Saturday, October 21, 2017

Comics of the Week #412

Every week we feature a set of comics created exclusively for WDD.

The content revolves around web design, blogging and funny situations that we encounter in our daily lives as designers.

These great cartoons are created by Jerry King, an award-winning cartoonist who’s one of the most published, prolific and versatile cartoonists in the world today.

So for a few moments, take a break from your daily routine, have a laugh and enjoy these funny cartoons.

Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below as well as any related stories of your own…

Extinct species

The ‘may’ word

 

Surviving the Holidays

Can you relate to these situations? Please share your funny stories and comments below…

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Comics of the Week #412

Friday, October 20, 2017

Is It Time To Go Freelance?

The freelance economy is a hot topic these days.

With more studies coming out confirming the benefits of freelancing and remote work, in addition to an influx of communication tools that make it easier to work from anywhere in the world, there is a whole new workforce forming that is defining the future of work.

While it may sound great on paper (wake up when you want, work when you want and go out when you want) in reality, freelancing is challenging and takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Before you decide to quit your job, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of going full-time freelance, so you can go into it knowing what to expect.

You Have to Make Your Own Community

Pro

For many freelancers, having the option to pick and choose who they work with is one of the best parts of being self-employed. As the freelance workforce has grown, so has a number of communal workspaces that house the self-employed. Co-working spaces have been around for over a decade, and aim to provide thriving professional communities that offer fully equipped inspiring workspaces and plenty of networking events to keep you busy every night of the week.

Con

For some freelancers, there aren’t as many options available. Perhaps there isn’t a co-working community available near you, or if there is, maybe you aren’t making enough money to purchase a membership just yet. Before you can earn enough to afford a membership in a co-working space, it can be quite isolating when first starting out.

Finances Can Get Tricky

Pro

While it can take a little getting used to, especially if you have been working in a more traditional role in the past, there are a wealth of tools that help freelancers manage their finances which are available on the market today. In addition to technology being on the side of the self-employed, there are also various online platforms that provide a wealth of financial experts that can help you organize your finances so that you are prepared come tax season. 

Con

Managing your finances can be stressful, even with the help of apps like QuickBooks and the advice of financial experts. Before you make the leap to self-employment it’s important to consider whether or not you are prepared to pay some of the necessary fees that are required of freelancers. There are costs involved, and depending on where in the world you live, these costs may vary. 

You Can Have As Many Clients As You Want

Pro

For many people, the point of going freelance is to have the choice to work with who they want, when they want. Perhaps you’re working on a project and have a little extra time, which is a welcome opportunity to make a bit of extra money. In addition to increasing your income, working with different clients is an invaluable way to diversify your résumé, and expand your skillset.

Con

Unfortunately, it can also be difficult for freelancers to find enough clients. First-time freelancers can benefit by already having a client set up before they leave any stable position, as it can take time to find enough projects to earn a regular income. Another risk that potential freelancers must always take in consideration is that even if they do find enough business it might not pay the bills. That’s why it’s imperative for those who are self-employed for the first time to protect themselves, by demanding pay at a certain time of the month and drawing up a contract to avoid getting let go without compensation.

Even if you aren’t ready to start freelancing that doesn’t mean you won’t be in the future. Before you make any decisions, it’s paramount that you consider the pros and cons of going freelance so you are prepared for both the best and the worst.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Top 10 Web Design & UX Conferences Worldwide

If you’re thinking of launching a design conference or attending one yourself this list should be all you need to get started.

Out of many annual conferences I’ve curated my 10 picks for the top conferences on web and UX design. These each feature something a little different and they all have their appealing specialties. So whether you’re looking to grab a ticket or design a site for your own conference I think you’ll find something in here to grab your attention.

1. Reasons to

Reasons to is very much a creative conference discussing all things design and code. It’s an event for creators whether that means building webapps, mobile apps, websites or anything similar. It’s an international conference giving special attention to people who make things. Coders, animators, filmmakers, artists, you name it.

This may not relate directly to design but it does cover a lot of the design industry. Many speakers come directly from a UI/UX background and many others have worked at big companies like Adobe or Google.

Great atmosphere for the price and a nice conference if you wanna meet face-to-face with more creatives.

2. UX London

As the name suggests, UX London is all UX design without the fuss.

It features plenty of talented speakers along with workshops teaching modern UX design tips. You’ll learn from all kinds of industry experts ranging from brand strategists to technical UX leads on mobile app projects.

This conference runs for 3 days and each day focuses on a specific area. The most recent conference ran topics on product design, service design, and experience design.

If you’re curious to learn more check out the site and try grabbing earlybird tickets if you can.

3. UX Australia

The umbrella of UX Australia houses two different conferences across the country.

The two most recent events include Managing Design for companies & organizations, plus the default UX Australia conference. These ran in Melbourne and Sydney respectively.

UX Australia is typically a 4-day conference and it’s probably the largest gathering for UX information down under. With a huge list of speakers and many workshops covering lots of different topics you’re bound to find something you like here.

Note the workshops typically run for 2 days and the talks/meetups run for another 2 days. So you can buy a ticket for just one part of the conference if you’re hoping to save money.

4. UXDX

Here’s another fantastic UX conf with its home in Dublin, Ireland.

UXDX combines two different areas with content on typical user experience(UX) along with developer experience(DX) for coding webapps or microservices.

Anyone who’s big into the UX or DX industry will find something here. It’s a great resource for anyone getting into DevOps or anyone trying to learn more about either side.

Large brands also frequently take the stage with representatives from companies like Slack, Amazon, and Barclay.

5. Design & Content Conf

Design is just aesthetics without content; writing is just words without design.

These two areas overlap quite a bit so it makes sense for content strategists to care about UX and vice-versa.

The Design & Content Conf is a magical meetup for merging the discussion of content with user experience design. The conference recently hosted in Vancouver and featured a huge lineup of content strategists with practical tips.

It’s a great resource for freelancers and agencies alike who want to plan their content for greater user engagement.

6. An Event Apart

A List Apart first launched in 1999 as a newsletter and has since grown into a massive brand. It features books and many events annually branded under An Event Apart.

These events usually run 2-3 times per year within the continental US.

When it comes to discussion topics the sky’s the limit with speakers covering absolutely everything related to great web design. This includes general user experience along with coding trends, frontend frameworks, content strategies, branding, design tools and so much more.

7. UX Week

The UX Week event is a very pricey conference but if you’re serious about learning it’s worth the entry fee.

It’s a 4-day event where UX professionals from around the world gather together and share tips, inspiration, industry news, and advice for the upcoming year.

As of writing this post UX Week just celebrated its 15th year running which is a huge milestone. Considering the rapidly advancing UX industry I think it’s safe to say this conference will be around for many years to come & it’s one of the more practical UX conferences you can attend.

8. UX Strat

The UX Strat event is all about growth and practical skills. It runs twice a year with one event in the US and another in Europe.

Both events host a number of workshops and teaching sessions with industry leaders to help eager designers catch up with the latest trends. Topics include data-driven UX design, A/B testing, and business-oriented UX strategies.

You can learn more on the main site but also try subscribing to the UX Strat newsletter. It shares relevant tips and upcoming info on the latest industry trends.

9. UX Sofia

UX Sofia runs annually in the city of Sofia, Bulgaria in eastern Europe. It’s quite a flexible conference with an optional timeframe of 5 days hosting speakers, workshops, and networking. The conference technically runs for 3 days but the organizers stick around for 1-2 days afterwards for an optional tour around Sofia.

This is a great way to meet other UX designers and build connections before you head back home.

I can’t say this is the largest UX conference but it’s definitely a big one. Especially if you already live near Bulgaria and could catch a plane ticket for cheap.

10. Push Conference

The vaguely named Push Conference unites creatives from all over the world who share a similar vision of the future.

It’s a tech conference with a focus on people who create apps, websites, and fascinating technology with a compelling user experience.

Push has run for over 5 years with a long list of professional speakers and successful workshops. Most of the speakers come from diverse backgrounds so it’s truly a conference for everyone. If you’re enamoured with building awesome products then Push Conference is worth attending at least once to see what you think.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Quick Guide to Everything You Missed at the Adobe MAX Keynote

With the usual pomp and ceremony of their MAX conference keynote, Adobe have unveiled a whole host of updates to their Creative Cloud suite of applications, together with some almost-new apps.

Wrapped up as new offerings are Adobe XD CC, Adobe Dimension CC, Adobe Character Animator CC, and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC. In reality, most Creative Cloud users will already be familiar with the first three: Adobe XD CC has been available in beta since 2016, Adobe Dimension CC was previously available as a beta under the name “Project Felix”, and Adobe Character Animator CC was previously available in beta. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC is a stripped down, cloud-based version of Lightroom CC.

In addition, Adobe presented updates to its flagship application Photoshop CC, as well as feature tweaks for Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, and Premiere Pro CC. Adobe heralded the continuing expansion of its Adobe Stock service. Finally, there were hints at Creative Cloud-wide improvements coming soon, including lots from Project Sensei.

What’s New From Adobe

Adobe Sensei

Adobe Sensei is part of the ongoing effort to insert Artificial Intelligence into Adobe products. Unlike some of its competitors—and for obvious business reasons—Adobe is focussed on AI that enables designers rather than replaces them. Think smart(er) guides in apps, and intelligent tool selection.

By blending the art of creativity with the science of data, Adobe Sensei will help free you from mundane tasks and unleash your creativity. We’re constantly working on new innovations that bring the magic of Adobe Sensei to the tip of your brush and transform the entire creative workflow.

For example, Adobe Sensei is used in Adobe Character Animator CC to help naturalize lip-syncing; Adobe Typekit is now using Sensei to enable visual font searching.

Adobe XD CC

A year ago the big news was the release of Adobe Experience Design. Since then it has been rechristened Adobe XD, and now Adobe XD CC. But the addition of “v 1.0” to an app we were already using in our workflow was not the exciting news we were hoping for.

The painfully slow pace of development for Adobe XD CC lends credence to the view that XD was demoed early, as Adobe attempted to stave off challenges from rivals such as Sketch. Today’s announcement that XD is now out of beta affects only those beta testers who do not have a Creative Cloud license, because they can no longer use it.

Adobe promises many new features in the November release, but this is MAX, we wanted something huge!

Adobe VR

As you would expect, Adobe is joining the VR gold rush with updates to Adobe Premiere Pro CC that enables 360 degree video editing, and Adobe After Effects CC with a host of new VR features including a VR Comp Editor and a new VR Converter.

Adobe Dimension CC

Another app previously available in beta, under the moniker “Project Felix”, Adobe Dimension CC is an incredible app to use. It allows designers to mock up 2D artwork in photo-realistic 3D. For packaging designers, the ease of use compared to full grade 3D software is a remarkable time-saver.

Adobe Dimension CC is, in my opinion, the hidden gem in Adobe’s product line.

Adobe Lightroom CC

One of the intriguing directions Adobe has looked in over the last few years is users that it identifies as “enthusiasts”—ie not “professionals”. Adobe Lightroom CC is the latest attempt to make a move sideways, and capture more than the relatively small professional market.

Adobe Lightroom CC is a new cloud-based application that allows you to edit, organize, store, and share photos from anywhere.

Because these names are all getting a little hard to follow, Adobe have renamed “Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC” as “Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC” (thanks Adobe!). Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC is the same desktop-based Lightroom you’ve been using for the last few years, albeit with a few much needed performance boosts.

Adobe Character Animator CC

Adobe Character Animator CC is a nod to those Flash users that liked to work with traditional animation. It’s been used on “The Late Show” and “The Simpsons”.

New features have been included in this release, including improved physics, and visual puppet controls.

Customized Portfolios for Adobe Stock

If you’re an Adobe Stock contributor you’ll now have the ability to customize your portfolio to futher promote your work to Adobe customers. You can customize your header with your best shot. You can also create custom collections of up to 1000 assets, so you can curate your best work in one place.

AdobeLIVE

AdobeLIVE is a new live streaming channel on Behance, designed to provide learning and inspiration from the whole community.

Adobe Exchange Marketplace

The latest iteration of the Adobe Exchange Marketplace merges the previously separate access to third-party applications for Creative Cloud, Document Cloud, and Experience Cloud. This streamlines access to apps like Jira, Wrike, and Pantone for large teams running different Adobe products across their workforce.

Creative Cloud “s”

Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, and Adobe After Effects CC all boast “significant” performance boosts. But new features are largely limited to the new tools that have already been debuted earlier this year.

The big news should have been Adobe XD CC, but Adobe rushed it out in time for last year’s conference, leaving themselves little to shout about in this cycle.

It’s a fallow year for Adobe, with features and apps being consolidated. This iteration of Creative Cloud feels a lot like an iPhone “s” year: they made it a bit faster, but it looks pretty much the same, does pretty much the same, and doesn’t really excite like a truly new edition would.

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A Quick Guide to Everything You Missed at the Adobe MAX Keynote

So, Can We Use CSS Variables Yet?

With all the talk lately of finally being able to use CSS Grid, it got me thinking: What other amazing CSS features can I use now? CSS Variables was the one that instantly sprung to mind.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard anything about CSS Variables and it adds a whole new toolset and way of thinking to front end development that excites me.

A Refresher on CSS Variables

CSS Variables have been knocking around for a few years now but don’t seem to be in wide usage. With the popularity of pre-processors such as Sass, frontend developers scratched that variable itch a long time ago.

I was first excited by CSS Variables in around 2014 and since then they’ve dipped in and out of my interest sphere. I’m only now considering getting them into production sites and I’m going to show you how simple and easy they are to use.

Declaring the Variable

Declaring the custom property is simple: We need only create the property we want and append two dashes to the beginning of it. These can be declared anywhere but adding them to :root seems to be a good approach at the moment.

--my-reusable-value: 20px;

Accessing the Variable

Using the property is pretty simple as well. We access it through the var() function and use the property we declared above.

padding: var(—my-reusable-value);

Isn’t that simple and glorious?

CSS Variables are straightforward to use and pretty easy to remember. The biggest challenge with CSS Variables (as with most CSS) is knowing the right time and place to use them. Throwing them in haphazardly is a sure fire way to create a mess of a stylesheet and with these variables thrown in debugging will probably become more difficult.

Proper use cases and strategies for using them should be considered and this is where the majority of your effort should be focused.

An Interesting Use Case : Responsive Modules

In the following example I’m going to show you a basic example of how I currently build a responsive component using Sass variables. Then I will show you how it could be improved upon with CSS Variables in a way that’s not possible with a pre-processor. This is a specific use case which does not apply to every way variables are used but is to show how CSS Variables can be used differently.

Sass Example

See the Pen CSS Variables – responsive use case without CSS Variables by Adam Hughes (@lostmybrain) on CodePen.

When using Sass there are a few different methodologies I’ve tried. My current go to version is placing media queries within the CSS blocks I want to change. In here I can use a variable, standard CSS, mixin or an extend to modify this element without scattering the styles for the component everywhere.

One problem with this is having multiple media queries and lots of variables which are kind of related but not. I could use maps for the variables which would give more organisation but I think the main issue is that we’re using a multiple variables to define one property. This just feels wrong.

Sass variables are used ahead of time which means we have to plan every way we’re going to use them. They make developing easier but technically don’t provide us with any new superpowers.

CSS Variables to the Rescue

See the Pen CSS Variables – responsive use case by Adam Hughes (@lostmybrain) on CodePen.

CSS Variables do not need to be declared up front, they are dynamic. This is useful in a very different way. We can now conditionally change variables from anywhere and in specific contexts such as media queries.

By serving our media query styles right up from we can reduce the amount of media queries scattered around for responsive styling. It also gives a really nice and clean way to see general spacing and typography styling across different formats.

I think responsive designs and theming are two excellent use cases for CSS Variables but there are so many possibilities.

How Are CSS Variables Different From SASS Variables?

Sass Variables and CSS Variables are two different beasts, each with their own pro’s and con’s.

Sass Variables Can Be Organised Better

Due to the popularity of Sass and the more programmatical nature of Sass, more in depth organisation patterns have evolved over time. I particularly like sass maps and combining similar type variables into the maps. Colors, sizes and shortcuts for paths seem to be popular choices for including in maps.

Because of the relatively smaller usage of CSS Variables the best practices have yet to evolve. Maps and arrays are not possible in the same way in CSS so these new organisational patterns will have to innovative and solve the problems in a different way to Sass.

CSS Variables Can Be Dynamically Changed

CSS Variables are handled dynamically by the browser at runtime whereas Sass Variables are used when the CSS is compiled.

This is the core selling point of CSS Variables for me. It will be interesting to see how people use this feature over time and whether it will live up to its potential.

CSS Variables Are a Standard Browser Feature

I’m personally of the opinion that the more things we can remove from Webpack, Gulp, and whatever-new-framework-is-out-now, the better. Having interesting new browser features means we don’t have to rely on compilation and JavaScript frameworks to do things developers feel are essential. I would hazard a guess that a high percentage of frontend developers use variables in their CSS in one way or another, so everyone using this a core feature seems like a sensible thing to do. It means one less thing in the build step (which I think we can all agree is getting pretty immense these days) and more consistency across the web.

What Is The Support Looking Like?

The support is looking remarkable good with one glaring exception: IE 11. Most modern browsers support CSS Variables with Edge having a few bugs.

At 78.11% this is higher than CSS Grid (at the time of writing) but that IE11 support could be a problem.

So, Can We Use CSS Variables Yet?

I think the time is now. That IE11 support is not going to get any better, and we know from previous versions of Windows that it takes a long time for some people to upgrade. But the support across modern browsers is great which means we should be looking to CSS Variables and experimenting with the possibilities.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t forget about our responsibility to older browser support though. A basic fallback system using a supports tag, or even a polyfill, for older browsers should be considered, even more so if your actual site usage is a lot more skewed to older browsers.

It’s an exciting time for front end development, and I for one can’t wait to be using more of these technologies in my production sites.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

3 Smart Ways to Engage Users with Animation

Animation was once thought of as just decoration. But as technology advances and internet connections accelerate, designers are embracing the practical benefits. In this article, we’ll focus on one particular benefits of animation—marketing animation or animations that sell. Despite the fact that such animation isn’t intended to improve usability, it can impress the user, and give them some context for the subject.

Designers can utilize this type of animation in following ways:

1. Demonstrate Craftsmanship

People do notice the details. Attention to animation can make the experience feel crafted. When apps/sites create a visually stimulating experience it brings a level of excitement to the user.

Load Screen Animation

Loading animation is one of the oldest uses of animation which is supposed to distract the user from loading times. But even this type of animation can demonstrate that your product is great. For example, when a user launches Uber app they immediately notice an animated drop that is turning into the pin on a map. This animation isn’t purely delightful, it also influences a user’s eyes and control where users should focus. This quick opening moment makes a clean first impression and entices the user to interact further.

Signature Animation

Some companies go even further and use animation as a distinctive feature of the brand. MailChimp is one of the companies that use animation in such way. The company fulfils a fairly technical niche, creating and sending email campaign, but using animation it transforms this dry task into an inviting experience. The service adds small and delightful surprises throughout the user journey and makes sending e-mails a lot more fun.

2. Better Deliver a Key Message

Animated effects help get your message across more clearly. Using animation you can take complex ideas or processes and make them easily digestible in a fun and graphic way.

Interactive Animation

Animation is able to highlight a product’s strengths. Bellroy is a company that sells wallets. They say that strive to create a slim design to reduce pocket bulk. In the example below, you can see how animation used in Bellroy clearly indicates a product’s behaviour and demonstrates its benefits.

Hover Animation

Hover animations are very practical for delivering additional information about your products. This type of animation makes the revelation less jarring and provides an opportunity to add some delightful character to your site.

Storytelling Animation

The storytelling potential of animations can add an emotional connection to an otherwise dull interface. Some common examples of story-telling are pages that will show off a new product by “assembling” it before your eyes. For example, the page dedicated to the Mac Pro on Apple’s website shows you exactly what’s under the hood as you scroll down:

Story-telling animations can also breathe life and fun into the long scroll. Instead of the parallax animations which is very common, opt for something subtler. Consider breaking up your site into scrollable “chunks.” Within each chunk, you can introduce the content through animations. Animations in the example below from Le Mugs website make the content “come alive” by animating simple art illustrations.

3. Engage users to take further steps

The use of animation will influence the eyes of your users, and it can control where they focus their attention on your page. A human eye is naturally attracted to motion and this makes animation the perfect tool for controlling your visual hierarchy.

Direct User Attention

Moving elements are a powerful tool to attract users’ attention. If the goal is to draw the user’s attention to a single element out of several or to alert the user to updated information then an animation will do the trick. As long as there are not many other competing elements on the screen, even the slightest bit of motion will grab attention. Seattle’s Space Needle site takes advantage of this subtlety. The site draws attention to the instructions with a minor—but effective—animation in the up arrows.

Encourage User Action

Fine animation and interactive effects encourage users to click. Look at the design used for the “Chekhov is Alive” site below. The design begs you to click to find your character.

Things To Consider

Animation is a double-edged sword. Incorrectly used, it can ruin user experience.

Avoid animation which distracts the user from their task. In the world of online sales and marketing, distraction can be death.

A very important aspect to consider when designing an animation is the frequency with which it would likely occur within a single user session. The animation might be nice the first time a user sees it, but after 100th attempt, it can get annoying, especially when it has no purpose other than being “fun”.

There are plenty of UI elements you could animate in both fun and down-to-business way. But remember one thing, if you want to create marketing animation you should set a goal of creating an animation which has both style and purpose.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

What’s New for Designers, October 2017

This month’s collection is packed with tools that span the scope of website design projects. From icon packs to seasonal vectors to a few cool typefaces and some code snippets to make your life easier, we think you’ll find at least one element in this roundup that you use right away.

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!

Dropbox Design

Dropbox dropped a new design outline and branding this month and it is bold, colorful and packed with trendy concepts. What does this mean for you? When big brands launch new design patterns, they often end up as trends. It will be interesting to see if the bold, mod-style design concept starts trending among more websites.

Khroma

Khroma, which is still in beta, calls itself an “AI color tool for designers.” You start with a set of 50 colors that you pick and train an algorithm to generate colors you like and block ones that you don’t. The algorithm has learned from some of the most popular color palettes on the internet to produce great combinations; you can browse your colors by swatch, gradient, as a palette or in images or type.

Data Viz Project

How do you best visualize data? That’s a big design question. This project showcases plenty of ways to create charts and graphs with information for an easy to understand display. Click on any visualization type for information about how it works, function, shape and examples of live data.

Devices.css

Looking for pure CSS versions of the latest devices? Grab them from Devices.css, including the iPhone X and 8, Google Pixel, Galaxy S8, tablets and more.

URL to PDF

URL to PDF is a microservice for rendering receipts, invoices or any other web content into a PDF. The API converts HTML+CSS content to a PDF with headless Chrome using Puppeteer.

Bubbly Backgrounds

Create a cool animated background image with moving bubbles. The tiny bit of code is less than 1kB and always fills the width and height of the viewport, so it is a plug and play solution for a number of projects. The tool allows you to create a “bubbly” on your canvas as well for a custom look.

Draggable

Shopify has a cool little tool, Draggable, that is a modular drag and drop library. You can move elements, sort and watch everything snap into place with fast and responsive sorting. It works with click, touch, and force touch right out of the box. Plus, it is extendable – write a custom module for additional functionality and submit it to the Github repo for review.

Modulator

The spacing tool can help you make sense of your grid and design system. There are various inputs for units, spaces and widths, plus a type scale.

Nested Symbols and Auto-Updating Styleguides for Sketch

Sketch users will love this “smart” template that uses nested symbols. The template is a starting point so you don’t replicate some initial design phases with every new project and can dive straight into wireframing. The package includes buttons, inputs, dropdowns, notifications, paginations, tooltips, calendar, etc. all as a Sketch template. Just load and start dragging and dropping elements.

Flow.ai

Flow.ai is a tool to create conversations with chatbots using artificial intelligence. The drag and drop interface provides an easy way to create chatbots with advanced functionality.

Untitled Slider

Nathan Taylor’s Untitled Slider puts a fun new twist on the same old slider animation. The rotating, color changing slider is dramatic, interesting and attention-grabbing.

Sticky Sidebar

Sticky Sidebar is a pure JavaScript plugin for making smart and high-performance sidebars that’s integrated with a resize sensor to automatically determine dimensions when the size of the container is changed.

Wired Dots

Wired Dots is a collection of free Bootstrap themes, elements and components. The new site will keep adding freebies. 

Clockify

Clockify is a new (and free) time-tracking tool for agencies and freelancers. You can keep up with projects and hours worked for yourself or a team. Track by project or see how productive you are. Manual and automatic time-tracking options are included.

Moocha

Do you feel like it takes too long to find the right online course? Moocha searches all the online course sites so all you have to do is enter a topic – UX design, for example – and you can see everything out there from places such as edX, Coursera, Udacity and more.

Halloween Vector Toolkit

It’s a month of all things spooky and this little vector kit is packed with Halloween themed elements for websites and print designs. (They might be a little more whimsical than creepy.)

Happtizens Character Creator Set

This fun set of cute characters provides a starting point for creating vector creatures and personas. Each character almost looks like a finger puppet in a minimalistic style.

iOS 11 Glyphs

This big set of open source glyphs is in the new iOS 11 style with the new filled icon design. (Those old outline icons aren’t being used in the tab bar anymore.) The pack includes 200 icons that are consistent with Apple Guidelines.

Jam Icons

Jam Icons is a pack of 422 pixel-perfect line icons. There’s everything from web-based icons to directional to player icons to text icons and social media icons. You can use the icon set as a font with a CSS stylesheet or as independent SVG files. (And they are all free.)

TypeStrap

TypeStrap is a CSS-based type kit that uses a modular scale to help users control typography. It is built on Bootstrap 4.

Future Fonts

A group of type designers is working on a project that they are calling a “platform for designers who use type and those that create it.” Future Fonts will allow users to license typefaces while they are still in progress and provide input to help make them better and more useful. It’s like a beta site for type.

Archia

Archia is a simple typeface with mostly uniform strokes and tiny serifs. It includes six styles – only regular is part of the free download – and could work for display or smaller type applications. It supports multiple languages and comes with tabular figures (a major bonus if you are creating tables, pricing lists or financial reports).

Jullian Script

Jullian is a fun script that has a quirky and modern flair. The strokes have a watercolor feel and the typeface comes with a full upper- and lowercase character set, punctuation and numerals.

Mouron

Mouron is a beautiful, modern sans serif typeface in a full uppercase style. It would make a great poster or display typeface and includes numbers and a set of fun alternate characters.

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What’s New for Designers, October 2017