Creating Pinterest-Style Images

Image Compositing with imgix Animation

Note: New in our series of guest posts, HomeChef software engineer Kevin Lesht describes how he and his team use imgix to create multi-layered images for Pinterest using their existing content.

Why Vue?

Vue logo

I'm a big fan of Vue.js.

Every time I say that, the first response is, of course, "What do you like about Vue over React, Angular, or Ember?" Many people these days feel overwhelmed by how quickly JavaScript moves, so it's understandable that yet another JavaScript framework gives them pause.

This post is not intended to say that using other frameworks is bad, or that you should switch all your existing projects to Vue. On the contrary, many incredible apps have been built by teams using React, Angular, Ember, and more! Each framework has unique pros and cons, and it's important to consider what's important to you and your team before settling on one.

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Holistic UX Recap & Video

Thanks so much to everyone who came to our Holistic UX event last week. We had a lot of fun, and loved meeting folks who attended. Also, thanks again to Yelp for their fantastic hospitality, and of course our panelists Vicki, Jacob, and Bryn for providing useful insights.

If you missed the event, don’t worry! We have the video footage, which you can watch right here:

Everyone agrees that user testing can be an integral part of creating a great user experience, but it’s important to factor details about your product into how you test. At Lyft, one of Vicki’s focus areas was doing real-world testing. The way Lyft is used day-to-day can be hectic and confusing (while at at a bar, or trying to figure out which silver Prius is there for you), so it was important to test in those types of environments.

Picking the users you test with also matters. Lyft made a point to not run user tests with people in the tech industry, because their target audience is made up of mostly non-technical users. Figma, on the other hand, is a design tool. Since most of their users already have experience giving product feedback, Figma is often able to get direct, structured feedback from their users without having to replicate specific test scenarios.

We also talked about the balance between making something that’s pretty and something that’s highly usable. User experience can sometimes be at odds with a pure design. For example, “placeholder labels” vs. labels above their inputs. Bryn pointed out that “It’s really easy to buy good-looking…usable is really hard, but it’s the most valuable.” It often helps to take a step back and rethink whether something that looks very clean is actually a usable solution, or more like hiding clutter in a closet.

Hopefully we’ll see you at our next event! Sign up to be notified when that’s happening.

More on Holistic UX

Folks talk about user experience design all the time, but what's often neglected is that everyone on a team should play a part in creating a great experience for users, not just UX Designers. We all know that "design is not just what it looks like and feels like", but how can that ethos be applied to UX? imgix is hosting a panel event on October 6th where we’ll be getting into this topic in-depth. Here’s a bit of a teaser of what we’ll be discussing!

UX also isn't only something that applies to products with complex user interfaces. Even things that are typically considered ugly and unusable like command-line tools for developers can benefit from UX thinking.

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Come Talk Holistic UX with Us

Holistic UX Header

Back in the bad old days before the internet ate everything, it was common to define design as the way a product looked. This led to a certain dysfunctional paradigm. Design was the sole domain of someone called a “designer.” Engineers, who were in charge of how things worked, threw products over a fence to this miserable soul, and they somehow made those products beautiful.

Probably the designer’s process involved dark magic, the golden ratio, and whispered prayers to Dieter Rams. Nobody knew for sure, because nobody really talked to the designer. The only people consulted less were the users. They were forced to endure products that didn’t really fit their needs because nobody bothered to ask them what those needs were.

As an industry, we like to think we’ve moved past this. But peel back the covers at too many tech firms, and you see the same sad, siloed process.

At imgix, we think that’s silly. We bet we’re not alone.

That’s why we’re hosting an event on October 6 to discuss more holistic approaches to UX and design. We’ll be talking about how UX concepts can contribute to every stage of a product’s creation. We’ll also be talking about how feedback from these three sides—designers, developers, and users—can be mashed together to create amazing products and transformative experiences.

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Art-Direct Responsive Images with Focal Point Cropping

Animation showing focal point cropping

As responsive design patterns continue to consolidate into best practices, it’s become easier for designers and developers to think beyond just resizing and cropping images, and address how to maximize the impact of each image. Responsive art direction, with each image cropped to keep focus on the key elements at each size, is now easier than ever. In addition to our automated methods of cropping to areas of interest, we've now added complete manual controls for true focal point cropping and zooming.

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