The State of Web Design, December 2017

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I might have noticed a trend or two in web design this last year.

Let me rephrase that: I spend the vast majority of my time online. I do my shopping, here, and my work, and a lot of my leisure reading. I browse the Internet mid-gaming, whether to look up information on the game I’m playing, or just to entertain myself some more because my ADD is really that bad. I even spend a huge amount of time browsing portfolio sites, where designers get to live out their design fantasies.

And even with all of that, I know for a fact that I’ve barely scratched the surface of this huge-ass network. But in my corner of it—the corner mostly dominated by Western designers—I have noticed a trend or two. And here’s where we are:

Revenge of the Flash

No, not that Flash. I wish. Watching Barry Allen tear the world apart with his sheer ridiculous power would be kind of awesome.

I believe that we are currently in the middle of a light backlash, though few might say it that way. It’s a response to the trend of flat design (and the short moment of brutalism that would follow). But instead of making 3D-looking dials and knobs on every UI again, many people seem determined to resurrect Flash, or at least call up its spirit and put it into JavaScript’s body.

Designers very quickly got tired of “flat design” as a style. I don’t blame them. Many people just grabbed a framework that looked like Material Design and didn’t think too much about it. Nowadays, while many sites are still technically flat, they try to avoid the feel of flat design, and even the word itself. Their answer to this has been to take advantage of HTML5 and JavaScript to animate pretty much everything they could think of. Think I’m kidding?

Daniel Archam’s brutalist-looking website depends on JS to work at all. And it has a screen-saver. Now don’t get me wrong: it’s a creative and good-looking site. I even featured it in November’s monthly portfolio article. But you can’t deny that there’s a certain mentality at work, here.

The response to flat design has been turn it into flash design. Or some weird post-minimalist thing. Or some combination of the two. This mentality has resulted in some beautiful and highly innovative websites that are unintuitive, inaccessible, and generally a pain to use.

I predict that the pendulum will swing once more (now there’s a safe prediction if I ever saw one). Web standards advocates will probably turn their attention to JS and animation in general, and point out some of the flaws inherent websites that require JS to show their content at all. Then some people will take that too far, and ditch JS entirely, and perhaps CSS, too. Then there will be a backlash to that.

I’m only mostly kidding about that last part.

The Divide

I feel like the web design community may, for a while, become split in two. I mean, it kind of already is, but it might even become official. The two primary parties will probably be what I call The Standardistas and the Experimentalists.

The Standardistas are dedicated to making sure the web is accessible, usable, and as idiot-proof as humanly possible. If they can build it without touching JavaScript, they will. If they can make it a static site, they probably will. Fancy animations and effects are used minimally.

The Experimentalists are tired of being constrained by the technology of our era. As far as they’re concerned, if the user’s JavaScript is broken, or their browser is outdated, who cares? Their target demographic uses up-to-date hardware and software. They’re going to try new things, because they intend to lead the next wave of innovation, or at least follow right behind whomever is leading it.

Those are extreme descriptions, of course. Any good designer will recognize characteristics of both sides in themselves. The industry needs both. But as the pendulum keeps swinging, I can see more and more designers choosing one path over the other to some extent. I doubt it’ll ever come to blows, metaphorical or physical, but a contest of sorts may one day come.

Variety Ain’t Just a Magazine

People love their bandwagons. While some people are set on going their own way, and others are set on going whatever way is opposite the majority, most love a trend. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In web design, trends have been used to teach basic design principles, help new technologies catch on, oppose bad practices, and so on.

Sure, adopting a design trend without clearly understanding what it’s for has caused some issues. However, I’d say that overall, trends have pushed the web forward. The fact that a whole lot of websites end up looking almost exactly the same is probably just the price we pay.

That all being said, I have seen a lot more variety this year than in previous years. Maybe that’s because I was looking for it, though I doubt it. I’ve always looked for variety, and it has occasionally been darned difficult to find.

And then maybe it’s because we have a wide variety of trends now, and people are getting on board with all of them. Perhaps that’s the future of web design: if we eventually create hundreds or thousands of distinct aesthetic trends, we’ll get some variety by the sheer force of statistics. I can think of worse futures for the industry.

All around, I think we’re in for interesting times, and a lot of debate. I personally can’t wait.

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The Changing Face of Web Design in 2018

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Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily

One of the interesting recent developments in web design trends is actually the trend away from trends… or in other word what is happening is a kind of regression to simpler ways, at least from those in the know.

On the other side of the coin, there’s a big shift happening in certain types of corporate sites, especially some British and American media sites, where there’s a tendency to overload pages with so much extraneous content that it can severely impact on the ability of the user to see the content they actually arrived to see.

If the first two paragraphs sound hopeless tangled, well that’s a very succinct allegory for the state of web development in 2018… tangled. It’s a problem we need to sort out, because it won’t be good for anyone if web standards continue to slip.

We’ll return to this topic of overloading later on in the article, because it’s quite a big topic. What I’d just like to briefly do before we get into that is to focus attention on some of the problems we’ll see being solved before that more serious problem is dealt with, and also some of the good things we’ll be seeing happening on the web design front in 2018.

Carousels are finished

There’s a place for carousels, but the abuse of them is going to end, simply because it’s been so overdone that people are tired of them.

Unfortunately on some sites they’re being replaced by something even more obnoxious, which is an autoplay video banner, but this can be expected to die out naturally as developers finally figure out that too many users are on mobile connections and slow broadband for this to be a practical idea.

Carousel abuse, by the way, is simply a situation where they’re used for no other reason than to use them, serving no real purpose to better inform or entertain the viewer.

Death of the 1-3-1-6 layout

This layout pattern was at some point decided as what should be the future of web design, because at the time it was first used, it looked kind of cool. As with many overused fashions, however, people have started to find it irritating.

The layout also is flawed from the point of view that it’s not well suited to good responsive design (even if it can be made to work in responsive design), and encourages overloading with unnecessary elements.

Again, it is a problem of including elements just so they’ll fit the layout and not because they add value to the user experience.

Increase in true responsive design

Designers are better informed now about the need for responsive design, and they’re getting a lot better at implementing it. We should expect to see a lot more sites getting responsive design right, and that can only be a net gain for the users.

As a designer what you’ll want to be conscious of is that the focus on responsive design (which is a good thing) doesn’t result in a lacklustre desktop browser experience (which would be a bad thing). We need to think about how we’re using space to make sure it is efficient and always delivering a quality user experience.

gif image courtesy of Gal Shir

Rise of the narrative theme

More commercial marketing agencies are going to realize the value of building proper relationships with users, and so we should see an increase in narrative themes, ones that draw us in with a story and informative text, instead of just presenting a wall of products for us to choose and buy.

That doesn’t mean we should go crazy with text and video, it just means we should dial down the commercial focus, instead focusing on building trust, and then convert that trust into sales.

illustration courtesy of Folio Illustration Agency

Huge problems ahead with Internet nanny state

Browsers and ISPs continue to take a hardline stance in terms of trying to protect users from their own lack of savvy, and this in turn is punishing honest developers and small business sites who can’t don’t need security certificates and can’t afford the extra cost.

What we really need is for the Internet users to become more savvy, implementing their own safeguards, instead of technology providers stepping in to do it for them.

illustration courtesy of Ben Stafford

The problem this nannying creates is that it assumes every site to be malicious until proven otherwise, ignores the fact that malicious sites routinely do things by the book to masquerade as non-malicious sites, and that truly malicious sites are a minority.

There’s also the fact that users should take responsibility for their own security, plus the equally important fact that the majority should not be punished (or restricted) because of the actions of a malignant minority.

Geolocation triggered CDN will fall out of fashion

At first it’s going to rise, then people are finally going to figure out it doesn’t work the way it is supposed to, and then (if there’s any sense left in the world) people will stop using this extremely bad idea.

What is meant to happen is the site looks at the IP address and then attempts to fetch CDN resources from the CDN server closest to the client. It would be fine except some sites try to get too fancy. They also look at the client locale and try to serve location-specific content to the client.

This inevitably leads to DNS resolution conflicts, causing even major sites such as Google and Facebook to malfunction on some client machines. It has become an issue because designers have forgotten that people travel.

Travelers don’t always reset the locale on their devices when they travel, and there can be many reasons for this. The conflict between the device locale and the IP location (unless a VPN is used) seems to cause routing problems with many sites.

image courtesy of Alexander Zinchenko

The scourge of overloaded pages

An overloaded page is one that contains a ridiculous amount of external resources, especially JavaScript, where the external resources contribute nothing positive to the user experience. These resources are included solely for the benefit of the site owner, either for making money, collecting information, or just because the designer is a plug-in junky.

Overloaded pages can be annoying for anyone, but they’re especially annoying for mobile users, users running older hardware, and users with slow connections.

It’s the kind of thing that in the past we’d expect to see on trash sites, but lately it has become a problem on many different kind of sites, including mainstream media sites.

Let’s check out an example:

What we’re looking at here is not meant to single out this particular site. It is typical of just about any UK mainstream media site these days, and some American sites are just as overloaded, if not even more so. This doesn’t look overloaded at first glance, but take a closer look.

With JavaScript enabled, a normal Internet connection, and anything less than the latest hardware, the page loading time will be spectacularly unimpressive. At least part of the reason is that the page tries to load scripts from all these domains:

Remember, if even one of these scripts fails to load, it can introduce delays and malfunctions for the rest of the page load.

Most of the news sites are adding these unprofessional click-bait ads at the bottom of their articles. These have no business on a business site. It’s amazing that they’ve been so universally adopted, and what should be a major concern is that these ads can sometimes be offensive or just annoyingly insensitive, which can lead to a backlash against your site.

Plus of course loading all these resources (including all the scripts, images, videos, and other things), puts a strain on the client machine. CPU and memory are consumed with each item loaded, and in a multi-tab browsing environment, when most browsers are still plagued with bugs, it all ads up to a potentially frustrating time for users.

You know who the users are going to blame when their browser (and maybe entire OS session) crashes? They’re going to blame you. When they do, it’s unlikely you’ll ever get that user back, or they’ll come back grudgingly, expecting problems.

It’s understandable some sites need to raise money through advertising, but there’s no way to justify connecting to 39 different domains in order to do so. It’s just going too far, when it’s not necessary. You could serve less ads, and serve them all from one place, and the results would be better.

Another advantage of avoiding overloading is fewer privacy invasions, raising the trust level of your site. Users don’t hate ads, they hate ads that get in the way of what they’re doing and which invade their privacy, even to the point of spying on them and following them around.

Let’s stop doing that, and make money honestly with clean sites the way nature intended. It can only result in more profits for your company and a better user experience for those visiting your site.

header image courtesy of Ksenia Shokorova

This post The Changing Face of Web Design in 2018 was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

Inspiring Examples of Designer Workspaces

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Designer workspaces are an ever-popular source of inspiration. Creatives often enjoy looking at the computer and equipment a designer uses, their often-minimalist desk and furniture, or even the prints or art they have on their wall.

There’s plenty to be inspired by and draw from when putting together or rearranging your own workspace setup.

In this article, we’re going to round up a selection of the most beautiful and inspiring designer workspaces from the past year.


designer workspace

Beautifully spacious, this minimalist workspace combines the simplicity of Apple products and white furniture, with some creative chairs and a bright red bean bag.

My Workstation

designer workspace

Eddie’s workspace shows off his wonderfully customized MacBook lid, covered with some beautiful stickers. He uses a Wacom tablet and curved widescreen monitor.

My Workplace!

designer workspace

A little messy, but nonetheless inspiring, Svetlana’s workspace is filled with cards, prints, coloring pens and pen tablets. The iPad Pro is also used for illustration.


designer workspace Workstation

This futuristic example is beautifully themed with purple throughout. The lighting is atmospheric and reminiscent of a gamer setup.

Workspace 2017

designer workspace 2017

This workspace includes a beautiful colorful print, action figures, and a limited PS4 games console. It’s simple but playful and offers a balance between minimalist and maximalist.


designer workspace

Very minimal in its setup, this workspace uses an abundance of white, with a beautifully curved seat and fancy lighting, walls and an unorthodox pencil pot.


designer workspace

Similarly minimalist, this setup uses a glossy white desk with a signed photo, simple clock, and small cactus plant.

Home Workspace Setup

designer workspace

Using a wall-mounted monitor, this setup is extremely colorful against the teal wall behind. The desk looks high quality and has been carefully themed with lighting and items like the clock and lamp.

10 Ways To Learn PPC Like a Pro

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Businesses looking for online marketing and web services are rarely looking for one provision. Typically, they are looking for an agency that can act as a one-stop-shop for all their internet-based projects.

Pay-per-click advertising is one such service that businesses are interested in. The ability to promote their company on search engines like Google and Bing is integral to earning revenue online. But if you’ve never delved into the world of PPC, how do you bring this service into your wheelhouse?

In this article, we will cover ten cost-effective and actionable ways you can learn to set up, manage and optimize Pay-Per-Click campaigns for your clients. When used, these resources will make it easy for you to confidently offer PPC to your customers.


This online learning platform is owned by LinkedIn and specializes in expert led training. They offer a range of PCC courses, from beginner level to advanced techniques. For a fee of $19.99 per month, you can have access to over 6,000 courses. The PPC focused courses cover everything from sophisticated targeting methods to account structuring and auditing. A great resource for employees looking to take on PPC responsibilities or business owners who want to have a firm understanding of the services they offer.

2. Google Adwords

When it comes to PPC advertisements, there is no disputing that Google is the giant. Website hosting company godaddy spends over $5 million per year on Google Adwords alone. If you want to be a successful PPC service provider, you have to know the Google Adwords platform inside out. Thankfully, Google offers several courses and official documents that can be accessed for free. Even better is that the courses are self-paced, so you can learn on your own schedule and have peace of mind knowing you are getting the information straight from the horse’s mouth.

3. Udemy

Udemy is another online learning site that offers affordable classes on a variety of topics. They update their courses each year, so you can be confident you are learning all the latest tips and tricks. Over 11,000 people have already taken their 2017 PPC course, and it has a rating of 4.8 out of 5. If you want to learn how to use PPC to boost traffic to websites or remarket to your previous website visitors, this is the perfect place to start.

4. Unbounce

Unbounce is landing page creation software. If you plan on managing PPC campaigns, chances are you will have to learn how to create landing pages. What is a landing page? It’s any web page that is created specifically with conversion focus in mind. Usually, PPC ads will include the link to a landing page rather than a website homepage to reduce the likelihood that visitors will be distracted on the website or click exit before completing the conversion step. Unbounce has a PPC blog that is full of insider tips, recent updates, and valuable tidbits of information.

5. Wordstream

When notable brands like The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and The Huffington Post trust an online learning site, you know it is worth considering. Such is the case with Wordstream, a marketing software and PPC management solutions site. Wordstream offers proprietary programs like their Adwords Performance Grader, which analyzes your current campaigns and lets you know where there is room for improvements. But what really helps them stand out is their absolute mountain of PPC learning material. Better yet, you don’t need to be a Wordstream customer to access most of their content

6. Bing Ads

Bing is owned by Microsoft, and the multinational technology company offers its own courses on learning its platform. The Bing Ads Training Courses take you through every step of creating, managing, and optimizing a Bing advertising campaign. And while Bing is commonly viewed as a secondary search engine in comparison to Google, it is still a lucrative path to take for businesses looking to gain traction online. Did you know that the Bing Network Audience spend 34 per cent more online than average internet searchers? Potential customers on this platform are likely to buy and invest in brands they see as trustworthy. A great place to make your company known!

7. The Ultimate Guide to PPC Advertising

This book by Richard Stokes is available on Amazon for approximately $20.00. Richard is the founder of the digital intelligence firm AdGooRoo, and has unique insight into the world of online paid advertising. In this book, he shares his personal strategies to increase click-through rates, steal impressions from competitors, and much more. Well worth the read!

8. PPC Hero

PPC Hero is the perfect go-to website for all things PPC. From interesting and educational blog posts to webinars and toolkits, there is something for every learner. Learn everything from Adwords Smart Display to how to utilize Excel to capture your PPC data. Be prepared to dedicate a fair amount of time to this website, however. The sheer amount of valuable info is astonishing!

9. Klientboost

Klientboost is a well-recognized resource in the online marketing industry. They are known for helping clients build landing pages that convert and PPC campaigns that drive traffic and revenue. They offer several courses, some more complex than others. Their 7-Day Adwords Toolbelt course is packed with useful tips. You can also check out their guides, webinars and blogs. Each has a plethora of practical, game-changing material to learn from!

10. CXL Institute

If you are already able to create a PPC framework and complete the basics, but you want to optimize the work you have done to increase conversions, this is the site for you. You won’t find run-of-the-mill updates and tutorials here. The CXL Institute prides itself on offering detailed, comprehensive articles, courses, workshops and conferences. Topics often covered include A/B split testing, Google Tag Manager, email marketing, and more. Google itself trains some of their employees by sending them to the CXL Institute courses, so you can be certain that you are learning from the very best.

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CSS Glitch Effect

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Today we’d like to show you how to create a little experimental glitch-like effect on an image. The effect will be powered by CSS animations and the clip-path property. The technique involves using several layers of images where each one will have a clip-path, a blend mode and a translation applied to it. It was inspired by the technique seen on the speakers page of the 404 conference.


Please note this effect is very experimental; we use several properties that won’t work in older browsers. The clip-path property is not supported in IE or Edge.

We also use CSS variables for setting some properties that will allow for an easy adjustment of the effect.

Breaking down the effect

When searching the web for an easy to use and light-weight glitch implementation, we came across this question on Reddit. Somebody was asking how the glitch effect was pulled off on the speaker line up page of the 404 conference. The glitch effect was made using CSS animations on a stack of three images that are the same. The animations consist of a rapidly changing clip property on all layers except the first one. Additionally, the layers are being moved slightly. So what we are seeing, is slices of the image, slightly offset and in constant movement.

We wanted to experiment with this and recreate the effect using the clip-path property instead. Although it has less browser support (it doesn’t work in IE or Edge), it allows for a more flexible usage since we can use percentage values and apply it to elements that are not necessarily positioned absolutely.

Combining the effect with background blend modes, allows us to create some interesting looking image effects.

The way this works is to create an image stack where each overlaying image will animate its clip-path in, what looks like, random sizes. We’ll use a stack of 5 images:

<div class=”glitch glitch–style-1″>
<div class=”glitch__img”></div>
<div class=”glitch__img”></div>
<div class=”glitch__img”></div>
<div class=”glitch__img”></div>
<div class=”glitch__img”></div>

Let’s have a look at the main styles for the hover effect that you can see in the last demo. Note that we’ve defined some variables previously, but they should be self-explanatory:

.glitch {
position: relative;
width: var(–glitch-width);
max-width: 400px;
height: var(–glitch-height);
max-height: calc(400px * 1.25);
overflow: hidden;
margin: 0 auto;

.glitch:hover {
cursor: pointer;

.glitch__img {
position: absolute;
top: calc(-1 * var(–gap-vertical));
left: calc(-1 * var(–gap-horizontal));
width: calc(100% + var(–gap-horizontal) * 2);
height: calc(100% + var(–gap-vertical) * 2);
background: url(../img/1.jpg) no-repeat 50% 0;
background-color: var(–blend-color-1);
background-size: cover;
background-blend-mode: var(–blend-mode-1);

We don’t want to show the sides being cut off, so we make sure that the image dimensions take the gap, i.e. the movement into consideration.

Then, we set the background colors and blend modes for each layer:

/* Set the background colors for the glitch images*/
.glitch__img:nth-child(2) {
background-color: var(–blend-color-2);
background-blend-mode: var(–blend-mode-2);

.glitch__img:nth-child(3) {
background-color: var(–blend-color-3);
background-blend-mode: var(–blend-mode-3);

.glitch__img:nth-child(4) {
background-color: var(–blend-color-4);
background-blend-mode: var(–blend-mode-4);

.glitch__img:nth-child(5) {
background-color: var(–blend-color-5);
background-blend-mode: var(–blend-mode-5);

As this is going to be a hover effect, we want all layers except the first one to be hidden by default:

.glitch__img:nth-child(n+2) {
opacity: 0;

Then, on hover, we show all layers:

.glitch:hover .glitch__img:nth-child(n+2) {
opacity: 1;

And we also apply the animations and a transform to each layer:

.glitch:hover .glitch__img:nth-child(2) {
transform: translate3d(var(–gap-horizontal),0,0);
animation: glitch-anim-1-horizontal var(–time-anim) infinite linear alternate;

.glitch:hover > .glitch__img:nth-child(3) {
transform: translate3d(calc(-1 * var(–gap-horizontal)),0,0);
animation: glitch-anim-2-horizontal var(–time-anim) infinite linear alternate;

.glitch:hover > .glitch__img:nth-child(4) {
transform: translate3d(0, calc(-1 * var(–gap-vertical)), 0) scale3d(-1,-1,1);
animation: glitch-anim-3-horizontal var(–time-anim) infinite linear alternate;

/* Hover flash animation on last image */
.glitch:hover > .glitch__img:nth-child(5) {
animation: glitch-anim-flash 0.5s steps(1,end) infinite;

The calc(-1 * var(–gap-horizontal)) basically allows us to set a negative value of a given variable.

Have a look at this slow motion visualization to see what’s going on under the hood (this GIF is quite big, so it might take a while to load):


The last layer is only flashing and moving slightly while the others also get cut by a clip-path.

Let’s have a look at one of the animations for setting the clip-path:

@keyframes glitch-anim-1-horizontal {
0% {
-webkit-clip-path: polygon(0 2%, 100% 2%, 100% 5%, 0 5%);
clip-path: polygon(0 2%, 100% 2%, 100% 5%, 0 5%);
10% {
-webkit-clip-path: polygon(0 15%, 100% 15%, 100% 15%, 0 15%);
clip-path: polygon(0 15%, 100% 15%, 100% 15%, 0 15%);
20% {
-webkit-clip-path: polygon(0 10%, 100% 10%, 100% 20%, 0 20%);
clip-path: polygon(0 10%, 100% 10%, 100% 20%, 0 20%);
30% {
-webkit-clip-path: polygon(0 1%, 100% 1%, 100% 2%, 0 2%);
clip-path: polygon(0 1%, 100% 1%, 100% 2%, 0 2%);
40% {
-webkit-clip-path: polygon(0 33%, 100% 33%, 100% 33%, 0 33%);
clip-path: polygon(0 33%, 100% 33%, 100% 33%, 0 33%);
50% {
-webkit-clip-path: polygon(0 44%, 100% 44%, 100% 44%, 0 44%);
clip-path: polygon(0 44%, 100% 44%, 100% 44%, 0 44%);
60% {
-webkit-clip-path: polygon(0 50%, 100% 50%, 100% 20%, 0 20%);
clip-path: polygon(0 50%, 100% 50%, 100% 20%, 0 20%);
70% {
-webkit-clip-path: polygon(0 70%, 100% 70%, 100% 70%, 0 70%);
clip-path: polygon(0 70%, 100% 70%, 100% 70%, 0 70%);
80% {
-webkit-clip-path: polygon(0 80%, 100% 80%, 100% 80%, 0 80%);
clip-path: polygon(0 80%, 100% 80%, 100% 80%, 0 80%);
90% {
-webkit-clip-path: polygon(0 50%, 100% 50%, 100% 55%, 0 55%);
clip-path: polygon(0 50%, 100% 50%, 100% 55%, 0 55%);
100% {
-webkit-clip-path: polygon(0 70%, 100% 70%, 100% 80%, 0 80%);
clip-path: polygon(0 70%, 100% 70%, 100% 80%, 0 80%);

The slices will go from tiny, to a bit larger and also nothing, leaving a “pause” on some of the frames and then starting again from another position.

A great tool to visualize clip paths is Clippy by Bennett Feely.

The final animation is a simple flash of the last layer:

@keyframes glitch-anim-flash {
0% {
opacity: 0.2;
transform: translate3d(var(–gap-horizontal), var(–gap-vertical), 0);
33%, 100% {
opacity: 0;
transform: translate3d(0,0,0);

This looks especially interesting when applying an overlay blend mode with a fitting color.

Note that we can also apply this effect to text elements. Check out the demos to see it in action!

And that’s it! We hope you’ve found some inspiration in this little experiment.

References and Credits

Images by
imagesLoaded by Dave DeSandro

CSS Glitch Effect was written by Mary Lou and published on Codrops.

Gifts for Creatives During the Holiday Season and Beyond

Original Source:

Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily

Do you have a creative in your life? We’re talking about the artsy types who would rather spend time curled up reading a book in front of the fire. Those friends and family who put deep thought into the gifts they give and would rather not another plain shirt from the department store.

The good news is that creatives are often not that picky, since they can always get inventive with the gifts they receive. However, there’s something great about finding that quirky or useful gift for their profession or everyday life, whether it be a shape-shifting chair that adds some character to their home or a set of musical wine glasses where the notes are set by the amount of liquid.

Overall, gifts for creatives need to be both exciting and useful. You’re not trying to buy a gimmick or gag gift that’s going to be used once then thrown in the trash or re-gifted.


We want to outline some gifts for creatives that standout, make people laugh, and allow you and your friends and family to have a wonderful holiday season.

If You’d Like to Search for Your Own Gifts for Creative People

We’ll outline some awesome and unique gifts below, but if you’re more interested in completing the gift search yourself, or you like the products below, but want more options, consider using the new Sunny expert gift guide from Uncommongoods.

The Uncommongoods website serves as one of the best places online to find presents for your creative loved ones, but Sunny makes the process much easier. For instance, all you have to do is tell Sunny who you’re buying for and what interests that person has. After that, it delivers a wide range of creative items for you to pick from and filter based on price.

The Best Gifts for Creatives
1. A Shape-shifting Ollie Chair

A Shape-shifting Ollie Chair is perfect for people who may have limited space but don’t want to sacrifice on style when it comes to furniture. Not only does it cater to creatives with the design, but it allows them to get creative when furnishing their apartments or smaller homes.

The great part is that the chair can be used outdoors or indoors, and it’s as comfortable as it is attention-grabbing.

2. Major Scale Musical Wine Glasses

Have you ever tried to put on a little symphony with a few wine glasses? It’s one of the most fun party tricks in the book, where you dab a bit of liquid on your finger and run it along the edge of the glass. However, the average person wouldn’t know how much liquid to have in each glass to hit a certain note.

With these musical glasses the notes are marked on the sides, so you can wow your music-oriented friends and give them something to entertain themselves with, even when they’re not playing an instrument.

3. Novel Teas

Writers and readers alike are known to drink tea and coffee. Writers use tea to help relax and spend countless hours penning books. On the other hand, a reader drinks tea to calms the nerves and pairs that with a good book on a cold afternoon.

This Sri Lanken tea set comes packed with 25 tea bags, all of which have a daily quote from one of your favorite authors. For instance, you can start your day with some words of wisdom from CS Lewis.

Of all the gifts for creatives, this is certain to be one of the most useful ones. You can think about which of your bookworm friends also enjoys tea and get this affordable gift that is sure to please them.

4. Deep Sea Sand Art

Creativity comes in many forms, but just about every person who identifies as a creative knows the value of the imagination.

Not all art is for everyone, but the deep seas sand art intrigues people of all ages, as it creates a mystical vision that sits on your coffee table, desk, kitchen counter, or anywhere in the house. The glittery sands shift down with gravity, displaying beautiful art that looks like aspects of nature.

You might see a few clouds one day and a set of mountains the next. Oceans, smoke, and deserts may all appear, making it a great gift for inspiration and allure.

5. Reclaimed Wood Bike Silhouette Art

Some of the most successful creatives in the world now the value of exploring the outdoors. Biking is a great way to keep the mind and body fresh, while also engaging you with the nature and people around you.

Although this isn’t exactly a real bicycle, it’s a beautiful handmade work of art, using reclaimed wood and materials sourced straight from Canada.

6. Dog Egg Mold

Creative folks often have dogs or other pets, since it’s sometimes easier to relate to animals than people.

So, if your friend or family member loves dogs, consider getting them this dog egg mold. It’s like a simple work of art every morning, and it might just remind them of their best canine friend.

7. Music Note Measuring Spoon Set

Here’s another gem for the music lover in your life. Hopefully, they like to cook, too! If not, the music note measuring spoon hangs nicely as a decoration for the kitchen.

8. Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit

Cooking is an art in itself, and since hot sauces have become so popular as of late, why not give your creative friend an experience in their kitchen?

The “make your own hot sauce” kit comes with six bottles and hot sauce packets. You can even customize the labels!

9. Tabletop Cornhole

If your creative loved one enjoys a good party game, the tabletop cornhole gift pairs well with beer, wine, or a night with friends eating food. You get to launch miniature corn hole bags, yet there’s no need to store a large gaming set in your garage.

10. 100 Books Scratch Off Poster

Finally, what better way to wow your reading friends than by giving them a bucket list for books to read? They can scratch off the books and try to complete as many of them as they can.

If you have any questions about Sunny from Uncommongoods, or if you’re curious about any of these gifts for creatives, feel free to click through the links above or drop a line in the comments below!

header image courtesy of Jacob Rhoades

This post Gifts for Creatives During the Holiday Season and Beyond was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

10 Best Subreddits For UI & UX Designers

Original Source:

Reddit is the #1 social news community for every topic. Sports, gaming, fishing – there’s a community for everyone. Naturally this includes all kinds of design topics from web to mobile.

So I’ve curated my picks for the top 10 subreddits geared towards designers. Each sub comes with a different community, but all of them can be useful if you’re looking for design ideas or advice from other designers.

Take a look and see what you think!

1. /r/Design

reddit /r/design

First in this list has to be /r/Design. This subreddit is also one of the largest digital design subs with over 200k subscribers.

Granted, this community isn’t just focused on interface design. It runs the gamut of digital design including logos, branding, print work and even motion graphics. There’s a lot you can learn from skimming the front page.

But it’s also one of the best subs to pick up ideas for new projects, find cool interviews, or just share your ideas with the community. Since it’s a fairly large sub you’re guaranteed to get some comments on anything you post.

2. /r/web_design

reddit /r/web_design

The default web design community is /r/web_design and it has been around for quite a few years. This one’s even larger than the main design sub with more active posts per day.

At the time of this writing it has a total of 290k subscribers and counting. Many front page articles relate to guides, tutorials and general resources for web design.

But this is also a place for newbies to come and ask basic questions. You’ll see a lot of beginner-level questions on the front page so this can feel like an introductory forum at times. Yet there’s also a good number of pros who lurk around as well. This one is full of gems.

3. /r/webdev

reddit /r/webdev

It may seem weird that I’m recommending a development community in a UI/UX design list. But /r/webdev isn’t just for developers. In fact, it’s mostly a frontend community so there’s a lot of overlap.

The front page updates daily with new posts, most of which relate to professional development work. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are key topics. If you consider yourself a designer who codes, you should definitely subscribe.

But even if you don’t code, this is still a great community to keep up with the pulse of modern web development.

4. /r/userexperience

reddit /r/userexperience

Reddit’s /r/userexperience sub is pretty small but very active. Most regular users comment frequently and the sub has grown a lot over the years.

User experience is a tricky subject because it doesn’t just relate to websites. It can cover mobile apps, software and pretty much anything that’s interactive and digital.

This sub is a fantastic place to learn and pick up advice relevant to the UX field.

Also, if you want another place to browse, this subreddit is one of the more active UX communities.

5. /r/UI_Design

reddit /r/ui_design

General interface design is a broad topic with a lot of room for discussion. The /r/UI_Design community is a small one, and not necessarily the most active.

But it does allow for a huge range of topics – so long as they relate to interface design. It’s a great place to share an article you’ve read or even share an article you wrote on your blog.

Each day there’s an estimated 2-4 new posts, so the front page does move. The community is also engaging if you pose a great question about design.

6. /r/servers

reddit /r/servers

You may not think that designers need to know anything about servers. But if you work as a freelancer, then you should understand them – at least at a basic level.

On the /r/servers subreddit you’ll find advice for managed hosting, VPS hosting and shared hosting alike. Depending on the type of site you’re launching, this subreddit can help you make a great decision that will fit your needs.

However, it can also be a fairly complex community, discussing more advanced technologies like memcached & varnish. You certainly don’t need to delve that far, but it helps to have a working knowledge of web servers.

7. /r/learnwebdesign

reddit /r/learnwebdesign

While this sub is small and very quiet, I still think /r/learnwebdesign is a great place to subscribe.

It’s a small community geared towards beginners and semi-intermediate designers. Every post links to a tutorial or detailed article that can help improve your design skills.

Articles range from how-tos in Photoshop all the way to more technical guides for frontend design in the browser.

8. /r/design_critiques

reddit /r/design_critiques

Here’s a much larger and more active sub, totaling nearly 30k subscribers at the time of this writing.

In /r/design_critiques, you can post your work and ask for honest critiques. The community is full of beginners, semi-skilled pros and industry veterans alike. This means the critiques you’ll get can range from simple quips to incredibly useful paragraphs.

For a free community, it’s one of the best you’ll find on this topic. Whether you just need a small pick-me-up or need genuine design advice, I highly recommend checking out this sub.

And, you can even learn from the critiques of other people’s work – if you browse around long enough.

9. /r/usability

reddit /r/usability

Humans are the ones who use technology and it’s humans that we’re designing for. The /r/usability community forces you to keep this in mind by sharing articles related to HCI and general usability.

This sub is not just about web design. It covers everything related to usability from wearables to desktop software.

But what I’ve found is that most usability topics relate to each other. Yes, there are differences between mediums and devices, but usability is an easy topic to read through once you understand the main goal: to help the end user.

10. /r/UnsolicitedRedesigns

reddit /r/UnsolicitedRedesigns

I stumbled onto this sub a few years back and it’s been one of my favorites to hit every so often. As the name suggests, /r/UnsolicitedRedesigns is a curation of redesign projects created by designers – just for fun. They include new branding & identity designs, new websites and mobile apps.

It’s a pretty small community and there’s usually about 1-2 new posts per week.

Still, the community is fantastic and some of the constructive critiques are surprisingly helpful. It’s a place you come back to time & again for new ideas.

Ways to Make Your Ecommerce Store Stand Out for The Holidays

Original Source:

With the holiday shopping season approaching rapidly, now is the time to get your site ready to serve the crowds of joyous gift givers who will be clamoring for your finely curated array of products. To keep them in a gifting frame of mind when they visit your site, here are five ways to make […]

The post Ways to Make Your Ecommerce Store Stand Out for The Holidays appeared first on

What’s New for Designers, December 2017

Original Source:

The holiday season is upon us, and that’s the perfect time to give yourself a few design goodies. While the season for new releases has slowed some, there are still plenty of news design tools and beta releases to test out. Take the opportunity to play with some of these great new elements for designers.

If we’ve missed something that you think should have been on the list, let us know in the comments. And if you know of a new app or resource that should be featured next month, tweet it to @carriecousins to be considered!


Want to create a logo on your own in just a few minutes? DesignEvo is a free online logo maker that has more than 3,000 templates to help you create a simple logo in a hurry. Search by template type (or brand category) to start working on a custom logo right away. Everything you need, including icons, color swatches and fonts, are included in your logo design.


Project management tools are a must have part of the creative workflow. Every project comes with assets, colors, fonts, files and schedules that team members have to be aware of. Oiga, which is currently in beta, is a modern project management tool that helps you keep track of everything in one place. It’s designed for remote work and unlike many other project management tools, it also includes an asset manager so that everything is in one place.

Google Poly

Google is developing a great repository of three-dimensional assets for AR and VR apps. What’s even better is that all of these assets are open source and come with creative commons licenses so that you can use them. The database is growing quickly and is a great resource for getting started with these cutting-edge apps.


Flawless is an app that uses real-time comparisons of expected and implemented designs to help you ensure the quality of mobile apps.


Ever wonder what your app looks like to users? SessionStack helps you see web app problems in the same way users do. This tool can help you pinpoint and correct small issues before they become major problems. The biggest feature of this tool is the record and playback tool.

Direction Reveal

Direction Reveal is a plugin that detects which direction a user enters and exits a block so that content and hover actions follow the same user action. Hidden content animates from the direction the user enters or can animate based on the direction a user leaves. This makes for pretty interesting animated effects. Animations can swing, slide or rotate.

Color Scheme Generator

Generate a color palette from a base color. See different optimum color combinations rooted in color theory. This is a great tool for designers that struggle with picking colors.


Superstruct makes it easy to define interfaces and then validate JavaScript data against them. It is designed for validating data at runtime, so it throws (or returns) detailed runtime errors. This can be useful for accepting arbitrary input in a REST or GraphQL API. But it can also be used to validate internal data structures at runtime.

World City Icons

The world cities icon pack includes graphic representations of popular cities from around the globe. Each icon is drawn in a vector format and collections include Asia and Oceania, Middle East and Africa, Europe, North and Central America and South America. Each icon comes in line style, but can be filled.


Threed helps you generate three-dimensional mockups in-browser. Just upload a design, adjust a few settings and download the mockup. The tool, which is still in beta, is free to use.

Draw something on the screen and save the unique link to share. It’s like the grown up (digital) version of an Etch-a-Sketch.


With so many creative professionals working in the gig economy, it’s important to have plenty of effective and low-cost tools to help with business tasks. Akaunting is free accounting software for small businesses and freelancers. It is an open source tool that provides invoicing, expense tracking and basic accounting so you can keep up with finances easily.


This tool bills itself as the best icon tool with a large database of elements to search, download and customize. The search features are robust when it comes to finding just what you envision (and don’t want to draw yourself).

Electron Toolkit

Electron Toolkit is a lightweight open source application to launch Electron apps. It bundles a suite of tools to generate assets and artifacts such as installers, binaries, icons, screenshots, and product videos. You can even generate full landing pages.

Instabug Integrations Tool

The Instabug Integration Tool help you receive detailed bug reports and in-app messages directly from whatever tools you use. Whether it’s Jira, GitHub, Slack and more, there are dozens of integrations to help your team focus on what matters without disrupting workflow.

Creative Equals

There’s a lot of talk about making sure the creative space is welcome, diverse and inclusive. Creative Equals includes resources and information to help you or your business, and the industry as a whole, drive change and provide a more equal playing field for all creatives. It’s packed with training resources, campaigns and even a talent recruiting tool.

Lona Studio

Airbnb has a new tool for defining and using design systems and it is making the experiment public. “What if we had a single design system specification that encodes all of the detail needed to accurately translate from design to code? This spec would act as the source of truth. An engineer could then write code which captures the design with 100% accuracy. If the design file is missing a key piece of information, the designer and engineer could work together to add it to the source of truth.” That’s the concept of Lona, which operates on component files and is supposed to work with your current design tools.


Ballada is a brush-style typeface with a slanted stance and plenty of loops and curves. It has a somewhat feminine feel and is designed for display use. It is free for personal and commercial projects.

Brewmaster Gothic

Brewmaster Gothic is a block-style sans serif for display type. The typeface is powerful and bold and includes a full set of uppercase letters.


Onomber is an interesting geometric style typeface with mixed cap heights for extra visual interest. It has open letterforms that can work well in display uses.


Spirited is a set of hand-drawn letters that create a modern script with a retro feel. This typeface could work for logos, display type or other special projects that require a font with a special touch.

Studio Gothic

Studio Gothic is a simple sans serif with uniform stroke widths with thick and thin options. The versatile typeface can work for display or larger text blocks and has a modern feel.

3500+ Textures, Brushes, Icons, Watercolors & More Graphic Elements


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Industrial Design: Color of Time Minimalist Wall Clock

Original Source:

Industrial Design: Color of Time Minimalist Wall Clock

Industrial Design: Color of Time Minimalist Wall Clock

Dec 19, 2017

Dae-hoo Kim shared this beautiful industrial design project for a wall clock titled the Color of Time. The concept of time is like a numerical representation of a moment. Our time is flowing, time and light are most closely related. Through this design, I wanted to express the continuous change of light with the clock. As the hour hand rotates, you will see a palette that visualizes the light. It shows emotions for the time and continuous light changes during a day. Along with this, even though it is not expressed as a number, it is possible to know intuitively the time through the color of the hour hand, thereby achieving a minimal expression of time.

Norman Zammitt, Blue Burning, 1982  at SFMOMA
Industrial Design process

While the hour hand rotates 360 degrees for 12 hours, the internal color palette rotates 180 degrees. I have structurally considered the characteristics of a watch that will have two different lights for a specific time point (AM and PM) for 24 hours a day.

23 : 30

19 : 20

13 : 50

For more information and to check out more industrial design projects by Dae-hoo Kim make sure to visit his Behance profile at

industrial design