The week is coming to an end and that means it is time for us to look back on the week that passed, the best design news, resources and other goodies. This week we look at Creative food advertising designs, WordPress Themes, freebies for web designers, web design tips for small business owners and much more.
Flat style is quite trendy nowadays and lots of designers resort to it while mocking up its website or app designs. You can leverage simple plane graphics, flat icons, components with long shadow, tiny typography, lots of whitespace and much more in order to make your design look trendy flat. Today we have collected fresh examples of website designs made in an elegant flat style.
Responsive designs are more and more frequently used today. Many people started using mobile devices, like smartphones or tablets, to browse the internet, and thus, having a fully responsive website is a must! But what is a responsive design? Responsive designs have specific CSS media queries added, in order to make them fit on any specific screen size. This way, your website will look great and will have different stylings, depending from which device it is read.
One big advantage WordPress has over other CMS software is that it is very easy to customize and create themes for. This has created an ever-growing marketplace of premium WordPress themes. No matter what your website is about, if you have some money to spend, you can find the right theme for you!
In this post, we have gathered a collection of 35 tutorials that will help you learn how to create advanced user interface CSS3 effects. We all admit that technology is evolving at a great speed and so the world of web too. The standards of web browsers are constantly changed and improved, and web developers have become more technologically shrewd than ever before and they are trying to learn new techniques and they are trying to adopt new changes. Seeing this we thought to compile some fresh and great CSS tutorials through which you can learn more about advanced interfaces.
Responsive images are one of the biggest sources of frustration in the Web development community. With good reason, too: The average size of pages has grown from 1 MB to a staggering 1.5 MB in the last year alone. Images account for more than 60% of that growth, and this percentage will only go up. Much of that page weight could be reduced if images were conditionally optimized based on device width, pixel density and modern image formats (such as WebP). These reductions would result in faster loading times and in users who are more engaged and who would stick around longer. But the debate isn’t about whether to optimize images for different devices, but about how to go about doing so.
Anyone working in web design and development knows that the working day passes a lot easier if you’ve got a regular supply of fresh resources, online tools and downloadable freebies. So, every month we’ll bring you a selection of our favorite tools, designed to make your job a little simpler. This month we have 50 freebies for your delectation. Among them you’ll find themes, icons, UI kits, code experiments, plugins, fonts and much more. All free to download right now.
We do remember that people share things they like. Easter Eggs and fun stuff on websites is a wonderful way to promote your business, and here’s why. Your funny page is very likely to appear in numerous trick collections on the web. Also people share great stuff on Reddit and forums. Thus, your link profile will benefit from being listed in a Mashable website Easter Egg list (or any other trusted website).
Flat web design refers to a design form that does away with busy-looking patterned textured backgrounds, drop shadows around lettering and boxed sections within a web site. With the progressive advancement of technology, every designer is adopting the trend of “Flat Design” to apply it in their work. Even the renowned companies like Google and Microsoft is gradually following the trend of flat design.
There are many ways how you give your website the look of individuality. You’re usually after a trademarking element of a sort, if not all, to make it your signature work. Running around tons of web design themes and trends, one of very traditional ones yet, still quite “in”, is the Illustrative themes on webpages. This theme is aside from using things usually ready-made, for instance, large photographic backgrounds. Here, your background is a well thought out theme; converted to a drawing. Whether hand drawn on paper or even digitally, but the bottom line is, they are “made”. That is why, you need something additional to work at which can be excessively challenging.
Every month we bring some new useful jQuery plugins for our readers which are useful and able to accomplish their development related tasks. Here at CodeGeekz we are showcasing 10 New jQuery Plugins which will enable you to optimize and enhance your web applications as well as any new features you may be considering adding to your website. Enjoy !!
If you want to be a successful graphic designer, simply being talented and well-trained isn’t enough. You might have a natural knack for color, be a mastery of typography, and be a ninja with Photoshop and Illustrator, but if you aren’t connecting with other graphic designers and clients, you won’t take your talent or your career to the heights you dream about.
The numerous writings and designs that we can get on the screens of diverse types of digital media is collected of millions of cells which are acknowledged as pixels. Diverse types of vector graphics are generated on these pixels to offer concrete form and shape to an idea. In vector graphic images, diverse styles of geometrical objects like circles, points, and lines are used for generating fresh, beautiful and colorful graphic pictures. Though, making vector images include a complex process that can be accomplished by experienced proficient graphic artistes.
Everyone needs food, this is a universal truth. But because of the growing market today, different food manufacturers are competing against each other. A company must think of ways to outwit, outplay and outlast their competition to be the sole “survivor” in this industry. The most effective way of doing this is by having advertisements. And not just plain old advertisements, to be able to be successful, you must have a creative advertisements and not just those monotonous, stereotype advertisements that others have.
Good developers are always looking for ways to be faster and to automate their workflows. Today, we present a series of workflows in Alfred that will boost your productivity and rock your world.
What Is Alfred?
For those who don’t know, Alfred is an award-winning Mac OS X app that saves time when you search for files online or on your machine. The new version 2 brings a series of improvements and, with the Powerpack, enables you to create your own workflows.
Below you’ll find a curated list of workflows that will change the way you work.
Open With Sublime Text
One of my favorite features in Alfred is its powerful file and folder search capability. What if we take advantage of this to open files and folders in our favorite code editor — say, Sublime Text 3?
Looking for another code editor? See the “Extras” wiki.
Can I Use… Workflow
No one knows everything about a given programming language or framework. We occasionally need to check how to use a particular method. Recently, I found an amazing app, Dash, that looks up documentation for different APIs locally, no Internet connection needed. With this workflow, you can search Dash by filtering the keyword for each language. Note that Dash is a free external application, so make sure to download it before using this workflow.
- Dash Workflow, developed by @willfarrell
Some operations we prefer to do in the terminal, others in Finder. This workflow switches between them smoothly. Open the current Finder window in Terminal or iTerm, and vice versa.
Package Managers Workflow
Reusing code is an important part of software development, and these days we have a lot of solutions to distribute our code and to search for third-party packages. Need a Node.js module? Need a Grunt task? With this workflow, you can look up plugins and components for your favorite package managers in one place, quickly.
- Package Managers Workflow, developed by @willfarrell
Stop opening Photoshop every time you want to convert a color format. Convert HEX, RGB and HSL colors easily with this workflow.
Unit testing is great, but running a test manually every time you change a line of code is crazy. To get a more complete picture of code quality, we need to run more tests, or at least automate the ones that we already run. That’s why continuous integration systems are so important. With this workflow, you can list Jenkins jobs and see their status.
Open in FileZilla
FTP is still the most popular way to transfer files to a Web server. Here’s a workflow to help you connect through FileZilla. Note that FileZilla is a free external application, so make sure to download it before using this workflow.
Looking for another FTP client? See the “Extras” wiki.
Don’t miss another cool domain name. Find domains quickly using Domainr’s API.
Encode / Decode
Occasionally, we need to convert UTF-8 characters into HTML entities, or decode a URL. No need to waste time with those little things anymore. Transform query strings in base64, HTML, URL and UTF-8 with Encode / Decode.
Font Awesome Workflow
Font icons are great. Just type something like
<i class="my-icon-name"></i>, and there you have it. The problem is, we keep forgetting the exact class name of the icon we want, so we have to check for it in the documentation. Not anymore. Now we can search through Font Awesome’s icon set with this workflow.
Source Tree Workflow
Some people prefer the terminal for Git commands, while others prefer a GUI. If you’re in the latter group, then the Source Tree workflow will help you list, search and open Git repositories. Note that Source Tree is a free external application, so make sure to download it before using this workflow.
Looking for another Git client? See the “Extras” wiki.
Seek computer programming answers, including from StackOverflow, right in Alfred.
Nowadays, most of us work with teams distributed across the world. I try not to bother my coworkers outside of working hours; so, before pinging them, I always check the time in their country. This workflow is just perfect for that. Get a list of the current time in various cities around the world instantly.
Unfortunately, cross-browser compatibility is still a problem for developers. There’s no escaping it — you need to test that your website runs fine in different browsers and on different operation systems. One popular way to do this is to use a virtual machine, such as VirtualBox, that simulates other operating systems. Note that VirtualBox is a free external application, so make sure to download it before using this workflow.
Looking for another virtual machine client? See the “Extras” wiki.
Create Your Own!
All of these workflows are awesome and will be pretty useful for a lot of people. But each one of us works in a different way; so, go ahead create your own workflow. It’s pretty simple. To encourage you, let’s see how to create a workflow to automate searches on Smashing Magazine in less than 10 seconds.
Check out my collection of Alfred workflows on GitHub.
Plenty of more workflows can be found in the official Alfred forums.
There you have it! A collection of great tricks to automate your work. Hopefully, some will speed up your workflow. Maybe they will even inspire you to share some of your hidden secrets of productivity.
If your favorite workflow isn’t on this list, please share it with us in the comments section below. Have any of the above changed your life? If so, let us know how!
(al, il, ea)
© Zeno Rocha for Smashing Magazine, 2013.
Normally, you only know whether you’ve chosen the best web host when your website has a continuous online presence. What if you could ascertain that beforehand? I’ve compiled an up-to-date list with 10 of the best web hosting companies, which might help you come to the right decision.
To my mind, KnownHost may we be the only web hosting provider that is incapable of error. Indeed, it must be the most reliable web host that I’ve ever had the fortune to come across. All 250 servers come with 99.9% Network Uptime Guarantee, and that’s a rock-solid promise, because the guarantee is tied to a Service Level Agreement credit response, which kicks in as soon as that almost perfect value goes through a minor fluctuation. And just to illustrate the infrequency of website downtime, the offline percentage never bounced past 0.9% for any client. If ever an episode of website discontinuity occurs, users need only submit a ticket to the KnownHost helpdesk within 5 days of it happening, and they are automatically granted a credit which reflects that shortcoming.
KnownHost functions on the ambitious precept that Shared hosting is not an option. As such, the web hosting company offers Managed VPS hosting, which is a lot more scalable and resourceful hosting option than its Shared alternative. On top of everything, VPS hosting from KnownHost is really affordable, as opposed to enlisting the services of an entire server. KnownHost’s managerial responsibilities cover free installation then optimization of the control panel, OS administration, network and hardware maintenance, account protection, and complimentary migrations and backups.
KnownHost’s email and ticket support system always comes to the rescue of customers who happen to experience setbacks. Currently, when someone takes up one of KnownHost’s VPS hosting offerings (to be precise, versions starting with VPS-2), the code KH15LIFE secures a 15% lifetime discount which scales along whenever upgrades are enlisted. I also need to mention the fact that there is plenty of time for changes of heart once you’ve partnered up with KnownHost, because the first 30 days of all hosting deals except for those for Dedicated Servers are correlated with a 100% money-back guarantee.
WebFaction had to be present in my top three web hosting providers. The company’s scope stretches to welcome web developers and web designers who need to host either small or medium-sized websites. What makes hosting from WebFaction so unique is the fact that its Shared hosting offering is in fact a mixture made up of VPS, Shared, and Dedicated features brought together.
It’s such a perfect online platform for web creative professionals: hosting from WebFaction allows customers full SSH availability, and provides several pre-installed developer tools such as Python, PHP, or Django. In addition, 50 applications are ready for 1-Click installation, and once they’ve been installed, they operate lightning fast. Furthermore, WebFaction’s 24/7 support service is responsive for any likely issue, and the company’s seasoned engineers frequently update existing tools, as well as configure, monitor, and backup servers, and apply vital security patches.
WebFaction’s homepage extends an open invitation for a 48-hour free trial, so that you can get a taste of what delights lie in store if you choose to place your trust in this web hosting provider. What is more, the company’s 100% money-back guarantee stretches over a lengthy period of time, insofar as customers are granted full refunds during the first 60 days of hosting, if their resolve is to drop out of the agreement.
Depending on which of the two subscription options users settle with, web hosting from WebFaction costs either $8.50, or $9.50 per month. It’s not much of a difference, but it may prove useful to know that the best price value is associated with enlisting 12 months right from the start. Alternatively, just one extra dollar secures hosting on a month by month basis. Regardless of the chosen subscription, WebFaction is certain to provide staunch web hosting.
(mt) Media Temple is one of the most proficient web hosts. In 1998, it first launched on a mission to provide creative people’s ideas with a perfect online platform. Since then, (mt) Media Temple reached a count of 125, 000 happy clients and around 1.5 million hosted websites based in 100 countries from all over the world. Overall, this year’s 15-year anniversary makes (mt) Media Temple one of the most enduring and thriving web hosting companies in the industry.
(mt) Media Temple certainly meets the hosting needs of any Web developer and Web designer, but it is also an ideal host for any medium- and small-sized business or consecrated brand (for instance, Adidas, Volkswagen, Sony, and Red Bull chose to partner up with this web host). On the grounds of this spectacular variety, it can be asserted that (mt) Media Temple never fails to anticipate and recognize all types of clients’ requirements, and thus secures their continuous allegiance.
(mt) Media Temple’s laudable cross-platform customer support is widely acknowledged, and it certainly plays a significant role in reassuring the company’s wide retinue. (mt) Media Temple’s engineers are ingenious in striving to upgrade the company’s offerings to intuit and compliment its users’ hosting needs. For example, the company’s flagship shared hosting platform – the GRID – has just been upgraded to make websites go up to 6 times faster. Aside from (mt) Media Temple’s GRID, the Managed VPS and Developer VPS products are perfect choices for both freelancers and creative agencies.
Bluehost is a noteworthy addition to my list, and its live demo is placed at everyone’s disposal to prove my point. The first 30 days of hosting are subject to full refunds for new users who decide to host their websites somewhere else, and even after that, Bluehost reimburses the remainder of their prepaid efforts. Overall, this company has all it takes to be a dependable web host. What is more, nearly all of Bluehost’s products are presently discounted. The VPS Standard, Enhanced, Premium, and Ultimate plans allow serious one-time savings, and the Shared Professional Web Hosting offering is just $4.95 during the first month.
WebHostingBuzz is a wonderful web hosting company. The company’s current discounts are more than enough to convince any interested bystander. Specifically, the price of a Dedicated Service is now discounted by 50%. On a similar note, the first invoice of a Reseller hosting service is $1 (!), given that the user types in “resellerdeal” when activating this product. The advantages of partnering up with WebHostingBuzz include a responsive technical customer support for all distressed clients, and accessible prices. Thus, Shared hosting comes with a monthly price of $4.95, whereas Reseller hosting costs $9.95, and VPS hosting is $14.95 per month.
DreamHost holds a significant place in my list of the 10 first-rate web hosting providers on the market. This company takes pride in 16 years of providing creative professionals with stellar hosting services. It guarantees 100% network uptime, and if one hour of downtime occurs, it’s compensated with 24 hours of free hosting. Shared hosting from DreamHost is available for a 30-day free trial, and then you can go forward with it for only $8.95 per month. Alternatively, VPS hosting from DreamHost comes with unlimited bandwidth and storage, and can be appointed 300 MB of RAM for a monthly $15. Finally, it’s reassuring to know that new users are free to ask for full refunds at any time during the first 97 days of hosting.
Pixeno fulfills the hosting needs of any and all web designers and developers. The web hosting company’s Personal and Reseller offerings are affordable and their attached websites are highly unlikely to experience downtime. A one-month free trial stands by to attest Pixeno’s excellence. Furthermore, Pixeno carries on 4 daily backups, and then the information is stored for 2 weeks, which means that 56 restore points are possible at any given time. Pixeno’s servers are grounded in high technology – in other words, the company’s headquarters are built on the most advanced infrastructure I’ve ever met, and Pixeno disclosed this information on its homepage, so anyone can bear witness to the company’s high operating standards.
HostGator is a necessary addition to my selection of 10 top-grade web hosts. Wind energy exclusively powers the company’s 12.000 servers. And the chances of this provider being responsible for your website’s downtime are close to nil. The Shared, Reseller, VPS, and Dedicated offerings are certain to cater to the needs of beginner and experienced creative professionals who know where to look for quality web hosting. HostGator’s Shared hosting product is guaranteed a 99.9% network uptime, and a 45-day all money-back policy in case fresh users change their minds. On a final note, it’s always good to know that the HostGator’s three Shared hosting plans take 20% off the first invoice.
Flywheel is a stellar option, as it provides perfect web hosting to freelance designers (resellers included) and to those who work within established creative collectives (as they are not required to use many usernames and passwords). Flywheel enables a free site experience demo, and it would definitely be worth it to give it a try. The most positive aspect of partnering up with Flywheel is the fact that designers would no longer have to concern themselves with the administrative tasks which take up a huge chunk of their time. Thus, Flywheel’s engineers fulfill the responsibility of launching and then managing their clients’ websites, insomuch as they secure continuous website protection, updates, backups, and also make sure that they load and run at great speed.
HostNine brings an end to my list of ten most desirable web hosting options of the present moment. During the first 45 days of hosting with HostNine, discontent clients can ask for full refunds and drop the whole idea of entrusting their websites to HostNine. The Shared, Reseller, Cloud VPS and Dedicated Server offerings are altogether backed up by a 99.9% Network Uptime Guarantee. Should this percentage drop for some reason, the compensation policy is very strict in providing an entire day of hosting for every hour of registered downtime. Presently, HostNine’s homepage offers 50%-discounted deals for the first month in the case of existing customers who wish to upgrade their services.
As you might have noticed we are in the Autumn spirit here at Design Reviver, over the next two weeks we will be sharing design tips that are particularly focused on the current season. On Monday we shared with you 30 Amazing Autumn and Fall wallpapers, today we are going to share with you 13 Creepy Halloween tutorials for creating amazing images in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Check back next week when we post more Halloween themed articles.
The post 13 Creepy Halloween Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop tutorials appeared first on Design Reviver - Web Design Blog.
Some websites outperform others, whether in their content, usability, design, features, etc. Details of interaction design and animation make a fundamental difference on modern websites. We’ll share some lessons drawn from various models and analyze why these simple patterns work so well.
When we design digital products, we often use design applications such as Photoshop and Sketch. Most people who have been in the business for a few years obviously know that design is more than just about visual presentation. Still, many continue to create static designs. Steve Jobs said this about design:
“It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.“
Our experience and impression of a product are shaped by a combination of factors, with interaction playing a fundamental role. No longer can we think of user interfaces as static designs and add the magic of interaction later on. Instead, we need to embrace the interactive nature of the Web from the very beginning and think of it as natural constituent.
Let’s look at some examples in which smart interaction, defined by subtle animation, gently improves the user experience.
The blessing and the curse of the Web are hyperlinks. When you click on a link, it could take you anywhere, from a product page to the website of the creepy old puppet store down the street. The result is a loss of context.
One of the great things about the user experience of books is the linearity. Every chapter in a book builds on the last. You must read chapter one in a primer on economics to understand chapter two. When you skip a chapter, you are aware that you might miss something and, thus, lack some knowledge about the subsequent content. On the Web, and especially on long websites, this often happens subconsciously. By adding a scrolling animation, we can fix that:
Compare that to this:
Compare the default behavior of “name” anchor links with the animated behavior. Skipping content is not an unconscious action anymore; it’s a decision. In fact, Hope Lies at 24 Frames Per Second has a menu button for its mobile view that sends you to the top of the page, without any animation. It took me more than a minute to figure out what actually happened.
Takeaway: Abrupt changes in an interface are hard for users to process. Don’t leave them in the dark; always show what’s happening.
As we saw in the last example, transitions help users understand the pace and flow of an interface. Nothing feels more unnatural than a sudden change, because sudden changes just don’t exist in the real world. Let’s look at another example: toggle menus. Users associate the “plus” symbol with the action of adding content or expanding an element. By rotating it by 45°, the plus becomes a cross, an interface element widely understood to mean “close”:
This simple transition completely changes the meaning of the icon. Such a small detail means the difference between having to guess what will happen next and knowing what the icon means in either state. That toggle is pretty user-friendly, if you ask me. Also, note that the plus sign always rotates in the same direction as the content, reinforcing the flow of information.
Takeaway: Make your website element understandable in each state.
Collapsed Forms And Comments
The comment forms on many blogs and news websites are not the happiest-looking elements. Why? Well, most of them are not exactly friendly, right? When you are ready to post a comment, you just want to start typing the comment itself and nothing else. Instead, a typical form asks you all kinds of other stuff first. It’s annoying.
To motivate people to comment more, we can collapse the form and show only the most crucial element: the comment field. When the user clicks on the field, you can expand the form accordingly. A real-world example of this progressive disclosure can be found on the New York Times’ beta website:
You could take this even further by setting the cursor’s focus to the comment field when the form expands. This approach has a problem, though: A key principle of interaction design is that an action should always happen close to where the interaction occurs (near the locus of attention). We could go one step further, then, and animate the comment field to orient the user:
You could even pin the comment field to the top, expand it accordingly and display additional fields below it.
As you can see, this reduces clutter and makes the comment form more inviting. But what about collapsing all of the previous comments, too?
By collapsing the comments, we get the scroll bar to represent the length of the article itself, instead of the entire page. A common practice is to automatically load comments when the user reaches the bottom of a page. We should avoid forcing the user to click unless there is a really good reason to.
Takeaway: Progressively disclose in order to reduce UI components to their essence. Reveal features as the user needs them.
Pull To Refresh
One of the most exciting interactions to emerge shortly after the introduction of the iPhone was “pull to refresh,” pioneered by Loren Brichter. It allows the user to update scrollable reverse-chronological content. You can see this concept in action in Twitter’s app. Once you’ve scrolled to the top of the stream of tweets, scroll a little further to refresh the stream.
Why does this work so well? Before pull to refresh existed, users had to hit the refresh button in their browser to load more content. By connecting the user’s desire of finding more content with the action of refreshing, the need for an explicit action became obsolete.
Takeaway: By connecting intent with action, the experience becomes more seamless.
Sticky labels are another subtle yet useful combination of a user-interface component and a meaningful transition. Check out Edenspiekermann’s use of this technique in its portfolio.
The project label scrolls along with the content, thus providing context for the images on the right, until the next project appears. This behavior is similar to that of the address book in iOS and is especially helpful for providing context in long sections. The transition offers both improved orientation and smooth context-based descriptions.
Takeaway: Use sticky labels for long sections in which descriptions or titles add valuable information to content that doesn’t fit in the viewport.
The concept of affordance derives from cognitive psychology and refers to particular characteristics of an object that guide the viewer.
In the context of user-interface design, the usability glossary (PDF) of the EU’s website defines it as follows:
“An affordance is a desirable property of a user interface — software which naturally leads people to take the correct steps to accomplish their goals.”
Ridges are often used to enhance affordance. Ridges around a button suggest that the button can be manipulated. This UX technique was widely popularized by the camera app in iOS.
iOS 6’s lock screen featured ripples around the camera icon, suggesting draggability. Apple removed it in iOS 7, apparently because users got accustomed to it, making the icon look more like a standalone button now. What happens is still the same, though: When you drag the button, the lock screen bounces up, revealing the camera underneath. This is a great technique to point users to features in an interface.
Takeaway: Give elements a high affordance to point users to features in an interface.
Google Chrome on iOS has had context-based hiding since it launched. This is what it looks like:
The basic idea is that the browser chrome and navigation controls hide automatically once the user scrolls down. As soon as the user scrolls up again, the controls reappear. This approach both enhances the contextual experience (focusing on the content itself) and increases screen space. The latter is, of course, particularly important on mobile devices.
The underlying assumption is that users will flow with the content that they’re consuming. As soon as they stop the flow, a change of context is likely required; thus, the navigation controls reappear. While this technique saves screen space, check whether the assumption holds up in your use case.
iOS takes this a step further. When you reach the bottom of a page, the controls expand again. It’s a good example of dynamically incorporating the needs of the user in an interface.
Takeaway: Use context-based hiding to enhance the user’s focus and save screen space.
About a week ago, Nikita Vasilyev, a Toronto-based UI designer, came up with a pretty neat idea. He developed a script that animates focused elements. While still experimental, the concept is pretty interesting. Have a look at his video below. (And please put your earphones on — the music is epic.)
When navigating by keyboard, the user is often not clear on where the focus has moved to upon pressing the Tab key. Animation points them to the right spot on the page. The transition is subtle but has a big impact on orienting the user.
Takeaway: Orient the user, regardless of how they navigate.
These are only a few examples, among many others out there. The point is not to show the latest and fanciest interaction techniques, but rather to highlight how small interaction details can significantly improve the user experience.
If we are to design better digital products, then we need to challenge our current beliefs and see how interaction patterns can potentially ease the user’s life. I’m not saying we should reinvent the wheel, but it would be pretty naive to stop exploring. So, get out of your comfort zone. Keep exploring and testing.
If you like this article, you can follow me on Twitter, or join me for a bar of Swiss chocolate in Switzerland.
Which transition patterns have you found especially useful in your projects?
- Meaningful Transitions: Motion Graphics in the User Interface
- “Mission Transition,” Mark Cossey, Smashing Magazine
- “12 Basic Principles of Animation,” by Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas
© Adrian Zumbrunnen for Smashing Magazine, 2013.
We love organizing community events that leave everyone with memorable, long-lasting impressions. With our upcoming Smashing Conference Oxford, we’ll explore real-life projects, workflows and hands-on insights that we can all learn from and use right away. Same game, same rules: 1 track, 2 conference days, 5 workshops, 18 excellent speakers and just 350 seats. The tickets are now on sale.
Beautiful SmashingConf sketchnotes by Elisabeth Irgens. She’ll be joining us in Oxford as well. Image credits.
Because discussions about design trends and visual style are often very subjective, they rarely provide actionable, valuable takeaways. Nothing beats a conversation about what worked and what didn’t in actual real-life projects, and what decisions were made (or ideas discarded) along the way.
Learning & Networking, The Smashing Way
That’s exactly what we’re setting off to explore: insights into how we, designers and developers, solve real-life problems and what workflows we use to solve them intelligently. Specifically, we’ll look at mid- and large-scale projects, as well as techniques, tools and the lessons learned along the way.
Be among the first ones to grab a seat!
Of course, a good conference is not just about practical takeaways; it’s also about as much networking as possible. So we’re preparing a series of special events before, during and after the conference to make sure that you have enough time for beers and… well, conversations during beers.
Same game, same rules: 1 track, 2 conference days, 5 workshops, 18 excellent speakers and just 350 available seats. The main conference days are Tuesday and Wednesday, 18–19 March, 2014. However, it might be a good idea to arrive during the weekend before because networking activities will start on Sunday.
Great Speakers, Great Workshops
We thoroughly curate every single talk and work alongside our speakers to make sure that each talk fits nicely within the overall theme of the conference. For the Oxford conference, we’re very happy to welcome Ben Bodien, Josh Clark, Andrew Clarke, Joe Leech, Wilson Page, Lea Verou, and — of course — the Mystery Speaker among the first confirmed speakers. You can find more information on the Speakers page.
To keep our tradition of holding conferences at unique places, we did not choose lovely Oxford randomly. The venue for the SmashingConf Oxford 2014 is the amazing Oxford Town Hall. Large view.
We’ve prepared five full-day practical workshops that will take place before and after the two main conference days. On Monday 17 March, Ben Bodien, Josh Clark, Joe Leech and Lea Verou will provide hands-on classes on front-end, UX and designing for mobile and touch. On Thursday, we’re delighted to have Andrew Clarke leading his responsive Web design class.
It can’t really get more practical than this, can it? Well, it can! We want to make your learning experience as valuable as possible, so if you purchase a Conference Ticket + Workshop ticket, you save 10% off the regular price (almost €70)! Student discounts (25% off) are available on request as well.
Location And Prices
We didn’t choose Oxford randomly. It’s perhaps the quintessential English city: a gorgeous maze of winding streets, ancient college buildings, eccentric traditions and some very fine hostelries. Every inch of the city centre is packed with history, and no route you choose will disappoint. Made famous by its world-class university, Oxford is just wonderful for exploration and inspiration. And open areas by the flowing Isis river, ponies grazing and some of the best sunsets out there are within walking distance! Don’t you deserve a vacation?
We will also set up an open-stage session a day before the conference, so you can publicly speak about your own experiences and discuss what worked and hasn’t worked for you. We’ll also put a list of all attendees on the website, so you’ll know beforehand who is coming and perhaps even organize a trip to Oxford together?
Keep an eye open for these bright SmashingConf flags — they’ll be in Oxford before you know it! Image credits.
Taking notes already? No worries! We’ll send you a detailed guide with all the tips and ideas and recommendations and suggestions for pubs, restaurants, sightseeing and getting around the city. We’ve prepared an overview of hotels in Oxford, too — sometimes “Smashing Conference” are the magic words when booking! The city is known for many student and AirBnB apartments as well, but please be quick — there aren’t that many available options.
The price per ticket is €369 / $498 (incl. UK VAT 20% and all booking fees). Be sure to consider booking a full-day workshop as well (€349 / $449) — if you buy both a conference ticket and a workshop, you save 10% off the price right away. Three days of learning, sharing, networking — it’s getting better and better! The conference venue has only 350 seats. And yes, the tickets are on sale now.
Sponsors, Dear Sponsors
We pour our heart and soul into creating a friendly, memorable and inspiring community event for everybody involved. Our goal is a valuable community event with practical talks, neatly packed with lots of learning, sharing and networking opportunities.
We keep ticket prices affordable for everyone, and we’re happy to welcome sponsors to help us make the conference smashing in every possible way. If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A little sneak peek of the last Smashing Conference in Freiburg.
Can you spot the Mystery Speaker?
- “Smashing Conference 2013: it was smashing all right and not only because the Smashing Band performed a song “Like a rounded corner” by Bruce Lawson, but the lineup and the presentations were truly smashing.” — Emanuel Blagonic
- “Totally Smashing. The conference gave us so many insights and tips about the industry that we could not miss this year’s edition!” — frontkom
- “This conference was well worth the money and I hope we will make it next year. Well done Smashing Magazine!” — 14islands
- “The two days of talks offered a very good balance of design-, philosophy-, typography-, and development-based topics. [...] Thanks to all who attended, organized, cared, spoke and made this an overall very great event!” — Welearned.net
- “It was an immensely successful conference [...] The talks, the beer and the interesting people definitely made me want to go visit Freiburg again next year!” — The Next Web
We love our sponsors: you make the event possible, and we’d be honoured to have you involved! Intrigued? Check the SmashingConf coverage on Lanyrd, you won’t be disappointed.
Follow us at @smashingconf and get more details on the SmashingConf 2014 website. Also, more speakers will be announced soon, and since it’s a Smashing conference, you should expect a few surprises, but we’re not going to reveal them just yet. If you have any questions, send us an email at email@example.com — we’d love to assist you in every possible way and would be humbled and happy to welcome you to Oxford in March!
Ah, and make sure to bring an umbrella with you, of course. But that goes without saying, doesn’t it? Cheers!
© Vitaly Friedman for Smashing Magazine, 2013.
Autumn is upon us and that means it is time for all the leaves to turn from green to red and yellow. Personally I love taking pictures of Autumn landscapes with all their beautiful colors. For this article we have found 30 amazingly beautiful wallpapers, hopefully these will make your desktop look stunning.