Great conferences are the ones where you learn, connect and get inspired. We know that, and we put our hearts into crafting events that aren't just great, but go way beyond expectations. Ready for the next one? With SmashingConf LA 2015, we've got a full package: our new US conference with two days packed with quality content, lots of networking and a few mysterious surprises. We thought you might want to join in, too.
When preparing a conference, we care deeply about how practical and valuable it will be. We look into things that have or haven't worked, and why, and what worked better. In fact, the SmashingConf LA 2015 is designed to make you smarter, more informed and more skilled with your day-to-day decisions. Be it your workflow, front-end, design, development, UX or nerdy performance tricks. The focus of the SmashingConf is tangible, actionable, hands-on learning that you can apply to your work right away.
Crafting a good front-end is no piece of cake. When tough budgets and ambitious goals interweave, you need just the right expertise to make just the right decisions. That’s why we create heavily practical Smashing Conferences, and the upcoming SmashingConf Oxford 2015 isn’t going to be an exception.
We don't care about volatile trends, but we do care about things that work and don't work in real projects, and why, and that's exactly what the event will be focusing on. With practical talks, lots of networking, jam sessions, a personal, intimate atmosphere and spectacular surprises (lasers, anyone?), this is a conference you probably won't want to miss. A valuable, affordable community event for designers and developers who love their craft. Seriously.
Mobile is a difficult, unpredictable beast. If you run into technical problems in mobile, then you’ll know how annoying fixing them can be. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Peter-Paul Koch to create The Mobile Web Handbook, our practical new guide to dealing with front-end challenges in mobile. The book is finally ready and is now shipping worldwide. It’s available in print and as an eBook.
Today Smashing Magazine turns eight years old. Eight years is a long time on the web, yet for us it really doesn't feel like a long journey at all. Things have changed, evolved and moved on, and we gratefully take on new challenges one at a time. To mark this special little day, we’d love to share a few things that we’ve learned over the last year about the performance challenges of this very website and about the work we’ve done recently. If you want to craft a fast responsive website, you might find a few interesting nuggets worth considering. – Ed.
Improvement is a matter of steady, ongoing iteration. When we redesigned Smashing Magazine back in 2012, our main goal was to establish trustworthy branding that would reflect the ambitious editorial direction of the magazine. We did that primarily by focusing on crafting a delightful reading experience. Over the years, our focus hasn't changed a bit; however, that very asset that helped to establish our branding turned into a major performance bottleneck.
You've seen this happen a thousand times. An organization struggles with a high level of internal enthusiasm and creative chaos that team leaders don't know how to handle any more. To bring order into projects, a new product manager is appointed, under huge expectation, and with unclear responsibilities and big goals defined within a very short timeframe. That's when things usually go south, resulting in failed projects, crushed teams and disappointed clients.
That's why we've teamed up with our author and friend Rian van der Merwe, a senior product manager with a sociology and UX background, to create a new practical book to help product managers in the digital space manage projects effectively — the right way, with the right strategy, in the right time, with the right team. Making It Right is a book about just that: what product management is, what it isn't, why it's important, and how to approach it strategically and meaningfully to get things done well. Available today.
Experiments and side projects are wonderful ways to challenge yourself and explore areas that you wouldn't usually consider exploring. That's what Smashing Mystery Riddles are for us: little experiments that challenge us to come up with something new, original and a bit crazy—every single time. The ideas are usually a synthesis of the things we discover, stumble upon or try out ourselves—and oh my, they take quite some time to get right.
The most recent riddle took quite a lot of time spent fiddling and getting right (and Guillaume, the designer, wasn't that happy about all the changes that our tests required). The basic idea was simple: as usual, you have a series of animated GIFs containing clues. One animated GIF leads to another, and every animated GIF contains a key (or keys) that have to be discovered. Once you uncover all the keys, you construct a solution and send out a tweet containing that solution. Doesn't sound too difficult, does it?
Ah, these mysteryriddlesnever stop, do they? To celebrate the launch of the SmashingConf Whistler, our very first conference in Canada, we’ve prepared a yet another riddle, and of course this time it's not going to be any easier!
Tip: Watch out for a hint in one of the frames in each of the GIFs. Large view.
So, how does it work this time? Well, below you'll find the first of a few hidden animated GIFs that contain a secret Twitter hashtag. Your job is to deconstruct that hashtag as fast as possible. To do that, you have to pay attention to the file name and count objects within the GIF (for example, "3 chairs") and search for them on Twitter (i.e. #3chairs).