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Creative / Development Inspiration 53

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.

Website Inspiration

Tom Rush

A Leeds based digital creative website. Tom has built a simple, easy to read, and quick to load portfolio that does a great job.

https://tomrushworth.co.uk/

 

Tim Householter

First Tom, now Tim. A lead designer at Transom Design in Seattle. His site uses lots of white space and grids to display his work. Clean, simple, easy to read.

http://timhouseholter.com

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

In the dead of night we are drawn to dark interfaces

Distraction free, pretty, and amplification. What dark interfaces are a massive thing in product design.

https://uxdesign.cc/in-the-dead-of-night-a4c7fa98aec4

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Grid Tile Layouts with auto-fit and minmax

A new and easy way to make perfect responsive title layouts with CSS Grid.

https://gedd.ski/post/tile-layouts/

 

Building Your Colour Palette

You can’t build anything with five hex codes. To build something real, you need a much more comprehensive set of colours to choose from.

https://refactoringui.com/previews/building-your-color-palette

 

Creating Excellent UX Flow Charts

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.

https://medium.com/eightshapes-llc/creating-excellent-ux-flow-charts-df6f1e46e524

 

Google Web.Dev

With actionable guidance and analysis, web.dev helps developers like you learn and apply the web’s modern capabilities to your own sites and apps.

https://web.dev/

 

Glorious Demo

The best way to create animated code for demos. Copy, pastable, and pretty.

https://glorious.codes/demo

 

Chromatic – UI testing for Storybook

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.

https://blog.hichroma.com/chromatic/home

 

Maizzle

Maizzle is a BYOHTML framework for rapid HTML email development. It’s like a static site generator, but tailored to email.

https://maizzle.com/

 

Svelte

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.

https://svelte.technology/

 

Why using `tabindex` values greater than “0” is bad

Using Tab Indexes in web development? Maybe you should stop doing that…

http://www.karlgroves.com/2018/11/13/why-using-tabindex-values-greater-than-0-is-bad/

 

A bit of everything

Web Typography Resources

A great list of resources all centred around typography. Perfect for designers and developers.

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

 

Cacher

The code snippet organiser for developers. Integrates with most editors to store commonly used snippets from the whole team on the cloud.

https://www.cacher.io/

 

Heat maps 101: a complete guide with examples, tools, and case studies

Hotjar walk you through why, how and when to use heat maps. Mixed up with a few case studies and examples to show how valuable they can be.

https://www.hotjar.com/blog/heatmaps

 

Designing, laws, and attitudes.

I often hear from stakeholders who worry that “accessible” means “ugly.” Well here are resources that are accessible and visually beautiful.

https://ethanmarcotte.com/wrote/designing-laws-and-attitudes/

Design and Development 52 Banner

Creative / Development Inspiration 52

Website Inspiration

Puree Maison

Although the designers have not considered usability at all, it is a good site to show the different animations and reveals that can be used across a website. Some brilliant hover states over images, and gentle fades on scroll.

https://pureemaison.com/en

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

Palx

The last few week have been good for colour generators. Here is another brilliantly simple colour palette generator to sit in your bookmarks.

https://palx.jxnblk.com/

 

40 Orange Website Designs

Creative Overflow have pulled together 40 websites that are based on the colour orange. Some modern, some dated, but all good examples.

http://creativeoverflow.net/40-orange-website-designs-to-inspire-your-next-project/

 

Three Web Design Tools To Speed Up Things

While looking for tools to unify web designs and developers I came across three really interesting web apps. One not yet out yet. One that have been the block a few times, and the other new on the scene.

 

Webflow

Give you the power to design, build, and launch responsive websites visually, while writing clean, semantic code for you.

https://webflow.com/

Hadron

Hadron is a development environment for designers and developers who work together towards the same goal, moving ideas forward and learning from each other along the way.

https://hadron.app/

 

Bondlayer

Bondlayer empowers web designers to craft native apps and responsive websites. Without coding or template restrictions.

https://www.bondlayer.com/

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Spectre

A new lightweight modern CSS framework. It is under 10kb gzipped, responsive and uses modern elements and components.

https://picturepan2.github.io/spectre/

 

Markdown to JSX

A lightweight customizable component for Markdown within React

https://github.com/probablyup/markdown-to-jsx

 

Playroom

A simple design environment that allows you to simultaneously design across a variety of themes and screen sizes, powered by JSX and your own component library. Create quick mock-ups and share the work simply.

https://github.com/seek-oss/playroom

 

An Annotated Webpack 4 Config for Frontend Web Development

As web development becomes more complex, we need tooling to help us build modern websites. Here’s a complete real-world production example of a sophisticated web­pack 4 config

https://nystudio107.com/blog/an-annotated-webpack-4-config-for-frontend-web-development

 

‘Atomic’ font size management with Sass

Atomic sizing with Sass should make styling fonts easier. It moves away from styling font elements like H1s, and focuses on specific classes.

https://iamsteve.me/blog/entry/atomic-font-size-management-with-sass

 

A bit of everything

Kill Your Personas

How persona spectrum’s help push real user needs.

https://medium.com/microsoft-design/kill-your-personas-1c332d4908cc?

 

We Do People Leave Your Website? Undecided Explorers

Trying to improve conversion rates? Maybe take a look at users that do convert… You may need to tailor.

https://www.hotjar.com/blog/why-people-leave-your-website

 

User Research? But Why?

If your job has anything to do with design, there is a good chance that you would have experienced the need to do some form of user research. If you happen to work with or for a group of people who have limited understanding of the design process, then you must have had your moments of frustration. This article helps answer these questions.

https://uxdesign.cc/user-research-but-why-2d399182637b

 

Meta Tags

A great tool to mock up Meta Tag views across social media platforms, as well as a teaching tool for those who are not in the loop.

https://metatags.io/

 

Netflix Web Performance Case Study

There are no silver bullets to web performance. Simple static pages benefit from being server-rendered with minimal JavaScript. Libraries can provide great value for complex pages when used with care. Netflix breaks down the process in this case study.

https://medium.com/dev-channel/a-netflix-web-performance-case-study-c0bcde26a9d9

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/

Mail chimp chart banner

Creative / Development Inspiration 38

Two great website inspiration examples, several website generators, and why the open-plan office is rubbish! This plus a lot more in this weeks website design development inspiration rundown.

 

Website Inspiration

Freetrade

I found this site whilst doing research into investment apps. The thing that struck me was its simplicity, and ease at which is gets its message across. The whole site is well thought out, and easy to digest. It could look into user accessibility a little more, but as a piece of inspiration, perfect.

https://freetrade.io/

 

Iconwerk

Although simple, my god its quick! The way the blog title and images are swapped from the standard card layout is interesting, and works well in this case. Once again, accessibility is an issue (why is this such a standard problem, its not hard to fix!).

https://iconwerk.com/

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

10 Beautiful Examples of Wireframes

Wireframing helps designers map out the structure of a website before anything is set in stone. 1st Designer has pulled together 10 examples of different wireframes.

https://1stwebdesigner.com/wireframes-web-design/

 

Dark UX Patterns in Advertising

According to Hubspot research, 85% of people have a negative opinion towards websites with obnoxious or intrusive ads. What’s wrong with the remaining 15%? This article points out the ad creators, and how they tried to trick you. Interesting read.

https://icons8.com/articles/dark-ux-patterns-advertising/

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

Storybook

I am surprised it has taken me this long to find out about this. But now I have I am definitely sharing it. Storybook is a development environment for UI components. You can browser a component library, view different states, and interactively develop them!

https://storybook.js.org/

 

Stitches

Build plain html templates from this JS template generator. A great idea for rolling out fast concepts, and the ability to add your own templates! Drag and drop and all that.

https://github.com/amiechen/stitches-template-generator

 

Docusaurus

A great project for easily building, deploying and maintaining open source projects. The “Simple to Start” guide walks you through the whole process in a very short amount of time.

https://docusaurus.io/

 

Does the Perfect Email Template Exist? We Used Data to Find Out.

Mailchimp put the numbers together, and came out with this article. They should know, they are the email people! There are no set rules, but they have found some helpful guidelines from this.

https://blog.mailchimp.com/does-the-perfect-email-template-exist-we-used-data-to-find-out/

 

Aria Examples

I have been banging on about accessibility for the past few weeks. Here is a link that can help you with that. Some great examples of common elements, and how they should be built to include/improve accessibility.

http://heydonworks.com/practical_aria_examples/

 

 

A bit of everything

These two articles go against what is being shouted about on Linkedin and those life inspiration blogs. They are also both very good reads.

 

Don’t listen to those productivity gurus: why waking up at 6am won’t make you successful

There is a list of things that “experts” say you must do to be successful, before you begin the working day. This article is of the opinion that they are wrong. I am inclined to agree.

https://medium.com/swlh/dont-listen-to-those-productivity-gurus-why-waking-up-at-6am-won-t-make-you-successful-b3c77921d9fd

 

The open-plan office is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea

Articles like this one have been circling for the last few weeks, and I finally decided to add it to the rundown. I have always been of the belief that open plan offices are counter-intuitive. Especially for individuals who need to concentrate on their work. As much as a support Dave hyping up his client on the phone and getting that sale, I also now can’t concentrate on this awkward function.

https://m.signalvnoise.com/the-open-plan-office-is-a-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-idea-42bd9cd294e3

Visual Creative Studio Illustration

Creative / Development Inspiration 37

Brilliant website inspiration, as well great articles on disrupting the normal design process. Plus web design style guides, and stupid design mistakes. Some great CSS techniques if you are a front end developer, as well as an exciting new virtual whiteboard.

It was great getting the articles together for this week. Some top writers, thoughts and concepts, as well as inspiration. Enjoy this website design and development inspiration rundown!

 

Website Inspiration

The past few weeks I have featured several agency websites to show how good design and layout can be simple and elegant. These two sites build on top of this even more!

 

April Zero

April Zero is a demo site for showing the information Gyroscope collects on you. The way it displays data, and quite honestly how pretty it is really appealed to me!

http://aprilzero.com/

 

Vizue

A creative studio based in Slovakia. This is one of the most creative sites I have seen in a while. Great use of animated SVGs to tie each section together. A great piece of work.

http://vizua.sk/en

 

 

Designer Resources, Examples and Inspiration

 

Priority Guides: A Content-First Alternative to Wireframes

Finding a better process for designing websites is a big priority for me. A lot of “Digital Agencies” throw a design together, then add the content into pre-existing boxes. Quite frankly that makes no sense. Why add content that isn’t required? The internet already has enough meaningless drivel. Every message should be considered and have a point.

A List Apart takes us back to designing wireframes, and discusses how there may be a better alternative.

https://alistapart.com/article/priority-guides-a-content-first-alternative-to-wireframes

 

How To Create a Web Design Style Guide

If you are designed a site for a client that is likely to be around for a while, or you are redesigning your own site a style guide is a must. Not only does it allow you to go back to a central place to remind yourself, it stops you redesigning an element that already exists! It also allows third parties and future development teams follow brands guidelines.

https://designmodo.com/create-style-guides

 

10 Small Design Mistakes We Still Make

We will always want the principle “dont make me think” to apply to everything. The goal to each page should be self-evident. The average user should know exactly what is going on.

This article covers 10 mistakes that regularly occur, that stop the user from progressing easily.

https://uxplanet.org/10-small-design-mistakes-we-still-make-1cd5f60bc708

 

Development Snippets, Samples, and Articles

 

Text editing techniques every Front-End developer should know

This almost didn’t make it onto the list, until I realised it was one of the most helpful articles I have read in a while regarding writing code.

Any Front-end developer is going to spend a lot of time typing and manipulating code. It pays to know how to ‘drive’ your editor to get the best performance. This comes just in time after my post on my new editor setup.

https://benfrain.com/text-editing-techniques-every-front-end-developer-should-know

 

Combining the Powers of SEM and BIO for Improving CSS

SASS and LESS can take your loverly code, and turn it into a mess once complied. It can also make file sizes larger than needed.

SEM and BIO are coding techniques that allow your code to be scale-able, maintainable, and with a simple structure. A great read, and something to really consider.

https://css-tricks.com/combining-the-powers-of-sem-and-bio-for-improving-css

 

 

A bit of everything

RyeBoard

Still in development. But god damn this is going to be useful! Think Trello, now think whiteboard. But on the cloud!  Currently only on desktop, but so so interesting!

http://www.ryeboard.com

 

700 Screenshots of Developers’ Websites

Something nice and simple. 700 screenshots of developers websites. Maybe you can get some inspiration? Maybe you are just intrigued?

https://alexbezhan.github.io/devwebsites/

 

 

 

 

Colour Wheel

Creative / Development Inspiration 28

Tabler

Tablet is a premium and Open Source dashboard template with responsive and high quality UI. It has so many modules and components that it could be used immediately off the bat with no customisation required. Built with Bootstrap and icons integrated into thew build, its definitely bookmark-able.

https://tabler.github.io/

 

Nimiq Miner WP

I have mentioned Crypto Currency before in this blog, and am a strong advocate of the idea. I have recently been following a project called Nimiq, which labels itself as “the blockchain designed for simplicity”. I agree with this, the wallet is easy to set up, transfers are so fast! and mining is so easy! Because of my belief in the project I have started work on a WordPress plugin for mining Nimiq. It is at early stages with lots of features in the pipeline. Take a look!

https://github.com/justlikethisdesign/NimiqMinerWP

 

Three Essential Design Trends, May 2018

Web Designer Depot have written this great summary of what they thing the top 3 trends are of May. They have included some great examples of actual websites to go alongside their trends. Perfect website design inspiration.

https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/05/3-essential-design-trends-may-2018/

 

Why You Should Never Centre or Right Align Your Logo

Many designers assume that centre or right aligning their website logo will make their brand more memorable. Research has shown this assumption is not true at all. In fact, straying from a left aligned logo can make your brand less memorable and even your site harder to navigate.

http://uxmovement.com/navigation/why-you-should-never-center-or-right-align-your-logo

 

Colour Theory

As a designer in the digital era, you certainly don’t have to stick to the colours available from paints, inks, or other pigments, though there’s a lot we can learn from fine art’s approach to colour. In fact, the human eye can see millions of different hues — but sometimes, choosing even just two or three to use from those millions can seem like a daunting task.

 

Canvas covers Colour Theory is a way that makes it so easy to understand. Definitely on the bookmark list for me.

https://www.canva.com/learn/color-theory

 

Priority Guides: A Content-First Alternative to Wireframes

A List Apart have put together this expansive article covering how Content-First allows you to better understand what is required on your website. They break down each stage to show how much simpler the concept is.

http://alistapart.com/article/priority-guides-a-content-first-alternative-to-wireframes


How paper wireframing will make you a better designer

This one goes against the above article. However, in a sense they also go hand in hand. The idea of moving away from from a computer and getting hands on allows a greater freedom of expression. You are not limited by the software and its toolbar. Worth the read.

https://blog.prototypr.io/how-paper-wireframing-will-make-you-a-better-designer-5a57db8dca13

SVG Landscape Animation

Creative and Development Inspiration 17

SVG Landscapes

SVG animations are really starting to come into their own. Speckyboy has pulled together a great selection of SVG landscapes with animations to show off the potential. Some brilliant styling!

https://speckyboy.com/landscape-scenes-css-svg/

 

Epic Spinners

A collection of CSS only spinners. Perfect for loading animations within an app or website. Great selection all in one place.

http://epic-spinners.epicmax.co

 

CSS Content Cards

I have written a post about content cards before now.  But they are so great I thought I should include this link as well. Contains card examples, as well as the code!

https://speckyboy.com/css-content-cards/

 

Unused CSS

This web tool scans your site, and finds any unused CSS selectors. Great for keeping the code size down!

https://www.jitbit.com/unusedcss/

 

Gulp!

I am a massive advocate of automating your workflow. I know I am harking back a bit here, but for those of you who don’t have the robots doing half your job, you should. This article breaks down this JS automation tool.
https://scotch.io/tutorials/automate-your-tasks-easily-with-gulp-js

 

The Sudden Death of the Website

This article covers a range of factors that point towards large brands doing away with their website. How bothered should we be as designs/developers?

https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/13/the-sudden-death-of-the-website

 

Microframes, the Future of Wireframing?

Microframes, or micro-wireframes, are miniaturised versions of wireframes. Microframes amplify the benefits of wireframing and eliminate most of the shortcomings. Their benefits include speed, clarity of communication and lack of confusion. Are they the future?

https://www.creativebloq.com/features/are-microframes-the-future-of-wireframing

 

Just Leave!

Our industry has a tendency to eat people up, squeeze them for their creative juices, and spit them out burnt up. It’s just not worth it!

https://medium.com/@EliFitch/just-leave-no-job-is-worth-burning-out-for-33b5644942d7