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Imagine that it’s a hot day. The sun is out, and the temperature is rising. Perhaps, every now and then, there’s a cool breeze. A good song is playing on the radio. At some point, you get up to get a glass of water, but the exact reason why you did that at that particular time isn’t easy to explain. It was “too hot” and you were “somewhat thirsty,” but also maybe “a little bored.” Each of these qualities isn’t either/or, but instead fall on a spectrum of values.

Building Killer Robots: Game Behavior In iOS With Fuzzy Logic Rule Systems

In contrast, our software is usually built on Boolean values. We set isHot to true and if isHot && isThirsty && isBored, then we call getWater(). If we use code like this to control our game characters, then they will appear jerky and less natural. In this article, we’ll learn how to add intelligent behavior to the non-player characters of a game using an alternative to conventional Boolean logic.

The post Building Killer Robots: Game Behavior In iOS With Fuzzy Logic Rule Systems appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Community forums are a huge part of the web. They’ve been around since the late 90s and over time web forums have only grown larger with dozens of forum CMS’ on the market. Running a forum is a lot…

Click through to read the rest of the story on the Vandelay Design Blog.

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Better Form Design: One Thing Per Page

by Adam Silver on May 22, 2017

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In 2008, I worked on Boots.com. They wanted a single-page checkout with the trendiest of techniques from that era, including accordions, AJAX and client-side validation.

Better Form Design: One Thing Per Page

Each step (delivery address, delivery options and credit-card details) had an accordion panel. Each panel was submitted via AJAX. Upon successful submission, the panel collapsed and the next one opened, with a sliding transition.

The post Better Form Design: One Thing Per Page appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Nothing is more frustrating for a blogger than to be held captive by distractions. Unfortunately, the nature of the industry and the flexibility that comes with working remotely is often highly conducive to distractions. Figuring out how to deal with them can make a huge difference.

3 Ways to Beat Common Distractions

As humans, one of our innate weaknesses is our inability to focus on one single task for a long period of time. Evolutionarily speaking, things have gotten worse. You’ve probably heard the statistic that humans now have shorter attention spans than goldfish. Yikes!

The good news is that you’ve also been blessed with a brain that can make choices and implement strategies for self-improvement. If you want to kick productivity into high gear and become a more efficient blogger, you must develop a plan for beating the common distractions that plague you on a daily basis. Here are some suggestions:

1. Ditch Your Smartphone

Your smartphone is a magnet for distraction. As soon as you see it light up or hear it buzz, you’re immediately drawn to it. Sometimes you just pick up your phone to see if a notification has appeared, even if you don’t see or hear any signs of an incoming message.

As a blogger who depends on long, uninterrupted periods of focus, the smartphone can be a death sentence. So here’s a contrarian idea: get rid of it. Nobody is suggesting that you go off the grid, but you could certainly benefit from replacing your smartphone with a more traditional flip phone.

Flip phones – such as the new Samsung Rugby 4 – don’t pose nearly the same level of distraction that today’s iPhones and Androids do with apps, social media, and the like. By using a flip phone during the workday, you can avoid unnecessary distractions. Give it a try and see what you think.

2. Find a Private Place to Work

It may be trendy to bring your laptop to the local coffee shop and spend your day pecking away at your keyboard while a barista brings you a never ending supply of caramel lattes, but public spaces aren’t ideal places to work on a regular basis.

Coffee shops, malls, and even public libraries can be very distracting. They’re great for an occasional change of scenery, but you need a private place to work. Your house or apartment is a good start, but distractions can be present here, too. What you really require is a dedicated room in your home where you can shut the door and be alone.

3. Log Out of Your Email Account

Just like your smartphone, email can be a big distraction. Every time you see an email notification pop up on your desktop, you click it and see what’s going on. Without realizing it in the moment, you’re killing your train of thought.

In order to combat the constant ringing and dinging of your email inbox, go ahead and log out. Instead of being constantly logged in, schedule time in your daily planner to check and respond to email. This might be a 20-minute block in the morning and afternoon. Outside of these blocks, you stay logged out. As a result, you don’t have to deal with going back and forth from writing to checking emails (the vast majority of which aren’t time sensitive).

Don’t Let Distractions Rule Your Day

Distractions can derail you as a blogger – if you let them. Talk to the most successful bloggers in your industry and you’ll discover that they’re masters at time management. They know how to set themselves up for success and rarely fall victim to costly distractions. If you can learn how to do the same, success will become much more attainable.

Original post: 3 Ways Bloggers Can Eliminate Distractions and Kick Productivity Into High Gear

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When was the last time you took some time to reflect? Constantly surrounded by news and notifications to keep up with and in a rush to get things done more efficiently, it’s important that we take a step back from time to time to reflect our actions and opinions.

Web Development Reading List 183

Reflect if you are working the way you want to work, reflect if you live your life as you want it to be, but also everyday matters. Do you really need that one particular app or service, for example, or could you live without it? Sometimes less is more and efficiency isn’t everything. What counts is how you use your time.

The post Web Development Reading List #183: Comedy In Design, Security Checklist And The Life As Nobody appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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json-api-normalizer: An Easy Way To Integrate The JSON API And Redux

May 19, 2017
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As a front-end developer, for each and every application I work on, I need to decide how to manage the data. The problem can be broken down into the foll…

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Low-Hanging Fruits For Enhancing Mobile UX

May 18, 2017
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Good UX is what separates successful apps from unsuccessful ones. Customers are won and lost every day because of good or bad user experience design. The most important thing to keep in mind when designing a mobile app is to make sure it is both useful and intuitive.

Low-Hanging Fruits For Enhancing Mobile UX

Obviously, if an app is not useful, it will have no practical value for the user, and no one will have any reason to use it. And even if the app is useful but requires a lot of effort, people won’t bother learning how to use it.

The post Low-Hanging Fruits For Enhancing Mobile UX appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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“Why We Didn’t Use A Framework” (Case Study)

May 17, 2017
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When we set out to build MeetSpace (a video conferencing app for distributed teams), we had a familiar decision to make: What’s our tech stack going to be? We gathered our requirements, reviewed our team’s skillset and ultimately decided to use vanilla JavaScript and to avoid a front-end framework.

“Why We Didn’t Use A Framework” (A Case Study)

Using this approach, we were able to create an incredibly fast and light web application that is also less work to maintain over time. The average page load on MeetSpace has just 1 uncached request and is 2 KB to download, and the page is ready within 200 milliseconds. Let’s take a look at what went into this decision and how we achieved these results.

The post “Why We Didn’t Use A Framework” (Case Study) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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The Best CMS Brands For Small Businesses

May 17, 2017
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Every small business owner trying to establish his or her business online will require the use of a CMS program, regardless of whether it is open source or not. CMS (content management system) will allow you to have full control of your website. The ideal CMS should be easy to use, should have the features […]

Original post: The Best CMS Brands For Small Businesses

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Introducing Mavo: Create Web Apps Entirely By Writing HTML!

May 16, 2017
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Have you ever wanted to make a website that non-technical folks can edit right in the browser? Or have you ever wanted to make a website that presents an…

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