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Creative / Development Inspiration 36

Website design and development inspiration can be tricky to find. This week we have the good stuff. 2 design agency websites for inspiration, several design articles on design mindset as well as bad UX/UI patterns. On top of that there are 2 new JS libraries, a CSS framework, and a great new React JS test website.

 

Website Inspiration

Grain and Mortar

A brand strategy and design agency website, Grain and Mortar have created something that is fast loading, slick, and gets the information across well.

https://grainandmortar.com/

 

45royale

This is another agency site. 45royale are a web design / development studio and their site shows it. Everything is laid out simply and easily digestible. My only issue with it, is after running Google Lighthouse, it falls down hard on Accessibility. If you are designing for the web, make it accessible…

https://45royale.com/

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

You Can’t Design Without a Growth Mindset

Since failure is such an inevitable and essential part of design, it’s important to be surrounded by people who can not only accept, but embrace failure. One way to do this is to cultivate a growth mindset, both among team members as well as the organisation as a whole.

https://zurb.com/blog/you-can-t-design-without-a-growth-mindset

 

The Most Hated UI & UX Pattern of 2018

This article takes a deep look into some of the worst UI/US patterns about, asks why, and breaks them down. For example, why did infinite scroll fail Etsy? (as well as many other sites). How preloaders are just a smokescreen for poor performance. A very interesting read.

https://icons8.com/articles/most-hated-ui-ux-design-pattern

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Shepard

Guide your users through your website with this JavaScript libary.

https://shipshapecode.github.io/shepherd/docs/welcome/

 

Snack.Expo

This site was such a great find! Run React JS code right in the browser, include third party scripts, and push tests to your mobile. A brilliant tool, and free!

https://snack.expo.io/

 

Vivify

Another animation library, that you can just plug in. Its new, and its free!

http://vivify.mkcreative.cz/

 

Stream – Ui Kit

Stream UI Kit is beautiful Open Source Bootstrap 4 UI Kit. It has 5 complete pages and includes over 20 reusable and customizable UI Blocks. It’s lightweight and only ~17kb when minified.

https://htmlstream.com/templates/stream-ui-kit

 

A bit of everything

Better Research, Better Design, Better Results

When content isn’t considered until the end, or previous data hasn’t been looked at to make solid design decisions problems occur. When the client is not forewarned about content strategy (because there isn’t one) or the site is not built with SEO in mind, problems occur. Smashing Magazine looks at how and why this must be re-considered.

https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/07/better-research-design-results/

bitmoji api output

Creative / Development Inspiration 34

Website inspiration in the form of a Tech Venture, sexy background animations, use the Bitmoji API, and why you should go and get that money! This weeks Creative and Development Inspiration is slightly shorter than usual. Mainly because of my crippling 2 day hangover. However, I believe that the articles and links I have pulled together this week are still that top quality information 😉

 

Website Inspiration

Rocka

This tech venture builder has put together a really interesting website, using parallax in a really enjoyable way. The use of vibrant colours and subtle animations add to the effect.

https://rocka.co/

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

Cool Backgrounds

From the creator of https://cssgradient.io/, Cool Backgrounds is their answer to customised background images. Whether you need something for a social media background image, or hero image on a website, you might find something that works for you.

https://coolbackgrounds.io/

 

Interface Exploration: Depth and Color

An experiment in using depth and Colour to create a new UI style. An interesting article, worth a read.

https://blog.marvelapp.com/interface-exploration-depth-color/

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Bokeh Effect

A great background animation. The Bokeh Effect is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh has been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”. This codepen takes that style, and makes it live.

https://codepen.io/Mamboleoo/full/BxMQYQ/

 

Optic

AI Pair programming that automates those tasks you don’t want to do. Saves you time and helps with your workflow. From what I can see it is only build for JavaScript, but this isn’t a massive issue. ReactJS is getting so large this tool is a definite help.

https://useoptic.com/

 

Libmojo

Use the Bitmoji API with this tiny library to add customised Bitmoji avatars to your newest web project. Libmoji makes it easy for you to integrate Bitmoji avatars into your project without the need for having a Bitmoji or Snapchat account

https://github.com/matthewnau/libmoji

 

Don’t Use The Placeholder Attribute

The placeholder attribute contains a surprising amount of issues that prevent it from delivering on what it promises. This has been my believe for a while now, but here is someone smarter than me putting it into words.

https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/06/placeholder-attribute/

 

A bit of everything

Fathom

Web analytics, that is simple, trustworthy and open source. With the introduction of GDPR it is a perfect, non-bloated way to track your website usage.

https://usefathom.com/

 

Take that money

This isn’t my normal post, but it sits well within the design/dev world. It is something that really confuses me. How so many people don’t understand it all comes down to money ( “but Rob, I do it for love”. That’s brilliant, but love doesn’t put a roof over your head, not if you don’t live with your parents ).

http://www.erickarjaluoto.com/blog/take-the-money/

Nike React

Creative / Development Inspiration 30

This is my first version of Creative and Development Inspiration (See the first ever Creative and Development Inspiration, we have come a long way), organised in a more understandable way. Rather than the blog being thrown together with no structure like in the past, I will be breaking each section up so you can go straight to what interests you. This also helps me go back and find that interesting link I found, for when I need it some point in the near future!

 

Website Inspiration

This weeks selection of websites that inspired me. I will always try to keep them relevant to design and development, but sometimes its just a nice website!

 

Audi is beta testing a new site

This new website for Audi simply and efficiently shows the models of each car. Granted, I haven’t tested it on mobile, but it looks great on desktop!

https://beta.audi.co.uk/models.html

 

Nike React

Nikes website for their React brand. Cleverly put together, a bit of fun as you build your own show.

https://www.nike-react.com

 

 

Designer Resources, examples and inspiration

Articles on the newest design concepts, why things should be done in a certain way, or just plain old sexy images. Always related to web, always meant to inspire.

 

WTF! (Whats the Flow)

If you don’t read anything else on this weeks Creative and Development Inspiration, read this! A great article on why User Flows are so important, and how they should be laid out. Too many people don’t follow this, and it leads to problems further down the line.

https://uxdesign.cc/the-biggest-wtf-in-design-right-now-87139f367d66

 

Why You Shouldn’t Use Bright, Saturated Colours for Backgrounds

If you’re using a bright and saturated colour for your background, you’re making it hard for users to keep their eyes on your page. Bright, saturated colours attract the most user attention. Too much of it in a large area overstimulates the retinas which can strain the eyes.

http://uxmovement.com/content/why-you-shouldnt-use-bright-saturated-colors-for-backgrounds/

 

 

Development Snippets and Samples

This weeks selection of libraries, code snippets and development inspiration. I will always try to include this section, and hopefully help you grow your projects.

 

RModal JS

A 1.2kb modal dialog box with no dependencies. All browsers seem to be supported, up from IE9, and it is Bootstamp and Animate.css friendly. Worth a look.

https://rmodal.js.org/

 

Keyframe App

Keyframes gives you a visual timeline to help you create, view, and run animations without having to go back and forth between your browser and editor. And it gives you the CSS when you’re done.

https://keyframes.app/

 

Nano JS

nanoJS is around 100 lines of code (0.6 Kb compressed) JavaScript library for basic DOM manipulation. It has jQuery like syntax and supports chaining.

https://vladocar.github.io/nanoJS/

 

Hybrids

A brilliant UI library for creating Web Components with simple and functional API

https://github.com/hybridsjs/hybrids

 

 

A bit of everything

You try so hard to categorise everything, and then you find an article that doesn’t quite fit, but is worth linking!

 

How not to write an error message

Discover all the ways the internet’s most well-meaning messages can go horribly, horribly wrong.

https://webflow.com/blog/how-not-to-write-an-error-message

 

TunnelBear

Creative / Development Inspiration 24

This weeks Creative & Web Development Inspiration does not touch the code at all. I have found 5 articles that look at the design aspect of websites, as well as a few ideas that cover the process of creating digital media. How emotional interfaces can help retain users, all the way to the idea of transparent design.

 

How To Design Emotional Interfaces For Boring Apps

Humans can’t endure boredom for a long time, which is why products that are built for non-exciting, repetitive tasks so often get abandoned and gather dust on computers and phones. But boredom, according to psychologists, is merely lack of stimulation, the unfulfilled desire for satisfying activity. So what if we use the interface to give them that stimulation? Alice shares five secrets to more emotional UIs: gamification, humor, animation, illustration, and mascots.

https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/04/designing-emotional-interfaces-boring-apps/

 

Constant Small Improvements Pave the Way to Perfection

A great article from Invision on constant improvements on design. Baby steps forward. Constant iterations. Nonstop nudges in the right direction. That’s how an empire is built. The path to success doesn’t need to be sprinted. Start selling this to clients, for both a better relationship, and a better product.

https://www.invisionapp.com/blog/designer-perfection

 

Start your designs with a concept

Defining a concept upfront can help shape everything that follows: the interactions, the relationship between elements, the tone of voice and copy, the transitions, the animations, etc. Once you have a strong concept, all these aspects start to align. Interfaces that are conceived without a concept and designed on autopilot creates interaction patterns that aren’t strategically aligned, user paths that don’t follow a clear logic, screens that are inconsistent and do not ladder up to a consolidated metaphor or concept.

https://uxdesign.cc/start-your-designs-with-a-concept-7270e6b00fcc

 

New to email coding? Here’s where to start.

The sooner you stop fighting the quirks of email, the sooner you can use them to your advantage. Email can seem like a tangled mess, and you will deal with some crazy parameters. But once you learn to embrace the peculiarities, beautiful things begin to happen. Caity covers some great resources and techniques for creating emails that even work on Outlook! I also covered a great resource in Creative and Development Inspiration 1 – Heml!

https://explore.reallygoodemails.com/new-to-email-coding-heres-where-to-start-2494422f0bd4

 

Why transparent, open design leads to happier clients

“When you bring the folks you’re working with directly into the project, you create a lot more buy-in,” said Adonya Ourshalimian, Client Partner at Citrusbyte. “There’s a much better understanding of what’s actually happening.” The program they use looks unbelievably useful as well, sit down XD – https://www.figma.com/

https://blog.figma.com/why-transparent-open-design-leads-to-happier-clients-aaf98a7cd50c

Neomedia Pokemon

Creative / Development Inspiration 23

This weeks creative & development inspiration covers some great articles, all the way from bad user onboarding and UX to using IBM Watson to analyse your social media. The most eclectic post so far.

 

4 Examples of Bad User Onboarding That Will Ruin Your UX

Starting off with this great article on bad user onboarding, Ty Magnin breaks down a few issues that are causing bottlenecks in getting users onto your service. It doesn’t just stop there either, if the user can sign up easily, they may hang around longer.

https://www.appcues.com/blog/bad-user-onboarding

 

Gender pay gap: women in graphic design earn £4,000 less than men

Gender equality is something that is being spoken about in all industries. This article discusses the issues behind the gender pay gap for woman in design, and how woman in design get paid 6% less than their male counterparts.

https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/3-8-april-2018/women-graphic-designers-earn-4000-less-year-men-gender-pay-gap-shows/

 

NEA Media

Whilst researching different portfolio websites for styles and how the page load is managed I stumbled across NEA Media. The way the site loads and then animates up is really enjoyable, as well as the design across the whole site. Definitely worth a look.

http://www.neamedia.fr/en

 

“Let’s not be elitist about what we do”: should designers give away their secrets?

Pentagram partner Natasha Jen recently lambasted the term “design thinking” as “bullshit”, “jargon” and “extremely dangerous”. Designers share their thoughts on the concept and discuss whether teaching design skills to businesses is helpful or irresponsible.

https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/26-march-1-april-2018/lets-not-be-elitist-design-thinking-designers-share-secrets-natasha-jen/

 

Analyzing Your Company’s Social Media Presence With IBM Watson And Node.js

Jamie Munro demonstrates how to perform a search with Twitter’s API to retrieve content that will be inputted into the ML algorithm to be analysed. This way, you’ll be provided with characteristics about the users who wrote that specific content so that you can get a better understanding of your audience. The example application will be written using Node.js as the server.

https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/04/analyzing-social-media-presence-ibm-watson-nodejs/

 

Modern PHP Without a Framework

This article discusses the reasoning behind not using a PHP framework for your next project. A fairly technical read, but definitely worth it if you work with PHP.

https://kevinsmith.io/modern-php-without-a-framework

 

Mitsulift Elevators by Base Design

The last link is a beautiful new identity by Base Design. The new identity manages to work across all mediums, whilst easily portraying the brand and what they do. Big fan.

http://bpando.org/2018/04/03/branding-mitsulift-elevators/

Google Music Lab

Creative and Development Inspiration 21

Dot Colors

A beautifully simple website built for web designers and developers to check their colour codes. Just drop in an array of HEX colours and away you go.

https://dotcolors.co/

 

Notifications – A breakdown

A great article on web notifications from Inclusive Components. In the format of a style guide, it covers how notifications can used correctly, and what aspects of web may need a notification. It has a nice checklist at the end, if you don’t want to read the whole thing…

https://inclusive-components.design/notifications/

 

Googles Music Lab

Google is back with some more fun. The Creative Lab team has built an in browser song maker, just click the grid to add notes when share it with a link. You can also use a MIDI keyboard or sing into it if you so wish. Google have been bringing out some great bits of inspiration and helpers for developers, as shown with Flutter in Creative and Development Inspiration 18.
Share your masterpieces in the comments!

https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Song-Maker/

 

Navigating the complexity of change aversion

Change aversion is a concept well known to website designers and developers. It’s the negative reaction users have to changes in your product, whether that’s functional changes such as updates to product features, or interface changes such as visual redesigns. This article explains how this can be navigated.

https://blog.intercom.com/navigating-the-complexity-of-change-aversion/

 

Google Web Designer

Google Web Designer is a free, professional-grade HTML5 authoring tool. It can be used to build interactive, animated HTML5 canvas, no coding necessary (although you can use code if so inclind). It is more aimed at creating professional looking adverts that can run anywhere on the web. Still in beta but definitely worth keeping an eye on.

https://www.google.com/webdesigner

 

Ethical Design: The Practical Getting-Started Guide

Web designers and developers have an obligation to build experiences that are ethical, and better than using features that expliot human behaviour. This article explains how unethical design happens, and how to do ethical design through a set of best practices. A great read.

https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/03/ethical-design-practical-getting-started-guide/

 

Scrollbooster

A drag to scroll JS libary. Works in IE11 Edge, and most modern browsers. It is a great package that allows content to be easily scrolled by touch, and mouse, and is tiny in size. I am planning to use it in a current project to test it out. My only concern is being able to alter options when the device size change, i.e. scrolling vertical, to horizontal.

https://ilyashubin.github.io/scrollbooster/

Heydays new website

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.