What’s New for Designers, January 2018

Original Source: https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/01/whats-new-for-designers-january-2018/

Start 2018 by deleting some of those old tools from your computer that you never use in favor of some fresh, new options. While old favorites can be great for a while, there are so many great new elements out there that can streamline your workflow, or help add more creative spark to projects.

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!

Let’s Enhance

Do you ever have an image that is just too small for what you need? Let’s Enhance is here to solve that problem. The free tool allows you to upload an image—just drag and drop—and it will remove JPEG artifacts and upscale by up to four times the original size without losing any quality. (And it actually works!) State of the art neural networks are used to help removed image noise and imagines missing details for images that look totally natural.

Design Principles

The open-source Design Principles project is a collection of resources that are the basis for good projects. According to the curator, “Design Principles help teams with decision making. A few simple principles or constructive questions will guide your team towards making appropriate decisions.” You can browse more than 1,000 principles and examples already in the database or submit your own.

Hexi-Flexi

Hexi-Flexi is an SCSS component built on the CSS grid layout that creates a lattice of hexagons. Without JavaScript, you can customize the number of shapes, cells and rows to fit your design or content. It also supports auto-populating backgrounds.

Snippetnote

Snippetnote is a note-taking app that allows you to copy snippets for later. You can copy private snippets and change the layout as needed. Notes are available offline and in a drag and drop interface that’s easy to use. The interface is streamlined and simple without ads or social prompts.

Manta

Manta is a simple invoice-building app for Mac, with sleek design and customizable templates. Users can drag and drop items in invoice fields, include an SVG logo for better printing, and export invoices to a PDF or email format. (Plus, it’s a totally free-to-use invoice tool if you are looking for a simple product to streamline billing, which can be great for freelancers.)

Sketch Elements

This free iOS user interface elements kit has everything you need for your next app project. The kit includes 35 screen designs, 45 icons and 175 symbols. Plus, every element can be further customized so that your project feels unique. The kit is made for Sketch 48 or later.

Minimalist Icons

Themeisle has a set of free, minimalist vector icons that you can download and use in a number of projects. Each icon comes in a line-drawn, colorless style with a variety of options. The pack includes more than 100 icons.

StatusTicker

Keep up with the status of critical services in one location. Get real-time notifications that you can see on screen or have them emailed or messaged to you. The ticker supports more than 145 services.

Instagram.css

Looking for Instagram-style images for your projects? Instagram.css is a complete set of Instagram filters in pure CSS.

Epic Spinners

These simple CSS-only loading animations are fun and functional. Just grab the code and you are ready to use them.

Buy Me a Coffee

It’s like Kickstarter for creatives. Buy Me a Coffee allows you to showcase work and ask supporters for a small donation to fund the project.

Keepflow

Keepflow is a team-based project management tool for design freelancers and agencies. Currently in pre-launch beta, the software is designed to help you onboard clients and then manage a project – from an information-gathering questionnaire to the final product.

Tutorial: Using SVG to Create a Duotone Effect

CSS-Tricks has an excellent new tutorial that helps you navigate the world of SVG and create a trendy design element at the same time. The tutorial breaks down how to create a duotone effect in both the traditional manner using Adobe Photoshop and with SVG filter effects.

Product Manual

Product Manual is a collection of resources that help you build and understand the process of creating great products. The website is packed with resources by category—you can also add your own—so that every project can start here.

One Year of Design

Pixels collected a pretty cool collection of great website designs from 2017 all in one place. The retrospective is a nice bit of design inspiration.

CopyChar

Need a special character? Rather than digging through typefaces or struggling to remember keyboard shortcuts, use CopyChar to click and add a special character right to your clipboard. Special character options include everything from letters and punctuation to math and numbers to symbols, arrows and emoji.

Dulcelin

Dulcelin is a simple script that’s available free for personal use. It has a nice structure that’s readable and comes with a set of 177 characters.

Kabrio

Kabrio is a fun sans serif with the added bonus of having multiple corner options for typeface styles. The alternate variant features slightly rounded corners, that become even more round in the soft variant. Abarth features cut corner for a more mechanical, cold look. Each variant has seven weights and italics.

Promova

Promova is a blocky sans serif that would make a nice display option for website projects. The typeface includes regular and italic styles with wide character sets. The type family includes upper-and lowercase letters and is highly readable.

Studio Gothic

Studio Gothic is a nice sans serif with a rounded feel. The free version includes Extra Bold Italic and the Alternative Regular variations. The pair have an extensive character set and would work nicely for a variety of project types.

Sunshine Reggae

Sunshine Reggae is a lowercase typeface with a brush-stroke handwriting style. The limited font includes just 26 lowercase characters without any extras or frills, but it can make a fun display option.

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Getting Ready for Web Video

Original Source: https://inspiredm.com/getting-ready-web-video/

Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily

Video is one of those really contentious points about web design. There are some people who feel like web pages should not have embedded video at all. These people are wrong.

Like any technology, however, we should respect it and not abuse it. The two worst things you can do are:

AutoPlay videos, without express consent from the user
Embed too many videos in one page

Both of these things are likely to cause annoyance to users and should be avoided unless you have a very good reason.

Knowing what not to do will only get you so far. The rest of your online video success story will depend on knowing the things you ought to do, which is what we’ll cover in the rest of this article.

Video categories

There are six different types of videos that are commonly used on sites. These are:

Regular video – you point a camera at something and record it
Live stream – you point a camera at something and don’t record it
Slide show – composed from a series of still images, often with voice over plus added descriptive text
Animation – various methods, but more commonly 3D rendered animations made with Maya3D or Blender.
Screencast – software records images from your computer, normally used for tutorials, usually with text overlays and voice narration.
Hybrid screencast – a screen cast with regular video segments, and possibly also slideshow segments.

Knowing which type of video you want to produce is a good start. Actually that brings us neatly to the next topic.

Plan your video

Good video doesn’t normally happen by accident. Meticulous planning pays off, and that means you know what kind of video you’re going to produce, how you’re going to produce it, and (very importantly) why.

Don’t fail to plan. For a start, your video should be scripted. This is true even if there is no dialog or narration. The script gives you a clear impression of how the video is supposed to unfold. You can also optionally story board the video, but a crew that can’t work straight from a script is not a very visionary crew.

If you’re making a bigger production, you’ll also benefit from budget planning, scene breakdown, shooting sequence (shot list), location scouting, etc. The more time you invest into planning, the better your video is likely to be. Professional preparation leads to professional results.

Software that can help you with script writing and planning includes Trelby and CeltX.

Invest in quality equipment

The equipment you use will have a big impact on the result. It may be difficult to believe, but the camera is not the most important part of your equipment investment.

That’s because for web video (in 2018, at least) it’s rarely sensible to shoot video above normal HD (1920px wide), and in fact it’s better to shoot in SD (1280px wide) or lower, and the aspect ratio should always be 16:9.

One source of confusion with these resolutions, by the way, is the slightly misleading standard names used, which references the vertical height (720p / 1080p) rather than the width, which is the most natural thing people think about.

In thinking about this, bear in mind that a video with a frame height of 720px will not fit on the screen real estate of most users, so it is easy to see why shooting above 720p will not give superior results for web video.

The larger your video frame is, the more resources it will hog on the user’s device, including in some cases failing to play at all, or playing very poorly. Your goal really should be to get the highest image quality and the lowest file size (in bytes).

The reason all this is mentioned is because cameras up to HD will be quite inexpensive compared to cameras that can shoot at higher resolutions, and you’ll just be wasting your money if you invest in them, because most users in 2018:

Do not have screens large enough to support the enormous frame size
Do not have connections fast enough to stream anything above HD smoothly
Do not have connections able to stream anything above SD smoothly either
Are not overly concerned about quality as long as it is reasonable

Quality of your content is the more important thing. So cameras for web video are cheap. What matters a lot more is the audio, and that is where you should invest sensibly.

Cheap audio solutions are likely to result in poor results, so avoid cheap audio and invest in quality. What you save on your camera can be reinvested into sound. Literally what you’d regard as a sound investment.

The main microphone types are shotgun, boom, and wireless. The top brands include Rode, Senheiser, Shure, and Audio-Technica.

Shotgun microphones will do the job if the camera is reasonably near and there is no wind. A boom mic can be made from a shotgun mic mounted on a pole with an extension cable. Wireless is the most expensive and the most likely to give you trouble.

You should invest in a good quality tripod as well, with the generally accepted best brand on the market being Manfrotto. What you should invest in lighting depends on the location. Other items you’ll need could include reflectors and shaders.

Completely optional items that can be useful include sliders, dollies, jibs, and lens filters. Don’t invest in these items unless your production warrants their purchase.

Set the scene

The best idea with online video is to keep it short whenever possible, and when it’s not possible, break it down into segments. This is far better than one long continuous narrative, and makes your video look more professional.

For each segment, think about what will be in the frame. If the camera will pan, track, or otherwise follow your movement between two or more points, think about what will be in the frame at each point. Rehearse it and mark the spots where you will stand if you’re in an on-camera role.

How you can mark ground spots is with chalk, tape, small bean bags, or stones. The camera operator should use a tripod or Steadicam for best results. Shaky video is truly horrible.

For screen casts and slideshows, think about how well the user can see what you’re showing. Zoom in on key elements if necessary, and be willing to switch betweeen different zoomed and unzoomed views, as the situation requires.

Make your own green screen

If you are presenting from behind a desk, a green screen can be a big improvement to your presentation. Simply get yourself a large, flat, solid surface, which should be smooth and unblemished, and paint it a bright shade of green.

For ultimate compatibility, also create magenta and cyan screens that can be swapped in if you need to show anything green colored in your frame.

With a green screen (or magenta, or cyan) you can use a technology called chroma key to replace the solid color with any image, including another video.

Obviously there’s not much point in making a video if nobody wants to watch it, so try to keep things interesting. Beware, however, not to be insincere or act out of character, because poor acting is worse than no acting at all.

Humor can be powerful if it is done well, and used only where it is appropriate. Likewise solemn, somber, and scandalous tones can also create interest when used appropriately.

Product videos and testimonials should be delivered enthusiastically and highlight the best features, however product reviews should be brutally honest in order to boost your credibility and win the trust of your viewers. Nothing is more valuable than trust.

Editing

Editing your video is the biggest task of all. For this, you’ll need software, and that software must be a nonlinear video editor (NLE). With this you can put mix and match the various clips you’ve shot to make a coherent narrative.

Not all editing software is equal. The best video editors are Cinlerra, Adobe Premiere Pro, Blender, and Sony Vegas Pro.

Rendering

Rendering is usually done, at least on the first pass, by the video editing software. When rendering for DVD, your goal is to get maximum video quality, regardless of the file size. Rendering for the web is a whole different thing.

The only formats worth considering are MP4 and WEBM, and while the latter will give you a better file size, it is not currently universally supported by all browsers. It is worth keeping in mind for the future.

Although your sound capture needs to be first rate, your rendered audio definitely should not be. In fact this is where most people go wrong, leaving their sound at ridiculously high fidelity when it’s not necessary. Reducing the audio quality will go a long way towards reducing file size while not noticeably affecting the outcome.

Codecs are a hotly debated topic, but the general consensus of professionals is to use the H.264 codec (or equivalent), because this will ensure maximum compatibility and a good balance between quality and file size.

Finally, consider shrinking the physical dimensions of the video if it is going to be viewed within a pre-defined space, and the user would not be expected to view it in full screen mode (doing so will work, but results in pixelation… their problem, not yours).

You can also use video transcoders such as Handbrake for your final render to fine tune the resulting file and ensure maximum compatibility. In some regions ISPs have restricted access to Handbrake downloads, but that’s just a testament to how good it is.

Captioning

Don’t under-estimate the power of captioning. Investing the time to create proper closed captions (subtitles) for your video production will be a very good investment. At the very least, allow auto-captions, but creating your own, especially if you allow a choice of languages, is always a good idea except when your video contains no speech.

Hosting

Considering how many mobile users there are and the prevalence of 3G connections, with 4G still being a (slowly growing) minority, HD video is not the best of ideas, and since Vimeo’s support for captioning is not on a par with Google’s, this makes Google the better choice for online video hosting at present.

Notice, however, that it was Google, not YouTube, that got the mention there. For numerous reasons, YouTube is not the best way to host your video, however there is nothing to prevent you uploading multiple versions of your video, one you host on a private Google account and one you host on YouTube.

The version embedded on your site should be the version hosted on your Google account.

The one exception to the rule is if you’re producing feature content, where you are showing off your film making prowess. In this case, Vimeo may have the edge.

For low bandwidth sites (those that attract less traffic than the bandwidth they have available), you could consider hosting the video on your own server. This can provide some advantages, especially in terms of loading time.

This post Getting Ready for Web Video was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

How to Find the Best Design Niche for Yourself

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Designrfix/~3/X9pbRmIeFVY/find-design-niche

  You’re creative, and you love your tech. You’ve dabbled with a lot of different things, but it’s time to find something you can fully commit to. While a career isn’t quite like a marriage (your career won’t get upset if you want to break up), it always helps to feel like you’ve found “the […]

The post How to Find the Best Design Niche for Yourself appeared first on designrfix.com.

Become your own boss with freelance mastery bundle

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CreativeBloq/~3/av9H–SKguQ/become-your-own-boss-with-freelance-mastery-bundle

Freelancers don't just have to be good at the services they offer, they also need to know how to market themselves. Being your own boss can be a rewarding experience, and now the Professional Freelancing Mastery Bundle can give you the tools you need to make your dream a reality. Get it on sale now for 98% off the retail price.

There is a whole ecosystem of freelancers online who offer up their skills and services to those in need. Finding an audience can be tricky, as can building a reputation in an already crowded field. No matter what you're selling, the Professional Freelancing Mastery Bundle can help you find your audience. 

This bundle is packed with courses that will teach you how to make the most of platforms like Fiverr, UpWork, and more. Plus, it will teach you how to hone your skills to build your own website and find your dream clients.

You can get the Professional Freelancing Mastery Bundle on sale now for 98% off the retail price. That's a huge saving off an essential collection of courses that can help you to go freelance and become your own boss, so grab this deal today.

About Creative Bloq deals

This great deal comes courtesy of the Creative Bloq Deals store – a creative marketplace that's dedicated to ensuring you save money on the items that improve your design life.

We all like a special offer or two, particularly with creative tools and design assets often being eye-wateringly expensive. That's why the Creative Bloq Deals store is committed to bringing you useful deals, freebies and giveaways on design assets (logos, templates, icons, fonts, vectors and more), tutorials, e-learning, inspirational items, hardware and more.

Every day of the working week we feature a new offer, freebie or contest – if you miss one, you can easily find past deals posts on the Deals Staff author page or Offer tag page. Plus, you can get in touch with any feedback at: deals@creativebloq.com.

Related articles:

8 ways to make more money in 20184 ways to cash in as a freelancer9 things nobody tells you about going freelance

Learning Elm From A Drum Sequencer (Part 1)

Original Source: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/01/learning-elm-drum-sequencer-part-1/

If you’re a front-end developer following the evolution of single page applications (SPA), it’s likely you’ve heard of Elm, the functional language that inspired Redux. If you haven’t, it’s a compile-to-JavaScript language comparable with SPA projects like React, Angular, and Vue.
Like those, it manages state changes through its virtual dom aiming to make the code more maintainable and performant. It focuses on developer happiness, high-quality tooling, and simple, repeatable patterns.

10 stress relief gadgets

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CreativeBloq/~3/xTPO3A43o3k/10-stress-relief-gadgets-for-designers

January can be a tough time; all that festive partying, darkened afternoons and chilly weather means that inspiration and motivation can often be more difficult to keep hold of than usual. This tends to lead to stress – and a lot of it – which, in turn, renders you unable to focus.

The best new tech for designers in 2018

But fear not creative folk – here we’ve pulled together some of the finest gadgets that aim to help you get back to your best self. From nature-inspired structures to electronic wizardry, explore the technology that could bring the calm back into your creative process.

01. Fidget Cube

Fidget cube

Playing around with puzzles can often lead to a more efficient work ethic

$9.99/£7.61 from antsy labs

Funded through Kickstarter in 2016, this clever desk toy from designers Matthew and Mark McLachlan will remind you that playing around with puzzles can often lead to a more efficient work ethic. 

Featuring six sides, each features something to fidget with, whether you like to click, flip, glide or roll. There’s even a side inspired by those age-old worry stones that aim to get you breathing and reduce anxiety. 

02. BiOrbAIR terrarium

Round terrarium

A little greenery can go a long way in establishing a calm and relaxing work environment

We all know that a little greenery can go a long way in establishing a calm and relaxing work environment. If you’re unable to stroll around the park on your lunch break or escape to the countryside at the weekend, a terrarium is pretty much the next best thing. 

This one from biOrb is tech-heavy (and has a fairly hefty price tag) but that means it can take care of your plants so you don’t have to. Creating the perfect micro-climate for growing tropical plants, you can sit back and enjoy your personal slice of paradise.

03. Sona

Sona watch and phone

Sona keeps tabs on your heart rate and physical activity to measure your overall stress levels

Wearable technology offers new possibilities when it comes to wellbeing, both mental and physical. The Sona bracelet wants to “train your resilience to stress” and comes with five Resonance breathing meditation sessions for focus and calm. 

It's perfect if you need a quick fix during small, intense bouts of stress-related anxiety. It also keeps tabs on your heart rate and physical activity to measure your overall stress levels.

04. The Pip

The pip, plectrum-shaped device, and a phone

Who knew that your fingertips could lead to a happier and healthier mind?

Who knew that a stress-free life was at your fingertips? It turns out that the pores on your fingertips are extremely sensitive to stress. The Pip is an innovative gadget that reads these signals and turns them into a visualisation that enables you to keep track of your stress levels. 

With a scientific board at the heart of the design, The Pip allows you to be self-aware and, in turn, establish some self-care.

05. Thync

Woman wearing a triangular plastic Thync on her forehead

Thync uses electronic pulses to stimulate the brain

Claiming to be the first wearable technology that “actively elevates your mood and lowers stress,” Thync uses electronic pulses to stimulate the brain. 

If that sounds worrying, it does come with some solid credentials: this stress relief gadget was developed by a team of neuroscientists from MIT, Harvard and Stanford and has been clinically tested over 5000 times. Plus, with such a sleek design, you’ll be combating stress in serious style.

06. Wellbe

Person typing, wearing a smart bracelet

Discover exactly what triggers your stress with Wellbe

Initially funded through IndieGoGo, the WellBe wearable provides insights into what exactly triggers your stress levels to rise. The bracelet monitors your heart rate and uses a sophisticated algorithm to determine your stress and calmness levels based on time, location and people you meet throughout your day. 

Cut back on the negativity in your life.

07. Face Of The Moon stress ball

Face-shaped stress balls being squeezed

The ‘Faces of the Moon’ stress ball expressions change as you squeeze

Stress balls are a go-to toy for desk spaces, and while most of them do the job, this stress relief product from The Museum of Modern Art is truly one-of-a-kind. 

Created by Japanese designer Makiko Yoshida, the ‘Faces of the Moon’ expressions change as you squeeze. Produced using a unique texture, its addictive tendencies will help relieve your anxiety. Who couldn’t love a face like that?

08. Spire

Spire looks like a pebble with a Y-shaped sensor

Spire measures your breathing, notifying you when your it reflects tension

When it comes to managing your stress levels, focusing on your breath is one of the most important exercises around. Spire helps to manage this by measuring your breathing, notifying you when it reflects your tension.

Through its use, you can discover what makes you calm and focused or stressed and agitated, allowing you to be more productive than ever. Designed to clip onto your belt, you can also program your Spire to let you know when you’ve been inactive and it’s time to get walking.

09. Prana

Prana device clipped into a belt

Prana tells you when you need to improve your posture

Bad posture is one of the most common problems for creatives who work at a desk. Thankfully, the team at Prana has created a stress relief wearable that not only tracks your breath but also tells you when you need to improve your posture. 

Designed to rapidly activate your body’s relaxation response through proper diaphragmatic breathing and good posture, Prana could enable you to have a calm working day in no time.

10. Muse

Man wearing a Muse headband

Designed like a headband, Muse uses brain-sensing technology to measure whether your mind is calm or active

You may already be well on your way to stress management through meditation and while this is proven to keep your mind healthy, you may have trouble sticking to a meditative routine or find yourself distracted during the process. 

Designed like a headband, Muse uses brain-sensing technology to measure whether your mind is calm or active, and translates those signals into guiding sounds, so you can stay focused. 

Related articles:

How to avoid creative burnout10 designers' New Year resolutions for 201821 ways to unlock your creative genius

Pay What You Want: World Travel Hacker Bundle

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Designrfix/~3/Qa3XxGI25kA/pay-world-travel-hacker-bundle

Today, more and more people are choosing to travel the world and work remotely. The digital nomad way of living is one of the fastest growing lifestyles today. In fact, studies suggest that there will be about 1 billion digital nomads by 2035. There are several benefits to being a digital nomad. With the increasing […]

The post Pay What You Want: World Travel Hacker Bundle appeared first on designrfix.com.

14 Best Material Design UI Kits & Frameworks For Designers

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/1stwebdesigner/~3/cGX-aT9I_ro/

The incredible material design library is awesome for designers. It might be the most famous design language ever and it fits well with all devices.

And with the large following behind material design, we’ve also seen dozens of frameworks hit the web. Many of these are half-baked or partially finished, but there are some good ones in the mix.

For this post I’ve curated my top picks for the 14 best material design kits you can start using today. These work for all types of websites and, even though they follow a similar design language, they all have unique features that make them valuable.

1. MUI

MUI Framework

I recently stumbled onto the MUI framework and really like it so far. I had never heard of this before – but I have a feeling it’ll be around for the long haul.

It’s a material design framework built around Google’s guidelines for great websites, clean code and native device support from smartphones to desktops. This includes all the standard material UI elements like appbars, tappable buttons, and custom panels.

The introduction is pretty clean and easy to follow regardless of your coding background. Even if you’ve never used a framework before, this one should be a piece of cake.

2. Material Design Kit

Material design kit

The infamous Material Design Kit is perhaps the best digital design freebie out there. It comes as a full package for Photoshop, Sketch and Adobe XD. This makes up about 90% of the design community’s preferred software. So regardless of how you craft mockups – you’ll be good.

It comes with 60+ different interface components and it’s pretty darn easy to work with.

Be warned that the full kit comes at a price. So while the free version is fantastic, it shouldn’t be the only kit you use for mockup design work.

3. Materialize.css

Materialize.css

Materialize.css is another personal favorite that’s been around for a few years. This one’s definitely stable and should be good to run on any site.

Have a look at their startup guide to get a feel for how everything works. You can include optional JS files to add components to your page or just use the Materialize stylesheet.

Most developers want a lightweight CSS framework, so it makes sense to focus primarily on Materialize as a frontend HTML/CSS structure.

4. Material Design Lite

Material Lite

The Material Design Lite framework avoids any reliance on external JS libraries or CSS files. It’s a completely self-supporting framework that runs on modern coding standards and even supports graceful degradation for older browsers.

However, this MDL library has officially merged with the Web Components project – so it’s no longer in active development.

But I still included it here because it’s a great starting point for new projects. You won’t find many (or any) bugs in the code and it should work as expected.

5. Surface

Surface CSS

Surface is a general CSS framework that doesn’t exactly clone Google’s material guidelines. However, it is inspired by them.

The entire library is 100% CSS-based and uses zero JavaScript. This means no scripts weighing you down and all the components run in pure CSS.

In total, the stylesheet measures just over 5KB – which is pretty reasonable considering what you get.

Have a look at the getting started page for more details.

6. MD Bootstrap

MD Bootstrap

MD Bootstrap is one of the few freemium libraries out there. It does cost money for the pro version, but you can use the free version indefinitely. This makes it perfectly suitable for most projects.

Not to mention this library runs on Bootstrap 4, which makes it fully compliant with the newest updates. Pretty cool!

There are quite a few Bootstrap frameworks that use material design, but the MD Bootstrap kit is my favorite.

Browse their tutorial to learn more.

7. Bootstrap Material Design

Bootstrap Material framework

This is one other Bootstrap add-on that really takes material design to the next level. With the Bootstrap Material Design framework you have the option of using the older version (3.x) or the newer Bootstrap 4. Both choices are fully supported and this library is completely free regardless.

While I think both material BS libraries offer value, I think this one’s a bit more customizable from the get-go. But that also means it takes a little more work to learn the internals.

Have a look at their GitHub page if you would like to learn more.

8. Material UI

Material UI

If you’re building modern webapps then you’ll probably know all about React. It’s one of the largest JS frameworks on the web and it’s growing larger every year.

The Material UI framework brings material design into the React.js ecosystem. This lets you build custom material-styled webapps while coding on top of a React.js base.

It’s currently in development for a v1.0 release and you can expect that update very soon. Have a look at the GitHub repo for more information.

9. Vuetify

Vuetify

Another fast-growing JS framework is Vue.js. This works like React, except it feels more like a traditional templating library for all types of sites – not just webapps.

The Vuetify library offers a material design UI kit on top of the Vue.js framework. This project started a little while back and it features a pretty dedicated support base.

There’s a fantastic user guide online you can check out if you’d like to see how this works in action.

But I can’t say this is the perfect solution for all Vue.js projects, so keep that in mind before launching this on a live site.

10. Bulma

Bulma CSS

Love using CSS flexbox? Then the Bulma framework is for you.

This runs on top of common material design features with aesthetics that can blend into any page. The design is clean, super-easy to use and the grid system is phenomenal.

This is my top choice for anything flexbox related. Even if you don’t know much about flexbox, this framework makes for a great learning tool.

11. Ionic Material

Ionic Materials

If you want to build native apps without programming, then Ionic is a perfect choice. It works like a web framework and lets you publish native Android applications that can actually be accepted into the store.

Ionic Material takes things to the next level. With this framework you can build native-looking apps that run on Google’s material design guidelines.

All you need is some knowledge of Ionic and a willingness to dive into this gorgeous UI kit.

12. Google Material Color

Google Material Color

Google Material Color isn’t a complete UI kit, but rather a color library for web developers.

This comes with a bunch of pre-built color codes that fit perfectly into Google’s color requirements. And this library runs on top of Sass, Less, and Stylus.

13. Material UI

Google Material colors project

Short, simple, and easy to setup best describes this Material UI kit developed by Balaj Marius.

It’s a super-simple concept and certainly not the largest library here. But it gets the job done – offering a solid number of material components for any project.

Most of these follow the card interface which has become popularized by Google. It’s the perfect addition to any material website.

14. Hubuntu UI

Hubuntu UI framework

Few designers mention admin themes because they’re just not as popular as frontend frameworks. But the Hubuntu UI admin kit is phenomenal for building your own dashboard, whether it’s for a CMS, a SaaS product or anything else.

This entire framework runs on the Stylus preprocessor but can be used with plain CSS. It is fairly complex so you’ll need to do some reading to get into the nitty-gritty details.

Thankfully everything you need to learn can be found on the main GitHub page, along with setup instructions for the whole framework.


Creative Examples of 404 Web Page Designs

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/1stwebdesigner/~3/rFQyt7UZYC8/

Despite search engines getting better at indexing websites, and sites paying extra attention to broken links through dedicated plugins and services, 404 pages are still an integral part of the modern web.

As hard as companies and sites try to avoid issuing broken links and sending visitors to redundant pages, there will always be a certain few that slip through. As such, it’s important to have a 404-page design to both redirect the user to a different page and to make light of the error through humor or playful, creative design.

In this article, we are going to compile a selection of some of the most creative 404 web page designs for your inspiration.

Android

404 web page design Android

One of the more extravagant 404-page designs, the Android team has devised a game to include on the page. It’s beautifully put together and offers a fun and creative take on what is possible.

Ueno

404 web page design Ueno

Using a beautiful motion graphic background, Ueno’s 404 page is simple but extremely fun and comical. Every aspect remains on-brand, from the graphics to the typography.

One Shared House

404 web page design One Shared House

Using a hand-drawn style grid upon a two-tone background, this example offers two options for users landing on the page. They can navigate to the homepage or head to the survey page.

Rezo Zero

404 web page design Rezo Zero

Rezo Zero’s design uses a clever film reference to Pulp Fiction, with a comical and confused-looking John Travolta GIF.

New Yorker

404 web page design New Yorker

The New Yorker has included a custom illustration on their 404-page design. It shows a mouse lost in a maze, poking fun at the error while still offering the usual navigation areas and product upsells.

Cooklet

404 web page design Cooklet

What better graphic to include for a cookery site, than an empty plate? It’s a simple but very clever example of what can be achieved on even the most basic of 404-page designs.

Dropbox

404 web page design Dropbox

Utilizing illustration graphics from their rebrand, Dropbox presents a simple but playful design with clear navigation links for users to continue on their way.

Airbnb

404 web page design Airbnb

Similar to Dropbox, Airbnb combines a simple on-brand illustration with a clear message and useful links for the user. The illustration again has a comedic element to poke fun at the error.


Decorative Letter Animations

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/tympanus/~3/cjhDPBxzLy0/

Today we’d like to share some fun letter animations with you. The idea is based on Animography’s Dribbble shot “Us By Night” where various little shapes animate with some letters. We wanted to explore some similar animations using different typographies and shape effects. We are using anime.js for the animations and Charming for working with the words.

DecorativeLetterEffects_featured

The demo is kindly sponsored by JazzCon.Tech: Music. Food. Code. New Orleans March 2018. If you would like to become a demo sponsor, you can find out more here.

Attention: For this demo we are using some new CSS properties, please view in an up-to-date browser.

The main idea of the implementation is the following: we create an SVG for each word where we then place the shapes relative to the position of each letter. With a couple of options we can then create fun effects using the simple shapes. To showcase the effects, we’ve created a little slideshow.

This is an initialization example. In our case, the element is an h2 with the class word:

const word = new Word(element, options);

options: {
shapesOnTop: false, // shapes on top or beneath the letters
totalShapes: 10, // number shapes per letter
shapeTypes: [‘circle’, ‘rect’, ‘polygon’], // type of shapes
shapeColors: [‘#e07272’, ‘#0805b5’, ‘#49c6ff’, ‘#8bc34a’, ‘#1e1e21’], // pick randomly from these colors
shapeFill: true, // if set to false, there’s no fill and the stroke gets applied instead
shapeStrokeWidth: 1 // the stroke width
}

We have the following two methods for showing and hiding the word:

word.show(options)
word.hide(options)

Here is an example for the options we can define for the effect on the letters and the shapes when showing the word:

word.show({
lettersAnimationOpts: {
duration: 400,
delay: (t,i) => i*60,
easing: ‘easeInExpo’,
opacity: [0,1],
scale: [0,1]
},
shapesAnimationOpts: {
duration: 700,
delay: (t,i) => i*40,
easing: ‘easeOutExpo’,
translateX: () => [0,anime.random(-20,20)],
translateY: () => [0,anime.random(-400,400)],
scale: () => [randomBetween(0.2,0.6),randomBetween(0.2,0.6)],
rotate: () => [0,anime.random(-16,16)],
opacity: [
{value: 1, duration: 1, easing: ‘linear’},
{value: 0, duration: 700, easing: ‘easeOutQuad’}
]
}
})

This follows the syntax of anime.js. Learn more about it on their documentation page.

Have a look at some screenshots:

DecorativeLetterEffects_05

DecorativeLetterEffects_01

DecorativeLetterEffects_03

DecorativeLetterEffects_04

DecorativeLetterEffects_06

We hope you like this little project and find it useful.


References and Credits

Based on the Dribbble shot “Us By Night” by Animography
Anime.js by Julian Garnier
Charming by Yuan Qing

Decorative Letter Animations was written by Mary Lou and published on Codrops.