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Category: Global Web Design
Check out all of the posts in ‘Global Web Design’ below. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try searching using the form at the top of the page.
In part 1 of this article, we looked at where in the world the new entrants to the World Wide Web are, and some of the new technologies the standards community has worked on to address some of the challenges that the next 4 billion people are facing when accessing the web. In short, we've tried to make some supply-side improvements to web standards so that websites can be made to better serve the whole world, not just the wealthy West.
But there are other challenges to surmount, such as ways to get over creaky infrastructure in developing markets (which can be done with stopgap technological solutions, such as proxy browsers), and we'll also look at some of the reasons why some of the offline billions remain offline, and what can be done to address this.
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” said Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in the famous scene in which Hamlet teaches Horatio to be a web designer.
Horatio, as every schoolchild knows, is a designer from Berlin (or sometimes London or Silicon Valley) who has a top-of-the-line MacBook, the latest iPhone and an unlimited data plan over the fastest, most reliable network. But, as Hamlet points out to him, this is not the experience of most of the world’s web visitors.
We all recognize emoji. They’ve become the global pop stars of digital communication. But what are they, technically speaking? And what might we learn by taking a closer look at these images, characters, pictographs… whatever they are 🤔 (Thinking Face). We will dig deep to learn about how these thingamajigs work.
Please note: Depending on your browser, you may not be able to see all emoji featured in this article (especially the Tifinagh characters). Also, different platforms vary in how they display emoji as well. That's why the article always provides textual alternatives. Don't let it discourage you from reading though!
Now, let’s start with a seemingly simple question. What are emoji?
Editor's Note: When it comes to elections, we are each given a choice in how to express our opinions and beliefs. Some designers and developers use their skills to further articulate their choice in one person. Here’s a glimpse into how Topple Trump!, an interactive responsive quiz game, was designed and built — combined with some valuable lessons learned along the way. This article is about techniques and strategies, so please avoid political flame in the comments.
Creating an online quiz that is simple to use, looks great and is really fun to play is one thing. Basing it on Donald Trump's polarizing presidential campaign is another.
The brainchild of Parallax director and developer Andy Fitch, Topple Trump! has gone on to win numerous awards. But it was a real team effort that brought the game to life. Here's a glimpse into precisely how that happened, touching on the development process, design considerations and some valuable lessons learned along the way.
So how do you sell a design system to the client? How do you establish a shared commitment within the company to put a pattern library on the roadmap? As designers and developers, we often know and see the benefits of an overarching system that radiates consistency throughout the different experiences of a company. But sometimes it's seen as a very unpredictable investment, and the value isn't necessarily visible right away.
In his article on Selling Design Systems, Dan Mall suggests to illustrate how fractured an organization is by printing out its different presences online and putting them on a large board as an example of all the wasted money and effort that goes into making sites from scratch, one-by-one, needlessly reinventing the wheel every time.
What makes a great conference? It fuels your ideas and polishes up your skills. It fosters your professional growth and takes your work to the next level. Luckily, a lot of conferences provide videos of their talks after the event has ended, some do even stream live to pass on their knowledge even if you couldn’t attend.
The videos collected in this round-up revive the spirit of the conferences they were recorded at and cater for a lot of fresh insights and light-bulb moments to make the learning never stop. As a very special goodie, we’re very pleased to also feature the live stream of this year’s Build 2016 Conference, taking place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA, right here on Smashing.
The idea that designers are bound to be servants of other people's and companies' products is extremely pervasive. Sure, you may build your own design agency but, in the end, that agency is simply a collective effort to serve someone else. From my perspective, though, the world is waking up to the idea that designers can be founders of a product and not just create the beautiful wrapping around some engineering core.
A recent study by Boston's Design Management Institute showed that design-driven businesses have outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 by an astounding 228% over the past 10 years. These were companies that had design embedded within the company's organizational structure, design leadership present at senior levels, and a commitment to design's use as an innovation resource.
The first time I became aware of brand inconsistency was four, maybe five years ago. Companies were extending their appearances to apps, social media and other digital channels. And so did the bank I worked for back then. Unfortunately, no style guides were available to cover these channels.
I remember the dilemma while writing specifications: there were some older corporate identity manuals and some static UI style guides. Then, you’d look at newer web projects and none of them reflected the guidelines. So, what was I to do? Strictly obey the guidelines and produce something that looks outdated, or adapt to modern channels and risking a user experience that diverged from existing customer touch points?
There are reasons you’re still saying the same thing after all these years — still talking about how it always seems like design gets tacked on to the end of the process. You should be at the concept meeting, you say, where you can make a real difference.
I’ve been hearing it for 15 years. I once had a job where I got to say it myself a few times. I got tired of that pretty quickly. I don’t say it anymore. You shouldn’t either. Primarily because it’s not true.
“By playing in a band,” was my answer. Now, I am not suggesting that all web designers should run out and join a rock and roll band (although there is a glaring shortage of songs about the CSS box model). I do know, however, that many of the skills I honed while playing in a band have contributed to my success as a web designer — as much as, if not more than, my ability to write clean code or design an attractive web page. In this article, I'll describe how being in a band taught me to be a better web designer.
Designers are great at producing visual artifacts. We create mockups, images, code and all sorts of other material to document our solutions. But looking only at those artifacts doesn’t account for the actual creative process.
In their article “Documenting Design-In-Process,” John Bassani and Carolyn Barnes highlight a potential reason: We view our design approaches as intuitive and emotional, so we have a hard time developing documented, human-focused design processes.
A common mistake with localized websites is considering the translated content to be just another version of the pages in the original language. Translation isn’t everything. Of course, for the user it’s all about the content: Is the content relevant and understandable and in line with the user’s cultural context?
From a commercial point of view, when you decide to create and maintain a multilingual website, you have to consider many more points than just translation. We’ll explore some of the issues to think about when localizing a website.