With an eventual release date earmarked for mid to late 2013, Drupal 8 will be warmly welcomed into the community. As well as a raft of developer upgrades (which wont be discussed in this post), there are some fundamental core changes, chief among which will be a responsive solution for front-end and admin, out the box.
Let’s first take a look at the new Admin bar. The ‘Seven 8.0’ is Drupal 8’s default theme and whilst a step-up in presentation is obvious from the outset, users of Drupal 7 will still find this a very familiar toolbar.
It now has clearer, better-designed buttons with added icons to help spare the user’s cognitive load and aid in orientation. The new icons are also a big help at mobile size where things can become a lot simpler.
Whilst Drupal 7 could always be integrated to a responsive website, the actual Admin user experience on smaller mobile devices was not the best it could be. A lot of vertical and horizontal scrolling and bunching of content meant adding or editing content wasn’t the most pleasant of tasks.
On a desktop monitor, the Admin bar has room to stretch and now makes better use of the two strips. The top strip has shortcuts and user info whilst the bottom strip is now a contrasting white colour, purely dedicated to Admin sections. A blue pencil icon on the far right toggles between the horizontal and vertical toolbar layouts.
Here, the toolbar is shown responding to mobile. It re-adjusts automatically depending on the size of the device you are viewing so whether it’s smart phone, tablet or desktop, the toolbar simply adjusts appropriately without you needing to think. Users familiar with Drupal 7 will note how much clearer the layout for mobile is now.
Whilst properly addressing responsive serves up a laundry list of issues in general, one of the immediate problems most designers and developers will grapple with is how to deal with page-loading performance. As the size-range of devices becomes ever more extreme, we’re also demanding that we’re not dealt a half-baked experience on mobile - where connections are typically slower than desktops. At the same time, mobile devices are also ramping up in quality, like the iPhone retina screens, so now there is also a demand for 4 times the image.
Drupal 8 is also tackling this with responsive ‘Pictures’. This allows admin authors to add one large image (whether it’s a banner slide, a block image, gallery photo or a general picture on a page) and Drupal 8 will automatically serve up an appropriate size of picture for the device. E.g. full size for 1200px sites and over, and physically smaller versions for smartphones. This eliminates the temptation to ‘hide’ certain heavy pictures at smart phone size, which would normally penalise a smart phone user’s overall experience.
This will avoid a large image designed for say, 1200px wide desktop (like a banner) being served up and scaled down, on the fly, for a smartphone and hence unnecessarily hogging bandwidth and page-speed.
The Drupal 8 Mobile Initiative Lead – John Wilkins
The Drupal 8 Mobile Initiative Blog
If you’re setting up social media, you’ll want to know what sizes all your profile pictures, banners and photos need to be for a professional polished presentation and to ensure you have a great looking social network to bolster both your company web presence.
Below we take a look at how the various zones on a Facebook profile can be used for both personal and company purposes.
Facebook is a great way to promote your business and it’s completely free. A dedicated account can be set up solely for your business and you can use the various image areas creatively to really push your brand, products & services and connect with your audience.
Facebook is a great way to directly engage customers & fans alike. It allows people to publically ‘like’ aspects of your page, which in turn, generates a positive impact on others.
A Facebook page is not designed to replace a company website but it can work in parallel with it. Use it to promote products & services, relay news & events, and volunteer bonus insights into the way you work for a transparent and trusting relationship.
Perhaps product/service tutorials or video diaries or help guides will help customers make decisions. You don’t have to give away all your trade secrets but it’s a great platform for informal education. It’s entirely up to you but give your audience a reason to keep coming back. Every step of the way you can direct people back to your main website and funnel people to your specific goals and calls to action.
inFUSed Group, the company created by students from Ferndown Upper School as part of The Enterprise Challenge achieved a virtual clean sweep at the 2013 final award ceremony this week.
The company, led by young Managing Director Dom Keeyley and his team, achieved success in the following categories:
inFUSed Group was set up with sponsorship funding from mwa Digital and sixteen other businesses in the region.
A regional business leader mentors each group of students throughout the process and recognition also goes to Danny Godfrey, CEO at Renewable Energy Company The Warmer Group who inspired the students to success.
We would like to congratulate everyone who contributed to the cause and of course hats off to Dom and his board of budding entrepreneurs’ for a great achievement.
The Enterprise Challenge is an initiative to help develop an entrepreneurial culture in local Schools with the intention of enhancing employability for our next generation.
Managed by the Enterprise & Skills Company in association with local businesses, the Enterprise Challenge is open to Years 10 and 11 in school, and Years 12 and 13 out-of-school.
Students are given the opportunity to make and sell real products to real people for real money using a company they have formed with the assistance of a local business mentor.
The project lasts for 16 weeks and concludes with a competition to find the ‘Company of The Year’, where students need to make presentations to a judging panel consisting of local business professionals.
The outcome is designed to nurture the skills required for success in education, employment, lifelong learning and personal development.
As part of the process of creating a business, students appoint directors, name and brand their company, and decide on how to raise starting capital.
The newly formed company designs and manufactures an innovative product or products to sell at local Christmas trade fairs, defining their companies’ success by creating opportunities and meeting deadlines.
Students will also be responsible for the marketing, finance, sales and IT of the company.
Post Christmas, teams work towards a final company report (reflecting final accounts) and a professional 5-minute PowerPoint presentation.
Each company will compete against the other student companies in the Enterprise Challenge to win the coveted Bournemouth University ‘Company of the Year Award’, as well as many other sponsored trophies.
The program concludes with a dazzling showcase of talent judged by prominent local business people.
Great article by Lead Designer Paul Barnes on the grid system thats used in Responsive Web Design. Great for non-techi…http://t.co/zDT7nHiv 18 weeks ago
Very interesting article that prompted me to comment at the end http://t.co/OUJYX43d 19 weeks ago
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