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Cosima has been an editor at SmashingMag since 2013. Whenever she's not writing articles for the bi-weekly Smashing Newsletter or the Quick Tips series, she’s probably working on a new Smashing eBook.

Blooming Colors And A Bit Of Magic: Wallpapers To Get Your Ideas Springing (April 2017 Edition)

Time is running! The first quarter of the year lies already behind us and a new season is in full swing. But no matter if April means blooming colors and embracing the warmer weather in your part of the world or getting cozy for autumn, our new batch of desktop wallpapers is bound to cater for some fresh inspiration regardless of that.

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars April 2017

We’ve been on this mission to bring you unique wallpaper calendars each month anew for eight years already, and we are very thankful to all the designers and artists who keep it running by diligently contributing their artworks to it. This post features their works for April 2017. All wallpapers come in versions with and without a calendar and can be downloaded for free. Now could there be a better occasion for a little inspiration kick?

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Free Sparkly Icons To (Literally) Make Your Designs Shine (30 Icons, EPS, SVG)

What would life be without surprises? Pretty plain, wouldn’t you agree? Today, we are happy to announce a freebie that bubbles over with its friendly optimistic spirit, bound to sprinkle some unexpected sparks of delight into your projects: Ballicons 3. If that name rings a bell, well, it’s the third iteration of the previous Ballicons icon set created by the folks at Pixel Buddha.

Ballicons 3

This icon set covers a vibrant potpourri of subjects, 30 icons ranging from nature, travel and leisure motifs to tech and office. All icons are available in five formats (AI, EPS, PSD, SVG, and PNG) so you can resize and customize them until they match your project’s visual style perfectly. No matter if you like it bright and bubbly or rather sleek and simple — the set has the makings to become a real allrounder in your digital tool belt.

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Hibernation Time Is Over! Inspiring Desktop Wallpapers To Fuel Your Creativity (March 2017)

Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration kick to get our creative juices flowing. Maybe your secret is to go for a short walk, have a little chat with a colleague, or scroll through your favorite eye candy resources. Whatever it might be that helps you get new ideas, we, too, have something for you that could work just as good: desktop wallpapers.

Hibernation Time Is Over! Inspiring Desktop Wallpapers To Fuel Your Creativity

To bring you a regular dose of unique and inspiring wallpapers, we embarked on our monthly wallpapers mission eight years ago. Each month, artists and designers from across the globe diligently contribute their works to it. And well, it wasn’t any different this time around. This post features their artwork for March 2017. The wallpapers all come in versions with and without a calendar. Time to freshen up your desktop!

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Free Fonts With Personality And Style

The sharing spirit in the design community is remarkable. Designers spend countless hours on side projects and without asking for anything in return, they share their creations freely with the community. Just to give something back, to inspire and to support fellow folks in their work.

30 Free Fonts With Personality And Style

When working on a project yourself, freebies like these can come to the rescue when you have to get along on a tight budget, but, more often that that, they simply are the missing piece that’ll make your design complete.

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From The Design Community With Love: Unique And Inspiring Desktop Wallpapers (February 2017)

Time flies by! February is already here and artists and designers from across the globe have once again diligently created a potpourri of unique wallpaper calendars to freshen up your desktop. This monthly wallpapers mission has been going on for eight years already and we are very thankful to all the creative minds who challenge their skills and contribute to it each month anew.

From The Design Community With Love: Unique And Inspiring Desktop Wallpapers

This post features their desktop artwork for February 2017. The wallpapers all come in versions with and without a calendar and can be downloaded for free. Now there’s only one question left to answer: Which one will make it to your desktop this month?

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Quick Tips Tech Advent Calendars For Web Designers And Developers In 2016

With the holidays almost here and the new year already in sight, December is a time to slow down, an occasion to reflect and plan ahead. To help us escape the everyday hectic for a bit and sweeten our days with a delightful little surprise each day up to Christmas, the web community has assembled some fantastic advent calendars this year. They cater for a daily dose of web design and development goodness with stellar articles, inspiring experiments, and even puzzles to solve.

Advent Calendars For Web Folks

To make the choice of which ones to follow a bit easier, we collected a selection of advent calendars in this Quick Tip for you. No matter if you’re a front-end dev, UX designer, or content strategist, we’re certain you’ll find something to inspire you for the upcoming year. So prepare yourself a nice cup of coffee, cozy up in your favorite chair and, well, enjoy!

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Winter- And Holiday-Inspired Icon Sets [Christmas Freebies]

Christmas is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than with some free goodies? We sifted through the web (and our archives) to find holiday-themed icon sets for you that’ll give your creative projects some holiday flair. Perfect for Christmas cards, gift tags, last-minute wrapping paper, or whatever else you can think of.

Christmas Goodies: Free Winter- And Holiday-Inspired Icon Sets

All icons can be downloaded for free, but please consult their licenses or contact the creators before using them in commercial projects. Reselling a bundle is never cool, though. Have a happy holiday season!

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Spotify Playlists To Fuel Your Coding And Design Sessions

Some like it loud, others need some steady beats to stay focused, others calm tunes. A while ago we asked on Twitter and Facebook what music the web community is listening to when coding and designing.

Spotify Playlists To Fuel Your Coding And Design Sessions

The answers were as diverse as the community itself and certainly too good to live an existence only in a Twitter discussion. That’s why we’ve compiled those hand-crafted playlists, favorite artists, and loved soundtracks in this article to see which tunes fuel the web, and, well, first and foremost, to provide you with some new ear candy to get you through lengthy coding and design sessions, of course. Get your headphones ready!

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Stretching The Limits Of What’s Possible

Designing with “big data” is a challenging task. Matan Stauber, however, took it to the next level. With an impressive outcome. Having studied Visual Communication at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Israel's national school of art, Matan realized a very ambitious final project: an interactive timeline of our galaxy's history — 14 billion years, from the Big Bang to today.

An Interview With Matan Stauber: Stretching The Limits Of What’s Possible

We talked to Matan about Histography, about the idea behind it, and how he managed to bring it to life. An interview about stretching the limits of what's possible.

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Quick Tips Creating Websites With Dropbox-Powered Hosting Tools

Let's say you want to quickly sketch out your idea of a website, or just quickly whip up a small site for testing purposes. Also, neither should take a lot of time to build nor should they need a full-stack toolkit. So, where and how do you start?

Creating Websites With Dropbox-Powered Hosting Tools

Have you tried creating a website with some Dropbox-powered hosting tools? Well, they certainly can provide a fast and easy solution for these occasions. You don’t have to fiddle with servers or bother about deployment, some of them even come with pre-configured templates that you can use or customize to spare you coding time.

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Conversational Interfaces: Where Are We Today? Where Are We Heading?

Computers and human beings don’t speak the same language. So, to make interaction possible, we rely on graphical user interfaces (GUIs). But GUIs come with a natural barrier: People have to learn to use them. They have to learn that a hamburger button hides a menu, that a button triggers an action.

Conversational Interfaces: Where Are We Today? Where Are We Heading?

But with technology evolving and language recognition and processing improving, we are on a path that could make interaction with digital services more intuitive, more accessible and more efficient — through conversational interfaces.

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Quick UX Prototyping With Adobe XD Shortcuts (PDF Cheat Sheet)

Every designer has their favorite prototyping tools. However, when it comes to UX wireframing and prototyping, there is often more than one tool involved. Sooner or later, you find yourself switching from one tool to another to cherry-pick the best ones among them.

Quick UX Prototyping With Adobe XD Shortcuts (PDF Cheatsheet)

Adobe announced Project Comet in October last year to provide a fast and efficient all-in-one solution. A few months ago, the secret behind the codename was revealed and pushed to the public in a preview version: Adobe Experience Design CC (Adobe XD). Made for fast and fluid UX design, XD gives you everything in one neat bundle: it lets you sketch out ideas, create interactive prototypes, test and share them.

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