Human interactions are incredibly fascinating if you take a close look at them — the social awkwardness, the communication styles, the way knowledge is transferred, the way stories are told and trust is built. But what happens when a machine evokes the same response?
Conversational interfaces have become the new hotness in UX design. Google is about to release a new virtual assistant chatbot; Facebook has already launched the updated Messenger platform with chatbots; and Microsoft went as far as to claim that the operating system of the future isn't Windows, but "conversation as a platform."
Are you using progressive booting already? What about tree-shaking and code-splitting in React and Angular? Have you set up Brotli or Zopfli compression, OCSP stapling and HPACK compression? Also, how about resource hints, client hints and CSS containment — not to mention IPv6, HTTP/2 and service workers?
Performance isn’t just a technical concern: It matters, and when baking it into the workflow, design decisions have to be informed by their performance implications. Performance has to be measured, monitored and refined continually, and the growing complexity of the web poses new challenges that make it hard to keep track of metrics, because metrics will vary significantly depending on the device, browser, protocol, network type and latency (CDNs, ISPs, caches, proxies, firewalls, load balancers and servers all play a role in performance).
When compared with the prospect of learning an entirely new language and development environment in order to program iOS (and soon Android) apps, the appeal of this type of development to the already huge population of web developers in the world was palpable.
Apple taught us, "There's an app for that." And we believed it. Why wouldn't we? But time has passed since 2009. Our mobile users have gotten more mature and are starting to weigh having space for new photos against installing your big fat e-commerce app. Meanwhile, mobile browsers have also improved. New APIs are being supported, and they will bring native app-like functionality to the mobile browser.
We can now access video and audio and use WebRTC to build a live video-chat web apps directly in the browser, no native app or plugin required. We can build progressive web apps that bring users an almost native app experience, with a launch icon, notifications, offline support and more. Using geolocation, battery status, ambient light detection, Bluetooth and the physical web, we can even go beyond responsive web design and build websites that will automagically adapt to users' needs and context.
Only one week left until Christmas, and people already start freaking out again. No gifts purchased yet, work isn’t finished either, and suddenly some budget has to be spent until the end of the year. All of this puts us under pressure. To avoid the stress, I’ve seen a lot of people take a vacation from now until the end of the year — probably a good idea.
And while it’s nice to see so many web advent calendars, I feel like I’ve never written a longer reading list than this one. So save this edition if you don’t have much time currently and read it during some calm moments later this year or early next year. Most articles are still worth reading in a few weeks.
The blank Photoshop document glows in front of you. You've been trying to design a website for an hour but it's going nowhere. You feel defeated. You were in this same predicament last month when you couldn't design a website for a project at work. As a developer, you just feel out of your element pushing pixels around.
How do designers do it? Do they just mess around in Photoshop or Sketch for a while until a pretty design appears? Can developers who are used to working within the logical constructs of Boolean logic and number theory master the seemingly arbitrary rules of design?
With the holidays almost here and the new year already in sight, December is a time to slow down, an occasion to reflect and plan ahead. To help us escape the everyday hectic for a bit and sweeten our days with a delightful little surprise each day up to Christmas, the web community has assembled some fantastic advent calendars this year. They cater for a daily dose of web design and development goodness with stellar articles, inspiring experiments, and even puzzles to solve.
To make the choice of which ones to follow a bit easier, we collected a selection of advent calendars in this Quick Tip for you. No matter if you’re a front-end dev, UX designer, or content strategist, we’re certain you’ll find something to inspire you for the upcoming year. So prepare yourself a nice cup of coffee, cozy up in your favorite chair and, well, enjoy!
Web components are an amazing new feature of the web, allowing developers to define their own custom HTML elements. When combined with a style guide, web components can create a component API, which allows developers to stop copying and pasting code snippets and instead just use a DOM element.
By using the shadow DOM, we can encapsulate the web component and not have to worry about specificity wars with any other style sheet on the page. However, web components and style guides currently seem to be at odds with each other.
Recently, I decided to rebuild my personal website, because it was six years old and looked — politely speaking — a little bit "outdated." The goal was to include some information about myself, a blog area, a list of my recent side projects, and upcoming events.
As I do client work from time to time, there was one thing I didn't want to deal with — databases! Previously, I built WordPress sites for everyone who wanted me to. The programming part was usually fun for me, but the releases, moving of databases to different environments, and actual publishing, were always annoying.