We’ve all been there, haven’t we? You find yourself in a coffee shop abroad, sipping cappuccino and chomping a muffin as you realize that your laptop’s battery charge is just about to crush your creative session to dust. Well, perhaps you’ve got your power adapter with you but, of course, it isn’t the right one for foreign power sockets.
So you end up looking around and chatting up with strangers asking for help. Some are more responsive than others, and before you know it, you don’t just have a full battery, but you've made a couple of new, surprisingly interesting acquaintances.
This article is part of a new series about design principles that can serve both as a refresher for seasoned designers and reference for newcomers to the industry. Hopefully, the content covered here isn't too obvious and self-explanatory, but it's always great to have a nice quick refresher every now and again, isn't it? — Ed.
In 1910, psychologist Max Wertheimer had an insight when he observed a series of lights flashing on and off at a railroad crossing. It was similar to how the lights encircling a movie theater marquee flash on and off.
To the observer, it appears as if a single light moves around the marquee, traveling from bulb to bulb, when in reality it's a series of bulbs turning on and off and the lights don't move it all. This observation led to a set of descriptive principles about how we visually perceive objects. These principles sit at the heart of nearly everything we do graphically as designers.
By now, you might actually know how it works. The good ol' Smashing Mysteries: the door that would never open and the rain that would never stop. Well, the Mystery continues! To celebrate the launch of Paul Boag's Digital Adaptation book, we’ve prepared a new riddle, and this time it's a bit different and a bit easier.
How does it work? Below you'll find three animated GIFs that contain a hidden message. Each GIF contains a few scattered letters (all uppercase) that you can use to build words. Once you put the words from all the GIFs together, you will be able to create a sentence. Please notice that no letters should be left unused. Once you've resolved the mystery, please tweet the full sentence using the hashtag #smashing.
Nothing is more frustrating than stubborn management entangled in dated workflows and inefficient processes. That's why we created Digital Adaptation, a new practical book on how to help senior management understand the Web and adapt the business, culture and workflows accordingly. No fluff, no theory — just techniques and strategies that worked in practice, and showed results. Get the book.
The book will help traditional businesses and organizations to overcome their legacy, and help you plant the seeds of change with very little power. If you do want to finally see changes happening, this is the book to grab. Written by Paul Boag. Designed and illustrated by Veerle Pieters. 176 pages. The books are shipping now.
When I gave this talk a title, I called it “A Modern Designer’s Canvas,” because originally I was going to talk about the tools and processes that I use when I’m designing. But being a good designer or developer is about so much more than knowing how to use tools. It’s also about the way we approach what we do and our attitude towards it.
I’m going to talk about four lessons that can help us do what we do better. These have been important to me, especially over the last challenging few years, when how we make websites has changed so much. They’re lessons that I learned a long time ago, at art school:
In the previous article in this series, I discussed our ideation and initial prototyping process. We covered details on how to use Adobe Fireworks to set up a responsive design wireframe, reusable components, prototypes and ways to share designs.
In this article, we’ll share how we used Adobe Fireworks in our iterative visual design process, along with other useful tips.
If you've searched recently for tips on optimizing WordPress’ performance, then you have definitely come across various techniques that people recommend.
These include all sorts of caching mechanisms, such as reverse proxies, object caching and cache plugins, CSS minification, using sprites for images, and so on. All of them are viable and effective ways to speed up a WordPress website’s performance. However, be careful when implementing any of these techniques, and always test their effect on your particular website.