This newsletter issue was sent out to 53,823 newsletter subscribers on March 15th 2011.
Every other week our editorial team works on short, entertaining and (of course) relevant articles for the upcoming issue. The newsletter is sent out on Tuesdays, and contains unique tips and tricks for designers and Web developers, written by us exclusively for our email subscribers. You can subscribe to the e-mail newsletter, of course.
01. Method & Craft: The DVD Extras of Web Design
02. User Interface Patterns for Android Apps
03. Giving Credit Made Easy
04. A Framework for CSS3 Buttons
05. Showcase of Vinyl Records
06. The Digital Wallet
07. jQuery Waypoints: Scroll-Based jQuery Functions
08. Famous Objects From Classic Movies
Looking into the methods (and sometimes madness) of other designers can be fascinating and insightful. And reconsidering our own work habits after observing the habits of others sometimes results in higher productivity or better results. Finding that kind of information in a single place, though, is challenging at best. It often requires going to a bunch of different blogs, each of which focuses on a different designer.
Enter Method & Craft. Describing itself as “the DVD extras of design,” it offers a behind-the-scenes look at different designs, including how they were achieved, the techniques used and how the designers have grown in their professional careers. It offers articles, interviews, videos (showing designers at work) and notes (offering short tips and links). Eight authors are currently contributing to the website, all with varied design backgrounds. (cc)
Design patterns, which are basically reusable solutions for recurring problems, can be found in many design niches; recently they have also turned up in user interface designs for Android apps. Android Patterns publishes a comprehensive set of interaction patterns that can help you design Android apps.
The website is built mainly for interaction designers who want to design Android applications that work well. The collection includes examples for navigation, screen interaction, user input and more. Each pattern is demonstrated in a wireframe and accompanied by descriptions of when and when not to use it, pros and cons, and screenshot examples. Designers of iPhone and iPad applications will appreciate pttrns and Mobile UI Patterns, which was featured in the last issue of this newsletter. (tb)
Sharing and using free third-party content is widespread. It’s great that so many authors of source code, images and icons allow the Web community to use their creations. In return, we as users should give those authors credit. Thanks to a recent nifty tool, doing that is easy.
With Open Attribute, you can easily find any Creative Commons-licensed content and copy and paste the correct attribution for it. The add-ons for Firefox and Chrome work just fine, but there are problems with the Opera add-on, and a Safari version is still under construction. (mm)
CSS3 presents so many new opportunities for the visual design of elements on your website, and creating GitHub-style buttons is just one example. Michael Henriksen’s CSS3 Buttons framework helps you create these buttons quickly and easily, using sprites to add icons to buttons.
Included are styles for regular buttons, primary buttons, negative buttons (which turn red when you hover over them), grouped buttons, buttons with icons and big buttons. The buttons work in all modern browsers (obviously, CSS3 features don’t work in IE8 and earlier). Using the code snippets is simple, with just a few lines of code to copy over. (cc)
It’s always nice to have your attention drawn to something you’ve never really noticed before. Remember vinyl records? The label in the center is where all the relevant album information is located. But that’s not all. Center labels more often than not include beautiful artwork, interesting typography and fun plays on words.
Center of Attention is a website dedicated to these little works of art. Set up and maintained by Web designer and ex-record collector Simon Foster, the website is simple in concept, made up of center labels from different albums. Looks like we’ve found yet another illustrious source of design inspiration, full of interesting colors, shapes, graphics and typography. (kse)
Venmo is a new idea in the push to mobilize payment methods. Leave your cash and credit cards at home; all you need to take on the road is your mobile phone (iPhone or Android). Add money to your Venmo account, and then use that balance to quickly pay back friends via SMS for, say, lunch. For example, punching in “Pay 6468639557 5.75 for a sandwich” would send $5.75 to the user with the account number 6468639557, and “Pay Ted 5.75 for a sandwich” would send $5.75 to the account holder with the user name Ted.
The method for charging friends and other accounts is similar. Texting “Bal” gives you your current account balance, and you can charge up to $2.500 per month to Venmo through your credit card. The service is currently available only in the US, and support for more smartphones is on the way. Now you can use your phone to split restaurant bills, bar tabs, lunch, groceries, cab rides, tickets and what not. (sp)
Creating custom functions with jQuery based on the scroll position of the page just got a whole lot easier. Waypoints is a jQuery plug-in that makes it easy to execute a function when the user scrolls to a particular element.
Possible uses are infinite scrolling, sticky navigation, scroll analytics and more. Examples are included on the Waypoints website, as is the full documentation. The full source is only 15.4 kB, with minified and GZIP versions at 1.2 kB and 2.7 kB. (cc)
Have you ever noticed how certain objects remind you of certain movies? For example, if you were to see a picture of the Empire State Building, which movie would you think of? Or an apple? Or a ring?
Famous Objects From Classic Movies is an online game with over a hundred examples of famous objects. You can also suggest an object to be added to the game, along with the name of the movie in which it appears. The project was designed by three movie lovers based in New York: Ji Lee, Daniele Codega and Cory Forsyth. (ik)
The authors are: Thomas Burkert (tb), Manuela Müller (mm), Stephan Poppe (sp), Cameron Chapman (cc), Katrin Svana (ks), Iris Kopic (ik).
The Smashing Newsletter Team prepares bi-weekly newsletter issues with lots of love and appreciation for the good ol' Web with the latest tips and tricks for designers and Web developers. Vitaly Friedman, Smashing Magazine's editor-in-chief, started this project back in early 2010. Today, we can't imagine a better way of informing and communicating with our fans and readers!
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