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  • Finessing `feColorMatrix`

    · · 1 Comment

    CSS filters lack the ability to do per-channel manipulation—a huge drawback. They may be convenient, but CSS filters are merely shortcuts derived from SVG; as such, they provide no control over RGBA channels. SVG (particularly the feColorMatrix map) gives us much more power and lets us take CSS filters to the next level. Una Kravats guides us through feColorMatrix and shows us how we can harness its power to create detailed filters.

  • The Pain With No Name

    · · 6 Comments

    Information architecture supports all aspects of the web experience. It enhances accessibility, and reinforces the efficacy and authenticity of sites. Yet, Abby Covert argues that IA is still an elusive concept, with a vast contingent of those who practice it groping at best, and copying obsolete strategies at worst. Only a fearless commitment to talking about IA—including the failures, the confusion, and the Eureka! moments—will bring this essential element out of the shadows.

  • The Art of the Commit

    · · 8 Comments

    The information you put into a commit message needs to be useful to the people who will read it. Instead of going into too much detail, or worrying about abstract questions like whether a given commit is the release version of a thing, focus on a much simpler story: I just did a thing, and this is the thing I just did. In this excerpt from Git for Humans, David Demaree outlines some best practices for crafting effective commits.

  • The High Price of Free

    · · 16 Comments

    Our industry is remarkable for how many of us do unpaid labor—sometimes for exposure, other times to give back to the profession and help our peers. We’re all grateful for the free software, learning, and support made possible by this generosity. But in coming to depend in it, we can’t forget that people need time to pay the bills and assure a secure future for themselves and their families.

  • Motion with Meaning: Semantic Animation in Interface Design

    · · 27 Comments

    Animation is fast becoming a mainstay of interface design, but one aspect of animation rarely gets discussed. Amin Al Hazwani and Tobias Bernard argue that adding animation to interfaces fundamentally changes them and necessitates a conceptual shift—an approach the authors call semantic animation. Individual screens shouldn’t be treated as separate entities if the transitions between them are animated; the entire experience is one continuous space.

  • Back to the Future in 2016

    · · 5 Comments

    Practicing kickflips. Standing still. Drawing. Learning JavaScript (finally). Messing around with Arduino. Reading and writing books. Jumping into CSS Grid Layout. Sunbathing with cats. We asked some of our smartest friends in the web design and development communities what new focuses they planned to bring to their lives and work in 2016. Their answers fell into four categories—design, insight, tools, and work—but one idea cropped up over and over: sometimes you need to take a step back in order to move forward.

  • Blending Modes Demystified

    · · 12 Comments

    In an ideal world, we’d be able to modify a design or graphic for the web while keeping the original intact, all without opening an image editor. We’d save tons of time by not having to manually reprocess graphics whenever we changed stuff. Graphics could be neatly specified, maintained, and manipulated with just a few licks of CSS. Oh. Wait. We can do that! Justin McDowell gives us the lowdown on blending modes.

  • The Perfect Storm in Digital Law

    · · 39 Comments

    Legislating the web has long been murky ground. When glacial processes, uninformed committees, and international politics meet the individualized culture of the internet, friction ensues. Despite the resulting confusion, it’s our duty to work within the law—and to speak up for a better relationship between governing bodies and web professionals. Heather Burns guides us through the current dilemmas in digital law, and offers a solution: professionalizing our industry to ensure a seat at the table.

  • Write What You Know (Now)

    · · 17 Comments

    We talk ourselves out of writing (or at least out of publishing) in all kinds of ways: It states the obvious. There’s no conclusion. No one will read it. Someone might read it! Well, so what? You never know how much that seemingly insignificant story of yours may be appreciated in the future—it could be one of a handful of search hits on an obscure issue; it could be a reminder of how you used to work 15 years ago; it could help people get to know you better; and best of all, it can definitely help you gain confidence in communicating. So give yourself permission to write what you know so far, because you’re the only one stopping you.