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Smashing Daily #32: Critique, Performance, Integrity

In this edition of The Smashing Daily we have, among others, a Code of Professional Conduct for designers, we have an excellent article on critique (again), an in-depth article on optimizing performance in an existing website, there’s the exact opposite of The Smashing Daily (which is a beautiful concept), and there’s a tip on how to make your client think that the logo is bigger. Enjoy!

What’s the last great thing you saw?1
This is actually quite ironic: a posting about The Last Great Thing right here in The Smashing Daily. Here I post everything that I think might be good, or at least of interest, to you the reader (which definitely ads up to the pile of Too Much Information). The Last Great Thing tried to do the opposite: ask twenty people to post only the last great thing they have seen. It turned out to be a very inspiring website. Be sure to take your time to read it, enjoy it and to learn from it.

The last great thing2

The Academy of Design Professionals—Code of Professional Conduct3
Andy Rutledge has some very strong opinions on how designers should behave, and what they should and shouldn’t do. He writes and talks about design professionalism a lot. Now he has written the Code of Professional Conduct, a long list of rules a designer should live and act by. If you agree with everything in there you can accept its membership (though I guess it’s pretty hard to agree with all the rules he comes up with). But even if you have no need to become a member of such a code it’s a good idea to read it, as there are actually some very good thoughts in there.

Code of conduct for designers4

How to tell managers they’re wrong about UX research and still get hired5
In this article David Travis gives you all the answers to the wrong assumptions about UX research. Nice article, gives you good insights as to how UX research actually works.

Do you want critique, or a hug? How to gain valuable criticism on your design6
If you’re a designer you have to be able to cope with critique, people giving feedback about something you have designed. You can learn to cope with it, and once you do, it will improve your work. Jon Kolko explains how it works and how you can benefit the most from it.

How We Improved Page Speed By Cleaning CSS, HTML and Images7
Here’s an excellent article by Lara Swanson about improving performance of an existing website. From better planning to optimizing images, she covers all important topics that cause performance problems further on in the process. An absolute must read for every developer who works on bigger websites.

If you decide to start using a CSS preprocessor, which one should it be: SASS or LESS? Chris Coyier did the research for you so you can just pick and choose.

Modular Front-End, the book9
There are lots of good books for front-end developers about front-end development, and there are many good books for Web designers, but I didn’t really know of any books specifically for so called back-end developers. Roy Tomeij decided to write this book, which “doesn’t help you to become a front-end expert. It helps you to effectively work with front-end code, whether you wrote it yourself, had it done by a freelancer or an in-house developer“.

Modular Front-end10

Link Dump11
Do you need more to read? Here’s another great Link Dump by Blair Millen, with links about Web development and techno.

Last Click

How to Make Your Client’s Logo Bigger Without Making Their Logo Bigger12
If your clients wants their logo to be bigger, there are a few things you can do. First of all, you can convince them that it’s not a good idea. If that doesn’t work, you can just try again to convince them until they do understand, as you probably didn’t explain well enough why the logo doesn’t need to be bigger. After that, you can simply remove the logo from the header and place it in the footer, on the right side (where all logos belong, if you ask me). If all that doesn’t work, and the discussion has fucked up the relationship between the both of you for good, you can try this clever trick by Michael Beirut.

Bigger logo13

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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