Design & UX
Alex Walker, Oct 01

How to Liven up Your Flat Design with Dirty Dots

Has the flat design revolution left you feeling a little... flat? Sometimes a teaspoon of gritty, printy goodness can give a clinical design a lift.
Design & UX
Daniel Schwarz, Sep 14

Create Elegant (but Easy) Interactions Using Sketch & Atomic.io

Interaction design is an interesting blend of science and art. Daniel shows you how to prototype top-notch interactions combining Sketch & Atomic.io
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Sep 09

Getting Random with David Bowie and Fractals

A blank page can be a cruel taskmaster. Sometimes randomness is a good way to route around your normal design habits into new ideas.
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Sep 02

Does the New Google Logo Really Look Like Comic Sans?

While designers seem to like it, Google's new logo has been compared to Comic Sans in some quarters. Why are we seeing such a wide discrepancy in opinion?
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Aug 19

Why Do We Love Scratchy Records, Halftone Dots & Other Flaws?

Often it's the flaws in a technology – the brush strokes, the audio hiss – that we celebrate most. Khoi Vin celebrates the halftone in his latest design.
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Jul 30

Boom! The Sound of a Perfect Idea Landing

Design & UX
Gabrielle Gosha, Jul 23

Making Minimalism Work in Mobile and Web

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. In mobile design, was a truer word ever spoken?
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Jul 08

When Are Green Pastures Not Actually Green?

Cognitive dissonance is that feeling you get when a picture frame is 3 degrees off square. Learn to use it without getting used by it.
Design & UX
Gabrielle Gosha, Jun 23

5 Big Mobile Design Trends of 2015

It's 2015 and mobile browser numbers have officially surpassed their desktop cousins. Gabrielle looks at 5 mobile design trends that are shaping the market.
Design & UX
Gabrielle Gosha, Apr 13

Canva Tutorial: Create a Slick Infographic in 15 Minutes

Was 'that' dress blue and black or white gold? Gabrielle delivers the final results using an infographic created in Canva.
Design & UX
Daniel Schwarz, Mar 16

3 Good Reasons To Use Sketch App

We all have our workflows.Today Daniel Schwarz walks you through a few of his favorite things in Sketch App.
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Jan 27

5 Best Productivity Plugins for Adobe Illustrator

It's hard to imagine how Illustrator could be improved until you see what a good plugin can do. Simone shows us his favorite plugins for Adobe Illustrator
Design & UX
James George, Jan 14

Mood Boards (Or How to Bottle Your Inspiration)

Often inspiration is seen as a rare and mysterious commodity. Mood boards is a great way to put some process into an act that sometimes appears miraculous.
Design & UX
Gabrielle Gosha, Dec 23

Push It! Making Your CTA Buttons More Clickable

Whether it's article links, signups, or sales, most sites live and die on their ability to coerce clicks. Gabrielle breaks down the DNA of a good button
Design & UX
Helen Stark, Dec 10

Which is More Important in Design: Images or Text?

Images are part of our brain's native OS, but the written word has accuracy and precision. Helen tries to find the balance point between images and text.
Design & UX
Kaitlyn Ellison, Dec 01

3 Principles For Perfect Typeface Pairing

Mixing typefaces is a little like mixing your wardrobe. That old leather jacket may not work with dress shoes -- but sometimes it does! Kaitlyn explains.
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Nov 12

The Secret to Underlined Links That Don't Sting Your Eyes?

Hypertext Editing System - Brown University This is the Hypertext Editing System (HES) created at Brown University by the 'father of the hyperlink' - Ted Nelson in 1969. The coolest thing about the system was the built-in lightpen, that allowed the operator to manually underline the text they wanted to link. Gee Willikers, Mr. Peabody! You can almost trace that lightpen directly through to the underlined links we still use on the web today. The underline may be the most widely understood convention on the Web, and isn't going away any time soon. On the other hand, in typography circles, underlining has always been a serious no-no. Butterick's Practical Typography goes as far as saying: "Absolutely not. In a printed doc­u­ment, don’t un­der­line. Ever." So,.. accessibility and UX experts tell us we should use them, but we're told they are typographical poison. Mr. Rock. Can I introduce you to Mr. Hard Place?

The Problem

So, if we can't throw away the underlined link convention, can we make it better? What are its biggest failings? Beside the general cramping that comes with filling in the whitespace between lines, perhaps the biggest single issue is what happens when the underline touches the letterforms. Problems with lowercase 'q' and 'a'. One common example of nastiness is where the descenders on lowercase p, g, y, q and sometimes z often crashing into an underline. Light bauhaus-influenced fonts with short decenders seem to suffer worse than most typefaces. As you can see below with Google Fonts suchs as Rajdhani and Poiret One, it's visually difficult to discern the difference between a lowercase 'q' and an 'a' when an underline is involved. Quattrocentro's capital Q disappears into the underline Likewise, the tail on capital 'Q' is usually fine with an underline, but can present serious problems with certain typefaces. For instance, Quattrocentro has a very low, horizontal tail that almost disappears in an underline. The small tail on the capital 'J' also becomes less clear. Messy, right?

Is there a Solution?

Design & UX
Elio Qoshi, Sep 08

The Long Road to Google's Material Design

Mobile UIs have been around since the 90's, but big screened smartphones really changed the game. Elio follows Google's journey to Material Design.
Design & UX
Simone Sala, Sep 01

Trends 2014: The Rise of the Ghost Button

We don't need a seance to find this ghost. The 'Ghost Button' has become of the trends of 2014. Simone breaks it down.
Design & UX
Alex Bigman, Aug 29

Gestalt Principles and the Psychology of Design

Why do some shapes just resonate with us more than others? What's going on in our minds? Alex explains the 'gestalt principle'.
Design & UX
Gabrielle Gosha, Aug 08

Screencast: Principles of Design for Developers

Design sometimes looks more like magic than a repeatable process. Gabrielle introduces you to some principles of design to build your websites by.
Design & UX
Kerry Butters, Jul 24

Cage Match! Stock Photography Sites Go Head-to-head: Part #2

Kerry continues her review of some of the big name stock photography sites. In part two she test-drives Fotolia and Shutterstock. Which did she pick?
Design & UX
James George, Jul 07

5 Quick Photoshop Fixes for Bad Portrait Photos

Portrait photos are one of the most common types of images on the web. James shows you how to use Photoshop to make big improvements quickly.
Design & UX
Elio Qoshi, Jun 28

5 More Killer Firefox Addons for Designers

Elio is both a talented designer and a Mozilla devotee. Here combines his loves to give you his favorite Firefox addons for designers.