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Smashing Conf Barcelona

You know, we use ad-blockers as well. We gotta keep those servers running though. 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.

Web Development Reading List #170: Hamburger Alternatives, Libsodium In PHP And Choosing Profit

As web developers, we need to rely on our knowledge, and choosing solutions we’re already familiar with is often the most convenient approach to solving a problem. However, not only technology is evolving but also our knowledge of how to use it.

For a while, we thought it’s best to use base64 encoding for inlining assets into CSS files, for example, and that loading JavaScript asynchronously will make websites faster. With more evidence and research, however, we came to realize that we were wrong. We should take this as an occasion to remind ourselves to question our habits and from now on ask ourselves if the solution we have in mind for a given problem really is still the best one we could choose.

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30 Adventurous Space To Earth Icons [Freebie]

Have you ever dreamt of exploring the deep sea and getting up close to its fascinating, weird creatures? Or maybe you've dreamt of boarding a spacecraft to experience the beauty of our planet from above? The desire to leave the beaten tracks and explore unfamiliar terrain is human nature.

To celebrate mankind’s urge to explore, the creative folks at Vexels created a set of 30 adventurous icons that take you on a journey from the ground of the sea right up to outer space. The set offers all the building blocks you’ll need to create your own little universe and become an explorer yourself.

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Copy If You Can: Improving Your UI Design Skills With Copywork

There’s a technique for improving one’s user interface design skills that is the most efficient way I know of expanding one’s visual vocabulary but that I’ve rarely heard mentioned by digital designers.

Copy If You Can: Improving Your UI Design Skills With Copywork

I’m talking about copywork. Copywork is a technique that writers and painters have been using for centuries. It is the process of recreating an existing work as closely as possible in order to improve one’s skill. In our case, this means recreating a user interface (UI) design pixel for pixel.

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The Realities Of User Experience Design Within The Luxury Industry

For luxury companies and upscale lifestyle service providers, excellence in experience is an essential component of the value delivered. Conceptually different from the mass market, the luxury domain relies not only on offering the highest differentiated products and services, but on delivering experiential value.

The Realities Of UX Design In The Luxury Industry

Adopting technology and embracing a digital presence through platforms and initiatives, the luxury industry today is tackling the challenge of designing an unparalleled user experience (UX) online. In this article, we’ll present a case study and share observations on the peculiarities of the UX design of a luxury lifestyle service platform and its mobile apps.

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Experimenting With speechSynthesis

I’ve been thinking a lot about speech for the last few years. In fact, it’s been a major focus in several of my talks of late, including my well-received Smashing Conference talk “Designing the Conversation.” As such, I’ve been keenly interested in the development of the Web Speech API.

Experimenting With speechSynthesis

If you’re unfamiliar, this API gives you (the developer) the ability to voice-enable your website in two directions: listening to your users via the SpeechRecognition interface and talking back to them via the SpeechSynthesis interface. All of this is done via a JavaScript API, making it easy to test for support. This testability makes it an excellent candidate for progressive enhancement, but more on that in a moment.

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Free Fonts With Personality And Style

The sharing spirit in the design community is remarkable. Designers spend countless hours on side projects and without asking for anything in return, they share their creations freely with the community. Just to give something back, to inspire and to support fellow folks in their work.

30 Free Fonts With Personality And Style

When working on a project yourself, freebies like these can come to the rescue when you have to get along on a tight budget, but, more often that that, they simply are the missing piece that’ll make your design complete.

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To Use Or Not To Use: Touch Gesture Controls For Mobile Interfaces

Many criticize gestural controls as being unintuitive and unnecessary. Despite this, widespread adoption is underway already, and the UI design world is burning the candle at both ends to develop solutions that are instinctively tactile. The challenges here are those of novelty.

To Use Or Not To Use: Touch Gesture Controls For Mobile Interfaces

Even though gestural controls have been around since the early 1980s and have enjoyed a level of ubiquity since the early 2000s, designers are still in the beta-testing phase of making gestural controls intuitive for everyday use.

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Web Development Reading List #169: TLS At Scale, Brotli Benefits, And Easy Onion Deployments

Everyone here can have a big impact on a project, on someone else. I get very excited about this when I read stories like the one about an intern at Google who did an experiment that saves tons of traffic, or when I get an email from one of my readers who now published an awesome complete beginner’s guide to front-end development.

Web Development Reading List 169

We need to recognize that our industry depends on people who share their open-source code and we should support them and their projects that we heavily rely on. Finally, we also need to understand that these people perhaps don’t want a job as an employee at some big company but remain independent instead. So if you make money with a project that uses open-source libraries or other resources, maybe Valentine’s Day might be an occasion to show your appreciation and make the author a nice present.

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How To Create A Realistic Clock In Sketch

Creating a clock in Sketch might not sound exciting at first, but we'll discover how easy it is to recreate real-world objects in a very accurate way. You'll learn how to apply multiple layers of borders and shadows, you'll take a deeper look at gradients and you will see how objects can be rotated and duplicated in special ways. To help you along the way you can also download the Sketch editable file.

How To Create A Realistic Clock In Sketch

This is a rather advanced tutorial, so if you are not that savvy with Sketch yet and need some help, I would recommend to first read "Design a Responsive Music Player in Sketch" (Part One | Part Two) that cover a few key aspects in detail when working with Sketch. You can also have a look at my personal project sketchtips.info where I regularly provide tips and tricks about Sketch.

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The Role Of Empty States In User Onboarding

The first set of screens with which users interact, set the expectations of the app. To make sure your users don't delete your app after the first use, you should teach them how to complete key tasks and make them want to come back for more. In other words, you need to successfully onboard and engage your users during those first interactions.

The Role Of Empty States In User Onboarding

The onboarding process is a critical step in setting up your users for success with your product. You only get one chance to make a first impression. In this article, we'll provide some tips on how to approach onboarding using a simple pattern called "empty states." If you'd like to bring your app or website to life with little effort, you can download and test Adobe XD for free.

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HTML APIs: What They Are And How To Design A Good One

As JavaScript developers, we often forget that not everyone has the same knowledge as us. It’s called the curse of knowledge: When we’re an expert on something, we cannot remember how confused we felt as newbies. We overestimate what people will find easy.

HTML APIs: What They Are And How To Design A Good One

Therefore, we think that requiring a bunch of JavaScript to initialize or configure the libraries we write is OK. Meanwhile, some of our users struggle to use them, frantically copying and pasting examples from the documentation, tweaking them at random until they work.

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Getting Started With VR Interface Design

The virtual realm is uncharted territory for many designers. In the last few years, we've witnessed an explosion in virtual reality (VR) hardware and applications. VR experiences range from the mundane to the wondrous, their complexity and utility varying greatly.

Getting Started With VR Interface Design

Taking your first steps into VR as a UX or UI designer can be daunting. We know because we've been there. But fear not! In this article, we'll share a process for designing VR apps that we hope you'll use to start designing for VR yourself. You don't need to be an expert in VR; you just need to be willing to apply your skills to a new domain. Ultimately, as a community working together, we can accelerate VR to reach its full potential faster.

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