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 am a full-stack software engineer, product designer, and teacher. I’ve been working on the web for over a decade and am passionate about building great products.

I currently work at Airbnb, where I work on internal products that help the company build quality software that customers love. Before that, I was at Mystery Science, transforming how elementary school teachers teach science. 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.

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 very proud owner of a van, duh, and he and I plan to one day visit all the national parks and baseball stadiums. Then, off to Central America. A man can dream :)

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