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Today, too many websites are still inaccessible. In our new book Inclusive Design Patterns, we explore how to craft flexible front-end design patterns and make future-proof and accessible interfaces without extra effort. Hardcover, 312 pages. Get the book now →

True Lies Of Optimistic User Interfaces

Three user interfaces (UIs) go to a pub. The first one orders a drink, then several more. A couple of hours later, it asks for the bill and leaves the pub drunk. The second UI orders a drink, pays for it up front, orders another drink, pays for it and so on, and in a couple of hours leaves the pub drunk.

True Lies Of Optimistic User Interfaces

The third UI exits the pub already drunk immediately after going in — it knows how the pubs work and is efficient enough not to lose time. Have you heard of this third one? It is called an "optimistic UI."

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You, Me And The Emoji: Character Sets, Encoding And Emoji

We all recognize emoji. They’ve become the global pop stars of digital communication. But what are they, technically speaking? And what might we learn by taking a closer look at these images, characters, pictographs… whatever they are 🤔 (Thinking Face). We will dig deep to learn about how these thingamajigs work.

You, Me And The Emoji: Character Sets, Encoding And Emoji

Please note: Depending on your browser, you may not be able to see all emoji featured in this article (especially the Tifinagh characters). Also, different platforms vary in how they display emoji as well. That's why the article always provides textual alternatives. Don't let it discourage you from reading though!

Now, let’s start with a seemingly simple question. What are emoji?

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Web Development Reading List #158: Form Usability, Vue.js, And Unfolding Critical CSS

These days, I’ve been pondering what purpose we as developers have in our world. I’m not able to provide you with an answer here, but instead want to encourage you to think about it, too. Do you have an opinion on this? Are we just pleasing other people’s demands? Or are we in charge of advising the people who demand solutions from us if we think they’re wrong? A challenging question, and the answer will be different for everyone here. If you want to let me know your thoughts, I’d be happy to hear them.

Web Development Reading List #158

Bear with me, this week’s list is a large one. Too many good resources popped up, explaining technical and design concepts, how to use new JavaScript methods to write smarter applications, and sharing lessons learned from CSS Grid Layouts and tips to take care of your happiness.

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Where Are The World’s Best Open Device Labs?

Every developer knows that just because a website looks like and does what it’s meant to on the latest iPhone, doesn’t mean it will work across every mobile device. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the many open device labs out there — fantastic and helpful initiatives by the community that deserve support and attention.

Open device labs (ODLs) are a response to the myriad of operating systems, browsers and devices that litter our technical landscape. They offer developers a (usually) free space to go to test their web systems, websites and apps on a range of software and hardware. This premise forms the core of the OpenDeviceLab.com initiative, which is a community movement to help people locate the right ODL for the job and to drum up further support for these testing centers.

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How To Create A Dramatic Vector Illustration

I have been drawing desktop wallpapers for Smashing Magazine's monthly collections for over a year now, and every time it's a very fun and challenging mission. In this article, I would like to share how I approach all stages of the process and provide general techniques for creating vector illustrations in Adobe Illustrator. Hopefully, you will find these techniques useful.

How To Create A Dramatic Vector Illustration

While referring to a particular drawing — the illustration for the "Understand Yourself" desktop wallpaper, which was featured in May's wallpaper collection this year — I'll also highlight key takeaways from my experience as an illustrator and designer.

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Sponsored Article A Quick Guide For Designing Better Buttons

Buttons are a common element of interaction design. While they may seem like a very simple UI element, they are still one of the most important ones to create.

A Quick Guide For Designing Better Buttons

In today's article, we'll be covering the essential items you need to know in order to create effective controls that improve user experience. If you'd like to take a go at prototyping and wireframing your own designs a bit more differently, you can download and test Adobe XD for free.

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CSS Grid, Flexbox And Box Alignment: Our New System For Web Layout

Editor’s note: Please note that this article is quite lengthy, and contains dozens of CodePen embeds for an interactive view. The page might take a little while to load, so please be patient.

Layout on the web is hard. The reason it is so hard is that the layout methods we've relied on ever since using CSS for layout became possible were not really designed for complex layout. While we were able to achieve quite a lot in a fixed-width world with hacks such as faux columns, these methods fell apart with responsive design. Thankfully, we have hope, in the form of flexbox — which many readers will already be using — CSS grid layout and the box alignment module.

CSS Grid, Flexbox And Box Alignment: Our New System For Web Layout

In this article, I'm going to explain how these fit together, and you'll discover that by understanding flexbox you are very close to understanding much of grid layout.

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What Everyone Should Know About The Process Behind App Design

I realized something the other day: I've been designing apps for nine years now! So much has changed since the early days and, it feels like developers and designers have been through a rollercoaster of evolutions and trends.

What Everyone Should Know About The Process Behind App Design

However, while the actual look and functionality of our apps have changed, along with the tools we use to make them, there are some things that have very much stayed the same, such as the process of designing an app and how we go through the many phases that constitute the creation of an app.

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Define Your Process To Master Time, Gain Clarity, And Take Control

How can you be sure you're moving your design problem in a straight line? That you're moving directly to a solution? From client to payment, from product to audience?

Define Your Process To Master Time, Gain Clarity, And Take Control

How certain are you of what the second step in your process is? Or the third? Or how long each will take, or if any should be removed? Are they all useful? Do any need improvement? Is each done with aim and purpose? How often do you fall-forward with momentum, rather than move with reason?

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