Name Your Price for The Marketing Copywriter Bundle

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Your website is usually the first contact your target audience has with your business. Often, people would do research before and look up your website before doing business with you. This way, they can see whether or not you’re running a reliable and trustworthy company. While a professional-looking website gives off the idea that you […]

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Industrial Design: Tiller, a Minimal Device for tracking your time

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Industrial Design: Tiller, a Minimal Device for tracking your time

Industrial Design: Tiller, a Minimal Device for tracking your time

Sep 20, 2017

We would like to share another project that is currently live on Kickstarter. For this case, it’s a beautiful, minimal device for tracking your time. Introducing Tiller, approached with a clean industrial design. This product has been created to make time tracking straightforward, simple, and unnoticeable. Just one tap starts or stops a timer, and a small turn switches between items. It’s a significant reduction compared to other software-based products. Let’s dive in.

In their words

We solve real problems by bringing good design and technology together. Like most professionals, our work stacks up, so we strived to find an easier way to track our time and get the most out of our work day. That’s how Tiller was born.

Take the time out of time tracking and get more work done.

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Industrial Design: Tiller, a Minimal Device for tracking your timeIndustrial Design: Tiller, a Minimal Device for tracking your timeIndustrial Design: Tiller, a Minimal Device for tracking your timeIndustrial Design: Tiller, a Minimal Device for tracking your timeIndustrial Design: Tiller, a Minimal Device for tracking your timeIndustrial Design: Tiller, a Minimal Device for tracking your timeIndustrial Design: Tiller, a Minimal Device for tracking your timeIndustrial Design: Tiller, a Minimal Device for tracking your timeIndustrial Design: Tiller, a Minimal Device for tracking your time


Industrial Design: Tiller, a Minimal Device for tracking your time

Some Facts

• Integrations with some of your favorite apps starting with Harvest, Toggl, WorkflowMax, and AND CO. 
• Our software has been designed to be as unobtrusive as possible. The interface to track your time only pops up when you need it.

More Links
Support Tiller on Kickstarter
Learn more about Joan at

industrial design

The Designer’s Guide to Color Contrast

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The colors you choose while designing a website, poster, or any other type of image, will have a huge impact on whether or not the overall design is successful. After all, there is a lot of psychology behind the colors that people are attracted to, and designers need to incorporate this into everything they do.

Color contrast plays a very valuable role, but it is often overlooked, undervalued and misunderstood. To avoid this problem, you must learn more about color contrast, including how and why you should use it. Once you go beyond the basics of knowing that red and orange aren’t good colors to create contrast but black and white are, you can begin to develop an enhanced aesthetic that will please clients and viewers.

Why is Color Contrast So Useful?

Color contrast, in a nutshell, provides visual intrigue and keeps viewers interested. Consider for a moment how boring it would be if an entire poster was made out of one color or only included shades from the same color family. Although there are some instances when this does work from an artistic perspective, it’s not an approach that is likely to grab someone’s attention when they’re perusing store shelves, looking at movie posters or surfing the web. Therefore, it’s wise to use contrasting colors whenever appropriate.

Think about the classic Coca-Cola can. If the entire thing was red, it wouldn’t stand out nearly as much as it does. The white writing truly pops off of the red background, which grabs attention and is instantly recognizable. This contrast is visually stunning, and it stands out from its competitors.

How to Best Use Color Contrast

The color choices you make must depend largely on the format that you’re using. The Coca-Cola can provides a great way to explain this process. In a physical product such as a can of soda, the red background works. It also stands out well in print advertising, on TV commercials and much more. But what if you were to attempt to design a website with these same colors?

To put it as bluntly as possible, a solid red website page background with white text on top would be atrocious. A full red background will work, though, if you put a text box on top of it that has a lighter color such as white or tan. From there, you’d most likely want to use black text in the text box to create another layer of contrast. Not only will this approach be more eye-catching but it will also enable people to actually read the text. Remember: black text on red is very difficult to read.

Other examples of contrasting color combinations that won’t work well on the web and may also be almost indecipherable in other formats include light green on medium green, green on red and red on blue. Instead, consider using white on green and yellow or white on blue. If you must put text on a solid red background, it’s best to use white just like Coca-Cola.

Of course, color contrast isn’t always used to call attention to text. If you’re looking to put two different contrasting colors together to draw the eye to something specific on the page, you can choose between dramatically different colors and the more subtle contrast that is caused by changes in shade, tint and saturation.

Color contrast plays a huge role in getting your CTA or button standing out. This should go without saying but when the user is skimming the landing page or your article, a CTA with a different color than the page will grab their attention.

This all sounds good but in order to see it in action we should take a look at some companies that are using color contrast to their advantage.
Teamweek is by far one of the best examples I can give you. As you can see in the image above, although the plans are all a different color, the contrast between the turquoise button and the rest of the page still does an amazing job drawing your attention to the CTA. 

The same thing happens on their sign-up page. Although the page is rich in colors and patterns, the user’s attention is redirected to the center of the page.

Trip Advisor does a nice job of using contrasting colors and white space to direct each user’s eyes to the most important aspects of their search results. The mixture of green and yellow is pleasing to the eye, and they kept the classic blue hyperlink color to make it easy for people to know where to click to learn more. Even better, they chose a bold yellow with black text for their “show prices” button, which stands out so much that people are virtually certain to engage with this call-to-action.

Another prime example of how to use contrasting colors to your advantage can be found at Alternating between open and negative space with their choice of white and gray pulls the eye in. Topping off this combination with a splash of red helps ensure that website visitors will be visually intrigued enough to stick around.

What Every Designer Needs to Know

Approximately 8 percent of men worldwide suffer from some form of color-blindness. This condition is much rarer in women, but 1 out of every 17 people with color-blindness is female. In total, 4.5 percent of the world’s population does not see all colors as the rest of the world does.

This may seem like a small enough percentage that you wouldn’t cater to their needs. However, the reality is that in the UK alone, 2.7 million people are colorblind. This is something designers really need to consider, especially if they’re creating something that is targeted at men.

Red/green blindness is the most common version of color-blindness. What this means is that the red and green elements of any color will not have their true appearance to these individuals. For instance, a person with red/green blindness will perceive purple as blue. This happens because they’re unable to see the red tone that helps differentiate purple from blue.

As you can imagine, this makes the process of choosing the perfect color contrast even more difficult. If you were to choose green as your primary background color or even as a font color, 4.5 percent of your intended viewing audience may not be able to accurately see everything. They may not even be able to read the words very well depending on the hue you chose and how severe their color-blindness is.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, a color contrast should make both elements stand out, but especially the element that is most important. In other words, if you’re putting text on a colorful background or image, make sure that the words are easy to see and read. Keep your audience in mind and try to steer clear of color combinations that would make the final result difficult for people with color-blindness.

300+ Beautiful, Hi-Res Textures and Backgrounds – only $24!


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What Can a Web Designer Achieve that You Can’t?

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It has become a truism of the modern internet that a cut-throat website matters. Anyone with a decent education can build a basic DIY website, but that’s not always enough. If you want people to find your website, let alone interact with it, a lot needs to be done. Here is what a web developer […]

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Architecture: House Yorii located in Saitama Prefecture, Japan

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Architecture: House Yorii located in Saitama Prefecture, Japan

Architecture: House Yorii located in Saitama Prefecture, Japan

Sep 20, 2017

It’s been a little while since our last article about architecture, how about a minimal house located in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. At less than 30km from the center area of Tokyo, you’ll be charmed by its minimalist design where the house structure is surrounded of clean lines. I really love the ancient vs modern take on the balcony deck to the backyard. A simple and yet really meaningful design by Shinsuke Yokoyama.

Shinsuke Yokoyama is an architect and interior designer based in Tokyo, Japan. You should follow more of this work on Behance.


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Architecture: House Yorii located in Saitama Prefecture, JapanArchitecture: House Yorii located in Saitama Prefecture, JapanArchitecture: House Yorii located in Saitama Prefecture, JapanArchitecture: House Yorii located in Saitama Prefecture, JapanArchitecture: House Yorii located in Saitama Prefecture, JapanArchitecture: House Yorii located in Saitama Prefecture, JapanArchitecture: House Yorii located in Saitama Prefecture, JapanArchitecture: House Yorii located in Saitama Prefecture, JapanArchitecture: House Yorii located in Saitama Prefecture, JapanArchitecture: House Yorii located in Saitama Prefecture, Japan


Architect: Kato Architect Office
Constructor: Ozawa Kougyou
Photo: Ryotaro Watanabe
More Links
Learn more about Shinsuke Yokoyama:
Follow Shinsuke on Behance

interior design

Building Inclusive Toggle Buttons

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Some things are either on or off and, when those things aren’t on (or off), they are invariably off (or on). The concept is so rudimentary that I’ve only complicated it by trying to explain it, yet on/off switches (or toggle buttons) are not all alike. Although their purpose is simple, their applications and forms vary greatly.

Building Inclusive Toggle Buttons

In this inaugural post, I’ll be exploring what it takes to make toggle buttons inclusive. As with any component, there’s no one way to go about this, especially when such controls are examined under different contexts. However, there’s certainly plenty to forget to do or to otherwise screw up, so let’s try to avoid any of that.

The post Building Inclusive Toggle Buttons appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

25 Solutions That Heavily Help Designers And Developers

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Having many web tools and premium services on the market helps a lot but also complicate things. Which one should you use? Some do not have free trials, and you need to pay before deciding if it’s a right fit for you. For all of you in this situation, we have managed to build a […]

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Searching for Clean(er) Searches

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Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily

If there is one year for positive change, look no further, it’s 2017. Because there’s no better time than now to do something, but also because this world, on so many levels (well, you know, you’ve been there too) was seriously derailed in the past couple of years.

You are probably involved already, struggling with small or large steps to make a difference in the world, to have a positive impact, minimize your carbon footprint, leave the air breathable and the water drinkable for your kids and their kids. You probably cycle, volunteer, decided to run for office (yay!), sign petitions, enjoy the outdoors. But by the end of your life you will still have spent a few good years staring into a screen. Due to nature of work or for entertainment only, it’s gonna be years, trust me. They add up. Worry not though, you can make a difference even in front of a computer screen doing your daily searches.

I search, You search, We…

You’re online and irrespective of the tasks, you will search at least one time during the course of one working day. Am I right? Searching the www is high in the charts when it comes to spending time online. I mean, we even search for search. Spelling. Our own names. We search for pretty much everything. Everything included. And there’s a carbon meter attached to this daily routine too, as with most activities that need a source of power.

You can imagine our excitement when we discovered that some of those behind several search engines intend to tackle the carbon problem. While DuckDuckGo is more into protecting your online privacy, Google promises to run on 100% renewable energy by the end of this year, and Ecosia plants trees every time you search the web.

Online searches have been steadily growing into trillions since the dawn of the internet. The trend is on the rise and there are no signs of a slowdown.

Raising Awareness while Making Change Happen
Charming server error

No, you cannot literally plant trees by simply searching. At least not yet (have you seen the guy who emailed lemonade? Literally). Ecosia is the search engine that plants trees with its ad revenue. It’s a great example of social change applied to the most common online activity.

You search the web with Ecosia > Search ads generate income for Ecosia > Ecosia uses this income to plant trees.

They’ve planted over 7 million trees so far. Here’s how they decide where to plant them. On their website you can find details about their projects, videos, stories, and useful info on why trees are essential to life – if you ever had any doubts. You don’t have to be a full-time treehugger to get excited when your search for “sugar free” and just planted a tree. I mean, even when their server is down, they’ll put some trees up (see screenshot).

Using  Renewable Energy to Keep them Engines Running
Renewable Energy ProjectsGoogle: New Renewable Energy Projects via

In 2015, Google bought 44% of its power from wind and solar farms, according to The Guardian, and they plan to go 100% renewable this year. It’s worth keeping an eye on them and see how and when they’ll reach their target. Just in case you were feeling guilty for using Google.

The renewable trend would be very hard to stop, hence similar companies are joining this common-sense challenge along sustainability programs. For the sake of your own carbon footprint, doing a quick search (ha!) to test their sustainability efforts should come in handy.

Search Engines with Renewable Goals Only

If you want to find out more about clean energy, then you should know that there are search engines only for this. Take reegle. It acts as a unique clean energy information portal, targeting specific stakeholders including governments, project developers, businesses, financiers, NGOs, academia, international organizations and civil society. Others, like Solar Search, specialize in searches related to mainly solar energies. You’ll probably come across some inspiring projects.
If you’re really committed to making a difference, don’t stop here, move beyond the search engine. See how clean your apps are. If you’re the techie-sustainable type and have ideas for a low carbon economy, take some time to put them into practice, pitch them, share them, spread the word. Go for it!

Switch it Off and Other Such Details

Saving energy at home and at work matter. Just as low energy consuming applications and power saving system matter. And no, standby is not as friendly as you think.
University of Cambridge has its own green challenge in an attempt to prevent unnecessary energy use. They are committed to reducing carbon emissions energy-and-carbon, and they compiled Facts & Figures to help you find out how much energy you can save from simple actions such as switching off lights and equipment.

“Leaving a computer on overnight for a year creates enough CO2 to fill a double-decker bus.” (Carbon Trust)

“Reducing your PC monitor brightness from 100% to 70% can save up to 20% of the energy the energy the monitor uses.” (Harvard)

A true activist should consider all his actions, and change or adapt as many of his habits as possible, including his virtual ones. Your virtual life has an impact in real life. And not necessarily yours.

More Than Clean Searches

This article does not enourage online activism only. Don’t forget to increase the efficacy of offline activism. These days online and offline have to come together. Entangling your daily virtual existence with meaningful clicks does sound like a powerful tool, a quiet form of activism pushing change in the most unexpected places. Direct action, changing your daily routine, less waste, more awareness in your life, every bit will make a difference in the big scheme of life.

You might not save the world with this, but you’ve certainly made a step in the right direction.
Leave the right footprints. Your grandchildren will be grateful.

This post Searching for Clean(er) Searches was written by Anca Rusu and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

Collective #340

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Inspirational Website of the Week: Rafael Derolez

A modern website experience with delightful details and smooth interactions. Our pick this week.

Get inspired


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Get the ultimate toolkit for WordPress. Jetpack Professional gives you everything you need to design, secure, and grow your site.

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Accessible drag and drop for lists with React.js with a solid API and natural movement of items.

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Font-size: An Unexpectedly Complex CSS Property

An interesting article on the trickiness of the font-size property by Manish Goregaokar.

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The Difference Between Explicit and Implicit Grids

Manuel Matuzovic explains the difference between explicit and implicit CSS grids.

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Free Font: Delirium

A charismatic calligraphy typeface by Bruno Fontenelle.

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Shadow DOM: fast and encapsulated styles

Learn why CSS encapsulation is so hard and what’s the fastest way to get it in this article by Monica Dinculescu.

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Roger Water

An endless flying exploration of a generative, infinite open world. A mind-blowing Chrome Experiment by Stefano Maccarelli.

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An open-source time-series database fully compatible with Postgres for fast ingest and complex queries.

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Performant Web Animations and Interactions: Achieving 60 FPS

Emily Hayman explains all important details involved in making web animations performant.

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Gtop is a system monitoring dashboard for terminal.

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A next-generation bookmarking tool that will organize your favorites automatically. Currently in private beta.

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Tracking Internal Marketing Campaigns With Google Analytics

Christian Ebernickel gives an advanced masterclass on campaign tracking in Google Analytics.

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Deeplearn.js is an open source hardware-accelerated JavaScript library for machine intelligence allowing you to train neural networks in a browser or run pre-trained models in inference mode.

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Real World Examples of Map, Filter and Reduce in JavaScript

A practical use case for map(), filter(), and reduce() By Tania Rascia.

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How to build your personal brand as a new developer

Some useful tips on building a personal brand as a developer. By Rick West.

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ES Modules in Node Today!

John-David Dalton announces the release of standard/esm, an opt-in, spec-compliant, ECMAScript (ES) module loader that enables a smooth transition between Node and ES module formats with near built-in performance.

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Page speed optimization

One of the many SEO tools by Varvy that gives you very useful insights on page speed.

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Effective Tensorflow

A repo that collects Tensorflow tutorials and best practices.

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CSS Utility Classes and “Separation of Concerns”

Adam Wathan shows how to follow a functional CSS approach.

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The Siren: One-page blog/magazine design concept (Sketch)

A clean and elegant Sketch website template designed by Kulikov Ilya.

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Learn regex the easy way

In case you missed it: Zeeshan Ahmed wrote this great guide to regular expressions.

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Free Font: Tormentor

A lovely handwritten font made by Besttypeco for Pixel Buddha subscribers.

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From Our Blog
Morphing Page Transition

A simple morphing page transition effect where an SVG path gets morphed into another while the current page moves up.

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Collective #340 was written by Pedro Botelho and published on Codrops.

Building Animated Components, or How React Makes D3 Better

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D3 is great. As the jQuery of the web data visualization world, it can do everything you can think of.

Many of the best data visualizations you’ve seen online use D3. It’s a great library, and with the recent v4 update, it became more robust than ever.

Add React, and you can make D3 even better.

Just like jQuery, D3 is powerful but low level. The bigger your visualization, the harder your code becomes to work with, the more time you spend fixing bugs and pulling your hair out.

React can fix that.

You can read my book React+d3js ES6 for a deep insight, or keep reading for an overview of how to best integrate React and D3. In a practical example, we’ll see how to build declarative, transition-based animations.

A version of this article also exists as a D3 meetup talk on YouTube.

Is React Worth It?

OK, React is big. It adds a ton of code to your payload, and it increases your dependency footprint. It’s yet another library that you have to keep updated.

If you want to use it effectively, you’ll need a build step. Something to turn JSX code into pure JavaScript.

Setting up Webpack and Babel is easy these days: just run create-react-app. It gives you JSX compilation, modern JavaScript features, linting, hot loading, and code minification for production builds. It’s great.

Despite the size and tooling complexity, React is worth it, especially if you’re serious about your visualization. If you’re building a one-off that you’ll never have to maintain, debug, or expand, stick to pure D3. If you’re building something real, I encourage you to add React to the mix.

To me, the main benefit is that React forces strongly encourages you to componentize your code. The other benefits are either symptoms of componentization, or made possible by it.

The main benefits of using React with your D3 code are:

easier testing and debugging
smart DOM redraws
hot loading

Componentization encourages you to build your code as a series of logical units — components. With JSX, you can use them like they were HTML elements: <Histogram />, <Piechart />, <MyFancyThingThatIMade />. We’ll dive deeper into that in the next section.

Building your visualization as a series of components makes it easier to test and debug. You can focus on logical units one at a time. If a component works here, it will work over there as well. If it passes tests and looks nice, it will pass tests and look nice no matter how often you render it, no matter where you put it, and no matter who calls it. ?

React understands the structure of your code, so it knows how to redraw only the components that have changes. There’s no more hard work in deciding what to re-render and what to leave alone. Just change and forget. React can figure it out on its own. And yes, if you look at a profiling tool, you’ll see that only the parts with changes are re-rendered.

Animated alphabet with flash paint enabled

Using create-react-app to configure your tooling, React can utilize hot loading. Let’s say you’re building a visualization of 30,000 datapoints. With pure D3, you have to refresh the page for every code change. Load the dataset, parse the dataset, render the dataset, click around to reach the state you’re testing … yawn.

With React -> no reload, no waiting. Just immediate changes on the page. When I first saw it in action, it felt like eating ice cream while the crescendo of 1812 Overture plays in the background. Mind = blown.

Benefits of Componentization

Components this, components that. Blah blah blah. Why should you care? Your dataviz code already works. You build it, you ship it, you make people happy.

But does the code make you happy? With components, it can. Components make your life easier because they make your code:


It’s okay if that sounds like buzzword soup. Let me show you.

For instance, declarative code is the kind of code where you say what you want, not how you want it. Ever written HTML or CSS? You know how to write declarative code! Congratz!

React uses JSX to make your JavaScript look like HTML. But don’t worry, it all compiles to pure JavaScript behind the scenes.

Try to guess what this code does:

render() {
// …
return (
<g transform={translate}>
<Histogram data={}
value={(d) => d.base_salary}
title=”All” />
<Histogram data={engineerData}
value={(d) => d.base_salary}
title=”Engineer” />
<Histogram data={programmerData}
value={(d) => d.base_salary}
<Histogram data={developerData}
value={(d) => d.base_salary}
title=”Developer” />

If you guessed “Renders four histograms”, you were right. Hooray.

After you create a Histogram component, you can use it like it was a normal piece of HTML. A histogram shows up anywhere you put <Histogram /> with the right parameters.

In this case, the parameters are x and y coordinates, width and height sizing, the title, some data, and a value accessor. They can be anything your component needs.

Parameters look like HTML attributes, but can take any JavaScript object, even functions. It’s like HTML on steroids.

With some boilerplate and the right dataset, that code above gives you a picture like this. A comparison of salary distributions for different types of people who write software.

4 histograms of salary distributions

Look at the code again. Notice how reusable components are? It’s like <Histogram /> was a function that created a histogram. Behind the scenes it does compile into a function call — (new Histogram()).render(), or something similar. Histogram becomes a class, and you call an instance’s render function every time you use <Histogram />.

React components should follow the principles of good functional programming. No side effects, statelessness, idempotency, comparability. Unless you really, really want to break the rules.

Unlike JavaScript functions, where following these principles requires deliberate effort, React makes it hard not to code that way. That’s a win when you work in a team.

Declarativeness and reusability make your code understandable by default. If you’ve ever used HTML, you can read what that code does. You might not understand the details, but if you know some HTML and JavaScript, you know how to read JSX.

Complex components are made out of simpler components, which are made out of even simpler components, which are eventually made out of pure HTML elements. This keeps your code organized.

When you come back in six months, you can look at your code and think, “Ah yes, four histograms. To tweak this, I should open the Histogram component and poke around.”

React takes the principles I’ve always loved about fancy-pants functional programming and makes them practical. I love that.

Let me show you an example — an animated alphabet.

Continue reading %Building Animated Components, or How React Makes D3 Better%