Treehouse: Grow your CSS skills. Land your dream job.

Article Archives

The Non-Breaking Space Show

Remember those three fellas from the last ShopTalk Show? Those guys are from the new(ish) podcast The Non-Breaking Space Show. Dave and I join them in this episode to talk about preprocessors, Git, and other stuff.…

7 comments

SXSW 2012

I'm headed down to Austin in a few days here for my 2nd SXSW. Hope to see some of you folks there. I'm trying not too have much of a plan, but here's a few things I'm doing:

There is a SurveyMonkey party and a crew of us from Wufoo / SurveyMonkey will be there hanging out. Free food and drinks. RSVP here and come.

My ShopTalk Show cohort Dave Rupert lives down there. We have no official plans but …

CSS Off Results

This year's CSS Off results are in. The Unmatched Style folks have listed out the top 25 entries and will be emailing everyone their results shortly. Congrats to all who entered. It was quite a load on all the judges to get it done and done fairly, but also fun and darn interesting. Three quick things that stood out to me while judging:

  • I think I only saw one or two that didn't use jQuery
  • Maybe only a handful that
24 comments

Designing for Decoder Glasses, Print and Web

Michael Buchmiller of BlueHornet walks us through the process of designing a poster for tinted decoder glasses, and then bringing the same idea with a similar interaction to the web with the AnythingZoomer.
80 comments

Places It’s Tempting To Use Display: None; But Don’t

Help yourself be better at accessibility by using better hiding techniques that don't use display: none;. This involves some tricks like using more clever class names, being fancier with how you deal with JavaScript library animations, or avoiding hiding all together.

Responsive Navigation Patterns

Brad Frost shows examples and covers the various techniques/pros/cons for handling navigation on small screens.…

Work for Treehouse

The main site sponsor around here, Treehouse, is hiring new teachers for creating new learning videos. It's not a job for just anybody. You need to know your stuff (PHP & WordPress, Front-End Design, Android, or Business & Marketing), be a good teacher, and be good on camera. You also need to live or be willing to move to Orlando, Florida. If that's you, it's a sweet gig.…

87 comments

How To Create a Notebook Design with CSS

This tutorial, a guest post by young developer Allen Lawson, will show you how to create a notebook themed website using only CSS.
39 comments

My Slides from InControl 2012: What We Don’t Know

I know it's weird to go through slides of a presentation outside of the context of a real talk (and pales in comparison to the experience of being there) but nonetheless, there may be bits of goodness you can extract from them.…

I can’t design in the browser

Sarah Parmenter with some good honest thoughts about the popular idea of designing in the browser.

I’ve tried, goodness knows I’ve tried, but my designs end up suffering, looking boxy, bland and uninspiring.

Not that I'm that great of a designer but I feel the same way. I have to start in Photoshop to get anything decent looking. I try to get out it as soon as possible, but once I'm into the HTML/CSS my brain is in a more …

ShopTalk Episode 6

This week Dave and I were joined by Zoey Gillenwater and we chat about print stylesheets, CSS formatting, icon fonts, spec mysteries, and much more.…

BarCamp Tour 2012

I'll be representin' Wufoo at a bunch of BarCamps again this year. Super fun. We need to figure out exactly what (U.S.) cities we are going to go to this year, so if you are organizing one, hit us up at the form on the site.…

one comment

ShopTalk Episode 5

Jeffrey Way, Dave and I talk shop about some newly released projects, -webkit-gate, and our weekly staple of Q&A.…

100 comments

Musings on Preprocessing

I've been using Sass for pretty much everything I do recently. Here's some musings on the journey. From hold-ups, to trip-ups, to turn-offs. From apps and teams to workflows and syntax.…

A proposal to drop browser vendor prefixes

Interesting idea by Felipe G on using a new at-rule, @-vendor-unlock, to tell the browser to use it's experimental implementation of any particular property, rather than using a vendor prefix on that property. Unfortunately at this point, even if you could get all the browsers on board, you'd need to use this and vendor prefixes to get deep support, which makes the problem worse. What we really need is for all browsers to implement auto-updating so eventually "supporting older …

Digging Into WordPress 3.3

Digging Into WordPress (the book) is now updated to v3.3. Includes new chapters specially on what's new in 3.2 and 3.3, all the rest of the chapters tightened up and refreshed, better internal hyperlinking (in the PDF), and more. It's a free update (PDF) to all previous buyers. New print copies are on order and will be available soon. …

ShopTalk Episode 4

Dave, Jonathan Longnecker, Nate Croft and I talk shop. Topics include website building apps, where to start designing, when not to design for modern browsers, and more.

Sponsored by LessAccounting. …

93 comments

New Poll: In The Next 10 Years, Will We See CSS Competitor?

What do you think folks? Is a new language going to come along in the next ten years that deals with layout / style / design and unseat CSS? Or at least give it a run for its money?

You should vote not based on if there will be any attempt at it, which there certainly will be and already has. But instead if you think one of those attempts will actually make it into native support by a browser …

57 comments

Star Ratings With Very Little CSS

Star ratings are one of those classic UX patterns that everyone has tinkered with at one time or another. I had an idea get the UX part of it done with very little code and no JavaScript.…

Real-World CSS

A very serious not at all tongue-in-cheek gallery of CSS3 techniques that poo-poos the fancy in favor of the practical.…

Better Box Sizing

Paul Irish suggests the universal selector (*) to apply border-box box-sizing to every element. I've been wanting to try this forever because this box model is, in my opinion, just better. Imagine: elements with percentage widths and pixel padding without worry.…

Firefox 10

...is now a stable release. It's notable because it's the first release with it's own built in developer tools (video overview). It's all HTML/CSS for now (not a Firebug replacement) but they are nicely designed and a great first step for a product that really should be in-house. Also, CSS 3D transforms! After you've upgraded, check out this demo using -moz-element and the just-now-supported 3D transforms.…

36 comments

Poll Results: Internet Connection Speed

In this latest poll, I asked people to test their own internet connection speed then vote in the poll based on their result. The speed choices ranged from (what I would consider) blazingly fast, to mediocre, to nearly unusably slow. I would have guessed a bell curve, with most people having mediocre speeds and just a few on the edges of extreme fast/slow. We didn't get that at all. …

Twitter Bootstrap 2.0

If your web app doesn't look or work as well as Bootstrap does out of the box, it's time to have a pretty serious discussion with your team about why.…

1000px Grid for Responsive Web Design

To figure out your grid width percentages for a fluid design, you start with a fixed design and divide the column widths by the container width. Elliot Jay Stocks calls for us to stop the self-torture and use 1000px for the container, so the math is super easy.…

Pictos Server

I've long been convinced icon fonts are awesome. Now Drew Wilson's new service (and article I'm linking to) put to rest any of the last possible arguments against them. Think they use unsemnatic markup? Apply them via pseudo element. Worried some screen readers still read those? Not if you use aria-hidden="true" or map them to an unused plane of unicode characters. Too heavy weight? Build your own icon font and serve only what you need with this service.…

Responsive Design Testing Bookmarklet

Bookmarklet by Benjamin Keen which automates an idea by Lennart Schoors where the current page is loaded into a bunch of differently sized iframes, so when working on a large monitor, you can see what a design looks like at a bunch of different smaller sizes quickly and all at once.…

35 comments

Animate to an Inline Style

You already know that inline styles are "bad practice." Inline styles aren't reusable like CSS in separate files is, and thus, inefficient bloat. Unless of course, when it isn't. …

45 comments

Custom Fonts in Emails

A reader writes in:

Would it be possible to draw an entire typeface in CSS to be sent in emails? Our company needs to send out emails to about 20k people to introduce a new brand that we are launching. The emails will be in HTML/CSS. My CEO is very specific about the type of aesthetic he wants to achieve, and this includes using a typeface that is not native to either Mac or Windows computers. We do not want …

37 comments

Burst Title

During the previews for a movie I saw recently, there was an advertisement for an Oprah-related something or another. I wasn't paying attention because I was trying to get out my phone so I could snap a picture of it. Which I failed to do. There was these neat title screens that I thought would be fun to recreate with CSS. …

CSS1k

Back in the day, the CSS Zen Garden was a place to showcase the power of CSS. A single page was redesigned in vastly different ways with no change to the HTML. The CSS1k project (head up by Jacob Rask) is in that same vein only you are limited to only 1k of CSS. Fun, but the purpose is to get you thinking about how to be efficient and size economic with CSS. …

39 comments

YouTube Popup Buttons

There is a certain style of button on the latest YouTube design (most easily found in the footer) where the default state of the button has a very subtle bevel to it, but on :hover and :focus states the button pops up, eager to be clicked. …

Shop Talk Episode 1

The inaugural episode of Shop Talk where Dave and I are joined by Jonathan Snook and we answer a bunch of listener questions. Sorry about the sniffles and other rough edges, we'll get better as we go. Sponsored by LessAccounting.…

100 comments

(Better) Tabs with Round Out Borders

A good-looking tab control usually has one feature that I've always found impossible to reproduce without images: borders that bend to the outside at the bottom of each tab. In this article I would like to show how you can use the CSS :before and :after pseudo elements to create this effect without using images.
22 comments

Upcoming Speaking

My first half of 2012 is sprinkled with some web conferences I'm very much looking forward to. …

CSS Profiling and Optimization

Just as I got done saying how I hope we can soon stop talking about CSS selector performance, Juriy Zaytsev publishes some great research on selector performance using Opera and WebKit's new "style profiler" as part of the dev tools. He was able to save 650ms on page load time on a CSS3 heavy one-page app. Big difference makers: number of selectors, universal selectors, border-radius, and transforms. Worth a thorough read through.…

19 comments

Looking to Hire Someone for Web Work?

The very first thing you should do is start writing. Just open a text file and define exactly who your ideal hire is. What they are like, what they hopefully know, what you'll need from them, and what you can offer them. …

HTML5 Progress Bars

Comprehensive research by Zoltan Hawryluk on the <progress> element. Screenshots of default styling across different browsers, overriding that default styling, shadow dom, polyfills, states, and fancy replacement tricks.…

WebKit Selector Performance Changes

Nicole Sullivan covers some of Antti Koivisto's work on making CSS selectors faster in WebKit. Clever stuff, which Nicole helps make understandable for all of us. Mostly stuff that helps the browser "rule out" selectors more quickly. I hope other browsers can take the ideas and use them where they can and continue their own innovations. Selector performance is already something that we pretty much don't need to worry about it, I'd love it if we never had to think …