Articles

Viewport Unit Based Typography

I talked about using rem and em for responsive typography and for building modular components in two blog posts previously. In both posts, comments about viewport based units inevitably comes into the picture.

I resisted working with viewport units for a while, believing that using them would be a pain in the ass because of the calculations involved.

Last week, I finally overcame the resistance and took a stab at exploring viewport units and how to use them in responsive typography.

Why is Vertical Rhythm an Important Typography Practice?

You probably heard of the term Vertical Rhythm if you researched a little about typography on the web. It’s one of the most important practices when working with typography. I’ve used Vertical Rhythm on all my sites ever since I read about it.

One day, it struck me that I haven’t had a clue why vertical rhythm was important. Two more questions quickly arose following that thought: “How does Vertical Rhythm improve the design of the site? What lessons can I draw from Vertical Rhythm so I can improve my design?”

I decided to find out why. Here are my thoughts.

REM vs EM – The Great Debate

One of the best practices to typography on the web is to use relative units like rem and em.

The question is, which should you use? There’s been a longstanding debate between rem supporters and em supporters, believing that you should use one over the other.

In this article, you’re going to find my take on rem vs em. You’re also going to learn exactly what rem and em are, and how to use them to build modular components.

Star Rating Re-imagined with Flexbox

The rating element is one UI pattern that you’ll find everywhere on the web. I found myself building another rating element for the second time in my life a few weeks ago.

Since it’s my second time working on the same element, I wanted to challenge myself to come up with a way that uses as little code as possible. Consequently, I managed to come up with a way to build the rating element with only 50 lines of code (HTML, CSS and JavaScript combined), which is incredibly sweet! This article shows how I did it.

Building a Simple CRUD Application with Express and MongoDB

If you know me, you know that I started learning about the web without having gone through any computing courses in university previously. I didn’t dare to venture into server-side programming for a long time because of my background.

I remember when I eventually picked up the courage to try, I had such a hard time understanding the documentations for Express, MongDB and Node that I gave up.

One year later, I finally understood how to work with these tools. Then, I decided to write a comprehensive tutorial so you won’t have to go through the same headache I went through.

Everything I know about Responsive Web Typography

Responsive typography is a tough nut to crack. This was the best method I could come up with when I first started creating responsive websites:

p {
font-size: 16px;
}

@media (min-width: 800px) { p { font-size: 18px; } }

/* Repeat for h1 - h6 and other type groups */

I’ve learned a lot more about typography since then and picked up best practices like using relative units, vertical rhythms and meaningful typography scales.

These new practices were wonderful. They made my websites look more pleasing to the eye. Implementing them, however, was a horrible experience.

I had to write complex code and I found myself struggling to create responsive websites under tremendous time pressure.

Now, after months of hacking, I’ve finally created a solution that I’m happy to share with you. It’s called Typi.

Typi is great because it allows me to use the practices I’ve learned, and at the same time solves most of the problems I’ve encountered in 3 simple steps. Let me explain these three steps by walking you through the practices I use when working with responsive typography.

Year End Review – 2015

2015 has gone by in just a blink of an eye. I realized that I haven’t been taking stock of my life for the past 27 years. So, I decided to do a year-end review for the first time to end 2015 completely, and the begin 2016 anew.

Animating SVGs (CSSConf.Asia talk)

I gave a talk about animating SVGs in CSSConf.Asia 2015. The video is finally ready and I’m super stoked to share it with you! Have a look and let me know what you think! :)

Trolls & Expert Opinions – Lessons Learned From Publishing on a Popular Website

I recently published an article on Smashing Magazine. For those who don’t know, Smashing Magazine is a well respected website in the design and development world. It’s kind of like Lifehacker or Tiny Buddha, but for web designers and developers.

I was incredibly proud of the article I published. It took weeks of effort and I was elated that I made a contribution to the world. I went to sleep feeling awesome about it.

Unfortunately, I woke up feeling horrified when I looked at my twitter notifications the next day. Many people (mostly whom I don’t know) commented on my article, saying how “the author doesn’t know what he’s talking about”, that “it was a bad article”.

Even people whom I know and respect said that they felt “confused and bizzare” that an article like mine appeared on a well-curated website like Smashing Magazine, and they were “getting worried” about the contents of the article.

The same happened under the comments section on Smashing Magazine as well.

What a great start to the day. What would you have felt, or did?

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