Industries often experience evolution less as slow and steady progress than as revolutionary shifts in modality that change best practices and methodologies seemingly overnight. This is most definitely true for front-end web development.
Our industry thrives on constant, aggressive development, and new technologies emerge on a regular basis that change the way we do things in fundamental ways.
Accomplished musicians often talk about how, at certain moments in their careers, they had to unlearn old habits in order to progress. This process often causes them to regress in performance while they adjust to an ultimately better method.
Once the new approach is integrated, they are able to reach new heights that would not have been possible with their previous techniques.
Today, CSS preprocessors are a standard for web development. One of the main advantages of preprocessors is that they enable you to use variables. This helps you to avoid copying and pasting code, and it simplifies development and refactoring.
We use preprocessors to store colors, font preferences, layout details — mostly everything we use in CSS. But preprocessor variables have some limitations.
Over the last five years, Node.js has helped to bring uniformity to software development. You can do anything in Node.js, whether it be front-end development, server-side scripting, cross-platform desktop applications, cross-platform mobile applications, Internet of Things, you name it. Writing command line tools has also become easier than ever before because of Node.js — not just any command line tools, but tools that are interactive, useful and less time-consuming to develop.
If you are a front-end developer, then you must have heard of or worked on Gulp, Angular CLI, Cordova, Yeoman and others. Have you ever wondered how they work?
What exactly are the benefits of a content hub strategy? Well, first of all, when done correctly, a content hub will capture a significant volume of traffic. And that’s what most online businesses want, right?
We have recently introduced several clients to the concept of a content hub and would like to share our experience in this article. The clients are high-quality portals filled with targeted, valuable and often evergreen articles that users can return to time and again.
Besides the user’s needs, what’s another vital aspect of an app? Your first thought might be its design. That’s important, correct, but before you can even think about the design, you need to get something else right: the data.
Data should be the cornerstone of everything you create. Not only does it help you to make more informed decisions, but it also makes it easier to account for edge cases, or things you might not have thought of otherwise.
If you want to get even more out of Sketch, feel free to check out our fancy new book, “The Sketch Handbook”, with practical examples that you can follow along, step-by-step, to master even the trickiest, advanced facets and become a true master of Sketch.
In a recent sales meeting for a prospective healthcare client, our team at Mad*Pow found ourselves answering an all-too-familiar question. We had covered the fundamental approach of user-centered design, agreed on leading with research and strategy, and everything was going smoothly. Just as we were wrapping up, the head of their team suddenly asked, “Oh, you guys design mobile-first, right?”
Well, that’s a difficult question to answer. While the concept of mobile-first began as a philosophy to help prioritize content and ensure positive, device-agnostic experiences, budgetary and scheduling constraints often result in mobile-first meaning mobile-only.
If you’ve been following the web development community these last few months, chances are you’ve read about progressive web apps (PWAs). It’s an umbrella term used to describe web experiences advanced that they compete with ever-so-rich and immersive native apps: full offline support, installability, “Retina,” full-bleed imagery, sign-in support for personalization, fast, smooth in-app browsing, push notifications and a great UI.
But even though the new Service Worker API allows you to cache away all of your website’s assets for an almost instant subsequent load, like when meeting someone new, the first impression is what counts. If the first load takes more than 3 seconds, the latest DoubleClick study shows that more than 53% of all users will drop off.
In the past few months, chat bots have become very popular, thanks to Slack, Telegram and Facebook Messenger. But the chat bot idea is not new at all.
A chat bot interface is mentioned in the famous Turing test in 1950. Then there was Eliza in 1966, a simulation of a Rogerian psychotherapist and an early example of primitive natural language processing. After that came Parry in 1972, a simulation of a person with paranoid schizophrenia (and, yes, of course, Parry met Eliza).