Although Windows Phone usage is still low compared with other browsers it's sometimes necessary to test your web work for Internet Explorer Mobile. For web developers, this could be a complication. Testing for the Windows Phone environment is not always optional, but it can be a chore — especially because the version of Internet Explorer that comes with the Windows Phone can be quirky at best. If you're a developer without a Windows Phone device, you might have to get a little creative to ensure that your websites are being rendered properly.
In this article I want to point out a few different tools and techniques which can help test websites for Windows Phone even if you don't have the real device handy or if you are not developing on Windows. But first let's quickly look into the differences between mobile and desktop Internet Explorer.
Recently, I had a project in which I needed to produce high-fidelity screens for a tablet. I was to present these screens on the device and also produce a clickable prototype. They needed to be pixel-perfect. The timeline was tight (as always), so I went with my go-to tool, Photoshop. I’ve been using it for over 10 years, and it gives me the fastest high-quality output.
Are you designing at “Retina” resolution in Photoshop? If the answer is yes, then this article is for you. I will walk you through the problems I faced in creating Retina mockups to be displayed on a tablet device. I will then explain a way to work that is easier and gives you better performance. This is about my experience with Photoshop, but it could be applied to Illustrator and other software.
In the past year, adoption of Sketch at Google, where I work at, has taken off and is now a widely preferred tool. The more tools in our belts, the better, so here’s my take on why Sketch and the new material design system are a great match.
Tools are an extension of our hands, and as such, they should be versatile, quick and intuitive. A lot has changed between the print era of offset presses and the digital era of cross-platform screens. Developers have attempted to adapt our tools, but Sketch is perhaps the most successful app in this regard — its creators have removed the bloat, started afresh and presented a smaller, fit-for-purpose feature set. What may seem on the surface to be a simple drawing tool in fact nails the core workflows of digital design.
Editor’s Note: This article contains many video examples that show functional animation. Therefore, it may take longer to load on slow connections. A good UX designer can easily explain the logic behind each decision in a design concept. This includes the information architecture, the content hierarchy, the flow and the assumptions made.
Sooner or later, animation will be introduced to the wireframe concept, and then making design decisions or explaining them becomes harder. Reasons such as “It will be cool!” or “It’s trendy” or ”exciting” are exactly the areas where a design starts to lose its strength. Animations deserve a far better ground in our design considerations. We should be justified in defining animations and explaining their purpose — just the same way that we explain all other elements in a design.
Some things just don't change: SmashingConf Freiburg is taking place again this year, on September 14th-15th 2015, in our lovely hometown in Germany. Two days, one track, 16 brilliant speakers and 300 fantastic attendees, sharing practical insights into their craft. And the best bit: lots of networking in good ol’ beer gardens, at the very foothills of the legendary Black Forest. Tickets are now on sale.
Trends don't matter, but techniques do. With another friendly, intimate conference in our lovely hometown, we'll explore practical techniques, design patterns, lessons learned and other tasty recipes from real-life projects. As you know, we care about interesting problems and smart solutions. The goal of this event is that everybody — speakers, attendees, as well as the fellow designers and developers watching the videos later — discover new techniques and strategies that can be applied to real-life projects right away.
CSS’ clip-path property is your ticket to shape-shifting the monotonous, boxy layouts traditionally associated with flat, responsive design. You will begin to think outside the box, literally, and hexagons, stars and octagons will begin to take form on your web pages. Once you get your hands dirty with clip-path, there’s no end to the shapes you can generate, simply by tweaking a few values.
While the focus of this article is on clip-path using polygons with CSS, all of the demos provide a reference to an inline SVG, in order to gain additional support on Firefox. Generating a responsive SVG clipped shape is trivial once you have created a responsive shape with CSS’ clip-path. We’ll look at this in detail later.
As the web continues to evolve at a breakneck, Moore’s-law pace, the divisions between traditional design and development are increasingly shifting. The “learn to code” movement is also gaining momentum among designers, but you’d be hard pressed to find a similarly strong movement for other disciplines within a team. Perhaps there should be.
We should all be striving to learn, but the question remains, what exactly should we learn? Maybe it isn’t as simple as “learn to develop” or “learn to design,” but is about learning to communicate and collaborate, to respect the nuances of each other’s craft — and the artistry and reason that they both demand in equal measure — without attempting to master it for oneself.
If a framework encourages best practices in development while also improving our workflow, it might serve both our users’ needs and ours as developers. If it encourages best practices in accessibility alongside other areas, like performance, then it has potential to improve the state of the web. Despite our pursuit to do a better job every day, sometimes we forget about accessibility, the practice of designing and developing in a way that’s inclusive of people with disabilities.