Sexy Tooltips with Just CSS

Providing supplementary information about potentially complex elements of a user interface is a central part of any website designer or developer’s workflow in creating usable and accessible websites.

One of the most common mechanisms for providing extra details beyond what you can see on the page is the tooltip (a design pattern for showing tips about a particular element on a screen).


Using Charts and Graphs for Content

As a designer, have you ever had to work on a project such as an annual report, brochure or even a blog post that contained a lot of data?

Many designers are handed documents which contain tables of snore-inducing information with the expectation that they shine it up a bit—something akin to Extreme Makeover: Data Edition. The solution is to visualize this information in an attractive format by employing charts and graphs.


concrete5, an open source content management system, has teamed up with Six Revisions to give away a one-year Commercial account worth $300, with free set-up and $155 in credits on their marketplace for themes and add-ons.

For a chance to win, simply leave a comment answering the following question: Why would you use concrete5 over other more popular open source content managements out there (e.g. WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla!)?

This giveaway end on June 21, 2010 after which the comments section on this post will be closed. We’ll use your email address to contact you if you win. The winners will be randomly selected and announced on a separate post. Please note that comments that don’t follow the instructions on how to participate (described above) may not be published.

Avoiding Design Burnout

In the innovative world of design, designers are pushing the limit and inspiring the design trends of the future. However, it takes many rounds of trial and error for designers to get even close to breaking new grounds in design.

As a result, designers often expend their creativity to the point where their brains are in serious need of some R&R.


User Activity with Points, Badges and Status

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about strategies for engaging your visitors. In it, I expanded on four different techniques to keep visitors to your website engaged and active. One of the strategies was using virtual rewards and status — also known as game mechanics (or funware) — to increase website engagement.

Websites and applications like FourSquare, StackOverflow and Farmville all use game mechanics to attract and retain users. Even not-so-obvious websites like eBay and Yelp! have aspects of game mechanics baked in to the functionality.


A Beginner's Guide to the Business Side of Freelancing

Being a freelance designer entails more than just the act of designing. Master the business side of design and you’ll thrive. Neglect it and watch your business take a dive.

There can be severe consequences for those who mismanage finances, fumble along without a business plan or don’t understand clients.


The Essential Guide to @font-face

Fonts on the Web

The days of being limited to a handful of fonts on the web are very close to being a thing of the past. The problem is no longer a lack of viable solutions, but rather, an abundance of them.

Technologies like Cufon, sIFR, FLIR and @font-face all represent different groups of developers placing bets on what they believe to be the future of web typography.

There is, as of yet, no consensus in this ever-evolving game. All of these methods have perfectly valid arguments both for and against their use.

Further, even the most popular browsers support each of these technologies in widely varying degrees.