A ton of discussion lately has been given to preprocessors. These incredibly useful tools make coding easier, faster and more maintainable, but they’re certainly not for everyone. Whether or not you’ve jumped on the preprocessor bandwagon, you should give a fresh look to an old favorite that helps you dramatically cut your coding time without reinventing your workflow with compilers and other complications: Zen Coding.
With Zen Coding, you can type a little and output a lot, just like with a preprocessor like Jade or Haml, only it expands instantly into the vanilla HTML that you love. For those that are new to the concept, I’ll walk you through how Zen Coding works and show you some of my favorite tricks, then end with a brief tutorial on getting Zen Coding up and running in Sublime Text 2.May 22nd, 2012 Posted in CSS
Client testimonials are a popular website feature. They bring credibility to a company and instill a sense of trust. If your other clients love you so much, I might too!
As a fun experiment, today we’re going to set out to build a cool little quote section that will rotate between multiple different quotes using only CSS. Along the way, we’ll learn all about how to plan and create multi-step keyframe sequences. Let’s get started.May 17th, 2012 Posted in CSS
Here at Design Shack, WordPress is our bread and butter, but in the world of blogging platforms, we have lots of love for Tumblr as well. It’s simple, gorgeous, and simply enjoyable to use.
Today we’re going to take a look at what makes a great Tumblr theme. With over 1,300 options in the Tumblr theme garden, it can be difficult to stand out. Why do some themes catch so much attention while others are ignored? Good design holds the answer.May 16th, 2012 Posted in Inspiration
Adobe has an interesting relationship with folks who design websites. Photoshop and Fireworks have you covered from a static image perspective, but tools to build live, functioning websites are another story completely. Flash is no longer the poster child of modern web technologies (quite the opposite), GoLive went the way of the dinosaurs and Dreamweaver, though still widely used, is regarded by many to be a bloated mess.
One area that Adobe is intent on pursuing is web design for non-coders. They’ve made it their mission to bring the world of professional website creation to the huge market of designers who can’t write a lick of code. Thus far, they’ve largely fallen short of that goal (Project Rome anyone?). Their latest attempt, Adobe Muse, has finally exited beta and is available as a part of Adobe’s new Creative Cloud service ($50 per month) or as a stand alone product ($15 per month). Is Muse worth your time and money? Will it really allow you to create professional level websites without coding? Read on to find out.May 15th, 2012 Posted in Software
Today I’m working on another awesome free download for PixelsDaily. Here you’ll be able to see my thought processes, goals and code, and later you’ll be able to download the whole project to use in your own work.
Basically, our goal here is to create a simple effect so that when the user hovers over an image, a hidden text label pops up into view. This is of course extremely easy to do so we’re going to go a step further by building a whole bunch of options for the developer to choose from. This will provide you with some good practice for how to create flexible effects that can be applied in different ways without too much code repetition.May 14th, 2012 Posted in CSS
It’s time for another awesome web design critique, where we take a look at a real website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.
Today’s site is WebAppers, a great place to find open source web resources. Let’s jump in and see what we think!May 12th, 2012 Posted in Critique
Three is only a number, right? Just one of ten numerals that we use to express value, nothing more. Or is it perhaps a lot more? Is the number three a designer’s best friend? Does it drive art, photography, design, architecture and even the natural order of the universe?
Join us as we take a look at some ways that designers leverage the number three, and more importantly, why you should keep the number three in mind whether you’re designing websites, print ads or even logos.May 10th, 2012 Posted in Layouts
Podcasts have been around for a long time, but I’ve really never been able to get into them. That is until recently when I really invested some time into looking around and finding the best design and development podcasts on the web. Now I’m an addict and rarely spend a day slaving over my computer without a few podcasts to keep me company.
Today I’ll share with you some of my favorites so you can finally take the leap and subscribe to some podcasts that are not only enjoyable, but thoroughly educational. This isn’t a list of every web design podcast out there but rather a personal offering of some of the podcasts that I’ve personally checked out and enjoyed.May 9th, 2012 Posted in Inspiration
I’m a huge fan of CSS transitions. Sure, they can be abused but on the whole they’re a really great and easy way to add a little life to your web pages. And let’s face it, they’re flat out fun to play with.
I’ve covered transitions a million different ways, but there’s one feature that I hardly ever touch: transition delays. Why would you want to delay your transition? It turns out that the effects that you can achieve become much more complex and impressive when you incorporate this one extra parameter. Let’s jump in and build some cool demos to show off how it works.May 8th, 2012 Posted in CSS
It’s time for another massive collection of inspiring logo designs from Logopond. Nothing gets your creative mojo going quite like a big dose of logos and today we’ve got over one hundred for you to browse through.
The theme for this roundup is all things nautical. We’ve got boats, anchors, lighthouses, pirates and even a few sea creatures. The next time you’re attempting a maritime look, come back here and check out what these great designers have done.May 7th, 2012 Posted in Inspiration