8 reasons 80s flair will rule design in 2017

January 23rd, 2017 No comments

Trends come and go in waves. The latest wave when it comes to web design is totally 1980s.

From bright color to flat design and plenty of gnarly geometry, lots of designs feature these looks. For many designers, the 80s are a flashback to their youth, and this trend has everyone totally amped. Here’s why 80s style is the bomb, and a few ways to help you use the trend like a total boss. (And no more 80s lingo puns … we promise!)

1) Everything that is old is new again

This might hurt a little bit for all you children of the 80s, but this era is officially retro. To make it a little less painful, we’ll call the decade “modern retro.”

What’s different about this “old” style is that elements that were physical or designed for early screens are the influence for websites and apps. This includes using design elements that bring back the nostalgia of early Nintendo gaming systems, proving the popularity of pixelated designs, or the style of posters and album labels.

The old, new style includes all of the 80s charm you would expect with in-your-face colors plus everything you want in a website today, from great animation or sliders to easy-to-read typography. So while you might catch a bit of 80s and think the design is old at a glance, these little touches prove the newness of the design.

Look at The Vinyl Lab, for example. The design is 80s aesthetically, but as you scroll the site feels modern and it works just as well on phones and smaller devices. So is the design new or old? You decide.

2) Patterns and shapes provide visual interest

Geometric shapes and fun patterns can give your design just the kick it needs. This little change can also serve as a transitional element if you are revising a design aesthetic from one of the uber-minimal styles that was recently popular.

Either option can be a good alternative to a full-scale redesign while keeping modern design elements.

Your visual style can help you determine which option is best:

  • Use a pattern if the design is clean and organized and something in the background won’t get in the way of content.
  • Use geometric shapes to add a bold, pop of color or interest to a photo or overall design that seems a bit lackluster. Caava Design, below, uses colorful geometry in a way that’s sure to inspire.

3) Influence of fashion

Like it or not, 1980s fashion will be one of the biggest trends of the year, according to W Magazine.

Before you roll your eyes and ask why fashion matters, there is a correlation. Regardless of the type of design—fashion, art, home and interiors, website—each genre of design impacts every other one. Pantone’s color of the year doesn’t stop with designers working on posters; it applies to pretty much everything.

So what we see on runways, from big hair to crop tops to leggings, will influence websites. Elements of the 80s might show up in the clothes people wear for photos, or even to balance out the imagery itself. You might have to use oversized typography to offset super-sized hair on a model, for example.

Textiles can be an indicator of visually pleasing elements all around. If shoppers are buying plenty of neon orange shirts or pants with bold patterns, they won’t find these design elements offensive when they back up and support content online.

4) Memphis design trend gains traction

The Memphis design trend is packed with bright color and lots of shapes and lines. It’s a little more distinct than using the concepts alone. The origination of the aesthetic pattern is the Memphis Group, a bunch of interior designers in the 1980s.

The Memphis style is really flat and features vectorized elements in an almost cartoon-style. Elements are often layered on top of a white or light background or black to create maximum contrast between elements. The style is fun, light and attention-grabbing. These are likely the reasons the style is starting to gain more traction.

5) Space and dark styles provide intrigue

The 80s are notably known for art styles that use neon on dark backgrounds and space themes. There was a definite and distinct fascination in design with the unknown, and color palettes included combinations that included purples and oranges or yellows.

Space, in particular remains a dominating theme, and many space-based designs create some of the nostalgia from this era of design. The recent televisions show “Mars,” below, uses this idea with a dark background and bright logotype treatment featuring an almost 3D shape element in the lettering.

6) Influence of material and flat dominate

It seems like flat and then material design patterns have been at the forefront of the design conversation for some time now. So it’s somewhat of a natural evolution that these more current trends are the combining force with the modern retro concept.

This includes colors, layering styles and overall modern twists on how 80s themes are combined with today’s elements to create a sense of another time with a user interface that visitors expect.

7) “Cute” icongraphic styles are totally hip

Many 80s styles included lots of cute little icons on a canvas. From tiny palm trees and sunglasses on shirts to squiggles and lines on notebooks, iconography was a ‘thing’ in the 80s.

It’s re-emerging. With so many cool icons styles—line art, hand drawn and full color options—iconography can be a go-to art style for a design framework. Using icons can provide a lot of flexibility for projects where other visuals are lacking and can provide an interesting way to help visually organize content.

Here’s the trick to using 80s iconography: lots of little icons all over the place. The more random placements appear, the more 80s flair the design will have.

8) Bold color is made for screens

A client once asked why posters weren’t commonly neon green. It’s because you almost need the backlighting of a screen to really get that neon light look. Some of the colors that were popular in ads and television show intros—think Miami Vice—just work better on screens.

Bright color schemes have been growing in popularity, another trend that connects to flat and material design. This seems to be a natural response to all the black and white palettes that seemed to be on every other design at the height of the minimalism phase. The shift is allowing designers to really play with the design more and exhibit more creative color freedom.


Here’s one of the biggest reasons 80s design is making a comeback: because 80s style is trickling back into pop culture. Maybe part of it has been a nostalgia that happens every generation or so. Maybe it is because every style has a cycle that comes and goes.

But as long as you see 80s influences in elements such as pop culture or fashion or music, the same influences are likely to impact the way we think about design as well. Enjoy the trend; the 80s were a lot of fun, and your modern retro design should reflect that.

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A Case Study: Is App Indexing For Google Worth The Effort?

January 23rd, 2017 No comments

Will the resources spent implementing app indexing for Google search be a boon or a bust for your app’s traffic? In this article, I’ll take you through a case study for app indexing at our company, the results of which may surprise you.

App indexing is one of the hottest topics in SEO right now, and in some sense for good reason. Google has only been indexing apps for everyone for a little more than two years, and with only 30% of apps being indexed there is huge potential for websites to draw additional search traffic to their apps.

The post A Case Study: Is App Indexing For Google Worth The Effort? appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Using GSAP to Animate Game UI with Canvas

January 23rd, 2017 No comments
Animate all the thing! Meme

The year was 1995; Toy Story hit the theaters, kids were obsessively collecting little cardboard circles and Kiss From a Rose was being badly sung by everyone. I was a gangly ten-year-old, and like any other relatively tall kid I was often addressed to by “you must be so good at basketball!”. So I practiced and practiced spending hours on the court of my elementary school. Eventually, I realized, much to the dismay of aunts and other cheek-pinchers alike, that while occupying vertical real estate might give you an advantage in the art of basketball, it does not ensure it.

Fast forward 21 years later. Now a tall and gangly developer, still bad at basketball, I was faced with a project: Designing and implementing a full motion video web basketball game for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. Throwing balls around is one thing; throwing pixels around?—?now that’s finally a basketball challenge I can ace!

While developing the game I used many neat things like canvas, SVG and CSS animations, gesture recognition and a video stream that’s dynamically constructed on the fly. It’s really amazing what we can do with just a browser these days. Go ahead, give it a spin.

In this article, I want to focus and show you how I implemented the animation for the Superpower Gauge using vanilla JS in conjunction with GSAP. This is the motion reference I used while implementing the animation, created in After Effects:

In 1on1, once the user succeeds making a move, they’re awarded combo points. The gauge sits at the top left corner of the screen, and its task is to convey to the user the amount of their combo points as denoted by the number of red segments. At certain times in the game, the Superpower Gauge becomes active, notifying the user they can click it to make their in-game avatar perform a special move.

The basic structure of the Superpower is achieved with one Canvas element and a bit of simple geometry:

See the Pen Pistons Superpower: Structure by Opher Vishnia (@OpherV) on CodePen.

Essentially, there are two main components here?—?the central image and the gauge segments. The image is the easy part, it’s just a trivial use of canvas’ drawImage. The gauge segments is where things get interesting. I defined a general options defined with some properties to play with later on like the number of segments, radius, width and so on. Then I iterate over an array of segment objects and use their properties (strokeStyle, lineWidth) to draw the actual segments with the canvas arc function. So far so good?—?but where’s the animation?

I was debating whether to use a canvas animation framework but ultimately decided against it. This is because I needed to use several types of animations in the project: Canvas, SVG and CSS/DOM, and no one framework does it all. In addition, all of the animations had to run smoothly on top of playing video, on both desktop and mobile with varying capabilities and network conditions. This means that performance was nothing if not paramount, and I wanted to know exactly which code powers the animation. Luckily GSAP (aka Greensock AKA TweenMax AKA TweenLite) allows me to do just that.

GSAP is cool. It enables you to animate pretty much anything! The trick is that the animation API accepts not only DOM/SVG objects but also arbitrary JS data structures, whose properties you can then “animate”.

The basic idea is that you use GSAP to change the properties of these objects over time. These values specify how the UI looks at any given point in time. On each requestAnimationFrame you make a draw call to the canvas to draw the state of the UI based on those objects.

function render() { 
 //draw the animation state
 //draw the image
 //render on the next frame as well

Here’s a breakdown of the different animations implemented:

Gauge fills up

See the Pen Pistons Superpower: Gauge fill by Opher Vishnia (@OpherV) on CodePen.

Let’s discuss the anatomy of this animation. At idle state, all yet-to-be filled segments of the gauge are gray and thin, and filled segments are red and slightly thicker. Once the next segment of the gauge fills up, all previous active segments change color to white, grow in thickness and start glowing. The following segment is then filled, and lastly, all the segments stop glowing and return to their original, active width.

Remember that array of segment objects? Here’s where they come into play with GSAP. The function addActiveSegment is the heart of the magic, where we use TweenMax.fromTo to animate properties like lineWidth and anglePercent. The GSAP colorProps plugin allows us to make smooth transition in color properties like strokeStyle and activeStrokeStyle. I’m using the delay property to time the various components of this animation.

TweenMax.fromTo(segments[index], expandAnimLength, {
  anglePercent: 0,
  colorProps:{strokeStyle: options.activeStrokeStyle},
  anglePercent: 1,
  colorProps:{strokeStyle: options.activeStrokeStyle},
  ease: Power0.easeIn,
  delay: growAnimLength

Like I mentioned earlier, the render function then calls drawComboGui on each requestAnimationFrame, ideally 60 times a second. In drawComboGui first we clear the canvas from any previous data drawn onto it before drawing the current state.

To create the glow effect, I drew two segments on top of each other. The bottom one uses shadowBlur on the canvas path, and the top one has no shadow blur. This makes the blurred element “peek” behind the non-blurred one, resulting in the glow effect.

There are several extra animations for the Superpower gauge. The Superpower enabled and Superpower disabled are very simple in concept to the gauge fill up discussed here. They are implemented by animating the width of the image and the active segments.

superpower charged
Superpower charged
Superpower discharged
Superpower discharged

The Superpower charged and Superpower discharged animation require other techniques like animating image sprites and applying a blur-on-the-fly filter. It’s a bit out-of-scope right now, but it will be discussed in a future article!

There’s one major gotcha when it comes to implementing UI for games. Games are extremely stateful. In any given moment the state of the game, and by proxy, its UI can change. In the Superpower Gauge’s particular case? — ?it means that at every moment the gauge might fill up, become enabled, be discharged or become disabled. This can happen even while in the middle of an animation! What do you do when that happens, though?

You have two options?—?one is to stop whatever animation is currently playing and abruptly transition to the new animation. The problem with this approach is that the experience for the user is very jarring, detaching them from the game and ultimately conveying more noise than information. This is the exact opposite of what a good interface should do.

The other option is to queue up the animations, so each animation is fired before the last one starts. This gets a little tricky, since an animation might be comprised of smaller sub-animations, but thanks to GSAP’s Timeline feature, the task of herding all these states and animations becomes much more manageable. Instead of calling TweenMax.to, you initialize a Timeline instance object and use it to make to calls. By default, these to calls define new animations to start at the end of the timeline forming an animation queue, but this is highly configurable! You could, for example, define an animation to start at an offset relative to the timeline end, or at an absolute position on the timeline. This also allows you avoid having to use the delay property to calculate queuing of animations, which tends to get cumbersome when dealing with multiple animations.

Here’s an implementation of the gauge fill up animation using GSAP’s Timeline. Try to click the “Add Segment” button while an animation is already in progress.

See the Pen Pistons Superpower: Gauge fill with Timeline by Opher Vishnia (@OpherV) on CodePen.

I hope this helps you tackle some challenges and issues you encounter in your game/site/project. If you have any questions or if you’d like to know how I tackled other UI elements in the game feel free to hit me up on Twitter!


While I still get assaulted once in awhile by low hanging branches and my hoop-shooting skills leave much to be desired, ?when it comes to quickly pressing key combos, Andre Drummond has nothing on me.

Using GSAP to Animate Game UI with Canvas is a post from CSS-Tricks

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20 Best Resources to Learn Photoshop Within a Few Days

January 23rd, 2017 No comments

There are countless Photoshop resources online for beginners and experienced designer. But which websites are right to enhance your designing skills? Your search is over. Here is a list of 20 of the best sites to learn Photoshop online.

Adobe TV

Adobe makes Photoshop, so Adobe TV is your first step into Learning Resources and Tutorials.

© Adobe TV


Phlearn is one of the most popular Photoshop resources. You will find hundreds free and premium Photoshop tutorials.

© Phlearn


Leading online learning platform that helps you learn creative skills to achieve professional goals.

© Lynda

Photoshop Cafe

This Cafe is all about Photoshop, Lightroom, and Photography. Worth checking out all premium learning resources.

© Photoshop Cafe


KelbyOne is another premium tutorial site. Many of the instructors are leaders in the field, help you learn everything about Photoshop, Lightroom and Photography.

© KelbyOne


Udemy has a great range of online classes for Photoshop. It´s easy to find the best ones according to user reviews and ratings.

© Udemy


DeviantArt is a creative online community. Divided into different categories, it is easy to find Photoshop tutorials that instruct viewers on specific techniques, and on painting an image from scratch.

© DeviantArt


Envatos Tuts+ offers hundreds of free tutorials. Its extensive library of premium tutorials is one of the most useful.

© Tuts+


Tutorial9 is entirely free. A great resource for Photoshop guides and tutorials (more than 9!).

© Tutorial9

Photoshop Creative

The first choice for Photoshop fans who want in-depth, step-by-step tutorials for Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.

© Photoshop Creative

Vandelay Design

Home to hundreds of Premium-quality design resources including PSDs, brushes, mockup templates, and more.

© Vandelay Design


A great source with over 2,500 published design-related articles and tutorials.

© DesignStacks

PSD Dude

If you like Photoshop, you should bookmark this blog. Useful resources and quality design inspiration.

© PSD Dude

PS Hero

PS Hero is a fantastic Photoshop resource run by Hero – a surfer and graphic designer based in California.

© PS Hero

PSD Learning

Knowledge organized in different categories with hundreds of easy to follow tutorials.

© PSD Learning

Spoon Graphics

Spoon Graphics is home to a range of design tutorials, free resources and inspiration to help you have fun creating cool stuff.

© Spoon Graphics

PSD Vault

PSD Vault focuses on providing high quality, step-by-step Photoshop tutorials to all Photoshop lovers and hobbyists around the world.

© PSD Vault

Learn Photo Editing

35+ awesome tutorials for only $27 for a Lifetime Membership. Learn how to take a photo and create something amazing out of it.

© Learn Photo Editing

Adobe KnowHow

Photoshop courses in a personalized learning experience. Make notes and cue points alongside the video content.

© Adobe KnowHow

Photoshop Lover

Photoshop Lover is a project that aggregates the tutorials from other sites. Great to find more websites from where you can learn Photoshop.

© Photoshop Lover

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Popular design news of the week: January 16, 2017 – January 22, 2017

January 22nd, 2017 No comments

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers.

The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week.

Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news.

Splashify – Beautiful Desktop Wallpapers for Mac and Windows

CSS: Pretty Buttons with Bttn.css

Web Design Predictions for 2017

Mobile UX Trends for 2017

6 UX Design Trends to Follow in 2017

How to Design a Large Scale Responsive Site

Japanese Artist Creates Miniature Dioramas Daily for 5 Years

QUIZ: What CSS Framework Should You Use?

15 Unique Website Layouts

Designing in Color

So, You’re Starting a Design Studio?

Site Design: Odegoods.com

CSS Grid. One Layout Method not the Only Layout Method

Useless UI

How to Break the Grid Without Making a Mess

7 Rules for Creating a Simple Design

Mozilla Launches New Brand Identity

A Framework for Building a Design Practice

Hi-Res Shots of Rogue One’s Interfaces

A First Look at Google’s New GMB Website Builder

Flat Design. History, Benefits and Practice.

NYTimes Website Redesign

Arrival – Mozilla Open Design

TinyFaces – Free Crowd-sourced Avatar Gallery Including Sketch Plugin

2016 — The Year of Stranger Design Things

Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News.

LAST DAY: 20 Superb New Website Templates from GT3Themes – only $17!


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A Table With Borders Only On The Inside

January 21st, 2017 No comments

You know, like a tic-tac-toe board. I was just pondering how to do this the other day, as one does. There are three ways I can think of. One involves a good handful of rules and is the way I intuitively think of, one involves a deprecated attribute, and one is very simple and feels kinda like a CSS trick.

Possibility #1) Removing the Borders You Don’t Need

This is the first way I think of. Add a border everywhere, then remove the border on the

  1. The top of every cell in the first row
  2. The bottom of every cell in the last row
  3. The left of the first cell in every row
  4. The right of last cell in every row
table {
  border-collapse: collapse;
table td {
  border: 5px solid black; 
table tr:first-child td {
  border-top: 0;
table tr td:first-child {
  border-left: 0;
table tr:last-child td {
  border-bottom: 0;
table tr td:last-child {
  border-right: 0;

See the Pen Inside Border on Table #1 by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) on CodePen.

Possibility #1) The `rules` Attribute

This is not recommended as it’s a deprecated attribute. But, that’s what rules was specifically for.

See the Pen Inside Border on Table #1 by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) on CodePen.

You can control the color with border-color, but not border-width or border-style.

Possibility #3) Using `border-style: hidden;`

This is the one that feels like a CSS trick to me.

table {
  border-collapse: collapse;
  border-style: hidden;
table td {
  border: 5px solid black;

MDN has an explanation:

In case of table cell and border collapsing, the hidden value has the highest priority: it means that if any other conflicting border is set, it won’t be displayed.

By putting border-style: hidden; on the table itself, it means that “hidden” wins on that outside edge, but only the outside edge, not any of the other borders on the inside cells.

See the Pen Inside Border on Table #3 by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) on CodePen.

Can you think of other ways?

A Table With Borders Only On The Inside is a post from CSS-Tricks

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Video Transcripts

January 21st, 2017 No comments

None of the videos in our entire video screencasts library have captions / subtitles / transcripts. That means all of that content is rather useless to the deaf, as was made quite clear to me in this recent email:

I’m a big fan of CSS-Tricks and I make a lot of use of your written content, however the same can’t be said for your videos as I’m deaf. It may not be viable for your business but subtitles on your videos would enable access to me – and probably thousands of others – who can’t follow your videos via sounds.

I like shooting videos. We have a couple lined up we’ll be doing soon. It’s true that it’s not exactly viable to do subtitles for them. The videos are already not really viable, we just do them sometimes for fun. I can’t justify the time or money to subtitle them.

But that’s where you could come in. If you’d like the sponsor the videos having subtitles, get in touch. I’m sure we can arrange a way such that you could pay for it, and we could have a third-party subtitle the videos, and we’d credit you for the support.

Video Transcripts is a post from CSS-Tricks

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PDF files can be converted into Word files to better suit text manipulation

January 21st, 2017 No comments

Word documents are the staple of text manipulation. The Microsoft provided Office suite has helped many generations over the years, and is the go-to service for when it comes to either drafting up a quick document or writing a full-blown 10 page document. Often times people are put in a situation where they are

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Comics of the week #375

January 21st, 2017 No comments

Every week we feature a set of comics created exclusively for WDD.

The content revolves around web design, blogging and funny situations that we encounter in our daily lives as designers.

These great cartoons are created by Jerry King, an award-winning cartoonist who’s one of the most published, prolific and versatile cartoonists in the world today.

So for a few moments, take a break from your daily routine, have a laugh and enjoy these funny cartoons.

Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below as well as any related stories of your own…

Computer vomit

Don’t judge a designer by its cover

Painful feedback

Can you relate to these situations? Please share your funny stories and comments below…

Create beautiful demos and trial accounts for any WP product – only $9!


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Neon Text Effect Photoshop Tutorial

January 20th, 2017 No comments

In this tutorial, we’re going to learn how to create a neon text effect in Adobe Photoshop.

Download Adobe Photoshop.

Read More at Neon Text Effect Photoshop Tutorial

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