A List Apart

Menu Issue № 169

CSS Design: Custom Underlines

by Stuart Robertson · 66 Comments

While web designers generally have a great deal of control over how a document should be presented, basic CSS doesn’t provide many options for the style of underlines below the links on a page. But with a few nips and tucks, you can take back creative control of the way your links look. Frequent ALA contributor Stuart Robertson shows how.

Everything I Need To Know About Web Design I Learned Watching Oz

by Brian Alvey · 83 Comments

Making it as a web designer is like staying alive in the slammer. So before you sharpen your Photoshop skills or crack open that new book on crafting more effective customer experiences, you’d be well advised to catch a few reruns of HBO’s Oz. ALA system designer Brian Alvey points out the parallels between a successful career in web design and the popular prison drama.

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Columnists

Rian van der Merwe on A View from a Different Valley

The Distance to Here

The people who determine product strategy move through a world of analysts, media, division leads, shareholders, stakeholders, monetization, and marketability. They seldom get a chance to come back to the corner where users and designers mingle. Rian van der Merwe suspects that increasing the communication distance between the decision makers and the product’s builders and users leads to a loss of perspective—and the results are products with marketable features that no one really needs.

From the Blog

On Our Radar: Pretty Advanced Machine Learning

Between bots and blogging, newsrooms are getting into Slack in some very cool ways (take some inspiration and apply for a Knight-Mozilla Fellowship!). Plus more recommended reading: revisiting Cameron’s World; the joy of generalists; the finer points of faving; and one really excellent gif of cats.

Building to Learn

Whether you're just getting started on the web, or trying to pick up a new framework, Susan Robertson has a radical idea: build something that interests you. Sure, there are courses and tutorials out there to walk you through it, but a project you're actually excited about will help you solidify those skills and make them easier to recall when you need them most.