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Web Development Reading List #101

What's happening in the industry? What important techniques have emerged recently? What about new case studies, insights, techniques and tools? Our dear friend Anselm Hannemann is keeping track of everything in the web development reading list so you don't have to. The reaction on the first post last week was quite overwhelming, so we moved from a bi-monthly frequency to a weekly frequency (for now). — Ed.

UI Mechanics of a Date Picker

Welcome back to the Web Development Reading List (WDRL) for this week. Instead of the previously announced biweekly schedule here on Smashing Magazine, I will post it in sync with the original WDRL; so, expect content to appear weekly here from now on.


How We Designed And Built Our First Apple Watch App

One sunny morning in the summer of 2014, I was sitting in a café having just finished an hour-long call with my remote team. Scheduling that call had been a messy exercise: we live in different time zones and it was hard to find a time that worked for everyone. I wanted to make dealing with time zone differences less painful.

How We Designed And Built Our First Apple Watch App

I had some free time on my hands, so I pulled my notebook out and started playing around with an iWatch app idea. Yeah, you read that right — 2014 and iWatch, before a watch had ever been announced.

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Responsive Upscaling: Large-Screen E-Commerce Design

The responsive design revolution is truly upon us (if it hasn’t already happened!), and even though e-commerce websites haven’t picked up responsive design quite as aggressively as in other industries, it’s becoming increasingly popular.

Responsive Upscaling In E-Commerce

So far, most of the responsive design thinking has revolved around covering the range of experiences from mobile to desktop. Yet little attention has been paid to the opportunities for expanding that range beyond the standard desktop screen, to create an experience optimized for modern large-scale displays.


Typographic Patterns In HTML Email Newsletter Design

Last year I read Jan Constantin’s post “Typographic Design Patterns and Current Practices” and straightaway wanted to do something similar with email. At the time I was studying responsive typography on the web, trying to break down the websites I liked in order to understand what made the typography work so well, then attempting to apply those findings to email design.

Typographic Patterns In HTML Newsletter Email Design

After seeing Constantin’s work, I also wanted to explore how other email designers were handling responsive typography. So, I amassed 50 emails across various industries that I think do a good job with typography to see if any patterns emerged. You can skip straight to the Google Doc showing the raw data and results.


Sideblog Web Development Reading List #100

What's happening in the industry? What important techniques have emerged recently? What about new case studies, insights, techniques and tools? Our dear friend Anselm Hannemann is keeping track of everything so you don't have to. The result is a carefully collected list of articles that popped up over the last week and which might interest you. Starting from today, we are happy and honored to feature a bi-monthly web development reading list here on Smashing Magazine. Now it should be a bit easier to stay up to date. — Ed.

How DNS works

Welcome to the one hundredth edition of the Web Development Reading List and the first one to appear on Smashing Magazine. I am very happy to extend my audience and keep you up to date with the web development industry. If you have any feedback, please let me know in the comments or write me an email.


What A/B Testing Taught Us About App Store Optimization

1.5 million apps in Apple’s App Store and another 1.5 million in Google’s Play store. That’s a lot of apps, and for a growing number of mobile users. An average user in the US will download only three new apps per month (at best), according to comScore’s “US Mobile App Report.”

What A/B Testing Taught Us About App Store Optimization

Competition in the App Store is fierce, and if an indie app developer wants to get noticed, having an amazing product is no longer enough.


From Russia With Love: Behind The Responsive Redesign Of

Relaunching a large-scale website is always quite an undertaking, especially if the task involves a huge political entity with content accumulated over a dozen years. In this article, we look behind the scenes of the responsive redesign of, Russia’s most prominent government website.

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We had an opportunity to talk with Artyom Geller, one of the creative minds responsible for the design and UX of the project. We talked about the design process, the challenges and constraints, creative front-end solutions, as well as unusual budgets and stakeholders. —Ed.


Laying Out A Flexible Future For Web Design With Flexbox

CSS floats and clears define web layout today. Based on principles derived from centuries of print design, they’ve worked well enough — even if, strictly speaking, floats weren’t meant for that purpose. Neither were tables, but that didn’t stop us in the 1990s.

A Flexible Future For Web Design With Flexbox

Nevertheless, the future of web layout is bright, thanks to flexbox. The CSS layout mechanism lets us arrange elements in a truly web-like way. Some elements can be fixed, while others scroll. The order in which they appear can be independent of the source order. And everything can fit a range of screen sizes, from widescreen TVs to smartphones — and even devices as yet unimagined. Browser support is fantastic (except you-know-who). Yep, it’s a great time to jump into flexbox if you haven't done so yet.


Web Design Conferences Are Booming: But What’s Next?

Every year there are around 100 web conferences in the UK, and there are new ones emerging all the time. With a conference catering for every design and development niche, you are rarely more than an hour away from your nearest event.

Web Design Conferences Are Booming: But What's Next?

If you’re interested in JavaScript, then Full Frontal is a must. If you like to geek out on typography, then you should hit up Ampersand. If you’re bored of the traditional format, then why not go camping in Wales or hack from a boat on the Thames?


Understanding Critical CSS

The web is slow, yet there are a few simple strategies to make websites faster. One of them is inlining critical CSS into the <head> of your pages, yet how exactly do you do it if your site contains hundreds of pages, or even worse, hundreds of different templates? You can't do it manually. Dean Hume explains an easy way to get it done. If you're a seasoned web developer, you might find the article obvious and self-explanatory, but it's a good piece to show to your clients and junior developers for sure. — Ed.

Understanding Critical CSS

Delivering a fast, smooth web experience is an important part of building websites today. Most of the time, we develop websites without understanding what the browser is actually doing under the hood. How exactly does the browser render our web pages from the HTML, CSS and JavaScript that we create? How can we use this knowledge to speed up the rendering of our web pages?


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