Categories
Articles

FolderPrint Survey

Recently I sent a survey to the Starglider Systems mailing list.

It only had a simple question – the response percentage after each answer:

Do you still use STG FolderPrint Plus, or plan to use it in the future?
() Yes – 29%
() Yes, and I'd be interested in buying upgrades to new versions – 61%
() No – 5%
() No, and I never used it – 5%

I was happy to see that looks like most people in the list are still interested in the program, and willing to pay for upgrades (OR, if you don't use the program you just don't bother to answer).

If you didn't get the chance before, you can answer the survey here .

Categories
Articles

CSS3 Animations

A List Apart has an interesting overview of CSS3 animation and user experience .

I have seen a few of these effects around, and they really add to the user experience while being pretty light.

Categories
Articles

Using Animated GIFs on E-mail

Interesting article from MailChimp on using animated GIFs on e-mail .

They demonstrated some features on e-mails with animated GIFs. They look very nice, and more importantly, clearly show how these features work.

I do wonder how well these work for people with data plans. Even though they are very short, just these two add up to more than 200K. Just to compare, my lower resolution flash demos had more than a minute of content and had a few hundred Ks (Instant Demo is quite nice that way).

Even so, I still like the idea, and might use it when talking about new features on my products in the newsletter.

Categories
Articles

CSS Architecture

Very nice post on CSS Architecture.

I have just read Clean Code and many of the same principles from coding apply to CSS. A particular problem I know is everywhere on mine is splitting classes on attribute blocks to save typing – which of course spreads the definition all over the file!

I will keep an eye on this and the other problems next time I use CSS.

Categories
Articles

Call-to-Action Case Studies

ContentVerve has a post with a very interesting set of call-to-action tests.

I was particularly impressed by the “your” vs “my” tests – I'll have to try these on my site…

Categories
Articles

MailChimp and Mandrill

MailChimp is unifying their regular e-mail data and Mandrill data. Uh, why would you care? You probably don't, but if you have e-mail newsletters and e-mail notifications, there is some pretty cool things you can do with their new system.

Mandrill is MailChimp's general e-mail sender. So if you have any web app, you can either just change the SMTP address or use their API and send through them.  Why is Mandrill better? You get notifications of who opened and clicked what in those e-mails, with minimal work on your part. It can even notify your web apps. There is some impressive stuff, too – such as automatically modifying e-mails your system already send to change templates or add Google Analytics tracking.

With the new integration, you get a lot of extra possibilities. Whenever you send a new e-mail to your lists, you can just send to people who received, opened or clicked (or didn't) any other e-mails you sent through your app. And there are a ton of other filters – such as near a location, part of a social network or a specific e-mail client. For example, you can easily filter out or in people who bought a specific product from you (if you use a tag on your e-mail), and send a follow up cross sale. Or if they didn't, you could send a discount.

Pretty cool stuff, specially considering their very low prices – and the first 12000 e-mails are free!

Categories
Articles

WordPress and SSL

Yoast has a nice article with important details when settings WordPress on SSL. It details how to force SSL on specific pages, using Cache and CDN and fixing links in theme files.

Categories
Articles

Running a software business

Great article by Patrick McKenzie on Running a software business on 5 hours a week .

Some of the advice I found interesting:

  • Time Assets: stuff that will save you time in the future. For example, code that you write today that will save you time later, or automating a process.
  • Build less: everything you add will take time later.
  • Look for people paying money to solve a problem semi-manually to find good software opportunities.
  • Plan your business for long term – when you are working part-time things that change quickly are a poor match.
  • If you have a day job, one way to get your employer to sign a contract saying that your work is your own is reminding them that you will learn stuff (languages, technologies, etc) that can be used on your regular work without any expense for them.
  • ”The only acceptable response to a feature request is: ‘Thank you for your feedback. I will take it under advisement and consider it for inclusion in a later version of the software.’” I have been using a somewhat similar response (your request was added to the to-do list or something) but I only say that when I mean to eventually do it.
  • Document everything
  • Avoid events, plan for processes.

 

Categories
Articles

Readability

A very interesting post on Readability on Distilled .

The examples and checklist in the end are quite useful. A personal pet peeve for me is sites (as well as magazines) that don't have sufficient contrast! It is still quite common.

Of course, reading this I realize that I really should redesign my blogs and my site… Oh, well…

Categories
Articles

Customer Notifications

Interesting post on MailChimp's blog on customer notifications . What I personally felt was most interesting was how changing the logout screen to a less familiar format increased pageviews of the product link by several times.