Snippets

These snippets are my attempt to save and organize various bits of code, best practices, and resources relating to web development and design. They also function as a to do list of sorts, for things I want to implement in my own code, but haven't yet. The concept is inspired by Jeremy Keith's links and CSS-Tricks, among other things. Enjoy.

CSS Writing Modes

You can use a little-known, yet important and powerful CSS property to make text run vertically.

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Or instead of running text vertically, you can layout a set of icons or interface buttons in this way. Or, of course, with anything on your page.

[…]

If you do want a bit more of a taste, look at this example that adds text-orientation: upright; to the mix — turning the individual letters of the latin font to be upright instead of sideways.

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Code language: CSS

h1 {
  writing-mode: vertical-rl;
  text-orientation: upright;
  text-transform: uppercase;
  letter-spacing: -25px;
}

Don't Re-Create Browser Features (Text resize widgets, etc.)

I built text sizing widgets for years, every damn site. I was so proud of them too. It was a way of showing I care about users. It was all ego. As soon as I could start tracking clicks on those widgets I found they were not used. Even on sites I built for low vision communities.

Instead, a good design with non-hardcoded typefaces that is responsive and does not disable zoom was all I needed. In short, good development techniques and best practices. That handled most of my edge cases just fine. For the remainder, a little documentation in the form of simple, contextual help text.

Notice I am not referencing assistive technology. For the most part, those users don’t need your widgets, they have already obtained tools to work around a non-inclusive web.

[…]

Instead of custom widget, maybe help educate users on how to use their own web browser. Perhaps link to, or offer as pop-up help, quick instructions on how to scale text in the user’s current browser.

Now you will have educated a user. You will have armed a user to have a better experience across the whole of the web. You will have stopped selfishly building a widget for just your users and contributed to empowering all users.

What could be more inclusive than that?

Fun with Staggered Transitions - Cloud Four

I was prototyping a sliding view transition between nested levels of navigation:

While this sort of transition had worked well for past projects, it didn’t feel quite right for this one. I wanted it to have a little more personality, to feel like it was organically reacting to the item you selected.

I thought it might be cool to stagger the animation, so the selected item began moving first, with its siblings following as if tethered together:

Fluid Type on CodePen Blogs

It became more popular to “go fully responsive” with layouts, where widths were largely in percentages, so that you get to use as much room is available at any given screen size. To a point, anyway.

You can also “go fully responsive” with typography, in a sense. There are a number of Pens by Mike Riethmuller that tackle things like fluid type size, fluid modular scale, and even fluid vertical rhythm.

It’s worth reading up on Mike’s technique here, but a distilled Sass version is like:

Code language: Sass

@function strip-unit($value) {
  @return $value / ($value * 0 + 1);
}
 
@mixin fluid-type($min-vw, $max-vw, $min-font-size, $max-font-size) {
  $u1: unit($min-vw);
  $u2: unit($max-vw);
  $u3: unit($min-font-size);
  $u4: unit($max-font-size);
 
  @if $u1 == $u2 and $u1 == $u3 and $u1 == $u4 {
    & {
 
      font-size: $min-font-size;
      @media screen and (min-width: $min-vw) {
        font-size: calc(#{$min-font-size} + #{strip-unit($max-font-size - $min-font-size)} * ((100vw - #{$min-vw}) / #{strip-unit($max-vw - $min-vw)}));
      }
 
      @media screen and (min-width: $max-vw) {
        font-size: $max-font-size;
      }
    }
  }
}
 
$min_width: 320px;
$max_width: 1200px;
$min_font: 16px;
$max_font: 24px;
 
$mod_1: 1.2; // mobile
$mod_2: 1.5; // desktop
 
html {
  @include fluid-type($min_width, $max_width, $min_font, $max_font);
}
 
h1 {  
  font-size: $mod_1*$mod_1*$mod_1*$mod_1 *1rem; 
  @include fluid-type($min_width, $max_width, $mod_1*$mod_1*$mod_1 *$min_font, $mod_2*$mod_2*$mod_2 *$min_font);
}
h2 {  
  font-size: $mod_1*$mod_1*$mod_1 *1rem; 
  @include fluid-type($min_width, $max_width, $mod_1*$mod_1*$mod_1 *$min_font, $mod_2*$mod_2*$mod_2 *$min_font);
}
h3 { 
  font-size: $mod_1*$mod_1 *1rem;
  @include fluid-type($min_width, $max_width, $mod_1*$mod_1 *$min_font, $mod_2*$mod_2 *$min_font);
}

Jessica's Client Email Helper

Negotiating incoming project terms over email is difficult for even the well-seasoned professional. I’ve created this handy tool to help you say “no” to free and low-budget work and to help ask for more favorable contract terms before the start of a project. I tried to make it as comprehensive and flexible as possible, but every creative industry is a bit different so feel free to adapt my words to best suit your personal situation.

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JavaScript loading: Prefer DEFER Over ASYNC

ASYNC and DEFER are similar in that they allow scripts to load without blocking the HTML parser which means users see page content more quickly. But they do have differences:

  • Scripts loaded with ASYNC are parsed and executed immediately when the resource is done downloading. Whereas DEFER scripts don’t execute until the HTML document is done being parsed (AKA, DOM Interactive or performance.timing.domInteractive).
  • ASYNC scripts may load out-of-order, whereas DEFER scripts are executed in the order in which they appear in markup. (Although there’s a bug that makes DEFER’s execution order questionable in IE⇐9.)

Even though ASYNC and DEFER don’t block the HTML parser, they can block rendering. This happens when they’re parsed and executed before rendering is complete and take over the browser main thread. There’s nothing in the spec that says they have to wait until rendering is complete. ASYNC scripts execute immediately once they finish downloading, and DEFER scripts execute after DOM Interactive.

[…]

DEFER always causes script execution to happen at the same time as or later than ASYNC. Presumably, scripts are made DEFER or ASYNC because they are less important for the critical content on the page. Therefore, it’s better to use DEFER so that their execution happens outside of the main rendering time.

DEFER scripts can never block synchronous scripts, while ASYNC scripts might depending on how quickly they download. Synchronous scripts are typically made synchronous because they are important for the critical content on the page. Therefore, it’s better to use DEFER so that synchronous scripts are not blocked from executing and their critical work is completed more quickly.