We’re currently between our two final conferences for this year; the Smashing team is back from Freiburg and already looking forward to the upcoming one in New York. Today, we have published the conference videos from SmashingConf Freiburg, along with a write-up of the event. Read “SmashingConf Freiburg 2019: Videos and Photos”.
I hope these write-ups will help you get a feeling of what it’s like to attend our Smashing events. We work hard to put together events with great speakers who all bring practical advice and experience that you can take back to work after the conference. However, in everything we do, we want to encourage our commnity to learn from each other. I love the fact we have so many side events that give attendees and speakers the chance to step away from the intensity of watching presentations, and discuss what they have learned and challenges they’re facing. I’ve had some really interesting conversations while out on our pre-conference runs, with people I probably would never have spoken to otherwise.
We have also announced our conference dates for 2020. We are still working hard on curating amazing line-ups for these events, however, you can get some insights into what the team hopes to bring to the events in my recent post “SmashingConf 2020 – San Francisco, Freiburg, New York And Austin.” We’re especially excited to be bringing the Smashing fun and learning to Austin, as it is a brand new city for us. Our conferences all sold out well in advance this year, so if there is an event you don’t want to miss, you can secure your ticket at an early-bird price for San Francisco, Austin, and Freiburg. Tickets will go on sale for New York 2020 very soon.
I hope you enjoy watching the Freiburg videos, and I’d love to see you at one of our events in 2020!
Always keep learning!
Rachel Andrew (@rachelandrew)
Table of Contents
- Smarter Patterns For Designing With AI
- Button Contrast Checker
- Monochromatic Color Palettes Made Easy
- The Art Of Symbols
- Find Your Next Tech Conference
- Royalty-Free AI-Generated Faces
- Design Events In Your City
- Upcoming In Smashing Membership
- Our Next Smashing Workshops
The power of artificial intelligence is huge, but with it also come ethical challenges and a lot of responsibility. Responsibility for the user who might be confused and scared by AI if a clear concept is lacking, who might want to choose the amount of AI they interact with, and who need to be protected against harmful practices.
Based on research of how AI is being used and understood today, the software studio Myplanet put together Smarter Patterns, a library to start a discussion about these topics and help designers tackle the challenges of AI in interface design. The resource currently features 28 patterns that empower designers to create meaningful AI experiences. (cm)
Do your buttons have enough contrast? The Button Contrast Checker built by the folks at Aditus helps you find out. Enter your domain and the tool tests if the buttons on the site are compliant with WCAG 2.1.
To cater for realistic results, the checker does not only test the default state of the buttons but also takes hover and focus states as well as the adjacent background into account. A nice detail: Each time you scan a page, the results are stored in a unique URL which you can share with your team. A precious little helper. (cm)
If you’ve ever tried to generate a consistent monochromatic color palette, you know that this can be a boring task. After he once again messed around with infinite copy-paste commands to create a nice palette, Dimitris Raptis decided to change that. His solution: CopyPalette.
CopyPalette lets you create SVG palettes with ease. All you need to do is select a base color, the contrast ratio of the shades, and the number of color variations you’d like to have, and the tool generates a perfectly-balanced color palette that you can copy and paste into your favorite design tool. A true timesaver. (cm)
Since more than 40,000 years, humans have been using symbols to communicate complex ideas. And as designers, we still do so today.
Art of Symbols, a 100-day project by the design team at Emotive Brand, set out to explore how ancient symbols inform contemporary brand design. After all, a lot of those symbols which are part of our vocabulary as designers today, already existed a long time ago, as early as in rock paintings and engravings even. If you’re curious to learn more about their origins and meanings and are up for some beautiful eye candy, this project will keep you busy for a while. (cm)
Conferences are special experiences. You get to connect with likeminded people, learn new things, and maybe find fresh inspiration or even allies for your next project. However, with so many great tech conferences happening around the world, it’s hard to keep track of what’s coming up and, even more than that, decide which conferences you want to attend. Luckily, there are some resources out there that help you find just the right event for you.
100,000 photos of faces of different age, gender, and ethnicity. What doesn’t sound like anything groundbreaking, actually is, if the faces don’t exist but are products of artificial intelligence.
The Generated Photos project did exactly that. With the help of AI, a team of 20 AI and photography professionals generated this impressive number of high-quality faces that you can download and use in your projects for free (for non-commercial purposes). But the plans go even further: the aim is to build an API that enables anyone to use artificial intelligence to generate interesting, diverse faces for their projects, mockups, and presentations — without bothering about copyright and distribution rights questions. Will this be the end of conventional stock photography? (cm)
No matter if it’s an upcycling workshop, a brush lettering class, a theater performance, or a talk about how the human brain works — there are a lot of opportunities for designers to think outside the box and recharge their creative batteries.
If you want to know what’s happening in your city, Design Calendar is for you. With the help of a global network of contributors, the site collects talks, events, workshops, conferences, and exhibitions that might be interesting for designers and other creative folks. 18 cities are currently listed (from Amsterdam to Toronto), and if your city is missing, you can become a contributor anytime! (cm)
Thank you for being smashing! A few weeks ago, we released the brand-new Smashing Magazine Print, with practical and thought-provoking articles on ethics and privacy to make us all think. Members ($5 plan) receive the digital version for free, Smashers ($9 plan) get the printed issue shipped directly to their doorsteps. And we have new webinars coming up as well:
- Smashing TV on Oct 8 at 14:00 GMT
“Technical SEO For Single Page Apps” with Martin Splitt
Dear friends, thank you for your kind support. It allows us to bring you great content, pay all our contributors fairly, and reduce advertising on the site. (Ah, you could become a Smashing Member, too! 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:
- 🇸🇪 Nordic.js (Oct 10–11) in Stockholm, Sweden.
- 🇺🇸 SmashingConf NYC (Oct 15–16) in NYC, USA.
- 🇺🇸 JAMstack_conf (Oct 16–18) in SF, USA.
- 🇦🇹 ScriptConf (Oct 25) in Linz, Austria.
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! (vf)
- Interface Design
- Web Accessibility
- Interface Design
- UX Writing
- Design Systems
- UX Workflow
- Obscure Treasures Of The Web
- Web Performance
- Free Fonts and Illustrations
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.