Posts Tagged ‘Opinion Column’

We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with ‘Opinion Column’.

You Design It, They Do It

What if someone came to you and said, “I've designed this great website, but people don't stay on it. Why?” How would you respond? Would you ask them whether they have done extensive A/B testing? Would you recommend testing the usability of the website?

You Design It, They Do It

People like to test a number of metrics to see why people are not staying on a website. I think sometimes we spend so much time focusing on analytics that we throw common sense out the window. Don't get me wrong—analytics are a powerful tool for improving a website. But often the problem is right in front of your face.

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Publish What You Learn

I don’t think anyone can deny that the Web has changed the way people teach, learn, and do research. Of course, this doesn’t mean that everything we read online is true and accurate—far from it.

Publish What You Learn

But I believe that through honest discussion and objective collaboration, accurate and useful information is much more likely to be the end result of any educational endeavor.

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Symptoms Of An Epidemic: Web Design Trends

Since Elliot Jay Stocks so poignantly told us to destroy the Web 2.0 look, we’ve witnessed a de-shinification of the Web, with fewer glass buttons, beveled edges, reflections, special-offer badges, vulgar gradients with vibrant colors and diagonal background patterns. The transformation has been welcomed with relief by all but the most hardened gloss-enthusiasts.

Collage of interfaces with stiches

However, design and aesthetics work in mysterious ways, and no sooner does one Web design trend leave us before another appears. We'll start by looking at some of the most common symptoms, many of which you have probably noticed. They are easy to spot, and as with many other conditions, they often appear in conjunction with each other.

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Open Call For International Communities

At Smashing Magazine, we are big proponents of diversity and sharing. We encourage designers and developers worldwide to step up and use Smashing Magazine as a platform to share their opinions, ideas or techniques. Our editorial process is quite evolved, yet we are very open to users' suggestions. In fact, if an author has something to say, we try to help them collect their thoughts, strengthen their points and sharpen their language.

Future of Web Design Conference in London, 2010

As it is, Smashing Magazine is in English; we communicate in English in our articles, through our comments, in social channels — everywhere. We have a quite good overview of what's happening in the Web design scene among creative professionals where English is prevalent. When it comes to non-English Web design communities, we have almost no idea what's going on there… it's as if they never existed.

Last year, I was lucky to have attended quite a few conferences across Europe. I wanted to get a better understanding of what's going on in those countries, how evolved their industry is and, more importantly, what techniques and tools they have developed and use in their work.

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Teach Them How To Hit The Ground Running And Faceplant At The Same Time?

A few days ago, a tutorial on how to Create A Christmas Wish List With PHP was published on Smashing Magazine's Coding section that frustrated me. It frustrated me as it was incredibly easy to predict the comment reactions it caused. It also frustrated me as it was a classic example of a tutorial resulting in very happy readers who will go out and cause a lot of terrible things on the Web unless they understand that this was meant as a "beginner tutorial". A lot of the bad feedback was about security — something we shouldn't take lightly.

Teach Them How To Hit The Ground Running And Faceplant At The Same Time?

It frustrated me mostly because it all happened on Smashing Magazine, a well-respected online publication that is read by many beginners (especially in back-end technologies) and one that is dedicated to quality content with an advisory board (one of which is me) meaning that every article gets reviewed by experts before it is published. This one slipped by in the rush of the holidays, and it was updated a couple of hours after it was published, i.e. the editors added an editor's note and addressed some important missing points. I am happy that it was published in its original form as it inspired me to point out some things that I see happening in online magazines a lot lately.

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The Smashing Guide To Moving The Web Forward

Many of us rely on open source tools, technologies and standards to help improve the work we do on a daily basis. None of this would however be possible without the hard work, commitment and dedication that others, just like you, have invested in giving back to the Web community over the past two decades.

Modernizr, HTML5 Boilerplate and jQuery are just a few examples of well known projects which were born from a desire to put something out there that could help others on the Web do more. These projects evolved because developers started using them and thought, “Hey, I could do something to help make this better. I bet it could save someone else’s time if I shared this with the world.”

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Easier Is Better Than Better

In his book, The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz comes to an interesting conclusion involving human choice. “People choose not on the basis of what’s most important, but on what’s easiest to evaluate.” Common sense would dictate that if you were given a list of choices, you would choose the one that is most important to you, when in reality humans usually choose the one that is easiest for them to understand and evaluate.

In 'N Out Burger

Very often we do so because we don’t have the time to put in the research necessary to make an informed decision. Politicians are rarely elected based on the majority of people doing research on their background and the policies they support. They are elected for the fact that people can relate to the message they are spreading and because we have heard of them before.

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“But The Client Wants IE 6 Support!”

Frequently, when I discuss CSS3 with other developers, the issue of stubborn clients comes up. They tell me that even though they personally don’t think a website should look the same in all browsers and they’re eager to try all of these new techniques, their clients insist that their website should look the same, so the developers are stuck with the same Web development techniques that we used five to ten years ago. Their clients just don’t “get” graceful degradation.

Money always wins

Is this really the issue? Are our clients incapable of understanding these things? Is the problem that our clients don’t “get” the Web and need to be educated? I don’t think so. We got ourselves into this. We are the ones who caused this problem for our industry. We are the ones giving ourselves this trouble and making our profession less creative and enjoyable than it could be. It’s entirely our fault and no one else’s.

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