Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: October 2013

We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. 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 five years now, and we’re very thankful to all the designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: October 2013

Dear Web Font Providers

When you buy something, I bet you want it to work. Heck, even if you use something for free — maybe borrowed from a friend — I bet you want it to work. No one prefers hiking boots that are too tight (or too loose), a car that shimmies when you drive faster than 40 miles an hour, or a kitchen knife that can’t cut a tomato. And Web designers don’t prefer fonts that don’t fit a project, fall apart in different browsers or can’t be used in a mock-up.

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Dear Web Font Providers

BlendMe.in: Accessing Vector Icons Without Leaving Photoshop

Update (10.10.2013): Please note that the ZIP file has been updated after this article has been published. In case Photoshop should crash on your end, please rename your Photoshop settings folder to fix this. You can find the configuration folder here: /Users/[Username]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop CC Settings. Please note that this will reset all Photoshop settings to default. If you should still happen to run into any issues, please kindly send an email to contact@blendme.

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BlendMe.in: Accessing Vector Icons Without Leaving Photoshop

Powerful WordPress Tips And Tricks

I’ve been working with WordPress since the dawn of time, and even though I peek at the source code regularly, I still discover new tips and tricks. I’ve compiled my own list of 21 techniques that are handy, clever, fun or best practices rarely followed. I hope everyone finds something new in the list!

1. WordPress Has A Ton Of Built-In Scripts Using the great wp_enqueue_script() and wp_enqueue_style(), you can include styles and scripts easily with dependency management.

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Powerful WordPress Tips And Tricks

Data-Driven Design In The Real World

As more designers and writers look to analytics to inform their decisions, many still struggle to implement their findings in a sustainable, ongoing way. Too often, testing and analysis are one-off activities, providing plenty of important-looking numbers but not lot of context or specific direction.
After more than five years helping content and design teams capture, measure and understand website performance data (client-side at Bazaarvoice and now at Volusion), I’ve learned a lot about connecting the dots between data and design improvements.

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Data-Driven Design In The Real World

Responsive Image Container: A Way Forward For Responsive Images?

The aim of republishing the original article by Yoav is to raise awareness and support the discussion about solutions for responsive images. We look forward to your opinions and thoughts in the comments section! – Ed.
It’s been a year since I last wrote about it, but the dream of a “magical” image format that will solve world hunger and/or the responsive images problem (whichever comes first) lives on. A few weeks back, I started wondering if such an image format could be used to solve both the art direction and resolution-switching use cases.

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Responsive Image Container: A Way Forward For Responsive Images?

A 5-Step Process For Conducting User Research

Imagine that this is what you know about me: I am a college-educated male between the ages of 35 and 45. I own a MacBook Pro and an iPhone 5, on which I browse the Internet via the Google Chrome browser. I tweet and blog publicly, where you can discover that I like chocolate and corgis. I’m married. I drive a Toyota Corolla. I have brown hair and brown eyes.

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A 5-Step Process For Conducting User Research

Optimizing The Design Workflow With Fireworks Extensions, Part 2

In my previous article on Smashing Magazine, I discussed seven excellent extensions that could fundamentally change your Web design workflow in Adobe Fireworks. The extensions expand Fireworks’ capabilities by adding valuable functionality that could make a huge impact on your overall productivity as a designer.
I have to admit, though, that at the time, I was able only to scratch the surface of what’s possible with Fireworks, so I’d like to add to the list six more extensions.

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Optimizing The Design Workflow With Fireworks Extensions, Part 2

Good Content Is Too Valuable To Die

When I started developing websites back in the day, I was lucky to have hundreds of valuable, practical articles that would help me become better at what I did. I could learn day and night, and whenever I discovered a new tool or technique, I would bookmark it on Delicious for future reference. I knew the value of each article and of each bookmark, and I kept revisiting and carefully tagging them for months and months — almost every day.

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Good Content Is Too Valuable To Die

Building An Online Magazine App For Windows 8, Part 1: The HTML5 App

Back in 2010, Microsoft shifted its focus from propriety Web technology to open Web technology. The first fruits of this refocus materialized a few years later — in Internet Explorer, the Windows operating system, its developer tools and its cloud software.
Things have changed for the better so far:
With version 10, Internet Explorer has finally grown up and become a fast modern browser. You can build native Windows apps with JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS — apps that look and feel solid and have modern user interfaces.

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Building An Online Magazine App For Windows 8, Part 1: The HTML5 App