21 Jun

Designing The Perfect Accordion

   

Design patterns. An almost mythical phrase that often inspires either awe or resentment. As designers, we tend to think of design patterns as generic off-the-shelf solutions that can be applied to various contexts almost mechanically, often without proper consideration. Navigation? Off-canvas! Deals of the day? Carousel! You get the idea.

Sometimes we use these patterns without even thinking about them, and there is a good reason for it: Coming up with a brand new solution every time we encounter an interface problem is time-consuming and risky, because we just don’t know how much time will be needed to implement a new solution and whether it will gracefully succeed or miserably fail in usability tests.

The post Designing The Perfect Accordion appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

21 Jun

Free Icon Set: Happy 4th Of July 🇺🇸 (20 Icons, PNG, EPS, AI, SVG)

   

Every once in a while, we publish freebies related to different occasions and themes. Today, we'd like to share an icon set dedicated to a well-known upcoming American holiday.

Some of you may already be working on the usual flyers or brochures, so we thought we'd help you out with a set of colorful icons to spice up your designs a bit differently this year. Thank us later!

The post Free Icon Set: Happy 4th Of July 🇺🇸 (20 Icons, PNG, EPS, AI, SVG) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

13 Jun

Convincing Clients: How To Get Sign Off When It Matters

   

We have all been there. That dreaded moment when after weeks of work we have to present our progress to key stakeholders, and they mercilessly tear it apart. It feels inevitable, but usually, we can avoid these situations.

Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we didn’t need to get other people to buy-in to our work? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, especially in digital. What we do involves so many different disciplines working together. We have to get the support of colleagues, stakeholders and management. But, achieving that can be painful, to say the least.

The post Convincing Clients: How To Get Sign Off When It Matters appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

13 Jun

Convincing Clients: How To Get Sign Off When It Matters

   

We have all been there. That dreaded moment when after weeks of work we have to present our progress to key stakeholders, and they mercilessly tear it apart. It feels inevitable, but usually, we can avoid these situations.

Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we didn’t need to get other people to buy-in to our work? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, especially in digital. What we do involves so many different disciplines working together. We have to get the support of colleagues, stakeholders and management. But, achieving that can be painful, to say the least.

The post Convincing Clients: How To Get Sign Off When It Matters appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

29 May

How To Build Your Own Action For Google Home Using API.AI

   

For the holidays, the owner of (and my boss at) thirteen23 gave each employee a Google Home device. If you don’t already know, Google Home is a voice-activated speaker powered by Google Assistant and is a competing product to Amazon’s line of Alexa products.

I already have the Amazon Echo, and as Director of Technology at thirteen23, I love tinkering with software for new products. For the Amazon Echo, you can create what are called "skills", which allow you to build custom interactions when speaking to the device.

The post How To Build Your Own Action For Google Home Using API.AI appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

23 May

Building Killer Robots: Game Behavior In iOS With Fuzzy Logic Rule Systems

   

Imagine that it's a hot day. The sun is out, and the temperature is rising. Perhaps, every now and then, there's a cool breeze. A good song is playing on the radio. At some point, you get up to get a glass of water, but the exact reason why you did that at that particular time isn't easy to explain. It was "too hot" and you were "somewhat thirsty," but also maybe "a little bored." Each of these qualities isn't either/or, but instead fall on a spectrum of values.

In contrast, our software is usually built on Boolean values. We set isHot to true and if isHot && isThirsty && isBored, then we call getWater(). If we use code like this to control our game characters, then they will appear jerky and less natural. In this article, we'll learn how to add intelligent behavior to the non-player characters of a game using an alternative to conventional Boolean logic.

The post Building Killer Robots: Game Behavior In iOS With Fuzzy Logic Rule Systems appeared first on Smashing Magazine.