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Sideblog Material Design Icons, Goodies And Starter Kits

It's always great to have a little toolbox with just the right tools waiting for you when you need them. What if you are about to start working on a new project which should apply the material design language introduced by Google last year? What if you had just a good starter kit with everything you need to dive into the creative process without being distracted by routine tasks?

Material Design Principles

We're here to have your back — with a little selection of handy goodies, icons, templates and tools to help you get off the ground faster. This post is one of our first shorter "Sideblog" pieces where we highlight some of the more useful and helpful snippets and goodies every now and then. We'd love to hear your feedback in the comments to this post.


“Web Design Is Dead.” No, It Isn’t.

Every now and then we see discussions proclaiming a profound change in the way we design and build websites. Be it progressive enhancement, the role of CSS or, most recently, web design itself being dead. All these articles raise valid points, but I'd argue that they often lack objectivity and balance, preferring one side of the argument over another one.

Web design isn't dead; it's up to us to find ways for making the web more exciting and delightful.

These discussions are great for testing the boundaries of what we think is (or is not) possible, and they challenge how we approach our craft, but they don't help us as a community to evolve together. They divide us into groups and sometimes even isolate us in small camps. Chris Coyier has published a fantastic post recently covering the debate on the role of CSS in light of growing popularity of React.js, extensively and objectively. That's the quality discussions we need, and that's what keeps us evolving as a growing and maturing community.

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Beyond The Boring: The Hunt For The Web’s Lost Soul

Has web design lost its soul? And is responsive design to blame? These questions, posed by my friend and colleague Noah Stokes, are provocative to say the least. After all, the responsive web has made browsing on our ever increasing collection of Internet-connected screens not only possible, but enjoyable.

Beyond The Boring: The Hunt For The Web's Lost Soul

Our priority as designers must be to solve problems; perhaps more than anything else, this is what we do. Responsive web design is a fantastic solution to the problem of creating virtual experiences that adapt to different devices. There are other problems out there that we're called on to solve, though, not least of which is to make content of all kinds appear interesting and engaging. A page of plain text becomes a beautiful blog post, a mess of unconnected JPGs becomes a professional portfolio.


Freebie: Smashicons Icon Set (500 Icons, 4 Styles, AI, PSD, Sketch)

Today, we're happy to release a very large icon set: the freebie contains 500 icons in four editable variants: outlined, solid, webby and flat, covering all sorts of various categories. The icons allow you to customize the stroke width and style, not to mention that you can change the color of the elements. They’re carefully crafted on a 60px grid which gives each icon consistency and crispness on all displays.


Smashicons come in several styles. The AI and Sketch formats come in four styles: outline for mobile use; solid for hover state; webby for web; and flat for any creative project. The PSD format comes in two styles: outline for mobile use, and solid for hover states.


Think Fast! Using Heuristics To Increase Use Of Your Product

People have many tough decisions to make; whether they should use your application or website to accomplish a task shouldn’t be one of them. Your design team can take advantage of our knowledge of the human mind and human behavior by accounting for a number of heuristics, or mental shortcuts, that researchers have identified.

Think Fast! Using Heuristics To Increase Use Of Your Product

You might be familiar with the term “heuristic” from the UX research method of heuristic evaluation. A heuristic evaluation involves experts evaluating the interface and interactions of a system based on accepted usability best practices. Forget about that for now. In psychology, a heuristic is simply a fancy word meaning mental shortcut.


Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: July 2015

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.

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: July 2015

This creativity mission has been going on for seven 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 July 2015. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!


Part Seven Design Principles: Compositional Balance, Symmetry And Asymmetry

A balanced composition feels right. It feels stable and aesthetically pleasing. While some of its elements might be focal points and attract your eye, no one area of the composition draws your eye so much that you can’t see the other areas.

Design Principles: Compositional Balance, Symmetry And Asymmetry

Balancing a composition involves arranging both positive elements and negative space in such a way that no one area of the design overpowers other areas. Everything works together and fits together in a seamless whole. The individual parts contribute to their sum but don’t try to become the sum.


Rapid Front-End Prototyping With WordPress

Prototyping is one of the best things that can happen within a project, yet it is extremely underutilized. Prototyping makes a project better suited to users, elevates user experience, increases the quality of your final code, and keeps clients happy.

Rapid Front-end Prototyping With Wordpress

The problem is that developers often see prototyping as a waste of time, since high-quality prototypes take considerable effort to make. I want to show you that by using WordPress, highly interactive prototypes with great visuals are not at all that difficult to make.


Efficient Image Resizing With ImageMagick

Responsive images have been keeping us on our toes for quite some time, and now that they are getting traction in browsers, they come with a scary problem: the need to efficiently resize all our image assets. The way responsive images work is that an appropriately sized image is sent to each user — small versions for users on small screens, big versions for users on big screens.

Super-Efficient Image Resizing With ImageMagick

It’s fantastic for web performance, but we have to face the grim reality that serving different sizes of images to different users means that we first need to create all of those different files, and that can be a huge pain.


Effective Logo Design, Part 3: How Geometry Influences Logo Design

Galileo knew it. Every ancient culture that left traces of knowledge in their art knew it. Basic shapes compose the fundamental geometry of the universe. We can take credit for a lot of things, but human beings did not invent geometric shapes. We discovered them through the observation of nature. Understanding basic shapes and their functions have taught us to mark time and space in a variety of ways, inspiring mathematics, technology, language and ever-evolving civilization.

Effective Logo Design, Part 3: How Geometry Influences Logo Design

A handful of simple shapes have been used throughout time in the art of all cultures: the circle, intersecting lines, the triangle, the square and the spiral. Cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien researched and documented commonalities in cultural art forms over several decades and found consistent geometric shapes embedded in all art. She called them the “five universal shapes.”


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