Tag Archives: css

Styling Empty Cells With Generated Content And CSS Grid Layout

A common Grid Layout gotcha is when a newcomer to the layout method wonders how to style a grid cell which doesn’t contain any content. In the current Level 1 specification, this isn’t possible since there is no way to target an empty Grid Cell or Grid Area and apply styling. This means that to apply styling, you need to insert an element.
In this article, I am going to take a look at how to use CSS Generated Content to achieve styling of empty cells without adding redundant empty elements and show some use cases where this technique makes sense.


Styling Empty Cells With Generated Content And CSS Grid Layout

Monthly Web Development Update 2/2018: The Grown-Up Web, Branding Details, And Browser Fast Forward

Every profession is a wide field where many people find their very own, custom niches. So are design and web development today. I started building my first website with framesets and HTML4.0, images and a super limited set of CSS, and — oh so fancy — GIFs and inline JavaScript (remember the onclick=”” attribute?) about one and a half decades ago. It took me four days to learn the initial, necessary skills for that.

Original article:

Monthly Web Development Update 2/2018: The Grown-Up Web, Branding Details, And Browser Fast Forward

Native And PWA: Choices, Not Challengers!

It’s hard to tell exactly where the rift between “native” and “web” really started. I feel like it’s one of those things that had been churning just below the surface since the early days of Flash, only to erupt more recently with the rise of mobile platforms. Regardless, developers have squared off across this “great chasm,” lobbing insults at one another in an attempt to bolster their own side.


Native And PWA: Choices, Not Challengers!

The Gnarly Gotchas Of Page Load Performance

If you want to build a high-performance progressive web app, you need to make sure people get your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript fast!
In this interactive talk, we’ll look into the weird gotchas of the web platform, and learn how to overcome them.

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The Gnarly Gotchas Of Page Load Performance

Now You See Me: How To Defer, Lazy-Load And Act With IntersectionObserver

Once upon a time, there lived a web developer who successfully convinced his customers that sites should not look the same in all browsers, cared about accessibility, and was an early adopter of CSS grids. But deep down in his heart it was performance that was his true passion: He constantly optimized, minified, monitored, and even employed psychological tricks in his projects.
Then, one day, he learned about lazy-loading images and other assets that are not immediately visible to users and are not essential for rendering meaningful content on the screen.

Source – 

Now You See Me: How To Defer, Lazy-Load And Act With IntersectionObserver

Visual Studio Code Can Do That?

About two years ago, I begrudgingly opened Visual Studio Code (VS Code) for the first time. The only reason I even did so is that I was working on a TypeScript project (also quite begrudgingly) and I was tired of fighting with the editor and the compiler and all of the settings that I needed to make a TypeScript project work. Someone mentioned to me that TypeScript “just works” in VS Code and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were right.

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Visual Studio Code Can Do That?

How to Turn a Long Landing Page Into a Microsite – In 6 Easy Steps

Landing pages can get really long, which is totally fine, especially if you use a sticky anchor navigation to scroll people up and down to different page sections. It’s a great conversion experience and should be embraced.

However, there are times when having a small multi-page site, known as a microsite (or mini-site) can offer significant advantages.

This is not a conversation about your website (which is purely for organic traffic), I’m still talking about creating dedicated marketing-campaign-specific experiences. That’s what landing pages were designed for, and a microsite is very similar. It’s like a landing page in that it’s a standalone, controlled experience, but with a different architecture.

The sketch below shows the difference between a landing page and a microsite.

The landing page is a single page with six sections. The microsite has a homepage and 5 or 6 child pages, each with a persistent global navigation to conect the pages.

They are both “landing experiences”, just architected differently. I’ve noticed that many higher education landing experiences are four-page microsites. The pharmaceutical industry tends to create microsites for every new product campaign – especially those driven by TV ads.

What are the benefits of a microsite over a long landing page?

To reiterate, for most marketing campaign use cases, a single landing page – long or short – is your absolute best option. But there are some scenarios where you can really benefit from a microsite.

Some of the benefits of a microsite include:

  1. It allows more pages to be indexed by Google
  2. You can craft a controlled experience on each page (vs. a section where people can move up and down to other sections)
  3. You can add a lot more content to a certain page, without making your landing page a giant.
  4. You can get more advanced with your analytics research as there are many different click-pathways within a microsite that aren’t possible to track or design for on a single page.
  5. The technique I’m going to show you takes an Unbounce landing page, turns it into a 5-page microsite.

How to Create a Microsite from a Long Landing Page

The connective tissue of a microsite is the navigation. It links the pages together and defines the available options for a visitor. I’ll be using an Unbounce Sticky Bar as the shared global navigation to connect five Unbounce landing pages that we’ll create from the single long landing page. It’s really easy.

First, Choose a Landing Page to Work With

I’ve created a dummy landing page to work with. You can see from the zoomed-out thumbnail on the right-hand side how long it is: 10 page-sections long to be specific. (Click the image to view the whole page in a scrolling lightbox.)

The five-step process is then as follows:

I’ll explain it in more detail with screenshots and a quick video.

  1. Create the microsite pages, by duplicate your landing page 5 times
  2. Delete the page sections you don’t want on each microsite page
  3. Create a Sticky Bar and add five navigation buttons
  4. Set the URL targeting of the Sticky Bar to appear on the microsite pages
  5. Add the Unbounce global script to your site
  6. Click “Publish” << hardly a step.

Step 1: Create Your Microsite Pages

Choose “Duplicate Page” from the cog menu on your original landing page to create a new page (5 times). Then name each page and set the URL of each accordingly. In the screenshot below you can see I have the original landing page, and five microsite pages Home|About|Features|FAQ|Sign Up.

Step 2: Delete Page Sections on Each Microsite Page

Open each page in the Unbounce builder and click the background of any page section you don’t want and hit delete. It’s really quick. Do this for each page until they only have the content you want to be left in them. Watch the 30 sec video below to see how.

Pro Tip: Copy/Paste Between Pages

There is another way to do it. Instead of deleting sections, you can start with blank pages for the microsite, and copy/paste the sections you want from the landing page into the blank pages. This is one of the least-known and most powerful features of Unbounce.

The best way is to have a few browser tabs open at once (like one for each page), then just copy and paste between browser tabs. It’s epic! Watch…

Step 3: Create the Navigation With a Sticky Bar

Create a new Sticky Bar in Unbounce (it’s the same builder for landing pages and popups). Add buttons or links for each of your microsite pages, and set the “Target” of the link to be “Parent Frame” as shown in the lower-right of this screenshot.

Step 4: Set URL Targeting

This is where the connective tissue of the shared Sticky Bar comes together. On the Sticky Bar dashboard, you can enter any URLs on your domain that you want the bar to appear on. You can enter them one-by-one if you like, or to make it much faster, just use the same naming convention (unique to this microsite/campaign) on each of the microsite page URLS.

I used these URLs for my pages:


For the URL Targeting, I simply set one rule, that URLs need to contain “pmm-micro”.
For the Trigger, I selected “When a visitor arrives on the page.”
for the frequency, I selected “Show on every visit.” because the nav needs to be there always.

Step 5: Add the Unbounce Script

We have a one-line Javascript that needs to be added to your website to make the Sticky Bars work. If you use Google Tag Manager on your site, then it’s super easy, just give the code snippet to your dev to paste into GTM.

Note: As this microsite solution was 100% within Unbounce (Landing Pages and Sticky Bar), you don’t actually have to add the script to your website, you can just add it to the each of the landing pages individually. But it’s best to get it set up on your website, which will show it on your Unbounce landing pages on that domain, by default.

Ste 6: Hide the Sticky Bar Close Button

As this is a navigation bar, and not a promo, we need to make sure it’s always there and can’t be hidden. It’s not a native feature in the app right now, so you need to add this CSS to each of the microsite pages.

 .ub-emb-iframe-wrapper .ub-emb-close 
  visibility: hidden;

Click Publish on #AllTheThings!

And that’s that!

You can see the final microsite here.
(Desktop only right now I’m afraid. I’ll set up mobile responsive soon but it’s 2am and this blogging schedule is killing me :D).

I’ve also written a little script that uses cookies to change the visual state of each navigation button to show which pages you’ve visited. I’ll be sharing that in the future for another concept to illustrate how you can craft a progress bar style navigation flow to direct people where you want them to go next!

A Few Wee Caveats

  • This use of a Sticky Bar isn’t a native feature of Unbounce at this point, it’s just a cool thing you can do. As such, it’s not technically supported, although our community loves this type of thing.
  • As it’s using a shared Sticky Bar for the nav, you’ll see it re-appear on each new page load. Not perfect, but it’s not a big deal and the tradeoff is worth it if the other benefits mentioned earlier work for you.

Aall in all, this type of MacGyvering is great for generating new ways of thinking about your marketing experiences, and how you can guide people to a conversion.

I’ve found that thinking about a microsite from a conversion standpoint is a fantastic mental exercise.

Have fun making a microsite, and never stop experimenting – and MacGyvering!

p.s. Don’t forget to subscribe to the weekly updates for the rest of Product Awareness Month.

From – 

How to Turn a Long Landing Page Into a Microsite – In 6 Easy Steps

25 Things You Can Do With Unbounce that Your UX/Web Team Will Love

It’s Day 3 of Product Marketing Month. Today’s post is about discovering new use-cases for your products that can be useful for different functional users in your customer’s company. — Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner

If you read the opening post of Product Marketing Month, you would have read about the concept of Productizing Our Technology (POT).

Productizing Our Technology
By taking our core tech, combining the available features, with new jQuery scripts, CSS, and some 3rd-party integrations, it’s possible to create a plethora of new “mini-products” that if embraced by the community, could inform future product direction.

When we created an initial list of product ideas, expanding upon what the base product can already do, I realized that — as we’ve moved from a single product to multiple — we’d not changed our perception of who the functional buyer persona is.

If you look at the table below, notice how product #1 is a standalone landing page used primarily for paid ad campaigns, but products #2 and #3 are designed to be used primarily on your website.

#1 Landing Pages #2 Popups #3 Sticky Bars
Primary Use Case Use standalone landing pages to convert more of paid (AdWords) traffic. Use on website pages to convert more organic traffic. Use on website pages to convert more organic traffic.
Primary Persona Campaign Strategist Website Owner Website Owner
Secondary Persona Designer Campaign Strategist Campaign Strategist
Tertiary Persona Copywriter Web Designer / Developer Web Designer / Developer

Note: that for the personas listed, these are intentionally general, as it’s still part of our discovery. My goal is simply to show that they are most likely different.

We didn’t immediately realize that the teams using these products may not even be in the same department (marketing vs. web team vs. software development), for example. Or if they are in the same department (marketing), they might not work together on a daily basis.

This is a huge problem because it assumes that someone who runs paid campaigns is also going to be optimizing the organic traffic to a website, and is no doubt one of the reasons for low adoption of product #2 and #3.

A WTF Moment – How Could We Be So Blind?

When we talked to our customers and community members, we uncovered a startling fact: most people thought that the new products could only be used on Unbounce landing pages.

WUUUUTTTT! Not true.

Yes, you can, if you want. But the primary use case for the new products is for your website. We really didn’t see this misconception coming, which shows how important it is to always talk to your customers.

Who uses your products?

If you have more than one product, or if the users of your single product have different job roles, are you targeting and communicating with them in different ways? Or have you assumed that everyone will understand the same messaging?

Web developers are not very likely to be downloading an ebook about marketing, and thus will not be on our mailing list to hear about new products that could, in fact, make their job easier and more productive.

So, today, I’m going to share some of the functional use cases of popups and sticky bars that would be used by the UX and web teams that work on and manage your website. This is a very different market than we normally speak to, but super important as some of our research has indicated after the initial launch.

As I explore these use cases, try to follow along with your own products, to see if there are ways that you can create new mini products from the technology you possess.

Productizing Unbounce Technology
(Click image for full-size view)

Across the top (in yellow) are the core products, their features (such as targeting, triggers, display frequency), and the different hacks, data sources, and integrations, that can be combined to produce the new products listed in green in the first column.

To recap, each mini product is labelled as either NOW/MVP/NEW depending on how easy it is to create with our current tech:

NOW: These products are possible now with our existing feature set.
MVP: These products are possible by adding some simple scripts/CSS to extend the core.
NEW: These products would require a much deeper level of product or website development to make them possible. These are the examples that came from “blue sky” ideation, and are a useful upper anchor for what could be done.

The core technology is denoted as LP (Landing Pages), POP (Popups), SB (Sticky Bars).

In the table below you’ll find 25 of the ideas we came up with — that I selected from of a total of 121.

# Product Name Product Description Where Used Core Tech Core Features Extras
NOW: Can be built with existing features
1 Microsites By using the URL targeting feature, a single Sticky Bar with links to multiple Landing Pages can effectively create a microsite. Landing Pages LP + SB Targeting: URL
Trigger: Entry
2 EU Cookie Law Bar You’ve probably seen them all over the place. “All websites owned in the EU or targeted towards EU citizens, are now expected to comply with the law.” The EU has always been very strict and this requirement is why these bars have been popping up everywhere. Good news is, they’re wasy to make with geo-targeting. Website SB Targeting: Geo
Trigger: Entry
3 Two-Step Opt-In Form Instead of showing a lead gen form, you use a button or link that shows the form in a popup when clicked. This can help remove the perceived friction that a form conveys, and applies a level of commitment when the button is clicked that makes people more likely to continue and fill out the form. Website, Landing Pages POP Trigger: Click N/A
4 Cart Abandonment Use an exit Popup on your ecommerce product/cart/checkout pages to provide an offer to encourage a purchase. Website POP Trigger: Exit N/A
5 Multi-location GEO Redirect If you have websites for multiple countries, you can present the entry Popup that uses geolocation to ask if the visitor would like to visit the site in their own country. Website POP Targeting: Geo
Trigger: Entry
6 Poll/Survey Add a form to a Popup of Sticky Bar to present poll or survey questions. Website POP or SB Trigger: Entry, Exit, Scroll Down, Scroll Up, Delay N/A
7 NPS Survey Present a Net Promoter Score in a Sticky Bar to ask your visitors and customers to rate how likely they are to recommend your product or brand to others. Website, Landing Pages SB Targeting: None, Cookie
Trigger: Exit, Scroll, Delay
8 Outage Notification Present an entry Popup or Sticky Bar when there is site maintenance happening. SB or POP Website Targeting: URL, Cookie N/A
9 Tooltips Present a popup when someone clicks to show more info/instructions. Website, Landing Pages POP Trigger: Click N/A
10 Referrer Contextual Welcome Present a contextually relevant message to people arriving from another site. Website, Landing Pages POP or SB Targeting: URL, Cookie, Geo
Trigger: Entry
11 Co-marketing Contextual Welcome Present a contextually relevant message to people arriving from a campaign run by you and a comarketing partner. This could show the relationship (both logos) and the joint offer. Website, Landing Pages POP or SB Targeting: Referrer, URL, Cookie
Trigger: Entry, Scroll Up, Scroll Down,
Exit, Delay
12 Mobile GPS: Closest Store Present a Sticky Bar when someone on a mobile site would benefit from knowing where the closest store is to them (potentially with an incentive to visit the store). Website, Landing Pages SB Trigger: Entry, Scroll Up, Scroll Down,
Exit, Delay
13 Holiday Hours Announcement Show details of changes in store hours. Could be used on exit to provide some urgency “We’re closing in 1 hour”. Website, Landing Pages SB or POP Trigger: Entry, Exit N/A
MVP: Can be built with existing features
14 Sticky Navigation By removing the standard close button [x] from a Sticky Bar and adding smooth scroll anchor links, you can create a sticky navbar which can help increase page engagement. Website, Landing Pages SB Trigger: Entry CSS: Hide close button
Javascript: Smooth scroll
15 Mobile App-Style Navigation By placing a Sticky Bar at the bottom of the page (on mobile), using icons/text, you can create a mobile experience that looks and feels like an app. Check out plated.com on your phone as an example. Adding smoothscroll Javascript lets you use the nav to scroll up and down the page. Mobile Website, Mobile Landing Pages SB Trigger: Entry CSS: Hide close button + mobile only
Javascript: Smooth scroll
16 Mobile Hamburger Menu A hamburger menu is the three lined icon that opens up a navigation menu. They typically slide in and out from the left side or top.Check out a demo in the Unbounce Community. Mobile Website SB Trigger: Click jQuery: Slide in/out
17 Progress Bar Similar to a microsite, a progress bar could be targeted to appear on several pages. Using cookie targeting and CSS the progress bar could be updated to show which pages (steps) have been completed and which steps are remaining. Website, Microsite, Landing Pages SB Targeting: URL, Cookie jQuery: Set/Read cookies
CSS: Prev/next step visual state
18 “Maybe Later” Maybe Later is a new concept for ecommerce entrance popups that I will explore in depth on day 9 of Product Marketing Month. A large number of ecommerce sites have discounts/offers that show on arrival. This can often be a major disruption to the experience, even if the offer is of interest. The way ML works is that the popup would present 3 options: Yes/No/ML. If “Maybe Later” is clicked, the Popup closes and a persistent Sticky Bar appears at the bottom of the page to act as a subtle reminder of the offer – ready for when the visitor wants it. Website POP + SB Targeting: Cookie jQuery: Set/Read cookies, Log “Maybe Later” click
19 Video Interaction Offers Having a CTA embedded in a video is great, but it’s very limited in its ability communicate more than a few words.This product idea enables you to launch a popup when the video is complete, or when it’s paused, or when you’ve watched a series of videos. It’s seriously badass. Click here to visit a demo of this concept (created by Unbouncer, Noah Matsell). Website, Landing Pages POP Targeting: Cookie jQuery
20 End-of-video Talk to Sales Present a popup to someone who completes a video such as a demo. Website, Landing Pages POP or SB Trigger: Custom script jQuery
21 Sticky Video Widget You may have seen this on news blogs, where a video at the top becomes a smaller video stuck to the side or bottom of the window as you scroll. It’s a great way to ensure higher engagement with the video. Noah made a demo of a sticky video widget in the Unbounce community. Blog SB Trigger: Scroll CSS
22 Guided Tour Show a popup that begins a guided tour of the page/product. If you close it, the tour is over. If you click a next button it closes and a new popup is opened, positioned close to the feature it’s describing. Website, In-app POP Trigger: Click jQuery
NEW: Can be built with existing features
23 Ship it Faster By setting a cookie based on the shipping method on an ecommerce site, an exit Popup or Sticky Bar could be used to suggest a different shipping method (more expensive) to get it delivered faster. A smart upsell feature. Ecommerce Website POP or SB Targeting: Cookie
Trigger: Exit
Feature: Dynamic Text Replacement
24 Out of Stock By setting a cookie based on stock availability on an ecommerce site, an exit Popup or Sticky Bar could present an email address field to ask if the visitor would like to be notified when the item is back in stock. Ecommerce Website POP or SB Targeting: Cookie
Trigger: Exit
25 Sold Out: You Might Like By setting a cookie based on stock availability on an ecommerce site, a Popup or Sticky Bar could be shown that presents a set of recommended products related to an out of stock item. Ecommerce Website POP or SB Targeting: Cookie
Trigger: Exit
Feature: Dynamic Text Replacement

As you can see, there are a ton of new use cases for the products, which are useful to a completely different set of functional users. Unless we do something to specifically target these new functional users, adoption won’t be our only problem, acquisition will be too.

How can you target different functional users?

Approach 1: Product Pages for Organic & Paid Traffic

One way to start validating these use cases is to create new product pages for them to see if you can attract some organic traffic. In our case, this would allow those searching for this type of product to arrive on our website where we may be able to demo the product as part of the experience.

Approach 2: Cross-Function Advocate Email Marketing

Another approach is to explicitly connect the different team members, through suggestive email copy. For instance, we could email our customers and educate them that our product can help others on their team – getting the conversation started. This has the benefit of communicating through an established brand advocate.

Prioritizing Product Development

One of our goals with POT is to gather insights into which new product ideas are in demand. There will without question be an increase in technical support questions based on the implementation requirements of these ideas, but I consider that a good problem to have. If there’s enough call for full productization, that’s a great way to increase adoption and the stickiness of our products.

How many new products could YOU build?

I’d love to hear in the comments how you can imagine doing this with your own software/products/services. Please jump into the comments and let me know. If you’re worried about your competitors stealing your ideas (I definitely thought about that when I decided on this approach – but I’m erring on the side of our core Transparency value), you could simply mention how many you think you could come up with, which is also very cool.

Now, everybody POT!
Oli Gardner

p.s. Tell your web/UX teammates about this blog post :D

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25 Things You Can Do With Unbounce that Your UX/Web Team Will Love

The Front-End Performance Challenge: Winner And Results

A few weeks ago, we asked our readers and the community to use everything they could to make their websites and projects perform blazingly fast. Today, we’re thrilled to show off the results of this challenge and announce the winner who will be awarded with some smashing prizes indeed!
What prizes, you ask? The winner wins a roundtrip flight to London, full accommodation in a fancy hotel, a ticket to SmashingConf London 2018, and last but not least, a Smashing workshop of their choice.

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The Front-End Performance Challenge: Winner And Results

Productivity Tips And Tricks: The Community Shares Its Piece Of Advice

Productivity tips always make for a popular topic for an article, as everyone is looking for the silver bullet, that one weird trick that turns you into a productivity machine. However, the tips that work well for one person may not work so well for another.
We asked the community on Twitter and Facebook to share their best productivity tips, and in this article I’m going to round these up alongside some things I’ve learned that work well for me.


Productivity Tips And Tricks: The Community Shares Its Piece Of Advice