Paying Respect to the “WordPress Assembler”

Having recently returned from WordCamp US, I find myself wondering if we’re not paying enough respect to an important part of our community. Having met lots of new people, I noticed that how one uses WordPress comes up within the first few minutes of conversation. Many of those I met responded by saying they were […]

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Organizing a WordCamp, Lessons Learned After Two Years

I am writing this a few days after WordCamp Ann Arbor 2015. This was the second WordCamp where I was a lead organizer and the fourth WordCamp to which I provided overall assistance. Based on the feedback we have received thus far, WordCamp was a success. Attendees learned and networked, sponsors were able to support […]

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Getting Past the Blank Canvas

I’m sure you can picture a time when you’ve been ready to start a new design, opened up Photoshop or Sketch, stared at a blank canvas and felt totally clueless about where to start. This used to be a common issue for me but less so these days. While there is always some low level […]

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Modifying WordPress Post/Page Quick Links (subsubsub menu)

If you’ve ever done any permission management that alters what posts, pages or custom post types users see then you’ve probably run into an issue where the quick links at the top of the admin page are inaccurate. You may also find that you want to edit, alter or extend these links (which was the […]

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In Defense of Beautiful Web Design

Designing for “beauty” has come under fire by many bloggers (including yours truly.) The claim is that design is not making things “pretty,” it’s creating something to fulfill a defined objective. A beautiful spoon’s purpose is to hold liquid and is a failure if it can’t. Yet if you reverse the situation the design is […]

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Designing for Users and Stakeholders

A site’s purpose can be split into satisfying the needs of two very different groups: stakeholders and users. The stakeholders are the people who are commissioning the creation of the site — the individual(s) paying your bills (or salary). The users are the people who will actually visit the website and interact with it once […]

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The Root of All Design

The first and most important layer in the hierarchy of design needs is functionality. If functionality sends your mind to thoughts of scripting languages, databases, and programming I don’t blame you. The functionality of a site is often used to describe the tasks that will be performed by website developers, not designers. This is in […]

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I’ve learned to do things in batches

I used to furiously switch from task to task, completing small tasks as they came up while also working on a larger, longer term project. This felt good, like I was accomplishing things quickly — each small task crossed off the list was like increasing my score in the game of productivity. But while the small […]

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Great User Experiences Manage Ego Depletion

Ego depletion… it sounds like something Freud would talk about or maybe what you had for breakfast (that’s Eggo, not ego), but it’s actually a concept highly relevant to designing and building websites. Despite what it sounds like, ego depletion doesn’t refer to self-esteem but the energy you use to make a decision. Just like […]

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Using the Link Description in WordPress for Multi Line Menus

Designers aren’t cruel, sometimes they just don’t know better… I should know, I am one. If you’ve been developing for any amount of time you’ve run into a design concept that has great ideas without a great way to implement them. In my case, I often design first and worry about coding later. A few […]

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