From time to time, when a discussion is taking place about ways to implement responsive images, someone comes along and says, “Hey, guys! What we really need is a media query that enables us to send high-resolution images to people on a fast connection and low-resolution images to people on a slow connection.” At least early on, a lot of people agreed.
At first glance, this makes a lot of sense. High-resolution images have a significant performance cost, because they take longer to download. On a slow network connection, that cost can have a negative impact on the user’s experience.
In one of the first usability tests I ever did, I met a lovely old lady who could not use a mouse. She kept lifting it in the air and pointing at the screen, speaking words of encouragement to the cursor. At the end of the test I got absolutely nothing, but she did think I was a “lovely boy” who should meet her granddaughter.
Very quickly I learned the value of setting very clear criteria for participant recruitment. If you've ever run a usability test before, you'll know that it's not as easy as it looks. Although it's not rocket science, there are some intricacies that can make a big difference.
You probably hear about it every week, if not every day: a spiteful or ragged relationship has ended badly. There are bitter arguments, custody battles, legal entanglements, lives and homes broken in the wake of moral incompatibility, poor choices, and a lack of sober discrimination.
It’s the predictable result of kids getting married too young or impassioned people who barely know each other rushing into marriage. The tale is often similar with designers and their clients after a rushed, ill-considered marriage.
Today we are pleased to feature Gemicon, a set of over 600 original high-quality icons in resolutions of 16 × 16, 32 × 32 and 64 × 64 pixels. This set has been designed by Turqois and is being released to the design community.
You can use the set for all of your projects for free and without any restrictions. You may freely use it for both your private and commercial projects, including software, online services, templates and themes.
Moving on from your current job or stepping out into the real world once you’ve completed your studies can be daunting. Taking time to do a little preparation goes a long long way. If you come across the perfect job, you will need to portray yourself in the best possible light to show that you are the right person for the position.
Preparing for an interview as a front-end developer is hard. There is no “standard” interview, and what was relevant last year might no longer be relevant today.
At Velocity 2011, Nicole Sullivan and I introduced CSS Lint, the first code-quality tool for CSS. We had spent the previous two weeks coding like crazy, trying to create an application that was both useful for end users and easy to modify. Neither of us had any experience launching an open-source project like this, and we learned a lot through the process.
After some initial missteps, the project finally hit a groove, and it now regularly get compliments from people using and contributing to CSS Lint. It’s actually not that hard to create a successful open-source project when you stop to think about your goals.
We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one—desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd. This creativity mission has been going on for over five years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month.
This post features free desktop wallpapers created by artists across the globe for January 2013. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!
Please note that:
- All images can be clicked on and lead to the preview of the wallpaper,
- You can feature your work in our magazine by taking part in our Desktop Wallpaper Calendar series. We are regularly looking for creative designers and artists to be featured on Smashing Magazine. Are you one of them?
The most valuable part of a computer is also its most fragile: Data are the wealth of a digital lifestyle, a currency of which many notes are irreplaceable. At least, that’s how I felt staring at a “Confirm you want to wipe your hard disk” message, my finger poised over the mouse.
During an emergency is a bad time to plan for one. It’s the feeling one might get jumping from a plane before checking one’s parachute. That’s one experience I’d rather avoid, but it happened. Not the skydiving part. My OS was dying, and I wasn’t prepared.
People who make websites face a triple threat: Live websites need backups; test environments need backups, especially when they double as backups for live websites. Subversion and Git provide safety nets in case of data loss. But there are also support files: Photoshop files, fonts, reusable jQuery snippets — not to mention music collections, an essential part of many creative processes.
Many of us care deeply about developing our craft. But staying up to date can be a true challenge, because the quantity of fresh information we’re regularly exposed to can be a lot to take in. 2012 has been no exception, with a wealth of evolution and refinement going on in the front end.
Great strides have been made in how we approach workflow, use abstractions, appreciate code quality and tackle the measurement and betterment of performance. If you’ve been busy and haven’t had time to catch up on the latest developments in these areas, don’t worry.