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Why Performance Matters, Part 3: Tolerance Management

When technical performance optimizations reach certain limits, psychology and perception management might help us to push the limits further. Waiting can consist of active and passive phases; for the user to perceive a wait as a shorter one, we increase the active phase and reduce the passive phase of the wait. But what do we do when the event is a purely passive wait, with no active phase at all? Can we push the limits even further?

Why Performance Matters, Part 3: Tolerance Management

Waits without an active phase happen quite often in the offline world: waiting in a checkout line to the till, waiting for a bus, queuing in an amusement park, and so on. It is widely accepted that the longer the user has to wait, the more negative the reaction to the wait. User reaction to a wait online is no different from that in the offline world. Studies based on the analysis of more than a thousand cases identify 14 distinct types of waiting situations on the web. Being dependent on our users' loyalty, we cannot leave them facing a passive wait.

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Introducing Term Meta Data In WordPress And How To Use Them

WordPress 4.4 introduced term meta data which allows you to save meta values for terms in a similar way to post meta data. This is a highly anticipated and logical addition to the WordPress system.

Introducing Term Meta Data In WordPress And How To Use Them

So far, the post and comment meta systems allowed us to add arbitrary data to posts and comments. This can be used to add ratings to comments, indicate your mood while you were writing a post, attach prices to product posts, and various other information you think is relevant to your content. As of the newest version of WordPress, meta data can now be added to terms which allows us to create features like default category thumbnails in a standardized way. This tutorial will show you how you can edit, update and retrieve these meta data for terms.

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Lessons Learned In Big App Development, A Hawaiian Airlines Case Study

Having spent over two years making it, we just pressed the “Ship” button on the new Hawaiian Airlines website. It has been the biggest project of my career, and I’ve worked with the most talented team I’ve ever worked with.

Lessons Learned In Big App Development

Everything was rebuilt from the ground up: hardware, features, back-end APIs, front end, and UX and design. It was a rollercoaster ride like no other, but we have prevailed and built what I believe to be one of the best airline-booking experiences on the web. Yes, humble, I know!

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An Introduction To PostCSS

The development of CSS, like all languages, is an iterative process. With every major release, we get new features and syntaxes that help us write our styles. CSS Level 3 introduced features that enable us to design interactions that previously were possible only with JavaScript. With every new day, tools emerge to make styling easier and more flexible.

An Introduction To PostCSS

One of the relatively recent tools introduced for styling is PostCSS. PostCSS aims to reinvent CSS with an ecosystem of custom plugins and tools. Working with the same principles of preprocessors such as Sass and LESS, it transforms extended syntaxes and features into modern, browser-friendly CSS.

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Web Development Reading List #115

What’s going on in the industry? What new techniques have emerged recently? What insights, tools, tips and tricks is the web design community talking about? Anselm Hannemann is collecting everything that popped up over the last week in his web development reading list so that you don’t miss out on anything. The result is a carefully curated list of articles and resources that are worth taking a closer look at. — Ed.

PHP7 is here

Winter isn’t here yet, instead as you’re reading this, I’m out for another biking session in the mountains today. You might already have noticed how important nature is to me. So this week, seeing the international climate conference in Paris not aiming for an ambitious goal, a reader sent me this great article in which he questions what we as people in the tech industry can personally do against global warming. If you’re caring only a bit about this, read it and think about it. Have a great week and try out some of the amazing web development stuff I collected for you this week.

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Getting Back Into The (Right) Deliverables Business

“Get out of the deliverables business” has become quite a mantra in the lean startup and UX movements. There’s much to love in that sentiment — after all, for every wireframe you make, you’re not shipping code to customers.

The first wireframe

But I’m worried that, just like with the concept of a minimum viable product, we’ve taken this sound advice to an extreme that’s actually hurtful to the creation of good products. What follows is an account of my own journey in navigating these stormy design seas together with the community.

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Getting Started With CSS calc()

I first discovered the calc() function more than four years ago, thanks to CSS3 Click Chart, and I was absolutely delighted to see that basic mathematical computations — addition, subtraction, multiplication and division — had found their way into CSS.

Using CSS calc()

A lot of people think preprocessors fully cover the realm of logic and computation, but the calc() function can do something that no preprocessor can: mix any kind of units. Preprocessors can only mix units with a fixed relation between them, like angular units, time units, frequency units, resolution units and certain length units.

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A Guide To Simple And Painless Mobile User Testing

The incredible growth of mobile and the proliferation of mobile devices has made the UX designer’s job more challenging and interesting. It also means that user-testing mobile apps and websites is an essential component of the UX toolkit.

A Guide To Simple And Painless Mobile User Testing

But unlike the desktop environment, no out-of-the-box software packages such as Silverback or Camtasia are specifically designed to record mobile usability tests. Even if you’re not developing a mobile app, chances are that a large proportion of your website traffic is coming from mobile. Running regular mobile usability tests is the only way to gauge how well this channel is working for your customers.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: December 2015

Since seven years, our monthly desktop wallpapers post is a Smashing favorite that wouldn’t be possible without the tireless efforts of designers and artists from across the globe. Each month, we challenge you, the design community, to get your creative juices flowing and produce some interesting and inspiring desktop wallpapers. And well, we are very thankful to everyone who tickles their creativity and contributes to this challenge every month.

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: December 2015

This post features artwork for December 2015. The wallpapers all come in versions with and without a calendar and can be downloaded for free. Now it’s up to you to decide: which one will deck your desktop this month?

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