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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.
Criticism is easy. It seems like everybody has an opinion, but, as the author Harlan Ellison points out, "You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion." To become informed, though, requires exploration. Design critiques are an important part of any product exploration.
A design critique — where the creator discusses and explains the creation with the rest of the team and/or client — is not about badgering the designer or pushing them to justify every decision they made. That’s just criticism. A good design critique is meant to explore the design, find where it is working and where it could be improved. If done well, design critiques allow everyone on the team to feel as if they have been heard and allow clients to give valuable feedback.
How about trying a very different drawing technique or illustration style for your next project? Maybe a weird geometric shape? Or a more abstract form? Or a retro-futuristic color scheme? Not sure about you, but holiday or no holiday, my need for some fresh inspiration never stops.
This month, I’ve continued my journey in search for some inspiring and beautiful artwork — and I’ve found some real treasures! As a designer, I feel that there is so much that I can learn from the techniques and color combinations in these little gems. Let’s dive in, and get inspired to leave our comfort zones for our next designs!
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.
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.
With the summer holidays coming up, I’d like to share a couple of inspirational illustrations and photos which I hope will help you daydream and relax. There's no doubt that there are a lot of great techniques out there — they just need to be discovered.
While going through this month's collection, you'll notice some pretty interesting and refreshing color combinations. I've made sure to include a good bunch we can all admire and learn from — I hope you'll agree! Get ready to enter the summer with a big spark of inspiration.
“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!