Design and stuff

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The designer’s toolbox. Pictos. See Examples Load Speed & File Size: Typically, you use image sprites to render icons on the web.


If you have a hover state and an active (pressed) state for those icons, your sprite will be three times larger than it needs to be. By using a font instead you can load in the icons once and use CSS to change their look for hover and active states. Responsive Web Design Patterns.

Responsive Patterns A collection of patterns and modules for responsive designs.

Responsive Web Design Patterns

Submit a pattern Layout Reflowing Layouts Equal Width. Cork grips. Wandawega Souvenir Dispenser Camp Wandawega was clever enough to re-purpose a cigarette machine to dispense small Wisconsin-related souvenirs.

cork grips

More details about each special little item can be found here. PDW City Fenders. On UI Quality (The Little Things): Client-side Image Resizing. Make it good.

On UI Quality (The Little Things): Client-side Image Resizing

As front-end engineers, our job is ultimately to produce and deliver the front-end “experience.” That is, in addition to the core service (eg., a photo sharing site) which you are providing, you are also responsible for replicating and maintaining the quality of the visual aesthetic, including attention to detail in your UI. Making it really good. Fluid Images — Unstoppable Robot Ninja. (Hello!

Fluid Images — Unstoppable Robot Ninja

If you think this article’s interesting, you might check out my ALA article on responsive web design.) I’ve always hated publishing. Responsive Web Design. The English architect Christopher Wren once quipped that his chosen field “aims for Eternity,” and there’s something appealing about that formula: Unlike the web, which often feels like aiming for next week, architecture is a discipline very much defined by its permanence.

Responsive Web Design

A building’s foundation defines its footprint, which defines its frame, which shapes the facade. Each phase of the architectural process is more immutable, more unchanging than the last. Fluid Grids. Early last year, I worked on the redesign of a rather content-heavy website.

Fluid Grids

Design requirements were fairly light: the client asked us to keep the organization’s existing logo and to improve the dense typography and increase legibility. So, early on in the design process, we spent a sizable amount of time planning a well-defined grid for a library of content modules. Over the past few years, this sort of thinking has become more common. Media Queries. How to fit your website for the Apple iPad « x7 Labs.

Important note, updated: Apple has released very limited information about the iPad at the Safari Dev Center.

How to fit your website for the Apple iPad « x7 Labs

This article is written on the assumption that previous guidelines for Safari on iPhone OS apply to version 3.2 and the iPad. Step 0: Design for 980 pixels and do nothing The width of the iPad screen when held in portrait orientation is 768 pixels. Since many pages (like the NYT, which Jobs has demoed) are wider than that, the iPad scales down pages. The NYT website is automatically scaled down to fit on the iPad screen. Dimensions of the iPhone Display. Detect retina displays with javascript. Written by Brian Cray on May 5th, 2011 I've been trying a way to detect a device's DPI for mobile design.

Detect retina displays with javascript

While I haven't yet, I did at least find a way to detect whether the user is using a retina display. Detect Apple’s Retina display and load specific CSS stylesheet - [ ] HTML5 Please - Use the new and shiny responsibly. A Design Primer for Engineers. For a word that can so vastly change the fortunes of a company, it’s worth noting that no generally accepted definition of the word design exists.

A Design Primer for Engineers

This means when your boss stands up in front of the team at that all-hands and says, “We’ll have a design-centered culture,” there’s a good chance he’s saying nothing at all. But you keep hearing this word. More importantly, you hear the urgency behind the word. You hear that choosing to design a thing is an important thing to do and the person saying it is also important, so you nod vigorously while silently thinking, “I have no fucking idea what you’re talking about and I’m pretty sure neither do you.”