Peeling Up

I’m not sure when exactly it happened, but drop shadows and rounded corners struck the web with a vengeance. Then it was the reflections. It seems like those persnickety designers are looking for anyway to make our lives as developers harder. But they have a fairly noble goal, anyway - to give a 2D fairly boring web page depth. I’m a big fan.

But at the same time, I find it very frustrating. Both rounded corners and drop shadows make dynamic widths a nightmare. Then there’s the issue of a drop shadow spanning two background colors with full translucency support. Solving any of these problems elegantly is a challenge. So recently I’ve been looking for simple ways to evoke the same illusion of depth. I think I’ve found two, but I’ll talk about one here.

Every since I signed up for LinkedIn, I’ve been dying for them to do a redesign. After logging in I felt totally inundated with information, and found it very challenging to navigate. Aside from the fact that a few months back they totally overhauled the design, they added a really slick design paradigm I’ve never seen before and I was really impressed. I’m referring to this:

LinkedIn Peeling Up Screenshot

Do you see what I’m referring to? It’s the peeling up effect below the “Add Connections” button. It doesn’t solve all the problems, but it definitely makes it easier than extending a drop shadow all the way up one side of that floating box. They actually call the class on that div “sticky-box” which I think embodies that “peel up” perfectly. Bravo LinkedIn!

Thanks for reading! I'm Avand.

I’ve been working on the web for over a decade and am passionate about building great products.

My last job was with Airbnb, where I focused on internal products that helped teams measure the quality of the software they were building. I also built internal tools for employees to stay more connected, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Before that, I was lead engineer at Mystery Science, the #1 way in which science is taught in U.S. elementary school classroms. For a while, I also taught with General Assembly, teaching aspiring developers the basics of front-end web development.

I was born in Boston, grew up in Salt Lake City, and spent many years living in Chicago. Now, I call San Francisco my home and Mariposa my home away from home.

I enjoy the great outdoors and absolutely love music and dance. Cars have been an lifelong obsession of mine, especially vintage BMWs and Volkswagens. I’m the proud owner of a 2002 E-250 Sportsmobile van, and he and I have enjoyed many trips to beautiful and remote parts of the West Coast to create good vibes.

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