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Design Accessibly, See Differently: Color Contrast Tips And Tools


  

When you browse your favorite website or check the latest version of your product on your device of choice, take a moment to look at it differently. Step back from the screen. Close your eyes slightly so that your vision is a bit clouded by your eyelashes. Can you still see and use the website? Are you able to read the labels, fields, buttons, navigation and small footer text? Can you imagine how someone who sees differently would read and use it?

Design Accessibly, See Differently: Color Contrast Tips And Tools

In this article, I’ll share one aspect of design accessibility: making sure that the look and feel (the visual design of the content) are sufficiently inclusive of differently sighted users.

The post Design Accessibly, See Differently: Color Contrast Tips And Tools appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Hybrid Mobile Apps: Providing A Native Experience With Web Technologies


  

According to a recent report, HTML is the most widely used language for mobile app developers. The main reasons among developers for selecting web technologies is cross-platform portability of code and the low cost of development. We’ve also heard that hybrid apps tend to be sluggish and poorly designed. Let’s prove whether it’s possible to deliver the native look and feel that we’re used to.

Hybrid Mobile Apps: Providing A Native Experience With Web Technologies

This article provides many hints, code snippets and lessons learned on how to build great hybrid mobile apps. I’ll briefly introduce hybrid mobile app development, including its benefits and drawbacks. Then, I’ll share lessons I’ve learned from over two years of developing Hojoki and CatchApp, both of which run natively on major mobile platforms and were built with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Finally, we’ll review the most prominent tools to wrap code in a native app.

The post Hybrid Mobile Apps: Providing A Native Experience With Web Technologies appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Improving Your Information Architecture With Card Sorting: A Beginner’s Guide


  

Information architecture (IA) is one of those buzzwords you’ve probably heard before. It refers to the organization of the information on your website and how it all fits together. When planning your IA, involve users of your website in the process as soon as you can.

Improving Your Information Architecture With Card Sorting: A Beginner's Guide

In this article, we’ll discuss card sorting, a tried and true technique for doing just that. We’ll go through some practical tips for running a card-sorting session, and also cover some examples.

The post Improving Your Information Architecture With Card Sorting: A Beginner’s Guide appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Be A Better Designer By Eating An Elephant


  

I can’t imagine any other industry in which so much change happens so quickly. If you stop paying attention for a week, it can feel like you’ve not been listening for a year. There’s so much to learn. Falling behind is easy, too. We might be in the middle of a major project, so we put off learning about this newfangled thing called Sass or Node.js or even quickly experimenting with the new Bootstrap or Foundation that everyone is raving about.

Be A Better Designer By Eating An Elephant

Before we know it, we have these elephants of missing knowledge wandering around our minds, reminding us of what we should know and do but haven’t found the time for. Even just looking at beautiful work and seeing what new technique we could use ourselves can seem like too big a task when we’re swamped with projects. So, we tell ourselves we’ll come back to it later. But later never shows up. The guilt definitely does, but not that elusive deadline of later.

The post Be A Better Designer By Eating An Elephant appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Freebie: Touristic Icons (100 Icons, PNG, SVG)


  

Icons are a lot like real monuments — they can both be easily recognized. Today’s icon set consists of a set of vector icons that represent monuments across the globe, so they can be literally used anywhere. This colorful set was carefully designed by Freepik and is completely free to use for commercial as well as your personal projects, including software, online services, templates and themes.

Freebie: Touristic Icons (100 Icons, PNG, SVG)

This icon set is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported. You may modify the size, color or shape of the icons. No attribution is required, however, reselling of bundles or individual pictograms is prohibited. Please always provide credits to the creators and link to the article in which this freebie was released if you would like to spread the word.

The post Freebie: Touristic Icons (100 Icons, PNG, SVG) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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CSS-Only Solution For UI Tracking


  

The web is growing up. We are building applications that work entirely in the browser. They are responsive; they have tons of features and work under many devices. We enjoy providing high-quality code that is well structured and tested.

CSS-Only Solution For UI Tracking

But what matters in the end is the impact for clients. Are they getting more products sold or are there more visitors for their campaign sites? The final results usually show if our project is successful. And we rely on statistics as a measuring tool. We all use instruments like Google Analytics. It is a powerful way to collect data. In this article, we will see a CSS-only approach for tracking UI interactions using Google Analytics.

The post CSS-Only Solution For UI Tracking appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Ready For Retina HD: Create Pixel-Perfect Assets For Multiple Scale Factors


  

The 6 Plus is the first iPhone that sports a “Retina HD” display — the sharpest display Apple has ever made. It forces designers to provide an additional set of image resources to developers to match that sharpness.

Ready For Retina HD: Create Pixel-Perfect Assets For Multiple Scale Factors

We needed only one set of assets for the original iPhone up to iPhone 3GS. And when iPhone 4 came out with the Retina display, we also needed 2x assets — images twice as detailed. Now, with the display of the 6 Plus being even more detailed than that of the iPhone 4, we will also need to provide 3x assets. The numbers 1x, 2x and 3x are also called “scale factors.”

The post Ready For Retina HD: Create Pixel-Perfect Assets For Multiple Scale Factors appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Taking A Closer Look At Tech Conferences: The Nitty Gritty Details (A Study)


  

As I was flying back from the Smashing Conference in New York, I wondered whether it was a success. This wasn’t an original thought. We are always wondering what makes a conference good and what elements will make industry workers stay away.

Taking A Closer Look At Tech Conferences: The Nitty Gritty Details (A Study)

Good and bad are such subjective terms, though, with almost as many expectations as there are attendees. We decided that just looking at the numbers instead might be a good idea. This article will not present best practices for planning a conference, but rather will look at how it’s actually done most of the time. While this is not a guide to putting together the perfect conference, it gives a good overview of what seems to work and which elements are so unpredictable that they do not serve as reliable guidelines.

The post Taking A Closer Look At Tech Conferences: The Nitty Gritty Details (A Study) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Wayfinding For The Mobile Web


  

When designing mobile first, navigation takes a back seat to content, and ruthless editing paves the way for more focused experiences. The pursuit of simplicity, combined with the tight spatial constraints of mobile viewports, often leads us to strip away elements in an attempt to minimize the interface. But the space-saving convenience we gain through clever editing and a compact UI can come at the expense of the very navigational aids our users rely on.

Wayfinding For The Mobile Web

To help balance the craving for visual simplicity with the need to keep websites easy to navigate, we we can borrow some concepts from the world of wayfinding. This article shows how you can apply these concepts to the mobile web.

The post Wayfinding For The Mobile Web appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Freebie: Icons Of Autumn (50 Icons, EPS)


  

There are icons that you can find quite easily, and icons that are difficult to come across. With Icons of Autumn, we are humbled to release a set of 50 free autumn-themed EPS icons illustrated in a lovely sketchy style.

Freebie: Icons Of Autumn (50 Icons, EPS)

Designed by Nick Botner as line art in Adobe Illustrator, the icons are available in EPS, enabling you to change both the color or the weight of the strokes with ease. However, if you want to make the icons into solid shapes, it shouldn’t take much effort either.

The post Freebie: Icons Of Autumn (50 Icons, EPS) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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