A List Apart


Topic: Interaction Design

  • Quick CSS Mockups with Photoshop

    by Casper Voogt · Issue 231 ·

    It may seem like we're trying to party like it's 1999, but rest assured, we're not. Casper Voogt shows us a way to use Photoshop, ImageReady, and slices to produce mockups that utilize clean XHTML and CSS.

  • Paper Prototyping

    by Shawn Medero · Issue 231 ·

    Running with scissors isn't recommended for kids, but it might be ideal for your next big development project. With interfaces becoming more complex and schedules growing shorter, the best prototyping tools may be simpler than you think.

  • Invasion of the Body Switchers

    by James Edwards, Andrew Clarke · Issue 189 ·

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could update the classic ALA style switcher to accommodate multiple users and devices, including some that aren’t even traditional browsers, all from a single JavaScript and CSS file? Well, now we can! Enter the Body Switcher.

  • Sensible Forms: A Form Usability Checklist

    by Brian Crescimanno · Issue 209 ·

    Sometimes it's the little things that drive you nuts. As many of us have probably noticed during this season of holiday shopping, usability problems in online forms can be infuriating. Brian Crescimanno helps solve the problem with a checklist of form-usability recommendations.

  • In Search of the Holy Grail

    by Matthew Levine · Issue 211 ·

    Just in case you might want a three-column layout that doesn't require the usual sacrifices, we thought we'd share this technique. Not that you'd want that or anything.

  • Flywheels, Kinetic Energy, and Friction

    by Nick Usborne · Issue 213 ·

    You want your users to do something, buy things, beg you to work for them, learn how they too can achieve inner peace. So how do you get them to do what you want? Try getting out of the way.

  • Ambient Findability: Findability Hacks

    by Peter Morville · Issue 205 ·

    In this excerpt from his new book, Ambient Findability, Peter Morville explains why findability is a required element of good design and engineering--and what that means for you.

  • Calling All Designers: Learn to Write!

    by Derek Powazek · Issue 216 ·

    You know all that copy that goes around your forms and in your confirmation e-mails? Who's writing it? Derek Powazek explains why it's important for user-interface designers to sharpen up their writing skills.

  • Reading Design

    by Dean Allen · Issue 128 ·

    With so many specialists working so hard at their craft, why are so many pages so hard to read? Unabashed text enthusiast Dean Allen thinks designers would benefit from approaching their work as being written rather than assembled.

  • Home Page Goals

    by Derek Powazek · Issue 211 ·

    Home pages may get plenty of design attention, but that doesn't mean they don't need improvement.

  • Thinking Outside the Grid

    by Molly E. Holzschlag · Issue 209 ·

    CSS has broken the manacles that kept us chained to grid-based design...so why do so few sites deviate from the grid? Molly E. Holzschlag can tell us that the answer has something to do with airplanes, urban planning, and British cab drivers.

  • Night of the Image Map

    by Stuart Robertson · Issue 166 ·

    CSS design from beyond the grave: all the secret ingredients you’ll need to resurrect the image map using CSS and structurally sensible XHTML.

  • High-Resolution Image Printing

    by Ross Howard · Issue 202 ·

    Your client looks up and says, "Why does our logo look funny when we print the pages?" Do you sigh dramatically, or learn about Ross Howard's technique for printing high-resolution images via CSS? We vote for option B.

  • Sliding Doors of CSS

    by Douglas Bowman · Issue 160 ·

    Image-driven, visually compelling user interfaces. Text-based, semantic markup. Now you can have both! Douglas Bowman’s sliding doors method of CSS design offers sophisticated graphics that squash and stretch while delivering meaningful XHTML text. Have your cake and eat it, too!

  • Build a PHP Switcher

    by Chris Clark · Issue 152 ·

    ALA’s open source style sheet switchers are swell as long as your visitors use compliant browsers and have JavaScript turned on. But what if they don’t? Perhaps, this: Chris Clark tells how to build a cross-browser, backward-compatible, forward-compatible, standards-compliant style sheet switcher in just five lines of code.

  • CSS Design: Mo’ Betta Rollovers

    by Tim Murtaugh · Issue 140 ·

    Design smarter, faster, better rollovers with CSS.

  • SMIL When You Play That

    by Jeffrey Zeldman · Issue 101 ·

    A gentle introduction to the SVG and SMIL standards for programmable vector graphics and accessible rich media.

  • The Flash Aesthetic

    by Ross Olson · Issue 123 ·

    Scaling, 2-D style, cycle-free motion, and heavy strokes. They’re not just web design trends any more. Join Olson on a cultural scavenger hunt as he tracks the ways Flash design techniques have crept into non-web media.

  • Fragments (of Time)

    by Pär Almqvist · Issue 64 ·

    The best web interfaces take time – the one asset that seems to be in perpetually short supply. Leading Scandinavian web developer Pär Almqvist presents a time-based perspective on web interfaces and the network economy.

  • A Failure to Communicate

    by George Olsen · Issue 103 ·

    It’s ironic that, as professionals dedicated to clear communication, information architects and user interface designers are having such trouble communicating with each other. Information designer George Olsen digs up the roots of communication breakdown and explores the three aspects of web design.