Mobile

Learn how to put mobile first in your designs, for phones, tablets, and wearable devices.

Mobile / 24 Feb 2015

Google Material Design: Everything You Need to Know

You probably keep hearing the phrase “material design” popping up in conversations. The concept is pretty new; it was introduced in the summer and references a new design language from the folks at Google.

But material design is more than just an idea; it is likely to cause designers to completely rethink web and app design processes. Sites are already beginning to role out design schemes using Google’s material design documentation. So now is the time to learn what it’s all about and if a material design framework is in your future.

Layouts / 17 Feb 2015

Understanding and Working With Aspect Ratio

Every image, every canvas, every frame has a shape. And often that shape is a rectangle. Even more common is a rectangle of a particular proportion based on medium.

From cameras to television to movies to computer screens, every medium has an almost distinct shape on to itself. That can be a challenge for designers, especially when you have to crop and convert content and information to fit a variety of mediums. Because of all these different shapes, understanding aspect ratios can help you easily move images and designs from one medium to another.

Mobile / 24 Dec 2014

Designing Hover Styles and the Future of the Technique

Despite arguments that hover styles are dead, these small boxes that pop-up over images, text or other elements on websites are still found all over the web. Designers like them for an added bit of style and information; users like them for functionality. (They are only “dead” because hover styles don’t work without a mouse-over).

The UI function is still there for now. And if you opt to use it, you’ll want to create well-designed hover styles that engage users. You’ll also want to think about how to alter these areas of your website for responsive sites.

Layouts / 23 Jun 2014

10 Ways to Use Mapping in Web or App Design

Almost everywhere you look these days, you find a map or location-based nugget of information. Almost every app asks for a location and it is becoming more and more common on desktop websites as well.

But if you have not branched out into the world of mapping or location data, it may seem a little intimidating. How can you effectively use mapping services for your website or app? We’ll take a look at 10 ways you can integrate a map today.

Mobile / 5 Mar 2014

Tips for Designing Better Mobile Typography

Mobile is big right now. But often the typography is small. When it comes to creating great type on small screens, there are plenty of challenges.

So how can you make the most of responsiveness, mobile design and typography? The first step is really understanding type and the second is by thinking about how people read. Put the two together and you will get a handle on creating great mobile type in no time. It’s a skill that every designer needs to master in the digital age.

Accessibility / 29 Jan 2014

Optimising Front End Performance for Mobile Devices

Most front-end developers will be familiar with at least some of the options available to them when it comes to enhancing front end performance. Performance in this sense is not referring to the speed at which a given page loads, but instead how smooth and responsive it feels when a user interacts with it. A specific example would be the frame rate a user experiences when scrolling down your home page; if it’s consistently high, then performance is considered good.

There is a chance you may not have experienced a need to address performance issues before. Maybe you haven’t worked on a site that has suffered from such issues, or maybe removing that small bit of lag or recovering those dropped frames just isn’t at the top of your priorities. Either way, with the increasing amount of animation and complex styles being built into modern websites coupled with the adaptation of responsive design, there is a high chance you’ll run into sluggish mobile performance at some point. This article will suggest a few things to consider when working on websites and web apps that need to balance complexity and performance when running on less powerful mobile devices.

Mobile / 22 Jul 2013

The Importance of Designing for Readability

Text is not an afterthought in the design process. It should be your first consideration.

Readability should be one of the top concerns when it comes to any design project. If text can’t be read, then why are you designing in the first place? Good design delivers content in a way that is understandable; readability is a big part of comprehension. Today we’ll be discussing how you can plan a design around the words, so that your projects are easy to read.

Business / 3 May 2013

Should You Be Designing With QR Codes?

QR codes are all the rage… aren’t they? Their presence certainly seems to have increased in recent years, indicating an impressive adoption rate among marketers. But does that mean that you should be using them? If a client asks you whether or not using QR codes is a good idea, what will you say?

Join us as we take an honest and critical look at both sides of the QR debate so you can decide for yourself whether or not you should be designing with QR codes.

CSS / 12 Apr 2013

Focal Point: Intelligent Cropping of Responsive Images

The practice of implementing responsive images is still in its infancy. We’ve seen a lot of ideas and suggestions for how it should be done and we’re bound to see a lot more.

Today we’re going to look at a fascinating little framework that allows you to not only automatically resize your images when the viewport changes, but also crop the images with a specific important focal point in mind. Amazingly enough, it does all this with pure CSS. Read on to see how it works.

CSS / 5 Apr 2013

Mobile First Design: Why It’s Great and Why It Sucks

Historically, most web designers and their clients have approached the desktop side of any project first, while leaving the mobile part as a secondary goal that gets accomplished later. Even with the rise of responsive design, many of us begin with the “full size” site and work our way down.

There’s a growing trend in the industry though to flip this workflow on its head and actually begin with mobile considerations and then work up to a larger desktop version. Why would you ever approach a project this way? What are some of the pros and cons of this strategy? Read on to find out!

5 Important Lessons I’ve Learned About Mobile App Interface Design
Business / 25 Mar 2013

5 Important Lessons I’ve Learned About Mobile App Interface Design

I have been designing for a living since 2009 and, in the past three years, I have been focusing my skills on both web and mobile user interface design. During this time I’ve experienced the good and bad of the industry. Good clients, bad clients. Good ideas, bad ideas. Good developers, bad developers. There have been app approvals and app rejections.

Sometimes it can be frustrating, and although these so-called “bad experiences” can suck, they’ve taught me some important lessons. These lessons not only speed up my day-to-day workflow but also help me design a better user experience for the target audience.

Inspiration / 11 Mar 2013

10 Things I Learned About Design From iPad Apps

Good design is all around us. Not just in printed materials or on websites, but also in everyday items. What’s great is that you often don’t notice it — you just enjoy whatever item, tool or website you are using.

Nowhere is this more true than with mobile apps. Most of us use them every day, but do you ever stop to think how much they are shaping the way you approach design? Apps can be a great source of inspiration and also another reminder of time-tested design concepts. Here are ten of the great lessons I have learned (and re-learned) from iPad apps.