.. Your Daily Design Dosis

Tweet Parade (no.03 Jan 2014)

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.. stay up to date! Time for a new roundup with last week’s best tutorials and design articles! It’s all about HTML, CSS, PHP, responsive web design, branding, SEO, WordPress and more. A broad scale of topics, but never-the-less the underlying focus is on Design.

Also I see this as my personal bookmarks of great articles from the Community of the last period. These hand-picked articles and tutorials are categorized by their main topics. The best way to keep track of these tweets is simply to follow me on Twitter.

Webdesign Coding: CSS, HTML, Javascript, PhP, APIs, etc.

Loading Scripts with jQuery – If you’re using jQuery, there’s a built in method for loading a single script which may come in handy if you’d like to lazy load a plugin or any other type of script. Here’s how to use it!

Myth Busting: CSS Animations vs. JavaScript – Some of the more significant shortcomings of CSS-based animation so that you can avoid the headaches I encountered, and make a more informed decision about when to use JS and when to use CSS for animation.

Writing A Better JavaScript Library For The DOM – Lately, I have started to see more and more problems with jQuery, at least my use of it. Most of the problems are with jQuery’s core and can’t be fixed without breaking backwards compatibility — which is very important.

Flexible CSS cover images – I recently included the option to add a large cover image, like the one above, to my posts. The source image is cropped, and below specific maximum dimensions it’s displayed at a predetermined aspect ratio.

Automating Web Performance Best Practices with mod_pagespeed – In this post you’re going to learn how to set up mod_pagespeed on an Apache web server. You’ll also be learning how to configure optimization filters that are provided by the module.

Fast interactive prototyping with Sketch and d3.js – In this post, I want to share how we quickly develop interactive prototypes, by designing SVG content in graphical apps like Sketch and scripting them using d3.js.

How to use the File Reader API – In terms of browser support the File Reader API is supported by everything modern with the exception of Opera Mini, so you can be confident using it right now.

Bulletproof Accessible Icon Fonts – What happens when your font doesn’t load? What happens when @font-face isn’t supported in the browser? We’ll show you how to implement bulletproof font icons.

Single Line Comments (//) in CSS – That said, CSS does actually already allow you to use //, after a fashion. It’s not quite a line comment, but a next construct comment. That is, whenever you use //, the next CSS construct – either declaration or block – will be “commented out”.

Vertically Align Text in CSS – To achieve the same vertical alignment for multi line text, we use the CSS trick of displaying text as a table element inside the parent div. Once we assign the child div as a table cell, we can assign vertical-align to it to put it exactly at the center!

A Call For Web Developers To Deprecate Their CSS – Freeing hand space is critical, so it’s important that we try to remove one of the languages in our stack. Through process of elimination, we are left with finding an alternative for CSS. Fortunately, that is possible with Node.

Introducing CSS variables – If there is one thing a language needs to qualify as a programming language, it’s variables; they’re incredibly useful, save us a bunch of work and typing, and improve coding all-round.

Animating CSS Shapes with CSS Animations & Transitions – Talking about animating CSS shapes with CSS animations. We’ll be creating very basic “shape-shifting” layouts of sort. There are also many considerations to take when animating CSS shapes, so we’ll go over all points in this article.

7 Creative Uses of CSS `content` – Another flexible addition to CSS was the content property, which on a basic level, allows you to place text content within a :before or :after pseudo element. Here are seven clever uses of css content.

Create a CSS grid using calc() – Calc() is a native CSS function that allows you to use mathematical expressions with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. So, lets use calc() to create a really easy-to-use grid system.

When to use target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” – This used to be “invalid” in HTML (maybe only XHTML?) but people used it anyway since it worked. It’s now perfectly valid in HTML5. But are there good reasons to do so?

A Practical Guide to AngularJS Directives – An overview of custom directives and explain how to use them in real world Angular projects. At the end of the tutorial, I will guide you through the creation of a simple note taking app with the help of Angular directives.

CSS Animation Tricks: State Jumping, Negative Delays, Animating Origin, and MoreSome of the tricks used to create them, especially because they are things we all strive for: efficiency, reusability, practicality, and speed.

Getting Started with the WebP Image Format – In this blog post you’re going to learn about a new image format called WebP that aims to reduce the size of images without compromising their quality.

8 Sass mixins you must have in your toolbox – At their core, Sass mixins are blocks of code that you define once and can then re-use anywhere. A mixin can take multiple parameters and make calls to functions to in the end output CSS.

10 HTML Tags You Might Not Be Using – I’ll show you 10 HTML tags you may not be using or maybe even aren’t yet aware of that help to increase the semantics and maintainability of your web pages.

The ins and outs of CSS grids – Today, the best type of grid is one that is fluid or responsive where the grid will respond to the different screen sizes and realign the elements accordingly.

What is Unobtrusive JavaScript and Why it’s Important? – Unobtrusive JavaScript is a best practice methodology for attaching JavaScript to the front-end of a website. It’s an ideal to strive toward and something we should bear in mind whenever we’re adding JavaScript to a site.

Usability, User Experience, Responsive Web Design, Mobile, etc.

Four Ways To Build A Mobile Application, Part 2: Native Android – The Android development environment is supported on Windows, Mac and Linux. There is no charge for the development tools, and applications may be freely deployed to devices.

10 Commandments of UX Strategy – My hope was to capture the core, essential elements of UX strategy while, at the same time, not missing anything important. This article is based on that presentation.

Components, Design Patterns, and Creative Solutions To Custom Problems – Components and patterns are a form of constraint. They combine small blocks into larger ones and reduce the number of blocks we play with.

How to deliver a seamless mobile checkout experience – 23% of all online retail sales in Q2 2013 came from mobile devices and interestingly, while tablets account for 85% of all mobile sales to date, smartphones have seen a greater rate of growth in mobile transactions.

What responsive web design means for team organisation – After working as a consultant with some very talented internal teams to redesign corporate websites using responsive techniques, I’ve identified a common theme over the past year: RWD is a catalyst for organisational change.

Fast Enough – When you make a decision to create a “richer” experience in any way, you’re trading some level of performance for that richness. That doesn’t mean it’s never a worthwhile exchange to make. Eye candy has value when used appropriately and responsibly.

Touch Event Emulation with Chrome – The problem we face with this is that we are developing websites on a traditional desktop that has no touchscreen capability. So, how do we debug a Touch event, if something is wrong with it?

Vertical align anything with just 3 lines of CSS – With just 3 lines of CSS (excluding vendor prefixes) we can with the help of transform: translateY vertically center whatever we want, even if we don’t know its height.

People, Ubiquity, and the Internet of Things: The New Mobile Context -Every design discussion revolved around the fact that mobile phones could go with us anywhere; therefore, anything we designed to work on them should work everywhere.

A slight obsession over page speed – I wanted to highlight a few tools and resources I find useful in analyzing performance and delivering web pages in production with optimal load time.

How To Use Data And Research To Build A Better Mobile Web – In this post, I’ll refer to specific mobile research projects I’ve conducted and build a case for audience surveys, participatory discovery sessions and review of analytics data.

How Design Patterns And Component Libraries Create Unity And Context – Components and patterns help create unity. They help create a consistent context. Component and pattern libraries might lead to more of the same interfaces, but they also lead to increased usability.

6 Undeniable Reasons Why Your Website Should Be Responsive – There are two major methods for creating mobile websites: responsive design and mobile templates. Here are some of the undeniable reasons your website needs to be responsive.

A Responsive Web Design Process – I’ve been thinking about a right process for quite a long time and finally came up with what I think is a good look at the practical side of designing websites in 2013.

7 unbreakable laws of user interface design – While web pages today have simple user interfaces with no more than navigation and contact forms, the rise of new technologies and standards will create a demand for more dynamic and customized experiences.

UI & UX: Differences, Evolution & What Is to Come – To the end consumer it looks like many apps offer similar if not identical functions and services. That’s why it’s important to take your user interface (UI) and turn it into a user experience (UX).

Better Responsive Images With the <picture> Element – This article will introduce you to <picture>, a new proposed element created to try and solve the problem of serving the version of content images which better suits the device currently visiting a web page.

Webdesign in Common, Web Typography, jQuery, Tools, etc.

5 Handy Tools & Webapps for Generating Website Screenshots – These tools can pull a website screenshot on-the-fly to display on your site or analytics dashboard. In this post I’ve outlined five online resources and webapps that you can utilize.

HTML5 and CSS3 Single page website tutorials – f you are a web-designer or you love to take the challenge of developing websites, then HTML5 and CSS3 are the perfect ones to learn and implement.

10 Things Web Designers Should Know to Become a Master – Being a master web designer is never easy. You could be a master. Yes, you will be. That is after you acquire a lot of knowledge and experience.

What’s new for designers, January 2014 – New web apps, jQuery plugins and JavaScript resources, web development tools, responsive design resources, collaboration tools, coding resources, and some really great new fonts.

How to create web fonts using code – Generative typography has become a popular field for graphic experiments. Designers combined their knowledge in typography with creative coding, and the possibility to use algorithms to change the shape of glyphs opened up many possibilities.

10 Useful Screen Capture Websites – I’ve listed below, in no particular order, a collection of useful screen capturing websites that I use on a regular basis, along with they’re specific benefits.

Making for a Delightful User Flow: Checkout Process – There is a lot of talk out there on the interwebz about great user experience. In this post, I will go over one delightful user flow that is just spectacular to give you a tangible example of what you should strive for.

Never Redesign Your Website Without This Strategy – Have you experienced the post-website-redesign conversion rate drop? What barriers does your organization face to redesign by testing?

7 web design trends you’ll actually see this year (and how to survive them) – The future of web design is already evident, we just need to look behind us to see it. Here are 7 predictions for 2014 that are already proving true, and how you can survive them.

The Hypnotic Effect of Parallax Scrolling and How it Impacts User Experience – Parallax scrolling is not all that difficult to implement—either by tweaking code to achieve this effect or using jQuery plugins—and it makes for a uniquely hypnotic user experience.

The 18 best image compression tools – No matter how carefully you design your images, the graphics tool you’re using will not save the finished files in the most efficient way. And so passing those images through a compression tool can reduce their size considerably.

Some Cool CSS Tools Worth Checking Out – Whether you are a professional developer or a newbie, sometimes coding can be a tedious job and can take too much time. Time saving CSS tools have been released and helpful in order to quicken the coding process.

Goodbye to 8 Design Elements Whose Time has Come – Some of them have died already, some are dying, and a couple have been recently diagnosed as “terminal.” Looking forward, I think their diminishing presence will make 2014 a better year for experience design.

How Should you Design Portfolio Websites for Photographers – Photographers portfolio is intended to show off your photos and attract the clients for work. That is the reason why designing an outstanding homepage is of prime importance in this field.

PSD to HTML is Dead – Photoshop mockups can be used as a visual aid to discuss ideas. In a PSD to HTML workflow, the Photoshop document represents the final site and it’s expected to look exactly the same in the browser.

Better web typography in 13 simple steps – Instead of simply knowing the rules you also need to understand the reasoning behind them. Here are some of the basic dos and don’ts of typography, specifically applied to the web.

5 Tips for Pre-Launch Landing Pages – Taking out the possibility that you built bad product — that it was poorly designed or the functionality was off — the problem probably comes from the lack of building anticipation and excitement prior to the launch date.

Graphic Design, Brand Identity, Typography, Print Design, Icons, etc.

The Ten Most Popular Web Fonts of 2013 – The use of web fonts has continued to explode in 2013 – designers are no longer content with using standard system fonts like Arial and Georgia.

What’s new in icon design – We’re going to do is to analyze 5 concepts of designing icons, new characteristics or “patterns” that could become relevant, and the characteristics concerning new paradigms.

Blogging, Social Media, Writing, Content Strategy, Email, etc.

Editing Tips For Business Web Content – Defining “quality content” is difficult. A useful approach is to look at the editing process, because editing is where content theory is translated into cold hard facts.

Writing Is Thinking – When you write about your work, it makes all of us smarter for the effort, including you—because it forces you to go beyond the polite cocktail-party line you use to describe what you do and really think about the impact your work has.

Blogger Outreach….Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned: Case Study – What experiences of blogger outreach do you have? Have you done it before – how did you get on, what successes did you have, and what mistakes did you make?

Developing a Response Model in 5 Easy Steps – Before we find new ways to beat an algorithm or push more tweets at a time, I have an analog solution that every brand should have, but sadly, few do…it is the lowly social response model.

How to Steal Your Competitor’s Social Media Followers – This guide will show you how to gain followers by leveraging your competition’s social networks. So if you want to accelerate your social media game by getting followers from your competitors.

WordPress

8 Tactics To Maximise The Success Of Your WordPress Project – Building a WordPress site, like any other digital project, can be a traumatic experience. Here’s 8 tactics to maximise the chances of your next WordPress project running to schedule, to budget and to expectation.

How To Speed Up Your WordPress Site Without A Plugin – Despite the wide availability of caching plugins that can be included while a building a client’s site, the employ of the native [WP_Cache class]among plugin and theme developers seems greatly overlooked.

8 Best jQuery Tutorials for WordPress Beginners – With these tutorials not only will you learn how to add these nifty jQuery scripts to your WordPress site, but you will also get a chance to learn jQuery a little bit, and how to use it in WordPress.

20 Inspiring Free WordPress Themes To Start Anew in 2014 – The following themes have all been created between December 2013 and today, thus can be called the freshest there are. 17 of our 20 newcomers work fully responsive

Search Engine Optimalization, Conversions, Analytics, etc.

How to Create a Prioritized SEO Action Plan – Clients and managers will be much more likely to implement your recommendations if you propose clear, concrete action plans that prioritize steps based on expected cost and benefit.

Tutorials

“Look Inside” Book Preview with BookBlock – A “look inside” book preview with BookBlock. A concept for book showcases or online book stores that shows a grid of books with the options to view the details and to look inside of the book, opening the BookBlock in fullscreen and allowing for a 3D page navigation.

Build a Sliding Client Testimonials Carousel With jQuery – In this tutorial I want to demonstrate two distinct styles of rotating carousels. The first is a testimonial box which includes a small quote talking about the services.

Freelance, Business and Workflow Related Stuff

5 Things You Should Know Before Starting Freelancing – the things you should consider when diving into the freelance ocean so you can avoid the mistakes most people do and save up some time, money and most important be more happy with your life.

What Makes a Great Designer? – While these tips help, there’s no right or wrong path to success and there’s no right or wrong path to greatness, either. Anyone who has made up their mind to be great or successful eventually stumbles there one day.

Earning More From Web Design: Extra Services You Can Provide – With the digital landscape becoming increasingly competitive and the cost to acquire a new website project steadily growing, web designers need to adapt and increase the revenue generated per client.

One Productivity Tool That Can Double Your Freelance Income – The key is to consistently track your time as you are working. Anything that has a start and stop button will work, including an old fashioned stop watch.

How to Improve Your Attention Span and Work Smarter – It’s a crazy and distracting world out there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tune it all out. Make improving your attention span your goal for 2014 with these simple tips.

F*cking Brilliant, a great Read or just magnificent Tips!

Make, Do – Make with your best effort, and do what you can. Don’t let the possibility of what could be deter you from forward progress. Otherwise, how are you going to get it done without putting yourself at the risk of a stroke?

How Modular Content Works – With modular content, you don’t have to commit to where images or text or any other media will appear on a page until you are creating that page! You don’t have to worry about catering your content to a structure that already exists.

Workflow Orchestration for the Wary – More than some other subjects, consolidating your workflow using a task runner or something similar is best learned by doing. I urge you to try it out hands on: walk through an online tutorial or find a simple project of your own and experiment.

Learn to Code: Tips for Designers (Part 2 of 2) – “Not only can coding offer opportunities and benefits for your own life, you can bring experience and qualities to coding that will make it a better, more productive environment for everyone.”

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I hope you have enjoyed these hand-picked great articles? Did we miss a great article, please let us know .. To keep up to date with all the cool links, simply follow me @gonzodesign

 

Author: Jan Rajtoral

Jan Rajtoral AKA Gonzo the Great is the Founder of and Designer at gonzodesign, providing design services across the full spectrum of Brand Identity, Graphic Design, Print and Advertising Design & Website Design.

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