The web is a miracle. In the busy daily routine, we often forget about all the fine little things we can do online. All the little delighters, quirky but memorable websites, side projects fueled by imagination and obsession with design.
In this newsletter, we bring a few lovely little websites to the spotlight — from smart recipe websites and movie recommendations to UX guides and vintage data visualization. Happy browsing, everyone!
As always, we also have a few community events coming up:
- Smashing Hour With Ben Callahan (Nov 28), a free ask-me-anything session on design systems,
- Smashing Hour With Oliver Schöndorfer (Dec 11), a free ask-me-anything-session on typography,
- New online workshops on design systems, accessibility and CSS,
- SmashingConf Freiburg 2024 🇩🇪 (Sep 9–11)
- SmashingConf New York 2024 🇺🇸 (Oct 7–10)
- SmashingConf Antwerp 2024 🇧🇪 (Oct 28–31)
We can’t wait to see you online and in-person this and next year. And yet again, we sincerely wish you a lot of hope, optimism and love these days.
1. UX Guides And Creative Ladder
What creative direction fits your kids best? With so many sophisticated titles and options out there, it might feel difficult to navigate the UX or design space. Creative Ladder can help with that. It’s a quiz originally designed for teenagers to discover creative careers and job titles that match their talents and interests.
A Guide To Become A Fabulous Design Unicorn is a slightly more sophisticated resource showing all the different facets and flavors of UX, how to get started, what common methods and practices, and resources to explore. If you need a more structured and growing overview, Krisztina Szerovay has been putting together “Start Here, Designer!” — a wonderful overview of useful resources for UX and UI designers. (vf)
2. Shady Characters
Are you incredibly passionate about typographic em-dashes (
—), smart quotes (
“ ”), apostrophes (
’), pilcrow (
¶), manicule (
☛) and asterisks (
*), too? Did you know about lovely diacritical marks such as acute (
◌́), circumflex (
◌̂), ring (
◌̥) and cedilla (
¸)? When would you use them, and how?
Shady Characters is a wonderful blog by Keith Houston about unusual marks of punctuation, books and book history, and everything in between. Also available as a printed book.
And if you need more inspiration, you can also look up Style Manual for Copywriters by Andy Taylor, a wonderful little guide on punctuation, style, commonly misused words, decimals and shortcuts. Set up by Andy Taylor.
Bonus: Quotes, Accents and Dashes by Jessica Hische, a slightly nerdy guide for type geeks out there on (guess what!) quotes, accent characters and dashes. For the bookmarks! (vf)
3. Usability Testing Session For UX Designers
Best insights come from continuous usability testing with actual users. So for a round of usability testing, we’re looking for experienced UX designers with solid HTML/CSS skills. In the testing, you’ll be testing a product that will allow you to visually edit designs side-by-side with a code editor. As a token of appreciation for your kind efforts and your time, you’ll receive a gift voucher after the test.
It’s quite important that your role is UX designer rather than front-end developer, as the tools are supposed to be used by experienced UX designers. We’d love to hear from you! Join the usability testing, and we’ll be in touch with you very shortly! Thank you so much for your ongoing support, time, and your interest!
4. Vintage Books and Data Visualization, Redesigned
What happens when you combine vintage books, data visualization, fractals and exceptional typography? Well, that’s what Nicholas Rougeux have been trying to figure out in the last few years. The result is C82, a fascinating collection of inspiring art and books — from mathematical instruments and painted sandwiches to Byrne’s Euclid (pictured below) and dictionary of typography.
Another example is the Iconographic Encyclopedia of Science, Literature and Art, an enhanced digital edition of J.G. Heck’s collection of illustrations from 1851, including more than 13,000 illustrations from 500 engraved steel plates and more than 1.6 million words of descriptions. Fantastic work — with illustrations also available as prints and posters to purchase. (vf)
5. Upcoming Workshops and Conferences
That’s right! We run online workshops on frontend and design, be it accessibility, performance, or design patterns. In fact, we have a couple of workshops coming up soon, and we thought that, you know, you might want to join in as well.
As always, here’s a quick overview:
- Advanced Modern CSS Masterclass Dev
with Manuel Matuzović. Nov 27 – Dec 11
- Successful Design Systems Workflow
with Brad Frost. Nov 28 – Dec 12
- Design Management Masterclass UX
with Slava Shestopalov. Nov 30 – Dec 8
- Streamlining Your Websites Content Workflow
with Paul Boag. Dec 7–15
- UX Designer’s Survival Kit ⛑️ Workflow
with Vitaly Friedman. Jan 23–Feb 6
- Smart Interface Design Patterns Video Course UX
9h-video + Live UX Training with Vitaly Friedman
- Jump to all workshops →
6. Zero Waste Recipe Generator
If you’ve ever started cooking a dish only to realize you didn’t have all the necessary ingredients, you know the frustration that comes with it. The same goes for excess ingredients that result in wasted leftovers. So, how nice would it be to have a recipe book — better yet, online — where you could find recipes matching the exact amount of ingredients you have on hand?
Founded by Assaf Rozenblatt, who launched the website in late 2009, SuperCook saves you time and money by providing you with recipes that are super easy to make — explained with the help of cooking videos and detailed recipe formats. Not only is the website available in different languages, but its interface is so user-friendly that even children can use it and help along in the kitchen. Bookmarked! (il)
7. Houses Of The World
I remember reading a study — not too long ago — that showed how taking photos can actually encourage positive experiences when traveling to new places. It is true that you can be more in the moment if you’re not taking the picture; however, as the moment passes, it’s easy to eventually forget about it. Well, a French and Australian duo found each other through their mutual passion for travel and decided to share their own pictures with the world — ones that make you want to visit that place, too!
Houses of the World is a modest photography collection of charismatic houses that reveal the character of cities visited by the makers of the website. Currently, it displays 274 homes (browse all photos) from 10 cities — some are even available as prints. If you happen to have a submission to add to one of the cities’ collections, then feel free to reach out to them anytime! (il)
8. News From The Smashing Library 📚
Promoting best practices and providing you with practical tips to master your daily coding and design challenges has always been at the core of everything we do at Smashing.
In the past few years, we were very lucky to have worked together with some talented, caring people from the web community to publish their wealth of experience as printed books. Have you checked them out already?
- Understanding Privacy by Heather Burns
- Touch Design for Mobile Interfaces by Steven Hoober
- Image Optimization by Addy Osmani
- Check out all books →
That’s All, Folks!
Thank you so much for reading and for your support in helping us keep the web dev and design community strong with our newsletter. See you next time!
This newsletter issue was written and edited by Geoff Graham (gg), Cosima Mielke (cm), Vitaly Friedman (vf), and Iris Lješnjanin (il).
- Design Systems
- Lovely Little Websites
- UX Guides, Templates and Career Ladders
- Useful Front-End Tools
- Design Systems
- Data Visualization And Dashboards
- Designing For Mobile
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.