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The 25 Principles of Mobile Site Design

1 min read

Consumers increasingly rely on the mobile web for research and discovery, which makes it more important than ever for companies to have an effective mobile presence. But what makes a good mobile site?

The results uncovered 25 mobile site design principles, which we’ve grouped into five sections:

  • Homepage & Site Navigation
  • Site Search
  • Commerce & Conversions
  • Form Entry
  • Usability & Form Factor 

Key Takeaway

The common thread in all sections is that mobile users tend to be very goal-oriented -they expect to be able to get what they need from a mobile site easily, immediately, and on their own terms. Ensure success by designing with their context and needs in mind without sacrificing richness of content.

Download: Principles of Mobile Site Design: Delight users and drive conversions

Use Mailgun to send wordpress emails

1 min read

If you have a Wordpress site and have not been receiving your admin emails, you should start using Mailgun to deliver your email. 

Mailgun is the email automation engine trusted by over 10,000 website and application developers for sending, receiving and tracking emails. By taking advantage of Mailgun's powerful email APIs, developers can spend more time building awesome websites and less time fighting with email servers. Mailgun supports all of the most popular languages including PHP, Ruby, Python, C# and Java.

One particularly useful feature of this plugin is that it provides you with a way to send email when the server you are on does not support SMTP or where outbound SMTP is restricted since the plug-in uses the Mailgun HTTP API for sending email by default. All you need to use the plugin is a Mailgun account. Mailgun has a free account that lets you send up to 200 emails per day, which is great for testing. Paid subscriptions are available for increased limits.

It's easy to setup, but use this wpbeginner guide to help you through it.

Video

1 min read

“The single most important strategy in content marketing today is video. Whether it’s video on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or YouTube, the content you need to be thinking about creating and marketing on social for your business is video. Period.”

Gary Vaynerchuk

How can you convert a Keynote file to Google Slides or PowerPoint?

1 min read

The easiest way to convert Keynote files to Google Slides or PowerPoint is to use CloudConvert.

If you don't have keynote (or you don't want to install it) but you have a keynote file (.key) that you want to edit, the easiest way to convert it for use in PowerPoint or Google Slides is to convert it via cloudconvert.

Simply select the file you want to convert and 'start conversion'. You can then download the file and upload to Google Slides or open it in PowerPoint.

Another option is to use Mac OS's Preview to open the .key file and export it as a PDF. However, you will not be able to edit the presentation.

Easter Island

1 min read

This is somewhere that has always fascinated me and somewhere that I'd love to travel to some day.

Easter Island (Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui, Spanish: Isla de Pascua) is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle. Easter Island is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park.
Source: wikipedia 

Active Listening

4 min read

 

Here are some tips I thought were useful from the Active Listening course on highbrow.

Prejudice

Being an active listener requires a certain internal attitude that will allow us to go beyond our own impressions and expectations. More concretely, it is an openness that allows us to recognize value in others.

However, first of all, it naturally requires…silence. That means no judge, teacher, victim, avenger, moralist, or any other voices that our own prejudices usually manifest as in our heads. And this is what tomorrow’s lesson is all about! 

“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.”

-Maya Angelou

Silence

Become aware of the breath that flows in and out of your body. Now pay attention to your mind and make the following affirmations: 

  • I want to know myself beyond my body, my mind, and my emotions
  • I am my own master
  • I am peace and freedom
  • I am not guilty of anything
  • I forgive everything
  • I am silence

Observe how the stream of your thoughts becomes thinner and eventually stops. Whenever a new thought comes, just say “I forgive this thought” and let it pass. Remain in the silence that you are for a few minutes.

Do you have a sense of deep relaxation and freedom? Perhaps even a feeling of joy that has no cause? When we bring this state into our day-to-day lives, it becomes the attitude of openness that is necessary for active listening. We will discuss more about this in our next lesson tomorrow. 

“You are beneath the thinker. You are the stillness beneath the mental noise.”

-Eckhart Tolle

Curiosity

Take a look at the piece of furniture in front of you. If you don’t have furniture available, look at a person nearby. How tall are they?

Please note that there is only one answer that is absolutely correct. This answer is:

“I don’t know.” 

Notice the feeling of recognition and freedom when you allow yourself to admit that you don’t know. There is no feeling of doubt, nor any pressure to defend a certain answer, and no desire to convince others of your truth. You are honest and therefore free.

I don’t know is where learning starts. It is also where real listening starts. You will never be a good listener if you think you already know the person you are talking to or the topic you are discussing. 

We can call it curiosity, and we can describe it like this: “I don’t know, but I want to find out.” Finding out is dynamic, while knowing is static and requires a certain kind of mental blindness.

“I know only that I don’t know anything.” 

-Socrates

We are All One of a Kind

Active listening therefore requires acceptance of our own uniqueness and respect for others’. It challenges us to “first seek to understand, then to be understood,” as Stephen Covey puts it. Constructive communication fails when we try to imprint our own unique measurement onto another’s. This tendency to imprint manifests when we start believing that another’s uniqueness is a personal threat to ours. 

The main purpose of active listening is to discover what uniqueness the interlocutor can bring to the world, how we can encourage them to bring it out, and what we can learn from it. We respect their fingerprint on the world in order to complement our own, thus contributing to and enhancing the bigger picture.

“I dreamed of being special then awoke to be unique.”

-Brian Spellman

The Journalism Game

  • What can you learn from or about them?
  • What makes each person you meet unique?
  • What has worked about the way you asked questions, and what has not?
  • What sort of questions have been most efficient?
  • Were you aware of your own tendencies to judge, generalize, or assume, and how did you deal with them? 

1. Ask open-ended questions

2. Go deeper

When they give a general answer, ask them what that particular thing means to them or for an example of a time when they personally experienced it or failed to experience it. Can you get a story that is theirs and theirs alone? 

“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.”

 

-Chinese proverb

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The Norseman Martini

1 min read

This is the second story from Death to Stock exploring those who bring creativity to the craft of cocktails.

...we’re in Minneapolis with Keith Mrotek of Norseman Distillery as he showed us how to make the perfect martini (with a recipe that dates back to 1903).

RECIPE:

30 ml  – dry vermouth

60 ml – Norseman gin

1 – Lemon coin

Orange bitters

Method

- Stir 48 seconds approximately

- Decant into a coupe

- Garnish with dime-sized lemon coin

This is the first week I haven't clicked on a link in @BenedictEvans newsletter. It has left me unsettled!