Why evolution is better than revolution in product design

featured_design

Digital products will always need to be redesigned. Styles progress, hardware technologies advance, and development possibilities are ever-increasing. Just in the past year the potential for implementing microinteractions, and processor-intensive animations and graphics, has come along at a fair pace. Product teams are continuously looking to iterate and stay ahead of or pass the competition. This is ever important in furthering the design and development industries, and delivering to the consumer the very best product available.

The process of redesigning is not always so straightforward. There are times when teams and individuals have to decide whether to redesign from the ground up, or iterate on the current product. In this article we are going to look at both options and analyze just why redesigning from scratch should be avoided in the majority of cases.

REDESIGNING FROM SCRATCH

To begin, redesigning from scratch should not always be avoided. On occasion, a company can inherit a product simply for the user base, domain name, or because they see the potential to completely re-engineer the product from the ground up, into something completely different.

One example of a product that completely redesigned from the ground up is Bebo. What was once a fast-growing social network has since become multiple new products as a result of complete redesigns. In its latest relaunch, it has been developed into a messaging app, somewhat reminiscent of Slack.

The issue with redesigning from scratch, is you pose the risk of alienating users. In certain cases, the product can have such underperforming design and UX, that it leaves this as the only appropriate course of action. The issue is when products are redesigned for little reason other than for change for its own sake.

It’s important to ask two questions when pondering this decision:

  • Does my vision for the product clash considerably with the current design and framework?
  • Is the current product posing multiple substantial design and UX issues for users?

If the answer to either is yes, then this may well be the most appropriate course.

If you believe a redesign may cause a loss of users, answering yes to either should override any worries you have of this being the case. Sometimes, and only sometimes, a small proportion of the existing user base who are entirely opposed to change has to be discounted in order to move the product forward. You just have to be sure you are truly moving the product forward with a complete redesign—there has to be clear underlying reasons such as above.

REDESIGNING IN ITERATIONS

For most cases, this should be the route to take. By continuously iterating on a product, you avoid alienating the current user base by by slowly but surely introducing new UI and UX enhancements with each version. This is a lot easier to digest for users, and typically helps avoid having them move to competitors. It also allows for the removal of a feature if proven not to be effective or useful for new and existing users.

Redesigning in iterations can also often result in the best possible product. When you are constantly redesigning from the ground up, it eliminates the positive effects of stepwise refinement.

Take Google’s core search product, for example. I’d argue they have never redesigned completely, and instead continuously iterated over multiple decades. With Google, they have an incredibly complex product, but a simple interface, and have iterated upon this in small steps to the point now where the product is extremely refined, powerful, and easy to use.

Another such example is InVision. A few years ago, they could have completely wiped the design which was looking tired and outdated. Instead of building something new with the latest short-term style trends, they chose to iterate on the current version one step at a time with the outlook of creating one of the finest design industry tools. All the while, they kept existing users satisfied by not overhauling every feature and layout.

In the above examples, you can see just how the product has progressed from something very dated, to a cutting-edge, industry leading product design—all through continuous iterating on the features, layout, and styles.

This approach also excludes the issue of overhauling a design every time the design team or lead is changed. It provides a consistent approach over long periods of time, and avoids individual designs and styles making their mark at the users’ expense.

Next time you are working on a design, ask yourself: should I really redesign this product from scratch, or can we achieve better long-term results with stepwise refinement?

 

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

How to Start and Run a Successful Web Design Business?

How to Start and Run a Successful Web Design Business?

While listening to the stories of great web designers it seems that starting a web design business is much easy. But the process of starting your own business is not that easy as it seems; you not only need to have designing skills but along with that, a full-fledged plan and sincere efforts are also required to get your business run successfully.

Once designers get experience and acquire skills to handle projects on an individual basis, they think of working as a freelancer or starting their own web designing company. No doubt it is a good idea but it requires a blend of strategic thinking, thoughtful and skilled efforts, and tenacity to convert your dreams into reality. However, all those, who are planning to start their own web designing business, can refer to the below-given tips for a perfect start and seamless running of their web design business.

  • Know your strengths and weaknesses

Your strengths will let you choose main services you would be offering and your weaknesses will help you at avoiding wastage of time and energy on the things that can be handled by someone else.

If you have planned to start your own business then definitely you will be hiring some staff for it. So, a thing that you need to do at first is knowing the tasks you are excellent at and you would handle yourself, and knowing the ones for which you would need someone’s help.

  • Know your market

No doubt you would be delivering the services you are good at but don’t offer people what you are trying to sell. Instead, try to know what they are looking for and tailor your services to their needs. If you are finding it hard then you can get some potential clients to tell you about their requirements for web designs.

Ross Williams of Rawnet Ltd explains: “In the beginning there was a rush for everyone to have a website. Now the focus is on the most innovative and exciting.”

  • Have a clear thought about your offerings

Once you have known your market, enlist all your offerings. It depends on your skill set and talent that what services you would be offering to your clients. More clarity about offerings means greater chances of success. Here are some questions that you should ask to yourself for finalizing your services:

– If you want to deliver services all over the world or just to local clients?

– If you want the payment for the whole job or on an hourly or daily basis?

– If you will be managing the client relationships yourself or would hire a professional?

  • Design an attractive website

As people would be hiring you for web designing services, they will definitely notice the design of your own website to have an idea about the quality. So, design an attractive website to reflect your business to the best. It should be responsive, fast and engaging so that viewers will just enjoy the browsing process on it. Clear and easy navigation along with the relevant content are the two main things that will add value to your business website.

Andy Budd of Clearleft explains. “The quality of design work is so high, that you have to be really, really good to actually get work.”

  • Be active on the Social Media

Social Media is no more restricted to establish social connections among the people, its approach has reached a far behind that. It has become the excellent way to promote your services, drive traffic to your website, attract potential customers and form a network of the people who have the same niche. So, understand the importance of all the social media platforms and the way you can use them to maximize your business profits.

  • Show your credibility

When clients shop around for web designing services, they look for the experts. So, showing your credibility to the world is really essential. Mention all the essential educational details, certifications and work experiences on your profile as it would give people a reason to trust you and your services. Enhance your credibility by posting visual content about your area of expertise and by updating yourself as per the latest industry trends.

In the last, we would like to say that this is an era of tough competition, so you would need to keep patience and show perseverance regardless how many hardships you face to get started. And once you have an effective and thoughtful foundation in place, success will come your way on its own. It is well said by Gurpreet Walia, CEO at Suffescom Solutions- “The way to get started is to stop talking and start working as per your plans”.

 

 

[Source:- Entrepreneur]

 

The simple way to get better at design

featured_feedback

Design, by its very nature, is there to be judged. We do it every day—whether it’s our own creation, or that of someone else. When we see something, we’re looking at it and forming an opinion (positive or negative).

So, those of us who do this type of work for a living do understand that it’s all part of the gig. Clients will of course give their opinions about what we have created for them. Our job is generally two-fold:

  • Communicate with the client as to why we made specific design choices and back up our methods with supporting evidence. For example, perhaps a client doesn’t like the placement of a search field. You might point out that you placed it in that particular spot as research shows more users will utilize the feature.
  • Make sure you’ve done your best to ensure the client’s happiness with your work. Whether they come around to your way of thinking or not, you still need to put forth your best effort to help them achieve their goal.

There’s a certain amount of give-and-take in the design process when working with a client. But that’s to be expected when you’ve been hired by someone to represent their brand.

However, in recent times, designers have also become subject to another kind of criticism: one they voluntarily sign up for.

PUTTING YOUR WORK ON DISPLAY FOR THE DESIGN COMMUNITY

Beyond the usual client feedback, there are “community critique” websites. Many designers are choosing to submit their work to sites like Behance or Awwwards – places where the community at large (and a jury in the case of Awwwards) can offer both critique and some creative inspiration.

Both communities, although a bit different in methodology, are quite popular. Behance is run by Adobe and is completely free to use. Besides websites, they also feature varied types of media such as photography, architecture and fashion. You can upload your work via their site or directly from Photoshop CC. Community members can vote up and comment on submitted works, while Behance curators create featured galleries showing the best of the best.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

 

Does this type make my design look fat?

featured_typescale

Nothing can ruin a design like typography that doesn’t fit. Whether it’s too big (or too small), improper type scaling is a major problem.

It’s a problem for more designs than you might think. Too commonly you visit a website where the type renders beautifully on a desktop browser, only to revisit later from a phone and find it difficult to read. It happens all the time.

The issue is that the type wasn’t truly scaled for each device. It’s a totally avoidable problem when you consider a typographic scale for projects.

WHAT IS A TYPOGRAPHIC SCALE?

A visual typographic scale encapsulates the sizes, space and proportions of type elements relative to on another in a project. This includes everything from the main body text style to headlines, subheaders, captions and any other text element.

The scale helps determine size and placement of the text elements in relationship to one another. For web design, in particular, the visual type scale often corresponds to tags in your CSS (such as h1, h2, h3, p, and so on).

A type scale helps you create harmony and rhythm in the design. It also keeps you out of stylistic trouble because text elements correspond with CSS elements so that every part of the design uses the same elements and consistency.

The scale should be based on the size of body text. (Always set a typeface and size for that first). Then build the scale around this main typography. Not sure where to start? Google has a solid recommendation:

  1. Use a base font size of 16 CSS pixels. Adjust size based on properties of the font being used.
  2. Use sizes relative to the base size to define the typographic scale.
  3. Text needs vertical space between characters; the general recommendation is to use the browser default line-height of 1.2 em.
  4. Restrict the number of fonts used and the typographic scale.

CREATE HARMONY AND RHYTHM

A type scale does more than just help users move through the copy, it creates harmony and rhythm for the flow of text. This is important on any device.

So where do you start?

UX Matters has some of the best research available on minimum text sizes by device. Note that these are minimum sizes and as body text sizes continue to increase (as does line spacing), you should strongly consider larger point sizes. Steven Hoober recommends starting at least 40 percent larger than the recommended minimums. Further, enhanced content styles can go up to 80 percent above the minimum, but you should be cautious with exceptionally large type as well.

Device Type Minimum Size 40% Recommendation (adjusted for easy use) 80% Maximum (adjusted for easy use)
Small Phone 4 5.6 (6) 7.2 (7.5)
Large Phone 6 8.4 (8.5) 10.8 (11)
Phablet 7 9.8 (10) 12.6 (13)
Tablet 8 11.2 (11.5) 14.4 (14.5)
Laptop/Desktop 10 14 (14) 18 (18)

Once the body text size is set, you can determine how to size supporting text elements. There’s a fine art to that and the eye test is often a good place to start.

There’s almost no such thing as a headline that’s too big. Say what you need to say and size to scale the words in the space. A two-line headline will feel larger than one-line even if the text is the exact same size.

The easiest way to think about scaling up for headlines and other larger test elements is working in percent based on the body text. While every designer has a different starting point, 250 percent larger than the body text is a good ballpark for the headline; 150 percent for h2, 75 percent for h3 and 50 percent for elements such as block quotes. (This is not a rule, just a starting point.)

Here’s why percents, rather than set sizes, are important: Once you set the size of the body type the percents adjust sizes accordingly regardless of screen size. Every type element is relative to the body type.

CHARACTER AND SPACING GUIDELINES

There are some other guidelines that designers look to as well when it comes to type on the screen. When it comes to spacing, one of the rules of thumb has been to look at characters per line to ensure readability.

  • Desktop and large devices: 60 to 75 characters per line
  • Phones and small devices: 35 to 40 characters per line

Note that readability on smaller screens is based on having fewer characters (larger text).

The same idea applies to spacing as well. You need more space between lines of text when the screen size is limited to make it easier for users to read and scan content. Consider adding 25 percent more line spacing on smaller devices than for desktop typography.

The additional size and spacing helps ease that tight or crunched feeling that users can feel when trying to read on smaller devices. Because the canvas is small, reader flow and legibility is vital to keep users scrolling.

TIPS TO GET STARTED

There are plenty of ways to create a typographic scale and ensure that the text does not make your design look fat. How you go about it likely depends on your comfort level with code and development in addition to the design.

The best option is to use a responsive design with media queries. This is the designer-developer option that will provide the greatest level of control over text specifications. (For more go back to those Google recommendations, above.)

Another route is to design different versions. While this is a pretty out-of-date concept, there are still some places using mobile URLs and desktop URLs for their websites. It’s not recommended in most cases, but for some websites where the design is dramatically different or users experience different things, it can be an option.

The easy option is to start with a theme for your website. Just make sure to opt for a fully responsive option. When you use a high quality responsive theme, most of the guesswork is taken out of it for you. All you really have to think about is the body text size. Just make sure to check everything to make sure the mobile type sizes meet your standards.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

 

This new Microsoft design patent is unlikely to be the Surface phone

Patently Apple goes a bit heavy with the speculation especially since their earlier find from February shared some resemblance of what was eventually Surface Studio. I call that luck as most patent filings rarely become actual products. Back to this patent, no information about the features, hardware, or materials used are mentioned making the filing pretty basic.

Oddly, the Patently Apple author goes on a tangent about pens, Apple, Samsung, and how Microsoft could be bringing inking to Mobile (a forgone conclusion already). They then cite FIG. 7 with the following conclusion labeled in their image:

However, what we can clearly see is that a Surface smartphone is likely to support their Surface Pen. Like the Samsung Note-styled embodiment, a slot has been designed into the body of the design at the top.

Of course, to our eyes, it only looks like a standard 3.5mm headphone jack like the kind you used to find on every smartphone in the world. I’m not sure when we started confusing headphone jacks with pen slots. 2016 is a weird year, and I suppose Apple fans have already moved on from ‘headphone-gate’ by forgetting it ever existed? I dunno.

The bottom of the phone has a single port, which again looks like an old micro USB slot and not quite the symmetrical USB Type C design we are accustomed too.

Frankly folks, I don’t see anything interesting here. This design patent is a generic filing on what could easily be the Lumia 640. In fact, the patent cites Micromax, Sony Xperia, LG Optimus, Lumia 830, and the Lumia 530 – all phones from 2012-2014 – under ‘other publications’ for the patent’s references.

Microsoft has some exciting stuff in the pipeline for sure, but please don’t go spreading this around as ‘proof’ of a ‘Surface Phone.’ Facts and data are still necessary, not a generic drawing based on yesteryear’s inspiration.

 

 

[Source:- windowscentral]

Don’t design this at home…3 UI disasters to avoid

featured_loathsome

I coined a term today: Loathsome Design.

It means something along the lines of “design decisions that make me want to die.” In other words, it’s the opposite of the recently popular “designing for delight” concept.

Loathsome design captures the essence of frustration. Often, this comes about as a result of neglect—in an attempt to achieve one thing, something else must be left by the wayside.

Why should you care about loathsome design practices?

Because they are the type of decisions that can drive users from your sphere of influence, and into that of your competitors.

1) HIDDEN SETTINGS

I opened my Spotify app today with the intent of showing an undecided co worker its “extreme quality” streaming options, so that he could make an informed decision on which music platform would serve him best—Google Play Music, Spotify, or Tidal.

Before Spotify redesigned their Android app to mimic the design language of their iOS app (and in effect, iOS itself), the settings icon was located in the hamburger menu. It was straightforward, and intuitive.

Now that the hamburger menu is toast, the four menu options have been moved to a permanent spot at the bottom of the screen.

So where’s the settings button?

That’s the question I found myself asking.

Turns out, Spotify’s designers have tucked the settings away in the top right corner of the “Your Library” tab; an extremely unintuitive placement, if you ask me.

And did you notice where the “My Profile” button went? Yeah, me neither. That little icon in the top left corner of the “Your Library” tab (the one that barely passes for a stick figure) is what you’re looking for.

The new design may become upsetting to users, because it forces them to fiddle with the menu in order to find the settings, or their profile.

For some, this may be a prime example of the drawbacks of the Apple-style bottom menu; for others, this is just a case of loathsome design.

2) DISRUPTIVE LAUNCH

One particularly loathsome design choice, is the disruptive launch. Uber and Wikipedia are both extremely guilty of this, except Wikipedia only does this during their fundraising season, while Uber does this year round.

A disruptive launch is one where the user is required to complete a task prior to using the app. In most cases, this is a one-time thing required of users on first launch—aka, the user must sign up before they can use the service. It makes sense, and it’s not that much of a hassle.

Uber takes this one step further by forcing users to rate their previous driver before they can order a ride. Regardless of whether you’re in a hurry, or if you don’t want to rate a driver, you cannot order a ride without rating the previous one.

This is not only an inconvenience, but it actively changes the way that users interact with the app. By mercilessly prompting users to rate a driver at every launch, they are essentially conditioning users to mindlessly click a rating as quickly as they can (see: classical conditioning).

What probably looked like a good idea on the Uber design team’s whiteboard is actually a horrible tactic that has made me, and likely other users, apathetic toward the rating system.

Users are effectively encouraged not to think before rating, because doing so will delay their gratification. Every driver gets a five star rating (or wherever a user’s thumb comfortably falls on the rating scale), regardless of the experience.

Wikipedia is guilty of this as well, if to a lesser extent. During fundraiser season, visitors to Wikipedia are prompted to donate to the online encyclopedia—something I am not innately opposed to.

It’s the way that the site prompts users to donate that makes it loathsome.

The donation prompt takes over the full height of the screen, and gives no indication the user need only scroll down to view their intended page.

Over time, of course, most users will learn that if they do not wish to donate, they need only scroll down, but for first-time users it is likely to be a catastrophic annoyance.

3) CUMBERSOME INTERACTIONS

Occasionally, all it takes for a design choice to become loathsome is for it to require cumbersome interactions. A prime example of this is the way in which Apple and some third party versions of Android have designed their alarm clock apps.

It’s not the apps as a whole that are causing me to feel encumbered, but rather the way in which the designers require users to input the time at which an alarm will sound.

This is the face of pure evil. Who decided that scrolling to a specific time, in increments of one, was a good idea?

Not only does it take longer to scroll than it would to input a time in one of a handful of other common ways, but it also cannot be done in one movement. On ZTE’s Android skin, in order to get from “01” minutes to “59” minutes, users have to swipe several times.

On iOS, one swipe will send the numbers spinning with momentum. Of course it’s cool and realistic, but it is hardly more efficient or usable. This seems to be a current trendwith Apple.

A dramatically more efficient and usable method for inputting alarm values is presented in stock Android.

Google’s designers have figured out a layout that allows users to input alarm values in just two taps. This means that when sleepy users are trying to set an alarm, they won’t be forced to pay extra attention to the input method, and can instead focus on getting to sleep.

DON’T MAKE YOUR USERS LOATHE YOUR DESIGN

There aren’t that many things that will make users loathe your app. Typically, the number one offense is simply inconveniencing users.

Hiding critical functions, disrupting the launch of an app, and designing overly complex interactions will inconvenience your users, and depending on how much it bothers them, they may come to loathe your app.

Avoiding the pitfalls of loathsome design isn’t hard.

You just have to start (and finish) every feature with one simple question: am I making this as convenient and intuitive as it could be?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then there is still work to be done.

 

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

Microsoft now preparing release of new Start Menu design for Windows 10 Insiders

 

If you’re an Insider who is eagerly waiting to try out the new Start Menu shown off by Microsoft a few weeks ago, we have some good news for you. According to sources familiar with the matter, internal rs1_release builds now feature the new Start Menu, meaning internal testing is now done and the company is ready to flight the new changes out to Insiders.

Sources also say the improved Tablet Mode changes surrounding the All Apps list are now in rs1_release too, meaning both Start Menu and Start Screen changes will be flighted to Insiders at the same time, very exciting stuff.

If everything goes according to plan, the new Start Menu should be with us in the next Insider Preview build for desktops, which Gabe Aul announced earlier would be arriving next week. If you haven’t seen the new Start Menu and Start Screen changes yet, check out the images embedded below provided by Microsoft.

allappsnew Microsoft now preparing release of new Start Menu design for Windows 10 Insiders

New All Apps List design

startmenunew Microsoft now preparing release of new Start Menu design for Windows 10 Insiders

New Start Menu design

Insiders are able to vote on these new changes via a survey too, so if you don’t like the new Start designs then Microsoft is letting you have a say on why. You can check out all the details about the new Start experiences and voting here.

 

[Source:- Winbeta]

Foundation for Emails 2.0 mainstreams responsive email design

featured_foundationemails

Today, 53% of all email opens occur on a mobile device. Since more than half of people check their emails on mobile, it’d be crazy not to have a platform with responsive email design. After all, 70% of users will delete an email if it fails to display properly. With this trigger-happy user habit, it’s clear that there’s a demand for responsive emails. One company has made it their goal to serve this demand.

ZURB has improved upon its original Foundation for Emails, originally called Ink, and come up with Foundation for Emails 2.0.

In development since last year, 2.0 focuses on quicker layouts, colors and styles, all factors that data shows users want. Email design is made more efficient, so that businesses can concentrate on what matters most to them: building their next, great product or service.

New features

Let’s get right to it—all the new features that make 2.0 better for designers, developers and, ultimately, end users. Here’s what you get:

Fully flexible grid: this applies even to small screens, which is a big deal. Create any number of columns, and still work with a fully flexible, small grid.

Built with Sass: designers have all of the perks that come with Sass at their disposal, which includes mixins, variables and partials.

Inky, the new templating language: with Inky, sifting through hundreds of annoying table tags is a thing of the past. Now, you’re able to write tags like “columns” and “row” to obtain the necessary six table tags to bring your email’s skeleton together.

Helpful UI component: the same components used in ZURB’s Foundation for Sites have been recycled for Foundation for Emails. As a result, designers can enjoy flexibility without being subject to such a steep learning curve. Here are the included components:

  • Row
  • Columns
  • Callouts
  • Inline lists
  • Vertical lists
  • Block grid
  • Thumbnails

Inline all of the styles: a useful Gulp task will inline all of your CSS for you, all from a remote stylesheet.

Handlebars: handlebars templates will keep you on track so that you don’t repeat yourself. Your header and footer can stay the same, letting you alter the content that you want.

10 templates: these new, responsive templates are so comprehensive that they cover all of your marketing, newsletter and drip campaigns, not to mention your transactional email needs.

Designer- and user-friendly

Getting to know 2.0 is intuitive and smooth because a lot of the parts from Foundation for Sites are also featured in 2.0. As Geoff Kimball, Foundation Lead, puts it:

Foundation for Emails 2 borrows many components, best practices, and workflows from Foundation for Sites. Foundation developers new to HTML emails will feel right at home.

As a result, designers and developers don’t have to waste time getting to know and learn a whole new beast from scratch again. And that’s good news for designers looking to make responsive emails work for their businesses and clients.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

Google rolling out Material Design web-wide

featured_md

Since 2014, Google has been redesigning its apps and services according to its ownMaterial Design principles. Yesterday it announced on its design blog that an upcoming release of its Chrome browser (version 49.2) will adopt Material Design as its default rendering.

Critically the new version of Chrome—dubbed Chrome MD—will override site-defined CSS in deference to the Material Design specification; colors, type, and even images will be rendered according to Google’s design language.

A pillar of the tech giant’s design strategy for almost two years, the leap to Material Design has proved successful for Google across its apps, and according to Google, imposing the design system on content displayed in its browsers will ensure a consistent and high-quality user experience for its customers:

We developed Material Design to provide our customers with the optimum user experience, and we believe they deserve that quality every time they use a Google product — Anjeet Singh, Asst. Director of Marketing Production, Google Design

In addition to rebranding the web in its own image, the primary impact of this update will be a radically faster web.

Speed

Google’s primary concern is for a faster web, and by limiting the variables its browser is forced to render, it expects to increase the initial render of pages by an average of 17%.

Chrome MD renders web pages faster than plain HTML with no CSS. This is because even when no styles are defined, browsers still need to poll for possible style definitions; Chrome MD simply skips this step rendering according to its internal style system.

Chrome MD marks a major adoption of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), significantly reducing the browser’s workload. However the majority of performance gains have been found by restricting style options.

Color

Material Design’s color palette is restricted to 256 colors, and Chrome MD will not render any color other than those 256 hex values.

Where designers specify a hex value other than one of the 256 approved colors, Chrome MD will automatically translate it to its closest Material Design equivalent. For example, these two different reds will render as the same Material Design color:

p.material { color:#E53935; } /* renders correctly as #E53935 */
p.notMaterial { color:#EF2A39; } /* renders incorrectly as #E53935 */

The same principle applies to RGB values, RGBA values will be translated to the closest Material Design color based on the color they overlay.

Gradients will not render at all in Chrome MD. However, the closed-beta implementation (that gradients render as their average tonal value) is expected to be adapted to render the lightest tint found in the gradient.

Images

The same color restrictions also apply to images: every pixel in a bitmap image will be rendered as one of Material Design’s 256 defined colors—much like current .gif technology. SVG color values will also be automatically converted.

Google has provided an exception to the image rule for cases it describes as “color-critical”, by piggy-backing the -webkit-appearance setting:

img.default { -webkit-appearance:material; } /* the default Material Design rendering */
img.trueColor { -webkit-appearance:none; } /* the true color as defined in the image file */

However this workaround will only function with bitmaps and embedded SVG files, inline SVG will always render using Material Design colors.

Typography

Replacing default system fonts, all text in Chrome MD will render using a single embedded font-family. Due to language support it will not be Roboto as might be expected, but Noto.

Text will also render in 1 of 2 tones: black, or white; the tone will be automatically selected based on the background color. Gradations of tone will be determined automatically: on dark backgrounds H1–H6 will render at 100% opacity, all other text at 70% opacity; on light backgrounds H1–H6 will render at 87% opacity, all other text will render at 54% opacity.

Chrome MD will also enforce a rigid typographic scale for weights, sizes, and line height:

h1 { font: light 45sp/48pt Noto; }
h2 { font: regular 34sp/40pt Noto; }
h3 { font: regular 24sp/32pt Noto; }
h4 { font: regular 16sp/28pt Noto; }
h5 { font: regular 15sp/24pt Noto; }
h6 { font: medium 13sp/24pt Noto; }
*, p { font: regular 14sp/20pt Noto; }
strong, em { font: medium 14sp/20pt Noto; }

These styles will not be over-ridable, and notably, there is no italic option.

Floating action buttons

Perhaps the most radical decision is the mandatory inclusion of a single, call to action. This is defined with the id primary and will be rendered as a floating action button:

<a href="someLink.html" id="primary">Click Me</a>

(Text within the link, in this example “Click Me”, is included for accessibility.)

If a primary call to action is omitted, Chrome MD will render its own floating action button that links to Google search results for whatever term Googlebot determines is the primary keyword(s) for the page in question.

Breakpoints

Another key area for rendering performance is pre-defined breakpoints. Based on the sizing set in Google’s new Resizer app, the usable breakpoints are: 360px, 480px, 600px, 720px, 840px, 960px, 1024px, 1280px, 1440px, 1600px.

Any designer-defined breakpoint that does not fit will be rounded to the next highest breakpoint. For example:

@media only screen and (min-device-width:840px) { /* applies at 840px wide and above */ }
@media only screen and (min-device-width:841px) { /* applies at 960px wide and above */ }

Wide-ranging impact

Google has a long and proud history of imposing its will on web designers, from unannounced updates to its algorithm, to the adoption of AMP. However, imposing Material Design on the web is likely to have the greatest impact.

Of course, these changes only affect websites viewed in Chrome, however with more than 52% of global browser usage, it’s difficult to imagine a site that won’t be affected.

Our primary concern is for the quality of our customers’ experience. And so we recommend all web designers employ Material Design best-practices to ensure they deliver a consistent experience for their clients across all devices and platforms — Anjeet Singh, Asst. Director of Marketing Production, Google Design

Ostensibly Chrome’s MD update is about delivering a faster more consistent web experience, but in reality is likely to rebrand the entire web as a Google project.

The current version of Chrome is 49.0.2623.110, suggesting at least one minor update can be expected before Chrome MD rolls out in full force. However does today, April 1st, mark the point at which we finally embraced the homogeneous web?

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

New MacBook Air release date, specs and rumours UK: 13in and 15in MacBook Air with thinner design rumoured for WWDC

When is the new MacBook Air for 2016 coming out? What new features will the new MacBook Air have?

Apple last updated its MacBook Air in March of 2015 with a spec boost, we had been convinced that Apple was about to give the laptop a Retina display. Instead, it launched a brand-new MacBook line that’s super-thin, super-light and does offer that high-resolution display, but does that mean Apple won’t enhance the MacBook Air with a Retina display in the future? In this article we investigate the hints and clues pointing to an imminent MacBook Air update: including release date, specs & rumoured new features.

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: MacBook Air UK release date

Apple hosted a special event on 21 March 2016, so ahead of the event we had naturally expected new MacBook Air and MacBook models. After all, the Spring event represented one year since both were last updated (or one year since it was first launched in the MacBook’s case) and before that new Air models arrived in April of 2014. But instead, Apple used the event to show off the iPhone SE and the iPad Pro with 9.7in screen.

Despite the lack of MacBooks at Apple’s 21 March event, the MacBook rumours haven’t slowed down. If anything, they’re hotting up as anyone looking to buy a new MacBook soon is feeling frustrated by the lack of any new models with the latest processors. But according to a DigiTimes report published just a day after the March event, new 13 and 15in MacBooks are coming.

The confusing thing about it is that these new MacBooks are said to have a similar design to the current 12in MacBook, but will have 13 and 15in displays. And they’ll apparently be thinner than the 11in and 13in MacBook Air models that we have now, too. That makes it tricky to know what MacBook line this rumour is actually referring to, or whether we’re going to get a complete shakeup of the MacBook lineup.

Our current thinking is that the 11in MacBook Air is about to be retired, and in its place we’ll see a 13in and 15in MacBook Air with redesigned internals and a thinner design.

Of course, the rumour could be completely false. DigiTimes is sometimes accurate, but also sometimes less reliable so it’s tricky to know. But if it is true, we’d expect the new MacBooks to emerge at WWDC in June.

We originally expected the MacBook Air to be updated with a Retina display on 9 March 2015 at Apple’s Spring Forward event. And were quite surprised when we got something else: a Retina MacBook, yes, but one with a 12in display and a USB-C port (and very few other ports), a new strand of products for Apple’s MacBook laptop line-up.

Less glamorously, Apple’s MacBook Air did get an update at the same time, with new, faster processors, faster flash storage and better graphics, but the screen and overall design remained the same. Still no Retina display for the Air line.

That left us wondering what Apple’s plans are for the future of its MacBook line-up. We think the company intends to replace the MacBook Air with the new MacBook eventually, but the MacBook Air could remain part of the line-up for some time yet, and could still get an upgrade to the Retina display when it’s refreshed in 2016.

But when is it going to be refreshed? Now that the March event has been and gone we expect Apple to wait for WWDC 2016 in June, or possibly sneak in an update before then without going to the trouble of hosting an event.

In late November 2015, a report from the Economic Daily News suggests that the MacBook Air will see a significant update in 2016. The report suggests that the update to the MacBook Air may not arrive until WWDC in June, which will be more than a year after Apple last updated the MacBook Air. According to the report, the new MacBook Air models are expected to come out in the third quarter of next year, which suggests that there may be a wait after the June unveiling.

The Economic Daily News report notes that it’s been eight years since the MacBook Air launched and it’s not been redesigned in that time, suggesting that time is ripe for a makeover, or perhaps it’ll be discontinued completely in favour of the new MacBook.

We’ll update this article as soon as we know more.

New MacBook Air 2016 release date rumours

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Price

The last time that there was a Mac laptop that had more advanced specs than a more expensive model was the old MacBooks (aluminium, then white and black, and then eventually aluminum again). These older MacBook models were eventually discontinued and the price of the MacBook Air was reduced to make it the new entry level (when the MacBook Air initially launched it was quite overpriced for the specs, just like the current Retina MacBook).

It seems likely that the same will happen with the new MacBook models eventually replacing the MacBook Airs, at a lower price, but for now that seems a long way off.

The Economic Daily News report suggests the new MacBook Air will cost more than it does currently when it does launch. The 11in MacBook Air starts at £749, while the entry level 13in model costs £849.

If the 11in MacBook Air is removed from the line up perhaps the cost of entry of the 13in model will reduce to the level that the 11in model is currently, with a rumoured 15in model coming in at a higher price.

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Dimensions

If Apple does update the MacBook Air range, what dimensions should we expect?

New MacBook Air 2016 release date rumours

As mentioned above, rumours suggest that the 11in MacBook Air will be discontinued, after all, the 11in MacBook Air is both smaller than the MacBook and the new iPad Pro.

However, 9to5Mac points out that the new 13in and 15in MacBook Air models could be additional sizes to the MacBook range. That site predicts that some time in 2016 or 2017 we will have just two ranges of Mac laptops: the MacBook at the ultraportable level, and the more advanced MacBook Pro. Maybe the 17in MacBook Pro will make a comeback too, with a 4K display.

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Specs & new features

These new MacBook Air models are said to be thinner and lighter, with internal spec enhancements. Apparently, the new MacBook Air will feature new batteries, cooling modules, and chassis, according to the Economic Daily News.

We also expect to see USB Type-C across the range, especially now that Intel has integrated Thunderbolt 3 into USB-C.

The next-generation MacBook Air is also likely to feature Intel Skylake processors, as well as graphics and RAM upgrades.

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Retina display

The suggestion that the MacBook Air will feature a Retina display has been long running but those rumours were prior to the launch of the 12in Retina MacBook and the iPad Pro – suggesting the signtings of the Retina display some thought was destined for the MacBook Air was instead for these models.

Does this mean that there will be no Retina display on the new MacBook Air when (or if) it launches. If Apple wants to keep the price down maybe not. Or perhaps the newly rumoured 15in Macbook Air will feature a Retina display, while the 13in model will lack the high res display, but come in at a lower price, one similar to the current price of the 11in MacBook Air.

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Touch ID and Force Touch

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Force Touch

There are also reports to suggest that it’ll boast Touch ID within its Trackpad, which may also get the Force Touch upgrade that was given to the 13in MacBook Pro on 9 March, and comes with the new MacBook.

Touch ID is the fingerprint sensor that’s built-in to the Home button of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It’s also used to make Apple Pay more secure.

According to an Independent report, Touch ID for the Mac line would require a dedicated chip to be built in to the device.

The rumour started with Taiwanese blog AppleCorner, which cited sources in the supply chain. Apparently the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad may get a biometric update too, enabling users to make Apple Pay payments on the web, but both those accessories were updated alongside the launch of a new 4K iMac so that seems unlikely to happen any time soon.

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Will the MacBook Air be discontinued?

With the advent of the 12in MacBook and the new 12.9in iPad Pro, it’s no surprise that rumourmongers are starting to predict that the 11in MacBook Air, with a smaller screen than either of those devices, will be discontinued. The iPad Pro may indeed be viewed by Apple as a replacement for the 11in MacBook Air if Apple CEO Tim Cook’scomments to the Telegraph are taken into account (published on 1 December 2015).

Following the launch of the iPad Pro, Cook told the Telegraph: “I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC any more? No really, why would you buy one?

“Yes, the iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people. They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones.”

However, should Apple discontinue the 11in MacBook Air, it does remove the lower price of entry from the line-up.

It may not just be the 11in MacBook Air that is discontinued. When the new MacBook launched on 9 March 2015, analysts began to suspect that the MacBook Air might not be around for much longer.

“This wasn’t the MacBook Air, but instead leaped past the Air,” said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. “They kept the MacBook Air around just as they do with older iPhones, but the MacBook is now in the same position as the newest iPhone. That makes me wonder if the Air will go away over time.”

Carolina Milanesi, chief of research and head of US business for Kantar WorldPanel Comtech, also predicted a contraction of Apple’s line-up. “All [notebooks] need to be more mobile, so something like the Air doesn’t need to be branched out anymore,” she said of the differenciation Apple made for the line since its introduction more than eight years ago. “And it’s to Apple’s benefit not to have so many ‘families’ of Macs.”

Over time, it seems likely that the MacBook Air range could be discontinued and eventually replaced by a Retina MacBook range at a lower price.

We’ll be updating this article as more information about the rumoured Retina MacBook Air emerges so check back from time to time for the latest news.

 

[Source:- Macworld]