New month, new wallpapers! To get you in the right mood for December, designers and artists from across the globe got their ideas bubbling and created unique and inspiring Christmas wallpaper calendars to deck your desktop. This monthly wallpapers mission has been going on for eight years now, and we are very thankful to everyone who challenges their artistic skills and contributes to it each month anew.
This post features desktop artwork for December 2016. Each wallpaper comes in versions with and without a calendar and can be downloaded for free. Now you only need to decide on your favorite!
Almost five years ago, I had the honor of writing a post on Smashing Magazine about my Photoshop panel GuideGuide. Since then it has seen wild success as the most installed third-party Photoshop extension, an achievement I’m quite proud. In that time, I’ve added some powerful features and, most recently, expanded it to Illustrator. This post will give you a taste of how GuideGuide can change the way you use guides in Photoshop and Illustrator.
If you’re one of the many people who already use GuideGuide, please read on. You may discover some unconventional uses that are not immediately apparent. I’ll provide a overview of the major features, and then give some examples of advanced and unusual ways it can be used to make you a more efficient designer.
Have you ever wondered what it takes to create a SpriteKit game from beginning to beta? Does developing a physics-based game seem daunting? Game-making has never been easier on iOS since the introduction of SpriteKit.
In this three-part series, we will explore the basics of SpriteKit. We will touch on SKPhysics, collisions, texture management, interactions, sound effects, music, buttons and SKScenes. What might seem difficult is actually pretty easy to grasp. Stick with us while we make RainCat.
We have great new technology available to enhance our websites. But while theoretical articles explain well what the technologies do, we often struggle to find real use cases or details on how things worked out in actual projects.
This week I stumbled across a couple of great posts that share exactly these precious real-life insights: stories about HTTP/2 implementation, experiences from using the Cascade of CSS in large-scale projects, and insights into employing Service Worker and BackgroundSync to build solid forms.
The resurgence of hand lettering, calligraphy, signage, penmanship, or really anything that is graphic and handmade is increasingly difficult to ignore. Along with letters drawn in any of the categories just mentioned, drawing, sketching, sketchnoting, and any hybrid style (combinations of the above) have also been gaining attention among designers, illustrators, and other professionals.
A quick look around social media or simply googling lettering will quickly show impressive and notable work. Last year I deliberately started practicing brush lettering, meaning I had a dedicated time to practice exercises, write out words and practice letterforms.
Chatbot fever has infected Silicon Valley. The leaders of virtually every tech giant — including Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple — proclaim chatbots as the new websites, and messaging platforms as the new browsers.
"You should message a business just the way you would message a friend," declared Mark Zuckerberg when he launched the Facebook Messenger Platform for bots. He and the rest of the tech world are convinced that conversation is the future of business.
When I was a developer, I often had a hundred questions when building websites from wireframes that I had received. Some of those questions were, "How will this design scale when I shrink the browser window?" and, "What happens when this shape is filled out incorrectly?" and even, "What are the options in this sorting filter, and what do they do?"
These types of questions led me to miss numerous deadlines, and I wasted time and energy in back-and-forth communication. Sadly, this situation could have been avoided if the wireframes had provided enough detail.
I'm big on modular design. I've long been sold on dividing websites into components, not pages, and amalgamating those components dynamically into interfaces. Flexibility, efficiency and maintainability abound.
But I don't want my design to look like it's made out of unrelated things. I'm making an interface, not a surrealist photomontage. As luck would have it, there is already a technology, called CSS, which is designed specifically to solve this problem. Using CSS, I can propagate styles that cross the borders of my HTML components, ensuring a consistent design with minimal effort.
Some like it loud, others need some steady beats to stay focused, others calm tunes. A while ago we asked on Twitter and Facebook what music the web community is listening to when coding and designing.
The answers were as diverse as the community itself and certainly too good to live an existence only in a Twitter discussion. That’s why we’ve compiled those hand-crafted playlists, favorite artists, and loved soundtracks in this article to see which tunes fuel the web, and, well, first and foremost, to provide you with some new ear candy to get you through lengthy coding and design sessions, of course. Get your headphones ready!