The Portfolio and Blog of Aaron Miller


Speedy, Modular, and Scalable CSS

We’ve all come across projects or websites with poorly written code and have also had the pleasure starting a project on a clean slate. Any good front-end developer should care about writing clean and semantic code. Why? A few reasons include:

  1. Easier maintenance – Allows developers to make code updates easily.
  2. Increases page load speeds – Lesser code = Faster load.
  3. Improves SEO – Search engines can easily parse through site content and increase site rankings.
  4. …and let’s not forget, it improves the usability of the site, which makes your users happy.

There are four approaches that I recently stumbled upon for writing organized and semantic code. Let’s go ahead and take a look at what those are.
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CSS3 and Vendor Prefixes

CSS3 is still under development and hasn’t been completely finalized. Because of these reasons, modern browsers have added their own prefixes to take advantage of the new features CSS3 offers. When CSS3 is fully developed these prefixes won’t be necessary.
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Creating a Flexible Grid From Pixels to Percentages

If you’re looking into making your site responsive, you’ll want to start converting your pixel based columns into percentages. Fonts should also be converted using the em unit if they are currently pixel based. Changing these units for columns and fonts will allow more flexibility with scale and readability for different screen resolutions and sizes.
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CSS font-size Property Units

I’m sure you’ve noticed the many font-size units used on the web. There seems to be an endless debate as to which unit is “the best,” especially between pixels and ems. My take on it depends on what type of project you’re working on and what goals and requirements you have. Let’s dive in and take a look at the different font-size property units.
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10 Wireframe Tools for Designers

If you’re new to wireframes, they pretty much serve like a blueprint for a website. Wikipedia has a pretty good description:

“The wireframe depicts the page layout or arrangement of the website’s content, including interface elements and navigational systems, and how they work together. The wireframe usually lacks typographic style, color, or graphics, since the main focus lies in functionality, behavior, and priority of content. In other words, it focuses on what a screen does, not what it looks like.” — Wikipedia

Wireframes are great for presentation and gathering feedback on a project. It’s a lot easier going through this process before the design takes shape. Stakeholders will be more focused on the content and placement of information rather than the styling.
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Retina Display Optimization

We already know that the internet is always changing, but I’m pretty sure we never thought the resolution of a computer or device would change things so drastically. Ever since Apple came out with the Retina display it seems like the internet world has changed forever. I’m sure there are people who are sick of hearing about Retina this and Retina that and after all it’s just a brand name. However, I believe we would have been at this point whether Apple made it popular or not and you can thank your mobile device and tablet for that.
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jQuery Pop Menu

So what is a pop menu? I like to think of them as a secondary navigation or a menu that appears for changing settings on a web application.
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