It’s that time of year again: graduation, when students transition away from the classroom to what will hopefully be a long and successful career in their chosen industry. I recently said goodbye to some of my own website design and development students. Instead of teaching lessons in design principles or responsive websites, I spent our final evening together answering their questions. One of those questions was, “What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?”
At the time, I didn’t have an answer. I could think of many instances when someone helped me solve a particularly complex design challenge or a complex CSS issue or helped me navigate a delicate client situation, but I wouldn’t consider those “best career advice” moments. After thinking about it for a week or so, I came up with four pieces of advice that I received early in my career and that were invaluable to me as I was getting started in this industry but that are just as relevant and useful to me today.
Z-index is an inherently tricky thing, and maintaining z-index order in a complex layout is notoriously difficult. With different stacking orders and contexts, keeping track of them as their numbers increase can be hard — and once they start to spread across CSS files, forget about it! Because z-index can make or break a UI element’s visibility and usability, keeping your website’s UI in working order can be a delicate balance.
Optimizing your website assets and testing your design across different browsers is certainly not the most fun part of the design process. Luckily, it consists of repetitive tasks that can be automated with the right tools to improve your efficiency.
When interacting with mobile devices, users have little patience for confusing interfaces or unnecessary steps that impede their progress. As designers, we must understand the role of momentum in effective user interface design and create experiences that keep our users moving forward.
Think about the act of checking email on a mobile device. This is probably one of our most efficient interactions with our phones; we do it while crossing the street, between conversations and even (for the dangerous few!) while driving. Every distracting bit of user interface (UI) that could get in the way of checking our email has been stripped from the design, making it a streamlined process that we love doing.
The post Maintaining Momentum Through Efficient Mobile Design appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
This year has brought a number of changes in the conference scene around the world. Quite a few established conferences have taken their last bow, and a whole bunch of new conferences have appeared — and I’m not just talking about the Smashing conferences! There’s even a conference for developing applications of the not-yet-released Google Glass.
Many exciting conferences have already featured some of the industry’s most illustrious speakers in the first half of 2014, however, there are quite a few more to come! Take a look at today’s round-up of conferences taking place this year from June onwards, and remember, since most events are a bit light on the design aspect, it may be a good idea to visit those conferences that focus specifically on visual and artistic technologies.
The post Upcoming Web Design Events (Jun. 2014 – Dec. 2014) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
In this series on Backbone.Marionette, we’ve already discussed
Module. This time, we’ll be taking a gander at how Marionette helps make views better in Backbone. Marionette extends the base
View class from Backbone to give us more built-in functionality, to eliminate most of the boilerplate code and to convert all of the common code down to configuration.
I highly recommend that you go back and read the articles about Application and Module first, if you haven’t already. Some things may be mentioned in this article that refer to the previous articles, and this is part of a series about Marionette, so if you wish to learn about Marionette, you should read the whole series.
The post A Thorough Introduction To Backbone.Marionette (Part 3) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
Fireworks extensions are of two main types: commands and command panels. If you find yourself repeatedly performing a tedious task, you could write a command to automate the process and save yourself a lot of time. Alternatively, if you are missing a particular feature that would improve your workflow, you could write a more complex extension — a command panel — to implement it.
Handwritten text shows a personal side of its author, a side that is not easy to put into words and that contrasts with the standardized look of digital communication. This contrast and “aura” is perhaps what makes handwriting fonts so popular. As a typographer, I love handwriting, and in this article I’d like to share a hands-on overview of my creation process of a handwriting font.
Over the past four years, I’ve completed three typefaces inspired by handwriting. I started with the digitization of Albert Einstein’s handwriting and continued with Conspired Lovers, a font based on my own love-letter writing. In 2013, I ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of a font based on Sigmund Freud’s handwriting. The public interest in the project was overwhelming, and the Sigmund Freud typeface became the first typeface to be reviewed in the Wall Street Journal.
The post Hands On The Sigmund Freud Typeface: Making A Font For Your Shrink appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one—desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd.
This creativity mission has been going on for six years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month. This post features free desktop wallpapers created by artists across the globe for June 2014. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!
“Danger: malware ahead!” and “This website may harm your computer” are the two sentences that I hate most and that I don’t want any of my clients to see when they open their website. If you have seen any of them on your own website, then I’ll bet you still remember your panic attack and how you struggled to get your website up and running ASAP.
Many great articles show how to prevent a website from being hacked. Unfortunately, unless you take it offline, your website is not and will never be completely unhackable. Don’t get me wrong, you still need to take preventive measures and regularly improve your website’s security; however, responding accordingly if your website does get hacked is equally important. In this article, we’ll provide a simple seven-step disaster-recovery plan for WordPress, which you can follow in case of an emergency. We’ll illustrate it with a real hack and specific commands that you can use when analyzing and cleaning the website.