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ALA Staff

On Our Radar: The Empty Space That Is Not Empty

The staff of A List Apart presents their biweekly recommended-reading list, chock-full of goodies about progressive enhancement, lettershapes, hamburger menus, and our favorite moving picture (at least until the next cat-squeezed-into-a-tiny-box gif). Read more

  • 15 Years Ago in ALA: Much Ado About 5K

    by Jeffrey Zeldman · · 3 Comments

    15 years ago this month, a plucky ALA staffer wrote “Much Ado About 5K,” an article on a contest created by Stewart Butterfield that challenged web designers and developers to build a complete website using less than 5K of images and code. As one group of modern web makers embraces mobile-first design and performance budgets, while another (the majority) worships at the altar of bigger, fatter, and slower, the 5K contest reminds us that a byte saved is a follower earned.

  • Practicing Empathy With Teams

    by Susan Robertson · · 5 Comments

    We talk a lot about having empathy for our users, but what about having empathy for each other? Susan Robertson describes how, as a developer, she practices empathy with her teammates.

  • On Our Radar: What Engineers Look Like

    by ALA Staff ·

    If you were too buried in work this week to read the internet, don’t worry: the staff of A List Apart read it for you. Catch up with this week’s On Our Radar, featuring our new favorite Instagram account, Mozilla’s latest mission, Twitter bots, and more.

  • Article Update: Don’t Rely on Default `sizes`

    by Eric Portis ·

    The responsive images spec has changed. Eric Portis updates us on what's new since “Responsive Images in Practice” and shows how to handle sizes moving forward.

  • Content-First Design

    by Steph Hay · · 11 Comments

    Video game designers start with the story. What would our work look like if we did too? Steph Hay advocates for a content-first approach to design and walks through how to start prototyping your content.

  • Context Makes Our Devices

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 3 Comments

    When it comes to new devices, context is everything. Smartphones and tablets gained popularity because they were useful in situations where our laptops weren't. Will smartwatches do the same? Anthony Colangelo looks at the context of these new devices and how they might reach their full potential.

  • Accepting Our Lack of Control

    by Susan Robertson · · 4 Comments

    Accepting the “ebb and flow of things” is as challenging today as it was 15 years ago. Susan Robertson explores what it means to accept our lack of control on the web and shares how she acknowledges this in her work—from the CSS she writes, to the conversations she has with team members.

  • Coming May 6: Sass Talk

    by Sara Wachter-Boettcher · · 1 Comment

    To preprocess or not to preprocess? ALA: On Air will cover just that—live on May 6. Featuring Rachel Andrew, Lyza Danger Gardner, Jeff Lembeck, and Susan Robertson, “Sass Talk” will discuss when, how, and whether to use Sass, taskrunners, and other tools.

  • 15 Years of Dao

    by ALA Staff ·

    15 years have passed since we published John Allsopp's “A Dao of Web Design.” Join us as we take a look back at John's piece and consider what it means for the web today.

  • Designing Social Tools for Tweens

    by Debra Levin Gelman · · 5 Comments

    Kids these days. When they're not on our lawn, they're using the web in some pretty unique ways. Debra Levin Gelman encourages us to take their needs into account and offers a fresh new method to help us design social tools for kids ages 8–12.

The Latest Issue

Issue № 420 ·

  • Meta-Moments: Thoughtfulness by Design

    by Andrew Grimes · 1 Comment

    Does the internet ever stop you in your tracks? Does it sometimes make you pause and think about what you’re doing? Andrew Grimes calls such moments meta-moments. He walks us through why meta-moments are occasionally necessary and how we might build them into the experiences we design.

  • Approaching Content Strategy for Personalized Websites

    by Colin Eagan · 4 Comments

    Experience management systems are making it easier than ever to customize content for your visitors—but are you using your newfound personalizing powers for good (or for creepy)? Colin Eagan shows that personalization can be done, thoughtfully, using the same tools you would apply to any content strategy conundrum: by asking why, being deliberate, and putting users first.

Recent Columns

Mark Llobrera on Professional♥︎Amateurs

Instant Web

For some, Facebook’s Instant Articles is a sign that the traditional web stack is incapable of giving users a first-class reading experience. But the sluggish performance of the web isn’t due to an inherent flaw in the technology. That particular problem originates between the seat and the keyboard, where builders make choices that bloat their sites. For Mark Llobrera, Instant Articles is a sign that we need to prioritize performance like we actually mean it.

Rachel Andrew on the Business of Web Dev

On Being King of a Shrinking Castle

Being your own boss is awesome. You’re the sovereign of your fate—and with that autonomy comes responsibility for making your business thrive. Your time management skills are more important than ever as you continue to get your to-dos checked off. The thing is… if you get an unexpected call from a friend, can you get away from that tyrannical boss of yours to do something unplanned? Are you able to schedule time with friends or family without feeling that you’re falling behind on work? If you can’t afford to take time to strengthen your connections with others, you’re at risk of being the monarch (and the serf) of an impoverished kingdom, indeed.