Smashing Magazine

1. A Closer Look At Personas: A Guide To Developing The Right Ones (Part 2) | Smashing Magazine

"How can designers create experiences that are custom tailored to people who are unlike themselves? As explained in part 1 of this series, an effective way to gain knowledge of, build empathy for and sharpen focus on users is to use a persona. This final part of the series will explain an effective method of creating a persona.

There are myriad ways to integrate user-centered thinking into the creative process of UX design, and personas are one of the most effective ways to empathize with and analyze users. There is no one right way to develop a persona, but the method I will share here is based on processes developed, field-tested and refined over the years at the interaction design agency Cooper. This process follows a logical order that begins with knowing nothing (or very little) about users and ends with a refined and nuanced perspective of users that can be shared with others."


2. Color Posts Plugin Extends Jetpack to Add Intuitive Background Color Matching

"Automatically changing the background color of a post based on its images is a fancy effect that you may have noticed on WordPress.com’s Ryu theme. It’s currently WordPress.com’s 7th most popular theme and is also available for self-hosted sites with the same intuitive background changing feature built in.

Color Posts Background

Jetpack developer Jeremy Herve just released an independent plugin version of the feature cut out of the theme. Color Posts does the following:

  1. Grabs an image from the post
  2. Samples it
  3. Creates a matching color and a contrast value (black or white)
  4. Changes the post’s background color to match the image"

3. Heroku WP: A Template for Installing and Running WordPress on Heroku

WP Herouku

"Over the past few months, WordPress developers have been experimenting with speeding up PHP execution with HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine) and have achieved some amazingly fast load times. HHVM compatibility with WordPress is gradually improving and more hosting companies are moving to adopt it, as many believe that HHVM will soon revolutionize PHP.

Changes in WordPress 3.9 helped to improve compatibility with HHVM and, as a result, a few WP + HHVM templates have popped up, including a new one for Heroku fans. Heroku WP is a template for installing and running WordPress on the Heroku cloud application platform with the official Heroku stack."

4. WordPress cdnjs Plugin Makes It Easy to Offload Scripts

Wp cdnjs

"The cdnjs service is used by hundreds of thousands of websites to offload static files for performance. It’s an open source community-driven project that hosts a variety of different file types, including JavaScript, CSS, SWF, and images, thanks to help from sponsors UserApp and CloudFlare.

WP cdnjs is a new plugin that allows users to easily include any CSS or JavaScript library hosted at cdnjs. Once installed, you can search all cdnjs libraries directly within the plugin’s settings."

5. Underscores WordPress Starter Theme Adds Support for Sass

"Underscores community project contributors announced today that the theme now includes support for Sass. The popular WordPress starter theme is an open source project maintained by Automattic, and many of its users requested Sass support, according to contributor Tammie Lister. ‘The community firstly asked for Sass. As Sass is in core, this makes sense. It was already part of most themers’ workflow.’

If you visit Underscores.me and click on ‘Advanced Options’, you’ll now find that you can check a box to add Sass support:


Lister emphasized in the announcement that support for Sass is included in a way that gives developers the freedom to use it as they please:

“Not everyone compiles or uses Sass the same, so _s shouldn’t force anyone to follow one path or another. In this sense, the Sass provided takes a pure approach, not requiring Compass or any other scripts.”

6. Interview With Siobhan McKeown On The Future Of The WordPress Codex

“If you use WordPress, chances are that you’ve run into the WordPress Codex. The Codex is a community maintained collection of documentation, hooks, filters, best practices, and other information related to WordPress. With various handbook projects underway, I’ve been wondering what the future of the Codex is. To find out, I got in touch with Siobhan McKeown, who is a member of the documentation team.”

This looks like a good way to get involved WordPress.

7. 7 Non-raster Approaches for Making the “Hamburger” Menu Icon – Tuts+ Web Design Tutorial

"Whether you’re a fan of the cheesy name or not, it seems the infamous ‘hamburger’ menu icon is here to stay – at least for a while, anyway. 

The Hamburger, as seen on TechCrunch
In this tutorial we’ll look at a number of approaches to creating and styling such an icon without using raster images. I’ve got seven options to show you, so we better get cracking…"

Get out the Ketchup and Mustard and make a Cheeseburger.


8. Accessing External APIs Using AngularJS’s Services – Tuts+ Code Tutorial

“Aside from ability to extend HTML easily AngularJS also offers a simple way to interact with external APIs. In this tutorial, I will show you how to use Services to access GitHub’s API and create a simple repository browser.”

9. In the previous article, we created a basic structure of our plugin. Now it’s time to implement the rendering class for each of our widgets.

WP dashboard>widget” title=”WP-dashboard>widget.png” border=”0″ width=”600″ height=”321″ /></p>
<p>Recall that all widget providers have to implement Provider interface. They also have to sit inside folder named widget, and under the namespace AXStatBoardWidget. If we want to add a new kind of metric, just create a corresponding class, and create an object and add it to Widget class with the add_provider method.</p>
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10. X | The Ultimate WordPress Theme : WP Mayor

X wp theme

"Have you ever thought about having one theme that you can customise as you wish, and create any site imaginable for any purpose whatsoever? I introduce you to the X Theme, from ThemeCo – truly the ultimate WordPress theme out there.

With continuous developments and new features and layouts being added, this theme’s potential seems to be never ending. With tens of thousands of customers in the first few months since it was launched, X has proven to be ThemeForest’s fastest selling product of all time!"