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Learn how to put mobile first in your designs, for phones, tablets, and wearable devices. Create responsive designs, and tap-friendly layouts!

Tips for Designing Better Mobile Typography

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.

Optimising Front End Performance for Mobile Devices

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.

The Importance of Designing for Readability

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.

Should You Be Designing With QR Codes?

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.

Focal Point: Intelligent Cropping of Responsive Images

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.

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.

10 Things I Learned About Design From iPad Apps

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.

Zurb Goes Mobile First With the All-New Foundation 4

Mobile / 1 Mar 2013

Zurb Goes Mobile First With the All-New Foundation 4

Planning web projects for a host of devices got a little easier this week with the release of Zurb Foundation 4, a responsive framework with a mobile-first outline.

The follow-up release to Zurb’s Foundation 3 flexible grid is structured to make designer’s think mobile first. With more than 1.08 billion smartphones being used worldwide, it’s a trend that will likely continue to gain popularity. Join us as we take a look at what’s new in Foundation 4, and discover why you should consider using it for your next design project!

Review: The Mobile Book by Smashing Magazine

Mobile / 12 Dec 2012

Review: The Mobile Book by Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine, one of the most significant forces on the web for all things design and development related, is hitting us with another tome of practical and insightful industry knowledge. The Mobile Book is the latest product of Smashing’s foray into publishing, and it just might be the best one yet.

Read on to see what The Mobile Book is, who it’s for, and why there should be a copy sitting on your shelf as soon as possible.

Ratchet: Prototype iPhone Apps on the Fly in HTML

HTML / 21 Nov 2012

Ratchet: Prototype iPhone Apps on the Fly in HTML

Ratchet is an awesome new framework that allows you to quickly and easily create prototype iPhone app layouts using only HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Simply create a container div in your HTML, toss in a few items with preset classes and you’re ready to go.

Follow along as we jump into Ratchet to see how it works. We’ll kick the tires, try out some features and decide whether or not it’s worth a download. (Spoiler alert: it is.)

Think Vertical: The Influence of Mobile Design on Orientation

Layouts / 23 Jul 2012

Think Vertical: The Influence of Mobile Design on Orientation

Mobile design has me sketching more vertically. And I don’t think it is just me.

I am seeing more and more sites across platforms incorporating more vertical components into their overall design. Forget “above the scroll,” let’s talk about going vertical.

Are Hover Events Extinct?

CSS / 26 Apr 2012

Are Hover Events Extinct?

Odds are, :hover was the very first pseudo class selector that you ever learned. Heck, it might be the only one you ever learned. We all love this lovely little feature and use it constantly as a way to create enriched user experiences.

My question today could change the way you think about hover forever: “Does the ubiquity of touchscreens render hover events obsolete?” Put another way, did the iPhone kill :hover? Read on to see how iOS handles a CSS hover event, what that means for you as a developer, and how you should or shouldn’t be using hover events in your designs.