Posts Tagged

March

Popular design news of the week: March 30, 2020 – April 5, 2020

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers. 

The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week.

Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news.

 

55+ Best Free Fonts

 

Colors.lol – Overly Descriptive Color Palettes

 

Reactive Resume: Free and Open-Source Resume Builder

 

Cross-Cultural Design: 4 Ways to Get Started

 

Productivity: The Ultimate Guide

 

Spicypass – Free and Open-Source Minimalist Password Manager

 

12+ Low-Code and No-Code Development Platforms

 

UX Myths to Forget in 2020

 

United Nations Issues an Open Brief to Designers to Help Fight Coronavirus

 

Best Infographic Makers in 2020

 

27 Best Movies & Documentaries for Creatives

 

6 Underestimated Soft Skills that will Make You a Better Designer

 

Design Trend: Mono Gradients

 

Not Safe for Design, a Creative Challenge Generator

 

Top 4 Tips on How to Build an Effective Design System

 

Social Distancing Logos are the Design Equivalent of ‘Thoughts and Prayers’

 

The Best Alternatives to Zoom for Videoconferencing

 

A Complete Guide to Wireframe Design

 

Top 5 Mockup Tools for Web Designers in 2020

 

A New Color Contrast Analyser that Suggests Better Colors

 

How to Build a Bad Design System

 

What Should You do When a Web Design Trend Becomes Too Popular?

 

How Organize your Text Styles in Sketch

 

Basecamp’s Jason Fried on the Learning Curve of Remote Work

 

How to Write UX Copy that Makes your Product a Joy to Use

 

Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News.



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Get the March Windows and Office patches installed, but watch out for known bugs

It’s been another Keystone Kops month, with a reasonably stable Patch Tuesday, followed by a hasty Patch Thursday to cover a security hole Microsoft accidentally blabbed, then the usual buggy “optional, non-security, C/D Week” patch, finishing with a fix for yet another bug introduced by earlier patches.

Plus ça change …

Along the way we got a quiet fix for a bug in Windows Defender. And a warning about yet another bad-font-takes-over-your-PC security hole. Microsoft has toned down its original warning about that Type 1 Font Parsing security hole, and now says it’s mostly a less-severe problem with Windows 7 and related servers.

All the while, in spite of loud sirens from many corners, there have been exactly zero emergencies, where a Microsoft patch fixed a hole that’s being widely exploited.

Which means it’s a good time to make sure you have the March patches installed, in preparation for what awaits in WFH April. Here’s how to do it.

Make a full backup

Make a full system image backup before you install the latest patches.

There’s a non-zero chance that the patches — even the latest, greatest patches of patches of patches — will hose your machine. Best to have a backup that you can reinstall even if your machine refuses to boot. This, in addition to the usual need for System Restore points.

There are plenty of full-image backup products, including at least two good free ones: Macrium Reflect Free and EaseUS Todo Backup

Install the latest Win10 March Cumulative Update

If you haven’t yet moved to Win10 version 1909 (in the Windows search box type winver and hit Enter), I recommend that you do so. The bugs in version 1903 are largely replicated in 1909 and vice versa, so there’s very little reason to hold off on making the switch — although, admittedly, there’s almost nothing worthwhile that’s new in version 1909. I have detailed instructions for moving to 1909 here.

To get the latest March Cumulative Update installed, click Start > Settings > Update & Security. If you see a Resume updates box (screenshot), click on it.

1903 updates paused Woody Leonhard/IDG

That’s all you need to do. Windows, in its infinite wisdom, will install the March Cumulative Update at its own pace. If you don’t see a Resume updates box, you already have the March Cumulative update and you’re good to go.

If you see a come-on for the “optional, non-security, C/D Week” patch KB 4541335 (screenshot), simply ignore it. There’s absolutely nothing in that patch that you need or want, and it’s causing all sorts of problems.

1909 optional update available 2 Woody Leonhard/IDG

There’s a reason why Microsoft is discontinuing these step-in-the-mess “optional” patches.

When your machine comes back up for air, don’t panic if your desktop doesn’t look right, or you can’t log in to your usual account. You got bit by the “temporary profile” bug, which we’ve known about — and complained about — for more than a month. We have three separate threads on AskWoody about solving the problem (1, 2, 3) and if you need additional help, you can always post a question. (Thx @PKCano.)

Also, don’t be overly surprised if you discover that, after installing the March patches, your internet connection disappears when you connect to a virtual private network. Yep, that’s another bug introduced by this month’s patches. For a change, Microsoft has actually documented the bug — and released a fix. You should only install the manual-download-only patch of a patch KB 4554364 if you’re getting knocked offline when connecting to a VPN. If your internet stays connected, simply ignore this warning. You’ll get updated in April. At least, theoretically.

While you’re mucking about with Windows Update, it wouldn’t hurt to pause updates, to take you out of the direct line of fire the next time Microsoft releases a buggy bunch of patches. Click Start > Settings > Update & Security. Click “Pause updates for 7 days.” Next, click on the newly revealed link, which says “Pause updates for 7 more days,” four more times. That pauses all updates for 35 days, until early May. With a little luck that’ll be long enough for Microsoft to fix any bugs it introduces in April. And the March stragglers, for that matter.

Patch Win7, Win8.1, or associated servers

If you’ve paid for Win7 Extended Security Updates and you’re having trouble getting them installed, Microsoft has a new article called Troubleshoot issues in Extended Security Updates that may be of help. We’re also fielding questions on AskWoody. 

0patch continues to provide patches for Win7, going so far as to fix the announced new font parsing bug, which Microsoft itself hasn’t even fixed as yet. 

If you’re running Win7 and haven’t been able to get Extended Security Updates working (there are lots of reported problems!), @abbodi86 offers a script that’ll let you install the latest Win7 security patches, bypassing the ESU restrictions.

Several high-profile security guri, including Patch Lady Susan Bradley, have called on Microsoft to open up its March 2020 Win7 patches to everybody, particularly considering the number of people who are working from home, on older machines, through no fault of their own.

Windows 8.1 continues to be the most stable version of Windows around. To get this month’s puny Monthly Rollup installed, follow AKB 2000004: How to apply the Win7 and 8.1 Monthly Rollups. You should have one Windows patch, dated March 10 (the Patch Tuesday patch). No, you don’t want the Preview of Monthly Rollup.

After you’ve installed the latest Monthly Rollup, if you’re intent on minimizing Microsoft’s snooping, run through the steps in AKB 2000007: Turning off the worst Win7 and 8.1 snooping. If you want to thoroughly cut out the telemetry, see @abbodi86’s detailed instructions in AKB 2000012: How To Neutralize Telemetry and Sustain Windows 7 and 8.1 Monthly Rollup Model.

Thanks to the dozens of volunteers on AskWoody who contribute mightily, especially @sb, @PKCano, @abbodi86 and many others.

We’ve moved to MS-DEFCON 3 on the AskWoody Lounge.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.



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Popular design news of the week: March 23, 2020 – March 29, 2020

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers. 

The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week.

Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news.

 

Instagram Mockup 2020

 

UI Inspiration: 20 Examples of Dashboard Designs

 

Animockup – Free Animated Mockup Maker

 

Prettier 2.0 – Opinionated JavaScript Formatter

 

The UX Writing Starter-Kit

 

I Don’t Care What Google or Apple or Whoever Did

 

Free Signature Fonts

 

Top UI/UX Design Trends for Mobile Apps in 2020

 

Problem Solving 101: Thinking in Systems

 

5 Best SaaS Bootstrap Template for 2020

 

The Web We Lost: Luke Dorny Redesign

 

Testing New Product Ideas with Landing Pages

 

How to Plan a Website Redesign When You Want to Scale

 

Through a Design System, Darkly

 

20 Must Have Photoshop Plugins for Web Designers

 

Colouring with Code

 

Designer: How to Prepare and Work as a Remote Employee

 

Polaroid is Back (again, Sort of) with a Rebrand and New Camera

 

15 Best Futuristic Fonts for Designers

 

Emergency Website Kit

 

Our Essential List of Free Software for Remote Work

 

6 Neuromarketing Tricks for your Visual Content

 

Documenting the Humane Design Movement

 

Designer’s Work Music Fix

 

Why Design Systems Fail, and How to Make Them Work

 

Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News.



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Introducing 15 Best New Portfolios, March 2020

Are you trapped in a fourth floor apartment listening to the guy next door serenade the block from his balcony with a saxophone he made from a length of rubber tubing and an old boot?

While people the world over very sensibly self-isolate, it’s still possible to be productive, why not work on your portfolio? Strap on your noise-cancelling headphones, turn on some white noise, and grab some inspiration from our monthly roundup of the best portfolios launched in the previous four weeks.

This month we see several previous trends still going strong. There’s a whole heap of color, masses of glitch effects, and the re-return of that old favorite, big bold typography. Enjoy!

 

Mees Verberne

Mees Verberne describes himself as a creative front-end developer and designer. He makes full use of the popular glitch trend to give his site some character, but what it really does well is obscure the banding in his gradients, giving him a nice sophisticated lighting effect.

mees-verberne

 

Sing-Sing

Adi Goodrich and Sean Pecknold founded Sing-Sing five years ago. Their award-winning work has a wonderful sense of color, with some genuinely original schemes in their design and film projects. The only criticism I would have is their hamburger menu, which isn’t immediately clear.

sing-sing

 

David Polonia

If you’re a fan of glitch effects, you’ll love David Polonia’s site. Normally I advise everyone to avoid sound on websites, but David’s portfolio benefits from the uplifting energy that it provides. There’s so much to explore here, it’s less a portfolio, and more of a showreel.

david-polonia

 

Mad River

Mad River’s work is the epitome of those hipster-lumberjack designs that have been popular for a few years. So naturally, for a British design agency, its site uses an illustration straight out of a US National Park guidebook. It is very beautiful though, and the site is a pleasure to browse round.

mad-river

 

Jamhot

Tank fly boss walk jam nitty gritty you’re listening to the boy from the big bad city — ahem. Clearly someone else has a fondness for 90s-era dance music. Jamhot exudes confidence, but why not when you have that animation on your site’s landing page. Seriously, I could look at this beauty for hours.

jamhot

 

Halbstark

I love the mountains, so Halbstark’s blend of big bold type, and eye onto a mountain scene grabbed me immediately. The zoom effect when your scroll down is sublime, and it leads to a very simple, carefully ordered portfolio that showcases everything you want to see in a reliable agency.

halbstark

 

Kota

I said there were plenty of glitch effects this month, and my favorite of them is Kota. Run your cursor over the screen and the large type, with the gradient, will distort and glitch in a liquid style. How’s that for packing in every single current design trend into one graphic?

kota

 

Mango Media

Some of the best sites this month combine several design trends, and Mango Media is one of them. Cursor over the blob and you’ll get bold gradients combined with the ever-popular glitch effect. And kudos for that hamburger menu icon that’s both original and perfectly clear.

mago-media

 

Deadwater

With a name like Deadwater, it’s no surprise that this French design agency has employed the liquid effect trend that’s been popular for the last few months. I love the way it’s been combined with a glitch effect to create the sense of being under water.

deadwater

 

Works

There’s a long-standing tradition in this series of selecting portfolios that make good use of the color yellow. Works certainly does that with an acid-toned site, that once you scroll uses a ticker-style band of the same color to indicate a selection. It ties everything together perfectly.

works

 

Electric Red

So, you think you’ve seen big type? Think again, you’ve not seen anything until you’ve seen Electric Red’s giant, 3D-rendered ring of spinning red text. The graphic grabs you as soon as you see it, but it’s also interactive, and it needs to be if you want to see enough to work out what it says.

electric-red

 

Studio Dot

Studio Dot obviously had to use a big dot on its site, behind which you’ll see a ton of glitchy graphics. What I really love are the links at the bottom of the homepage, which open without clicks when you hover over them for a while — usability aside I love that they tried to innovate in this area.

studio-dot

 

Vitali Zahharov

More animated gradients, this time curtesy of Vitali Zahharov. And yet more big bold typography, which is a trend that’s going to last throughout 2020 and beyond. Vitali’s a freelance designer based in Spain, and he’s worked for some really exceptional clients, scroll down to see selected work.

vitali-zahharov

 

Tubik Studio

Tubik Studio’s site devoted to its staff has tons of personality on display, from its juggling balls load bar, to the eccentric sound effects when you cursor over a thumbnail. Its main site is very goal-orientated, so showing off some personality contrasts well and makes it approachable.

tubik-studio

 

Superlab

If you read this series regularly you’ll know that I’m a sucker for animated abstract shapes. I guess I must have loved building blocks as a kid. Superlab’s are great because they tie everything together, without imposing themselves on the design. Nice bold, confident colors too.

superlab



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Popular design news of the week: March 16, 2020 – March 22, 2020

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers. 

The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week.

Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news.

 

Social Distancing Google Doodle is Ingeniously Simple

 

Slack Reveals its Biggest Ever Redesign

 

Microsoft Launches a Coronavirus Tracker Dashboard on Bing

 

11 Smart Ways to Monetize a Website (With Examples)

 

Top 3 Web Design Mistakes You’re Probably Making

 

Let’s Build a City in Figma

 

5 Magnificent Examples of Websites that Convert Visitors into Customers

 

The 5 Types of Projects not to Include in your Portfolio

 

Introducing: A Brand New Dribbble

 

MonoLisa Font

 

Coronavirus UX: How Dashboard Designs Can Impact your Perception

 

Apple Reveals the Best Night Mode Photos Shot on iPhone

 

12 Amazing Websites for Downloading Fonts in 2020

 

Web Accessibility Standards Designers Need to Know

 

Iconic Logos Reimagined for the Age of Coronavirus

 

How to Get High-Paying Web Design Clients Fast

 

Da Vinci’s Principles to Become a Better Designer

 

11 Things to Consider When Choosing a Website Builder

 

Snapfont

 

Creatives Band Together for Support During the Crisis

 

These Designers Let Us Peek Inside their Home Offices

 

These People Really Care About Fonts

 

How Web Designers Can Help in a Crisis

 

Brands Still Matter – Brandless Boom to Bust

 

Specialisation is for Insects - a Product Designer Impacts the Entire User Experience

 

Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News.



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