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  • Mixing Color for the Web with Sass

    · · 8 Comments

    We use color to influence mood, create an environment, and tell a story. 125 years ago, impressionist painter Claude Monet changed the way we think about color by describing light’s role in it. His observations have largely been lost on design for the web—but a preprocessor like Sass offers us unprecedented power to mix tints and shades that will imbue our palettes with more nuance.

  • Career Consultation with Dr. Web—Live

    · · 3 Comments

    Your career is alive, complex, and trying to grow in the right direction—but finding that path can be confusing. When you don’t know what you don’t know, or need just a nudge to kickstart your next step, a healthy dose of guidance can do the trick. In a live Q&A this December, Jeffrey Zeldman brings “Ask Dr. Web” to ALA events, answering viewer questions in real time with cohost Sarah Parmenter.

  • Balancing the Scale

    · · 1 Comment

    The culture of a business is closely tied to its size. A small crew with little overhead has flexibility in choosing clients. A big firm offers extensive resources and coworker interaction. Your startup’s character will change as it progresses through these levels too. Knowing what effects come into play during company growth can help you choose the work environment where you’re most comfortable and fulfilled, or give you the ability to control the growth of your own business so you can bring it in at a size that works best for you. In the final part of a four-part series on the money side of the web, Matt Griffin describes the ages and stages of company growth.

  • Singapore, a Hub for Designers?

    · · 5 Comments

    A city with dazzling diversity and a global outlook, Singapore has always been a genial entry point for first-time visitors to Asia. Now the city-state is shaping itself into a center where startups and creative thinking can thrive. Antoine Lefeuvre has traveled there several times. Here he shares his impressions and what he has heard from residents—native Singaporeans and expats—about the business climate transition.

  • From Pages to Patterns: An Exercise for Everyone

    · · 13 Comments

    When people think in terms of pages, it might seem natural for component design and page design to occur in tandem. But this can undermine a team’s ability to name components and build a shared vocabulary. With colleagues at Clearleft, Charlotte Jackson developed an exercise to help everyone adopt pattern thinking. She takes us through the process step by step, encouraging us to get away from our screens and focus first on thinking, language, and approach.

  • How We Hold Our Gadgets

    · · 27 Comments

    Touch adds a new dimension to our designs, and asks us to think not only about the canvas of the screen, but also about how users interact physically with the screen itself. We need to consider the ergonomic needs of holding a smartphone, tablet, or hybrid device—switching hands, swapping grips, and pointing, clicking, and typing. In this excerpt from Chapter 1 of Designing for Touch, Josh Clark examines the role of thumbs in driving our device interactions, no matter the size of the screen.

  • Offering Feedback

    · · 3 Comments

    If you only interact with users when they need support or have a feature request, you’re only interacting with the minority of your customers. The ones who don’t reach out to you may be creating their own workarounds to a problem you’d love to hear about, or they may have a use case that would lead to a brilliant feature. Are you guilty of the same developer shyness? Do you build things to enhance a tool or service for your own use, and assume the developer is too busy to want to hear about it? Don’t wait until there’s a need for support: ask your happy customers what they do with your product, and tell developers how you’re using their product.

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