The past years have been remarkable for web technologies. Our code has become modular, clean and well-defined. Our tooling for build processes and audits and testing and maintenance has never been so powerful. Our design process is systematic and efficient. Our interfaces are smooth and responsive, with a sprinkle of beautiful transitions and animations here and there. And after so many years, accessibility and performance have finally become established, well-recognized pillars of user experience.
You’ve been there: big bang redesigns are usually a very, very bad idea. Redesigning and rebuilding an existing website from scratch is risky and unpredictable, and in many cases the level of complexity is highly underrated and underestimated. In mid-2016, Smashing Magazine decided to make a big switch from the existing WordPress setup to an entirely new design, entirely new architecture (JAM Stack) and an entirely new, GitHub-based, editorial workflow.
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.
Do you feel stressed from time to time? I do. Recently, I experimented with meditation and yoga, just to see if and how they work. There’s a lot of advice you can find online and they all claim to transform your life entirely.
As we look deep into 2017, one of the questions on every web developer’s mind ought to be, “What trend will define the web in 2017?” Just three years ago, we were talking about the “Year of Responsive Web Design”, and we’ve all seen how the stakes were raised when Google announced Mobilegeddon (21 April 2015) and started to boost the rankings of mobile-friendly websites in mobile search results.
Today, as our findings indicate, responsive web design is the norm, with 7 out of 10 mobile-optimized websites being responsive, up from 5 last year, which begs the questions: What’s next? Where is it all heading? We solved the screen-size issue and had a great run for a few years — now what?
Typography is a primary element of composition. Being a designer, I pay a lot of attention to its quality. Operating Photoshop is easy for me; however, to level up my skills, I am always learning to work with letters, using my hands, without any computer programs.
The first time I took a calligraphy course was about a year ago, and the decision was quite hard. I was sure that it would be painstaking and that I would need excellent handwriting to learn this art. How mistaken I was!
Almost five years ago, I had the honor of writing a post on Smashing Magazine about my Photoshop panel GuideGuide. Since then it has seen wild success as the most installed third-party Photoshop extension, an achievement I’m quite proud. In that time, I’ve added some powerful features and, most recently, expanded it to Illustrator. This post will give you a taste of how GuideGuide can change the way you use guides in Photoshop and Illustrator.
If you’re one of the many people who already use GuideGuide, please read on. You may discover some unconventional uses that are not immediately apparent. I’ll provide a overview of the major features, and then give some examples of advanced and unusual ways it can be used to make you a more efficient designer.
Editor’s note: So you’ve attended a conference, listened to some truly inspiring talks, made quite a few valuable connections, maybe even attended a hands-on workshop and learned a thing or two. What now? How do you bring back the new knowledge and ideas and connections to your team and to your work? This article highlights a practical strategy of getting there without much effort. With SmashingConf Barcelona taking place next week, we thought this article would come in handy.
Have you ever been to a conference with top speakers, awesome people to network with and such a great energy that you got fired up and couldn’t wait to get home to start applying everything you’ve learned? How do things look two weeks later? Did you implement all of that learning into action? How about two months later? Were you still taking action on that knowledge?
A new month means new wallpapers! This journey has been going on for eight years now, and each time anew artists and designers from across the globe challenge their artistic skills to cater for some fresh inspiration on your desktop. And, well, it wasn’t any different this time around.
This post features their designs for October 2016. The collection is a mix of ideas and styles, of wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd. All wallpapers come in versions with and without a calendar and can be downloaded for free — just choose your favorite. A big thank-you to everyone who shared their ideas with us! Happy October!