Category Archives: General

Show Us What You’ve Made With Envato for a Chance to Win $250!

Have you created something using a tutorial here on Envato Tuts+? Whether it’s an illustration, an audio project or pretty much anything else, you can submit it to this month’s Made With Envato contest for a chance to win $250 in Envato Market credits!

There are also prizes up for grabs for items you’ve created using a purchase from Envato Market, Envato Elements, or Envato Studio. So if you’ve used any Envato products this month, read on to find out how you can enter and win.

 Made With Envato contest banner

The Prizes You Can Win

Envato is giving away $1,000 in Envato Market credits every month to the people who’ve created the best projects using Envato products. 

And this month, for the first time, there are prizes on offer in four different categories, which means more chances to win!

Here’s how that prize fund is split:

  • $250: Best Audio & Video submission
  • $250: Best Web Design & Development submission
  • $250: Best Graphic Design, Illustration, Photo, or 3D submission
  • $250: Best Elements, Studio, or Tuts+ submission

How You Can Enter

To enter the Made With Envato contest, simply share the projects you’ve created using Envato products. It could be something you’ve created using a purchase on Market, a service from Studio, a tutorial you’ve used from Tuts+, or something you’ve used from your Elements subscription.

To enter, simply upload an image of your project to the Made With Envato forum thread. You must include the name and link of the item(s), services, or tutorials you used from Envato Market, Envato Elements, Envato Studio, and/or Envato Tuts+. You can also share your work on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #madewithenvato.

That’s it! Pretty simple, and completely free. You can enter up to three projects per month, and even if you don’t win this month, your entry will still be considered for contests in future months. So keep on entering, and you never know when you’ll win!

The deadline is 31 January, so there’s still time to create something new if you don’t already have a project to enter.

Get More Info

For full details of the contest, along with those all-important terms & conditions, see the Made With Envato contest announcement page. And if you need some inspiration, check the December and November prize winners!

Made With Envato December winner


Source: Webdesign Tuts+

Web Development Reading List #165: Starting The New Year With Browser News, Container Architecture, And React “Aha” Moments




 


 

Happy new year! I hope you had a good start and can feel positive about what 2017 might bring. As mentioned in the last edition of the past year, I don’t like New Year’s resolutions too much, but I’d like to point you to something that Marc Thiele wishes for this year:

Web Development Reading List 165

“So my wish then also is, that you reflect and ask yourself, if you want to post the text or maybe even just have another, a second look on the text you are about to post. Maybe you decide, that you don’t post it. Maybe this helps, that less negative posts and emotions are spread.”

The post Web Development Reading List #165: Starting The New Year With Browser News, Container Architecture, And React “Aha” Moments appeared first on Smashing Magazine.


Source: Smashing Magazine

New Course: Grids and Layout Tricks With “postcss-ant”

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In our new course, Grids and Layout Tricks With “postcss-ant”, you’ll to learn how to use one of the most powerful, yet clean and bloat-free grid systems currently available: postcss-ant. It was created by Cory Simmons, known for his popular grid systems Jeet and Lost.

What You’ll Learn

Running on top of the awesome PostCSS system, postcss-ant gives you the ability to smoothly and efficiently manage layouts from the simplest to the most complex, using either vanilla CSS or your favourite preprocessor.

In this course, Envato Tuts+ instructor Kezz Bracey will give you a comprehensive guide to using postcss-ant. You’ll start by mastering the basics of generating a grid and controlling things like rows, column heights, gutters, and nesting. Then you’ll move on to more advanced topics like ratio-based sizing and responsive media queries. 

By the end, you’ll feel confident using this powerful grid system to create amazing website layouts.

Watch the Introduction

 

Start Learning With a Free Trial

You can take our new course straight away with a free 10-day trial of our monthly subscription. If you decide to continue, it costs just $15 a month, and you’ll get access to hundreds of courses, with new ones added every week.

We’ve built a comprehensive guide to help you learn CSS online, whether you’re just getting started with the basics or you want to explore more advanced CSS. Check out Learn CSS: The Complete Guide.


Source: Webdesign Tuts+

Envato Market in 60 Seconds: Author Ratings

In this super-quick video I’ll introduce you to Envato Market’s author ratings. Author ratings are important because they communicate the quality of your items, whilst serving as a metric of customer satisfaction.

Author Ratings

 

You can find your author rating on the right side of your profile page–for more details open the Reviews tab. Here you’ll find reviews for all your items, including detailed information about which buyers left each review and when. You can choose to leave replies if you feel they’re needed.

author rating
United Themes’ author rating, visible on profile page

In addition to the general ratings, individual items can also be rated. To see an item’s rating, visit its item page where you’ll see the Item Rating box in the sidebar. Here you’ll also see a more information toggle to give you a rating breakdown.

item rating
Item rating for Avada theme

Opening the Reviews tab (which is only visible to the item author) from this point will give you all the ratings for that specific item.

Useful Links


Source: Webdesign Tuts+

How to Create Perfectly Centered Text With Flexbox

There’s nothing particularly impressive about horizontally centering your content; you’ve been doing it for years. But what about vertically centering your variable-height content? In this video from my course, 6 Flexbox Projects for Web Designers, you’ll learn how Flexbox tackles this problem with minimal effort. 

How to Create Perfectly Centered Content With Flexbox

 

Introducing the Project in CodePen

In this tutorial, I’ll show you just how easy it is using the Flexbox model to horizontally and vertically center any piece of content that you want to center. 

Start by going to the starting pen for this project on CodePen, and click on Fork to open a new copy. We’ll make our changes to this new copy. 

Let’s look at the HTML first.

Flexbox starting HTML

So what we’ve got here is a banner, and all of it’s contained in a div with a class of banner. Inside that we have another div with a class of banner-text. And then we have an h1, h3, and h6 element that contains all of our text. So all three of those text elements are contained within this div that has a class of banner-text

Then inside our CSS, we’ve set up the banner.

Starting CSS

If we jump down to the banner class, we’ve set our text color to white. We’ve created a background image. We’ve positioned it, and sized it, and set its height to 300 pixels. And we’ve applied some styles to the three text elements that are inside our banner, our h1, h3, and h6.

We’ve set the margins to zero so that they’re nice and snug right next to each other, and we’ve set a text shadow behind that text. And then there are other rules as well that you can look through. 

The Old Way of Centering Text

What I want to show you at this point is the way that I used to vertically and horizontally align our text.

Horizontally aligning our text is very easy to do. So we could just go into the rule for our three headings, h1, h3, and h6, inside our banner, and simply set the text-align to center

The hard part is vertically centering our text.

If you just have one line of text, you can easily vertically center it by setting the line height to be the same height as the container. So our container is the banner itself which is 300 pixels tall, so if we only had one line of text we could set our line height to 300 pixels and that text would be vertically centered.

But what if you have several lines of text? What if you have a paragraph of text? What if you have a mixture of text and images, and you want a whole block of content to be vertically centered? 

Well, the way I used to do it is just to eyeball it. So I would create a new rule for .banner-text and play with it a little bit, increasing the top padding to various different values until it looked right.

But the old-fashioned way is not always reliable because what if somebody overrides your text sizes to the point where it’s not centered anymore? You don’t have full control over it that way.

Centering Text With Flexbox

Flexbox allows us to vertically center our text much more easily and more accurately than the old-fashioned way. 

When we use the Flexbox model, we don’t even need a rule for the banner-text class. All we need to do is we need to deal with the flex container, which is going to be our banner class.

The banner class represents the div that is the parent of that text. So inside the rule for the banner class, we’re going to set our display to flex

Then inside our banner rule, after display: flex, let’s do a couple more things. Let’s add justify-content: center, which is how we’re going to horizontally center everything. 

And then the last thing we need to do is figure out how to center things vertically.

So we can align items along the main axis using justify-content. But we can align items along the cross axis using another property called align-items

If we made it flex-start, the text would appear at the top. If we changed it to flex-end, it would be at the bottom. We also have access to the same value of center, which will vertically center our text. 

So this align-items property is the exact same thing as the justify-content property, but it goes along the cross axis instead of the main axis. When we create a flex container using display: flex, by default it is set to a row instead of a column, so that our main axis is our horizontal axis. So the justify-content is going to go along our horizontal axis, and the align-items property goes along the cross axis, which is, in this case, the vertical axis. 

Here’s how it looks in the end:

You can find all the code for the finished effect on CodePen.

Watch the Full Course

The CSS Flexbox model is starting to see more widespread use and is now supported in all major browsers. In the full course, 6 Flexbox Projects for Web Designers, we’ll build upon my earlier CSS: Flexbox Essentials course and outline six practical CSS projects for everyday use.

We’ve also built a comprehensive guide to help you learn CSS online, whether you’re just getting started with the basics or you want to explore more advanced CSS. Check out Learn CSS: The Complete Guide.


Source: Webdesign Tuts+

The State of SEO in 2017

At the beginning of 2016 we published an article about the state of SEO, highlighting some of the most interesting trends and novelties. As this has become something of an annual tradition, we’ve gathered more tips for 2017. Read on to discover the latest SEO techniques to help your website conquer search results!

Mobile-First Indexing

I shouldn’t need to remind you that more people than ever before are searching on Google using a mobile device. Google’s ranking system, however, still prioritizes the desktop version of a page. This can be problematic from an SEO standpoint, especially if the mobile version of a given page differs from desktop in terms of content and UX.

That’s why, starting from November 2016, Google started experimenting with mobile-first indexing. Their algorithm will increasingly use the mobile version of a website to rank its pages, instead of focusing solely on desktop content.

So what does this mean for web design?

  • Using watered-down content on mobile pages might hurt your rankings.
  • It’s more important than ever to concentrate on the loading speed of your site.

You might also consider implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP uses an alternative markup to create a secondary lightweight version of existing pages. AMP’s goal is to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web. Google shows a lightning symbol next to AMP pages in mobile search results, which can positively influence the click-through rate.

You don’t need to hurry and create AMP pages as soon as possible, but it might be worth a test to judge its ROI.

Introduction of Rich Cards

I’m sure you’re aware of rich snippets; these enhanced search results are based on structured data, such as schema.org.

Last year, Google introduced rich cards. Rich cards are essentially an improved version of rich snippets in an even more engaging visual format. They can drastically improve the click-through rate to your pages.

At the moment rich cards are available for recipes, movies, local restaurants and online courses. Find out here which fields are necessary to mark up in order for a rich card to appear.

Machine Learning

Google’s goal is to show you the most relevant results for any given query. To improve their service, they’re constantly tweaking their ranking algorithm. Rankbrain is one of those tweaks.

Rankbrain is a form of artificial intelligence that uses machine learning to analyse search queries and search results. It can automatically recognize patterns. To give you an example; in this research the software learned the capitals of the world by analysing news articles.

What could Rankbrain mean for SEO in 2017?

Simply put: stop carrying out single keyword optimization. Instead of creating a separate page for “keyword A”, “synonym B” and “synonym C”, you’ll be better advised to combine them in one page. Think about topics, rather than keywords.

Indexable Progressive Web Apps

Website or app? Combine the best of both world with “progressive web apps”. These apps don’t require an install, can send push notifications, load quickly, have an icon on the home screen and much more.

The get the most out of these progressive web apps, it’s important to make them indexable. That’s why Google recently released a set of guidelines to do just that.

Voice Search

OK Google, Siri, Cortana, Amazon Echo, Google Home; voice search is on the rise. And this has some SEO implications.

Generally speaking, there’s a difference between voice searchers and people who type a query. The first is far likelier to want quick, short answers. The second type of searcher might be looking for greater detail. You need to cater to both, which is why I suggest you:

  • implement structured data to help search engines understand your content
  • focus on long-tail keywords that answer who, what, why, when, where and why-queries

Conclusion

The basics of SEO remain the same, even in 2017: provide great content that is easily crawlable and make sure it gets plenty of links. There are some new things to look out for, however, so here are my suggestions for the coming year:

  • Make sure your structured data is implemented correctly and up to date to take advantage of rich cards.
  • Adopt a mobile-first approach to your web design.
  • Exploit for long-tail keywords that answer who, what, why, when, where and why-questions.


Source: Webdesign Tuts+

15+ Best WordPress Marketplace Themes: To Make Your eCommerce Site

Selling your products online has never been easier thanks to WordPress and numerous eCommerce themes. But what if you don’t have products to sell and want to make some additional income? 

That’s where creating an online marketplace similar to Etsy or Ebay comes in. The beauty of a marketplace is that all you have to do is create the website and let other vendors sell their products while you take a cut of the sales.

There is no limit to the type of marketplace you can create; whether you want to sell digital or physical products, there is a theme to suit your needs. 

Add to that the fact that popular marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy, and eBay process millions of transactions on a daily basis, and you can easily see that creating an online marketplace is a viable business model.

You can find great WordPress marketplace themes and trending ecommerce WP themes on ThemeForest:

WordPress eCommerce Marketplace Themes
Best WordPress eCommerce Marketplace themes on ThemeForest.

Read on to discover the best eCommerce themes for making a successful online marketplace. You need a WP theme with just the right set of quality features to build your marketplace with—quickly, securely, and with just the right design that fits your goals.

What Makes a Great Marketplace Theme?

An online marketplace is more complex than a regular online store. It requires additional functionality and features which include:

  • The ability for vendors to register and create their online store
  • Front-end submission forms so vendors can easily submit new items
  • Support for mega-menus to keep your navigation menu organized
  • Search and filter functions so buyers can browse through the items without any problems
  • Compatibility with popular e-Commerce plugins such as WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads

It goes without saying that your chosen theme should be responsive and include a blog which will help you get noticed by search engines and drive traffic to your marketplace.

15 Best WordPress Marketplace Themes For All Your Marketplace Needs

Here we’ve curated the best marketplace WordPress themes with all the features mentioned above, as well as highly customizable designs that will help you create the exact look and feel that you want for your marketplace.

1. Marketify –  Clean and Modern WP Marketplace Theme

Marketify is a clean and modern marketplace theme with plenty of pre-designed page templates for registration, login, and vendor profile pages. 

The WordPress eCommerce theme is responsive, and suitable for selling both digital and physical products. Vendors can easily add new products through the front end of your website, and the theme integrates with the Easy Digital Downloads plugin. 

Showcase testimonials from satisfied buyers and provide social proof through video and audio previews of any given product. On top of that, potential customers can create their wish lists and leave reviews after they make purchases.

Marketify Modern WordPress Marketplace Theme

2. Handy – Stylish Handmade eCommerce Shop Theme

If you want to sell handmade goods, look no further than the Handy theme. This WordPress marketplace theme comes with Revolution Slider to create stunning slideshows of featured products. A number of page templates are available as well as a page builder which gives you complete control over the layout of your pages. 

Use shortcodes to insert additional elements such as buttons and columns. Vendors have a thorough overview of their sales. The navigation menu supports the mega-menu feature and customers will have no problems finding the right product thanks to the sortable product grid.

Handy Stylish eCommerce WordPress Shop Theme

3. Oswad – Responsive and Versatile WP Marketplace Theme

Oswad is a beautiful and responsive ecommerce marketplace theme with multiple homepage demos. You can customize every aspect of the theme and make use of multiple widgets to build the layout of your homepage. 

FontAwesome icons will help you highlight different sections of your store and the homepage has plenty of space to display products across several categories. 

A notable feature is the integration of a Live Chat module which allows you to answer any questions potential customers might have about the products.

Oswad Versatile WorPress Marketplace Theme

4. Electro – Vibrant and Customizable Marketplace Theme

Electro is a great choice for anyone considering an electronics store. The theme features a prominent search bar as well as a product slider where you can showcase the most popular products. On top of the standard wishlist feature, customers can also compare products and track their orders once the purchase has been placed. Several menu variations are included in this WordPress eCommerce theme to make navigation as easy as possible. The theme is also responsive and fully customizable.

Electro Vibrant and Customizable WordPress Marketplace Theme

5. Fashion – Vintage Style WordPress Marketplace Theme

Fashion lovers will find everything they need to create a fashion marketplace in this theme. 

You can use the header slider to display recent or popular products and show all the benefits your marketplace offers such as free shipping, member discounts, and more. Add a blog feed on the homepage to share the latest fashion trends with potential customers.

The theme also includes a Live Theme Editor so you can customize it to create a unique design. Customers can use the quick view feature to instantly see product features.

Fashion Stylish eCommerce WordPress Marketplace Theme

6. Makery – Feature-Rich WordPress Marketplace Theme

The Makery marketplace WordPress theme has a simple and clean design but comes packed with features on the backend. You can display highlighted products and popular stores on the homepage. You can also include a call to action in your header area to direct potential buyers and sellers to the right pages.

Vendors can use the Facebook login feature to register and create their store and the theme also offers multiple carts, shop commission, and a sales counter.  You can integrate Google Analytics to keep track of your most important stats, and vendors can be notified of new sales thanks to email notifications.

Makery WordPress eCommerce Marketplace Theme

7. SquareCode – Fast and SEO Optimized eCommerce WP Theme

SquareCode combines modern and responsive design with code that has been optimized for SEO and fast loading times. This marketplace WordPress theme integrates with Easy Digital Downloads which makes it a great choice for selling any type of digital product. 

The header area includes a filterable menu, and the homepage features sections to display best-selling items from several categories. A standout feature is the email signup form which helps you build your email list.

SquareCode Marketplace Theme for Easy Digital Downloads

8. Handmade – Sophisticated eCommerce Marketplace Theme

Handmade has a well-structured layout, and customers can filter through products thanks to product filter widgets. Eight different homepages make it possible to create a unique layout and Visual Composer integration makes it easy to tweak all the layouts to your liking. 

Along with FontAwesome icons, extensive customization options, video backgrounds, and responsive design, the Handmade WordPress ecommerce theme packs quite a punch in terms of useful features.

Handmade Sophisticated WordPress eCommerce Marketplace Theme

9. Stocky – A Perfect Choice for a Photography Marketplace

Try out the Stocky theme if you want to create a site similar to Shutterstock and sell stock photography. The theme features a gallery of recently added photos on the homepage and allows vendors to display EXIF information for each photo. Photos can also easily be watermarked, and visitors can share your products thanks to the integration with social media. On top of that, the ecommerce theme is fully responsive, customizable, and translation-ready.

Stocky - A Stock Photography WordPress Marketplace Theme

10. Dash – Custom Made Furniture WP Marketplace Theme

Dash is an excellent choice if you want to create a furniture marketplace. The header area features a slider of popular products with the search bar and contact information right above it. The WordPress marketplace theme also comes with a mega-menu and custom layouts for each static, blog, and shop page.

You can use the advanced theme options panel to customize colors, fonts, and more. Dash is responsive and retina-ready and includes thorough video documentation and a page builder to create custom layouts.

Dash Handmade Furniture WordPress Marketplace Theme

11. Mango – Unique WP Multipurpose Marketplace Theme

Mango is a unique and multipurpose WordPress ecommerce theme with more than 20 different demo versions covering a variety of niches. The theme includes a minimal and clean grid layout for featured products and recently added items.

You can also display testimonials from satisfied buyers as well as feature logos of your vendors or business partners. On top of that, the marketplace theme includes unlimited header variations, quick view integration, and responsive design.

Mango - WordPress Multipurpose Marketplace Theme

12. Marketica – Advanced eCommerce WordPress Theme

Marketica is an advanced ecommerce theme that integrates with four different vendor plugins to turn your existing store into a vendor marketplace. It comes with Revolution Slider and Visual Composer Builder, as well as the ability to white label the theme for your clients. 

Vendors have access to detailed profile pages, a sales tracker, and they can display their products in a clean grid layout. Finally, the WordPress ecommerce theme includes extensive documentation to guide you through the process of setting it up.

Marketica eCommerce Marketplace WordPress Theme

13. Lucky Shop – Elegant Marketplace WordPress Theme

Lucky Shop is an elegant theme which makes it a perfect choice for a marketplace oriented towards a female audience. A notable feature is the integrated newsletter popup form which works with MailChimp.

The search bar and product filter options are powered by AJAX for fast loading and the WordPress ecommerce theme has several shop and single product layouts along with a quick view feature. You can display payment options in the footer section. Social sharing options complete the feature list in this marketplace theme.

Lucky Shop Responsive Marketplace WordPress Theme

14. Glory – Flat Parallax WordPress eCommerce Theme

If you’re a fan of the parallax trend, look no further than the Glory theme. The theme is suitable for a variety of niches and comes with support for bbPress which you can use to provide an additional support channel for your marketplace.

Vendors can display the products in their ecommerce store in a grid layout and make use of the quick view feature to quickly display product information. On top of that, the theme comes with responsive design, advanced header and footer options, a testimonial section, and a theme customization panel.

GloryGlory Multipurpose WordPress eCommerce Theme

15. Flatastic – Modern and Powerful WordPress Theme

Flatastic is a modern ecommerce marketplace theme with a clean design that brings your products into focus along with a well-structured grid layout. The WordPress theme allows you to not only feature products but different brands and vendors. You can create any type of layout with Visual Composer.

Aside from making use of the blog pages, you can additionally boost your SEO with optimized code and support for Rich Snippets. On top of that, the theme comes bundled with the ChatX plugin so you can provide immediate customer support via Live Chat.

Flatastic Modern Marketplace WordPress Theme

16. Catalog – Minimal WordPress Marketplace Theme

Catalog is a minimal WordPress ecommerce theme that features several page templates so you can easily create all the necessary pages for your marketplace. 

Front-end submissions and custom commissions are available for vendors while customers can take advantage of the search bar and sortable products to find items that interest them the most.

All membership pages are included, and you can easily feature a popular vendor right on the homepage. On top of that, the theme is fully responsive and customizable.

Catalog Buy Sell Marketplace WordPress Theme

5 Tips To Boost Your eCommerce Conversion Rate

As a marketplace owner, boosting your conversion rates and improving sales should be at the forefront of your mind. Here are five easy ways to instantly improve your conversion rate:

1. Start Blogging

While many themes on our list feature SEO optimized code, all of them come with the ability to add a blog to your marketplace. Blogging is one of the best ways to keep your website fresh, and you can use it to share more information about vendors and products.

2. Build an Email List

An email list is the most valuable asset for any business owner. After all, what better way to get personal than sending a customized email to your customers with featured products they are most likely to buy? Consider using a theme like Lucky Shop to build your email list with ease—right from the beginning.

3. Use Social Media to Your Benefit

Sharing your products on social media is a must if you want to reach your target audience. Luckily, themes like Stocky and Catalog come with social media options built in so buyers can follow you and share your content easily across a variety of social media platforms.

4. Facilitate the Checkout Process

Whenever possible, make the checkout process as easy as possible. This means you shouldn’t ask for more information than is absolutely necessary. If you sell digital products, there is no need to ask for your customers physical address, since no actual shipping is involved. Otherwise, consider using a banner which displays all the steps required to finish the purchase.

5. Use Demo Videos

Videos are a powerful marketing tool which you can use to demonstrate all the benefits of a particular product. They work even better than images, and you can use a theme like Marketify to take full advantage of your videos’ capabilities.

Build Your Own Marketplace Site

Building your own marketplace is no easy task, but with the right combination of a quality WordPress eCommerce theme and plugins, the process is much easier. And when you pair that with the tips mentioned above, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful marketplace.


Source: Webdesign Tuts+

How to Design an Icon Using Boolean Operations in Sketch

Sketch’s “boolean operations” allow us to create complex paths by combining existing shapes. Let’s learn how to make the most of them by designing an icon in this screencast tutorial.

Watch Screencast

 

What Are Boolean Operations?

“Boolean”, in terms of computer programming, is a data type which can be either “true” or “false”. In terms of graphics applications like Sketch, we use “boolean” to describe how shapes are combined, using values such as “and”, “or”, “not” etc.

You’ll sometimes hear boolean operations referred to as “Pathfinder” tools, and the options available are: 

  • Union: Where the result is the sum of both paths’ areas.
  • Subtract: Where the area of the top path is removed from the one underneath.
  • Intersect: Which leaves the area where the original shapes overlap.
  • Difference: Effectively the opposite of “intersect”, leaving the parts where the original paths don’t overlap.

Using Boolean Operations

Creating complex shapes is something you’ll inevitably come across in icon design, so let’s take a look at how boolean tools can help us. 

For example, in trying to recreate this anchor icon, we might begin with two circle shapes, the uppermost of which we’ll subtract from the lower.

After some more subtraction, we’ll add some triangles to the end of our anchor’s base, using the union operation to combine all three shapes into one.

Editing

You may have heard the term “non-destructive” design, which refers to a way of working in graphics applications which doesn’t destroy vital information as you go along. Here, for example, you might think we’d have a problem if we wanted to make our triangles larger, but thanks to Sketch’s non-destructive techniques we haven’t burned our bridges.

Each object within this Combined Shape is still accessible as its own layer, so isolating and editing the triangles is no problem:

Ultimately, when your shapes are all created, combined, subtracted, intersected, whatever you need to do, you can click Flatten to remove isolating capabilities. Much like Adobe Illustrator’s Expand option, this will leave you with single complex paths, which might be more appropriate for distributing your icon.

Conclusion

Sketch’s four boolean operations allow us to build complex paths by combining shapes in different ways. As we demonstrated, they’re very useful for icon design. Use them today!

Useful Links


Source: Webdesign Tuts+

Open Graph: Take Control of How Social Media Shares Your Web Pages

No two websites’ markup are created equal. As such, it can be difficult for social media platforms like Facebook to find the correct piece of information within the content to be displayed when the page is shared on the News Feed.

That is where the Open Graph Protocol (OGP) comes into play; an initiative developed by Facebook that allows it to recognize web content easily and display it nicely within their platform. 

Examine the following:


Page rendered in Facebook feed, without Open Graph meta tags

This gives us a decent content preview on the Facebook Feed, with the title as well as the excerpt. If we look at the content on our demo page, however, there are a few more elements that could be utilized; such as the image and the author name. Facebook will not pick these details up without help.

So let’s take a look how we can use Open Graph to improve our content presentation on Facebook.

Using Open Graph

Open Graph specifies a number of meta tags defining meta information of the content, similar to the meta tags that we feed to search engines in common SEO practices. Before we add these meta tags we will need to set the XML Namespace for Open Graph in the html.

The namespace conception in HTML is similar to other web languages; it prevents ambiguity on the data structure. It refers to which semantic vocabularies or syntax should be used when the namespace is present in the document. In our case, the og namespace refers to the Open Graph Protocol, while the fb namespace refers to Facebook-own Open Graph specification.

Alternatively, we can use the prefix attribute to define these namespaces. For instance:

Adding Open Graph Meta Tags

Facebook requires a few tags to be present at all times.

Content Type

First, the content type, specified by the og:type property. On the homepage, we typically set the value to website.

And commonly set it to article for the content.

A number of other possible values can also be set in og:type meta tag which include productplacevideo.moviebooks.book, and many more in case your content is not a typical article like a blog post or news.

For example:

Meta URL

The content URL, specified with the og:url property, must contains an absolute URL of the web page without query strings or hashes, similar to the canonical link. On the homepage, the URL is the homepage URL:

The content URL will be a little more detailed:

Meta Title

The meta title, specified with the og:title property, defines the title for the preview. The value of the title might not always match the title set in the title tag; you may choose to alter, or abbreviate the title for sharing.

For example, the content of our page is about CSS and is entitled for the purposes of social media “Learn CSS: The Complete Guide”. However the document title is actually “Open Graph Protocol — Tuts+”, thus:

There isn’t a defined character limit for the og:title, but Facebook is known to truncate titles on occasion, particularly for content shared in the comment thread where the space is narrow.


Facebook truncates title and description of the shared content on Facebook Wall 

Meta Description

The meta description, specified with the og:description tag, provides the shared content excerpt.

Facebook does not set a defined character or word limit to the description. Still, Facebook will truncate the description when it sees fit, so keep the description short and enticing.

Meta Image

The meta image is defined with og:image, enabling you to visually represent the content, and the value does not always need be an image within the content. Use the best image to entice readers to click and eventually read the content.

In addition to the URL, you can also add in the meta tags specifying the image size and image MIME type. These meta tags are optional, but will help easing Facebook workload when it comes to parsing and caching the image.

The minimum image size is capped at 200×200 pixels, but Facebook recommends the image size be 1200×630 pixels for the best possible outcome.


Small vs big image in Facebook shared content.

You may want to consider the aspect ratio of your image too:

“Try to keep your images as close to 1.91:1 aspect ratio as possible to display the full image in News Feed without any cropping.” – Facebook Developers

The Facebook App ID

Within Facebook, adding the Facebook App ID with fb:app_id meta tag is highly encouraged. The App ID will allow Facebook to link your website and generate a comprehensive overview of how users interact with your website and content.

You may ignore it, if having analytical of your website is not necessary.

Subsidiary Meta Tags

A few meta tags are optional, but will come in useful in certain cases.

The Site Name

The site name is specified with the og:site_name meta tag. It defines the website name, or more accurately your website brand. The website brand or name might not always be your domain name. Tuts+, in this case, is one good example.

According to our branding guidelines this should be written as Tuts+ instead of Tutsplus, yet tutsplus.com is the domain name since a domain cannot contain the + character, hence:

Facebook does not show this site name on the content shared. Instead, you will find it shown on the notification when you have installed a Facebook Social Plugin such as Facebook Comment on your website.

The Type-related Meta Tags

There are a number of meta tags related to the specified content type. As implied, these tags differ depending on the value specified in og:type meta tag. Here we have an article. An article may be accompanied with a few supporting meta tags such article:authorarticle:published_timearticle:publisherarticle:section, and article:tag.

Before including these meta tags, we will need to add a new namespace pointing to the Open Graph Article specification. So, at this point, we have three namespaces namely ogfb, and article.

The Article Author

According to Facebook, the article:author meta tag should contain a Facebook profile URL or the ID of the article’s author.

Adding more than one URL or ID is allowed in case multiple authors contributed to the article.

Tip: if the author does not have a Facebook account, you may replace article:author with the following author meta tag.

Facebook will display the author name on the preview, as follows.

Although Facebook suggest that we include article tags such as article:published_date and article:section they do not add any significance at the time of writing. That is, unless you are dealing with an Instant Article page.

As mentioned, these tags largely depend on your content type. If the content type is video.movie, more appropriate tags would be video:actorvideo:director, and video:duration instead of the articles:published_date.

For that reason, I will leave that part of Open Graph up to you to explore. Facebook has provided comprehensive reference material on these meta tags along with a few examples of code snippets.

Wrapping Up

Open Graph has since been adopted by other social media platforms such as Twitter (though Twitter also has its own proprietary markup called Twitter Cards), Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+ in one form or another. In this tutorial we looked into a few Open Graph meta tags and leveraged them to make our content preview more compelling.

Finally, if you find your content is not rendered as expected, use the Facebook Sharing Debugger to find out what’s wrong with the markup.

Further References


Source: Webdesign Tuts+

2 Quick Methods for Creating Pie Charts in Sketch

In this video tutorial I’ll show you how to design pie charts using Sketch. You can create pie charts manually using shapes, masks, and the pen tool, however I’m going to show you two approaches which are far quicker and more precise.

Watch Screencast

 

Method #1

This is the easiest approach, and involves the use of a plugin. Sketchy Pies was created by Aby Nimbalkar and creates pie charts from your circle layers.

Begin by creating a circle. Then, with it selected, go to Plugins > Sketchy Pies > Convert to Pie Chart. You’ll then see a prompt where you can enter a comma-separated list of color hex codes. Add as many as you like, then click OK; your pie is ready!

These pie sections are cleverly constructed using borders. You can edit each one by selecting them, then changing the border properties. The border color will change the section color, and you can alter the dash measurement to change the size of the section.

You can also specify the section sizes when you first create the pie. This is done by appending each color with a value, like percentages for example: #444444:20%,#555555:80% or decimal values like #444444:.2,#555555:.8.

Method #2

Creating pie charts with angular gradients is a little more involved, but that’s what we’re going to do now! Begin with a circle object, then go to Angular Fill in the properties sidebar. Add two color stops for every section you need for the pie chart:

You can position the color stops along the gradient precisely, using the number keys on your keyboard. Hitting 2, while your color stop is selected, will position it exactly 20% along the gradient. The start of each new section will have to be positioned exactly where the end of the previous section is.

Note: I’m using Sketch version 41.2, and you’ll notice that where the sections join there’s a jagged line. This hasn’t always been the case, so I’m pretty sure it’s a Sketch bug. Let me know if you use a different version and see better results!


Source: Webdesign Tuts+