Editor’s Note: This post is the first in the new Smashing Daily series on Smashing Magazine, where we highlight items to help you stay on the top of what’s going on in the industry. Vasilis van Gemert will carefully pick the most interesting discussions, tools, techniques and articles that were published recently and present them in a nice compact overview. Smashing Daily #2 and Smashing Daily #3 are now published, too.
Vasilis goes through dozens of RSS feeds and hundreds of tweets so that you don’t have to. Do you find the new series interesting? What would you like to have? And what wouldn’t you like to see? Let us know! We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!
I had thought terms like “intellectual property” and “intellectual theft” were of fairly recent provenance, so my eye was caught by the latter’s use in a headline of a 1930 edition of the US trade journal The American Printer.
The article it headed proved to be equally intriguing, a response by the president of American Type Founders (ATF) to a June 1929 article in the German journal Gebrauchsgraphik by the designer Rudolf Koch, calling the ATF a “highway robber of German intellectual property.” At issue was a typeface marketed by the ATF earlier in 1929 called Rivoli.
Myths have developed around and researchers have studied how the human brain juggles creativity and organization. Popular theory tells us that the left brain is structured and logical, while the right brain is artistic and imaginative, and that all human beings use predominantly one side of the other.
Working in a creative field means challenging that theory, or else challenging the schedules and deadlines that managers impose on writers, designers and other creatives. As a project manager in a UX design agency, as well as a writer, I believe it is necessary to challenge both the assumptions about schedules and the belief that creativity implies disorganization.
Interaction designers create wireframes in tools such as Adobe Illustrator, OmniGraffle and Microsoft Visio. However, emailing your old static designs will feel old fashioned once you see what these new tools can do. Going a step further, there are tools for the user review process, too. Just upload your ideas, from simple mockups to final layouts, link them together, and share them for comment.
This article walks you through the current selection of cloud-based tools and provides some recommendations. The number of offerings and amount of functionality are pretty vast. We’ll address two functions: prototyping and wireframing. But if you’re intrigued, you might want to explore cloud-based image editing, mind-mapping tools and other UX activities. These tools are already out there, and surprisingly good.
The Web has become increasingly interactive over the years. This trend is set to continue with the next generation of applications driven by the real-time Web. Adding real-time functionality to an application can result in a more interactive and engaging user experience.
However, setting up and maintaining the server-side real-time components can be an unwanted distraction. But don’t worry, there is a solution.
The new Smashing Book #3 has finally arrived—freshly printed, neatly packed and ready to be shipped to you, our dear reader. We believe this is by far the best book we’ve produced so far. We are very proud and excited, and the initial verdict has been thoroughly positive, yet in the end it’s up to you to decide how valuable and useful they really are. Get your books now!
In recent years, the Web has changed—a lot. The Web designer’s tools are now advanced, and browsers are highly capable. Designers have established clever coding and design techniques, and they face new challenges and are embracing new technologies. These changes are fundamental and require us to reconsider how we approach Web design. It’s time to rethink and reinvent: it is time to redesign the Web. The new Smashing books will change the way you design websites for the better.
While certainly not as well known as Photoshop, Adobe Fireworks is a great tool for creating user interfaces, website designs and mock-ups, wireframes, icons and much more.
However, most designers who have been using Photoshop for years may find Fireworks a bit awkward at first. Fireworks does have a slightly different workflow and requires a slightly different approach than you may be used to.
What if someone came to you and said, “I’ve designed this great website, but people don’t stay on it. Why?” How would you respond? Would you ask them whether they have done extensive A/B testing? Would you recommend testing the usability of the website?
People like to test a number of metrics to see why people are not staying on a website. I think sometimes we spend so much time focusing on analytics that we throw common sense out the window. Don’t get me wrong—analytics are a powerful tool for improving a website. But often the problem is right in front of your face.
A few weeks ago, I was quite surprised when I saw the pavement quickly approaching while I was out for a walk. Laying there stunned, I soon realized what had happened: I fell. Ouch. B-minus.
I normally try to be as attentive as possible, but this time a big crack in the pavement caught my shoe and threw me completely off balance.
Any application of typography can be divided into two arenas: micro and macro. Understanding the difference between the two is especially useful when crafting a reading experience, because it allows the designer to know when to focus on legibility and when to focus on readability.
This article focuses mostly on a few simple macrotypographic techniques—with a dash of micro—and on how to combine them all to build a more harmonious, adaptable and, most importantly, readable Web page. First, some definitions. Microtypography has to do with the details; setting the right glyph, getting the appropriate kerning and tracking, and making stylistic choices such as when to use small-caps.