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  • Meaningful CSS: Style Like You Mean It

    · · 13 Comments

    Our markup too often remains a snarl of divs, our CSS a chaos of classes. Tim Baxter urges us to move beyond that. We can use real objects now instead of abstract representations. We can write CSS to support our markup instead of the other way around, and both can be more semantic and meaningful. The browser support is there; the standards are in place. Only habit is stopping us.

  • Prototypal Object-Oriented Programming using JavaScript

    · · 2 Comments

    Disguised as a mild-mannered scripting language, JavaScript is more dynamic than you might think. Mehdi Maujood has seen beyond the class-based masquerade and found that JavaScript can be used more effectively once you understand its true nature as a prototype-based object-oriented programming language.

  • OOUX: A Foundation for Interaction Design

    · · 1 Comment

    Pivoting smoothly from action to action is all well and good, but when interactions seem abstract to users, a sense of context is probably missing. In this follow-up to Object-Oriented UX, Sophia Voychehovski takes us from big-picture OOUX frameworks to confidently targeting actions that meet the needs of users.

  • Looking for “Trouble”

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    Venting isn’t exactly an innocent activity. Rolling our eyes at a struggling client—no matter how justified we may think we are—hints at a skewed sense of entitlement. It means we’ve forgotten that our experience working with others reflects their experience working with us. Orr Shtuhl shares how the team at Blenderbox changed their “venting culture” to proactively hunt for subtle flags of distress and take responsibility for their clients’ side of the experience.

  • The User’s Journey

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    We’re hardwired to respond to stories—to parse them, to invent them, to translate our world into landscapes and characters. Applying a twist to “narrative architecture,” Donna Lichaw deconstructs how we weave stories into our products. The real trick, she says, is to do more than tell stories; it’s to design our products to be the story.

  • Design for Real Life

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    We say we're crafting personas to fit the needs of “real” people—yet we easily revert to abstractions when raw emotions enter the picture. Common human experiences aren't “edge” cases; we don't get to dismiss what seems uncomfortable or different to us. In this excerpt from Design for Real Life, Eric Meyer and Sara Wachter-Boettcher take on the elephant in the room—the tendency to look the other way.

  • Web Animation Past, Present, and Future

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    Despite the rise and fall of Flash on the web, designing with animation has fiercely stirred us for decades. And yet nothing compares to its latest surge of evolution. Rachel Nabors lays out the array of tools and techniques that are fundamentally reframing our ideas about animation, and looks ahead to see where this path is taking us.

  • Aligning Content Work with Agile Processes

    · · 3 Comments

    Times (and job titles, and platforms) have changed. Agile has the potential to liberate content strategists from obsolete ways of working, and developers and designers can help. Brendan Murray identifies four key areas—iteration, product, people, and communication—where designers and devs can find common ground with their content counterparts and usher them into to an agile world. The open and collaborative approach of modern agile development is a framework within which content work can refine itself, test, and learn.

  • Impulses and Outcomes

    · · 6 Comments

    When a designer becomes known for a certain look or style, it could be a sign that they’re held in thrall by something in their own personality or individual life experience. Matt Griffin reminds us that design is a service intended to be tailored to the client. To best meet the project’s and the client’s needs, recognize when you’re hanging on to a limited selection of personal design tropes.