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Recent content in Articles on Smashing Magazine — For Web Designers And Developers
Updated: 5 days 3 hours ago

Learning Elm From A Drum Sequencer (Part 1)

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 05:00
If you’re a front-end developer following the evolution of single page applications (SPA), it’s likely you’ve heard of Elm, the functional language that inspired Redux. If you haven’t, it’s a compile-to-JavaScript language comparable with SPA projects like React, Angular, and Vue. Like those, it manages state changes through its virtual dom aiming to make the code more maintainable and performant. It focuses on developer happiness, high-quality tooling, and simple, repeatable patterns.
Categories: Web Design

Designing Friction For A Better User Experience

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 05:24
In experience design, friction is anything that prevents users from accomplishing their goals or getting things done. It’s the newsletter signup overlay covering the actual content, the difficult wording on a landing page, or the needless optional questions in a checkout flow. It’s the opposite of intuitive and effortless, the opposite of “Don’t make me think.” Having said that, friction can still be a good thing sometimes. In game design, for example, friction is actually required.
Categories: Web Design

Visual Studio Code Can Do That?

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 05:55
About two years ago, I begrudgingly opened Visual Studio Code (VS Code) for the first time. The only reason I even did so is that I was working on a TypeScript project (also quite begrudgingly) and I was tired of fighting with the editor and the compiler and all of the settings that I needed to make a TypeScript project work. Someone mentioned to me that TypeScript “just works” in VS Code and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were right.
Categories: Web Design

Ghost Button Design: Is This Really Still A Thing (And Why)?

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 06:17
For such a small design element, buttons sure are a complicated one to tackle. It makes sense, what with call-to-action buttons serving as the next step in your visitors’ path to conversion. Mess that up and you might as well say “bye-bye” to business. Though we have a good understanding of the types of button design rules that universally work, there will be times when you’re surprised by a rogue element that performs well.
Categories: Web Design

Dwelling On The Past: The Importance Of Self Reflection (Part 2)

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 07:06
Current and aspiring web professionals must continually grow in order to stay relevant. Our field doesn’t allow for stagnation. In part one of this series, I discussed the importance of project retrospectives in facilitating and documenting team growth. We don’t always have the luxury of engaging in team retrospectives, or even of working on teams. Personal reflection provides similar benefits, while focusing on your individual experiences. Personal reflection enables us to process and make meaning of all of the great (and not so great) learning and working experiences we’ve had.
Categories: Web Design

The Rise Of The State Machines

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 05:05
It’s 2018 already, and countless front-end developers are still leading a battle against complexity and immobility. Month after month, they've searched for the holy grail: a bug-free application architecture that will help them deliver quickly and with high quality. I am one of those developers, and I’ve found something interesting that might help. We have taken a good step forward with tools such as React and Redux. However, they’re not enough on their own in large-scale applications.
Categories: Web Design

Front-End Performance Checklist 2018 [PDF, Apple Pages]

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 08:03
Performance matters — we all know it. However, do we actually always know what our performance bottlenecks exactly are? Is it expensive JavaScript, slow web font delivery, heavy images, or sluggish rendering? Is it worth exploring tree-shaking, scope hoisting, code-splitting, and all the fancy loading patterns with intersection observer, clients hints, CSS containment, HTTP/2 and service workers? And, most importantly, where do we even start improving performance and how do we establish a performance culture long-term?
Categories: Web Design

The Front-End Performance Challenge: Winner And Results

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 07:15
A few weeks ago, we asked our readers and the community to use everything they could to make their websites and projects perform blazingly fast. Today, we’re thrilled to show off the results of this challenge and announce the winner who will be awarded with some smashing prizes indeed! What prizes, you ask? The winner wins a roundtrip flight to London, full accommodation in a fancy hotel, a ticket to SmashingConf London 2018, and last but not least, a Smashing workshop of their choice.
Categories: Web Design

Introducing Web Payments: Easier Online Purchases With The Payment Request API

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 04:52
Buying things online can be a frustrating process, especially on mobile. Even if the pages are well designed, there’s a lot of information required: Our contact information, shipping and billing addresses, shipping option and card details. If you’ve ever just given up sometimes, you’re in the majority. The Baymard Institute took an average across 37 different studies and found that 69% of shopping carts are abandoned. A typical, long checkout form on mobile.
Categories: Web Design

Inspiring Desktop Wallpapers To Welcome 2018 (January Edition)

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 03:22
The new year is an opportunity to start over fresh, to overcome routines and rethink processes. And, well, despite all the New Year’s resolutions you might have made, sometimes it’s the small things that work wonders. A tidy desktop and a new, inspiring wallpaper, for example, that caters for a little inspiration shot when you need one. To kick off 2018 with wallpapers that are a bit more distinctive as the usual crowd, artists and designers from across the globe once again challenged their artistic skills and designed unique desktop wallpapers for you to indulge in.
Categories: Web Design

Making The Transition From After Effects To CSS Transitions And Keyframes

Fri, 12/29/2017 - 04:05
Websites are looking more and more like mobile apps. Users are also increasingly expecting a more app-like experience. From push notifications to offline mode, native web apps are getting there. Once web apps function like native apps, the design interactions would also change to address the use case — namely, the ubiquity of animations. Animations drive interactions in all of our favourite apps, from Uber to Lyft and Snapchat to Instagram.
Categories: Web Design

A Sneak-Peek Inside The Southeast Asian Web Community

Thu, 12/28/2017 - 06:56
A few weeks ago, Vitaly Friedman (co-founder of this little magazine) and I had the pleasure to join Mozilla’s Developer Roadshow, traveling through four countries in Southeast Asia in just two weeks. We visited cities that are buzzing with life and met people who share our passion for the web. Our mission: To get up close with the Southeast Asian web community. We wanted to learn how different local communities are compared to Europe and the US.
Categories: Web Design

Standing Out From The Crowd: Improving Your Mobile App With Competitive Analysis

Thu, 12/28/2017 - 02:42
The mobile app industry is arguably one of the most competitive industries in the world. With around 2.8 million apps available for download in the Google Play store and 2.2 million in Apple’s App Store, getting your app seen, let alone downloaded, can be difficult. With such fierce competition, it is important to make your app the best it can be. One of the most productive ways to do this is by conducting a competitive analysis to see where your competitors are at, what is working for them, what isn’t and what you can do better.
Categories: Web Design

Productivity Tips And Tricks: The Community Shares Its Piece Of Advice

Wed, 12/27/2017 - 07:04
Productivity tips always make for a popular topic for an article, as everyone is looking for the silver bullet, that one weird trick that turns you into a productivity machine. However, the tips that work well for one person may not work so well for another. We asked the community on Twitter and Facebook to share their best productivity tips, and in this article I’m going to round these up alongside some things I’ve learned that work well for me.
Categories: Web Design

32 Free And Friendly Office Icons

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 11:19
The web has changed the way we work. Startups rethought what offices look like, and with a laptop in your bag, you can get work done from anywhere anyways — no matter if it’s your desk at home or the cozy coffee shop around the corner. Over are the times of dark and stuffy cubicles — in many companies, at least. To remove the dust from the term “office” and give the visuals revolving around it a fresh and friendly face, too, the creative minds at Vexels designed a set of 32 office-themed icons.
Categories: Web Design

Building Better UI Designs With Layout Grids

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 07:34
Designers of all types constantly face issues with the structure of their designs. One of the easiest ways to control the structure of a layout and to achieve a consistent and organized design is to apply a grid system. A grid is like invisible glue that holds a design together. Even when elements are physically separated from each other, something invisible connects them together. While grids and layout systems are a part of the heritage of design, they’re still relevant in this multiscreen world we live in.
Categories: Web Design

Inspiration From Mobile Dating Apps: How To Improve Your Designs

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 04:58
Making improvements to your mobile app’s design isn’t necessarily the easiest of tasks. After all, how much can really be accomplished within such a limited space? You recognize that mobile users’ attention spans are waning and that, consequently, they expect a speedy, convenient and engaging experience when using apps. Realistically, how many other ways can there be to satisfy these expectations that haven’t already been done before? Let’s take mobile dating apps.
Categories: Web Design

Breaking The Rules: Using SQLite To Demo Web Apps

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 07:14
Most potential users will want to try out the software or service before committing any time and money. Some products work great by just giving users a free trial, while other apps are best experienced with sample data already in place. Often this is where the age-old demo account comes into play. However, anyone who has ever implemented a demo account can attest to the problems associated. You know how things run on the Internet: Anyone can enter data (whether it makes sense or not to the product) and there is a good chance that the content added by anonymous users or bots could be offensive to others.
Categories: Web Design

☑️ The Ultimate Digital Clean-Up Checklist: Are You Prepared For The New Year?

Sat, 12/16/2017 - 08:32
With a couple of days left until New Year’s Eve, it’s just about time to set aside 60 minutes to clean up, sort out and back up your digital footprint, to ensure a good smooth start to 2017. So many little details tend to get forgotten or overlooked every single time, only to get fixed hastily later — but doesn’t it just feel right when everything is in the right place, neatly organized, even if you aren’t a compulsory cleaner or an obsessed perfectionist?
Categories: Web Design

The Smashing Mystery Riddle Is Resolved: When Purple Rain Meets Felix The Cat

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 08:54
These riddles can be quite addictive and annoying, can’t they? With seven mischievous riddles published over the last few years, we’ve learned a few lessons along the way. At this point, you might be used to endless, mischievous, tricky, mean, time-consuming and intricate Mystery Riddles, and the latest one wasn’t any different. It had to be playful and challenging, and take at least 45 mins to resolve. In the end, the first answer to the new riddle came in after 1h 48minafter the (slightly delayed — sorry about that!
Categories: Web Design

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