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February 03 2014

11:00

Social Polling by Opinion Stage: One-Year Pro-Account for Free


  

Votes and polls are nothing new. But before you yawn and turn to the next article, give me two seconds. Votes and polls done with Opinion Stage are not the ole fashioned feedback tools your mind first thinks of. Opinion Stage integrates the social component as it lets you interact with Social Media. The deeper insights you are about to receive are beyond comparison. Better even, today we give away two annual Pro Plans, worth 228 dollars, for free. All you need to do to win is place a comment below the following article.

September 03 2013

14:43

New Poll: Is There a Line Between Web Apps and Web Sites?

Every once in a while I'll hear people say something along the lines of "well that's for web sites, but it's not really relevant for web apps." That implies there is some kind of line that separates the two. Different needs and rules that change the game and alter the conversation around them. Is it true?

The new poll up in the sidebar asks this question:

Is it useful to distinguish between "web apps" and "web sites"?

I'm asking in a very broad way. Is this a generally useful distinction to make that will help conversations and blog posts and conference talks and thus alter how we think and work on the web going forward? It's a boolean choice to make the results more clear:

  • Yep. They are different things with different concerns.
  • Nope. It's all just the web.

Food for Thought

A restaurant site that displays hours, the menu, and photos. That's a web site right? But what if you add an interactive map for directions. Is it a web app now? Or a web site with an embedded web app? What does it change? What if you could make reservations through the site?

Is the distinction as simple as "you log in to web apps"? What if you could log into a blog site, but the only reason you did that was to leave comments without having to type your name every time (and for spam protection). The site was otherwise just full of articles. Is that a site or app?

Is the distinction related to "you go there to browse" vs. "you go there to do stuff"?

Are sites all about content, while apps all about performing actions? What about a newspaper website with a paywall, customizable subscriptions, and re-arrangeable modules? Certainly a newspaper site is about content, so what does that make it?

Where do social media apps fall? How about sites where you build things? Online photo editors? Accounting apps? Bank software? Does "content" generally mean public content or can it refer to user generated or private content also?

Perhaps there are more practical differences to focus on. Perhaps sites have lots of navigation while apps have less. Perhaps sites need to assist more in search and discovery of content while apps less-so. Sites might need to consider things like Responsive Web Design more seriously, since it's open and the traffic could come from anywhere. Whereas on apps, it's more reasonable to ask someone to use specific software to get done what they need to.

Are sites "easier" than apps? Vice versa?

If there is a gray line, how thick is it? Is it still useful to know where you sit on that spectrum?


New Poll: Is There a Line Between Web Apps and Web Sites? is a post from CSS-Tricks

Tags: Poll
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September 02 2013

21:45

Poll Results: Off Screen Navigation Use on Mobile/Desktop

The results are in! Nearly 5,000 voters weighed in on the last poll to decide if the off-screen "drawer" navigation style that has swept mobile design is appropriate for larger screen ("desktop") designs. You could answer:

  • It's not good on any site.
  • It can be good on any site.
  • It's good for mobile sites, but not desktop sites.

Only 10% of you were of the opinion that the off-screen nav isn't a good idea on any design. So the vast majority approve of it at least on small screens. The remaining 90% were fairly evenly split. By a nose, at 46%, you voted that off-screen nav can work on any design, making it the most popular choice. 44% said it's only appropriate on mobile sites.

Here's a visual breakdown:

See the Pen GtCqp by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) on CodePen

Personally I'd lean toward the pragmatic. I know I asked for you to vote without any context of a particular design. That's just to get a general gut instinct and sense of the community vibe around this idea. But I'm sure most of us make real life decisions, especially design decisions, based on the real facts in front of us. If a drawer made a ton of sense on a large screen desktop site design, we'd probably go for it. But of course this idea was born from the reality that small screens are small and moving navigation away from the primary screen gives us more real estate to work with and bigger tap areas in both places. So to put it on a large screen design where that isn't as much of an issue, might be weird. But then again, possibly less and less weird over time as mobile designs dominate what people interact with.

Poll in the sidebar another day or so before the next one goes up. Check out the polls archive for full, real time results for this and all past polls.


Poll Results: Off Screen Navigation Use on Mobile/Desktop is a post from CSS-Tricks

Tags: Poll mobile

July 15 2013

15:07

Poll Results: Light-on-Dark is Preferred

This poll asked people if they like their code editor colors "dark code on light background" or "light code on dark background." Turns out about 2/3 of people prefer light code on dark background.

For the first several days after the Poll ran, light-on-dark was winning by a landslide with 90 or more percent. But over the last month, it has settled into 63% of people preferring it and 37% preferring dark-on-light.

Personally I'm surprised it went as low as 63%. In all the places I've worked and places I've visited and such, rarely do I see a coder working in dark-on-light in their actual code editor. In blog posts and the like, dark-on-light is more common for whatever reason. Probably to be more consistent with the writing in which dark-on-light is nearly ubiquitously preferred.

Now that we have some numbers on preference, it's interesting to think about why it is that way. Especially in contrast to writing. Is it because there just happens to be more quality light-on-dark themes available? Is it easier on the eyes for longer periods? Is dark-on-light actually easier to read but harder on the eyes? Is there something about the brain and the type of thinking that coding requires that prefers more dark? Is it the environments around the computer screen that encourage more dark? Jeremy wonders if corrected vision plays a role. Does age play a role? Are there more connections to be found between how people prefer it and other factors?

Normally I let polls run a little longer but I have another idea ready so look for a new poll in the next day or so.


Poll Results: Light-on-Dark is Preferred is a post from CSS-Tricks

Tags: Poll

August 10 2012

01:31

New Poll: Do you listen to music while you work?

Just a fun little poll to start a conversation about music and working. I know people firmly on either side of this poll: those that never ever listen to anything and those that can't work without it.

Where do you land? (Poll in the sidebar)-
And as an extension for the comment thread: how do you do it when you do? iTunes? a web service? Stereo elsewhere in the room not even connected to your computer? IN-HOUSE MARIACHI BAND?

New Poll: Do you listen to music while you work? is a post from CSS-Tricks

Tags: Poll

August 05 2012

19:06

Poll Results: How do you order your CSS properties?

Over 10,000 people have spoken: the most popular way to order CSS properties is grouped by type.

This is how the votes broke down:

Grouped by type (45%) was fairly closely followed up by Randomly (39%). Much less popular was Alphabetic (14%) and only a few folks using Line length (2%).

For the record, Grouped by type would be like this (heavily borrowed from Nicolas Gallagher's Idiomatic CSS):

.selector {
  /* Positioning */
  position: absolute;
  z-index: 10;
  top: 0;
  right: 0;

  /* Display & Box Model */
  display: inline-block;
  overflow: hidden;
  box-sizing: border-box;
  width: 100px;
  height: 100px;
  padding: 10px;
  border: 10px solid #333;
  margin: 10px;

  /* Color */
  background: #000;
  color: #fff
  
  /* Text */
  font-family: sans-serif;
  font-size: 16px;
  line-height: 1.4;
  text-align: right;

  /* Other */
  cursor: pointer;
}

It probably wouldn't be specifically labeled with comments like that, but the properties would be next to each other.

The majority of folks are more organized than me! I regrettably had to vote "Randomly (no specific plan)". I don't feel like it hampers me that much, but then again, how would I know if I don't try out a more organized approach?

I have a few other thoughts.

I think this is a bigger deal in teams. There has to be a standard otherwise the CSS project-wide looks sloppy. I know that inconsistant styles would wear on my conscience and I'd spend time fixing trivial formatting stuff rather than doing actual work.

Cognitive load factors into this. If you can always count on certain properties being in the same place, you can understand the CSS a bit faster (less scanning). Again, a bigger deal when on a team and you are looking at code you are slightly less familiar with because you didn't write it.

Another consideration is "as you originally write it" CSS and "after a few months" CSS. I bet a lot of us start out with the intention to be very organized and actually do start organized, but then as you tweak things later, toss properties wherever. So then how did that effect the vote? Did you vote based on your intentions or your actual CSS files?

New poll will be up in a day or two. Comment if you have any really good poll ideas.

Poll Results: How do you order your CSS properties? is a post from CSS-Tricks

Tags: Poll

March 20 2012

02:01

New Poll: Your Preferred CSS Preprocessor Syntax

There is a new poll up in the sidebar of the site which asks:

What is your preferred CSS preprocessor syntax?

The popular ones are in there, an "other" option in case you use something else (please share in comments), as well as answers for "never tried," "don't like any of 'em," and "no preference."

I realize that not everyone has tried all of them so the end results may be skewed toward general popularity rather than a honest syntax comparison, but that's OK it will still be interesting.

New Poll: Your Preferred CSS Preprocessor Syntax is a post from CSS-Tricks

Tags: Poll

March 17 2012

17:52

Poll Results: Will There Be a CSS Competitor?

In this last poll, we asked:

In the next 10 years, will there be a serious alternative to CSS?

Of over 9,000 votes so far, the majority are of the opinion that there will not be:

Of course, it's nearly impossible to predict the future of technology. Especially that far out in an industry that moves fast (and accelerating). But anyway, here are my thoughts.

I would define "serious alternative" as a new technology that you could actually use to design a website (or whatever we call interactive interconnected screens in ten years) and have at least 25% of devices displaying that website as you intended. So first this new technology is a language the addresses what CSS does now (more or less) and second that new language is adopted by real browsers.

That's a tall order. I'd say it's not going to happen.

One, CSS has been around for decades already. It's taken that long to get into as good of shape as it is now and have everyone agreeing on it. That is likely to speed up, but only because the major players involved are getting used to the process and the process is improving. A brand new technology would likely face all the same barriers and slowness that CSS originally did.

Two, for all CSS's shortcomings, it's pretty good. Look at all the amazing websites it's powering today (hint: nearly all of them). For something new to come along and address all the detailed complexities of web authoring in only 10 years would be amazing. There would have to be previews of it happening now for proper feedback to get the ball rolling fast enough for anything to happen in 10 years.

Three, the fact that there isn't anything (at least on my radar) even poking at CSS makes it seem unlikely that something will come out of nowhere and be a contender.

I'd say Flash is the closest contender and that's on the way out, not in.

Interesting stuff folks, thanks for voting in the poll and commenting. I think we'll do another philosophical style post this week, they always generate the most interesting comment threads. And a new poll soon.

Poll Results: Will There Be a CSS Competitor? is a post from CSS-Tricks

Tags: Poll

February 02 2012

19:23

New Poll: In The Next 10 Years, Will We See CSS Competitor?

What do you think folks? Is a new language going to come along in the next ten years that deals with layout / style / design and unseat CSS? Or at least give it a run for its money?

You should vote not based on if there will be any attempt at it, which there certainly will be and already has. But instead if you think one of those attempts will actually make it into native support by a browser with significant market share and see a significant number of web workers building web sites in it.

Poll is in the sidebar (or, down pretty far if on a small screen).

New Poll: In The Next 10 Years, Will We See CSS Competitor? is a post from CSS-Tricks

Tags: Article Poll

December 05 2011

10:00

Colour Chronicles: Bold Brown – Poll And Giveaway!

This is the first in a series of monthly articles about the colour of your choice. I’ve taken the liberty of choosing the first one myself, but from now on, it’s you who get to pick via a simple poll system. Since this is the first of the series, we have decided to select two random lucky winners from our poll and give them something really good!

Without further ado, let us talk about this month’s selection: brown.

Basics


To start off, brown is not a colour in itself, rather it is a range of composites. It can be obtained in a variety of ways which can all result in many shades, depending on the quantities used. In essence, it is a mixture of the three primary colours that has a low level of cyan, but it can also be red, orange, yellow or rose with varying quantities of black and white.
This means that there are a huge number of colours that all fall under the collective name brown, so for this reason it is usually preferred to call them by their dominant aspect, for example red-brown or orange-brown.
Human perception causes browns to be perceived as such depending on their surroundings. In fact, they are just low-intensity shades of the aforementioned colours, but when placed in high-contrast environments, they are seen differently.

Characteristics


Although they stem from warm colours, the lack of brightness makes empirically categorizing browns a bit tricky, as it also depends on what they are associated with. Theoretically, they are warm, but as a rule of thumb, the more saturated they are with their base (red, orange or yellow), the warmer they are. Adding black or white makes it a cooler shade, but it stays warm. Unsaturated shades are considered near neutrals.

They are best used as a supporting elements given their capacity to enhance others. Dark shades of brown are excellent as replacements for black, as they emit the same rock-solid stability, but are not so overwhelming or imposing. This can also reduce the sharpness of the contrast and make reading text much easier and relaxing.

Symbolism


It is a natural colour, organic and inorganic, with ties to earth, wood and even animals (think of fur). In general it brings the feeling of stability and order, as well as security and homeyness.

wood

photo by Martin Lougas

It could also be said that browns are more human. Skin tones can, more or less, fall into the spectrum and brown eyes and hair are some of the most common physical traits worldwide. There has also been a study that noted a possible connection between brown eyes and facial features which give the perception of dominance.

However, through extension, natural can also signify roughness, and stability can turn into stubbornness. When used excessively, they can make things dull and lifeless, although, ironically, brown can be a symbol of life. Tan or beige without a counterbalance reminds most people of stretches of arid sun-scorched ground.

When representing life, vitality or fertility, inspiration should be taken from nature itself. Earth (soil) alone does not mean life, but it provides the means for it to flourish. Trees protect themselves through dark (or sometimes light), thick bark, hiding their more vital parts. This all means that it should be given, as mentioned previously, a supporting role when aiming for a natural effect.

Combinations


Taking note of the previous points, when combining browns with other colours, they serve as catalysts while still keeping their warmth, but also taking some characteristics from the shade it supports. This leads to surprising and interesting overall effects.

For an earthy and natural effect, green is the best option, although the result can be quite different depending on the shade. With bright green, it will give your design energy and make it more eye-catching, but minty green will result in a cool and vintage look. On the topic of vintage, less saturated browns and pastels are the best options.

Dark brown will definitely make yellow pop, probably not as much as pure black, but the softer and less aggressive contrast makes it much more pleasant to look at.

Light shades (cream, beige, etc.) make pink appear much more feminine, and purple more royal or noble if you will. They are also good substitutes for white in most situations.

Palettes


01. Moss Rose by robertnbrown

palette-01-moss-rose

02. Boerne by aschroeder

palette-02-boerne

03. Red & Brown by shiz0-media

palette-03-red-and-brown

04. Sunny Day by koralute

palette-04-sunny-day

05. Herbs and Spice by whoneycutt

palette-05-herbs-and-spices

06. India Brown by jakob

palette-06-india-brown

07. Elegant brown by aakash.bits

palette-07-elegant-brown

08. Touches of color by jennifer

palette-08-touches-of-color

09. Chocolate coffee by njayendra

palette-09-chocolate-coffee

10. Coconuts and bananas by riopelle

palette-10-coconuts-and-bananas

Web – WordPress themes


01. Ermak Adora (premium)

website-01-ermak-adora

02. Nesnel (premium)

website-02-nesnel

03. Ecoblog (free)

website-03-ecoblog

04. Businezz (free)

website-04-businezz

05. Games Mania (free)

website-05-games-mania

06. Brown Mag (free)

website-06-brown-mag

07. Music Concert (free / $20 to remove footer links)

website-07-music-concert

08. Fullscreen (premium)

website-08-fullscreen

09. Rutheniumify (free)

website-09-rutheniumify

10. Buro (premium)

website-10-buro

Artwork – landscapes


01. Mountains 2 by jamajurabaev

artwork-01-mountains-2

02. Desert Mountains by I-NetGraFX

artwork-02-desert-mountains

03. Autumn by fxEVo

artwork-03-autumn

04. Lake by Raphael-Lacoste

artwork-04-lake

05. Regrowth by ehaft

artwork-05-regrowth

06. Dust by Apocalypse-tr

artwork-06-dust

07. Desert Storm by blepfo

artwork-07-desert-storm

08. Chasing New Arcs of Skies by harmonious-madness

artwork-08-chasing-new-arcs-of-skies

09. The Approaching Storm by cerona

artwork-09-the-approaching-storm

10. Isn’t that pretty? by Raphael-Lacoste

artwork-10-isnt-that-pretty

The Giveaway


We’re giving away two books about colors that will definitely help anyone whether they’re new to design, or consider themselves to be an expert, understand colors better! How do you win these cool items? Simply by answering our poll below. If this is a success, we will be giving away more cool items next month!

Color Design Workbook: A Real-World Guide To Using Color In Graphic Design

by Adams Morioka and Terry Stone

Color, Messages and Meanings: A Pantone Color Resource

by Leatrice Eiseman

Poll for December


So which should be next month’s colour? Pick your favourite below and get the chance to win the items above! Two winners will be randomly selected.

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