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Front-end Development

We’ve written 43 blog posts about Front-end Development. View all topics »

  1. The Scoop on Our Benjerry.com Style Guide

    The web has been all about style guides lately. Everyone from the BBC to Code for America to Yelp released their guides to the public, and style-guide-automating tools like KSS and Hologram are becoming increasingly popular. At Happy Cog, we’ve been making our clients’ style guides more interactive. Our newer style guides go beyond documenting the design systems we’ve established; they take advantage of their living in the browser to dynamically show how a system’s pieces are built, how it responds at different viewport sizes, and how users can interact with those pieces.

    For the recently launched Ben & Jerry’s website redesign, we created one of these “interactive style guides.” It covers everything related to building out and maintaining the new website: design components, page layouts, and even content creation. I chatted with a few of the Cogs responsible for the Ben & Jerry’s style guide about how it came together.

  2. You Might Need jQuery

    2/27/14

    by Cat Farman

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    jQuery: Maybe you’ve heard of it. If not, may I welcome you to the internet and introduce you to some cool websites? jQuery is a hugely popular JavaScript library that gives you an API to manipulate DOM elements easily, handle events, AJAX your content, and create all the other cool features that make the web go ‘round. The scale of jQuery’s popularity is incredible; it’s used on over 80% of the most trafficked websites, and its CDN serves up over 500 million files a day.

  3. A Simple Grid Mixin Explained

    Successful design systems stand on the shoulders of sound grids. Grids form the groundwork for a uniform yet flexible suite of templates. Their layouts hold containers that fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Last week, Happy Cog, in partnership with Mijingo, released the 7th video in The Happy Cog Way series: “The Basics of Grids.” In it, MJ discusses using a nice little web app called Modular Grid Pattern, a grid generator that can export into a variety of design programs.

  4. Fall Back to the Cascade

    10/24/13

    by Cat Farman

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    When we think of responsive design, we typically focus on newfangled mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. But, as front-end developers, we still need to account for older browsers that can’t handle the newest CSS3 techniques when rendering our sites. In the case of responsive design, that means our old friend Internet Explorer 8 (and below) needs some extra handholding when we build our sites with media queries. These browsers don’t support media queries, and since they are still in widespread enough use that we can’t ignore them (~10% of users are still using IE8), we have to come up with new techniques for gracefully degrading our sites.

  5. The Web on the Web’s Terms

    After finishing journalism school, I worked for a series of terrific newspaper and radio companies. Barely two years into it, after flirting with the web, I quit.

    Compared to the web, print and radio had limited reach and were clumsy to use. In print, we plugged content into a fixed canvas and delivered the same experience to every reader. The closest we got to flexibility was an evening edition or special insert. The web attracted me because it couldn’t have been more different. It challenged me to design and build something that can reach anyone on any web-browsing device—a cause worthy of committing my career to.

  6. Progressive Enhancement: It’s About the Content

    In case you’ve missed it, there has recently been a lot of discussion in the web community around whether Progressive Enhancement, a cornerstone concept in web development, is still relevant. The discussion has been largely sparked by Sigh, JavaScript, a tumblr by Happy Cog alum (now of Super Friendly) Daniel Mall that showcases high-profile websites completely breaking when JavaScript is disabled. Screenshots of websites from brands like CNN, McDonalds, and Instagram are completely blank. Their content isn’t just unusable, it’s completely absent.

  7. Maps Should Be Crafted, Not “Plugged In”

    Web design would be dramatically different if HTML had been born with some foresight for storytelling devices like maps. We certainly can’t blame web pioneers for focusing on type and images instead of maps, video, or canvas. But, because maps found their place at the table through browser plugins and third-party APIs, I find that they’re too often dismissed in the design process as elements that are just “plugged in.”

  8. Go Vertical

    Devices come in all shapes and sizes—from iPhones, to the massive Galaxy Note, to the tall-but-skinny Nexus 7, to 10-inch iPads, and massive, 30-inch displays.

  9. Making Front-end Development a Team Sport

    “All code in any code-base should look like a single person typed it, no matter how many people contributed,” is one of the many ideas behind documents such as Rick Waldon’s Idiomatic JS and Nicolas Gallagher’s Idiomatic CSS.

  10. Re-cognition

    As we near the end of December, it’s pretty natural to begin to reflect on the past year. Cognition is the place where we share new processes and create a dialogue around new ideas. In the spirit of reflection and end-of-year lists, here are the top five trafficked Cognition posts of 2012 and some parting thoughts from an alternate point of view.

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