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 UX, front-end and performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.
Music has always been an excellent source of inspiration. Particularly if you are stuck with some problem you can't find a workaround for, a beautiful song can give you a new perspective, let you see the problem from a different angle. And sometimes it's just useful to make a break — for instance, watching some music videos.
In this post we present some unusual music videos for your monday's coffee break. Some of the videos are thought-provoking, some of them are funny and some are bizarre. While many of them are well-known, you'll probably find some videos you've never watched before. The videos all perfectly to the music which is being played in the background. Hopefully, everyone will find something new and inspiring for himself/herself. Please notice that you might need to watch some videos at least twice to get the idea behind them.
You might want to read the descriptions of the videos — they are provided below every link. The screenshots often don't reveal that much about the videos they stand for.
The main goal of data visualization is its ability to visualize data, communicating information clearly and effectivelty. It doesn't mean that data visualization needs to look boring to be functional or extremely sophisticated to look beautiful. To convey ideas effectively, both aesthetic form and functionality need to go hand in hand, providing insights into a rather sparse and complex data set by communicating its key-aspects in a more intuitive way. Yet designers often tend to discard the balance between design and function, creating gorgeous data visualizations which fail to serve its main purpose — communicate information.
In both print and web design infographics — visual representations of information, data or knowledge — are often used to support information, strengthen it and present it within a provoking and sensitive context, depending on designer's creativity.
This article presents some spectacular data visualizations and infographics which manage to combine a strong visual appeal with the effective presentation of information.
Over the last few years WordPress managed to become the dominating weblog engine out there. The main reasons behind its overwhelming success aren't that astonishing: WordPress is extremely easy to use, it's absolutely free and it has a huge community. But what is even more important is the fact that WordPress is an Open Source project. That means that everything, from the documentation to the code itself, was and is being created by and for the community for free. Consequently, WordPress themes and plugins have also been released for free in the spirit of the Open Source movement.
Over the last months we've been observing a growing trend towards "premium" WordPress themes — themes designed by freelancers and design agencies, heavily advertised on popular weblogs and offered for a fixed price.
Usually the development of a magazine-style design from scratch would cost $10,000 - $40,000. In these cases "premium" themes might address the needs of clients with smaller budgets.
High-quality WordPress themes always come in handy. Whether you are looking for some design inspiration or professional coding solutions — in both cases you can learn a lot, you can apply them and you can build customized designs upon them without reinventing the wheel all the time.
In this article we present 100 free high-quality WordPress themes. Together with hundreds of other designs, these themes have been manually selected, installed and tested over the last weeks. They all can be downloaded, customized and used for free in both personal and commercial projects. Links to demo-versions provide a direct preview of a theme.
Please notice that the listed WordPress themes are presented in 8 sections: vibrant themes, simple & minimalistic themes, magazine style, grid-based, clean and legible, advanced, experimental, photoblog & videoblog.
You might also want to take a look at our previous selections:
Steve Jobs stated once that the “design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” While this statement has proven to be crucial over thousands of years, one shouldn't misinterpret it by emphasizing the functionality despite the design. When it comes to product design, the significance of aesthetics of a given device, the way its design looks and feels, determines the choice of the customer once the functionalities of multiple devices are more or less similar. If supported by sound user interface and a well-tested, clean implementation, innovative design solutions can drastically enhance the user experience.
This article presents innovative, futuristic gadgets, devices, designs and concepts. Unless explicitly specified, none of these cut-edge concepts is currently being manufactured. None of them is available for end-users which is why neither the price nor links to the stores are mentioned.
Please keep in mind that the main idea of this article is not to do the sell-talk for trendy products, but to showcase innovative design solutions and futuristic devices which can become reality in 2008 or over the next few years.
The new year is just few days away; however, not all parties are planned, not all presents are packed and not all work is done. If you feel under the weather, bored or overwhelmed by the late shopping or working chaos, it's just the right time to take a short break and get into the right mood.
To help you to achieve just that we've collected some excellent, funny and touching animations and videos — for you, your colleagues, your friends and your family. You probably have seen some of them, but it doesn't make them less funnier. You can also click on the images — they lead to the sites from which the screenshots have been taken.
Enjoy the last days of the year 2007. Smashing 2008, folks!
Your workplace and the atmosphere surrounding you determine the way you work and explore your imagination. The more inspirational your workplace is, the easier it is to break the creativity block and discover new ideas. And apparently there is a number of things you can do to improve your personal workflow.
As a part of our Monday Inspiration series we present a dozen of creative and unusual workplaces; in the end of the post you'll also find references to related resources, among them office design galleries and Flickr pools. They can serve as an inspiration once you've decided to spice up your work environment.
You can also click on the images — they lead to the sites from which the screenshots have been taken.
Every now and again we take a look around, select “fresh” high-quality free fonts and present them to you in a brief overview. The choice is enormous, so the time you need to find them is usually the time you should be investing in your current projects. We search for them and we find them, so you don’t have to.
This month we'd like to present you Relato Sans and the Droid font family. Please read the license agreement carefully - it can change from time to time.
You can find over 60 more free fonts in our section Free Fonts.
Over decades we've used to adapt our habits, behavior and mindset to technology. We've improved our productivity by using tools and devices designed especially for the tasks we have to deal with regularly. But we've also constrained our abilities to the features of the very tools and devices we've become dependant on.
We've got used to a number of things. To traditional mouse-keyboard user interaction, to 2D windows-based user interface and to a rather unspectacular user's workflow which enables one user interact with only one application at a time. For instance, while you're browsing in your web browser you can't scale your text and resize your window simultaneously — unless you are a keyboard-shortcut-master.
Good news: it can be different. Below we present some of the outstanding recent developments in the field of user experience design. Most techniques seem very futuristic, and are extremely impressive. Keep in mind: they can become ubiquitous over the next years.
In order to work well, designs have to be optimized for simplicity, transparency and, consequently, optimal user experience. The user experience itself is, however, in many cases just an elegant term employed with false intentions and wrong approaches.
Optimal user experience is rarely achieved by visual design elements, although some stakeholders are strongly convinced that it actually is the case. What actually matters is the fact that the content is accessible and legible — and although visual design can support the content and help to communicate with your target audience in a more effective way, it is not a solid foundation to build a successful web-site upon. (In fact, to compromise stakeholders' understanding of design solutions is your primary task if you strive to be a professional web-developer.)
Whatever stages you are going through in your design process, to perform well you need to make sure that your design works for most visitors, whatever screen resolution they use. It's not about the graphics visitors see; as stated above, it's about the content they are looking for.