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Issue № 331

Design better learning sites and bring CSS3 goodness to old browsers and non-Webkit smartphones.

CSS3 Bling in the Real World

by Chris Mills36 Comments

It’s here, it’s queer, get used to it! CSS3 is fun and fabulous, and if we design with progressive enhancement in mind, we can add all kinds of CSS wizardry to our websites and applications without worrying about how things work (or don’t) in old browsers and outdated devices. But what happens if our audience includes folks who use non-Webkit-powered phones? And what if our clients still believe a web page is supposed to look and work the same in every device? Learn to make CSS3 yumminess as cross-browser as possible.

The UX of Learning

by Tyler Tate11 Comments

Think of the last time you ordered a book, booked a flight, or bought a car. How did you choose which book to read, where to go for vacation, or which car was best for you? You may have searched online, read reviews, or asked others for advice to help you make an informed decision. In a word, you learned. Learning is a complex process with distinct stages, each with corresponding tasks and emotions. Understanding how users learn can help us design experiences that support the user throughout the entire process. To design better learning experiences online, start by learning a thing or two about learning itself.

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Was that conference worth it? There were smart tips and awesome people. Should you buy a ticket this year? For a freelancer or small business, it can be a significant expense. Wouldn’t it be great to know if the investment in time and money is likely to move the business forward?

From the Blog

10 Years Ago in ALA: Pocket Sized Design

The web doesn’t do “age” especially well. Any blog post or design article more than a few years old gets a raised eyebrow—heck, most people I meet haven’t read John Allsopp’s “A Dao of Web Design” or Jeffrey Zeldman’s “To Hell With Bad Browsers,” both as relevant to the web today as when they were first written. Meanwhile, I’ve got books on my shelves older than I am; most of my favorite films came out before I was born; and my iTunes library is riddled with music that’s decades, if not centuries, old.

Valediction

When I first met Kevin Cornell in the early 2000s, he was employing his illustration talent mainly to draw caricatures of his fellow designers at a small Philadelphia design studio. Even in that rough, dashed-off state, his work floored me. It was as if Charles Addams and my favorite Mad Magazine illustrators from the 1960s had blended their DNA to spawn the perfect artist.