Behind the CSScenes, September 2022
Those of you who have been reading CSS-Tricks for a while may remember that we used to publish a little thing we called CSS-Tricks Chronicles. Our friend Chris Coyier would write up a reflection from the past couple of months or so, and it was a great way to get a pulse on what’s happening around CSS-Tricks, the site, and what the team is doing.
We like that and want to keep it going. It’s a new era, though! So what we’re going to do is welcome you back to what we’re now calling Behind the CSScenes. You’re going to meet some new and familiar faces in these updates, starting with Haley Mills, who is kicking off the very first issue.
How’s the transition going?
[Haley Mills:] Before we dive in, let me start by introducing myself! My name is Haley, and I’m the manager of Content Integration here at DigitalOcean. I’ve been at DigitalOcean for 5 years and previously worked on our editorial team, helping authors publish all sorts of topics through our Write For DOnations program.
Many folks here at DigitalOcean (including myself) are avid readers of CSS-Tricks, and we still have to pinch ourselves for how lucky we are to be entrusted with this community. We recognize that CSS-Tricks is a critical free resource for devs across the world, and my goal is to keep it that way.
- Since the acquisition, we have published 95 pieces of new content and look forward to growing that number.
- In the month of August, we performed maintenance on 6 existing pieces of content.
That said, change is to be expected when passing a torch.
I think we all know that no one can replace Chris’ voice — it’s a big reason why CSS-Tricks is, well, CSS-Tricks. His ability to have you laughing while learning something new is a skill that few can compete with. I know many of you miss his writing because you told us so in a survey (which we’ll get to in a bit), but it also opens up a huge opportunity for us all to take the torch and continue doing what CSS-Tricks does best:
Find creative solutions to problems and share them with the world. Chris brought people together this way on CSS-Tricks — and you can give back, too.
Your blossoming idea could turn out to be what the Flexbox Guide is for me and so many other people, so I humbly encourage you to reach out in our Guest Writing Form and talk to us about your topic ideas. We have two awesome editors, Geoff and Brad, to help you shape and bring your ideas to life to share with the CSS-Tricks community. In addition to paying you for your contribution, we will now also make a matching donation to a tech-focused charity of your choice.
Next up, we have Product Manager Karen Degi with some survey result highlights.
The results are in…
[Karen Degi:] In June, we shared a survey to collect feedback to help shape the future of CSS-Tricks. We received almost 900 responses, including some great written responses that helped us understand what CSS-Tricks means to the larger community.
Many of you also volunteered to talk to us directly, which has us thinking about the best way to gather those thoughts. If you’re one of those folks, know that we haven’t forgotten about you and still want to hear from you. We just want to make sure we approach this in the most effective way!
The survey confirmed some things we already suspected and brought new things to our attention. The top few things that grabbed our attention are:
- Engaging, high-quality content is at the heart of CSS-Tricks. We’re working to make sure that we continue investing in in-depth guides on front-end topics, as well as providing short articles about quick tricks and tutorials with embedded demos.
- You love RSS! As we continue investing in CSS-Tricks and bringing new functionality, we’ll make sure we keep an eye on how our changes affect the RSS feed.
- You come to CSS-Tricks to learn, to be entertained, and to do your jobs better. You do not come to CSS-Tricks because you’re excited about being sold…well, anything, really. Although we think DigitalOcean is pretty great, and we’ll probably continue to talk about ourselves where it makes sense, we understand that we need to do so in a way that is honest, trustworthy, and connected to your needs as a front-end enthusiast.
Next up is Logan Liffick, Senior Digital Experience Designer, with redesign updates.
A redesign is in the works!
[Logan Liffick:] If you’ve worked on the front end — or really anywhere on the web, you’re bound to know CSS-Tricks. It’s where I, and many others, started the journey. So, when I was asked to spearhead a redesign for the site, it was nothing short of an honor. Without a doubt, undertaking a brand update for something so familiar to so many is a challenge of incredible magnitude
If I were to do justice to this project, I’d need to pay tribute to the original. That mentality became the underlying theme of my work, and any effort to rejuvenate took inspiration from existing patterns and styles from the site.
Upon first glance, you’ll notice the fresh coat of paint. Past that, you’ll recognize the site reads more “editorial” than before. This was a purposeful decision to accentuate existing type stylings and, more importantly, to pay homage to the essence of CSS-Tricks as an informational resource.
Preserving the element of “fun” was also top of mind. Sprinkled throughout the site are various snippets from the actual CSS “tricks” shared on this site — for example, there’s going to be a little Easter egg tucked inside a sticky footer using Preethi’s slide-out effect that’s my personal favorite, a fantastic suggestion from Geoff himself. Gradients are now a core color-way in the system, and border-radii have been rounded out.
We wanted to give ourselves permission and space to explore an open-ended and malleable system far into the future, which lines up nicely with the overall mission and goal of CSS-Tricks: to explore what’s possible with CSS. This is just the beginning, there’s so much more to see, do, and learn with CSS-Tricks living in our (digital) ocean.
Next is Geoff with author highlights!
[Geoff:] We’ve added a few new faces to our growing list of guest authors who have contributed to CSS-Tricks:
- Nick Sypteras
- John Siciliano
- Sunkanmi Fafowora
- Marcel Moreau
- Nicholas C. Zakas
- Aisha Bukar
- Saleh Mubashar
- Victor Adedokun
- Holger Sindbaek
- Blessing Ene Anyebe
- Obumuneme Nwabude
- Onuorah Bonaventure Chukwudi
- Daniel Schwarz
- Preethi Selvam
You may have also seen our editor Bradley Kouchi’s name pop up a couple of times, and you can expect to continue seeing him on a semi-regular basis.
That’s 16 new authors! You can be one, too, by filling out our guest writing form.
On a related note, I’m pleased as punch that we still get regular contributions from a large band of familiar faces from before the DigitalOcean acquisition. Just look at all the fine folks who’ve continued to share their great ideas with us:
- Temani Afif
- Mariana Beldi
- Ganesh Dahal
- Adam Rackis
- Preehi Samathanam
- Mojtaba Seyedi
- Jhey Tompkins
- Šime Vidas
- Ollie Williams
Big shake-ups like the one we’re going through today can be scary. Seeing these familiar names in article bylines has helped me a ton as far as continuity and consistency go. CSS-Tricks still seems very CSS-Tricks-y to me, and that’s a big deal.
Until next time…
We hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek behind the CSScenes! We’ll do it again… and again and again. As you can tell, there’s a lot of activity happening around here, which means we’ll have lots to share in the next edition.
Oh, and if you’re one of the many who’ve told us just how much you miss the newsletter, it’s still here! We’re sending it just once a month while we get back in the swing of things, and you may very well need to re-subscribe to get it (we had to do a lot of scrubbing after the keys to the site were handed over).
Thanks for reading!
Those of you who have been reading CSS-Tricks for a while may remember that we used to publish a little thing we called CSS-Tricks Chronicles. Our friend Chris Coyier would write up a reflection from the past couple of …