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Smashing Conf New York

We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. upcoming SmashingConf New York, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.

Author:

Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex UX, front-end and performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

Twitter: Follow Vitaly Friedman on Twitter

Google Profile: https://plus.google.com/101951294740286010890

10 Principles Of Effective Web Design

Usability and the utility, not the visual design, determine the success or failure of a web-site. Since the visitor of the page is the only person who clicks the mouse and therefore decides everything, user-centric design has established as a standard approach for successful and profit-oriented web design. After all, if users can't use a feature, it might as well not exist.

10 Principles Of Effective Web Design

We aren't going to discuss the implementation details (e.g. where the search box should be placed) as it has already been done in a number of articles; instead we focus on the main principles, heuristics and approaches for effective web design — approaches which, used properly, can lead to more sophisticated design decisions and simplify the process of perceiving presented information.

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Graphics In Motion

Graphics doesn't need to be static or fixed: it can float, jump, fly, dance around and transform in different forms. Once you set visual elements in motion, you can achieve stunning results which would be far too difficult to achieve otherwise. And in fact, there are a number of stunning examples of how this can be done.

In this post we present some excellent examples of videos in which graphics are set in motion. In most videos graphics dominates, but it can also support the content.

Feet Want Out

You might want to take a closer look

  • at the category Monday Inspiration where we've covered some graphic motion works over the last months,
  • and particularly at the article Typography in Motion which describes what effects can be achieved once the letters are set in motion.

All links lead directly to Quicktime-versions of the videos which is why you might need some traffic to load them. These pieces simply don't deserve to be watched in low-quality on YouTube.

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Free Fonts Of The Month: Newcastle, Anziano

Every now and again we take a look around, select “fresh” high-quality free fonts and present them to you in a brief overview. The choice is enormous, so the time you need to find them is usually the time you should be investing in your current projects. We search for them and we find them, so you don’t have to.

Newcastle Screenshot

This month we'd like to present you Newcastle, Anziano, Sovereign and Inconsolata. Please read the license agreements carefully before using the fonts — they can change from time to time.

You can find over 150 more high-quality fonts in

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29 Brilliant Music Videos

Music has always been an excellent source of inspiration. Particularly if you are stuck with some problem you can't find a workaround for, a beautiful song can give you a new perspective, let you see the problem from a different angle. And sometimes it's just useful to make a break — for instance, watching some music videos.

In this post we present some unusual music videos for your monday's coffee break. Some of the videos are thought-provoking, some of them are funny and some are bizarre. While many of them are well-known, you'll probably find some videos you've never watched before. The videos all perfectly to the music which is being played in the background. Hopefully, everyone will find something new and inspiring for himself/herself. Please notice that you might need to watch some videos at least twice to get the idea behind them.

Music Video Screenshot

You might want to read the descriptions of the videos — they are provided below every link. The screenshots often don't reveal that much about the videos they stand for.

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Data Visualization and Infographics

The main goal of data visualization is its ability to visualize data, communicating information clearly and effectivelty. It doesn't mean that data visualization needs to look boring to be functional or extremely sophisticated to look beautiful. To convey ideas effectively, both aesthetic form and functionality need to go hand in hand, providing insights into a rather sparse and complex data set by communicating its key-aspects in a more intuitive way. Yet designers often tend to discard the balance between design and function, creating gorgeous data visualizations which fail to serve its main purpose — communicate information.

In both print and web design infographics — visual representations of information, data or knowledge — are often used to support information, strengthen it and present it within a provoking and sensitive context, depending on designer's creativity.

Infographics Screenshot

This article presents some spectacular data visualizations and infographics which manage to combine a strong visual appeal with the effective presentation of information.

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Innovative Designs and Devices

Steve Jobs stated once that the “design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” While this statement has proven to be crucial over thousands of years, one shouldn't misinterpret it by emphasizing the functionality despite the design. When it comes to product design, the significance of aesthetics of a given device, the way its design looks and feels, determines the choice of the customer once the functionalities of multiple devices are more or less similar. If supported by sound user interface and a well-tested, clean implementation, innovative design solutions can drastically enhance the user experience.

Maximus Keyboard

Maximus Keyboard

This article presents innovative, futuristic gadgets, devices, designs and concepts. Unless explicitly specified, none of these cut-edge concepts is currently being manufactured. None of them is available for end-users which is why neither the price nor links to the stores are mentioned.

Please keep in mind that the main idea of this article is not to do the sell-talk for trendy products, but to showcase innovative design solutions and futuristic devices which can become reality in 2008 or over the next few years.

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Funny and Creative Animated Videos

The new year is just few days away; however, not all parties are planned, not all presents are packed and not all work is done. If you feel under the weather, bored or overwhelmed by the late shopping or working chaos, it's just the right time to take a short break and get into the right mood.

To help you to achieve just that we've collected some excellent, funny and touching animations and videos — for you, your colleagues, your friends and your family. You probably have seen some of them, but it doesn't make them less funnier. You can also click on the images — they lead to the sites from which the screenshots have been taken.

For The Birds

Enjoy the last days of the year 2007. Smashing 2008, folks!

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Creative Workplaces

Your workplace and the atmosphere surrounding you determine the way you work and explore your imagination. The more inspirational your workplace is, the easier it is to break the creativity block and discover new ideas. And apparently there is a number of things you can do to improve your personal workflow.

As a part of our Monday Inspiration series we present a dozen of creative and unusual workplaces; in the end of the post you'll also find references to related resources, among them office design galleries and Flickr pools. They can serve as an inspiration once you've decided to spice up your work environment.

You can also click on the images — they lead to the sites from which the screenshots have been taken.

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Free Fonts Of The Month: Relato Sans, Droid Family

Every now and again we take a look around, select “fresh” high-quality free fonts and present them to you in a brief overview. The choice is enormous, so the time you need to find them is usually the time you should be investing in your current projects. We search for them and we find them, so you don’t have to.

This month we'd like to present you Relato Sans and the Droid font family. Please read the license agreement carefully - it can change from time to time.

  • You can find over 60 more free fonts in our section Free Fonts.
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