This extended category features articles on client-side and server-side programming languages, tools, frameworks and libraries, as well as back-end issues. Experts and professionals reveal their coding tips, tricks and ideas. Curated by Dudley Storey and Rey Bango. Subscribe to the RSS-Feed.
The web is growing up. We are building applications that work entirely in the browser. They are responsive; they have tons of features and work under many devices. We enjoy providing high-quality code that is well structured and tested.
But what matters in the end is the impact for clients. Are they getting more products sold or are there more visitors for their campaign sites? The final results usually show if our project is successful. And we rely on statistics as a measuring tool. We all use instruments like Google Analytics. It is a powerful way to collect data. In this article, we will see a CSS-only approach for tracking UI interactions using Google Analytics.
In the physical world, no one builds anything without detailed blueprints, because people’s lives are on the line. In the digital world, the stakes just aren’t as high. It’s called “software” for a reason: because when it hits you in the face, it doesn’t hurt as much. No one is going to die if your website goes live with the header’s left margin 4 pixels out of alignment with the image below it.
But, while the users’ lives might not be on the line, design blueprints (also called design specifications, or specs) could mean the difference between a correctly implemented design that improves the user experience and satisfies customers and a confusing and inconsistent design that corrupts the user experience and displeases customers.
AngularJS has grown to become one of the most popular single-page application frameworks. Developed by a dedicated team at Google, the outcome is substantial and widely used in both community and industry projects.
One of the reasons for AngularJS’ success is its outstanding ability to be tested. It’s strongly supported by Karma (the spectacular test runner written by Vojta Jína) and its multiple plugins. Karma, combined with its fellows Mocha, Chai and Sinon, offers a complete toolset to produce quality code that is easy to maintain, bug-free and well documented.
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.
Making an application work offline can be a daunting task. In this article, Matthew Andrews, a lead developer behind FT Labs, shares a few insights he had learned along the way while building the FT application. Matthew will also be running a "Making It Work Offline" workshop at our upcoming Smashing Conference in Freiburg in mid-September 2014. – Ed.
We’re going to make a simple offline-first to-do application with HTML5 technology. Here is what the app will do: Store data offline and load without an Internet connection, allow the user to add and delete items in the to-do list, store all data locally, with no back end, and run on the first- and second-most recent versions of all major desktop and mobile browsers. The complete project is ready for forking on GitHub.
Scrolling effects have been around in web design for years now, and while many plugins are available to choose from, only a few have the simplicity and light weight that most developers and designers are looking for. Most plugins I’ve seen try to do too many things, which makes it difficult for designers and developers to integrate them in their projects.
Not long ago, Apple introduced the iPhone 5S, which was accompanied by a presentation website on which visitors were guided down sections of a page and whose messaging was reduced to one key function per section. I found this to be a great way to present a product, minimizing the risk of visitors accidentally scrolling past key information.
Since first hearing of spaced repetition a few years back, I’ve used it for a wide range of things, from learning people’s names to memorizing poetry to increasing my retention of books. Today, I’ll share best practices that I’ve discovered from using spaced repetition to learn and master a programming language.
A lot of funny 404 pages have been shared recently: carefully crafted memes, funny GIFs, even the odd interactive game. But if the 404 doesn’t help your visitors, then what’s the point?
A visitor could find themselves on a 404 page for one of many reasons: a mistyped address, a bad link from somewhere else, a deleted page or content that has moved elsewhere. While you can prevent errors from moved pages with redirects, you can’t control people’s mistakes.
Whether you’re in a Fortune 500 company or part a two-person team launching your first web app, email is one of the most important tools for reaching your customer base. But with the ever-growing number of emails to send, getting them all out the door can seem a little overwhelming.
By putting in place a solid email design workflow, you’ll be able to regularly ship engaging and mobile-friendly emails with ease.