November Update – Voice User Interface

What is Voice User Interface Design?

A voice-user interface (VUI) makes human interaction with computers possible through a voice/speech platform in order to initiate an automated service or process.” VUI design focuses on the process of interaction design for the user and the voice application system.

Smartphone with microphone icon highlighted

Everything You Should Know About Voice User Interface Design in 2018

Language is a communication method unique to human beings. We are now in the era of rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) which will inevitably liberate our hands through the use of a Voice User Interface (VUI). Voice User Interface is a major trend in 2018 and has become a part of our daily lives. VUI is used in smartphones, smart homes, smart TVs, and a range of other products. All over the world, people are getting used to talking to Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana, or Bixby.

Voice User Interface design is a promising brand new field which provides solutions through voice control. With VUI and GUI combined, human-machine interaction can be enhanced and streamlined using input via facial expressions, gestures, and audio.

We encourage readers to follow this link for more information.

How to Design Voice User Interfaces

If you are new to designing voice user interfaces, you may quickly find yourself unsure of how to create great user experiences. The way users interact with voice user interfaces is very different from how they interact with graphical ones. Not surprisingly, users’ expectations for voice user interfaces are that the interaction will be more like communicating than using technology, because they associate voice and talking to other people, not technology. Voice user interfaces are growing in number, sophistication and reasonably priced availability. Here, you will learn what the users expect from voice communication and get practical guidelines for how to design great voice user interfaces.

This article has more information on designing the voice interface.

The Impact of Voice in UX Design

In the article The Impact of Voice in UX Design: And what to do about it, everything related  web and application designers, voice interaction represents, perhaps, the biggest UX challenge since the dawn of the touchscreen age has been explained.

  • Voice 101
  • What is Voice UI?
  • The Rise Of Voice
  • The Impact Of Voice On Web Design
  • The importance of words
  • Understanding user intent and adaptability
  • Engagement and personalization

The continuing growth of voice UX is undoubtedly a welcome development – as evidenced by the proliferation of platforms and devices integrating the tech, and the increasing number of people getting acclimated to using voice.

Some additional links

For those who would like to learn more about voice interfaces and various uses, we recommend these articles.

Voice user interface is emerging as a major trend in 2018. Readers should understand the implications and begin thinking of how best to incorporate this technology into their business goals.

As always, we look forward to your comments and feedback (whether you are a member or not).

We encourage members (and non-members) check out our social media channels. If you aspire to be a web professional and don’t know where to start, we offer a number of beginning classes to our members via our School Of Web learning management system. As a member, your first class is free.

 

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Accessibility and WordPress Gutenberg

What is WordPress Project Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is more than an editor. While the editor is the focus right now, the project will ultimately impact the entire publishing experience including customization (the next focus area). Gutenberg looks at the editor as more than a content field, revisiting a layout that has been largely unchanged for almost a decade. This allows us to holistically design a modern editing experience and build a foundation for things to come.

Here is the link to get more information on the Gutenberg plugin.

WordPress logos on blue background.

Accessibility in Gutenberg

There is an accessibility team which provides accessibility expertise across WordPress to improve the accessibility of WordPress core and resources. The WordPress Accessibility Coding Standards states that all new or updated code released in WordPress must conform to the WCAG 2.0 guidelines at level AA. This is a good standard and an industry best practice.

However, this standard does not seem to be followed within Gutenberg. How accessible is Gutenberg in its current state (version 2.4)? The internal WordPress Accessibility team set up a list of minimum requirement, did code reviews and research, gave recommendations and set up user tests. Here is their short answer –

  • Gutenberg still needs extensive work to meet basic standards, like keyboard accessibility and semantics.
  • Especially for screen reader users, Gutenberg as it stands right now is a dramatic step back in usability.
  • There is a need to write a manual/documentation for assistive technology users.

The article Accessibility in Gutenberg – state of play written by Rian Rietveld focuses on the current state of Gutenberg accessibility.

Accessibility

Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web says the power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone, regardless of disability, is an essential aspect.

The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, location, or ability. When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability.

The impact of disability is radically changed on the Web because the Web removes barriers to communication and interaction which many people face in the physical world. However, when web sites, applications, technologies, or tools are badly designed, they can create barriers that exclude people from using the Web.

Accessibility is essential for developers and organizations that want to create high quality websites and web tools, and not exclude people from using their products and services.

There are problems the accessibility team encountered as they tried to make the Gutenberg editor experience more accessible. The accessibility team lead of WordPress has resigned. The code base of Gutenberg is difficult to modify because no one in the WordPress accessibility team is a skilled React developer. So it was hard to implement changes. A lot of accessibility work has been done by the Gutenberg team but major issues still exist.

Another problem is that there was no React developer with accessibility experience in the community, and no React accessibility experts from outside the community were willing to work on the issues for free.

Rian Rietveld’s post – I have resigned as the WordPress accessibility team lead. Here is why explains more about some of the problems regarding accessibility.

Brad Frost provided another article about the accessibility in WordPress and why the WordPress accessibility team resigned.

Accessibility in Websites should be a core requirement

Since WordPress powers a significant number of websites (32% according to this WordPress statistics site), WordPress should be a leader with established best practices and web standards. Certainly, one can still use the classic editor (as a plugin) once Gutenberg is released, but that is only a temporary work around. How long will this classic editor survive? For those who need a refresher on accessibility, we offer the following resources/ reminders.

Project Gutenberg is scheduled for release on November 19. As a professional organization, we are very concerned that significant accessibility problems remain just before the official launch. We have been a proponent of web standards (including accessibility) for over 2 decades and find this approach troubling. We understand the need to improve WordPress to remain competitive in the marketplace. However, this should not be achieved with a loss of accessibility in the process. Since this project is a foundation for future enhancements to WordPress, accessibility issues must be addressed (and addressed soon).

What are your thoughts about Project Gutenberg and accessibility? We look forward to your comments.

 

 

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Learning about DevRel for the Asian market at DevRelSummit Singapore

I’m in the lounge of the Singapore Airport waiting for my flight. Yesterday I spent the whole day at DevRel Summit in a fancy event space listening to peers and colleagues how they tackle the task of reaching out to developers in the Asian market.

I didn’t have any speaking slot at this event, so I took the time to take a lot of photos and take lots of live notes of the event

I was very happy to be able to help out with a workshop for the leadership of the Asian Women Who Code chapter, giving an “Ask Me Anything” style Q&A in the local Microsoft office.

The things I was asked about the most were:

  • How to get invited to present at events. I pointed out that having a good online portfolio with what you can cover, examples of your work and your speaking terms and conditions help a lot. Feel free to fork and change my terms and conditions on GitHub
  • How to deal with bad feedback online
  • How much to charge for speaking engagements
  • How to ensure that more diverse people get a chance to represent your company

Many of the answers I gave sparked a constructive discussion amongst the directors of Women Who Code and resulted in answers presented at the closing panel of the DevRel summit.

I look forward to working more on this.

The summit was organized by the same people who run the DevRelSummit in Seattle, Barry Munstersteiger and Sandra Persing, together with a local crew and MC. It was held in a hotel in Clarke Quay, an entertainment section of town close to places for the after party and walking distance from my hotel. The event space was good, with excellent catering, good room facilities and excellent WiFi. A few more power outlets and a better sound system would have been beneficial, but the ample space to sit down and have conversations made up for it.

DevRel Summit

Some talk feedback

  • Jarod Reyes of Twilio did a really good job talking about reaching Dark Matter Developers, aka the ones not publicly visible (a term coined by Scott Hanselman) showing how Twilio found out more about their developers by doing in-depth research and surveys on what they are and altering their outreach and materials accordingly. It is also interesting to see that Twilio has a defined content creation program that offers money per article to people who want to write for them and give them writing training. They also have an open policy for people to ask for event sponsorship and they have a game you can host, Twilio Quest, that teaches coding and participating in open source.
  • Tomomi Imura of Slack explained where developers go to learn based on the Stackoverflow survey and described how to create developer education materials for different types of learners based on the VARK system (which is loosely based on the Honey&Mumford research into learner types). She also gave her insights into how to reach out to developers in Japan with important information how to run events.
  • Yohann Totting of Google explained in detail how they localized Google’s devrel model to the Indonesian market based on a government hackathon he organized. In the notes there are some interesting numbers on that.
  • Ali Spivak of Mozilla did a great job describing how Mozilla uses a data-driven approach to developer outreach and how they scaled and diversified their speaking engagements by training up community speakers. This is directly based on the work I started when I worked at Mozilla and fun to see how it worked out.
  • Keir Whittaker of Shopify had a very detailed talk about how Shopify had a different problem than other DevRel organisations as they reach marketplace owners with a slight developer angle or resellers and not developers. I was impressed with his candidness about what worked and what didn’t
  • The closing panel with directors of different Asian countries of Women Who Code was a good insight into how they work differently from country to country
  • The biggest win for us according to my agenda of learning more about the Asian market was the talk by Thomas Gorissen, organizer of JSConf Asia who gave a detailed talk about what the developer landscape and company interests are in Singapore

Summary

I had a great time and met a lot of lovely people to follow up with on right now. There is a lot of opportunity in the market in Asia and the differences to what the landscape is like in Europe is a good challenge to tackle. Thank you for the organisers and everyone involved to make this a great event worth the long flight.

Live notes

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Web Design Trends 2019

Website Design Trends for 2019

For those who are already thinking about 2019 and what web design trends will be popular, we provide a starting analysis. Technological advancement has revolutionized the way we interact, socialize and do business and there will continue to be significant innovation and improvements in web design in 2019 and beyond. We all want our clients to get greatest and latest when it comes to their sites so it is not too soon to be thinking about 2019 trends in this area.

We found a lot more information about these new design trends in 2019 at Website Trends – 2019.

Graphic depicting computer monitors looking over a cityscape with building displaying binary numbers

10 Predicted Trends of 2019

  1. The Rise of CSS3 Animations – Animations have hit the web market. They are being used in the websites to enhance a site’s experience and make it more interactive. Animations include background videos, motion graphics, scrolling effects, micro-interactions. CSS animation is a powerful feature which has gained serious attraction by the users. SVG animations have set the new standards into the field of web animation. There is no quality loss in SVG graphic even if we render or resize.
  2. Parallax scrolling – Take the visitors on a journey about your product and they will love it. Parallax helps you to grab attention and create a certain sphere around your products. It helps you to promote a greater chance of connecting because the innovative design improves the site’s desirability. Such parallax websites provide a dynamic experience which encourages the user to stay longer on the page.
  3. Typography improvements – A beautiful art of arranging the text and making it more appealing when displayed. Playing with fonts would be risked if you fail to choose. Perfect font, size of font, spacing between the lines.
  4. Material DesignThere are a certain minor thing which you change and the users will love. It is a design framework developed by Google which provides amazing benefits to the user. We expect both material design and flat design will continue to be popular in 2019.
  5. . Video Headers – Video headers are becoming popular. The best thing is to keep a dark video with light text. It creates a great impact with good readability. Above that YouTube makes it simple if the user wants to add the embed code for the video. Don’t forget to make certain your video is captioned and accessible for all.
  6. Icon Library Icons have taken a huge place in the website market. Developers take more advantage in making their design more eye catchy. The best part in using the Icon Library is that we can apply CSS effects to them. Icons have vector graphic, so the image is scalable without losing the quality. The size of the image is small so it helps to load into the website faster and above that, it supports all the browsers.
  7. Card Layouts – Websites now being responsive, the web pages are broken into smaller parts called Card Layout. Each card/the constituent part of the page will have information viz. title, an image, certain icons etc. There might contain a short note/product information. N number of websites have digested the card-based layout.
  8. Hero ImagesUsing big images has been the latest trend on the website nowadays. It creates a great visual impact on the store visitor. Parallax scrolling works best when you use the Hero Images because the design gets divided into screens which creates uniqueness in your website.
  9. Responsive Design Any website design having flexibility among all the screen resolutions and the devices are the most important approach among all the trends. The optimal viewing experience makes it easy for the viewers in reading the content at their ease, resizing, scrolling from desktop to mobile is not an issue now. It creates a great user experience and is cost-effective which is also recommended by Google. It is very easy to manage as the website has one URL and HTML, regardless of the device. As it makes it easier for users to share and interact with the link provided.
  10. The Hamburger MenuHamburger Menu is simply three parallel horizontal lines which are used as a button on the website. Different themes and project take different types of Hamburger Menu in order to complement the design. It is usually displayed on the top left or right. There are many users who do not have the idea about the hamburger menu. But there is one simple solution if we pair the icon with the word “MENU” it will help to increase the interactions.

Some more 2019 Web Design Trends

Staying current on web design trends is crucial to the success of your website. A lot changes every twelve months in terms of popularity with visuals, algorithm updates, and best practices. In the article 2019 Web Design Trends we can read about more Website Design Trends.

  1. Speed – How much time get to make a good impression with a potential customer
  2. Flat Design – Flat design doesn’t mean that everything is reduced down to two dimensions and it’s all about minimalism and usability. This is Apple’s approach and is somewhat counter to Google’s Materials design. We expect to see both increase in popularity next year. For those who need a refresher on these terms, we recommend this article at 99designs.
  3. Mobile First – With mobile sites taking priority away from desktop sites, it’s no wonder that mobile first design has become a trend. Mobile first web design is about changing the way that websites are designed fundamentally. We expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future.
  4. Broken Grid/Asymmetrical Layouts – When we talk about broken grids or asymmetrical layouts, this refers to the grid system that has been used for decades on all kinds of layouts, from web pages to newspapers to print and outdoor ads.
  5. Shapes – As a middle ground trend between the minimalism of flat design and the controlled chaos of broken grid lies the trend of geometric shapes.
  6. Single Page Design – Speed and minimalism are the trends that come up again and again when talking about web design in 2019, which is a major reason why single page design, also known as page-less design.
  7. Video Backgrounds – with speed being such a huge factor this year that videos would bog down a site too much, but, interestingly, video backgrounds have been shown to increase conversions.
  8. Micro-Animations – Micro-animations are a powerful way to provide an intuitive and satisfying experience to your user as they browse your website. This is accomplish through small animations that help the user understand the site and validate them when they mouse over or click on an element, such as changing the color of a button when the cursor moves over it.
  9. Chatbots/Machine Learning – Over the last several years, interacting and communicating with bots has become more and more normal. Bots, or chatbots, are becoming increasingly common on websites and micro-interactions across digital media.

More Resources

In this week we reviewed web site design trends for 2019. If you are working with clients or thinking of redesigning a site, we recommend you think about these trends. As always, we are interested in your comments and insights.

We encourage members (and non-members) check out our social media channels. If you aspire to be a web professional and don’t know where to start, we offer a number of beginning classes to our members via our School Of Web learning management system. As a member, your first class is free.

 

 

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Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a fancy term for a dead simple task – getting more of your website visitors to take the appropriate action. Note we said that the visitor’s side of the equation is simple, and it is. All they have to do is sign up for an email list or buy a product or service – whatever it is that is the reason for your site’s existence.

For the rest of us website owners desperately seeking the Holy Grail that will ratchet our conversions up, the task is more complicated, especially if you’re new to the whole art/science/voodoo that is modern CRO.

CRO path

But you can rest easy. Even if you’re the wettest behind the ears newbie imaginable, we’re about to open up a world of possibilities by presenting the first four CRO tools you should consider as you begin (or continue) your battle to make a buck online. Easy to use but powerful, get ready to have your wildest dreams of profit come true. Just having a little fun there, but you never know…

Why You Should Care About CRO

In case you feeling compelled to dismiss the importance of a better conversion rate, consider the following:

  • Higher conversion rate = better ROI
  • You can make more money with the same amount of visitors
  • It’s the best way to circumvent online impatience from visitors

Achieving these three goals is all in the data and how you analyze it. Let’s get started.

Tool #1 – Hotjar

Powerful but with a short learning curve, Hotjar allows you to analyze a website up to 2,000 pageviews a day at no cost. For 10,000 pageviews a day, your price will be $29 a month and it goes up from there. What can you do with Hotjar? Quite a lot, actually.

Features include: polling, surveys, visual heatmaps, conversion funnel tracking, form analytics, visitor recordings, and more.

The cool stuff: If you haven’t heard about visual heatmaps, they’re all the rage in CRO conversations. Put simply, they allow you to identify hot and cold spots on your website – in other words, where visitors click and where they don’t. If your prize BUY NOW button is in the deep freeze, a heatmap lets you know a redesign is in order.

Example of a heatmap

Visitor recordings can also be helpful as you launch a CRO strategy. Did you ever wish you could stand behind a visitor’s shoulder and watch as they navigate your site? Being able to see exactly where they got bored, confused, frustrated, or simply leaped up to answer the call of nature would be immensely valuable. That’s what you can do with visitor recordings. Play back the click journey(s) and you’ll soon be able to tell where the process falls apart.

Tool #2 – Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is definitely a major player in the CRO field. With a generous 30-day trial period and pricing that starts at $29 month, this service allows you a chance to practice before committing actual money.

The cool stuff: The big three offerings from Crazy Egg are heatmaps, visitor recordings, and A/B testing. We’ve already touched on heatmaps and visitor recordings, so let’s define A/B testing, which is a basic but critical part of CRO.

The overall process of CRO is to figure out what isn’t converting on your website and change it. The simplest way to do that is create nearly identical pages and split your traffic between them. Note we said NEARLY identical. By changing one thing at a time on a page, like say the color of the “buy” button, you can compare which version converts better.

By continuing to make one change at a time, you incrementally improve your conversion rate.

Tool #3 – EyeQuant

While heatmap tools are pretty standard fare with most CRO tools, EyeQuant has taken a different approach. Rather than relying on visitors’ actions to discern hot and cold spots on a web page, this company uses artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the areas that draw visual attention which, obviously, is a precursor (and perhaps more valuable measurement) to action.

The cool stuff: Where heatmaps collect and combine real world site interaction that plays out over time, EyeQuant’s Attention Map lets you upload a snapshot of a web page and delivers the verdict within a few minutes. This almost instant analysis comes to us courtesy of technical AI advances that make an educated guess as to where human eyes will go first.

One thing to keep in mind is that this service seems to work better with e-commerce websites. It tends to automatically decide that text heavy sites are too busy. While EyeQuant’s price might appear to be a state secret, we’ve managed to determine that entry-level packages start at around $100 per month.

As to whether your needs can justify the price – your call – but the case studies are pretty impressive.

Tool #4 – Google Analytics

The old war horse of CRO is something you’d have a hard time avoiding if you spend much time at all online but just because it’s been around a while doesn’t mean it’s past its prime. Not only has Google Analytics (GA) been revamped in recent years to make it even more valuable for CRO practitioners — it’s free. Included in GA are all the usual suspects of CRO like A/B testing, exit page, behavior flow, and more.

Page load speed is important

Final Thoughts

An often overlooked part of tuning your website for maximum conversions is how quickly it loads. Everything else being equal, a faster website means higher conversions. You’re doing yourself a serious disservice if you don’t pay attention to this. While we’re not trying to turn you into a programmer, there is a lot to accomplish through a few relatively simple strategies related to file compression.

Check out this Pingdom page to find out how quickly your website loads. Keep in mind that Google recommends two seconds or less and even uses this metric as part of its vaunted algorithm that determines where you place in search results. Improving site load speed is an ongoing parallel process to focus on at the same time as you learn to use the CRO tools we’ve discussed here. Good luck!

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Trondheim Developer Conference 2018 – One day, three talks and many happy moments

I just got back from Trondheim, Norway where I once again spoke at the Trondheim Developer Conference. The last time I spoke there four years ago and I had a great time and I have to say nothing changed – it is still a conference well worth going to.

The amazing keynote stage

I was pretty impressed to see that the conference videos were available the day after the event, so I am happy to give you all the materials of my participation and some of the things that impressed me.

Setting up the AI talk

The keynote: Watch this space

In this keynote I am talking about protecting the open web as a publishing platform by improving the quality of our work. We’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge over the years, and yet it seems new developers always start from scratch. By making our best practices part of the start of your career and embedding them in tools, we can have a new generation of developers who can invent amazing things that don’t break.

Chris Heilmann – Watch this space! from TrondheimDC on Vimeo.

The slides of the keynote are available on notist

Seven things to make you a happier JavaScript developer

This talk wasn’t planned but as another speaker couldn’t make it, I filled in.

Chris Heilmann – Seven ways to be a happier JavaScript developer from TrondheimDC on Vimeo.

The slides and resources of this JS talk are on notist

Kode24 did a great write-up of this talk on their site called Stop using console.log.

AI for humans

Linda Liukas' machine learning robot

The last talk was about using AI to build more human interfaces.

Chris Heilmann – Artificial intelligence for humans… from TrondheimDC on Vimeo.

The slides of the AI talk are here

Happy Moments

Book stand at TDC with robot sex front and center

Great talks to watch

If you are looking for inspiration, there were a few talks that stood out for me:

Planning for next year

One great side note: the organisers asked me about more female Europe-based speakers to invite so I collected a few in a tweet.

This thread snowballed and is now a superb reference for presenting talent in Europe.

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Solid Framework

What is Solid?

Solid is an exciting new project led by Prof. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, taking place at MIT. The project aims to radically change the way Web applications work today, resulting in true data ownership as well as improved privacy.

In the article written by Tim Berners-Lee about the Solid Framework, he believes Solid will resonate with the global community of developers, hackers, and internet activists who bristle over corporate and government control of the web. “Developers have always had a certain amount of revolutionary spirit,” he observes. Circumventing government spies or corporate overlords may be the initial lure of Solid, but the bigger draw will be something even more appealing to hackers: freedom. In the centralized web, data is kept in silos–controlled by the companies that build them, like Facebook and Google. In the decentralized web, there are no silos.

Background graphic highlighting solid framework possibilities

What does Solid offer?

Solid is a proposed set of conventions and tools for building decentralized social applications based on Linked Data principles. Solid is modular and extensible and it relies as much as possible on existing W3C standards and protocols.

It offers –

  • True data ownership
  • Modular design
  • Reusing existing data

We encourage web professionals to review this article to get more information on SOLID.

What is the Solid framework?

The Solid framework takes PDF files and recreates the documents from which they were created. When reconstructing a Word document this includes the identification of text, headers/footers, lists, tables, table of contents, hyperlinks and so on. And it can do this even from printed and scanned documents. Solid Framework can take a printed document and reconstruct it as a Word document including a working table of contents. It can also reconstruct Excel and PowerPoint documents, or extract all of the data from tables within the PDF and create SQL statements, or all of the text or all of the images. And it’s really good at doing so if the original document was a Word, Excel or PowerPoint document. Solid Framework’s super-rich API provides access to the content and context of information within a PDF document, allowing you to use that information for whatever purpose your business requires.

Why use Solid documents?

Electronic documents have replaced standard pen and paper. A myriad of document types now exist – from standard paper, to scans, e-mails, electronic documents, Google Docs, billing forms, etc. While document type may run the gamut — from legacy applications to e-documents — not everybody can read, share or save these documents. People work in different environments, on different platforms, and have different versions of applications. And, the mature worldwide standard to share all these documents —regardless of language or platform — is PDF.

Document integrity is critical to the success of document reconstruction and archiving. It is something that helps all users, whether business or consumer — increase productivity, efficiency and realize the true value of their time.

We encourage you to review these links

https://solidframework.net/

https://solidframework.net/documentation-2/

Version 6 of Solid Framework SDK

This week we briefly discussed the Solid framework, what it offers, and why it may significantly change our view of the WWW. This seems to be a very interesting approach and we encourage web professionals to remain aware as these efforts evolve. We appreciate our member Brian Anderson bringing this initiative to our attention several weeks ago. We always appreciate insights from our members. Thanks again Brian.

We hope you find these resources and overviews useful. We always look forward to your comments and feedback (whether you are a member or not).

We encourage members (and non-members) check out our social media channels. If you aspire to be a web professional and don’t know where to start, we offer a number of beginning classes to our members via our School Of Web learning management system. As a member, your first class is free.

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Artificial Intelligence in Web Development

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of a computer program or a machine to think and learn. It is also a field of study which tries to make computers smart. As machines become increasingly capable, mental facilities once thought to require intelligence are removed from the definition. Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. Some of the activities computers with artificial intelligence are designed for include: Speech recognition and learning.

Why is AI important?

Artificial Intelligence is the machines which are designed and programmed in such a manner that they and think and act like a human. Artificial Intelligence becomes the important part of our daily life. Our life is changed by AI because this technology is used in a wide area of day to day services.

Graphic showinf human and robot arm about to touch

Why Implement AI in Website Development?

More and more users prefer searching for goods directly through the Amazon instead of searching. Large e-commerce companies are changing our attitude to online purchasing and, as a result, to website development. Successful e-commerce companies actively implement innovative technologies in their work such as: chatbots, voice search, and other AI solutions. Here are some benefits of Artificial Intelligence implementation for website development.

  • Make search even faster
  • Make interactions with visitors even better
  • Provide a more relevant customer experience
  • Provide a personalized store experience
  • Even more effective marketing to targeted consumers

You can find many more details in this article.

Artificial Intelligence can be used in Web Development and Marketing

The user interface design process involves a lot a creativity and often starts on a whiteboard where designers share ideas. Once a design is drawn, it is usually captured within a photograph and manually translated into some working HTML wireframe to begin the development process. This takes effort and often delays the design process (and errors may creep in). Instead, one could capture the whiteboard contents in a photo and upload that to an AI routine to generate the prototype website. Sketch2Code, a web based solution has been recently introduced. It relies on AI to transform a handwritten user interface design from a picture to a valid HTML markup code.

For those who want to learn more, we recommend this article for more information.

AI is also being used in other ways, such as Adobe Sensei.

What is Adobe Sensei?

Adobe Sensei uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help you discover hidden opportunities, speed up tedious processes, and offer relevant experiences to every customer. Put simply, Adobe Sensei helps you work better, smarter, and faster. Artificial intelligence makes a smarter enterprise. Adobe brought together business leaders across various industries to share their thoughts on opportunities and challenges for AI in the enterprise. Adobe Sensei puts artificial intelligence at the center of amazing customer experiences.

Find more about this approach (along with an introductory video) at this site.

The Pros and Cons of AI in Web Design

In the digital age, artificial intelligence is permeating all industries; web design is no different. For small businesses with limited human capabilities, AI allow quick interactions with customers to provide them with relevant information. AI in web development can benefit both the user and the organization.

In order to better understand the role that AI plays in web development we need to consider the impact.

Pros of using AI

  1. User experience – This is the most important aspect in web design. If a visitor to your site can’t use it effectively and efficiently, they will go elsewhere. As we know, users of a website are customers (and they will share their experiences). It’s important to make sure that your products are easy to find and customers can easily purchase them. Many customer centric website are beginning to rely on AI to improve the customer experience.
  2. Personalized Content – Content rules (whether it is videos, blogs or articles). By implementing AI on your website you can show audience certain content that is tailored to them. AI can suggest new music, videos and other relevant content for users based on their past behaviors. Users can feel comfortable discovering new content while being confident that they will find it relevant.
  3. Voice Search Optimization – One of the fastest growing design trends for web design is Voice Search Optimization. Since many customers are using their mobile devices more than their desktop, websites often have to optimize for mobile devices. In this aspect, AI can help as well.

Cons of using AI

  1. A Place for Humans – According to a study by 2030 up to 90% of all jobs will be under threat to be replaced by smart machines. This may include web design, graphic design and mobile app design. Since AI has proven to be more efficient in terms of forming content to fit on various devices, will we still need to know how to code?
  2. Privacy Issues – Since AI and machine learning can be built to monitor consumer behaviors and their interactions online, many consumers often feel uneasy. Software such as analytics when combined with AI has unlimited potential to mine customer data and insights. Therefore, it could be scary for consumers because 94% of them want to do business with a company with full transparency.
  3. Impersonal Interactions – Despite how well you have created your chat bots and automated responses, customers may still be able to tell that it was sent by AI. In the digital age, many users still want personal responses; therefore, by implementing AI we are stepping away from those much needed personal interactions.

While there are pros and cons to using AI in web design, we predict a positive future. By implementing AI into web design, we as humans can have more time for creativity and doing other important tasks. By implementing AI into web design, we as humans can have more time for creativity and doing other important tasks. Instead of focusing on the negative, we should think about what AI can do for us and how it can improve our interactions. AI is happening (and its use is evolving). For example, some are discussing the integration of AI and blockchain.

For more insights on the pros and cons using AI, we recommend this article written by Larry Head – Disruption Ahead.

Looking at the positive side of using AI in technology, Adobe CEO, Shantanu Narayen, has said “Microsoft and Adobe together is leveraging artificial intelligence to push deeper into customer relationship management and create a brand-new category and industry. Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure enables businesses to process the data at the pace they want and Adobe’s enterprise solutions allow businesses to attract customers to the platform and engage it.”

This CNBC link has more information.

More resources (for those who want to dive deeper)

Artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Web Design

How AI is Changing the Future of Web Design

Best AI Website Builders

In this week we focused on the Artificial Intelligence (what it is, why it is important with respect to web design, some technologies using this in web design, and some advantages and disadvantages).  The uses of AI are evolving rapidly; it depends us how we use it in a positive manner.

We always look forward to your comments and feedback.

We encourage members (and non-members) check out our social media channels. If you aspire to be a web professional and don’t know where to start, we offer a number of beginning classes to our members via our School Of Web learning management system. As a member, your first class is free.

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October Update – Web Employment Trends

What do we mean by employment trends?

A pattern of gradual change in a condition, output, or process, or an average or general tendency of a series of data points to move in a certain direction over time, represented by a line or curve on a graph.

This week’s blog we will seeing the latest trends in the employment (particularly for web professionals).

10 Workplace Trends in 2018

Dan Schawbel provided a forecast for the Top 10 workplace trends for the upcoming year. His purpose is to help prepare organizations for the future by collecting, assessing and reporting the trends that will most impact them. Obviously, most of these impact many industries (not just web professionals).

The top workplace trends for 2018 include:

  • Leaders encourage more human interaction
  • The next wave of learning credentials
  • Companies focus on upskilling and retraining current workers
  • Artificial intelligence becomes embedded in the workplace
  • Financial and mental wellness get prioritized
  • Employee burnout causes more turnover
  • Workforce decisions sway consumer behavior
  • Companies take diversity more seriously
  • The deregulation of labor laws
  • The aging workforce

Graphic with images of many tools (such as HTML5, CSS3, Angular, Vue, Git, PHP and more)

Trends changing how companies hire in 2018 and beyond

The HR world has changed over the past decade. Like every other field, HR is susceptible to changes and trends.

Better interviews = better hires

Traditional interviews aren’t going anywhere, but they’re getting a bit of polishing this year and beyond. If you’re looking to streamline or equalize the interview itself, there are HR software programs that essentially craft your interview script, standardizing interviews across a pool of candidates. Online skill assessments, designed to gauge a candidate’s soft skills, give you more data before a candidate ever walks through your doors in their best interview suit.

Prioritizing diversity

Diversity is a priority in just about every industry right now, and for good reason. Lack of diversity is becoming a significant liability and can lead to issues with an ever-more-diverse public.

Big Data Influence

With the increased use of hiring databases and HR software platforms capable of collecting information on employees from application to retirement, there’s no shortage of information that companies can use.

This article –Trends changing how companies hire in 2018 and beyond has more information for those who are interested.

10 Jobs That Still Can’t Find Enough Qualified Employees

Finding a job is never an easy thing to do, especially given the past decade or so of economic instability. The number of job vacancies in certain sectors is huge, and there are tons of jobs hiring.

Following are some of the jobs that employers can’t seem to fill – (note which one is at the top)

1. Web developers

2. Computer analysts

3. Industrial engineers

4. IT administrators

5. Health and medical administrators

6. Sales managers

7. Marketing professionals

8. Software developers

9. Nurses

10. Truck drivers

You can get more information by reading this article.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

If you are looking for Web Developer jobs then the Bureau of Statistics has summary for the Web Developers jobs. What developers do, work environment, how to become a Web Developer, job outlook, State and area data associated pay and more. Visit this link for the detail.

More Information

There is a wealth of information about many of these careers. We thought this list of resources would be helpful to readers.

This week we focused on the Web Employment Trends in 2018 and how companies hire in 2018 and beyond. We also have seen which jobs employers are not able to fill.

We always look forward to your comments and feedback (whether you are a member or not).

We encourage members (and non-members) check out our social media channels. If you aspire to be a web professional and don’t know where to start, we offer a number of beginning classes to our members via our School Of Web learning management system. As a member, your first class is free.

 

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Career advice, AI ethics and inspiring the next dev generation to care about the web at Web Unleashed

I just got back from Toronto, Canada, where I attended Web Unleashed a FITC organised three day conference with fifty talks in four tracks. Despite this size, the event felt cozy and not too spread out. There was a lot to learn and a truly stellar line-up of speakers to choose from.

Setting up for my AI talk

Originally I was lined up to give a workshop together with Burke Holland on developer toolchain setup, but there were not enough sign-ups, so I “only” spoke on a panel about “Life as a lead developer”, gave a talk about AI, ethics and building human interfaces and the closing keynote.

The slides of the AI and ethics talk are available here and I made a gist with all the resources I mentioned.

The closing keynote slides are also on noti.st together with the resources mentioned in that one.

The resources mentioned in this one are here:

I will write more about the subject of the closing keynote soon here.

I want to thank everyone involved in this event and hope that people learned something from my efforts. It is impressive how many great speakers were present and I had a wonderful time with some of the most relaxed parties.

I also realised that no matter how hard I try, I will never have the same presence as the devrel expert at the Shopify booth:

Walnut the dog

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