Articles

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

HTML / 27 Nov 2012

7 Great Tools to Help You Build Your Own HTML5 Forms

Forms can be one of the most complex aspects of your front-end development work. They’re far more complicated than most of the items that you’ll work with from both an HTML and CSS perspective.

If you’ve been frustrated with forms in the past, don’t worry, there is hope! Today we’re going to go over some tools and frameworks that help you get the job done without the headaches.

CSS / 26 Nov 2012

30 Amazing Resources for Sass Lovers

Despite the predictions of countless skeptics, Sass hasn’t proved to be a fad at all, but rather a remarkably robust set of tools that genuinely improve CSS authoring.

I’m a huge Sass fan and I know many of you are too, so I’ve compiled this list of thirty amazing resources for Sass lovers. In it you’ll find all kinds of goodies built on and for Sass: frameworks, plugins, apps and a lot more.

Critique / 23 Nov 2012

Web Design Critique #92: Oomph

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 Oomph. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

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.)

News / 20 Nov 2012

The Web Design Survey 2012: The Results Are In!

For the second year running the Heart Internet web design survey, conducted by Design Shack, has given us some valuable insights into the attitudes of web design industry professionals.

Thanks to everyone who took part (all 500 of you), we can start to build a picture of what web designers in 2012 think about their work, where they think the industry is headed, and how they do business. Read on to find out about the results of the survey, and what the landscape of web design looks like in 2012!

CSS / 20 Nov 2012

Easel: A WYSIWYG Bootstrap Page Builder

Twitter Bootstrap makes creating complex page layouts a breeze. Drop in a few lines of HTML, apply a few classes and you’ve got yourself a decent looking, minimal working mockup.

Wouldn’t it be nice if things were even easier though? What if Bootstrap had a visual interface? What if you could build Bootstrap pages by dragging and dropping elements onto an empty canvas? With Easel.io, you can do exactly that. Let’s see how it works.

News / 19 Nov 2012

Introducing the Design Shack Re-Design!

We’ve had a very busy few months behind the scenes at Design Shack, working away on various changes and improvements to the site. First and foremost is a brand new design — it’s cleaner, faster, responsive, and hopefully a much more enjoyable experience for you to use!

Second is a host of new features for Design Shack members. These include vastly improved submission of your designs, keyboard navigation, an “Activity Stream”, the ability to save designs to a “Collection”, and your very own profile on the site.

We’re really proud of this latest iteration of Design Shack, so read on to find out more about our thinking behind some of the new features!

Software / 19 Nov 2012

Hammer & Anvil: Two Unbelievably Awesome New Web Development Tools

Riot is a small software company currently comprised of only five people. Out of nowhere, this team has dropped two web development apps for Mac users that have blown me away. This is an app category that, in my opinion, hasn’t received much true innovation in recent years and apparently the good people at Riot are out to change that, because their ideas are truly unique and incredibly useful.

Today we’ll take a brief look at both Hammer and Anvil to see what each does and how they can collectively improve your workflow, particularly if you’re a front end developer working with static sites.

Critique / 16 Nov 2012

Web Design Critique #91: Photofolio

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 Photofolio, a Drupal theme by More Than (just) Themes. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

Business / 15 Nov 2012

5 Reasons to Start a Web Development Blog Today

It’s there, lost in your “someday” todo list, right under “spit off the Eiffel Tower.” One of these days, you’re going to start your own design or development blog. Is it really worth the effort though? Realistically, what can you expect to get out of such a venture?

As a full-time editor of multiple popular publications, I’ll share with you my top five reasons that you should start your own blog today. All five come from personal experience and I’m convinced that they’ll all be right in line with your personal goals.

Business / 13 Nov 2012

How to Create a Visual Brand for Yourself

Getting work is about more than your portfolio. Designers must also know a bit about marketing. This is especially true for freelancers. Your marketable self can, and will, help you land (or lose) work before it even hits your radar.

It is important to create a consistent brand for yourself today. Look at the channels you are using and how you are identified online, decide how you want to be identified and what your name and image should be, and then go out and make it happen. Here are a few tips to get you started.

CSS / 8 Nov 2012

A Beginner’s Guide to Zurb Foundation 3: The Grid

In the past, we’ve discussed Twitter Bootstrap quite a bit. Much more so than its most worthy competitor: Zurb’s Foundation. Now on its third iteration, Foundation is a robust and responsive front end framework used by hundreds of developers every day.

Over the course of several articles, we’re going to jump in and take a look at its various aspects from a complete beginner’s perspective. Today’s topic is my favorite part: the grid. Follow along to see how it works!