Direction Aware Hover Effects

This is a particular design trick that never fails to catch people’s eye! I don’t know the exact history of who-thought-of-what first and all that, but I know I have seen a number of implementations of it over the years. I figured I’d round a few of them up here. Noel Delagado See the Pen Direction-aware 3D hover effect (Concept) by Noel Delgado (@noeldelgado) on CodePen. The detection here is done by tracking the mouse position on mouseover and mouseout and calculating which side was crossed. It’s a small amount of clever JavaScript, the meat of which is figuring out that direction: var getDirection = function (ev, obj) { var… Read More

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Offline *Only* Viewing

It made the rounds a while back that Chris Bolin built a page of his personal website that could only be viewed while you are offline. This page itself is an experiment in that vein: What if certain content required us to disconnect? What if readers had access to that glorious focus that makes devouring a novel for hours at a time so satisfying? What if creators could pair that with the power of modern devices? Our phones and laptops are amazing platforms for inventive content—if only we could harness our own attention. Now Bolin has a whole magazine around this same concept called The Disconnect! The Disconnect is an… Read More

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Wufoo Forms Integrate With Everything

(This is a sponsored post.) Wufoo helps you build forms you can put on any website. There’s a million reasons you might need to do that, from the humble contact form, to a sales lead generation form, to a sales or registration form. That’s powerful and useful all by itself. But Wufoo is even more powerful when you consider that it integrates with over 1,000 other web services. Wufoo integrates with over a dozen CRM solutions, including Salesforce, Nutshell, Highrise, Nimble, and more. Wufoo integrates with the most popular email marketing services like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Sendloop, and more. Wufoo integrates with payment processors like Stripe, PayPal, Chargify, and more.… Read More

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Using Default Parameters in ES6

I’ve recently begun doing more research into what’s new in JavaScript, catching up on a lot of the new features and syntax improvements that have been included in ES6 (i.e. ES2015 and later). You’ve likely heard about and started using the usual stuff: arrow functions, let and const, rest and spread operators, and so on. One feature, however, that caught my attention is the use of default parameters in functions, which is now an official ES6+ feature. This is the ability to have your functions initialize parameters with default values even if the function call doesn’t include them. The feature itself is pretty straightforward in its simplest form, but there… Read More

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A Short History of WaSP and Why Web Standards Matter

In August of 2013, Aaron Gustafson posted to the WaSP blog. He had a bittersweet message for a community that he had helped lead: Thanks to the hard work of countless WaSP members and supporters (like you), Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the web as an open, accessible, and universal community is largely the reality. While there is still work to be done, the sting of the WaSP is no longer necessary. And so it is time for us to close down The Web Standards Project. If there’s just the slightest hint of wistful regret in Gustafson’s message, it’s because the Web Standards Project changed everything that had become the norm… Read More

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The Best UX is No User Interface at All

I have been obsessed with User Interfaces (UI) for as long as I can remember. I remember marveling at the beauty that was Compaq TabWorks while I played “The Incredible Machine” and listened to “Tears For Fears—Greatest Hits” on the family computer. Don’t judge me—I was listening to “Mad World” way before Donny Darko and that creepy rabbit. If none of those references landed with you, it’s probably because I’m super old. In the words of George Castanza, “It’s not you, it’s me.” That’s another super old reference you might not get. You know what—forget all that, let’s move on. I really got into UI when I bought my own… Read More

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Website Sameness™

Here’s captain obvious (yours truly) with an extra special observation for you: BAR WITH SPECIAL MESSAGE LOGO PLATFORM↓ SOLUTIONS↓ PRICING BOLD STATEMENT CALL TO ACTION GRID OF LITTLE ILLUSTRATIONS LARGE BOLD FOOTER©2018 — Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) January 30, 2018 It came across as (particularly trite) commentary about Website Sameness™. I suppose it was. I was looking at lots of sites as I was putting together The Power of Serverless. I was actually finding it funny how obtuse the navigation often is on a SaaS sites. Products? Solutions? Which one is for me? Do I need to buy a product and a solution? Sometimes they make me feel dumb, like I’m… Read More

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Using Conic Gradients and CSS Variables to Create a Doughnut Chart Output for a Range Input

I recently came across this Pen and my first thought was that it could all be done with just three elements: a wrapper, a range input and an output. On the CSS side, this involves using a conic-gradient() with a stop set to a CSS variable. The result we want to reproduce. In mid 2015, Lea Verou unveiled a polyfill for conic-gradient() during a conference talk where she demoed how they can be used for creating pie charts. This polyfill is great for getting started to play with conic-gradient(), as it allows us to use them to build stuff that works across the board. Sadly, it doesn’t work with CSS… Read More

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Recreating the GitHub Contribution Graph with CSS Grid Layout

Ire Aderinokun sets out to build the GitHub contribution graph — that’s the table with lots of green squares indicating how much you’ve contributed to a project – with CSS Grid: As I always find while working with CSS Grid Layout, I end up with far less CSS than I would have using almost any other method. In this case, the layout-related part of my CSS ended up being less than 30 lines, with only 15 declarations! I’m so excited about posts like this because it shows just how much fun CSS Grid can be. Likewise, Jules Forrest has been making a number of brilliant experiments on this front where… Read More

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Take a coding quiz, get offers from top tech companies

(This is a sponsored post.) That’s how TripleByte works. The companies that find hires from TripleByte (like Dropbox, Apple, Reddit, Twitch, etc) don’t have as many underqualified applicants to sort through because they’ve come through a technical interview of sorts already. Direct Link to Article — Permalink Take a coding quiz, get offers from top tech companies is a post from CSS-Tricks

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Turn that frown upside down

I got an email that went like this (lightly edited for readability): CSS makes me sad. I’ve been programming web apps for more than a decade now. I can architect the thing, load every required data, make all the hops and jumps until I have a perfectly crafted piece of markup with relevant info. And then I need to put a box to the left of another box. Or add a scrollbar because a list is too big. Or, god forbid, center some text. I waste hours and feel worthless and sad. This only happens with CSS. I think this is a matter of practice. I bet you practice all… Read More

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Creating Cue Files from Markdown

Pretty specific, huh? While we’re going to do exactly what the title says, this post is more about a learning exercise and an example of getting help on the internet. My podcast editor, Chris Enns, is always looking for ways to improve his work and make podcasting better. One kinda cool way to do that is to offer “chapters” so that people can jump around in a podcast to specific points. Through TimeJump, we already offer that on the website itself. Those happen in the format of hash links like this: #t=12:18. Believe it or not, relative links like that, in the show notes, actually work in some podcatchers (podcast… Read More

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ABEM. A more useful adaptation of BEM.

BEM (Block Element Modifier) is a popular CSS class naming convention that makes CSS easier to maintain. This article assumes that you are already familiar with the naming convention. If not you can learn more about it at getbem.com to catch up on the basics. The standard syntax for BEM is: block-name__element-name–modifier-name I’m personally a massive fan of the methodology behind the naming convention. Separating your styles into small components is far easier to maintain than having a sea of high specificity spread all throughout your stylesheet. However, there are a few problems I have with the syntax that can cause issues in production as well as cause confusion for… Read More

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An Open Source Etiquette Guidebook

Open source software is thriving. Large corporations are building on software that rests on open collaboration, enjoying the many benefits of significant community adoption. Free and open source software is amazing for its ability to bring together many people from all over the world, and join their efforts and skills by their interests. That said, and because we come from so many different backgrounds, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on how we work together. The manner in which you conduct yourself while working with others can sometimes impact whether your work is merged, whether someone works on your issue, or in some cases, why you might be blocked… Read More

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Slate’s URLs Are Getting a Makeover

Greg Lavallee writes about a project currently underway at Slate, where they’ve defined a new goal for themselves: Our goal is speed: Readers should be able to get to what they want quickly, writers should be able to swiftly publish their posts, and developers should be able to code with speed. They’ve already started shipping a lot of neat improvements to the website but the part that really interests me is where they focus on redefining their URLs: As a web developer and product dabbler, I love URLs. URLs say a tremendous amount about an application’s structure, and their predictability is a testament to the elegance of the systems behind… Read More

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​HelloSign API: Your development time matters

(This is a sponsored post.) We know that no API can write your code for you, but ours comes close. We’ve placed great importance on making sure our API is the most developer-friendly API available — prioritizing clean documentation, an industry-first API dashboard for easy tracking and debugging, and trained API support engineers to personally assist with your integration.  Meaning, you won’t find an eSignature product with an easier or faster path to implementation.  It’s 2x faster than other eSignature APIs.   If you’re a business looking for a way to integrate eSignatures into your website or app, test drive HelloSign API for free today. Direct Link to Article — Permalink ​HelloSign API: Your… Read More

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A Front End Developer’s Guide to GraphQL

No matter how large or small your application is, you’ll have to deal with fetching data from a remote server at some point. On the front end, this usually involves hitting a REST endpoint, transforming the response, caching it, and updating your UI. For years, REST has been the status quo for APIs, but over the past year, a new API technology called GraphQL has exploded in popularity due to its excellent developer experience and declarative approach to data fetching. In this post, we’ll walk through a couple of hands-on examples to show you how integrating GraphQL into your application will solve many pain points working with remote data. If… Read More

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Fallbacks for Videos-as-Images

Safari 11.1 shipped a strange-but-very-useful feature: the ability to use a video source in the tag. The idea is it does the same job as a GIF (silent, autoplaying, repeating), but with big performance gains. How big? “20x faster and decode 7x faster than the GIF equivalent,” says Colin Bendell. Not all browsers support this so, to do a fallback, the element is ready. Bruce Lawson shows how easy it can be: Šime Vidas notes you get wider browser support by using the tag: But as Bendell noted, the performance benefits aren’t there with video, notably the fact that video isn’t helped out by the preloader. Sadly, it is for… Read More

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Counting With CSS Counters and CSS Grid

You’ve heard of CSS Grid, I’m sure of that. It would be hard to miss it considering that the whole front-end developer universe has been raving about it for the past year. Whether you’re new to Grid or have already spent some time with it, we should start this post with a short definition directly from the words of W3C: Grid Layout is a new layout model for CSS that has powerful abilities to control the sizing and positioning of boxes and their contents. Unlike Flexible Box Layout, which is single-axis–oriented, Grid Layout is optimized for 2-dimensional layouts: those in which alignment of content is desired in both dimensions. In… Read More

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Web-Powered Augmented Reality: a Hands-On Tutorial

Uri Shaked has written about his journey in AR on the web from the very early days of Google’s Project Tango to the recent A-Frame experiments from Mozilla. Front-end devs might be interested in A-Frame because of how you work with it – it’s a declarative language like HTML! I particularly like this section where Uri describes how it felt to first play around with AR: The ability to place virtual objects in the real space, and have them stick in place even when you move around, seemed to me like we were diving down the uncanny valley, where the boundaries between the physical world and the game were beginning… Read More

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Sketching in the Browser

Mark Dalgleish details how his team at seek tried to build a library of React components that could then be translated into Sketch documents. Why is that important though? Well, Mark describes the problems that his team faced like this: …most design systems still have a fundamental flaw. Designers and developers continue to work in entirely different mediums. As a result, without constant, manual effort to keep them in sync, our code and design assets are constantly drifting further and further apart. For companies working with design systems, it seems our industry is stuck with design tools that are essentially built for the wrong medium—completely unable to feed our development… Read More

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​140 Free Stock Videos With Videoblocks

(This is a sponsored post.) Videoblocks is exploding with over 115,000 stock videos, After Effects templates, motion backgrounds and more! With its user-friendly site, massive library to choose from, and fresh new content, there’s no stopping what you can do. All the content is 100% free from any royalties. Anything you download is yours to keep and use forever! Right now, you can get 7 days of free downloads. Get up to 20 videos every day for 7 days. That’s 140 downloads free over the course of the 7 days. Click on over and see where your imagination takes you! Start Downloading Now Direct Link to Article — Permalink ​140… Read More

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JavaScript, I love you, you’re perfect, now change

Those of us who celebrate Christmas or Hannukkah probably have strong memories of the excitement of December. Do you remember the months leading up to Christmas, when your imagination exploded with ideas, answers to the big question “What do you want for Christmas?” As a kid, because you aren’t bogged down by adult responsibility and even the bounds of reality, the list could range anywhere from “legos” to “a trip to the moon” (which is seeming like will be more likely in years to come). Thinking outside of an accepted base premise—the confines of what we know something to be—can be a useful mental exercise. I love JavaScript, for instance,… Read More

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Aspect Ratios with SVG

I quite like this little trick from Noam Rosenthal: Content goes here Two things going on there: As soon as you give a a viewBox, it goes full-width, but only as tall as the implied aspect ratio in the viewBox value. The viewBox value is essentially “top, left, width, height” for the coordinate system interally to the SVG, but it has the side-effect of sizing the element itself when it has no height of its own. That’s what is used to “push” the parent element into an apsect ratio as well. The parent will still stretch if it has to (e.g. more content than fits), which is good. CSS Grid… Read More

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Refactoring Your Way to a Design System

Mina Markham on refactoring a large and complex codebase into an agile design system, slowly over time: If you’re not lucky enough to be able to start a new design system from scratch, you can start small and work on a single feature or component. With each new project comes a new opportunity to flesh out a new part of the system, and another potential case study to secure buy-in and showcase its value. Make sure to carefully and thoroughly document each new portion of the system as it’s built. After a few projects, you’ll find yourself with a decent start to a design system. As a side note, Mina’s… Read More

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Many Ways to Learn

Julie Zhuo responds to the classic “What can I do to continue my growth?”: One of the things I believe the most firmly is that everyone has something to teach you if you’re looking for the lessons. And these people don’t have to be other designers at your company! There are many paths to becoming an awesome product designer She lists (and explains): Learn from your users Learn from people with different skillsets Learn by doing  I have a draft blog post called “Tech Books are Supplementary” that I started in 2011 and somehow haven’t gotten around to finishing. One of these days! The point I try to make in… Read More

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Chrome is Not the Standard

Chris Krycho has written an excellent post about how us fickle web developers might sometimes confuse features that land in one browser as being “the future of the web.” However, Chris argues that there’s more than one browser’s vision of the web that we should care about: No single company gets to dominate the others in terms of setting the agenda for the web. Not Firefox, with its development and advocacy of WebAssembly, dear to my heart though that is. Not Microsoft and the IE/Edge team, with its proposal of the CSS grid spec in 2011, sad though I am that it languished for as long as it did. Not… Read More

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Breaking Down the Performance API

JavaScript’s Performance API is prudent, because it hands over tools to accurately measure the performance of Web pages, which, in spite of being performed since long before, never really became easy or precise enough. That said, it isn’t as easy to get started with the API as it is to actually use it. Although I’ve seen extensions of it covered here and there in other posts, the big picture that ties everything together is hard to find. One look at any document explaining the global performance interface (the access point for the Performance API) and you’ll be bombarded with a slew of other specifications, including High Resolution Time API, Performance… Read More

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New in Chrome 63

Yeah, we see browser updates all the time these days and you may have already caught this one. Aside from slick new JavaScript features, there is one new CSS update in Chrome 63 that is easy to overlook but worth calling out: Chrome 63 now supports the CSS overscroll-behavior property, making it easy to override the browser’s default overflow scroll behavior. The property is interesting because it natively supports the pull to refresh UI that we often see in native and web apps, defines scrolling regions that are handy for popovers and slide-out menus, and provides a method to control the rubber-banding effect on some touch devices so that a… Read More

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Don’t Use My Grid System (or any others)

This presentation by Miriam at DjangoCon US last summer is not only well done, but an insightful look at the current and future direction of CSS layout tools. Many of us are familiar with Susy, the roll-your-own Grid system Miriam developed. We published a deep-dive on Susy a few years back to illustrate how easy it makes defining custom grid lines without the same pre-defined measures included in other CSS frameworks, like Foundation or Bootstrap. It really was (and is) a nice tool. To watch Miriam give a talk that discourages using frameworks—even her very own—is a massive endorsement of more recent CSS developments, like Flexbox and Grid. Her talk… Read More

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How Would You Solve This Rendering Puzzle In React?

Welcome, React aficionados and amateurs like myself! I have a puzzle for you today. Let’s say that you wanted to render out a list of items in a 2 column structure. Each of these items is a separate component. For example, say we had a list of albums and we wanted to render them a full page 2 column list. Each “Album” is a React component. Scroll rendering problem Now assume the CSS framework that you are using requires you to render out a two column layout like this… Column 1 Column 2 This means that in order to render out the albums correctly, you have to open a columns… Read More

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