Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: September 2012

We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one—desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd. This creativity mission has been going on for over four years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: September 2012

Developing Responsive Designs With Opera Mobile Emulator

This is our seventh article in a series that introduces useful and freely available tools and techniques, developed and released by active members of the Web design community. The first article covered PrefixFree; the second introduced Foundation, a responsive framework; the third presented Sisyphus.js, a library for Gmail-like client-side drafts. The fourth shared a free plugin called GuideGuide with us, and later we’ve announced Erskine’s responsive grid generator Gridpak and Remy Sharp’s debugging tool JS Bin.

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Developing Responsive Designs With Opera Mobile Emulator

Beyond Wireframing: The Real-Life UX Design Process

We all know basic tenets of user-centered design. We recognize different research methods, the prototyping stage, as well as the process of documenting techniques in our rich methodological environment. The question you probably often ask yourself, though, is how it all works in practice?
What do real-life UX design processes actually look like? Do we have time for every step in the process that we claim to be ideal? In this article, I’ll share a couple of insights about the real-life UX design process and speak from my own experience and research.

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Beyond Wireframing: The Real-Life UX Design Process

How To Optimize The Design Workflow With Fireworks Extensions

I’ve been using Adobe Fireworks for over a decade now and I can recommend it to anyone searching for the optimal screen design workflow. Much has been said about Fireworks’ capabilities as a design application, but today I want to focus on one of its other biggest strengths — its extensibility.
As a platform, Fireworks gives its users a lot of freedom, when it comes to extending it. Because of that, Fireworks has a thriving ecosystem of add-ons (extensions) that add a lot of valuable functionality with newer options.

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How To Optimize The Design Workflow With Fireworks Extensions

The Designer Will Make It Pretty

I am sure that my day job as a designer has a lot of similarities to that of the entire Smashing community. I create wireframes, mockups and concepts. I craft HTML and CSS using methods that I hope are fluid and adaptive. At the same time, my coworkers and I serve over 100 clients and 13 million users on a single platform.
Each client has the ability to design their website as they see fit, but we have an unbalanced ratio of designers to clients.

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The Designer Will Make It Pretty

How To Become A Top WordPress Developer

First, let’s set a few things straight: becoming a top WordPress developer is hard work — very hard work. It’s going to take a lot of time, energy and determination. If you’re looking for an easy checklist or some “fast pass” to the top, you’re going to waste your time. Being one of the best is hard, and statistically speaking, the odds are stacked against you.

By the way, installing WordPress, reading a few tutorials and customizing a few themes does not make someone a top developer.

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How To Become A Top WordPress Developer

Separate Mobile Website Vs. Responsive Website

The US presidential race is heading into full swing, which means we’ll soon see the candidates intensely debate the country’s hot-button issues. While the candidates are busy battling it out, the Web design world is entrenched in its own debate about how to address the mobile Web: creating separate mobile websites versus creating responsive websites.
It just so happens that the two US presidential candidates have chosen different mobile strategies for their official websites.

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Separate Mobile Website Vs. Responsive Website

Finding Your Tone Of Voice

When creating content for the Web, considering tone of voice is important. Your tone can help you stand out from competitors, communicate efficiently and effectively with your audience and share your personality. [Links checked March/06/2017]

The voice should be essentially the same, regardless of the platform. Image source.
What Is Tone Of Voice, And Why Is It Important? Tone of voice isn’t what we say but how we say it.

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Finding Your Tone Of Voice

Towards A Retina Web

With the recent announcement and release of the Retina Macbook Pro, Apple has brought double-density screens to all of the product categories in its current lineup, significantly paving the way for the next wave of display standards. While the fourth-generation iPhone gave us a taste of the “non-Retina” Web in 2010, we had to wait for the third-generation iPad to fully realize how fuzzy and outdated our Web graphics and content images are.

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Towards A Retina Web

JavaScript Events And Responding To The User

Whenever people ask me about the most powerful things in JavaScript and the DOM, I quickly arrive at events. The reason is that events in browsers are incredibly useful. Furthermore, decoupling functionality from events is a powerful idea, which is why Node.js became such a hot topic.
Today, let’s get back to the basics of events and get you in the mood to start playing with them, beyond applying click handlers to everything or breaking the Web with <a href=“javascript:void(0)”> links or messing up our HTML with onclick=“foo()” inline handlers (I explained in detail in 2005 why these are bad ideas).

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JavaScript Events And Responding To The User