Coffee Talk

Custom BuddyPress Developer and Designer

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BuddyPress adds social networking functionality to your WordPress site. By extending the WordPress core functionality, BuddyPress creates a robust and powerful social platform through features like profiles, groups, activity streams, friendships, private messaging and more. The possibilities BuddyPress affords include creating a niche social network, a campus network, a private/internal social network for your company, or a social network for your product or fans.

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Adaptive vs. Responsive Web Design

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You’ve most likely heard  the term “Responsive” when discussing the build or redesign of your website. Since the term was coined, the concept has been accepted as a best practice and the process has matured, so much so it’s all but expected for any new website project. For those that haven’t, Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design whose purpose is to provide an optimal viewing experience — easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling, and it does so across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). However, as hugely successful and user oriented as RWD has proven to be, it is not without its shortcomings, and those shortcomings are unfortunately a general misunderstanding it seems, as to what Responsive is and is not – and that misunderstanding can negatively impact your expectations as a client if you use the term inappropriately with your new design/programming team.

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How do you measure results in the Social Media landscape?

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Skipping across the net this morning with a cup of jet fuel in my hand I couldn’t help but LMAO when I stumbled across this Adobe video on YouTube. Social Media is an enigma to many clients just as SEO was and still is (a decade after realizing the necessity to engage but still refusing to do so with confidence it will impact your sales). What I see happening in the Social Media landscape is no different than that which we witnessed through every change on the internet (from the days of Flash and a client’s demand to have spinning logos to the realization content is what people want). Ignorance is bliss and still alive and well.

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Responsive Web Design – Penny Wise, Pound Foolish or Just Hype?

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The difference in design between print and web mediums is the limitation of the printed page vs. designing without constraints and engaging the flexibility (of the web).

Never-the-less web design must begin with a foundation (a creative theme that can carry the design and branding). Over the years I’ve asked many a client to consider the pre-construction phase as the building’s foundation – it defines its footprint, which defines its frame, which shapes the facade. Each phase of the architectural process is more immutable, more unchanging than the last. Creative decisions made now can define or limit the way in which people move through its confines.

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Designing Mobile-Specific Sites

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Sites have been being designed for mobile scenarios since the inception of mobile devices… but recently we’ve noticed a huge push towards entire sub-sites that are designed specifically to be viewed on small, handheld screens. Surprising? No, not with the current climate of smartphones outselling PCs and tablet sales surpassing even the most conservative of estimates. The majority of your visitors will likely be browsing your website on mobile devices by 2013 – and unfortunately most companies are not prepared for this dramatic shift in web communications.

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The Death of the Fold

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The traditional “fold” (the imaginary line on a screen that designates what content is visible before a viewer needs to scroll) became vague, unimportant, and nearly irrelevant in 2010.

Why? Because the traditional “screen” that people view the web through has undergone an explosion of variety… no longer can we expect web-surfers to be on something close to a 19″ monitor with a resolution somewhere between 1024×768 and 1280×700. Screens nowadays come in all shapes and sizes, from iPhones to 60″ HDTV’s. It’s not just resolution that can vary wildly though; the very aspect ratio of a screen (even on the same device like the iPhone) can change with the flick of the wrist. Sure, web designers will always be advised to keep the most important messages of a site near the top, but with so many new ways for web-surfers to view the web, there’s no longer a defined height for where content must be above.

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My dream job.

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I’ve been working my dream job for 19 years now, but if ever I were forced to return to the wild (imagining 2 mafioso types appearing at my door giving me option A, re-enter corporate USA, and option B, lose a limb) THIS would be my dream job. In new renderings released by our fearless leader Steve Jobs, Apple’s forthcoming campus in Cupertino resembles an “AppleSaucer.” The proposed 2.8 million-square-foot, 4-story, glass enclosed office designed by British Architect Norman Foster will house 13,000 employees, run primarily off of a  low-carbon central plant and wrap around a central park.

If your site isn’t social you’re not engaging your visitors.

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According to Nielsen Online, social networks and blogs are now the 4th most popular kinds of online activities. 67% of the world online population are now visiting them and the time they’re spending on them is growing by three times the overall growth rate of the internet. Social networks are now visited more often than personal email is read. Some social networks have grown to such enormous proportions that they rival entire countries in terms of population—if Facebook, for example, was a country, it would be the fifth-most-populated in the world (right between Indonesia and Brazil). So how do you make your site more user-friendly and social media focused?

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Change… it’s whats for dinner.

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You may dig your nails in the dirt and go kicking and screaming into the night, but the simple truth remains: change is good for you as a professional and for your business as a whole. Here are some radical mistakes many companies make, and how you can avoid getting ‘stuck’ along the way.

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