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Creative / Development Inspiration 35

Why you need to care about UX design, some brilliant tips on improving mobile interaction and how to create single element patterns. This weeks creative website design and development inspiration also looks at how to create HTML5 sprites and a beginners guide to A/B testing.

As well as going over keeping up with what is new on “that there interwebs” I also use this blog for a place to keep all the best bits that I want to remember.

Its easier to find here!

 

Website Inspiration

Overflow

“User flows done right” is this sites tagline. No wonder the site is perfectly designed. Perfect landing page with large header, and understandable call to action (I think I might use them).

https://overflow.io/

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

Why you need to care about UX design

Understand what your customers want, keep your customers attention, and give them a well written story. Why brands really cannot afford to ignore UI or UX.

https://www.retailtechnews.com/2018/06/26/why-you-need-to-care-about-ux-design/

 

7 Effective Tips to Improve Mobile Interactions

The quality of mobile design can be measured simply. When the process of usage is so smooth and effortless that people don’t even think about it, it is the sign of the professional design work. On the other hand, if there are some problems in the interaction system, users will definitely notice them and won’t be pleased about it. This article breaks down 7 places that could be improved.

https://design4users.com/2018/06/22/7-effective-tips-to-improve-mobile-interactions

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Introducing the Single Element Patterns

This is something I have been pushing for, and manoeuvring my workflow to get to this point. A project based on lots of small elements that can be reused over and over again. This article breaks down a few essential rules you should follow to make sure you can work faster.

https://medium.freecodecamp.org/introducing-the-single-element-pattern-dfbd2c295c5d

 

Animating Sprite Sheets With JavaScript

Martin Himmel walks you through how to animate a sprite in HTML5 Canvas. Easy to follow, and a hell of a lot of uses!

https://dev.to/martyhimmel/animating-sprite-sheets-with-javascript-ag3

 

Building a chat app with React.js and Chatkit

I had never heard of Scrimba before finding this tutorial, but I’m so glad I have. This tutorial walks you through building a chat app with React.js and Chatkit. Each step has a video, and you can take your own pace.

https://scrimba.com/g/greactchatkit

 

Glide JS

A dependency-free JavaScript ES6 slider and carousel. It’s lightweight, flexible and fast. Designed to slide. No less, no more. Looks like something I will definitely be using moving forwards!

https://glidejs.com/

 

A bit of everything

A Beginners Guide to to A/B and Multivariate Testing

If you want to improve site conversion, A/B and Multivariate Testing are invaluable tools. This article run through the different services available, and how to get moving in the right direction.

https://boagworld.com/design/split-testing

 

User Journey: Design Flows Instead of Screens

Most designers are obsessed with screens. They have features and screens piled up, but rarely see their apps with their users’ eyes. Familiar? Well, it’s time to start thinking in flows instead of screens. A user journey shows how your people reach their goals in your app. This article introduces the basics of creating a user journey with some tips and specific examples.

https://uxstudioteam.com/ux-blog/user-journey-design-flows/

React JS Banner

A Beginners Guide to Learning ReactJS

Understanding props, module bundling, project structuring and more. I have started the nosedive into learning ReactJS and all of the attached bits and pieces (I used to be a Gulp man, now it looks like Webpack is the one).

 

This post is to keep all of the articles and resources I have found helpful in one place, and hopefully help others. The idea is to continually add to this as I learn. Stay Tuned!

 

Setting the Scene

What editor to use?

I have always used Brackets for my dev, but for some reason Brackets renders ReactJS incorrectly. It highlights sections that it shouldn’t, and doesn’t highlight sections it should. This meant it was time for a change. Enter Atom. Easy to add themes, plugins, and is integrated with Github. It works nicely with React, and also has a sexy little thing called Teletype.

https://atom.io/

 

Structuring projects and naming components in React

To allow a project to scale, and for other members of the team to understand what the hell you have created, the project needs to be properly structured. I wanted to make sure from the word go the projects I was creating were structured correctly, and the components named in a understandable and consistent way. This article was the perfect jump off point for me.

https://hackernoon.com/structuring-projects-and-naming-components-in-react-1261b6e18d76

 

 

Understanding Props

React JS Tutorials: Props

A consise article breaking down props in an easy to understand way. Helped me a great deal.

http://www.reactjstutorial.net/props.html

 

Google Sheets?

This isnt “database” really, but both of these links are nices example of how you can easily send simple data to Google Sheets using JS.

https://github.com/dwyl/learn-to-send-email-via-google-script-html-no-server

https://blog.416serg.me/building-an-app-using-google-sheets-api-react-d69681d22ce1

 

 

What about a database?

Intro to Firebase and React

CSS-Tricks has put together a brilliantly written guide to integrating Googles Firebase with React.

https://css-tricks.com/intro-firebase-react/

 

Module Bundling, and managing those tasks

How to use Webpack with React: an in-depth tutorial

In this tutorial you will see the basics of Webpack for React to get started, including React Router, Hot Module Replacement (HMR), Code Splitting by Route and Vendor, production configuration and more.

https://medium.freecodecamp.org/learn-webpack-for-react-a36d4cac5060

 

CSS Modules & Sass in Create React App

How to use modules and Sass side by side

https://medium.com/@kswanie21/css-modules-sass-in-create-react-app-37c3152de9

 

Adding Images

This one stumped the hell out of me! Why can’t I just add an image like usual and be done with it. Well apparently that isn’t the case. React also wants to do some funny business with the image, and if it is a smaller size it loads a base64 version. All about the speed! The two links below go about the same thing in different ways. Both really helped me get my head around it!

https://blog.hellojs.org/importing-images-in-react-c76f0dfcb552

http://interglobalmedianetwork.com/post/importing-images-in-react/

 

 

Keep that app speedy

Progressive Web Apps with React.js — Page Load Performance

Mobile web speeds matter. On average, faster experiences lead to 70% longer sessions and 2 x more mobile ad revenue. Investments in web perf saw the React-based, Flipkart Lite triple time-on-site, GQ get an 80% increase in traffic, Trainline make an additional 11M in yearly revenue and Instagram increase impressions by 33%.

https://medium.com/@addyosmani/progressive-web-apps-with-react-js-part-2-page-load-performance-33b932d97cf2

 

Reduce class name size generated by CSS-Loader

CSS-Loader is a brilliant plugin that allows CSS to be used as modules. With this setting it creates randomised names for module and css function. The issue is the name tends to be quite long.

The solution is here!

https://medium.freecodecamp.org/reducing-css-bundle-size-70-by-cutting-the-class-names-and-using-scope-isolation-625440de600b

 

Examples

Create a quiz

One of my past clients had me make a quiz on WordPress. To solve the problem they had I had to write a crazy about of JS. If I had known about React I would have just done this.

http://carinyperez.com/create-quiz-react/

 

Create a Blog with React

A tutorial series on creating a full blogging app with React. Very comprehensive.

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

Google Material Design

Creative / Development Inspiration 29

I had a lot of fun collating this weeks creative and development inspiration run down. There have been so many great projects released recently. Take a look and let me know which one was your favourite.

 

Material.io

Google keep pushing and pushing – as shown in Creative and Development Inspiration 21. Now they have redesigned their “Material Design” style rule book. God damn its pretty. Open sourced, and designed specifically to help teams build digital experiences. Have a click about the site, so much to see.

https://material.io/

 

7 Rules for Creating Gorgeous UI (Part 2)

This guide for “visual aesthetics” covers some very interesting points. The section on laying text over an image is very prominent to me, seemingly an issue that crops up time and time again. Nicely broken down with examples and explanations. Worth a flick through.

https://medium.com/@erikdkennedy/7-rules-for-creating-gorgeous-ui-part-2-430de537ba96

 

Screely

Screely instantly turns your screenshot or design into a beautiful image you can share anywhere. No Photoshop or Sketch templates necessary! This is brilliant for quickly sending screenshots to clients, but making sure they look that little bit better.

https://www.screely.com/

 

More Than Pixels: Selling Design Discovery

I am constantly pushing to make the web development process more efficient and more informed. When juggling projects, and dealing with many stakeholders (most of whom aren’t interested in dev…understandably…) it is easy to push past the toughest bit. Research and analysis of a project is not something at the forefront of our minds, and it should be. Smashing magazine shows us how this can be covered, and profitably.

https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/05/more-than-pixels-selling-design-discovery/

 

Heavenly Hues

Design Seeds have been on my radar for a whilst now, but I have never written about them. Daily colour palettes from photos, this particular palette vibed with me on this sunny day. I would recommend looking through some of there other posts. Some great colours.

https://www.design-seeds.com/in-nature/heavens/heavenly-hues-34/

 

Homey landing – Website Landing Page Design

Scrolling through Dribble, I stumbled across this great landing page design by Mehedi Hasan. Really nice light style, with lots of spacing, and a really draw on your eye.

https://dribbble.com/shots/4608766-Homey-landing

Slashpixel

Creative / Development Inspiration 22

This week I have pulled together a list of 6 sites for both web designers, and developers. Some really good reads, both informative and inspiring.

 

Slashpixels – Google for Designers

A great one to start this week.

“Smart Artificial Intelligence Image Search Engine and aggregator for Dribbble, Behance, Pinterest, Cargo, Awwwards, Pttrns and other top Design sources.” is the tagline.

When this is live, I honestly think it will be a game changer. Easy access to freebies, design related images and all the top design sites connected. Get signed up!

http://slashpixels.com

 

Cropping Away Negative Impacts of Line Height

I’m not sure how useful this would be in the real world, due to different browsers rendering in different ways. However as a concept and almost working code, this is worth the read. The number of times an element doesn’t site quite right due to weird white space above and below a sentence. A front end developers nightmare (over-exaggeration maybe). This may just be the solution…

https://medium.com/eightshapes-llc/cropping-away-negative-impacts-of-line-height-84d744e016ce

 

Here’s everything I’ve learned from designing 10,000+ UI screens as a lead product designer.

This article by Jon Moore speaks worlds to me. From not reinventing the wheel, to creating pattern libraries, each point seems like common sense. Unfortunately in a lot of design projects these seem to be forgotten. This is aimed at app and web designers, but as a developer I can also relate.

This strongly relates back to user experience article I covered in Creative and Development Inspiration 8.

https://medium.com/ux-power-tools/heres-everything-i-ve-learned-from-designing-10-000-ui-screens-as-a-lead-product-designer-7d2810bee810

 

HTTP2 Explained

This is a very long read, (and more for the developers) however if you are interested in what HTTP2 can do/does then you should read this. Daniel Stenberg from Mozilla goes into incredible detail on the background of HTTP2, how it works, and how it will be deployed.

https://daniel.haxx.se/http2/

 

Truffle Suite

This is stemming from my interest in Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies. The idea of a decentralised network that you can run programs on is pretty interesting, especially considering that data protection is so poignant at the moment (GDPR / Facebook data scandal).

Enter Truffle, the most popular development framework for Ethereum with a mission to make your life a whole lot easier.

http://truffleframework.com/

 

Designer Trend – Offset and Overlap

Designers are continuing to break out of the grid. It’s been a great evolution from the early days of responsive web design. 5 years ago, responsive simply meant that your content block would resize infinitely. But it was always within the confines of a rigid grid.

In fact, responsive web design had a negative effect on how designers used grids because it was so difficult to figure out how content should react. Not any more.

https://medium.com/ux-power-tools/design-trend-offset-overlapping-content-blocks-53e20157d2a8

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/

Material Design Example

Creative and Development Inspiration 14

This week I have found some great links for UX snippets and examples, some CSS/JS magic, and a little titbit for you cryptocurrency geeks. All in a days work.

 

Bye bye Material Design

Considering Material Design for your next project? Emin Durak thinks otherwise. He belives that it is, I quote, “premature, shallow and arguably incorrect approach”.

https://medium.com/techtrument/bye-bye-material-design-acaebcc7c6b4

 

Micron.js

A Microinteraction Libary Built with CSS Animations and JS. A great plug and play libary for a quick MVP.

https://webkul.github.io/micron/

 

How Much Do You Know About Web Typography

Web typography is a bit tricky. So many quirks and snippets of information you need to know. Take this web typography quiz and test your typography knowledge.

https://betterwebtype.com/web-typography-quiz

 

Gradient Topography Animation

Codrops is back with a great new code snippet. An incredibly sleek organic SVG shape layer animation based on Diana Hlevnjak’s work “Gradient Topography”. Powered by anime.js.

https://tympanus.net/Development/GradientTopographyAnimation

 

Button with Email Dropdown

Code My UI has brought us a nice little snippet to create a drop down input field from a button. Keep everything tucked anyand tidy!

https://codemyui.com/button-email-optin-dropdown

 

Jump on the Cryptocurrency Bandwagon

Minergate is a piece of software that mines a varity of cryptocurrency coins in the background whilst you work. You can set the level depending on how much you need to use your CPU/GPU. Keep the referral link, and I get a small percentage of the fee (nothing is taken from you!)

https://minergate.com/a/2b33a24f39993dc303296b47

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

Screenshot of Spoon plugin google

Turbo VM Extension injecting code

For those of you who have found the same thing. Enter Turbo VM Extension.

 

I was in the latter stages of developing a WordPress theme when I found a strange section of code inserted at the bottom of the page. I originally thought it was a mistake in my code as there was a large white space at the bottom of the page until I used the console log on Google Chrome and noticed the following:

 

<div id=”spoon-plugin-kncgbdglledmjmpnikebkagnchfdehbm-2″ style=”display:none”></div>

 

Upon Googling this issue I found the snippet turned up in a few places. At the bottom of a piece of code on Github, bottom of forum signatures, and inside the code of other WordPress themes. Always at the bottom.

 

That day I had downloaded Turbo.net Launcher, a browser emulator. To create a login for the launcher I used spoon.net (seeing the connection now?). Turbo VM Extension is a Google Chrome Extension. When it is switched on, for some reason it injects itself into specific websites.

 

For now I have disabled the extension whilst I research it a little more…