Inside Creative Minds: Workflows, Habits and Strategies

Smashing Magazine
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The key to successful projects and products are the people behind them. Have you ever found yourself wondering how these thinkers and creators of the Web actually work, and how they tackle their projects? Where do they seek inspiration, and what are the lessons they have learned in the course of their careers? With the help of this eBook, we want to focus on the people behind the names for a change. After all, what could be more insightful than giving them a chance to share their stories?

The authors of this eBook had the occasion to sit down with experienced influencers and successful designers for a row of interviews in which they provide first-hand insights into their very own workflows, habits and strategies. WordPress co-founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little are among them, JavaScript evangelist Doug Crockford, IDEO's Duane Bray, Meetup's vice president Andres Glusman, as well as many other creative minds from design, UX and startup branches. Their insights and stories are not only truly inspiring, but also contribute to giving this fast-moving, tech-driven Web industry a more familiar face.


  • How I Work: Doug Crockford on JavaScript written by Jacob Cook
  •  How I Work: IDEO's Duane Bray On Creating Great Digital Experiences written by Jacob Cook
  • How I Work: Meetup's Andres Glusman On The Power Of UX And Lean Startup Methods written by Jacob Cook
  • Copying Others Is Not The Answer written by Robert Bowen
  • "Be Careful: Trends Come And Go" written by Leona Hu
  • "Be Humble, Be Honest, Don't Be Afraid To Fail" written by Leona Hu
  • WordPress: How It Came To Be And Where It's Heading written by Alex Moss
  • Interview With Nadine Chahine: The Art And Craft Of Arabic Type Design written by Iris Lješnjanin
  • Ask The Expert — A Chat About Art, Design, Computers And Education With Milton Glaser written by Jad Limcaco

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Smashing Magazine
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Published on
Apr 23, 2014
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Computers / Web / Design
Computers / Web / General
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This content is DRM free.
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HTML email has the reputation of being a particularly tough design medium. Buggy email clients stripping out your CSS or the spammy image that one-to-many emails not seldomly partake of, i.e. building compelling emails is quite a challenge for designers. With opening rates on mobile growing tremendously, things don't get any easier either. If you haven't ventured on the task yet or want to improve your existing email design skills, then this eBook offers the practical advice you need, whether you want to share your stories in a newsletter or aim at committing to email to market your product.

After taking a look at the current state of HTML email design, you'll get to grips with optimizing email for mobile, and learn to build your own modular email construction kit that you can draw on to cater for best results on desktop, web and mobile clients. We'll also explore handy tips to raise your email above inbox noise — with a friendly tone and engaging content (no dirty tricks here!) — and consider missteps that you should better avoid. Building HTML emails certainly does require some fiddling around, but it's defintely worth it. So, are you ready to take on the challenge?


• What 22 Billion Email Newsletters Tell Us About Designing For Email

• From Monitor To Mobile: Optimizing Email Newsletters With CSS

• Improve Your Email Workflow With Modular Design

• Size Matters: Balancing Line Length And Font Size In Responsive Web Design

• How To Raise Your Email Above Inbox Noise

• Designing The Words: Why Copy Is A Design Issue

• How To Use Email To Alienate Your Users

• Email Marketing For Mobile App Creators

• How To Create A Self-Paced Email Course

 User research is an effective strategy to gain a deeper understanding of your target audience — a crucial step in order to choose efficient design solutions and build smart products. But what has to be considered when conducting user research? What methods have proven themselves in practice? And how do you finally integrate your findings into the design process? With this eBook, you will learn to take the guesswork out of your design decisions and base them on real-life experiences and user needs instead.

To get you started, we’ll consider various research methods and techniques, but we will also tackle the more practical aspects (and difficulties) which face-to-face research brings along. Learning to identify potential research partners and finding the right questions to ask during an interview thus is part of this eBook — as well as presenting your findings und using them to iterate on your products’ designs. If you feel that you and your team make a lot of decisions based on assumptions, then this eBook is your jump start into a more user-centered design process. Find the techniques that fit into your workflow and start to discover the actual problems — and unmet needs — of potential users firsthand.


- A Five-Step Process For Conducting User Research

- A Closer Look At Personas: What They Are And How They Work

- A Closer Look At Personas: A Guide To Developing The Right Ones

- All You Need To Know About Customer Journey Mapping

- Facing Your Fears: Approaching People For Research

- Considerations When Conducting User Research In Other Countries: A Brazilian Case Study

- How To Run User Tests At A Conference

Most programming languages contain good and bad parts, but JavaScript has more than its share of the bad, having been developed and released in a hurry before it could be refined. This authoritative book scrapes away these bad features to reveal a subset of JavaScript that's more reliable, readable, and maintainable than the language as a whole—a subset you can use to create truly extensible and efficient code.

Considered the JavaScript expert by many people in the development community, author Douglas Crockford identifies the abundance of good ideas that make JavaScript an outstanding object-oriented programming language-ideas such as functions, loose typing, dynamic objects, and an expressive object literal notation. Unfortunately, these good ideas are mixed in with bad and downright awful ideas, like a programming model based on global variables.

When Java applets failed, JavaScript became the language of the Web by default, making its popularity almost completely independent of its qualities as a programming language. In JavaScript: The Good Parts, Crockford finally digs through the steaming pile of good intentions and blunders to give you a detailed look at all the genuinely elegant parts of JavaScript, including:

SyntaxObjectsFunctionsInheritanceArraysRegular expressionsMethodsStyleBeautiful features

The real beauty? As you move ahead with the subset of JavaScript that this book presents, you'll also sidestep the need to unlearn all the bad parts. Of course, if you want to find out more about the bad parts and how to use them badly, simply consult any other JavaScript book.

With JavaScript: The Good Parts, you'll discover a beautiful, elegant, lightweight and highly expressive language that lets you create effective code, whether you're managing object libraries or just trying to get Ajax to run fast. If you develop sites or applications for the Web, this book is an absolute must.

With more and more people reaching out for their smartphones and tablets to shop online, mobile e-commerce is set to reach $86 billion by 2016 — a development that brings along entirely new demands on e-commerce websites. After our first e-commerce eBook was published four years ago, we wanted to take a fresh look at the challenges that crafting online shopping experiences bring along today, and equip you with the necessary know-how on how to deal with them effectively.

Along the way, our expert authors will guide you through the vital steps of planning a successful e-commerce website and explore the design decisions that have to be considered in order to achieve a pleasant and compelling user experience. We’ll also take a deeper look into the peculiarities of mobile e-commerce usability and cover tips on designing a better checkout process. Reducing abandoned shopping carts is also one of the topics that we’ll dig into. With real-life examples and insights into a large-scale usability study that dissects some of the biggest e-commerce websites out there, this eBook will prove to be a valuable and practical source for all your e-commerce needs.


- How To Plan Your Next Mobile E-Commerce Website

- Exploring Ten Fundamental Aspects Of M-Commerce Usability

- An E-Commerce Study: Guidelines For Better Navigation And Categories

- The Current State Of E-Commerce Search

- Better Product Pages: Turn Visitors Into Customers

- Designing A Better Mobile Checkout Process

- Creating A Client-Side Shopping Cart

- Reducing Abandoned Shopping Carts In E-Commerce

WordPress is without a doubt the most popular Web software among online publishers. But did you know that there are thousands of plugins and techniques available which you can use to extend WordPress well beyond its potential and transform your site into almost anything you can imagine?

If you want to find out how to extend the limitations of WordPress, this Smashing eBook 10: WordPress Essentials for advanced beginners will help you improve your capabilities, so you can take full advantage of its flexibility. This eBook is packed with copy paste coding snippets and provides practical advice, such as useful techniques for creating your own plugins, adding menus as well as sub menus, and also how to avoid problems with JavaScript and CSS. Find out how to use AJAX and extend the possibilities of WordPress by integrating custom HTML5 tags. With the help of these articles, you will be sure to achieve a good command of better image management and learn how to build media heavy sites, how to integrate Facebook and receive the best tips about the latest developments in WordPress. The advanced tips for WordPress developers provided in this eBook will certainly cater for maximizing the success of your site.


- Building WordPress Themes You Can Sell
- Developing WordPress Locally With MAMP
- The Developers Guide To Conflict Free JavaScript And CSS In WordPress
- Interacting With The WordPress Database
- How To Create A WordPress Plugin
- How To Integrate Facebook With WordPress
- How To Use AJAX In WordPress
- Better Image Management With WordPress
- Using HTML5 To Transform WordPress TwentyTen Theme
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