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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.
Data presentation can be beautiful, elegant and descriptive. There is a variety of conventional ways to visualize data - tables, histograms, pie charts and bar graphs are being used every day, in every project and on every possible occasion. However, to convey a message to your readers effectively, sometimes you need more than just a simple pie chart of your results. In fact, there are much better, profound, creative and absolutely fascinating ways to visualize data. Many of them might become ubiquitous in the next few years.
So what can we expect? Which innovative ideas are already being used? And what are the most creative approaches to present data in ways we've never thought before?
Let's take a look at the most interesting modern approaches to data visualization as well as related articles, resources and tools. Read more...
Apart from Floats, the CSS Specificity is one of the most difficult concepts to grasp in Cascading Stylesheets. The different weight of selectors is usually the reason why your CSS-rules don't apply to some elements, although you think they should have. In order to minimize the time for bug hunting you need to understand, how browsers interpret your code. And to understand that, you need to have a firm understanding on how specificity works. In most cases such problems are caused by the simple fact that somewhere among your CSS-rules you've defined a more specific selector.
CSS Specificity isn't simple. However, there are methods to explain it in a simple and intuitive way. And that's what this article is all about. You'll understand the concept if you love Star Wars. Really.
Let's take a look at some important issues related to CSS Specificity as well as examples, rules, principles, common solutions and resources.
You can find the most important things you should know about CSS specificity in a brief overview at the beginning of the article.
There is nothing more valuable than the time we need to get things done. Over a long period of time time-saving techniques and solutions can turn out to be real life-savers. The more you use them, the more essential they become. Besides, using them in your favourite software applications, you can drastically increase your productivity, enhance your time-managment and improve both your professional skills and the quality of your work.
One of such time-saving features are Hotkeys (or keyboard shortcuts), which offer a powerful tool to get the result instantly - with a single keys combination. We've collected the most useful of them - for the most popular applications out there. Some shortcuts are trivial and well-known, but hopefully not all of them.
This post covers the most useful keyboard shortcuts for essential software applications users and web-developers can/should use on a daily basis - OS, Browsers, Music Players, Communication Tools, File Management and Coding. You will also find references to related resources - there you'll find more specific shortcuts for your needs.
With blogging comes great responsibilty. You define the content of your weblog and you carry the full responsibility for every word you've published online. More than that, you are responsible for comments in your posts. To make sure you fulfill your legal obligations, it's important to know, what you, as blogger, may or should do; and you have to know, how to achieve this. After all, the ignorance of the law does not make one exempt from compliance thereof.
From the legal point of view, Copyright in Web is often considered as the grey area; as such it's often misunderstood and violated - mostly simply because bloggers don't know, what laws they have to abide and what issues they have to consider. In fact, copyright myths are common, as well as numerous copyright debates in the Web.
That's time to put facts straight. In this post we've collected the most important facts, articles and resources related to copyright issues, law and blogging. We've also put together most useful tools and references you can use dealing with plagiarism.
You don't have to read the whole article, you can read a brief overview of the key-points in the beginning of the post. Let's take a look.
Every month we take a look around, browse through dozens of fonts collections and select most irresistible typefaces released recently. We collect most beautiful high quality freeware fonts, which can be used for private and/or professional projects without any restrictions whatsoever. If you've tried to find them once, you know how time-consuming the search can be. Indeed, these beauties can be quite hard to find, but the search is definitely worth it. We search for them. So you don't have to.
Everybody is using it, but (almost) nobody really knows how it works. Google PageRank is probably one of the most important algorithms ever developed for the Web. With billions of existing pages and millions of pages generated every day, the search issue in the Web is more complex than you probably think it is. PageRank, only one of hundreds of factors used by Google to determine best search results, helps to keep our search clean and efficient. But how is it actually done? How does Google PageRank work, which factors do have an impact on it and which don't? And what do we really know about PageRank?
Link baiting is not evil. Although some bloggers tend to go beyond any ethical considerations in their attempts to enforce as many reciprocal links as possible, the term itself stands for a completely organic nature of the Web - actually, something that has already been here for a while. Traditional link building, used to be bounded with Search Engine Optimization, is now being extended with the aspect of so-called Social Media Optimization - with Digg, StumbleUpon, Netscape, Del.icio.us & Co. on the bandwagon. Driving traffic to your site has become easier, but requires through-out strategies and understanding some basic rules of useful content and effective content marketing.
The term 'linkbaiting' doesn't necessarily reflect this aspect of organic growth on the Web; in fact, as suggested by Darren Rowse, its negative connotations rather expose the idea of clever tricks, traps, deceptions or even frauds, which are supposed to manipulate content editors in linking, even if they don't really want to.
Mostly that's not what link baiting is really about. Instead, Linkbaiting is about gaining reputation, finding your niche, writing useful and creative content, presenting your ideas, publishing them on the Web and finding people who might actually use them. You won't find your readers if you concentrate on building links; you will be able to build links organically if you concentrate on your readers. Moreover, you can gain reputation if and only if you focus on your readers. This is one of the basic principles of successful blogging.
Let's take a look at non-trivial and most effective rules, principles, techniques, strategies, methods, examples and resources related to link baiting. Among other things this overview will cover the aspect of effective copy writing as well. Golden rules of linkbaiting - in a comprehensive overview.
It's quite easy to get stuck in creativity blocks, but it's damn hard to get out of them. Particularly if you are out of time and don't want to compromise your professional principles selecting the first "quick-n-dirty" solution you can think of. To get things done, you need inspiration and creative thinking. You need fresh ideas and elegant approaches. And you need to be able to find them as quick as it is possible. Handy references and examples are therefore both useful and enjoyable - after all, who can resist gorgeous, professional, elegant and visually appealling designs?
We've selected some of them. In an overview below you'll find 60 fresh, elegant, professional and visually appealling designs, which pay close attention to details and manage to remain simple, user-friendly and nice-looking.
You might be interested in taking a look at design showcases we've published before:
CSS isn't always easy to deal with. Depending on your skills and your experience, CSS coding can sometimes become a nightmare, particularly if you aren't sure which selectors are actually being applied to document elements. An easy way to minimize the complexity of the code is as useful as not-so-well-known CSS attributes and properties you can use to create a semantically correct markup.
We've taken a close look at some of the most interesting and useful CSS tricks, tips, ideas, methods, techniques and coding solutions and listed them below. We also included some basic techniques you can probably use in every project you are developing, but which are hard to find once you need them.
And what has come out of it is an overview of over 70 expert tips, which can improve your efficiency of CSS coding. You might be willing to check out the list of references and related articles in the end of this post.
We'd like to express sincere thank to all designers who shared their ideas, techniques, methods, knowledge and experience with their readers. Thank you, we, coders, designers, developers, information architects - you name it - really appreciate it. Read more...