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Smashing Daily #14: Performance, Content, Design

There’s more than enough to read in this 14th edition of The Smashing Daily, you can fill your entire weekend with it. Some marvelous articles about content, about browser wars, about mobile testing, about CSS3 3D transforms, about design and about much, much more. Don’t like those subjects? You’ll probably find something that you do like in the extra link dump that I link to. Enjoy your weekend!

Improving performance on twitter.com1
The Twitter website was probably one of the worst websites around (from both a performance and a durability perspective), but things are changing. Dan Webb explains why the website was built the way it was and what is about to change. A great read about real performance, about perceived performance, about ttft, and much more. Yes, you should read it, especially you JavaScript-only nerds out there.

Face opera2
There’s a rumor that Facebook is planning to buy Opera, the company that makes a browser (among other things). Peter-Paul Koch wrote this excellent, thorough analysis of why Facebook would want its own browser. You should definitely read it if you care about the future of the Web (and for all you lazy developers who never tested on Opera, you made a mistake).

MUD: Minimum Usable Design3
Here’s a nice idea by Paul Scrivens: he combines the term minimum viable product with one of Zeno’s paradoxes and applies them to design. What comes out is an early form of design that can be shipped, making the content accessible and readable. The design can then be later refined (or bloated, which happened to more than 75% of the examples). Nice idea which is quite practical in an agile workflow.

Just stop here next time4

(Re)consider the Source5
There’s lots and lots of content online and it’s not always easy to see if a source is credible. In this long article Colleen Jones explains why it can be hard and what you can do to be(come) a credible source.

Good content6

Mobile Browser Emulator7
Testing you websites on mobile devices can be really hard: where would you find all those devices? Where do you find the money to buy them? And where do you find the time to install all those emulators and simulators (even if they were to work on you operating system)? Here’s a networked solution. I haven’t tried it, but it looks good.

“Rush jobs are rarely necessary.”
Here’s an interesting observation by Sarah Parmenter about the fact that most of the time rush jobs are not necessary (but just a waste of stress).

Scrolling the Z-axis with CSS 3D Transforms8
We are all used to scrolling up and down, which is along the y-axis. Sometimes, mostly on touch devices, you see some scrolling along the x-axis. But not many websites will scroll along the z-axis, which actually works surprisingly well9! In this excellent post Matt Baker explains how it works (with CSS3 3D and some JavaScript).

3d with CSS310

Link Dump11
Do you need more to read for the weekend? Here’s a great—inspiring and informative as always—link dump by Blair Millen, with posts about SVG, simple ideas, words that should exist in English, and much more.

Last Click

Startups, This Is How Design Works12
Here’s a true masterpiece. Wells Riley tries to explain what design is and how important it is for people who don’t understand it, geared towards developers and startups (but it’s an excellent read for everybody, really). It’s a long, beautiful page, filled with great content: from the different kinds of design to the places where you might actually find a designer. You should definitely read this.

What's design13

Previous Issues14

For previous Smashing Daily issues, check out the Smashing Daily Archive15.


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Vasilis van Gemert is the Principal Front-end Developer at Mirabeau in The Netherlands and a board member of Fronteers. His aim is to close the gap between design and (front-end) development. He believes the excess of knowledge he has can be better used by others, by more creative and smarter people. You can follow him on Twitter.

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