Speaking at Remote Working Conference 2016

Remote Working Conference

Speaking

Join team 10up (from wherever you are) on Dec 6 and 7 for the 2016 Remote Working Conference. This two-day streaming event focuses on how to succeed in a remote working environment and will dispel the myths around distributed teams.

On Day 1, John Eckman will present “Distributed, not Disconnected: Employee Engagement for Remote Work.” Remote teams carry the stigma of being less connected than their co-located counterparts. John will share techniques and tools to drive engagement in a distributed workplace.

On Day 2, I close the event with my talk “Designing a Better UX Hiring Process.” Vetting UX applicants can be a challenge for remote agencies. Video interviews and online portfolios help, but cannot be the only metrics used to find the best UX design talent. In this talk, I’ll share our strategy for attracting and hiring top UX candidates.

WAMU.org launches, powered by React.js and the WordPress REST API

Yesterday, Washington, D.C. NPR regional affiliate WAMU released a fully reimagined website in partnership with 10up. Designed to elegantly present written and audio content, we engineered a cutting-edge WordPress implementation that leverages React.js and the WordPress REST API to create an immersive single-page app experience. Visitors can listen to audio content using the player bar pinned to the bottom of the screen, without interruption, as they browse the site on a phone, tablet, or desktop browser.

wamu

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10up at WordCamp US

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Join me, our Director of Platform Experience Helen Hou-Sandí, our Director of Project Management Grant Landram, and many other 10uppers at the second annual WordCamp US, being held once again in Philadelphia.

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Helen Hou-Sandi

Congratulations to 10up Lead Engineer Adam Silverstein, recently made a WordPress core committer!

With complete access to the WordPress code repository, core committer status is not given out lightly. Through his work on the Revisions UI for WordPress 3.6, leading the recent WP API Backbone client development and many more core JavaScript features, his countless speaking appearances, and his mentorship during WordCamp contributor days, Adam illustrated his dedication to WordPress and the 10up values of openness and community service.

Sixth Annual All Hands Summit: photographic retrospective

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Back in September, team 10up gathered in Atlanta from around the globe for four days of knowledge sharing, team building, and face-to-face time. Our days were filled with inspiring, educational presentations from our peers, while the evenings let us kick back and relax with teammates whom we normally only see on our computer screen.

The event began with an in-depth keynote presented by company leadership: our own 10up State of the Union. The keynote was followed by more than a dozen sessions presented by 10uppers who contributed their time and effort to share their knowledge, lessons learned, and perspective. Topics—to name a few—explored:

  • new tools, best practices, and important concepts for engineering, user experience, and design;
  • techniques we can use to delight our clients;
  • lessons learned from projects;
  • the current and future state of content platforms and distribution;
  • ways to support more performant, effective web ads that are more profitable for publishers without sacrificing visitor engagement, and;
  • how to identify and manage impostor syndrome.

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Reintroducing Windows Azure Storage for WordPress

When collaborating with Microsoft, we are often responsible for making WordPress work seamlessly with Microsoft’s own offerings, including their Azure cloud service platform. An ideal Azure hosting configuration leverages Azure Blob Storage to store and deliver uploaded media assets and attachments. Microsoft’s existing, open source solution, Windows Azure Storage for WordPress, had been neglected for years; we stepped up to overhaul the plugin.

The 4.0 release addresses legacy SDK dependencies and features a refactored code base, bringing it in line with our WordPress Best Practices.

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IAB unveils a new Ad Unit Portfolio

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On October 25, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)—responsible for setting online ad guidelines and best practices—held a webinar to review an ambitious overhaul of its Ad Standards Portfolio.

So why the overhaul?

The new portfolio of ad units aims to address concerning trends, including an increase in the adoption of ad blockers and content delivery platforms like Google AMP and Apple News that limit ad integrations. The IAB has asserted that, as publishers focused on margins and increased automation, their audiences have increasingly encountered invasive interstitials, purposefully-hidden opt-outs, auto-play videos, and recurring-ad fatigue. Sites have grown heavy with extended load times often caused primarily by third-party ad servers and content discovery platforms like Outbrain and Taboola.

“We messed up,” wrote Scott Cunningham, Senior Vice President of Tech and Ad Ops at IAB. “As technologists tasked with delivering content and services to users, we lost track of the user experience.”

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Introducing Twenty Sixteen React and NodeifyWP

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As web technologies and mobile devices improve and global internet speeds increase, consumers increasingly expect taps and clicks to deliver results nearly instantaneously; the “app-like” experience has become an expectation in web browsers. To this end, we’ve seen huge strides forward in web platforms and frameworks.

Among its most notable relevant advancements, WordPress introduced a JSON REST API, which opens up new, compelling use cases as a framework and content storage engine, such as headless publishing workflows. However, since WordPress runs on PHP, it can’t be used in conjunction with an important breakthrough: isomorphic applications.

Isomorphic web applications run the same code on the server and client (web browser), providing the flexibility, extensibility, and consistency to build the most modern “app-like” experiences on the web. JavaScript and Node.js are used to create isomorphic applications, since JavaScript runs natively in the web browser and is the foundation for server-side Node.js. (Learn more about isomorphic applications.)

Since we can’t run PHP in the web browser, we have a few options for creating JavaScript-powered “app-like” experiences in WordPress.

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John Eckman

I recently published an article on CIO Review discussing the benefits and challenges of implementing a headless publishing workflow to better facilitate cross-channel and cross-platform content distribution.

Traditionally, content management systems handled both the management of content (the “backend”) and the presentation of content to audiences (the “front end”). By going headless, content creators decouple site backends from front ends, enabling many different content presentation applications – websites, mobile apps, social or syndication channels, etc – to  consume content managed in a single backend.

Given the benefits laid out in my article, we’re increasingly encouraging 10up clients to consider “going headless” for their next site builds.

Refining our message and design

More than two years ago, we overhauled 10up.com to reflect the company we had become. Conceived and built entirely in-house, we strove for an experience and aesthetic that would project the craftsmanship we offer our clients. More than two years later, we think the art direction and architecture has more than withstood the test of time.

Over the last two years, our mission, message, and value proposition has evolved, presenting an opportunity to improve the way we articulate ourselves, in content and design. I’m happy to announce a site wide update that highlights our refreshed mission statement and improves the way we describe #team10up.

We think that our own story becomes most tangible when telling our project stories, so we’ve also taken the time to completely redesign our work portfolio. Our user experience and visual design team worked closely with internal stakeholders and engineers to craft a portfolio that is as visually stunning as it is functional, across screen sizes and device types.

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