How To Find Out Why Your Website Stopped Working

Today we are happy to present to you the second part of the sample chapter from Smashing Book #4. You might want to read the first part of this chapter beforehand — if you haven’t already.
Just a little reminder before you start: In part 1 we explored the infrastructure of the Internet and the make-up of a Web server. We left off at the stage where our Web server software is up and running again, and we’ve just double-checked this by telnetting an HTTP request and received the successful response code.

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How To Find Out Why Your Website Stopped Working

A Common Misconception About Designing With Data

Too often when working in information design, you’ll hear the request, “Can you make the data look cool?” “Cool” is a rather ambiguous term, and means different things to different people. Unfortunately, when working with data, the term “cool” is often directly juxtaposed with common charts like line, bar and pie, which are often relegated to the backbench, and written off as “boring.”
The emphasis on the instant visual appeal of an infographic over the clarity of the presentation of data is a troubling trend that plagues the modern incarnation of the infographic.

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A Common Misconception About Designing With Data

Mistakes I’ve Made (And Lessons Learned Along The Way)

We all make mistakes. Whether in our design and development work or just in life in general, we all do it. Thankfully, even the biggest mistakes carry valuable lessons.
As a contrast to the many Web design articles that focus on successes and what we can learn from those triumphs, this article looks to the other end of the spectrum to explore what failures teach us.
Further Reading on SmashingMag: Critical Mistakes Freelancers Make Marketing Rules And Principles For Freelancers On Design Systems: Sell The Output, Not The Workflow 20 Time-Saving Tips to Improve Designer’s Workflow Along the way, I will share stories of some of the missteps I have made in the course of my career and the lessons I’ve learned in the process — being ever mindful of composer John Powel’s words: “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.

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Mistakes I’ve Made (And Lessons Learned Along The Way)

Introduction To Photoshop Scripts

Automation is useful in the work of every designer. It saves precious time on repetitive tasks and helps us solve certain problems more quickly and easily.
You can automate your workflow in Photoshop with actions, which are pretty popular and which most of you already know about and use. Today, we’ll introduce you to an advanced automation technique: Photoshop Scripts. All you need for this is basic knowledge of JavaScript, which some of us Web designers already have.

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Introduction To Photoshop Scripts

Great Products Focus On A Motif

What does it take to craft a great product? For those of us who design and build apps, websites and software, a great product means one that delights its users. But digital product development is a complex beast.
Delivering a successful product requires multidisciplinary teams to efficiently work through varying opinions and conflicting views and, ultimately, to gather behind a common vision with a focused plan. This is a challenging act of team management and collaboration, requiring such audacity that it’s no surprise that the average success rate of a startup bringing a new product or service to market is one out of four.

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Great Products Focus On A Motif

How To Fix The Web: Obscure Back-End Techniques And Terminal Secrets

Imagine that you wake up one morning, reach groggily for your laptop and fire it up. You’ve just finished developing a brand new website and last night you were proudly clicking through the product list. The browser window is still open, the Widget 3000 is still sparkling in its AJAXy newness. You grin like a new parent and expectantly click on “More details”. And nothing happens. You click again, still nothing.

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How To Fix The Web: Obscure Back-End Techniques And Terminal Secrets

Simple Responsive Images With CSS Background Images

Editor’s Note: This article features just one of the many, suboptimal solutions for responsive images. We suggest that you review different approaches before choosing a particular responsive image solution, including these two: How To Avoid Duplicate Downloads In Responsive Images and Choosing A Responsive Image Solution.
With all the talk of new HTML5 standards such as the srcset attribute and <picture> element, as well as server-side techniques such as Responsive Web Design + Server Side Components (RESS), you’d be forgiven for concluding that simple, static websites can’t support responsive images today.

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Simple Responsive Images With CSS Background Images

75 Instructive Design Case Studies

Unlike many other industries, the web design community is all about sharing knowledge and experience. Each of us is very lucky to be part of such a great and useful learning environment, and it is up to us to embrace it — to embrace our learning experiences, and also to embrace our ability to share.
Not only are case studies a great way to explain the design process of an agency, but they also help designers and developers to learn from each other.

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75 Instructive Design Case Studies

So You Want To Write A Digital Strategy?

“Can you put together a digital strategy for us to review?” Requests like this strike fear into those of us who work on the Web. What do we know about putting together strategy documents? Yes, we understand the Web, but we don’t know how to write a document that is essentially a business strategy. What even goes into a digital strategy!
Unfortunately, this is something management seems to increasingly request from Web designers.

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So You Want To Write A Digital Strategy?

Authentic Design

The recently popularized flat interface style is not merely a trend. It is the manifestation of a desire for greater authenticity in design, a desire to curb visual excess and eliminate the fake and the superfluous. [Links checked May/01/2017]
In creating new opportunities, technological progress sometimes leads to areas of excess. In the 19th century, mechanized mass production allowed for ornaments to be stamped out quickly and cheaply, leading to goods overdecorated with ornament.

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Authentic Design