Author: Sven Lennartz
Co-Founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. Sven is now writing science-fiction and runs some web sites for fun - more or less ...
When it comes to coding editors, it's damn hard to a get a clear overview of all the benefits and functionalities different editors have to offer. However, in the end everybody needs one, so it's important to know which editor is best tailored to your personal needs.
WYSIWYG-editors are often criticized by real coding ninjas for bloated, dirty and not standards-complaint source code they've been producing over the last years. However, WYSIWYG-editors have become much better recently. Some of them even produce valid and elegant code.
Sometimes you need to provide your clients with some simple tools to edit or update their web-sites. And this is where the utility of WYSIWYG-editors comes in. As a web-professional you need to provide your clients with some sophisticated advice and offer a simple yet effective tool — e.g. a WYSIWYG-editor. In this article we've tried to give you an overview of both useful and deprecated WYSIWYG-editors.Read more...
When it comes to design of modern web-applications, Ajax is considered as a standard approach. Interactive solutions for lightboxes, form validation, navigation, search, tooltips and tables are developed using Ajax libraries and nifty Ajax scripts. Ajax is useful and powerful. However, when using Ajax, one should keep in mind its drawbacks in terms of usability and accessibility. With an extensive use of Ajax, you can easily confuse your visitors offering too much control and too many features.
Nevertheless, it's important to know what's possible, particularly since you can develop new ideas further, improving the quality of your web applications. Since our last article 80+ AJAX-Solutions For Professional Coding many things have changed — new scripts were introduced, new creative solutions were developed, new robust development kits have been released. They all are supposed to serve a better user experience and provide more comfort for web-developers.
This post presents over 60 new useful Ajax scripts, libraries and solutions which you can use in your future projects. License agreements can change from time to time — please read them carefully before using the script in a commercial web-application.
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Please notice: the overview presented below is not just a yet-another-one-collection of Ajax-scripts. It's a collection of really useful ones, the ones you can use in almost every project you'll be working on.Read more...
According to classic principles of web design, everything at the bottom of the page isn't that important. Most users think like that. And most designers are convinced that this is true. Site elements at the bottom of the page aren't really able to catch visitors' attention which is why footers are often forgotten or ignored and not given the attention they deserve.
In fact, most footers are rather boring and uninspiring. Designers often use the bottom area to mention everything they haven't found place for at the top of the site. E.g. disclaimers, W3C-buttons, copyright, "back to the top"-link and contact details. But if most designers forget it, why don't make use of it? Why don't use footers to impress visitors with something they actually don't expect at all?
This post presents creative examples of footers and ideas for footer design. We've tried to identify some trends and some interesting approaches you may want to use or develop further in your projects.
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Basically, footers need to provide users with the information they are looking for. This is why contact details and a brief information about site or / and site owners needs to be placed in the footer. Corporate designs may need to provide driving directions, telephone number, a web form or at least an e-mail.Read more...
Flash is powerful. Using it properly, you can create stunning visual experience and offer your visitors incredible user interaction. Although Flash is definitely not the favourite medium for usability and accessibility advocates, it has its advantages. With Flash designers can achieve results which simply aren’t possible with (X)HTML and CSS. Whether you like Flash or not, it empowers the Web with functionalities which make it an incredibly interactive medium.
Flash-based web-sites can look not like web-sites at all; Flash-designers tend to use colorful, dynamic, loud and extremely vibrant approaches, with effects and animation, music and videos, stunning visual elements and interactive navigation menus. Below you'll find 39 examples of creative, beautiful, shocking, unusual, but always outstanding Flash-based designs.
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Every now and again we showcase beautiful favicons — tiny pieces of art you'll usually find only if you are looking for them or search through your bookmarks. Below you'll find 50 more outstanding little pieces of art. Please notice that these favicons weren’t chosen simply because of their beauty; it’s been important to us that the favicon perfectly fits to the site design or its content. All favicons are clickable and lead to the sites where they are used.
We've written enough about favicons in our recent posts. If you'd like to find out more about them, how to use them and how to design them properly, you should take a look at the following articles and showcases:
Shiny and glossy design elements are now officially outdated. Just like retro is becoming trendy again, grungy look appears to rapidly gain on popularity. And there is a damn good reason behind it. In our everyday environment we're unlikely to find ideal geometric forms or pretty shadow effects as they are manifested by glorious Web 2.0-designs. The reality is different, and Web is definitely not an exception here.
Therefore designers often tend to explore the less ideal and more realistic design solutions which reflect the world we're living in more accurately and precisely. Result: such elements give the design a more realistic, genuine look, a look one would actually expect in real life.
In such grunge designs dirty stains, torn images, "broken" icons and creased pieces of paper are as popular as hand-drawn elements and dirty textures. The main purpose of hand-drawn elements lies in their ability to convey a personality and an individual note. And dirty textures are often used as background images for navigation menus, photos and overall layouts. Usually these elements are regular objects from our daily life, replicated in their real form without any glossy effects.Read more...
One month ago we've asked our readers to help us create a gallery of blog header graphics which every designer could use for free and without any restrictions whatsoever. We've announced a Header Graphics Contest and now, one month later, it's time to present the most interesting, creative and beautiful works we've received.
38 graphic designers and artists participated; as a result we've received over 100 truly outstanding entries. The best ones are displayed below. Some of the participants will be randomly awarded with Poser 7, Anime Studio, and Manga Studio provided by Smith Micro Graphics. Participants, please stay tuned — we'll contact the winners within the next 24 hours.
This post presents the results of the contest — 45 beautiful blog header designs you can use for free. Below the designers have described their themes, intentions and shown us some examples of how header graphics can be used.
Please notice that