Category Archives: Sponsor

FullStory Lets You See Your Site from a User’s Perspective

Imagine being able to see your website as a user does. You might catch their frustration when something doesn’t work as expected. Or, you may give yourself a high-five when seeing a transaction go just as you hoped.

Even if you aren’t sitting right next to each and every user, you can still see exactly how they interact with your website. FullStory makes it happen.

FullStory - The Service that Beats Traditional User Testing

The Service that Beats Traditional User Testing

With FullStory, you can replay user sessions with pixel-perfect accuracy. You’ll see every click, key press and page transition along the way. Even better is that each session is a fully-inspectable recreation of your website – with DOM, the JS console, and assets. So, for example, when a JavaScript error pops up during a user session, you’ll see it. A detailed log of every JS error from a user’s browser is provided.

Unlike traditional user testing, FullStory is a complete solution with incredible detail. With the FullStory TV feature, you can choose to auto-play every user session or just a saved segment. You’ll gain non-stop insight into how users interact with your site. As you watch, patterns will emerge like rage, error and dead clicks. From there, you can determine what is and isn’t working much more quickly than with old school testing methods.

FullStory has Powerful Features to Analyze Data

Powerful Features to Analyze Data

While it’s great to have access to tons of session playbacks, you also need a way to quickly find the interactions you’re looking for. FullStory’s OmniSearch makes it easy. Find customers, view page analytics, create funnels and more. All you need to do is start typing – OmniSearch does all of the heavy lifting.

To visualize results, FullStory provides Searchies. Valuable data comes in digestible pieces like pie charts and funnels that automatically accompany every search and segment. It can help you to make sense of all that session data.

FullStory also integrates with a number of popular third-party applications. Session data can be sent to collaboration apps like HipChat, Slack or Trello. It also works with support suites like, HelpScout and Zendesk. You can bring insights directly into your BigCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace or WordPress/WooCommerce website. Plus, you’ll get the benefits of hooking into Google Analytics Universal and Google Tag Manager. There are a number of useful integrations available to meet your needs.

Team members will love FullStory’s collaboration-friendliness. You can send individual session playback links to people both inside and outside of your organization. This will help you collect valuable feedback and insight from others.

With the Identify API, you can bring customer information directly into FullStory. Customer data will be searchable within the app. Custom User Attributes let you populate unique user fields like a customer’s subscription level or their lifetime spend amount. Privacy is vital and FullStory makes it easy to exclude sensitive customer data through a simple point and click interface.

Sign Up for a Free FullStory Account

Sign Up for a Free FullStory Account

Do you really know how users interact with your website? Stop guessing and sign up for a free account with FullStory. See the valuable insights you’ve been missing. They’ll make for a better website, and you might even become the office superhero.

The post FullStory Lets You See Your Site from a User’s Perspective appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Source: Speckyboy Utilizes AI to Create Beautiful, Responsive Websites

Growing up, we learn that each of us is unique. We all have different talents and specialties to share with the world. Most business owners, for example, are quite adept and passionate in their chosen field. But, while every business (and owner) is indeed different, there is one thing that they all need: a great website.

While most owners know their own business like the back of their hand, the process of creating a business website isn’t always so clear. This is where Bookmark’s AI website builder comes in and revolutionizes the whole thing..

AIDA (Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant) may sound like some futuristic product, but it’s already here and it is awesome. AIDA

What is AIDA?

Aida creates the first version of your website in under two minutes by making selections from millions of combinations specific to each user’s website needs.It then takes this knowledge and creates a one-of-a-kind website – just for you. In short, AIDA utilizes your own business expertise to create the perfect website.

The process is incredibly simple. In fact, estimates that AIDA eliminates 90% of the pain points usually associated with website creation and design. Here’s how it works:

1. Create your free account at Bookmark and, in your profile, create a new website.
Create a new website with a click.

2. Choose to build your site using’s A.I. Design Assistant.
Choose the A.I. Design Assistant

3. Answer a few questions about your business.
Tell AIDA about your business.

4. Let AIDA generate your awesome, fully-editable website.'s AIDA generates your new website.

Seriously, that’s all it takes!

Make it Your Own

Customizing your new website is as easy as clicking and editing, dragging and dropping. And what makes stand out (besides the whole Artificial-Intelligence-Designed-My-Website thing) is that you can easily add real functionality wherever you want.

There are a plethora of features you can add, including:

  • Responsive Web Design
  • Contact Forms
  • Video Backgrounds
  • Web Animation
  • E-Commerce (Yes, you can sell things and take payments!)
  • Event Registration
  • Facebook Comment Integration
  • File Downloads
  • Multimedia (Audio, Video, Galleries and Slideshows)
  • Maps
  • Social Media Sharing
  • Subscription Forms
  • And many more powerful design features

You also have access to powerful design features. Change colors, fonts and menus with just a couple of clicks. Add, remove or manage pages with drag-and-drop ease. Want to change something on a page? You’ll be able to quickly edit it, remove it or just drag it to a new spot. Essentials like SEO and password-protection are also right at your fingertips.

Use AIDA to create your business website

Put AIDA to Work for You

Any of us who grew up watching Sci-Fi can relate to the pure potential AI has for changing the world. Using’s AIDA is proof that the technology is real and quite helpful. It’s almost like seeing a little bit of the future, right here in the present.

Try the free Bookmark website builder and give AIDA a try for yourself. You might just be amazed at what it can do.

The post Utilizes AI to Create Beautiful, Responsive Websites appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Source: Speckyboy

eversign Enables Electronic Signatures Anywhere, Anytime

Working remotely can be quite hectic – especially for freelancers. It seems like every minute of the day brings a new task or challenge. And when it comes to both sending and receiving documents that require signatures, doing things the old fashioned way isn’t going to help with efficiency.

That’s the beauty of eversign. Their service provides the ability to sign contracts or other documents electronically. The signatures are legally binding and, just as important; you can use the Lite version of their service for free. That saves you time, hassle and some cash.

Eversign legally binding electronic signatures

Essential Technology and Security

eversign makes the process of signing electronically simple, convenient and secure. Your data is encrypted with 256-bit SSL on an infrastructure that is closely monitored.

What’s more, you can easily set documents to automatically expire, export them to your own system and completely remove them from eversign’s servers. So you can take heart in the fact that eversign provides the utmost security.

You’ll also find features that make the whole process quick and easy:

Document Editor

All you need to get started is to upload an existing PDF file. Using eversign’s Document Editor, you can add in data fields via drag-and-drop for recipients to fill in items such as their name, company name and email address.

Need something more advanced? It’s easy to add radio buttons, checkboxes, drop down menus or even allow signers to upload and attach their own documents.

Eversign Document Editor

Sign from Anywhere – Even in Person

The days of faxing or mailing paper copies are over. With eversign, documents can be signed from anywhere and on any device. Desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones are all supported.

And, bringing even more convenience is the fact that you can collect signatures in person – directly on your own device. So even an in-person meeting can become paperless.

Eversign lets you sign from anywhere

Seamless Integration with Your Workflow

To make life even easier, eversign connects seamlessly with the apps you’re already using. Popular online applications like Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and more can all connect with your eversign account in just a few seconds.

From there, you’ll be able to import and export documents with the cloud service of your choice. Developers can also integrate eversign with their own custom systems via a straightforward JSON-based REST API.

Eversign integrates with apps you already use

Built for Your Business

No matter what kind of business you’re in, eversign can help. For example, you can make use of their templates for frequently used documents – like registration forms. You can also manage multiple businesses, each with their own set of team members and contacts.

Plus, eversign includes an audit trail that lets you see all the important details for each and every transaction.

Manage multiple businesses, team members and contacts

Get Your Free eversign Account

eversign has been built to make collecting electronic signatures both simple and secure. It not only meets all the strict security and authentication requirements defined in both the United States and Europe, the service will also seamlessly integrate into your existing workflow.

eversign is there to bring functionality and organization to an otherwise difficult aspect of doing business.

Sign up for your free eversign account today and see how it can benefit your business.

The post eversign Enables Electronic Signatures Anywhere, Anytime appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Source: Speckyboy

14 Useful WordPress Themes for Your 2017 Projects

Looking for a WordPress theme?

The options seem endless; and it can be a bit overwhelming. Any old theme won’t do. You want one that enables you to build awesome websites, while providing the best value for your money.

What to look for:

  • An Aesthetically Pleasing Design: If you plan on being in business for a while, be sure to select a modern, aesthetically pleasing theme that won’t need major changes over the long term.
  • SEO Friendliness: Getting plenty of traffic is all-important, but it’s only going to happen if your website is SEO friendly. Select a theme that displays this capability.
  • Easy Customization: A theme that is easy to customize will give you plenty of design flexibility. And will save you tons of time in the process. Why pay for a product that puts you in a creative straitjacket?
  • Quality Support: Getting a response to a problem via email within 3-5 business days is not quality support. Look for a theme that gets you in touch with a customer service rep right away, or promises a rapid response. Forums and videos are helpful too.

Be Theme – Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

Be Theme Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

Be Theme, the biggest WordPress theme ever, is also one of the most versatile and popular. It has every feature you’ve come to look for in a multi-purpose theme, plus several you won’t find in most other WP themes.

Be’s showcase feature is its more than 230 pre-built websites to choose from. They cover all the common website types, as well as the major business niches. Each of these pre-built websites is professionally designed in terms of their appearance and functionality. They are aesthetically pleasing and modern in appearance, and they provide a solid foundation for creating an engaging UX.

With Muffin Builder 3 and Visual Composers as your page-building options, along with 200+ shortcodes, there’s no need for coding, no matter how much detail you include in your design. Other Be Theme features include 20 customizable header styles, SEO ready, Retina Ready, and Responsive, plus its powerful Admin Panel and the practically limitless selection of design options.

The Core – Multi Purpose WordPress Theme

The Core  Multi Purpose WordPress Theme

The Core is another multi-purpose WordPress theme that has much to offer. Its users love how its backend Advanced Visual Builder not only makes website building intuitive, but gives them complete, real-time control throughout the design process.

The Core comes with 20+ thematic demos, each of which can be installed with a single click, along with The Core Main. The Core Main is a multipurpose demo that you’ll find many uses for. The other demo designs have been carefully crafted for use in building a particular website type, theme, or industry.

Other key features include three sliders and an excellent selection of shortcodes that, along with the visual builder, eliminates any need for coding. The Core is Responsive, and WooCommerce and Retina ready. The three purchase plans include the lifetime plan, an excellent buy if you intend to become a long-term, heavy user.

Enfold – Multi-Purpose Theme

Enfold - Multi-Purpose Theme

The fact that Enfold is a ThemeForest best-rated top seller says a great deal. ThemeForest is well known for its line of high-quality products. Enfold is an extremely versatile WordPress theme.

Enfold offers a top-notch selection of quality demos. While you can import any one of them with a single click, an especially attractive feature is the ability to combine features from several demos as your design unfolds. Many users rely mainly on the Enfold default demo to get the job done, but the ability to borrow elements from other demos is still there.

Quality support is something you should expect when selecting a WP theme. You’ll receive nothing less than top support from the Enfold team and from ThemeForest. You’ll get the proper answers to your questions, and whatever assistance you may need, and in good time. ThemeForest also offers a hosted version of Enfold.

Hestia PRO

Hestia PRO

If onepage websites are you forte, Hestia PRO will be an excellent choice. Hesta PRO is a onepage Material Design theme. Given its multiplicity of features and functions however, it fully qualifies as a multi-purpose theme.

Hesta PRO is Responsive and WooCommerce ready. You’ll also discover that its layouts are glamourous. It’s a great choice for startups.

Houzez – Real Estate WordPress Theme

Houzez - Real Estate WordPress Theme

While any web designer can use a multi-purpose theme, many are better served by a specialty theme like Houzez, that focuses on a certain business niche or industry. As its name implies, Houzez is a WP theme destined for real estate agents and agencies. Its interior pages are specifically designed to fit the needs of the real estate industry.

Divi 3.0

Divi 3.0

Divi has, since its launch, been an Elegant Themes top seller, and with the release of Divi 3.0 it’s popularity has soared. Much of that is due Divi Builder, its state-of-the-art page building tool.

You’ll find plenty of use for the 20+ pre-made layouts as well, plus the feature that lets you preview device type displays and adjust your design accordingly.

KLEO – Pro Community Focused, Multi-Purpose BuddyPress Theme

KLEO - Pro Community Focused Multi-Purpose BuddyPress Theme

KLEO was BuddyPress’s top-rated theme in 2016, and its popularity should only increase in 2017. KLEO is a community-oriented theme that can boast of such features as a Facebook login, Pricing and Price Comparison tables, a Geo Directory, and an e-learning system. KLEO’s advanced page builder and modular approach make building a portfolio, blog, or shop almost ridiculously easy.

Uncode – Creative Multiuse WordPress Theme

Uncode - Creative Multiuse WordPress Theme

You should have a workable concept in mind before you start to design a website. This is where Uncode sparkles. Uncode offers several concept categories, blog, classic, shop, etc., with several concepts in each category. The Enhanced Visual Composer, Adaptive Images, and Advanced Grid System, along with many other features, allow you to turn any of these engaging concepts into a sparkling website, portfolio, or shop.

TheGem – Creative Multi-Purpose High-Performance WordPress Theme

TheGem - Creative Multi-Purpose High-Performance WordPress Theme

TheGem has been called by some the “Swiss Army Knife” of WP themes. It is so loaded with features, and so flexible, that it would be difficult to image a website type that you could not create with it. In addition to more than 40 design concepts, there are 150 awesome demo pages to work with, along with a host of navigation settings and styles.

Ultra WordPress Theme

Ultra WordPress Theme

Ultra, Themify’s most powerful WP theme, is a genuine time saver if you’re in the market for a great theme for creating client sites. Its pre-made demo sites and single-click demo setup provide the content, menus, widgets, and other features you need to get your design off to a rapid start.

Another impressive feature is Ultra’s selection of design skins, with which you can make your websites truly unique in their appearance.

Impreza WordPress Theme

Impreza WordPress Theme

Impreza is impressing! It has every feature you would expect to find in a premium WordPress theme. Rather than a selection of headers to choose from, Impreza lets you design your own with its visual header builder, plus 14 templates to help you along. There are, of course, a host of other impressive features as well.

Test drive it for free; and see how small details can make a big impression.

XStore – Responsive WooCommerce Theme

XStore - Responsive WooCommerce Theme

XStore is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a theme that makes e-commerce look easy. This king-size theme was created with one thing in mind; to help you and others create professional-looking online shops that are guaranteed to gain user trust. XStore is user friendly, and the shops you can build using it will provide a friendly UX as well. All this, and you don’t even need special technical skills or coding skills.

Kalium WordPress Theme

Kalium WordPress Theme

If the minimalist look is a favored design trend of yours, Kalium should be right up your alley. Kalium’s hallmark feature is its selection of modern, minimalist demos. There are many other great features too, including shortcodes, bonus elements, unlimited options, and popular plugins (including Visual Composer). Kalium also supports a host of plugins that are not included.

TheFox Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

TheFox Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

TheFox WordPress theme has been designed to the minutest detail. It’s the smartest WordPress theme on ThemeForest. It’s new, for real, multi-purpose, super flexible, and clever like a fox in the way it helps you create one outstanding website after another. Features include 30+ design demos, 250+ design details, Visual Composer with custom modules, and premium plugins. Check out TheFox Business demo and/or the Trending demo.

Wrapping it Up

If you’re looking for a multi-purpose theme, you’ll find it here, the same is true if you need a dedicated e-commerce theme, a onepage theme, or one dedicated to the real estate niche. Whichever you choose, expect to receive a quality product, with excellent support.

If you feel we’ve left something out, let us know. There’s a host of good WP themes out there; we simply chose those we believe to be the best of the lot.

The post 14 Useful WordPress Themes for Your 2017 Projects appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Source: Speckyboy

Useful Productivity Tips & Web Apps for Design Teams & Designers

The productivity tips outlined here are followed by most web design teams and individual designers. They are always worth repeating, though. Forgetting or ignoring any one of them can affect your project workflow performance.

They are also worth reviewing since not all designers are aware of them in their totality. When taken together, they can contribute to a successful outcome, project after project.

When forced to rely on something less than a top rated project management tool, designers can still achieve success. Yet only after overcoming obstacles that they should have been able to avoid.

Productivity Tips

Clarify Expectations.
This should be the first rule a designer or a project manager needs to follow. Team members or designers need to know what is to be expected of them. And, all team members need to be on the same page – at all times.

Encourage Open Communications.
Problems, potential problems, and concerns, need to be discussed honestly with your client or team members. A team member who is reluctant to bring a problem to the fore can cause added work for the team as a whole. The team leader needs to be open and honest as well.

Give Team Members Autonomy.
Some call it autonomy; some call it empowerment. People who enjoy working on teams also need to feel like they are working for themselves.

Rethink Meetings.
While meetings are a necessary part of doing business, you should structure them to fully support you or the team’s effort. Unproductive meetings can result in team members being kept from what they do best.

Reserve Downtime.
In a results-driven, highly-charged work environment, scheduled downtime is advisable. And it should be a mandatory practice. The beneficiaries are productivity and morale.

Principles to Remember I –
Make smart use of shared calendars, and show progress are two ways of keeping direct reports accountable. Unplanned events happen, but make it a point to give team members a heads-up when extra hours are in the offing.

Principles to Remember II – Don’t micromanage your team, don’t over commit them. Give them the tools and resources they need to do the job.

Useful web apps to get the job done:


InVision is the world’s leading prototyping, collaboration, and workflow platform. Whether you are an individual designer or the leader of a design team, this workflow tool gives you a way to take feedback from clients and stakeholders, analyze and organize that feedback, and, when necessary, drill down into specific project details.

The good news: InVision is used by companies like Twitter, Apple. General Motors, Uber, and others for their prototyping and project management needs. Even better news: You can try if for free for a single prototype, whether you are an individual web designer or an agency or corporate design team.

You can modify your project, test it, and modify it more, without any need for coding. Professional and Enterprise Versions are available, both at highly affordable prices. If you your team is a large one, working many different prototypes, you can try the Enterprise plan one time for free. This should be a difficult opportunity to pass up. helps designers, entrepreneurs and product managers enhance their design process by creating realistic, interactive and sharable prototypes, without code.

You can design your prototype directly in, using the beautifully crafted UI components for iOS, Android, Windows and WatchOS or import your designs directly from Sketch or Photoshop. With animations, interactions and transitions helps you bring any static design to life.

What makes truly shine is that it allows you to preview your prototypes in a web browser or on the intended device making the experience as realistic as possible. You just need to download the app for iOS and Android. Sharing your prototypes with key stakeholders can be done with just a single click.

350,000 users, smoking-hot startups like PayPal and Evernote, and Fortune 500 companies have placed their trust in See why by signing up for a free 15-day full-featured trial.


If you’re on the market for an enterprise-level software marketing tool, but have found them to be either prohibitively expensive or unable to deliver value for money, Sendloop may well be your answer. Sendloop is the email marketer’s dream. It is specially tailored to leverage the power of email marketing.

Email marketing at times risks being crowded out of competition, no doubt due in part to the difficulty many have in formulating email promotional content that can capture and engage user attention. With Sendloop, you can distribute marketing information featuring professionally-styled content your customers and potential customers will love; without a need for coding or special technical skills.

Sendloop comes with more than 100 ready-to-use email templates. All that’s needed is your branding. Give it a try, and be prepared to watch response rates increase.


Paymo is a single platform for team collaboration, timesheet management and task accounting. This modern project management app is ideally suited for small to medium businesses.

Paymo’s many benefits include helping your team keep focused on delivering real work, rather than spending excessive times in meetings.

It does so in part by enabling team leaders and team members to keep up to date with project progress, by tracking billable hours and milestones, converting timesheet data into invoices, and even accepting payments online. Project managers and design teams have found Paymo’s integrated project accounting capabilities to be invaluable.


Design teams look for more in a project management tool than the ability to simply collect and record project status. They look for a tool that actively assists them in their desire to work closely together. MeisterTask is that tool. Its flexible project boards easily adapt to actual workflow situations.

MeisterTask takes the traditional Kanban board, with its sticky notes on whiteboard approach, and presents it as an integral part of a beautifully designed UI that is an absolute joy to work with.

An added benefit: MeisterTask integrates easily with hundreds of other tools, from mind mapping to team chat and calendar to email apps.

Form Analytics by UseItBetter

Form Analytics by UseItBetter can be an answer to your prayers if customer loss because of the forms you use is a persistent problem.

No matter what it is you’re selling, online forms are notorious for throwing up roadblocks to users instead of making transactions as smooth easy as possible.

It starts by collecting data on how users are interacting with your forms. It presents you with a visual picture of why most customers are dropping out, so you can fix you forms, and go about optimizing conversions. It’s that simple.

Wrapping it up

The beauty of web apps such as these, is that the can do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping a project on track or fixing details that need fixing. That’s true whether an app you select provides and all-in-one project management platform, or one devoted to a more specific task.

Productivity tips along with principles to keep in mind are, and always will be of prime importance. Web apps can make workflow progress smoothly, but it is still you or the team leader who must set the tone for the day’s work.

The post Useful Productivity Tips & Web Apps for Design Teams & Designers appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Source: Speckyboy

Combine the Best of Both Worlds with Material Design for Bootstrap

Material Design has become a popular topic of discussion in the design community of late. And we’re starting to see it implemented in sites across the web.

The trouble is, Material Design is a concept that can seem a bit complicated to understand. There’s also the problem of figuring out how to use elements of it in our own designs.

That’s why it’s so refreshing to see Material Design for Bootstrap – a powerful and free Material Design UI kit. They have combined the power of Material Design with the familiarity of the Bootstrap front-end framework. With it, you now have the ability to add Material Design elements to your website using an existing (and very popular) tool.

Material Design for Bootstrap

So, what is Material Design?

Developed by Google, Material Design is a “visual language” that aims to create a consistent user experience across platforms and devices. Not only that, it seeks to bring many of the principles of good design that we’ve seen in print publications for years to the web.

Simply put, Material Design exists to make the user’s experience as clear and consistent as possible. Let’s take a look at some key concepts:

  • Provide visual cues to help users quickly understand how to interact with your website.
  • Use elements such as whitespace, color and typography to create hierarchy, meaning and focus.
  • Use motion in a meaningful and appropriate way to enhance user actions.
  • Material Design is a 3-D environment, so use of shadows and ambient lighting are important for creating depth.

Now that you know some of the basics, you may want to further explore the details with regards to Material Design.

What’s Bootstrap?

Bootstrap, created by Twitter, is an open source front-end framework that combines HTML, CSS and JS to help you create responsive, mobile-first websites. It’s built to work on all types of devices and screen sizes.

It comes loaded with lots of UI elements, jQuery plugins and custom HTML and CSS components. This helps you provide a consistent experience for users sound familiar?

Bootstrap has become extremely popular over the years and can be used in combination with static sites, along with WordPress or other content management systems.

Material Design for Bootstrap Brings it All Together

SlideNav Variations available with Material Design for Bootstrap

With Material Design for Bootstrap, you’re getting the best of both worlds. You’ll be able to use the rapid design qualities of Bootstrap to create a website that follows Google’s Material Design principles. It’s all built right in to the kit!

Included with Material Design for Bootstrap you’ll get:

  • HTML, CSS, SASS and JS files
  • Detailed Documentation
  • Over 400 Components including a wide array of buttons, cards, image overlays, ecommerce components, form elements, lightboxes, carousels, blog components, animations, charts, image effects, modals, navigation and much more.
  • Useful Pre-Built Sections including blog listings, contact pages, best-seller layouts, pricing tables, featured content layouts, intros, magazine-style newsfeeds, project listings, staff listings and testimonials.
  • Templates including beautiful layouts for pages with full-width videos, carousels, various grid layouts, blog templates, landing pages, ecommerce pages and more.

If you’d like even more outstanding features, Material Design for Bootstrap Pro provides you with over 2,000 components, 40 sections and more than 20 templates. All of that comes with premium support.

Download Your Free Copy of Material Design for Bootstrap

Material Design for Bootstrap easily changes Bootstrap elements.

If you are among the many designers and developers already using Bootstrap for rapid development, then it’s worth adding Material Design for Bootstrap to your toolbox. The fact that you can use a familiar process for adding a new technology like Material Design is just too good to pass up.

If you’re not very familiar with web development, the guys from Material Design for Bootstrap have written an in-depth tutorial for beginners that will show you how to easily create stunning websites in no time. And if that’s still too much for you, there are also a number of pre-made templates available, both free and premium, that will you help you get your next web project launched quicker.

Not using Bootstrap or Material Design yet? You’ll want to check out this UI kit to see what all the fuss is about.

Grab your free copy of Material Design for Bootstrap today and start utilizing the many benefits of these two very popular technologies.

The post Combine the Best of Both Worlds with Material Design for Bootstrap appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Source: Speckyboy

Divi “Drops Mic” – and This Is How the Web Design Community Reacts

It’s not difficult to understand why web designers love Divi so much. It has been a hit from the release of Divi 1.0. It’s Elegant Theme’s most popular theme, and it has been so for some time.

There was always something new being added, that other themes simply did not have, and most of them still don’t. As an example, Version 2.7 integrated A/B testing. A pretty revolutionary move for the WordPress environment.

The video showing the new front end builder, has created quite a stir. Now, with Divi 3.0’s launch, the fun begins.

The web design community’s reaction to the launch was enthusiastic.

Divi has enjoyed serving its loyal user community from the beginning. Its authors have always taken care to take into account and implement much of the feedback provided by the theme’s users. This strategy has allowed Divi’s creators to connect with the user community, and it has served everyone well.

Here’s the video that generated such enthusiasm.

And here are the super enthusiastic reactions throughout the community:

“As a younger designer in the 1980s, I was blown away by WYSIWYG with PageMaker v1! This will give me the same thrill for on-line designing. Always had a need for speed. Great work.” – Cristopher

“WOW! This reminds me of what Jackson Pollock did for the artist. He changed the way artists worked and thought about their medium.” – Joshua

“Finally. Somebody gets it. Been waiting like 10 years for this!” – Teton

“I’m doing 1-armed pushups I’m so excited.” – Derek

“OMG, I’m in disbelief!! I only joined the ET Dev club a week ago and I can’t believe the amassing difference between ET and another theme Dev’s. It feels like a privileged to even be here! WOW. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be a customer of a product that is more than good, Yes I’m talking about Divi mostly, I haven’t had time to properly digest the bigger picture yet! it’s way beyond excellent and more…. a lot more…. ET is way above my initial expectations and I love it! I’ll be here and part of the family for life that’s for sure.”- Liz

Hundreds of web designers were happy to sign up to take part in the beta testing. They offered a multitude of helpful ideas:

Bill H (August 11, 2016): “I have 4 websites using Divi. I also run a non-Divi website built for a senior citizen community. They do the updates to the website, but they aren’t extremely computer- savvy, so it’s tough for me to teach them. I’m thinking Divi 3.0 is going to be a good fit for them.”

BrantH (August 11, 2016): “An auto h1 would be good… and not really that hard to code in. However, I think the reason it’s not there is because if you add in a full width element, you might not want an h1… or you would of course want it below the full width header if you did want to include it. Again, these wouldn’t be impossible to code in, but I don’t think an auto h1 is ideal for every scenario.

Paul (August 11, 2016): “Awaiting the birth of a remarkable evolution that will change my life. Thank you!”

This Is Why You Should Get Excited as Well

When was the last time a web page became alive as you were building or editing? Or have you ever had that experience? Here’s what Divi 3.0 does that makes that experience happen. It’s like building your website on the website.

First, some input; straight from the source:

“Unlike the current version of the Divi Builder, in which elements on the page are represented by blocks, elements in the visual editor are represented by themselves. You can click into any section, row or module and edit the element’s settings just like you would in the current builder. When in visual mode, however, the broader editing experience, particularly the interplay between a module’s settings and the actual output of those settings, is infinitely more intuitive

When you make a change, it happens instantly (and I mean instantly)! All of the editing occurs in your browser which means there is no need to use Ajax calls to load elements or update the design, and since we are using React, updating the DOM is incredibly efficient. Building a new page is really, really fast.” – Nick Roach, Elegant Theme’s founder

Hover and Click to Add a New Element

Hover over the location on your webpage and click. You’ll be prompted to select one of the 40+ customizable content modules. Click on your selection, and it will instantly appear on your page, ready to be modified.

Easily Customize Anything or Everything

When you customize an element, you’ll see what you’ve accomplished on your web page – in real time.

You can:

  • Choose from dozens of custom fonts. Change letter spacing, line height, and text color and size.
  • Change column and row parameters, add padding, or change margins.
  • Add background colors, images, and video backgrounds and incorporate parallax.
  • Drag, drop, copy and paste content elements.
  • Apply different design settings for each responsive breakpoint.

Experience the Delights of Super-Smooth Inline Editing

You can forget about any need to open up a design element’s settings to edit its text content. That makes one less thing to worry about. When the visual editor is active, the text on your page is instantly editable – all of it. You’ll find the inline editor UI super smooth in its performance, and friendly to work with.

Experience Mind-boggling Speed

Divi 3.0‘s visual builder is the fastest online builder you’ve ever encountered. It’s build from ground up using React and Flux. The building experience occurs right on your browser. No page loading or any need for page refreshes is involved. You can expect nearly instantaneous updates as you add or edit content. Internet speed is not a factor.

Work with an “Invisible”, Customizable Builder Interface

“Invisible” aptly describes the new visual builder’s interface. This is a case of a builder’s design being so good that it goes unnoticed. It’s just there. It doesn’t get in your way, nor does it present you with tons of options and choices that you have no immediate need for. It predicts your intentions and offers solutions. You won’t even be aware of the workings of the design until you have a specific need that has to be met.

The UI is also customizable; another rarity in the WP theme domain. You have the option to display the builder’s controls and settings as you want. Simply adjust them to how they will fit best in your work area.

Discover How React Makes Things Easier for You

You will be working with a builder that was built from the ground up using React and Flux. With the Divi 3.0 builder, Elegant Themes is investing in the future, and you, its user, can share the dividends.

You won’t have to be working with Divi 3.0 for very long before you begin to realize that you’ve become a part of something big. This new release is a WP environment game changer. You might in fact find it hard to believe at first. This is a theme that is so simple and intuitive to use and can boost your performance to new heights. You’ll never want to go back.

Discover Divi 3.0 Here!

The post Divi “Drops Mic” – and This Is How the Web Design Community Reacts appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Source: Speckyboy

The Complete Guide to Working with Remote Developers

As a web design professional, you know how important the quality of a remote coding agency’s work is for the ultimate success of your project.

Design and development teams can and should collaborate to eliminate the hiccups, misunderstandings, and delays. Effectively sharing ideas should be an intrinsic part of the overall process.

Fortunately, there are highly professional coding agencies like this one, whose mission is to ensure you that you are in the loop every step of the way, as your designs are being transformed into reality.

Is this collaboration or someone needs to put a timeline on a flipchart?.

4 Golden Rules for Working with Remote Developers

The benefits you will realize by choosing a remote development agency can be significant.

Remote teams often have more experience and greater talent than local coding enterprises. They service the global marketplace, and have a solid understanding of recent trends and technologies.

Good remote coders have learned and practiced ways to become highly productive. And they constantly strive to improve their skills.

This is how coders relax.

Being remote not only requires better communication, it forces it to happen. How does this happen? Weekly meetings, chat sessions, and the exceptional clarity in briefs, specifications, and feedback. These are all part of the overall scheme.

Some remote development agencies are structured with excellence in teamwork and collaboration in mind. There may be multiple, widely-dispersed physical offices, and talented freelancers often play important roles. This kind of structure is tailored and optimized to deliver the best results.

The golden rules below come from the experience of such an agency.

With 10 years of experience behind it, Xfive has put in place a highly efficient workflow and project management formula. As an Xfive client, you will have your own personal project manager to oversee all stages and facets of development. Your Xfive PM will work closely with you, briefing you on all project stages and taking care that your deadlines and specifications are met.

The Xfive team at work.

Keep these four golden rules in mind when working with a remote agency:

  • A clear brief helps to get a project off to a solid start. Collaboration can get underway even before your brief is finalized when you have a good agency working with you. Be willing to listen to any guidance the project manager may offer. It can help to get everyone on the same page as the project gets underway.
  • Practicality is important. Your coding agency should advise you on the coding best practices and the technologies that they plan to put into play. The final decision is yours, but it should be a knowledge-based decision.

Technologies may vary, but the maker’s touch is essential.

  • Communicate efficiently and effectively. Understand your responsibilities toward making collaboration work by preparing yourself for periodic briefings. Avoid making changes once the project is in development. If you must do so, be prepared to negotiate new deadlines. Work with the agency to determine which means of communications will work best.
  • Listen to the specialists. Professional developers always have the user in mind. Criticism is intended to be constructive, and it is given with the best of intentions. The feedback you may receive is based on solid, variate coding experience.

Preparing .psd Files for Handoff to a Developer

As a web designer, you already know how important it is to provide your developer with well prepared layouts. It’s not only about efficient design, but those details that can really guide the developer. Here are seven steps that will benefit the entire workflow process progress:

1. Prepping the File

It’s best if you can create a separate PSD file for each page template layout. It is much easier for coders to work with multiple small files, each containing a single template. Once you have approved a Photoshop design, make another version of it for the developer. In the developer’s version, layers that are not required for coding can be deleted, while keeping the final design intact.

2. Layout and Color Palette Information

Color may be a good way to start a beautiful friendship with your developer.

Keep guides to a minimum by removing any unnecessary guidelines. Outline page content blocks such as headers, footers, and sidebars. Create a layer group within your Photoshop file or a Word document that lists the colors and styles. Include hover states for text links and other elements not in the PSD files. This color palette listing can also define common page components. These common page components may be font characteristics, page headers, sub headers and the like.

3. Navigation and Button States

Don’t neglect navigation elements, or make the developer guess at what they might consist of. Group all of the navigation elements in their own folder. The coder will need to define two or three user interaction states in the stylesheet. Each state needs to be placed on its own layer name that corresponds to its function. Do this for any button appearing in the design.

4. Flattening and Merging

Flattening layers may at times be necessary. Combine multiple layered elements into a single layer. This way, you will eliminate guesswork on the part of the developer as to which layer goes with another. Give the developer a clear road map and merge layers that do not require his editing. Avoid the possibility of design elements being altered during slicing.

5. Fonts

This is how book printing fonts look like. This is not how to do it on the Internet.

Leave web fonts as editable text, use pixel sizing instead of font sizes. Do not use kerning in editable text, and avoid kerning for individual letters. Working with fonts for web design is not the same as working with them when creating a Word document.

6. Images

It will help the developer if you optimize your images to reduce their file sizes. It is usually possible to significantly, even drastically, reduce image file sizes. The end result – faster page load times and the best possible UI.

7. Layers

Make an extra effort to organize layers by naming them, as well as the layer groups. It makes it easier for everyone if you stick to a standard naming convention, or one commonly used in your work environment. Create a Photoshop file folder structure or establish a project template.

Why Mockups Will Make Your Life Easier & Help the Coder

Once the design files are ready to be submitted together with your requirements, you can give yourself a reality check. Submit a mockup that you have created with the developer’s work in mind. You will do the developer a huge favor by doing so.

Mockups are like love letters to your developer.

Those who work for remote coding agencies are typically extremely talented coders. It can however be a mistake to assume that if you can think of a design, it can be easily transferrable to code. Even when that code represents the latest version of HTML5 and CSS3. Keep that in mind as you create your wireframe/prototype.

  • Inner page graphics should be sized in the mockup exactly as you want them to appear in the deliverable. When a set of icons you choose is unique to a given inner page, create a separate mockup for that page. This will avoid any confusion on the part of the developer.
  • Another useful tactic is to export icons, favicons, animated headers, etc., as separate files. This enables the developer to access the icon images and page designs as if they were reference material.
  • Testing the interactions before coding takes place will save everyone concerned time and trouble.

In this stage, all interactions should be smooth and natural.

Giving yourself a reality check by means of prototyping includes testing the interactions. This approach is much better than testing during coding. High-fidelity prototypes are best of course, but even low-fidelity versions can be used to show how the project should work. These will give developers something to base their feedback on.

Responsiveness Requires Giving Extra Attention to the Designs

Mockups help the connection between the creativity of the designer and the developer’s logic. This connection can be a complex one, and particularly difficult to make when responsiveness is an issue. Start with mobile displays first, by creating mockups for each of the screen sizes.

Consider all screen sizes, and not just Apple devices.

Since not all design elements change the same way on different landscapes, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are logos, icons, or graphics apt to change in size or location?
  • What about font size and line height?
  • Will the navigation system that functions properly on a larger screen? Will itfunction the same, or adequately, on a smaller display?
  • Will sidebars and footer content remain visible? Will they be only partially visible? Or be completely absent on smaller screens?

Start with the smallest screens and scale up to the largest. Incorporate the basic elements first, and add other elements as you progress.

How to Make Certain You Find the Best Coders to Work With

You have seen the benefits of working with a remote coding agency. You have also be shown the steps you need to take to ensure that you and the coders are on the same page throughout the duration of the project. How then, do you decide which agency would best fulfill your needs? Here is some advice:

  • Review and analyze the agency’s portfolio. Make certain the services offered match the services you need: front end and back end development, WordPress and Javascript development, e-mail, eCommerce, and so on.
  • Look into the history of the company. How long it has been in business? What is the number of clients it has served? If possible, check out its largest or well known clients.

Xfive has 10 years of experience on the international market.

  • Testimonials. Look for testimonials that have some substance to them, and particularly for those that reflect well on the quality of the agency’s work.
  • Some agencies advertise flat rates, but there are often extras. Provide an outline of your project and ask for an estimation of a quote. Make comparisons with offers from 2 or 3 agencies.
  • Chemistry counts. You can often tell from the response to your initial query if you and the agency representative are on the same page. Don’t be hesitant to ask detailed questions. The answers you get can say a lot about how an agency works.

Your mindset should be that of expecting to work with a partner, and not merely a service provider. Xfive, with its 10 years of experience in the global marketplace, has what it takes to become not only your partner, but a brilliant partner. Xfive’s clients includes corporate giants like Fox, eBay, Twitter, and Microsoft.

To find out more about how this agency will treat you and your project, post them an overview or a few details about your project.

The post The Complete Guide to Working with Remote Developers appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Source: Speckyboy

How to Take Full Advantage of Pre-Built Websites

You are most likely to be self-taught. You have a need and a desire to understand the best ways to create a good website, to keep up with design trends, and to take full advantage of the best tools available.

The “best” tools are those that can save you time, increase your productivity, and enhance the quality of your deliverables.

An excellent way to achieve these three objectives is take advantage of the benefits pre-built websites offer. Be Theme has a selection of more than 210 professionally-designed, pre-built websites.

  • Pre-built websites are simpler, faster, and better than wireframes. Given a preview of a homepage or landing page created from a pre-built website, your client will have a much better understanding of where you are heading.
  • You don’t need to waste time creating UX patterns. They are already incorporated into these pre-built websites. All that is required on your part is to customize and brand the content.
  • No coding is necessary. You don’t have to learn, or re-learn, web dev techniques to create beautiful designs and websites having awesome UX features.
  • Working with pre-built websites is an efficient use of your time. It’s a win-win situation. Your clients are pleased, and you can earn greater income.

Check Out These Beautiful Pre-Built Websites

This sampling of pre-built websites demonstrates the types of homepages and landing pages you can create with very little effort. All that is needed is some customizing on your part – a brief unique value proposition, a different image, or whatever you find of importance.

Be Music

In a word – Exuberance!

This pre-built website is designed for young, urban audiences. Features include a cool environment, a subtle use of parallax, and a card-like design.


Note the clean lines, and the focus on user experience. Definitely a website for a professional user.

Be Smarthome

The design is fresh and engaging. It invites the user to enter. This website features a smart, intuitive UX, and its overall concept is focused on simplicity.

Be Car

The hero image is particularly impressive and fully captures the concept behind the website. The yellow and grey colors are smooth and well used, and particularly so in the buttons, icons, and active links. The design makes an excellent use of white space.

Be Print


This website’s concept underlies the content, and illustrates how to attractively showcase a business’s portfolio and products.

Be App2

An example of how a simple, clear design can draw a user in, and how it focuses on presenting the app. Note the easy-to-browse structure.

Be Medic2

This pre-built website respects all the rules of web design for a health or professional medical care website. More than anything, the hero image and UVP communicates trust, and places extra emphasis on conversion.

Be Minimal

This minimal, trendy, pre-built website places a strong focus on the gallery. The combination of an excellent use of white space and a simple and intuitive design definitely reinforces the user’s experience.

Be Agency 2

This pre-built website tells you the agency takes a modern and fresh approach to what it does. White space is put to good use.

The Muffin Builder Takes the Effort Out of Editing a Pre-Built Website

You’ll enjoy working with Muffin Builder. The latest version, 3.0, features enhanced data transfer speed, easier navigation, and improved overall performance. T

This page builder now has a new, cleaner look for better readability. You’ll like the clear layout, the choice of graphics, and the light colors. Muffin Builder features a section called Wraps that enables the user to create more advanced content than most page builders are capable of.

Two other features, the enhanced search tool and tab navigation, make it easy to locate and put into play the design items you are looking for.

Muffin Builder nicely complements two other powerful Be Theme core features – the Shortcode Generator with its 200+ Shortcodes, and the Muffin Options (Admin) Panel.

Whether you begin with a pre-built website, the approach taken by most Be Theme users, or you choose to start from scratch using the Layout Generator, Muffin Builder will have you producing page after awesome page in no time.

Check out this videoto see just how fun and easy Muffin Builder is to work with, and all the customization possibilities it opens up for you. Starting with a blank canvas, you are immediately asked if you want to add some content, or use a pre-built website. Either way, you are off and running.

The Biggest WP Theme Ever Has a Lot to Offer

Be Theme is big in so many ways, with its more than 210 (and counting) pre-built websites, 40 powerful core features, including design options and design elements galore, and its enthusiastic 30,000+ user base.

  • You can import and install Be’s pre-built websites with a single click, and customize them using the options provided by the Admin Panel. 200+ Shortcodes allow you do build pages easy and quickly. There’s no need for coding.
  • Be is fully responsive and retina ready.
  • Special pre-built websites have been designed for eCommerce websites too. Products can be quickly uploaded, and the WooCommerce plugin can be installed in less than a minute
  • There are special pre-built websites for blogs, portfolios, and one page websites. Be Theme gives you a choice between boxed and wide layouts, single or dual sidebars or no sidebars at all, plus a set of useful widgets.
  • Two slider plugins, Slider Revolution and Layer Slider, accompany the Visual Composer, and WooCommerce plugins.
  • Among Be’s many options are flat, grid, and masonry formats for blogs and portfolios, 16 different Header styles, and a variety of Footer options.
  • Be Theme is optimized for speed, SEO ready, you will receive automatic updates, and the customer support is second to none.

The post How to Take Full Advantage of Pre-Built Websites appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Source: Speckyboy

Customize Any WordPress Theme Within Minutes With CSS Hero

Considering the popularity of WordPress as the world’s most loved Content Management System, it is not unnatural to see a wide range of page builders, themes and plugins to help you customize your website in the best manner possible. Such page builder plugins, both free and premium, allow you to tweak every aspect of your website.

On the downside, however, you are locked in to the specific theme or plugin, since the changes you make via the page builder cannot be replicated if you decide to move away from that builder plugin or theme. What if you wish to get rid of that theme or plugin, but still retain the changes and customization that you had made? What if there was a solution that would allow you to override your theme’s stylesheet, but at the same time, not lock you down to a specific theme?

Meet CSS Hero, the definitive WordPress plugin that lets you customize your themes via an intuitive and WYSIWYG interface.

What is CSS Hero?

Let’s explain this in simple terms: CSS Hero is a WordPress plugin that acts as a live theme editor. It does not modify any of your existing theme files; instead, it generates an extra CSS stylesheet that can override your theme’s existing stylesheet.

In other words, if you wish to change the default heading color for your theme from blue to yellow, you can do it with CSS Hero, without having to make changes to your theme’s CSS itself. This way, once you update your theme, your changes are not lost, because CSS Hero has generated clean CSS code that works atop your theme’s existing CSS code.

CSS Hero has been tested and plays well with numerous WordPress themes (and plugins). Of course, this is rather expected — anything that works by means of declaration of CSS selectors and elements will work seamlessly with CSS Hero, including most (if not all) of WordPress themes.

How Does it Work?

Working with CSS Hero is fairly easy.

We know that CSS is the language that makes the web go round (well, not really, but it surely is what makes one website look different from the other). WordPress themes rely on a CSS stylesheet document for declaring the appearance of headings, body text, image alignment, font and font sizes, as well as colors for background and foreground, and so on.

So it is obvious that if you wish to tweak the look and feel of your WordPress website, adding custom CSS to your theme’s stylesheet is the way to go. You can directly edit the stylesheet file (bad idea though, since any theme update will destroy your changes), or you can rely on a custom CSS plugin (Jetpack has a Custom CSS module, for example).


Now, what if there was a simple live editor that allowed you to click on a given element, and alter its appearance, such that the required CSS code was changed by itself?

This is where CSS Hero comes in. As a live theme editor, CSS Hero allows you to fix the CSS of your website not by coding, but by means of a point and click interface. You click on the text, and edit the font and font size, and save your changes. CSS Hero generates and adds the required CSS code in the background.

Naturally, this can save a good deal of your time as you do not need to indulge in manual coding, but also help you learn better CSS if you are new to CSS in itself.

CSS Hero in Action

After logging in to your CSS Hero Dashboard, you can grab the latest version of the plugin and then install it on your WordPress site, much like you would install any other plugin.

Once activated, CSS Hero adds a link to your WordPress admin notification bar, and a Settings→CSS Hero section. In the Settings section, you can enable or disable the cache, choose to export or import your CSS Hero data, as well as enable or disable the different CSS Hero links (including the one in the admin bar). This is ideal for folks like me, since I prefer keeping my WordPress Dashboard and admin bar as uncluttered as possible.

Now, to use CSS Hero, simply head to the CSS Customization page. You will notice a bar that offers icons for various actions. By clicking on the main editor button, you can then select the property that you wish to edit, and make changes therein.

Once you are done, you can choose to save your configuration as a preset, so that you can reuse it elsewhere on other sites. Presets can be saved to your CSS Hero account, or locally on your computer.

CSS Hero retains history of your changes, so you can go back and undo specific actions if you wish. Furthermore, it supports responsive design, and you can preview your changes across different devices, such as desktop, smartphones and tablets.

Further Features

CSS Hero also comes with a Rocket Mode option. What does it do?

It is not logical to expect CSS Hero to play well with every WordPress theme out there, or vice versa. While the plugin has been tested with numerous themes, there might be many that do not truly support it. In that case, you can choose to rely on the Rocket Mode. Basically, Rocket Mode parses the CSS of unsupported WordPress themes, and defines the required CSS selectors. This way, it can help you edit and tweak the appearance of such themes, without having to manually configure the CSS selectors. Here is a video preview:

CSS Hero also offers an Inspector feature, that lets you review and inspect your CSS code. You can be sure about the quality and cleanness of your code, and choose to save or export it thereafter. It works using CSSLint to perform a syntax check on your code.


The Starter plan costs $29 per annum, and works for one site (sans the Inspector feature described above). If you need to work with multiple sites, you can go with the Personal plan that costs $59 per annum and lets you customize five websites, or the Pro plan that costs $199 per year, and lets you work with 999 websites.

Obviously, the Pro plan is meant for design agencies and professionals that work with numerous websites. Both the Pro and Personal plans come with Inspector plugin. All plans offer free upgrades and premium support for one year. Furthermore, if you wish to try before you buy, CSS Hero offers a 30-day refund policy as well.


For those who are looking to edit and customize their websites easily without having to mess with a lot of code, CSS Hero is a lifesaver indeed! Plus, if you wish to tweak yours or your client sites without hassles, and then reuse those presets as and when the need be, across devices and domains, CSS Hero is a must-have solution for you!

If you are looking for something extra, be sure to check out the free Animator plugin by CSS Hero. It works independent of CSS Hero main plugin, and lets you simply point and click to select CSS animations, and apply those animations to your site without having to deal with coding.

To learn more about CSS Hero, check out the demo here.

What do you think of CSS Hero? Will you be giving it a spin? Share your views in the comments below!

The post Customize Any WordPress Theme Within Minutes With CSS Hero appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Source: Speckyboy