To render a webpage browsers needs to go through the complex dance of networking, parsing and painting before any content can be displayed to your user. Over the years, we’ve developed mechanisms and hacks to aid the browser at each stage of this process, but these have always come at some cost or trade-off.
How can we utilize modern web platform features to load our CSS as fast as possible? Should we still be inlining our critical content into the document or instead, how can HTTP/2 server push and Service Workers help us?
About two years ago, I begrudgingly opened Visual Studio Code (VS Code) for the first time. The only reason I even did so is that I was working on a TypeScript project (also quite begrudgingly) and I was tired of fighting with the editor and the compiler and all of the settings that I needed to make a TypeScript project work. Someone mentioned to me that TypeScript “just works” in VS Code and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were right.
You may have heard quite a bit of talk about a CSS feature called “Grid” this year. If you are someone who cringes when you hear the words “CSS” and “grid” in the same sentence, then I highly suggest you check out this new CSS module called CSS Grid.
Browsers render HTML elements as boxes according to the CSS box model, and CSS Grid is a new layout model that provides authors the ability to control the size and position of these boxes and their contents.
What happens when we take the web browser out of web browsing? Google’s new “Add to Homescreen” feature delivers fast, focused web experiences that are indistinguishable from those of a native app. What can designers learn from the successes of early adopters such as Twitter, and how can we leverage app-like design patterns to tackle this brand new set of user experience challenges?
The “Add to Homescreen” installation process, as shown on Google Chrome Developer’s mobile website (Image source) (Large preview) We’ve seen debates on the topic of native versus web experiences.
You might have noticed it already: in the past few weeks you might have missed Anselm’s Web Development Reading List issues here on SmashingMag. No worries, from now on, we’ll switch to collecting the most important news of each month in one handy, monthly summary for you. If you’d like to continue reading Anselm’s weekly reading list (and we encourage you to!), you can still do so via email, on wdrl.
Confetti is a compelling report that shows you in high definition where individual clicks are happening on your web pages with colored-coded dots. Being able to visually see where your visitors are clicking can tell you a lot about your web page’s design and how it’s helping (or hurting) your goals and conversions. Metrics Selector In the upper-left corner of the Confetti Report, you’ll see our Metrics Selector. By clicking on the metrics in the legend, you can switch between: Search terms Day of week Time of click Browser …and 16 other metrics! Being able to segment your Confetti Report…
Earlier this year, support for CSS grid layout landed in most major desktop browsers. Naturally, the specification is one of the hot topics at meet-ups and conferences. After having some conversations about grid and progressive enhancement, I believe that there’s a good amount of uncertainty about using it. I heard some quite interesting questions and statements, which I want to address in this post.
“When can I start using CSS grid layout?” “Too bad that it’ll take some more years before we can use grid in production.” “Do I need Modernizr in order to make websites with CSS grid layout?” “If I wanted to use grid today, I’d have to build two to three versions of my website.” The CSS grid layout module is one of the most exciting developments since responsive design. We should try to get the best out of it as soon as possible, if it makes sense for us and our projects.
Web developers spend their days writing hypertext, but, byte for byte, most of the web is composed of images. It is hard to overstate the effect that images have on the average web page’s performance; faster websites have broader reach and a higher impact. The first and most important thing you can do to improve the performance of your website’s images is figure out how to measure them.
Enter Website Speed Test, a free and drop-dead-simple tool that leverages our (Cloudinary’s) image smarts to let you measure, diagnose and (crucially) communicate about the image performance of any website.
CSS is an amazing tool which we constantly use but we don’t seem to honor it appropriately. Whenever I see the growing browser support of the :focus-within selector, the much wanted justify-content: space-evenly for Flexbox or how great CSS Grids already work, I feel really grateful to have such awesome tools available to work with.
And with advanced new media queries such as prefers-reduced-motion, screen and (color), or pointer, we get amazing tools to improve accessibility and usability of our websites.
In 2008, I worked on Boots.com. They wanted a single-page checkout with the trendiest of techniques from that era, including accordions, AJAX and client-side validation.
Each step (delivery address, delivery options and credit-card details) had an accordion panel. Each panel was submitted via AJAX. Upon successful submission, the panel collapsed and the next one opened, with a sliding transition.
It looked a little like this:
Boots’ single-page checkout, using an accordion panel for each step.