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.
Are you passionate about something? Do you have a secret project? Not something that will change the world (though who knows?), but will definitely change you? Do you have a friend who complements your skills? Has anyone recently asked you for help with their project? Do you just have a digital dream, or is there also a plan to make it come true?
Every professional has something in common. It’s called the comfort zone. The first sign you're in it is when you see no challenge on the horizon. You know pretty much everything you need to perform well, and if anything unfamiliar comes your way it can be solved fairly quickly. It can take a while to realize you've stopped moving, and working on freelance projects seems like the only way to keep your brain busy.
Some folks love it, some hate it. Today's icon set, designed by Manuela Langella, is dedicated to both lovers and haters of... football! That's right, the 2016 UEFA European Championship starts tomorrow. Clink! Clink! Let the games begin!
You may modify the size, color or shape of the icons. No attribution is required, though reselling bundles or individual pictograms isn't cool. Please note that this icon set is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. We'd kindly like to ask you to provide credits to the creator and link to this article if you would like to spread the word about the freebie.
Petrograd, Russia, 1920. Deep in his scientific laboratory, a young Léon Theremin accidentally notices that the sound coming from one of his high-frequency oscillators changes pitch when he moves his hand. Popular culture is changed forever. The theremin’s unique sound proves perfect for sci-fi soundtracks and Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys. The world is a better place.
For the better part of a century, musicians have been waiting for a similar breakthrough technology to again change the way we create music. I’m delighted to announce it has already arrived. It’s called the Web Audio API.
There’s no doubt that simple design is hard, since it requires much more thought and inspiration. It’s about understanding exactly what your users need. Colors play a major role, and today I’d like to show you a couple of illustrations that may motivate you to try out some new color combinations and techniques.
Take a look at the following photographs, posters and book covers that have been created with some really inspiring shades and color palettes, and some even show how to cleverly use negative space. From 3D illustrations to artwork created with ink and watercolors, I’m sure there’s something that’ll spark your inspiration. Be warned though, some of them may even give you wanderlust from just looking at them.
We have a lot of passwords to remember, and it’s becoming a problem. Authentication is clearly important, but there are many ways to reliably authenticate users – not just passwords. Passwords are written off as inconvenient and unavoidable, but even if true a few years ago, that’s not true today. Due to a combination of sensors, encryption and seasoned technology users, authentication is taking on new (and exciting) forms.
Most other interaction patterns have been updated over time, but no one wants to mess with password authentication. It’s too serious. Or there’s too much liability. You know, like if you don’t clear the password input after someone types the wrong password, their credit card information is at risk.
It’s well known that, in the ’80s, Microsoft and Apple made the graphical user interface (GUI), the dominant interface on desktop computers. What’s less known is that the GUI, whose navigation is based on pages and links, is not the only possible interface. And we know that finding our way in a modern GUI, whether for a website or application, is not always easy.
One problem is of design, meaning that an interface could simply be poorly designed. But a different problem may very well be the way our brains are wired; even well-designed interfaces can be difficult to navigate and use.
Whether you’ve just discovered BEM or are an old hand (in web terms anyway!), you probably appreciate what a useful methodology it is. If you don’t know what BEM is, I suggest you read about it on the BEM website before continuing with this post, because I’ll be using terms that assume a basic understanding of this CSS methodology.
This article aims to be useful for people who are already BEM enthusiasts and wish to use it more effectively or people who are curious to learn more about it. Now, I’m under no illusion that this is a beautiful way to name things. It’s absolutely not. One of things that put me off of adopting it for such a long time was how eye-gougingly ugly the syntax is. The designer in me didn’t want my sexy markup cluttered with dirty double-underscores and foul double-hyphens.
We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting and unique 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 eight years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed to it and who are still enthusiastically continuing to do so each month. This post features free desktop wallpapers created by artists across the globe for June 2016. Both versions with and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to give your desktop a makeover!
Design patterns often have a bad reputation. They are often considered to be quick, lazy, off-the-shelf solutions that are applied blindly without consideration of the context of a problem. Solutions such as the almighty off-canvas navigation, the floating label pattern or carousels for featured products are some of the prominent ones.
This article isn’t about these patterns, though. This article features some of the slightly more obscure design patterns, such as responsive car-builder interfaces, mega dropdown navigation, content grids, maps and charts, as well as responsive art direction. Please note that this article isn’t technical; it explores interesting UX patterns out in the wild, rather than code samples. Beware: You will not be able to unsee what you are about to see, and that’s probably a good thing.
Editor's Note: Today marks a special day for WordPress. Powering many websites (and yes, Smashing Magazine is one of them), it celebrates its 13th birthday today. Happy birthday, dear WordPress! Here's to many more!
Do you remember when you could run a “fast” WordPress website with just an Apache server and PHP? Yeah, those were the days! Things were a lot less complicated back then.
Now, everything has to load lightning-fast! Visitors don’t have the same expectations about loading times as they used to. A slow website can have serious implications for you or your client.
If you’re a footloose creative soul searching for a more affordable and friendly space than a typical rented or home office, coworking could work for you.
Coworking spaces are popping up in cities all around the world. They allow freelancers, small business owners and independent workers to rent a working area that is shared with others. The setup is usually more casual than the fixed rental agreement you would get in a dedicated office space.
Personal side projects are a cornerstone of creative growth and discovery. While they might not always result in financial gain, the long-term benefits are often much more useful. Benefits such as personal growth, creative exploration and generation of professional opportunities are some of the reasons to engage in them.
In this article, we’ll explore these benefits, as well as learn how to decide on a project and how to effectively manage our time (using my recently launched project an an example). Finally, for inspiration, we’ll look at some great examples of personal projects.