There are a few concepts in CSS layout that can really enhance your CSS game once you understand them. This article is about the Block Formatting Context (BFC). You may never have heard of this term, but if you have ever made a layout with CSS, you probably know what it is. Understanding what a BFC is, why it works, and how to create one is useful and can help you to understand how layout works in CSS.
The world is a stressful place. That’s probably why if you search for articles about dealing with stress you’ll find lots of great advice. But the problem is that most of it is pretty generic. Eat good food. Exercise. Get plenty of sleep. Those are all good general tips — but is there anything more specific to the profession of design?
If you’re a designer who feels stressed from time to time, then this article is for you.
The way we ask for recommendations has evolved.
Whereas once upon a time we may have asked a neighbor to recommend a product or service, 47% of millennials now turn to social media for recommendations and reviews before deciding on a purchase.
But these consumers aren’t always going to the social media accounts of brands. Much of the time, they’re visiting the profiles of a special breed of social media personalities: influencers.
Consider this: Close to 40% of Twitter users alone have made a purchase as a result of influencer marketing — and that’s excluding the influence, if you will, of personalities on other channels, like Instagram.
And when we think of influencers, for many of us, A-list personalities and celebrities come to mind. Take Kylie Jenner, for example, who helped catapult the brand Fashion Nova into a favorite online retail brand.
A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on Dec 27, 2016 at 6:57am PST
Sure, celebrities might significantly help boost your sales and achieve your marketing goals. But let’s face it: most of us can’t afford their price tags. After all, it’s reported that Kylie Jenner gets $400,000 for a single promotional Instagram post.
The good news is that marketers and startup business owners now have another option that will allow them to tap into the power of influencer marketing without putting their ROI in jeopardy.
This option comes in the form of a unique group of social media users collectively known as micro-influencers.
What Is a Micro-Influencer?
Micro-influencers are social media users — unlike typical celebrities, experts, or public figures. They’re individuals who work or specialize in a particular vertical and frequently share social media content about their interests. Unlike traditional “influencers,” micro-influencers have a more modest number of followers — typically in the thousands or tens of thousands — but they boast hyper-engaged audiences.
Why Use Micro-Influencers?
At first, opting to use micro-influencers for your marketing campaign may sound counterintuitive. Would it be more beneficial to tap an influencer with millions of followers, as opposed to getting a micro-influencer with just a few thousand followers?
That’s because when it comes to influencer marketing, the level of engagement is more crucial. It is one of the key metrics that will help you gauge the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaign.
In a study done by Markerly, a converse relationship was discovered between the number of followers an influencer has, and the level of engagement each post gets. In other words, as the number of followers increases, the engagement rate decreases.
In its own study, Expercity found that micro-influencers not only generate 22.2X more conversion than the average social media user, but that 74% of them are rather direct in encouraging their followers to buy or try a product or service they’re endorsing. That communicates credibility and transparency, which can help to build a loyal following.
Cost is another reason why many brands are now turning to micro-influencers. According to a study done by Bloglovin’, 97% of micro-influencers charge $500 and below for a sponsored post on Instagram.
Additionally, 87% micro-influencers charge $500 and below for a sponsored blog post.
Finding the Right Micro-Influencer for Your Business
With so many micro-influencers out there, it’s no surprise that 73% of marketers point to finding the right one as one of their biggest challenges.
Of course, you can choose to hire an influencer marketing agency to help you find the right micro-influencers for your campaign. But if you want to be more hands-on in finding the right micro-influencer, here are seven questions you’ll need to answer very carefully.
1. What are your goals?
The first thing to consider when finding the right micro-influencer is to look at what you’re aiming to achieve. Do you want to generate more leads for your business? If so, look for micro-influencers that frequently host contests or giveaways on their social media accounts — especially if they involve encouraging their followers to sign up in exchange for free trials, products or access to an exclusive event.
2. Who are the micro-influencer’s followers?
When reviewing the followers of the micro-influencer you want to reach, look at to how well they align with your brand’s buyer personas. Some of the things to consider are:
- Where are the majority of the micro-influencers’ followers based (geographically)?
- Are they mostly male or female?
- Which type of posts resonates with them the most?
3. Is the micro-influencer already a fan?
Working with a micro-influencer that’s already using your product or service has several benefits. For starters, he or she might already be posting about your company and products — so a partnership is more natural and appears more genuine to followers.
Also, micro-influencers who are fans of your products and brand are more likely negotiate lower fees. Some may even be willing to collaborate with you in exchange for some free products or services.
One way to find these micro-influencers is to perform a general search for blog posts mentioning your brand. Since Google ranks sites based on content quality, there’s a good chance that the first two or three results belong to a micro-influencer in your niche.
Another is by using a tool like Gatsby.ai (which has an integration with HubSpot) to your website. Gatsby helps you search through your customer database for micro-influencers that have bought your products, and help you quickly retrieve their information so that you can reach out to them.
4. How engaged is the micro-influencer’s audience?
As I mentioned earlier, a micro-influencer’s engagement rate is one of the key metrics that will help you determine the success (or lack of it) of your influencer marketing campaign.
Review the social media accounts of the micro-influencer to see how many likes, comments, and shares each post gets. Although likes are good, I often recommend that my clients focus more on the number of comments and shares a post receives. That’s because it requires more effort for a follower to leave a comment on or share a post than it is to click on the like button. Often, followers will only leave comments when they find the post compelling enough for them do so.
5. What kind of content does the micro-influencer produce?
Micro-influencers create their posts based on their own brand and image they want to convey to their followers and compare this against the image you want your audience to associate with your brand. There must be alignment between your perceived brand image the micro-influencer’s, in order to ensure that the posts he or she creates for you don’t look like a mismatch. Followers tend not to appreciate that — after all, they follow this micro-influencer for relevant content.
6. Are they working with your competitors?
If you’re seriously considering using influencer marketing, there’s a chance that your competitors are also doing the same. Take some time to review the posts of the micro-influencers you want to work with, and see if they’ve worked with any of your direct or indirect competitors.
If so, how did the audience respond to the post? Was there anything mentioned by the micro-influencer about your competitors’ products that you can leverage?
7. How many platforms do they use?
Although 80% of micro-influencers point to Instagram as their preferred platform for creating and publishing content, many of them are equally active on their own blogs and in other social media channels. Some even have access to traditional media like TV and magazines. The more platforms a micro-influencer can use to promote your content, the better for you.
If, like me, you spend most of your days working on content-driven websites, you can feel left out of the cool kid’s party. Best practice like Agile, continual iteration, and user feedback don’t sit quite as well when serving up lots of information, rather than a killer web app.
When I talk about a content-driven site, I am referring to any website whose primary aim is to convey information, rather than complete tasks.
“We’ll miss you, Cliff.” said Andy, my manager. His face looked long when he was sad. We were both working for a company that just experienced a major product failure, and, unfortunately, it prompted a massive round of layoffs. Since I was just an intern, Andy left the decision to leave or stay up to me.
I decided to leave.
“I’ll miss you guys, too,” I replied. “Thanks again for the opportunity. Let me know what you end up doing after all this chaos dies down.” We both shook hands. “Will do,” he responded. “Keep in touch, Cliff.”
After I packed up my things and said goodbye to the remaining employees, I headed out the office and into the elevator.
As soon as the doors closed, a feeling of liberation washed over me. I let out a booming “Yes!”, followed by a triumphant fist pump. I was finally out of that place. I had dreaded going to work everyday. At the same time, though, I felt a little regretful.
I realized I had essentially just wasted two months of precious internship experience. The company had fired their entire marketing team a week before I started, so I was the only marketer in the office. There was no one to learn from, and I barely had anything to do. Half my time was dedicated to playing ping pong and watching office drama escalate on Slack. Amusing for sure, but not really beneficial for my skillset.
My colleagues jokingly called me “CMO Intern”, but I didn’t think it was funny. If I was the only marketer at the company, who was going to mentor me? And how was I going to develop my skills? It was one of the most frustrating few months of my life.
But even after the pang of regret I felt walking out, I would do it all over again. I’m glad I accepted that internship. I didn’t gain the valuable marketing experience I was expecting, but I did walk away with some surprising career lessons. And without them, I wouldn’t be where I am now, working a job I love
If you currently have a job you’re not too fond of, don’t beat yourself up. We’ve all been there. It hurts, but your suffering will help you figure out what you actually want from your career.
A lot of times, working a job you hate can actually lead you to the one you love. Read on to find out how.
3 Ways Having a Job You Hate Can Benefit Your Career
1) You’ll figure out what you like to do — and what you don’t like to do.
There are a lot of variables that influence your satisfaction at work. And sometimes, you won’t discover what you actually like doing until you figure out what you really don’t like doing.
If you can identify your favorite and least favorite aspects about your current job, you’ll know exactly what to look for in your next job. Ask yourself the following questions to learn more about your personal work preferences:
Do you like your role/department? If you just jumped into a new role or department and you realize you aren’t really enjoying it, then it might be worth exploring different career path entirely. You should also reflect on your favorite aspects about your previous and current jobs, and pursue opportunities that let you do those things.
Is the company too big or too small? -Do you find solace in the financial stability and stockpile of benefits an enterprise company provides? Or do you prefer the passion and hustle it takes to build a startup? Or maybe you favor a blend of the two, at a medium-sized company? If you feel like your current company doesn’t have enough resources to support your growth, then maybe a bigger company is better for you. If your company isn’t challenging you enough, then you could pursue opportunities at a smaller company, where you’ll get more responsibility.
Are you genuinely interested in your company’s industry? When you write blog posts about your company’s industry all day, it’s a lot more enjoyable if you actually like learning about the subject matter (trust me on this one). Work becomes a chore when these topics don’t pique your interest. Whether you work in marketing, sales, product, engineering, or support, if you’re not excited about your company’s industry, it’s tough to stay engaged and satisfied at work. Try pursuing a job in an industry that you’re passionate about, even if it means taking a lesser role or making a lateral move.
Do you feel supported by the company’s culture? Does work run your life? Is the office cliquey? Do people appreciate your work, or does your manager take all of the credit? If you don’t like these things (most people don’t), then you’re better off at a company that treats their employees well. Use Glassdoor to read a company’s employee reviews and evaluate their culture.
2) You’ll learn to appreciate your worth.
When you work for a sub-optimal company, team, or manager, you’ll notice they either don’t give you fulfilling work or don’t know how to leverage your skill set to its full potential. This makes you feel misunderstood or undervalued, and work becomes incredibly frustrating.
But their neglect also teaches you how to gauge your professional value. It helps you recognize your needs and capabilities. By honing your self-awareness, you can determine whether upcoming job opportunities are worth it or not and trade up for the best fit job in the future.
3) You’ll learn how to persevere through tough times — and appreciate the good times even more.
A lot of times, getting better at your passion requires you to do the challenging things instead of the enjoyable things, like polishing a blog post in lieu of a post-work gathering.
In your career, you’ll encounter times where you absolutely hate your job. But if you can persevere and produce results in a less-than-ideal situation, then you’ll enhance your work ethic and truly crush it when your morale is much higher in an ideal situation.
A couple of years ago, I camped out in Florida’s Everglades for nine days, where I paddled over 100 miles through alligator infested waters and only ate dehydrated food.
When my trip ended, I was so grateful to be back in civilization (and safe from alligators). I almost forgot what living in a city was like. But the thing I looked forward to the most was eating a real meal. My friends and I all agreed we would stop at the first restaurant we saw, so when we spotted a Subway, we immediately halted. I ordered a chicken bacon ranch sub, and it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. I ate another one later that day too.
Losing access to everyday things like normal food, electricity, and community has made me incredibly grateful for them.And I try not to take them for granted anymore, which makes me happier in life. This phenomenon can also happen when your current job situation is less than ideal. You’ll be grateful for the privileges you might not have anymore, and when you exchange that dreaded job for your dream one, you definitely won’t take its perks for granted, enhancing your gratitude, happiness, and performance at work.
A job you hate doesn’t have to be a waste of time.
It’s inevitable, at some point in our lives, we’ll all have a job that we hate. But if you can view this experience as a life lesson and discover what you actually want out of your career, then there’s a good chance the job you hate will eventually lead you to the one you love.
Have you ever accidentally wasted an entire day in Photoshop?
I have. It’s not like you start out aimlessly. You have a simple goal in mind, like cropping a photo, improving the resolution, or changing the size of the canvas. But then, you look at how many options there are — and trying to figure out which buttons to press to execute a single task suddenly turns into an attempt to solve The Riddle of the Sphinx.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just press a button, and magically, do what you wanted to do? Well, we’ve got good news for you: It turns out there are a wealth of Photoshop shortcuts that pretty much work just that way.
By pressing a few keys on your computer keyboard at the same time, you can select tools, manipulate images and layers, and even make adjustments to your project’s canvas. But if we’re being honest, if you’re just starting out with the software, there might be far too many Photoshop shortcuts to remember them all. That’s why we created this guide — for you to bookmark and return to next time your design project leaves you stumped.
Note: All of these shortcuts can be accessed on PC and Mac, but sometimes, they’re different on each operating system. We’ve included both types below, and in the cases where they might be different, Mac instructions appear in italicized parentheses. Also, in these formulas, the plus sign (+) is present only to represent the combination of key commands. On occasion, it might be part of the command itself, like when you press the plus sign to zoom into a part of an image, but otherwise, don’t press the plus sign between commands.
65 Photoshop Shortcuts to Save You Time
Getting Set Up
You’d think setting up your content in Photoshop would be second nature. But sometimes, the shortcuts to change the background size, or zoom into your project aren’t what you think. Here are some of the most crucial fundamental shortcuts to know:
1) Control + Alt + i (Command + Option + i ) = Change the image size.
2) Control + Alt + c (Command + Option + c ) = Change canvas size.
3) Control + + (Command + + ) = Zoom in.
4) Control + – (Command + – ) = Zoom out.
Control + ‘ (Command + ‘ ) = Show or hide the grid, the automatically-generated horizontal and vertical lines that help align objects to the canvas.
Choosing the Right Tools
These shortcuts will activate different groups of tools, like “Lasso,” “Brush,” or “Spot Healing Brush.” Within these tools, though, there are different functions. Under the “Magic Wand” tool group, for example, you have the option to execute a new selection or add and subtract from a current one.
Each one of these tools has a keyboard shortcut, and we’ve outlined some of them below.
5) v = Pointer, a.k.a. Move Tool
6) w = Magic Wand
7) m = Rectangular Marquee, a.k.a. the Select Tool
8) l = Lasso
9) i = Eyedropper
10) c = Crop
11) e = Eraser
12) u = Rectangle
13) t = Horizontal Type
14) b = Brush
15) y = History Brush
16) j = Spot Healing Brush
17) g = Gradient
18) a = Path Selection
19) h = Hand
20) r = Rotate View
21) p = Pen
22) s = Clone Stamp
23) o = Dodge
24) z = Zoom Tool
25) d = Default Foreground and Background Colors
26) x = Switch Foreground and Background Colors
27) q = Edit in Quick Mask Mode
28) x = Change Screen Mode
Using the Brush Tool
With the brush settings, you can change the size, shape, and transparency of your brush strokes to achieve a number of different visual effects. To use these keyboard shortcuts, first select the Brush tool by pressing b.
29) , or . = Select previous or next brush style.
30) Shift + , or . = Select first or last brush style used.
31) Caps Lock or Shift + Caps Lock (Caps Lock) = Display precise crosshair for brushes.
32) Shift + Alt + p (Shift + Option + p) = Toggle airbrush option.
Using the Marquee Tool (for Slicing/Selecting)
When used correctly, the marquee tool will let you select individual elements, entire graphics, and determine what is copied, cut, and pasted into your graphics.
To use these keyboard shortcuts, first select the Marquee tool by pressing m.
33) Control (Command) = Toggle between Slice tool and Slice Selection tool.
34) Shift + drag = Draw square slice.
35) Alt + drag (Option + drag) = Draw from center outward.
36) Shift + alt + drag (Shift + option + drag) = Draw square slice from center outward.
37) Spacebar + drag = Reposition the slice while creating the slice.
Using Different Blending Options
Blending options include a number of features to enhance the look of your graphic. You can always choose a blending option by going to the top menu bar, under Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options. Or, you can double-click any layer to bring up the options for that particular layer.
Once you open blending options, you can use keyboard shortcuts to select them without moving your mouse. To use the shortcuts, select the Move tool (“v“), and then select the layer you’d like to use the blending options on. Below are some of the most popular modes.
38) Shift + + or – = Cycle through blending modes.
39) Shift + Alt + n (Shift + Option + n) = Normal mode
40) Shift + Alt + i (Shift + Option + i) = Dissolve
41) Shift + Alt + k (Shift + Option + k) = Darken
42) Shift + Alt + g (Shift + Option + g) = Lighten
43) Shift + Alt + m (Shift + Option + m) = Multiply
44) Shift + Alt + o (Shift + Option + o) = Overlay
45) Shift + Alt + u (Shift + Option + u) = Hue
46) Shift + Alt + t (Shift + Option + t) = Saturation
47) Shift + Alt + y (Shift + Option + y) = Luminosity
For more niche blending shortcuts, check out these tips from Adobe.
Manipulating Layers & Objects
If you want to modify an object or get complex with multiple layers, here are some shortcuts you might like to know:
48) Control + a (Command + a ) = Select all objects
49) Control + d (Command + d ) = Deselect all objects
50) Shift + Control + i (Shift + Command + i ) = Select the inverse of the selected objects
51) Control + Alt + a (Command + Option + a) = Select all layers
52) Control + Shift + E (Command + Shift + e) = Merge all layers
53) Alt + . (Option + .) = Select top layer
54) Alt + , (Option + ,) = Select bottom layer
Note: In shortcuts 55-57, the brackets ([ ]) are the keystrokes in the command, and “OR” refers to the actual word — as in, press one bracket OR the other, not the letters “o” and “r.”
55) Alt + [ OR ] (Option + [ OR ]) = Select next layer down or up
56) Control + [ OR ] (Command + [ OR ]) = Move target layer down or up
57) Control + Shift + [ OR ] (Command + Shift + [ OR ]) = Move layer to the bottom or top
58) Shift + Control + n (Shift + Command + n) = Create a new layer
59) Control + g (Command + g) = Group selected layers
60) Control + Shift + g (Command + Shift + g) = Ungroup selected layers
61) Control + e (Command + e) = Merge and flatten selected layers
62) Control + Shift + Alt + e (Command + Shift + Option + e) = Combine all layers into a new layer on top of the other layers. Note: This step gets you one, combined layer, with all elements of that layer in separate layers below — which is different than a traditional merge-and-flatten layers command.
63) Control + t (Command + t) = Transform your object, which includes resizing and rotating
And Finally — Save Your Work for Later
Congratulations — you’ve finished working on your project, and now, you want to share it with the world. Save time saving your project by using these simple shortcuts:
64) Control + Shift + s (Command + Shift + s) = Save your work as …
65) Control + Shift + Alt + s (Command + Shift + Option + s) = Save for web and devices
I don’t know about you, but I have an odd fascination with LinkedIn’s “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” feature.
There’s a natural curiosity about who’s checking it out, and why. A fan of my writing? My manager? An ex-boyfriend who’s feeling remorseful as a result of seeing all the great things I’m doing with my life?
Regardless of my own profile viewers, the fact remains that LinkedIn has always served as an interesting platform to digitally network, share information, recruit, and advertise.
It’s that last part where one of the newest developments have taken place. LinkedIn has provided helpful insights and ad tracking for some time now, allowing advertisers to view details about the composition of who this promoted content has reached. But now, LinkedIn has developed new tools for marketers who want to see that same information about the users visiting their websites.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to LinkedIn’s Website Demographics.
What Is LinkedIn’s Website Demographics?
LinkedIn’s Website Demographics is a free tool that allows advertisers to monitor and analyze which LinkedIn users are visiting their websites. In other words, it sheds light on which types of professionals are visiting the site, to help you better target content and ad campaigns. It filters this audience according to eight criteria:
- Job title
- Job seniority
- Job function
- Company size
Getting Started With LinkedIn’s Website Demographics
1. Make sure you have a LinkedIn Ads account.
Website Demographics are only available to those who already have a LinkedIn Ads account. If you don’t have one, check out this beginner’s guide to setting up and running LinkedIn Ad campaigns.
2. Generate your Insight Tag and add it to your Website.
Once you’ve established an Ads account, go to your Campaign Manager, and click “Website Demographics.”
If you haven’t previously set up Website Demographics, you’ll receive this message prompting you to set up an Insight Tag:
Copy and paste this code, and it to every page on your domain. According to LinkedIn, the optimal placement for the code is right before the end of the <body> tag, in the global footer.
Once the code has been added to your web pages, add your domain (or domains, if you added it to multiple pages) to the area to the right of the code, where it says “Domains,” as per the image above.
LinkedIn will have to verify that the tag has been added to these URLs correctly, which could take up to 24 hours, but once that’s done, each URL will have the word “verified” next to its name in the domain list.
Be careful: According to LinkedIn, domains must not include “www” when you’re adding them.
3. Build your audience.
Once your Insight Tag has been added and all associated domains have been verified, you’ll need to create a website audience. Don’t let the name of this step fool you — rather than customizing the desired composition of your audience, you’ll actually just be segmenting different URLs for which you want to analyze visitors.
It’ll look like this:
For example, you might want to drive a different audience to a specific landing page than you do to a certain blog post. That’s where segmenting audience analytics becomes helpful.
You’ll need a minimum of 300 LinkedIn members to visit a given domain that you’re tracking — until you do, there won’t be any data available in the Website Demographics section of your Campaign Manager. How long that takes really varies — it depends on each page’s average traffic.
4. Monitor and analyze the data.
According to Distilled, “LinkedIn developed and released Website Demographics because it anticipates that with this new information, companies will be more likely to spend on their platform.” That makes sense — the demographics available to track within this new tool match the same targeting criteria available for LinkedIn Ad campaigns.
That said, the purpose may also be to help LinkedIn advertisers spend more effectively. Let’s say, for example, that prior to setting up your Website Demographics, you already have a LinkedIn Ads campaign running. Once you’re able to capture more detailed data on which types of users are visiting your web pages — according to job title, industry, and more — you’ll be able to see if that information aligns. Does the Website Demographics match the targeted audience criteria you used in your Ad campaign? If not, you now have the data to better inform your audience targeting.
The best part is that this information isn’t restricted to your promotion efforts within LinkedIn. Now, you’re newly equipped with details about the actual human beings visiting your website (with respect to member privacy, says the platform). And while every social media channel has its own trends and patterns of users, having these insights can help you gain a better idea of who’s clicking, and why they might be seeking information from your brand.
I’ll be keeping an eye on the results as more advertisers begin to use and track the results of this tool, but as always, feel free to reach out on Twitter to share your own experience with it.
What do the makers of the most successful products in the world, whether digital or physical, have in common? I bet they put design and user experience at the center of everything they do. These companies recognize that the smallest detail can make or break a product. The best design ideas, though, are made not in isolation, but by strong, well-rounded teams. So, how do you cultivate a strong design team?
Prototypes are my framework for learning new tools, platforms and techniques. A prototype works as hard proof that an idea will or won’t work. It is central to my entire creative process and is the medium I use to relate to the people and businesses I collaborate with.
I’m gushy about prototypes because I think they can work wonders, but I also think they don’t get they’re due. Prototyping is usually not incorporated into project timelines at all or, if it is, usually as some tangential deliverable to a larger project.