All posts tagged ‘UI’

File Under: Visual Design

Find Design Inspiration in Pattern Tap’s Minutiae

The web is littered with design galleries showcasing beautiful websites, but most such galleries focus on the site as a whole — where do you turn if you just want some inspiration for a navigation menu or a really slick sign-up form?*

We stumbled across Pattern Tap, which is a design gallery of sorts. But it breaks the showcased site down into specifics, like sites with awesome navigation menus, great looking web forms or really eye-catching typography.

In some cases, the overall designs of the featured sites are great. In other cases, not so much. But that’s bound to happen with you start breaking a design down into tiny components like great-looking code snippets or often neglected aspects of web design like sites with really good copy.

Pattern Tap also emphasizes the social stuff by offering “user sets” — if you find something you love, you can easily see who posted it to the site and what else they’ve contributed.

If you’re looking for some inspiration for that weekend web project, head to Pattern Tap and narrow your search. Just remember, Pattern Tap is a site for design inspiration, not your ticket to wholesale design theft.

* Yes, such a thing exists. Like pornography, you’ll know it when you see it.

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File Under: Glossary


Banners are a basic unit of advertising on the web.

They were pioneered by GNN and HotWired back in the frontier days of 1994 and are now nearly ubiquitous, appearing in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and locations. You can probably see one right now at the top of the page.

File Under: Programming

A Thousand Points of Lightbox

lightboxOne of the coolest interface tricks of the Ajax era is the Lightbox effect — the user clicks a link to view an image or some other element, the page dims and the image is floated in a box over the “darkened” background. It looks slick and Flashy, but it’s all accomplished with JavaScript and CSS. Lokesh Dhakar’s original Lightbox script has matured well and is now at version 2.

Meanwhile, dozens of hacks, duplicates, permutations and extensions have emerged. A French blogger named Ozh has whipped up a matrix containing every one of those Lightbox clones. So, if Milkbox isn’t doing it for you, weigh its merits against Thickbox, Slimbox, Smoothbox or iBox. There are about forty Lightbox clones to choose from, and Ozh’s list can be filtered to show only those scripts which allow specific behaviors or use specific JavaScript libraries like jQuery, Mootools or Scriptaculous.

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File Under: Visual Design

Eye Candy Is Easier With jQuery UI 1.5

jQueryjQuery, the lightweight and powerful JavaScript library, has released a new edition of its UI component, which offers a wealth of ways to fancy up web sites’ user interfaces. It enables the easy creation of drag-and-droppable items on a page, mouse-resizable elements, and a host of cool effects.

The new edition includes an effects library called Enchant, whose visually exciting methods are called things like explode and pulsate; a theme engine called ThemeRoller; a testing and debugging suite; and more.

Check it out.

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