You know, we use ad-blockers as well. 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. our upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona,
dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.
This category features articles on general design principles, Web design, typography, user interface design and related topics. It also presents design showcases and practical pieces on the business side of design. Curated by Alma Hoffmann.
“Be agile; release early; release often.” We know the drill. But is it strategically wise to keep rolling out features often? Especially once a product you’re building reaches a certain size, you probably don’t want to risk the integrity of your application with every new minor release.
The worst thing that can happen to your product is that loyal users, customers who have been using that one little feature consistently over the years, suddenly aren’t able to use it in the same convenient way. The change might empower users more, but the experience becomes less straightforward.
There’s no doubt that simple design is hard, since it requires much more thought and inspiration. It’s about understanding exactly what your users need. Colors play a major role, and today I’d like to show you a couple of illustrations that may motivate you to try out some new color combinations and techniques.
Take a look at the following photographs, posters and book covers that have been created with some really inspiring shades and color palettes, and some even show how to cleverly use negative space. From 3D illustrations to artwork created with ink and watercolors, I’m sure there’s something that’ll spark your inspiration. Be warned though, some of them may even give you wanderlust from just looking at them.
Personal side projects are a cornerstone of creative growth and discovery. While they might not always result in financial gain, the long-term benefits are often much more useful. Benefits such as personal growth, creative exploration and generation of professional opportunities are some of the reasons to engage in them.
In this article, we’ll explore these benefits, as well as learn how to decide on a project and how to effectively manage our time (using my recently launched project an an example). Finally, for inspiration, we’ll look at some great examples of personal projects.
Creating an effective web design is like putting a puzzle together, with the various parts coming together to tame the chaos and form a whole, well-organized design. At the foundation of this organization are the gestalt grouping principles.
In the first two parts of this series, we looked at the principles of similarity and proximity to understand how elements can be organized by their relatedness to other elements, and we looked at the principles of closure and figure-ground to understand how relationships are formed through the use of positive and negative space. In the final part of this series, we’ll focus on the principles of continuation and common fate, which involve movement, both implied and animated, to create relationships.
Icon and vector marketplaces like Iconfinder (where I work) are making well-designed vector icons an inexpensive and readily available resource for web and print designers. Thousands of high-quality premium icon sets and hundreds of great free sets are available.
Every icon set submitted to Iconfinder is reviewed and evaluated for potential appeal to our website users and for potential commercial value as premium icons. When reviewing icon sets submitted to the website, we have a responsibility to our designers and to our customers to make sure all premium icons on the website are of the highest possible quality.
Have you ever wondered how elements come together to create successful designs? It’s no accident that compelling design just seems to work. What most of these designs have in common is the use of gestalt grouping principles to organize information that helps us understand the relationships and differences between elements. As designers, we can use these principles to create our own engaging and successful work.
In the first part of this series, we focused on the principles of similarity and proximity to understand how the gestalt principles work in creating relationships between elements. Next, we’ll focus on the principles of closure and figure-ground, which play with positive and negative space to build relationships and create wholes with the sum of their parts. As in the first article, we’ll look at how the principles work and then move on to real-world examples to illustrate them in use.
Today we'll be looking at eye candy that will undoubtedly help you start the new week with your creativity freshly nurtured. Grab your cup of coffee or tea, and let these designs shine on you with their smart details, fantastic textures, and well-chosen color palettes.
I’ve sifted through the web to dig up little nuggets of inspiration to indulge in — just for you. This time I’ve collected a potpourri of styles ranging from delicate and subtle to bold and playful. Nothing but design goodness. So please lean back and soak it all in.
Vintage design is an endless source of inspiration. Seeing how fellow designers tackled their job decades ago, with a limited set of tools, and how timeless, even classic, some of the pieces are still today, is fascinating.
With this Quick Tip, we want to leave behind current trends and indulge in the aesthetic of past times. We’ll dive into wanderlust-awaking travel posters, design manuals that wrote history, and, last but not least, we’ll bridge the gap to today by looking at how a mid-century design movement still influences designers. Buckle up... and off we are to a journey through pre-Photoshop, pre-Sketch and -Illustrator times!
The perceptual process enables us to perceive the world through our senses of sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. In particular, our visual system processes vast amounts of information in its environment. Rather than perceiving elements separately, our brain organizes patterns, objects and shapes into whole forms that we can understand.
The gestalt grouping principles of visual perception describe this organization as a set of principles that explain how we perceive and organize this huge amount of visual stimuli. The gestalt principles – similarity, proximity, closure, figure-ground, continuance and common fate – are a popular tool used by designers for visually organizing information.
More and more of our experience online is personalized. Search engines, news outlets and social media sites have become quite smart at giving us what we want. Perhaps Ali, one of the hundreds of people I've interviewed about our emotional attachment to technology, put it best: "Netflix's recommendations have become so right for me that even though I know it's an algorithm, it feels like a friend."
Personalization algorithms can shape what you discover, where you focus attention, and even who you interact with online. When these algorithms work well, they can feel like a friend. At the same time, personalization doesn't feel all that personal. There can be an uncomfortable disconnect when we see an ad that doesn't match our expectations.
What would a page look like if it had no designer? This odd question occurred to me in the 1980s, while overseeing the transition from lead-based typesetting to phototypesetting of an Indian newspaper. The Patriot’s distinctive design seemed to emerge, not from a designer, but the tactile interaction between lead and the illiterate villager who assembled the pages.
This article examines how design has changed as materials have evolved, and underlines how the need for deliberate design is greater than it has ever been.
The modern logo has to work harder than ever before. In the past, a company logo was perhaps intended simply for a shop sign and printed in local newspaper adverts. Today's logos have to work with a growing plethora of smart devices with varying screen sizes and resolutions, displaying responsive websites.
Often logos end up suffering within responsive website design. Many have not been designed with responsive frameworks and variable sizes in mind, and are just resized to fit whatever available space has been provided for them or not.