Smashing Daily #9: Mobiles, Stopwatches, Books

Lots and lots of things to read for the weekend. Articles on mobiles, tools for responsive designers, a thought for agencies, excellent articles on CSS, an incredible tutorial about a stopwatch that works without JavaScript, excellent news for Windows users and much, much more. As always, there’s interesting stuff for everybody.

Testing the Firefox browser on mobile websites
When using a mobile, we test our websites on Opera Mini, Opera Mobile, Safari on iOs (a few versions), the Browser in Android (many versions), and Chrome on Android 4. But there’s another browser you might want to start learning and that’s Fennec, the mobile version of Firefox.

Testers wanted

Mobile Web Resources
Here’s an incredible list with resources about the mobile Web. Important articles, clever bookmarklets, books, frameworks, presentations, tools, useful websites, and much, much more, everything is in there. Isn’t this how Yahoo started? Kidding. The rest of the website is pretty interesting and well informed, too.

Style Tiles
One of the possible tools in a new, responsive workflow are style tiles—design studies which are somewhere in between a sketch and a mockup. They can be very handy in giving your client an impression of how things might look without going into too much detail. Here’s an explanation of what these things are (the only thing missing are some beautiful examples, I think the examples provided are awful—at least here in the Netherlands people react negatively when they see them, which is a shame since it is a useful tool).

Style tiles

The value of 1000 Androids | Stephanie Rieger
If you have to support 1,000 different Android Phones there are a few things you can do: run away, test everything on every single one of them, or do what Staphanie Rieger advises you to do: learn and understand these devices. It’ll save you a lot of time eventually.

Most Web Design Agencies Suck
Nathan McGinness agrees with Andy Budd when he says that most Web design agencies suck. He says that somehow we must cut the overhead and find ways to put makers (designers, engineers, writers etc.) directly in touch with the people who need their expertise. He’s definitely right.

Negative Proximity
Specificity can be hard in CSS, things do not always work the way you’d expect them to work. Eric Meyer has a great example, and he explains the negation pseudo-class. Not sure what the negation pseudo-class is? That’s another good reason to read this.

Why I don’t wireframe much
One could write long essays filled with reasons why you shouldn’t make (too many) wireframes. Or one could—like Cennydd Bowles did—make a simple diagram.

About HTML semantics and front-end architecture
Building a small website with CSS is easy, but once the website gets a little bit bigger, things get complicated. Great minds have been thinking and writing about this for years—people like Nicole Sullivan, Jonathan Snook and projects like BEM—and now Nicolas Gallagher wrote this excellent piece on the subject. If building big websites in teams is your thing, then you should definitely read this.

Make a stopwatch using CSS3 without images or JavaScript
Wow. The things you can do without JavaScript are getting more impressive by the day. Here’s an excellent tutorial about how to create a stopwatch using only CSS. I absolutely love the the way the tutorial is made, you see the code being typed on the left and you immediately see the results on the right. Fantastic!

An excellent tutorial for a stopwatch without JavaScript

GitHub for Windows
One of the most clever things GitHub did was creating a desktop application for the Mac that typical Mac users could understand without too many problems and without too much explanation. The next clever thing they did is creating a similar application for Windows. This means that Windows users don’t have to pretend they understand Git anymore, they can just use it!

Last Click

Craig Mod—Nourishing Habits for Nourishing Design
How do you design something that’s new and not completely understood yet, like a digital book? Should you mimic what came before it, or shouldn’t you? Craig Mod explains that it’s not just a black-and-white answer in this beautiful and intelligent presentation. If you have some spare time, take that time to watch it, it’s really good.

An excellent presentation about designing the unknown

Previous Issues

For previous Smashing Daily issues, check out the Smashing Daily Archive.

Vasilis van Gemert is the Principal Front-end Developer at Mirabeau in The Netherlands and a board member of Fronteers. His aim is to close the gap between design and (front-end) development. He believes the excess of knowledge he has can be better used by others, by more creative and smarter people. You can follow him on Twitter.

  1. 1

    Hey Vasilis,

    I’m loving these smashing daily posts – so many interesting and useful things all wrapped up in single daily post. Thanks for taking the time to find and collate this stuff for us.

    When you first started posting these smashing daily posts, you were tagging them with “Smashing Daily”. This allowed me to set up an RSS feed just to pull these posts in to my news reader. The last few posts haven’t been tagged and so haven’t shown up in my reader. Is there any reason you’ve stopped tagging them?

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  2. 3

    Hi Daniel,

    Good you noticed, I forgot to add the Smashing Daily tag. I’ll add it in the future. You can also follow the twitter account https://twitter.com/smashingdaily if twitter’s your thing.

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