Accelerate WordPress Wireframing with SketchPress

Sketch, a digital design app for macOS, enables the the rapid creation of wireframes using libraries of symbols and and reusable design elements. 10up has extended these capabilities with SketchPress: a library of WordPress admin interfaces, symbols, and icons. When wireframing admin interfaces, SketchPress frees up our designers’ time to focus on big picture problem solving and user experience challenges, rather than the repetitive minutia of button treatments and existing page layouts.

Recently, SketchPress was recognized as the preferred admin wireframing resource by Make WordPress Design – the official core WordPress design team – and is now listed on their official Trello project board. This endorsement validates the utility of the project while inspiring us to continue iterating. We value feedback, contribution, and adoption by the community as we seek to share high quality open-source design resources as part of our commitment to openness and giving back.

Getting started with SketchPress

Download SketchPress from GitHub and open it in Sketch. You’ll see a number of pages down the left side of the interface. The first page is an introduction to the document and outlines information about what is included. If  you plan to regularly use SketchPress, you’ll probably want to set it up in the templates folder: clone or download the repo directly into the Sketch templates folder, and you can to begin a new Sketch wireframe from the newly-saved template. Add or remove elements to begin modeling WordPress admin interfaces.

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Catch 10up speakers at WordCamp Europe 2018

WordCamp Europe 2018

Belgrade

Attending Speaking

This week, I’ll be in Belgrade, Serbia with a few of my fellow 10uppers for WordCamp Europe 2018, Europe’s largest annual WordPress conference, which attracts more than 2,000 participants.

On Friday Adam Silverstein, Lead Engineer and core committer to WordPress, will present Javascript APIs in WordPress at 10am. One of our newest engineers, Sami Keijonen, will also co-lead a 3 hour workshop focused on testing web accessibility. We’re also co-sponsoring a networking event with WP Engine that evening. The following day, Lead Engineer Ben Greely will present a lightning talk: Taming the WP Options Table.

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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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WP Local Docker + WP Snapshots

At 10up, we have a history of open sourcing tools that help WordPress engineers practice their craft. One year ago, we introduced WP Local Docker, a lightweight local development alternative to VVV, another popular project started by 10up. A more recent project, WP Snapshots, efficiently pushes project snapshots into the cloud.

As we increasingly used WP Local Docker and WP Snapshots in conjunction, we discovered some technical obstacles that could make WP Snapshots difficult to use. We realized that bundling the two projects would solve those problems and offer value to anyone already using both projects.

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10up supports WordCamp London

WordCamp London 2018

London Metropolitan University

Attending Speaking Sponsoring

This weekend, catch me and 6 of my fellow 10uppers at WordCamp London 2018, an annual WordPress conference supported in part by our Academy Sponsorship. On Sunday, I’ll be talking about Applying Design To Complex Problems alongside one of our UK clients, Press Association. Later that afternoon, Front End Engineer Daine Mawer presents, “Developing WordPress for Limited Bandwidth.” Those taking a break from the sessions can stop by the 10up sponsor table and learn more our growing 10up Europe team.

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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10up contributes MathML support to Google AMP

Last year, we found ourselves implementing Google AMP for a client who often includes content with mathematical formulas. The formulas were implemented using the open MathML standard, by way of the open source, JavaScript-based MathJax engine. Working around AMP’s JavaScript restriction, we put the formulas into amp-iframe components, which allow for arbitrary JavaScript execution. This workaround posed some limitations that compromised the design: formulas could not be displayed inline (inside of a paragraph), creating a slightly awkward aesthetic that didn’t quite match up with the “full” site’s presentation.

As a regular open source contributor committed to making a better web, it seemed to me that a native AMP implementation of the MathML standard would solve our client’s layout problem and help other developers and site owners. After a bit of background research, I opened an issue on Google’s open source AMP HTML project.

With a prompt and warm welcome, Google’s team accepted my feature request. This being an open source project, I volunteered to help; my offer was greeted with enthusiasm and some tips.

Formulas in iFrames and in-line

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Lucky number 7: 10up’s seventh year

10up turns 7

In our seventh year, we built on our investment in culture and storytelling by expanding our team and depth of services, and by redoubling our investments in open source and creativity.

We welcomed more than 30 new clients to our portfolio in another record sales year. We launched new websites along with web and mobile apps for major brands across verticals as diverse as finance, healthcare, academia, high-tech, big media, consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, and fitness… to name a few.

In a milestone event, we completed an acquisition of Lift UX, a boutique, Emmy-nominated agency that focused on user experience for design-driven websites powered by WordPress. Intended to strengthen our experience design expertise and resources, this investment added executive design leadership and expanded our portfolio of design stories.

A renewed approach to our All Hands Summit yielded our largest and most memorable team event to date. Held in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, our team gathered from around the world to take over a former Carmelite convent for a week of learning, sharing, building memories together, uniting around company goals, and celebrating our successes. Among the conference highlights, we held our first client panel, featuring leaders from companies like Microsoft, McClatchy, and Beasley Radio sharing insights on agency partnerships.

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Transforming text into a natural sounding podcast with Amazon Polly

Amazon Polly

Earlier this week one of our partners, WP Engine, released a plugin that leverages Amazon Polly to transform written content into lifelike speech, directly from WordPress. Being dedicated to helping our clients deliver great digital content experiences, we were eager to help pilot this integration with WP Engine by finding a launch partner. Collaborating with POLITICO in Europe, we transformed their daily political newsletters – Brussels Playbook and London Playbook – into engaging podcasts.

Here’s what POLITICO had to say about their new integration, in WP Engine’s press release:

“Our readers are digesting news and stories through their mobile and voice-driven devices more and more,” said Johannes Boege, Chief Product Officer at POLITICO in Europe. “This is a great opportunity for us along with our agency 10up to test the distribution of our content with voice technology. We are excited to use Amazon Polly to reach more people in new ways.”

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Google Chrome to aggressively enforce Better Ad Standards

As announced in June, beginning February 15th Chrome will remove all ads on websites that do not meet the standards of the Coalition for Better Ads. Sites will have 30 days to address any issues flagged in Google’s compliance report before Chrome begins removing ads.

Google started this initiative in response to a report suggesting that poor ad experiences are responsible for a 30% increase in the use of ad blocking extensions across the web, which “reduces the ability for publishers to continue creating free content and threatens the sustainability of the web ecosystem.” Google is also on the board of the Coalition for Better Ad Standards.

The Coalition for Better Ads is made up of leading international trade associations and online media companies committed to supporting “valuable free content, robust journalism and social connections across the internet” through the use of online ads. Their vision for better online ads aligns with Google’s view, and led Google to join the effort to improve how people experience the web. Knowing that consumers are increasingly frustrated with web ads, the Coalition for Better Ads surveyed over 25,000 internet users to create a set of consumer-friendly standards. Google will apply these standards to review a subset of a site’s pages.

Google Ad Experience Report

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