2011 has been Speckyboy’s best year yet in terms of growth. More great readers and followers, more great authors, more great sponsors. However, at the core is (hopefully) great content here on Speckyboy. And just to recap some of our best content, here are our top 20 Speckyboy posts of 2011.
Top 20 Speckyboy Posts of 2011
45 Free eBooks for Developers and Designers →
Here you will find free web design and development tools and apps that will improve your work-flow, resources that will clean and validate code, apps that will allow you to collaborate with any number of colleagues, bookmarklets that let you create mockups within your browser, productivity checklists, sites that will track and keep a watchful eye on your sites, and so much more.
50 Free Tools and Apps for Web Designers and Developers →
A responsive layout allows you to offer a specific and optimised screen size based on whatever device (mobile, tablet…) the visitor uses. You would typically use Media Queries to resize the overall layout, but what about all of those individual elements and features that make your page unique? Navigation, forms, images, sliders, carousels… they all need to be optimised as well. This post highlights 25 jQuery plugins that will help you optimise and resize those trickier web elements.
25 jQuery Plugins to Help with Responsive Layouts →
The wireframing process is the straight-to-the-point and completely non-tech stage of any web project. It only requires that you define a skeletal outline of essential page elements such as headers, footers, navigation and content area and should illustrate how to cater and respond to any possible interaction from a user. It is the most important, yet underused, stage of any web or apps development. And this post showcases wireframing and mockup apps that are not only highly effective and easy to use, they are also completely free.
10 Completely Free Wireframing and Mockup Tools →
Web development is about getting stuff done, not figuring out how to get it done. Frameworks and libraries help you, the web developer, focus on creating rather than figuring stuff out. Rather than reinventing the wheel, you can use a framework or library to delegate brunt, non-creative and repetitive work, freeing up your time and energy to create the actual website or application. This post highlights 20 new frameworks and libraries that will help speed up and make your web development more effective.
20 New Frameworks for Web and Mobile App Developers →
With jQuery now being used in over 40% of all web sites, the demand for up-to-date and feature-rich plugins has never been greater. Thankfully, the jQuery community has always met its popularity head on by offering a constant influx of new plugins that constantly push the boundaries of functionality ever-further. This post brings you up-to-date with some of the latest and greatest jQuery plugins.
30 Fantastic New jQuery Plugins →
Every designer who has spent many hours mocking up web pages or mobile apps will tell you how important it is to have a reliable set of re-usable, editable and uniform GUI elements that they can rely upon for the initial rapid prototyping stage of any project. This post showcases some fresh (and freely available) complete web and mobile GUI kits as well as some comprehensive wireframe kits and application design kits. All of the kits are are fully editable and are primarily available in .psd format (there are also some in .png, .ai and Omnigraffle formats).
40 New Web, Mobile and Application GUI Kits →
Photoshop is near-ubiquitous with graphics design. Even if you don’t consider yourself a graphic designer, having some Photoshop skills can really come in handy with your poster design/photo/text/etc. work. And tutorials take a lot out of the learning curve, since you can just follow the steps and get up to speed fairly quickly with a certain technique or style. This article shares with you the 30 new Photoshop tutorials for graphic designers.
30 Fresh Photoshop Tutorials for Graphic Designers →
The CSS framework you decide to use should ideally not be based only on a personal preference, as most web designers tend to do. Instead a framework should be based on your current web design projects complexity and functionality requirements. Something that offers only absolute essential tools, something with a shorter learning curve, something that would allow you to implement your prototype faster, debug quicker and, when all of this is put together, will optimize your development time and ultimately improve your productivity. This post highlights 15 of the best lightweight CSS frameworks that we feel you could consider for your next project.
15 Lightweight and Minimal CSS Frameworks →
When coding WordPress themes, especially if you do it regularly, its really useful to have a selection of code snippets in your toolbox to just ‘copy-n-paste’ as and when the functionality needs. Not just your most commonly used code, but also some snippets that can, when required, extend WP even further. This post highlights 20 very useful code snippets, covering many areas of theme development, including tracking page-views, custom shortcodes and widgets, custom title lengths and excerpts, and much more.
20 More WordPress Code Snippets and Hacks →
For every web designer, having a selection of pre-designed and editable web UI elements is key to organizing and optimizing work-flow. Not only do web UIs allow you to rapidly prototype multiple web pages with uniformity, they also aid your personal creativity by having each elements basic structure in-place allowing you to give each your own personal design touches. This post showcases 50 beautifully designed and editable pre-designed Web UI kits, all in .psd format, covering all of the major UI requirements of the modern web designer.
50 Free PSD UI Kits and Templates for Web Designers →
This post showcases 25 CSS snippets and hacks that will solve many of the most frequently used and, at times, frustrating CSS development tasks. Why reinvent the wheel when there are already plenty of time-saving pre-written CSS code snippets? As well as some classic and timeless CSS hacks you will also find many CSS3 snippets, like box-shadow, border-radius, linear-gradient, and more.
25 CSS Snippets for Some of the Most Common and Frustrating Tasks →
If you are a WordPress developer and are looking for an easy way of rapidly building HTML5 ready themes without having to re-write the same WordPress code over and over, then this post is for you.
Blank, bare-bones, naked, themes, or whatever you prefer to call them, are a life-saver for developers who have to build WordPress themes on a regular basis. They are basically stripped-back themes that have had all of their surplus non-essential code stripped away, leaving only the bare necessities and a fantastic starting point for any new project. This post features 10 blank, bare-bones or naked HTML5 ready themes, each with varied degrees of ‘nakedness’ and each offering different features and functionality.
10 HTML5-Ready Blank, Bare-Bones and Naked Themes for WordPress →
There are many tools built to help with CSS, and improved ones are constantly being created. The fresh tools in this post will greatly improve your work-flow, whether that be by solving validation or debugging snags, or taking care of many of those tedious repetitive tasks that every project requires, or by simply offering solutions to many of those tasks that are time consuming (like sprites) and at times challenging (CSS3 animations).
20 New Tools for for Easier CSS Development →
Nothing gets the creative juices flowing quite like redesigning a popular, well-known site. Reimagining how a site, app or brand identity would look can help to show the product in a different light, and can help get you thinking about why certain design decisions are made. While unsolicited redesigns can sometimes bring controversy, they can help to show how a design can be made more user-friendly, intuitive and useful. This post highlights 6 creative, unsolicited redesigns of popular websites.
Creative, Unsolicited Redesigns of Popular Web Sites →
Speckyboy’s social bookmarking services icon set articles has now become a yearly tradition. This is the third edition (you can also view 2010 and 2009) and the best by far. All of the social icon sets in this post are of the highest quality and have all been designed with versatility in mind and will fit in with the style of most websites.
50 Social Media Bookmarking Icon Sets – 2011 Edition →
This post highlights 20 new(ish) elegant and free fonts that would be perfect for the headlines or titles of either a webpage or a print publication. For the most part all of the fonts in this post can be used in both personal and commercial projects, but please do check the licenses of each before usage.
20 More Fresh and Free Fonts for Beautiful Headlines →
There’s a lot to be learned by looking at before and after shots of a website’s redesign. You get to see what the designer or design team has learned about design since the last rendition, where they’ve identified problems and areas of the design that could be improved. The site’s look and feel is brought up to date with trends, and often more timeless improvements are made, such as base typography enhancements. Examining these changes can help you take advantage of the designer’s learning through trial and error and other means and avoid having to make the same mistakes yourself. This post showcases 30 popular design blogs that have been redesigned over the past few years.
Before & After Redesigns of Popular Design Blogs →
Every six months or so we like to take a look at some of the greatest and freshest jQuery plugins from within that time. Each time we do this the jQuery community never ever fails to let us down. Constantly releasing plugins that are not only useful and problem solving, but also releasing plugins that can aid you with new technologies like HTML5 and CSS3. This post highlights some of the best new ones.
40 New jQuery Plugins →
This post highlights the best Photoshop brush packs that have been released recently. With a total of 50 packs and well over 500 brushes, covering almost all categories (grunge, light effects, ornamental, abstract, paint strokes, paper, splatters…) and all of the highest quality, you are guaranteed to find the brush pack that is needed for your next project.
50 New and Free Photoshop Brush Packs →