A List Apart


The Articles

  • The Future of the Web


    Is the web’s way forward to be defined by a bunch of renegade mavericks armed with Flash or JavaScript? Matt Griffin argues that it may not be so bad to let web authors kludge together the things they’d like to build, and follow where their mistakes lead us.

  • Help One of Our Own: Carolyn Wood


    Selfless editor and colleague Carolyn Wood has run into a medical emergency and needs the community’s help. Over the years, she has given us immense gifts without ever asking for anything in return. Let’s pull together and give back.

  • Promoting a Design System Across Your Products


    Our industry has gotten really good at making living style guides out of parts: reusable components like color, typography, buttons and forms, voice and tone. We’ve also learned how to map skills to these parts by mobilizing the best people to make decisions across platforms. But, argues Nathan Curtis, a third element is crucial to any design system mission: products. What products will use our system? How will we involve them?

  • Making your JavaScript Pure


    JavaScript code can easily grow into a thicket of dependencies that harbors wily and persistent bugs. Keeping the rows neat with functions that don’t reach outside their scope makes your codebase more reliable and easier to document. Jack Franklin suggests looking for opportunities to use pure functions—it could make maintaining the code a stroll in the park for your future self.

  • Commit to Contribute


    Even a very basic contribution to an open-source codebase will turn into more than a one-line change when all is said and done. New developers can be put off by seemingly arbitrary roadblocks when they’ve just worked up the courage to contribute. Remy Sharp has a rundown of some tools that can smooth the way and make novices feel more welcome.

  • Once Upon a Time


    To communicate like a grown-up, take a lesson from your inner child. Anne Gibson argues that business interactions could benefit from fairy-tale constructions—start at the beginning, get to the point, and don’t forget to tie up loose ends.

  • The Rich (Typefaces) Get Richer


    Type on the web has come a long way since the beginning of the decade. We now have literally thousands of fonts at our disposal to use on our sites. But the same faces—the Futuras, the Gothams, the Proxima Novas—crop up everywhere. Jeremiah Shoaf encourages us to break out of our cognitive ruts and explore the wealth of typographic diversity at our fingertips.

  • Never Show A Design You Haven’t Tested On Users


    User testing doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming—and it should never be skipped entirely if you don’t have “permission” to do it. Injecting real feedback early and often affects how we design our work, communicate, and even present concepts to the client. Testing should be a habit, even when it doesn’t seem possible. It just requires a little ingenuity.

  • Meaningful CSS: Style Like You Mean It


    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


    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.

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