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Smashing Conf New York

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.

Content Modeling With Jekyll

It’s not exactly a new subject, but lately I’ve had reason to revisit the skill of content modeling in my team’s work. Our experience has reached a point where the limitations of how we practice are starting to become clear. Our most common issue is that people tend to tie themselves and their mental models to a chosen platform and its conventions.

Content Modeling With Jekyll

Instead of teaching people how to model content, we end up teaching them how to model content in Drupal, or how to model content in WordPress. But I’d prefer that we approach it from a focus on the best interests of users, regardless of which platform said content will end up in.

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Efficient Responsive Design Process

What's your responsive design process like? Do you feel that it's efficient? The following article is an excerpt from Ben Callahan’s chapter “Responsive Process,” first published in the Smashing Book 5 (table of contents). We've collected some useful techniques and practices from real-life responsive projects in the book — and you can get your hard copy or grab the eBook today. You will not be disappointed, you know. —Ed.

Responsive Process

“The successful respondent to this RFP will provide three static design options for our team to evaluate.” I’ve never been a huge fan of taking a multi-option design approach, but I get it — sometimes a client needs this. “Each of these options will provide design for three unique layouts: home page, listing page, detail page.” All right. Now, we’re up to nine static design files. This is getting a bit out of hand.

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Web Dev. Reading List #125

It’s Friday again, and I found some interesting articles for you to read over the upcoming weekend. In projects, developer, manager and product leaders still try to put pressure on the people who work on a task. Somehow they feel relieved, more secure if they do that. On the other hand, the people experiencing the pressure of urgency are struggling massively with it.

Responsive containers in Gmail

The fallacy here is that while the ones spreading the pressure feel better, the people experiencing it usually do a worse job than without the pressure. It leads to more bugs, unstructured work and, in the end, all people involved will suffer from the result. So instead, a team, which includes everyone from a developer to a manager, should focus on the purpose of the work. Give it a try, y’all, and now, enjoy your weekend!

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Quick Tips A Beginner’s Guide To Creating A WordPress Website

Earlier this year, WordPress passed the 24% mark, running almost a quarter of all websites — and for good reason. It has a loyal user base and scores of dedicated developers who bring better features to the system year round.

A Beginner's Guide To Creating A WordPress Website

This article is for those of you who either are new to WordPress or are regular users who want to learn about the best way to run a WordPress website. We’ll be learning about working with domains, installing WordPress, managing content and using great plugins and themes to secure our website and make our content shine.

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The Art Of The Intercept: Moving Beyond “Would You Like To Take A Survey?”

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.

The Art Of The Intercept: Moving Beyond “Would You Like To Take A Survey?”

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.

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Quick Tips Free Photoshop Tools For Web Designers

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.

Free Photoshop Tools For Web Designers

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.

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High-Impact, Minimal-Effort Cross-Browser Testing

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.

High-Impact, Minimal-Effort Cross-Browser Testing

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.

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Quick Tips Creating Content Wireframes For Responsive Design

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.

How To Create Content Wireframes For Responsive Design

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.

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Getting Ready For HTTP/2: A Guide For Web Designers And Developers

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.

Getting Ready For HTTP/2: A Guide For Web Designers And Developers

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.

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