Category: Articles

Categories

Articles / 6 Apr 2012

10 Tips for Writing for Designers

Ever get that feeling that some members of your creative team just aren’t quite with the program? It is entirely likely. Sending out communications and messages that will reach your whole team can be somewhat tricky because of the differences in how people think.

Creatives sometimes tend to be a little more free-thinking and less-structured than some of their office counterparts. Research has shown that people who use more right brain functions, such as designers and creative thinkers, also respond to and process the same information differently than left-brain thinkers, who tend to be more organized and logic-oriented. (Some studies have even shown that the highest rates of dyslexia, which affects reading and comprehension, have been found in right-brain thinkers.) With just a few tweaks, you can more effectively get your message across to everyone.

CSS / 5 Apr 2012

3 Free Apps for Testing Your Responsive Designs Online

Responsive design has brought about a whole new list of challenges for web designers who have decided to take the plunge and leave static design behind. Creating a layout that works well at not one but several, or even all, possible widths requires patience, creativity and of course, lots of testing.

Nothing replaces checking out your design on the actual devices that you’re targeting, but as you’re building, it’s nice to be able to get a quick peek of the layout at various widths right on your computer. You could resize your browser window manually, but this gets ridiculously tedious if you’re shooting for precise pixel dimensions. Fortunately, several talented developers have already built some great tools to aid you in this process. Join us today as we take a look at three of them.

CSS / 4 Apr 2012

The Lowdown on Absolute vs. Relative Positioning

When I was first learning web development, the style side of CSS seemed straightforward and fun, but performing layout feats seemed like a confusing mess. I sort of felt my way around without a solid understanding of how things like positioning and floats worked and as a result it would take hours to perform even simple tasks. If this situation sounds familiar, then this article is for you.

One of the real revelations that I had early on was when I was finally able to wrap my head around how positioning contexts worked, especially when it came to the difference between absolute and relative positioning. Today we’re going to tackle this subject and make sure you know exactly how and when to apply a specific positioning context to a given element.

Competitions / 3 Apr 2012

Winners Announced: $500 of PSD to HTML Conversion Up for Grabs

We’re excited to launch a new competition today, giving you the chance to win one of two awesome markup packages, courtesy of Markup Service! It’s a great way to speed up development on time-sensitive projects, and you can be confident that the end result will be of a highly professional standard.

Read on to find out how to enter the competition, and get your hands on $300 credit for your own markup requirements!

CSS / 3 Apr 2012

Build an Infinite Scrolling Photo Banner With HTML and CSS

Today we’re going to embark on the challenge of creating an animated banner of photos that automatically scrolls horizontally through an infinite loop. The best part: we’re going to do it without a single line of JavaScript.

To make this banner truly useful, our goal will be to use individual photos dropped into our HTML, not simply one long CSS background that repeats. This is pretty tricky but we’ll walk you through exactly how it works. Let’s get started!

Web Standards / 2 Apr 2012

The Top 10 Web Design Buzzwords and Hot Topics for 2012

In 2011, there wasn’t a web design blog or magazine in the world that didn’t use “HTML5” or “CSS3” in at least a few headlines. We talked endlessly about the new possibilities that these technologies brought about, argued tirelessly about the hurdles that they presented and had tons of fun creating demos with embarrassingly modest browser support.

Though CSS3 and HTML5 are still at the top of our discussion lists, I decided to look around and see what other terms and buzzwords are major topics for 2012. Read on to see what web designers are ranting and arguing about these days. Along the way you’ll find over fifty excellent articles to check out that will brush you up on each topic.

Critique / 31 Mar 2012

Web Design Critique #78: Katy Cain

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 the portfolio of Katy Cain, a wedding photographer in Chandlers Ford. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

Articles / 30 Mar 2012

Have a More Successful Brainstorming Session

One of the most important aspects of the creative and design process is the sharing and development of ideas. Seldom does a first draft of anything — from an ad concept to a new web layout — see the light of day without planning and revision. Jumpstart the process with more productive and creative brainstorming sessions for your team. The concept sounds simple, right?

The best planned brainstorming sessions take some work. As the leader of the group you must decide how many people to invite and what ground rules will be set. Most of all you want to help bring something positive away from the meeting. Try these tips to spice up your next brainstorming session.

Graphics / 29 Mar 2012

Style Tiles: The Flip Side of Wireframes

Style Tiles provide a fresh and productive way to approach the design process. They allow you to specifically hone in and focus on a project’s personality and mood without worrying about specific layout decisions.

Today we’re going to show you exactly what Style Tiles are, why you should use them and how to incorporate them into your design process. Follow along and you just might change the way you design forever.

Software / 28 Mar 2012

3 Fantastic & Fresh Tools for Web Designers

I love to keep an eye on the every growing world of single purpose web apps that are specifically aimed at making part of your job as a web designer a little bit easier. Today we’ll check out three of these tools that I’ve found fun and helpful recently.

We’ll start by looking at Colllor, a great way to turn a single color into many. Next we’ll jump into Warp CSS and create some amazing CSS typography that you probably didn’t even think was possible. Finally, we’ll check out Bear CSS, a way to quickly generate a starter stylesheet based on your HTML. Let’s get started!

CSS / 27 Mar 2012

5 Really Useful Responsive Web Design Patterns

Responsive web design requires a very different way of thinking about layout that is both challenging and exciting. The art of layout was already complex enough for the centuries that it was defined by fixed elements, now things are becoming exponentially more complicated as layouts become increasingly adaptive.

To help reprogram your brain to consider layouts in new ways, we’re going to take a look at some interesting responsive design patterns that are being implemented by talented designers all over the web.

CSS / 26 Mar 2012

Animate.css: Kick-Ass CSS Animations in Seconds Flat

On my laundry list of todo items that I’ll do “someday” is the idea of creating a prebuilt library of useful CSS animations. The bad news is that I’ll likely never actually get around to doing this. The good news is that developer Dan Eden beat me to it.

Today we’re going to check out Animate.css, an awesome and free collection of CSS animations that you can apply to your projects with almost no effort. It’s a blast to play around with so follow along and join the fun.