How Do You Hire a Designer?

My friend Jeff just asked me this question. He was looking for a designer for a one-off graphic design job. He had the project all scoped out. He just didn't know how to do it. He's not a fool; he web searched around for stuff, but what you find doing that is a confusing mess with plenty of results that don't feel right.

I figured I'd document that journey here, and contrast it hiring an electrician. A trite comparison, perhaps, but as the light switch in my bathroom doesn't work right now and I'm actually in the process of hiring an electrician, it seems apt.


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A Favor for Your Future Self

Alicia Sedlock, on removing a large section of a website:

... it’s the ultimate “I really hope this doesn’t break something else” situation. It was a stressful and tedious effort of triple checking that the things we were removing weren’t dependencies elsewhere. To be honest, we wouldn’t have been able to do this with any amount of success or confidence without our test suite.

Tests don't just help you when you change code or write new code, then help when you remove it, too. Seems to me testing has settled into the industry mindset as crucially important. As the year closes, I imagine managers worldwide are considering employees ability to write tests in their reviews.

This also reminds me of our unending quest to define "front-end development", a job description with skill requirements that get broader and broader every day. Testing is a unique skillset with its own learning curve. But if JavaScript is squarely in the front-end bucket, shouldn't testing that JavaScript also be?

This is also your yearly reminder that 24 ways has kicked off.

Lazy-Loading Disqus Comments

Lately, I've been obsessed with optimizing performance through lazy-loading. Recently, I've written on how to lazy-load Google Maps and on how to lazy-load responsive Google Adsense. Now it's time for Disqus, a service for embedding comments on your website. It's a great service. It eliminates the headache of developing your own local commenting system, dealing with spam, etc. Recently, I've been working on implementing the widget in one of my projects.


Prerender on hover?

InstantClick is a pretty popular JavaScript library (4,344 stars, as I type). This is the gist:

Before visitors click on a link, they hover over that link. Between these two events, 200 ms to 300 ms usually pass by (test yourself here). InstantClick makes use of that time to preload the page, so that the page is already there when you click.

You hover a link, it Ajaxs for that page and prerenders it. On click, it replaces the <body></body> and <title></title> and changes the URL.

I just heard about it. Seems pretty smart. Progressive enhancement. Increased perceived performance. I can imagine one objection being bandwidth concerns. Downloading every page I hover over seems a bit bandwidth greedy.

It got me thinking though... isn't there a newfangled prerendering thing? (more…)

EOL Firebug

The Firebug extension isn't being developed or maintained any longer. We invite you to use the Firefox built-in DevTools instead.

Looks like the end of an over 2 year process.

Firebug was probably the single most important tooling advancement in front-end developments short life. A glimpse of the future, indeed.

CSS-Tricks Chronicle XXIX

A round up of goings-on related to me, this site, and related projects, as we are wont to do once in a while. I've had the good fortune of being a guest on a number of podcasts lately, so I'll link up those. I'll share some upcoming conferences I'll be at and news from CodePen and ShopTalk Show.


CSS Grid!

Eric Meyer, talking to himself:

How long until I can actually use Grid, then? Two or three years?

March 2017. So about four months from now.

Grid sounds like tables 2.0. I thought we all agreed tables for layout were a bad idea.

We agreed table markup for layout was a bad idea

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