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Richard (@richardshepherd) is a UK based web designer and front-end developer. He loves to play with HTML5, CSS3, jQuery and WordPress, and currently works full-time bringing VoucherCodes.co.uk to life. He has an awesomeness factor of 8, and you can also find him at richardshepherd.com.
There’s no avoiding those Angry Birds. They are, quite literally, everywhere: toys, snacks, cartoons, plush toys and that wildly addictive game that seemingly everyone has downloaded at some point — 1 billion of us last year alone.
2012 was another landmark year at the Angry Birds aviary, otherwise known as Rovio. The Finnish-based developer not only released a slew of tie-ins — from Green Day to Star Wars — but also went social.
In 2011 we saw the rise in popularity of two relatively new trends: responsive Web design and the use of HTML’s canvas. While some websites had experimented with both, in the last 12 months we’ve seen these trends move from the fringes firmly into the mainstream.
Responsive Web design is more a concept than a technology — an ideal that many new websites aspire to. Canvas, on the other hand, is an HTML5-based technology that opens the door to a new wave of interactivity.
The flexible box layout module — or “flexbox,” to use its popular nickname — is an interesting part of the W3C Working Draft. The flexbox specification is still a draft and subject to change, so keep your eyes on the W3C, but it is part of a new arsenal of properties that will revolutionize how we lay out pages. At least it will be when cross-browser support catches up.
In the meantime, we can experiment with flexbox and even use it on production websites where fallbacks will still render the page correctly. It may be a little while until we consider it as mainstream as, say, border-radius, but our job is to investigate new technologies and use them where possible. That said, when it comes to something as fundamental as page layout, we need to tread carefully.
Perhaps one of the most talked about websites in the last 12 months has been Nike Better World. It's been featured in countless Web design galleries, and it still stands as an example of what a great idea and some clever design and development techniques can produce.
In this article, we’ll talk to the team behind Nike Better World to find out how the website was made. We'll look at exactly how it was put together, and then use similar techniques to create our own parallax scrolling website. Finally, we'll look at other websites that employ this technique to hopefully inspire you to build on these ideas and create your own variation.
CSS3 is a wonderful thing, but it’s easy to be bamboozled by the transforms and animations (many of which are vendor-specific) and forget about the nuts-and-bolts selectors that have also been added to the specification. A number of powerful new pseudo-selectors (16 are listed in the latest W3C spec) enable us to select elements based on a range of new criteria.
Before we look at these new CSS3 pseudo-classes, let’s briefly delve into the dusty past of the Web and chart the journey of these often misunderstood selectors.
Last year, WordPress launched arguably its biggest update ever: WordPress 3.0. Accompanying this release was the brand new default theme, TwentyTen, and the promise of a new default theme every year. Somewhat surprisingly, TwentyTen declares the HTML5 doctype but doesn’t take advantage of many of the new elements and attributes that HTML5 brings.
Now, HTML5 does many things, but you can’t just add <!doctype html> to the top of a document and get excited that you’re so 2011. Mark-up, as they say, is meaning, and HTML5 brings a whole bunch of meaning to our documents.