Looking back, we had a truly smashing time at the SmashingConf held in San Francisco two weeks ago. For those of you who were unable to attend, we have already published the SmashingConf SF speaker talks along with resources and photographs. If you were able to attend, perhaps you could add comments to the post and share your memories, the things you learned, and your photos? We’d love to hear about your experience!
Starting SmashingConf with just the right amount of balloons. (Photo taken by Marc Thiele.)
There is a lot going on here at Smashing for everyone. We’ve just released Andy Clarke’s new book, Art Direction For The Web, and our ongoing Smashing TV schedule has three upcoming webinars featuring smart cookies from the web industry (one is taking place later on today at 13:00 GMT — join in!).
Please don’t forget: you can always tell us what would be most helpful for you and your career. If you have a great idea for a webinar topic or speaker, or perhaps you’d like us to cover a subject in the magazine or pitch an article that you would like to write, do get in touch with us anytime!
– Rachel Andrew (@rachelandrew)
Table of Contents
- Design Your Team
- Open-Source Illustrations With Personality
- SmashingConf Toronto 2019
- Mesmerizing CSS Experiments
- Explore The Power Behind CSS Gradients
- What Every Designer Should Know About Business
- A Podcast About Maintainers
- Create Sophisticated Animations Without Touching Any Code
- Work From Home, But Not Alone
- Upcoming In Smashing Membership
- Our Next Smashing Workshops
How do you and your team want to be at work and with each other? Coming up with group norms and sharing them openly can help fasten the bond inside a team and make it prosper.
Inspired by many successful, collaborative teams with different backgrounds, the design team at Dropbox co-created a social contract to define a common foundation for how they want to communicate, make decisions, share information, and support each other. To help you and your team become value-first, too, they now introduced the Team Values Toolkit. The free kit comes with activities and instructions to define your very own set of shared values and norms. (cm)
If you need an illustration for your project, but commissioning an illustrator is beyond your budget, you might want to take a look at unDraw. The site features open-source illustrations on all-things tech and digital with a cool material design look. To make them match your design, you can use the on-the-fly color image generator to customize the main color, and thanks to SVG, the illustrations are scalable without quality loss, too. (cm)
The web is diverse and fascinating because it’s designed and built by people who are diverse and fascinating. 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, Performance, Vue.js, Animation, Designing for Touch, and much more to come!
SmashingConf Toronto is a friendly, inclusive event focused on real-world problems and solutions. Convince Your Boss Letter (249 KB).
A team that learns and grows together, stays together! Get a 15% discount for four or more conference tickets — tickets are now available! Also, don’t forget to take a peek at our hands-on workshops that focus on all things design, front-end and UX. We look forward to seeing you there!
CSS is capable of bringing the most sophisticated layouts to life, and its power makes for some stunning CSS experiments, too. Two mesmerizing pieces of CSS magic that are bound to leave you in awe come from Yuan Chuan: the Floating Heart and Chasing animations. If you want to get creative, too, CSS Doodle is for you. The web component which Yuan built helps you draw patterns with CSS. Have fun! (cm)
Shapy. Hidden behind the cute name, is a powerful tool: a gradient shape editor created by Victoria Bergquist. Shapy lets you discover and explore the power of CSS gradients, creating shapes and images by layering and moving around gradients on a single
div tag. Just use the sliders to customize the canvas size, gradient type, color stops, and box details, and, once you’re satisfied with what you see in the preview, you can copy the CSS with a click. Handy! (cm)
More and more experienced designers are advocating for designers to acquire business knowledge. Their arguments are convincing: once you understand business, you can make better decisions that benefit not only the business itself but also your users, and it will make it easier to convince non-designers into user-centric ideas, too, as Alen Faljic points out. But what exactly should designers learn about business?
Based on his experience working as a business designer at IDEO and creating the d.MBA business course for designers, Alen distilled the most important things every designer should know about business into one comprehensive article. A good primer. (cm)
There’s a new podcast in town! Maintainers Anonymous hosted by Henry Zhu is all about being an open-source maintainer. It dives deep into how we can work together to achieve a common goal, shows what’s going on behind the scenes in an open-source project, and shares struggles we all face — not only as developers but also as people. The episodes are between 45 minutes and one hour long. Worth tuning into. (cm)
A powerful design and animation tool that helps designers and developers create sophisticated interactions and animations, that’s Flare. Flare has a graphical interface which lets you place objects on the stage, animate their properties, and use the result directly in your final product — without the need to rebuild anything in code. You can also share your assets with fellow Flare users and browse and fork the creations of others. Promising! (cm)
Working from home has a lot of perks, but sometimes it can be hard to defeat distractions and stay focused when there are no colleagues around. The virtual coworking community Focusmate wants to change that by connecting you to other professionals who want to stay on task, too. How does it work? You can choose a time when you want to work, and Focusmate will connect you to a partner for a live, webcam-based coworking session. The social pressure and accountability you feel when you tell someone what you plan to get done during that given timeframe and the need to report back can help you reach the flow state and forget about the distractions around you. An interesting concept. (cm)
Thank you for being smashing! Over the last months, we’ve been increasing the number of webinars (without increasing the price of membership — it still starts at just $5 a month!) and have also improved video quality since we’ve moved to Zoom. Also, the eBook version of Andy Clarke’s brand new book “Art Direction for the Web” is now available as a part of the Membership, too. Obviously.
Coming up next:
- 📺 Smashing TV on April 30 at 13:00 GMT
“The How And Why Of Semantic HTML” with Mandy Michael
- 📺 Smashing TV on May 7 at 17:00 GMT
“Deep Dive Into WebPage Test” with Patrick Meenan
- 📺 Smashing TV on May 14 at 16:00 GMT
“Developing And Designing For Privacy” with Heather Burns
We are very 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. 😉)
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:
- 🇺🇸 ImageCon SF (May 1–2) in San Francisco, USA.
- 🇵🇱 Infoshare (May 8–9) in Gdańsk, PL.
- 🇷🇴 A Day With (May 10–15) in Cluj-Napoca, Brasov, Bucharest, RO.
- 🇩🇪 BTConf, (May 13–15) in Düsseldorf, DE.
- 🇱🇹 You Gotta Love Frontend Conference (May 16–17) in Vilnius, LT. (This event offers a scholarship program.)
- 🇳🇱 Frontend United (May 16–18) in Utrecht, NL.
- 🇷🇺 HolyJS & MobiusConf (May 22–27) in St. Petersburg, RU.
- 🇸🇰 Mastersgate (May 28–30) in Bratislava, SK.
- 🇨🇦 SmashingConf Toronto (Jun 24–27) in Toronto, CA.
- 🇬🇧 JAMstack_conf_london (Jul 9–10) in London, UK.
Every second Tuesday, we send a newsletter with useful techniques on front-end and UX. Subscribe and get Smart Interface Design Checklists PDF in your inbox.
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- SmashingConf Live, Speed Profiler, CSS and SVG
- Custom CSS Cascades, Focus Blocks and CORS
- React, Accessible Components, Terminal, Video Player
- BEM, DOM Scripting, SVG Masks, Vintage Games, Posters
- Design Checklists, Passwords, Dropdowns and Tooltips
- Accessible Inputs, Console, Free Illustrations, SVG
- Sketch Plugins, WebGL, Performance Testing, Patterns
- Geometric Shapes, Service Workers, Ethics and UX Strategies
- Browser Default Styles, Sketchy Illustrations and Tiny Helpers
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