Attleboro High students win web design contest

AHS WEB KIDS 6/215/17

ATTLEBORO

Computer information students from Attleboro High School dominated a recent web design competition sponsored by Bristol Community College.

Two-student teams of Attleboro juniors won first and second place in the competition that attracted students from throughout Southeastern Massachusetts.

Zion Armour and William Harmelink won the challenge with classmates Colby Goyette and Benjamin Tibnan coming in close behind.

At class on Wednesday, Armour and Harmelink said they learned a lot from the program.

They said the challenge was to use different computer languages to write codes to replicate a series of eight websites they were shown.

“At first I was leery of it, but it was definitely a learning experience,” Armour said.

Harmelink said he knew most of the languages he was required to use, but he did not consider himself fluent in them until the competition.

Teacher Frank Balcarcel said he started entering students in the competition as soon as he came to Attleboro High four years ago after seeing its benefits at another school.

He said knowing how to write codes and create websites prepares students for a number of jobs in the field.

Principal Bill Runey said the wins in the competition reflect highly on the career and technical education department at Attleboro High.

“Our CTE program continues to be a vehicle for our students to have relevant experiences. Mr. Balcarcel has provided them with an engaging opportunity that has prepared them to be competitive beyond the walls of AHS,” he said.

[“Source-thesunchronicle”]

Top San Jose Web Design Firm Awards Released for June 2017 by 10 Best Design

Image result for Top San Jose Web Design Firm Awards Released for June 2017 by 10 Best Design

Passionate and consistent awards organization 10 Best Design brings attention to web firms that are staffed by people with a drive for producing exceptional work. With the Best San Jose Web Design Firm List for June 2017, the organization highlights top-notch agencies on a list that garners respect and attention.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (PRWEB) June 23, 2017

10 Best Design recently presented the winners of its Best San Jose Web Design awards for June 2017. Rasteroids and Baunfire were among the honorees, along with Big Drop Inc.

The representatives of 10 Best Design are passionate about providing people with information and updates regarding which digital advertising firms can offer them excellent, effective services. As such, 10 Best Design is pleased to reveal its newest award category: Best Web Design Firm. This release provides a summary of the top San Jose Web design firms as well as several other digital firms that made the list.

Being one of the best web design firms, Big Drop Inc is the organization business owners should get in touch with when they realize that they’re in need of web design and development services that will increase their sphere of online influence. The professionals of this organization know which techniques to deploy for the purpose of making this happen, and one of them is responsive web design. The Big Drop Inc professionals utilize this strategy to ensure that the site is mobile-friendly, thereby ensuring that it can generate more traffic and sales. The Big Drop Inc reps also offer dynamic graphic design services that result in an incredibly innovative website that stands out from the cookie-cutter replicas that already exist in the online world.

Top web design agency Rasteroids Design is a community of dedicated, diligent site developers who thrive on helping business owners share their brand with online audiences in an interactive, engaging way. The techies of Rasteroids Design are passionate about maintaining a holistic approach to the web design and development process, and this means that they will optimize sites for all of the key components. Some of those components include mobile friendliness, functionality, engagement, and aesthetic appeal. Also note that the Rasteroids Design professionals maintain a client-centered outlook which ensures that the business owner’s specific interests and brand vision are always understood and respected.

Another top San Jose web design agency, BAUNFIRE is a community of sedulous, diligent digital marketing experts who operate in excellence so that the client can attain an exceptional return on investment (ROI). To ensure that the client’s website is absolutely incredible, the BAUNFIRE techies maintain an innovative approach that involves coming up with unique templates, backgrounds, colors and fonts. In addition to making the website aesthetically appealing, the BAUNFIRE representatives focus on optimizing sites for mobile friendliness, usability, and conversion.

[“Source-benzinga”]

Learn how to use Adobe apps, HTML, and CSS to become an in-demand web designer

This is a paid placement and if you buy something through this article or on the BGR Store we will receive compensation from retail partners.

Adobe has some awesome apps that really take design to the next level. And with The Web Design CPD Certification Bundle, you’ll get a lifetime subscription for just $39.

This bundle will teach you how to use Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Flash to up your design game. You’ll learn some of the crucial elements of web design, and you’ll also master the art of editing images on the computer. You’ll even learn how to create, code, and manage HTML sites with Dreamweaver.

Become an expert in using Adobe apps to design amazing things on your computer. A lifetime subscription to The Web Design CPD Certification Bundle is only $39.

[“Source-bgr”]

 

How to Start and Run a Successful Web Design Business?

How to Start and Run a Successful Web Design Business?

While listening to the stories of great web designers it seems that starting a web design business is much easy. But the process of starting your own business is not that easy as it seems; you not only need to have designing skills but along with that, a full-fledged plan and sincere efforts are also required to get your business run successfully.

Once designers get experience and acquire skills to handle projects on an individual basis, they think of working as a freelancer or starting their own web designing company. No doubt it is a good idea but it requires a blend of strategic thinking, thoughtful and skilled efforts, and tenacity to convert your dreams into reality. However, all those, who are planning to start their own web designing business, can refer to the below-given tips for a perfect start and seamless running of their web design business.

  • Know your strengths and weaknesses

Your strengths will let you choose main services you would be offering and your weaknesses will help you at avoiding wastage of time and energy on the things that can be handled by someone else.

If you have planned to start your own business then definitely you will be hiring some staff for it. So, a thing that you need to do at first is knowing the tasks you are excellent at and you would handle yourself, and knowing the ones for which you would need someone’s help.

  • Know your market

No doubt you would be delivering the services you are good at but don’t offer people what you are trying to sell. Instead, try to know what they are looking for and tailor your services to their needs. If you are finding it hard then you can get some potential clients to tell you about their requirements for web designs.

Ross Williams of Rawnet Ltd explains: “In the beginning there was a rush for everyone to have a website. Now the focus is on the most innovative and exciting.”

  • Have a clear thought about your offerings

Once you have known your market, enlist all your offerings. It depends on your skill set and talent that what services you would be offering to your clients. More clarity about offerings means greater chances of success. Here are some questions that you should ask to yourself for finalizing your services:

– If you want to deliver services all over the world or just to local clients?

– If you want the payment for the whole job or on an hourly or daily basis?

– If you will be managing the client relationships yourself or would hire a professional?

  • Design an attractive website

As people would be hiring you for web designing services, they will definitely notice the design of your own website to have an idea about the quality. So, design an attractive website to reflect your business to the best. It should be responsive, fast and engaging so that viewers will just enjoy the browsing process on it. Clear and easy navigation along with the relevant content are the two main things that will add value to your business website.

Andy Budd of Clearleft explains. “The quality of design work is so high, that you have to be really, really good to actually get work.”

  • Be active on the Social Media

Social Media is no more restricted to establish social connections among the people, its approach has reached a far behind that. It has become the excellent way to promote your services, drive traffic to your website, attract potential customers and form a network of the people who have the same niche. So, understand the importance of all the social media platforms and the way you can use them to maximize your business profits.

  • Show your credibility

When clients shop around for web designing services, they look for the experts. So, showing your credibility to the world is really essential. Mention all the essential educational details, certifications and work experiences on your profile as it would give people a reason to trust you and your services. Enhance your credibility by posting visual content about your area of expertise and by updating yourself as per the latest industry trends.

In the last, we would like to say that this is an era of tough competition, so you would need to keep patience and show perseverance regardless how many hardships you face to get started. And once you have an effective and thoughtful foundation in place, success will come your way on its own. It is well said by Gurpreet Walia, CEO at Suffescom Solutions- “The way to get started is to stop talking and start working as per your plans”.

 

 

[Source:- Entrepreneur]

Designing effective web surveys

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Web surveys are important tools that websites and businesses can use to gauge important feedback from their site visitors and customers. Web surveys are also somewhat unsung elements of a site because their role is primarily to collect data instead of being a main feature.

In e-commerce, and in any business really, determining what your customers want is largely based on directly asking them. Plus, doing so will also give you amazing insight into the user experience—what’s working, what’s not, and what could and should be improved!

So, as you see, using web surveys offers a lot of benefits. Of course, designing them properly has a lot to do with whether or not they’re successful for any site.

We’re going to skip the part about defining your survey’s objective and being clear on the type of feedback you want since that’s a given for any successful survey. Rather, we’ll only focus on the survey-design aspect.

1) THE USE OF IMAGES

You probably have a belief in your head that a web survey should be mostly just a bunch of rote lines all up and down the webpage, with each line asking a question. While that’s definitely the classic or old-school idea of a survey…designing it in such a stark and empty fashion won’t do any wonders for its conversion rate!

Using images throughout your survey—intelligently spaced and breaking up different sections—has been proven to influence the conversion rate, but also other, very important survey behaviors.

Survey Monkey ran an interesting experiment tied in to the 2015 UK elections. They had three treatments of their survey design, each with three, unique images—which was the only constant variation in the design (they phrased the question of who respondents wanted as PM differently in two of three designs). They wanted to determine how the click and completion rates were affected.

The images they used were:

  • The entrance to 10 Downing Street (where the British PM lives).
  • A color-coded map of the UK, colored by party representation.
  • Rosettes (ribbons for military decoration).

The map image performed the best in terms of the click rate, which was 9.3%. The Downing Street entrance did the worst with only 5.9%, and the rosettes has 8.2%.

On the completion rate side, the images didn’t really affect this stat, as both the map and Downing Street images had a completion rate of 89.9% while the rosettes did a bit better with 90.9%.

This makes a lot of sense, as images have been proven to affect the conversion rates of sites. On the web, using images in your design always leads to better results.

So when you’re designing surveys, don’t just include images, but think carefully about the ones you’re using. In surveys, they should relate somehow to respondent characteristics for maximum impact.

2) UNDERSTANDING THE LIMITATIONS OF MOBILE

When it comes to mobile, surveys are a double-edged sword. On one hand, more people are now using mobile than desktop, so more people than ever will be taking your survey on their smartphones. Unfortunately, the survey user experience is just worse on mobile for a number of reasons.

The big problem is time. Surveys on mobile take users anywhere from 11% to 50% longer to complete than those on desktop. Users and customers today value speed more than anything in UX, so the length of time for survey completion on mobile is definitely a big cause of friction.

This slowness boils down to three reasons in particular:

  • Server connections on mobile are just slower than high-speed, desktop Internet.
  • The smaller screen sizes of mobile make it harder to read and get through survey questions.
  • Users are just more distracted on their smartphones, particularly when attempting to do surveys in transit.

What can be done about this slow mobile speed?

For starters, don’t use matrix questions, which are those multiple questions shown on a grid. You’ve seen them anytime you’ve ever had to answer a survey question, but they aggravate the UX by forcing users to scroll up and down and left and right. Doing all of this on a small smartphone screen is clearly a nuisance. Instead, forego multiple choice questions and answers with more direct questions that only require a yes or no answer from users (and, therefore, no need for a grid).

Keep the length of your surveys relatively short to increase completions.

Of course, remember to always test your survey across various devices: iOS, Android and desktop.

ABOVE ALL: DESIGN FOR USER EXPERIENCE

Designers and developers are always taught to first design for the user experience. Designing a web survey can be a tad tricky since you’re not dealing with a conventional page, but it’s a great chance nonetheless to apply all that you know about designing for great UX.

The Laboratory for Automation Psychology and Decision Processes at the University of Maryland provides a set of helpful guidelines in web-survey design. The basic principles all have to do with presenting the survey in a user-friendly way.

Some helpful pieces of design advice include:

  • Putting your logo at the top left of the page and the navigation menu vertically, on the left side of the page.
  • All questions and answers should be left-aligned.
  • The response format should be positioned to the left of all response categories.

Besides these, it’s always a good idea to use design elements that encourage easy reading since your users/survey respondents will be scanning the length of the page to read the questions and, hopefully, complete the entire survey.

Further good practices include:

  • Using enough white space between the individual questions so users can focus on one question at a time without feeling like they have to squint or try hard to guess what the question is asking.
  • Using a size of font that’s easily readable on the web, especially on smaller screens for mobile; according to research from UXmatters, that would at least be 4-point for small mobile devices and 6-point for bigger mobile devices.
  • Using, if possible, numbers and/or bullet points to further break up the questions into smaller, more easily digestible chunks of text that’s easier to skim.

Overall, the web survey you design should be a joy to move through and answer—not a detestable chore that your users won’t finish.

POINTS TO CONSIDER

Web surveys can be an effective tool to get feedback from users, readers, clients and consumers of any given site. The catch is that they have to be designed for usability, so the respondents don’t abandon the survey before completion. You want good, usable data from any survey that you create!

So remember some important guidance:

  • Definitely use images, but be choosy and only use those relevant to survey respondents.
  • Always design your survey for mobile since more and more people use mobile even to answer surveys these days.
  • Follow basic UX principles to ensure survey readability and usability.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

 

What does Brexit mean for the web industry?

After the recent UK referendum result and Brexit looming on the horizon, many British designers find themselves contemplating what the future may hold. But what exactly does the Brexit outcome mean for the web industry? Here, British and European designers have their say…

Hidden opportunities

“It brings a lot of uncertainty,” says UX designer Anna Dahlstrom. “Right now I’m trying to find positives. The low pound makes it cheaper for clients outside of the UK to hire us and I hope that leads to working relationships that otherwise wouldn’t have happened. We’re a talented and creative bunch and Brexit isn’t changing that. Perhaps this mess will further fuel remote working and help bring more opportunities to areas of the UK where there currently are less.

Time to move?

Rachel Andrews, co-founder at Perch CMS says: “Many of the people I have spoken to since the referendum are seriously looking at moving all or part of their businesses into Europe – that includes everything from small companies like mine through to larger startups and big organisations. This is going to have an impact in terms of available jobs in the industry and the vibrancy of the UK tech scene.

Reinventing the wheel

“As the owner of an agency based in a non-EU country, I can say this much: hiring talent from outside is vital, and in Switzerland this has become very difficult,” says Oliver Reichenstein, founder of Information Architects.

“Having offices in Berlin and Tokyo helps. In a financial depression agencies are the first to be hit, and the last to profit from an upswing. With today’s in- and far-sourcing trend, more UX designers and developers will continue to move to corporations, work as freelancers or temp staff. We will have to use our creativity upon ourselves and reinvent how we do business, maybe even letting go of the current model that was fit for the advertising industry. Brexit may accelerate the inevitable.”

Lasting damage

Research director at Monotype Emma Boulton says: “As design professionals, my husband and I made a conscious decision a few years ago to start a business in Wales rather than overseas. We felt that the design industry here, in a UK embedded in Europe, was by far the best place for us.

“Wales has enjoyed an annual net benefit of £245m from the EU, some of which has enriched the digital and arts sectors here. It’s impossible to think of the UK in design terms without Europe. Our rich culture and heritage is interwoven and I can’t help but feel that we will see real and lasting damage by withdrawing.”

Rise in costs

Those who encouraged voters to leave the EU characterised the institution as a redundant bureaucracy, holding us back and making our lives unnecessarily complicated,” comments designer, author and web accessibility advocateHeydon Pickering. “This couldn’t be further from the truth. Unless we are able to negotiate a deal which preserves free movement, typically footloose workers such as web designers – who tend to travel and relocate frequently, dealing with international clients and organisations – will likely see rises in both the cost and the complexity of accessing the global marketplace.”

Time for change

“We are in a crisis of a democracy,” says designer and entrepreneur Lauren Currie. “Brexit was a backlash against the political elite and a reflection of the unrest that has been sleeping beneath the surface for decades. We need to spread the ability to motivate, educate, inspire and inform. Designers are a breed of craftspeople who have the ability to do this. Designers pride themselves in getting beneath the surface of a problem. Now is our chance. I often meet creatives who talk avidly about changing the world. Now is our time!

Money is tight

Left Logic founder Remy Sharp says: “In running an event and needing sponsorship, we’ve seen a disproportionate number of companies turning us down, explaining that they’re reviewing their entire budget process. Money is tight. Personally, I’ll be looking for work that will benefit from a weak GBP. Then there’s our non-UK colleagues who suddenly don’t know whether they’ll remain in the UK, as much as they love the country. Leaving the EU feels like we’re closing a door. This is unlike our industry. Unlike the web.”

 

 

[Source:- webdesignernews]

Can web design stand the test of time?

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2016 marks my twentieth year as a web designer. While it’s crazy to think that so much time has gone by, it’s downright cringe-worthy to think of the sites I designed back then. Seriously, some of them look like they belonged in the dark corner of shame atGeoCities.

Humor aside, it’s understandable if a website built 20 years ago doesn’t quite live up to today’s expectations for form and function. After all, both technology and taste have changed a whole lot over that amount of time.

And, as designers, we evolve with those changes. Our existing skills are honed as we continue to learn new ones. New tools arrive to replace the old and outdated.

But it’s worth wondering if the sites we’ve created more recently will hold up better than their ancient predecessors. Is that even possible?

IS WEB DESIGN CYCLICAL?

It seems that, at some point, just about every print design trend from the last half of the 20th century has made a comeback. The illustrated print ads of the 1950s, the psychedelic 60s, groovy 70s, futuristic 80s and grungy 90s have all been brought back into vogue.

If anything, web design has always been more about pushing forward than looking back

But what about web design? Well, I’m not always up on the latest fads but I haven’t seen table-based layouts or large images sliced into a hundred pieces much recently. Once in a while you see something from the past, but it’s usually as the butt of a joke. That sense of nostalgia just isn’t the same.

If anything, web design has always been more about pushing forward than looking back. But with all of the improvements made in recent years – maybe this could change to a degree.

LOOKING BACK TO MORE RECENT TIMES

As opposed to what I did in the 1990s and early 2000s, looking five or six years into the past brings me a different type of cringe. The designs themselves don’t get me—it’s more about functionality and how I chose to implement it.

2010 began the “WordPress Era” of my career, where I began using it regularly for site building. In those early days of creating with WordPress, my knowledge of how to get things done in development wasn’t quite as sharp. Plus, the software didn’t have as many helpful administrative and developmental features. So naturally, both the software and I have improved over time. Now, I’ve got a real comfort level and a process for it all (which, of course, means that it will all completely change any minute).

Probably the biggest thing missing from this time period is responsive design

Design-wise, I can certainly see that my work is a bit different now than it was then. Some of the more advanced CSS3 techniques weren’t widely used yet. Probably the biggest thing missing from this time period is responsive design. That was all coming into light but not as universal as it is now.

While the designs are different, they still look respectable (to me, anyway). Six years is certainly a lot less time for a design to get dated than twenty. But I’ll be interested in looking back on this crop of sites after a few more years and see how they hold up.

STEPPING INTO THE FUTURE

So how will the website you launched today hold up over time? I’d argue that, while the design trends will undoubtedly change, what we do today will hold up fairly well years from now.

That’s because we have reached a time when readability, accessibility and adherence to standards are so widely recognized and implemented by designers and developers.

It’s easy to see now that the designs of 15-20 years ago were, for the most part, missing those principles that we now hold dear. Not necessarily because designers didn’t care about them, but a lot of those concerns simply weren’t known at the time. The web was a new medium and best practices weren’t around in any widespread manner.

In that way, if we create something today that implements those best practices, we’re apt to have fewer cringe-worthy moments when looking back at our portfolios.

That’s not to say that we won’t have a laugh at a color choice or a bad stock photo we used. Those things will always change with the times. It just won’t be that put-a-paper-bag-over-your-head terrible site I mentioned earlier.

NOW, TO ANSWER THE QUESTION…

Designers will continue to push their craft forward – always finding new and creative ways to tell a story. While that’s important, it seems like the really big changes will be in what tools we’re designing with and the platforms we use to build websites.

Change will present new challenges and creative opportunities for designers

WordPress, for example, is planning to use a lot more JavaScript in its UI. Version 4.3 of the popular Jetpack plugin is going to use React.jsfor its administrative interface.

This type of change will present new challenges and creative opportunities for designers. Maybe that means our designs might not look dated as much as the way we implement them will.

So, I believe I have arrived at an answer: Yes, a web designer’s portfolio can stand the test of time. Just not in the nostalgic, cyclical way of print design. Technology simply won’t let us rehash the past very much.

Instead, we can look at a well-done website from 2016 and say that it looked and worked as it should given the technological constraints of the time. That’s something we should all be proud of—no matter how many years go by.

 

[Source:- Webdesignerdepot]

 

Pretty isn’t enough…designing the web with brand values

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Websites have become table stakes for companies. Even the newest start-ups—who don’t yet have products—have a website. The reason being, a website is the front door to a brand. It is the first opportunity, in an available and relatively inexpensive way, for customers, employees, and the world to understand who they are, why they do what they do and what they’re all about.

So why do so many websites end up resembling an interactive brochure?

I go back to the fact that today, websites are ‘available and relatively inexpensive.’

Website builders have promised, “to help anyone build a beautiful home online.” And they often keep this promise. But what they don’t say is that the home will be more of a tract home. To make sites available to everyone (no coding or design knowledge required), your site will be based on a template. Those templates are generic enough that the same template is used by a non-profit, a fashion line, and a punk rock band. The change comes visually—different colors, photos and typefaces. However, moving off of the homepage and hero image, the experience from site to site feels similar.

A website is an opportunity to communicate a brand identify and purpose, therefore it should showcase what makes you you. Right now, too many businesses are missing this opportunity.

EXPRESSING BRAND VALUES

Your values are core to any brand. They are what helps you translate what a brand is promising conceptually, to how a brand is keeping that promise experientially.

Patagonia’s core values are: Quality, Integrity, Environmentalism, and Not bound by Convention. Their website is beautiful, with high quality photos of people wearing the products in adventurous places. However, if I knew nothing else about the brand than the website, they wouldn’t feel different from any other adventure brand trying to sell me a fleece jacket.

Their values are what makes Patagonia unique. Thinking about “Not bound by convention”, what can that look like as navigation? Right now the shop is organized by man, woman, child, etc; pretty conventional. Is there a different way to think about this where maybe everything is organized by item type without gender or age classification? Maybe that specific classification is actually about fit not gender/age, and so that selection can be done at point-of-purchase sizing.

Changing something to better express the brand values can change the way we understand the brand after an interaction.

VALUES DICTATE INTERACTION

Modern day consumers have much higher expectations of customer service experience. Either it’s not enough—all that is provided is a 1.800 number—or it’s too much—there’s a help chat box that keeps popping up every time you are on a new page. For some brands, where service is truly at its core, figuring out the right approach is incredibly important.

One of Southwest’s values is “a servant heart”. Why then is the “Contact Us” only available on the footer for the general pages? When I need help, it’s usually because I have a question about my flight reservation. A better solution would be a slider on the side at all times that reads “Can I help you?” So that when I look at my flight reservation I can easily ask questions via chat.

While many customers may decide never to contact Southwest via this channel, the point is that if they’d made it available, anytime, anywhere, it would demonstrate they encourage communication and appear to be proactive—really conveying the meaning behind that core value.

ENGAGING WITH PHYSICAL SPACE

For brands with digital and physical touchpoints, an important consideration is how they compliment each another. There are different expectations on each medium, and while they don’t always need to work together in unison, they should always be in harmony.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has a mission statement to: “serve the public through the collection, conservation, exhibition and interpretation of significant works of art…” Their website is a solid information hub with pretty pictures and everything you’d need in order to visit the museum—however it’s not responsive. By building a mobile site that integrates ways for visitors to enhance their museum experience LACMA can further strengthen their mission to educate and engage the city of LA.

For example, could the audio tour be loaded on the website allowing a visitor to use their own cellphone and earbuds? Could QRS codes be added in the center of a room, and when a visitor scans them, it provides them with relevant information about the artwork in that room?

While it doesn’t always make sense for web and world to interact in this manner, LACMA’s mission suggests it’s about driving visitors to come to the museum. Adding in museum interactive aspects to the website would allow visitors to interact without having to download an app.

Many companies using WYSIWYGs cannot invest in custom web development, but these questions can help you to get to the next level of experience. Content development, choice in template, it’s important to consider what these are saying about your brand. While having a website may be table stakes, going beyond a pretty digital brochure can make it something truly meaningful.

 

[Source: webdesignerdepot]

Google pushes new scheme for native-like Web apps

Web apps are dead. Long live Web apps.

Dissatisfied with the quality of Web apps compared to their native cousins, Google is pursuing its Progressive Web Apps concept, which looks to combine the best of the Web and the best of apps. Intended for any form factor, Progressive apps load quickly even on questionable network connections, send push notifications, and have an icon on the home screen.

“The way that we think of Progressive Web Apps is they use modern Web capabilities, they deliver an app-like user experience,” said Alex Komoroske, Google group product manager for the Chrome platform, in an interview. “Also they evolve from just pages and browser tabs on mobile into top-level apps, all with the low friction of the Web.”

Progressive Web Apps, he said, are “a consciousness raiser, helping developers see that they can do more than they sort of thought they could do with the Web.”

Several technologies are key to Progressive Web Apps. One is an application shell architecture, in which HTML, CSS, and JavaScript load fast, are cached, and enable dynamic content to populate a view. “Think of your app’s shell like the bundle of code you’d publish to an app store if building a native app — it’s the load needed to get off the ground, but might not be the whole story. Keep your UI local and pull in content dynamically through an API,” according to the Google Developers Web page.

Then there’s Service Workers, in which a script runs in the background in the browser, separate from the Web page, responding to events like network requests. A Google Chromium project, Service Workers supports offline experiences and enables development of experiences that load quickly upon returning to them.

App Install Banners enables a Web app to be easily added to a home screen without leaving the browser. Push and Notifications, meanwhile, features events in which the server supplies a message to the Service Worker, which then sends the information to the user. (The W3C manages the Push and Notification APIs.) Apps are served via HTTPS to prevent tampering with content.

In a blog post earlier this year, Alex Russell, a Web developer working on Chrome, Blink, and the Web Platform at Google, explained that with Progressive Web Apps, the site starts out as a regular tab but is built with such capabilities as Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Responsive Design. “When launched from the home screen, these apps blend into the environment; they’re top-level, full-screen, and work offline.”

He adds, “When users engage with Progressive Apps enough, browsers offer prompts that ask users if they want to keep them. To avoid spaminess, this doesn’t happen on the first load,” Russell said. Building immersive apps using Web technology “no longer requires giving up the Web itself,” he said. “Progressive Apps are our ticket out of the tab, if only we reach for it.”

Google does not see Progressive Web Apps as strictly the domain of its Chrome browser; Mozilla also has participated, Komoroske said. “Actually, we’ve been co-developing these with Mozilla since the very beginning.” While Google sees use of Progressive Web Apps concepts like Service Workers being in an early stage, growth is happening, said Komoroske. For example, Google sees 350 million push notifications a day and 2.2 billion page loads a day using Service Workers.

 

[Source: PCA]

Microsoft drives an Edge between Adobe and the web: Flash ads blocked

Microsoft will disable Flash ads by default in new versions of its Edge browser.

The Redmond software peddler said the upcoming Anniversary Update to Windows 10 will introduce a switched-on setting that disables some Flash content, requiring users to specifically activate Adobe’s plugin. If you have the Windows Insider preview build 14316, then you already have the feature.

“One of our top priorities in building Edge has been that the web should be a dependably safe, performant, and reliable place for our customers,” Microsoft said in announcing the feature.

“To that end, we’re introducing a change to give users more control over the power and resources consumed by Flash.”

With the new setting, Flash-based ads and animations in the browser window will not load by default. Things like video in the center of the page will be loaded as usual, but peripheral stuff will be frozen by default.

Microsoft noted that the change will help conserve memory and processor use by disabling the auto-run features some pages use for Flash ads. It will also help improve security by disabling malicious ads that exploit combinations of Flash and JavaScript vulnerabilities to inject malware into PCs.

That should, in turn, help to reduce the popularity of Flash as a target for “drive-by” exploits and malware downloads, at least amongst newer Windows systems that have switched over to Edge from Internet Explorer.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is urging developers and publishers to move away from Flash and towards HTML5 for rich web content. Google is also trying to hoof people off Flash ads.

“This transition to modern web standards has benefited users and developers alike,” Microsoft said. “Users experience improved battery life when sites use efficient web standards, lowering both memory and CPU demands.”

As always, make sure you have the most recent Edge security patches installed to keep ahead of exploits targeting Microsoft’s browser.

 

[Source:- Theregister]