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Smashing Conf New York

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 New York, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.

Web Development Reading List #148: CSS Color Syntax Change, Browser News, And Hidden Expectations

I shut down my browser on Wednesday, accidentally having a setting switched on that clears history and all sessions. First, I was sad to have lost many tabs with articles I stored “for later”. At the same time, it felt refreshing, liberating to have a clean browser window with zero tabs open. So my new goal is to start work in the morning with a completely clean browser window at least once a week.

Browsers’ score in terms of HTML5 accessibility.

In other news: I spent several hours fixing broken links this week, and as a result I can’t say how happy I am that archive.is and archive.org exist to prevent content from disappearing forever. Still, some of the resources I found broken have left forever. So remind yourself about redirecting content.

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Behind The Scenes: What It Takes To Publish A Smashing Article

It’s been quite a journey for this very sentence to wind up on this little website. Not many people know it, but every single Smashing article goes through a thorough editorial review, including multiple passes for editing and refinement, before being published.

Behind The Scenes: What It Takes To Publish A Smashing Article

In this series of articles dedicated to our upcoming 10th anniversary (mid-September 2016), we’d love to shed some light on our editorial process, explain our workflow and introduce the people behind the scenes, as well as address how our little company is earning money to keep the website alive and running.

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Breaking Out Of The Box: Design Inspiration (August 2016)

How about trying a very different drawing technique or illustration style for your next project? Maybe a weird geometric shape? Or a more abstract form? Or a retro-futuristic color scheme? Not sure about you, but holiday or no holiday, my need for some fresh inspiration never stops.

Breaking Out Of The Box: Design Inspiration (August 2016)

This month, I’ve continued my journey in search for some inspiring and beautiful artwork — and I’ve found some real treasures! As a designer, I feel that there is so much that I can learn from the techniques and color combinations in these little gems. Let’s dive in, and get inspired to leave our comfort zones for our next designs!

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Optimizing Critical-Path Performance With Express Server And Handlebars

Recently, I’ve been working on an isomorphic React website. This website was developed using React, running on an Express server. Everything was going well, but I still wasn’t satisfied with a load-blocking CSS bundle. So, I started to think about options for how to implement the critical-path technique on an Express server.

This article contains my notes about installing and configuring a critical-path performance optimization using Express and Handlebars. Throughout this article, I’ll be using Node.js and Express. Familiarity with them will help you understand the examples.

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Sponsored Post How To Create A Responsive 8-Bit Drum Machine Using Web Audio, SVG And Multitouch

In this little tutorial, I’m going to share some tips I recently followed to build a fun demo for the Build 2016 conference. The idea was to create a small 8-bit drum machine, with 8-bit sounds and graphics:

How To Create A Responsive 8-Bit Drum Machine Using Web Audio, SVG And Multitouch

This small web app was used in one of our demos to illustrate how you can easily provide a temporary offline experience when your hosted web app loses Internet connectivity. It works in all desktop browsers as well as on all smartphones (iOS, Android and Windows Mobile).

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Using A Static Site Generator At Scale: Lessons Learned

Static site generators are pretty en vogue nowadays. It is as if developers around the world are suddenly realizing that, for most websites, a simple build process is easy enough to render the last 20 years of content management systems useless. All right, that’s a bit over the top. But for the average website without many moving parts, it’s pretty close!

Using A Static Site Generator At Scale: Lessons Learned

However, does that hold true for websites bigger than your humble technology blog? How do static site generators behave when the number of pages exceeds the average portfolio website and runs up into the thousands? Or when development is a team effort? Or when people of different technical backgrounds are involved? This is the story of how we managed to bring roughly 2000 pages and 40 authors onto a technology stack made for hackers.

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User Memory Design: How To Design For Experiences That Last

The two charts pictured below changed the way I think about thinking. Reproduced from a classic 1996 psychology study, the story behind these charts is a vivid illustration that the way we humans feel in the moment as we experience the world can be very different from how we feel when we think back on those experiences later.

User Memory Design: How To Design For Experiences That Stick

Understanding the difference between experience and memory — and the ways they are related — can make us more sophisticated experience designers. In this piece, I’m going to provide some tips for designing for experiences that leave a lasting positive impression. But first, I need to explain the following two charts.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: August 2016

Since eight years, our monthly desktop wallpapers challenge is a Smashing favorite that wouldn’t be possible without the tireless efforts of talented designers and artists from across the globe. On a quest to cater for wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd, we challenge you, the design community, to get your creative juices flowing and produce some interesting and inspiring designs each month anew. And, well, it wasn’t any different this time around.

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: August 2016

This post features wallpapers to get your desktop ready for August 2016. They all come in versions with and without a calendar and can be downloaded for free. A big thank-you to everyone who tickled their creativity and contributed their ideas!

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Web Development Reading List #147: Security Guidelines, Accessible UI Components, And Content-First Design

When working in a team, it’s important to stick to rules. A common challenge is to build all your projects with a similar or the same toolset and coding guidelines. Only yesterday I discussed how we could port over a project that outgrew its initial codebase over the years to a fresh, React.js-based source code.

HTTPS protection

The decision for this wasn’t easy, since we had invested quite a lot of work and money into this project already, and a move to React would require quite some time, too. But since the switch makes sense from a technical perspective and the team is already using React for three other projects, we concluded that this would be a good step to do. It will enable more developers of the team to contribute to the project, to review code and to reduce the shift of technologies in the company. Occasionally, it’s time to re-evaluate your projects and move on.

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