Smashing Magazine https://www.smashingmagazine.com For Professional Web Designers and Developers Wed, 28 Sep 2016 08:09:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.4 Building Hybrid Apps With ChakraCore https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/building-hybrid-apps-with-chakracore/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/building-hybrid-apps-with-chakracore/#respond Wed, 28 Sep 2016 08:02:53 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=266580

   

There are many reasons why one may want to embed JavaScript capabilities into an app. One example may be to take a dependency on a JavaScript library that has not yet been ported to the language you’re developing in. Another may be that you want to allow users to “eval” small routines or functions in JavaScript, e.g., in data processing applications.

Building Hybrid Apps with ChakraCore

The key reason for our investigation of ChakraCore was to support the React Native framework on the Universal Windows Platform, which is a framework for declaring applications using JavaScript and the React programming model.

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Building Social: A Case Study On Progressive Enhancement https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/building-social-a-case-study-on-progressive-enhancement/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/building-social-a-case-study-on-progressive-enhancement/#comments Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:00:56 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=266343

   

We talk a lot about progressive enhancement and how it improves backwards compatibility. But how straightforward is it to apply progressive enhancement concepts to a real-life project? When designing a rich interactive experience, it can be difficult to determine what can be implemented purely using HTML and CSS and what absolutely requires JavaScript.

Building Social: A Case Study On Progressive Enhancement

Through this case study on redesigning the Building Social website, we’ll share some simple yet often overlooked front-end techniques that defer the use of JavaScript as much as possible, while providing some neat JavaScript enhancements, too.

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Developing For Virtual Reality: What We Learned https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/developing-for-virtual-reality-what-we-learned/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/developing-for-virtual-reality-what-we-learned/#comments Mon, 26 Sep 2016 10:31:13 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=266520

   

With the tools getting more user-friendly and affordable, virtual reality (VR) development is easier to get involved in than ever before. Our team at Clearbridge Mobile recently jumped on the opportunity to develop immersive VR content for the Samsung Gear VR, using Samsung’s 360 camera.

Developing For Virtual Reality: What We Learned

The result is ClearVR, a mobile application demo that enables users to explore the features, pricing, interiors and exteriors of listed vehicles. Developing this demo project gave us a better understanding of VR development for our future projects, including scaling, stereoscopic display and motion-tracking practices. This article is an introductory guide to developing for VR, with the lessons we learned along the way.

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Stretching The Limits Of What’s Possible https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/interview-with-matan-stauber/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/interview-with-matan-stauber/#comments Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:36:36 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=266432

   

Designing with “big data” is a challenging task. Matan Stauber, however, took it to the next level. With an impressive outcome. Having studied Visual Communication at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Israel's national school of art, Matan realized a very ambitious final project: an interactive timeline of our galaxy's history — 14 billion years, from the Big Bang to today.

An Interview With Matan Stauber: Stretching The Limits Of What’s Possible

We talked to Matan about Histography, about the idea behind it, and how he managed to bring it to life. An interview about stretching the limits of what's possible.

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Choosing The Right Prototyping Tool https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/choosing-the-right-prototyping-tool/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/choosing-the-right-prototyping-tool/#comments Thu, 22 Sep 2016 11:19:16 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=260811

   

When it comes to creating prototypes, so many tools and methods are out there that choosing one is no easy task. Which one is the best? Spoiler alert: There is no "best" because it all depends on what you need at the moment! Here I'll share some insight into what to consider when you need to pick up a prototyping solution.

Choosing The Right Prototyping Tool

I've always wanted to stay up to date on the latest design and prototyping tools, testing them shortly after they launch, just to see if any of them might improve my workflow and enable me to achieve better results. In the beginning, a few years ago, I think it was easier than it is now to decide whether a new tool was useful. Nowadays, apps are being released every day, and it's kind of difficult to give them all a proper try.

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How To Design Error States For Mobile Apps https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/how-to-design-error-states-for-mobile-apps/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/how-to-design-error-states-for-mobile-apps/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2016 08:51:50 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=264697

   

To err is human. Errors occur when people engage with user interfaces. Sometimes, they happen because users make mistakes. Sometimes, they happen because an app fails. Whatever the cause, these errors and how they are handled, have a huge impact on the user experience. Bad error handling paired with useless error messages can fill users with frustration, and can lead to users abandoning your app.

How To Design Error States For Mobile Apps

In this article, we’ll examine how the design of apps can be optimized to prevent user errors and how to create effective error messages in cases when errors occur independently of user input. We’ll also see how well-crafted error handling can turn a moment of failure into a moment of delight.

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Understanding REST And RPC For HTTP APIs https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/understanding-rest-and-rpc-for-http-apis/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/understanding-rest-and-rpc-for-http-apis/#comments Tue, 20 Sep 2016 09:37:51 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=266021

   

For the last few years, whenever somebody wants to start building an HTTP API, they pretty much exclusively use REST as the go-to architectural style, over alternative approaches such as XML-RPC, SOAP and JSON-RPC. REST is made out by many to be ultimately superior to the other “RPC-based” approaches, which is a bit misleading because they are just different.

Understanding REST And RPC For HTTP APIs

This article discusses these two approaches in the context of building HTTP APIs, because that is how they are most commonly used. REST and RPC can both be used via other transportation protocols, such as AMQP, but that is another topic entirely.

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The Thumb Zone: Designing For Mobile Users https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/the-thumb-zone-designing-for-mobile-users/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/the-thumb-zone-designing-for-mobile-users/#comments Mon, 19 Sep 2016 09:28:26 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=265729

   

If there is one thing that will stand the test of time, it's thumb placement on mobile devices. This makes consideration of the "thumb zone", a term coined in Steven Hoober's research, an important factor in the design and development of mobile interfaces.

The Thumb Zone: Designing For Mobile Users

Have you ever interacted with a mobile website or app that simply didn't play nice with your thumbs? Perhaps you've had to stretch to get to an important menu, or swiping turned into a battle with multiple swiping elements. Mishaps such as these reveal poor consideration of the thumb zone.

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The Art Of Hand Lettering https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/the-art-of-hand-lettering/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/the-art-of-hand-lettering/#comments Fri, 16 Sep 2016 14:33:25 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=263711

   

Hand lettering has taken the world by storm. It has become the beautiful connection — a juxtaposition — between design and words. The letter forms in the typography have been broken down into their shapes, flourishes, and textures.

The Art Of Hand Lettering

Hand lettering speaks volumes. This is an art form which allows us to see the space between the letters, and the style of the lettering as a piece of art that can deeply evoke emotions and bring meaning — nostalgia, happiness, joy, and love.

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Driving App Engagement With Personalization Techniques https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/driving-app-engagement-with-personalization-techniques/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/driving-app-engagement-with-personalization-techniques/#comments Thu, 15 Sep 2016 10:37:38 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=264341

   

Once upon a time, in the not-so-distant past, people considered websites to be a prime indication of how users’ attention was brief and unforgiving. Remember the dreaded bounce rate?

Driving App Engagement With Personalization Techniques

Remember the numerous times you worried that your content and graphics might not be 100% clear to users? That was nothing. Compared to mobile, engaging users on the web is a piece of cake.

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Creating Websites With Dropbox-Powered Hosting Tools https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/creating-websites-with-dropbox-powered-hosting-tools/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/creating-websites-with-dropbox-powered-hosting-tools/#comments Wed, 14 Sep 2016 11:00:03 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=259487

   

Let's say you want to quickly sketch out your idea of a website, or just quickly whip up a small site for testing purposes. Also, neither should take a lot of time to build nor should they need a full-stack toolkit. So, where and how do you start?

Creating Websites With Dropbox-Powered Hosting Tools

Have you tried creating a website with some Dropbox-powered hosting tools? Well, they certainly can provide a fast and easy solution for these occasions. You don’t have to fiddle with servers or bother about deployment, some of them even come with pre-configured templates that you can use or customize to spare you coding time.

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Boosting Your Rates With Psychologically Validated Principles https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/boosting-conversion-rates-with-psychologically-validated-principles/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/boosting-conversion-rates-with-psychologically-validated-principles/#comments Tue, 13 Sep 2016 11:09:34 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=265810

   

It is often easy to overlook the underlying principles that compel people to take action. Instead, we tend to obsess over minute details — things like button color, pricing and headlines. While these things can compel users to take action, it is worth considering the psychological principles that influence users’ behavior.

How To Boost Your Conversion Rates With Psychologically Validated Principles

Unfortunately, few organizations try to understand what influences user action. Research by Eisenberg Holdings shows that for every $92 the average company spends attracting customers, a meager $1 is spent converting them. Real conversion optimization is rooted deeply in psychology.

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Content Security Policy, Your Future Best Friend https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/content-security-policy-your-future-best-friend/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/content-security-policy-your-future-best-friend/#comments Mon, 12 Sep 2016 11:19:14 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=265789

   

A long time ago, my personal website was attacked. I do not know how it happened, but it happened. Fortunately, the damage from the attack was quite minor: A piece of JavaScript was inserted at the bottom of some pages. I updated the FTP and other credentials, cleaned up some files, and that was that.

Content Security Policy, Your Future Best Friend

One point made me mad: At the time, there was no simple solution that could have informed me there was a problem and — more importantly — that could have protected the website’s visitors from this annoying piece of code.

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Reducing Cognitive Overload For A Better User Experience https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/reducing-cognitive-overload-for-a-better-user-experience/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/reducing-cognitive-overload-for-a-better-user-experience/#comments Fri, 09 Sep 2016 11:41:42 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=265514

   

The best user experience is the one the user doesn’t notice. It appears smooth and simple on the surface, but hundreds of crucial design decisions have been made to guide, entertain and prevent trouble. If the user experience design does what it’s supposed to do, the user won’t notice any of the work that went into it.

Reducing Cognitive Overload For A Better User Experience

The less users have to think about the interface or design, the more they can focus on accomplishing their goal on your website. Your job as a designer is to give them a straight path to their goal by clearing out the obstacles beforehand.

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How To Scale React Applications https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/how-to-scale-react-applications/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/how-to-scale-react-applications/#comments Thu, 08 Sep 2016 09:49:35 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=263352

   

We recently released version 3 of React Boilerplate, one of the most popular React starter kits, after several months of work. The team spoke with hundreds of developers about how they build and scale their web applications, and I want to share some things we learned along the way.

How To Scale React Applications

We realized early on in the process that we didn’t want it to be "just another boilerplate." We wanted to give developers who were starting a company or building a product the best foundation to start from and to scale.

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Breaking Out Of The Box: Design Inspiration (September 2016) https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/breaking-out-of-the-box-design-inspiration-september-2016/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/breaking-out-of-the-box-design-inspiration-september-2016/#comments Wed, 07 Sep 2016 11:28:18 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=266032

   

Inspiration isn't tied to a specific timeframe or shows up when you need it. There isn't a magic formula to rely on. Luckily, this year's summer vacation was fruitful in providing us with many visual stimuli to get the creative process going. Enjoy!

Breaking Out Of The Box: Design Inspiration (September 2016)

This illustration, just like all the other ones featured in today's article, takes on curiosity and exploration of different tastes and flavors. Its composition and color palette are truly inspiring.

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Redesigning SGS’ Seven-Level Navigation System: A Case Study https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/redesigning-sgs-seven-level-navigation-system-a-case-study/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/redesigning-sgs-seven-level-navigation-system-a-case-study/#comments Tue, 06 Sep 2016 11:24:39 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=265509

   

SGS (formerly Société Générale de Surveillance) is a global service organization and provider of inspection, verification, testing and certification services across 14 industries. SGS’ website (along with 60 localized websites) primarily promotes the organization’s core services, as well as provides access to a multitude of useful services, supplementary content and tools. Our goal was to transform sgs.com from being desktop-only to being responsive.

Redesigning SGS’ Seven-Level Navigation System: A Case Study

This presented a unique set of challenges, especially around the legacy navigation system, which in areas was up to seven levels deep (divided into two parts) and which consisted of some 12,000 individual navigable items.

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The Building Blocks Of Progressive Web Apps https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/the-building-blocks-of-progressive-web-apps/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/the-building-blocks-of-progressive-web-apps/#comments Mon, 05 Sep 2016 10:09:16 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=265209

   

The common wisdom for most companies that set out to build an app is to build a native Android or iOS app, as well as a supporting website. Although there are some good reasons for that, not enough people know about the major advantages of web apps. Web apps can replace all of the functions of native apps and websites at once. They are coming more and more to the fore these days, but still not enough people are familiar with them or adopting them.

The Building Blocks Of A Progressive Web App

Here, you will be able to find some do’s and dont’s on how to make a progressive web app, as well as resources for further research. I’ll also go into the various components and support issues surrounding web apps. Although not every browser is friendly to them, there are still some compelling reasons to learn more about this technology.

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Freebie: Flat Line UX And E-Commerce Icon Sets (83 Icons, AI, EPS, PNG, SVG) https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/freebie-flat-line-ux-and-e-commerce-icon-sets-83-icon-sets-ai-eps-png-svg/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/freebie-flat-line-ux-and-e-commerce-icon-sets-83-icon-sets-ai-eps-png-svg/#comments Fri, 02 Sep 2016 12:40:24 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=263910

   

How often do you have to explain the purpose of a study, objectives, goals or measurements within your company? Maybe you need to prepare a presentation or a brief overview of what next steps should be taken, or maybe you simply need to build a shiny, new pattern library?

Freebie: Flat Line UX And E-Commerce Icon Sets (83 Icons, AI, EPS, PNG, SVG)

Whatever project you may be working on, today's icon sets will come in handy. All of the vector icons were tirelessly crafted by the design team at Ecommerce Website Design, and come in various formats that can be used for personal as well as commercial purposes.

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Web Development Reading List #152: On Not Shipping, Pure JS Functions, And SameSite Cookies https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/web-development-reading-list-152/ https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/web-development-reading-list-152/#comments Fri, 02 Sep 2016 08:35:36 +0000 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/?p=265848

   

This week’s reading list consists of a lot of little, smart details that you can use on websites. From tweaking the user’s reading experience during page load to pure JavaScript functions and verifying the integrity of external assets. And finally, we see some articles on thinking differently about established working habits — be it working on AI without data or the virtue of not shipping a feature.

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Please note that I’ll be on vacation for the next four weeks, so please don’t expect any new Web Development Reading List before October, 7th. Enjoy September, your work, your life!

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