UX examples and resources, web design for hackers, beginning backbone.js, and modernizr

What’s up, code monkeys? Another post, another slew of things I loved and would love to share with you.

There are a handful of websites collecting and glorifying examples of great web interaction. Small Nudges focuses on ways businesses are nudging users toward conversion. Little Big Details and Pattern Tap bring us great examples of user interaction. I may have mentioned UI Cloud before, but it belongs in this group, as it is essentially a search engine for UI elements. Web design is getting cleaner, faster, and more intuitive as we continue to raise the bar, and these sites are a great place to check in on the latest trends.

If you’re not a designer, (I’m definitely not) there are still great ways to learn and contribute to the design of any project, even for you logic-based, nerd-alert programmers who spend hours each day staring at, basically, the matrix. Exposure to great sites like Smashing Magazine, Web Design Depot, and CSS-Tricks are always great (and just look at how well-designed they are!) I recommend their newsletters very much, because they filter for you. Let them pick the good ones out before you overwhelm yourself.

Another great site is Sidebar, which gives you no more than the 5 best design links of the day, or if you sign of up for their weekly email, the 7 best of the week. I have yet to be disappointed. Also, check out Hack Design. I haven’t had time to dive in yet, but it seems to be something like a crash course in design for all those coders who ran through Codecademy.

I learned to implement Modernizr for the first time last week at work, and was oh-so-impressed. It solves all kinds of browser css issues that I’ve been so afraid of for so long. Now I feel you can truly design for the latest-and-greatest Chrome, and patch IE later. I hope that’s not too naive. I think the catch is that it works best with a really well-designed front-end. We got it going without much trouble.

For you hard-core coders, I am really enjoying working with Backbone.js. It was complicated at first, but it is making more and more sense lately. Check out this hangman tutorial. I ran through it a few days ago and loved the exposure to a Ruby server using Sinatra. I’m hoping to get Heroku involved this weekend so I can push my own hangman game live. So much to learn!

P.S. A friend of mine is diving into programming now, and he’s finding great things on coding-related subreddits, including these squishy toggle buttons. I’m sure there’s wonderful stuff there, if you’re looking for more.