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If there’s one thing I hate more than tracking down bugs, it’s documenting code. It takes forever, it’s almost a project in itself, and I never seem to factor it into my project lifecycle.
Setting out to solve that problem for me, and anyone else whose life is too short, is Couscous. Couscous takes markdown files and converts them into professional standard HTML docs that colleagues, or fellow developers, can easily follow. You can preview the resulting site on your local machine, correct any issues, and then deploy straight to GitHub where it will be hosted for you.
If you’re working with remote teams, or just hate explaining code to other people, Couscous will make communicating your APIs a whole lot faster.
The first thing you need to do is ensure that your local system is running PHP 5.4 or later. Next you need to ensure you have Composer installed, if you don’t have it already you’ll find installation instructions here.
Once Composer is installed you can install Couscous like so:
$ composer global require couscous/couscous
And that’s it!
Couscous is a dedicated solution for documentation, it doesn’t moonlight at all, so you don’t have to contend with the optional extras some site generators come with; it does one thing well.
There are some basic templates included, or you can build your own and brand your documentation appropriately.
You’ll be pleased to find automatic syntax highlighting, which for me is one of the best features, is included in the basic templates. It’s obviously inefficient to have to markup code examples by inserting spans in code blocks just to pick out variables and so forth, so the automation is a welcome addition.
If you’re looking for the default functionality all you need to do is run this command on your project directory:
$ couscous preview
Then open up http://localhost:8000/ in a browser, and voila! Your docs are ready to review.
Couscous builds documentation from standard markdown files. It will run through the directory and find any *.md files, which it will include in the batch process.
No special markdown is required, and you don’t need to follow any particular directory structure.
You can make as many changes as you like to your original markdown, then run the preview command again. Rinse and repeat until you’re happy.
Once you’re satisfied with your documentation you’re ready to go live. Then, simply run:
$ couscous deploy
Couscous will gather your files and publish to the gh-pages branch of your Git repository.
Couscous is the simplest solution I’ve come across in some time, for rapidly building documentation.
If you need to build online docs for any project, or even for your own recollection, Couscous is a streamlined and elegant solution that imposes no restrictions on you. It can save you hours, allowing you to redirect all your effort into the code you’re documenting.
Whether you’ve always recorded everything you code, or you’re just starting out documenting your first complex project, with Couscous the process is both fast and painless.
After long hours of what may have seemed to be an unending series of mockups, coding, heavy-metal music and energy drink, you’ve finally finished your project. And you did an awesome job. Your client loved it so much he wanted to marry it.
But you know that despite this swift moment of respite, you still have some things left to do and one of those is testing.
Testing your site can be disheartening despite its value. You have to look at all the pages of your site in all the browsers, and devices. If I haven’t emphasized it hard enough, I’ll say it again, all of the pages in your site.
But to at least save yourself from the troubles of confusion and chaos, you need a plan, a front-end testing website plan.
Having a plan will help you know the devices, browsers and systems your project is supposed to cover. This will help you reduce the waste of time, money and effort.
Knowing that you’ve been meticulous enough to not let giant errors slip thru will make you sleep better at night, if you sleep at all.
Getting a sign-off from a client is one thing, but if you want more work in future you need to make sure there aren’t any gotchas waiting a few weeks down the line, because those will stop your client recommending you.
Before anything else, having a collection of tools to use will surely help. Here are some choices:
Unless you can afford to buy every single operating system, desktop and mobile, you’re going to need a cross-browser testing tool. My favourite is BrowserStack, but you might also use SauceLabs, or Spoon Browser.
Now that you’ve got your tools ready, you have to identify what you are really testing. Doing this will either lead you to bugs or to nothing. But if you ended up discovering nothing, that doesn’t mean your work is perfect. It only means that you didn’t find the problems.
Because almost all websites have some issues, if you haven’t found any issues after the first round of testing, ask yourself if you’re looking hard enough.
First, you need to know who your audience is and how will they be using your site. For this, you need to consider the following:
You can now break down your tasks into milestones targeting your audience. You now have the idea which browsers, operating systems, and screen sizes you need to prioritize testing. You also will know on which ISP you work well and which type of audience benefits more from your site.
Learning all of this will give you an idea of what services, interface elements and functionalities you need to improve, delete or add.
A few factors control your project and these factors should be considered when testing:
How much? What is your rate for testing? Of course, this is important because you will be investing time and effort in this phase of the project.
How long? How long will you be working on the project? What is your deadline? When will you start?
How wide? There are a lot of devices, screen sizes and browsers in the market. Will you target each of them? No. You just find the ones your target audience use.
Bug reports from clients are usually vague, along the lines of, “It doesn’t work.” It reports a problem, but it doesn’t identify what the problem really is. In testing, if you report a bug like that, you’ll never move in any direction, ever. So here are a few tips:
Make your plan like a to-do list. Divide it into major parts (units) and subdivide those units into smaller tasks.
Do-It-Yourself websites are here, and they’re not going anywhere. That’s just a basic fact of our industry. However, there is a large misunderstanding about the ease of use concerning WordPress and other Do-It-Yourself website-building platforms, and it needs to be addressed.
To start off, WordPress is fantastic. I use it for building the majority of my sites, it’s great for navigating throughout each site, both the front end and the back, and has a fantastic group of folks who write beautiful plugins for everything from slideshows to grid layouts to complex contact forms and beyond. That is all true because I know what I am doing. The myth I speak of is the ease of use of the DIY website-building programs for the untrained, who are under the false assumption that websites can be created in 30 minutes or less.
Let’s look at WordPress for a minute. As far as setting up an initial site is concerned, it works wonders, even for someone who doesn’t know a <div> tag from a <video> element. It allows the user to create a URL, setup a username and password and it even includes 2 decent-looking themes to start them on their web-building journey. That’s about where the fun stops and the frustrations set in. If you’d like your site to look like thousands of others who also use the Twenty Fourteen theme on their blog, you may be okay here (but most likely you won’t). If you want your site to be creative, innovative, unique and popular, there’s a good chance most people won’t be able to do it on their own, no matter what they read on the Internet.
One of the most frustrating things is that the expansive DIY website phenomenon has created an illogical, irrational and unsupportive way of looking at our profession. Clients are now more likely to haggle with you over something as small as an image change, a different link color scheme or a new logo placement. This is for fear that they must be getting the raw end of the deal, because everyone they know has built their own site, and therefore it must be a piece of cake, right? While that may be the case, that client should actually do a little investigating to see what these sites look like, and then hopefully rethink their position on your work.
There are a few techniques we can use, which will enable us as front-end developers to explain our jobs, maintain a professional attitude and appearance and keep the clients happy at the same time:
1. We are professionals: It is crucial that we convey this message (as nicely as possible) and explain that we know more about the web than they do. Sounds tricky, but it can be done by showing examples of well-built sites, maybe bringing in a book or two, perhaps even showing some research material or data. Just walking the client through the process can be a big help as well.
2. Communication: This is essential for both parties involved to facilitate a successful and positive working relationship. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when needed, but also to give advice when it is warranted. A lot of times, the client will need to be informed of a procedure or design that they may not have known existed beforehand, and it’s our job to tell them about it.
3. Time management: Make sure to set a timeframe for the build of a site according to what the client wants, and then relay that info to them. It is a common misconception that web coding takes no time at all to do, which we know is far from the truth. Once again, make sure the client is educated as to the amount of work that goes into each specific job; otherwise you’re likely to run into problems further down the road.
4. It’s a process: You don’t just build a site in a day and say, “Well, there you go”, and you’re finished, although the client may be under that assumption. It takes time, revisions, additions and more to make a good site run smoothly. Make sure they are aware that you will need to twist, tweak and try to get their site performing as it should.
Now, it’s true that it might only take a few minutes for a developer to change that picture of the front of your law office, and it may be an easy fix for a programmer to build you a new page for your company’s annual summer picnic slideshow. But the bottom line is this: As in any business, you pay someone else to do what you cannot, like teaching you how to jump out of a plane, or operating on your heart, or making you and your dinner guests seared duck and foie gras ravioli. We are professionals, and need to be treated as such.
That’s not to say that there isn’t a great market for building new custom themes, especially the ones designed strictly for WordPress. That certainly exists, and is extremely profitable to web coders and designers around the world, and can also be helpful if you need a certain look for a client ASAP. Custom theme building is very complicated as well, which is why the really great themes cost money. Once again, the client (or developer, for that matter) pays someone a decent amount of money for the service that they have provided. It’s not that difficult, really.
I talk to folks from all over the world about the ins-and-outs of design and development, and this has been any issue for a long time. We all run into it with our own work and clients as well, not wanting to pay such an “outrageous” rate for our services. I don’t know about you, but my student loans certainly aren’t going to pay themselves. Ideally, the clients are going to pay them for me. Isn’t that the point of choosing a profession and giving it all you’ve got?
While WordPress and other DIY sites have indeed helped lots and lots of people join in the blogging rampage over the last decade or so, it feels like it has diminished the value of web developers just a bit over those years. As I said before, I love WordPress as a development tool. I use it on a daily basis and am extremely thankful that it came into our little world. I just wish that the stereotype that website development is easy, and that anyone with a computer can make an unbelievable-looking site in about 20 minutes or so would disappear from our lives forever. Until then, let’s all focus on educating our clients on this business, and all that’s involved in making a great design and developing a great website. Sound good?
In 2014, if you have a website that isn’t responsive, it doesn’t count. Responsive web design has now become a standard when it comes to creating new websites. More and more people are viewing websites from their phones, it has become really important to adapt to those changes and design websites in such a way that they work across a variety of different screen sizes.
But if you’ve been tasked with creating a mobile responsive design and aren’t sure where to start, this list of resources is sure to give you the spark you need to create a fluid, friendly design that accommodates nearly every mobile device – past, present and future.
Webflow is the top drag-and-drop website builder for designing custom, professional websites without code.
Foundation is a responsive front-end framework.
Not just a mock-up tool, Jetstrap is the premier interface-building tool for Bootstrap 3.
Sparkbox allows you to quickly mockup responsive designs without investing too much time.
This is a lightweight, easy to use jQuery plugin for fluid width video embeds.
Using simple layout wireframes, Thismanslife illustrates how a series of pages could work across these different devices, by simulating how the layout of each page would change responsively, to suit the context.
Skeleton is a small collection of CSS files that can help you rapidly develop sites that look beautiful at any size, be it a 17″ laptop screen or an iPhone.
Less is a CSS grid system for designing adaptive websites. It contains 4 layouts and 3 sets of typography presets, all based on a single grid.
Gridless is an optionated HTML5 and CSS3 boilerplate for making mobile first responsive, cross-browser websites with beautiful typography.
Bootstrap is a sleek, intuitive, and powerful front-end framework for faster and easier web development.
Gridset provides fully custom grids for responsive layouts.
This is one of the best layout options on the web.
Tiny Fluid Grid ships with an index.html with demo code, and the grid.css containing the CSS for the grid you created.
The Responsinator is designed to test responsive websites on different device resolutions.
Blueberry is a jQuery image slider written specifically for responsive web design.
Pears is an open source WordPress theme, enabling people like you to get your own pattern library up and running quickly.
Ish is another viewport resizing tool. It’s called “ish.” because it focuses on general ranges (small-ish. medium-ish. large-ish.), rather than popular device widths.
MQtest is a simple tool to help identify which media queries your device responds to.
BrowserStack lets you test your website for cross-browser compatibility on real browsers. Instant access to multiple desktop and mobile browsers.
Mobitest is a free tool created to raise awareness to Mobile Web Performance.
Edge Inspect is an essential application for web developers and designers who need to preview their content across multiple mobile devices.
Sass is the most mature, stable, and powerful professional grade CSS extension language in the world.
Froont designs websites directly in the browser with a simple drag and drop interface.
Wirefy helps you make smarter UX decisions by focusing on the content first rather than the subjective design decisions.
If you’re designing a website or app, these simple templates are designed to help you sketch your ideas on paper.
FitText makes font-sizes flexible. Use this plugin on your fluid or responsive layout to achieve scalable headlines that fill the width of a parent element.
This is a super friendly Chrome Extension for designers to test responsive websites.
Quickly create fluid, HTML/CSS prototypes you can test on real devices with this service.
This is a responsive web design checker.
Sassaparilla is a fast way to start your responsive web design projects that harnesses the power of Sass and Compass.
This is a lightweight and friendly front-end framework to get the job done.
Responsive Elements makes it possible for any element to adapt and respond to the area they occupy.
Respondr is another responsive design test suite.
Gumby is a flexible, responsive CSS framework.
Pure is ridiculously tiny. The entire set of modules clock in at 4.4KB* minified and gzipped.
The premise of Tuktuk to use as many features as possible of the latest CSS specification. The purpose is to encourage code reuse plus faster and more efficient stylesheets that are easier to add to and maintain.
Ivory is a responsive front-end web framework that makes you front-end development faster and easier.
Kube is one of the world’s most flexible CSS frameworks. It gives you the full power of choice, creativity and beauty, while handling all of the technology behind it.
Font Awesome gives you scalable vector icons that can instantly be customized — size, color, drop shadow, and anything that can be done with the power of CSS.
Placehold.it is a quick and simple image placeholder service that will definitely speed up your development. You can also change things like format, text, color, & size all within your HTML document, while developing.
There will be some days in your life as a web developer when you feel like you’ve hit the jackpot. Often this comes in a form of a client whose pockets match their ambition, and you’ll finally be getting paid what you’re worth.
However, despite the benefits that await you when you accept, and eventually, finish this big gig, there is a looming trap hidden here; it comes in the form of a big pile of responsibility.
Of course, as the price of the project rises, the workload rises too. This calls for you to stand up and become organized. If you have been used to small-time web development projects, you need to step up the game here, and you might even require the help of others.
Now this is where it gets exciting. As the tasks grow, and hopefully, your team, you will need a few secrets to organizing everything.
Before everything else, you have to realize that there are two important pieces to organizing your big web development projects: simplicity and semantics. Keeping your work as simple as possible will yield a fluid workflow because your files will be easily found without even having the need to search for them. Of course, speed should always come with caution, hence semantics. Most probably, your projects will be code-related and having clean code and a semantic markup can help you immensely.
Because you will have to hire a few other developers to form your team (or you already have one), you need to organize them before anything else. Either they are working close to you on a geographical level, or they might be anywhere in the world, you need to keep everything in one place. Good thing, there are a bunch of project management tools out there but you still have to choose the specific tool you will benefit from. Here are a few choices:
Asana has become popular these past few years because it acquired the support of both large and small-scale businesses. Having been created by Facebook co-founder Dustin Mostkovitz and former Facebook tech-lead Justin Rosenstein, Asana becomes a popular social network for work.
With Asana you can: Set deadlines; update and monitor individual tasks; set priorities; label options.
The upsides: Interactive and easy to use; built in HTML5; works with keyboard shortcuts.
The downsides: It requires you to have an internet connection; it has no chat feature, yet.
Basecamp is an intuitive content collaboration tool that makes task creation look like writing simple notes. It is both powerful and simple as it is built in an interface even a kid will understand. Using Basecamp, you can easily go through with your projects and tasks without being disturbed by a steep learning curve. No time wasted.
The upsides: Easy to use; excellent performance.
The downsides: Isn’t recommended for multi-project teams.
Trello is Kanban-approach-based web tool. It’s like an online bulletin board with index cards labeled as a stage in the process.
The upsides: You can monitor the status of each stage and card in detail; you can attach files, descriptions and make checklists; you can create more boards and have total control in each column of each board.
The downsides: Difficult for small projects in smaller teams; card use can become difficult as their number increases.
In any human relationship, be it personal or professional, preserving a good line of communication is the key to making things work. If you are working with a team, especially if they are scattered in different places in the world, communication becomes an important ingredient for survival. That is why you need to make sure that you talk whenever it is convenient for both sides.
When two sides of the team don’t communicate, conflict happens. This can result in putting the project in jeopardy. So, remember the following:
While this secret isn’t really about making your clients work for you, it teaches you to make it simple for them. For this, I suggest that you create folders for individual clients. Make sure that every client gets a specific folder structured exactly the same. (You can create a Client Folder Template and just duplicate it whenever there is a new client.)
Create the following folders:
Now that you know the secrets, it’s up to you to start organizing. Remember, that these secrets are not meant to remain secrets. If you have found them to be truly effective, share them with everyone. Good luck, and bring home the bacon.
In the digital era, less and less people rely on paper books. That obviously doesn’t mean people have stopped reading books, just that ebooks have largely flooded the market.
There are numerous reasons for this, but the most prevalent is that ebooks can be brought to market quickly whilst their content is still relevant.
There are millions of ebooks available, teaching you everything from typography to apps. And incredibly some of the best are available absolutely free. Check out my list of essential free ebooks for web developers:
A simple and stylish guide that will accompany you on the toughest journey in business, getting from employee 5 to 50. Digest the best thinking on everything from employer branding and headhunting to structuring an interview process. Fresh ideas and pro tips.
This ebook will help you submit your apps to app stores, understand the approval process and then eventually modify apps to make them more attractive. It’s also an amazing step-by-step free guide to mobile app marketing.
MacLeod, an advertising executive and popular blogger with a flair for the creative, gives his 26 tried-and-true tips for being truly creative. Each point illustrated by a cartoon drawn by the author himself.
Spectacularly simple, remarkably true, for every small business owner who’s determined to grow, “Breaking the Time Barrier” will work for you.
This ebook helps you achieve your artistic and professional goals, with subjects including finding the method in your creative madness, identifying and prioritising your most important work, and getting in the right state of mind for focused work.
A complete companion to wireframing, guiding you through theory and practice of creating winning designs across every stage in the product development process – from concept to launch.
This handy free ebook from Font Shop provides a series of tips and techniques to improve your typography, ranging from basic best-practice such as avoiding the use of ALL CAPS, to which type of dash should be used in which scenario.
A comprehensive handbook on digital design covering much of our collective knowledge and process.
This ebook provides a methodology for converting client input into a meaningful design approach. As with Hugh MacLeod’s book, this free PDF offers a personal insight into the process, demonstrating its value.
It’s a guide to the Mobile Developer’s Guide to the Galaxy that helps developers to learn aspects of marketing.
Matthew Butterick is a designer who’s also a lawyer and his free typography volume is a suitably thorough collection of all the things you always wanted to know about typography but were afraid to ask.
The Creative Aid Handbook features unusual tips to nurture your creative well-being, boost your creative intellect, and foster internal inspiration.
Designing for the web is different than designing for any other medium. This free ebook by Mark Boulton explores the web design field from research to tools needed to get the job done.
This ebook focuses mainly on design and best practices for non-profit organizations, but the content is a great resource in general and the teachings can be applied pretty much anywhere.
Getting your mobile app approved on various app stores could be tedious, this free ebook helps you to check design principles when creating your icon and splash image.
Another free mobile game developing ebook that help designers to learn about mobile game development, hidden techniques, SDK’s and how to publish on mobile app stores.
A free ebook by Kinvey that help organisations to understand which platform to choose business mobile app : Native, HTML5 or Hybrid.
Another free ebook by Kinvey that will help you create HTML5 mobile apps and tools you can use to create HTML5 apps.
In this ebook “Define app requirements within 20 minutes” you will find all requirements and them are composed in an easy to fill-in document. This smart template should simplify your work with app developers.
Mobile User Experience plays a vital role in success of any mobile app. Try out this free ebook by AppSee that will help you avoid top mistakes while creating mobile UX.
A free Swift ebook provided by Apple company that will help mobile developers create apps for iOS devices using the Swift language.
A perfect ebook for those developers who want to jump into the rushing madness to create apps for iPhone and iPad.
A free Android mobile app development ebook created by Ryan Hodson that provides information related to Android UI and other useful information that will help you create mobile apps for Android.
This ebook provides insights to help you in determining which operating system to build your company’s next application for.
A free Android programming ebook by Eduonix that will help learn beginners to understand about the Android API and updated Jelly Bean OS.
Want to monetize your Android app that you have created? This free ebook from AppFlood.com will help developers to earn money through their apps.
Another useful free ebook by Syncfusion that helps developers learn more about Windows Phone 8 and how to develop apps for the Windows Phone App Store.
A free ebook by Ricky Brundritt that helps companies to create location aware applications in Windows 8.1.
By Anwar Ludin, this free ebook helps mobile developers to create Blackberry 10 apps with Qt, C++ and the Cascades UI Framework.
Learn the basics of what a logo is, the rules of creating a logo and other things to consider like color and typography. Find out what type of things you should try to avoid and take a look at some awesomely bad design.
This is a very good ebook for those who want to keep themselves up to date with the latest trends in web design. 11 current trends and 165 visually attractive examples are featured in this e-book.
This 480-page ebook will teach you how to build professional websites from scratch. From learning the fundamentals of how web pages work to building CSS layouts with multiple columns, you can find it all here.
Although this ebook was written in 2001, a lot of its suggestions and guidance on the topic of transitioning to the World Wide Web are still applicable today.
Although this ebook is mainly written for beginners that are still learning the ropes of web design, seasoned developers will also get some useful advice from it. There are 28 chapters with numerous backing examples.
With so many different devices we can use to surf the Net these days, responsive web design (RWD) is clearly an important topic to cover for web designers. This ebook is about RWD in the context of WordPress design.
If you want to learn or understand more about the role of typography in web design, this 49-page ebook will help you do just that.
In this 165-page ebook, you will find useful quick tips and lots of illustrations on how to make sure your designs look good down to every pixel, so to speak.
This 170-page ebook is very good for those who already have some experience in creating websites. It will equip you with the essential knowledge and techniques to make beautiful visual enhancements for your site.
This ebook will help you to create blog post topics which will go viral. It’s like a “cheat sheet” for writers, bloggers and contributors.
The Guide to UX Design Process & Documentation by UXPin looks at real-life examples of design processes from companies such as Apple, Amazon, Twitter, and more. Expert advice is provided by Cennydd Bowles, Louis Rosenfeld, Ash Maurya, and others on the 7 stages of product design.
This ebook covers user testing, and optimal workshop details on UXPIN’s process for testing and redesigning core user scenarios on Yelp’s website.
In this ebook by UXPin you will find frameworks for MVPs. Also there are examples of the minimum viable products and expert opinions.
This ebook will help Product Managers triumph in the age of user experience design.
Look no further — every mobile design trend that counts in 2014 is explained and illustrated in this free ebook. Brought to you by designers from UXPin and Movade.
Pinterest, Spotify, Uber, Instagram, Dropbox, Flipboard, Mailbox, Yelp — they all use mobile UI design patterns explained in this ebook.
Amazon, Kickstarter, AirBnB, Quora, LinkedIn, Eventbrite, Mailchimp, Asana — what web UI design patterns do they use and why? It’s all explained in this ebook.
UX design for startups or grown-up companies that wish to keep a startup spirit and conquer the world with stunning UX design. It comprises of 127 pages of real-life based advice, 60 UX design tools and lots more.
This ebook is intended for absolute beginners with Photoshop. Even if you have never opened Photoshop before, this ebook has you covered.
For a backend developer, designing a user interface for an application can be difficult, primarily because you are not a hundred per cent comfortable with what you are doing. It’s like writing using your left hand when you’re a righty.
However, with the inception of frontend toolkits and frameworks, UI design has become a little bit more convenient for backend developers like you. Because of open source UI frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation and Yahoo’s PureCSS, building the interface of your application has gone leaps and bounds in consistency, and comfort.
Of course, at first, it might be a little daunting. You have to take into account a few theories that you are not used to, and of course, there is this itch to sketch your own signature in the design itself. That is why you need to wake up the frontend designer in you.
But, first things first, you have to realize that frontend design is comprised of a series of steps that you shouldn’t skip. It starts with a piece of paper, or maybe a blank document. This is where you plot your mockup to kickstart your design. You may start using a low fidelity mockup and imagine how your interface will look when it is finished. After that, you have to make them look a little bit more real by digitalizing them using high fidelity mockup tools.
Okay, I pretty much explained to you how the process is. Here are my tips:
Of course there is this option where you have to build everything from scratch, and hey, I have nothing against that. But as a backend developer, I think it will not be necessary because doing this will make you waste a lot of both effort and time.
Here’s the deal, there are UI frameworks out there that you can tweak and tinker to make them your own. Frameworks like Bootstrap often come with a starting point UI, color scheme and components and this is where you can begin.
UI frameworks are built with subcomponents that you can edit. You’ll find that there are common patterns on each framework’s approach. What you have to do is to break these patterns up and use what your backend code requires. You really don’t have to create the most beautiful interface, you’re not in it for awards, what you want to do is for something to work.
Now, after realizing that each component can be pulled out of the main UI template, you can now put them together in your design. Again, the tip here is to be keen. What works for the competing web apps? Did your competitor place the sidebar on the left? Do you think it will be effective if you put it in the right? If you find it to be so, then you just need to pull out a right sidebar from your template and plug it right in your design.
Of course this tip requires you to copy other designs. Remember what Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. You can copy other designs, or at least what works for them, and make it work better for you.
Color is important in design. Different colors send different signals to your visitors. Humans, being the visual beings they are, are convinced with what they perceive as beautiful and comfortable to their eyes. User Interface is largely dependent on that human nature. That is why a lot of attention has been paid to building and selecting a specific color palette for different companies.
Of course, you are a backend developer, so this is not something you get in the first try. You have to note a few color combination techniques for your interface.
According to Kissmetrics, 93 per cent of people identify a company using their corporate color scheme. Of course, if you want your app to sell, you have to create a specific color scheme for it, otherwise, it won’t be trusted.
Think of Facebook, Twitter and Google. These three have their own color palette we identify them from. Is the color relative to their function? Honestly no. But it is important because the color is identified with their brand.
Now what? Now, you start making mistakes. Being good at UI, and backend development, both at the same time, requires you to become patient and develop a sense of aesthetics. It will take you a few bad mistakes before becoming attuned to what looks good and comfortable to the user’s eye. You will make a couple of bad decisions on the way, but that shouldn’t prevent you from trying, exploring, and experimenting because no one ever gets it right first time.
If you want your web app to look good, you need to take this step: try now. You have nothing to worry about, as long as you keep in mind these tips.
Don’t forget to copy, steal, and modify until you get what your style really is.
There are countless articles written about which programming language is the best; usually ending with the conclusion that they’re all great, and you just need to choose which you’re most comfortable with.
Whilst I agree with that sentiment to some extent, I’m still interested in the question of whether any one language is better for a specific purpose, for example, for web development.
Credited to Guido van Rossum in the late ‘80s, Python is one of the most popular high-level languages for programmers. It is designed to be both readable and accessible. Python can create a program in fewer lines than C++ or Java, thus providing clear programs, small and large.
Python supports object-orientated, imperative, functional and procedural programming paradigms because of its elegant design and simple syntax; making it particular suitable for projects with more than a single programmer.
Because of its popularity, Python is used extensively on the Web. Python is used in Yahoo Maps, Linux Weekly News, Shopzilla, and Ultraseek, to name a few, but there are plenty more uses:
WSGI or Web Server Gateway Interface is a standard interface connecting web servers and web app frameworks. WSGI allows Portable Python Web Codes through behavior standardization and communication between the server and the frameworks, deployed on WSGI-compliant servers.
Web frameworks are sets of libraries and handlers that allow you to use custom codes to create web applications like interactive websites. They often include patterns in order to attain things like URL routing and Request and Response Objects.
Django is one of the high-level web frameworks that uses Python for developing high-performance apps. First created by an online news operation, Django handles intensive newsroom deadlines and the tough requirements of its developers. Django is popular for pushing a clean, rapid and pragmatic design.
Companies like JP Morgan and Bank of America use Python in many of their systems, and it’s for a good reason; the language is relatively short compared to its rivals, meaning it is easier to debug, and develop.
Python has been used by YouTube since 2007 for scalability. They state that the language enables flexibility because it can extend from different industries for different usages. You can use it in websites and web apps, system administrations, VOIP applications and desktop software. Its flexibility allows Python to be used for rapid development of different types of applications.
The language is simple to learn because its syntax resembles pseudo code. You can quickly do something without wasting too much time and effort on a steep learning curve. All you need is to learn the language and from there, start coding. (Of course practice makes you better.)
And because it is simple and straightforward, the language encourages positive programming traits.
The short answer is, yes.
Python will improve your overall programming skills. Its consistency, clean code, and philosophies borrowed from functional programming make it a pleasure to work with.
Also, because Python has a fully loaded library and an active community you’ll have no problem working with things you don’t understand.
Python does need specialist hosting, which can cost a little more. And Python developers aren’t as in-demand as PHP, .Net, or Java developers are.
However, the negatives are outweighed by the positives, and Python is an elegant language whose beauty, clarity and functionality make it a pleasure to work with.