Articles

Browse our articles, inspiration, news, and tips for the design community.

12 Accessibility Pitfalls to Avoid
Accessibility / 18 Nov 2009

12 Accessibility Pitfalls to Avoid

Usability isn’t an exact science. What one visitor considers helpful another considers annoying. Despite this uncertainty and complexity, you should always strive to make your site as accessible as possible to the people you’re trying to reach. You’ll find that a little bit of catering to the special needs of a minority of users can drastically improve the function of your site for all users. Here’s our list of twelve accessibility pitfalls to avoid along with some examples showcasing sites that either excel or fail miserably in these areas.

Four Quick and Easy Ways to Embed MP3 Files Into Your Site
HTML / 10 Nov 2009

Four Quick and Easy Ways to Embed MP3 Files Into Your Site

Once upon a time I was in a rock band. When I was building our website, I naturally wanted to put some music up so visitors could listen before purchasing our songs on iTunes. After a bit of research I found out that there are a million ways you could go about it, some better than others. Sadly, after two albums and lots of good times, my band The Van Buren Regulars no longer exists. Fortunately, what I learned about embedding music lives on and is easy enough to pass along.

Today we’re going to look at four easy ways to embed MP3 files into your website. All of these methods are free and take mere minutes to implement. Let’s check them out!

The Ultimate Guide to CSS Gallery Inclusion
Business / 3 Nov 2009

The Ultimate Guide to CSS Gallery Inclusion

Design Shack started out as a simple CSS gallery, featuring well designed websites that caught my eye. Tens of thousands of designs have been submitted over the past few years, and each one has been considered carefully for inclusion. The sad fact is that only around 5% of submissions stand out from the crowd.

This could be due to any number of factors; the site didn’t get the basics right, didn’t have anything remarkable to show, or (occasionally) was let down by content. This guide will walk you through how to make sure you stand a great chance of inclusion, avoiding all the pitfalls so commonly stumbled into by designers. At each stage, we’ll take a look at one great example, and one that’s not so good.

Where to Find Inspiration Online
Inspiration / 30 Oct 2009

Where to Find Inspiration Online

A trip to your local book store’s magazine rack used to be the quickest, easiest way to find rich, diverse inspiration without a significant fee. Recently, the web has completely changed the way designers, developers, artists, writers and photographers search for influence. Now anyone with an internet connection can access a virtually unending stream of content that saturates the senses and breeds innovation. The best part: most of it is free.

20 Simple jQuery Tricks
JavaScript / 28 Oct 2009

20 Simple jQuery Tricks

jQuery has quickly made it’s way into nearly every web developer’s bag of tricks. The simplicity with which jQuery allows us to handle complicated events and perform smooth animations makes it the perfect tool for both beginners and experienced developers to add professional flair to their sites.

Here are 20 simple jQuery tricks to get you on your way to JavaScript bliss. The keyword here is “simple” so even if you’ve never used jQuery before, this is the perfect place to start!

HTML5: Get It Working Today (4 of 4)
HTML / 26 Oct 2009

HTML5: Get It Working Today (4 of 4)

This will be the final article in our series on HTML5. This go around we’ll have a brief look at which new HTML5 technologies major browsers are officially supporting and go over some techniques you can use to take advantage of the new elements in your coding today. Finally, we’ll discuss how you should start preparing to support HTML5 in all the sites you build from here forward.

HTML5: Semantic Changes (3 of 4)
HTML / 23 Oct 2009

HTML5: Semantic Changes (3 of 4)

In the last article, we looked at a number of new elements introduced in HTML5 and how to implement them properly. In this article, we’ll again be discussing a set of new elements but this time we’ll be examining only those HTML5 elements that represent a significant semantic change to the way you structure your sites. This article will cover how to use each of these new elements in a way that will bring much needed relief to the div-itus that plagues the structure of so many sites today.

HTML5: New Elements (2 of 4)
HTML / 21 Oct 2009

HTML5: New Elements (2 of 4)

A couple of days ago we posted an introduction to HTML5 and briefly covered some of the content we’ll be outlining in this series. Today’s post, which is the second in the series of four, will take a look at how to use six of the new elements in HTML5: canvas, article, audio, video, meter, and mark.

Keep in mind that HTML5 is not exactly ready for widespread use – so don’t go changing anything on your site quite yet. Be assured that HTML5 is in fact coming soon, therefore these concepts may prove useful in the near future.