Joshua Johnson

Equal parts editor, writer, designer, & photographer. Hit me up on Twitter, read my Mac tutorials or check out my photos.

CSS / 24 Mar 2013

Using Checkboxes to Toggle CSS and Create Click Events


More and more lately I’ve seen developers utilizing tricks to create toggle states using pure CSS. This allows you to skip the JavaScript without sacrificing the interaction. How does this work? Is it an acceptable practice?

Today we’re going to examine two distinct methods for utilizing a checkbox to create a click event that swaps between two images using good old HTML and CSS. We’ll finish off with a brief discussion on semantics and the pros/cons of this technique.

CSS / 6 Mar 2013

How to Center Anything With CSS


Recently, we took a dive into the very core concepts behind CSS layout and explored the differences between absolute and relative positioning. We’re going to follow that up with another CSS layout talk, this time based around a fundamental question that almost every new developer asks: how do you center something?

There are a bunch of different types of web elements and layout situations, each calling for a unique solution for centering (both vertically and horizontally). Today we’ll go over a bunch of these scenarios so you can wrap your mind around how they work and come away with the confidence to center anything!

CSS / 27 Feb 2013

Zen Grids: A Responsive Grid System Built on Sass


Building grids was moderately complicated before responsive design, these days they can be downright intimidating. When you dive into a complex layout, it’s easy to get lost in all of the math and percentages. Sure, the hardcore nerds among us love to play with this stuff, but some developers just want to get to work!

Today we’re going to look at an awesome grid system that will help you set up your responsive grids with very little effort. It’s semantic, built for responsive design, completely flexible to the way you work, and powered by Sass. Meet Zen Grids.

CSS / 22 Feb 2013

5 Simple and Practical CSS List Styles You Can Copy and Paste


Who doesn’t love a good list? We use them constantly in our markup for a variety of different situations. Today we’re going to take a look at a few simple and practical examples that you can steal and use in your own work.

We start off with a fun animated vertical list, then style up a list with thumbnails and text, another with just images and finally an ordered list where the numbers are styled differently than the rest of the type. There’s a ton of great things to learn here so let’s jump in!

CSS / 15 Feb 2013

Code a Fantastic Animated Circular Thumbnail Gallery With CSS


Thumbnail galleries are a constant source of fascination for me. There’s so much more fun to be had than simply creating a grid of squares and calling it a day. Especially since CSS3 gives us so many powerful new tools to work with.

Today we’re going to mix up the boring old standard image gallery by turning it into a series of animated circles. Along the way we’ll learn a ton of helpful CSS knowledge that will help you in all manner of future projects.

Layouts / 8 Feb 2013

How to Use Centered Alignments: Tips and Examples


Today we’re going to go back to basics with a “design 101” discussion on alignments. Centered alignments are an easy place to go wrong and if you don’t know how to wield them properly, the result is a very poorly structured page.

Join us as we take a look at why centered alignments tend to be weak, where you should avoid them and how you should be using them.

CSS / 1 Feb 2013

Gridpak Revisited: A Closer Look at the Responsive Grid Generator


One of the most interesting and useful responsive grid generators around is a tool called Gridpak, which allows you to use a simple and fun UI to create fluid, media-query driven grids. We reviewed Gridpak around a year ago and came to the conclusion that, although useful, it came up short in the area of user friendliness when it came to implementing the code.

The developers have made some progress in this area and I think it’s about time we took another look. Join us as we dive into how Gridpak has improved its code offering and structure to provide a better, more streamlined experience for users.

Inspiration / 30 Jan 2013

20 Fresh Sites With Amazing Scrolling Effects


Scrolling effects are becoming more and more popular as a means of increasing interaction and user interest. Through clever background positioning, animations and a little JavaScript, you can bring your page to life in ways that will surprise and grab your users’ attention.

There’s a wide variety of tactics that you can use to create a unique scrolling experience on your site. Join us as we take a look at twenty fresh sites and how they use scrolling effects in different ways.

Critique / 25 Jan 2013

Web Design Critique #96: SuccessInc Drupal Theme


Every week we take a look at a new 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 SuccessInc, a Drupal theme from More Than (just) Themes. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

Graphics / 23 Jan 2013

Check Out the New American Airlines Logo


American Airlines has had the same logo for forty-five years. That’s definitely a pretty impressive stretch! They’ve decided to hang up their Helvetica though and look to not only a new typeface, but a new eagle and even a new livery design.

Read on to see the logic behind the new design and whether or not I think it’s another chapter in a long line of recent brand redesigns gone bad.

CSS / 21 Jan 2013

Build a Fun True or False Quiz With CSS


I’m constantly surprised by what you can achieve using only HTML, CSS and a little ingenuity. I love to think outside the box and attempt creative experiments just to see if I can pull it off.

Today’s random challenge is to create a fun little true/false quiz. Questions will be presented to the user and answers will be revealed only on click. To make the magic happen, we’ll turn to some pretty crazy methods and use features like active, focus and even tabindex! You’re bound to learn some quirky stuff so hit the jump and follow along.

Critique / 18 Jan 2013

Web Design Critique #95: WPMU DEV

web design critique

Every week we take a look at a new 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 WPMU DEV, a marketplace for WordPress Themes and Plugins. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

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