Menu Search
Jump to the content X X
Smashing Conf Barcelona

You know, we use ad-blockers as well. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.

Posts Tagged ‘Opinion Column’.

We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with ‘Opinion Column’.

Dear Web Design Community, Where Have You Gone?

As Web craftsmen, we are living in exciting times today. The frenetic pace of evolution in our industry has created remarkable opportunities for our work. Our established set of design and coding practices is more comprehensive than it has ever been before. Our designs are becoming more usable, our code more scalable, our layouts more responsive. In fact, just by comparing our design processes to those from a decade ago, it's remarkable to observe how quickly we've developed and honed our craft over all these years.

HTML5 Boilerplate is a remarkable example of a cooperation of dozens of Web designers who share their thoughts to create something useful for all of us to use.

However, the maturity of our industry is far from being complete. While producing a myriad of technological advancements, we have outpaced other developments along the way. These developments aren't related to the lack of cross-browser standards support or technical downsides of the tools we are using. No, they have a different nature. They have emerged within our design community — a community which is now so fertile and diverse that it is becoming increasingly difficult to ensure its professional maturity.

Read more...

Why Wait For The Opportunity? Create Your Own!

As many people who work in a creative field like design and development may already know, sometimes our clients just do not understand what it is that we are trying to achieve. The boundaries that we are seeking to push are not ones they approve of for their project, so our creative ideas get backburnered until we can find an appropriate project as well as an agreeable client where you can flex these creative muscles freely. In fact, the standard business processes, especially the ones we allow ourselves to be strapped into, tend to work against us in this aspect.

Screenshot

Allow me to elaborate. For most creatives, the most genuine and innovative ideas can often come without provocation. Which is unfortunate, because that tends to relegate these ideas to one of two categories. The personal project category that we get to whenever we find the time to break away from our work plates to snack on something different. Or to the professional project pool where we wait on that client who will allow us the freedom to incorporate this idea into their project.

Read more...

How To Become a Better Reader

There are literally dozens of articles online about how to write better articles, but I've never come across one with tips on being a better reader. This is a shame, because it's not all about the writer; for every writer of a Web design blog, there are 10,000 readers. So for something a little different, here are six tips for you to bear in mind the next time you're reading something online.

Read more...

When Business Objectives and User Experience Clash

Here’s a question for you: would you agree that creating a great user experience should be the primary aim of any Web designer? I know what your answer is… and youʼre wrong! Okay, I admit that not all of you would have answered yes, but most probably did.

[fblike]

Somehow, the majority of Web designers have come to believe that creating a great user experience is an end in itself. I think we are deceiving ourselves and doing a disservice to our clients at the same time. The truth is that business objectives should trump users’ needs every time. Generating a return on investment is more important for a website than keeping users happy. Sounds horrendous, doesn’t it? Before you flame me in the comments, hear me out.

Read more...

Making It a Mobile Web App

Ask any interactive agency nowadays what their clients are asking for when they need a mobile experience — the answer will inevitably be "an iPhone and/or an iPad app." Native Apple apps are a hot commodity, and in today’s mobile application ecosystem, mobile web apps are not sexy. In fact, many people don’t even realize they are even an option. In certain cases, an iPhone/iPad app will be the right solution for their needs.

Screenshot

[fblike]

However, there are some situations where it may become a short-term win, but eventually a long-term loss. Mobile web apps offer a good number of advantages over native apps; and though they face some design, development and deployment challenges, they are a powerful cross platform, scalable and affordable solution.

Read more...

The HTML5 Logo: What Do You Think?

This has been an interesting week for the web design community, to say the least. The W3C revealed a new HTML5 logo to help designers and developers ‘tell the world' that they’re using HTML5. The logo was designed by Ocupop design agency, and it's licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, a permissive license that allows 'remixing' of the licensed work.

The HTML5 Logo: What Do You Think?

The logo has been made available on stickers and t-shirts, and there’s a gallery already promoting examples of the logo in use. The logo’s official site includes a “badge builder” that customizes its orientation and allows you to add supplementary icons to indicate support for the different technologies that have become associated with HTML5.

Read more...

The Designer’s Cross-Training Toolkit

I watched a TV documentary the other day about a professional soccer player. As well as his normal soccer training he mixed in training in other sports like boxing and yoga and I thought this sounded a bit odd. Why would somebody that earns his (considerable) daily bread playing soccer spend time learning and training in areas that are not directly related to his profession?

A selection of smartphones

Well, it turns out that they are related in a round-about way. The athlete and his coaches went on to explain that training in other sports and physical activities, as well as regular soccer training keep certain parts of the brain active and stimulated, and this in turn improves soccer performance and prevents the brain and body slowing down.

Read more...

Why Intellectual Property Rights Are So Important

Intellectual property rights are often confusing and sometimes the topic of heated debates. There are those who question the worth of creative products and projects, claiming design and art are something anyone can do, regardless of training, experience, or any inherent ability. As creatives, a deterioration of intellectual property rights is a dangerous possibility. By going public with our work, we have no recourse to prevent others from using our designs, our photos, or our other artwork without paying us or even offering proper credit.

Read more...

Where Have All The Comments Gone?

Years ago, the online design community was a thriving conversationalist — of sorts — through the comment sections across the community. It was through leaving meaningful comments that the thought-provoking ideas presented and discussed in a post were examined by others whose perspective and experiences may have provided them with a slightly different take. The continued dissection and discussion of the topic expanded the dialog far beyond the initial post, challenging and redirecting ideas and allowing dialog to evolve; it showed a certain level of critical thinking from within the community.

We still have sites that are design conversationalists, but unfortunately they are rather exceptions. And it seems that the problem occurs not only in the design community, but in other areas as well.

Since those good old days, things have taken an unexpected turn. Comments are becoming less and less expansions on the ideas presented, and more and more just simple offerings of praise or agreement. Even in articles where solutions are being sought for problem areas within the field, numerous comments show acceptance of this need for action but offer no solution or approach; often, the comments also show that the ideas were not given much consideration by the reader.

Read more...

When 24/7/365 Fails: Turning Off Work On Weekends

The web has continued evolving since its inception, as have those who have devoted their professional lives to working in and around this massive communication tool. We have had to roll with the changes, and like with any major environmental shifts, we have had to adapt. During this shifting of our online existences, something quite interesting happened… interesting in a somewhat frustrating manner. The expectations of the client base, our colleagues and even our friends have risen to new, unreasonable heights. [Links checked March/03/2017]

Screenshot

Though this is not an isolated instance of schedule disrespect, we do understand that not every potential client or colleague is going to hold on to these extremely elevated expectations, so this post is directed only at those who do. Do not misunderstand, there is nothing wrong with having expectations about a profession, but when you allow those unchecked presumptions to take you to a disrespectful place, then a line is being crossed. One that we hope to clearly draw in the sand, for any and all of those who share in this frustration, with this article today.

Read more...

Take The Initiative and Create Your Own Projects

During my last job with a large corporation, people started to get laid off. Many fellow creatives came to me, as they had no idea what they would do if they were let go. I had come to that small city from New York and my experience was varied and impressive to those who started their careers with this company. Their parents had hoped for their own children to work there and eventually retire in the same homey place. They were anchored in this town that held no other industries. Like layoffs in a town that has a steel mill, there weren’t many options to those looking for work.

Take The Initiative and Create Your Own Projects

“You’re creative,” I would tell people before my turn came in the next to last round of layoffs (which is some comfort). “You can do so many things that are creative. If you get pushed out the door, make your own projects!" Then advise them where to go and spend the rest of the day creating a book, or painting a series for a gallery show, or create postcards, greeting cards, dolls and websites. This was usually followed by the persons to whom I was speaking to, to ask about something they obviously wanted to explore; leading to a discussion, usually joined by others as well, on how to achieve it. The dividing line is how badly does one want it?

Read more...

When A Thousand Words Is Worth A Picture

Good design speaks for itself, right? Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. Most of us don’t have the privilege of designing for ourselves; we design for clients, clients who have their own taste and ideas, clients who ultimately need to be persuaded on why we’ve made certain decisions. Good design doesn’t speak for itself; it needs an advocate.

Just a few "minor" changes

This article examines both why design requires justification and how you can go about providing it in a way that is clear and understandable. While we'll focus on visual design, the principles described here are applicable to any creative process or endeavor. Indeed, we learned most of these lessons while presenting Web interfaces and prototypes to clients, which took place after the visual designs had been agreed on.

Read more...

↑ Back to top