The New Smashing Mystery Riddle, An Emoji Edition

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Oh yes, the infamous mystery riddles are back! To celebrate the relaunch of this little website, we’ve prepared something special yet again — a Smashing Emoji Mystery Riddle. And this time, instead of scouting an answer in a physical place or on Twitter, it’s well hidden somewhere on this website.
So, What Can You Win? Among the first readers who tweet @smashingmag all the hidden emoji, we’ll raffle a quite extraordinary, smashing prize (and a couple of other Smashing extras):

Uploadcare: Your Super-Powered Image CDN

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This article was sponsored by Uploadcare. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.

A good Content Delivery Network will boost your website’s performance. Files are hosted on different domains or sub-domains on servers across the globe to ensure users get the fastest download wherever they are located. The best CDNs will help manage your data and save hosting costs.

CDNs are regularly used to host static assets such as images. You push an image file to the CDN server then reference it in your page’s <img> tags. That’s as far as most go, but Uploadcare are taking CDN services to another level and could save you considerable development time.

Uploadcare Services

Uploadcare provide accounts ranging from free (500MB of space and 5GB traffic per month) to white-labelled commercial services supporting 50GB file sizes and virtually unlimited bandwidth. All plans include:

Configurable Upload Widget

Despite HTML5 advances, uploading files to a server requires significant development effort. The upload widget provides a simple, ready-made, style-able component for your site. It allows users to drag and drop or choose files from their local file system, camera, URL, Google Drive, Google Photos, Dropbox, OneDrive, Facebook, Instagram, Evernote and Flickr directly to the Uploadcare CDN:

Uploadcare's customizable widget


A REST API is provided so any language or system can upload and manage files in bulk. A simple cURL example to upload image.jpg:

curl -F “UPLOADCARE_PUB_KEY=demopublickey”
-F “file=@image.jpg”

The JSON response returns a Universally-Unique Identifier (UUID) assigned to all files so they can be referenced later:

“file”: “17be4678-dab7-4bc7-8753-28914a22960a”


This feature will be considered essential by anyone creating responsive web and mobile apps. Once an image has been uploaded, it can be resized and manipulated via the URL alone. This is best illustrated with an example. Consider this image of a chap with headphones (thank you Alex Blăjan who provided it at I uploaded a 1600 x 900px, 140Kb file to Uploadcare:

Example image of man with earphones

The resulting URL contains the image’s UUID:

You can add any filename at the end to help you remember what image you’re using and aid SEO, e.g.

Ignoring the impact of high-density Retina screens for the moment, there’s little point using this full-sized image on a device with, say, a 500px-width screen. Normally, I would need to create a resized version of this image using Photoshop or a build system but Uploadcare removes this requirement. I can simply change the URL to:

This instantly provides a 500px-width image, which now has a reduced file size of less than 20Kb:

Example image resized

Uploadcare claim super-fast resizing speeds, which are typically 15x faster than ImageMagick (and with substantially less hassle!)

Alternatively, I could have changed the image height using a URL such as:

Or perhaps my site requires a 100×100 cropped and scaled grayscale thumbnail with maximum compression? The URL:×200/-/grayscale/-/quality/lightest/-/progressive/yes/-/format/auto/man.jpg

The image file size has now dropped to less than 3Kb. In Blink-based browsers, including Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, and Brave, the /format/auto/ directive detects WebP support and returns an even smaller 2.3Kb image.

Example image as thumbnail

The CDN API URL can contain any number of processing directives separated by a /-/ delimiter. The documentation provides full instructions for:

changing the image format, quality, and progressive loading
creating thumbnails, resizing, cropping, and stretching
filters such as enhance, sharpen, blur, grayscale, and invert
rotating, flipping, and mirroring
adding image overlays, extracting prevalent colors and more

Continue reading %Uploadcare: Your Super-Powered Image CDN%

How to Design YouTube Thumbnails to Drive Views

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YouTube success depends on many factors. But the first challenge that any YouTuber faces is catching the viewers’ attention. The attention span in YouTube is a bit longer than in any other social media because the level of commitment is higher – instead of a shorter clip or instant image, you’re presented with a video […]

The post How to Design YouTube Thumbnails to Drive Views appeared first on

Popular Design News of the Week: December 4, 2017 – December 10, 2017

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Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers. 

The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week.

Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news.

Containerd 1.0 Released


2017: The Year of the Blob


10 UX Design Predictions for 2018


The Front-End Checklist


2017: The Year in WordPress


Manageable Utility Systems with CSS Variables


Site Design: 10×17


Chrome Apps are Dead, as Google Shuts Down the Chrome Web Store Section


Poly API by Google – Development in 3D Made Simple


Dear Tim Cook, Thanks for the 18,202 Alerts About my iCloud Storage


Fresh Ideas for Building Websites


How Stripe Designs Beautiful Websites


Pantone Colour of the Year 2018 has been Announced


The State of UX for 2018


Freelance Project Tax Calculator


Using Artificial Intelligence to Augment Human Intelligence


Designing a Remote Project


Nobody is Going to Steal your Startup Idea


4 Tips for Creating a Smooth User Journey on any Website


The Compelling Case for Working Less


The Secret to Being a Top Developer is Building Things! Here’s a List of Fun Apps to Build!


UX Patterns to Unblock Frustration… and Save Lives


The Ultimate Guide to GIF Design




How to Start with Static Sites


Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News.


p img {display:inline-block; margin-right:10px;}
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Collective #373

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Inspirational Website of the Week: TAO TAJIMA

An incredible web experience with surreal effects. Our pick this week.

Get inspired


This content is sponsored via Syndicate Ads
Test Attack Readiness With Incapsula DDoS Resiliency Score

The DDoS Resiliency Score (DRS) calculator is a free online tool you can use to evaluate the effectiveness of your organization’s DDoS mitigation strategy.

Try it free


Hexi Flexi

A CSS Grid powered SCSS component that creates a hexagonal lattice.

Check it out


Free Font: Lokampwow

A fantastic free Gothic style typeface by Dmitry Lokamp.

Get it


React Performance Fixes on Airbnb Listing Pages

Great insight on the process of improving performance in React by Joe Lencioni.

Read it


Making your web app work offline

Adam Rackis’ two-part introduction on offline web development.

Read it



Nathan Gordon’s Christmas experiment that explores character controls.

Check it out


Web Typography & Layout: Past, Present, and Future

A 60-minute panel discussion by Jen Simmons, Roger Black and Jeffrey Zeldman on typography and layout.

Watch it


Turi Create

Turi Create simplifies the development of custom machine learning models.

Check it out


Automating Your Accessibility Tests

Seren Davies shows how to use automated accessibility tests for detecting potential issues.

Read it



A web application bundler that is fast and easy to configure.

Check it out


await vs return vs return await

Jake Archibald explains the differences between await vs return vs return await, and why picking the right one is important.

Read it


Accessible Links Re:visited

Some insightful lessons learned from an accessibility audit.

Read it


How to make your HTML responsive by adding a single line of CSS

Learn how to use CSS Grid to create a responsive image grid which adjusts its amount of columns to the width of the screen.

Check it out


Vertical typesetting with writing-mode revisited

Chen Hui Jing revisits one of her former demos and gains some interesting insight regarding browser compatibility.

Read it


Making a Game Boy game in 2017: A “Sheep It Up!” Post-Mortem

A really interesting read on how to make a real gameboy game.

Check it out


Warm Christmas

Pick some dance moves for Santa and let him dance for you. Made with Unity.

Check it out


Bi-Weekly Laravel Tips From Taylor

Taylor Otwell is going to share small Laravel tips and tricks he uses in his daily work.

Read it


Advent of Code

A series of small programming puzzles by Eric Wastl.

Check it out


It’s a Shape Christmas

A new edition of the interactive Advent calendar themed around Christmas and shapes by various artist.

Check it out


Order pizza from within VIM

Arithran Thurairetnam adds a key-binding within VIM to open your computer browser and order pizza.

Check it out


Free Font: Sunshine Reggae

Dima Mukhin from the Equilly team designed this nice brush typeface.

Get it



In case you missed it: A free invoicing app for Mac with customizable templates.

Check it out


From Our Blog
Creative SVG Strokes Animation

A creative strokes animation of a bike illustration powered by SVG and GSAP.

Check it out

Collective #373 was written by Pedro Botelho and published on Codrops.

Giveaway: The Everyday Messenger Bag by Peak Design

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Giveaway: The Everyday Messenger Bag by Peak Design

Giveaway: The Everyday Messenger Bag by Peak Design

Dec 11, 2017

It’s been a long time since our last giveaway on Abduzeedo, it’s quite exciting because we have one for you today. We are giving away to one lucky winner, the everyday messenger bag by Peak Design. We would love to give a huge shoutout to our friends from Peak Design for being so awesome! The rules are simple (right below) and international entries are welcome. Best of luck to everyone!

Everyday Messenger Bag

Giveaway: The Everyday Messenger Bag by Peak Design

The Rules

1. Subscribe to Abduzeedo Newsletter 
2. Like us on Facebook or Instagram 
3. –> Like @peakdesign on Instagram  That’s it! International entries welcome.

The winner will get to pick the size and colour of their choice. We will announce the winner on December 15, 2017

We partnered with renowned adventure traveler/photographer Trey Ratcliff to create one bag that adapts to your gear and lifestyle, no matter where you go or what you’re carrying. In doing so, we reimagined nearly every aspect of the classic messenger, from the MagLatch™ closure, to the origami-inspired FlexFold™ dividers, to the weatherproof expandable protective shell (400D nylon canvas) and hyper-adjusting internally padded seatbelt strap. Dedicated Capture clip attachment points and front access panel are designed for lightning-fast photography, drone, and everyday gear access. This bag is for creatives, travelers, commuters and everyone in-between. – Peak Design

About Peak Design

We are a design company—it’s in our name and in our blood. Our products must be innovative, beautifully crafted, and quite literally the best in their category. This is a high bar, but it provides necessary challenge and appropriate limits. Pursuit of this high standard gives us pride, satisfaction, the exuberance of mental strain, and many sleepless nights.

More Links
Learn more about Peak Design at
Follow Peak Design on Instagram
The Everyday Messenger Bag
Giveaway: The Everyday Messenger Bag by Peak DesignGiveaway: The Everyday Messenger Bag by Peak DesignGiveaway: The Everyday Messenger Bag by Peak DesignGiveaway: The Everyday Messenger Bag by Peak DesignGiveaway: The Everyday Messenger Bag by Peak DesignGiveaway: The Everyday Messenger Bag by Peak Design


holiday giveaway

Breaking the Grid Without Breaking Design

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Symmetry is safe. It’s comfortable, non-threatening, and aesthetically pleasing. It can also be very dull. Using ‘asymmetrical balance’ can make things more interesting while still sticking to a grid to keep things ordered. In design, as in so many other things, the higher the risks the greater the potential rewards.

Symmetry has long been considered a good thing precisely because it is aesthetically pleasing and unchallenging to the eye. The word symmetry is derived from greek components which translate to ‘with measure’; symmetry is about proportion and balance, qualitative similarity as opposed to identical sameness. Asymmetry would therefore be a lack of balance or proportion, an unevenness.

In a visual context, however, most of us, even if we can’t remember taking basic geometry lessons (never mind what was in them) think of symmetry with a more restricted definition.

If something is symmetrical [has symmetry], it has two halves which are exactly the same, except that one half is the mirror image of the other.

-Collins dictionary

One very famous example of near perfect symmetry is the Rorschach Test cards. Their bilateral symmetry was a deliberate and important aspect of their appearance: Hermann Rorschach stated that many patients rejected asymmetric images. While the reasons for this might be an interesting area of study in itself, it’s a whole other article. All we need to know is: Symmetry comfortable; Asymmetry not so comfortable.

All we need to know is: Symmetry comfortable; Asymmetry not so comfortable

Asymmetrical balance, in a visual design context, is where two or more elements on either side of a plane are different but have the same visual weight. A simple example would be an image on one side with a block of text on the other, sized and styled to balance each other.

The two tools we use to create symmetry–and asymmetrical balance–in a design are the grid and our eye. The grid, as we know it is very much a mid 20th century invention, but in the same way that gravity already existed long before an apple fell on Isaac Newton’s head, so we can see evidence of grid based layout in some of the oldest surviving manuscripts we have: The Dead Sea Scrolls are written in even columns with regular margins and leading; the care taken over the positioning of illustration and text in early medieval manuscripts, such as the 8th century Book of Kells, indicates the use of a grid.

The grid is the bedrock of modern graphic design, and has been so for centuries in some form or other, long before the term graphic designed was coined. The grid ensures balance in a design by breaking up the ‘page’ into equal or proportional sections.

While the grid is objective, dividing space up based on exact mathematical proportions, the human eye is subjective. There are some guidelines or rules which apply for the vast majority, such as line length of x characters depending on device size, readable color contrast, all caps is a bit aggressive, and so on. But how a particular design is seen and received can vary greatly.

These variations range from the big (like the different meanings of colors across the world) down to the the individual variations of personal taste.

This is where a designer needs to have confidence; The courage to acknowledge that not everyone is going to love every design you do, and doing it anyway because it works. Knowledge and experience help, understanding why something doesn’t work means you understand how to fix it.

the grid is a tool that helps us, but we do not have to be bound by it

Sometimes, even though you know that an element is positioned correctly, or some leading is proportionally accurate according to your grid, somehow it just looks wrong. So you fix it by eye. You make adjustments until it looks right, until it feels right.

Our immediate response to design is emotional, the intellectual and analytical responses follow after. So we need to remember that the grid is a tool that helps us, but we do not have to be bound by it.

So, how can we break the grid, while still maintaining a coherent design?

Using Masonry

Probably the most frequently used technique is a masonry layout, like that made popular by Pinterest. The page is divided into regular columns along the horizontal plane, but the content blocks within those columns are of differing heights. Sometimes columns can be of double-or even triple-width, or an individual element may take up two or more column widths, but it will always be divisible by the single column width.

This technique can be applied the other way round—as in, content blocks of differing widths arranged into regular height rows—but it’s more commonly done as even columns. A masonry layout can, of course, be completely regular. If the vertical plane is divided into equal height rows and the height of each content block is a multiple of that row height then you have a masonry layout that sticks to the grid.

It is usual for the vertical spacing between elements is always the same, and matches the horizontal spacing between columns. If your content blocks contain text, making sure that the block height is consistent with your baseline grid can help with visual coherence.

Alliance Graphique Internationale

Alliance Graphique Internationale is a classic example of a masonry layout. The images are of equal widths, but differing heights while the vertical margins between images match the column gutters. All the images fill a single column width making it nicely responsive. An added touch is that the images load in randomly as you scroll down.   


L’ÉLOI’s layout has some double width content and uses a larger gutter size, both of which increase the impression of randomness. The greater space between elements emphasises the difference in their heights and vertical position.


Grafik’s layout takes things a bit further again. Like the two previous examples, the page is divided into equal columns, the number of columns being dependent on the width of the viewport. But there is no defined horizontal or vertical spacing between elements, and the images are not all sized to fill a full column width. The column widths are the same, but the horizontal space between items in each column is dependent on the size of the elements and the size of the browser window. The result feels interesting and random, while at the same time having a reassuring order that we are subconsciously aware of.

In addition, hovering over an image brings up it’s article title and an excerpt, which in a lot of cases overlaps adjacent images.


Repeating Irregular Pattern

Another technique is to create a repeating pattern of irregularly placed elements. The human eye is drawn to patterns, and our brains have a natural tendency to recognize patterns all around us. We instinctively seek out patterns because their predictability makes us comfortable.

Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon’s layout groups together several different sized elements, with varying horizontal and vertical space between them. The exact arrangement varies depending on screen size as the images scale at different rates. This ‘sub’ layout is then repeated with more content. It gives us the visual interest created by the irregular spacing and misalignment, but combines it with the reassuring symmetry of a repeating pattern.

Look Mom, (Almost) No Grid!

You can of course retrospectively apply a grid to almost any design. And even those designs that don’t appear to be grid based, almost always make use of an underlying grid, especially for their typography. However, as the whitespace around elements grows the grid becomes visually less and less dominant.

Ditching a grid based layout entirely is risky, but it can work in the right hands. Keeping things minimal and clean is an easier option to avoid grid geometry. This type of layout also works best with all images or at least predominantly images.


Sojournal pairs an image with a title and subheading. There is a slight pattern in that the images alternate between left and right placement. But the images are different sizes and proportions, and the exact placement varies from image to image. There are no defined columns and the vertical space between elements varies. 

The size of the images mean that no more than two are visible in the window at a time. It is a very clean, spacious feeling layout and the irregular positioning of the images focuses attention on each one in turn.


Because the images in Blacksheep’s layout are all of a similar—quite small—size, and are on the same subject theme they can be grouped together more closely, in some places even overlapping.  The overlaps are balanced out by the larger spaces in other places.

Hollie Fernando Photography

For Hollie Fernando’s portfolio, smaller images are placed closer together, while larger ones have more space around them. As with the two previous examples, the images here are carefully chosen and grouped. Content curation is always important for any site, but it is a vital part of a successful gridless layout.


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body#browserfriendly p, body#podcast p, div#emailbody p{margin:0;}

Master CSS Flexbox in 5 Simple Steps

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CSS flexbox is an incredibly useful tool for layout without using floats or positioning. Currently almost all current browser version support flexbox, making it a go-to standard for web design. It can solve a number of problems efficiently, such as vertical alignment, space distribution, ordering of elements and sizing. It offers more freedom to arrange […]

The post Master CSS Flexbox in 5 Simple Steps appeared first on Web Designer Wall – Design Trends and Tutorials.

30 Stunning App Icon Designs You Need to See

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Creating a good app icons design is challenging. The icon is a key visual element and it’s the first thing the users interact with. It should be beautiful, memorable, detailed, and the most important, it should reflect your design style. App icons is not a logo, but it has branding purposes. App icons should be placed into a square-canvas with specific size and context.

Here we have put together 30 stunning app icon designs which you would love to see. Some of them are simple and witty while other are complex with various design elements. Which one is your favorite?

1. Children’s help center — App icon


2. Bear Icon Design


3. Gallery Doctor app Icon


4. Love and Rockets icon design


5. Balloons design icon


6. Big boys play at night icon


7. Red Hills App Icon


8. Scary stories app icon


9. Teepee App Icon


10. Hatch app icon


11. New fork app icon design


12. Bag app icon design


13. Icon for Music Video


14. Monster Trucks Icon


15. Loose Leaf app icon


16. Electric range app icon


17. Cinnamon Roll App Icon


18. Pastry Icon


19. Pancakes App Icon


20. Electrics Old Fashioned Hot Dogs Icon


21. Egg icon design


22. Fried Egg Icon


23. Pizza app Icon


24. Bacon app icon


25. Krispy Kreme Icon Concept


26. Heineken Icon design


27. Heinz Ketchup Icon Design


28. Jack O’ Lantern icon design


29. Boxing glove app icon design


30. Oreo app icon design


Read More at 30 Stunning App Icon Designs You Need to See

8 New Courses for Developers & Designers

Original Source:

Each week Treehouse updates the library with new courses and workshops so that our students can continue their learning and stay up to date on the newest technology and languages. November was an exciting month as we released new design courses, a new language, and the completion of a brand new track. Data Analysis Basics is last course to complete our brand new Beginning Data Analysis track. Introduction to GraphQL is a brand new query language that can help simplify your workflow and compose more robust APIs. Check out the complete list of new courses below and explore learning something new!

Start learning to code today with a free trial on Treehouse.

1. Data Analysis Basics


Learn how to make better decisions with data in this course on data analysis with Ben Deitch. We’ll start by looking at what data analysis is, and then we’ll see how we can use data analysis to create better outcomes.

Check out the course here

2. Build a Selfie App

In this course with Pasan Permaratne we’re going to build an app that is quite popular these days – a selfie app! We’ll learn how to build and apply filters, how to use Core Data for more than just a single entity and how to use the device’s camera to create a fun app!

Check out the course here

3. Introduction to GraphQL


Simplify your backend with GraphQL, the new query language and runtime that is taking the world by storm. With GraphQL, it’s no longer necessary to resolve a bunch of different REST endpoints to get a complete chunk of data. We can use GraphQL to tell a server which data we want, and exactly what it should look like. Whether you’re a front-end developer looking to simplify your workflow, or a back-end developer looking for a way to compose more robust APIs, this course with Isaac Lee Morris is the perfect place to start.

Check out the course here

4. Digital Media Through Photoshop

Get started with creating your own digital media files. Setting up your documents properly before you start creating will be crucial for your end product. In this course with Shon Dempsey,  we’ll learn what those considerations are as well as how to choose the right options. We’ll introduce the most prolific creative application Photoshop to set up our files, make some adjustments and come out the other end with a banner ad suitable for use on the the desktop and mobile as well as print. This course is perfect for anyone looking to get started with design or photography.

Check out the course here

5. Prototyping with Figma

In this course with Nick Pettit, you’ll learn how to build interactive and sharable prototypes in Figma, a web-based visual prototyping tool. You’ll create a prototype for a “prosumer” mobile photography app, and by the end, you’ll have a better understanding of how to create interactive prototypes that can be shared with project stakeholders and team members.

Check out the course here

6. Active Record Associations in Rails

Most of your Rails models are going to be connected to other models in some way. An Author has many Articles, and each Article belongs to an Author. A Doctor has many Patients, and a Patient may have many Doctors as well. Rails uses associations to make it easy to track these relationships in your database. Learn about Active Record Associations in Rails in this course with Jay McGavren.

Check out the course here

7. What’s New in React 16


The new core architecture of React 16, codenamed “Fiber,” introduces lots of new, highly anticipated features and improvements to React. Get up to speed with new features in React 16 in this workshop with Guil Hernandez.

Check out the course here

8. Java Arrays

Arrays are container objects that can be used to store multiple values. In Java Arrays, we’ll talk all about what they are, how to create them, as well as why and when you should use them. Check out this course taught by Craig Dennis.

Check out the course here

Coming soon!
Build a Chatbot with Watson APIs

IBM has created an AI platform named Watson that gives businesses and developers access to powerful tools for text and speech analysis, computer vision, and more. Watson APIs consist of a suite of services used to process or analyze data to answer questions and make decisions. This course will show you how to build a chatbot with Node.js and Conversation services from Watson. You’ll also learn how to setup and deploy your bot on IBM’s Cloud platform.

Check out the upcoming course here

These are just a list of courses released this month. Our Treehouse Library currently has over 300 courses and workshops for you to check out!  Do you have a Treehouse favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

6 Design Courses to Get Your Creativity Flowing

The post 8 New Courses for Developers & Designers appeared first on Treehouse Blog.