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  • Motion with Meaning: Semantic Animation in Interface Design

    · · 32 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

    · · 8 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

    · · 13 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.

  • Write What You Know (Now)

    · · 18 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.

  • Interaction Is an Enhancement

    · · 21 Comments

    The web has an endless supply of single-point-of-failure horror stories, where sites serve up blank and blocked pages to dumbstruck users. But the fault is not with JavaScript and other technologies—it’s with how we use them, banking on them alone instead of diversifying how we deliver our experiences. In this excerpt from Chapter 5 of Adaptive Web Design, Second Edition, Aaron Gustafson explains why understanding and working within limitations is the key to building resilient websites.

  • Design, White Lies & Ethics

    · · 18 Comments

    Most of us would say we’re honest in our designs—but what if tiny deviations from the truth made a design easier for users? What if usability testing showed that fibs in an interface actually helped users accomplish their goals? How can we keep design decisions from turning deceptive? Dan Turner shares the lessons learned from a recent design problem, and proposes a potential framework for working ethically with false affordances.

  • It’s the People They Know

    · · 7 Comments

    Chance can play such a vital part in your career. You may be unexpectedly exposed to technology that becomes central to how you make a living. People you meet who seem to have nothing to do with your work, or who were potential clients or colleagues that didn’t pan out, can end up connecting you to someone who turns out to be central to the next phase of your career.

  • Planning and Organizing Workshops

    · · 9 Comments

    Good workshops start long before you get everyone in the room. By setting goals, creating an agenda, and communicating early and often with your attendees, Senongo Akpem shows how you can set your workshop up for success.