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  • Destroying Your Enemies Through the Magic of Design

    by Jenny Lam / Hillel Cooperman ·

    Hierarchical organizations large and small are rife with politics. In fact, the smaller the stakes, the more vicious they can be. Political organizations are ones where what things look like are just as, or more, important as what you actually do.

  • Knowledge vs. Intelligence

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 10 Comments

    About a week ago, I was running into major issues during development of one of my side projects. After a few nights working to resolve whatever was breaking, I was getting frustrated with my lack of progress.

  • That Pixel Design is so Hot Right Now

    by Justin Dauer · · 8 Comments

    It’s no secret that pixel art is experiencing a resurgence—just look at video games like Mojang’s Minecraft and Superbrothers’ Sword & Sworcery. Justin Dauer of The Dead Pixel Society invites you to join the fun of exploring this old-meets-new medium.

  • Overwhelmed by Code

    by Susan Robertson · · 35 Comments

    There is a constant pressure to learn new things and keep up with all the latest ideas: new frameworks, new platforms, new ideas of how to write code, they just keep coming out. In addition, the ebb and flow of what is desired from a front-end developer keeps changing. It used to be that knowing CSS and HTML was enough, then jQuery came along, then responsive techniques, then Node.js and then Angular, Ember, etc., etc., etc. That list, right there, it tires me out.

  • Why Responsive Images Matter

    by Mat Marquis · · 12 Comments

    Building enormous websites means us shifting the burden of our mistakes onto every single user that visits our site. It’s us saying that we’re willing to build something that isn’t for some users, because that’s most comfortable for us—no different from “best viewed in Internet Explorer 5.5” or “best viewed at 600x800,” but much more costly.

  • Show Your Work: Demonstrating Progress on Your Projects

    by Eileen Webb · · 11 Comments

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how actual progress on a project doesn’t always match the impression of progress—sometimes a lot of code has changed but nothing looks very different, while other times a small change in code gives the sense that the whole project has moved leaps and bounds.

  • An Excellent Week

    by Tim Murtaugh · · 3 Comments

    A couple of big announcements are making the rounds this week: Google advises progressive enhancement and the W3C publishes an official HTML5 recommendation.

  • The Couch Cone of Silence

    by Mica McPheeters · · 7 Comments

    About five years ago, I bought a cushy couch for my office. (Okay, yes, I did get the model that could flatten into an emergency nap station, but let’s just say that I plan for contingencies—it sounds more professional that way.) Our projects required a lot of office-to-office visiting to discuss situations in person, and eventually, said couch (and therefore, my office) became a veritable beacon, attracting anyone looking for an excuse to decompress. Such is the life of a one-couch, 50-chair business.

  • Beyond You

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 1 Comment

    In client work, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our work lives beyond ourselves. Sometimes that means making sure the CMS can handle clients’ ever-changing business needs, or making sure it continually teaches its users. For clients with an internal development team that will be taking over after you, it means making sure the design system you create is flexible enough to handle changes, yet rigid enough to maintain consistency.

  • Learning to Be Flexible

    by Susan Robertson · · 6 Comments

    As a freelancer, I work in a lot of different code repos. Almost every team I work with has different ideas of how code should be organized, maintained, and structured. Now, I’m not here to start a battle about tabs versus spaces or alphabetical order of CSS properties versus organizing in terms of concerns (positioning styles, then element layout styles, then whatever else), because I’m honestly not attached to any one system anymore.

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.