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Creative / Development Inspiration 44

More thought pieces than inspiration, which is sometimes needed in this industry. Take a moment to sit back, read a few and consider the direction you want to take the web. This weeks design and development inspiration I listed an article on designing for accessibility, how AMP can go to hell (it really can), how to run a design audit, and how to stay scrappy.

 

Website Inspiration

Fleur Moreau – Design Portfolio

Not my usual type of website, but I really enjoyed this. Subtle transitions and a great display of content and image.

http://fleurmoreau.fr/

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

Fake Clients

Practice logo design using randomly generated client briefs!

https://fakeclients.com/

 

Designing UI with Color Blind Users in Mind

Colour plays an integral role in UI design. When done right, it improves user experience, influences purchasing decisions, and reflects the brands voice. So, how do you design effective, accessible, and aesthetically pleasing interfaces for coluor blind users?

https://www.secretstache.com/blog/designing-for-color-blind-users/

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Progressive Tooling

A list of community-built, third-party tools that can be used to improve page performance. Well worth a bookmark!

https://progressivetooling.com/

 

How to Use GIT Efficiently

Apart from knowing git add, git commit , and git push , there are a bunch of other important techniques in Git. Knowing these will help a lot in the long run.

https://medium.freecodecamp.org/how-to-use-git-efficiently-54320a236369

 

AMP Can Go To Hell

An article after a piece of my heart. Google are trying to monopolise the “World Wide Web”. Can we please stop them?

https://www.polemicdigital.com/google-amp-go-to-hell/

 

A bit of everything

What is a Design Audit and Why You Should Conduct One?

Inconsistencies won’t make anyone trust you or like you. A design audit is essentially a brand checkup. They help ensure everything is consistent and on point. This article discusses what exactly they are, how to conduct them and what results to expect from them.

https://designmodo.com/design-audit

 

How to Stay Scrappy

How to keep your team “scrappy”. How to keep motivated, and fighting for the win. Well worth the read to see how Paper pushes their company forwards.

https://medium.com/dropbox-design/how-to-stay-scrappy-9c42af21c996

Kin Movie Banner

Creative / Development Inspiration 43

After a week off ( for sun, mojitos and swimming ) I have another web design / development inspiration for you. However, because I can’t stop researching – even when on holiday – the list is slightly longer than usual, and full of some pretty interesting links.

 

Website Inspiration

Kin Movie

I’m not usually a fan of film websites, but the way the film snippets work alongside the parallax and particles is really something. Worth a look.

https://kin.movie

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

The key lessons I learned creating a popular Design System

In 2012 Matt Bond started working on a small side project to standardise design patterns and user experience at Atlassian. This is what he has learnt!

https://medium.com/asana-design/the-key-lessons-i-learned-creating-a-popular-design-system-d078c817b4dd

 

Search Colours – Using Keywords!

Think Google for colours. A sleek interface to help inspire your designs.

https://picular.co/water

 

Colorable

A brilliantly simple colour generator to show if your colour pairings are accessible or not. Definitely worth saving!

https://colorable.jxnblk.com/

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

How to Build Complicated Grids using CSS Grid

With CSS grid now available in all popular browsers it’s possible to reliably define the rows and columns that make up any kind of grid. This article details how toachieved the designed layout using CSS grid without any silly workarounds or java-script magic necessary.

https://danwebb.co/journal/how-to-build-complicated-grids-using-css-grid

 

Universal PWA Builder

A universal, framework-agnostic PWA builder that could works along side most of the major JS libraries. Can be run as is, with no need to configure, but it is fully extensible.

https://github.com/lukeed/pwa

 

Create your Design System

A 6 part rundown of all aspects required in creating a design system. This link starts at the beginning, with typography. A concise and well thought out piece to lead the way.

https://medium.com/codyhouse/create-your-design-system-part-1-typography-7c630d9092bd

 

SCSScale

Typographic modular scale starter based on body’s font-size built on SCSS

https://github.com/alectro/SCSScale

 

CSS Icons

An icon set made with pure CSS. No dependancies. Just grab the icon and go. Perfect for a small web project with only a few icons.

https://cssicon.space

 

Emotion JS

I am so happy to have found this. Emotion is a performant and flexible CSS-in-JS library. Building on many other CSS-in-JS libraries, it allows you to style apps quickly with string or object styles. It has predictable composition to avoid specificity issues with CSS. Perfect time saver.

https://github.com/emotion-js/emotion

 

Styled Components

Same as the above, but has been around for longer. Better documentation, large community. Worth looking into both.

https://www.styled-components.com/

 

A bit of everything

Could Value-based Pricing be the Key to Higher Revenues

A recent survey of design and development firms revealed a tantalising statistic: Freelancers who use value-based pricing were more likely to report annual income over $50,000 per year than freelancers who weren’t. Could it raise revenues for your practice?

https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/08/could-value-based-pricing-be-the-key-to-higher-revenues/

 

Honoring a great man – The Story Behind Rebeccapurple

A child’s passing is memorialised with the name of web colour.

https://codepen.io/trezy/post/honoring-a-great-man

Kollegorna Banner

Creative / Development Inspiration 42

Brilliant UX/UI articles this week – how to craft a kickass post filter, the Screenlife app case study, and a whole bunch of design resources. On top of that we have a tutorial on NodeJS gesture recognition, and how to create a blog with React. Ever considered launching a side project? At the bottom there is an article on how to do it in 10 days! Take a look!

 

Website Inspiration

Kollegorna – Swedish Digital Agency

This site seems to be built on top of Bulma or at least styled similarly, but I’m not sure. It is very sleek and easy to digest, which is a big thing for me. I love how each element has been considered and animates in its own way. My only issue with this this site is it is for a digital agency, and yet has a Chrome Lighthouse performance score of 35… mixed messages.

https://www.kollegorna.se/

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

Screenlife App — a UI/UX case study

A step by step breakdown of the process the Screenlife App team went through to end up at the final product. Very interesting to see the user of paper mockups.

https://uxdesign.cc/screenlife-app-ui-ux-design-case-study-4830d364c76f

 

Design Resources

Neede is that resource we have all been looking for, for a while. One site, holding all of the good quality design resources. Get this on your bookmarks!

https://neede.co

 

How to craft a kickass filtering UX

Filters are a great tool to narrow down high volumes of content and to surface the most relevant results. How do we make sure they are helpful rather than confusing?

https://uxdesign.cc/crafting-a-kickass-filtering-ux-beea1798d64b

 

100 Days of Motion Design

It was a summer night in Seattle. She ate some ice-cream, watched a Youtube tutorial, and downloaded a free trial of Principle. Several months later, completed her 5th 100-day-project — 100 Days of Motion. Then made these.

https://uxdesign.cc/100-days-of-motion-design-463526af852f

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Simple Hand Gesture Recognition using OpenCV and JavaScript.

This article is nothing short of really fucking interesting. Gesture recognition using JavaScript (Node.js) and OpenCV. Its a tutorial.

https://medium.com/@muehler.v/simple-hand-gesture-recognition-using-opencv-and-javascript-eb3d6ced28a0

 

Tinies

Another URL shortener. But pretty.

https://tini.es

 

Creating a Blogging App Using React

A bookmark I have been keeping for myself. A tutorial series on creating a full blogging app with React. Very comprehensive. I am collating a series of tutorials and links for React if you are interested – thoughtsandstuff.com/beginners-guide-learning-reactjs/

https://code.tutsplus.com/series/creating-a-blogging-app-using-react–cms-1171

 

A bit of everything

How to launch a side project in 10 days

This post isn’t about the advantages of building with a new technology, or “7 things I learned while doing it”. Rather, it’s about the process of building a web app quickly, keeping irrelevant ideas from muddying focus, and the tool belt to make it happen. The end result was Card Surge.

https://medium.freecodecamp.org/launching-a-side-project-in-10-days-615df3b0e808

 

ZoomQuilt

This is a bit of a mindfuck, but very interesting! Inifinity image zoom.

http://zoomquilt.org/

CSS Wizardry banner

Creative / Development Inspiration 41

A brilliant landing page example, common web design mistakes, pure CSS wizardry, and some great thought-provoking articles. This weeks design development rundown is a little more aimed at helping you consider your design and dev. For example, how did Facebook end up bad? Is Google Amp really the way forwards (no is the answer to that), as well as articles explaining the best way to design elements on your website.

 

Website Inspiration

Duda – Landing Page

I found this through clicking an advert on Facebook. Selling themselves as a WordPress replacement I was intrigued. I left having found a brilliant landing page. Simple, and effective, with nice use of CSS animation.

https://wp.duda.co

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

Common web page design mistakes

16 well explained examples of the most common mistakes made in web design, with a focus on how to avoid these.

http://blog-en.tilda.cc/articles-website-design-mistakes

 

Waveguide – Design Knowledge Base

A curated, searchable base of design knowledge, UX/UI patterns and examples for research and inspiration. The goal is to help create a repository of referable concepts to help designers and developers build amazing, high quality products.

https://www.waveguide.io

 

Designing Charts – Principles every designer should know

Seemingly simple rules can be forgotten when overwhelmed with the larger project. This article steps though the correct principles for designing charts, and why.

https://uxdesign.cc/designing-charts-principles-every-designer-should-know-part-2-ce1e06af56fc

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Pure CSS Wizardry

A brilliant codepen by Julia Muzafarova. A wizard with potions making animals come alive. All with CSS. Love it!

https://codepen.io/miocene/full/mjLPVp/

 

Guess.JS

A selection of libraries and tools for enabling a machine-learning driven user-experience across the web. It uses Google Analytics to work determine which page the user is likely to visit next, and pre-fetches all resources required.

https://github.com/guess-js/guess

 

Carbon

Create beautiful images of your source code, right in the browser. Share directly from the platform.

https://carbon.now.sh

 

Creating the “Perfect” CSS system

A high level guide for designers and developers who write CSS, but want to be more strategic about building moderate to large scale CSS systems

https://medium.com/gusto-design/creating-the-perfect-css-system-fa38f5bcdd9e

 

Lazyestload.js

Only load images when they are in the view port, if you scroll past they wont be loaded. Only 350 bytes of JavaScript. I introduced Carl a couple of weeks ago, but that is a more general asset manager.

https://github.com/Paul-Browne/lazyestload.js

 

Fast Average Colour

A client side library to quickly get the images average colour. Not sure how much of a good idea this is to use on a front end, but it could be used on the admin side to save the colour in an input.

https://github.com/fast-average-color/fast-average-color

 

 

A bit of everything

Google AMP – A 70% drop in our conversion rate

Let’s talk about Google AMP. AMP stands for Accelerated-Mobile-Pages. It’s a technology Google originally introduced to get web developers to speed up their web pages for mobile devices and mobile networks. But in many ways it seems like great technology for any device or network. Who doesn’t want fast websites?

https://medium.com/the-set-list/google-amp-a-70-drop-in-our-conversion-rate-35fe3cb69c59

 

Everything bad about Facebook is bad for the same reason

In June 2016, Antonio Perkins unintentionally broadcast his own death to the world. It was a sunny day in Chicago, and he was sharing it on Facebook Live, a platform for distributing video in real-time, released just a few months earlier.

https://qz.com/1342757/everything-bad-about-facebook-is-bad-for-the-same-reason/

 

How to create a customer journey map

Understanding users’ behaviour and feelings is crucial when building a user-centred product. In this guide you’ll learn how to create a Customer Journey Map and how to apply it to any project.

https://aerolab.co/blog/customer-journey-map

Bit Little City Image

Creative / Development Inspiration 40

Just as much for the web designer as the developer this week. Some brilliant UX inspiration and how to get users hooked on your interface. On top of that two new beautiful web frameworks to bootstrap your newest project, and a life changing chart library. This and more in this weeks web design and development inspiration rundown.

 

Website Inspiration

 

Big Little City

This is not your standard website. I usually post more commercial / business based websites, but this really caught my eye. It takes a section of the world (using real world maps) and creates a 3D rendered globe, with roads and all!

https://pissang.github.io/little-big-city/

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

 

How to get users hooked on your interface

Micro interactions happen through the functional, interactive details of a product, and details…aren’t just the details; they are the design.

http://www.webdesignernews.com/redirect/id/2187168

 

The myth of human-centred design

The conventional interpretation of human-centered design wildly oversimplifies the relationship between people and technology. It’s time for a more nuanced approach, writes argodesign’s Mark Rolston.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90208681/the-myth-of-human-centered-design

 

Colour scale generator

Simple, easy to use colour gradient scale generator. Love it.

https://hihayk.github.io/scale/

 

UX Design Interactions

A libary of design interactions to gleem inspiration from. New apps added weekly. Get this on your bookmark list!

https://www.uisources.com/interactions

 

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

 

BuddyCSS

A easy to use framework to quickly build fast, attractive websites!

https://buddycss.com/

 

Slide out box menu – Code snippet

A details menu with boxes that slide out in an irregular grid. The grid items get revealed individually with delays from the top right corner of the page.

https://tympanus.net/codrops/2018/08/01/slide-box-menu

 

Apex Charts

I love a good chart. I have featured other great ones on the first blog of the series, and the 20th. This one is the cream of the crop. This is not a one size fits all solution, but rather charts for the modern web. Easier zooming and panning, event triggering, truly responsive, and speedy!

https://github.com/apexcharts/apexcharts.js

 

Argon Design System

A yet another beautiful framework to jump start your project. over 100 individual components, built with SASS and Bootstrap 4.

https://demos.creative-tim.com/argon-design-system/

 

A bit of everything

 

Not every article needs a picture

If a picture is worth a thousand words, it’s hard for me to imagine there’ll be much value in the text of an article illustrated by a generic stock image.

https://pxlnv.com/linklog/not-every-article-needs-a-picture/

 

The Bullshit Web

A great article on how the internet has turned into a place of uselessness, and how that can easily be changed. Loading numerous tracking scripts, images and adverts, that may or may not be of use.

https://pxlnv.com/blog/bullshit-web/

 

Grain and Mortar Banner

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