Last week, much of the Smashing team was in London for the very first SmashingConf London. The conference theme was dedicated to web performance, and we recorded all of the talks which you can already watch online so you can see what you missed! You can also take a peek at some photos taken at the event by our dear friend, Marc Thiele.
On a completely different note, each month on Smashing Magazine, we publish desktop wallpapers submitted by the Smashing community. For March, we thought we would try something a little different and encourage submissions around a theme: Exploring New Worlds. We have an exciting prize for one lucky winner, take a look and submit your entry!
From performance to creativity, we try to cover all of the topics of the moment on Smashing Magazine, but we would always like to hear from you as to what you want to learn. Our content suggestions board is somewhere to let us know what you might like to see us cover. Also, if you think you could cover one of these topics and write for us, we would love to hear from you!
— Rachel (@rachelandrew)
How do you handle copy in your design team? If you have a straightfoward process in place: congratulations! But in a lot of teams, copy is something you paste from an email or a Slack chat. There’s no single place to iterate on it or to get feedback, the way there is for design. Andrea Drugay now shares a simple yet effective way to improve the way you deal with copy: copy docs.
A copy doc is the one stop for everything copy-related in a project, one document that holds all your copy — for everything from a landing page to onboarding emails. It can be a simple Word Doc, Dropbox Paper, Google Doc, or whatever else you might prefer. If you want to give it a try, Andrea shares some precious tips on setting up a copy doc. (cm)
Let’s be honest: Nobody likes when things don’t go as expected. Especially on the web, frustration can add up quite easily, if a user is facing unexpected roadblocks getting in their way.
Naturally, as designers and developers, you can’t prepare for everything, and sometimes it’s inevitable that something goes wrong. But there’s one detail you can do to help get users back on track quickly when they face an error: write clear and helpful error messages. Marina Posniak lets us in on the art of the error message, so that you always find the right tone — even in difficult situations. (cm)
Flexbox. Once you’ve wrapped your head around it, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. But where to begin? To take your Flexbox skills from beginner to advanced, the folks at Scrimba offer a free interactive Flexbox course.
12 screencasts will teach you everything you need to know to properly arrange content inside flexible containers. To get you up and running fast, there are several exercises and real-world challenges you can apply your newly acquired skills to. A good foundation for all your future Flexbox endeavours. (cm)
Augmented Reality is a promising field, and a lot of cool stuff has been happening around it lately. If you want to explore its possibilities and get a bit of AR inspiration, be sure to check out Uri Shaked’s article. Uri wanted to see what he’d be able to do with AR and the web; as it turns out, it was quite a lot.
In his article, Uri will take you on a journey into the magical worlds of ARCore, A-Frame, and 3D programming. Follow him along as he builds his own AR experience. So much is to be said: It involves a dinosaur and a cute little fox that will join you on a walk in the park. If you love to explore new technologies, this one is for you. (cm)
Maps can do more than help us find the way. They are witnesses of their time and, when we look at old maps, it’s like taking a trip back into long forgotten days. Now imagine that you had a magic spyglass that could show you what your neighborhood looked like 100 years ago. You’d only need to get out a recent map, hover your spyglass over it, and see what has changed.
Well, actually, that’s possible. The National Library of Scotland provides a browser-based tool that lets you jump between the same area on a recent and a vintage map just looking through a (digital) spyglass. The service works for maps of Great Britain, Scotland, England, and Wales. A fantastic way to see the world (and maybe even your neighborhood) from a different perspective. (cm)
Some eye candy never hurt nobody, right? And who doesn’t have a sweet spot for vintage graphic design after all? To cater for some fresh inspiration, the folks at Present & Correct collected a bevy of old airline labels which are too good to miss.
From Aeroflot to SAS or Qantas, the labels shine with their bold and playful mid-century modern designs. Rounded shapes, a characteristic grainy finish, and a focus on typography is what they all have in common. A beautiful travel back to the times when flying was still something special. (cm)
Our work environment defines how efficient we are and how happy we are with getting things done. However, usually we are just too busy with our work, and so our tools aren’t necessarily doing the best job of enabling a flow of interrupted work. What if you set aside just 5 mins today to improve your environment, and review the settings used in your tools?
For example, if you’re spending a lot of time in Terminal, tiny-care-terminal by Moncia Dinculescu shows healthy reminders to take a break or look outside, as well as your commits from today and last 7 days, and of course, the weather. A lovely little tool. What’s yours? (vf)
Looking for older issues? Drop us an email and we’ll happily share them with you. Would be quite a hassle searching and clicking through them here anyway.