Skip to content

24 ways to impress your friends


A big year for design systems and component libraries, consolidation of ideas and a focus on tightening up practises and processes to achieve higher quality and consistency. We spent time looking at the way we think and the way we treat others to improve our personal health and that of the workplace. All in all, a year for learning about both our craft and ourselves.

  1. All That Glisters

    Drew McLellan

    Drew McLellan wraps up our 2017 series with a gentle reminder that in a rapidly moving industry, the best technology for the job isn’t always the newest. And while Christmas tradition tells us we should follow the bright star, sometimes the answer lies closer to home. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

  2. Refactoring Your Way to a Design System

    Mina Markham

    Mina Markham brings a ray of hope that flitters in the sky with advice on refactoring an existing codebase into a design system. Greenfield projects are rare, so can we move forward with legacy styles in place? All across the land dawns a brand new morn, this comes to pass when a new design system is born.

  3. Design Systems and Hybrids

    Jina Anne

    Jina Anne circles back to carefully look again at the popularity of design systems and how they impact the different roles within our teams. A good system enables all the reindeer to pull forward in a cohesive motion, yet has space for individuals with very shiny noses.

  4. Knowing the Future - Tips for a Happy Launch Day

    Phil Hawksworth

    Phil Hawksworth dashes through the snow towards his launch deadline with some tips for easing the path to production. Going live can be a scary thing, but that shouldn’t be down to technical concerns.Nail your deployment early, don’t leave it to the night before Christmas.

  5. Is Your Website Accidentally Sexist?

    Suw Charman-Anderson

    Suw Charman-Anderson offers up a handy guide to help us not get stuck up the chimney of gender bias by failing to properly consider our design and language choices. Take the time to examine your work and find any biases, because the girls and boys won’t get any toys if you don’t pull them out.

  6. Designing for Mobile Performance

    Mustafa Kurtuldu

    Mustafa Kurtuldu mulls over the topic of performance - both perceived and measured - for users of mobile devices. Of course, in managing to deliver millions of gifts around the world on the night before Christmas perhaps Santa is the real expert in mobile performance.

  7. Feeding the Audio Graph

    Ben Foxall

    Ben Foxall dives deep into the Web Audio API to serve up such well known Christmas hits as I’m Dreaming Of A White Noise Generator, and All I Want For Christmas Is 440Hz. Get ready to dance around your browser this season, because it certainly won’t be a silent night.

  8. Care and Feeding of Burnout

    Jessica Rose

    Jessica Rose sets out her recipe for identifying and caring for the symptoms of professional burnout. This time of year is the perfect opportunity to pause and reflect – are you burning the advent candle at both ends, and if so, what should you do about it? Let’s find out.

  9. Accessibility Through Semantic HTML

    Laura Kalbag

    Laura Kalbag takes us back to basics to make sure we consider accessibility when structuring our HTML. The Christmas tree needs to be standing firm before we drape it in lights and tinsel, and until you lot start doing it, we’re not going to stop preaching it.

  10. Why Design Systems Fail

    Una Kravets

    Una Kravets takes some time to consider the implementation of design systems, and how and why they might not succeed. Don’t let your design system be like a New Year’s resolution that starts off well but fades by the Spring. With appropriate care it should start to blossom as the snow melts away.

  11. Getting Hardboiled with CSS Custom Properties

    Andy Clarke

    Andy Clarke lifts the lid on Custom Properties, and adds a little spice with an elegant method for providing fallbacks for those with older browsers. Remember, at Christmas we all need to look out for our elders, be they friends, family or even just browsers.

  12. Design Systems and CSS Grid

    Stuart Robson

    Stuart Robson tackles the thorny issue of integrating modern CSS Grid layouts into an existing design system, but in doing so reaps the benefits of leaner, more easily maintainable markup. It goes to show that with careful planning, there’s no reason old and new CSS layout methods cannot meet under the mistletoe.

  13. Teach the CLI to Talk Back

    Anna Debenham

    Anna Debenham sets out to humanise our interactions with the command line to put more of the user into the user interface. Like an injured hedgehog in the winter snow, sometimes we can all benefit from interacting with a human.

  14. Styling Components - Typed CSS With Stylable

    Bruce Lawson

    Bruce Lawson extracts the silver sixpence of CSS from the JavaScript figgy pudding with an open source tool designed to make building styled components a matter of process and not just convention. CSS at scale is challenging, and without good tooling you’ll soon be dousing it with cognac and setting the world alight.

  15. Stop Leaving Animation to the Last Minute

    Val Head

    Val Head delves deep into her Christmas sack to find two very important deliverables. With animation forming such a crucial part of interaction and brand design in modern interfaces, you may not want to leave its implementation to chance.

  16. Automating Your Accessibility Tests

    Seren Davies

    Seren Davies reminds us that unlike Christmas, accessibility testing should not come but once a year with a look at how to apply automated testing. By configuring tests to run against each commit, you can ensure that your site’s accessibility compliance need not be left to chance.

  17. Designing a Remote Project

    Suzanna Haworth

    Suzanna Haworth turns off the daytime TV and puts on her favourite Christmas slippers to discuss the subject of distributed teams. Is working away from the office the key to health and productivity, or a way to avoid small talk at the Christmas party? Well, at least you’ll be home when the postman delivers your shopping.

  18. Levelling Up for Junior Developers

    Dean Hume

    Dean Hume places another log on the fire, sets the poker back on its stand, pulls up and chair and gathers the junior developers around the hearth to impart some wisdom. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the game some time, we can all benefit from a little levelling up.

  19. Jobs-to-Be-Done in Your UX Toolbox

    Steph Troeth

    Steph Troeth rallies the workshop elves around an idea for revolutionising their worksheets and giving them a new way to think about approaching each job. One thing’s for certain, as Christmas approaches there’s always plenty of jobs to be done.

  20. Lint the Web Forward With Sonarwhal

    Stephanie Drescher

    Stephanie Drescher is making a list and checking it twice to introduce an open source web linting tool that will help identify parts of your site that are naughty or nice. So roll up your sleeves and brush up on your best practices – there’s websites to fix.

  21. Cascading Web Design with Feature Queries

    Chen Hui Jing

    Chen Hui Jing pulls off the dust covers, swings open the storm shutters and lets the winter light fall on the subject of CSS feature queries. The chestnuts may not yet be roasting, and the halls may be still be undecked, but pull up a chair and settle down. It’s Christmas.