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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.
Editor's Note: Making big changes doesn't necessarily require big efforts — it's just a matter of moving in the right direction. We can't wait for Paul's new book on User Experience Revolution (free worldwide shipping starting from April 18!), and in this article, Paul shares just some of the little tricks and techniques to bring around a big UX revolution into your company — with a series of small, effective steps.
It feels like everywhere I turn somebody is saying that user experience is the next frontier in business, that we have moved beyond the age of features to creating outstanding experiences.
But for many of us who work on in-house teams, the reality feels a million miles away from this. Getting management to understand the importance of user experience seems so tough. Even colleagues don't seem to see the benefit. For those of us in-house, how are we going to get to this golden age of user experience design that people keep promising us?
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.
What would life be without surprises? Pretty plain, wouldn’t you agree? Today, we are happy to announce a freebie that bubbles over with its friendly optimistic spirit, bound to sprinkle some unexpected sparks of delight into your projects: Ballicons 3. If that name rings a bell, well, it’s the third iteration of the previous Ballicons icon set created by the folks at Pixel Buddha.
This icon set covers a vibrant potpourri of subjects, 30 icons ranging from nature, travel and leisure motifs to tech and office. All icons are available in five formats (AI, EPS, PSD, SVG, and PNG) so you can resize and customize them until they match your project’s visual style perfectly. No matter if you like it bright and bubbly or rather sleek and simple — the set has the makings to become a real allrounder in your digital tool belt.
The past year has seen quite a rise in UI design tools. While existing applications, such as Affinity Designer, Gravit and Sketch, have improved drastically, some new players have entered the field, such as Adobe XD (short for Adobe Experience Design) and Figma.
For me, the latter is the most remarkable. Due to its similarity to Sketch, Figma was easy for me to grasp right from the start, but it also has some unique features to differentiate it from its competitor, such as easy file-sharing, vector networks, “constraints” (for responsive design) and real-time collaboration.
In a world driven by the Internet, mobile apps need to share and receive information from their products' back end (for example, from databases) as well as from third-party sources such as Facebook and Twitter.
These interactions are often made through RESTful APIs. When the number of requests increases, the way these requests are made becomes very critical to development, because the manner in which you fetch data can really affect the user experience of an app.
What exactly are the benefits of a content hub strategy? Well, first of all, when done correctly, a content hub will capture a significant volume of traffic. And that's what most online businesses want, right?
We have recently introduced several clients to the concept of a content hub and would like to share our experience in this article. The clients are high-quality portals filled with targeted, valuable and often evergreen articles that users can return to time and again.
“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.
It's almost time to leave winter behind us here in the Northern Hemisphere. Most of the time, the weather can't quite make up its mind, and so the days pass by with half of the sky sunny while the other half gray. Nature usually tends to have a strong impact on my mood, and so these days I feel like I'm literally in a gray zone — between winter and spring.
I'm not sure about you, but with springtime lurking around the corner, my need for extra inspiration is even bigger. So, I hope that this month's set will give you just that spark you need to cheer you up and boost your creativity.
Douglas Crockford famously declared browsers to be "the most hostile software engineering environment imaginable," and that wasn't hyperbole. Ensuring that our websites work across a myriad of different devices, screen sizes and browsers our users depend on to access the web is a tall order, but it's necessary.
If our websites don't enable users to accomplish the key tasks they come to do, we've failed them. We should do everything in our power to ensure our websites function under even the harshest of scenarios, but at the same, we can't expect our users to have the exact same experience in every browser, on every device.
Social media is one of the dominant forms of interactions on the Internet. Leading platforms such as Facebook and Twitter count hundreds of millions of users each month. In this article, I will show you how social media is a rich vein of data for user researchers.
I will argue that it would be an oversight for an organization to treat social media as nothing more than an opportunity for customer service enquiries, help requests and brand advocacy.
Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration kick to get our creative juices flowing. Maybe your secret is to go for a short walk, have a little chat with a colleague, or scroll through your favorite eye candy resources. Whatever it might be that helps you get new ideas, we, too, have something for you that could work just as good: desktop wallpapers.
To bring you a regular dose of unique and inspiring wallpapers, we embarked on our monthly wallpapers mission eight years ago. Each month, artists and designers from across the globe diligently contribute their works to it. And well, it wasn’t any different this time around. This post features their artwork for March 2017. The wallpapers all come in versions with and without a calendar. Time to freshen up your desktop!
Typography is a primary element of composition. Being a designer, I pay a lot of attention to its quality. Operating Photoshop is easy for me; however, to level up my skills, I am always learning to work with letters, using my hands, without any computer programs.
The first time I took a calligraphy course was about a year ago, and the decision was quite hard. I was sure that it would be painstaking and that I would need excellent handwriting to learn this art. How mistaken I was!