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Smashing Conf Barcelona

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.

5 Simple Steps To Test Your Varnish Cache Deployment Using Varnishtest

Varnish Cache is an open source HTTP accelerator that is used for speeding up the content delivery of the world’s top content-heavy dynamic websites. However, the performance or speed a newcomer to Varnish Cache can expect from its deployment can be quite nebulous.

Five Simple Steps To Test Your Varnish Cache Deployment Using Varnishtest

This is true for users at both extremes of the spectrum: from those who play with its source code to create more complex features to those who set up Varnish Cache using the default settings.

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Why Great Products Need Great Collaboration

Development and design working together makes better products for our users. Design and usability decisions have a big impact on the developers who implement them, and, ultimately, on the experience of users. For these decisions to be successful and provide users with the best experience, communication between designers and developers is vital.

Collaboration Between Development And Design Makes Better Products

When developers are expected to work in a corner until needed, that isolation from the design process prevents them from crafting the end product just as much as the designers themselves. The person who ultimately pays is the user.

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Designing A Dementia-Friendly Website

Some well-established web design basics: minimize the number of choices that someone has to make; create self-explanatory navigation tools; help people get to what they're looking for as quickly as possible. Sounds simple enough? Now consider this…

Designing A Dementia-Friendly Website

An ever growing number of web users around the world are living with dementia. They have very varied levels of computer literacy and may be experiencing some of the following issues: memory loss, confusion, issues with vision and perception, difficulties sequencing and processing information, reduced problem-solving abilities, or problems with language.

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Creating A Living Style Guide: A Case Study

Living style guides are an important tool for web development today, especially in large, complex web applications. They help document styles and patterns, keep designers and developers in sync, and greatly help to organize and distill complex interfaces. Indeed, living style guides remain one of the best ways to communicate design standards to an organization.

Creating A Living Style Guide: A Case Study

Recently, our company went through the process of creating a living style guide. This is the story of how we developed our living style guide, the mistakes we made along the way, and why the current landscape of style guide generators did not suit our needs.

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40 Otherworldly Space Icons [Freebie]

We've featured a lot of different icon sets in the past, but we still haven't had one dedicated to rockets, satellites and solar systems (well, don't forget supernatural aliens as well). There's so much to explore in the world of astronomy, and it's about time we did. Today's icon set was created and designed by the team at Iconshock, and consists of 40 icons in AI, PNG as well as SVG formats. So, dear space troopers out there, what are you waiting for?

Freebie: Space Icon Set (40 Icons, AI, PNG, SVG)

Please note that this icon set is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported. You may modify the size, color or shape of the icons. No attribution is required, however, reselling of bundles or individual pictograms is not cool. Please provide credits to the creators and link to the article in which this freebie was released if you would like to spread the word in blog posts or anywhere else.

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6 Easy Steps To Better Icon Design

Icon and vector marketplaces like Iconfinder (where I work) are making well-designed vector icons an inexpensive and readily available resource for web and print designers. Thousands of high-quality premium icon sets and hundreds of great free sets are available.

Easy Steps To Better Logo Design

Every icon set submitted to Iconfinder is reviewed and evaluated for potential appeal to our website users and for potential commercial value as premium icons. When reviewing icon sets submitted to the website, we have a responsibility to our designers and to our customers to make sure all premium icons on the website are of the highest possible quality.

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Content-First Prototyping

Content is the core commodity of the digital economy. It is the gold we fashion into luxury experience, the diamond we encase in loyalty programs and upsells. Yet, as designers, we often plug it in after the fact. We prototype our interaction and visual design to exhaustion, but accept that the “real words” can just be dropped in later. There is a better way.

Content-First Prototyping

More and more, the digital goods we create operate within a dynamic system of content, functionality, code and intent. Our products and services drift and spill into partner websites, social media feeds and myriad electronic aggregators, all seeking to shape visitor behavior and understanding. Systems build on systems, and, in short order, we’ve cobbled together a colossus the breadth of which sends minds a-boggling.

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Improve Your Designs With The Principles Of Closure And Figure-Ground (Part 2)

Have you ever wondered how elements come together to create successful designs? It’s no accident that compelling design just seems to work. What most of these designs have in common is the use of gestalt grouping principles to organize information that helps us understand the relationships and differences between elements. As designers, we can use these principles to create our own engaging and successful work.

Improve Your Designs With The Principles Of Closure And Figure-Ground (Part 2)

In the first part of this series, we focused on the principles of similarity and proximity to understand how the gestalt principles work in creating relationships between elements. Next, we’ll focus on the principles of closure and figure-ground, which play with positive and negative space to build relationships and create wholes with the sum of their parts. As in the first article, we’ll look at how the principles work and then move on to real-world examples to illustrate them in use.

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Responsive Font Size And Fluid Typography With vh And vw Units

Embracing fluid typography might be easier than you think. It has wide browser support, is simple to implement and can be achieved without losing control over many important aspects of design.

Fluid Typography

Unlike responsive typography, which changes only at set breakpoints, fluid typography resizes smoothly to match any device width. It is an intuitive option for a web in which we have a practically infinite number of screen sizes to support. Yet, for some reason, it is still used far less than responsive techniques.

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

Today we'll be looking at eye candy that will undoubtedly help you start the new week with your creativity freshly nurtured. Grab your cup of coffee or tea, and let these designs shine on you with their smart details, fantastic textures, and well-chosen color palettes.

Monday Design Inspiration The Image shows a house in a beautiful valley at sunset

I’ve sifted through the web to dig up little nuggets of inspiration to indulge in — just for you. This time I’ve collected a potpourri of styles ranging from delicate and subtle to bold and playful. Nothing but design goodness. So please lean back and soak it all in.

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Quick Tips On Design Systems: Sell The Output, Not The Workflow

So how do you sell a design system to the client? How do you establish a shared commitment within the company to put a pattern library on the roadmap? As designers and developers, we often know and see the benefits of an overarching system that radiates consistency throughout the different experiences of a company. But sometimes it's seen as a very unpredictable investment, and the value isn't necessarily visible right away.

You can illustrate how fractured an organization is by printing out its different presences online and putting them on a large board. Credit: Dan Mall

In his article on Selling Design Systems, Dan Mall suggests to illustrate how fractured an organization is by printing out its different presences online and putting them on a large board as an example of all the wasted money and effort that goes into making sites from scratch, one-by-one, needlessly reinventing the wheel every time.

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39 Tuneful Musical Instruments Icons [Freebie]

Music plays an important part in all cultures and comes in many forms. It's a great way to stimulate our thinking and our creativity, and music instruments often even support therapy and healing.

Freebie: Music Instrument icons (39 icons PNG, SVG)

Designed by the team behind IconCrafts, this music instrument icon set is dedicated to all music lovers. It consists of 39 carefully crafted vector icons. All icons are available as 48, 64 and 128px PNG (+ @2x 256px versions + sprites), as well as SVG files. Five different styles are available.

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