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The Smashing Book #5

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. new Smashing Book 5 features smart responsive design techniques and patterns.

Controlling The Cache: Using Edge Side Includes In Varnish

I’m a firm believer that the best way to optimize for fast-loading mobile sites is to optimize for everyone. We don’t know when someone is on a non-mobile device but tethered to their phone, or just on awful Wi-Fi.

Controlling The Cache: Using Edge Side Includes In Varnish

In a previous article for Smashing Magazine I explained how you can speed up your websites by serving dynamic pages from a reverse proxy like Varnish. If you are new to Varnish then that article is the place to start as I'll be diving straight into configuration details here. In this article I’ll explain how you can benefit from using Varnish even when there are parts of your pages that can’t be cached for long periods, using Edge Side Includes.

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On China’s Bleeding Edge: Web Design Trends 2015

There are many parallels between the volatility of the web industry and China’s breakneck rate of change: For one thing, it’s hard to keep a finger on the pulse of either. But add the two together and you get China’s tech scene, a virtual landscape in such constant flux that our only hope of keeping pace is to look as far into the future as we’re able, try to discern what’s coming, and brace for impact.

On China’s Bleeding Edge: Web Design Trends 2015

Make no mistake: The Chinese web is in some ways a different place than the web you’re used to — particularly in two or three crucial respects — and user expectations are not quite the same as they are in the West. In this article, I’ll examine the things all web professionals should know before swan-diving into the Chinese market, including how mobile-only social platforms have become the revolutionary new frontier of Chinese web design, and who’s designing beautiful websites in China today.

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Designing Case Studies: Showcasing A Human-Centered Design Process

Designers are great at producing visual artifacts. We create mockups, images, code and all sorts of other material to document our solutions. But looking only at those artifacts doesn’t account for the actual creative process.

Designing Case Studies: Showcasing A Human-Centered Design Process

In their article “Documenting Design-In-Process,” John Bassani and Carolyn Barnes highlight a potential reason: We view our design approaches as intuitive and emotional, so we have a hard time developing documented, human-focused design processes.

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Designers: Start Coding With uilang

Editor's Note: Designers could learn how to code, and developers could learn how to design. Sometimes it might not be an option. In this article, the author makes a suggestion to designers without coding skills on how to start crafting code. You might want to take the suggested tool with a grain of salt (or not) but the idea might be worth looking into.

Designers have widely adopted HTML and CSS for a while now. They usually feel comfortable enough to implement their own designs, at least in a static form. However, they’re often intimidated by JavaScript — and rightly so! HTML and CSS are declarative and, I’d argue, closer to design than programming.

Designers: Start Coding With uilang

JavaScript, on the other hand, is “real” programming. This means you not only have to learn a whole new and complex syntax but also have to “learn how to think.” The barriers to entry are high and prevent many designers from taking the plunge. uilang tries to fix that.

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Designing For Smartwatches And Wearables To Enhance Real-Life Experience

Imagine two futures of mobile technology: in one, we are distracted away from our real-world experiences, increasingly focused on technology and missing out on what is going on around us; in the other, technology enhances our life experiences by providing a needed boost at just the right time.

Designing For Smartwatches And Wearables To Enhance Real-Life Experience

The first reality is with us already. When was the last time you enjoyed a meal with friends without it being interrupted by people paying attention to their smartphones instead of you? How many times have you had to watch out for pedestrians who are walking with their faces buried in a device, oblivious to their surroundings?

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An Exploration Of Carousel Usage On Mobile E-Commerce Websites

Does this title make you skeptical? I would have been too before I saw the research that led to this article. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that carousels are an anti-pattern. Don’t use them. But maybe it’s not so cut and dry.

An Exploration Of Carousel Usage On Mobile E-Commerce Websites

Using real data, this article aims for a better understanding of the current argument against carousels and whether they really deserve the reputation they’ve gained. I’ll break down the arguments point by point and see if our data lines up with those expectations. Through all of that, I’ll detail our findings and methods and make some recommendations on how and when you should use carousels in future.

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How To Streamline Creative Dialogue

In the beginning of my professional career, I often struggled with status meetings. They regularly turned into back-and-forth conversation with a client who was making weird design suggestions. I often left these meetings feeling very confused, uncertain and demotivated after weeks of passionate effort.

How To Streamline Creative Dialogue

It took me a while to figure out what was happening and how I could improve my workflow. With this article, I want to share my learnings after years of streamlining creative dialogue.

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Designing For The Elderly: Ways Older People Use Digital Technology Differently

If you work in the tech industry, it’s easy to forget that older people exist. Most tech workers are really young, so it’s easy to see why most technology is designed for young people. But consider this: By 2030, around 19% of people in the US will be over 65. Doesn’t sound like a lot? Well it happens to be about the same number of people in the US who own an iPhone today. Which of these two groups do you think Silicon Valley spends more time thinking about?

Designing For The Elderly: Ways Older People Use Digital Technology Differently

This seems unfortunate when you consider all of the things technology has to offer older people. A great example is Speaking Exchange, an initiative that connects retirees in the US with kids who are learning English in Brazil.

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Product Design Unification Case Study: Mobile Web Framework

Big companies are always trying to simplify the support and development of their large product portfolios. Mail.Ru Group (one of the two largest Internet companies in Russia, with more than 100 million monthly users), has about 40 products — even more if you add mobile and tablet websites and apps, promo websites, etc. My team deals with almost half of them — that’s about 100 ongoing projects at different stages. Our goal is to update these products and unify them around several guidelines.

Product Design Unification Case Study: Mobile Web Framework

This article will discuss the transformation of our design process from the classic Prototype → Design Mockup → HTML → Implement approach for every screen to a modern and more efficient framework-based approach.

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Redefining Lazy Loading With Lazy Load XT

Lazy loading is a common software design pattern that defers the initialization of objects until they are needed. Lazy loading images started to become popular on the web back in 2007, when Mika Tuupola drew inspiration from the YUI ImageLoader utility and released a jQuery plugin. Since then, it’s become a popular technique to optimize page loading and the user experience. In this article I will discuss why we should and shouldn't use Lazy Load, and how to implement it.

Redefining Lazy Loading With Lazy Load XT

Images make up over 60% of an average page’s size, according to HTTP Archive. Images on a web page would be rendered once they are available. Without lazy loading, this could lead to a lot of data traffic that is not immediately necessary (such as images outside of the viewport) and longer waiting times. The problem? Visitors are not patient at all. By lazy loading, images outside of the viewport are loaded only when they would be visible to the user, thus saving valuable data and time.

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