How to design a dashboard

Here is a simple recipe for designing a dashboard :

  • show shiny charts
  • have a dark blue-ish sidebar
  • go flat

Here are some examples from Dribbble :

Où sont les Vélibs ?

Cela va faire un mois que j’ai un pris mon abonnement Vélib. Traverser la ville à vélo est plutôt plaisant, il fait presque beau et la plupart des parisiens sont en vacances. Tout se passe bien, à condition de réussir à trouver un vélo. Si comme moi vous avez déjà consulté votre appli mobile pour constater qu’il y’a environ zéro vélo disponible dans les alentours (en comptant ceux en panne), vous vous êtes sûrement demandé :
Mais ils sont où ces vélos, bordel ?“.

Continue reading “Où sont les Vélibs ?”

CSS Color Palette Extractor

There are already many web apps that extract colors from CSS. But none of them seemed to do what I need them to do. So I built my own.

Twitter Bootstrap extracted palette
Twitter Bootstrap extracted palette
Facebook extracted palette
Facebook extracted palette

My goal was to create a tool that would help me consolidate the palette of an ever growing CSS. To achieve this goal, I needed a tool that can:

  • extract all colors from the CSS code. Most extractors rely on regular expression to perform this task. It may work for most cases, but they tend to fail with rgba or named values.
  • order colors in a sensible way. I want colors on one side and greyscale on another. I also want colors ordered by hue. Ordering hex values by alphabetical order doesn’t make sense.
  • roughly show how much a color is used. This way, I know that lesser used colors might be merged with dominant colors. Obviously, more occurrences in CSS doesn’t mean that the color will be more present on the website. But that’s better than nothing.

The result is CSS Color Palette Extractor, a pure JS app that does what I need. You can try the demo and fork it on github.

On the technical side, the app uses the great CSS parser written by Daniel Glazman to extract color values. It also includes code from Andrew Brehaut for color management/conversion. My own code is a bit rough but does the job. There are a few known issues. I haven’t found how to make the parser work with media queries. If you’re doing responsive design, simply extract medium per medium. Also, my app cannot extract colors from gradient backgrounds.

It’s sometimes nice to step back from code and analyze what’s going on. I hope that CSS Color Palette Extractor will help you to do just that. If you want to use the code, feel free to fork it on github.