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Today, too many websites are still inaccessible. In our new book Inclusive Design Patterns, we explore how to craft flexible front-end design patterns and make future-proof and accessible interfaces without extra effort. Hardcover, 312 pages. Get the book now →

Web Development Reading List #161: Restyling Form Elements, HTTP/2 HPACK, And The Empathy Vacuum

Are you afraid of refactoring code? I love refactoring code. It’s nice to see a code base growing, but this also means that new quirks and suboptimal changes are introduced along the way. At some point, you might realize that there could be a huge opportunity in rewriting the code — to eliminate conflicts or to rename things.

Web Development Reading List #161

For me, refactoring is both: It’s a challenge to master, but, in the end, also a relief to see how the code evolved. We can’t anticipate everything when we first build modules, and we shouldn’t try to do so either. So let’s not be afraid to set our hands to an already existing code base and improve our code over time instead.

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Brush Lettering: It Only Gets Better After Practice (Part 2)

In the first part of this article, we discussed the resurgence of lettering, we defined the differences between lettering, calligraphy, and typeface design, and we also discussed pens, papers, and other supplies. In this second part, I will share with you how I got started, my journey, and will also share specific tips on how to start. Let's get started.

Brush Lettering: It Only Gets Better After Practice (Part 2)

When I decided to practice lettering daily, I was a tad overwhelmed with the options: Crayola (there is even a term for it, crayligraphy), pointed pen, brushes, illustrative lettering, lettering, calligraphy (Copperplate and Spencerian), modern calligraphy, and so on. I did not know what to do or where to start.

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Freebie: Christmas Advent Icon Set (25 Icons, AI, EPS, SVG, PNG, PDF)

Are you ready for the countdown to Christmas? Today, we're merrily releasing a brand new Christmas Advent Icon Set, a set of 25 icons that are all available in AI, EPS, SVG, PNG and PDF formats. These icons were all designed and created by Manuela Langella and are free to be used in private as well as commercial projects.

Freebie: Christmas Advent Icon Set (25 Icons, AI, EPS, SVG, PNG, PDF)

You may modify the size, color or shape of the icons. No attribution is required, however, reselling of bundles or individual pictograms isn't cool. Please note that this icon set is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. We'd kindly like to ask you to provide credits to the creator and link to this article if you would like to spread the word about the freebie.

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New Smashing Book Getting The Sketch Workflow Right: Meet “The Sketch Handbook”

Do you use Sketch, too? If you're designing for the web today, you probably are. Well, we do, too, so we created The Sketch Handbook, our brand new Smashing book that will help you master all the tricky, advanced facets of Sketch. Filled with practical examples and tutorials in 12 chapters, the book will help you become more proficient and fast — with Sketch.

A photo of the new Sketch Handbook

Sketch offers a wealth of tools and features to make it the perfect application for today's designers: It lets you design interfaces, websites and icons with ease. To help you get the most out of this mighty tool, The Sketch Handbook will show you every aspect of it. Not in theory, but backed up by practical examples that you can follow along, step-by-step.

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Christmas Wallpaper Calendars: December 2016

New month, new wallpapers! To get you in the right mood for December, designers and artists from across the globe got their ideas bubbling and created unique and inspiring Christmas wallpaper calendars to deck your desktop. This monthly wallpapers mission has been going on for eight years now, and we are very thankful to everyone who challenges their artistic skills and contributes to it each month anew.

Christmas Wallpaper Calendars: December 2016

This post features desktop artwork for December 2016. Each wallpaper comes in versions with and without a calendar and can be downloaded for free. Now you only need to decide on your favorite!

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Enhancing Grid Design With GuideGuide, A Plugin For Photoshop And Illustrator

Almost five years ago, I had the honor of writing a post on Smashing Magazine about my Photoshop panel GuideGuide. Since then it has seen wild success as the most installed third-party Photoshop extension, an achievement I’m quite proud. In that time, I’ve added some powerful features and, most recently, expanded it to Illustrator. This post will give you a taste of how GuideGuide can change the way you use guides in Photoshop and Illustrator.

Enhancing Grid Design with GuideGuide, A Plugin For Photoshop And Illustrator

If you’re one of the many people who already use GuideGuide, please read on. You may discover some unconventional uses that are not immediately apparent. I’ll provide a overview of the major features, and then give some examples of advanced and unusual ways it can be used to make you a more efficient designer.

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How To Build A SpriteKit Game In Swift 3 (Part 1)

Have you ever wondered what it takes to create a SpriteKit game from beginning to beta? Does developing a physics-based game seem daunting? Game-making has never been easier on iOS since the introduction of SpriteKit.

How To Build A SpriteKit Game In Swift 3 (Part 1)

In this three-part series, we will explore the basics of SpriteKit. We will touch on SKPhysics, collisions, texture management, interactions, sound effects, music, buttons and SKScenes. What might seem difficult is actually pretty easy to grasp. Stick with us while we make RainCat.

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Web Development Reading List #160: Real Stories About HTTP/2, Cascading Style Sheets, And Code Of Shame

We have great new technology available to enhance our websites. But while theoretical articles explain well what the technologies do, we often struggle to find real use cases or details on how things worked out in actual projects.

Web Development Reading List #160

This week I stumbled across a couple of great posts that share exactly these precious real-life insights: stories about HTTP/2 implementation, experiences from using the Cascade of CSS in large-scale projects, and insights into employing Service Worker and BackgroundSync to build solid forms.

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Brush Lettering: It Only Gets Better After Practice (Part 1)

The resurgence of hand lettering, calligraphy, signage, penmanship, or really anything that is graphic and handmade is increasingly difficult to ignore. Along with letters drawn in any of the categories just mentioned, drawing, sketching, sketchnoting, and any hybrid style (combinations of the above) have also been gaining attention among designers, illustrators, and other professionals.

Brush Lettering: It Only Gets Better After Practice (Part 1)

A quick look around social media or simply googling lettering will quickly show impressive and notable work. Last year I deliberately started practicing brush lettering, meaning I had a dedicated time to practice exercises, write out words and practice letterforms.

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