noupe THE magazine for webworkers and site owners Thu, 26 Apr 2018 06:30:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 noupe 32 32 6 Essential Answers Pave the Way to Your Website Thu, 26 Apr 2018 06:30:08 +0000 ]]>

Eager to create your first website? Are you sure that you need one? If your answer is yes, don’t spontaneously go with WebCheap Supplier Ltd. with a full hosting for 0.99 bucks a month, but instead, read the following article first.

What do You Want to Accomplish?

Why do you want to create a website? Because everyone has one? Because you can? All of these would be pretty weak reasons, and I’m going to assume that you have a better motivation.

Do you want to run a blog that is supposed to cover a certain niche, or do you plan on selling your products over the internet? Whatever it may be, define it clearly, and focus on that goal. Don’t try to cover a little bit of everything just because there’s enough space on the internet and an added function more or less doesn’t cost more money.

No matter what your aim is, the website is the communication means to reach that goal. You know this from the archetype of all communication, the dialogue. It needs a clear structure as well, shouldn’t drift off to the left or right, and it is the most successful when it strictly follows the golden thread laid out by the goal of the dialogue.

You should build your website like this as well. Don’t let it fray out, get out of hand, or drift off into vagueness. Don’t use more words than needed, and place clear calls to action (CTA).

Who do You Want to Reach?

Who’s your target group? You probably thought you had already answered this question inside the reply to the previous question. But that would be too simplistic. When it comes to the question who you want to reach, you should take smaller steps, and not just define a more or less vague group such as teenagers between 16 and 19.

I can almost guarantee that your target group can not be defined solely by their age (or other obvious factors). Further aspects will be substantial. Work them out precisely.

Is the offer directed more towards male or female clients? Are pupils, apprentices, or students more attractive? Does your target customer need a certain amount of free income? There are lots of factors like these. The more precisely you define your target group, the more accurately will you be able to address them.

Speaking of addressing; use the language of your target audience to meet them at eye level. If this includes not sticking to all dictionary rules, then do that.

By Which Search Terms do You Want to be Found?

You actually have to ask this question before registering your internet address (URL, domain). In the best case, the most relevant search term that you wish to be found by should be part of your domain name. This way, Google thinks that your website is exceptionally relevant to this keyword, as it even appears in the URL.

Every single page of your website gets a title, a meta description, as well as an individual URL which comes as an extension of the domain name. Within these three elements is where you cover your search terms, the so-called keywords. This can definitely be a different one for each page. Then, you make sure that the corresponding keyword appears in headings, captions, and file names on the according page. This way, you have pretty much covered the area of so-called on-page SEO, the search engine optimization on the page itself.

How to Structure the Information on Your Website?

The information architecture of your site, meaning the way you make your content available regarding structure, is just as essential for the success as architecture is when building a house. For example, it would be suboptimal if the only way to reach the kitchen was through the bedroom.

In general, the navigation menu of your website should have as few items as possible. Of course, not so few that the essential areas of your site can’t be accessed. Also, I wouldn’t recommend nesting the navigation too deeply. Your visitor will get lost very quickly.

Provide clear access to the individual topics, and, when in doubt, reduce or focus your content, rather than opening the 100th menu item.

Do You Want to Build Your Site Yourself or Will You Hire a Professional?

You won’t be surprised to hear that I generally recommend to always hire a professional when it comes to creating your website, especially when it has to be built from scratch. Depending on your knowledge, or level of motivation, you can learn how to take care of the website later on. But you should leave the cornerstone to an expert, to make sure that the foundation doesn’t break. Websites are more than a few pages with pictures.

However, if your project is very small, or if you simply don’t have the financial option to hire an expert, that doesn’t mean that you should forgo a website. In that case, you’ll have to get to work yourself. Prepare for a training period, and grab the simplest tool you can find.

A while ago, we published an article that shows some beautiful stuff that can be done with a homepage builder. Recently, has seen a massive presence on the market. We have already taken a look at this product several times. You won’t go wrong with that.

To take care of your pages, you need other tools, like Canva for the image creation, or Unsplash as a source for free images.

Other useful tools for web design and work related to your website can be found in this overview on DIY web design.

Who do You Entrust With the Hosting?

If you followed my advice to hire a professional to create your website, he should help you to elegantly avoid the cliff that is selecting the appropriate web host. If you went off on your own, there are a couple of things to keep in mind that you might not fully understand yet.

The most valuable insight on this topic is the following: changing the selected web host is not easy. Thus, you shouldn’t choose a very cheap solution first, and see what happens. When in doubt, just move on.

If your website has a certain complexity, and is more than a digital business card, moving from A to B is not as simple as moving a few boxes into a new apartment. Different providers don’t only have different prices, but, above all else, entirely different performance levels.

Take a look at our article on hosting aspects.

For logical reasons, you should try to make a qualified assessment of how much traffic is to be expected at what time, and which server-side features are required. Most likely, this won’t lead to the cheapest host, and that’s a good thing.

Conclusion: Thought About Everything? Then Let’s Go!

If you went through all questions and got useful answers, you can start with the realization of your website with a clear conscience. Here at Noupe, you’ll find tons of articles to help you on your way.

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The New Dialog Element of HTML 5.2 Wed, 25 Apr 2018 07:00:36 +0000 ]]>

The recent standard HTML 5.2 brings us a new element called <dialog>. This allows us to create modal dialog boxes which can be made interactive with a bit of JavaScript.

Using the element is very simple, with its basic form looking like this:

<dialog open="">
This is a dialog box!

The additional attribute “open” makes sure that the dialog box is actually displayed. Without the attribute, even opening the box would require you to use JavaScript. By default, without the use of CSS, the dialog box looks very unappealing.

It overlays the entire complete page content, places itself in the middle of the screen, framed by a black border, with a size determined by the content of the box. The overlay puts a so-called backdrop on the page, preventing any interaction with the content outside of the box.

Backdrop is new as well, and it is the name of the according pseudo-element::backdrop, which can be styled via CSS to make it transparent, colorful, or however you want to. The dialog itself is designed as usual, via CSS, just like any other element.

Within the dialogue element, use other HTML elements to structure your dialog box, and build it to match your requirements. Theoretically, there is no limit to your imagination.

However, without JavaScript, this element has little use, as only displaying a static open or closed dialog window is not very sensible. The JavaScript methods showModal() and close() allow you to control the previously mentioned attribute open.

The first method adds the attribute, opening the dialog box. The second method removes the attribute, closing the dialog box. We don’t need more flexibility here anyways.

Speaking of New…

You may say this wasn’t even new. And of course, you’re right. Chrome has been supporting this exact implementation since 2014. In Firefox, you can activate this support. Microsoft is still thinking about it, at least for Edge. Others are not participating at all. Use this JavaScript polyfill to force the unwilling into cooperation.

For the sake of vindication, it should be mentioned that the dialog element only makes sense from an accessibility standpoint. Screenreaders have an easier time identifying these elements. For the actual application case, which is the display of dialog boxes, there are several solutions, with the most popular being the implementation in Bootstrap, which can be realized in an accessible fashion as well.

So, the element is not new in a literal sense. However, it has been newly added to the standard, making it a part of HTML 5.2.

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Mind Your Step: Flat Design Could Have Your Head Tue, 24 Apr 2018 06:30:38 +0000 ]]>

Huh? Wasn’t flat design supposed to be the best thing since canned beer? A new study shows that the opposite can be the case. And it makes perfect sense.

Are you a designer? If so, the results of the rather new study on flat design may hurt you. Learning and accepting that webdesign is no form of art, but a form of communication before reading on will definitely help. The right way is the one that reaches the visitor, not the one that gets you the most applause on Dribbble.

The Good Old Days

Blue, underlined text is what a link used to look like. Admittedly, that’s not pretty, but recognizable. Nowadays, a link can be anything. But it’s almost never a blue, underlined text anymore.

Buttons used to look monolithic. Big buttons with an unsubtle 3d feel were the standard for websites. Today, ghost buttons are considered the way to go. You can only tell that they’re buttons as long as you are able to identify ghost buttons as such. They consist of thin line frames around a more or less crisp text. Most of the time, the ghost button has a transparent background. One thing that it never has, though, is a 3D feel, an obvious look. The opposite is the case, as people try to blend the button and the background.

Who Can Spot The Button First? (Screenshot: Noupe)

Other UI elements, like tabs, sliders, and form elements, have become a part of the more aesthetically pleasing flat design as well. Even when coloring a website, a real designer pays attention to harmonious symmetry, instead of awkward accentuations.

All of that is pretty to look at, making it the current state of the art. Sadly, the Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g), and we can’t claim they were incompetent, ruin the whole thing, once again. They’ve dealt with the question if and how modern design leads visitors to the goal. The results are evident.

Mnemonic: Target-oriented Websites Should Not be Subtle

In a very detailed, and carefully illustrated article, NN/g’s Kate Meyer concludes that flat design attracts less attention, and even causes insecurities. Take that in. That’s something no designer should want.

This conclusion is mainly based on observations gained by eye-tracking technology. NN/g had different focus groups use a computer and gave them different tasks to do. NNG/g measured the time it took the participants to solve the tasks, as well as all actions the users took on their way to the goal.

NN/g presented two versions of the same website. One version with flat design, which was beautiful above all else. And one that highlighted the interaction elements a lot more, using blue underlined text, or obvious buttons, for example. The scientists also experimented with different colors, by using certain colors exclusively for interactive elements.

The apparent result was that all test subjects took a lot longer to get done with the given task when dealing with flat design, while the more visible signs of the conventional design allowed the users to get to the goal faster.

The participants were asked to complete the task in any case. The regular website visitor is not that resilient. He could head over to the competition a lot faster than you’d think. At that point, your flat design would have cost you more than you expected.

Thus, there’s an obvious conclusion to be drawn for commercially oriented websites: If your site is supposed to make money, don’t make it subtle.

We Shouldn’t Overdo it, Though

Now, do we need to go back to the beginning of the web? Shouldn’t we make our buttons blink, and have important text move along the top of the website in a ticker? Should we turn the “purchase” button green, and animate it?

Fortunately, that’s not necessary. The study also shows that there is an area, where there is no significant difference between flat design and conventional approaches. The usability scientists come up with some recommendations based on these results:

  • The information density per page should be at a moderate level, at most. If the user is not battered by a wall of text, he will have an easier time to find what he’s looking for. Making use of white space is a good way to make sure that individual elements can be recognized as such.
  • Don’t toy around with unusual layouts. Finding interactive elements is a lot easier for users if these elements are located in common spots. This reminds me of “Don’t Make Me Think,” and also includes the aspect of consistency in your designs.
  • Go for high contrasts between the environment and the interactive elements. For example, you could give your buttons a crisp color, similar to the effect of a big 3D button. In general, essential elements should always have a significant contrast to the rest of the design.
  • Instead of the, often not fitting, blue underlined text as a link highlighter, you could go for colored versions without underlines. What matters is that the used color has a distinctive contrast to the rest of the text.

When checking our websites, I’m sure that most of us will realize that there’s a lot of room for improvement here. But, who’s perfect, anyway?

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April 2018: The 10 Best Free WordPress Themes of the Month Mon, 23 Apr 2018 06:30:26 +0000 ]]>

Are you fed up with your website’s design? Great! Then take a look at our ten fresh and free WordPress themes. Maybe, you’ll find your new dream theme. This way, your website can start the season with a refreshing new look.

1 – Creativ Business

Das Creative Business Theme

Creativ Business is a multi-purpose theme. It even comes with a page builder, making the creation of new content much easier. Backgrounds, colors, headers, and the logo are adjustable to your needs as well. It comes with a neat slider.

2 – PostMagazine

PostMagazine Theme

This theme is sure to set you apart from your competition. It’s designed to be a blog or magazine theme, and already offers tons of features in the free version. These features include a post slider, five different blog layouts, color customization, 21 widget areas, and four page templates.


Magazine O Theme

Magazine O is a new magazine theme with a customizable background, five unique widgets, custom colors, and the option to use your own logo. The many widget areas make it easy to adjust the theme to your imagination.

4 – Bloomy

Bloomy Theme

Bloomy clearly sets itself apart from the other themes. I’m not only talking about the attractive appearance, but also about the promised six months of priority support for the free version of the theme. Bloomy offers three different header styles, a post slider, a couple of layout options, as well as typography settings.

5 – College Education

College Education Theme

College Education is meant for educational institutions and all fields of adult education. It is flexible enough to be used for other purposes, though. It’s prepared for the SiteOrigin page builder, which easily allows you to add new content. The colors, the header, as well as the logo can be customized.

6 – Holland

Holland Theme

Holland is a rather minimalistic blog theme. Its big advantage is the extensive customizability of the landing page. Additionally, you get to choose whether you want to display the sidebar on the left, the right, or not at all. As usual, the theme comes with adjustable backgrounds, colors, and a header.

7 – RichOne

RichOne Theme

When going for pure minimalism, this theme is just the one for you. It’s a good choice for bloggers, creative people, and as a portfolio. RichOne is already prepared for the Gutenberg Editor, set to be released with WordPress 5.

8 – Flower Shop Lite

Flower Shop Lite Theme

Flower Shop Lite is a colorful WooCommerce theme which might just be the right choice for your WooCommerce shop. It comes with a slider, two unique page templates, and custom color options.

9 – Zeko Lite

Zeko Lite Theme

This is another minimalistic, but very interestingly designed theme. It’s definitely worth checking out. Two page templates, an adjustable header, and custom colors work towards your goals.

10 – Lookout

Lookout Theme

Lookout is a very fresh theme with a fine article presentation. In the WordPress theme customizer alone, there are 23 settings to be made. The customizability leaves little to be desired.


This month, a lot of nice themes were added to the WordPress theme index. My personal favorites are PostMagazine, Bloomy, and Lookout. Which theme is your favorite?

]]> 0 The First Color Font Provider is Online Fri, 20 Apr 2018 07:00:37 +0000 ]]>

Color fonts are, as the name already tells you, colorful fonts. The usage of colors in fonts is not new, as it is almost a staple of graphic design. The new thing about color fonts is the fact that they come with colors and don’t have to be colored manually, as it is the case for your favorite graphics editor.

Now, the Colored Fonts Are Taking Over the Browsers

Depending on their layout, color fonts are very complex in terms of display. Even the usage of multiple different colors within a single letter is possible. In the graphics software section, since version CC 2018, both Adobe giants Photoshop and Illustrator support the new standard, officially called OpenType-SVG-Font.

However, browser support would be way more interesting for daily usage. Here, Firefox and Microsoft’s Edge are the pioneers. Both browsers have been supporting the format for a while. More information on the background of color fonts can be read in this article here at your favorite magazine for designers and developers. colorful appearance for colorful fonts. (Screenshot: Noupe)

For a few days now, people have been working on, a new font forge with the goal to exclusively offer colorful fonts of the new standard. So far, there’s a total of two. That’s not a lot. However, the overall market for color font material is still pretty small. Thus, this is mainly about experimenting with the new design element.

Both fonts currently available in‘s arsenal are free to download and use for personal purposes. Commercial use requires a charged license. In return, the charged version also gives you access to the raw material as an EPS.

In order to adjust the fonts to the desired color scheme, you’d either have to use Illustrator or the Color Font Generator available on The latter is the far more comfortable option. Simply define the desired colors via picker or by entering the Hex value. After that, just download the adjusted OTF font to your local hard drive.

]]> 0 Free Tool Reduces Your Image File Size by Up to 90 Percent Thu, 19 Apr 2018 06:30:09 +0000 ]]>

This web app by Stephane Lyver delivers automatic image optimization for the common formats JPEG, PNG, GIF, and SVG. The compression is able to either work lossy or lossless. The strength of compression is not adjustable by the user, will always try to reduce to the max. And this works astonishingly perfect… Web App Based on Recent Technology

Stephane Lyver is a front-end developer from France. is not his first personal project. Besides quite a number of successfully finished client projects, Stephane is also the mind behind,, and Technically he prefers to work with HTML5/CSS3 and AngularJS, as well as PHP and jQuery. Stephane’s toolbox is up to date, no doubt about that.

compressor-landing is a fully automated optimizer, trained to reduce the most common image formats to the smallest possible size. The promise is, that even in lossy mode, the difference will not be visible to the eye. Although this may be a bit over the top, I successfully tested a JPEG to be reduced by 82 percent, with very little visible losses. For web use, this is totally sufficient.


Compressing JPEG and PNG can also be done in lossless mode. Possible file size reductions are smaller then. Under the hood of you’ll find familiar faces, such as pngquant or JpegOptim. What makes the difference is the automatically done intelligent choice of the best technology on any given image.

Once a file is reduced in size, you can store it to your Google Drive, your Dropbox or plain download it. Check the two halves of the compressed image visually, where the left side shows the uncompressed, the right side presents the compressed image. I couldn’t distinguish too many differences. More Features Planned

Stephane works on bringing you a desktop app for offline use. In the future, it will also be possible to upload a batch of photos in one go. Today you can only upload one file after another, which consumes quite a bit of time. Furthermore, the upload limit of 10 MB per file is supposed to get elevated.

All in all, is a proper solution for compressing the most common image formats. With future enhancements, it might even grow to become the place you go to when you need the best results in file compression. At the time of this writing, I still rely on TinyPNG and JpegMini to achieve the best results. I’ll be waiting for the batch uploads feature and the offline app. But anyway, already today is a very capable solution.

See for yourself…

Related Links:

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ShapeFactory: Design Tools for Logos, Colors, and Gradients Wed, 18 Apr 2018 07:00:53 +0000 ]]>

As a graphic and web designer, we’re faced with plenty of tasks and challenges every day. This includes the design of logos, as well as a harmonious combination of colors and gradients. Whether these tasks should be handed over to an online tool is subject to discussion. With ShapeFactory, you at least have the option to do so – and it’s quite fun.

The ShapeFactory offers four different design tools that make it easy for you to build logos, as well create color compositions and gradients. ShapeFactory itself is designed in a very appealing way, and an interesting tool, especially as a source of inspiration for your own designs, or to simply pass some time.

Create Logos With the Logo Tool

The logo tool lets you create a logo in one minute, by entering the wordmark, and choosing a font. There are tons of different fonts available to choose from. This includes simple sans-serif and serif fonts, but also fancy and modern fonts, which are very striking, making them a great choice for logos.

Logo Tool

Subsequently, add a logo by choosing one of the different categories, which include “optical illusion”, or “cloud”. There are 13 categories in total. Each one contains several shapes for you to choose from.

In no time, the tool builds a logo by combining text and image in different ways. This results in a preview of multiple suggestions, some of which have the label and the logo next to each other, while others put them below each other.

Additionally, you get to pick a color combination and download your logo for 40 USD.

10 additional USD get you a logo animation on top of that. If you want to spend that much on an automatically created logo is up to you. However, it can be very interesting to let it pump out some logo variants in order to prepare for a new project.

Combine Colors With the Pigment Tool

The harmonious combination of colors can be just as challenging as the design of logos. Because of that, the ShapeFactory also provides a tool for this job.

Pigment Tool

The pigment tool helps you create appealing color combinations. To do so, choose the intensity and brightness via sliders, and you’ll get plenty of suggestions for new coloring. Aside from two prime colors that are geared to each other, different shades of the colors are suggested as well. This way, you’ll get a palette full of colors for your next project in the blink of an eye.

Afterward, the colors are available as a palette for Sketch or Adobe. You can also download them as an SVG file.

The colors are displayed as hexadecimal and RGB values. A Pantone color for print usage is included too. The SVG file displays each color as a card with the different color values.

Gradients Made Easy With the Gradient Tool

The gradient tool works in a very similar way, using the same method to generate color gradients that you can download as an SVG file, or copy into your clipboard as a CSS snippet.

Gradient Tool

Here, two colors are combined to a linear gradient. A slider allows you to define the angle of the gradients. Just like the pigment tool, this tool lets you limit your selection to a specific color.

Color Images With the Duotone Tool

Apart from black and white photos, duotone photos are some of the most charismatic images. Here’s where the final tool of the ShapeFactory comes into play.

Duotone Tool

The duotone tool is an easy way to color images. Simply choose two specific colors, or have the tool create a color combination based on one color. Images from the photo site Unsplash are used as examples. The live preview shows you what the images look like with the selected colors applied.

However, you also have the option to search the Unsplash catalog for specific images. Alternatively, just upload and color your own image file.

When done with that, the colored file is available for download.


Professional graphics and web designers probably won’t get much use out of the ShapeFacory. After all, Illustrator and Photoshop provide way more options. The design of logos and finding colors, gradients, and the proper image aesthetic are part of a creative worker’s craft.

However, ShapeFactory has a very appealing and sophisticated design, and playing around with the individual tools is fun. ShapeFactory’s advantage is that the results are shown on the fly, with multiple versions on the screen at once.

It’s definitely worth checking out, even if you may never use the tools in practice. It might still be a source of inspiration here and there.

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All The Colours Of The Sun: 60 Perfectly Amazing Photos Of Nature’s Beauty Tue, 17 Apr 2018 06:30:00 +0000

From time to time I need to get my thoughts clear. When I’m feeling stressed by deadlines, clients, people, life in general, all I have to do is look at a beautiful landscape with all the colours of the sun to it. Whenever I can, I try to experience these views in real life, but unfortunately vacations only last so long. So for the rest of the year, photography has to contribute to my wellbeing. The following 60 hand-picked photos are my personal favourites for the coming winter season. I hope they can keep you in good mood too.


From time to time I need to get my thoughts clear. When I’m feeling stressed by deadlines, clients, people, life in general, all I have to do is look at a beautiful landscape with all the colours of the sun to it. Whenever I can, I try to experience these views in real life, but unfortunately vacations only last so long. So for the rest of the year, photography has to contribute to my wellbeing. The following 60 hand-picked photos are my personal favorites. I hope they can keep you in good mood too.

Fantastic Photographers Catch Fantastic Views

The following gallery contains 60 fantastic photos taken by fantastic photographers from all around the world. We have photos from Indonesia, India, China, and Russia as well as some from Africa, Europe, and America. The guiding line, the connection between all of these pictures is the lighting the sun provides. Depending on where in the world the photo was taken, the lights seem warmer or colder, brighter or blunter. Different seasons reflect different lighting.

Our gallery provides you with additional information, such as who the photographer is, where the photo was taken and where we’ve seen it first. For every photographer, I added a link to the portfolio, where you can find even more fantastic pieces of his or her work.

So have fun with this huge gallery and get inspired and recharged. May the sun lighten up your heart and soul!

Title: Autumn Sunrise
Photographer: Gary McParland
Location: Derrymore Woods, Co Armagh, Ireland

Title: Rejep Pasha Mosque
Photographer: Dimitris Koskinas
Location: Rhodes, Greece

Title: Spirit Garden
Photographer: Marc Adamus
Location: Queets Rainforest, Washington, USA

Title: September Afternoon
Photographer: Jay Yang

Title: Abstract At The Lake
Photographer: József Pataki
Location: Unknown, any guesses? Probably Hungary?

Title: Arde Gaztelugatxe – Bizkaia
Photographer: Aketxe Mujika
Location: San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Spain

Title: The Old Church On The Coast Of White Sea
Photographer: Sergey Ershov
Location: Kern, Republic of Karelia, Russia

Title: Pruhonice in HDR
Photographer: Kubajsz Fiser
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Title: Untitled
Photographer: zhi zhou
Location: Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

Title: Holding On
Photographer: José Ramos
Location: Alvor, Portugal

Title: Lightcatchers
Photographer: Marc Adamus
Location: Kofa Wildlife Refuge, Southern Arizona, USA

Title: Sunset over Adriatic
Photographer: Darko Kontin
Location: Lukovo, Croatia

Title: Waiting For The Miracle
Photographer: Matjaz Cater
Location: Somewhere in Slovenia

Title: Fall In Yosemite
Photographer: Ibrahim Alnassar
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Title: The Beginning
Photographer: Marc Adamus
Location: Banff, Alberta, Canada

Title: Cruising
Photographer: Ashmieke
Location: Olbia, Sardinia, Italy

Title: Sunset In Thailand
Photographer: laurentlesax
Location: Koh Samed Island, Thailand

Title: Camino a la Isla
Photographer: César Comino García
Location: Somewhere in Andalucia, Spain

Title: Mystic Lake
Photographer: Tad Cholinski
Location: Lake Mulwala, Australia

Title: Gaztelu koloretsu
Photographer: Andoni Lamborena
Location: Gaztelugatxe, Northern Spain

Title: Brand New Day
Photographer: Rico Cavallo
Location: Somewhere in Italy

Title: yikik iskele
Photographer: ömer yücel
Location: Unknown, maybe somewhere in Turkey

Title: Oxcart
Photographer: Marsel van Oosten
Location: Madagascar

Title: Como Dos Párpados
Photographer: Luis Martínez
Location: Unknown

Title: Untitled Autumn Scenery
Photographer: fproject – Przstrongyslaw Kruk

Title: Rays & Stripes
Photographer: Palash Kundu
Location: Ladder River, Kashmir, India

Title: Noah
Photographer: Pawel Kucharski
Location: Otok Vis, Croatia

Title: Golden Sunset
Photographer: Vitor Ferreira
Location: Praia da Memória, Portugal

Title: This is Mesa Arch…
Photographer: Reid Wolcott
Location: Canyonlands N.P., Utah, USA

Title: Sunset in Liepaja Frozen Beach
Photographer: Jose Antonio Castellanos
Location: Liepaja, Latvia

Title: Children of the Sun
Photographer: Fran Moreno
Location: Huelva, Spain

Title: Ruins
Photographer: Jakub Malicki
Location: Unknown

Title: Paine
Photographer: Javier Fernández del Rivero
Location: Torres del Paine National Park, Argentina/Chile

Title: Red Silence
Photographer: Alfonso Della Corte
Location: Unknown, maybe somewhere in Italy

Title: Heal Me by Sunrise V
Photographer: Daniel Hasselberg
Location: Somewhere in Sweden

Title: Jukung
Photographer: Wisnu Taranninggrat
Location: Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia

Title: Africa
Photographer: Amnon Eichelberg
Location: Serengeti, Tanzania, Africa

Title: tranquility of the pier
Photographer: Samet Güler
Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Title: Golden Li River
Photographer: Yan Zhang
Location: Li River, Guangxi, China

Title: Sky
Photographer: AdrienC Photography
Location: Unknown, probably La Rochelle, France

Title: Hanging
Photographer: Regy Kurniawan
Location: Parangndog, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Title: Empire State
Photographer: WilsonAxpe / Scott Wilson
Location: New York City, USA

Title: Return to the Cosmiques
Photographer: Alexandre Buisse
Location: Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France

Title: In front of the show
Photographer: MMB Fotografía Adolfo Gris
Location: Les Gavines, Valencia, Spain

Title: Lappland – winterwonderland
Photographer: Christian Schweiger
Location: Lappland – Kiilopää

Title: Looking Through The Window II
Photographer: Roland Shainidze
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Title: HKG 2012
Photographer: Djaka Farezki
Location: Hong Kong

Title: Moscow Morning
Photographer: Sergey Shaposhnikov
Location: Moscow, Russia

Title: In Ice
Photographer: Mario777
Location: Palanga, Lithuania

Title: Sun rises over the Mittens
Photographer: Marco Mechi
Location: Monument Valley, Utah/Arizona, USA

Title: Carrasqueira
Photographer: Paulo Gomes
Location: Carrasqueira, Alcacer-do-Sal, Portugal

Title: Bavarian Sunset
Photographer: Mark Whale
Location: Somewhere in Bavaria, Germany

Title: Fields
Photographer: Krzysztof Browko
Location: Tuscany, Italy

Title: Dancing Under The Sun Light
Photographer: Vanquist
Origin: deviantART
Location: Unknown

Title: Redemption
Photographer: Chris Moore
Location: Colorado River near Toroweap, Grand Canyon, USA

Title: Way Home
Photographer: Kim Keun Bong
Location: Unknown

Title: Tuscany Sunrise
Photographer: Jarek Pawlak
Location: Mucigliani, Tuscany, Italy

Title: Untitled
Photographer: Paul Marcellini
Location: Blue Cypress Lake, Florida, USA

Title: Silence Coming
Photographer: Jasmina Gorjanski
Location: Motovun, Croatia

Title: Trotternish
Photographer: Michael Breitung
Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland, United Kingdom

The End: I hope you like what you’ve seen here. Click over to the portfolios of your favourite artists from this post and help them get up and running on the social photography platforms they have chosen. See you next time…


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AMP Stories: More Vivid Storytelling on Mobile Devices Made Easy Mon, 16 Apr 2018 07:00:02 +0000 ]]>

To Google, the open AMP project is one of the most important endeavors of the recent past. This is about nothing less than the supremacy on the user’s mobile devices.

It goes without saying that Google refuses to let Facebook have this supremacy without a fight. It’s also clear that they can’t afford to do so from an economic point of view. Thus, it is no surprise that AMP, which also has quite a few loud-voiced critics, is tenaciously developed from milestone to milestone.

The newest cornerstone was placed a few days ago. Google’s AMP Stories are no less than a completely new method of storytelling on mobile devices. Actually, it is not really a completely new method of storytelling, but one that we haven’t seen on mobile devices yet, as the publishers were avoiding the effort of creating it.

The new element is supposed to make storytelling on mobile devices more interesting. (Screenshot: Google)

Google simplifies this process with the introduction of the new component amp-story so much, that the creation of visually appealing news formats could soon become part of the editing routine in media houses around the world. Thus, it is no surprise that these media houses are among the pioneers of the AMP Stories.

As of recently, every page operator can take their first steps with AMP Stories. Look at this tutorial to see how easy it is to tell beautiful stories. However, you need to provide the good content yourself.

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Design: Above The Fold is Dead Fri, 13 Apr 2018 07:00:41 +0000 ]]>

Long gone are the days where every web developer told their customers that all relevant information had to be visible at first sight, also known as “above the fold”, as the average web user wouldn’t scroll down the page.

I can vividly remember the fights this mantra brought with it. Sticking to this concept has always been tough, if not impossible

Above the Fold: Wisdom of the Year Dot

Above the Fold” is a concept from the early days of information transmission. Even a hundred years ago, the publishers of newspapers made sure to put the most important headline of the day above the fold, which always divided the upper and lower half of the newspaper. The concept seemed so logical, that it established itself in all areas where information was fighting for attention.

In the past, everything printed on the page not pointing towards the reader was considered less important.

Ten years ago, websites were also made following this principle wherever possible. This was even backed by the usability pope Jacob Nielsen and his studies. Advertisers used to insist on the placement of their banners above the fold, and some still do today.

Timelines Assert Themselves, Replacing the Concept

Twitter and Facebook brought us the timeline, teaching the users that they won’t only find the interesting information above the first scroll motion and that the opposite can actually be the case. Scrolling became normal, resulting in the fold becoming void.

Nowadays, UX designers should be able to assume that even sites that make the users scroll won’t end up in the nirvana of disregard. On the other hand, we still need to present our content in a way that makes users happy to give us their attention.

Thus, it only makes sense that we need to continue to communicate clearly and highly compressed. If compression to the point where only the area above the fold remains is possible, that’s even better.

Otherwise, we could take advantage of the trend of parallax scrolling. However, we continue to scroll vertically, and not horizontally. Though, we make sure that every scroll motion opens access to new information. The best way to do so is with a page-oriented design.

This basically results in slides, presentations, that always deal with different topics, while still being consumable by scrolling one single HTML page. This concept is similar to the popular One-Pagers, without it having to be an actual one-pager.

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False Ambition: Am I a Designer, Developer, or Both? Thu, 12 Apr 2018 04:30:54 +0000 ]]>

I started out as a designer. At one point in time, I was forced to start developing. Now, it’s time for a reset.

We Didn’t Have Anything

This goes back to the nineties. Netobjects Fusion was the most widespread design tool, with Microsoft’s Frontpage as a close second. Fusion was made for designers. There was no encounter with the source text of a website, and it wasn’t even possible. The same applied to Frontpage. This resulted in pretty pages, but horrible source code.

Not everything was better in the old days. Ratfink1973 / Pixabay

Later on, Macromedia’s Dreamweaver, and Adobe’s GoLive joined the group, and even surpassed Fusion and Frontpage. In terms of WYSIWYG, the newcomers were superior, and in terms of code quality too. It only made sense that designers were not sad to see the pioneers of design tools leave. However, the damage had already been done.

What Could Have Been if Things Had Gone Differently

Do you write Postscript manually? No? Why not? Right, you don’t need to. Manually writing HTML would not have become necessary either, had the early tools been able to provide a proper realization of the standards, or at least established that this didn’t matter at all. Look at Word and its topsy-turvy code, that works.

Better solutions would’ve been helpful. pucho / Pixabay

Now, did the mediocre quality of early HTML design tools force all of us onto the developer track? This might seem a little over the top. At the very least, the guys from Netobjects or Microsoft won’t be the only ones to blame. However, it’s a fact that we’ve been forced to manually write code from the very beginning, which is something that print design tools never have and would never have asked from us.

Thus, we ended up dealing with unattractive code blocks, rather than appealing designs. Soon enough, this became standard. Ever since then, the code-based working has been picking up pace almost dramatically. No day passes without three dozens of brand-new, naturally awesome frameworks, boilerplates, libraries, and other tools.

Design is Only a Partial Aspect of Our Work

Design in itself has been moved to the background. The developer tasks dominate. Some may like it, but not all do. When looking at my order book, the requests of my typical client have barely changed in the past two years. However, the technological options have changed drastically. This barely matters to the average client, though, as their business goals are the same that people had twenty/thirty years ago. You can open any business studies book of the Eighties and just start reading anywhere.

That’s not beautiful… (Pexels / Pixabay)

The brand-new features that you can only make use of as a developer are not useless, of course. However, they only affect a rather small share of potential customers and are heavily overrepresented in terms of their visibility, and the buzz that is created around them.

Back to the Roots

I’m done. Instead of evaluating new tools just to realize that, after a pointless training period, I can accomplish the same thing that I accomplished before, I will now exit this rat race. I don’t want to develop a Facebook clone, and no client will ever ask me to do so.

I enjoy working on designs, not fiddling around with code. I’ve gotten angry about a missing semicolon, or a superfluous underscore countless times, once I finally found them. This has to stop.

Visual design is more fun. fancycrave1 / Pixabay

And while we’re at it. I don’t want to be a webmaster either. In the Nineties, I’ve put days of work because the mail server of client XYZ didn’t work, or appeared on some block list. Today, doing this is much clearer, and easier, thanks to proper backends. But that doesn’t make it a fun activity.

So, if I don’t want to webmaster, and don’t want to develop, which tool is the one for me? Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is the homepage builders of the new generation. Dreamweaver and co don’t take care of the webmaster tasks, although they go pretty far in terms of cloud storage support, and management of modules, and other reusable elements.

Hello Wix

For Noupe, I’ve already looked into homepage builders several times, and I’ve also covered the topic for t3n, including the creation of a large market overview. I think I’m able to claim that I can make qualified decisions for, or against certain products.

Looking at it from this perspective, two website builders remained, namely Wix and Webydo. You’ll find a whole bunch of articles covering both of them here at Noupe. My colleague Robert Mening also created a complete website using Wix, and gave a detailed report on it.

While Webydo seems to provide the more complete package, even including billing and white labeling, Wix established the bigger business.

Why does that matter? I don’t want to act as if I was putting my entire occupational future in the hands of the system that I choose. However, it would definitely be – say – annoying should my provider end up shutting down at a moment’s notice. So, assessing how likely the worst case is, is the right thing to do in advance.

Here, I, personally, think the market leader Wix is the safest bet. German competitors have been through tough times already, so all of them are out of question for me. Webydo does offer a good product, but it appears to be moving towards some sort of final battle with Wix. In the end, one of the two will be victorious, and I feel like it will be Wix.

In terms of the feature set, the two providers are very similar, and that also applies to the learning curve and the controls. In case of doubt, it would even be possible to quickly switch between the two. This idea reinforced my decision.

By clearly focusing on Wix-based websites, I won’t lose one single customer. I can tell you that much already. The clients never cared for the technological foundation I got their designs running on. And I’ve only developed web services, mostly communities, two or three times in the past; the last time was 15 years ago.

Mental Health is always a big topic amongst designers and developers. andreas160578 / Pixabay

Psychologically, this decision is immensely easing to me. Once you’ve realized that your business doesn’t need to run at the cutting edge of the latest technologies, a lot of weight falls off.

Of course, I’ll keep staying up to date regarding new developments, but there won’t be a lot of experiments anymore. I won’t write any more code, either. From today on, I’ll only design. Just like I used to in days gone by.

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Design: What You Didn’t Know About the Color Red Wed, 11 Apr 2018 07:00:34 +0000 ]]>

There you are, in the first diaper you were put into, and look at the world. First, you only see black and white, and the world looks rather bleak. But, all of a sudden, there’s a colorful spot. You take a closer look, and you don’t know what to call it, but this first color you see is red.

There you are, in what might be the last diaper you were put into after your brain injury, which has lead to a wide loss of control, and look at the world. First, you only see black and white, and it seems like your thought that all the world had to offer was desolation was confirmed. But, all of a sudden, there’s a colorful spot. You take a closer look, and, you’re right, the color you see is red. You start getting better.

For Humans, Red is the Most Important Color in the Color Spectrum

Red is a color with essential significance for us humans. For both newborns and people recovering from a brain trauma, it is the first color they see after black and white. All other colors follow much later, in the order green, yellow, and blue. There’s no color that gets a remotely as strong reaction from humans as red.

Red has the longest wavelength of all colors. Visually, red objects appear to be closer than they really are. Thus, it is no surprise that red draws our attention towards itself first. That’s why red is used as a very effective traffic light signal for “stop” all around the world.

Psychologists found out that red is able to trigger our fight or flight reflex. This is one of our earliest evolutionary reactions, which allowed us to survive in highly dangerous situations. It is controlled fully independently from our mind, by our autonomous nervous system.

Use This Knowledge in Design

Well, doesn’t this seem familiar? It is no coincidence that the RGB color model, which we always use for work on screen is named after the primary colors red, green, and blue. The perception of primary colors affects the perception of the other color values based on them.

Red, green, and blue, but mainly red as a human’s entry ticket into color vision, play an important part in product design. This is not a mere question of psychology, but a solid psychological fact that is deeply rooted somewhere inside of us.

This connection is so stable, that you, as a designer, can burden it without any issues.

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Brain-Friendly Web Design 101 Tue, 10 Apr 2018 07:00:20 +0000 ]]>

The human brain works in a way that you can’t ignore if you want your design to be successful. Brain-friendly web design is what determines success and failure, so don’t take it lightly.

As an experienced designer, you know that your designs cannot be judged purely by aesthetic taste. Luckily, especially when it comes to creating big designs, like e-commerce websites, user test procedures have become the standard. Even though we know the basics of creating designs, individual target groups can prefer some surprising specialties.

If you stick to Steve Krug’s old recommendation “Don’t make me think,” at the very least, you have a rough idea of mistakes to avoid making. However, it can’t hurt to have some more knowledge on the basic functionalities of the human brain. The following won’t be about more psychological aspects. On that, you’ll find articles on our website too, however.

The Brain as an Example for Natural Algorithmics

Please keep in mind that the following is not a medically accurate explanation. The simplifications allow you to understand just as much as you need for work. If you’re already studying medicine, this article is not for you.

The Brain is Always Busy. (Photo: Stockvault)

The human brain works in repeating loops from simple to difficult. This process is what today’s artificial neuronal webs try to imitate algorithmically. The term “Deep Learning” is associated with that. This rough display of the work method already allows conclusions regarding how you should set up a website. Easy to control from the get-go, with the option to dig deeper as needed.

The Different Function Areas of the Human Memory

One of our brain’s main performance features is the memory. One could be tempted to compare it to a hard drive. Like data on a hard drive, information is stored in our memory. However, this is way too short-sighted. Our memory is not just a mass storage but divided into different “departments.” There are different methods to classify the memory. The method that is relevant to us is the one going off the duration of “storage.”

The ultra-short-term memory is a purely sensorial function area. Here, with a maximum of a few seconds, sensory input is saved just long enough to create a context from the combination of multiple inputs.

In the working memory, we keep content that we need in a defined context for a little while. For example, we store an address, to enter it into the navigation device, and will have forgotten it shortly after successfully entering it.

The short-term memory works with a timeframe of a few hours and is usually considered a pre-stage of the long-term memory. Information stored in the short-term memory can be moved to the long-term memory via repetition. A lot of well-known learning systems use this principle.

The long-term memory is used for the permanent storage of information and is used whenever information is needed for more than a few days. Here, storage can even be lifelong. If we wanted to compare the memory to a hard drive, the long-term memory would be the closest comparison we can get. However, when looking at the working method of the long-term memory, it is evident that we can’t compare it to some kind of hard drive.

Saving information that just entered the long-term memory is not just done using free storage space, or by overwriting data that is free to delete. Instead, the brain integrates the new information into existing structures. It creates new memory content,  connecting it to existing content, so to speak. Here, existing experiences are just as important as basic questions of attitude in general. The new information alters the old information to fit in. In other words: the information in the long-term memory is never completely objective. We would never buy that kind of hard drive.

When Brain-Friendly Design Tries to Overcome the Memory

Now that we know how the human memory works, we ask ourselves which areas we want to address. The answer is connected to the question what we want to achieve.

On the lowest level, we definitely need to get past the ultra-short-term memory. Here, information is only kept for a maximum of 20 seconds before it vanishes. During scientific studies in 1956, it was proven, that the number of memorable information snippets in the ultra-short-term memory is about seven plus/minus two. Later on, it was clarified that the capacity indication was related to seven numbers. With letters, the capacity limit was six, and for words, it was five.

With fewer alternatives, decisions are easier to make. Your memory is to blame. (Photo: Pexels)

What does that mean for our design? We should expect people that visit our website to lose orientation after a few seconds if we don’t help them with a solid guide. According to Nielsen Norman, there are multiple aspects to keep in mind here:

The loading time of our websites should not be so long that we run the risk of transactions being canceled because the page’s loading performance is too slow. Especially during the checkout process, you should pay attention to that, before the potential client forgets that he’s still in a purchasing process.

Especially visited links should be highlighted in different colors, telling the user where he has been before. This way, there is no useless information taking up his limited storage slots. Overall, you can’t have too much help and support, because you don’t want the visit to depend on cognitive processes that exceed the ultra-short-term memory.

If you want to sell something, and you provide a good selection, make it easy for the visitor to compare the different offers to each other. Otherwise, the potential client won’t be able to remember the individual features compared to the competing product, and consider canceling the purchase. Additionally, this also eases a qualified selection, which is made harder by the nature of the human memory otherwise.

If a human has to choose from too many options, the brain jams, as each option has to be evaluated. To do so, past experiences are considered. If too many of them are activated at the same time, evaluation takes more time than the user might be willing to spend. The principle of limitation of selection is the one Apple has been successfully using since the noughties.

Past Experiences Are a Significant Factor for Decision-Making Today. (Photo: Pexels)

It is recommendable to initiate connections to possibly existing information in other parts of the brain’s memory. This invokes interest and raises the chances of your visitor staying.

This triggering of connections is especially important when it comes to the navigation design. Depending on your page’s complexity, it won’t make sense to shorten the navigation to five or seven selections, to not be too demanding for your visitor’s ultra-short-term memory. This could even backfire, as this kind of contraction would force you to design a very generic navigation. Then, this is likely to make it hard for visitors to get an idea of what’s behind the terms, lowering the interaction rate.

When working on the navigation, we don’t primarily work with the memory but focus on advanced cognitive processes instead. This is supposed to make it easy for the visitor to recognize what we offer, and move in the according direction. That job is done by meaningful symbols, clear texts, and established nomenclature.

Generally, we can note down that our design should do everything possible to relieve the memory of the potential client. The less his ultra-short-term memory is challenged, the higher the chances of keeping him on our site.

Furthermore, a general recommendation is to go for a minimalistic design approach. Not only does this relieve the visitor’s memory, but it also enables us to trigger connections to experiences and memories stored in deeper memory layers. Once again, the recommendation to keep the amount of information to process as low as possible plays a role.

Reserved, Clear Designs Unburden the Visitor. (Photo: Pexels)

Now, once we’ve succeeded at moving the visitor past the stage of the ultra-short-term memory, we should try to create a permanent connection, moving into the long-term memory via brain-friendly web design. The classic path there leads through the repeated application and focused effort. Both require will force on the side of the target user. We can hardly affect that.

Of course, it is possible to subliminally activate the effect of repetition with a very clear and clean design, letting us “cheat” our way into the user’s long-term memory. We don’t have any way to trigger the focused effort, though.

Luckily, there is another way to enter the long-term memory. This one leads through emotions. If you succeed at activating fundamental emotions with your design, chances of leaving a lasting memory are high. The problem with emotions is the wide grey zone in which humans have a completely different emotional response to the same visual stimulus. You would have to go for unambiguous accents which means you would be moving in extremes. I’m not too comfortable with that, so I’ll leave the appeal to emotions to you.

However, you should not ignore the emotional factor when it comes to the feelings invoked by your UX design. A bad user experience leads to your website being forgotten. However, the subtle feeling of the bad experience remains for a long time. Vice versa, a positive user experience can get you visitors that return happily and often, as they enjoy your site, or because it has such a pretty design. There are various reasons why.

Links on the Topic

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Helper Duo for Web Designers: and Mon, 09 Apr 2018 07:00:17 +0000 ]]>

All of us have large references of our favorite tech publishers in our shelves, and we know the monumental guide sites à la SelfHTML and others. Oftentimes, we wouldn’t even need the massive encyclopedia, as a slim helper would suffice to do the trick. Just checking something real quick. What was that again?

For this exact purpose, there are two visual helpers for HTML and CSS. Both were made in the same forge, and can barely be told apart visually. Nonetheless, you’ll get help on HTML at and support on CSS at

Behind the two short references and the slim framework Bulma, which is the technological base of both sides, is the self-proclaimed CSS guru Jeremy Thomas. Thomas funds himself via sponsors and the occasional writing of short e-books.

Helper #1: The HTML Reference

At first sight, the two short references almost seem to be a bit too slim. However, this impression bears no substance and is more of a compliment to the maximally reduced display of the complex topic.

The HTML reference covers all elements and attributes. You’re not forgoing anything. The CSS reference, on the other hand, does not have this claim to completion. It covers 129 of the most popular CSS attributes. Most likely, you won’t miss anything here either.

From the landing page, you can either find your topic via the list of elements or attributes. Or, you use a free text search, to take you straight to the goal of your curiosity. A click on an element or an attribute gets you to the corresponding detail page.

Helper #2: The CSS Reference

Here’s where you’ll find all the required information. With HTML elements, this can be usage instructions, as well as the available attributes, or similar essentials. Thomas always gives you an example at the very beginning. This allows you to see the respective element in action, as well as as a source code, giving you a visual idea of the correlation between the two.

Definitely, make sure to add Jeremy’s references to your toolbox.

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