It’s no secret that at this point COVID-19 has impacted everyone around us. There are so many uncertainties, and everyone is looking for some clarity. Here’s a short blog post on how your brand can offer some clarity to website visitors using one of our favorite digital tools, Boxzilla.

What is Boxzilla?

Boxzilla is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to easily show a popup to visitors on your website. We install this plugin on every WordPress site that we deploy. The official Boxzilla website describes the plugin as offering “conversion boosting boxes” but I’m more of an advocate of using the…

It’s weird to think that I’ve been interacting with a computer in some fashion since 1996. If you do the math, that’s 24 years of computer usage. The first 16 years were relatively painless, aside from the occasional term paper in college. Suddenly after college, computers went from a source of enjoyment (and at that point, income), to a source of physical pain. Here’s my story of what happened, why it happened, and how I’m now able to stay relatively pain free as a web developer.

When and How the Pain Began

For years, I worked from a laptop in a manner that did not involve…

We’re always looking for new ways to enable our clients at Storyware to share their content with users. Sometimes that means a new CMS, and sometimes that means an entirely new piece of technology. Today, we’re diving into Alexa Development and the voice design space.

What is Alexa?

Alexa is Amazon’s cloud-based voice service that allows users to retrieve information or accomplish tasks by using their voice. Users interact with Alexa via one of Amazon’s many Echo Devices or through the Alexa smart phone app.

Echo devices come in a variety of sizes at different price points. Many Alexa users start with the…

Richmond via Unsplash user @kathauguste.

A career in web development is pretty great for a lot of reasons, and I’d be lying if I didn’t list the ability to work remotely towards the top of that list. I remember when I first started getting paid to build websites from my couch in college and how liberating it felt. The ability to work remotely opened up an entire new world to me, so long as the wifi was fast and reliable.

While traveling is awesome, and I could write a blog post in itself on how to work remotely (and effectively) while traveling, I don’t do…

Occasionally I feel nostalgic about some of the “old” things from my early days in Web Development — like building websites on Yahoo! Geocities or customizing MySpace profiles via HTML and CSS. One thing that I’ll never feel nostalgic about is deploying website changes via FTP or SFTP. No way do I miss keeping track of which files need to be drag and dropped into Cyberduck, or splitting file uploads to avoid timeout errors. Deployment tools such as Envoyer have made life so much easier.

What is Envoyer?

Envoyer is an atomic deployment tool that allows us to deploy code changes quickly and…

A couple of years ago we decided to try a different approach to applying heading styles in our projects at Storyware. We stopped styling heading elements directly and started defining CSS utility classes for each stylistic need; much like you would see in an Atomic CSS workflow.

Many novice developers tend to use heading elements (h1, h2, h3, etc.) based on the desired stylistic result, and not the semantic meaning. For example, the heading on a main page may have a font-size of 36 pixels, and then an element elsewhere on the page with no true semantic meaning in terms…

If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my time at this year’s Smashing Conference (presented by Smashing Magazine) it’s that the end of the web as we know it is quite near.

Is the whole web going to disappear? Obviously not. But part of the web is dying, and for good reason: a serious lack of creativity. Author and designer Stephen Hay mourned the loss of storytelling on websites today, a huge problem because, as he put it, humans are “wired for stories.” …

Media queries are pretty great, enabling a single website to put its best foot forward no matter what size device the content is viewed on. Without media queries, Front End developers would likely still be relegated to serving up two separate websites for one entity: one for small, mobile devices, and one for larger desktop devices. I like to think of the time before media queries as a dark and scary place that we have mostly moved beyond.

For all of the amazing things that Media Queries allow developers to do, they can also greatly complicate maintenance and code readability…

Note: This article was written before Hubspot released HubDb, a solution for creating database-driven features for Hubspot blogs and websites. If your project has access to HubDb, then we would recommend using that solution. Access to HubDb does require a fee of $300 a month for the website add-on, so this article could be seen as a cheaper alternative for small projects.

We recently worked with a client to create a Related Products Widget on their Hubspot blog. The requirements called for a dynamic display of products that would be managed in one place, and for each product listing to…

1. You can learn a lot about Mobile UX from 4 year olds and My Little Pony

No, really. On two recent mobile-based re-designs, educator and UX designer Andrew Smyk chose to swap out a client’s content for ponies (of the My Little Pony variety) and then presented the pony-based prototypes to his four year old daughter to test. Why? Because every interface should be simple enough for a child to navigate.

My Little Pony
My Little Pony

Andrew’s experiment provided his team invaluable insight into content placement, expected gestures, and common UI patterns. Here’s what his team learned from his 4-year-old daughter:

  • Regardless of age…

Page Wood

Web Developer & UX Designer |

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