Usability Test: Gutenberg for Professional Writers

Gutenberg content editor for WordPressThe next major release of WordPress is slated to include Gutenberg, a new content writing/editing experience that will change how we craft content inside of WordPress by modernizing the interface and increasing control over the layout and structure of pages and posts. 10up is actively contributing to the development of Gutenberg and is deploying it for some of our clients, and we’d like to better understand how professional content creators will perceive and adopt to the change.

We’re conducting a professional usability study on the current build of Gutenberg. Our goal is to augment existing user testing to better understand a particular subset of the user base: professionals who write and edit relatively standard, news-style content inside of WordPress. We want to observe how this audience perceives and adjusts to this new experience by watching them use it to create some basic content. Our ideal participant has experience creating content with WordPress, and brings a reasonably fresh and unbiased experience to Gutenberg.

Would you like to help us?

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10up Engineering Practices now mandate baseline accessibility standards

W3C WCAG 2.0One year ago, the popular government policy magazine Open Access Government stated, “Accessibility for all is not an option – it’s a fundamental right.” Creating equal access to digital content, regardless of age, size, ability, or disability, has always been a priority for 10up; it is inseparable from our mission to make a better internet for everyone. Creating accessible interfaces for our projects is consistent with our commitment to the principles of Universal Design. Because of this, we have updated the accessibility standards contained in our Engineering Best Practices to require all projects to have a baseline accessibility compliance goal of WCAG 2.0 Level A.

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Sponsoring WordCamp DC

WordCamp DC

Carnegie Library

Speaking Sponsoring

As one of the Washington, DC metro area’s local 10uppers, I’m proud to share that 10up is a Silver tier sponsor of this weekend’s WordCamp DC.  With our diverse client portfolio including government, political, nonprofit, and national news organizations, an event celebrating open platforms and a better web in Washington, DC was a natural fit for our support.

If you’re attending, be sure to catch Lead Engineer Adam Silverstein speaking on Friday afternoon, in his session, Ten tips for securing your WordPress JavaScript. Pick up our postcard on the swag table, and find Adam and me roaming the event: ask us about working at 10up, hiring 10up for your project, and our newest hosted solution, ElasticPress.io.

Operation LiftUp: Welcome Lift UX to 10up

We’re delighted to announce that after nearly one year of discussion and due diligence, 10up has completed an acquisition of Lift UX: a boutique, distributed, Emmy-nominated agency that specializes in making user experience design driven websites powered by WordPress. The Lift team, including its founding partners, Chris Wallace and Brad Miller, join 10up effective immediately.

Founded as a boutique digital creative shop in 2009, Lift has delivered web projects for clients like Frito-Lay, The Next Web, eBay, GoDaddy, and Disney. Lift earned acclaim when a “second screen” experience built for AMC’s Walking Dead was nominated for an Emmy Award in the interactive program category in 2012. Their work earn a second nomination in 2015 for Mad Men: The Fan Cut. Among their innovations, Lift built and sold a WordPress themes shop (UpThemes), and started a career center for distributed companies, RemoteJobs.com. They recently launched CampusInsiders.com, a project spotlighted by Automattic’s WordPress.com VIP program; the project earned Lift an invitation to become an official VIP agency partner.

As 10up’s President & Founder, I am elated to welcome this outstanding team, award recognized portfolio, and client roster to the 10up family. This acquisition accelerates our growth in Experience Design, adding executive-tier design leadership and enriching our growing portfolio of design stories. It represents a special opportunity for all parties to go further and faster as we partner with clients to make a better web.

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Restricted Site Access for WordPress optimized for multisite

We’ve released a major update to Restricted Site Access, our popular WordPress plugin that intelligently limits website access. Designed to keep unwanted visitors out of staging, test, and private sites, the plugin is active on more than 20,000 websites and has a 5 star rating.

Restricted Site Access 6.0 adds full support for WordPress network (multisite) installations. Network administrators can enforce restriction rules across the entire network, or set default restriction rules that are applied as new sites are added. If you have a network of private blogs or internal sites, or need time to configure new sites in your network before taking them live, this is the update you’ve been waiting for.

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Six years of 10up


If we spent our first five years pioneering and staking our claim in the world, in our sixth year we cultivated the organization and culture we pioneered. We rallied around trends and shifts in our industry and redoubled our investment into telling our story.

The initiative to better express our story culminated in a refresh of our company website, prominently featuring a new mission statement, proudly summarized by a promise to deliver “finely crafted websites and tools that make the web better.” We reinvigorated our project case studies, moving to a layout that better celebrates the challenges we’ve conquered with our clients. And we completely overhauled our Careers section, taking deliberate strides to better represent our culture of diversity and inclusion.

All this while growing our revenue by 12%.

Here are some of the ways we adapted to a shifting landscape and embodied our new mission since our last company anniversary:
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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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Button and link usability

I find myself often telling designers and front-end engineers that “buttons should feel like buttons and links should look like links.” It occurs to me, that after a few years of the flat design trend, I should explain what that means.

Buttons should feel like buttons

When you press a physical button in the real world — any key on a physical keyboard, for example — you can tactically feel it depressing. You’ll also see its form shrink away from you and the way the light falls on it will cause it to look slightly different.
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