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HTML / 13 Feb 2012

Save Loads of Time by Writing Your HTML With Haml

Odds are, by now you know all about Sass and its brethren (LESS, Stylus, etc.). Love them or hate them, these CSS preprocessors are making a big splash in the development community. In many ways they represent a faster, more efficient way to write CSS and if you get on board, you’ll no doubt appreciate the flexibility that they bring to your project.

Once you get bitten by the CSS preprocessor bug, you’ll inevitably start look at HTML and wondering why it has to be so cumbersome. Why doesn’t someone drastically simplify the way we write markup? It turns out, the same people that brought us Sass have done just that with a language called Haml. Today we’re going to take a look and see how to use Haml to completely change the way you write markup.

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Freebies / 10 Feb 2012

15 Impressive CSS and PSD Navigation Menus

Today’s awesome collection of design freebies brings you a veritable utopia of navigation menu bliss. Each of the fifteen navigation menus below are both completely gorgeous 100% free to download.

I’ve included both CSS and PSD menus so whether you’re just looking to create a mockup or need something fully functional, we’ve got you covered. Enjoy!

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Layouts / 10 Feb 2012

Practical Tips for Utilizing Columns of Text in Your Layouts

Designing around large blocks of type can be tough and more designers are taking the “fewer-is-better” approach when working with columns and large blocks of text. When using a mass of type, such as in a book, text-laden website or print project, much of the emphasis is more on the readability than the actual look of the type.

Typefaces are important but even more important can be the number of columns used in combination with the words. The number of columns you use in a project can vary depending on a number of factors such as typeface and style used, type of project, font size and gutter width and proportion of other elements.

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Graphics / 9 Feb 2012

Effortlessly Showcase Your Mockups to Clients With QwikVu

If you’re a front end designer, presenting clients with mockups can be tricky. Emailing files can be cumbersome and lead to unwanted questions about how to view the image properly, and many image sharing services aren’t ideal for viewing full-size website mockups in their proper context.

Today we’re going to take a look at QwikVu, a web app that’s specifically built for designers who want to share web design mockups with clients. Is it the tool you’ve been looking for to make client presentations easier? Read on to find out.

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CSS / 8 Feb 2012

Three Super Easy Ways to Pull Off a Masonry Layout

Masonry style layouts push the boundaries of creative layout techniques. I personally love how capable they prove to be at maximizing the efficiency of galleries containing items with varying heights. Every bit of screen space is used and the result can be downright mesmerizing.

Today we’re going to dive into the concept, ideas and popular techniques that are currently prevalent in masonry style layouts. We’ll learn three different methods for pulling off a masonry layout, discuss the ins and outs of each and make sure that the result is beautifully responsive and reflows based on browser width.

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CSS / 7 Feb 2012

Convert a Pricing Table PSD to HTML and CSS

Today we’re going to grab some PSD pricing tables from Design Curate and try to convert them to pure CSS so you can easily drop them into your site.

It’ll be a super basic but fun exercise in bringing a static design to the web and you’ll learn plenty of fun stuff along the way such as how to style hr tags a create a superscript effect.

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CSS / 6 Feb 2012

Code a Useful Expanding Vertical Navigation Menu

Today we have yet another awesome step-by-step CSS project for you! This time around we’re going to build a super useful expanding vertical navigation menu. It’s a great way to hide a lot of links in a fairly small space and the animations will add a nice touch to your site.

Even if you’re a complete beginner, you should be able to pull this off. I’ll guide you along every step of the way and explain how each chunk of code works so you can implement these same techniques in future projects and deepen your understanding of CSS. Let’s get started!

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Freebies / 4 Feb 2012

Weekly Freebies: 30 Amazing Free Fonts From Behance

Welcome to another installment of our weekly collection of awesome design freebies from around the web. This time we have a real treat: thirty gorgeous free fonts from Behance. There’s a ton of great work on that site and if you know where to look you can score some spectacular finds.

Peruse the options below and download your favorites, then feel free to leave a comment to let us know what you think.

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CSS / 3 Feb 2012

5 Online Playgrounds for HTML, CSS and JavaScript Compared

Local coding environments are great, but it’s often the case that I don’t want to crack open Espresso and spend a few minutes setting up to code when all I really want is to test out an idea or work on a bug. Also, sharing options for most local coding apps are limited and typically require integrating an outside app like Dropbox.

Online playgrounds or sandboxes such as jsFiddle solve this problem by providing you with an instantly ready coding environment for you to begin experimenting in as soon as the page loads. These tools let you combine CSS, HTML and often even JavaScript to create and share coding examples. I’m completely addicted to these things and have extensively tested every one I can get my hands on. Today I’ll go over my five favorites and discuss not only why what I like about each option, but also where they fall short.

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Layouts / 2 Feb 2012

How to Create a Facebook Timeline Cover Photo: Examples and Best Practices

Facebook announced Jan. 24 that it will be moving all users to the timeline format in the next few weeks. Although the change will be mandatory soon, you can make it early as some users have been doing since it was launched in September. Timeline is the new Facebook “wall” and highlights your personal information based on when it happened.

The biggest visual change included in Facebook timeline is creation of a cover photo. When someone lands on your page they not only see a small square profile image but also a large photo that you have selected for the top of your page. The shape can a little intimidating and includes a hole where the profile image rests. But you can crop or create your own timeline cover photo in just a few minutes. Follow along as we take a look at some great examples and advice for creating the perfect cover photo.

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Graphics / 31 Jan 2012

Why Almost Is a Dirty Word in Design

Almost. It seems innocent enough right? Surely there’s no evil lurking in those six letters. You might even see this as a positive word. However, as a designer, you should always be on guard when this word can describe certain aspects of your work.

Read on to see why “almost” can be a dirty word and how it just might be bringing down the quality of your work. We’ll also take a look at two underlying foundations of good design that provide ready solutions to solve your “almost” design woes.

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CSS / 30 Jan 2012

Code an Awesome Animated Download Button With CSS3

Follow along as we create a simple and fun download button using some fancy CSS3. Our button will use lots of fun goodies including border-radius, box-shadow, linear-gradients, z-index and transitions to achieve a unique double sliding drawer effect on hover.

As we go, I’ll discuss why some techniques that you might think to use should be avoided. Transitions are tricky to work with and are quite prone to refuse to work with certain properties. Read on to find out more.