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Erik Kennedy learnui.design

4 rules for intuitive UX

Erik Kennedy is back to give developers (and other folks who aren’t steeped in UX) some actionable advice on how to make interfaces more usable. This is my advice on improving the UX of your designs WITHOUT hours of user research sessions, paper prototyping playtime, or any other trendy UX buzzwords. When I started as a professional UX designer, I was shocked how many times my clients would hand me the initial wireframes (or the living, breathing, in-browser MVP) and there’d be completely obvious UX mistakes all over them. I’m not talking about things you need hours of research and A/B testing to discover. I’m talking, like, dead simple mistakes.

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Wassim Chegham xlayers.dev

Preview and convert Sketch design files into any framework and library

xLayers is a web app which aims to bridge the gap between designers and developers. Its mission is to allow both the design and development worlds to collaborate and iterate fast. Upload your Sketch file and you will get the code generated for your favorite framework of choice (React, Vue, Angular, LitHtml, Stencil and even Xamarin Forms…and more to come).

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Tobias van Schneider vanschneider.com

Content or design first?

This is a thoughtful look at the relationship between content and design, and some steps that designers can take to better work with copywriters. We all know designers and copywriters should not work in silos. We know design and copy should inform each other, rather than one being retrofitted to the other. This is especially true for UX writing, which must work in tandem with design to do its job well. Effective collaboration between design and content, however, is easier said than done. The author goes on to lay out some ideas to improve collaboration, mostly from the standpoint of the designer, but honestly I think a lot of these same ideas are important for developers. And you can extend it further by saying “don’t use placeholder copy for user generated content”.

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freeCodeCamp Icon freeCodeCamp

Fundamental design principles for non-designers

Front-end developers are often in a position of trying to interpolate between a (static) design and the (dynamic) needs of a product. When something comes up that isn’t quite covered by the design, what should you do? In an ideal world we could have a conversation with the designer, but the world is rarely ideal, so it’s useful to have at least a sense of good practices to apply. This article is great because it keeps it simple - just four straightforward principles. As author Anna 4erepawko Mészáros says: Will this help you create shiny beautiful designs? No. Will this help you create great, clear and comprehensible designs that everyone can easily understand and interact with? Absolutely.

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CSS betterwebtype.com

The state of fluid web typography

Matej Latin takes us through the current state of fluid typography on the web: Fluid typography gives us so many opportunities to better design the reading experiences on the web but, at the same time, it introduces problems of font sizes scaling uncontrollably and potential accessibility issues. Is fluid web typography ready to be used? TLDR: No, it’s not ready. But you should still read the article, which has a great breakdown of pros and cons of fluid typography and other typography approaches.

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Mozilla Icon Mozilla

Mozilla has published their 2019 Internet Health Report

The report focuses on 5 questions about the internet. Is it safe? How open is it? Who is welcome? Who can succeed? Who controls it? The answer is complicated, and the report doesn’t make any particular conclusions so much as share a series of research & stories about each topic. Includes some fascinating looks at what’s going on in AI, inclusive design, open source, decentralization and more.

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CSS github.com

A just-add-css collection of styles to make simple websites just a little nicer

I commonly make quick demo pages or websites with simple content. For these, I don’t want to spend time styling them but don’t like the uglyness of the default styles. Water.css is a css framework that doesn’t require any classes. You just include it in your and forget about it, while it silently makes everything nicer. Includes a light theme and a dark theme. Demo here.

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Arun Venkatesan arun.is

The design of Apple's credit card

Definitely one of my favorite announcements from Apple at their special event this week — the physical version of Apple’s new credit card, Apple Card. As is expected from Apple, the card is unlike any other. At a close glance, the minutest details set it apart from the rest. Of course, the physical card hasn’t been released yet, but we can learn a lot from what Apple has shown in promotional material. If you haven’t yet, tune in to Backstage #3 for our hottest of hot takes right after Apple’s special event.

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Nikita Prokopov tonsky.me

Redesigning GitHub's repository page

A thoughtful, step-by-step redesign of the repo page we all know so well. I didn’t realize how many problems the current design has! Perhaps I’ve been inoculated to them by sheer volume of use. His redesign takes a few left turns on me (I’ve always loved how code-centric the design is, for example), but overall there are many good ideas inside. I hope GitHub’s design teams read this and “steal” a few of the goodies.

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Rachel Andrew rachelandrew.co.uk

HTML, CSS and our vanishing industry entry points

As chronicled in the latest JS Party we continue to track the conversations and insights being shared about the great divide on the front-end. Even DHH shared his thoughts. This post from HTML & CSS expert and advocate Rachel Andrew shares her perspective drawn from the 20 years she’s been working on the front and backend of the web. When we talk about HTML and CSS these discussions impact the entry point into this profession. Whether front or backend, many of us without a computer science background are here because of the ease of starting to write HTML and CSS. The magic of seeing our code do stuff on a real live webpage! We have already lost many of the entry points that we had. We don’t have the forums of parents teaching each other HTML and CSS, in order to make a family album. Those people now use Facebook, or perhaps run a blog on wordpress.com…

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David Heinemeier Hansson Signal v. Noise

Designing for the web ought to mean making HTML and CSS

DHH shared his thoughts on The Great Divide. After all, the web IS just…HTML, CSS, and JavaScript… …as The Great Divide points out, regression is lurking, because the industry is making it too hard to work directly with the web. The towering demands inherent in certain ways of working with JavaScript are rightfully scaring some designers off from implementing their ideas at all. That’s a travesty. At Basecamp, web designers all do HTML, CSS, and frequently the first-pass implementations of the necessary JavaScript and Rails code as well! It means they get to iterate on their design ideas with full independence. In the real app!

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Chris Coyier css-tricks.com

The Great Divide

Next week’s episode of JS Party digs into this subject, so make sure you subscribe or check it out! Two front-end developers are sitting at a bar. They have nothing to talk about. The divide between front-enders can be summarized by those whose “interests, responsibilities, and skill sets are heavily revolved around JavaScript,” and those whose “interests, responsibilities, and skill sets are focused on other areas of the front end, like HTML, CSS, design, interaction, patterns, accessibility, etc.”

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