Articles by A List Apart

  • Using HTTP/2 Responsibly: Adapting for Users

    With HTTP/2 ticking up steadily in use, it’s clear that there’s something to this long overdue update to the protocol. Implementing it, however, not only changes how websites are delivered to the user, it demands that we think critically about how we migrate existing sites to the protocol. More importantly, it demands that we consider […]

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  • Considering How We Use HTTP/2

    It’s important to remember that HTTP/2-specific optimizations may become performance liabilities for HTTP/1 users. In the final part of this series, we’ll talk about the performance implications of such a strategy and how build tools can help you manage HTTP/1- and HTTP/2-specific assets. no comments yet Our generalized example from the previous article shows how […]

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  • Commit to Contribute

    One morning I found a little time to work on nodemon and saw a new pull request that fixed a small bug. The only problem with the pull request was that it didn’t have tests and didn’t follow the contributing guidelines, which results in the automated deploy not running. 1 comment The contributor was obviously […]

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  • Practical User Research: Creating a Culture of Learning in Large Organizations

    Enterprise companies are realizing that understanding customer needs and motivations is critical in today’s marketplace. Building and sustaining new user research programs to collect these insights can be a major struggle, however. Digital teams often feel thwarted by large organizations that are slow to change and have many competing priorities for financial investments. 1 comment […]

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  • This week’s sponsor: ​Jamf Now

    Without an MDM solution, it can take a surprising amount of time to configure all of your iPads, iPhones, and Macs at work. With Jamf Now, you can configure settings on all of your devices quickly and consistently over the air.

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  • Team Conflict: Four Ways to Deflate the Discord that’s Killing Your Team

    It was supposed to be a simple web project. Our client needed a site that would allow users to create, deploy and review survey results. Aside from some APIs that weren’t done, I wasn’t very worried about the project. I was surprised that my product manager was spending so much time at the client’s office. […]

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  • Color Accessibility Workflows

    The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 contain recommendations from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for making the web more accessible to users with disabilities, including color blindness and other vision deficiencies. 2 comments There are three levels of conformance defined in WCAG 2.0, from lowest to highest: A, AA, and AAA. For text […]

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  • The Mindfulness of a Manual Performance Audit

    As product owners or developers, we probably have a good handle on which core assets we need to make a website work. But rarely is that the whole picture. How well do we know every last thing that loads on our sites? 2 comments An occasional web performance audit, done by hand, does make us […]

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  • Web Maintainability Industry Survey: How Do We Maintain?

    How often do we consider the maintenance and general maintainability of our websites and apps? What steps do we actively take to make and keep them maintainable? What stands in the way when we maintain our and other people’s projects? no comments yet Many of us, as web developers, know very well how to code […]

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  • Fait Accompli: Agentive Tech Is Here

    Similar to intelligence, agency can be thought of as a spectrum. Some things are more agentive than others. Is a hammer agentive? No. I mean if you want to be indulgently philosophical, you could propose that the metal head is acting on the nail per request by the rich gestural command the user provides to […]

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  • User Research When You Can’t Talk to Your Users

    It’s not breaking news to say that the core of UX, in a vacuum, is talking to your users to gather insights and then applying that information to your designs. But it’s equally true that UX does not happen in a vacuum. So what happens when you don’t have the budget or the timeline to […]

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  • Focus on What You Do Best and Outsource the Rest

    With consumer expectations growing year after year, high quality web design and development services are in top demand. If you want to be the one to deliver those high-end results, then you’ll need to focus on playing to your strengths and be comfortable entrusting everything else to others. no comments yet Like many of us, […]

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  • Widen Out: Using Your Blog to Attract New Clients

    Attracting future clients on autopilot—that’s the whole point of your website, right? Most freelancers accept the story that great work attracts leads, but I’m going to be straight with you: clients have no clue you exist. What usually tips the balance isn’t your portfolio—they see plenty of those. 1 comment Not many people talk about […]

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  • Practical CSS Grid: Adding Grid to an Existing Design

    Understanding and using CSS Grid is easier than you might expect. The day Grid support shipped in Firefox 52, I decided on the spur of the moment to convert the basic layout of my personal site to use Grid. And it was a fairly simple process—five minutes to write the grid styles, then 15-20 spent […]

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  • Practical Design Discovery

    One of the hardest design problems I ever worked on was for a company that helps IT groups manage risk. Their product focused on open-source components—inexpensive and widely supported by an enormous community, but often vulnerable to security flaws. no comments yet What made this design problem hard was the complexity of the product’s underlying […]

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  • Long-Term Design: Rewriting the Design Sales Pitch

    We run our client service businesses just like door-to-door salespeople hawking vacuum cleaners. That may seem unfair, but it’s exactly how we sell design. We’re focused on short-term wins—but we’re teaching clients to see our work as disposable. 2 comments I want to believe we’re better than that. We spend our entire careers knocking on […]

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  • Big Data Visualization with Meaning

    The web is not the traditional home of data visualization. You might come across a bar chart here or there in your online journey on any given day, but they’ve never been an artifact of web history. It seems like that’s been changing. no comments yet With the world becoming increasingly data-driven, we’re seeing more […]

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  • This week’s sponsor: Hotjar

    I am ADDICTED to your tool, FYI. We installed it on inbound.org and it’s been amazing for me to get insights already. Sam MallikarjunanHEAD OF MARKETING, HUBSPOT LABS

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  • I Don’t Need Help

    We have no excuse…admit it. UX may brag about intuitive and pretty, but we sure suck at helping people—this one thing that most defines, most embodies great user experience. no comments yet Throughout history, there’s one recurring theme: people need help. For all we know, the need for assistance might have triggered the development of […]

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  • Gaming the System…and Winning

    Good intentions usually drive the “gamification” of websites—adding points, badges, and leaderboards to make them more engaging. It sounds like a great idea, but borrowing game design elements out of context is a risky way to design experiences, especially experiences intended to bring users back to a site. no comments yet Not everyone wants to […]

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