Category: Design

Faster Image Loading With Embedded Image Previews

Low Quality Image Preview (LQIP) and the SVG-based variant SQIP are the two predominant techniques for lazy image loading. What both have in common is that you first generate a low-quality preview image. This will be displayed blurred and later replaced by the original image. What if you could present a preview image to the website visitor without having to load additional data?
JPEG files, for which lazy loading is mostly used, have the possibility, according to the specification, to store the data contained in them in such a way that first the coarse and then the detailed image contents are displayed.

Testing Made Easier Via Framework Minimalism And Software Architecture

Like many other Android developers, my initial foray into testing on the platform lead me to be immediately confronted with a demoralizing degree of jargon. Further, what few examples I came across at the time (circa 2015) did not present practical use cases which may have inclined me to think that the cost to benefit ratio of learning a tool like Espresso in order to verify that a TextView.setText(…) was working properly, was a reasonable investment.

Pitching Your Writing To Publications

Recently, I had a chat with Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert over on the Shoptalk Podcast about writing for publications such as Smashing Magazine and CSS-Tricks. One of the things we talked about was submitting ideas to publications — something that can feel quite daunting even as an experienced writer.
In this article, I’m going to go through the process for pitching, heavily based on my own experience as a writer and as Editor in Chief of Smashing.

Monthly Web Development Update 8/2019: Strong Teams And Ethical Data Sensemaking

What’s more powerful than a star who knows everything? Well, a team not made of stars but of people who love what they do, stand behind their company’s vision and can work together, support each other. Like a galaxy made of stars — where not every star shines and also doesn’t need to. Everyone has their place, their own strength, their own weakness. Teams don’t consist only of stars, they consist of people, and the most important thing is that the work and life culture is great.

The (Upcoming) WordPress Renaissance

It has been 8 months since Gutenberg was launched as the default content editor in WordPress. Depending who you ask, you may hear that Gutenberg is the worst or the best thing that has happened to WordPress (or anything in between). But something that most people seem to agree with, is that Gutenberg has been steadily improving. At the current pace of development, it’s only a matter of time until its most outstanding issues have been dealt with and the user experience becomes truly pleasant.

Smashing TV Interviews: The Mozilla View Source Line-Up

Smashing TV has been working with our friends over at Mozilla to bring you content from their upcoming View Source conference in Amsterdam. We’re really excited about the event that they are putting together.
Here on Smashing Magazine, we often feature articles that explain a little bit about how web technologies are created. I’m a CSS Working Group member, and I enjoy sharing the things that we’ve been discussing in our meetings, such as my post on “Designing An Aspect Ratio Unit For CSS”.

Movie Poster Designs To Inspire Your PWA Hero Images

I visited the Fandango website last weekend, hoping to find something that would give me an excuse to spend a couple of hours inside an air-conditioned movie theater. This is what first caught my eye when I got there:
The Fandango home page shows a slider with popular movies and their posters. (Image credit: Fandango) (Large preview) To be honest, most of these movie posters did absolutely nothing to motivate me to leave the house.

Creating Authentic Human Connections Within A Remote Team

On any given day, walk into your local coffee shop and you’ll likely see someone situated at a table, staring into a computer screen. Without knowing any details, one thing’s for sure, it’s obvious they’re ‘at work’. Many of us have been there at some point in our careers—all we need is a power outlet, internet access, and we’re good to go.
As a software developer for a global company, I have the benefit of collaborating with people from all over the world.

9 Social Media Kits with a Retro Vibe Inspired by the 80s

It’s no secret anymore that a good social media presence can bring anyone some sweet cash. It’s also no secret that in order to start making money online and become an “influencer,” you have to put a lot of work into your online activity and image. From personalized messages, engaging videos, spontaneous stories, charming photos,…

Read More at 9 Social Media Kits with a Retro Vibe Inspired by the 80s

What Is Sketch? Introductory Sketch Templates and Resources

Quoting Steve Jobs, design is not just what it looks like and feels like; design is how it works. Needless to say, the technical part of any website always matters a lot. We live in

Handling Unused CSS In SASS To Improve Performance

In modern front-end development, developers should aim to write CSS which is scalable and maintainable. Otherwise, they risk losing control over specifics such as the cascade and selector specificity as the codebase grows and more developers contribute.
One way this can be achieved is through the use of methodologies such as Object-Oriented CSS (OOCSS), which rather than organizing CSS around page context, encourages separating structure (grid systems, spacing, widths, etc.) from decoration (fonts, brand, colors, etc.

Now Live: Your SmashingConf Toronto Playlist

We have edited and prepared the video from SmashingConf Toronto, and it is all now live for you to watch and learn from. To get a feel for the event, watch our compilation. We think that it really captures the atmosphere of a SmashingConf!
Day One The Day One Collaborative Doc created by attendees is full of takeaways from the first day of the conference. You might find some of those notes helpful as you watch the video linked below.

Inspired Design Decisions: Ernest Journal

When you work in design for any length of time, forming habits is natural. It’s not unusual to follow a predictable process or use familiar patterns. This repetition can be fabulous for your productivity, but when each design looks much like your last, you can quickly begin to feel jaded. Staying curious is the best remedy for that feeling.
After running a small studio for eighteen years, my fatigue had become overwhelming.

Building Mobile Apps With Ionic And React

Ionic has recently added support for React; so now, React developers can get the advantages of Ionic to build hybrid mobile apps and progressive web apps (PWAs). In this post, we’ll show you how to get started using Ionic with React by building a simple demo app from scratch.
Prerequisites In order to properly follow this tutorial, you’ll need the following prerequisites:
recent versions of Node.js and npm installed on your system, working knowledge of TypeScript and React.

Writing Modes And CSS Layout

This is not an article about the practical or creative application of this property. Instead, I want to demonstrate why understanding writing modes is so important — even to those of us who rarely need to change the writing mode of a page or component. The support of multiple writing modes is key to the way that our new layout methods of Flexbox and Grid Layout have been designed. Understanding this can unlock a better understanding of how these layout methods work.

Which Is Best: A Loyalty Program PWA or Mobile App?

Customer loyalty is a critical component in the success of any business. In some cases, loyalty can be earned by providing a high-quality service and dedicated support. In other cases, customers expect more from a business than just the products or services they put before them.
So, don’t be surprised when clients ask you to design a loyalty app for them.
Loyalty programs are a great way to dish out rewards to the most loyal base of customers while also giving them a reason to stay engaged with a brand.

Making Peace With The Feast Or Famine Of Freelancing

It’s embarrassing to admit — particularly as I host a podcast about this very subject — but I dramatically dropped the ball when it came to booking in projects for this past spring. It just suddenly happened. I was finishing up two major contracts and had the next one in the pipeline. Then out of the blue that client postponed indefinitely and my two big contracts finished and I was left with no work — nothing, zip, zilch.

Text To Speech With AWS

This two-part series presents three projects that teach you how to use AWS (Amazon Web Services) to transform text between its written and spoken states. The first project will use text to speech to turn a blog post or other written content into a spoken .mp3 file to give more options to blind and dyslexic users of your site.
In the next article, we will embark on the return journey, from speech to text, and consider the accuracy of these transcriptions by sending various samples through a round-trip translation.

Simplify The Handoff From Sketch To Visual Studio Code With Indigo.Design

(This is a sponsored article.) If you think about it, software teams are a lot like sports teams. While each team member works towards the same exact goal, the role they play and the actions they take are vastly different from one another.
Which is why it’s crucial to have a seamless way of moving the ball from one team member to another.
Unfortunately, the handoff that takes place within software teams isn’t naturally as smooth as what you see on the sports field.

Adventures In August (2019 Wallpapers Edition)

Everybody loves a beautiful wallpaper to freshen up their desktops and home screens, right? So to cater for new and unique artworks on a regular basis, we embarked on our monthly wallpapers adventure nine years ago, and since then, artists and designers from all across the globe have accepted the challenge and submitted their designs to it. It wasn’t any different this time around, of course.
This post features wallpapers created for August 2019.