This week is more UI focused, due to a project that I am working on. I have still managed to include some brilliant development inspiration articles, and a few thought pieces at the bottom of the rundown. Have a good week!
Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration
Adobe XD Wireframe Kits
A collection of Adobe XD wireframes to get you off the ground in your next web project!
It’s time we start addressing accessibility before aesthetics in our design processes to create meaningful products for our diversified societies and cultures. Before diving into the Why, How and What of it, let’s revisit the definitions of these terms to set the context.
Strategies For Headless Projects With Structured Content Management Systems
Using a Structured Content Management System (SCMS) can be a great way to free your content from a paradigm that begins to feel its age. In this article, Knut Melvær suggests some overarching strategies, with some concrete real-world examples on how to think about working with structured content.
Drop-Down Usability: When You Should (and Shouldn’t) Use Them
Deciding when to use a drop-down — or when to use another interface type, such as a radio button interface or open text field — for a specific input can be tricky. This article talks through the when and wheres.
This week is a little more focused on UI design and development. And god damn they are pretty. Its all about those micro-interactions. On top of this, there are articles on Just In Time Design (it rhymes right!) and User Empowerment. Plus so much more! Enjoy this weeks design and development inspiration rundown!
A digital agency that has been building websites and apps since 2009. Considering they have been doing it this long, I would have hoped the site would load slightly faster. However, it looks really good on desktop!
Continuously delivering small iterations based on the team’s needs can transform the product development process. This approach shifts the focus away from highly-produced, out-of-date, difficult-to-maintain design, opening up the process to tighter collaboration and a higher standard of quality.
In our industry surveys help with understanding the end user. The issue is how companies go about getting the information. Sometimes a survey on a website that interupts the user experience just isn’t the best way!
A massive selection this week. 2 great website examples to help inspire your portfolio designs. Some great JS frameworks and testing tools. A few articles to help designers design the good stuff, and even more articles to keep you busy. Enjoy this website design and developer inspiration rundown.
A Leeds based digital creative website. Tom has built a simple, easy to read, and quick to load portfolio that does a great job.
Flow charts, like any deliverable in the design process, is an excuse to talk to your team. As much as we like complaining about meetings and formal deliverables, the truth is that design work would come to a dead stop without (a) conversations and (b) pictures.
A continuous UI testing tool that combines the accuracy of manual testing with the efficiency of automation. 21% of software budget is on bugs, and the cost of bug repair in production is 5-10x. This tool helps save time and money.
The magical disappearing UI framework. I still need to have a proper look into this but it seems really interesting. Using vanilla JS, but the same functionality as major JS frameworks. Teeny tiny in size.
Up until recently I have been predominantly a WordPress based developer. I have dabbled in other things, a little bit of React here and there but nothing crazy. Recently however, I have felt a bit nonplussed with it all. Everything seems to take a little bit too long to spin up, and although I have built Gulp scripts to help speed me along, they hasn’t help as much as I would like them to. Then Gutenberg became a thing. Not that I don’t think WordPress needs to stay with the times, I just don’t think it will make my life any easier.
Enter Grav. I was looking for a simple, easy to spin up static site generator that has a backend simple enough for idiots clients. It is PHP based (so I can put it on a clients hosting without having to explain Node), and speedy as anything. It seems to cover all those bases.
This was a dream. I already have WAMP and Composer installed on my machine so I had to run 3 commands to get Grav installed and ready to go.
This last one did give me a little bit of trouble. I got the error message:
‘bin’ is not recognised as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.
Turns out this is due to the PHP directory not being found by Windows. To get past this all I needed to do was show my computer where PHP was located using this command:
C:\wamp\bin\php\php7.0.10\php bin/grav install
At this point everything went well. I already had Wamp switched on, so pointed my browser to that folder in my Localhost.
Installing Admin Panel
The Grav “Learn” section has a really good rundown of all the configuring and option settings that can be set. It walks through the folder structure, what is used for what, and the general layout.
At this point I was not bothered about this. I just want to install an admin panel and smash out a theme (if you are bothered, here is the link: https://learn.getgrav.org/).
It turns out installing the admin plugin is just as easy as installing Grav itself. Firstly you have to make sure that your version of Grav is the latest version.
Then, once you are sure you are on the latest version, add that plugin
bin/gpm install admin
For the two above command, remember that is you had an issue with PHP when installing Grav, you will do again. So reference PHP directly.
I found that my console sat thinking for a while, before anything happened. But something did happen, so sit tight. The admin plugin also requires three other plugins. Login, Forms and Email. These set as though dependencies so will install them for you.
Once this has been completed, I found that when I pointed my browser back to the Grav folder on my Localhost the page had changed. Now there is a admin screen asking me to set up a user. Once this is done you are directed to the admin area.
First thoughts: God damn I like this. It has very obviously been built with ease in mind.
All the options and settings that the “Learn” section went through are all included down the side of the admin section. This made me happy, as I want it as simple and as easy to explain to clients as possible. On a quick click through it seems much like any other CMS, but simplified. There is obvious room for adaption is a project requires it, but for a simple brochure site or blog this setup is perfect.
As Grav is saved down into static files, there is no need for a database. This means that the way the site is backed up, is by downloading the static files. This option is set front and center on the dashboard, alongside a simple user statistic chart.
I like to automate everything I possibly can, and the idea of manually downloading a site backup every week does not appeal to me. Turns out this is not a problem. The Grav CLI allows you to hook into the inner workings of the site, so a cron job could be set to do this for you. Happy days.
The text editor works in the same way the pages do when editing manually. They use Markup. This is a barrier to entry for a lot of people who are not so technically minded. Turns out someone has already got a solution for this.
Once again, installation is a breeze (yes, I like Grav). There are two ways you can manage this.
Log into your admin panel,navigate to plugins. Search the plugin. Click add.
Or, if you are like me and want to run everything quickly when rolling out a new project. Run this command.
bin/gpm install tinymce-editor
I am going to spend a bit of time looking into developing a proper, fully fledged theme. But as a general overview to rolling out a site on a localhost, it is a definite winner! As there is no database it means the whole site can be dropped on a hosting service via FTP/SFTP and you are laughing.
This is the 50th Creative and Development Inspiration rundown. That is almost a year of finding best practise articles, and not updating my site to have SSL (I only sorted it yesterday, what a ballache). In any case, this week has been a great one for web articles. From best UX practices, to setting website goals, to infinite scroll, and back to web accessibility. This weeks design development rundown is an eclectic mix.
Kicking this week off with the website inspiration. A website for sourdough pizza. Simple, easy to understand, with subtle (and not so subtle CSS animations). Someones websites don’t need to be astounding to do a great job.
UX Design Practices: How to Make Web Interface Scannable
Scannability is one of the most essential factors of website usability. We have so much content at our fingertips, more than as can consume. Due to this websites need to be designed in a way to get the information easily and quickly, so we can go back to Twitter.
User Experience: How to Improve Your Website UX with Humor and Cuteness
Building a website is all about your users. You need to be aware of your audience and you build your brand identity around them. There are thousands of ways to approach and enhance your website user experience. One of the strategies we are often presented with is using humor and cuteness added to your website style.
Today’s content can consist of VR, animation, data visualisations, and video games. As well as the more standard HTML tags. This means a broken experience for those who rely on assertive technologies. How can this be changed moving into 2019?
Big reveal research does not work. As in, one person going away and doing all the work, ending in a presentation does not allow the team to immerse in the user information. The team must be there from the start.
This week is more developer heavy, but with reason. There have been some brilliant tools and articles this week, and I really wanted to share them all! Enjoy this weeks design (little less) and development (little more) inspiration rundown.
ACLU — 50 State Blueprint
Not your typical website, but incredibly effective. ACLU have created this simple website showing each one of the 1,942,600 people in state prisons and jails in the US.
When you use eight values specifying border-radius in CSS, you can create organic looking shapes. The article goes through how this is done, and also links out to a handy tool to help in shape creation.
This article stood out to be due to this one like – “Do not commit to a deadline you did not help set”. I think this sentiment is something that needs to be considered by a lot of people in this industry. Interesting read.
A focus on design systems this week, with a brilliant piece on Ubers rebrand, website inspiration, and micro nudges. Plus a few more in this weeks design development inspiration rundown.
Mawla – Mobile & Web Development Studio
Firstly, I love these bobble shapes used across the Mawla site. That, combined with the pastel colours makes it friendly, and welcoming. Lots of white space between sections allows the user to fully digest each point. And it works well on mobile!
Building an Image Generator for the Number 1 Track on Spotify
DJ Snake, Cardi B, Selena Gomez, and Ozuna have released their new song, Taki Taki, into the world and it has quickly soared to #1 on Spotify’s Global Top 50. Lee Martin was asked to create a marketing concept. This is what he came up with.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.