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Topic: State of the Web

  • The Best Browser is the One You Have with You

    by Stephanie Rieger · Issue 346 ·

    The web as we know and build it has primarily been accessed from the desktop. That is about to change. The ITU predicts that in the next 18–24 months, mobile devices will overtake PCs as the most popular way to access the web. If these predictions come true, very soon the web—and its users—will be mostly mobile. Even designers who embrace this change can find it confusing. One problem is that we still consider the mobile web a separate thing. Stephanie Rieger of futurefriend.ly and the W3C presents principles to understand and design for a new normal, in which users are channel agnostic, devices are plentiful, standards are fleeting, mobile use doesn’t necessarily mean “hide the desktop version,” and every byte counts.

  • For a Future-Friendly Web

    by Brad Frost · Issue 346 ·

    It is time to move toward a future-friendly web. Our current device landscape is a plethora of desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablets, feature phones, smartphones, and more, but this is just the beginning. The rapid pace of technological change is accelerating, and our current processes, standards, and infrastructure are quickly reaching their breaking points. How can we deal with increasing device diversity and decreasing attention spans? Brad Frost of futurefriend.ly explains how, while this era of ubiquitous connectivity creates new challenges, it also creates tremendous opportunities to reach people wherever they may be.

  • The Vendor Prefix Predicament: ALA’s Eric Meyer Interviews Tantek Çelik

    by Tantek Çelik, Eric Meyer · Issue 344 ·

    During a public meeting of the W3C CSS Working Group, Mozilla web standards lead Tantek Çelik precipitated a crisis in Web Standards Land when he complained about developers who misunderstand and abuse vendor prefixes by only supporting WebKit’s, thereby creating a browser monoculture. Tantek’s proposed solution, having Mozilla pretend to be WebKit, inflamed many in the standards community, especially when representatives from Opera and Microsoft immediately agreed about the problem and announced similar plans to Mozilla’s. To get to the bottom of the new big brouhaha, exclusively for A List Apart, our Eric Meyer interviews Tantek on Mozilla’s controversial plan to support -webkit- prefixed properties.

  • An Important Time for Design

    by Cameron Koczon · Issue 342 ·

    Design is on a roll. Client services are experiencing a major uptick in demand, seasoned design professionals are abandoning client work in favor of entrepreneurship, and designer-co-founded startups such as Kickstarter and Airbnb are taking center stage. It's becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that design has a massive role to play in the evolution of the web and the next generation of web products. The result, says Cameron Koczon, is that designers have now been given a blank check, one that lets web designers band together as a community to change the way design is perceived; change the way products are built; and quite possibly change the world.

  • What I Learned About the Web in 2011

    by Our Gentle Readers · Issue 341 ·

    As the year draws to a close, we asked some A List Apart readers to tell us what they learned about the web in 2011. Together their responses summarize the joys and challenges of this magical place we call the internet. We need to continue to iterate, to embrace change, and challenge complexity to keep shipping. Above all, we must continue to reach out to one another, to teach, to support, to help, and to build the community that sustains us.

  • Say No to SOPA

    by Jeffrey Zeldman · Issue 340 ·

    A List Apart strongly opposes United States H.R.3261 AKA the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), an ill-conceived lobbyist-driven piece of legislation that is technically impossible to enforce, cripplingly burdensome to support, and would, without hyperbole, destroy the internet as we know it. SOPA approaches the problem of content piracy with a broad brush, lights that brush on fire, and soaks the whole web in gasoline. If passed, SOPA will allow corporations to block the domains of websites that are “capable of” or “seem to encourage” copyright infringement. Once a domain is blocked, nobody can access it, unless they’ve memorized the I.P. address. Under SOPA, everything from your grandma’s knitting blog to mighty Google is guilty until proven innocent. Learn why SOPA must not pass, and find out what you can do to help stop it.

  • The ALA 2011 Web Design Survey

    by ALA Staff · Issue 339 ·

    The profession that dares not speak its name needs you. Digital design is the wonder of the world. But the world hasn't bothered to stop and wonder about web workers, the designers, developers, project managers, information architects slash UX folk, content strategists, writers, editors, marketers, educators, and other professionals who make the web what it is. That's where you come in. Take the survey!

  • Findings from the Web Design Survey, 2010

    by ALA Staff · Issue 329 ·

    For the fourth year in a row, we’re proud to present the findings from the survey for people who make websites. Once again, we have crunched the data this way and that, figured out what the numbers were telling us, and assembled the sliced and diced data-bytes into nifty charts and graphs for your edification and pleasure. As in years past, what emerges is the true picture of the profession of web design as it is practiced by men and women of all ages, across all continents, in corporations, agencies, non-profits, and freelance configurations.

  • Conversation is the New Attention

    by Timothy Meaney, Christopher Fahey · Issue 326 ·

    Baby's got backchannel! If everybody at the conference is staring at their Twitter stream instead of at the person who's doing the speaking, maybe the speaker should meet them halfway. Migrating speaker presentations to the backchannel can empower the audience while enabling the speaker to listen carefully to their responses. The broadcast model of presentations is dead! Long live the conversation model.

  • Orbital Content

    by Cameron Koczon · Issue 326 ·

    Bookmarklet apps like Instapaper and Readability point to a future where content is no longer stuck in websites, but floats in orbit around users. And we’re halfway there. Content shifting lets a user take content from one context (e.g. your website) to another (e.g. Instapaper). Before content can be shifted, it must be correctly identified, uprooted from its source, and tied to a user. But content shifting, as powerful as it is, is only the beginning. Discover what’s possible when content is liberated.

  • The ALA 2010 Web Design Survey

    by ALA Staff · Issue 316 ·

    Nobody has ever compiled even the most basic data about the salaries, titles, educational background, and so on of people who make websites—nobody, that is, but the readers of A List Apart. Other surveys compile helpful data about which software packages web designers use to do their work, and which technologies they’re keen on, but only the A List Apart survey gets down to the business of business. It’s time once again to let your voice be (anonymously) heard. As you have each year since 2007, please take a few minutes to complete the survey for people who make websites.

  • Findings from the Web Design Survey, 2009

    by ALA Staff · Issue 315 ·

    The findings are in from the survey for people who make websites. Once again, we have crunched the data this way and that, figured out what the numbers were telling us, and assembled the sliced and diced data-bytes into nifty charts and graphs for your edification and pleasure. As in years past, what emerges is the first true picture of the profession of web design as it is practiced by men and women of all ages, across all continents, in corporations, agencies, non-profits, and freelance configurations.

  • Web Fonts at the Crossing

    by Richard Fink · Issue 307 ·

    Everything you wanted to know about web fonts but were afraid to ask. Richard Fink summarizes the latest news in web fonts, examining formats, rules, licenses, and tools. He creates a checklist for evaluating font hosting and obfuscation services like Typekit; looks at what’s coming down the road (from problems of advanced typography being pursued by the CSS3 Fonts Module group, to the implications of Google-hosted fonts); and wraps it all up with a how-to on making web fonts work today.

  • A Brief History of Markup

    by Jeremy Keith · Issue 305 ·

    Hot off the presses! In his brand new, brief book for people who make websites, HTML5 For Web Designers, Jeremy Keith cuts through the confusion surrounding the web's new markup language and presents what every accessibility- and standards-focused web designer and developer needs to know about it—from semantics to strategy. Not only is HTML5 For Web Designers a great, fast read, it is also our first A Book Apart publication. To celebrate, A List Apart proudly presents all of "Chapter One: A Brief History of Markup." Enjoy!

  • Flash and Standards: The Cold War of the Web

    by Dan Mall · Issue 302 ·

    You’ve probably heard that Apple recently announced the iPad. The absence of Flash Player on the device seems to have awakened the HTML5 vs. Flash debate. Apparently, it’s the final nail in the coffin for Flash. Either that, or the HTML5 community is overhyping its still nascent markup language update. The arguments run wide, strong, and legitimate on both sides. Yet both sides might also be wrong. Designer/developer Dan Mall is equally adept at web standards and Flash; what matters, he says, isn't technology, but people.

  • The Survey, 2009

    by ALA Staff · Issue 298 ·

    For the third year in a row, good citizens of the web, we ask that you take a few minutes to tell us about your professional skills, educational background, career prospects, job benefits, and more.

  • Burnout

    by Scott Boms · Issue 284 ·

    Does every day feel like a bad day? Blurry boundaries between work and home, and the “always on” demands of the web can lead to depression and burnout. Learn the signs of burnout and how to maintain your bliss.

  • Findings from the Web Design Survey, 2008

    by ALA Staff · Issue 281 ·

    If we, the people who make websites, want the world to know who we are and what we do, it's up to each of us to stand up and represent. This year, 30,055 of you did just that, taking time out of your busy work day to answer the detailed questions in the second A List Apart Survey. Find out what we learned about our profession and ourselves.

  • The Details That Matter

    by Kevin Potts · Issue 277 ·

    We no longer lay out pages with composing sticks and straight edges, and design is no longer a trade position requiring a lengthy apprenticeship, but an eye for details is every bit as important today as it was in the early days of graphic arts. Learn the habits of successful designers, who think critically as well as creatively, and who see the forest while never losing sight of the trees.

  • Brighter Horizons for Web Education

    by Aarron Walter · Issue 276 ·

    No industry can sustain itself if it doesn't master the art of cultivating new talent, an art that requires close ties between practitioners and educators. Yet web design education consists mainly of introductory Flash classes and the occasional 90s-style HTML table layout tutorial. How drastic is the web design education gap, and what can be done to close it? Designer, developer, and web design educator Aarron Walter of The Web Standards Project surveys the state of the curricula.

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