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Issue #11
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 | Readers: *|LIST:SUBSCRIBERS|*
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Table of Contents

1. LaunchList: The Designer’s Ultimate Website Check List
2. What the Hex? Game for CSS Geeks
3. The Graphs2, a Large Free Vector Icon Set
4. Generate HTML Tables Out of Spreadsheet Data
5. Pop-Up Ping Pong
6. No More Lorem Ipsum, Please!
7. New on Smashing Magazine
8. Smashing Network Highlights

Editorial

We have been publishing articles about CSS3 for a couple of months now, and to get you really excited about it, we launched a CSS3 design contest last week. You can win an SSD hard drive, audiophile headphones or books about Web design. Join in, experiment with CSS3 and send us your work. The best submissions will be showcased on Smashing Magazine in July. Find out details about the contest. We look forward to your submissions!

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1. LaunchList: The Designer’s Ultimate Website Check List

Every design project has many little details that one has to take care of before it goes live. Have you checked your content for spelling errors? Did you design a 404 page? What about the print style sheet? LaunchList helps you review important items before the big launch.

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By default, the tool provides 28 items to be checked, but it also allows you to add custom items to the list. Each item can be commented on or crossed out. Once you’re done, you can send the report along with project’s details to multiple recipients via email. The email does not contain a direct link to the check list, but it has a plain text review of the things you have checked (along with your comments). If this tool is not flexible enough for you, you may want to look at the Ultimate Website Launch Checklist, which is also available as a PDF download. (vf)

2. What the Hex? Game for CSS Geeks

Among the variety of methods of representing color values, some are easier to identify than others. For example, RGB and CMYK are quite intuitive once you get used to them. The hexadecimal system, though, often looks incomprehensible. If you feel you know colors pretty well, then What the Hex? is a simple game for you.

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All you have to do is match the hexadecimal code (which is actually a group of three hex numbers: #rrggbb) with the corresponding color. Of course, this is easier said than done, but you can adjust the difficulty by displaying between 2 and 48 possible answers. (jb)

3. The Graphs2, a Large Free Vector Icon Set

Beautiful free icons always come in handy. Goce Mitevski just released The Graphs 2, a set of 36 unique graphic designs and many variations, adding up to 169 graphic icons. The set includes common icons for charts, such as lines, bars and pies.

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The set is available in Adobe Illustrator AI format and SVG for free downloading, so you can change colors, resize elements, replace objects, make adjustments and create new combinations in your editing application. The Graphs2 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. (vf)

4. Generate HTML Tables Out of Spreadsheet Data

Many designers shun tables entirely in their designs, opting for CSS styles to create fake tables. But tables have their purpose, which is to display tabular data (i.e. what you would put in a spreadsheet). Also, clients often provide data in spreadsheet form, and reformatting it into HTML can be a real pain.

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Enter Tableizer. Just copy and paste the cells from your spreadsheet, choose your options (font, font size and header color) and voila! You have a properly formatted HTML table for your data. It can save you a ton of time setting up tables and entering data. You could even pass it along to clients who might need to put tables in pages or blog posts but would end up making a mess of things. (cc)

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5. Pop-Up Ping Pong

Developers are coming out with innovative games on what seems a daily basis. And sometimes we just need to take a break from our work and do something fun for a few minutes. Playing a quick game online is a great way to do this.

This new version of Pong is different from most online games. Rather than working in Flash or JavaScript, it works in pop-up windows. You get three pop-up windows to start. Two of the windows serve as sliders for the two players (you can play against another person or the computer) and one is the “ball.” You control your slider using the arrow keys or the A and Z keys. Other than that, it works just like an old-fashioned game of Pong. One tip: holding down a key to move seems to work very slowly (or not at all, at least on a Mac running Firefox); tapping the key repeatedly is better. Warning: sounds starts automatically. (cc)

6. No More Lorem Ipsum, Please!

Sometimes it may be useful to use less generic dummy text in your designs: for instance, when you want to give your design more context, and see how it works best with the text that could actually be used on a website. Whether you need an ordered or unordered list, a simple paragraph or a headline, just grab it from Kureno's Lorem Ipsum Tool.

Check one or several of the control boxes and click “Generate.” You can even choose between three different content types from a drop-down list: “Design Studio,” “Business” and “Technology.” What’s the point of this tool? As the developers of the app put it, “We think lorem ipsum is bad for your Web design, and you should be rid of it forever.” There you go. (mm)

7. New on Smashing Magazine

50 New Useful CSS Techniques, Tools and Tutorials (by Vitaly Friedman)
In this round-up, we present fresh useful articles about lesser-known CSS 2.1 and CSS3 properties, as well as an overview of recently published CSS techniques, tools and tips for designers and Web developers. Please stay tuned: next week, we will present the second part of this article, featuring fresh CSS3 techniques, tools and resources.

How to Permanently Delete Your Account on Popular Websites (by Cameron Chapman)
We'll take a look at the account deletion process of popular websites and services and at how easy or difficult they make it. Then we'll discuss why websites make things so complicated, and suggest some things to consider when designing your own deletion policies.

100 Years of Propaganda: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (by Claire Stokoe)
We look at various types of propaganda and the people behind it, people who are rarely seen next to their work. You will also see how the drive for propaganda shaped many of the modern art movements we see today. Note that this post isn't supposed to be an “ultimate showcase” of propaganda artists.

Spicing Up Your Website With jQuery Goodness (by ZURB)
In this article, we’ll discuss how to seduce your visitors with a little JavaScript action. In our examples, we'll be using jQuery, a fast and concise JavaScript library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animation and AJAX interactions for rapid Web development.

Design Better and Faster With Rapid Prototyping (by Lyndon Cerejo)
Rapid prototyping helps teams experiment with multiple approaches and ideas, it facilitates discussion through visuals instead of words, it ensures that everyone shares a common understanding, and it reduces risk and avoids missed requirements, leading to a better design faster.

Start Using CSS3 Today: Techniques and Tutorials (by Vitaly Friedman)
In this post, we present an extensive round-up of CSS3 techniques, tools and resources that will help you learn how to use CSS3 in your designs right away. We have grouped the most useful articles by the corresponding properties, described which browsers support which properties, presented alternative JavaScript-based approaches and workarounds for Internet Explorer, and added a couple of links to useful CSS3 generators and tools at the end of the post.

Applying Interior Design Principles to the Web (by Katie Thompson)
Web, industrial, interior… You name it and there are designers for it. We're all trained in our particular areas (as we should be), but it would do us some good sometimes to look beyond our borders for new approaches to design problems. For a fresh perspective, here we'll apply several principles of interior design to Web design and see what ideas would help change some of our stuck-in-a-rut design practices.

8. Smashing Network Highlights

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