A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

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1.
#35483

Ampersands With Attitude

Ampersands have long been the character in a typeface with which typographers can indulge themselves. Sweeping curves, flirtatious finishes and bold statements – these are the things that make ampersands an exciting character to use and, better still, to design. There are, however, two problems.

Smashing (2008). Articles>Typography>Graphic Design>Fonts

2.
#36646

Applying Mathematics To Web Design

Because of its beautiful nature, mathematics has been a part of art and architectural design for ages. But it has not been exploited much for website design. This is probably because many of us regard mathematics as being antithetical to creativity. On the contrary, mathematics can be a tool to produce creative designs. That said, you don’t have to rely on math for every design. The point is that you should regard it as your friend, not a foe.

Gupta, Adit. Smashing (2010). Articles>Web Design

3.
#36891

The Art And Science Of The Email Signature

Email signatures are so easy to do well, that it’s really a shame how often they’re done poorly. Many people want their signature to reflect their personality, provide pertinent information and more, but they can easily go overboard. Why are email signatures important? They may be boring and the last item on your list of things to get right, but they affect the tone of every email you write. Email signatures contain alternative contact details, pertinent job titles and company names, which help the recipient get in touch when emails are not responded to.

Neville, Kat. Smashing (2010). Articles>Business Communication>Correspondence>Email

4.
#38074

Best Practices For Designing Websites For Kids

Designing websites and related media for kids presents plenty of opportunities for Web designers. Openings are available at many businesses and schools, as well as through parents and kids themselves, giving designers many ways to find work on electronic and print projects that appeal to kids. The types of work range from interface designs for video games to websites for birthday parties.

Morrison, David. Smashing (2011). Articles>Web Design>User Centered Design>Children

5.
#37795

Best Practices of Combining Typefaces - Smashing Magazine

Creating great typeface combinations is an art, not a science. Indeed, the beauty of typography has no borders. While there are no absolute rules to follow, it is crucial that you understand and apply some best practices when combining fonts in a design. When used with diligence and attention, these principles will always yield suitable results. Today we will take a close look at some the best practices for combining typefaces — as well as some blunders to avoid.

Bonneville, Douglas. Smashing (2010). Articles>Document Design>Typography

6.
#36644

Better User Experience With Storytelling, Part 2

We hear from creative professionals who are leading the way in this relatively new world of combining the craft of storytelling with user experience. We’ll also see how storytelling can be applied to more than just interactive experiences: we find it in everything from packaging to architecture.

Inchauste, Francisco. Smashing (2010). Articles>User Experience

7.
#36638

Case Against Vertical Navigation

Five reasons why vertical navigation should not be used and why designers and architects should almost always construct their sites with horizontal navigation in mind.

Lazaris, Louis. Smashing (2010). Design>Web Design>Information Design>Usability

8.
#36730

Color Theory for Designer, Part 3: Creating Your Own Color Palettes

Discusses methods for creating your own color schemes, from scratch. We’ll cover the traditional color scheme patterns (monochrome, analogous, complementary, etc.) as well as how to create custom schemes that aren’t based strictly on any one pattern. By the end of this article, you’ll have the tools and skills to start creating beautiful color palettes for your own design projects.

Chapman, Cameron. Smashing (2010). Design>Web Design>Graphic Design>Color

9.
#36731

Color Theory for Designers, Part 1: The Meaning of Color

Color in design is very subjective. What evokes one reaction in one person may evoke a very different reaction in somone else. Sometimes this is due to personal preference, and other times due to cultural background. Color theory is a science in itself. Studying how colors affect different people, either individually or as a group, is something some people build their careers on. And there’s a lot to it. Something as simple as changing the exact hue or saturation of a color can evoke a completely different feeling. Cultural differences mean that something that’s happy and uplifting in one country can be depressing in another.

Chapman, Cameron. Smashing (2010). Design>Web Design>Graphic Design>Color

10.
#38538

Comprehensive Review Of Usability And User Experience Testing Tools

Usability and user experience testing is vital to creating a successful website, and only more so if it’s an e-commerce website, a complex app or another website for which there’s a definite ROI. And running your own user tests to find out how users are interacting with your website and where problems might arise is completely possible.

Chapman, Cameron. Smashing (2011). Articles>User Experience>Usability>Testing

11.
#32721

Creative User Interfaces in Modern Web Design

The whole may be more than the sum of its parts, but without the parts, there is no whole. Lest that sound like some weird philosophical meandering to you, take comfort in observing the finer aspects of creative and appealing user interface design.

Smashing (2008). Design>Web Design>User Interface

12.
#36889

CSS Sprites: Useful Technique, or Potential Nuisance?

Ah, the ubiquitous CSS sprites — one of the few web design techniques that was able to bypass “trend” status almost instantly, planting itself firmly into the category of best practice CSS. In this article, I’m going to discuss some of the pros and cons of using CSS sprites, focusing particularly on the use of “mega” sprites, and why such use of sprites could in many cases be a waste of time.

Lazaris, Louis. Smashing (2010). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>CSS

13.
#35482

CSS: Techniques, Tutorials, Layouts

Since web-development is a quite dynamic field nowadays, new techniques are being developed and updated all the time. A primary example are CSS-related techniques, which emerge almost every day and offer more possibilities for fellows web-developers. We keep an eye on the recent developments and collect new ideas and methods for our readers. A “fresh” round-up of the “fresh” CSS techniques, tutorials and layouts.

Lennartz, Sven. Smashing (2006). Articles>Web Design>CSS

14.
#37144

CSS3 Solutions for Internet Explorer

CSS3 is probably the hottest trend in web design right now, allowing developers the opportunity to implement a number of solutions into their projects with some very straightforward CSS while avoiding having to resort to nonsemantic markup, extra images, and complex JavaScript. Unfortunately, it’s not a surprise that Internet Explorer, even in its most recent version, still does not support the majority of the properties and features introduced in CSS3. Experienced developers understand that CSS3 can be added to new projects with progressive enhancement in mind. I’ve collected together a number of options that developers can consider for those circumstances where support for a CSS3 feature is required for all versions of Internet Explorer (IE6, IE7, and IE8 — all of which are still currently in significant use).

Lazaris, Louis. Smashing (2010). Articles>Web Design>CSS>Web Browsers

15.
#36728

The Definitive Guide To Styling Web Links

When you style links, remember that users don’t read; they scan. You’ve heard that before, and it’s true. So, make sure your links are obvious. They should also indicate where they will take the user.

Smashing (2010). Design>Web Design>CSS>User Centered Design

16.
#38076

Designing For Android

For designers, Android is the elephant in the room when it comes to app design. As much as designers would like to think it’s an iOS world in which all anyones cares about are iPhones, iPads and the App Store, nobody can ignore that Android currently has the majority of smartphone market share and that it is being used on everything from tablets to e-readers. In short, the Google Android platform is quickly becoming ubiquitous, and brands are starting to notice.

McKenzie, Dan. Smashing (2011). Articles>Web Design>Mobile>Web Browsers

17.
#37750

Designing for Content Management Systems

Designing and indeed front-end development for a website that will have content edited by non-technical users poses some problems over and above those you will encounter when developing a site where you have full control over the output mark-up. However, most clients these days want to be able to manage their own content, so most designers will find that some, if not all, of their designs end up as templates in some kind of CMS. By considering the CMS as you design, you can maintain far more control over the final output. If your designs will be implemented and integrated into the CMS by a developer, then taking control at the design phase will help you to keep control over the design as opposed to leaving decisions to the developer or the content editors.

Andrew, Rachel. Smashing (2010). Articles>Web Design>Content Management

18.
#37789

Designing for iPhone 4 Retina Display: Techniques and Workflow

The iPhone 4 features a vastly superior display resolution (614400 pixels) over previous iPhone models, containing quadruple the 153600-pixel display of the iPhone 3GS. The screen is the same physical size, so those extra dots are used for additional detail — twice the detail horizontally, and twice vertically. For developers only using Apple’s user interface elements, most of the work is already done for you. For those with highly custom, image-based interfaces, a fair amount of work will be required in scaling up elements to take full advantage of the iPhone 4 Retina display.

Edwards, Marc. Smashing (2010). Articles>Usability>Mobile

19.
#37518

Designing Style Guidelines For Brands And Websites

A website is never done. Everyone has worked on a project that changed so much after it launched that they no longer wanted it in their portfolio. One way to help those who take over your projects is to produce a style guide.

Neville, Kat. Smashing (2010). Articles>Web Design>Style Guides>Marketing

20.
#36639

Designing User Interfaces For Business Web Applications

Business Web application design is too often neglected. I see a lot of applications that don’t meet the needs of either businesses or users and thus contribute to a loss of profit and poor user experience. It even happens that designers are not involved in the process of creating applications at all, putting all of the responsibility on the shoulders of developers.

Jovanovic, Janko. Smashing (2010). Articles>Web Design>Business Communication>User Interface

21.
#38848

Designing With Grid-Based Approach

The main idea behind grid-based designs is a solid visual and structural balance of web-sites you can create with them. Sophisticated layout structures offer more flexibility and enhance the visual experience of visitors. In fact, users can easier follow the consistency of the page, while developers can update the layout in a well thought-out, consistent way.

Friedman, Vitaly. Smashing Magazine (2007). Articles>Document Design

22.
#36645

Developing Sites With AJAX: Design Challenges and Common Issues

Almost every movie has a scene in which a character pull the protagonist aside and says, “There’s something you should know about [insert another character's name here].” Most of the time, we find out some dark secret about a supposed friend of the protagonist or that the main ally is actually an evil overlord. This is that moment, and I am here to tell you a few things about our friend in the Web 2.0 world: AJAX.

Heilmann, Christian. Smashing (2010). Articles>Web Design>Ajax

23.
#35486

Eighty Beautiful Typefaces For Professional Design

Which typefaces are “bulletproof”? What fonts can be used effectively in almost every Corporate Design? And what are the options for unique, but still incredibly beautiful typefaces? We have answers. Over the last few days we’ve browsed through dozens of type foundries, read dozens of designers’ articles about typography, analyzed font rankings and visited bookmarked font-related suggestions. So this post has ‘em all. Well, OK, at least many of them.

Friedman, Vitaly. Smashing (2007). Articles>Typography>Fonts

24.
#35216

Enhancing User Interaction With First Person User Interface

First person user interfaces can be a good fit for applications that allow people to navigate the real world, “augment” their immediate surroundings with relevant information, and interact with objects or people directly around them.

Wroblewski, Luke. Smashing (2009). Articles>User Interface>Usability>3D

25.
#37794

Equal Height Column Layouts with Borders and Negative Margins in CSS

What? Another “Equal Height Columns” article? Enough already!” If this is what you think, then think again because this solution is different. It does not rely on any of the usual tricks. It does not use images1, nor extra markup2, nor CSS33, nor pseudo-classes3, nor Javascript4, nor absolute positioning5. All it uses is border and negative margin. Please note that this article will also demonstrate different construct techniques and will brush up on a few concepts.

Koblentz, Thierry. Smashing (2010). Design>Web Design>Document Design>CSS

 
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