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.
There is UI animation, and then there is good UI animation. Good animation makes you go “Wow!” — it’s smooth, beautiful and, most of all, natural, not blocky, rigid or robotic. If you frequent Dribbble or UpLabs, you’ll know what I am talking about.
With so many amazing designers creating such beautiful animations, any developer would naturally want to recreate them in their own projects. Now, CSS does provide some presets for transition-timing-function, such as ease-in, ease-out and ease-in-out, which add some level of smoothness and realism, but they are very generic, aren’t they? How boring would it be if every animation on the web followed the same three timing functions?
The bar is set high for today’s mobile apps. First, apps must meet the standard of quality that app markets expect. Secondly, mobile app users are very demanding. Plenty of alternatives are available to download, so users will not tolerate a buggy app.
Because mobile apps have become such a crucial part of people’s lives, users won’t be shy about sharing their love or hate for an app — and that feedback gets in front of millions of users in seconds.
Lately, I’ve gotten spoiled from using an editor that does intelligent autocompletion for me, something that in the past only massive complex IDEs offered. Opening my editor of choice, I created an input element and added an autocomplete attribute, only to find that the code completion offered me the state of on or off. Disappointing.
I recently sat down with Rock Zhang, a Chinese mobile entrepreneur. Rock is my classmate from business school, and we have both worked in the mobile industry for a while. In an age when the best marketing is good product management, Rock knows how to make millions of Chinese users fall in love with an app. I asked him to share his thoughts on app localization.
For me, China has always been a hard market to crack. I’ve marketed several mobile apps in European and US markets, and my apps have been featured many times in the App Stores in Russia, Israel, Spain, Germany and the US. But in China, our growth was stalling, and I don’t think we ever got a request for promotional artwork to be featured in the App Store. Truth be told, my “Asian expansion strategy” usually boiled down to hiring freelance translators through Elance to help me localize App Store pages in Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
First, I’ll recap what async functions are and how they work. Then, I’ll highlight the differences between Koa 1 and Koa 2. After that, I will describe my demo app for Koa 2, covering all aspects of development, including testing (using Mocha, Chai and Supertest) and deployment (using PM2).
It’s been almost five years since Photoshop Etiquette launched, which officially makes it a relic on the web. A lot can happen on the web in a few years, and these past five have illustrated that better than most.
In 2011, everyone was just getting their feet wet with responsive web design. The traditional comp-to-HTML workflow was only beginning to be critiqued, and since then, we’ve seen a myriad of alternatives. With a shift from page-based design to building a design system, it’s truly an exciting time.
For some time now, I’ve wanted the ability to route paths for a GitHub Pages website to its index.html for handling as a single-page app (SPA). This is table-stakes because such apps require all requests to be routed to one HTML file, unless you want to copy the same file across all of your routes every time you make a change to the project. Currently, GitHub Pages doesn’t offer a route-handling solution; the Pages system is intended to be a flat, simple mechanism for serving basic project content.
In case you weren’t aware, GitHub does provide one morsel of customization for your project website: the ability to add a 404.html file and have it served as your custom error page. I took a first stab at an SPA hack simply by duplicating my index.html file and renaming the copy to 404.html.
Criticism is easy. It seems like everybody has an opinion, but, as the author Harlan Ellison points out, "You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion." To become informed, though, requires exploration. Design critiques are an important part of any product exploration.
A design critique — where the creator discusses and explains the creation with the rest of the team and/or client — is not about badgering the designer or pushing them to justify every decision they made. That’s just criticism. A good design critique is meant to explore the design, find where it is working and where it could be improved. If done well, design critiques allow everyone on the team to feel as if they have been heard and allow clients to give valuable feedback.
Progressive web apps could be the next big thing for the mobile web. Originally proposed by Google in 2015, they have already attracted a lot of attention because of the relative ease of development and the almost instant wins for the application’s user experience.
A progressive web application takes advantage of the latest technologies to combine the best of web and mobile apps. Think of it as a website built using web technologies but that acts and feels like an app. Recent advancements in the browser and in the availability of service workers and in the Cache and Push APIs have enabled web developers to allow users to install web apps to their home screen, receive push notifications and even work offline.
Dariel Fitzkee, the famous magician, once said, “Magic is both in the details and in the performance.” Interaction design is just like that. Designers love to get the big picture right, but if the details aren’t handled properly, the solution will fail. The magic is all in the details. That’s why well-designed microinteractions make experiences feel crafted.
To get a better understanding of how your design benefits from microinteractions, it will help to sketch out your app ideas. Adobe introduced a new design and wireframing app called Experience Design (or Adobe XD) which lets you design wireframes and make them interactive. You can download and test Adobe XD for free.
We've all been there. You spent months gathering business requirements, working out complex user journeys, crafting precision interface elements and testing them on a representative sample of users, only to see a final product that bears little resemblance to the desired experience.
Maybe you should have been more forceful and insisted on an agile approach, despite your belief that the organization wasn't ready? Perhaps you should have done a better job with your pattern portfolios, ensuring that the developers used your modular code library rather than creating five different variations of a carousel. Or, maybe you even should've sat next the the development team every day, making sure what you designed actually came to pass.
One of the hardest decisions to make when starting a new app is which platforms to target. A mobile app gives you more control and better performance but isn’t as universal as the web. If you’re making a mobile app, can you afford to support both iOS and Android?
What about trying to build a mobile app and a responsive web app? Ultimately, the best experience for your customers is for your app to work everywhere, but the development and maintenance costs of that can be prohibitive.