February 2016 Edition

Content | Creative

On Trend

Image Courtesy of Mint Design

Image Courtesy of Mint Design

Evolving web technology, and bolder moves by businesses, are enabling a number of “hot web design trends” predicted for 2016. These two caught our attention:

What: Bolder use of color and typography
Why:   Color and typography are languages in their own right. Just add the right words for an unbeatable trifecta of brand storytelling and audience engagement.

What: Original illustrations will edge out photography
Why: Illustrations allow users to invent their own interpretations. The result, instantly more relatable messaging than stock photos.
Source: creativebloq.com

Have questions about how to brand-refresh your website or tell your brand story? We can help


Our Work

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Better lives, businesses, planet, through better choices
thedecencygroup.com

The multidisciplinary professionals of The Decency Group recently enlisted us to redesign their new web presence. Grounded in the principles of "Radical Decency," “TDG’s” experts are experienced practitioners in psychotherapy, finance, health and nutrition, career coaching, and legal services. They collaboratively work directly with both individuals and business owner-operators.

Membership in the "Decency Community" is open to everyone.  Members enjoy rich resources and benefits to support personal and business growth.

Meet TDG's professionals and find out more about the Decency Community
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Services Provided by McG:

 

  • Website redesign utilizing the robust SquareSpace platform
  • UX/UI: User Journey
  • Integrations: MailChimp Workflows, SentryLogin, Stripe, Zapier

McG People

Developer Insider

Tips & Tech Obsessions with Nick Schirmer, McG Senior Developer

 

Q. You enjoy troubleshooting and teaching other developers. What kinds of problems are you frequently asked about?
A. I’ve had other developers ask me to help them figure out why some certain thing on a webpage they’re wiring up is not working correctly. While it’s encouraged you build test cases and a robust debug system, a lot of the time developers simply don’t do that. There’s a really easy way to quickly debug something that’s not doing what you want, though: the browser’s developer console.

When it comes to writing JavaScript, usually the browser’s Console tab is what you want to look at, as it will output JavaScript errors. You could also dump some console.log (“message”) lines throughout the area of your code you’re working on to get a sense of what is running correctly and where it’s failing. Outputting some of your variable values, for example, is one suggestion. There’s of course an even better way to handle JavaScript debugging, but it may take some more getting used to -- using the Debugger tab. This allows you to create breakpoints in your script so you can quickly inspect local scope variables and such before allowing the process to continue running.

When it comes to debugging why something in the backend (PHP) isn’t going according to plan, my quick suggestion is to start dumping data out with a print, print_r, or var_dump, to get a sense of what’s going on. This way you can make sure that variable is what you were expecting it to be, find out whether a certain part of the code is never being reached, etc. Note that you never want to have code like this in production code though, because dumping out debug text is a good way to break things or include things in the output you don’t want to. You could also have it write to a file by opening a flat file at the beginning of your script and writing to it at each step (you could channel that through a function you create so that it can include other useful information such as a timestamp to know how long it took to get to each step). Again, only do this when developing and testing!

Note that the console comes in handy when debugging backend code if your script is being requested with XHR/Ajax — You would simply open the console, go to the Resources or Network tab, and inspect the XHR request to see what data/headers are being sent, and what the response from the server was.

When it comes to discovering something is not working right, no matter how much you’ve tried to replicate the issue, the above steps are just as useful. You can open the Console and look to see if there are any red error messages, instruct inspect the XHR request to see the response, or write data to a file for you to view after you've experienced the issue again.

Chrome’s console writeup: https://developer.chrome.com/devtools/docs/console

MDN's console writeup: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Tools/Browser_Console



Q. What’s your latest tech obsession?
A. A month or two ago, I bought a device from Automatic. It’s a dongle you plug in to your car’s diagnostic port and it sends information over to your phone via Bluetooth. This info is curated a bit by Automatic and allows you to see the trips you’ve made, what your driving score is, mileage, gas usage, etc. I then set up some IFTTT recipes to send various information over to Numerous, which is a number-recording app that I discovered around the same time. So now whenever I turn my car on, Automatic pings IFTTT which then increases my “Ignition on” number in Numerous, so I can see how many times I’ve turned my car on. Likewise, whenever my car is turned off, other information is sent over to Numerous, such as total # of miles, # of miles daily, and average gas mileage!


Have a troubleshooting question for Nick? Reach out at info@mccarygroup.com.