A remarkably practical in-depth guide to making ethical design decisions, with enjoyable diversions into the history of philosophy throughout.
Friday, April 6th, 2018
An Event Apart Seattle just wrapped. It was a three-day special edition and it was really rather good. Lots of the speakers (myself included) were unveiling brand new talks, so there was a real frisson of excitement.
It was interesting to see repeating, overlapping themes. From a purely technical perspective, three technologies that were front and centre were:
- CSS grid,
- variable fonts, and
- service workers.
From listening to other attendees, the overwhelming message received was “These technologies are here—they’ve arrived.” Now, depending on your mindset, that understanding can be expressed as “Oh shit! These technologies are here!” or “Yay! Finally! These technologies are here!”
My reaction is very firmly the latter. That in itself is an interesting data-point, because (as discussed in my talk) my reaction towards new technological advances isn’t always one of excitement—quite often it’s one of apprehension, even fear.
I’ve been trying to self-analyse to figure out which kinds of technologies trigger which kind of reaction. I don’t have any firm answers yet, but it’s interesting to note that the three technologies mentioned above (CSS grid, variable fonts, and service workers) are all additions to the core languages of the web—the materials we use to build the web. Frameworks, libraries, build tools, and other such technologies are more like tools than materials. I tend to get less excited about advances in those areas. Sometimes advances in those areas not only fail to trigger excitement, they make me feel overwhelmed and worried about falling behind.
Anyway, all of this helps me understand my feelings at the end of An Event Apart Seattle. I’m fired up and eager to make something with CSS grid, variable fonts, and—of course—service workers.
Friday, March 30th, 2018
I’m soooo excited that Mandy is speaking at Ampersand here in Brighton in June!
Be there or be square.
Wednesday, March 28th, 2018
A simple resource for finding and trying variable fonts.
Tuesday, March 27th, 2018
The canonical example in just about every pattern library is documenting button variations. Here, Tyler shows how even this seemingly simple pattern takes a lot of thought.
Monday, March 26th, 2018
Really handy accessibility information in a single tweet.
Saturday, March 10th, 2018
Friday, March 2nd, 2018
Heydon keeps on delivering the goods. This time, he looks at making on-screen notification messages accessible using ARIA’s live regions.
As ever, structuring content is paramount, even where it pertains to dynamic events inside realtime web applications.
Saturday, February 24th, 2018
I love, love, love Sam’s comparison’s between cooking and front-end development.
We should embrace the tools we have access to and appreciate our ability to learn, but also realize that maybe a gas stove or a certain design tools might not be for everyone. We have to find what works for our cooking or designing/coding style or the project/meal at hand.
Friday, January 26th, 2018
The gorgeous website for this year’s Ampersand conference might well be one of the first commercial uses of variable fonts in the wild. Here, Richard documents all the clever things Mark did to ensure good fallbacks for browsers that don’t yet support variable fonts.
Monday, January 15th, 2018
Better Typography with Font Variants - Jonathan Harrell | CSS Blogger & Teacher, UI/UX Designer, Front-End Developer
A quick guide to all the
font-variant-... stuff in CSS.
Friday, January 5th, 2018
Paul walks us through the process of making some incremental accessibility improvements to this year’s 24 Ways.
Creating something new will always attract attention and admiration, but there’s an under-celebrated nobility in improving what already exists. While not all changes may be visual, they can have just as much impact.
Thursday, December 7th, 2017
These experiments with transitioning variable font styles on hover might be silly, but I can see the potential for some beautiful interaction design.
Tuesday, November 7th, 2017
The latest edition of Heydon’s Inclusive Components is absolutely fantastic! The pattern itself—toggling sections of content—is quite straightforward, but then there’s a masterclass in how to create a web component that still allows the content to be accessible in older browsers. The key, as ever, is progressive enhancement:
Whether implemented through web components or not, progressive enhancement not only ensures the interface is well-structured and robust. As we’ve seen here, it can also simplify the editorial process. This makes developing the application and its content more inclusive.
Thursday, October 5th, 2017
James has been tweaking the accessibility of his site navigation. I’m looking forward to the sequel.
Friday, September 22nd, 2017
Tuesday, August 29th, 2017
A good introduction to variable fonts, and an exploration of the possible interface elements we might use to choose our settings: toggles? knobs? sliders? control pads?
Monday, July 31st, 2017
Another great deep dive by Heydon into a single interface pattern. This time it’s the tooltip, and its cousin, the toggletip.
There’s some great accessibility advice in here.
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017
Mike examines the real power of CSS custom properties compared to Sass variables—they can change at runtime.
I’m convinced that in almost all cases, responsive design logic should now be contained in variables. There is a strong argument too, that when changing any value, whether in a media query or an element scope, it belongs in a variable. If it changes, it is by definition a variable and this logic should be separated from design.
Friday, May 19th, 2017
There are some great hands-on accessibility patterns in this talk transcript from Scott.