Techniques articles

It’s Time To Start Using CSS Custom Properties




 


 

Today, CSS preprocessors are a standard for web development. One of the main advantages of preprocessors is that they enable you to use variables. This helps you to avoid copying and pasting code, and it simplifies development and refactoring.

It's Time To Start Using CSS Custom Properties

We use preprocessors to store colors, font preferences, layout details — mostly everything we use in CSS. But preprocessor variables have some limitations.

The post It’s Time To Start Using CSS Custom Properties appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Using Slack To Monitor Your App




 


 

For the past few months, I’ve been building a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application, and throughout the development process I’ve realized what a powerful tool Slack (or team chat in general) can be to monitor user and application behavior.

After a bit of integration, it’s provided a real-time view into our application that previously didn’t exist, and it’s been so invaluable that I couldn’t help but write up this show-and-tell.

The post Using Slack To Monitor Your App appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Copy If You Can: Improving Your UI Design Skills With Copywork




 


 

There’s a technique for improving one’s user interface design skills that is the most efficient way I know of expanding one’s visual vocabulary but that I’ve rarely heard mentioned by digital designers.

Copy If You Can: Improving Your UI Design Skills With Copywork

I’m talking about copywork. Copywork is a technique that writers and painters have been using for centuries. It is the process of recreating an existing work as closely as possible in order to improve one’s skill. In our case, this means recreating a user interface (UI) design pixel for pixel.

The post Copy If You Can: Improving Your UI Design Skills With Copywork appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Building “Topple Trump”, An Interactive Web-Based Quiz Game (Case Study)




 


 

Editor’s Note: When it comes to elections, we are each given a choice in how to express our opinions and beliefs. Some designers and developers use their skills to further articulate their choice in one person. Here’s a glimpse into how Topple Trump!, an interactive responsive quiz game, was designed and built — combined with some valuable lessons learned along the way. This article is about techniques and strategies, so please avoid political flame in the comments.

Creating an online quiz that is simple to use, looks great and is really fun to play is one thing. Basing it on Donald Trump’s polarizing presidential campaign is another.

Building 'Topple Trump', An Interactive Web-Based Quiz Game (Case Study)

The brainchild of Parallax director and developer Andy Fitch, Topple Trump! has gone on to win numerous awards. But it was a real team effort that brought the game to life. Here’s a glimpse into precisely how that happened, touching on the development process, design considerations and some valuable lessons learned along the way.

The post Building “Topple Trump”, An Interactive Web-Based Quiz Game (Case Study) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

The Building Blocks Of Progressive Web Apps




 


 

The common wisdom for most companies that set out to build an app is to build a native Android or iOS app, as well as a supporting website. Although there are some good reasons for that, not enough people know about the major advantages of web apps. Web apps can replace all of the functions of native apps and websites at once. They are coming more and more to the fore these days, but still not enough people are familiar with them or adopting them.

The Building Blocks Of A Progressive Web App

Here, you will be able to find some do’s and dont’s on how to make a progressive web app, as well as resources for further research. I’ll also go into the various components and support issues surrounding web apps. Although not every browser is friendly to them, there are still some compelling reasons to learn more about this technology.

The post The Building Blocks Of Progressive Web Apps appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Upgrading CSS Animation With Motion Curves




 


 

There is UI animation, and then there is good UI animation. Good animation makes you go “Wow!” — it’s smooth, beautiful and, most of all, natural, not blocky, rigid or robotic. If you frequent Dribbble or UpLabs, you’ll know what I am talking about.

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With so many amazing designers creating such beautiful animations, any developer would naturally want to recreate them in their own projects. Now, CSS does provide some presets for transition-timing-function, such as ease-in, ease-out and ease-in-out, which add some level of smoothness and realism, but they are very generic, aren’t they? How boring would it be if every animation on the web followed the same three timing functions?

The post Upgrading CSS Animation With Motion Curves appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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