We at ZURB believe in using our time and efforts effectively in every facet of our work. This doesn't mean cheapening our services, but rather increasing our efficiency by allowing us to focus on more pressing matters such as higher level thinking and core implementation. To that end, here's a list of some key resources for designers and developers.
The World Wide Web Consortium offers up the epitomy of reference sites for CSS, HTML, XML, PHP, and much more. When all of us at ZURB started out coding, or when we need a little refresh on doctypes and the like, W3Schools bails us out.
The Happy Cog crew is widely renown for their ability to educate and present. ALA is the perfect resource for intelligent debates and unique insight on a vast set of design related topics.
37signals took off a few years ago when Ruby on Rails hit main stream with their killer apps, Basecamp, Campfire, Backpack, and more. Since then, they've gone full time with their products, but never stopped blogging and telling it like it is. Their minimalist styles have been quite popular amongst designers and inspired several new design trends.
Although Web typography plays a huge role in your online designs, having the right words to say your message are even more important. "Read, re-read, and re-read again" was always the rule going through high school and college. Don't forget it in your professional life.
Ever wonder how to create all those funky characters (», &, ©, etc)? The XHTML Character Entity Reference is a great (and stylish) resource for just about any character you'll need to create for your next website.
The best part about The Designer's Toolbox is that they offer a wide variety of free resources and references for just about everything we do as designers. From Web browser elements to proof reading marks, these guys have put together a great and easy to use resource.
Finding great links got easier when del.icio.us came onto the scene. With a tag-driven format, Delicious (it goes by it's non-geeky name these days) is a great way to surf the Tubes and get just what your want. As a side note, for those who love linking across several sites, be sure to give TinyURL a go, especially it you like to Rick Roll people.
List posts (like this one) have taken off and are kind of a big thing. Smashing Magazine offers up massive lists of resources in just about every post they write. Combined with monthly updates on old favs (like free fonts and wallpapers), they make for a good read any day.
For some of the best from one of the best, you really need to read UseIt.com, it doesn't get better than Jakob Nielsen's commentary on just about everything related to Web design. Usability, design, user studies, and much more can be found in his archives. Now if only he had an RSS feed.
"User Interface Engineering is a leading research, training, and consulting firm specializing in web site and product usability" led by Jared Spool. It's become a great resource and is always a good read.
Luke W. of Yahoo! has been a strategic partner and advocate of ZURB for a long time now and never dissappoints with his user experience blog, Functioning Form. His latest book, Web Form Design, shows just how dedicated he is to the basic experiences we have on the Web.
As The Offspring so eloquently put it, music soothes even the savage beast. For us as designers, it gives us rhythym, focus, energy, and quick bursts of inspiration. For music in a pinch, we use Playlist.com, the fastest growing site on in the United States, and our favorite site for tunes wherever the Internet is available.
And those are just the start! We draw inspiration from all over and look to numerous sites and sources for solid design insight. Hopefully you have one more on your list, but if not, well, we see how it is.
So tell us: what are your favorite resources as a designer, developer, or Intertubes Surfing Extraordinaire (that means you)?