In experience design, friction is anything that prevents users from accomplishing their goals or getting things done. It’s the newsletter signup overlay covering the actual content, the difficult wording on a landing page, or the needless optional questions in a checkout flow. It’s the opposite of intuitive and effortless, the opposite of “Don’t make me think.”
Having said that, friction can still be a good thing sometimes. In game design, for example, friction is actually required.
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half. – John Wanamaker (1838 – 1922). This statement, at the time it was first made back in the late 1800’s, echoed the sentiments of merchants and advertisers all around. Back then, advertising was less sophisticated – television ads, billboards and methods we consider “traditional” today. It’s next to impossible to measure the effectiveness of these methods. So many years have passed, and so many developments have been made in the world of marketing. Yet, in a world of digital marketing, where we have…
Prototypes are my framework for learning new tools, platforms and techniques. A prototype works as hard proof that an idea will or won’t work. It is central to my entire creative process and is the medium I use to relate to the people and businesses I collaborate with.
I’m gushy about prototypes because I think they can work wonders, but I also think they don’t get they’re due. Prototyping is usually not incorporated into project timelines at all or, if it is, usually as some tangential deliverable to a larger project.
Today started just like any other day. You sat down at your desk, took a sip of coffee and opened up Xcode to start a new project. But wait! The similarities stop there. Today, we will try to build for a different platform! Don’t be afraid. I know you are comfortable there on your iOS island, knocking out iOS applications, but today begins a brand new adventure. Today is the day we head on over to macOS development, a dark and scary place that you know nothing about.
The good news is that developing for macOS using Swift has a lot more in common with iOS development than you realize. To prove this, I will walk you through building a simple screen-annotation application. Once we complete it, you will realize how easy it is to build applications for macOS.
Sometimes things evolve faster than you think. Something that started as a simple WordPress blog back in September 2006, has evolved into a little Smashing universe — with books, eBooks, conferences, workshops, consultancy, job board and, most recently, 56 fancy cats (upcoming, also known as Smashing Membership). We have a wonderful team making it all happen, but every project requires attention and focus and every project desperately needs time to evolve and flourish and improve.
In March this year, CSS Grid shipped into production versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari within weeks of each other. It has been great to see how excited people are about finally being able to use it to solve real problems.
CSS Grid is such a different way of approaching layout that there are a number of common questions I am asked as people start to use the specification. This article aims to answer some of those, and will be one in a series of articles on Smashing Magazine about layouts.
Two years ago, I decided to start a series of short WebGL experiments on Codepen. Earlier this year, I finally found the time to compile them all together on a single website named “Moments of Happiness”. Since its incarnation, I’ve found ways to explore and learn different animation and interaction techniques, which I’ve implemented in these interactive toys.
As you’ll see, the gameplay is very different in each one, but all of the experiments share one principle: The behavior of each character responds programmatically to user input. No precalculated animation — every movement is defined at runtime. Breathing life into these characters with only a few lines of code was the main challenge.
Words are the primary component of content for the web. However, until a short while ago, all we had at our disposal were but a few system fonts. Adding to that, those system typefaces weren’t necessarily coherent from operating system to operating system (OS).
Fortunately, Windows, macOS and Linux made up font-wise, and since then, all modern fonts have been compatible across those OS’. There’s no question, the future of web typography looks promising.
We love exploring opportunities. While many of us are quite familiar with publications and events surrounding us, we often lack the global perspective on what’s happening in the web industry across the world. For example, do you know what the state of web design in Singapore is? What about front-end events in Kuala Lumpur? What about the acceptance of UX-driven processes in Hong Kong? That’s exactly what we want to find out!
User interface design has changed dramatically in the last few years, as traditional computers have ceded dominance to smaller screens, including tablets, mobile phones, smartwatches and more.
As the craft has evolved, so has its toolset; and from one app to rule them all — looking at you, Photoshop! — we have gotten to a point where it seems like a new contender among UI design tools crops up every month.