.. Your Daily Design Dosis

Tweet Parade (no.10 Mar 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.

The !important Things!important is a crutch, and devs use it when we don’t know what else to do. We use it when our code is out of control – it’s too long, or convoluted, or opaque, and we can’t get it to work properly.

Improving the CSS performance of fixed position elements – if you’re using fixed positioning elements on a page, ensure you also add a property & value pair that will promote the element to its own layer (transform3d or backface-visibilty for example).

Building progressively enhanced websites using bulletproof Backbone & CSS transforms – The goal is to progressively enhance the user experience without hurting SEO and wrecking up the user experience on older browsers.

A Detailed Introduction To Custom Elements – The basic idea is that if you create an element that always performs the same role and has the same set of properties and functions applied to it, then you should be able to name it after what it does.

5 powerful techniques for responsive web design – You have to make sure that your website will look good on every device possible. In this article, I have compiled 5 super useful techniques (snippets) for a better, more responsive site or web app.

Stop animating the width/height CSS property – However, I am seeing a lot of animating of top/left and width/height properties. Ya’ll need to stop doing that. But there’s a great alternative thanks to a little CSS trickery with overflow: hidden and translate

Introducing Gulp.js – If you use a task runner in your workflow you’ll know why they are so useful in coding; they improve our workflow and allow us to focus on problem solving rather than repetitive data entry.

Flexbox Bar Navigation Demo – List items as inline-block probably makes the most sense in general. But I’ve been enjoying tinkering with flexbox, so I decided to toss it together with that, and it made for a pretty educational example I think.

text-rendering – The text-rendering property in CSS allows you to choose quality of text over speed (or vice versa) allowing you to fine tune optimization by suggesting to the browser as to how it should render text on the screen.

Image sprites or data URIs? Icon fonts or SVGs? A Grunt workflow for the ‘gold’ standard – This post looks at different data on the sprite versus data URI question and how to configure a couple of automated Grunt tasks to produce SVG image sprites and fall back PNG sprites (rather than data URIs).

The Art of HTML Semantics: Part 1 – While there is still work to be done on the available semantics and appropriate uses of markup, it’s nice to know that we have more to work with than we sometimes allow ourselves to believe.

Getting into Sass Control Directives – All of the directives here are incredibly simple examples, but hopefully they illustrate how using these directives can end up saving you quite a bit of repetitive CSS.

Making progress – It’s fairly simplistic, and I’m limiting it to POST requests only. At the moment that a form begins to submit, a progress element is inserted at the end of the form …which is usually right by the submit button that the user will have just pressed.

Usability, UX, Responsive Web Design, Mobile, Performance, etc.

My Performance Audit Workflow – My goal here: 60fps, all the time, everywhere. It’s possible on desktop if you design and build in the right way. For mobile it’s a lot more difficult, but not impossible (depending on what you do.

A responsive approach to image scaling with CSS – Vertically aligning things with top and translateY is something we’ve used recently. We had to fit images into responsive containers that had fluid widths and set heights, and all we knew were the widths of the images.

Thoughts on Media Queries for Elements@media queries are not selectors and therefore do not have any weight. In contrast, *:not(#foo) has more weight than *:not(.foo) because the pseudo class is evaluating selectors, and selectors always add weight.

Rethinking Responsive SVG – In fact, we can see SVG as an independent module that encapsulates CSS for the customization of views as well as the responsive behavior that also encapsulates JavaScript for the interaction logic.

Page Speed: How Soon Will Visitors See Your Content? – If you’ve spent any time testing the performance of your websites and applications, then at some point you may have come across WebPagetest.org. If you haven’t, then it’s well-worth checking out.

Why You Should Care About Web Components – Web components are a set of specs that enable developers to build reusable components. They bring great things such as Shadow DOM, HTML imports, custom elements, and the template element.

Common UX Mistakes That Are Killing Your Design – More often than not, many UX design projects suffer from some common mistakes. In this post, we shall be taking a look at such mistakes and discussing ways to avoid them.

Infinite Scrolling: Is It Good or Bad for Your Website?- It has its strengths and weaknesses, but before deciding to implement infinite scrolling on your website you need to make sure that the advantages it offers are way more valuable than its disadvantages.

Create fluid layouts with HTML5 and CSS3 – Learn why proportional layouts are necessary for responsive design, convert pixel-based element widths to proportional percentages, convert pixel-based typography sizes to their em-based equivalent, understand how to find the context for any element

What We Mean When We Say “responsive” – There’s a timeliness to this confusion over responsive-ness. Questions are being asked. Brows are furrowing. Blog-comment diatribes are taking on an almost doctrinal tone.

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

Creating Visual Hierarchy With Typography – While you can create visual hierarchy using a number of different tools, today we are going to look at ways to create structure with just typography.

Things you can do to Improve Page Load Times – Loading speeds can certainly make or break a website. In times where users are overload with options, they don’t want to wait too much for a page to load. And by too much I’m referring to about 2 to 3 seconds.

Flexible Sizing in CSS – With some simple consideration for the sizing properties in our CSS, we can lay a foundation for a responsively sized design that can scale and flex based on small changes in our styles.

Create a favicon using Illustrator – If you don’t include a basic 16px favicon, it’s a lost opportunity to extend the brand of the site beyond the page itself. A missing favicon.ico file also causes problems on high traffic sites, as the server will generate a 404 error for every first request.

How to Build an Awesome Website Footer – Well, the fact about the low CTR may be true, but it doesn’t present the whole picture. The low CTR is mainly a result of the fact that few people see the footer in the first place.

Fresh Resources for Designers and Developers (March 2014) – This round, we’ve put together a number of tools that are not only useful but also great time savers, such as a tool that helps you in synchronized browser testing, one to grab screenshots off multiple screen sizes, etc.

7 Proven Secrets of High-Converting Checkouts – To put it in perspective, that’s like walking into a grocery store and seeing seven filled carts just sitting there, abandoned, near the checkout … while only three people walk out with groceries…

8 Website Design Tutorials Worth Your Time – We’ve gone through the top websites and forums where web designers share best practices, and pulled together the top 8 web design tutorials worth your time.

Tips for Designing Better Mobile Typography – Two of the most important considerations when designing type for mobile devices are size and space. Type must be large enough to read easily and there should be enough space between lines so that text does not feel cramped in the small space.

Responsive typography with REMs – How to build a scalable typographic foundation in three steps – Unlike responsive images and videos, which scale vertically as the width of their content column adjusts, text set in pixels does not automatically adjust its size as the window resizes — it wraps.

The best way to serve fonts to your website – In this article we’ll arm you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions when choosing between font technology.

24 Things to Consider When Designing and Developing a Website – The following 24 tips will guide you through the process of creating a unique user experience that inspires viewers to become loyal brand advocates.

Building Clickthrough Prototypes To Support Participatory Design – This article will look at clickthrough prototyping on the iPhone with the Prototyping on Paper (or POP) app. I’ll also cover how prototyping fits into participatory design and why sketching is a prerequisite.

5 Mistakes People Make When Setting Up Their Website – All of your marketing efforts lead back to your website. Which is why it’s of the utmost importance to setup your website correctly.

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

How to develop a visual language ~ One thing that can help you stand out is to develop your own visual language, so that your designs become easily recognisable as yours. Follow this five-step guide and you’ll soon be on your way to create your own signature style

Here are 6 Common Logo Design Mistakes to Ignore at your Peril – I will list each one of the logo design mistakes, and add my own comments, as for the most part I have already posted articles on the topics mentioned.

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

10 Mistakes We’ve All Made on Social Media (And How To Fix Them) – Mistakes happen to even the best of us. But, that’s just human nature. And we all make mistakes. However, you can at least make the effort to be as flawless as possible. Especially when it comes to social media.

Data Monday: What Percent of Page Views Share on Social Media? – This is hardly scientific but might provide a decent baseline as people from social products, government, higher education, and more contributed stats.

HOW TO: improve the readability of your blog – What makes one blog greater than another, assuming the content is the same or nearly the same? Most of the time it’s simply aesthetics. More specifically, it’s readability.

The Dirty Little Secret About Guest Blogging – I’m going to tell you exactly why guest posting for clients isn’t bad at all, and also, what you can do when dealing with bloggers declining your posts just because your link points to a client.

20 Warning Signs That Your Content Sucks – There aren’t any rules, no, but there are warnings. If your content sucks, you’ll see dozens, maybe hundreds of telltale signs, hinting that something is wrong.

How to Use LinkedIn to Build Relationships and Generate Leads – Over the past year, LinkedIn has added and revamped some important tools. In this article you’ll find the latest LinkedIn features and how you can use them to your benefit.

Promote Your Blog with Social Media – You can reach out to many new readers and keep the current ones hooked by promoting your blog on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and others.

The secrets of successful website content – This isn’t to say communication is dead. Use less to sell more, but use more to close that sale. When dealing in a creative brief, contract, or email updates, stay transparent and overly complete ad nauseam.

WordPress

The Beginner’s Guide to WordPress SEO by Yoast: On Page SEO – Today we will explore this panel/meta box and will discuss the some generic factors which help in ranking your content well.

How to Improve the Speed of Your WordPress Site – In this article, I would like to show you five ways in which you can reduce the size of your website pages and speed up the load times and give your visitors a better browsing experience.

Create a User Account Page in WordPress – In this post, we’re going to go over setting up a complete profile page/account page for logged in visitors. Only logged in visitors will be able to see their own information on this page.

Search Engine Optimalization, Conversions, Analytics, etc.

How To Use Analytics To Build A Smarter Mobile Website – Frequently, design and development teams will be asked to redesign a dated website to be responsive. Looking at existing data would provide crucial insight into how best to present information to mobile users.

Tutorials

Generate Pure CSS3 Toggle Button With On/Off FlipSwitch Generator – With the very nice improvement of web development nowadays, creating On/Off flip switch, like what you see in a mobile OS is very easy.

Create Different Styles of Hover Effects with CSS3 Only – You will able to create subtle animations easily with CSS3 transition and transform. It’s supported by most modern browsers, for legacy browsers such as IE 8, we can use IE conditional tag to style it up in a way that it’s usable.

Simple Stack Effects – A set of simple stack effects for inspiration. The main idea is to have one item shown initially and then, on some trigger, more items are revealed as decoration. As seen in image grids or on scroll websites as creative effect.

How To Code a Forrst API Webapp using JSON and jQuery – This requires a bit of string manipulation to rework the various HTML tags into entities. But keep in mind that you can access full information from any question, link, snap, or code snippet.

Building the Responsive Timeline Portfolio Page – During this tutorial we will be building the fantastic Timeline Portfolio as seen in an earlier tutorial. We will be using some responsive techniques as well as CSS3 animations, Sass and a little bit of jQuery.

Freelance, Business and Workflow Related Stuff

A Freelancer’s Guide to Prospecting – This guide will get you new clients if you use the outlined methods. Which brings us to one of the most important steps of prospecting.

Time Saving Resources To Improve A Web Designer’s Workflow – The tools and resources we’ve collected here are specifically targeted at designers and developers who are wanting to build sites that are interactive, and highly attractive.

5 Ways to Handle a Difficult Client – Perhaps you’re in a slump and, in all honestly, you need the business and ignore the warning signs. For whatever reason, we’ve all taken on a client who proves to be problematic.

Reaching out to New Clients – Here we’ll have a look at ten ways to get some new clients to your business. There are traditional ways and there are nontraditional ways to get it done. Either way is good as long as you’re actually getting some results.

Freelancing: A Beginner’s Guide to Doing It Right – Doing freelancing right takes some planning and strategy. If you’re considering freelancing as a way to supplement or replace your current income, here are the basics on how to get started.

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

Simplicity — A Thoughtful Approach To Better Design – Simplicity is difficult, but it’s also worth it. The most successful designs are those that practice simplicity and design a thing to be that thing and nothing else.

Please stop using Twitter Bootstrap – Let’s be honest: a great many of us are tired of seeing the same old Twitter Bootstrap theme again and again. Black header, giant hero, rounded blue buttons, Helvetica Neue.

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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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