Front End Testing with Wraith: A Step by Step Recipe

I had occasion to finally get to one of my goals from last year – and that was to introduce some testing to my front end development.

My goal was to have a way to have a before/after visual regression test. The open source Wraith project, from the BBC, fits the bill wonderfully.

This post is merely meant to be a step-by-step procedure to get Wraith up and running. I’m not going to provide any context to what each step means.

First off, this post assumes that you’re running Mac OS X, and already have Ruby installed. This post also assumes that you want to use the “history” mode in Wraith – where you are taking two snapshots of the same URL. (The “standard” mode requires two different URLs).

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Where to begin? How I start a visual design for the web

Editor’s note: This blog post is a written version of a talk that I gave at the UX Bar Camp DC 2015.

Visual Design, which, despite my background in it, often feels like the hardest part of an overall web design project for me. By “Visual Design” I’m referring to establishing look, feel, texture color, etc. So much of it seems objective and hard to judge. There aren’t arbitrary boundaries that can easily be evaluated against.

This is not another “blah blah – first design” argument. This part of the process is independent of research, testing, business goals, discovery, etc. This is purely the moment of when you crack open a design document – what do you do?

This is not prescriptive. This is about what works for me, which I’m posting in the hopes that it helps someone else out there help think through their processes.

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Looking back at 2014 – what I learned

Just a quick post, revisiting what I wanted to learn this year:

  • JavaScript – I can’t really say I moved the needle too much on this. I tried a couple rough experiments, but I still want to learn more about architecting larger pieces of code.
  • SVG – this is probably the thing on my list I learned the most about. I played with it a lot, and managed to work it into a few projects. I look forward to using it more in 2015.
  • CSS Animations – I learned the basics of this, but haven’t done a whole lot with it.
  • Better SASS architecture – I’ve figured out some things, but still kind of make it up as I go along for the most part.

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