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Adobe Flash is all but dead and Google is putting the final nails in the coffin by dropping support for Flash-based ads in favor of ads coded in HTML5. This isn’t happening immediately, but Google announced its intention to move to HTML5 by January 2017 in order to give advertisers time to transition.

As part of this transition away from these ads, Google will no longer allow Flash formatted ads to be uploaded to the Google Display Network starting June 30th of this year. Up until then, you can still upload any Flash-based display ads you’ve been working on and they will continue to run until January.

Google notes that you should update your display ads before either of these dates for best performance, and that video ads built in Flash will not be impacted by the change.

The death of Flash is likely to be dragged out for quite some time, but this is a big loss for Adobe’s format. Adobe’s player only accounts for 5% of mobile and web video seen last year, but it has still been a major part of major online ad networks. If these ad networks no longer accept Flash, then Flash loses its one last thing keeping it relevant.

The reality of online marketing is that advertisers must find a way to reach users on a variety of different devices. AdWords recently made that difficult task a little easier with a new tool that allows you to convert ads using Flash to HTML5.

Since many tablets do not support Flash, this tool could help your business reach thousands of additional users. And converting takes just a couple of mouse clicks, no expert knowledge is needed.

To find out more, check out Chris Crum’s article at Web Pro News.

Sometimes it is clear when you need a redesign. For example, if your site is still using Flash, it isn’t viewable on many smartphones, and you definitely should consider redesigning.

Other times, it can be less clear. Sometimes even bad designs are meeting the needs of your client, so it can be hard to give a good reason why they need a design. Why pay money to improve something that is working at the time?

Usually the reason most designers cite for needing a redesign is to make their site “look better.” This isn’t really a viable reason for clients however. Kendra Gaines, writer for Webdesigner Depot, has a different argument for redesigns that your clients will love.

Redesigns aren’t only a way to offer clients the latest design trends or “make things look better.” Redesigns can be a way to entirely revitalize a brand or business. A redesign can be enough to breath new life into a business or brand that might be stagnating.

Gaines uses examples from business such as Keds, who subtly redesigned their product line to re-invigorate their popularity, but doesn’t tend to connect the ideas to web redesigns. This is interesting because Webdesigner Depot just did a massive redesign of their webpage.

The website redesigned to a responsive web layout allowing their content to be available on all platforms, but it also helped refine their image. The site seems more efficiently laid out, and they have made social media buttons readily available at all times.

This redesign acts as the perfect example of what you should be thinking when trying to redesign for a client. The site was brought up to date with the current design standards, as well as adding usability features that are great for users, but they also used the opportunity to help refine their brand as a whole.

When you are preparing to do a redesign for any brand, try to remember these ideas. If you are just trying to add the newest trendy features to a site, all your work will be undone when the next wave of features hits the industry. If you subtly try to help the brand define itself, your work will be making a lasting impact on the company in a positive way.

 

 

No other industry has benefited from the internet more than the business industry. The internet has given businesses easy ways to market their products or services to a wider audience, and now the creation of websites that appeal to specific audiences is one of the most important aspects of business marketing.

If you are in charge of creating a website, you want to make it eye-catching, but you also want to avoid simple mistakes that make your audience want to go elsewhere. Lewis Hooker at Graphic Design Junction has a list of 8 things to avoid if you want people to keep coming back.

  1. Do not make the design complex – It’s easy and sometimes fun for a designer to be a little overzealous and include a lot of features in their design without considering if these features are really necessary. Going overboard is never good in the long run. Complex designs with an abundance of features make navigating websites difficult and confusing for many visitors. Even worse, it makes changing and adjusting your site later a real pain.
  2. Do not exaggerate the use of Flash – It is a common mistake for web designers to over-do it when using Flash animation. Flash can certainly be a nice touch on a site to make the page a little more eye catching, but too much is always a bad thing. Too much flash slows down your website’s loading time drastically, and visitors often leave if they get tired of waiting for a page to load. If you want to use Flash, just remember that less is more.
  3. Do not use “fancy” fonts – Some designers like to use highly stylized fonts to class up their pages a little. While a nice font can help grab visitor’s eyes if used right, fonts that are difficult to read frustrate viewers. If you want to use a distinct font, go for it, but if you can’t immediately read the text, go with something else.
  4. Do not use music of audio files without permission – Lately many website designers have been including music players within their sites that automatically play music when the page loads. Many visitors find these annoying, and worse, they can get in the way as well as slowing down load times. If you feel it necessary or relevant to include a music player, always remember to give users control to pause or mute the music.
  5. Do not hide the links – Some designers often forget to highlight links on their websites properly. Links are obviously essential to navigation, and users want to be able to navigate websites as quickly and easily as possible. Therefore, always highlight links properly so users can get around.
  6. Do not use pop ups – I don’t know why any designer would use pop ups anymore. They are annoying, and most browsers have software built in to block them.
  7. Do not ask for registration – There are times when asking users to register before accessing content is necessary, but if it isn’t absolutely required, avoid registration. Most viewers will be put off by having to enter their information to see content that should be readily available.
  8. Do not subscribe the visitors to newsletters without their permission – Doing this will make your visitors angry. Period. No one wants e-mails from a website unless they signed up for them. Just don’t do it.

These tips are simple and to many visitors, they may seem like common sense. However, we still see them everywhere. If you want your website to be a success, just follow these rules. Your visitors will be happy and so will your clients.

 

 

jQuery is the biggest open-source, CSS3 compliant, cross-browser, JavaScript library available. What makes jQuery stand out is its simplicity and ability create Flash-like animations that are viewable on iOS, which doesn’t work with Flash. The popularity of jQuery is growing quickly, so we think it’s important you know the pros and cons of using it.

Pros

The biggest upside to jQuery is its simplicity. It takes only a little bit of programming knowledge to create crowd pleasing animations. It is also incredibly flexible because jQuery allows users to add plug-ins. If you don’t know how to do it in CSS, jQuery can help you.

It is also a very fast solution to your problems. While there may be “better” solutions, jQuery and its development team work to make sure you can implement jQuery quickly and effectively, which saves money. Those in the open Source software community support jQuery because it has great technical support, interacts well with other types of code, supports plug-ins and makes basic animation as easy as can be.

Open source software means quick growth and the freedom of developers to provide the best service possible without corporate red tape.

 

Cons
Open source software does have some problems however. There is no set standard amongst providers, which means if you or the developer do not have the money, time or ability to fix issues, you may never find a solution if you have a problem. Also, frequent updates mean community members are also unlikely to provide solutions.
There are also many versions of jQuery available right now and some are less compatible than others.
Also, jQuery’s lightweight interface may lead to problems in the future. Not being able to actually code can lead to many problems in implementation. Not knowing how to program means not knowing how to fix issues that arrive with jQuery and it doesn’t pick up the slack for you. While jQuery is seemingly easy and impressive, making it actually work can be much more troublesome. To make jQuery work, you have to keep up with community developments and realistically understand your skill level.

 

jQuery is  slower than CSS in many cases. Its simplicity is its curse, as it is not meant for client-side interactions. If you misuse jQuery, you get code that multiplies and multiplies until it is unmanageable, which means a few simple lines of code can quickly make maintaining your site a nightmare. The community is working to fix this issue but for now it is a very real problem.

Conclusion

While jQuery is easy, know if you can handle it before trying. It is meant to simplify tasks for skilled programmers and not to be used as a crutch for beginners. While the less experienced may be able to make jQuery work for them, they will most likely need a lot of assistance.

 

For more information on jQuery, look at Richard Larson’s article for webdesignerdepot.com.