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By Scott Fegette | Monday, March 24, 2014

Use jQuery Ajax to Load Remote Web Content

Use jQuery Ajax to load remote web content

What is Ajax?

Ajax stands for “Asynchronous JavaScript and XML,” a friendly term for when a webpage or application asks a server for new content, then displays it in the current page without having to reload. Although the X in Ajax originally stood for XML, the content being delivered often comes in a variety of forms today, including XML, HTML, JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), or just plain old text. Ajax content has become commonplace in modern web experiences, but writing the JavaScript required to actually load and display Ajax content by hand can still be a tedious process. And that’s where jQuery Ajax can step in to make your job easier.

How can jQuery help with Ajax content?

jQuery is a JavaScript library, which simplifies many tasks in JavaScript. It’s very popular with web designers and developers for dynamically updating a webpage’s Document Object Model (DOM), and changing its structure and content as needed.

Let’s dig into the basics of using jQuery to load Ajax content using a very simple example.

By Chris Converse | Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Is Email Ready for Video?

Embedding video responsibly

Explore this course at lynda.com.

With so many people now reading email on mobile devices that support the HTML5 standard, it’s becoming easier and easier to incorporate video into emails. Even better: Mobile and desktop email clients that don’t support HTML5 video will fall back to a user-friendly, clickable link, so no one is left out.

By Chris Converse | Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Using High-Definition (Retina) Graphics with CSS

Responsive web design techniques aren’t just for changing the layout and composition of your web designs; they can also optimize your project’s imagery for high-resolution screens. CSS3 media queries include properties for detecting the pixel ratio of a device’s screen—and when the pixel density value is two or greater, we know the device has a high-density display, and can use high-definition graphics.

Standard definition graphics can appear soft or blurry

Standard definition graphics can appear soft or blurry when viewed on a high-density display.

By Chris Converse | Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Creating a Responsive Web Experience

Simply rearranging your web design across screen sizes isn’t enough to assure a smooth, natural experience for all the devices that will view it. In order to truly optimize the user experience, we must alter the content and behavior as well. This means loading alternate HTML content, suppressing animations, and collapsing navigation for small screens.

FIgure 1Navigation on small screens is collapsed into a single button, which expands into the global navigation when clicked or tapped, providing an optimal experience for small screens.

In this course, we’ll explore altering the user experience based on screen size. This approach will allow us to increase the user experience and download speed for larger screens, while delivering smaller-sized files and targeted experiences for smaller screens. Learn how to combine jQuery with your HTML and CSS to alter experiences across screen sizes.

By Morten Rand-Hendriksen | Thursday, December 12, 2013

WordPress 3.8: A quiet revolution

Today’s release of WordPress 3.8 is revolutionary in the history of WordPress—and a clear sign of things to come from the popular content management system. Sporting a clean new interface, tons of new features, and a new development philosophy, the 3.8 release is a milestone for the WordPress community in many ways. We’re already hard at work updating our WordPress Essential Training course to reflect WordPress 3.8, but there’s a lot to notice in today’s release beyond just what ships in the code.

Deadlines are not arbitrary Establishing the current WordPress philosophy “Deadlines are not arbitrary,” WordPress cofounder and project leader Matt Mullenweg made a series of bold announcements at WordCamp San Francisco back in July. First, he stated that WordPress 3.7 and 3.8 would be developed in parallel, with firm, preannounced release dates for each. Furthermore, he announced that all new features slated for version 3.8 would be developed as stand-alone plugins first, and only built into the WordPress core code once they were stable. Finally, Matt announced that he’d be personally leading the development team for the 3.8 release.

By Cris Ippolite | Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lucky 13: The NEW FileMaker Pro 13 Platform is Here!

After 20 months of anticipation from the product community, FileMaker Inc. finally unveiled its next-generation platform for business productivity: FileMaker Pro 13. Having worked closely with FileMaker 13 for several months prior to launch to prepare for my new course, FileMaker Pro 13 New Features, I can tell you there are plenty of improvements in this release to satisfy any level of FileMaker developer or end user. For new FileMaker users, the platform makes it much easier than ever before to create beautiful app-like databases—and it offers some long-awaited features that FileMaker fans won’t be able to live without.

Chief among the more than 50 new features are

WebDirect The marquee feature of the new FileMaker 13 is a web-sharing technology called WebDirect, which allows you to share your FileMaker database through any HTML5-compliant browser—with no web development skills required.

By Chris Converse | Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Creating a responsive HTML email design

Over 40% of email is read on mobile devices.

Many online sources claim that over 40 percent of email is now read on a mobile device. The email you design for your customers has nearly a one-in-two chance of being read on a smartphone or tablet.

Now the real question: Will it be a good reading experience?

By Chris Nodder | Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Information architecture: More than just a pretty menu

Comparing information architectures

Explore this course at lynda.com.

Some people in the design community insist on calling website menu systems “information architecture.” I think they do it to make menu design sound sexier or more esoteric. Unfortunately that’s not what information architecture is. Or rather, it’s only part of what information architecture is.

Information architecture (IA) is actually “the structural design of shared information environments.” It’s no good just having a well-thought-through menu system for your site. Once you get people to where they need to be, the content needs to be arranged in the way they expect, using words they understand. Knowing how your users think about and self-categorize your site’s content should be central to your whole design effort. It boils down to finding out how your users think about and categorize the concepts, tasks, and activities that your product deals with, and then creating an architecture that matches this world view. My course Foundations of UX: Information Architecture steps through the discipline of IA, and the practical steps needed to apply it to your projects.

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