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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I decided to rebuild my personal website, because it was six years old and looked — politely speaking — a little bit "outdated."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.
Have you ever wondered what it takes to create a SpriteKit game? Do buttons seem like a bigger task than they should be? Ever wonder how to persist settings in a game? Game-making has never been easier on iOS since the introduction of SpriteKit. In part three of this three-part series, we will finish up our RainCat game and complete our introduction to SpriteKit.
If you missed out on the previous lesson, you can catch up by getting the code on GitHub. Remember that this tutorial requires Xcode 8 and Swift 3.
Around a year ago, while working at a digital agency, I was given the objective of streamlining our UX design process. Twelve months later, this article shares my thoughts and experiences on how lean thinking helped to instill efficiencies within our UX design process.
When I arrived at the agency, wireframes were already being created and utilized across a variety of projects. Winning advocates for the production of wireframes was not the issue. All stakeholders (both internally and externally) understood the purpose of wireframes and appreciated their value in shaping and modeling digital experiences.
We shouldn’t let ourselves get distracted by people who work on different projects than we do. If a developer advocate works on a web-based QR code application, for example, their way of tackling things most certainly won’t fit your project. If someone builds a real-time dashboard, their concept won’t relate to the company portfolio website you’re building. Bear in mind that you need to find the best concept, the best technologies, the best solution for your specific project.
Thinking about the right decisions rather than following cool, new trends blindly, is the first step to building responsible web solutions. That’s what we call progressive enhancement. The only subjective matter in this undertaking is you, judging what level of progressive enhancement a solution should have.
Christmas is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than with some free goodies? We sifted through the web (and our archives) to find holiday-themed icon sets for you that’ll give your creative projects some holiday flair. Perfect for Christmas cards, gift tags, last-minute wrapping paper, or whatever else you can think of.
All icons can be downloaded for free, but please consult their licenses or contact the creators before using them in commercial projects. Reselling a bundle is never cool, though. Have a happy holiday season!
Most people now know that modern web browsers use the GPU to render parts of web pages, especially ones with animation. For example, a CSS animation using the transform property looks much smoother than one using the left and top properties. But if you ask, “How do I get smooth animation from the GPU?” in most cases, you’ll hear something like, “Use transform: translateZ(0) or will-change: transform.”
These properties have become something like how we used zoom: 1 for Internet Explorer 6 (if you catch my drift) in terms of preparing animation for the GPU — or compositing, as browser vendors like to call it. But sometimes animation that is nice and smooth in a simple demo runs very slowly on a real website, introduces visual artifacts or even crashes the browser. Why does this happen? How do we fix it? Let’s try to understand.
If you’ve been following the web development community these last few months, chances are you’ve read about progressive web apps (PWAs). It’s an umbrella term used to describe web experiences advanced that they compete with ever-so-rich and immersive native apps: full offline support, installability, “Retina,” full-bleed imagery, sign-in support for personalization, fast, smooth in-app browsing, push notifications and a great UI.
But even though the new Service Worker API allows you to cache away all of your website’s assets for an almost instant subsequent load, like when meeting someone new, the first impression is what counts. If the first load takes more than 3 seconds, the latest DoubleClick study shows that more than 53% of all users will drop off.
Visibility of system status is one of the most important principles in user interface design. Users want to feel in control of the system they’re using, which means they want to know and understand their current context at any given time, and especially when a system is busy doing work. A wait-animation progress indicator is the most common form of providing a system status for users when something is happening or loading.
While an instant response from an app is the best, there are times when your app won’t be able to comply with the guidelines for speed. A slow response could be caused by a bad internet connection, or an operation itself can take a long time (e.g. install an update for OS). For such cases, in order to minimize user tension, you must reassure users that the app is working on their request and that actual progress is being made. Thus, you should provide feedback to the user about what is happening with the app within a reasonable amount of time.