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.
Our anticipation was building. Between defining our language translation app, sketching it out, obsessively designing and iterating, and juggling other projects — all covered in the first part of our case study — we had been working on Languages for close to a year. It was finally go time.
Even the coolest app in the world is doomed to swiftly descend into the abyss of obscurity if no one knows about it. So, part two of our journey is all about marketing. It turns out that you don’t need a huge marketing budget to get into the top 10 in the App Store.
A website has a personality — it is a reflection of the person or organization behind it. When people visit your website, you want it to stand out from the crowd, to be memorable. You want people to come back and use your website or get in touch with you.
So, to distinguish itself from the unwashed masses, your website not only needs remarkable content, but also has to be innovative yet functional. Ask yourself, what would make life easier for your user? The following websites will whet your appetite for extreme creativity. Browse through and explore them for yourself.
If you’ve spent the last few months under a rock, then have we got a surprise for you. We are working on two brand new Smashing Books. The first, New Perspectives on Coding, will feature state-of-the-art techniques, case studies, tips and coding strategies, all neatly packed into a gorgeous printed hardcover — and available as an eBook, of course.
And if you’ve always wanted to leave a trace of yourself to posterity, now you can (well, kind of). From the very first Smashing Book, we’ve reserved space to feature our readers in the book, and our fourth undertaking will be no exception.
High-definition (or “Retina”) displays have spread wider and wider, and evidently their numbers will keep growing. So, as creators of products that will be consumed on Retina devices, we have to optimize our design and development workflow accordingly.
Slicing graphics from finished designs to use for development is one of the less enjoyable parts of building a website or app. And it takes a long time. Because slicing is a monotonous and straightforward task, using the right tool and workflow can save you hours or even days of work.
If you code websites, it’s a good bet that at least one of your clients has asked about or requested a mobile-friendly website. If you go the responsive design route (whereby your website is flexible enough to adjust visually from mobile to desktop widths), then you’ll need a strategy to make images flexible, too — a responsive image solution.
The basics are fairly simple to learn, but once you’ve mastered them, you’ll find that scaling images is only the beginning — you might also have performance and art direction conundrums to solve.
My name is Jeremy Olson. I’m a senior in college, living in Charlotte, North Carolina, and this is the story of how my little app beat Angry Birds.
I’m writing this because I believe we learn much more from success than from failure. It took Edison thousands of failed attempts to invent the electric light bulb, and it would be foolish for us to reinvent it based on trial and error, now that we have a working model.