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  • The Most Dangerous Word In Software Development

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 29 Comments

    “Just put it up on a server somewhere.” “Just add a favorite button to the right side of the item.” “Just add [insert complex option here] to the settings screen.” Usage of the word “just” points to a lot of assumptions being made.

  • Ten CSS One-Liners to Replace Native Apps

    by Håkon Wium Lie · · 63 Comments

    Håkon Wium Lie is the father of CSS, the CTO of Opera, and a pioneer advocate for web standards. Earlier this year, we published his blog post, “CSS Regions Considered Harmful.” When Håkon speaks, whether we always agree or not, we listen. Today, Håkon introduces CSS Figures and argues their case.

  • Longform Content with Craft Matrix

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 17 Comments

    Jason Santa Maria recently shared some thoughts about pacing content, and my developer brain couldn’t help but think about how I’d go about building the examples he talked about. The one fool-proof way to achieve heavily art-directed layouts like those is to write the HTML by hand. The problem is that content managers are not always developers, and the code can get complex pretty quickly. That’s why we use content management systems—to give content managers easier and more powerful control over content.

  • Ten Years Ago in ALA: Dynamic Text Replacement

    by Yesenia Perez-Cruz · · 2 Comments

    Ten years ago this month in Issue 183, A List Apart published Stewart Rosenberger’s “Dynamic Text Replacement.” Stewart lamented text styling as a “dull headache of web design” with “only a handful of fonts that are universally available, and sophisticated graphical effects are next to impossible using only standard CSS and HTML.” To help ease these pains, Stewart presented a technique for styling typography by dynamically replacing text with an image.

  • Apple and Responsive Design

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 32 Comments

    Apple has always had a funny relationship with responsive design. They’ve only sparingly used media queries to make minor visual tweaks on important pages, like their current homepage. Though a “handcrafted for all devices” approach seems like the “Apple way,” it’s almost as if they’ve avoided it because of the iPhone’s original pitch—giving users the ability to pinch and zoom their way through the “full” web, as opposed to being shuttled off to the mobile web.

  • Testing Responsive Images

    by Mat Marquis · · 10 Comments

    At long last, the native picture element isn’t just coming: it’s here. The picture element has landed in Canary—Google’s “beta” channel for upcoming Chrome releases—and we can try it out for ourselves right now. Now, we need to test it out, look for bugs, and file issues.

  • On Styled Form Elements

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 12 Comments

    For almost 20 years, we’ve had the same input types and form elements we still use today: text fields and areas, password fields, select dropdowns, radio buttons, checkboxes, file fields, hidden fields, and the menagerie of button types including submit, reset, image, and plain old button.

  • We Have Work to Do: #yesallwomen and the Web

    by Sara Wachter-Boettcher · · 60 Comments

    Why does #yesallwomen matter for the web—and for A List Apart? Editor-in-chief Sara Wachter-Boettcher explains why making our industry a welcoming place for people of all kinds of backgrounds is the only way we’ll build the web we need.

  • Ten Years Ago in ALA: Art Direction and Drop Shadows

    by Mike Pick ·

    Ten years ago in May, A List Apart published Issues 180–182, featuring Art Direction and the Web by Stephen Hay and Onion Skinned Drop Shadows by Brian Williams.

  • Global Accessibility Awareness Day: Getting the Word Out

    by Andrew Kirkpatrick · · 1 Comment

    Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day. To mark the day and promote the goal of the day, groups of developers and designers interested in accessibility offer webinars, presentations, and networking events to interest and educate more people about why accessibility is important and how to address accessibility in web content, documents, and software.

The Latest Issue

Issue № 416 ·

  • 80/20 Practitioners Make Better Communicators

    by Katie Kovalcin · 5 Comments

    Approaches that are either too general or too specific can easily overwhelm practitioners—and derail budgets. Fresh from recent experiences with two large-scale redesigns, Katie Kovalcin suggests that flexibility and open communication can transform all team members into what she calls “80/20 practitioners,” creating a more effective balance of time and resources.

  • Pluralization for JavaScript

    by Tingan Ho · 12 Comments

    Getting plurals right in localization is a tricky prospect—each language has its own rules, and exceptions within those rules. How can we scale our websites and apps to respond to our global audience? Tingan Ho shows us how MessageFormat lessens some common pain points in the pluralization process.

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.