CSS3 is powerful, simple and very easy to learn. Although Internet Explorer does not support most CSS3 properties yet, many designers are experimenting with the new features, gracefully degrading their designs for users with older browsers and offering rich CSS3 interactivity to users on modern browsers. CSS3 is being used (as it should be at the moment) as an additional layer to enrich the user experience by making websites cleaner, more adaptive and more responsive. It's time to start using CSS3 today.
Seeing the Web as a dynamic medium is a good thing, and it's good to create rich user experience for those who are already use modern browsers or will be soon. Whatever your perspective, it doesn't make any sense to keep looking back, afraid to look ahead, and thus avoiding experimenting with and learning about new CSS3 properties today. This is why we keep publishing articles about CSS3.
To get you really excited about CSS3, we have decided to organize a CSS3 contest to encourage designers to experiment with CSS3, and then showcase the results on Smashing Magazine.
We have been publishing articles about CSS3 for a while now, and we keep receiving angry e-mails from some developers who complain that it doesn't make sense to use CSS3 today. Yes, Internet Explorer doesn't support most CSS3 properties. And yes, CSS3 vendor prefixes are bad for maintainability (and this is why we recommend extracting vendor prefixes in a separate CSS3 file).
But it's OK to accept that Web is a dynamic medium, and it's OK to create rich, interactive, beautiful designs for those who are already using a modern browser or will be using one soon. It just doesn't make sense to keep looking back, being afraid of looking forward and therefore avoid experimenting and learning about new CSS3 properties today. And this is why we keep publishing articles about CSS3.
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Over the last years we've got a pretty good understanding of what CSS does, how it works and how we can use it for our layouts, typography and visual presentation of the content. However, there are still some attributes that are not so well-known; also, CSS3 offers us new possibilities and tools that need to be understood, learned and then applied in the right context to the right effect.
In this round-up we present fresh useful articles about less-known CSS 2.1 and CSS3 properties as well as an overview of recently published CSS techniques, tools and tips for designers and web-developers. Please stay tuned: next week we will present the second part of this article, featuring fresh CSS3 techniques, tools and resources. Read more...
In our earlier article about Web design trends for 2010 we covered the strong influence of print design techniques, keypress navigation, horizontal layouts, rich typography and aesthetically pleasing designs. Web design today is developing rapidly, breaking the limitations of conventional approaches and exploring the possibilites of upcoming technologies. Designers are not only experimenting with new techniques and design approaches, but they are improving the quality of their designs in both technical and conceptual respects.
Modern websites have great strengths, such as flexibility, cross-browser compatibility and personalization, but they are also becoming increasingly simple and intuitive. This is being done through the application of subtle usability enhancements, drawn either from the Web itself or from offline interactive systems. The Web today is increasingly complex, while usage of the Web is becoming increasingly simple.
In this article, we'll explore some new design approaches and techniques that you may want to develop for your own projects. We'll present rather unusual or unconventional design approaches and try to understand what's actually interesting about them and how we can apply them to modern Web design. More specifically, we will discuss the following: real-life metaphors that are applied to the Web, hidden complexity, subtle interactivity, context-sensitive navigation and rapid CSS3 adaptation. Read more...
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.
In this selection we’re glad to present you Kilogram, Adelle, Ayita Pro, Hattori Hanzo Typeface, Andron, Tertre, Luxi Sans, Sapir, Otari and a couple of other high-quality free fonts. Please read the license agreements carefully before using the fonts — the license can change from time to time.
We love beautiful typography, and we appreciate the efforts of designers who come up with great typographic techniques and tools or who just share their knowledge with fellow designers. We are always looking for such resources. We compile them, carefully select the best ones and then prepare them for our round-ups. And now it's time to present a beautiful fresh dose of typography-related resources.
To help you improve the typography in your designs, we're presenting here useful new articles, tools and resources related to typography. You will learn the fundamentals of typography, find out how to combine fonts and know what to keep in mind when choosing a typeface. We also present typography-related slideshows, glossaries, layouts and experiments. Read more...
Web design is a fickle industry. Just like every other form of artistic expression, Web design has undergone a continuous and surprisingly fast evolution. Once a playground for enthusiasts, it has now become a mature rich medium with strong aesthetic and functional appeal. In fact, we are experiencing what could be the golden era of Web design — or at least the best period thus far. We have powerful new tools at our disposal (CSS3, HTML5, font-embedding, etc.), a plethora of freely available resources, a strong design community and also (if you needed any more!) reliable support of Web standards in the major browsers.
We're seeing better interaction design and more aesthetically pleasing designs. And we're seeing more personal, engaging and memorable sites, too. But what exactly is making the difference? What new directions is Web design heading in today? What new techniques, concepts and ideas are becoming important? In this article, we present some observations on the current state of Web design. We describe existing and upcoming trends and explain how Web design might evolve in the coming months and years. We'll also touch on what we as Web designers should be ready for to keep abreast of new challenges and opportunities.
Please note: this article is the first in our series on the current state of web design. To make sure you don't miss the second part, subscribe to our RSS feed and follow us on Twitter. Read more...
Over the last year, Smashing Magazine has evolved. We've been publishing fewer lists and more in-depth articles about design and Web development. We have invited professionals and high-profile developers to write for us. We've been investing more resources in the quality and relevance of our articles. We've also explored new formats; and on weekends we've been publishing more inspirational pieces, leaving the in-depth articles to weekdays.
We've tried our best to fuel the growing appetite of our readers for more advanced articles, but recently we've been receiving more requests for carefully selected, useful round-ups. We are not big fans of lists either, but the format is useful and — if the resources are relevant — can be extremely helpful. Therefore, we've decided to add a couple of round-ups per month as a bonus to our regular articles. Instead of replacing the main articles, we will add round-ups on top of our regular schedule. If you don't like round-ups or find them inappropriate, please feel free to skip them. How does this work for you?
In this post, we present 40 useful but obscure jQuery plug-ins that will hopefully help you improve the user experience on your websites. We look forward to your ideas and suggestions in the comments to this post.
Round-ups of beautiful and useful icons are almost legendary here, on Smashing Magazine. While some readers complain about the annoying "list"-style of some of our articles, we are confident that useful round-ups of relevant resources are very valuable and useful for designers. This is why over months we collect useful links and then present them in posts in the magazine. Like it or hate it, but the feedback that we get from the design community when we publish such posts is mostly positive which is why we keep doing it.
This round-up covers 50 beautiful and useful icons that may turn out to be life-savers for your next design. We present photorealistic icons, mini icons and pictograms, symbols and signs, free templates as well as Christmas icon sets and desktop replacement icons. Please make sure to read the license agreements before using the icons – they may change from time to time. Did you find this post useful? Would you like to see more similar posts in the future? Let us know in the comments to this post!
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In our recent study on Typographic Design Patterns and Best Practices, we asked our readers about case studies they would like us to conduct. One of the most popular suggestions was a detailed case study of portfolio websites. Following the requests of our readers, we have carefully selected 55 design agencies and Web development agencies, analyzed their porfolio websites and identified popular design patterns. The main goal of the study was to provide freelancers and design agencies with useful pointers for designing their own portfolio.
This post presents the initial results of our big portfolio design study. Below, we discuss the visual design, structure, layout and navigation of portfolio websites. We also get into the design details of every single section, including the about, clients, services, portfolio, workflow and contact pages. Of course, you do not necessarily have to follow the findings presented here; rather, use them to get a general idea of what other portfolios look like, and then come up with something of your own that is usable, distinctive and memorable. We would like to thank Mark Nutter for helping us gather data for this study.
The second part of the study will be published here, on Smashing Magazine, in two weeks. Hence, please subscribe to our RSS-feed and follow us on Twitter.
Any ideas or suggestions? Maybe there is something else that you would like us to analyze additionally in this study? Comment on this article — we are listening! Read more...