Websites With Beautiful Video Headers


video-header-websites

I am always fascinated by captivating videos and the creative (and functioning) use of them in website design. Video headers bring the a whole new experience to a website. I experienced this today while shopping on Lush’s site, where I was met with a beautiful explosion of color from a video showcasing their colorful bath bombs reacting to water.

Watching that video made me want more! As a result, here is a showcase of some other sites around the web with beautiful video headers.

Feed Music

FeedMusic

Lush

Lush.com

Hanger

Hanger Agency

Ideas by Music

ideas by music

sbs

SBS

Maheidine

Maheidin

Tool

Tool

Airbnb

Airbnb

Story and Heart

Story and Heart

Vimeo

Vimeo

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Get Faster at Responsive UI Design


Wireframing-cover

Mobile devices like Apple’s latest iPad Pro was released with a larger screen size in hope to compete with the most portable of laptops. The overtake of mobile browsing continues as phone screen get larger influencing both web design and UI. This creates a constant challenge for designers when their canvas changes every year. A different way of thinking is required for responsive design, designing for the traditional browser window is no longer reliable.

wireframes-for-different-devices

Designing with multiple screen sizes in mind becomes speedy and more effective when considering content in the wireframing process. This is explained in UXPin’s free e-book Content Wireframing for Responsive Design which describes content wireframes as the on-screen layout of content without actually depicting it. By blocking out areas for the content or splitting it into different categories, designers can create movable parts to adapt to any screen size.
The book is written by Adobe-certified author Tom Green and can be downloaded via Creative Bloc.

Content-wireframing

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A Look at Google’s Art Projects


Google-CI2

From project to understand space and motion to allow mobile devices to “see how we see”, to their self-driving cars, Google is always invested in creating something amazing. Which is why we’d like to take a moment to appreciate the tech overachiever’s investment in the arts. Every once in awhile Google likes to shine the spotlight on the work of other great works, and it has been ambitiously achieving this through its Art Project Archives.

Google-CI

Google-CI1

Their starting with the latest Chrome OS app Google Wallpaper Art intended to give you an inspiration of artwork on any device’s wallpaper. The wallpaper app takes different works of art from the Google Cultural Institute, an additional project ambitiously digitizing the world’s collections of fine art, historical events and world wonders. The galleries are featured in a beautiful display with a variety of layouts to choose from for each project. The minimal, black and white, design of the page is similar to that of the clean white walls of a contemporary museum.

Google-CI4Google-CI5

The site encourages visitors to interact by creating and sharing their own galleries. The Google Cultural Institute is a useful alternative to those of us who enjoy visit museums but don’t get the chance to travel around the world to view the galleries for ourselves.

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Take a Creative Journey with YouTube’s New Music App


Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 1.50.00 PM

Music is a daily part of the design process for most designers I know because it helps inspire. There is a variety of music streaming services available to serve creatives worldwide. Today, the largest site for video, YouTube, is stepping into the music app scene with the launch of their latest product, YouTube Music.

The video hub giant has second largest search engines falling behind Google, who also has a music product Google Play; no relation that we know of. The large, unique music catalogue sets it apart from other established music apps like Spotify or Apple Music in that the app lets you search and listen to music videos, songs, artist and albums but also audio content that is unique to YouTube like remixes, covers, lyric videos, and performances.

youtube-music-key-offline1

You tube music

“No matter where you start in the app, the music will never stop. Every song you play or artist you choose will take you on an endless journey through YouTube’s music catalog. A simple tap and you’re on your way, enjoying your favorite music and discovering new artists effortlessly.”

-T. Jay Fowler, Director, Product Management

The App is free and is available for download today in the U.S. via the Google Play store or the App Store. There is also an ad free experience that allows you to listen to music offline available with a YouTube Red membership. Download the app, test the UI and share your experience in the comments below.

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Is the Future of Tech Making UI Irrelevant?


sensor

Think back to how much text messaging changed our form of communication. Soon after touch screens fully revolutionized the way UI was designed and developed for interaction on mobile devices. We are now looking at the future of how we interact with technology.

Looking at the first video for Project Soli, was both impressive and exciting. The Soli Sensor is a tiny radar chip created by Google that uses sensor technology to track touchless interactions on a sub-millimeter level. Google plans to scale the chip down small enough to fit inside wearable devices. The goal is to remove actual touch gestures on a small screen associated with wearable and other devices from the equation; replacing them with fine gesture recognition.

Even more fascinating Emotiv’s EPOC / EPOC+ a revolutionary wearable technology that uses electroencephalography (EEG) to read and record your brain waves and converts it into usable data. “You think, therefore you can” is the concept behind EPOC. This is a whole different level of interaction that is capable of gathering research data using Emotiv’s APIs and libraries that can detect facial expressions, performance and emotional metrics, as well as mental commands.

 Emotiv 1

Emotiv

Both these technologies are not “a look into the future” type of product. They currently exist!

As a someone who is both creative and scientific this is fascinating because both products do not use any current forms of UI. If devices do not require touch interaction or data input because they can simply read a user’s mind or register their gestures; where does that leave traditional touch screen apps? or screens? Could user telepathy replace user interaction?

As a designer is your brain churning on the way you would creatively use either of these products? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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PHP 7: What’s New & How Will It Affect a WordPress Site?


PHP7

PHP7

PHP 7, a major update to the server-side web development language PHP, is right around the corner. According to PHP 7 project timetable mentioned on PHP.net wiki, if everything goes as planned, its final version will be released on Nov 12, 2015. Meanwhile, you as a future user may consider playing around with the latest beta to have an overview of what features the new version of PHP offers and how it will shape up and affect your development work.

If you’re a website developer/owner running their sites on WordPress (or on any other PHP-powered CMS such as Joomla, Drupal, Magento), then you’ve landed to the right blog post. This informative guide will not only give you a taste of what’s new coming in PHP 7 but also will answer all your questions related to the new PHP version!

Wordpress-php7-performance

Drupal on PHP7

Let’s dive in!

What’s New in PHP 7?

First of all, let’s take a closer look at some of the exciting features and improvements that you’ll see in PHP version 7:

Huge Performance Improvements:

PHP has always been criticized for performance-related issues, which is greatly improved in PHP 7. Even, the poor performance of PHP prompted Facebook to build HHVM – a virtual machine designed to maximize the performance of PHP based applications. Since the new version of PHP is based on the PHPNG project (PHP Next-Gen), it gives up to 50% boost to real-world apps and performs faster than HHVM.

Twice as fast as Previous Versions:

PHP 7 is almost 2X faster than PHP 5.x. It not only executes your code faster but also requires fewer servers to handle the same amount of requests per second. As an example, the WordPress homepage now requires 72% lesser CPU instructions to execute than before. That’s because PHP 7 receives a brand new version (refactored) of Zend Engine, which adds a significant speed enhancement to the language.

New Operators:

PHP 7 introduces two new operators: Spaceship (Combined Comparison) and Null Coalescing. Where the Spaceship operator (<=>) makes your chained comparison more concise, on the other hand, Null Coalescing (??) operator is used to check if something exists. However, these both tasks could be accomplished before, but probably not in all conditions.

Return & Scalar Type Hints:

In the new PHP version, developers would be able to use Booleans, Strings, Floats and Integers as type hints for functions. Also, they’ll be allowed to declare the return type of a function. This will save them passing and returning wrong types from functions, which may lead to unpredictable behavior in code.

Engine Exceptions:

Handling existing fatal and recoverable fatal errors has always been a herculean task for PHP developers. But now, exceptions implemented in the brand spanking new Zend engine will facilitate error handling in your application. The new Engine Exceptions will replace these kinds of errors, making it possible for developers to catch all fatal errors and take appropriate action immediately.

Consistent 64-Bit Support:

Even though the native environment of PHP is Linux, but still you can run it on a Windows-powered system. Since the previous versions of PHP doesn’t have support for a large file or 64-bit integer, the x64 builds of PHP for Windows have been considered experimental yet. To the contrary, version 7 features consistent 64-bit support that enables you to confidently run PHP on a 64-bit Windows system.

Group Use Declarations:

PHP 7 introduces a new concept, called Group Use Declarations, which dramatically improves the implementation of PHP namespace. The new syntax makes it possible for you to import multiple classes from the same namespace. Needless to say, this new feature will save you a lot of typing time and also make your code shorter and readable.

Supports Anonymous Classes:

Like other programming languages such as Java and C#, the new version of PHP enables you to use anonymous classes in your code. An anonymous class is a class with no name. When used properly, anonymous classes can not only improve your coding but also can speed up execution time to a great extent.

Abstract Syntax Tree (AST):

Another big change made to PHP core is the use of Abstract Syntax Tree (AST) as an intermediary stage in the language compilation process. This improvement would mainly be visible to developers and not have any direct impact on userland code. There are several advantages of using AST, including the potential for more optimizations, the scope for utilizing tools like static code analyzers and better code quality etc.

Deprecated Items Removed:

To make PHP even faster, a number of deprecated functionalities and dead or unsupported Server APIs and extensions have been eliminated from the version 7.  Some of the items that are removed from PHP 7 are PHP4 style constructors, ASP style tags, ereg and MySQL extensions etc. For more details, you may check out removed deprecated functionalities in PHP7.

But, where is PHP 6?

After getting acquainted with the exciting features of PHP 7, you would definitely want to know why PHP moved to version 7 from version 5. What happened to version 6? Well, PHP 6 was an experimental project that was officially started in 2005 and unfortunately abandoned in 2010. One of the main reasons behind the termination of version 6 was technical difficulties faced by PHP core developers during the implementation of language-integrated Unicode.

Meanwhile, people around the web adopted the name PHP 6 and started writing books and developing resources related to version 6. Since there might be confusion between the former attempt and the current development work, the PHP core team was compelled to seriously think about the name of the new major release. And finally, the development team decided to skip the logical number 6 and launch the new version under the name of PHP 7.

How Can PHP 7 Really Affect Your WordPress Site?

Despite the fact that WordPress core development team is continuously working on making the CMS ready for PHP7, the latest version of PHP can break your site. The reason is the incompatibility of themes and plug-ins with PHP 7. Even though WordPress has suggested theme and plugin authors to get familiarize with all backward incompatible changes and update things accordingly, most of the themes and plug-ins are not yet ready for the upcoming release of PHP 7.

Since WordPress has started fixing every possible issue related to PHP 7, more and more people are now taking necessary steps toward making their themes and plug-ins compatible to PHP 7. For instance, the author of Simple Social Icons has already updated the plug-in to make it PHP 7compatible. That means, soon after PHP 7 official release, not only WordPress would fully support PHP 7 but also all themes and plug-ins would have been updated to work with version 7. In a nutshell, consider upgrading your site to PHP 7 only when you found everything – hosting server, themes, plug-ins and WordPress – compatible to version 7.

Crucial Things to Consider When Migrating from PHP 5 to PHP 7

So if you’ve decided to move your WordPress site from PHP 5 to PHP 7 right after the official release of version 7, here are some best practices that you should follow to prevent any issues before, during and after migration:

Watch for Notifications:

Before implementing any PHP update, most of the hosting providers send a notification to site owners. The purpose of this notification is to make you inform about the update so that you could keep a look out to see if something goes wrong. So continuously watch for notifications and inform your hosting provider immediately if you found anything wrong.

Backup Your WordPress Site:

Even if you’re fully confident that the PHP update will not break your website, it’s always good to have a fallback plan. Whether or not you receive the notification from your hosting provider, always have a saved copy of your site on multiple locations. This will save you from any unforeseen disaster that may occur during migration.

Keep Everything Updated before Migration:

Before moving to PHP 7 from PHP 5, update all elements – including themes, plugins and WordPress itself – related to your WordPress site. This will prevent these (and other) elements from stop working after PHP gets updated. Also, if a certain element is not compatible with the new version of the language, it’ll no longer function.

Contact Your Hosting Provider:

For further help, you may consider contacting your web host’s support team. In case, your web host is unable to completely resolve your issues, then install a new copy of WordPress and restore your site from a backup.

Author Bio
Ajeet is a senior web developer at WordPress Integration – PSD to WordPress service provider, where he is responsible for writing custom JavaScript code during the conversion process. In his spare time, he writes on different topics related to WordPress, JavaScript and Web Design to share his work experience with others. You can follow WordPressIntegration on Facebook

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Search Visually with Pinterest’s New Tool


Pinterest-search

If you’ve ever seen something visually stimulating online and wondered where it came from, your thoughts have been heard. Pinterest is now making an effort helping you find the answer to that and many other visual-search related questions on its platform. They’ve recently released their crazy-fun new visual search tool. The new tool lets you search for things visually, which is extremely handy when you want to search for something you don’t know how to describe. Pinterest shared the capability behind their tool:

Pinterestingvisual-search-pinterest

When you spot something in a Pin that you want to learn more about, tap the search tool in the corner. Then select the part of the Pin you’re interested in, and we’ll show you Pins just like it. You can even filter your visual search results by topic so you find exactly what you’re looking for.

So if you zoom in on that lamp, you can discover what it’s called (“Antiqued Metal Funnel Pendant”), and where you can find it (Restoration Hardware). If you want to know more—like how to get a table like that—just resize your selection and move it around to instantly see more Pins.

– Kevin Jing, Engineering Manager

The new search tool in now available on your Pinterest phone app and the web. be sure to play around with it and share what you find Pinteresting in the comments below (pun intended).

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