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We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork, and as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one—desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd.
This creativity mission has been going on for seven years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month. This post features free desktop wallpapers created by artists across the globe for June 2015. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!
Building and maintaining a WordPress plugin can be a daunting task. The bigger the codebase, the harder it is to keep track of all the working parts and their relationship to one another. And you can add to that the limitations imposed by working in an antiquated version of PHP, 5.2.
In this article we will explore an alternative way of developing WordPress plugins, using the lessons learned from the greater PHP community, the world outside WordPress. We will walk through the steps of creating a plugin and investigate the use of autoloading and a plugin container.
Having the ability to set legible body copy is an absolute must, and we’ve come a long way with web typography since the dawn of web design. However, I feel like we have allowed the lack of variety prior to the rise of web fonts to dampen our creativity now that thousands of web fonts are at our disposal. Have usability conventions and the web’s universality steered us away from proper art direction? Have we forgotten about art direction altogether? I believe so.
As designers, we can achieve much more with type, and with just a little more thought and creativity, we can finally start to take full advantage of the type systems available. Let’s look at ways we can push typographic design on the web further, beyond the status quo of today.
After almost 20 years of evolution, today's web typography, with its high-density displays and support for OpenType features, is just a step away from the typographic quality of the offline world. But there's still one field of graphic design where we still constantly fall back to bitmap replacements instead of using native text: display typography, the art of staging letters in illustrative, gorgeous, dramatic, playful, experimental or unexpected ways.
Sure, we're able choose from thousands of web fonts and use CSS effects for type, some with wide browser support (like drop-shadows and 3D transforms) and others that are more experimental (like background-clip and text-stroke), but that's basically it. If we want really outstanding display typography on our websites, we'll usually embed it as an image.
If you’re a UX designer, you’ve probably designed a lot of forms and web (or app) pages in which the user needs to choose between options. And as a designer, you’re likely familiar with best practices for designing forms. Certainly, much has been written and discussed about this topic. So, you probably know all about how best to label and position form fields and so on for optimal usability.
But have you thought about how the design of a form affects the user’s decision-making? Have you ever considered to what extent the design itself affects the choices people make? As always in design, there are a variety of ways to design a form or web page.
I love being a web designer and I'm incredibly thankful that I decided to join this industry many years ago. Still, despite my love of this profession, there have been a number of times during my career when my passion has waned and I’ve found myself simply going through the motions instead of fully applying myself to my work. This scenario is likely familiar to many of my fellow web designers. It is called burnout.
Burnout is a very real challenge that we face as web professionals. The same processes that help us complete projects successfully can also contribute to us falling into a routine and hitting autopilot on our work. Sometimes, an overload of work can force you to fall into a routine and become a production line in order to meet deadlines. Other times, a lack of variety and excitement can lead to apathy with burnout not far behind.
A lot of tools enable us to distribute a website’s content, but when we need to promptly reach a target group, an email notification system might be the best option. If your website is not frequently updated, you could notify all subscribers each time a post is published. However, if it’s updated frequently or it covers several topics, you could filter subscribers before mailing them.
If you opt for the latter, you could set up a user meta field that stores a bit of information to identify the subscribers to be notified. The same bit of information would label the posts you’re publishing. Depending on the website’s architecture, you could store the metadata in a category, a tag, a custom taxonomy or a custom field. In this article we’ll show you how to let your website’s subscribers decide when they want notifications, and linked to a particular location.
Although Windows Phone usage is still low compared with other browsers it's sometimes necessary to test your web work for Internet Explorer Mobile. For web developers, this could be a complication. Testing for the Windows Phone environment is not always optional, but it can be a chore — especially because the version of Internet Explorer that comes with the Windows Phone can be quirky at best. If you're a developer without a Windows Phone device, you might have to get a little creative to ensure that your websites are being rendered properly.
In this article I want to point out a few different tools and techniques which can help test websites for Windows Phone even if you don't have the real device handy or if you are not developing on Windows. But first let's quickly look into the differences between mobile and desktop Internet Explorer.
Recently, I had a project in which I needed to produce high-fidelity screens for a tablet. I was to present these screens on the device and also produce a clickable prototype. They needed to be pixel-perfect. The timeline was tight (as always), so I went with my go-to tool, Photoshop. I’ve been using it for over 10 years, and it gives me the fastest high-quality output.
Are you designing at “Retina” resolution in Photoshop? If the answer is yes, then this article is for you. I will walk you through the problems I faced in creating Retina mockups to be displayed on a tablet device. I will then explain a way to work that is easier and gives you better performance. This is about my experience with Photoshop, but it could be applied to Illustrator and other software.
In the past year, adoption of Sketch at Google, where I work at, has taken off and is now a widely preferred tool. The more tools in our belts, the better, so here’s my take on why Sketch and the new material design system are a great match.
Tools are an extension of our hands, and as such, they should be versatile, quick and intuitive. A lot has changed between the print era of offset presses and the digital era of cross-platform screens. Developers have attempted to adapt our tools, but Sketch is perhaps the most successful app in this regard — its creators have removed the bloat, started afresh and presented a smaller, fit-for-purpose feature set. What may seem on the surface to be a simple drawing tool in fact nails the core workflows of digital design.