Resilient Web Design

Jeremy Keith author of DOMScripting, Bulletproof Ajax, and HTML5 For Web Designers has always been a favourite author of mine.

I read his HTML 5 book on the beach during a holiday. That’s probably not the kind of books most people read on the beach, but that’s what sets Jeremy apart from other tech writers. His writing is approachable and a pleasure to read.

His new book Resilient Web Design is more of a history book, rather than code. Not a single line of code is provided, but lots of examples and ideas are offered to help web designers approach their work. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone.

Free SVG Background Patterns

I’ve been a big fan of Subtle Patterns for a long time and use a few other resources once in a while. Thanks to Smashing Magazine‘s newsletter, I’ve discovered a new pattern library called Hero Patterns. Unlike Subtle Patterns, this new library offers patterns in SVG format!

Thanks to the SVG specification, not only can you get cool patterns,, you can adjust the colours and opacity. This is another great resource for designer and developers to bookmark!

Resources for Web Designers

Keeping a list of resources is always a difficult task, but a must-do for any designer or developer. Over the years I’ve discussed a few of them on this blog and some of my favourites, such as Unsplash, Trello and Whatfont, I use every day.

Caroline Reder, Director of Content & Communications at Webydo, put together a list of 75 smart resources for designers. This extensive list covers photos, icons, videos, type, colour, inspiration, tools and more. This fabulous list is a great place to find your next favourite resource and start your own list.

Learning Sass with CodePen

If you’ve been working with CSS for a while, you’ve probably heard of Sass and even switched to it by now. Using Sass allows you to code much faster and efficiently. Getting started can be a bit daunting though. Tools like CodeKit can help or if you’re familiar with the command line then installing Sass is a breeze, but if you’re not, then you’re stuck. That is, until now.

Dudley Storey, at The New Code has created a free comprehensive course that allows you to learn Sass while using CodePen. Because Sass is built into CodePen, you can get started right away. His excellent tutorial series, takes you through the basics,  nesting, extends and imports and concludes with loops.  If you’re just getting your toes wet, this is a great place to start.

 

How to Code in HTML5 and CSS3

How to Code in HTML5 and CSS3” is a free e-book about making websites in HTML5 and CSS for beginners. I just read the first chapters and love the style of writing. Step by step instruction are provided along the way and these are clear and very well explained. This is a great resource for anyone who is interested in learning how to build websites. Students and teachers alike will find it a very useful resource.

Taming Content with Advanced Custom Fields

Has you may know already, I’m a big fan of the Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) plugin. I’ve used it to build carousels, call to action boxes, additional content such as sub-titles, extra featured images,  etc.. When building custom themes for clients it’s important to ensure that updates and adding new content will be as easy as possible. Thus the reason I favour ACF to create meta boxes rather than shortcodes.

In my opinion shortcodes aren’t intuitive, and although as developers were used to seeing brackets and tags, clients may not “see” that a shortcode isn’t closed properly. Meta boxes on the other hand don’t require clients to add tags, brackets or code of any kind.

Not only is the ACF plugin well maintained it also has great documentation and this just got better. Today I discovered another great resource all about using ACF on your website. This free PDF resource written by Steve Grunwell takes a look at the plugin, walks you through some practical examples of building carousels, alternate page headlines, and more, and then discusses the future of the plugin with the upcoming ACF 5 release.

I would encourage you to check it out. Even if you’ve been using ACF for a while, Steve has some great code snippets to share.

 

GitBook Resources

I’m constantly amazed by how much great information can be found for free. I’ve been lagging behind in learning javaScript and recently discovered this great book. It teaches the basics and is intended for everyone who wishes to learn JavaScript. It doesn’t go in much detail, but it’s beautiful and very well laid out.

Digging a bit further and reading about the author, I discovered GitBook. GitBook is an open source platform that let’s authors publish books for free using Markdown and Git. If you’re not familiar with these, don’t worry, you don’t need to know about this stuff just to read the books. There were 174 books to choose from when I last checked and many are offered in multiple languages.

Have a look and see if something catches your interest. I’m reading ProGit next.