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The Articles

  • Web Animation Past, Present, and Future

    · · 13 Comments

    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

    · · 6 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

    · · 9 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.

  • Defeating Workplace Drama with Emotional Intelligence

    · · 23 Comments

    Workplace drama, coworker and client irrationality: these seem like forces of nature that we have no way to prevent or control. Brandon Gregory shows us the emotional calculus at the heart of the tempest. Try this formula on any behavior that makes no sense, and it will help you understand what’s going on and what you can do to help.

  • Designing the Conversational UI

    · · 20 Comments

    In the second of a two-part series, Matty Mariansky turns to the practical aspects of designing conversational interfaces. He discusses some of the challenges that he and his team encountered along the way and offers guidelines for translating specific design patterns into a conversational form. These guidelines are loose principles rather than hard-and-fast rules; best practices for designing conversations will form, break, and form again. It’s an exciting time to be a pioneer.

  • All Talk and No Buttons: The Conversational UI

    · · 21 Comments

    Conversational interfaces have been around for a while, but they’ve only recently begun to spread into the mainstream. The entire field of visual interface design—everything we know about placing controls, handling mouse and touch interaction, even picking colors—will be affected by the switch to conversational form, or will go away altogether. In the first of two parts, Matty Mariansky sketches out a road map for this brave new world.

  • Validating Product Ideas

    · · 7 Comments

    In this excerpt from Validating Product Ideas, Tomer Sharon provides a treasure chest of fundamentals, step-by-step guidance, and concrete tactical advice for interviewing users. It’s for product developers who want to get up to speed or get a solid grounding in the techniques of lean user research, and for anyone who needs to understand their customers but doesn’t have a researcher on staff.

  • Finessing `feColorMatrix`

    · · 7 Comments

    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 Kravets guides us through feColorMatrix and shows us how we can harness its power to create detailed filters.

  • The Pain With No Name

    · · 11 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.

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