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Smashing Daily #18: Hiring, Detecting, Singing

Here’s episode #18 of The Smashing Daily, with the question if designers must know how to code, an in-depth look at type classification, lots of great stuff about Responsive Design, things about content and much more. Enjoy!

“We don’t hire designers who can’t code”
Many developers think that designers should be able to code, but most designers think that’s not necessary. Here’s a very interesting article by Roger Davis about this subject. Interesting, because Roger has been working in an environment that forced him to code a long time ago, so he knows what it means to both design and code. A great read for designers and developers.

Should designers code?

Adactio: Journal—Responsive questions1
A while ago Jeremy Keith was interviewed about Responsive Design. It turned out to be a very interesting read, with good questions and good answers, too. I liked Jeremy’s answer about the fact that it took so long to finally start using fluid layouts: “While media queries are a relatively recent innovation, we’ve always had the ability to create fluid layouts. And yet Web designers and developers have willfully ignored that fact, choosing instead to create un-webby fixed-width layouts.” Exactly my thoughts. You should read this interview, it’s really good!

Type classifications are useful, but the common ones are not2
For anyone who has ever tried to manage a large type library: how do you do that? How do you classify all those different types? In this article Indra Kupferschmid looks at the history of type classification and at current models, proposing some new ways to approach them. A long, very well researched article, and a great read!

A New Take on Responsive Tables3
Tables are extremely hard to get right on small screens. Several possible solutions4 have been created, and here’s a new one which uses a fixed left header and a scrollable table body. The only issue with this solution is that it doesn’t work on a large portion of the current phones out there.

A responsive tables solution5

Taking “Content First” Very Seriously6
When Cloudfour decided to redesign their website they decided to take a “Content First” approach. Lyza Gardner wrote this post about the process and about the things they found out while building the website.

What’s the greater fear for publishers: Amazon or piracy?7
Book publishers have been looking at the wrong enemy for too long: they always thought piracy would be a problem for eBooks, so they embraced eBook formats that support DRM. It turns out that the biggest book seller (who also has its own eBook format), has turned into the biggest enemy.

Using Modernizr to detect HTML5 features and provide fallbacks8
One of the most interesting things about Web development (but also one of the more complex things) is the fact that you can create fallbacks for older browsers. One great tool that can help you out in making these fallbacks is Modernizr. Tom Leadbetter wrote this in depth article about how it works and about what you can do with it. I highly recommend reading it, it’s a great tool and a great article.


Last Click

Like A Rounded Corner (Bruce and The Standardettes)10
For all you webstandards nerds and CSS3 designers out there, here’s the brilliant song Like A Rounded Corner by Bruce Lawson and The Standardettes. I laughed out loud at “styelsheet masturbation has replaced my imagination” and at “HTML5, so it is iOs ready for you”. Hilarious.


Previous Issues12

For previous Smashing Daily issues, check out the Smashing Daily Archive13.


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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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