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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.
The year has come to an end, and it has been a pretty eventful one. In particular, we’ve received so many more wallpapers than ever before: in total around 2000 submissions. Only a few of them made it past our final selection to be published on Smashing Magazine. We express our sincere gratitude to all of the designers who took the time to design and submit their work for the contest. We truly appreciate and respect the hard work you guys have put into your art!
To encourage you, our dear readers, to submit your artwork next year as well (here are the details), we have decided to present you with some of the best desktop wallpapers from 2010. You can vote for your favorites, and we will award the top five with someuseful, interestingdesignbooks. The winners will be determined by the number of “likes” they receive (you will find a button under each entry). Be warned, though: we will track any tampering and remove entries whose counters are in any case manipulated. Voting ends on Friday, the 17th of December, at 23:59 CET.
Designing and developing an e-commerce website takes a lot of brain power, knowledge and research before starting. Not only do you have to please your client with a beautiful layout and thoughtful structure, but you have to make your client’s customers easily understand what it’s all about; that is, you have to deliver a great user experience and high conversion rates. What that in mind, our brand new Smashing eBook is all about “How to Create Selling E-Commerce Websites.”
This eBook walks you through the process of preparing your e-commerce project, showing you what it takes to present merchandise beautifully and convincingly, and how to run valid and effective A/B and multivariate testing of various designs.
The eBook is a selection of the best articles on Smashing Magazine from 2009 and 2010 that deal with creating e-commerce websites. They have been carefully edited and prepared in PDF format and in ePUB and Mobipocket versions for compatible eBook readers, such as the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle. Some screenshots and links were removed in order to make the book easier to read and print.
Desktop wallpapers can serve as an excellent source of inspiration. However, if you use a specific wallpaper for a longer period of time, it becomes harder to draw inspiration out of it. That’s why we have decided to supply you with smashing wallpapers for over 12 months. To make them a little more distinctive than the usual crowd, we’ve decided to embed calendars for the upcoming month. So if you happen to be searching for a specific day of the month, isn’t it better to show off a nice wallpaper with a nice calendar instead of launching some default time application?
This post features 40 free desktop wallpapers, created by designers across the globe for December 2010. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free.
all images can be clicked on and lead to the preview of the wallpaper;
you can feature your work in our magazine by taking part in our desktop wallpaper calendar series. We are regularly looking for creative designers and artists to be featured on Smashing Magazine. Are you one of them?
So what wallpapers have we received for December 2010?
We've got some exciting news: the printed Smashing Book 2 is coming. We will launch pre-orders in January 2011 and will start shipping the book in February 2011. We are just putting the final touches on the brand new book, and we are confident that it will be a valuable, timeless and affordable book for you, our dear readers, and all designers and developers worldwide.
After much difficulty with the first book, we have learned our lessons: Smashing Book 2 will have a much better stitched binding, a hardcover, more pages and a bit larger in size.
It's not unusual for authors to dedicate their books to people they care about: loved ones, family or perhaps friends or colleagues. In our case, we would like to dedicate this new book to all of our readers: you.
We would like to print the names of our readers in the book. To do this, we have reserved a double-page on which we will print together all of the names of readers who comment on this article in the shape of the Smashing Magazine logo: ASCII art at its best! If necessary, we will add two more double-pages so that everyone fits.
Web typography has evolved a lot over the last years. Today we see rich, accessible typography, a plethora of type design choices for the web and a number of remarkable, type-based web designs. It's a great time for web design, and it's a great time for web typography. Still, being as excited as we are, we should not forget about the foundational principles of good type design on the web and use them properly within our projects. Great choice is good, but, most importantly, we should be making meaningful typographic choices in our designs.
In this post we present an extensive overview of educational resources, tools, articles, techniques and showcases all related to web typography. Please notice that the overview presents resources which we have stumbled upon, discovered, collected and reviewed over the last six months. This round-up is quite long, so save some time for a thorough study.
Feel free to make yourself a cup of tea or coffee right now because you'll be investing an hour or so in today's post. We've published our last icons round-up six months ago and since then we've collected over 50 new free high quality icon sets that you can use for your projects. While most freebies may be used for commercial projects as well, some of them may not. However, you could use all of them in your private projects. If the set is available for private use only, it's clearly indicated in the caption.
Please always read the disclaimers carefully before using the icons — they do change from time to time. We truly respect and appreciate the efforts and the hard work of designers of the icons featured below. Thank you for your contributions to the community, guys! Also, if you are planning to release a high quality freebie, please let us know via Twitter or by contacting us using our contact form — we would love to feature you on Smashing Magazine!
Web designers know that their industry tends to change very quickly. Continuous adaptation and development of skills are necessary in order to always stay up to date. Over the past few years, mobile web usage has increased to a point where web designers can no longer afford to ignore it. As a result, web designers have a growing need to be educated in this area and to be ready to design websites that accommodate their audience. Consequently, our brand new Smashing eBook is dedicated to "Mobile Design for iPhone and iPad".
This e-book presents articles on professional mobile design for the iPhone as well as the iPad, including studies of trends in mobile design and guidelines for the development of mobile web pages. These articles are mostly a selection of the best from Smashing Magazine in 2009 and 2010, dealing with mobile design for the iPhone and iPad, plus an exclusive 90-page study about mobile web design trends. They have been carefully edited and are available as a PDF, ePub and Mobipocket.
There are tools that make our lives much easier. However, finding those obscure time-savers which would save time in every single project isn't easy and requires a lot of time. At Smashing Magazine, we are regularly looking for such useful tools, gather them, review them and eventually prepare for a truly smashing round-up. Such posts are quite lengthy and extensive, but they are always worth checking out.
In this post, you'll find an overview of useful and handy tools that can help you increase your productivity and improve your workflow. Some tools are more general, the others are more technical, yet we hope that this round-up has something to offer to every one of our readers. Please feel free to leave your comments and share with us which one of the tools you've found most useful and interesting.
Lately, Apple Keynote has been gaining popularity among designers as a wireframing and prototyping tool. Features like multiple slide masters, styles, grouping, animation and hyperlinks make it ideal for crafting interactive prototypes and UI narratives. Today's freebie, Keynotopia, is a free set of interface elements for Keynote that makes it possible for anyone to create these prototypes in minutes. All elements are hand-crafted in Apple Keynote, and organized in nested groups for easier manipulation and customization. The templates can be used in Keynote 09 and 08 and are designed by Amir Khella.
Start with a blank presentation, and create a new slide for each application screen. Then copy/paste elements from the wireframe templates into your slides, and edit their labels, sizes and colors. To save time, group elements together, and use master slides to share common interface and navigation components across multiple screens. Finally, add hyperlinks to enable user interaction, and use slide transitions to create cool interface animations.