Eric Mobley

I am a freelance web professional from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Web design, responsive, user experience, content, research, analytics, and web strategy.

Connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Why You Should Never Work on a Project without a Deadline

The client’s deadline is a great way to gauge their commitment level to the project. When I’m discussing an upcoming project with a client, one of the most critical questions I ask is, “When do you need it by?

I can accept many answers. I can even accept an answer where the client wants it in an unreasonably short amount of time. A red flag to me is when the client doesn’t have a deadline or doesn’t even have a range.

The best answer is, “We need it by XX/XX/XXXX because _________.

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How I got the Guts to Quit My Job to be a Freelancer

For some, becoming a freelancer is something that suddenly happens, either out of necessity or spontaneity. But that wasn’t the case for me — I wanted to be a freelancer for nearly three years. I wasn’t ready when I first began thinking about it. I wasn’t ready after a year. Or two. I wasn’t ready a month — or even weeks — before I made the final decision. The thought of quitting my day job to be independent seemed insane. Today I want to share how I finally mustered up the courage to do it.

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Principles of Performance by Design

I wrote a post on Medium about how great performance starts with design. It was something that was running through my head for awhile; I thought Medium would be a great place to post it.

The post earned 4,500 views, 37 Medium recommendations, and 150 shares on Twitter (plus many more retweets). It also earned a spot on Web Performance Today’s list of 9 Awesome Posts About Web Performance.

Needless to say, it was fun to see people sharing the post and responding to it.

Medium is a fantastic platform to write on. The design is great and I love reading Medium content. I will definitely be using Medium to write in the future.

>Read: The Principles of Performance by Design on Medium

Using Personal Outreach to Promote Your Content

I had a problem when I was writing my previous blog post, Social Media Share Buttons Impact on Performance. I have not yet established an audience for my blog, so when I published that post I was worried that hardly anyone would read it.

I thought the post was well done, probably my best so far. I spent a lot of time on it, and I felt like it was adding something valuable.

My survival instincts kicked in and I began sending tweets to people to get them to take a look at my post. Few of them were people that I had interactions with in the past; most of these people did not know who I was. I didn’t give it much thought, I just knew I had to find a way to get someone to read that article.

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Social Media Share Buttons Impact On Website Performance

Social media share buttons can be easily added to any website. The buttons make it simple for users to share the page, and display the number of times people have shared that page. This might make it seem like a no-brainer to include on every website you design, but these buttons come at a cost to performance.

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Embrace Industry Peers as the Target Audience For Your Blog

Many businesses focus their content marketing efforts solely on customers, yet their industry peers are the audience that can help their brand grow the most.

We can agree that increasing profits is the ultimate goal; why would we choose to focus on an audience other than our customers? I will explain my rational for that in this post.

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The Ambiguous Hamburger Icon: Is The Icon Mystery Meat To Users?

Hamburger Icon

The Hamburger Icon

Updated on February 18, 2014

The hamburger icon is a popular icon used by designers to represent a hidden navigation menu that will appear when the user clicks on the icon.

Many designers believe that the icon has achieved universal status and that users understand what the icon represents. Many large websites and brands rely on it from Google to Starbucks.

I believe the icon is far from being universally recognized. If we must use the icon we need to take some additional steps to make it more clear to the user where the hidden menu is located.

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Squarespace Logo Is Not A Threat To Designers

Squarespace, a popular platform that offers website templates and hosting, recently launched a new service called Squarespace Logo. This  service is a tool that allows you to quickly and easily design logos. Their pricing structure is very cheap and creating a logo is intuitive and simple.

Squarespace Logo's pricing options

Squarespace Logo’s pricing options

Many in the design community are fuming over Squarespace Logo and what it could mean for the future of design. A quick search of the hashtag #squarespacelogo on Twitter reveals that some designers feel like the easy to use software devalues design.

(Quick sidebar: Some of the logos that people have created are hilarious.)

I think that Squarespace Logo and other tools like it are nothing for designers to be concerned about. Keep reading to find out why.

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How to edit, crop, and split hidden songs out of tracks in iTunes

If you’re like me, you hate the extra junk that some artists put at the beginning and end of tracks.

If you’re also like me you hate the “hidden track” that artists stick on to the end of their albums. Why should we deal with 10 minutes of silence before another song starts playing? Why not just make it a track on the album? Why is the hidden track always one of the best songs on the album? These are questions that used to keep me awake at night, but I can rest easier once I found out you can easily crop and edit songs in iTunes.

The solution is to take a track that has a hidden song, crop out the useless bit of silence and split it into two songs in iTunes.

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What to do when Your Google Analytics Account Number is Stolen

One problem with Google Analytics is that your account number is viewable to anyone. To see any site’s Google Analytics account all you need to do is simply view source and find the GA code.

It’s so easy to find anyone’s account number that you may find yourself viewing your analytics one day and see some strange behavior. Read this post to see if your Google Analytics account has been hijacked and how to fix it.
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Using the Canonical Tag to Deal with Duplicate Content

The problem with many sites is that they have pages that are identical or nearly identical. This can happen when your site has many categories, paths, and dynamic data.

The solution is to use the canonical tag. The canonical tag is a tag used to tell search engines which version of a page is the desired or preferred version.

Canonical Tag Shows the Way

You want to be clear to search engines which version of the page they should index because if you have many versions of the same page then that page is unlikely to rank well at all.


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Six Benefits of Responsive Web Design

Pierre Far, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, has announced that Google is recommending responsive web design for use with mobile devices. Read the official announcement on the Official Google Webmaster Central blog. Bing also recommends responsive web design.

Google has this to say:

Sites that use responsive web design, i.e. sites that serve all devices on the same set of URLs, with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device. This is Google’s recommended configuration.

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How To Add More Google Analytics Accounts After You Reach The Limit

Updated May 5th, 2014

So you’ve reached the 100 account limit in Google Analytics. You will see something like the error message below:

Account Limit Reached

You have reached the limit of 100 accounts. Please reach out to your Google Analytics support contact for assistance.

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6 Google Analytics Gotchas

Google Analytics is a great tool for tracking your web analytics. It’s a must if you want to keep track of visitors and their habits on your website. It does have some quirky functionality that you will want to be aware of.

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Guide To Tracking Multiple Subdomains In Google Analytics

Last updated on December 2nd, 2014

Tracking multiple subdomains in Google Analytics is a little tricky since there is no “easy” button to push. You will need to configure analytics properly to track and display data correctly.

In this guide you will learn how to install Google Analytics to properly track subdomains and configure Google Analytics to best display the subdomain data. This guide helps you configure Google Analytics to view all of your subdomain data in one place.

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