What to Know When Working with WordPress VIP for the First Time

From the inception of WordPress VIP I’ve wondered what it was like to work on a VIP-hosted project. The hosting platform is notorious for being strict on code and process. On occasion, 3.7 DESIGNS would start a project that seemed like a good fit for the platform, but inevitably the projects would never get off […]

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Practicing Reliable Design

You may question first how reliability has anything to do with design, but it’s one of the most important aspects of design. I prioritize it over both usability and aesthetics. By the end of this post you will understand why websites commonly fail due to reliability issues and what you can do to prevent reliability failures […]

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Planning a Website or Website Redesign: First Things First

There is no greater factor in website success than the planning phase. You might be tempted to start planning with consideration to time, budget, and functionality, but doing so is putting the cart in front of the horse. Before you can figure out what you need to spend, how long it will take and what […]

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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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