Dessy Chongarova

As far as I’m concerned, the problem of bookmarking the web isn’t solved yet. I keep starring sites in Chrome, trying to put them in logical folders, although searching and browsing them later is a pain and I never do it. Pocket is great for saving articles to read later offline, but I also use it for double bookmarking entire sites that I find useful and it sucks. I just don’t think of searching there, when I need to find something specific.

I sometimes use Evernote and Pinterest for bookmarking while I’m researching a specific topic and it’s kind of OK. But I don’t have a place to simply store my favourite websites.

So I decided to start a simple list of resources that I’ve been using recently for design reference, research and learning. As this list grows, I’ll be thinking of a better way to present it.

UX and UI Patterns

littlebigdetails.com
A curated collection of the finer details of design, updated every day.

goodui.org
A running idea list for good user interfaces.

patterntap.com
А collection of specific designs and patterns of user interaction.

Typography

typogui.de
A Pocket Guide to master every day’s typographic adventures.

webtypography.net
A practical guide to web typography.

jessicahische.is/talkingtype
A comprehensive article on choosing the right type by Jessica Hische.

Learning

bradfrost.github.io/this-is-responsive
Patterns, resources and news for creating responsive web experiences.

taybenlor.com/2013/05/21/designing-for-ios.html
Starter’s Guide to iOS Design

baymard.com/blog
Articles on user experience, web design, and e-commerce.

iOS Design Patterns

uxarchive.com
An archive of comparable user flows, searchable by tasks or apps.

capptivate.co
A kinetic pattern library that captures and preserves delightful iOS animations.

pttrns.com
A curated library of iPhone and iPad user interface patterns.

inspired-ui.com
Mobile Apps Design Patterns.

mobile-patterns.com
Categorised and searchable mobile design patterns library.

Galleries

mediaqueri.es
A collection of inspirational websites using media queries and responsive web design.

unmatchedstyle.com/gallery
Browse examples of good websites by topic.

Resources

thenounproject.com
A constantly growing searchable collection of icons and symbols.

If you’re switching from writing plain CSS to using SASS (and Compass) and you’re doing WordPress theme development, there are a couple of pain points that you’ll come across.

1) You need a style.css file at the top level of your WordPress theme folder.
2) That file should start with a comment.

Let’s deal with the second point first, as it’s simply a matter of adding an exclamation mark to the opening comment of style.css like so:

If you don’t add the exclamation mark, the comment will be stripped off at compile and WordPress won’t recognise your theme.

Jumping back to the first problem, here is how the structure of a simplified WordPress theme folder looks like:

lovelytheme 
_images
_index.php
_style.css

And here is the file structure of an example Compass project:

lovelysite 
_SASS 
__style.scss 
_CSS 
__style.css 
_config.rb

So if you put your SASS folder (and config.rg file) in your WordPress theme folder, it will compile inside a CSS folder at the same level and there’s no straightforward way to tell it to do so one level up. Luckily, there’s Chris Coyer to point out that you can add ruby code to your config.rb file and use it to move the style.css file one level up at compile.

So just add this snippet at the end of your config.rb and you’re all set up!

You can see this in action by exploring the WordPress theme for this site on GitHub.

  1. I got a new job

    I started the year with my first full time job as web designer. Best team ever, best boss ever, best process ever! Working on a digital product is totally for me. Getting user feedback fascinates me and the possibility to make things better and better with every iteration is very fulfilling. I learned SASS and got hooked on User Experience. I started using Git and stopped being afraid of the Terminal. We launched a private beta some days ago and now I can’t wait to work on a live product with real customers.

  2. I worked on side projects

    I started working on an app which will be fighting discrimination against minorities by letting people geotag offensive graffiti. Overpainting workshops will be organised as a result. I also did a couple of client websites and practised Responsive Web Design, SASS, WordPress Theme development and other skills that I otherwise might not use on my day job.

  3. I travelled

    In 2013 I visited Poland, Serbia, Turkey, Germany, Hungary, Israel and England!

    It was my first time in Istanbul (stayed in Kadıköy, fell in love with it!) and Berlin (not my type of city, but meeting Devendra Banhart on the street and seeing him play live was totally worth it!). Belgrade confirmed itself as a great party destination with awesome Couchsurfing hosts. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds rocked at the Exit festival in Novi Sad.

    Warsaw in February is not the place to be (especially without warm boots), while Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve visited, with some of the best bars and cafes (particularly in the Jewish Neighbourhood). As for Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Negev desert, I should either say nothing or write a separate post!

    I visited my mom for Christmas and I was happy to share the London experience with Ivan.

    In 2014 we’re thinking about travelling to Morocco and Greece. Sicily has been a dream destination of mine for a while and I would also like to scuba dive again. Renewing my USA visa in order to travel to New York and visit family in Boston is also on the list.

  4. I stayed physically and mentally healthy

    I started the year with a one-month detoxication (no meat, no salt, no sugar, no gluten, no preservatives). Maybe the best outcome of this was that I had to cook for myself, which felt like taking care of myself. I also kept eating healthy after I finished the diet, but during the last months of the year things got a bit out of control.

    I kept trying running from time to time, but it still seems impossible to get hooked on. I was doing Yoga regularly, but I dislocated my shoulder in October and used that as an excuse to skip all kind of exercise for too long. I want to start this year with a well-balanced combination of healthy food regime and regular exercise and to finish it in a similar manner.

  5. I fell in love

Last year was the first time I made a New Year’s resolution. I was in the mountains on the 31st of December and I guess the fresh air took its part and provoked me to sit down for a while and look back over the 12 months that had passed.

Then I decided to take up one little thing that would make me feel better about myself. And try to accomplish it during the upcoming year. Committing to one thing only and focusing on that, meant that I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed by this whole resolution thing.

I chose to do two cycles of Sun Salutations every day. Preferably right after rolling out of bed. Then I got up and did two cycles of Sun Salutations.

I am happy that I’ve managed to stick up with this for the most part of the year. The biggest exception period was when I dislocated my arm a couple of months ago. Unfortunately I turned this into an excuse to break away from what had almost become a routine for much longer than necessary.

For this upcoming year I decided to commit to publishing one blog post each month. I’ll be writing about what I’m learning as a web designer and about whatever else comes to my mind. Bear with me to see how it goes and enter your email below if you want to be notified when I publish something new.