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Дмитрий Воробей  22.12.2012


The New Mobile Book Is Finally Here!

Дмитрий Воробей  19.12.2012

Yes, our brand new Smashing Mobile Book has finally arrived, and it has almost reached your doorstep! If you’ve already pre-ordered the book weeks ago, then it’s really only a matter of days! Until then, the complimentary digital version is waiting for you in your Smashing Shop dashboard. And if you haven’t ordered just yet, make sure to get the book now!

At this very moment, all pre-orders are being shipped from Berlin, Germany, by airmail. Due to an unexpected huge amount of pre-orders in the past days, delivery of the new book orders will take a bit longer since we only have a limitedamount of printed books in pre-sale stock.

Of course, we are printing extra copies in this very moment as you read this post. But unfortunately, the shipping of the new printed copies can only start in early January 2013. Still, you get the eBook automatically once you’ve ordered the printed book, so you can start reading right away!

The eBook of the Mobile Book is available for download immediately: PDF, ePUB and Kindle formats for your convenience. If you have pre-ordered the book, your eBook is waiting for you in your Download Area. Also, keep in mind that the eBook is included in the Smashing eBook Library—our annual subscription with 70% discount on all Smashing eBooks.

And if you still haven’t ordered yet, you can get the Mobile book right now, and start reading within a couple of minutes! You won’t be disappointed. Why? Let’s see why.

Our brand new printed Mobile Book features the most important things that you need to know as a designer, developer or mobile strategist to make your websites optimized for mobile. You’ll dive deep into the peculiarities of the mobile industry, explore responsive design strategy, design patterns and optimization techniques, learn about wireframing and prototyping for mobile as well as the guidelines for designing with gestures and touch. If you are looking for a good book on mobile, this is the one.


Inserting Widgets With Shortcodes

Дмитрий Воробей  19.12.2012

The shortcode ability of WordPress is extremely underrated. It enables the end user to create intricate elements with a few keystrokes while also modularizing editing tasks. In a new theme we’re developing, I decided to look into adding widgets anywhere with shortcodes, and it turns out that it isn’t that difficult.

Some of the widgets that can be added with shortcodes.

This tutorial is for experienced WordPress users; we will be looking at the widgets object and shortcodes without delving into too much detail about how and why they work. If you are looking for more information, I suggest readingMastering WordPress Shortcodes and the Widgets API article in the Codex.

(Smashing’s note: If you enjoy reading our articles, you’ll love the Smashing eBook Library. Get immediate access to all Smashing eBooks with 70% discount and vote on the topics you’d like to learn more about. We’ll prepare eBooks that fit your needs best! Subscribe now!)

The first thing I looked into was how to output any widget without shortcodes. Once done, implementing a shortcode is a relatively trivial matter. Digging around in the Codex, I found the the_widget() function, which does just what I want.

It takes three parameters:

  • The widget’s class name,
  • The widget’s instance settings,
  • The widget’s sidebar arguments.

Once I saw this, my face lit up. Not only can I output a widget anywhere, but I can pass different sidebar arguments to any widget. This is great because I can specify parameters such as before_widget and after_widget.


CSS Baseline: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Дмитрий Воробей  19.12.2012

Vertical rhythm is clearly an important part of Web design, yet on the subject of baseline, our community seems divided and there is no consensus as to how it fits in — if at all — with our growing and evolving toolkit for designing online.Wardenclyffe

This may be due to a lack of understanding and appreciation of the benefits that follow from a baseline grid, but it is more likely because baseline is notoriously difficult to get right, and no one yet holds the blueprint to its successful implementation.

Some even argue baseline is redundant online, as typographic terminology and behavior on the Web follow different rules than those used in print, the frustrating discrepancy between line-height and leading being the most obvious example.

 

For now, however, let’s assume baseline is, to some degree at least, a useful tool for Web designers. What exactly is it, what tools do we have at our disposal in order to execute it, and, crucially, is it worth the hassle?

(Smashing’s note: Our brand new Smashing eBook Library is the place where good Web design eBooks live. All of the eBooks contain edited, curated, ad-free articles written by our well-respected authors. Subscribe today!)


Christmas Icon Set (10 Quality Icons, 256×256px PNG)

Дмитрий Воробей  19.12.2012

Today, we have a beautiful Christmas icon freebie for you created by the talented, hard-working folks atRocketTheme. The icon set contains ten icons available as 256×256px PNGs that have been lovingly and exclusively prepared for Smashing Magazine and the Web design community. As usual, the set is released under a Creative Commons license and can be used in commercial and private projects.

is work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. You are free to build them into your work, even commercially. However, please always credit the original designer of the set (in this case,RocketTheme).

(Smashing’s note: If you are looking for a good book on mobile, this is the one. Our brand new book on best design and coding practices for mobile, Responsive Web design and UX design for mobile. Get your copy now!)


Creating An Adaptive System To Enhance UX

Дмитрий Воробей  19.12.2012

In computer science, the term “adaptive system” refers to a process in which an interactive system adapts its behavior to individual users based on information acquired about its user(s), the context of use and its environment. Although adaptive systems have been long-discussed in academia and have been an aspiration for computer scientists and researchers, there has never been a better time than today to realize the potential of what future interaction with computer systems will be like.

The abilities of today’s network information technologies to create rich, immersive personalized experiences to track interactions and aggregate and analyze them in real time, together with the data collected by the sensors we carry in our smart devices, provides us an opportunity like never before to design adaptivity in order to ultimately offer a better user experience that is both unobtrusive and transparent.

This article will cover the fundamental concepts for utilizing smart device technologies and sensor data in order to understand context and introduce “adaptive thinking” into the UX professional’s toolset. I will demonstrate the importance of context when designing adaptive experiences, give ideas on how to design adaptive systems, and perhaps inspire designers to consider how smart devices and context aware applications can enhance the user experience with adaptivity.

(Smashing’s note: If you are looking for a good book on mobile, this is the one. Our brand new book on best design and coding practices for mobile, Responsive Web design and UX design for mobile. Get your copy now!)

An early example of an adaptive feature can be found in GPS navigational devices. Using one of these devices, a user is able to easily locate and navigate to any location they can drive to. When the sun sets or while driving through a tunnel, the system automatically changes the interface color to a dark “night mode” so as not to blind the driver with a bright light from the device. The system knows the user’s exact location and the position of the sun, and by understanding these two factors, the system maintains a safe driving environment by adapting to the user’s needs.

The day and night interfaces in the GARMIN Zumo 660 adapt the interface color so the user isn’t blinded with a bright light.

Adaptive design is about listening to the environment and learning user patterns. Combining smart device sensor data, network connectivity and analysis of user behavior is the secret sauce behind creating an adaptive experience. By combining these capabilities, we not only understand the context of use, we can also anticipate what the user needs at a particular moment.

Google Now is an interesting example of an adaptive application that gives users answer to questions they’ve thought rather than typed. Through a series of smart cards that appear throughout the day on the user’s mobile phone, Google Now tells you the day’s weather before you start your day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work, when the next train will arrive as you’re standing on the platform or your favorite team’s score while they’re playing. It does this by recording and analyzing your preferences while you’re using your phone. For example, updates on your favorite sports team are based on your Web browsing and search history. And by analyzing your current location, previous locations and Web history, Google Now presents a card with traffic conditions on route to your next likely destination.

As UX professionals, we understand that some mobile users do not like to use the virtual keyboard and we try to avoid that necessity as much as possible. By utilizing the user’s personal behavior as a sensor together with smart device capabilities and enabling voice commands (similar to iOS’s Siri), Google Now creates an adaptive experience that helps users avoid using the virtual keyboard, thus further adapting to the mobile user’s needs and helping users quickly get the information they require on the go.

Adaptive systems are not only limited to mobile devices. Ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) is the idea of being surrounded by smart devices and networked digital objects that are carefully tuned to offer us unobtrusive assistance as we navigate through our work and personal lives. Similarly, ambient intelligence (AmI) refers to digital environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people.


The New Mobile Book Is Finally Here!

Дмитрий Воробей  19.12.2012

Yes, our brand new Smashing Mobile Book has finally arrived, and it has almost reached your doorstep! If you’ve already pre-ordered the book weeks ago, then it’s really only a matter of days! Until then, the complimentary digital version is waiting for you in your Smashing Shop dashboard. And if you haven’t ordered just yet, make sure to get the book now!

At this very moment, all pre-orders are being shipped from Berlin, Germany, by airmail. Due to an unexpected huge amount of pre-orders in the past days, delivery of the new book orders will take a bit longer since we only have a limitedamount of printed books in pre-sale stock.

Of course, we are printing extra copies in this very moment as you read this post. But unfortunately, the shipping of the new printed copies can only start in early January 2013. Still, you get the eBook automatically once you’ve ordered the printed book, so you can start reading right away!

The eBook of the Mobile Book is available for download immediately: PDF, ePUB and Kindle formats for your convenience. If you have pre-ordered the book, your eBook is waiting for you in your Download Area. Also, keep in mind that the eBook is included in the Smashing eBook Library—our annual subscription with 70% discount on all Smashing eBooks.

And if you still haven’t ordered yet, you can get the Mobile book right now, and start reading within a couple of minutes! You won’t be disappointed. Why? Let’s see why.

Our brand new printed Mobile Book features the most important things that you need to know as a designer, developer or mobile strategist to make your websites optimized for mobile. You’ll dive deep into the peculiarities of the mobile industry, explore responsive design strategy, design patterns and optimization techniques, learn about wireframing and prototyping for mobile as well as the guidelines for designing with gestures and touch. If you are looking for a good book on mobile, this is the one.


Inserting Widgets With Shortcodes

Дмитрий Воробей  19.12.2012

The shortcode ability of WordPress is extremely underrated. It enables the end user to create intricate elements with a few keystrokes while also modularizing editing tasks. In a new theme we’re developing, I decided to look into adding widgets anywhere with shortcodes, and it turns out that it isn’t that difficult.

Some of the widgets that can be added with shortcodes.

This tutorial is for experienced WordPress users; we will be looking at the widgets object and shortcodes without delving into too much detail about how and why they work. If you are looking for more information, I suggest readingMastering WordPress Shortcodes and the Widgets API article in the Codex.

(Smashing’s note: If you enjoy reading our articles, you’ll love the Smashing eBook Library. Get immediate access to all Smashing eBooks with 70% discount and vote on the topics you’d like to learn more about. We’ll prepare eBooks that fit your needs best! Subscribe now!)

The first thing I looked into was how to output any widget without shortcodes. Once done, implementing a shortcode is a relatively trivial matter. Digging around in the Codex, I found the the_widget() function, which does just what I want.

It takes three parameters:

  • The widget’s class name,
  • The widget’s instance settings,
  • The widget’s sidebar arguments.

Once I saw this, my face lit up. Not only can I output a widget anywhere, but I can pass different sidebar arguments to any widget. This is great because I can specify parameters such as before_widget and after_widget.


Creating An Adaptive System To Enhance UX

Дмитрий Воробей  19.12.2012

In computer science, the term “adaptive system” refers to a process in which an interactive system adapts its behavior to individual users based on information acquired about its user(s), the context of use and its environment. Although adaptive systems have been long-discussed in academia and have been an aspiration for computer scientists and researchers, there has never been a better time than today to realize the potential of what future interaction with computer systems will be like.

The abilities of today’s network information technologies to create rich, immersive personalized experiences to track interactions and aggregate and analyze them in real time, together with the data collected by the sensors we carry in our smart devices, provides us an opportunity like never before to design adaptivity in order to ultimately offer a better user experience that is both unobtrusive and transparent.

This article will cover the fundamental concepts for utilizing smart device technologies and sensor data in order to understand context and introduce “adaptive thinking” into the UX professional’s toolset. I will demonstrate the importance of context when designing adaptive experiences, give ideas on how to design adaptive systems, and perhaps inspire designers to consider how smart devices and context aware applications can enhance the user experience with adaptivity.

(Smashing’s note: If you are looking for a good book on mobile, this is the one. Our brand new book on best design and coding practices for mobile, Responsive Web design and UX design for mobile. Get your copy now!)

An early example of an adaptive feature can be found in GPS navigational devices. Using one of these devices, a user is able to easily locate and navigate to any location they can drive to. When the sun sets or while driving through a tunnel, the system automatically changes the interface color to a dark “night mode” so as not to blind the driver with a bright light from the device. The system knows the user’s exact location and the position of the sun, and by understanding these two factors, the system maintains a safe driving environment by adapting to the user’s needs.

The day and night interfaces in the GARMIN Zumo 660 adapt the interface color so the user isn’t blinded with a bright light.

Adaptive design is about listening to the environment and learning user patterns. Combining smart device sensor data, network connectivity and analysis of user behavior is the secret sauce behind creating an adaptive experience. By combining these capabilities, we not only understand the context of use, we can also anticipate what the user needs at a particular moment.

Google Now is an interesting example of an adaptive application that gives users answer to questions they’ve thought rather than typed. Through a series of smart cards that appear throughout the day on the user’s mobile phone, Google Now tells you the day’s weather before you start your day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work, when the next train will arrive as you’re standing on the platform or your favorite team’s score while they’re playing. It does this by recording and analyzing your preferences while you’re using your phone. For example, updates on your favorite sports team are based on your Web browsing and search history. And by analyzing your current location, previous locations and Web history, Google Now presents a card with traffic conditions on route to your next likely destination.

As UX professionals, we understand that some mobile users do not like to use the virtual keyboard and we try to avoid that necessity as much as possible. By utilizing the user’s personal behavior as a sensor together with smart device capabilities and enabling voice commands (similar to iOS’s Siri), Google Now creates an adaptive experience that helps users avoid using the virtual keyboard, thus further adapting to the mobile user’s needs and helping users quickly get the information they require on the go.

Adaptive systems are not only limited to mobile devices. Ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) is the idea of being surrounded by smart devices and networked digital objects that are carefully tuned to offer us unobtrusive assistance as we navigate through our work and personal lives. Similarly, ambient intelligence (AmI) refers to digital environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people.


CSS Baseline: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Дмитрий Воробей  18.12.2012

Vertical rhythm is clearly an important part of Web design, yet on the subject of baseline, our community seems divided and there is no consensus as to how it fits in — if at all — with our growing and evolving toolkit for designing online.

This may be due to a lack of understanding and appreciation of the benefits that follow from a baseline grid, but it is more likely because baseline is notoriously difficult to get right, and no one yet holds the blueprint to its successful implementation.

Some even argue baseline is redundant online, as typographic terminology and behavior on the Web follow different rules than those used in print, the frustrating discrepancy between line-height and leading being the most obvious example.

For now, however, let’s assume baseline is, to some degree at least, a useful tool for Web designers. What exactly is it, what tools do we have at our disposal in order to execute it, and, crucially, is it worth the hassle?

(Smashing’s note: Our brand new Smashing eBook Library is the place where good Web design eBooks live. All of the eBooks contain edited, curated, ad-free articles written by our well-respected authors. Subscribe today!)