My favorite links for this last week are an eclectic mix. Here we have a collection of textures, a discussion on form design, a different sort of form development, and finally a survey. Enjoy!
While it might be a bit premature to call this the “ultimate” collection of textures, patterns, and backgrounds on the web — after all, I could just swipe this list, add one more resource, and call it the “ultimate plus infinity” resource — Beeex.net has nonetheless compiled a rather large and useful collection of backgrounds from around the web. Whether you’re looking for repeating patterns, large images, unique textures, or pattern generators, this is a great place to start your search.
Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks posted an interesting discussion on form labels this week (and yes, that means I’m implying that discussions of form labels can in fact be interesting). The question he poses is this: does it make more sense to have a form’s labels top aligned, left aligned, or right aligned? While he doesn’t come to any clear-cut conclusions (no truly heady discussion ever does, after all), he does offer some pros and cons for each version… thus allowing you, the reader/designer, to choose the best solution for your design’s individual needs.
If you’ve ever considered accepting donations on your site (and if people are wanting to give you money, who are you to judge?), this is a good place to start looking. Pete of i.Farang has posted a fairly complete tutorial for how he developed his site’s custom Paypal donation form using a modified form from Paypal, a healthy dose of jQuery, and a bit of CSS. He even mentions how to incorporate the form into a WordPress template, should you be so inclined (but WordPress isn’t required to get the form to work).
Last year, A List Apart decided to survey their web designer/developer/whatever readers in order to learn more about what they did, where they worked, and how they liked it. In the end, nearly 33,000 web-related professionals took the survey, giving our community its first real glimpse of a large-scale analysis of our own population. The results were so enlightening that ALA has decided to take another survey this year (and hopefully every year hereafter), allowing us to track our profession’s development over the course of time. I’ve already taken the survey, and if your job involves the web in any real capacity, I would strongly encourage you to take it as well.