There’s a strange phenomenon that has arisen among software publishers. There appears to be a tendency for people to invert their understanding of what makes a quality product better, or at least this is true when it comes to those who do the marketing. It goes something along the lines of: “Their product has one million lines of code, but ours has two million, so therefore our product must be better.”
Animation is often the last frontier for a developer. Many regard it as a seriously difficult challenge, and so put off attempting it. Which is a shame, because animation on a computer is not all that different from the kind of flipbook animation you probably did as a kid in the corner of your school books. In fact, it’s probably even easier than that.
It’s been almost a year since PHP7 shuffled shyly onto the Internet. The lack of attention it received is positively baffling. Perhaps it is fear of the unknown, or perhaps it is because there are enough people around who still remember what it was like upgrading from PHP4 to PHP5.
Or it could be simply that as a free, open source product, PHP doesn’t have a multi-million dollar budget lavished on marketing it. Yet, this being the first major update to the Web’s most popular server-side programming language in 12 years, you’d think it would have generated considerably more excitement.
The world of web design seems to have a cyclic nature. Some fascinating new technology gets released, designers rush to experiment with it, marketers get excited and latch onto the experiments with a view to exploiting the potential, and the poor old users have to endure yet another design trend boom, with all the decline in UX that comes along with it. Eventually everything that was wrong with the trend becomes self-evident, and usability experts finally manage to get a word in edge-ways.
Transparency is a very useful effect, and actually quite simple. There are many different ways to apply it, and it has a variety of uses, from simply enhancing the visual style of the interface through to serving a specific purpose. For example, various degrees of transparency may be used in a game interface to indicate the state of something.