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All’s clear to install Microsoft’s November patches

The November passel of patches didn’t include anything earth-shattering; there were no emergency security breaches storming the gates, but good patching hygiene dictates that you get your machine braced for the next round.

If you install patches manually one by one (“Group B,” which I don’t recommend for mere mortals), you need to make sure you have the proper Servicing Stack Updates in place. They’ve all changed in the past month.

For those of you manually installing Win7 and 8.1 (and related Server) Security-only patches to avoid Microsoft’s pernicious snooping/telemetry, I have good news. For November, we haven’t detected the full-monty telemetry packages that were lurking in the July and September “Security-only” updates. 

As usual, Patch Lady Susan Bradley has full patch-by-patch details in her Patch Watch column (paywall).

Update

Here’s how to get your system updated the (relatively) safe way.

Note: If you install any Office updates, you may start seeing spurious “Query xxx is corrupt” error messages that look like the screenshot.

query is corrupt 1 Woody Leonhard/IDG

Should those start appearing, realize that they’re caused by a bug in the latest Office patches. You’ll have to manually download and install a fix for the bad patch. Microsoft has a list of the buggy patches and their fixes on the Office Support site.

Step 1. 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. For Win7 users, If you aren’t making backups regularly, take a look at this thread started by Cybertooth for details. You have good options, both free and not-so-free.

Step 2. For Win7 and 8.1

Microsoft is blocking updates to Windows 7 and 8.1 on recent computers. If you are running Windows 7 or 8.1 on a PC that’s 24 months old or newer, follow the instructions in AKB 2000006 or @MrBrian’s summary of @radosuaf’s method to make sure you can use Windows Update to get updates applied.

If you’ve been relying on the Security-only “Group B” patching approach to keep Microsoft’s snooping software off your PC, this month you’re in luck — we haven’t detected a repeat of the full telemetry packages hidden in the July and September patches. That means you can install the June, August, October and November patches without covering Microsoft’s messy tracks.

For most Windows 7 and 8.1 users, I recommend following AKB 2000004: How to apply the Win7 and 8.1 Monthly Rollups. You should have one Windows patch, dated November 12 (the Patch Tuesday patch). 

Realize that some or all of the expected patches for November may not show up or, if they do show up, may not be checked. DON’T CHECK any unchecked patches. Unless you’re very sure of yourself, DON’T GO LOOKING for additional patches. In particular, if you install the November Monthly Rollup, you won’t need (and probably won’t see) the concomitant patches for October. Don’t mess with Mother Microsoft.

If you see KB 4493132, the “Get Windows 10” nag patch, make sure it’s unchecked.

Watch out for driver updates — you’re far better off getting them from a manufacturer’s website.

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.

If you’re worried about Windows 7 hitting end-of-support in January, don’t be alarmed. About a quarter of all Windows users will hit the end-of-support date, just like you. Win7 won’t suddenly stop working on Jan. 14, 2020. You have many options — and not all of them end with Windows. We follow the alternatives intently in the Seven Semper Fi series on AskWoody.

Step 3. For Windows 10 prior to version 1903

If you’re running Win10 version 1803, the November cumulative update is your last. You need to move on — but not necessarily in the direction Microsoft is pushing you. I have a full discussion of your options and step-by-step instructions for getting to the version that you want in Running Win10 version 1803 or 1809? You have options. Here’s how to control your upgrade.

If you’re using Win10 version 1809 — my production machines are still on 1809 — you should start thinking about moving to 1903. Microsoft has issued rivers of patches for 1903 in recent months, and 1903 may be approaching some semblance of stability. I’m going to take a close look at the December patches before jumping ship, and suggest you do as well.

Once you’re running the version of Win10 that you want — there’s no reason to install patches until you’re running the right version — and you have Win10 Pro (or Education or Enterprise), you can follow my advice from February and set “quality update” (cumulative update) deferrals to 15 days, per the screenshot. If you have quality updates set to 15 days, your machine already updated itself on Nov. 27 and will update again on Christmas Day. 

1809 sac 300 15 1 Woody Leonhard/IDG

If you’re stuck with Win10 1803 or 1809 Home, it’s time to move to version 1903 (or even 1909). The potential disruption of a version change is worth that one key new feature — probably the single best new feature ever introduced in Windows 10 — which allows you to defer updates, giving Microsoft a chance to test its patches before they roll onto your system. See Running Win10 version 1803 or 1809? You have options. Here’s how to control your upgrade for full details.

Step 4. For Windows 10 version 1903 and 1909

Windows Update in Win10 version 1903 went through a major makeover in September — the documentation didn’t change, but the behavior did. The result is a major step forward in Windows 10 patching.

You may find that you can tell Win10 to delay quality updates by 15 days, as shown in the preceding screenshot, but you have a much simpler tool at your disposal.

If you’re on Win10 version 1903 or 1909 (either Home or Pro), click the link on the Windows Update page that says “Pause updates for 7 days,” then click on the newly revealed link, which says “Pause updates for 7 more days,” then click it again.

1903 pause 7 days 3 Woody Leonhard/IDG

By clicking that link three times, you’ll defer cumulative updates for 21 days from the day you started clicking — if you do it today, you’ll be protected until Dec. 26 — which is typically long enough for Microsoft to work out the worst bugs in their patches.

There are several group policies and a handful of registry settings working in the background when you click Pause updates. You may even be able to see the settings if you’re using Win10 Pro. But the “Pause updates” approach has proven itself to work reliably for everybody, 1903 or 1909, Pro or Home. Use it.

If you see an offer of an Optional update (screenshot), don’t click Download and install now. Even more bugs await.

1903 optional updates available Woody Leonhard/IDG

The December updates should appear next week. Realize that a large percentage of experienced Windows devs take vacations through much (or all!) of December. Expect the December patches to be minimal and — cross your fingers — relatively benign.

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

We’ve moved to MS-DEFCON 4 on the AskWoody Lounge.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.



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Popular design news of the week: November 25, 2019 – December 1, 2019

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.

 

Fascinating CSS Grid Layout Examples and Tutorials

 

The Defining Movie Poster Trend of the Decade

 

A Brutally Honest Landing Page

 

Hierarchy of Needs in UX

 

Developing a Website Redesign Strategy for 2020

 

Flowkit 3.0

 

Site Design: The Geek Designer

 

CSS Grid Layout Vs CSS Frameworks

 

The Third Generation of Interfaces

 

Buttons: Attention to Detail

 

Building Trust as a Designer

 

10 Essential UI (user-interface) Design Tips

 

WhoCanUse: Find Out Who Can Use your Color Combination

 

Shopify Vs WooCommerce Product Comparison

 

11 Christmas Icon Fonts Free for Commercial Use in 2019

 

7 Ways to Find a Niche for your Ecommerce Store

 

Tips for Choosing a Typeface (with Infographic)

 

Google Also A/B Tests the List Vs the Grid

 

Apple Pulls all Customer Reviews from Online Apple Store

 

How to Expand Globally as a Freelance Designer

 

Mouseless – Unleash your Keyboard’s Superpower

 

Designer Gift Guide 2019: The Best Holiday Gift Ideas for Designers

 

Good Design was Always Accessible

 

Can You Really Convey Luxury Through Digital Product Design?

 

Gratitude Goes a Long Way to Increase Creativity and Innovation

 

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



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Popular design news of the week: November 18, 2019 – November 24, 2019

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.

 

Diez is Now Open Source

 

Internet World Despairs as Non-profit .org Sold for $$$$ to Private Equity Firm

 

The Logos of Starbucks, Google, and More Get Redesigned by a Bot

 

It’s Time to Stop Designing ‘Minimum Viable Products’

 

Web Dev Metrics

 

20+ Color Tools for Web Designers

 

Apple Built a $1 Trillion Empire on Two Metaphors. One is Breaking

 

Enhancing Clickable Area Size

 

The Aesthetic-Accessibility Paradox

 

14 Inspiring UX Designer Portfolios

 

Designers: Ignore Best Practices

 

Why the Best Design is Sometimes Invisible

 

What Animation Taught Me About UX Design

 

Illlustrations – Large Set of Opensource Illustrations

 

Microsoft Went all in on Accessible Design. This is What Happened

 

Video Game Console Logos

 

Macro Trends in the Tech Industry

 

Framer is Going Web Based with Multi-user Editing

 

How We Scaled Our Design System to Unleash Skyscanner’s New Brand

 

The Quest for Simplicity

 

Passwords are a Design Problem

 

Design Tokens Beyond Colors, Typography, and Spacing

 

Complex Search-Results Pages Change Search Behavior: The Pinball Pattern

 

Explore Dribbble’s 2019 Global Design Survey

 

Evolving by Design

 

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, November 2019

Every month we publish a roundup of the best new portfolio sites, launched (or relaunched with significant updates) in the last four weeks. It doesn’t matter if it’s a freelancer, agency, or other creative professional, if it’s an interesting portfolio we’ll include it.

This month, the slow decline of minimalism continues, and color is everywhere. There’s some awesome type, and video-based maximalism seems to be gaining a foothold. Enjoy!

 

Another Colour

I adore Another Colour’s site. It takes incredible complexity to produce an effect this simple. The landing page is a looping rainbow gradient, and the gradient strip on the left takes you to the related point. Click a case study, and you’ll see tons of great UX detail. The masks being used to create contrasting type is a cool effect.

another_colour

 

Superimpose

Superimpose goes for full visual overload. With repeat images, rapidly changing graphics, and videos in constant flux — the whole thing feels like the tour film for a French techno band. The menu is terribly hard to find, hidden behind the logo, but there’s not much there in any case, the focus of the site is the endless scroll on the landing page.

superimpose

 

Plug & Play

Back in the realms of established user experience, the agency site for Plug & Play feels a lot less challenging. There’s the simple mission statement in large type that we’ve come to expect, and work overlapping the bottom edge encourages you to scroll. What I really like is is the way in which the site transitions from dark mode to light, as you scroll to the case studies. It’s a brilliant example of a simple transition that can be tied to a scroll.

plug_play

 

Root

The video on the homepage of Root’s site made me snort coffee up my nose. An old British guy with a plummy accent, reads out a list of font names in a deadpan style. I don’t know if everyone would understand what the names refer to, but check out their client list and you’ll see that it’s working for them. I’m not a fan of the mobile-only approach though.

root

 

Rload

From a slightly anarchic British agency, to a highly-polished Spanish one. Rload hangs everything on its logo, with videos of smoke, and ink in water, behind a mask in order to add motion to the design. It’s a simple and effective way to present color and animation, without adding too much bloat. Their project page has embraced the brutalist trend, softened with a nice animated blob.

rload

 

BuglerSmith

BuglerSmith is a creative agency, working on all kinds of media and interactive campaigns. Their site uses a very strong, very traditional 12-column grid to position thumbnails offset from each other, embracing the post-Brutalist trend. What really works is that some of the grid columns are highlighted with a fine line, which gives the scrolling page an incredible sense of depth. What’s more, it’s hard to dislike any agency that embraces neon pink.

buglersmith

 

Michele Smolensky

Speaking of neon pink, what could possibly beat neon pink, other than blackletter type set in neon pink. Michele Smolensky is a freelance designer and developer, from Austin Texas. Her site is simple, but the color combination of deep blue and neon pink really pops, and you’ve got to love any site that has the confidence to embrace blackletter, possibly the world’s most underused style of typeface.

michele_smolensky

 

Vivid Motion

Vivid Motion is another site embracing beautiful typography. Vivid Motion relies on GT Spectra — a lovely serif font with tons of character thanks to those sharp cutaways. Scroll rapidly and the thumbnails sheer nicely to enhance the sense of motion. The dark background and simple grid feels like a lot of similar sites, but the considered typography really makes this site stand out.

vivid_motion

 

One Media

I love the energy of One Media’s site. It’s more than just the rapid-cut video, the whole layout, the overlapping elements, and the interaction of the different blocks of text all contributes. It also makes use of a big design trend: menus that rely on overlays rather than background color, in order to stand out.

one

 

Elium

Elium is a Paris-based design studio specializing in product design. Their site features a slow-motion video that is effortlessly cool, and light-filled; precisely what I think of when I think of Paris. They’ve adopted a little of the spirit of brutalism with their offset images, but this site really longs for minimalism with the geometric sans-serif, and the subtle shifts in grey. I still can’t quite let go of this style.

elium

 

Jenn Schiffer

After a little visit to minimalism, we’re back to brutalism with a vengeance. Jenn Schiffer’s site might be my favourite this month, because it harks back to the early web, when we posted what we loved, not what had been analysed, measured, and approved. Describing herself as a web app developer, pixel artist, and tech satirist, this site is cool AF. And the fact that she’s included a dark mode option is hilariously awesome.

jenn_schiffer

 

Berger & Föhr

Back to nice, sensible, orderly design. Berger & Föhr is a graphic design agency focused on brand ideas and identities. It’s a simple site that gives over all the attention to the actual portfolio. The work on show is highly accomplished, the identity for Hampton Architecture, Blackbelly, and Ello particularly stand out. If you had a healthy budget to rebrand your business, this is where you would spend it.

berger_fohr

 

Fanny Luor

Fanny Luor is a freelance illustrator (and sometimes designer) whose site features some awesome work for clients like Dropbox and Intercom. Her very simple site is an exercise in self-restraint, which lets her work speak for itself. The illustration is both modern, and reminiscent of mid-late twentieth century illustration, with rich color blocks and simple shapes.

fanny_luor

 

Huncwot

Huncwot’s site is a simple premise, executed brilliantly. It’s a split-screen design with company details on the left, and work on the right. As you scroll the logo, which straddles both, is overlapped by the design thumbnails to create a subtle sense of depth. There’s even some parallax scrolling (yikes!) thrown in for good measure.

huncwot

 

Austin Mayer

Austin Mayer describes himself as an ‘Interactive Director’ and the fun particle-explody effect on his landing page is certainly attention grabbing. What I really love is the use of the blue gradient. It feels like forever since I’ve seen blue used this well, creating a sense of space and light, without relying on darkmode to do it. Did I mention he’s done work for Beyoncé? Yup!

austin_mayer



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Popular design news of the week: November 11, 2019 – November 17, 2019

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.

 

Paged.js

 

Facebook is Secretly Using your iPhone’s Camera as You Scroll your Feed

 

Don’t Hire Dribbblish Designers

 

Micro CMS – A Lightweight Content Management System for Building Websites Faster

 

The 16-Inch MacBook Pro

 

Duet Design System

 

Pac-Man… in CSS!

 

SEO Myths Busted by an Ex-Googler

 

Warner Bros.’ New Brand is a Glimpse at the Future of Entertainment

 

YouTube Says it has ‘no Obligation’ to Host Anyone’s Video

 

Mobile Dark Patterns

 

Chrome ‘Speed Badging’ will Shame Websites that Load Slowly

 

How to Get Started in Product Illustration

 

A Touch of Neon in Web Design: Using Color to Draw a User’s Attention

 

5 Essential UX Design Tips

 

My Complete Toolkit for Design and Productivity

 

Chicago Design System

 

Creative Activities to Help your Design Team Thrive

 

A Designer’s Primer to Behavioural Design

 

Apple Eyes 2022 Release for AR Headset, 2023 for Glasses

 

Know your Worth! A Guide to Setting your Rates

 

The 2019 Web Almanac

 

Back in 1900, Activist W. E. B. Du Bois was Using Infographics to Challenge White Supremacy

 

Words and Phrases in Common Use Which Originated in the Field of Typography

 

Berlin Wall Graffiti is Made into a Typeface

 

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



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Critical updates to Excel and publicly disclosed exploits make for an urgent November Patch Tuesday

It doesn’t always take the drama of a zero-day vulnerability like we saw in September to get our attention. Make no mistake: This is still a really big update for the Windows platform. Two vulnerabilities deserve our attention. The first (CVE-2019-1429) relates to a vulnerability in the Microsoft Script Engine which has been reported as publicly exploited. And the second, (CVE-2019-1457)  is a publicly reported exploit in Microsoft Excel. We also think that the critical update to Exchange Server (CVE-2019-1373) will require immediate attention.

Though we are getting some pretty urgent patching requirements for older builds (especially Windows 7), Microsoft appears to have learnt from past lessons, as most later builds are largely immune to these attacks. This has two real benefits. First, having more secure systems is generally a good thing. Second, the IT department doesn’t have to rush out urgent fixes and can take the time to properly test and stage their desktop and server platform changes. You can find out more with our helpful infographic found here.

Known issues

Microsoft has documented a few known issues for this November Patch Tuesday, which we have broken down into two sections including:

Office update issues:

  • 4484113: After installing this update, you may see a “File failed to upload” error when saving files to a network location. To fix this issue, install KB 3085368
  • 4523171: Exchange services may remain in a disabled state after you install this security update. This condition does not indicate that the update is not installed correctly. This condition may occur if the service control scripts experience a problem when they try to return Exchange services to their usual state.

Windows 10 and Server 2019:

  • 4523205: There are a number of issues relating to Input Method Editors (IME) and Asian language packages for the Server installation process. For more information on these issues please refer to KB4026923.

Also, we are still seeing reports of the following error message: “Certain operations, such as rename, that you perform on files or folders that are on a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) may fail with the error, “STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL (0xC00000A5)”. Microsoft has been working on this issue for four months now, and there is no fix expected soon.

Major revisions

No major Microsoft update revisions (at the time of writing) have been published.

Each month, we break down the update cycle into product families (as defined by Microsoft) with the following basic groupings:

  • Browsers (Microsoft IE and Edge)
  • Microsoft Windows (both desktop and server)
  • Microsoft Office (Including Web Apps and Exchange)
  • Microsoft Development platforms ( NET Core, .NET Core and Chakra Core)
  • Adobe Flash Player

Browsers

The core Microsoft Scripting Engine (including VBScript) appears to be the concern this month, with the three critical rated patches (CVE-2019-1429, CVE-2019-1390 and CVE-2019-1427) and three other patches rates as important. For the past few years, we have seen too many patches to both Scripting engines – most leading to relatively exploitable remote code execution scenarios. Unfortunately, this month there has been reports of a Microsoft Script engine vulnerability exploited in the wild (CVE-2019-1429) and that like the other related vulnerabilities could lead to arbitrary code execution in the user’s security context. There is even an ActiveX web-based attack for this vulnerability , which I thought was not really “allowed” anymore. Add these Microsoft browser updates to your “Patch Now” release cycle.

Windows

Make no mistake, this is a big update for the Microsoft Windows platform, with 57 patches, six rated as critical. The six critical patches could lead to a remote code execution scenario, with Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization platform receiving the most attention this month. Given our experience with these types of updates in the past, we believe that the Windows font library patch (CVE-2019-1441) could be a likely candidate for potential application compatibility issues. If you are running Windows 7, this is a Patch Now update. If you are running Windows 10 (preferably later than 1803) then there are significant changes to the Hyper-V platform that will require testing. Schedule this Windows update, with a staggered release schedule for your Windows 10 desktops.

Microsoft Office

This is an unusual month for Microsoft Office updates. As usual, Microsoft has released (this month – nine) updates for Office that affect Exchange Server, Excel and Office Online. As usual, there are a number of Spoofing (CVE-2019-1445 and CVE-2019-1447) and Security Feature Bypass vulnerabilities (CVE-2019-1442 and CVE-2019-1449) addressed in the monthly security roll-up. Unusually, there has been a publicly reported exploit for Excel (CVE-2019-1457) that though difficult to exploit, an attacker can still rely on non-secure Excel macros and the fact that users will still download and open Excel files sent to them from strangers. As a result of this, please add this month’s Microsoft Office update to your “Patch Now” release cycle.

Development tools

This is a relatively quiet month for Microsoft developer tools updates with just two patches (CVE-2019-1370 and CVE-2019-1425), both rated as important by Microsoft. Affecting the open source Open Enclave SDK toolkit and Visual Studio, these two vulnerabilities may lead to an elevation of privilege security issue. Fortunately, the Visual Studio vulnerability has already been separately addressed by two NPM advisories: Arbitrary File Overwrite and the fstream version. Add this update to your regular developer update schedule.

Adobe

No Adobe updates for this month. If this continues into January, we will remove this section from our updates going forwards. But for now, it’s Margarita time.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.



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Windows 10 November 2019 Update: Key enterprise features

It’s almost time for the next big Windows 10 update. Code-named “19H1” (for 2019, first half), the release is expected to arrive in May as version 1903, with “May 2019 Update” as its official name.

At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot that’s new in the May 2019 Update. But several of these “little things” could affect the way you use a Windows 10 PC daily for work, or how you manage PCs in your office.

[ Further reading: How to handle Windows 10 updates ]

Here are a handful of useful features that have shown up in the previews of the May 2019 Update over the last several months. (Please note that Microsoft may decide not to include some of these features in the final release.) In addition, we’ve called out a few other new Windows 10 features that are not part of the May 2019 Update but that business users and IT admins should know about.

(See the subsequent pages of this story for key enterprise features introduced in earlier Windows 10 feature updates.)



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Exciting New Tools for Designers, November 2019

There’s a lot of fun packed into the roundup this month with a couple of design games, delightful fonts and animations, as well as design tools that can make your life easier.

You’re sure to find some tools and resources that will help you save time as we enter what is often one of the most hectic seasons of the year. Here’s what’s new for designers this month.

 

Screen Size Map

Screen Size Map is a tool to showcase popular screen sizes and will even auto-detect yours. Map sizes by device type, usage, size, and popularity. This can really come in handy when thinking about viewports or breakpoints in design projects. You might also be surprised to see what screen sizes are the most (or least) popular.

 

Lordicon

Lordicon is a collection of free and premium animated icons in GIF and JSON formats. Each icon has a fun line style and can be customized to match your color palette. You can also adjust size, stroke width, and animation player type — automatic, hover, click, or morph. Every icon is scalable and compatible with all major browsers. This is a fun animated icon kit for projects built on the Lottie engine.

 

Free Bootstrap Templates and Themes

Free Bootstrap Templates and Themes is a library of free (and premium!) design elements to jumpstart projects using Designmodo’s Startup App. These tools are great starters that you can use as is, or edit in the app to create landing pages, SaaS, admin pages, presentations, and e-commerce websites.

 

Inspect This Snake

Inspect This Snake is a fun goodie by Matthew Rayfield. Go ahead click it and play around. You might even learn something about how he put it all together.

 

FYI: Free Resources for Freelancers

FYI: Free Resources for Freelancers is a collection of tools to connect all the apps for sharing and storing information. It works as a Chrome extension and allows you to connect all your free tools for better workflows. “With FYI every document you’ve created and that’s been shared with you will be accessible in just a few clicks. Your documents will be automatically organized so you won’t be checking each app and account to find what you’re looking for. They’ll all be in one place.”

 

Spectrum

Spectrum is Adobe’s design system and the company recently released these components and tools to the public. You can even use the Spectrum CSS, which is open source, in conjunction with the guidelines from Adobe. Even if you don’t plan to use it, this is a neat look into the design system and how Adobe thinks about the look and feel of its products. (And while it doesn’t look all that detailed at first glance, the system is rather extensive.)

 

Dashdash

Dashdash is a spreadsheet tool that allows you to access business data and APIs, send emails, and more with a traditional spreadsheet online. You don’t need to code to design tools and information. Plus, it integrates with other tools to make your work easier.

 

Can You Draw a Perfect Circle?

Can You Draw a Perfect Circle? is a browser-based game that you might find yourself obsessing over. (I really wanted to draw a perfect circle, but it never happens.)

 

Open Doodles

Open Doodles is an animated collection of hand-drawn illustrations for projects in SVG, PNG, and GIF formats. Use the generator to change the colors and styles to create a semi-custom pack.

 

Claro

Claro is a nifty to-do app that’s open to invites. It features a simple design that’s supposed to be distraction free so that you focus on things you need to get done, not the design of the tool.

 

Tartan Patterns

Tartan Patterns is a collection of more than 5,000 repeating SVG and PNG images. (Seems like the perfect pattern for fall.) Everything is grouped by name in alphabetical order. Warning: It is easy to get lost in looking at all the patterns.

 

Blocke: Social Web UI Kit

Blocke: Social Web UI Kit is a set of 30 components designed for social feeds. The freebie is a preview for a bigger set if you like what you see.

 

CursorOS

CursorOS is a Figma-read (Sketch coming soon) collection of original macOS cursors that you can use in design systems, projects, user flows, UI kits, prototypes, and more.

 

Tutorial: Designing Accessible Color Systems

Designing Accessible Color Systems is a look at how Stripe has worked to improve color contrast and accessibility in its design projects. The lesson is reflective of recent changes to the brand’s color palette to make it more accessible. It’s a good lesson in modern color theory.

 

Izmir Hover Effects

Izmir Hover Effects is a mini CSS library that helps you create customer effects. Load the library to your project, add the element markup and style classes, and you are ready to go.

 

8b

8b is a website builder based on Google AMP. Use it to create modern designs on a fast, responsive template. It’s free to build on and includes plenty of templates for quick builds. You can also link a domain and every site includes SSL/HTTPS.

 

Hexometer

Hexometer uses artificial intelligence to scan over 2,800 data points on your website to make sure your digital assets are in pristine condition. It will also give you tips and tricks on how to improve your website hygiene.

 

FontPairings.ByPeople

FontPairings.ByPeople allows you to pop pairs of fonts onto the screen with just a click to see how they look on different website theme templates. Swap headings and text elements and mix and match pairs to find a typography palette that appeals to you.

 

Antique Cherry

Antique Cherry is a lovely novelty script with nice lines and great curves. It’s available for personal and non-profit use and includes a full character set.

 

Glitch Esports

Glitch Esports combines two trending elements, glitching design and esports in a single typeface. Try it for a fun display option.

 

Grifter Bold

Grifter Bold is a round versatile font in all caps and lowercase that can work great for display options. (Only the bold version is free.) It includes a full character and number set with some extra glyphs.

 

Les Paul

Les Paul is a fun novelty display font with lots of options to create interesting combinations of text elements. All of the characters are uppercase and there is a small fee for commercial use.

 

Recursive

Recursive is a variable font in beta that will soon be added to the Google Fonts collection. It includes a sans and mono option and is a five-axis variable font. Use predefined styles or adjust proportion, monospace, weight, slant, and italic to take full advantage of the variable font technology. Everything is in one font file.

 

Salveation Serif

Salveation Serif is a nice display, uppercase font with fun lines and a vintage feel. The font includes letters, numerals, and unlimited punctuation.



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Popular design news of the week: November 4, 2019 – November 10, 2019

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.

 

No More Brand Colors?

 

How to Design for Assholes

 

Microsoft Previews its Fluid Framework

 

New Microsoft Edge Logo

 

Adobe Announces Photoshop Camera with ‘AI-powered’ Filters

 

The Evolution of Material Design’s Text Fields

 

Sidebearings.com — New Typography Resource for Designers, Typographers & Type Nerds

 

Striking Examples of the Glitch Effect in Web Design

 

Typographic Illusions

 

Baywatch Red: The Birth of a New Pantone Colour

 

How Uber Uses Psychology to Perfect their Customer Experience

 

5 Tips on Making your Website Content Reflect your Brand Identity

 

Exploring New Ways to Manage Content in WordPress

 

Typora: A Truly Minimal Markdown Editor

 

Adobe is Bringing Illustrator to the iPad in 2020

 

We Stood up to a Patent Troll and Won

 

A Year in Graphic Detail

 

Adobe’s Inconsistent Icons are Driving Designers Nuts

 

Recursive Mono and Sans, a Free Variable Type Family

 

Why Some Designs Look Messy, and Others Don’t

 

Laughing OnLine

 

Trusting your Design Instinct

 

Let’s Kill the Hourly Rate: We are Leaving Money on the Table

 

Success Comes to Those Who Understand their Customers

 

Design is a Long Game: Invaluable Advice from Freelancer Lisa Engler

 

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



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20 Freshest Web Designs, November 2019

Every month we roundup the freshest new web sites that have been released in the previous four weeks, with an eye-out for new ideas.

In this month’s collection we’re seeing some minor trends, like the return of sliders, over-sized text, and liquid effects. But the biggest thing of note is a brand new trend: brutalist typography and layouts, made more appealing by soft, feminine color palettes. Enjoy!

 

Wolff Olins

Globally renowned agency Wolff Olins’ new site is engagingly simple, but when a company like this embraces a trend, you know it’s got staying power. Edge-to-edge text, and a brutalist approach softened with color, are both evident.

001-wolffolins

 

Universal Sans

Universal Sans is a variable font with a pretty awesome site that allows you to adapt the font for your own purposes. For many of us it’s as close as we’ll get to designing a typeface. Once you’re happy you can even buy your customized font.

004-universal

 

Warner Music Norway

Warner Music Norway embraces a traditional slider to highlight some of the artists it represents. It works because there’s no text to read, you either recognize the musician or you don’t. Scroll a little and you’ll find on-trend brutalism.

005-warner

 

Ackee

Ackee is self-hosted analytics software. Its site opts for a bold typeface for headings, and makes use of some beautifully illustrated palms to introduce brand colors. The subtle animation does an excellent job of illustrating how the product works.

007-ackee

 

Redscout

Redscout’s logo is big and bold, and stretches across the screen. It stays fixed in place as an outline as you scroll, before getting bold again when you reach the bottom of the page. The black text on white, and the overlapping grid is classic brutalism.

018-redscout

 

Low Intervention

Low Intervention embraces several of the current trends, most notably the liquid effect, and brutalism toned down by the use of a sophisticated color palette. Brutalism is still the dominant theme, with edge-to-edge content, and little whitespace.

002-low

 

Marble

Marble’s purpose is to bring together art and science to tackle some of the problems faced by children around the world. Its delightful site features maze-like text, with dozens of marbles rolling around referencing both problem solving, and play.

008-marble

 

Hypergram

Never let it be said that you can’t make the logo bigger. Hypergram’s logo takes up the entire page, obscuring the portfolio. The changing background color is a nice effect, and offsets the work in the slideshow perfectly.

012-hypergram

 

Vahur Kubja

Vahur Kubja’s site is one of the first sites we’ve seen to adopt the latest design trend: it’s relentlessly brutalist in all but one respect, the color scheme is a sophisticated minimalist palette of green, peach, and pink.

009-vahur

 

Mutha

Mutha’s site is big, brash, and bold. With heavy black text. Not the style you’d expect of a skincare company — which would typically be light, gentle, and unassuming. Which is exactly why this brutalist site stands out.

011-mutha

 

The Happy Hero

If you’re a big fan of this year’s brutalist trend, then you’ll love this micro-site for The Happy Hero, a self-help book about positivity. The site’s adopted brutalism and then subverted it, drawing inspiration from both Pop Art and De Stijl.

013-happyhero

 

Devialet

Most people browse the web with the sound off, which presents a challenge to companies selling audio products. Devialet solves the problem brilliantly, with a swirling galaxy creating the impression of depth, range, and power.

014-devialet

 

Bruno Simon

What can you say about Bruno Simon’s site, other than you have to play it to understand it. Drive the toy truck around the site, knocking over awards and breaking the scenery. It’s not practical, but it’s fun, and a great showcase for his skills.

006-bruno

 

Readymag

Readymag is a browser-based design tool for creating simple sites. Its landing page features oversized typography, which is impactful, and fairly daring for a company of this type. They’re laying their cards on the table right away.

015-readymag

 

Climate Adaptation Australia

Alongside the nice, bold menu system, Climate Adaption Australia features one of the very few effective sliders you’ll see. Sliders have largely been discredited as a design pattern with poor user experience, but in this case it works.

016-climate

 

Giovanni Rustanto

If brutalism is too much for you, you can let out a sigh of relief with this one. Giovanni Rustanto’s site is elegantly minimal in both visuals, and interaction. The pleasing burst of terracotta right at the end adds some much needed flavor to the color palette.

017-giovanni

 

1017 Gin

1017 Gin’s site is a high-class mix of glossy magazine layout, and coffee-table book. The one-pager is understated, with just a nod to trends with undersized images. The way the page splits when you click buy, is lovely, because it’s unexpected.

010-1017

 

Sedilia

Sedilia is a minimalish site, that exudes comfort, simplicity, and style. The product photography is great, but it’s the framing that makes the difference. The site also features excellent typography and an unusual choice of font (it’s GT Zirkon).

019-sedilia

 

Gyro

Gyro is another site that features over-sized typography, and again it’s the company logo. Move your cursor and it explodes in an interesting 3D effect. Gyro also has all the hallmarks of brutalism, tempered by a lovely color palette.

003-gyro

 

Dorian Lods

Dorian Lods’ site is another example of the trend common among developers at present: a liquid effect. This is a particularly standout version, not least thanks to the way it integrates into the rest of the site, as a device, not a crutch.

020-dorian



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