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.
The most popular mobile operating system is known to be Android. One of the main reasons for its popularity is its ability to run on a huge number of devices, not only on phones and tablets. We find Android on TVs, watches, cars, even fridges and mirrors.
Android Wear is the version of the operating system specifically designed to extend the Android platform to wearables, with particular attention to smartwatches. These devices allow the user to consume information in a completely different way than traditional handheld devices: Data is presented at the right time depending on the user's context, and interaction is less invasive and time-consuming than in a phone app.
Facilitation in the broadest sense means helping or enabling people to achieve a positive outcome. It's an important and often under-appreciated skill for designers and other UX professionals to gain. It's especially important as more teams embrace lean UX practices, which shift emphasis away from big deliverables toward facilitating outcomes such as continuous discovery and shared understanding.
Any kind of working session or meeting in which design decisions are being shaped needs a facilitator. The authors of Sprint, the popular book about running five-day design sprints, compare the facilitator's role to Brad Pitt's character in Ocean's Eleven: The facilitator "keeps the heist running." But you don't need to run a week-long workshop to benefit from facilitation skills.
Sketch is known for its tricky, advanced facets, but it's not rocket science. We've got you covered with The Sketch Handbook which is filled with practical examples and tutorials that will help you get the most out of this mighty tool. In today's article, Christian Krammer gives us a little taste of all the impressive designs Sketch is capable of bringing to life. — Ed.
Music plays a big role in my life. For the most part, I listen to music when I'm commuting, but also when I'm exercising or doing some housework. It makes the time fly, and I couldn't imagine living without it.
However, one thing that has always bothered me is that the controls of music apps can be quite small and hard to catch. This can be a major issue, especially in the car, where every distraction matters. Another issue, in particular with the recent redesign of iOS' Music app, is that you can't directly like tracks anymore and instead need to open a separate dialog. And I do that a lot — which means one needless tap for me.
I've been following the idea of algorithm-driven design for several years now and have collected some practical examples. The tools of the approach can help us to construct a UI, prepare assets and content, and personalize the user experience. The information, though, has always been scarce and hasn't been systematic.
However, in 2016, the technological foundations of these tools became easily accessible, and the design community got interested in algorithms, neural networks and artificial intelligence (AI). Now is the time to rethink the modern role of the designer.
Editor's Note: New year, new challenges! You might have set up your New Year's resolutions already, but if not, how about designing something... different for a change? Today, we're happy to introduce Dorota, an artist who created a fun little project last year that was inspired by Twitter's new logo based on 13 circles. Below you'll find the lessons Dorota has learned along the process, so maybe you'd like to embark on a similar journey as well?
If you can make a bird out of circles, then you can probably make all sorts of animals. I wanted to add something more design-based to my portfolio, so I made that my personal challenge. The idea was to draw animals from exactly 13 circles, and I decided to match that number by making 13 animals. This makes for a nicer title for the project, and it helps to get others to share it around the web, too. Knowing what you want to create early on helps, because then all you have to do is figure out ways to make it happen.
New year, new beginnings! To cater for a fresh start into 2017 and all the challenges, endeavors and adventures it might bring along, artists and designers from across the globe put their creative skills to the test and created unique desktop wallpapers for you to indulge in.
This monthly wallpapers mission has been going on for eight years now, and we are very thankful to all the creative minds who contribute to it tirelessly each month anew. Today's wallpapers all come in versions with and without a calendar and can be downloaded for free. Happy New Year!
Earlier this year, I redesigned my portfolio website. During this process, I decided to add a feature that educated visitors on how to say my name. One day, I opened the "Voice Memos" app on my iPhone, tapped "Record", and asked my wife to say my first name. Then, I embedded a small button onto the landing page after my first name. Clicking on that button would play the audio file of my name.
With a couple of days left until New Year's Eve, it's just about time to set aside 60 minutes to clean up, sort out and back up your digital footprint, to ensure a good smooth start to 2017. So many little details tend to get forgotten or overlooked every single time, only to get fixed hastily later — but doesn't it just feel right when everything is in the right place, neatly organized, even if you aren't a compulsory cleaner or an obsessed perfectionist?
This is not a generic article about unspectacular things like getting to inbox zero or changing the copyright year in your footer (although that's a good idea!) — we published a detailed checklist of all of those details a couple of years ago. Instead, you'll find below an overview of all of those obscure little things that I forget about every year; so, I decided to gather them all in one place once and for all.
When designing a landing page to promote a product or service online, you're ultimately pointing users toward one goal. That goal most often relates to generating business via sales or leads. You may want users to purchase a product immediately, or you may simply want them to sign up for a mailing list. Whatever the goal, you want to ensure that every piece of the user experience works toward fulfilling that goal.
If you don't yet have goals in mind, start by defining goals. Are you seeking to generate a 10% increase in qualified leads? Are you looking to build sales by 20%? Establishing clear key performance indicators based on what will benefit your business will ultimately help you understand how to properly approach a landing page.
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.