We use ad-blockers as well, you know. 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. upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.
Maxwell is a researcher at a design firm that is working on a mobile payment app. He wants to learn more about how users currently interact with point-of-sale terminals. Maxwell contacts a local grocery store to coordinate times to observe customers as they are checking out. He then asks every fifth customer who checks out to complete a brief survey. Maxwell is engaging in intercepts as part of his recruitment of research participants.
We often want information on what users and potential users of our designs think and how they behave in the context of where they will use our design. For example, if you are designing a new interface for an ATM, you would benefit from understanding how current users engage with ATMs in the context of spaces where ATMs are located. Intercepts allow you to engage users in a variety of settings to collect data to inform your design. It sounds simple, but there is a right way to ask people to stop and participate in a study. This article shares a method to design and carry out effective intercepts as part of your user research.
Photoshop is still a favorite among a lot of web designers, and the right tools make it even more powerful as it already is. To help you boost productivity, save time, and, obviously, nerves, we have picked some valuable Photoshop resources, plugins, and scripts for you.
Some of them will speed up routine tasks so you can concentrate more on your actual work, others build a bridge between Photoshop and code so your design mockups can benefit from the best of both worlds. Unless otherwise noted, the resources are free to use.
Cross-browser testing is time-consuming and laborious. This, in turn, makes it expensive and prone to human error… so, naturally, we want to do as little of it as possible. This is not a statement we should be ashamed of. Developers are lazy by nature: adhering to the DRY principle, writing scripts to automate things we’d otherwise have to do by hand, making use of third-party libraries — being lazy is what makes us good developers.
The traditional approach to cross-browser testing doesn’t align well with these ideals. Either you make a half-hearted attempt at manual testing or you expend a lot of effort on doing it “properly”: testing in all of the major browsers used by your audience, gradually moving to older or more obscure browsers in order to say you’ve tested them.
As I was leading my course in responsive web design between 2011 and 2012, I kept stumbling over the process of wireframing. My students tended to focus on the wireframe as being the end game in the planning process. They didn’t understand that responsive design focuses on how users will access the content.
You can only imagine my relief when I happened to come across a video by Stephen Hay speaking at the Beyond the Desktop conference in 2012. There, in his talk on responsive design, he presented the concept of the content wireframe. This was a huge relief to me. I just knew there was a step before the process got real, but I couldn’t articulate it. In this post, I’ll describe the methods I use to get from content to responsive wireframe — and how you can, too.
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the protocol that governs the connection between your server and the browsers of your website’s visitors. For the first time since 1999, we have a new version of this protocol, and it promises far faster websites for everyone.
In this article, we’ll look at the basics of HTTP/2 as they apply to web designers and developers. I’ll explain some of the key features of the new protocol, look at browser and server compatibility, and detail the things you might need to think about as we see more adoption of HTTP/2. By reading this article, you will get an overview of what to consider changing in your workflow in the short and long term. I’ll also include plenty of resources if you want to dig further into the issues raised.
In May of 2015, Facebook unveiled its new in-app publishing platform, Instant Articles. A month later, Apple declared that the old Newsstand experience (essentially a fancy folder full of news apps) would be replaced in iOS 9 with a brand new news-aggregation and discovery platform called Apple News.
Four months later, it was Google’s turn to announce its own, somewhat belated but no less ambitious, plan to revolutionize mobile news consumption with an open-source web-based solution called Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP. In just a few months, we’ve seen the relative tranquility of mobile digital publishing erupt into yet another full-scale platform war as Facebook, Apple, and now Google compete for both the loyalty of publishers and the attention of readers.
I often think about our responsibility as web developers. I compare our job to a health worker, to a craftsman, and I realize that we have a pretty easy job in most cases. Usually, nobody’s life will be affected if a website is not available for a couple of minutes or hours.
But there are some cases where this could happen. People start coding app interfaces for health application with web technologies, people start connecting health services to the web, and people also rely on websites for their own safety. And that’s why I think we should feel responsible for our users. And by making choices that are ethical and user-centered, we create a better web for everyone.
Typography can make all the difference. However, if your project has to get along on a very limited budget and you need to rely on free fonts, good ones are never easy to find. Luckily, we stumbled across some real gems lately.
The following fonts can be downloaded for free and are bound to give your project — both private and/or commercial — a classy finishing touch.
Reviews, testimonials and word of mouth are winning the war in branding. A sea of research is out there about social proof and what to do and what not to do about soliciting customer reviews. It’s overwhelming to read and digest it all, let alone to know which nuggets are gold and which are fool’s gold. For a designer or business owner or marketer, knowing who or what to listen to can be difficult.
Here’s what I like to do: Find data! I like to find really smart researchers who are in the lab studying the topic du jour, interview them about their work, and then tell you all about it. Using the magic of science to improve how we solicit customers for feedback, testimonials or reviews can be a saving grace to those who would like to share happy customer reviews and remedy any lackluster experiences — in the best way possible, in fact: without sacrificing good UX or losing valuable customers.