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Rapid Prototyping, CSS for Mobile, Storytelling, and Interactive Animation: What We’re Reading 8.1.2014

by Steve Singer

Rapid Prototyping, CSS for Mobile, Storytelling, and Interactive Animation: What We’re Reading 8.1.2014

This week we’re reading articles on color palettes for rapid prototyping, using CSS to replace native apps, using CSS and radio buttons in lieu of JavaScript when developing for mobile, effective storytelling techniques, and using interactive animation to explain complex concepts.

What did we miss?

Skin classes for rapid prototyping in the browser

Developers and designers are often looking for ways to streamline prototyping. They are also always looking for ways to make prototypes come alive for clients and other stakeholders. This CSS-based palette allows for rapid prototyping in the browser using colors that really pop and facilitate decision-making.

Ten CSS One-Liners to Replace Native Apps

Håkon Wium Lie, the “father of CSS,” wants “the web to win” on mobile devices. To this end, he would rather that mobile experiences be created using web standards rather than native apps. In this post he makes the case for using one-liners based on the CSS Multi-column layout and CSS Figures specifications to build web pages that are optimized for the mobile world.

Radio-Controlled Web Design

As powerful as JavaScript can be, the fact of the matter is that on mobile devices a heavy reliance on JavaScript can slow down your site’s load time. In this article, Art Lawry describes a technique he has been experimenting with that relies on CSS and radio buttons to replicate certain types of JavaScript functionality. If you are interested in trying it out yourself, the article provides a lot of detail (along with some nerdy Game of Thrones references).

How to Tell a Great Story

Whether you are trying to sell your ideas to your team or persuade customers to use your product or service, telling great stories is the key to success. This Harvard Business Review post not only lays out the essential elements of any effective story, it also provides some story-telling case studies along with critical do’s and don’ts. The best advice here for marketers? “Don’t make yourself the hero.”

Markov Chains

If you’ve been following our weekly “What We’re Reading” posts, you know that we think animated illustrations are a great way for designers to explain complex processes. Markov chains are mathematical models that allow you to map out “state spaces,” in other words, the total collection of possible states for an object or system. For example, if you wanted to map out all the possible weather conditions for a particular place at a particular time, you could use a Markov chain. If that doesn’t make sense, check out this very cool, interactive visual explanation!

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