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On Our Radar: Self-Centered Edition

It's all about us this week at ALA. From steps to sleep to social activities, we're counting every kind of personal data you can think of. But what's all that data add up to? How could we look at it—and ourselves—differently? In this week's On Our Radar, we ask ourselves—and our self—the tough questions. Read more

  • Don’t Forget About Contrast

    by Susan Robertson · · 5 Comments

    That old monitor you've got lying around? Time to put it to work. Susan Robertson reminds us of how important it is to test our designs on older screens and ensure the things we build work well for everyone.

  • On Our Radar: Present Tense

    by ALA Staff · · 1 Comment

    The future is here, for better or for worse—and this week, the ALA staff has been thinking about what that means: for our code (the impending arrival of HTTP/2), our content (publishing on Medium), and the cost of constant noise.

  • Brevity vs. Clarity

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 8 Comments

    Why did we all start using btn? Anthony Colangelo considers whether a lack of clarity is worth the benefits of brevity in our code.

  • On Our Radar: Communication Builds Community

    by ALA Staff ·

    This week, the ALA staff is thinking about color accessibility, the process of building a vocabulary, the current state of web typography, and the lessons we can learn from skater culture. In other words: it's all about inclusion.

  • 10 Years Ago in ALA: Attribute Anarchy

    by Mat Marquis · · 1 Comment

    A decade ago here in A List Apart, we published a radical article by Peter-Paul Koch arguing for custom attributes in markup. Today, Mat Marquis takes a look back at how times have changed, and shows how PPK’s idea has worked its way into the web.

  • Prioritizing Structure in Web Content Projects

    by Eileen Webb · · 9 Comments

    New content projects present a classic chicken-and-egg problem: should we start with the words, or focus on the structure they’ll take? There are benefits and challenges either way, but Eileen Webb has recently become a believer that starting with structure creates a better workflow for developers, designers and content creators alike.

  • On Our Radar: In the Key of F

    by ALA Staff · · 2 Comments

    It’s a new kind of blog post: straight from our brains to your hearts, we’re sharing what we think is neat on the web. This week: thoughts on Flipboard, diversity in tech, and advice for organizing conferences.

  • A List Apart: On Air

    by Mat Marquis · · 3 Comments

    Ready for something new? We're excited to announce ALA: On Air, community-focused events where our readers can get to know our authors, staff, and others who are shaking up our industry. Mat Marquis shares all the details, and has specifics on our first event, Designing for Performance, coming up on February 26.

  • Style Guide Generator Roundup

    by Susan Robertson · · 5 Comments

    Ready to use a style guide generator for your next project? Susan Robertson did the research and shares a number of options to try out, depending on your workflow. If you haven't created a style guide before, hopefully one of these tools will make generating your first one just a bit easier.

  • Variable Fonts for Responsive Design

    by Nick Sherman · · 9 Comments

    Today’s web fonts are not living up to their potential. What if the stylistic parameters of a typeface were fluidly variable? What if the design of a typeface could be as flexible and responsive as the layout it exists within? Nick Sherman shows us where we’ve been and where we’re going as we move toward truly responsive web typography.

The Latest Issue

Issue № 417 ·

  • Initiation to Code

    by Alice Mottola

    The best person to mentor junior developers turns out to be: you. Mentoring can be a powerful tool for guiding and nurturing new hires, but it also benefits you—and your organization—by encouraging collaboration and curiosity in your everyday work. Alice Mottola offers guidance (and a little agile structure) for approaching the mentoring process—and shows how it can build better code and better engineers.

  • Let Links Be Links

    by Ross Penman · 4 Comments

    The notion of the web as an application platform has never been more popular. Single-page frameworks like Ember and Angular make it easy to create complex applications that offer richer, more robust experiences than traditional websites can. But this benefit comes at a cost. Ross Penman tells us what we can do about it.

Recent Columns

Laura Kalbag on Freelance Design

The Illusion of Free

The number of predictions that algorithms can make about us from even minimal data is shocking. Although we’re offered privacy settings that let us control who of our friends sees what, all our information and behavior tends to be fair game for behind-the-scenes tracking. We simply don’t know everything that’s being done with our data currently, and what companies might be able—and willing—to do with it in the future. Laura Kalbag believes it’s time to locate the exits.

Matt Griffin on How We Work

Readable Wearables

Displays that are more tiny than our lowest-size breakpoints require a more condensed range of type sizes. If you don't already have in place a typographic system that can absorb the demands of this new context (watches, wearables, digital sticky notes, whatever), now might be the time to consider it. Matt Griffin was ready for anything because his site was simple and built to be future friendly.