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Category: Design

A DevTools for Designers

There has long been an unfortunate disconnect between visual design for the web and web design and development. We’re over here designing pictures of websites, not websites – so the sentiment goes. A.J. Kandy puts a point on all this. We’re seeing a proliferation of design tools these days, all with their own leaps forward. Yet… But, critically, the majority of them aren’t web-centric. None really integrate with a modern web development workflow, not without converters or plugins anyway; and their output is not websites, but clickable simulations of websites. Still, these prototypes are, inevitably, one-way artifacts that have to be first analyzed by developers, then recreated in code. That’s just a part of what A.J. has to say, so I’d encourage you to read the whole thing. Do y’all get Clearletter, the Clearleft newsletter? It’s a good one. They made some connections here to nearly a decade of similar thinking: Jason Santa Maria: A Real Web Design Application Jeffrey Zeldman: An Indesign for HTML and CSS? Jon Gold: The Evolution of Tools I suspect the reason that nobody has knocked a solution out of the park is that it’s a really hard problem to solve. There might not be a solution that is universally loved across lines. Like A.J., I hope it happens in the browser. Direct Link to Article — Permalink The post A DevTools for Designers...

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Design Microsites

Google, Airbnb, Slack, MailChimp, Facebook, Etsy, IBM, Dropbox… everybody has a design site these days. Direct Link to Article — Permalink The post Design Microsites appeared first on CSS-Tricks....

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Designer-Oriented Styles

James Kyle: Components are a designer’s bread and butter. Designers have been building design systems with some model of “component” for a really long time. As the web has matured, from Atomic Design to Sketch Symbols, “components” (in some form or another) have asserted themselves as a best practice for web designers … Designers don’t care about selectors or #TheCascade. They might make use of it since it’s available, but #TheCascade never comes up in the design thought process. (Okay okay… most designers. You’re special. But we both knew that already.) I think James makes strong points here. I’m, predictably, in the camp in which I like CSS. I don’t find it particularly hard or troublesome. Yet, I don’t think in CSS when designing. Much easier to think (and work) in components, nesting them as needed. If the developer flow matched that, that’s cool. I also agree with Sarah Federman who chimed in on Twitter: It seems a bit premature to look at the current landscape of component CSS tooling at say that it’s designer-friendly. The whole conversation is worth reading, ending with: Tooling that treats component design as an interface with the code is where it’s at/going to be. Hopefully, designers will be more empowered to create component styles when we can meet them closer to their comfort zone. Direct Link to Article — Permalink Designer-Oriented Styles is...

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Five Design Fears to Vanquish With CSS Grid

CSS grid, along with a handful of other new CSS properties, are revolutionizing web design. Unfortunately, the industry hasn’t embraced that revolution yet and a lot of it is centered around fear that we can trace back to problems with the current state of CSS grid tutorials. The majority of them fall into one of two categories: Re-creating classic web design patterns. Grid is great at replicating classic web design patterns like card grids and “holy grail” pages. Playing around. Grid is also great for creating fun things like Monopoly boards or video game interfaces. These types of tutorials are important for new technology. They’re a starting point. Now is the time, as Jen Simmons says, to get out of our ruts. To do that, we must cast off our design fears. Fear 1: Asymmetry We’ve been trained in the era of frameworks that symmetric and orderly designs are better. It’s true that for many applications a symmetric design or an orderly grid of items is preferred. Yet, asymmetry has the ability to capture the eye and mind in a way that symmetry never will. Asymmetry is interesting in its disorder. If you’re nervous, you can always start small. See the Pen Asymmetric Promo Grid by Bryan Robinson (@brob) on CodePen. In this example, we have a simple promotional space. By using an asymmetric vertical and horizontal layout, we...

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Confessions Of An Impostor

Five years ago, when, for the first time ever, I was invited to speak at one of the best front-end conferences in Europe, I had quite a mixture of feelings. Obviously, I was incredibly proud and happy: I had never had a chance to do this before for a diverse audience of people with different skillsets. But the other feelings I had were quite destructive. I sincerely could not understand how I could be interesting to anyone: Even though I had been working in front-end for many years by then, I was very silent in the community....

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