Make Smarter - Designers Designers Designers

I ran across a lot of design resources for this month’s make smarter, and I think that’s a good thing. GIS as a field has never hurt for good developers, and development is hard. Making an app people actually want to use? In some ways that’s even harder, and it’s an area where we often struggle. Without further ado…

JournDev has a whopping compendium of 13 Free Online Books and 17 Free eBooks (PDF) Tutorials For Web Designers. Kudos for listing Dive Into HTML5 by Mark Pilgrim, which I’ve found to be an indispensable resource.

Channel 9 at Microsoft has a great talk by Jonathan Snook called CSS3 Takes on the World. It’ll show you what you can do with CSS3 right now and what we can expect in the future.

Graphics and design go hand in hand, and if you’ve read my blog before you know I have big love for Inkscape. Unixmen has a list of 31 Great Tutorials for Inkscape, ranging from basic to advanced.

When designing for the web, things generally go like this.


  • Wireframe

  • UX design

  • HTML

  • CSS

  • App coding

  • Graphics

  • Marvel at beautiful product

  • Open site in Internet Explorer

  • Cry


To minimize that last step, check out Design Your Way’s Internet Explorer In A Web Designer’s Life – Problems And Solutions. It goes over a lot of tools you can use to help fix IE problems, from JavaScript debuggers like CompanionJS and DebugBar to CSS and JavaScript decrapifiers like html5shiv and Modernizr to the penultimate suck it IE that is Google Chrome Frame. It also mentions IETester, which is probably your best bet at running multiple IE’s on the same machine short of a bunch of VM’s. It’s a great gathering of a lot of different tools and techniques for dealing with Microsoft’s crashware turd of a browser1.

And since it feels wrong not to have a single video in my monthly make smarter, I offer you VLT (Very Large Telescope) HD Timelapse Footage. It has nothing to do with anything, but man is it awesome. The tune is We Happy Few by The Calm Blue Sea, who have earned a permanent rotation in my eclectic post-rock programming playlist.

1 I have to admit IE9 is pretty good. The MS kids do good stuff when they put their wallets to it.