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75 Instructive Design Case Studies

Unlike many other industries, the web design community is all about sharing knowledge and experience. Each of us is very lucky to be part of such a great and useful learning environment, and it is up to us to embrace it — to embrace our learning experiences, and also to embrace our ability to share.

design case studies

Not only are case studies a great way to explain the design process of an agency, but they also help designers and developers to learn from each other. Seeing how designers work, create, build and play is great, and furthermore, you can learn how to write a great case study yourself and how to use one to spice up your portfolio1.

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

In this overview of useful case studies, we’ve featured studies that have recounted decisions made about particular design elements, as well as studies of full overhauls and their accompanying technical challenges. Most of them provide interesting insights into failures and successes, stories, workflows and design decisions made and rejected.

We must admit that this post is quite a long one, so we’ve decided to divide it into two parts to make it easier for you to navigate. Now you should be well prepared for a couple of late reading sessions over the next weekends!

Illustration, Graphics And Logo Design

Illustrator Full Spectrum Spirograph5,” Veerle Pieters
Pieters talks about her experimentation process with spirographs, inspired by the work of Andy Gilmore.

Illustrator full spectrum spirograph6

The Design Process of my Infographic About Women Cycling for Grinta!7,” Veerle Pieters
Pieters shares her experience of the design process behind the infographic on women’s cycling that she produced for Grinta magazine.

Grinta!: Design process of my infographic8

A Systematic Approach to Logo Design9,” Adham Dannaway
Icon design can be time-consuming. Dannaway shows how to systematically approach a new logo design.

Petra Capital: A systematic approach to logo design10

(Re)building a Simplified Firefox Logo11,” Sean Martell
Learn how Firefox’s logo was simplified to better fit its extended usage beyond a desktop web browser.

Firefox: (Re)building a simplified logo12

Five Details13,” Jon Hicks
Jon Hicks shares the design process behind the Five Details Logo, including the design and choice of typography.

Five Details: Logo design study14

Iconfinder Logo15,” SoftFacade
SoftFacade completely reimagined Iconfinder’s existing identity and came up with a shiny and modern robot character. View the detailed design process.

Iconfinder: Logo Case Study16

“The Great Gatsby”
Like Minded Studio collaborated on the branding of “The Great Gatsby“. The aim was to develop a bespoke Deco styled logo reflective of the roaring 20s and Fitzgerald’s masterpiece. They also created a display typeface to acompany the main branding. Additionally read more about it following this link.17

gatsby

Whitney Graphic Identity18,” Experimental Jetset
In this case study of the Whitney Museum of Art’s logo, Experimental Jetset discusses the impact that a responsive logo can have on branding.

Whitney Graphic Identity19

My ‘Tour de France’ posters20,” Veerle Pieters
Pieters created posters for the 100th edition of the Tour of France. She mainly used the French landscape which she had used for the ‘Tour de France Infographic’ as a starting point.

Tour de France posters21

Typography

Type study: Sizing the legible letter

Designing Type Systems22,” Peter Bil’ak
To create truly useful designs, typographers need to examine not only how characters relate to each other within a style, but also how different styles relate to each other within a family. Peter Bil’ak discusses how to achieve this.

Designing type systems23

Novel Constructions: The Making of a Typeface24,” Christopher Dunst
Dunst shares the process behind the creation of the “Novel” typeface.

Novel Constructions | I love typography, the typography and fonts blog25

The Development of the Signage Typeface Wayfinding Sans Pro26,” Ralf Herrmann
Herrmann describes the development of the Wayfinding Sans Pro, a signage typeface that can be read from a long distance.

The design of a signage typeface | I love typography, the typography and fonts blog27

The Making of FF Tundra28,” Ludwig Übele
Übele shares the process behing making the FF Tundra typeface, which was highly inspired by nature.

The making of FF Tundra29

The Making of Magasin30,” Laura Meseguer
Meseguer writes how she created Magasin, a typefaces inspired by fluid handwriting.

Magasin: The making of31

“Type Study” series, Adobe Typekit
Typekit features a whole series of case studies of typography:

Usability

Social Login Buttons Aren’t Worth It39,” MailChimp
Social login buttons are used by many apps today. MailChimp shares its own experience and considerations in using social login buttons.

MailChimp: Social Login Buttons Aren’t Worth It40

Usability in Icons41,” Peter Steen Høgenhaug
Icons are used to illustrate a particular function, anything from information to actions. This article explains what needs to be considered when designing them.

Usability in Icons | Stiern42

“iOS Icon Design: A Designer’s Exploration,”
iOS icon design is not only difficult, but requires a lot of experimentation. David Killoy shares his experience of designing the icon for his note-taking app Notorious.

Notorious: iOS icon design - A designers exploration

The Making of Octicons43,” GitHub
Octicons is a icon font made by GitHub. Five designers collaborated on the project, and they share how they built Octicons and what they learned along the way.

GitHub: The Making of Octicons44

Designing Facebook Home45,” Julie Zhuo
On May 8th, the designers behind Facebook Home (Justin Stahl, Francis Luu, Joey Flynn and Mac Tyler) presented a behind-the-scenes look at their work at the Bluxome Street Winery for a small crowd.

Designing Facebook Home46

Advertising, Promotion And E-Commerce

How to Make Your Own App Promo Cards47,” Mike Swanson
Swanson was inspired by Starbuck’s promo cards for giving away free apps and decided to make his own for an upcoming event. Learn how you can do one, too!

How to Make Your Own App Promo Cards48

The Art of Launching an App49,” John Casey
You’ve made your first app! Now what? This study covers some tactics and lessons learned during one process of launching an app.

The Art Of Launching An App: A Case Study | Smashing UX Design50

How to Launch Anything51,” Nathan Barry
Barry has launched five products in fewer than nine months. Read about the strategy that helped him generate over $200,000 in revenue from online products, starting from scratch.

launch-anything52

Selling My E-Book on Amazon53,” Jonathan Snook
Several people predicted that 2013 would be the year of self-publishing. Snook shares insight into his eBook sales on Amazon.

Increase Online Sales on Your Ecommerce Website54,”
Headscape increased sales on Wiltshire Farmfoods’ e-commerce website by over 10,000% in only five years. What makes it even more special, the target audience is over 50 years old. Paul Boag shares his experience.

Twitter Promoted Tweets55,” MailChimp
MailChimp has made use of Twitter’s promoted tweets and shares insight into this experience.

Redesigning Elements And Features

Visual Exploration Behind Signal vs. Noise56,” Mig Reyes
37signals share the process behind making its blog special. This study is about how the company visualized noise and styled its blog categories in a unique way.

37signals: Visual Exploration behind Signal vs. Noise57

Reinventing Our Default Profile Pictures 58,” Jamie
Jamie talks about the process of finding the right default profile pictures for the 37signals website. It’s a great new approach to a very basic element.

37signals: Reinventing our Default Profile Pictures 59

Login Screen Design: Behind the Scenes60,” Simon Tabor
Good UX is not just about the main content, but also about little details such as log-in (and error) pages. GoSquared shares how it made its log-in experience exceptional.

GoSquared Blog: Login Screen Design and UX61

Save for Later62,” Brian Groudan
All browsers support two functions: searching and revisiting. Groudan worked closely with Mozilla’s user experience researchers and designers to rethink how Firefox could better offer “saving for later” functionality in the browser.

Mozilla UX: Save For Later63

A Closer Look at Zoom64,” FiftyThree
FiftyThree shares the design process behind the new zoom feature in its Paper app.

Paper: A closer look at zoom65

Reinventing the Investment Calculator66,” Alex Bendiken
Drawing from the book Money for Something, Alex Bendiken built a tool that lets users experiment and create a unique investment plan. It’s a UX study in turning a boring financial calculator into something you’d actually want to use.

Reinventing the investment calculator67

Getting Down to Business68,” Teenhan+Lax
The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper of record. It serves millions of readers everyday with in-depth journalism and informed comment. Learn how Teenhan+Lax helped refresh and enrich the way users experience and engage with the news today.

The Globe And Mail69

Olympics: User Experience and Design70,” Nick Haley
Nick Haley shares the BBC’s design process of delivering the Olympics across desktop, tablet, mobile and connected TV.

BBC Olympics: User Experience and Design71

How We Built the Responsive Olympics Site72,” Matt Clark
Matt Clark writes about MSN UK’s approach to delivering the Olympics digitally, from the brief to the finished design.

How we built MSN UK's responsive Olympics site73

The Anatomy Of A Successful Logo Redesign74,” Belinda Lanks
Lanks summarizes how Jessica Hische had freshened up the new logo for MailChimp with a slight facelift. The new logo now looks new and fresh — more refined but just as playful.

The Anatomy Of A Successful Logo Redesign75

What I Want Out of Facebook76,” Keenan Cummings
Cummings explains why Facebook fails him and what he wants to get out of it that would make it useful for his personal life.

Field Study: What I Want Out of Facebook77

In Praise of Lost Time78,” Dan Hill
Dan Hill talks about Facebook’s Timeline as an exemplary bit of interaction design that does little to advance the timeline formally. Yet it might alter the nature of human memory itself.

Facebook Timeline: In praise of lost time79

“Designing the new, fully responsive Wired.co.uk article pages,” Javier Ghaemi
This article is about redesigning the Wired.co.uk article website to provide a more content-first and immersive experience.

wired

Complete (Re)branding And (Re)design

How to Approach a Responsive Design80,” Tito Bottitta
This article shows the design process behind The Boston Globe’s website, one of the most famous examples of responsive designs. Read about how Upstatement approached its first responsive design.

How to Approach a Responsive Design81

Responsive Design Case Study82,” Matt Berridge
This case study outlines the entire process of constructing the South Tees Hospitals’ website, a large responsive design containing over a thousand pages.

South Tees Hospital: Responsive Design case study83

Rebuilding a University Homepage to Be Responsive. Twice. In Less Than a Year84,” Erik Runyon
This slideshow discusses how and why Notre Dame University’s home page was rebuilt twice in less than a year. You will find a recording of the talk below the slides.

Rebuilding a university homepage to be 85

“Yes, You Really Can Make Complex Web Apps Responsive,” Daniel Wearne
Wearne shares his experience in creating Adioso’s web app, a complex yet accessible project. He covers the framework, responsive mixins, tables and future challenges.

Adioso: Yes, you really can make complex web apps responsive

Designing a New Playground Brand86,” Ryan Bannon
This case study shows the design process of Playground’s new brand. It covers the logo, overall website and vector animation process, as well as the core values and personality of the company. The extensive study comes in three parts.

Playground: Designing a New Playground Brand87

How House Parties Helped Us Design Potluck88,” Cemre Güngör
The team at Potluck describes how it took inspiration from reality to design a “house party on the Internet.”

How house parties helped us design Potluck89

Colorado Identity90,” Berger & Föhr
Imagine someone hiring you to define your own identity. Berger & Föhr was hired to help create the new identity and visual brand of Colorado, the place they call home. Have a look at the work and logo they came up with.

Making Colorado91

Building the New Financial Times Web App92,” Wilson Page
Page talks about building the Financial Times’ new app, a challenge that many on his team believed to be impossible. He covers device support, fixed-height layouts, truncation, modularization, reusable components, Retina support, native-like scrolling, offline support and the topic of ever-evolving apps.

Building The New Financial Times Web App93

Google Treasure Maps94,” Alex Griendling
Griendling writes about the design process behind Google Maps’ treasure mode.

Google Treasure Maps: About the design process95

Find Your Way to Oz96,” HTML5 Rocks
This very detailed case study looks at the “Find Your Way to Oz” demo, a Google Chrome experiment by Disney. It covers sprite sheets, Retina support, 3-D content and more.

Case Study: Find Your Way to Oz - HTML5 Rocks97

The Making of the Moscow Metro Map 2.098,” Art Lebedev Studio
This study is about the design process behind the Moscow Metro map, a complex project that needed to meet the requirements of both Web and print.

The making of the Moscow Metro Map 2.099

Skinny Ties and Responsive eCommerce100,” Brendan Falkowski
Read and learn how GravDept redesigned Skinny Ties’ creative and technical direction to propel shopping on every device.

Skinny Ties: Responsive eCommerce101

The Design Thinking Behind the New Disney.com102,” Bobby Solomon
Solomon shares the process of creating a Disney website that is flexible enough to showcase the widest range of offerings imaginable — in other words, a website that can do everything.

Disney: The design thinking behind the new online presence103

Say Hello to the New ISO104,” Andy Clarke
Clarke and David Roessli redesigned the website of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and share their experience.

Say hello to the new ISO105

A Responsive Design Case Study106,” David Bushell
The redesign of Passenger Focus takes advantage of the Web as an unique medium.

PassengerfocusA Responsive Design Case Study – David Bushell107

BBC News: Responsive Web Design and Mustard108,” Kaelig Deloumeau-Prigent
These slides address the core principles and the “cutting the mustard” technique behind the BBC News’ responsive website.

BBC News: Responsive Web Design and Mustard109

The Trello Tech Stack110,” Brett Kiefer
Read the process behind the Trello app, from initial mockup to a solid server and maintainable client.

Trello: The Trello Tech Stack111

Responsibly Responsive: Developing the Greenbelt Website112,” Rachel Andrew
Andrew writes about her front-end design decisions in rebuilding the Greenbelt Festival’s website.

Greenbelt: Responsibly Responsive website development113

The Digital-Physical: On Building Flipboard for iPhone and Finding the Edges of Our Digital Narratives114,” Craig Mod
Mod walks through the process of building the Flipboard app for iPhone and of finding the edges of its digital narratives.

The Digital?Physical: On building Flipboard for iPhone and Finding Edges for Our Digital Narratives115

Page-Flip Effect From 20 Things I Learned116,” Hakim El Hattab
This study shows how this team found the best way to achieve the feeling of a real-world book, while leveraging the benefits of the digital realm in areas such as navigation.

20 thiCase Study: Page Flip Effect from 20thingsilearned.com117

Six Key Lessons From a Design Legend118,” Kapil Kale
The GiftRocket team eventually recruited Mike Kus as a designer. This article shows why that decision took their website to the next level.

Six Key Lessons from a Design Legend (a before-and-after) | GiftRocket Blog119

Breaking The Rules: A UX Case Study120,” Laura Klein
Klein shows how she broke all rules to create the great UX for Outright.

Outright: Breaking The Rules - A UX Case Study121

7 UX Considerations When Designing Lens Hawk122,” Christian Holst
Lens Hawk is a massive DSLR lens database. This article shares seven UX considerations that were made in its design process.

Lens Hawk: 7 UX Considerations123

The Story of the New Microsoft.com124,” Nishant Kothary
Kothary shares his insight into making Microsoft’s new website. Also, check out Trent Walton’s perspective on the redesign125.

The Story of the New Microsoft.com126

Behind the Scenes of the New Kippt127,” Gannon Burgett
This interview about the work behind the new Kippt app covers the redesign process, the design principles and problems that the team faced, insights into the new era of web app design, and where Kippt will head in the future.

New Kippt: Behind The Scenes128

Crayola: Free the ‘What If’129,” Daniel Mall
Dan Mall has put together a case study of the creation of the new Crayola application for kids.

Crayola: Free the 130

Campus Quad iPhone App131,” Soft Facade
Soft Facade covers every aspects of the design process behind its Campus Quad app.

Campus Quad: iPhone App Case Study132

How to Make a Vesper: Design133,” Vesper
Learn how the Vesper app was designed and made.

Vesper: How to Make a Vesper: Design134

Betting on a Fully Responsive Web Application135,” 14islands
Read about how 14islands took the web app for Kambi, a sports-betting service, to the next level.

Kambi: Betting on a fully responsive web application136

AMMO Rack App Design Critique137,” Alexander Komarov
An interesting study of the feedback process that improved the AMMO Rack app.

AMMO Rack: App Design Critique138

Walking Through the Design Process139,” Ian Storm Taylor
Taylor walks you through the design process of Segment.io, including the progression of mockups in Photoshop.

Segment.io: Walking Through the Design Process140

Music Video ‘Lights’: The Latest WebGL Sensation141,” Carlos Ulloa
Interactive studio HelloEnjoy built a mind-blowing 3-D music video for Ellie Goulding’s song “Lights.” Creative director Carlos Ulloa explains why the team chose WebGL and how it created various immersive graphic effects.

Music video 'Lights': the latest WebGL sensation!142

Designing for Designers143,” Kyle Meyer
Designing for other designers is different than working for regular clients. Kyle Meyer shares his experience.

Adapting to a Responsive Design144,” Matt Gibson
Cyber-Duck abandoned its separate mobile website and created a new responsive design.

Cyber-Duck: Adapting To A Responsive Design145

Grids, Flexibility and Responsiveness146,” Laura Kalbag
Kalbag shares her thoughts on the redesign of her own website, including her choice of typefaces.

Laura Kalbag: Grids, flexibility and responsiveness147

Making of Typespiration148,” Rafal Tomal
Rafal Tomal built Typespiration as a side project. Learn about the process from initial idea to finished WordPress website.

Typespiration: Making of149

Case Studies150,” Fi
Design firm Fi has integrated case studies into its portfolio. The studies are very interactive and beautifully designed. Here are four of them:

Fi Case studies155

Content And Storytelling

Step-By-Step Landing Page Copywriting156,” Nathan Barry
The process of writing great copy for a landing page is covered step by step.

Step-By-Step Landing Page Copywriting | Nathan Barry157

The Art Of Storytelling Around An App158,” John Casey
This case study is about the art of storytelling in the app “The House That Went on Strike.”

The Art Of Storytelling Around An App159

“Rethinking the Case Study,” Christopher Butler
Butler explains what case studies are for and what a great one looks like, and he lays out a practical plan for writing one.

Rethinking the Case Study

Retiring The Portfolio Screenshot160,” James Young
You’ve probably noticed that portfolios nowadays are packed with detailed analysis, rather than screenshots. Take yours to the next level and learn how to create an amazing portfolio (such as the ones featured in this post).

Retiring The Portfolio Screenshot161

“Responsibly Leveraging Advanced Web Features,” Ryan Heap
Heap tells us about his full responsive redesign of Travois, a consulting firm focused on housing and economic development. The study includes topics such as progressive enhancement, responsive and responsible Web design, SVG, and the HTML5 History API.

My Notes on Writing an E-Book162,” Jonathan Snook
Several people have suggested that 2013 is the year of self-publishing. Jonathan Snook shares his process of writing and digital publishing.

Technical Challenges And Solutions

Beating Borders: The Bane of Responsive Layout163,” Joshua Johnson
Responsive design often requires setting widths in percentages. This is easy enough, until borders are thrown into the mix.

Beating Borders: The Bane of Responsive Layout164

How We Improved Page Speed by Cleaning CSS, HTML and Images165,” Lara Swanson
Page-loading time is a big part of the user experience. Dyn shows how it improved it simply by cleaning up the CSS, HTML and images.

How We Improved Page Speed By Cleaning CSS, HTML and Images166

Mein Honig – Brand Identity167,” Thomas Lichtblau
“My Honey makes people and bees happy. And if they are happy, nature is happy too.” This simple yet beautiful statement belongs to Mein Honig (My Honey), a personal project of Thomas Lichtblau from Austria. Thomas shares fascinating insights about a production, banding and packaging process in which he only used colorless, organic and traditional tools and materials.

meinhonig_2_mini168

Front-End Performance Case Study: GitHub169,” JP Castro
Castro analyzes the front-end performance of GitHub and shares his findings.

GitHub: Front End Performance Case Study170

iPad to Windows Store App171,” Bart Claeys and Qixing Zheng
This case study helps designers and developers who are familiar with iOS to reimagine their apps using design principles for Windows Store apps. Translate common UI and UX patterns found in iPad apps to Windows 8 apps.

Design case study: iPad to Windows Store app (Windows)172

Behind the Scenes of Mad Manimation173,” Anthony Calzadilla
Here is the process behing the Mad Manimation, an HTML- and CSS-based animation of the introduction to the Mad Men TV show. View the finished project.174

Mad Manimation: Behind the Scenes175

Embedding Canvas and SVG Charts in Emails176,” Thomas Fuchs
Learn how to use embedded canvas and SVG charts in email.

Freckle: Embedding Canvas and SVG charts in emails177

Scaling Pinterest From 0 to 10s of Billions of Page Views a Month in Two Years178,” Todd Hoff
This case study traces the evolution of Pinterest’s architecture, which was scaling fast, with a lot of incorrect choices made along the way

Scaling Pinterest - From 0 to 10s of Billions of Page Views a Month in Two Years179

How We Built a Photoshop Extension With HTML, CSS and JS180,” Brian Reavis
Creative Market’s extension is a Backbone.js Web app that lives inside of Photoshop. The team can update it without the user having to install an update. How does that work? Read up on it!

 Creative Market: How We Built a Photoshop Extension181

Batch Processing Millions and Millions of Images182,” Mike Brittain
Etsy wanted to redesign a few of its major sections and had to rescale over 135 million images in order to do it.

Etsy: Batch Processing Millions and Millions of Images183

Making 100,000 Stars184,” Michael Chang
Chang writes about 100,000 Stars, an experience for Chrome that was built with Three.js and CSS3D.

Making 100,000 Stars - HTML5 Rocks185

Mastering the Application Cache Manifest for Offline Web Apps and Performance186,” Julien Nicault
Nicault, who work on Cinémur, a new social film app, describes how to use AppCache to improve performance and enable offline usage of Web apps

Cinémur: Mastering the Application Cache Manifest for Offlin187

Harvey: A Second Face for Your JavaScript188,” Joschka Kintscher
Responsive design often requires drastic UI changes. This study shows how to execute parts of your JavaScript depending on the device’s type and screen size.

Harvey: A Second Face for Your JavaScript 189

Our First Node.js App: Backbone on the Client and Server190,” Spike Brehm
The team at Airbnb has been curious about Node.js for a long time, but used it only for odds and ends. See how they used it on a production-scale project.

airbnb191

Making a 60fps Mobile App192,” Paul Lewis
Paul Lewis shows you how to make a mobile app that has 60fps at all times, does one thing really well, has offline support and a flat UI.

Making a 60fps Mobile App193

The Making of the Interactive Treehouse Ad194,” Chris Coyier
Treehouse is the primary sponsor of CSS-Tricks, and this case study looks at its interactive ad using jQuery.

Improve Mobile Support With Server-Side-Enhanced Responsive Design195,” Jon Arne Sæterås
This is an analysis of the process of finding the right mix between server-side and client-side logic for adaptive Web design.

“Designing an Instant Interface,” Luke Wroblewski
Wroblewski shows how to design the instant interface used for the real-time views, real-time notifications and real-time comments on Bagcheck’s website.

Lessons in Website Security Anti-Patterns by Tesco196,” Troy Hunt
Hunt looks closely at the many simple security errors Tesco makes, analyzing how he would apply basic security principles to remedy them.

Refactoring >14,000 Lines of CSS Into Sass197,” Eugene Fedorenko
Beanstalk is a mature product whose CSS grew accordingly to 5 files, 14,211 lines and 290 KB of code. Learn how the team rebuilt its style sheets into something cleaner and easier to maintain.

“Refinder: Test-Driven Development,” Maciej Pasternacki
These slides show how test-driven development enabled Gnowsis to reimplement Refinder’s basic data model.

“Managing JavaScript on Responsive Websites,” Jeremy Fields
Jeremy Fields of Viget talks about how to manage JavaScript on a website whose interface and functionality changes at different breakpoints.

Trimming the Fat198,” Paul Robert Lloyd
Lloyd walks through the performance optimizations he made for his website, trimming the page load from 383 to 100 KB. He also shows graphs.

Workflow And Optimization

Visual Design Explorations199,” Paul Lloyd
Lloyd of Clearleft talks about how to maintain knowledge-sharing and collaboration on a growing team.

Visual design explorations200

The Anatomy of an Experience Map201,” Chris Risdon
Experience maps are becoming increasingly useful for gaining insight in order to orchestrate service touch points over time and space. This study explains what they are and how to create them.

The Anatomy of an Experience Map202

The design process of my infographic for the ‘Tour of France’ for Grinta!203,” Veerle Pieters
Pieters designed an infographic about the Tour of France, and focused mainly on the question, “What does a pro cycling team take with them to the Tour of France?”

tour-of-france-grinta_mini204

Turning Small Projects Into Big Profit205,” Jon Savage and Simon Birky Hartmann
Ace of Spade discusses how it overhauled its operations and started making a living off of small projects.

Turning Small Projects Into Big Profit, A Case Study206

“What We’ve Learned About Responsive Design,” Christopher Butler
Butler shares what his agency has learned about responsive design, which is to overcome initial fears and focus on what is important.

What We've Learned About Responsive Design

“The Modular Canvas: A Pragmatic Workflow for Designing Applications,” by Gabriel O’Flaherty-Chan
There are some gaps in the way we work; the bigger the project, the more glaring the gaps become. O’Flaherty-Chan looks at a better workflow for designing apps.

workflow-app

How We Reduced Our Cancellation Rate by 87.5%207,” Kareem Mayan
Kareem Mayan tackles the issue of user cancellations by using a cohort analysis. Learn how he did it.

How I Run a Membership Site208,” Justin Tadlock
This study looks at how Theme Hybrid handles memberships after registration and payment.

“Post-Implementation, Pre-Launch: A Crucial Checkpoint,” Mindy Wagner
Wagner of Viget discusses how to approach the time of post-implementation and pre-launch, a crucial checkpoint that can create a lot of stress for a team.

A New Make Mantra: A Statement of Design Intent 209,” Mark Boulton
Mark Boulton used the CERN redesign project as an occasion to define a new “make” mantra that would help him tackle projects. This single, actionable sentence would guide him through projects.

100 Conversion Optimization Case Studies210,” KISSmetrics
Lots of techniques and tactics to optimize your website for better conversions shared by marketers.

Responsive Design Link

Responsive Design and ROI: Observations From the Coalface211,” Chris Berridge
Working on the frontline, Berridge share his insights on responsive design and returns on investment.

cxpartners:Responsive Design & ROI – observations from the c212

Making Your Site Responsive: Mastering Real-World Constraints213,” Alex Fedorov
Listen to how agency Fresh Tilled Soil addressed real-world constraints, such as resources, time and budget, in its responsive design process.

Making Your Site Responsive — Mastering Real-World Constraints214

Goals, Constraints, and Concept in a Redesign215,” Steven Bradley
Some thoughts on the redesign of Vanseo Design.

Goals, Constraints, And Concept In A Redesign - Vanseo Design216

How a Simple Redesign Increased Customer Feedback by 65%217,” James Santilli
Customer feedback is the backbone of many Web services. Campaign Monitor analyzed the process behind a simple redesign that increased customer feedback by 65%.

How a simple redesign increased customer feedback by 65%218

More on Apples: Mobile Optimization in Ecommerce219,” Electric Pulp
This study analyzes how both mobile and non-mobile conversions went up when Electric Pulp redesigned a website to be responsive.

“How I’m Implementing Responsive Web Design,” Jeff Croft
Croft is finally at the point where responsive design feels worth the extra effort. Read about how he got there.

Last Click

Mentoring: The Evaluation220,” Laura Kalbag
Freelancers are often offered projects whose budget is below their rate. Laura Kalbag had a fantastic idea on how to transform these kind of projects into a win-win: She decided to mentor a group of students. Such a project would give the students an opportunity to gain valuable experience and help them transition into freelancing, and the client would get good quality work, despite the modest budget. This series of posts describes her experience, from initial idea to launched project.

Mentoring a Project221

(al) (il) (ea)

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2012/11/06/retiring-portfolio-screenshot/
  2. 2 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/09/showcase-of-case-studies-in-design-portfolios/
  3. 3 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/11/15-impressive-case-studies-behance/
  4. 4 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/09/improving-smashing-magazine-performance-case-study/
  5. 5 http://veerle.duoh.com/design/article/illustrator_full_spectrum_spirograph
  6. 6 http://veerle.duoh.com/design/article/illustrator_full_spectrum_spirograph
  7. 7 http://veerle.duoh.com/design/article/the_design_process_of_my_infographic_about_women_cycling_for_grinta
  8. 8 http://veerle.duoh.com/design/article/the_design_process_of_my_infographic_about_women_cycling_for_grinta
  9. 9 http://www.adhamdannaway.com/blog/branding/a-systematic-approach-to-logo-design
  10. 10 http://www.adhamdannaway.com/blog/branding/a-systematic-approach-to-logo-design
  11. 11 http://blog.seanmartell.com/2013/06/27/rebuilding-a-simplified-firefox-logo/
  12. 12 http://blog.seanmartell.com/2013/06/27/rebuilding-a-simplified-firefox-logo/
  13. 13 http://hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/five-details
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Former Smashing Editor Melanie completed her degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Otago University, and is now freelancer and part-time politician. She's interested in many things like writing, web design, travelling and fire brigade, and tweets as @mel_in_media.

  1. 1

    I must say that Typography is certainly a key aspect of modern design. Thanks for the share!

    2
  2. 2

    Great set of references, thank you!

    1
  3. 3

    Another great example of this is Splinters ( http://www.splinter.co.uk ) insight into creating a series of Bitesize games for the BBC — http://www.splinter.co.uk/inside-the-world-of-bitesize/

    1
  4. 4

    Christopher Butler

    July 19, 2013 4:28 pm

    Hey, great piece! And thanks for linking to my “Rethinking the Case Study” article :)

    0
  5. 5

    Fantastic! Thanks so much! This is why I love this industry. You’ve inspired me to share some work of my own, thank you!

    0
  6. 6

    Great stuff, thanks for all these nice articles to read.

    0
  7. 7

    Well, this article could’ve been cut by half to be honest as some of the things are quite obvious for the average designer…

    However the ‘logo/icon’ approach was pretty cool, thanks for the post.

    0
  8. 8
  9. 9

    Greatest.
    Post.
    Ever.

    1
  10. 10

    Mandy Raasch

    July 24, 2013 9:19 am

    Wow, thanks for this post – this is super interesting and helpful!

    1
  11. 11

    Invaluable post – thanks so much – this will keep me busy for awhile!

    1
  12. 12

    Clay Asbury

    July 26, 2013 4:50 am

    I like MailChimp a lot. It’s a killer app…file under nitpick:

    I use MC about twice a month personally and usually set it up for clients…but, it still takes me 10 clicks to locate my API when I need it. A search within MC dashboard takes you to explanation of what an API is rather than the APIs themselves.

    If usability was their goal, this key functionality needs to be made more prominent.

    1
  13. 13

    Impressive article!

    1
  14. 14

    So much information in here! really reminds me of why I got into this sort of work in the first place. Collaboration and Imagination

    2
  15. 15

    Nikhil Malhotra

    July 31, 2013 9:38 pm

    Great article!! Reading others case study always helps in improving ones own process. It gives insight in what we are doing correct and what are we doing wrong.

    0

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