📝 This Week in Web Design and Development

View this newsletter on the web.

Howdy, y’all! Earlier this week Figma launched Auto Layout which allows components to work a lot more like elements on a web page and respond to the text within a frame. Just like this:

Make sure to check out the video tutorial that Figma posted which walks through building a layout from scratch and how this latest feature can speed things up considerably.

📝 This Week in Web Design and Development

View this newsletter on the web.

🔇 Why is the web so quiet?

(Robin) Why is sound used so sparingly in web design today? Well, it likely has something to do with the pop-ups of yesteryear and the intense background music that would jolt us awake whenever we visited a website that used a bunch of Flash. Because of the work of a few bad apples we’ve all collectively come to the same conclusion:

Unless there’s a video playing, websites are entirely silent.

But the other day I was playing Death Stranding and clicking around the UI. Every button prompt in that game makes an audible click! that is so very satisfying and gives you feedback: yes, you have just clicked that button. I cannot imagine what this game would feel like if its UI was entirely devoid of sound. It would all feel so much less satisfying, that’s for sure.

There are interface sounds for warnings, accepting prompts, and holding a button down. There are sounds for moving down or up in a menu, for moving deeper into the interface, for cancelling back to the previous menu.

I guess it’s not just games. The latest version of iOS is mostly silent and will only provide me with audible feedback if I’m typing. So I wonder if this is a context issue — when we’re sitting in front of a TV, it’s fine that we’re being bombarded with sounds because our focus is entirely on the TV. But when we’re on our phones, whether that’s on a website or an app, then we’re likely out and about and those sounds could annoy people around us.

I wonder if this is something that we can experiment with: making small web projects that push back a little on this thing that we’ve all collectively decided to avoid. Maybe we can make the web not only work better, but sound better, too.

📝 This Week in Web Design and Development

View this newsletter on the web.

This month we asked a few web designers and developers we admire the following question: what’s interested you this year when it comes to making websites? What’s caught your attention and what have you learned? What have you been thinking about throughout the year that’s had the biggest impact on your work? Their answers were pretty astonishing!

Folks talked about how the language of CSS is slowly evolving into a more mature and comprehensive language for us, and how a vanilla workflow with just CSS, HTML, and JavaScript is still the best cocktail in town, or how after making websites for 25 years it’s possible to learn what kind of development it is that you like.

We’ve captured a few choice abstracts below—but!—we’re also super interested in your thoughts, too. What did you find particularly interesting in either the web design industry or on the technology side of things this year? Did you notice any trends? Did you find a tiny CSS trick that surprised you? Let us know! We’re @css on Twitter.

And now get ready to fire up those read later apps and services because we have a whole bunch of interesting articles you’re going to want to read right away: