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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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Improving Code Readability With CSS Styleguides

Once your latest project is finished, you are very likely to forget the structure of the project's layout, with all its numerous classes, color schemes and type setting. To understand your code years after you've written it you need to make use of sensible code structuring. The latter can dramatically reduce complexity, improve code management and consequently simplify maintainability. However, how can you achieve sensible structuring? Well, there are a number of options. For instance, you can make use of comments — after all, there is always some area for useful hints, notes and, well, comments you can use afterwards, after the project has been deployed.

CSS Styleguides

Indeed, developers came up with quite creative ways to use comments and text formatting to improve the maintainability of CSS-code. Such creative ways are usually combined into CSS styleguides — pieces of CSS-code which are supposed to provide developers with useful insights into the structure of the code and background information related to it.

This article presents 5 coding techniques which can dramatically improve management and simplify maintainability of your code. You can apply them to CSS, but also to any other stylesheet or programming language you are using. You can browse through the references listed under the article — they containt further information about how you can achieve a well-organized and well-structured code.

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(Really) Stunning Pictures and Photos

Photography is a very powerful medium and a very difficult craft. Excellent photos don't only display some facts — they tell stories, awake feelings and manage to share with the audience the emotions a photographer experienced when clicking the shot button. Taking excellent pictures is damn hard as you need to find a perfect perspective and consider the perfect timing. To achieve brilliant photography you need practice and patience. However, it is worth it: the results can be truly stunning.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Sky

Below you'll find 50 brilliant photos and stunning pictures — some pictures tell stories, some are incredibly beautiful, some are funny and some are very sad.

All pictures are copyright of their respective owners. Please explore the further work of the photographers by browsing through their work. We've tried to cover different themes so that everybody will find something interesting and spectacular for himself / herself. All screenshots are linked und lead to the pages from which they've been taken.

You may also want to take a look at the following posts:

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Free Credit Card Icons For Online-Shops

Credit card icons are an essential part of every online-shop. They are often used to indicate available payment conditions and purchasing options. The clearer they are presented in the online-shop, the easier it is for potential customers to figure out if they actually can pay online in this shop. Therefore when it comes to the design of an online-shop there is no way to get around using some credit card icons.

Credit Cards Logos

If you need some specific credit card icons — for instance the icons of a regional bank in your country, make sure to visit the official site of the bank first to get the most recent icons. They are usually presented in the sections titled "logo center", "brand materials", "media center" etc. Credit cards may also look differently depending on the country they are supposed to be used in.

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Five More Principles Of Effective Web Design

Web design has significantly improved over the last years. It's more user-friendly and more appealing today — and there is a good reason behind it: over the years we've found out that design with focus on usability and user experience is just more effective. Modern cut-edge design isn't filled with loud happy talk and blinking advertisements. We've learnt to initiate the dialogue with visitors, involve them into discussions and gain their trust by addressing their needs and speaking with them honestly and directly.

Signalfeuer

Few weeks ago we've presented 10 Principles Of Effective Web Design — a comprehensive article about effective Web design and provided you with insights about how users actually think as well as with some examples of how effective designs can be achieved.

This article highlights 5 further principles, heuristics and approaches for effective Web design — approaches which, used properly, can lead to more sophisticated design decisions and simplify the process of perceiving presented information.

Please notice that you might be interested in the following usability-related articles:

  • 10 Usability Nightmares showcases usability nightmares you should avoid when designing functional and usable web-sites,
  • 30 Usability Issues explains important usability issues, terms, rules and principles which are usually forgotten, ignored or misunderstood.
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Celebration Of Vintage and Retro Design

Retro and vintage designs are often considered as being outdated, looking old, unattractive and dull. That's not true. Although compared to modern design, retro is mostly a completely different realm, it has a large variety of benefits modern graphic designers often tend to overlook. And that's a pity. Because we, as designers, can learn a lot from it.

Nostalgic designs arise feelings, awake memories and better manage to involve broad range of readers even although they don't really realize it. Furthermore, retro can look cool and offer readers or visitors something they haven't expected at all. So why not try to impress them with some impressive vintage art for a change?

Vintage and Retro - FORTUNELLO

Below you'll find the celebration of retro and vintage design — ads, illustrations, book covers, pins and posters from 1920-1980s. The images weren't necessarily created in the mid of 20th century. Vintage is living today which is why this post also features artists and designers who make use of the vintage and retro style in their works.

Please notice: if after reading this post you'll experience some need for buying ice cream, chewing gum or eating sausages, it's not our fault.

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Fresh Freebies: Typeface, Pirates and Circular Icons

Free stuff always comes in handy. We are regularly hunting for free high-quality icons, fonts, wallpapers, plugins and scripts and present them to you, so you don't need to search for them. As long as we find something beautiful, interesting or useful, we let you know in our posts. And now it's time for some sweet freebies for designer's toolbox.

Screenshot

Below you'll find an excellent free font and some recently released icon sets. They all are released for free; however, please take a look at license agreements before using them in commercial applications.

You can also take a look at our previous article

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Web Form Design: Modern Solutions and Creative Ideas

Web form is often the main communication channel between visitors and site owners. Feedback is always important which is why it's necessary to make sure that web forms are easy to understand and intuitive to use. Nevertheless, even in form design one can afford some healthy portion of creativity.

Web forms don't have to be boring and, using CSS or Flash, you can easily make sure that they are appealing and effective. To get noticed, you need to come up with something unique and interesting — symbols, icons, colors, position or the size of web form are often used to achieve interesting design solutions. We've searched for some examples and we've found them. Creative, original and unusual web forms.

Screenshot

Below we present over 40 (really) beautiful examples of web forms as well as modern solutions and creative ideas related to web form design. Some of the examples are Flash-based; however, in most cases you can easily create similar designs with pure CSS and (X)HTML.

Also consider our previous article

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