I haven’t done a round up post in a while but I’ve been out of the office for a few days and have come back to a mountain of RSS links – much of it extremely useful … so, here goes:

  • LeakedIn – worried that your LinkedIn password was one of 6.5million that were leaked this week, check with LeakedIn

At first glance, you’ll be thinking ‘why would I enter my password into this site?’ – and that’s a correct concern.  But the site has been set up by (among others) Chris Shiflett a web security expert and authority on all manner of things.  The worst of it is that if your LinkedIn password has been cracked well, you’re not going to be able to use that password any more for any site.  Cracked passwords will get added to ‘hacker dictionaries’ and will undoubtedly be used to populate ‘Rainbow Tables‘ (tools that hackers use for decrypting passwords).  Chris has a more detailed explanation here.  (My password was one of the ones cracked.  It wasn’t a strong password – and it was one I use on about a dozen sites … I’m now in the process of updating all of those sites with new, stronger passwords.)

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Adapting our working practices to incorporate responsive web design – without adding a huge overhead to our clients, is a challenge many of us face right now.  Smashing Magazine have a good run down of how you might approach this.  The idea of a ‘priority guide’ is a good one – but this shouldn’t be new.  If you’re designing websites now and not taking note of elements that should be given priority over others, then you’re doing it wrong.  What is important though is that the move to smaller screens brings this back to the forefront of our attention.  It’s a good article.

More interesting perhaps is Trent Walton’s article addressing a broader set of circumstances: designing responsive sites effectively.  Switching a designer’s viewpoint from pixels to proportions is a good way to start.  Switching the clients perspective from pixels to proportions is a tougher challenge – but it’s our challenge, and maybe designing in the browser is one way to do it.

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Also related, front end style guides advocates designers developing their own code library for front end styles.  As Anna argues, it makes designs easier to test, leads to a better workflow and provides a useful reference through a project.  Creating one page with all your elements on it also allows you to test responsively before you start throwing elements into a page.

Jeremy Keith has done something similar (I attended his workshop in Belfast earlier this year and this was a really strong take away).  And while we’re here, you can check out Starbuck’s style guide and marvel at how Twitter’s Boot Strap handles all of it’s components.

That’s enough of that.

  • this is neat … a search engine for sign language … just type in the word you’re after and you get a video demonstration of that word in American Sign Language
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  • this guy is tweeting from space.  That’s right SPACE.
  • Mobile navigation issues … One of the challenges of mobile web design is what to do with the navigation.

Most websites have some sort of horizontal navigation across the top of the screen.  When acting responsively, it has become common place to replace that with a ‘select’ form element – allowing the navigation to take up much less screen real estate, whilst users can still quickly select the page they’re after.  Fine. It’s what I did with the Gerard O’Brien accountancy website.  It works okay – but it’s just one of the patterns that is becoming commonplace.  There are more here.

However, one that I’m really fond of is demonstrated by Roger Johansson – in which the navigation is still an unordered list (rather than being converted into a form element), but you only see the currently active item, and the rest of the menu is viewable via a little toggle link.  Nicely done.

Whilst we’re back talking about mobile design issues – google has released it’s guidelines to web developers for building smartphone optimised websites.  Nice to see that they advocate responsive design.

I think that’s it for now …