We all make mistakes. Whether in our design and development work or just in life in general, we all do it. Thankfully, even the biggest mistakes carry valuable lessons.
As a contrast to the many Web design articles that focus on successes and what we can learn from those triumphs, this article looks to the other end of the spectrum to explore what failures teach us.
Automation is useful in the work of every designer. It saves precious time on repetitive tasks and helps us solve certain problems more quickly and easily.
What does it take to craft a great product? For those of us who design and build apps, websites and software, a great product means one that delights its users. But digital product development is a complex beast.
Delivering a successful product requires multidisciplinary teams to efficiently work through varying opinions and conflicting views and, ultimately, to gather behind a common vision with a focused plan.
We are very happy to present a sample chapter from the upcoming printed Smashing Book #4: New Perspectives on Coding, written by Paul Tero. Please note that the second part of this chapter will be published next week. If you can't wait until then, feel free to download the full chapter which is available in the Smashing eBook Library Demo.
Imagine that you wake up one morning, reach groggily for your laptop and fire it up. You’ve just finished developing a brand new website and last night you were proudly clicking through the product list. The browser window is still open, the Widget 3000 is still sparkling in its AJAXy newness.
You grin like a new parent and expectantly click on “More details”. And nothing happens. You click again, still nothing. You press Refresh and get that annoying swirling icon and then the page goes blank. Help! The Internet is gone!
Editor's Note: This article features just one of the many, suboptimal solutions for responsive images. We suggest that you review different approaches before choosing a particular responsive image solution, including these two: How To Avoid Duplicate Downloads In Responsive Images and Choosing A Responsive Image Solution.
With all the talk of new HTML5 standards such as the
srcset attribute and
<picture> element, as well as server-side techniques such as Responsive Web Design + Server Side Components (RESS), you'd be forgiven for concluding that simple, static websites can’t support responsive images today.
That conclusion might be premature, however. In fact, there’s an easy, straightforward way to deliver responsive images that’s supported by all of today’s Web browsers: CSS background images.
Unlike other industries, the Web design and development community are all about sharing knowledge and experience. We are very lucky to be part of such a great and useful learning environment, and it is up to us to embrace it — to embrace our learning experiences, and also to embrace our ability to share.
Not only are case studies a great way to explain the design process of an agency, but they also help designers and developers to learn from each other.
“Can you put together a digital strategy for us to review?” Requests like this strike fear into those of us who work on the Web. What do we know about putting together strategy documents?
Yes, we understand the Web, but we don’t know how to write a document that is essentially a business strategy. What even goes into a digital strategy! Unfortunately, this is something management seems to increasingly request from Web designers.
The recently popularized “flat” interface style is not merely a trend. It is the manifestation of a desire for greater authenticity in design, a desire to curb visual excess and eliminate the fake and the superfluous.
In creating new opportunities, technological progress sometimes leads to areas of excess. In the 19th century, mechanized mass production allowed for ornaments to be stamped out quickly and cheaply, leading to goods overdecorated with ornament.
In my career as a freelance illustrator, map-making has become a favorite specialty of mine. With each map assignment, I virtually travel across the globe, visiting places I’ve never been. Most recent was a “trip” to New Zealand for a sampling of local Wellington beer for Draft Magazine.
My maps are designed to appear next to magazine stories about trips to faraway places, or about the best restaurants in a nearby neighborhood. I create them in Adobe Illustrator, and I relish the research process as much as working on the drawings themselves.