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Smashing Conf Barcelona

You know, we use ad-blockers as well. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.

The Missing Advice I Needed When Starting My Career

Do you ever wish you had a time machine? I certainly do, but not for the usual reasons. I want a time machine so I can go back and have a frank conversation with my younger self. I'll let you in on a bit of a secret: My younger self was an idiot!

Look for inspiration beyond the web. Look to art, architecture and print design.

I have been working on the web for over 22 years now, and I feel like I wasted so many of those years. If only I could go back and share a few hard truths with myself at the start of my career. Unfortunately, I cannot, but I can share that advice with you.

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Progressively Enhancing CSS Layout: From Floats To Flexbox To Grid

Earlier this year, support for CSS grid layout landed in most major desktop browsers. Naturally, the specification is one of the hot topics at meet-ups and conferences. After having some conversations about grid and progressive enhancement, I believe that there’s a good amount of uncertainty about using it. I heard some quite interesting questions and statements, which I want to address in this post.

Progressively enhanced CSS Layout, with Flexbox and CSS Grid.

“When can I start using CSS grid layout?” “Too bad that it’ll take some more years before we can use grid in production.” “Do I need Modernizr in order to make websites with CSS grid layout?” “If I wanted to use grid today, I’d have to build two to three versions of my website.” The CSS grid layout module is one of the most exciting developments since responsive design. We should try to get the best out of it as soon as possible, if it makes sense for us and our projects.

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Web Development Reading List #190: Images in Web Notifications and Angular Code Splitting

New APIs offer great possibilities to build better web services. And some people push these new technologies to their limits. For example, we can use JavaScript to generate images that we then can use in Web Notifications. We can use the Storage API to find out if and how much data we can save on a user’s device and can adjust the behavior of our applications accordingly.

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Designing The Perfect Slider

When we think about a slider, we usually imagine an image gallery slider, or the infamous carousel, or perhaps off-canvas navigation, with the overlay sliding in from the side. However, this article is not about those kinds of sliders. Instead, we’ll look into the fine details of designing better slider controls for selecting a value or a range of values. Think of price range sliders, 360-degree-view sliders, timeline sliders, health insurance quote calculators, or build-your-own-mobile-plan features.

A playful animation of a slider, changing the appearance of a house.

In all of these use cases, a slider is helpful because it allows users to explore a wide range of options quickly. For precise input, a slider can never beat a regular input field, but we can use a slider to nudge our customers to explore available options and, hence, aid them in making an informed decision.

After a close look at perfect accordions and date and time pickers, let’s turn our attention to sliders, with do’s and don’ts and things to keep in mind when designing one. But first, we need to figure out when a slider makes sense in the first place. (Please note: that article is quite large, and contains many animations and videos.)

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Taming Advanced Color Palettes In Photoshop, Sketch And Affinity Designer

Creating large, harmonious and uniform color palettes can be a challenge. Good intentions and confident plans can be abandoned when things get a little unwieldy.

Taming Advanced Color Palettes In Photoshop, Sketch And Affinity Designer

But you can equip yourself with some tools to manage the complexity. With the right techniques, large color palettes can be created, refined and refactored at will. Large color palettes can be tamed.

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Introducing The Website Speed Test Image Analysis Tool

Web developers spend their days writing hypertext, but, byte for byte, most of the web is composed of images. It is hard to overstate the effect that images have on the average web page’s performance; faster websites have broader reach and a higher impact. The first and most important thing you can do to improve the performance of your website’s images is figure out how to measure them.

Introducing The Website Speed Test Image Analysis Tool

Enter Website Speed Test, a free and drop-dead-simple tool that leverages our (Cloudinary’s) image smarts to let you measure, diagnose and (crucially) communicate about the image performance of any website. Better yet, it’s built on top of, and integrated in, Pat Meenan’s WebPagetest. Interested? Read on!

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How We Built An iOS App To Shoot A 3D Video (Case Study)

It wasn’t long after Hollywood released its first 3D films that the movie format quickly gained huge popularity worldwide. Thanks to developments in video-recording technology, any user can now shoot a video on their own. You can make a stereo record of memorable events in your life or create wonderful material for your business.

How We Built An iOS App To Shoot A 3D Video (Case Study)

Our team was also attracted to 3D filming. We thoroughly studied the features of the human visual apparatus and the technical details of stereoscopic photography. Then, we decided to develop an iOS app to shoot 3D videos and upload the videos to YouTube. The idea behind the app was to facilitate the shooting of 3D video by mounting two iPhones to a special frame — and we did it! That was how the Stereo Video Recorder app appeared.

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Building Pattern Libraries With Shadow DOM In Markdown

Some people hate writing documentation, and others just hate writing. I happen to love writing; otherwise, you wouldn't be reading this. It helps that I love writing because, as a design consultant offering professional guidance, writing is a big part of what I do. But I hate, hate, hate word processors.

Documenting Components In Markdown With Shadow DOM

When writing technical web documentation (read: pattern libraries), word processors are not just disobedient, but inappropriate. Ideally, I want a mode of writing that allows me to include the components I'm documenting inline, and this isn't possible unless the documentation itself is made of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. In this article, I'll be sharing a method for easily including code demos in Markdown, with the help of shortcodes and shadow DOM encapsulation.

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Things To Keep In Mind When Designing A Transportation Map

For many people, a map of a transportation network is a given, an expected part of the system, something that just is — like a fire-escape plan in a building. So, when I say that I design transportation maps, they don't understand. What is there to design even?

Things To Keep In Mind When Designing A Transportation Map

Well, let's take the London underground map as an example. Designed by Harry Beck, it was the world's first transportation map to use the principles of electrical circuit drawings. All line segments were put to the angles of 45 or 90 degrees. The distances between stations were equalized.

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Web Development Reading List #188: Real-World Accessibility, Flexbox Madness, And The Ephemerality Of Things We Build

CSS is an amazing tool which we constantly use but we don't seem to honor it appropriately. Whenever I see the growing browser support of the :focus-within selector, the much wanted justify-content: space-evenly for Flexbox or how great CSS Grids already work, I feel really grateful to have such awesome tools available to work with.

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Challenge Yourself More Often By Creating Artwork Every Day

Whether you're into good ol' drawing and painting, or quick editing in Photoshop or Illustrator, one thing's for sure: they're all creativity's best friends. Some draw pictures all day, while others find their inspiration in uncommon sources in order to break out of the box.

Challenge Yourself More Often, And Create Artwork Every Day

Whatever it is that you decide to do, it's good to challenge yourself more often and get out of your comfort zone. If you don't, you may never discover something that you love doing, or perhaps even worse, never learn a whole lot about yourself.

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