We've been having a lot of conversations lately at ZURB HQ about mobile. Occasionally, our conversations come back around to Email. Sure, when it comes to the internet, we hang out in various apps and sites like Facebook or Twitter, but where is it we actually live? Email.
Which is why we realized that we have to provide a valuable email experience for people. We have to offer a pleasant interaction. At the same time, we have to be able to create an actual extension of our products. We had to ensure that email is the first service our apps are efficiently integrated with, particularly when it came to Notable.
Here at ZURB, we set out to give our customers a reason to love their email notifications from our app, Notable. So what determines an effective email experience for people using your apps and what really are the best ways to make that happen? Here's what...
Today, we're excited to finally unleash our Job Board out into the wild. For the past year-and-a-half, we've talked to folks about how incredibly hard it is to hire great product design talent. It's thrilling to be able to finally launch our Job Board and expose companies to our network of 450,000 product designers, including those on Forrst and Pattern Tap.
With our listings viewed over 6 million times, we knew it was time to flip the switch and let this puppy loose. But we needed the private release to figure out what it really took to hire a product designer or engineer. We learned some valuable lessons and we wanted to share those with you.
We really looked into what entices a potential candidate during our private release. After all, we'd been on the hiring side when it came to brining on new ZURBians....
We had a lot of fun when our neighbor Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of YouSendIt, dropped by and got on his Soapbox earlier this month. You might remember Brad from his days at Yahoo, where he wrote the now famous Peanut Butter Manifesto. While it was great hearing the story behind the memo, one thing that really stuck with us was when Brad talked about startups buying into their own hype.
Before Brad got on his soapbox, he chatted with Forbes about whether we were living in a second Dot Com Bubble. He said to the magazine that sometimes he doesn't know how certain startups will make money or even "live up to their private market valuations." He added:
There is something unhealthy happening in Silicon Valley where people are most focused on the hype cycle than building a great experience for their customers.
We asked Brad to elaborate on...
Last week, we highlighted how we have to solve problems at the mobile level if we're truly going to be Mobile First. This is something we've been thinking about for awhile now, especially when it comes to column grids on a mobile device and whether two was better than three.
Think about it for a sec. You're reading on your smartphone, but the content is crammed into three columns. It's cluttered, hard to read and it's even harder to tap on the right thing. We came across this very quagmire when putting together our new RSVP page for ZURBsoapbox. We were faced with how we would present the names of those attending on the page. Originally, we put together a three-column grid layout, but quickly decided this wasn't going to work.
We felt that a three-column RSVP page made it really difficult to browse our guests' names. And it...
Lightening the code base was our first move. To do this, we started looking at jQuery alternatives and quickly found Zepto. Where jQuery rings in at about 9,600 lines of code, Zepto is a mere 1,900 lines and is practically a drop-in replacement for jQuery. We say "practically" because there are some areas where Zepto takes dramatic shortcuts that makes things occasionally arduous, such as animation queueing and proper...
We're currently in the midst of a project where we are truly taking a mobile-first approach in responsive design. The other day, we had an epiphany while hashing out the finer details of how the mobile interactions of the project would work. We realized that we were still looking at the problem from a desktop worldview down to a mobile view, as opposed to going upward from the smaller device.
It was a reminder that we're beginning to really undertand the problems we're solving in a mobile context. Josh Clark, of Global Moxie, has an excellent way of thinking about it. Our friend LukeW took copious notes at Clark's recent talk at An Event Apart in Atlanta. Here's the gist from Luke's notes:
We're no longer visual designers but industrial designers as well.
Don't get Clark wrong. Visual design is the additional layer that brings context to our interactions. Visuals...
While we were toiling to unleash our responsive email templates to the world last year, a fan of ours, Aaron Kahlhamer was cooking up something special of his own. He was boiling up a way to add a dash of retina images to email newsletters. He likes to call his solution — the Clambake.
This tasty treat brings the yummy goodness of a retina images to a fluid dual column without using any media queries. Aaron came up with the Clambake after reading up on everything he could get his hands on regarding emails and retina images. A few weeks later, we released our own responsive templates, and Aaron was able to boil up our templates along with his solution for an even spicier dish that works across devices.
We've teamed up with Aaron for our second guest Playground piece to serve this dish to you, putting together everything you'll need to get started on your own...
We're always excited to see larger companies adopt Foundation for a variety of different front-end projects. Evernote, a Redwood City-based startup company empowering the world to remember anything, decided to use Foundation to build their developer's site.
We reached out to Chris Traganos, Evernote's Senior Web Developer (pictured below), to learn more about his insight behind choosing Foundation, and learn how Foundation helped him and his team build an amazing developer's portal for the company.
What is the Evernote Developer Portal?
Our developer portal is the home of our API documentation and technical resources for building apps with the Evernote platform.
What led you to choose Foundation?
Having built many sites, I have created common CSS resets, HTML structure, and grid-based layouts. Once responsive design took off, I spent some time researching the...
We had a great deal of fun at our first soapbox in our new Command Center. Howard Lindzon, CEO and Co-Founder of StockTwits, was a blast. He let slip that he once wanted to be a stand-up comic and it should in the zingers he made. But he also threw down some great insight.
One thing that stuck in our minds was when he talked about investing in people and ideas rather than scale. He said some folks are all about scale. But he's more into people with domain expertise, people who know what they're doing and talking about. Scale, Howard said, comes from social leverage when you do consistent work.
But with any investment, whether it's financial or not, you can't be overly serious. You can't get angry at mistakes or losing out on a winning bet. As he put it:
You've got to have a sense of humor about it. And you've got to talk about the stuff you're wrong about...
We've been having more and more conversations around content and mobile lately. Last week, while we were in the midsts of releasing Foundation 4, Bryan made an observation on how we have to take a critical eye to how content is placed in a mobile context. Which brought to mind, does that mean mobile also changes the way we write that content?
The other day, we came across LukeW's notes on Karen McGrane's talk at An Event Apart, "The Mobile Content Mandate." What particularly caught our eye was this bit in Luke's notes:
There is no such thing as writing for mobile. There is just good writing.
Mobile is a catalyst that forces you to write better, more concise copy without sacrificing clarity, Karen stated. There's no need to write separate copy for desktop, tablet and smartphones. If the content is well-written and engaging, it can carry you from device to device.