Jake Rocheleau

Jake is a writer and user experience designer for both web & mobile. He has been publishing on the Internet for over 5 years writing tutorials on jQuery, CSS3, and PHP web applications. You may find out more information on his website or follow his recent tweets @jakerocheleau.





How to Build a Minimalist User Profile Layout With Content Tabs
CSS / 30 Oct 2013

How to Build a Minimalist User Profile Layout With Content Tabs

Dynamic content is a big part of modern web design. Whether this is hidden in the page or pulled out of a database, you can improve space in your layout by reorganizing important content elements. This is true of many situations and it works great on user profiles. Oftentimes users will have a myriad of information presented on their page which can be easily digested through the use of tabbed navigation.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how we can build a minimal user profile layout design. This is mostly centered around a small set of navigation links, which dynamically change the display between bits of content. Depending on the purpose of your website, these content sections may be split to include photos, videos, followers, and other related information. To get an idea of what we’re building take a peek at my live sample demo.

JavaScript / 16 Oct 2013

How to Code a Hover-to-Animate GIF Image Gallery

Animated GIF images are popular on the Internet because they can be easily shared and consumed rather quickly. Using basic HTML you can embed images into a page which feature animation, without relying on any other technologies. Granted – there are plugins for animating sprites or backgrounds – but GIFs are a totally different concept.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how we can build an image gallery which optimizes the display of animated images. You can see a very similar feature on Giphy which is also where I downloaded the images for my demo. I am coding my own method which doesn’t exactly follow the same process as Giphy – but the end result is practically identical and works great for all modern browsers.

JavaScript / 10 Oct 2013

Build a Guided Registration Form With jQuery and Progression.js

Signup forms are all too common when building new web applications or social networks. Traction from user signups can really boost your own self-confidence about a project when it comes to launching a new website. But what can you do to help improve the signup experience and hopefully gain more interested users?

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how we can build a guided registration form, offering tips to users as they fill out each field. I have included some of my own custom jQuery along with a plugin called Progression.js. This is a powerful tool which offers a step-by-step tooltip using hints to direct users along the way. Feel free to download a copy of my source code and check out the live sample demo below.

JavaScript / 25 Sep 2013

Build an HTML5 Form With on-Off Input Sliders Using jQuery

Mobile app interfaces have been utilizing on/off sliding switches for a while. These are most commonly found on the settings page where users can update preferences for their account. But web designers have taken notice and have built many open platforms to generate your own on/off switch sliders.

In this tutorial I want to look specifically at the jQuery Toggles plugin developed by Simon Tabor. It comes with 5 pre-designed UI themes which you can easily update. Plus, you have the option of triggering click or slide events, which may also tie into a form checkbox on the page. Anyone running a modern JavaScript-enabled browser should be able to experience the full effect. Take a peek at my live demo to catch a glimpse of what we are building.

JavaScript / 18 Sep 2013

How to Easily Manage Cookies Within jQuery

Web browsers can generate unique sessions organized for each user on a website. Often these are handled on the backend using languages like PHP or Ruby, but we can also utilize cookie sessions on the frontend with Javascript. There are many tutorials out there explaining how to generate pure JS cookies. But a newer library jQuery Cookie simplifies the whole process.

I want to explain how we can build a very simple authentication system using jQuery Cookies. The code is all handled on the frontend but you will need a live testing server to see any results. Browser cookies are created on the local IP which comes from the web server, and so unfortunately you can’t just run these scripts locally. But definitely check out my live demo to get an idea of what we are creating.

JavaScript / 4 Sep 2013

Code a Single-Page Sliding Website Layout With Fixed Navigation

When constructing a simple webpage, it can often make sense to fit the content into a single layout rather than multiple pages. These single-page websites are beneficial when you have a small project or portfolio which needs some online presence. If you split up content into neat sections, then visitors might use a small sliding navigation to quickly advance along the page.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how you can build a custom sliding navigation with jQuery. There are many alternative plugins which provide these features and will also save time. But I want to show how we can make this effect using only jQuery and the scrollTo plugin for optimized performance. Check out my live sample demo to catch a glimpse of what we will be making.

JavaScript / 29 Aug 2013

How to Build a Dynamic Imgur Upload App Using jQuery & PHP

Many new online web services are providing backend APIs for developers. These allow anyone to connect into a web app and pull out specific information (or push or change bits of data). Today we’re specifically looking at the API for Imgur.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how we can remotely mirror an image found elsewhere online and auto-upload to Imgur. It’s possible to create a form handling user-uploaded images as well. But I wanted to keep the demo clean without needing to move user content onto the server. This process is very simple once you understand how APIs work. Take a peek at my live demo to see exactly what we will be making, then follow along!

JavaScript / 13 Aug 2013

Build an Automated RSS Feed List With jQuery

The typical process of creating a dynamic feed listing requires some type of backend language. Obviously this can work out fine if you are familiar with Rails or PHP, but I want to present a method for pulling RSS feeds via jQuery. The problem is accessing Ajax requests from an external server and then converting this XML information to something a bit easier to read.

We will be focusing on the Google Feed API which is a lot easier than it looks. There are a number of custom possibilities to play with the options and access other alternative themes. All we need to pull is the first page of the feed item results, along with each title and the URL link. Once you have this script working it is very easy to customize the layout and even include a bit of content from the feed! Check out my sample demo below to get an idea of what we will be creating.

Web Standards / 5 Aug 2013

40 Fantastic Open Source WordPress Plugins

There is an ever-growing library of plugins to be found in the official WordPress directory. These plugins are all free to download and many have also been submitted into Github as open source. It can be fun prowling the Newest and Recently Updated plugins to look for any gems. There are already so many solutions to various problems, but finding new stuff is always fun.

I have put together 40 new WordPress plugins for managing bits of functionality in your website. These are all free to download and you can even install them right from your WP Admin Plugins menu. Granted some of these examples may not prove useful to everyone. But it is encouraging to see lots of creativity from WordPress developers, along with the openness of sharing their efforts with the community.

Create a Simple jQuery Image Lightbox Gallery
JavaScript / 24 Jul 2013

Create a Simple jQuery Image Lightbox Gallery

When building your own WordPress theme, there are a number of items to consider. One such page element is a dynamic image gallery, either using a lightbox or some type of sliding panel. Both of these user interfaces mesh nicely into the content of an article. Since they can both work on typical websites it is nice to have the code ready for use in any other blog theme.

For this tutorial I want to focus on using the lightbox effect with a plugin called jQuery lightBox. This is very easy to setup and get customized on your own website. Granted there are a few awkward fixes within the CSS, but overall the plugin works perfectly. There are even some alternate parameters where you can specify properties like the animation speed or background opacity.

JavaScript / 15 Jul 2013

Coding an Ajax-Style Paged Document Viewer With jQuery

Recently, I’ve have seen a number of websites using this JavaScript-powered paged document interface. Users are presented a multi-page document set starting on the first page, and they have the ability to switch between pages dynamically. This can be a much better solution than linking directly to a PDF document. Or this may even be an alternative where you have a PDF download link, plus the embedded document images for easy access.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how we can build a small script which handles any set number of documents. The JS code is a little bit tricky since we need to adapt for a large number of pages. However it is not very difficult to customize and get the design looking exactly as you would need it! Check out my sample demo below to get an idea of what we will be creating.

CSS / 3 Jul 2013

Create a Hidden Sliding Navigation Bar Using CSS3 Transitions

Typically web developers have been using JavaScript to create dynamic page animations. Hidden menus and subnavigation are just a couple examples for how these techniques would be used on a live website. Thanks to the addition of CSS3 transitions we can now mimic these animations, with no JavaScript in sight.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how to build an inner hidden content bar which slides down when hovering. You can place this into your header, footer, or even somewhere inside the page content. It is a very flexible technique which does not require a whole lot of time to get working. Plus all the modern web browsers will support CSS3 transition effects.