We all have been through painful last-minute changes and never-ending revision loops — and that on a tight budget, with tough deadlines. Each of these projects brings along challenges, but also solutions and improvements. How often did you wake up in the morning, and suddenly realized that the code you had written at 3 AM earlier that night is absolutely unusable and has to be fully refactored? So perhaps getting an early sleep and tackling the problem in the early morning must’ve been a better idea after all.
Failing is painful, but we get stronger and smarter in the end, and so does our work as well as our workflows. So, what were some of the more difficult projects you've ever worked on? What were some of the problems you had to solve, the hard way? Think of how these projects changed your way of designing and building, and how they changed your career.
While our conversations often circle around our successful stories and big-name-clients, we all need to fail big at least a number of times in order to be successful. That’s why for our events (such as the upcoming SmashingConf Toronto 2019), we encourage speakers and attendees to share some of their difficulties and horror stories from their work, and show how they were resolved. Even better, they get to present them live; without slides, on stage, from scratch.
Take a bit of time off today to talk about failures. Perhaps during lunch or a coffee break? What if you shared just one of those tough lessons that profoundly changed your career? What is it that you would have done differently in retrospect? What would you recommend to yourself when looking back to all these past years? Before you know it, you might be in the middle of a fascinating conversation that could change your career yet again — just without those painful moments you had to endure back then.
Here’s one to failing and sharing!
– Vitaly (@smashingmag)
Table of Contents
- Reinventing Web Font Performance
- Free eBook: The Elements Of Content Strategy
- Join The JAMstack Revolution!
- A Guide To Digital Psychology
- CSS Transform Functions Visualizer
- Visual Feedback Made Simple And Fast
- Fresh Color Palette Inspiration
- Redesigning The Norwegian Passport
- A Journey Through Japan’s Arrows
- Upcoming In Smashing Membership
- Our Next Smashing Workshops
Web fonts can have a severe impact on a site’s performance, especially complex fonts that include a lot of glyphs in their character sets. The solution lies in ‘progressive font enrichment,’ a concept that the W3C Web Fonts Working Group is currently working on. The idea is to serve only the part of the font which is actually required to display a site and to dynamically patch the original download with additional sets of glyphs for subsequent requests. Jason Pamental shares more details on the concept as well as the current state of things. (cm)
They say that “content is king”, but why does it even matter? And where do the roots of content strategy lie? Having led content strategy for dozens of companies, nonprofits and on large-scale projects, Erin Kissane shares her profound knowledge in “The Elements of Content Strategy.” The publisher, A Book Apart, now offers the book for free online reading. A great opportunity to dive deeper into content strategy and how to do it just right. (cm)
Last week, we were delighted to announce ticket sales open for a brand new event: say hello to JAMstack_conf London taking place this July! Yep, we’re teaming up with our good ol’ friends at Netlify to learn together — directly from the creators powering one of the most transformational periods in web development to date.Join us! (ch)
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!
Psychology affects all areas of life, and the digital world is no exception. Daniel Stefanovic wrote a free guide on all things Digital Psychology and how psychological principles such as anchoring, commitment and consistency, loss aversion, the need to complete, and many more can be applied to digital products to enhance the customer experience and connect with your users. Valuable insights guaranteed. (cm)
A playground for tinkering with CSS transform functions, that’s CSS3 Transform. Built by Jorge Moreno with the help of Vue, Gulp, and LESS, the playground visualizes 2D and 3D CSS transform functions. You can use the sliders to adjust the functions’
skew values — the result is visualized immediately. The tool also gives you the CSS output so you can copy and paste it directly into your code. (cm)
Giving feedback on a design can turn into a mess of messages and files quite easily when done via email or common chat programs. Tweakr wants to change that. Created by five design students from Vienna, it makes giving and receiving visual feedback more intuitive. Once you’ve uploaded your file via the uploader, you can share the link with everyone involved. To give precise feedback, people can then click on the things they’re talking about and discuss solutions in the comments. No onboarding or registration required. (cm)
Sometimes it’s the color combinations that you didn’t initially think of which turn out to be the perfect fit for a project. If you’re looking for some fresh color inspiration, we have two handy tools for you.
Coolors is a fast color schemes generator that lets you create, save, and share palettes in seconds. You can pick starting colors from your images if you want and export your palettes in PNG, PDF, SCSS, and SVG formats, copy the permanent URL, or use them right away in your workspace with the Adobe add-on. Another handy tool is Culrs. Here you can find your favorite color combo by exploring pre-made palettes in different categories (analogous, monochromatic, triad, and tetradic). For the bookmarks. (cm)
Can a relatively new design already become a classic? Well, the redesigned Norwegian passport certainly has the makings to do so. Designed by the Oslo-based studio Neue, the design creates a sense of belonging and connection across age, gender, and regions just by using one of the central elements of the nation’s identity to adorn the inside pages of the document: its landscapes. And with polar lights appearing over the minimalist illustrations of fjords and mountains when viewed under UV light, even the security features reflect the nature topic. An inspiring example of how thinking outside the box and breaking with traditions and trends can bring forth stunning results. (cm)
Sometimes, inspiration lies where you least expect it. On the ground of a train station, for example. @lilycats.35 is an account on Instagram that has just the eye for those kinds of little details. Get ready to be taken on a journey through Japanese train stations — the endless variety of arrows found on the ground and on stairs to be more precise. If you have a sweet spot for signage, this one is for you. (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 May 14 at 16:00 GMT (Today!)
“Developing And Designing For Privacy” with Heather Burns
- Smashing TV on May 29 at 17:00 GMT
“Every Product Has A Voice” with Benjamin Hersh
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:
- 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.
- Sketch Plugins, WebGL, Performance Testing, Patterns
- Geometric Shapes, Service Workers, Ethics and UX Strategies
- Browser Default Styles, Sketchy Illustrations and Tiny Helpers
- Web Performance 2020, Techniques, Tools and Resources
- Web Advent Calendars, Debugging, SVG, Ad Loading
- Web Performance, Front-End, Free Illustrations
- Cheatsheets, Vintage Science and Playgrounds For Tinkering
- Web Font Pitfalls, Accessibility and Coding Offline
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.