Remember the good ol’ days when every company was chasing rockstar-ninja designers with outstanding skills and breathtaking CVs? After all, they’d be able to move the needle and achieve outstanding results. The truth is, indeed, they’d be able to achieve that, but at painfully high costs of ruining teams and team spirit, often irrevocably.
In my personal experience, best teams are always balanced and diverse. In such teams, everybody is respected, promoted and treated equally. A wholesome team is so much stronger than a team built to support or enable a few extremely talented individuals. In the end, poisonous and unbalanced treatment damages team spirit, affecting motivation and the quality of work.
Good design reflects the personality of good people working on it. We often tend to believe that our work is all about pushing pixels or refining prototypes, framed by the strict boundaries of Sketch or Invision. Good design is also a seamless flow between teams that genuinely care about the quality of their work, and teams that feel like their work is deeply ingrained in the final result.
I couldn’t be more proud of our fantastic SmashingMag team, with a wonderfully diverse group of talented, passionate, hard-working people who support and care about each other, who care about people we are building and designing and publishing and run conferences for, and who genuinely care about the output of their daily work.
That also means telling me when I’m wrong, or when things seem to go in a wrong direction, and contradict and fight for what they believe in, and have the freedom and trust to arrange their workflow in any way they see fit. That’s the true strength of the team — the environment where everybody feels free to voice their opinion, to say “No,” to propose an idea and to refine the direction where they would love to go and grow into personally.
I’m so infinitely grateful to be a part of this wonderful family, and I know with absolute certainty that I wouldn’t be where I am today without their kind and generous support. So a huge shout out and thank you to my dear colleagues, friends and family — hard-working people who often remain behind the scenes: Iris, Rachel, Mariona, Amanda, Charis, Cat, Ricardo, Markus, Jan, Ilya, Mike, Marc, Andrew, Owen, Bruce, Scott, Cosima, Inge, Aya, Kristina and Yana.
If you have a moment, say “Thank You” to each member of your team, and make sure they understand how much you value them. They are your biggest asset, and they deserve the best you can give them.
Thanks for being smashing!
— Vitaly (@smashingmag)
Table of Contents
- Git Tasks Explained
- How To Build Your Own PWA
- SmashingConf Toronto 2019
- Designing For Humans, The Right Way
- Supporting Old Browsers Without Hurting Everyone
- The Frontend Bootcamp
- Format Input Content When You Are Typing
- The Web We Broke
- Meet The Schmoes
- Upcoming In Smashing Membership
- New On Smashing Job Board
- Our Next Smashing Workshops
- Our Most Popular Articles
Do you feel that Git is too complex? Or maybe you have friends who are just starting out in the coding game and need a helping hand to get started with Git? Then the new Break Git Down series by Tae’lur Alexis is just for you.
In this series, Tae’lur teaches some of the most important Git tasks to make the transition to Git and the command line as smooth as possible. First stop: How to create a branch from master and make your first commit. (cm)
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) bring native-app qualities to web applications, making them fast, reliable, and engaging. If you’re planning to convert a web page to a PWA, Google’s Progressive Web Apps Training helps you get started.
It shows how to use service workers, APIs, and an application shell architecture for meaningful offline experiences, fast first load, and easy user reengagement upon repeat visits. (cm)
The web is diverse and fascinating because it’s designed and built by people who are diverse and fascinating. Every year, we’re happy to bring some of these wonderful people together at SmashingConf — to share what they learned in a friendly, diverse and inclusive space.
For our second SmashingConf Toronto, we’ll explore the bright and dark sides of front-end and UX: Service Workers, Design Across Cultures, Design Systems, Calm Design, Performance, Vue.js, Animation, Designing for Touch, and much more to come! Plus a bunch of hands-on workshops that focus on design, front-end and UX.
In Toronto, we’re happy to welcome new and old friends — Amber Case, Brad Frost, Jenny Shen, Scott Jehl, Sarah Drasner and so many other groovy speakers. Tickets are available, and we’d love to welcome you there, too! (bl)
The web is a wonderful place, but it’s also a place where everybody is fighting for scarce attention and engagement. As a result, many websites and apps have become self-indulgent, impolite and genuinely unlikeable. Just think of a wondrous push permissions prompt craving for your data, or blinking notifications prompting immediate action. All the shady techniques that try to extract our attention, monetize our personal information, and exploit our psychological vulnerabilities. However, they fail in desperate attempts to be heard, pushing customers away, often irrevocably.
We can do better than that. By being calm, respectful, honest and inclusive. That’s why Jon Yablonski created Humane By Design, a comprehensive resource that provides guidance for designing ethically humane digital products through patterns focused on user well-being. Jon lists a couple of principles and practices that are often neglected or forgotten, harming the customer as a result.
Bad experiences hurt businesses long-term, and ruin trust and credibility. This is our chance, as designers, to stand up through our honesty, kindness and thoughtfulness which are remarkably difficult to find these days.
How should you go about supporting browsers which are no longer maintained? Sérgio Gomes has compiled some valuable tips to guide you through the process, so that, in the end, you will have two builds with minimal changes to your build process and application code.
Users with up-to-date browsers will get a leaner and faster build that makes use of the latest browser functionality, while those who still rely on old browsers will get a slower, larger build. An interesting approach! (cm)
Two days to learn the fundamentals of the web. That’s the idea behind Microsoft’s Frontend Bootcamp. Aimed at new and experienced developers alike, the course starts off with coding basics and moves on to more advanced topics like TypeScript, state management, and testing.
Each lesson is divided into two parts: first, demo code teaches you the core concepts about a topic; after that, you can practise with exercises and build a working web app. (cm)
Formatting input text content automatically is not only a neat feature, it also increases the readability of input fields significantly. The library Cleave.js makes formatting inputs easy.
No matter if it’s a credit card number, phone number, date, time, or numeral formatting, with Cleave.js, you won’t need to write any mind-blowing regular expressions or mask patterns to format input text — the library handles things for you as you are typing. (cm)
We failed at making “the web live up to its promise as a truly universal medium, one that could be accessed by anyone, anywhere, regardless of ability or need.” After reading the accessibility analysis of the top one million home pages which WebAIM conducted recently, Ethan Marcotte wrote a thought-provoking article about the ‘broken web’ and the lessons we should be taking from it. (cm)
Jazebelle, Jacques, Jolee, Jed and their 20 friends make up the Schmoes, an illustrated avatar collection that is — as its name implies — a bit different as what you’ll usually see out there.
Designed by the duo Jon&Jess, the characters work great as profile picture placeholders for live websites or design mock ups. And thanks to the API, you can request the same Schmoe multiple times to keep a user’s avatar consistent throughout the user experience. (cm)
We’ve been increasing the amout of webinars (without increasing the price of membership — it still starts at just $5 a month!) and have also improved video quality since we moved to using the Zoom platform.
Coming up next:
- 📺 Smashing TV on March 19 at 9:00 AM Eastern Time
“The Fabulous And Groovy Vadim & Vitaly Video Show,” The first edition of a monthly news round-up and discussion. With Vadim Makeev, Vitaly Friedman, and someone else.
We are most grateful for your support which allows us to bring you great content, pay all our contributors fairly, and reduce advertising on the site. (You could become a Member, too and join us in Smashingland where everyone is beautiful and you never get merge conflicts. 😉)
- Senior PHP Developer at VONQ (Rotterdam)
“Build and improve a product that helps companies attract more qualified applicants, using a data-driven recommendation engine, that’s what Engineering at VONQ does.”
- Manager of Web and Digital Strategy at Fenway Health (Cambridge, MA)
“As the Web Development & Digital Strategies Manager, you will lead the functional and technical design, development and maintenance for all of Fenway’s online properties.”
- UX Designer at Autosoft (Remote)
“As an UX Designer, you will be responsible for creating intuitive, visually appealing and effective designs for Autosoft products across PC, tablet, and mobile platforms, working with both product development and marketing.”
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:
🇦🇹 ScriptConf (Mar 29–Apr 3) in Innsbruck, Vienna, Linz, Austria.
🇺🇸 SmashingConf SF (Apr 15–18) in San Francisco, USA.
🇷🇴 A Day With (May 10–15) in Cluj-Napoca, Brasov, Bucharest, Romania.
🇨🇦 SmashingConf Toronto (Jun 24–27) in Toronto, Canada.
Or, if you’d like to run an in-house workshop at your office, please get in touch with Vitaly at firstname.lastname@example.org and briefly describe what problems you’re facing and would like to solve. Get in touch — it’s that easy!
- Designing An Aspect Ratio Unit For CSS
The CSS Working Group have designed an aspect ratio unit for CSS. While this isn’t in browsers yet, this article takes a look at the process of designing a new sizing method and explains how it will work.
- Block Kit: Slack’s Contribution To Building A Better Collaboration UI
Slack has done a lot to bring teams and partners together online. It’s also done a lot to empower developers to build their own custom apps for it. Until recently, however, developers were limited by how much they could do to customize the design of those apps. That’s changing today with Block Kit.
- Exploring The Latest Web Design Trends Together With Be Theme
What are some of the most effective ways to grab a user’s attention? What engages them most? Trends come and go, but it’s still important to know which trend best fits your project.
- All Things UX
- Lovely Little Website Gems
- Inclusive Design and Accessibility
- UX Writing and Microcopy
- Inclusive Design
- Figma Tools and Workflow
- UX Workflow
- UX Animation and Motion
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.