How many A/B tests do you have running this very moment? How many shades of colors and shapes and background images are you testing? All these details matter of course, but while focusing on all these fine little details, don’t we sometimes tend to lose the sight of the big picture?
Does that button really matter if a service is offering a story that customers can connect with, or a service that customers want to support? Do shapes of those CTA-buttons really matter on Be My Eyes, an application that connects low vision people with sighted volunteers via a live video call? I’d argue that they don’t.
Perhaps we should invest more time in explaining and highlighting our principles as well as our vision, our personality, and our goals that we hope to achieve with the help of our customers?
It might sound naive and childish, but personally, I’m always happy to support good people and companies doing good work — the kind of work that I value and respect. I’m always happy to sign up for a plan to support teams that put their heart and soul and passion into their products and interfaces and open source. In fact, I might not use the service at all, but I’m happy to contribute in any way I can.
Of course, it’s a question of privilege and affordability, but in our industry we are often privileged to be paid fairly well, and supporting others is affordable more often then it isn't.
This kindness is the engine behind better online services. Services that care about respect, accessibility, inclusion, privacy and data, because they don’t have to rely on other methods of monetization. Support them, even if you don’t use them much; that’s how we literally make the web better.
— Vitaly (@smashingmag)
Table of Contents
- Idle Until Urgent
- Color Made Simple
- Best Practices For Micro-Interactions
- Inter UI, A Font Family For Small Text
- Beautiful And Accessible Radio Buttons
- CC Search Beta
- SmashingConf New York Is Coming
- Cats And Tech
- Upcoming In Smashing Membershp
- Our Next Smashing Workshops
Have you heard of Idle Until Urgent yet? Philip Walton coined the term for a performance strategy which he stumbled upon when trying to diagnose a higher-than-expected first input delay. The benefit of Idle Until Urgent: the strategy doesn’t have most downsides other code evaluation strategies have. An interesting approach for use cases when you have potentially-expensive code you need to run not right away but at some point in the future. (cm)
Speaking about color can be tricky. What one person refers to as purple, might be mulberry for the next. But what color do they actually mean? To prevent misunderstandings, the design team at Lyft came up with their very own color system which is easy to learn for designers and developers while taking accessibility into account at the same time. Now they’ve open sourced it, so your team can make use of it, too. Say hello to ColorBox! (cm)
Meaningful micro-interactions can cater for little moments of joy while interacting with a product. But what do you need to consider to find the right balance and guarantee that what was thought as a delightful detail doesn’t in fact have the opposite effect? Denislav Jeliazkov wrote a concise article in which he shares best practices for creating micro-interactions. The key takeaways: Keep them simple, consistent, and purposeful. (cm)
Finding a typeface that works especially well for small text on screens can be a challenge. Luckily, there’s Inter UI. The font family was designed with the aim to get the best out of both sharpness and readability for small- to medium-sized text. It is free and open source and comes in four weights. OpenType features like contextual alternates, tabular numbers, and slashed zeros are also supported. (cm)
Radio buttons often seem a bit boring, but a sprinkle of CSS can work wonders. To ensure that your customized radio buttons aren’t only beautiful but accessible, too, Hui Jing Chen summarized what you can do to make keyboard navigation work with them. An important detail to prevent your users from being left behind — and no rocket science either. (cm)
Have you heard? There’s a new CC Search available. Still in beta for testing purposes, the new iteration integrates access to more than 10 million images across 13 content providers, and, thus, getting a step closer towards the goal of finding all 1.4+ billion CC-licensed works on the web. The new design also brings along improvements for the search experience: You can now search more accurately across a wide range of content and browse popular images. Sharing has gotten easier, too. (cm)
Remember the good old days when front-end was easy and straightforward? Well, these days we can’t afford betting on a wrong strategy — it’s just too expensive and time-consuming. That’s why we’ll be running SmashingConf in New York in three weeks, focusing on real challenges and real front-end solutions in the real world.
SmashingConf NYC 2018 is coming — an inclusive, practical conference around front-end and UX.
We’ll dive into new challenges, solutions, and opportunities: for progressive web apps, Webpack and HTTP/2 to serverless, Vue.js and Nuxt, all the way to inclusive design, branding and machine learning. With Sarah Drasner, Sara Soueidan and many other speakers. Oh, need to convince your boss? We’ve got your back, too! (PDF, 602 KB). We’d love to see you there! (cr)
Cats and the web are a perfect match, wouldn’t you agree? Okay, with so many cats floating around the Smashing universe, we might be a bit biased, but if you have a thing for those feline fellows, too, then Developurrs is for you. Brought to life by Andy Bell, the interview series talks to web developers about their pets and, not to forget, tech. (cm)
9. Upcoming In Smashing Membership
Smashing Membership helps us to keep the site alive and go ad-free. Each member makes a difference, and gets valuable content from it, too!
- Our SmashingConf Toronto videos will go live this week!
- Smashing TV: Webinar on “Encouraging Action Without Alienating Your Users” with Paul Boag (Today, at 11 AM EST / 4PM London). The webinar is included in our Membership!
We are very grateful for the kind and generous support of 1,128 members! You can become one of us, too! ;-)
In our workshops, we are looking into the current state of front-end and interface design, covering advanced challenges and actual real-life solutions to front-end problems. Coming up next:
Or, if you’d like to run an in-house workshop at your office, please get in touch with Vitaly at email@example.com and briefly describe what problems you’re facing and would like to solve. Don’t worry about the costs — we’ll find a fair price for sure. Get in touch — it’s that easy!
- Microcopy and UX Writing
- Front-End Cheatsheets
- Front-End Accessibility
- Open-Source Icons, Fonts and Goodies
- Next.js Boilerplates and Guides
- CSS Global Resets, Gradients and Transitions
- Interface Design Patterns
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.