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Interactive float-labels — Adrian Zumbrunnen by Adrian Zumbrunnen / Nov 24, 2014 Forms are one of the most crucial constituents of the web. Designing and implementing them is both a delicate challenge in its own right. To get our hands dirty, in an attempt to create interactive float labels, we first need to understand why float labels are so important in the first place. One of the main problems of forms solely relying on placeholder text is that the user loses the ability to validate his own input once he’s finished typing. The portrayed HTML & CSS implementation as seen on css-tricks therefore completely misses the point, as the labels disappear after typing. On the other hand, the float label pattern as seen above solves this very problem by always providing a label and its corresponding value to the user. There is one input field which is fundamentally different than any other, representing one of the always recurring frustrations of online forms: The password field. A better context for passwords Please repeat your password!

How We Changed the Facebook Friends Icon How We Changed the FacebookFriends Icon Facebook headquarters is an amazing place. The snacks are free, the sun always shines and everyone is full of the best intentions. During my first week I encountered hundreds of people earnestly trying to make the world a better place. I also foresaw how easy it would be to adjust to this new normal and lose perspective. Much to my dismay, not long into my tenure as a Facebook designer I found something in the company glyph kit worth getting upset about. I shared my complaint with a designer friend and she helpfully pointed me to the poster next to mine which proclaimed, “Nothing at Facebook is someone else’s problem.” After fixing her shoulder I was tempted to remove the Darth Vader-like helmet and give her hair some definition. In comparison to the new lady, the old man icon seemed stiff and outdated so I smoothed down his hair and added a slight slope to his shoulders.

Well-designed interfaces look boring — Mission Log Well-designed interfaces look boring 3 billion people used the internet for the first time in the past decade. Can you imagine what that was like? Well, in many ways, it’s gotten boring. Information rules supreme In 1990, a group of researches concluded that “Absorptive Capacity” — “the ability … to recognize the value of new, external information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends” — would become one of the most important factors in a company’s success. This monstrous pile of letters and numbers nets Bloomberg roughly 6.3 billion dollars a year. Perhaps more importantly, it’s boring. Autonomous cars look boring, too Of course, the design of the Bloomberg Terminal is unknown — and not at all important — to most people. There is a rich history of “interface design” for the complex information once required to drive cars. As an interface designer, I’m disappointed. Let go of shiny things Special thanks to Josh Petersel for looking at drafts of this piece.

Explaining graphic design to four-year-olds I recently offered to talk at the local primary school, about my job (or at least part of my job). I expected to be speaking to the older kids, and be able to talk specifically about the cool parts of the job, and maybe some of the sucky bits too, and how you get around them. However, I was asked to talk to a reception class (four and five-year-olds), and it turned out to be an interesting exercise in boiling down what you do, to its most basic elements. Firstly, I couldn’t rest on my laurels and rely on some of the brands I’ve worked with, to win me any kudos, like it might with the older kids — “Yeah, I’ve worked for Channel 4, and the BBC, and Diesel, and the BRIT Awards, and I even designed a website that got me an imdb entry (even though I share same entry with some dude who was in Xena: Warrior Princess). So what do I actually do? I thought it’d be a good idea to explain what design in all its forms is. Design is about making something easy to use, or easy to understand. Phew.

The Spy Who Ate Me: A Food Photographer Recreates James Bond's Meals Everybody knows how James Bond likes his martinis prepared. What's less certain is how the cinematic super-spy prefers his meals. In order to find out, fans used to have to delve into the fine print of Ian Fleming's long-running series of novels. This information has since been declassified, though, with extreme prejudice. Photographer Henry Hargreaves is known for using food to tell a story, and his latest series tells a story about James Bond. Specifically, it tells the story of the globe-trotting agent’s culinary appetites—as distinct from his carnal ones and his bloodthirst. It all started when Hargreaves met with a fellow food artist, Charlotte Omnès on an unrelated project for the Food Network. "My grandfather had been in and out of the services since WWII and eventually he finished up as a Queen’s Messenger in the ‘70s and that’s when he met Ian Fleming," the photographer says. "The Goldfinger dish was hardest to create," Hargreaves says.