Merry Christmas and a Roundup of Web Design Articles from Speckyboy Design Magazine

By on Web Design

Christmas is here, and the wife has ordered me to take the next three or four days off. I haven’t had more than two days off at any given time in the past year, so perhaps she is right. I have handed over my laptop, handed over the power lead to the desktop and at this moment she is trying to pry my mobile phone out of my hands. I will fight this one, I love my mobile!
Truth is, I love everything about Christmas. The family is all together, lots of food, loads of drink, (hopefully) new gadgets and gaming devices, playing with the kids and there new toys and to top it all off there is lots of snow outside. It could just be the perfect white Christmas.

I will be back next Monday and as most people will still be on holiday I will keep the posts light, with some roundups and showcases.
As time is limited today, I have put together an article on the best of and the most popular Web Design related articles from Speckyboy that have been published in the past year.

I would just like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Season Greetings, from Speckyboy (Paul Andrew) from the Highlands in Scotland!

16 Usable CSS Graph and Bar Chart Tutorials and Techniques

SDM Web Design Archive
Have you ever even tried to create your own CSS graph? If you have, you will know how difficulty involved. Using Flash is one way to go, but you just can’t beat a beautifully crafted CSS Graph.

32 Indispensable Bookmarklets for Web Developers and Designers

SDM Web Design Archive
A Bookmarklet or Favelet is a small application tool, stored as the URL of a bookmark in a web browser or as a hyperlink on a web page.
To use these bookmarklets you simply drag links to your Bookmark Toolbar or right click and save link as, this way you will always have quick access to these great and useful tools.

30 Essential Free Portable Web Design and Development Applications

SDM Web Design Archive
All of the freeware applications, in this post, have been in some cases, modified and trimmed down in size to allow them to fit on to a portable device like a USB drive or a portable hard drive. Rather than carrying a bulky laptop, you can carry all your applications and programs, your bookmarks, local servers, emails, passwords, graphic editors and favorite browsers with you anywhere in your pocket.

34 Amazing Tumblr Themes, Twitter could never look this good!!!

SDM Web Design Archive
Twitter is the number 1 in the war of the microblogging apps, does it deserve its place there? Maybe. What about the others? Do you remember Tumblr?
A down side of Twitter is the inability to Customize your Twitter homepage, changing the background and styling the links is about all you will get. With Tumblr, there is a lot more, you can create a sophisticated unique theme very easily, all you need is a basic knowledge of CSS, and you are good to go…or you can download a theme.

25 Powerful and Useful jQuery Tutorials for Developers and Designers

SDM Web Design Archive
jQuery is everywhere, its fast and versatile, and is rapidly becoming as common on websites as CSS. The only small problem you may have is keeping up with its speedy development. This article aims to do just that, it attempts to bring you up to speed with latest developments with these fresh jQuery plugins and tutorial

40 Stylish, Minimal and Clean Free WordPress Themes

SDM Web Design Archive
What has happened to blogging, minimal design seems to be a forgotten style within blogging, everywhere you look the themes are graphically heavy and the basic premise of blogging is missing, which is a simple online diary.
Minimalism as a term is used to describe a design style that has been reduced to its bare elements, were only the content and navigation are evident and with limited graphics. In this post we have 40 Minimal WordPress Themes, so, lets make blogging look like its suppose to!

22 Versatile Adobe Flash Menu and Navigation Tutorials

SDM Web Design Archive
Flash design is being used less and less within web design nowadays, ads and games aside. We all know how about its down sides, and everyone certainly hates the “Click here to open in Full Screen” links that are, fortunately, not being used as much as in years gone by. There is no denying it though, visually Flash is beautiful. In this post we have 22 Flash Menu and Navigation Tutorials.

22 CSS Button Styling Tutorials and Techniques

SDM Web Design Archive
CSS button styling can be tricky and sometimes tedious. If you are looking for a simple and effective way of creating dynamic CSS buttons with cross browser compatibility, these tutorials are for you.

15 Amazing jQuery Image Gallery/Slideshow Plugins and Tutorials

SDM Web Design Archive
Image galleries, sliders and slideshows have become increasingly popular within webpages over the last year or so, and with jQuery becoming ever more popular, more and more developers have been creating these amazing powerful, versatile and sleek galleries. In this article you will the most powerful, the most creative and most versatile of jQuery plugins and tutorials built using jQuery.

24 CSS (in some cases with jQuery) Navigation and Menu Tutorials

SDM Web Design Archive
The most important part of designing a new site is the planning and design of the navigation or menu system. But this can be tricky, time consuming and often frustrating. You need something that will fit into your design and most importantly, allow your readers to navigate with ease. In this post you will find 24 CSS (in some cases with a little jQuery) Navigation and Menu Tutorials to help you on your way.

14 Essential WordPress Development and Design Cheat Sheets

SDM Web Design Archive
It amazes me how, sometimes, the simplest of posts can become one of the most popular. I remember I had chicken pox when I put this together, I was feeling awful, and just wanted something quick and painless to publish… and it became popular.

20+ Resources and Tutorials for Creative Forms using CSS

SDM Web Design Archive
Forms do not have to be boring and ugly, they too can be beautiful. With the proper understanding of each element (radio buttons, checkboxes, textareas..), CSS know-how, a little patience and some creativity you can make your forms beautiful. Throw in, the always important, semantics and accessibilty and things can get tricky.

40 Free and Essential Web Design and Development Books from Google

4SDM Web Design Archive
Google Books is perhaps one of the most untapped design and development resources…time to change all that. In this post there are over 40 web design and development books available from Google, they range from CSS, HTML, XHTML, DHTML, Actioscript, Javascript, Ajax, Perl, Ruby, MooTools, jQuery, Firefox and evem iPhone development. Not all books are complete, but offer plenty of information to help with your development.

50 Useful Tools and Generators for Easy CSS Development

SDM Web Design Archive
All of these CSS tools have been sorted into the following categories: Grid and Layout, CSS Optimisers, CSS Menus Tools, CSS Buttons, CSS Rounded Corners, CSS Frames, CSS Sprites, CSS Tables, CSS Typography and CSS Forms.

30 Tutorials Combining Both WordPress and jQuery

SDM Web Design Archive
Take the most popular CMS, WordPress, and then take the easiest and most versatile of Javscript libraries, jQuery, and you have a match made in heaven. Implementing jQuery within WordPress is a lot easier than you would think, all you need is a little support from the huge WP community and a little patience, and you are good to go. In this post you will find 30 Tutorials Combining both WordPress and jQuery.

20+ Free and Stylish Typography WordPress Themes

SDM Web Design Archive
Stylish typography in web design gives your site or blog an added air of quality and sophistication, it demonstrates that mere text can transform a dull and bland design into an eye catching collage of visual architecture. In this article you will find 20 of the best Stylish Typography WordPress Themes.

50 Surprisingly Amazing Themes for Blogger

SDM Web Design Archive
Blogger may not be the first blogging platform you would choose, it does have a reputation of being lacklustre, featureless and the bog standard skins have the look of a site that was designed five years ago. The reputation is maybe a little bit exaggerated, but really, when was the last time you had a look at Blogger?

The Blueprint CSS Framework – Tutorials, How-to Guides and Tools

SDM Web Design Archive
CSS frameworks are a Gods send. They speed up development, ensure usability, meet all W3C standards, compatabile across most browsers and a hell of a lot more. Sounds marvelous doesn’t it. Why doesn’t everybody use them? Well, for the novice developer, frameworks, may be a little bit tricky to get there head around? That is were this article comes in, to hopefully give everybody a better understanding of what a framework is and how to use it effectively.

40 Awesome and Fresh WordPress Themes

SDM Web Design Archive
Think back to three years ago and to the standards of blogging platforms and to the power of the then themes. WordPress and its community changed all that, the blogging platform has evolved into an industry standard power house CMS, yet it is still easy to use and build upon. That is why it is so popular.

10 Online Tools and Apps to Help Optimize and Format CSS

SDM Web Design Archive
Why would you ever need to optimize (or optimise, which ever spelling you prefer) or reFormat your CSS? Optimizing your CSS will not only allow your web page to load quicker, it also increases the durability and resilience of your site when there is a spike in visitors (i.e. the Digg effect) and, for me, the most important part is that it gives you more readable code.

A Collection of Useful Web Design Wireframing Resources

SDM Web Design Archive
Wireframing is one of the best parts of starting a new web design project. You have a blank canvas and for that short period you are allowed to let your creativity rein free. OK, your design may eventually be spoiled by the clients input… but for that short time it was perfect …
Anyway, today’s post is a collection of useful resources for web design wireframing, prototyping and mockups. There are templates for, possibly every browser in every size, there are form and button templates for all browsers and a hell of a lot more.

An Introduction to Understanding and Implementing Web Usability

SDM Web Design Archive
The main reason web sites are built is so that they are functional to be USED. It’s a simple as that. They are tools, references and resources, nothing more. And as web designers, we need to always remember that.
Designing a web site needs to be about the user and only for the user and every possible need of said user has to have been foreseen and catered for. Only then can a web site be usable. That is what USABILITY is.

25 Graph and Chart Solutions for Web Developers

SDM Web Design Archive
Creating an accessible data chart or graph in HTML is very tricky to achieve, especially with some elements, such as images, that allow only the most basic features that give textual information to non-visual users. What are the solutions?
PHP, Flash, Javscript (jQuery, MooTools, Prototype) and CSS can all be utilized successfully to implement interactive visualizations, and there are many techniques and solutions from each that will allow you to display them on web pages and apps.

A Collection of HTML5 Resources and Tutorials

SDM Web Design Archive
By now everyone has heard of HTML 5 and its new functionalities. Pretty exciting isn't it… also a little daunting.
Of course, there are two sides to the excitement, most developers love it, others feel it has come to soon and we are not ready for it. What ever your feelings are on this issue, it doesn't matter, it is here, so lets work with it.

8 Free Pictogram Icon Libraries and Collections

SDM Web Design Archive
A pictogram is a graphical symbol that can represent a sign, simple instructions or even an idea.In essence, pictograms area concept that has been stripped down to its bare essentials, yet still recognizable as the original idea.
Pictograms can be of help with usability and accessibility on your web site. It is a universal language, everyone understands and can read the icons.

40 Fresh and Free Icon Sets for Web Designers and Bloggers

SDM Web Design Archive
One of the most sought after elements of any web design are icons. If you are creative enough to design your own icon set and tailor make them for your sites design, you are very lucky, and I am envious. For the rest of us, we have to settle for the work of the many talented graphic designers who release there icon designs freely, and to them we are grateful.
In this post we have collected 40 recently released free icon-sets for web designers, developers and bloggers.

35 Original and Creative Free Twitter Icon Sets

SDM Web Design Archive
Most Twitter “Follow Me” buttons and icons are boring (look at mine, very dull),souless and cliched. How about something with some creativity, originality and a little bit of charcter. In this post that is exactly what you will find, 35 Original and Creative Twitter Icon Sets.

50 High Quality Free Icon Sets in PSD Format

SDM Web Design Archive
When a designer releases a free high quality icon set, we are all delighted and grateful. And when a designer releases an icon set accompanied by the .psd files we are ecstatic. An icon set may at times be limited to your requirements, but with .psd you now have the chance to extend the set and ctreate something original.

50 Social Service and Bookmarking Icon Sets for Bloggers

SDM Web Design Archive
There are many elements of blogging that are essential, on of the the most important is giving readers the chance to share your posts and information with a wider audience, and we accomplish this via the many social bookmarking services (digg, delicious, twitter…) that are available. Finding a bookmarking iconset that fits into your theme can be difficult or maybe you simply want something that is not boring or the bland.

50 of the Best Ever Web Development, Design and Application Icon Sets

SDM Web Design Archive
This was our most popular post of the year, so, if you are looking for that perfect icon for your web site, blog, web app or application, you will find them here.