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.
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?
Let’s get a few things out of the way first. This isn’t your regular Smashing Magazine article. It’s not a “how to“; it won’t show you how to build a better menu or improve your project tomorrow. This article shows you how a core problem in computer science works and why we're all pretending we know something for certain when we really have no idea.
You’re looking at Smashing Magazine right now because you’re standing on the shoulders of a giant assumption called "P versus NP". It’s a math problem that protects governments, runs the Internet and makes online shopping possible.
“Black Friday” has many explanations and various historical reasons. Besides that, every year it leads to people buying things just because retailers give huge discounts. But do you really need more? If you wouldn't have bought something at its full price, you probably don’t need it at all.
In a world where most of us have many things in their home untouched for months or years, we should focus on what is important. It’s not having the newest products, using the latest tools, using the latest cool startup service. It’s about helping other people, sharing real experiences and stories with your friends. Thank them and yourself this year without a bought gift.
On 12 January 2015, Getwear, an integrated custom jeans company, processed its last order. After that, the company shut down. Despite coming up with a unique custom production process and outstanding jeans, we didn’t achieve much success. Several months — and a lot of discussion and dissection — later, I figured out why.
It all started back in 2009, when I was finishing my marketing studies in Italy. I read a well-known article by Tim O’Reilly, “What Is Web 2.0,” and was stunned by an idea of bringing the concept to the world of “real” objects, through mass customization. Enabling users to make their own products should have transferred the power to make design decisions from the hands of the few to the hands of the people — or so I thought.
Ask ten people what SEO is, and you’re likely to get ten different answers. Given the industry’s unsavoury past, this is hardly surprising. Keyword stuffing, gateway pages, and comment spam earned the first search engine optimisers a deservedly poor reputation within the web community.
Snake oil salesmen continue to peddle these harmful techniques to unsuspecting website owners today, perpetuating the myth that optimising your website for Google or Bing is an inherently nefarious practise. Needless to say, this is not true.
Some books deserve a spot at your desk. The brand new Hardboiled Web Design by Andrew Clarke is one of them. In its 5th anniversary edition, Andy explains how you can use HTML/CSS efficiently in responsive design — and how to reduce wasted time in the process with developers, designers and clients. No fluff, no theory — just insights into his own experiences with clients such as ISO and WWF.
If you get a printed copy (free worldwide shipping), you'll get the eBook for free — available in PDF, ePUB, Amazon Kindle. All printed copies will ship from Dec 8th. Softcover, 441 pages. Jump to the table of contents. Proudly published by yours truly Smashing Magazine.
I had been doing server-side programming with Symfony 2 and PHP for at least three years before I started to see some productivity problems with it. Don’t get me wrong, I like Symfony quite a lot: It’s a mature, elegant and professional framework. But I’ve realized that too much of my precious time is spent not on the business logic of the application itself, but on supporting the architecture of the framework.
I don’t think I’ll surprise anyone by saying that we live in a fast-paced world. The whole startup movement is a constant reminder to us that, in order to achieve success, we need to be able to test our ideas as quickly as possible. The faster we can iterate on our ideas, the faster we can reach customers with our solutions, and the better our chances of getting a product-market fit before our competitors do or before we exceed our limited budget. And in order to do so, we need instruments suitable to this type of work.
Traditional business logic dictates that you should outsource functions that aren’t core to your business in order to let the efficiencies of the market drive down costs. Let’s say you run a profitable magazine publishing company. You’ll probably have in-house editorial, marketing and finance teams. However, there’s little point in hiring your own cleaners because they’re not core to your business.
Digital services used to be seen in this way — as a cost to be minimized by hiring external agencies that would compete with each other on price and quality. Sadly, this attitude resulted in many large organizations spending less on their digital services than they did on their restrooms, which seems crazy considering how important digital channels have become. If you equate expenditure to value, this paints a stark picture of how some traditional companies valued this sector.
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.
Autumn is nearly over, winter is coming to Germany and on the weekend the forecast predicted the first snow for the Bavarian Alps which is near where I live. Time to read about Service Workers, and some abstract topics like teaching complex algorithms, and how to be more objective.
Apps and devices designed to improve people’s health are becoming more pervasive. I serve as VP, Director of User Experience, in the New York office of a global agency with both healthcare and consumer clients. During my 13 years of working in the healthcare space I have never before had such a rich opportunity to directly affect health behavior.
In this article I’ll guide you through best practices when designing consumer-facing healthcare apps. (We’re not covering medical devices that need to be approved by authorities.) We’ll explore how to plan and conduct research, design moments of delight, integrate data from third-party devices and develop a messaging matrix. We’ll also look at examples of apps live in the wild that have been designed for delight at every moment of interaction.