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Free eBook chapter: Learning Responsive Web Design

With mobile devices accounting for more than half of all internet traffic, responsive design is becoming the norm more than ever before. It makes for a better user experience, and really minimizes the work on your end. Instead of creating disparate sets of HTML for desktop and mobile versions of your site, you only have to worry about designing a single website with a single set of code. 

Clarissa Peterson, author of Learning Responsive Web Design, explores the history of responsive web design and walks readers through a responsive workflow from project kickoff to site launch. 

Check out this free preview chapter from Learning Responsive Web Design for an in-depth, hands-on look at the major components of responsive web design: flexibility and media queries. 


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The Week in Geek for January 31: The birth of Java, The Sims, and Facbook

Hello February! Here's a look at notable moments in geekdom from this week in history. As always, if I missed an important date, or if you want me to include something in an upcoming post, let me know on Twitter.



February 1, 1991: Programmers Patrick Naughton and James Gosling and engineer Mike Sheridan start work on “Stealth Project” which would later become the Java programming language. Java is currently listed as the most popular programming language ahead of C, C++, and C# according to the Tiobe index, though it and C routinely trade rankings. (Read a step-by-step history of Java)

February 4, 2000: The first Sims game is released for Windows. I never got the hang of The Sims. My characters always ended up boring. I’m clearly in the minority though. The game was huge, spawning multiple spinoffs and becoming the best-selling PC video game of all time until it was overtaken by The Sims 2. (Did you know there is a Sims wiki?)

February 4, 2004: Mark Zuckerberg launches Thefacebook. He eventually drops the “The” from the name at the suggestion of Justin Timberlake, er, The Napster guy, making it the Facebook we all know and love. Within 10 months, it had over 1 million users even though it was only available to high school and college students. It quickly eclipsed Friendster, My Space, Orkut (Google’s social platform. Anyone heard of it?)…and you know the rest. Total. World. Domination.  Copy and paste this into your status update to show me that you're my real friend.  (Read Slate’s article on the history of Facebook.)

February 6, 1987: Steve Wozniak ends his full-time employment with Apple to persue his other interests. He’s still an Apple employee and gets an estimated $120,000/year, but he no longer is actively working for them. (11 Myths You Didn’t Know About Apple)


The Week in Geek for January 24: Apple announces the iPad and Microsoft strikes out with Vista

Let’s start off this last full week in January with a look at notable moments from geek history! As always, if there’s anything you want me to include in an upcoming list, tweet it to me and I’ll credit you in the post.



January 24: It’s Macintosh Computer Day. On this day 32 years ago, Apple introduced the Macintosh computer to the world. Evidently people celebrate commemorate this day every year?  Does anyone know anyone who celebrates this day? Give your Macs a hug today anyway! (Find out more about this “holiday”)

January 27, 2010: Steve jobs announces the iPad, and for 5 minutes everyone giggles about the name and thinks “Pfff, what the heck do I need that for?” Apple releases the iPad in April, and we all wonder how we’ve ever lived without a tablet. By the end of the year, they’ve sold 19 million units and CNET names the iPad the most disruptive product of 2010. It’s estimated that Apple currently owns 32.5% of the global tablet market share, and experts predict that by 2018, 383.8 million tablets will have been shipped. (See the iPad’s timeline)

January 28, 1986: Space Shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds after launch. I was in third grade when it happened, and it’s one of the first big tragedies I remember. My school, like a lot of others, had tuned in because among the crew members was Christa McAuliffe, a teacher picked out of 11,000 applicants to be included on the mission. The explosion, seen by millions live on TV, was traced to a gas leak caused by cold temperatures. All 7 crew members aboard died. (Read more about the history of the Challenger shuttle and the crew on board)

January 30, 2007: Microsoft launches Windows Vista and immediately owes the world (especially system admins) an apology. At the time, Microsoft’s Vista press release called the dual launch of Vista and MS Office 2007 “the most significant product launch in Microsoft Corp.’s history." The OS was wildly unstable, there was little backwards compatibility with existing programs, and performance lagged severely. Vista’s reputation ensured that it never gained top market share. In 2009 when Microsoft released the Windows 7 OS, Vista only had 19% market share; its predecessor, Windows XP still ruled with 63% market share. (Relive the horror of Vista).


This month's video: Translation and Accessibility in One Blow

When it comes to translation and accessibility, a big part of the equation is making sure that your message can be accessed by anyone who wants to access it.

It doesn’t stop there, though. Any number of choices and considerations will actually dictate whether what you’re trying to say comes out in a coherent way when it reaches people around the world.

Terena Bell, during her session at Future Insights Live last year, shared some tips on how you can simplify translation and accessibility in one blow with a few key tips.

From thinking about the size of your text (some of those translations onto Chinese or Japanese characters might come out way too small to even read) or accounting for the way left-handed people use their phones, there are some key techniques you can adopt to make the process way easier.

Check out the video of Terena’s session below. To get a new video sent straight to your inbox every month, sign up for our newsletter.   






Free Video Series - Designing for Accessibility 

We've partnered with Web Designer Depot to give away one free all-acess pass to our 10 year FOWA and FOWD celebration in London!

We're also going to offer everyone that enters the draw an exclusive and customized 5 video package on designing for accessibility. Each video is yours to download and watch as much as you'd like. Explore the often forgotten world of accessibility and learn how (and why!) you should start your next project with accessibility in mind. 

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Looking ahead: Design and development predictions for 2016 – Part 2

Last week, we heard from Brad Weaver and Lily Dart about their 2016 predictions for web design and development. This week, we’ll round out our look ahead with Simon Wood, Associate Director of Architecture & Engineering at Holiday Extras Limited, and Dave Benton, Interactive Creative Director at Metajive.


What do you think is in store for the next 12 months? Let us know in the comments or send me a tweet.

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Build better APIs with Envato Tuts+

Future Insights and Envato Tuts+ have partnered for the Future of Web Apps and Future of Web Design 10 year celebration in London

 When you sign up below, you'll automatically be entered in the draw to win a FREE all-access pass to the April event. You'll also receive an exclusive video package walking you through how to build and maintain better APIs

Join us for THE web design and development event of the year. For the first time ever, real time app development meets responsive UX design under one roof for three awe-inspiring days. Bring your entire team to the one place where designers and developers can come together for workshops, sessions, demos, and consultations from the top leaders in the industry.


Subscribe to receive your free videos!

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The Week in Geek for January 17: Apple premiers its iconic 1984 ad

Midway into January and it’s soooo cold up here in the Northeast of the United States. Not as cold as other parts of the world (or the US), but New Englanders like to complain about any weather, and I’m trying to fit in. Let’s get comfy reading some geeky trivia from this week in history.

Don’t forget! If you want me to add something to the list, tweet your idea to me.  I’ll add it and credit you in the post.



January 18, 2012: 18 sites go dark to protest SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (PROTECT IP Act) legislation. While SOPA and PIPA were created to give the US government more control to act against foreign sites that hosted pirated content (e.g., Pirate Bay), critics felt that the language was too broad, promoted censorship, and was created by people with no understanding of internet architecture.  Among the sites that went dark to protest SOPA were Wikipedia, Reddit, Mozilla, the icanhazCheeseburger Network,, and 13 others. In going offline the sites brought so much public outcry about the two acts, lawmakers shelved them just two days after the protests. (How SOPA and PIPA can affect designers and developers)

January 21, 1998: Resident Evil 2 is released. Set just two months after the events of the first Resident Evil game, in this sequel you could choose to play as either main character: Claire Redfield or Leon Kennedy. Once you played through the game as one character, the other main character was unlocked and you played the story from their perspective. This is the first Resident Evil I ever played and will always hold a place in my heart! (Learn more from the Resident Evil wiki)

January 22, 1984: Apple promises us that “1984 won’t be like 1984” in a now-famous Superbowl ad. The Ridley Scott-directed ad aired just once and announced Apple’s release of Macintosh computer at their upcoming shareholder meeting. In the ad, uniformed workers in a dystopian world drearily march to listen to a disembodied head on a screen declaring “Today we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives.” A woman with a sledgehammer rushes in, swings her hammer, and launches it at the screen, shattering it and inspiring the drones to new possibilities. Or something like that.

Though the Mac wasn’t an immediate success and Steve Jobs ended up leaving the company a year later in a power struggle, the ad definitely announced Apple was here to stay. More people remember that ad than remember that Superbowl. (Read about the impact and irony of the 1984 Apple ad.)


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Looking ahead: Design and development predictions for 2016 – Part 1

As we look toward the next 12 months, we asked a handful of experts about what they’re expecting to come down the line in 2016. What new changes are going to crop up? What trends might start to die down this year? What are some developments that we might have to wait a little longer for?

From microservices to hiring practices to responsive design technologies – the predictions we got ran the gamut. What do you think? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments or send me a tweet.

Giving us their predictions today are Brad Weaver, Chief Experience Officer at Nine Labs, and Lily Dart, freelance user experience designer and user researcher. We’ll hear some more voices soon in the second part of this series.


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The Future is Built Upon Collaboration

Imagine a future where all projects are completed on time - under budget. A future where you’re able to plan projects more effectively without any confusion or holdup. Imagine a future where products are made with the same common goal of a seamless user experience.


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