Hongkiat: 30+ Useful Chrome Extensions for Web Designers . “I love Google Chrome. Its simplicity, speed and performance are undoubtedly top-notch. But sometimes, being too simple can also be a problem, especially for us web designers who rely heavily on add-ons. I walked away from Chrome back in 2008 just because it had no addon . But now things have changed at the Chrome side as there are so many Chrome Extensions being created every day that are similar in function to Firefox add-ons. I dug into those extensions and through my personal experience picked up 40 extensions that can be very helpful for web designers to share with you guys.” Decent annotation for such a long list.
Slate, and let me say up front I don’t agree with the “blogging is dead” part (for obvious reasons): End the Tyranny of Arial. “After an era where customizability was the norm, we’ve now reached a period where everything we read online looks the same. Blogging is dead, and the current dominant social media platforms have settled on a unified look: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages largely look the same. While Slack offers themes to change its default colors, and there are third-party apps to modify WhatsApp, there’s little you can do to change the look of messages you send.”
CNET: Facebook pages get face-lift with new page layout design. “If you think your Facebook page looks a bit different today, you’re not alone. The social networking giant appears to have rolled out a new page design on Tuesday, eschewing the previous three-column layout for one that incorporates only two. On the right is static information about the page, while the left side contains the feed of recent posts.”
The Verge: The dream of the ‘00s lives on in gossip blogs. “Mostly, the internet is worse now than it was 20 years ago — but at least it looks better. Now that ‘going online’ is more often a job than a hobby, the internet looks appropriately sleek to match: by adults and for adults, by professionals and for professionals. Platforms have different personalities, from the cutesy quirk of Etsy to the clean, friendly usability of Slack. But, in general, if a website is popular, if it is large enough to be the primary income source for its creators, it is both navigable and beautiful in a minimalist, Scandinavian-boutique-hotel sort of way. The look of a website is intentional and made by a well-paid committee. Very little about the internet’s appearance, short of a bug quickly remedied, is an accident.”
Search Engine Land: 3 free tools to comprehensively test page speed . “Having a fast site is important, since faster sites are rewarded with improved search engine optimization (SEO) and the ability to drive more visits and conversions. More people visiting your site can lead to more sales, signups or traffic in general. That’s a true win-win. Of course, where there’s a positive, there is always a negative. The flip side to fast sites is slow sites, and slow sites tend to suffer from lack of sales, sign-ups and traffic in general. That is definitely not a win-win. Once you get above 3 seconds, many visitors leave before the page loads, many more will bounce, and your conversion rate will plummet. Not good.”
Fast Co Design: Here’s An Internet Off Button For When You Just Can’t Take It Anymore. “It’s a little black box that sits in the top right corner of your browser. And when you click it, it turns any page on the internet into a serene tabula rasa with no text and no images.” Sounds like a useful tool for exploring Web design – or a really, really mean prank.