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Joel Califa joelcalifa.com

Tiny wins

Joel Califa writes on his personal blog about small interface changes to GitHub that have saves millions of developers immeasurable amounts of wasted time and anxiety. One small change can add up to a big win. High frequency actions (such as creating new PRs on GitHub) take place millions of times a day. A given user might go through the same flow several times per week, per day, or even per hour. These flows become a part of their lives. If there is even a slight inefficiency or frustration, it compounds with every use. One confusing moment that takes an extra 5 seconds—repeated multiple times a day in perpetuity—adds up to a lot of anxiety and wasted time. My takeaway? Don't underestimate the impact of seemingly small interface changes!

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Jon Rohan GitHub

Using Figma to build Octicons

Jon Rohan writes on the GitHub Blog: To support your project’s contributors it’s important to make the contributing experience as frictionless as possible. Migrating our Octicons to Figma let us cut out painful steps in our previous workflow. Having their API available for automating the work has allowed contributors to contribute using powerful platform-agnostic design tools without any overly complex setup. This seems to be one of the first major steps I've seen to use a platform-agnostic design tool like Figma, which lets you design, prototype, and gather feedback all in a browser based design tool. Couple that with a robust API and some robots to automate things as well as open up your design flow to contributors.

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iOS Icon www.fastcodesign.com

3D face tracking UI experiment with iPhone X

Peder Norrby created TheParallaxView, a UI experiment for his iPhone X, that gives it a trompe-l’oeil effect. Trompe-l’oeil is an age-old trick used by painters to create the illusion of 3D depth on a 2D plane. On the iPhone X, it’s downright mesmerizing. The touchscreen itself seems to melt away as the phone transforms into a portal to an infinite abyss. Angle the phone, or your own head, and you can even peek inside, as if you’re looking through a peephole into another room, or inspecting a can of Pringles for the last few crumbs. The source is on GitHub — plus check out this blog post and this Twitter thread for more of the backstory.

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CSS Icon frankchimero.com

Everything easy is hard again

This is a long, nuanced piece about progress in web-building technologies and practices. It's written from a designer's perspective, but many of the themes ring true to my developer's brain. I wonder if I have twenty years of experience making websites, or if it is really five years of experience, repeated four times. If you’ve been working in the technology industry a while, please tell me this sounds familiar to you. The primary example cited is how we answer the simple question, "How do I put two things next to each other?" The status quo has changed (tables -> floats -> Flexbox -> CSS grids), but to what advantage? A few of his points feel a bit like looking back at the "good 'ole days" through rose colored glasses, but his case is mostly well-reasoned and powerful. the foundations are now sufficiently complicated enough on their own that it seems foolish to go add more optional complexity on top of it. I’ve kept my examples to the most basic of web implementations, and I haven’t touched on Javascript, animation, libraries, frameworks, pre-processors, package managers, automation, testing, or deployment. Whew. Whew, indeed! The breadth and depth of knowledge required to feel competent in today's web ecosystem is probably why we spend so much time dealing with imposter syndrome in this industry.

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Kottke Icon Kottke

Bad design in action: the false Hawaiian ballistic missile alert

Instead of selecting “DRILL - PACOM (CDW) - STATE ONLY” from what looks more like a list of headlines on The Drudge Report than a warnings & alerts menu, the operator chose “PACOM (CDW) - STATE ONLY” and sent out a real alert. This is another display of just how critical good design and attention to detail is in the software industry. We have to do better.

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JavaScript Icon changelog.com

Changelog Films at NEJS Conf!

As many of you may know, we launched a films division to The Changelog. We call it Changelog Films. Over this past year, we've been working hard to build the right team and skills to serve the software development and open source community like we do with our podcast. We had the pleasure of attending NEJS Conf on August 7th, and worked with the conference organizers to interview all the speakers of the conference. This interview is with Christian Heilmann, Developer Evangelist for Microsoft Edge, about the most exciting things happening in JavaScript right now. This interview is with Ethan Marcotte, an Independent Designer and the person who coined the term "Responsive Design" also known as Responsive Web Design (RWD). We talked with Ethan about what's happening in the JavaScript space now and what he's most exciting about for frontenders.

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Better Google Web Fonts

A sim­ple one-off page to browse multi-variant type­faces. Google Web Fonts is full of awesome free, open source fonts. It's also full of fonts that may not be worth your time. I've been using this to mine Google based on his metrics, and start there. I quickly discovered that a good metric for higher-quality fonts was the presence of four or more alternates. The Google Web Fonts directory does not allow that type of filtering, so I built this simple one-off page that allows you to browse typefaces that are true families. - Matt Wiebe Would be neat if each font in the index had its own page with Dribbble shots tagged with “PT Serif” and an email with updates on these worthy fonts. The source is on GitHub if you want to contribute. Fun fact. We used Yanone Kaffeesatz in our logo.

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Simple guide to Mobile-First Responsive Design

Who doesn't want their web projects to be useable on all devices? If you've been looking for a simple primer on the fundamentals of responsive web design, Adam Kaplan's project, nicely dubbed Grid, is a great resource to visually see what "Responsive" means and how it works. We want our websites to be useable on all devices by responding to the user's behavior, screen size and screen orientation. Check out Grid's homepage, or the source on GitHub.

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8 Sass mixins you must have in your toolbox

Regardless if you're using Compass, Bourbon, or you're going full vanilla -- these 8 Sass mixins are certainly among the top mixins needed. Some of the mixins are included in Compass, but since I prefer not to use Compass in my projects, I decided to write them myself. So, here are the 8 mixins I think every developer should have in their toolbox. Setting a rem font size with pixel fallback is priceless.

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CSS Zen Garden turns 10 and the source is now open on GitHub

If you started a project like CSS Zen Garden today, it would be natural to put the source code on GitHub and ask for contributions via pull request. However, CSS Zen Garden just turned 10, so its life spans beyond that of Git and GitHub for that matter. So, needless to say, it's a big deal for Dave Shea to move the codebase to GitHub and follow suit with what we now think is a norm, which is open projects and social coding. If you'd like to add a modern CSS Zen Garden design to the mix, fork, branch and submit a pull request! If you're new to Git and GitHub, and you're not sure what to do - either learn git (do this!) or use the traditional submission form at mezzoblue.com/zengarden/submit. Sadly my submission from WAY BACK IN THE DAY was never added as an official design, but can be seen (un-styled) here. I still have the CSS for that so maybe one day I can work it out with Dave to update the CSS src URL for my submission. Check out the source and fork it on GitHub. Or head to csszengarden.com to see the original design and learn more.

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