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Creative and Development Inspiration 8

This week I have pulled together 6 pieces from across the design interwebs to showcase some of the best articles, code snippets and a little bit of inspiration to get you started.

 

User Experience Matters to Marketing

User Experience (UX) can effect your marketing, if users view it positively. This post looks at the various elements that great UX includes and how UX impacts your marketing goals and strategies.

It even uses big pictures, for those of you who hate reading.

https://www.webpagefx.com/blog/marketing/user-experience-matters-marketing/

 

Web Design Trends for 2018

Every year these articles come out by storm. Now I am not agreeing with every point on the list, but it is a good idea to keep on top of what seems to be big currently. At least someone else did the work to put them into a list for us 😉

http://www.creativebloq.com/features/the-5-biggest-web-design-trends-of-2017-so-far

 

Speckyboys 50 Top CSS Libaries, Frameworks and Tools from 2017

I am a big fan of Speckyboy, and this is one of the reasons why. They have brought together their top CSS pieces from 2017 into one place. Some brilliant ones on here. Great for speeding up dev, or just for being plain old helpful.

https://speckyboy.com/top-50-css-2018/

 

Codester

A brand new, fast growing market place for code snippets, great if you want to sell, or buy. They launch a weekly flash sale where selected items are 50% off, a nice concept.

https://www.codester.com?ref=Robert27

 

How to set up Webpack for any Project.

I am yet to start using Webpack, I am a Gulp man personally. I am putting this on the list so I can come back to it. Webpack is great for JaveScript projects, and configuration based which makes the whole process extremely simple.

https://scotch.io/tutorials/setting-up-webpack-for-any-project

 

Animated SVG Strokes

This one is for those of you who love a good animation. Code Drops looks after us once again with a beautiful SVG bike animation. Really clever, really sleak.

https://tympanus.net/Development/AnimatedStrokes/

 

If you have any great articles, code snippets or just interesting links stick them in the comments below!

Creative and Development Inspiration 7

This week I have brought together 6 links that cover design, code and process. Some great pieces of inspiration as well as some hopefully useful snippets to enhance your work.

 

Website Design Example

A brief look at the new website for Heydays from Oslo. Its nice. Its simple. I like it. Also, its pretty on mobile (because responsive). I like posts like this, great for inspiration.

https://formfiftyfive.com/showcase/heydays-new-website-2

 

Minify PNGs with UPNG

According to this site, they are significatly better than TinyPNG. I bring you UPNG. Either way, here are links for two brilliant sites to minify your images.

http://upng.photopea.com/

 

Animate Plus

This JavaScript animation libary is centered around performance and flexibility. Built to work with mobile, and only 2KB when minified and gzipped. From the examples it seems like a winner!
https://github.com/bendc/animateplus

 

Designers should move slowly

A great article on why design should be thoughtly thought-out, and focused on user-first. It links through to some other very interesting articles as well!

https://www.fastcodesign.com/90152218/designers-its-time-to-move-slowly-and-fix-things

 

One for the Photoshoppers

This new Photoshop CC tool lets users detect objects with one click. No more lasso tool! (Although I’m dubious it will work every time)

http://www.creativebloq.com/news/smart-new-photoshop-cc-tool-detects-objects-with-one-click

 

Design Better: The Design System Handbook

A comprehensive design system template to reduce design debt and accelerate the design process. It walks through each stage of the system and provides some brilliant resources. A great finisher for this weeks roundup!

https://www.designbetter.co/design-systems-handbook

 

If you have an examples of great work, resources or snippets let me know in the comments so I can add them to next weeks Inspiration.

Creative and Development Inspiration 6

This weeks list is more design focused, with a story telling script thrown in for good measure. As most design/dev sites are shouting about Cyber Monday deals, I wanted to keep this on the same track as we started. I hope you enjoy.

 

Designercize

Needing to flex your design muscles? A little down time in the studio? Designercize has you covered. It randomly generates a concept that needs a design for. Brilliant for wireframing / whiteboard design practice.

https://designercize.com/

 

Scrollama

Its been a while since I have come across a script that really gets me thinking about its potential. Scrollama is a lightweight JS libary that helps with storytelling.

Example: https://pudding.cool/2017/04/beer/

https://github.com/russellgoldenberg/scrollama

 

Threed

Need a 3D mobile phone mockup? Just upload your design and you are set. Completely free and no need to download software.

http://threed.io/

 

Obstructed Text

Some websites look great, even if they defy conventional wisdom or tenets of design theory. A new design trend is showcasing that very idea with elements that cover or obstruct some of the text in the design.

https://designshack.net/articles/graphics/design-trend-obstructed-text/

 

Design needs Three Levels of Type Heirarchy

Another one from Design Shack, they really impressed me last week. This article discusses how design needs three levels of typography. It seems very common-sensual, but its interesting to see it written in such a concise way.

https://designshack.net/articles/typography/every-design-needs-three-levels-of-typographic-hierarchy/

 

YELLOW!

Web Design Dev have brought together 20 examples of yellow being used in design. A great article to click through, with no need to read anything. A nice ender to this weeks run down.

http://www.webdesigndev.com/vibrant-yellow-website-designs/

Creative and Development Inspiration 5: Feature Highlights

Finding ways to display hidden information for users can be tough. The number of times brochure websites have required some level of user engagement and I have had to scour the web for examples such as these. I thought I should share.

 

Project Feature Highlights

By adding tooltips into div elements they can be positioned anywhere on a page. I imagine this could get a big fiddly for a responsive page, but nothing a few calculations can’t fix!

https://codepen.io/ianfarb/pen/qkpJH

 

Intro JS

A step-by-step guide and feature introduction script. It has no dependencies and is pretty small! Very easy to integrate.

https://introjs.com/

 

Animated Tooltips

Simple, effective use of tooltips. There are three styles. Fading, expanding and swing. By using the HTML5 data-title attribute they minimize the amount of extra HTML required.

https://codepen.io/neogomo/pen/BjqJzr

 

Automated Tooltips

Attractive, small tooltips that effectively display extra information for the user.

https://codepen.io/adwin/pen/vGqzLq

 

Animated button with Tooltip

I have included this, not so much for the button, but how the tooltip looks. If this was applied to a product image to show extra information, it would work brilliantly.

https://codepen.io/takeradi/pen/oxbGpb

Google Material Mobile Menus

Creative and Development Inspiration 4: Hidden Menus

Today’s post is focusing on code snippets for hidden menus. These could be used on both mobile and large devices. Although they are not particularly attractive menus, I am focusing more on the usability and style. The purpose is to help inspire.

 

Simple multilevel menu

This menu is a code snippet from Cody House. It gives two examples, one plain CSS, the other with JQuery animations. Simple, but user friendly.

https://codyhouse.co/demo/multi-level-accordion-menu/index.html

 

Pure CSS Accordion with Simple Microinteractions

This mobile accordion menu moves icons down as the user selects a different section. The animated micro interactions make the whole experience feel more crafted.

https://codepen.io/jcoulterdesign/pen/OMmZPd

 

Breadcrumb Navigation

This subtle menu gives the user more information when they hover. The effect works really well, however I am dubious about how it would work with touch devices. The menu would have to be touch to show, which adds a touch point. Still a nice effect though.

https://codepen.io/andreasstorm/pen/prWEvj

 

Circular Material Design Menu

I personally don’t like how this menu looks. However, the concept is really slick. This style could be altered to look a bit nicer and really work. I am a fan of the animation though!

https://www.bypeople.com/colorful-material-css-circular-menu/

 

Google Material Inspired Circle

Staying on the Google Material style, here is another simple menu that could be great if styled slightly differently.

https://www.bypeople.com/google-inspired-css-floating-action-button/

 

Menu Overlay Focus Change

This is completely different to menus I am used to seeing. Although it needs some tweaking to work on smaller devices, the effect it great. By moving the cameras focus when the menu is open adds a whole new layer to the site.

https://codepen.io/carasin/pen/aBEZEd

 

CSS & JS Toggle Menu

A bit of an experiment with SVG icons what chage colour when selected. It uses a subtle material transition to make it look dynamic. Really nice for use with a more modern B2C site.

https://codepen.io/chrisgannon/pen/EyaPZZ

Creative and Development Inspiration 3: Hover Effects

Today’s list is a selection of mouse over / hover effects. These animations and transitions can make a massive difference between just another website, and a sleek user friendly interface that readers want to keep coming back to.

 

Tympanus Hover Effects

The first two links are from Tympanus. A brilliant site with hundreds of code snippets. I really recommend keeping an eye on this website, both as a developer, and a designer.

Each link has multiple examples within, and showcases different ways of animating the same element.

https://tympanus.net/Tutorials/CaptionHoverEffects/

https://tympanus.net/Development/HoverEffectIdeas/

 

UX Design Agency Info Panels

UX Design Agency have used hover effects brilliantly on the home page panels. A gentle zoom and reveal of essential information is really engaging.

https://ux-design.agency/

 

Product Card

This product card is very minimal, and shows the user exactly want they need to see. My only concern it is very JavaScript heavy, but I’m sure this could be rewritten to use plain CSS3.

https://codepen.io/virgilpana/pen/RNYQwB/

 

Direction Aware Hover

This piece of code is a bit old, going back to 2013, but is still relevant. As the user hovers over each panel, it moves across from the one before.

https://codepen.io/noeldelgado/details/pGwFx

 

Panel Hover Effect

This e-commerce panel shows the user a product shot, and basic information, and then provides a purchase CTA on hover.

http://cssdeck.com/labs/l6pzd5vm

 

True Paradise on Earth

An example of a blog panel. Simple, elegant. Paradise.

http://www.louistiti.fr/demo/Concept-Design/Carte-Article-UI/

 

One thought it that designers and developers need to remember not all devices have hover, specially as large screen touch devices are getting more traction in the consumer market. Any information that is shown on hover, needs to be accessible for these other users as well.

Creative and Development Inspiration 2

Today’s links are a mix of creative and development. A little bit of inspiration, and information.

 

7 Steps to creating a UX Strategy

I’ll start it off with some easy reading. This article walks you through 7 vital steps to creating a solid UX strategy. I think the first point is spot on, considering how I don’t believe many people fully understand this.

https://designshack.net/articles/ux-design/7-steps-creating-a-ux-strategy/#more-55658

 

Google Poly

Microsoft gave you clip art, and Google raises it with Poly.
A libary of thousands of 3D objects, created by both Google and Google users. These assets can be used to build apps, lowering the cost for developers.
Google has also confirmed that they will allow third-party apps to plug in via API. Here we come VR!

https://www.fastcodesign.com/90148702/google-is-building-a-new-kind-of-clipart?ref=webdesignernews.com

 

5 Intuitive Material Design Drawers Examples

A drawer is a slideable side menu within an app. These examples show how using the Material style can make drawers so much more appealing to the user.

http://materialdesignblog.com/5-interesting-and-intuitive-material-design-drawers/

 

Export SVGs from Photoshop

A great little script that can speed up the process of exporting SVGs from

http://hackingui.com/design/export-photoshop-layer-to-svg

 

Is the Static Logo dead?

If it wasn’t already hard enough to create a solid brand, now logos want to move.

https://designshack.net/articles/graphics/is-the-static-logo-dead

 

9 Beautiful Beer Label Designs

A nice easy finisher. Nothing better than looking at beautifully designed beer bottles.
Well, there is. But these are all I can give you for now.

http://www.ucreative.com/articles/beer-label-designs

Creative and Development Inspiration 1

A few things I have come across over the past few days. Written and saved here. Mainly so I can come back and find them!

 

 

Needing to create mock ups? Screenshot visuals for documentation? It tends to be a fiddly, repetitive process.

Not any more!

https://responsive-screenshots.com/

 

 

Need more serious looking graphs and charts on your site? This script gives you a Github like charts to show your data.

https://frappe.github.io/charts/

 

 

Accessibility. It can be a right nightmare to integrate, but is a must if you want to enable all users to access your site.

Enter Funkify, a plugin that lets you experience it first hand

http://www.funkify.org/

 

 

I love this next one. Think sketched wire frame, but a framework.

This less than formal CSS framework is great, but I’m not sure when it would be used

https://www.getpapercss.com/

 

 

Everyone loves a good form… Well, it might be helpful.

https://speckyboy.com/code-snippet-form-ui/

 

 

We are always looking for new ways to engage clients, and users. Whether that’s with a give-away, or a immersive digital campaign.

Enter Phaser, a open source HTML platform framework for games! Pretty retro.

https://phaser.io/

 

 

I am not a fan of coding emails. At all. Bouncing the code backwards and forwards through Email on Acid finding IEs quirks, and Lotus Note then breaks everything.

This might be a savour. Lets see. Markup for email – make responsive emails quickly

https://heml.io/

 

 

A nice small one. Balloon.css. A simple, easy to use tooltip style.

https://kazzkiq.github.io/balloon.css/

 

Running is bad for you

At one point or another I imagine you have been told a fact about running that turned out to not have even an ounce of truth.

When I first started running I asked advice from several fellow runners and ended up receiving a variety of hints and tips, some at complete polar opposites. This has stuck with me, and I have decided to put straight a few “facts” that have bothered me over the years.

 

Stretch before a run

run

 

I’ll be honest, this surprised me when I found out that it wasn’t necessary to stretch before a run. Having been told throughout school to stretch before exercise, I assumed that this would also be carried across to running.

 

Not the case.

 

Static stretching (holding the stretch for a period of time) can actually cause muscles to be strained. Instead, you should focus on warming up the muscles and getting oxygen circulating. Dynamic movements like legs swings, arm swings, and high knees are best. Try to do this around 10 minute before the run.

 

That said you should still stretch after a run, as it helps your muscles return to the normal state and will reduce any stiffness or soreness you might feel after a run.

 

You should cool down afterwards

 

“If you don’t cool down you will strain a muscle, or injure yourself”. Turns out this isn’t quite true! Although it was believed that muscle soreness was caused by a buildup of lactic acid, this theory has since be disproved.

 

The idea behind a cool down is to help your body return to its normal, pre-exercise state, but its is not required. Your increased breathing rate will do the job as it is.

 

The body is designed to cool down by itself, using heavy breathing to help remove excess heat, waste products, and restore oxygen levels.

 

Running barefoot is better

Footsteps in sand

Although I live in a city, and wouldn’t dare run barefoot I have often thought that being closer to nature must be a better way of running. Back to basics as it were.

 

Barefoot and minimalist running blew up a few years ago and really took the world by storm, but it can actually increase the risk of injury.

 

Due to the fact that many adults cannot run properly, combined with the sort of terrain that we tend to run on, we actually need running shoes to help support our feet – most people’s joints are not strong enough!

 

It’s possible to run barefoot, or minimally whilst still staying safe, but if you grew up always using running shoes remember to ease yourself in. Start small distances and get used to it, rather than jumping right in, be smart with your goals.

 

(A few hints and tips on goal setting: thoughtsandstuff.com/goal-setting-are-you-being-realistic/ )

Running destroys your knees

 

I have been told numerous times “Running is bad for your knees, it’s not healthy”. Initially I just ignored these comments as I quite enjoy running, but it turns out that there is no greater risk of joint issues or osteoarthritis for someone who does run, than for someone who doesn’t run.

 

In fact, for healthy and in shape runners, it is the complete opposite, and knee cartilage actually gets stronger under the pressure. That said, there may be a risk if you are overweight, this extra weight could cause mobility issues and put your joints out of alignment.

 

Flexible is faster

 

Being flexible may help your stride, but it will not help your speed. Due to being able to stretch further, your running efficiency is decreased and your explosive speed is reduced.

Runners with the most lower extremity problems like shin splints and lateral ankle pain are generally the most flexible in the ankle joint and more likely to injure themselves.

(I wrote an article on how to run faster: thoughtsandstuff.com/3-ways-to-run-faster/ )

 

 

Let me know if you have heard any pieces of “advice” that were just little white lies, some of them can be quite amusing. I’d love to hear yours.

Running Injuries

The 5 Most Common Running Injuries

Most of the time injuries occur when you push yourself too hard. No one is immune to injury but we can take precautions to make sure we are not as likely to hurt ourselves.

 

I have listed a five of the most common running injuries, and the best way to avoid and treat them.

 

Runners Knee. This occurs when the cartilage in the kneecap wears down. This can cause pain around or behind the kneecap. It is caused by running downhill, muscle imbalance and the repetitive force of running on pavement. To avoid this it is advised to stick to uphill or flat terrain, preferably on softer ground. If you are unlikely enough get this, experts recommend cutting back on the mileage and using a knee brace.

 

Shin Splints. If you are a runner and you have never experienced shin splints you are one of the lucky ones! If left untreated it is one of the worst injuries to hinder your workout. They can be caused by an increase in the frequency of a run, a more intense run, or poorly fitted shoes. To prevent shin splints research has found shock absorbing insoles can help, as well as insuring you are have the correct footwear. To stop the pain, you can try icing your shins for 15-20 minutes, and keeping them elevated.

 

Sprained Muscles. This is caused by creating a small tear in your muscle, generally by overstretching. Common muscles to sprain for a runner are the calf and hamstring. The simplest way to ensure you don’t pull a muscle is to properly warm up, and cool down before and after a run. If you do pull a muscle, remember R.I.C.E. Rest (up to five days), Ice, Compression, and Elevation

 

Blisters. These are caused by friction, usually due to your shoes or socks rubbing against your skin. Heat and moisture can increase the likelihood of blisters, which explains why many runners suffer with blisters in marathons. The best way to reduce the chance of blisters is by wearing a good pair of synthetic socks, and if one does appear you can drain it with a sterilised needle and then cover with a plaster.

 

Chafing. This is the result of friction between skin and clothing, or skin and skin. The result is skin rubbed red raw, or even worse! To stop the sting between your thighs you can wear a pair of longer, tighter running shorts, or capris. If the chafing is occurring on your nipples a couple of plasters can help, or some sort of lubricant.