to the screen. We don’t have to explain any of this, so we often forget that it’s all happening and that someone programmed both how it happens and how that complex process is derived from a simple .

Another factor that makes declarative programming hard to see as programming on the web is that it “just works.” A lot of work went into making languages like HTML, CSS and SQL capable of providing enough clarity on what needs to be accomplished that the steps required to achieve a result can be determined without detailed instruction. But most web developers began using these declarative languages long after the hard work2 of building them was complete, so we just see them as normal and ordinary and just a natural part of the way the web works3.

When web developers do get involved in declarative programming before the interesting work is done, it’s typically while developing an API for a website. Most APIs are implemented via declarative programming. Rather than provide a way to give a website step-by-step instructions, APIs usually have a simple language that can be used to express the desired result. When we want to get some tweets from Twitter’s API, for example, we give a description of the tweets we want, such as “everything from @A_single_bear.” If the API is imperative, we would instead describe the specific steps we want Twitter to implement on our behalf, explaining how to load, format and return the tweets. Thankfully, the API hides all of that logic behind a simple declarative language, so we only need to describe what we want, not how to get it.

Two Paths Forward

Once we realize how widespread declarative programming languages are on the web, it’s hard to imagine the web without them. Hard, but not impossible. As JavaScript has grown to be ubiquitous, the tools we would need for an imperative-only web are easy to find. We could swap out HTML and CSS for rendering directly in JavaScript4. We could swap out SQL for a JavaScript-native database5 (or two6). And we could swap out calls to declarative web APIs with imperative calls to JavaScript functions, even across the gap between client and server7.

We could put all of this together and entirely stop using declarative languages on the web, even before we get into more advanced technologies heading in our direction, like asm.js8. We can, now, build the web equivalent of mainframes: large, powerful systems built not as a collection of disparate parts but as a cohesive whole. We can now JavaScript all the things9. We’ve tried this before, with technologies like Java and ActiveX. And some organizations, such as AOL, have even had success building a less messy web-like stack. The difference this time is that the technology available to build these “mainframes” is part of the open web stack, so that anyone can now make their own self-contained web-like stack.

An imperative-only JavaScript web is enticing if we understand the web as open technologies and connected documents. But if we expand our understanding of the web to include connected systems, then declarative programming is a key part of how we connect those systems. With that understanding, we should be heading in another direction. Rather building more complex systems by replacing declarative programming languages with imperative programming, we should be wrapping more and more of our imperative code in more and better declarative languages, so that we can build future complex systems on top of our current work. Rather than looking at JavaScript as the modern Java or C++, we should be treating it as the modern shell script, a powerful tool for connecting other tools.

By defining the implementation details in the language itself, declarative programming allows imperative languages such as JavaScript, PHP and Ruby to use the results as steps in more complex behaviors. This has the advantage of making a behavior available to a variety of languages, including languages that don’t exist yet, and it also gives us a solid foundation on which to build higher. While we could build our own document-rendering system in JavaScript or Python, we don’t need to because HTML has already solved that problem. And we can reuse that solution in any imperative language, freeing us to solve new, larger problems. JavaScript can draw an image on a canvas and place it into a document with HTML. Your friend can make you a sandwich and a fresh lemonade. But we’ll get to this future web only by valuing declarative programming as an approach worth maintaining, now that it’s no longer the only option.

Declarative First

When we start building a tool on the web, we often jump right into making it do what we want it to do. A declarative-first approach would instead start with defining a language to succinctly describe the results we want. Before we build a new JavaScript library for building sandwiches (or, of course, another10), let’s consider how we might describe the results in a declarative programming language. One option would look something like "bread": "rye", "cheese": "cheddar", while another would look more like . There are many choices to make when designing a declarative language, from high-level format choices (JSON? XML? YAML?) to details of data structure (is cheese an attribute of a sandwich entity or an entity in the sandwich’s toppings list?). Making these decisions early could improve the organization of your later imperative implementation. And in the long run, the declarative language might prove to be more important than the amazing sandwich-making implementation, because a declarative language can be used far beyond an individual implementation.

02-sandwich-opt

We can see some of the advantages of a declarative-first approach in public projects that have taken both approaches. For example, three years ago the Sunlight Foundation started working on a project to make it easier for people to contact members of the US Congress. They began with a Ruby app to automate the submission of contact forms, Formageddon11. This year, they launched a new declarative-first effort toward the same goal, the Contact Congress12 project, starting with a declarative language that describes contact forms13.

The activity14graphs15 and timelines of the two projects make it clear which approach won out, but the benefits of the declarative approach go beyond the direct results. The YAML files produced by the declarative approach can be used to build apps like Formageddon, but they can also be used for other purposes, ones not even intended by their creators. For example, you could build an app to analyze the descriptions of contact forms to see which topics members of Congress expect to hear about from their constituents.

Successful declarative programming is in some ways more challenging than imperative programming. It requires clear descriptions, but also requires knowing enough about imperative implementation to know what needs describing. You can’t just tell an app where a form is and expect a valid submission, nor can you say to a browser and get what you want. But if you’re up for the challenge, the rewards of a declarative-first approach are also greater. Declarative languages often outlive their imperative implementations.

Try starting your next web project with declarative programming. See what languages you can find that already describe what you’re making, and write your own simple languages when you can’t find anything. Once you have a declarative definition of what you want to make, build it with an interpreter of those languages. You’ll probably end up making something more useful than you would have with an imperative-first approach to the same problem, and you’ll improve your imperative approach in the process.

(al, ml)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://xkcd.com/149/
  2. 2 http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/tr
  3. 3 https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/39828-i-ve-come-up-with-a-set-of-rules-that-describe
  4. 4 http://vps2.etotheipiplusone.com:30176/redmine/projects/emscripten-qt/wiki
  5. 5 http://www.taffydb.com/
  6. 6 https://github.com/kripken/sql.js
  7. 7 https://www.meteor.com/
  8. 8 http://asmjs.org/
  9. 9 http://www.quickmeme.com/img/8d/8d30a19413145512ad5a05c46ec0da545df5ed79e113fcf076dc03c7514eb631.jpg
  10. 10 https://github.com/sudo-js/make-me-a-sandwich
  11. 11 https://github.com/sunlightlabs/formageddon
  12. 12 https://github.com/unitedstates/contact-congress/
  13. 13 https://github.com/unitedstates/contact-congress/blob/master/documentation/schema.md
  14. 14 https://github.com/sunlightlabs/formageddon/graphs/code-frequency
  15. 15 https://github.com/unitedstates/contact-congress/graphs/code-frequency

The post Declarative Programming And The Web appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Source: Smashing Magazine

    

New Post has been published on http://nzbusinessdirectory.info/webdesign/keeping-your-ideas-and-your-clients-safe/Keeping Your Ideas (and Your Clients!) Safe

Today, there are all sorts of things that make our jobs as web developers and designers easier. The cloud and programs like Etherpad, Twiddla, etc. allow us to work in real time with our clients even if we live in Portland while they live in Tallahassee. Programs like these are a godsend, but they can cause a lot of problems – especially if you are lax with your security. In this article you’ll find steps taking which you’ll reduce your chances of having to deal with the multitudes of threats.Type: Design PrinciplesLevel: All levels
    
Source: Web Design All Tutorials
    

New Post has been published on http://nzbusinessdirectory.info/webdesign/keeping-your-ideas-and-your-clients-safe/

Keeping Your Ideas (and Your Clients!) Safe

Today, there are all sorts of things that make our jobs as web developers and designers easier. The cloud and programs like Etherpad, Twiddla, etc. allow us to work in real time with our clients even if we live in Portland while they live in Tallahassee. Programs like these are a godsend, but they can cause a lot of problems – especially if you are lax with your security. In this article you’ll find steps taking which you’ll reduce your chances of having to deal with the multitudes of threats.
Type: Design Principles
Level: All levels

Source: Web Design All Tutorials

    

New Post has been published on http://freesourcecode.info/keeping-your-ideas-and-your-clients-safe/Keeping Your Ideas (and Your Clients!) Safe

Today, there are all sorts of things that make our jobs as web developers and designers easier. The cloud and programs like Etherpad, Twiddla, Speek, etc. allow us to work in real time with our clients even if we live in Portland while they live in Tallahassee. Obviously, while programs like these are a godsend, they can also cause a lot of problems – especially if you are lax with your security.  You can, however, take steps to drastically reduce your (and your clientsÃ?¢??!) chances of having…Type: Design PrinciplesLevel: All levels
    
Source: Web Design All Tutorials
    

New Post has been published on http://freesourcecode.info/keeping-your-ideas-and-your-clients-safe/

Keeping Your Ideas (and Your Clients!) Safe

Today, there are all sorts of things that make our jobs as web developers and designers easier. The cloud and programs like Etherpad, Twiddla, Speek, etc. allow us to work in real time with our clients even if we live in Portland while they live in Tallahassee. Obviously, while programs like these are a godsend, they can also cause a lot of problems – especially if you are lax with your security. You can, however, take steps to drastically reduce your (and your clientsÃ?¢??!) chances of having…
Type: Design Principles
Level: All levels

Source: Web Design All Tutorials

    

New Post has been published on http://nzbusinessdirectory.info/webdesign/code-free-parallax-scrolling-solutions-for-professional-designers/Code Free, Parallax Scrolling Solutions for Professional DesignersBy  iulian


Advertise here with BSA

Graphic/web designers have an acute sense of novelty, so most of us like to stay on top of things by using innovative technology to improve our work, and by adhering to new standards in the market. In this article, you can read all about Webydo and websites with parallax scrolling.

Storytelling with Parallax Scrolling Animation!

The latest trends in web design utilize ‘storytelling’ techniques, which actively engage visitors through their presence on a website. It can be argued that parallax backgrounds on a website are in high demand, lately. They render a fluid user experience, which is why this type of scrolling is being employed more frequently by professionals.  A web designer’s best option right now would be some sort of cloud-based solution that helps him/her launch exquisite websites without coding.  This solution should offer a proficient, responsive website editor and a code-free parallax scrolling animator.

The Old Age of Independent Web/Graphic Design
Purely designer-oriented, website creation services are a novelty in this market, and they’ve saved the day for all of us. For decades, it was impossible to make a single move without developers.  Clients called upon designers to create their site design and layout, and needed to employ developers, who converted static projects into live websites.
The inconvenient part, of that reality, was that developers were paid much more than their visually creative counterparts, so designers had no choice but unite in protest and request website creation tools that no longer demanded handwritten coding skills. Surprisingly, Adobe did not even begin to answer designers’ impending need for ‘codeless’ software. In fact, the only B2C solutions out there used to consist of rudimentary DIY website builders directed at complete beginners, and most of them are simply deemed unsuitable for professional use. It was only a matter of time until an audacious site building platform stepped up, changed the game, and turned things around for designers.

Webydo’s Solution
I’ve been watching, with great enthusiasm, the recent progress of a platform called Webydo. It’s rooted in a designer community, who suggests and votes for new features and functionality to be added to the platform. Incidentally, the latest attraction is an unmatched parallax scrolling animator.
There are several interesting things related to this exclusive cloud software for designers, that you may like to know. For instance, it managed to provide the 100% non-technical working environment that design professionals longed for – which Adobe failed to do. Even further, crafting online spaces in this studio feels natural when you’ve already made countless graphic designs using Indesign or Photoshop.
You are now free to focus on the design: the software automatically generates W3C-validated code. In the end, what you get is a cross-browser and cross-platform responsive HTML5 website that stays true to constantly evolving standards.
When all your work is done, you can easy bill your clients from your dashboard, and they can then use the friendly CMS to easily modify the site content independently.

Are You Ready for Creative Freedom?
In a world that is decidedly technocratic, there is no telling what the future of web design holds.  Webydo offers a cutting-edge solution for designers, and the promise of more features to come. My question to you is this: are you ready for creative freedom?


This article is presented by Webydo’s community of professional designers.

Advertise here with BSA


Source: DzineBlog
    

New Post has been published on http://nzbusinessdirectory.info/webdesign/code-free-parallax-scrolling-solutions-for-professional-designers/

Code Free, Parallax Scrolling Solutions for Professional Designers

By iulian


Advertise here with BSA

Graphic/web designers have an acute sense of novelty, so most of us like to stay on top of things by using innovative technology to improve our work, and by adhering to new standards in the market. In this article, you can read all about Webydo and websites with parallax scrolling.

Storytelling with Parallax Scrolling Animation!

path10

The latest trends in web design utilize ‘storytelling’ techniques, which actively engage visitors through their presence on a website. It can be argued that parallax backgrounds on a website are in high demand, lately. They render a fluid user experience, which is why this type of scrolling is being employed more frequently by professionals. A web designer’s best option right now would be some sort of cloud-based solution that helps him/her launch exquisite websites without coding. This solution should offer a proficient, responsive website editor and a code-free parallax scrolling animator.

The Old Age of Independent Web/Graphic Design

Purely designer-oriented, website creation services are a novelty in this market, and they’ve saved the day for all of us. For decades, it was impossible to make a single move without developers. Clients called upon designers to create their site design and layout, and needed to employ developers, who converted static projects into live websites.

The inconvenient part, of that reality, was that developers were paid much more than their visually creative counterparts, so designers had no choice but unite in protest and request website creation tools that no longer demanded handwritten coding skills. Surprisingly, Adobe did not even begin to answer designers’ impending need for ‘codeless’ software. In fact, the only B2C solutions out there used to consist of rudimentary DIY website builders directed at complete beginners, and most of them are simply deemed unsuitable for professional use. It was only a matter of time until an audacious site building platform stepped up, changed the game, and turned things around for designers.

Webydo’s Solution

I’ve been watching, with great enthusiasm, the recent progress of a platform called Webydo. It’s rooted in a designer community, who suggests and votes for new features and functionality to be added to the platform. Incidentally, the latest attraction is an unmatched parallax scrolling animator.

There are several interesting things related to this exclusive cloud software for designers, that you may like to know. For instance, it managed to provide the 100% non-technical working environment that design professionals longed for – which Adobe failed to do. Even further, crafting online spaces in this studio feels natural when you’ve already made countless graphic designs using Indesign or Photoshop.

You are now free to focus on the design: the software automatically generates W3C-validated code. In the end, what you get is a cross-browser and cross-platform responsive HTML5 website that stays true to constantly evolving standards.

When all your work is done, you can easy bill your clients from your dashboard, and they can then use the friendly CMS to easily modify the site content independently.

Are You Ready for Creative Freedom?

In a world that is decidedly technocratic, there is no telling what the future of web design holds. Webydo offers a cutting-edge solution for designers, and the promise of more features to come. My question to you is this: are you ready for creative freedom?

webydo3

This article is presented by Webydo’s community of professional designers.


Advertise here with BSA

Source: DzineBlog

    

New Post has been published on http://freesourcecode.info/code-free-parallax-scrolling-solutions-for-professional-designers/Code Free, Parallax Scrolling Solutions for Professional DesignersBy  iulian


Advertise here with BSA

Graphic/web designers have an acute sense of novelty, so most of us like to stay on top of things by using innovative technology to improve our work, and by adhering to new standards in the market. In this article, you can read all about Webydo and websites with parallax scrolling.

Storytelling with Parallax Scrolling Animation!

The latest trends in web design utilize ‘storytelling’ techniques, which actively engage visitors through their presence on a website. It can be argued that parallax backgrounds on a website are in high demand, lately. They render a fluid user experience, which is why this type of scrolling is being employed more frequently by professionals.  A web designer’s best option right now would be some sort of cloud-based solution that helps him/her launch exquisite websites without coding.  This solution should offer a proficient, responsive website editor and a code-free parallax scrolling animator.

The Old Age of Independent Web/Graphic Design
Purely designer-oriented, website creation services are a novelty in this market, and they’ve saved the day for all of us. For decades, it was impossible to make a single move without developers.  Clients called upon designers to create their site design and layout, and needed to employ developers, who converted static projects into live websites.
The inconvenient part, of that reality, was that developers were paid much more than their visually creative counterparts, so designers had no choice but unite in protest and request website creation tools that no longer demanded handwritten coding skills. Surprisingly, Adobe did not even begin to answer designers’ impending need for ‘codeless’ software. In fact, the only B2C solutions out there used to consist of rudimentary DIY website builders directed at complete beginners, and most of them are simply deemed unsuitable for professional use. It was only a matter of time until an audacious site building platform stepped up, changed the game, and turned things around for designers.

Webydo’s Solution
I’ve been watching, with great enthusiasm, the recent progress of a platform called Webydo. It’s rooted in a designer community, who suggests and votes for new features and functionality to be added to the platform. Incidentally, the latest attraction is an unmatched parallax scrolling animator.
There are several interesting things related to this exclusive cloud software for designers, that you may like to know. For instance, it managed to provide the 100% non-technical working environment that design professionals longed for – which Adobe failed to do. Even further, crafting online spaces in this studio feels natural when you’ve already made countless graphic designs using Indesign or Photoshop.
You are now free to focus on the design: the software automatically generates W3C-validated code. In the end, what you get is a cross-browser and cross-platform responsive HTML5 website that stays true to constantly evolving standards.
When all your work is done, you can easy bill your clients from your dashboard, and they can then use the friendly CMS to easily modify the site content independently.

Are You Ready for Creative Freedom?
In a world that is decidedly technocratic, there is no telling what the future of web design holds.  Webydo offers a cutting-edge solution for designers, and the promise of more features to come. My question to you is this: are you ready for creative freedom?


This article is presented by Webydo’s community of professional designers.

Advertise here with BSA


Source: DzineBlog
    

New Post has been published on http://freesourcecode.info/code-free-parallax-scrolling-solutions-for-professional-designers/

Code Free, Parallax Scrolling Solutions for Professional Designers

By iulian


Advertise here with BSA

Graphic/web designers have an acute sense of novelty, so most of us like to stay on top of things by using innovative technology to improve our work, and by adhering to new standards in the market. In this article, you can read all about Webydo and websites with parallax scrolling.

Storytelling with Parallax Scrolling Animation!

path10

The latest trends in web design utilize ‘storytelling’ techniques, which actively engage visitors through their presence on a website. It can be argued that parallax backgrounds on a website are in high demand, lately. They render a fluid user experience, which is why this type of scrolling is being employed more frequently by professionals. A web designer’s best option right now would be some sort of cloud-based solution that helps him/her launch exquisite websites without coding. This solution should offer a proficient, responsive website editor and a code-free parallax scrolling animator.

The Old Age of Independent Web/Graphic Design

Purely designer-oriented, website creation services are a novelty in this market, and they’ve saved the day for all of us. For decades, it was impossible to make a single move without developers. Clients called upon designers to create their site design and layout, and needed to employ developers, who converted static projects into live websites.

The inconvenient part, of that reality, was that developers were paid much more than their visually creative counterparts, so designers had no choice but unite in protest and request website creation tools that no longer demanded handwritten coding skills. Surprisingly, Adobe did not even begin to answer designers’ impending need for ‘codeless’ software. In fact, the only B2C solutions out there used to consist of rudimentary DIY website builders directed at complete beginners, and most of them are simply deemed unsuitable for professional use. It was only a matter of time until an audacious site building platform stepped up, changed the game, and turned things around for designers.

Webydo’s Solution

I’ve been watching, with great enthusiasm, the recent progress of a platform called Webydo. It’s rooted in a designer community, who suggests and votes for new features and functionality to be added to the platform. Incidentally, the latest attraction is an unmatched parallax scrolling animator.

There are several interesting things related to this exclusive cloud software for designers, that you may like to know. For instance, it managed to provide the 100% non-technical working environment that design professionals longed for – which Adobe failed to do. Even further, crafting online spaces in this studio feels natural when you’ve already made countless graphic designs using Indesign or Photoshop.

You are now free to focus on the design: the software automatically generates W3C-validated code. In the end, what you get is a cross-browser and cross-platform responsive HTML5 website that stays true to constantly evolving standards.

When all your work is done, you can easy bill your clients from your dashboard, and they can then use the friendly CMS to easily modify the site content independently.

Are You Ready for Creative Freedom?

In a world that is decidedly technocratic, there is no telling what the future of web design holds. Webydo offers a cutting-edge solution for designers, and the promise of more features to come. My question to you is this: are you ready for creative freedom?

webydo3

This article is presented by Webydo’s community of professional designers.


Advertise here with BSA

Source: DzineBlog

    

New Post has been published on http://melwebdesign.com/webdesign-graphicsdesign-deals/keeping-your-ideas-and-your-clients-safe/Keeping Your Ideas (and Your Clients!) Safe

Today, there are all sorts of things that make our jobs as web developers and designers easier. The cloud and programs like Etherpad, Twiddla, etc. allow us to work in real time with our clients even if we live in Portland while they live in Tallahassee. Programs like these are a godsend, but they can cause a lot of problems – especially if you are lax with your security. In this article you’ll find steps taking which you’ll reduce your chances of having to deal with the multitudes of threats.Type: Design PrinciplesLevel: All levels
    
Source: Web Design All Tutorials
    

New Post has been published on http://melwebdesign.com/webdesign-graphicsdesign-deals/keeping-your-ideas-and-your-clients-safe/

Keeping Your Ideas (and Your Clients!) Safe

Today, there are all sorts of things that make our jobs as web developers and designers easier. The cloud and programs like Etherpad, Twiddla, etc. allow us to work in real time with our clients even if we live in Portland while they live in Tallahassee. Programs like these are a godsend, but they can cause a lot of problems – especially if you are lax with your security. In this article you’ll find steps taking which you’ll reduce your chances of having to deal with the multitudes of threats.
Type: Design Principles
Level: All levels

Source: Web Design All Tutorials

    

New Post has been published on http://nzbusinessdirectory.info/webdesign/selling-the-value-of-the-web-to-small-town-clients/Selling The Value Of The Web To Small-Town ClientsBy  Trevan Hetzel

Selling your services as a freelancer or a small shop is tough enough as it is. Selling to a small-town business that might not even see the need for a website adds an extra level of difficulty in turning a profit.
I’ve provided web design services to small-town businesses for the past few years, having had many happy outcomes, but also a lot of negative experiences from which I’ve learned hard lessons. One of the most important things I’ve learned is how to sell the value of the web. Many of my clients needed to be convinced that a website would actually be good for their business. A lot of them were almost naive about the web and about the impact and reach that a professional website and online strategy would have for their small business, even one whose target market lies within a 15-kilometer radius.
My experience with selling to small-town clients comes from running my tiny web design shop, Hetzel Creative1, for three years now in rural Iowa. I started from a blank canvas after having moved to this town and building a clientele that now includes over 80 small businesses, mostly in southwest Iowa. I’ve gotten to the point that most new businesses around here are referred to my company, on the strength of my successful track record and portfolio.
For the purpose of this article, let’s assume you live in a rural town like mine, with a population of about 5,000. You’re a great designer and developer, and the compelling idea of breaking out on your own drives you to look for your first client. You’ve landed a meeting with Ned’s Remodeling. Ned heard about you through mutual friends and is interested in a website for his small construction company.
After your initial meeting, in which you gathered information, you hit Ned with the numbers.
“That much to build me a website?!” Ned is shocked. “Forget it! I have a nephew who could give it a shot for free.”
Now’s your chance to sell the value of the web.
A Website Is An Investment
Cash flow is often tight for small businesses, and you don’t have the luxury of dealing with department heads who aren’t closely tied to the money they’re spending. When a small-business owner writes a check, that money is very dear to them. So, Ned is obviously going to be put back when he hears a realistic estimate of what a properly designed and developed website should cost. Still, the only thing more important to him than his bank account (and his family, friends, etc.) is the future and growth of his company. The trick, then, is to sell Ned on a website’s return on investment.
2Educating clients on the potential return on investment of a website is a great first step to closing the deal. (Image credit: Philip Taylor3)Aside from the popular “Your business will be open 24/7” argument, you can sell Ned on a professionally designed and strategic website in many ways. Listed below are just a few, but you can easily get creative and tailor your responses to different clients, whose understanding of the web will probably vary.
Everything Is Trackable
With just a free Google Analytics4 account, you can track so many more metrics for a website than you can with print ads and other traditional advertising channels. This is a wonderful selling point, because it will reassure Ned that he can always look at the metrics and visualize whether his investment in the website is paying dividends. And if the results are not ideal, then those metrics will tell you what to tweak.
Your Image, The Way You Want It
A website serves as a central online destination for the whole brand. Ned needs to know that without a website (or with one that is poorly designed or that lacks compelling content), his online image will stretch as far as Google reviews or the Better Business Bureau. That might not give potential customers enough information for them to pick up the phone, especially if a competitor is dominating local search results for home remodeling and has a website that projects a compelling, trustworthy image.
Effective Advertising
The money spent on online advertising to drive prospective clients to a website is much more manageable and trackable than money spent on traditional advertising like newspaper ads, flyers and phone book listings. Online ads and listings, SEO and web content are in a unique category of advertising. Not getting as many hits as you would like? Adjust! Change your content and experiment. Not on the first page of Google for a particular term? Optimize! Rewrite some content and change some keywords.
Spend your advertising dollars to get your website into a high-traffic area that your target audience will see. Spending as much as, if not more than, an offline budget for online advertising is a no-brainer because you get so many metrics and insights on how an online campaign is performing. Ned wouldn’t have such control and accuracy with his advertising if he didn’t have a website, so this is a great point to sell him on the investment.
Productivity Enhancement
This is probably the last thing Ned expects from a website, but if properly thought out, a website can certainly enhance a small business’ overall productivity and free up time that is used for manual tasks. Take a simple contact form. More people are willing to submit a form online than to pick up the phone. It’s just easier and a lower barrier. Not only will Ned gain more leads, but now he has more time to research thoughtful answers than he would have had he gotten questions over the phone. And he can set aside a certain time of the day for written questions, which is better than being distracted by a phone call while drawing a blueprint or repairing a roof.
You Get What You Pay For
If you’ve convinced Ned that he needs a website for his business, then his most pressing concern will still be the wad of cash he’ll have to drop to pay for it. Even if he does view a website as an investment, investing in anything without some disposable income is still tough. At this point, he’s probably thinking of ways to spend the absolute least that he can, which is most easily done by pushing you to the backburner to find someone cheaper.
5Educating your client on the importance of a website and why you’re the right person to deliver it is all that’s standing between you and the money they’re willing to spend. (Image credit: Tax Credits6)The key here is to make absolutely sure that Ned understands he will get what he pays for. You could remind him that he would advise his own potential clients not to trust just anyone to remodel their home; likewise, he should be willing to do the same for the online face of his business. Clients should trust experts to perform the services that they’re good at. Sure, he could get a free WordPress theme or use some cookie-cutter website-building service, but that’s like using duct tape and cardboard to fix a broken window. It might work, but you wouldn’t get the efficiency and beauty that a professional would provide.
Explain The Possibilities
Many people like Ned simply don’t know what they can achieve with a website: bill payments, sales, content management, newsletter registration, customer portal, email drip campaigns, subscriptions — the list goes on. If Ned is clear on what can be done, he’ll understand that an expert is needed to pull it all off.
Make sure, however, that you’re not just selling a list of features. You want him to see you as a partner who will share in the joy of the success that your services will bring. The features are only part of what a client wants. After all, thousands of freelancers can design and code as well as you can. Ned has to trust that the other guys don’t care as much about him and his success as you do.
The Importance Of Design
Even in a small town, where your reputation hangs almost solely on word of mouth, having a professional image is still critical. You understand this because you’re a designer, but Ned probably doesn’t. Without getting too deep into research on brand recognition, make sure you can back up your claim that good design is important to Ned’s small business. Here’s a great quote from a Razorfish’s report on branding7 that you can have ready (it’s five years old but still makes a great point):

According to our findings, 65% of consumers report that a digital brand experience has changed their opinion (either positively or negatively) about a brand or the products and services a brand offers… For those brand marketers still neglecting (or underestimating) digital, it’s as if they showed up to a cocktail party in sweatpants.

Break Out A Statistics Sheet
If Ned still needs convincing on why he needs you, show him some statistics. I’ve prepared a document for new clients that lists statistics on the number of Americans online, the number of people browsing on mobile devices (for selling a responsive solution), figures on how consumers are persuaded by a brand’s online image, and more.
Plenty of statistics are available for you to refer to in your sheet, like this one from a September 2013 report by BIA Kelsey8:

94& of the consumers surveyed have gone online for local shopping purposes within the last six months. Among those surveyed, 59.5% have completed a local purchase of merchandise or services online, within the last six months.

Or this one, from a September 2013 survey by Web.com and Toluna9:

83% of surveyed US consumers reported that having a website and using social media was a factor considered of high importance when choosing small businesses.

Or this one, from a June 2012 survey by 99designs10 (a great one to show Ned that others in his position think professional design is important):

80% of small business owners consider the design of their logos, websites, marketing materials and other branding tools either “very important” or “important” to the success of their companies.

Analyze Competitors
Another great way to convince Ned of the need for a website is simply to do a Google search right in front of him. If “glenwood iowa remodeling” brings up a list of all of his competitors, then he’ll see that he’s missing out. Even if you don’t offer SEO, Ned has to have a website in order to optimize it. If you do offer some SEO (or even include basic optimization in your service), then Google some of your current clients in front of him to show how you have helped companies get to the top of search results. Just don’t lead the client on if you don’t have the results to show for it — especially if they can so easily check how capable you really are.
Aside from search rankings, analyze some of Ned’s competitors’ in front of him. Point out what’s good and not so good about them. I always like to tell clients what I would do differently with their competitors’ websites because that helps them understand our expertise in a context they’re familiar with.
Bring Social Into The Mix
Several clients have come to me looking for the whole online package: website, Facebook page, Twitter account and branding, etc. Other clients had to be sold on these “extra” services. If you’re looking for extra angles to hook clients, offer a broad range of services, because — let’s face it — Facebook and Twitter are highly visible these days (Ned probably has a Facebook account already). The average client already has (or at least should have) an active Facebook page for interacting with customers and marketing to the public. So, offering a social strategy, or at the very least designing a nice profile and cover photo, is usually an easy sell.
11Facebook strategies and promotional designs are good services for clients who are looking for the full package. (Image: Sean MacEntee12)Beware of working with clients who solely want to use Facebook or Twitter, though. Many small businesses start with Facebook as their only online presence. While it’s a cheap way to get online, clients need to understand that their social pages should ultimately drive people to their “home”: their website.
How Did We Meet Ned In The First Place?
Contact with a prospective client can come from many different sources. The things that have always landed me contracts are word of mouth and a strong portfolio. Of course, I had to build my reputation for people to refer me, and that can be done in various ways.
The single most important thing that I did for my small business was to join the local Chamber of Commerce. I got leads simply from being listed on its website as a trusted local service provider, but the more important leads came from attending its events and talking to people. I never went to an event (coffee nights, banquets, golf outings, etc.) to land a contract that day. Rather, I went to become more acquainted with other business owners and to build their trust so that, when they did need a website, they would call me first.
Other ways to get your name out there include joining a committee (I was on the Chamber of Commerce’s marketing committee), attending events for entrepreneurs (who are your target market, after all), doing some pro bono work if you’re starting out, and giving current clients 10% off their next invoice if they refer you to someone. Just being around other business owners and making friendships in their circles should be enough to get you at least one contract; if you do a great job with them, the referrals will start coming in.
I’ve definitely tried things that don’t work, too. For instance, don’t waste your time on newspaper ads, cold calling, phone book listings or mass emails. You’re in the business of selling value, not just a service. Your best clients will arise from trusted relationships and from their belief in your ability to increase their bottom line.
Above all, make sure that your own website is killer. Experiment with different content until you’re at the top of search results for local web design and development. Of course, make sure to show off all of your latest and greatest projects. Case studies do a great job of selling (especially if the website visitor is in the same industry being profiled). Plenty of resources are out there to help with your online strategy, so don’t skimp on the quality of your website.
The Sky’s The Limit
Hopefully, this article serves as inspiration for those of you with the same target demographic. Keep in mind that working in a small town is not necessarily your best bet to raking in a ton of money and designing glamorous websites. But you’ll sleep well knowing that you’re benefiting the community by providing expert services. And keep your eye out for other markets to get into. With the number of fully distributed companies on the rise, you can do business with just about anyone from the comfort of your home.
Remember that selling to small-town businesses is a lot about education. Ned doesn’t know just how much value a website can provide. Educating him on the possibilities and the state of the web might just convince him to go with you, without your even having to explain “why me.”
(ml, al)
Footnotes
1 http://hetzelcreative.com
2 https://www.flickr.com/photos/9731367@N02/6988181354
3 https://www.flickr.com/photos/9731367@N02/
4 http://google.com/analytics/
5 https://www.flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/7408506410
6 https://www.flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/
7 http://feed.razorfish.com/feed09/the-bottom-line/
8 http://www.biakelsey.com/Research-and-Analysis/SMB-and-Consumer-Research/Consumer-Commerce-Monitor/
9 http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Consumers-Favor-Small-Businesses-of-Their-Customer-Focus/1010771
10 http://99designs.com/customer-blog/99designs-business-design-survey/
11 https://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/4646164016
12 https://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/4646164016
The post Selling The Value Of The Web To Small-Town Clients appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
Source: Smashing Magazine
    

New Post has been published on http://nzbusinessdirectory.info/webdesign/selling-the-value-of-the-web-to-small-town-clients/

Selling The Value Of The Web To Small-Town Clients

By Trevan Hetzel

Educating clients on the ROI a website can bring is a great first step to closing deals.

Selling your services as a freelancer or a small shop is tough enough as it is. Selling to a small-town business that might not even see the need for a website adds an extra level of difficulty in turning a profit.

I’ve provided web design services to small-town businesses for the past few years, having had many happy outcomes, but also a lot of negative experiences from which I’ve learned hard lessons. One of the most important things I’ve learned is how to sell the value of the web. Many of my clients needed to be convinced that a website would actually be good for their business. A lot of them were almost naive about the web and about the impact and reach that a professional website and online strategy would have for their small business, even one whose target market lies within a 15-kilometer radius.

My experience with selling to small-town clients comes from running my tiny web design shop, Hetzel Creative1, for three years now in rural Iowa. I started from a blank canvas after having moved to this town and building a clientele that now includes over 80 small businesses, mostly in southwest Iowa. I’ve gotten to the point that most new businesses around here are referred to my company, on the strength of my successful track record and portfolio.

For the purpose of this article, let’s assume you live in a rural town like mine, with a population of about 5,000. You’re a great designer and developer, and the compelling idea of breaking out on your own drives you to look for your first client. You’ve landed a meeting with Ned’s Remodeling. Ned heard about you through mutual friends and is interested in a website for his small construction company.

After your initial meeting, in which you gathered information, you hit Ned with the numbers.

That much to build me a website?!” Ned is shocked. “Forget it! I have a nephew who could give it a shot for free.”

Now’s your chance to sell the value of the web.

A Website Is An Investment

Cash flow is often tight for small businesses, and you don’t have the luxury of dealing with department heads who aren’t closely tied to the money they’re spending. When a small-business owner writes a check, that money is very dear to them. So, Ned is obviously going to be put back when he hears a realistic estimate of what a properly designed and developed website should cost. Still, the only thing more important to him than his bank account (and his family, friends, etc.) is the future and growth of his company. The trick, then, is to sell Ned on a website’s return on investment.

2
Educating clients on the potential return on investment of a website is a great first step to closing the deal. (Image credit: Philip Taylor3)

Aside from the popular “Your business will be open 24/7” argument, you can sell Ned on a professionally designed and strategic website in many ways. Listed below are just a few, but you can easily get creative and tailor your responses to different clients, whose understanding of the web will probably vary.

Everything Is Trackable

With just a free Google Analytics4 account, you can track so many more metrics for a website than you can with print ads and other traditional advertising channels. This is a wonderful selling point, because it will reassure Ned that he can always look at the metrics and visualize whether his investment in the website is paying dividends. And if the results are not ideal, then those metrics will tell you what to tweak.

Your Image, The Way You Want It

A website serves as a central online destination for the whole brand. Ned needs to know that without a website (or with one that is poorly designed or that lacks compelling content), his online image will stretch as far as Google reviews or the Better Business Bureau. That might not give potential customers enough information for them to pick up the phone, especially if a competitor is dominating local search results for home remodeling and has a website that projects a compelling, trustworthy image.

Effective Advertising

The money spent on online advertising to drive prospective clients to a website is much more manageable and trackable than money spent on traditional advertising like newspaper ads, flyers and phone book listings. Online ads and listings, SEO and web content are in a unique category of advertising. Not getting as many hits as you would like? Adjust! Change your content and experiment. Not on the first page of Google for a particular term? Optimize! Rewrite some content and change some keywords.

Spend your advertising dollars to get your website into a high-traffic area that your target audience will see. Spending as much as, if not more than, an offline budget for online advertising is a no-brainer because you get so many metrics and insights on how an online campaign is performing. Ned wouldn’t have such control and accuracy with his advertising if he didn’t have a website, so this is a great point to sell him on the investment.

Productivity Enhancement

This is probably the last thing Ned expects from a website, but if properly thought out, a website can certainly enhance a small business’ overall productivity and free up time that is used for manual tasks. Take a simple contact form. More people are willing to submit a form online than to pick up the phone. It’s just easier and a lower barrier. Not only will Ned gain more leads, but now he has more time to research thoughtful answers than he would have had he gotten questions over the phone. And he can set aside a certain time of the day for written questions, which is better than being distracted by a phone call while drawing a blueprint or repairing a roof.

You Get What You Pay For

If you’ve convinced Ned that he needs a website for his business, then his most pressing concern will still be the wad of cash he’ll have to drop to pay for it. Even if he does view a website as an investment, investing in anything without some disposable income is still tough. At this point, he’s probably thinking of ways to spend the absolute least that he can, which is most easily done by pushing you to the backburner to find someone cheaper.

5
Educating your client on the importance of a website and why you’re the right person to deliver it is all that’s standing between you and the money they’re willing to spend. (Image credit: Tax Credits6)

The key here is to make absolutely sure that Ned understands he will get what he pays for. You could remind him that he would advise his own potential clients not to trust just anyone to remodel their home; likewise, he should be willing to do the same for the online face of his business. Clients should trust experts to perform the services that they’re good at. Sure, he could get a free WordPress theme or use some cookie-cutter website-building service, but that’s like using duct tape and cardboard to fix a broken window. It might work, but you wouldn’t get the efficiency and beauty that a professional would provide.

Explain The Possibilities

Many people like Ned simply don’t know what they can achieve with a website: bill payments, sales, content management, newsletter registration, customer portal, email drip campaigns, subscriptions — the list goes on. If Ned is clear on what can be done, he’ll understand that an expert is needed to pull it all off.

Make sure, however, that you’re not just selling a list of features. You want him to see you as a partner who will share in the joy of the success that your services will bring. The features are only part of what a client wants. After all, thousands of freelancers can design and code as well as you can. Ned has to trust that the other guys don’t care as much about him and his success as you do.

The Importance Of Design

Even in a small town, where your reputation hangs almost solely on word of mouth, having a professional image is still critical. You understand this because you’re a designer, but Ned probably doesn’t. Without getting too deep into research on brand recognition, make sure you can back up your claim that good design is important to Ned’s small business. Here’s a great quote from a Razorfish’s report on branding7 that you can have ready (it’s five years old but still makes a great point):

According to our findings, 65% of consumers report that a digital brand experience has changed their opinion (either positively or negatively) about a brand or the products and services a brand offers… For those brand marketers still neglecting (or underestimating) digital, it’s as if they showed up to a cocktail party in sweatpants.

Break Out A Statistics Sheet

If Ned still needs convincing on why he needs you, show him some statistics. I’ve prepared a document for new clients that lists statistics on the number of Americans online, the number of people browsing on mobile devices (for selling a responsive solution), figures on how consumers are persuaded by a brand’s online image, and more.

Plenty of statistics are available for you to refer to in your sheet, like this one from a September 2013 report by BIA Kelsey8:

94& of the consumers surveyed have gone online for local shopping purposes within the last six months. Among those surveyed, 59.5% have completed a local purchase of merchandise or services online, within the last six months.

Or this one, from a September 2013 survey by Web.com and Toluna9:

83% of surveyed US consumers reported that having a website and using social media was a factor considered of high importance when choosing small businesses.

Or this one, from a June 2012 survey by 99designs10 (a great one to show Ned that others in his position think professional design is important):

80% of small business owners consider the design of their logos, websites, marketing materials and other branding tools either “very important” or “important” to the success of their companies.

Analyze Competitors

Another great way to convince Ned of the need for a website is simply to do a Google search right in front of him. If “glenwood iowa remodeling” brings up a list of all of his competitors, then he’ll see that he’s missing out. Even if you don’t offer SEO, Ned has to have a website in order to optimize it. If you do offer some SEO (or even include basic optimization in your service), then Google some of your current clients in front of him to show how you have helped companies get to the top of search results. Just don’t lead the client on if you don’t have the results to show for it — especially if they can so easily check how capable you really are.

Aside from search rankings, analyze some of Ned’s competitors’ in front of him. Point out what’s good and not so good about them. I always like to tell clients what I would do differently with their competitors’ websites because that helps them understand our expertise in a context they’re familiar with.

Bring Social Into The Mix

Several clients have come to me looking for the whole online package: website, Facebook page, Twitter account and branding, etc. Other clients had to be sold on these “extra” services. If you’re looking for extra angles to hook clients, offer a broad range of services, because — let’s face it — Facebook and Twitter are highly visible these days (Ned probably has a Facebook account already). The average client already has (or at least should have) an active Facebook page for interacting with customers and marketing to the public. So, offering a social strategy, or at the very least designing a nice profile and cover photo, is usually an easy sell.

Facebook for Business.11
Facebook strategies and promotional designs are good services for clients who are looking for the full package. (Image: Sean MacEntee12)

Beware of working with clients who solely want to use Facebook or Twitter, though. Many small businesses start with Facebook as their only online presence. While it’s a cheap way to get online, clients need to understand that their social pages should ultimately drive people to their “home”: their website.

How Did We Meet Ned In The First Place?

Contact with a prospective client can come from many different sources. The things that have always landed me contracts are word of mouth and a strong portfolio. Of course, I had to build my reputation for people to refer me, and that can be done in various ways.

The single most important thing that I did for my small business was to join the local Chamber of Commerce. I got leads simply from being listed on its website as a trusted local service provider, but the more important leads came from attending its events and talking to people. I never went to an event (coffee nights, banquets, golf outings, etc.) to land a contract that day. Rather, I went to become more acquainted with other business owners and to build their trust so that, when they did need a website, they would call me first.

Other ways to get your name out there include joining a committee (I was on the Chamber of Commerce’s marketing committee), attending events for entrepreneurs (who are your target market, after all), doing some pro bono work if you’re starting out, and giving current clients 10% off their next invoice if they refer you to someone. Just being around other business owners and making friendships in their circles should be enough to get you at least one contract; if you do a great job with them, the referrals will start coming in.

I’ve definitely tried things that don’t work, too. For instance, don’t waste your time on newspaper ads, cold calling, phone book listings or mass emails. You’re in the business of selling value, not just a service. Your best clients will arise from trusted relationships and from their belief in your ability to increase their bottom line.

Above all, make sure that your own website is killer. Experiment with different content until you’re at the top of search results for local web design and development. Of course, make sure to show off all of your latest and greatest projects. Case studies do a great job of selling (especially if the website visitor is in the same industry being profiled). Plenty of resources are out there to help with your online strategy, so don’t skimp on the quality of your website.

The Sky’s The Limit

Hopefully, this article serves as inspiration for those of you with the same target demographic. Keep in mind that working in a small town is not necessarily your best bet to raking in a ton of money and designing glamorous websites. But you’ll sleep well knowing that you’re benefiting the community by providing expert services. And keep your eye out for other markets to get into. With the number of fully distributed companies on the rise, you can do business with just about anyone from the comfort of your home.

Remember that selling to small-town businesses is a lot about education. Ned doesn’t know just how much value a website can provide. Educating him on the possibilities and the state of the web might just convince him to go with you, without your even having to explain “why me.”

(ml, al)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://hetzelcreative.com
  2. 2 https://www.flickr.com/photos/9731367@N02/6988181354
  3. 3 https://www.flickr.com/photos/9731367@N02/
  4. 4 http://google.com/analytics/
  5. 5 https://www.flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/7408506410
  6. 6 https://www.flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/
  7. 7 http://feed.razorfish.com/feed09/the-bottom-line/
  8. 8 http://www.biakelsey.com/Research-and-Analysis/SMB-and-Consumer-Research/Consumer-Commerce-Monitor/
  9. 9 http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Consumers-Favor-Small-Businesses-of-Their-Customer-Focus/1010771
  10. 10 http://99designs.com/customer-blog/99designs-business-design-survey/
  11. 11 https://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/4646164016
  12. 12 https://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/4646164016

The post Selling The Value Of The Web To Small-Town Clients appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Source: Smashing Magazine