Cascading Stylesheets — or CSS — is the first technology you should start learning after HTML. While HTML is used to define the structure and semantics of your content, CSS is used to style it and lay it out. For example, you can use CSS to alter the font, color, size, and spacing of your content, split it into multiple columns, or add animations and other decorative features.
I was personally encoutered CSS in multiple stages of my Data Science career:
When I started using (R) markdown (see here, or here), I could present my data science projects as HTML pages, styled through CSS.
When I got more acustomed to building web applications (e.g., Shiny) on top of my data science models, I had to use CSS to build more beautiful dashboard layouts.
When I was scraping data from Ebay, Amazon, WordPress, and Goodreads, my prior experiences with CSS & HTML helped greatly to identify and interpret the elements when you look under the hood of a webpage (try pressing CTRL + SHIFT + C).
I know others agree with me when I say that the small investment in learning the basics behind HTML & CSS pay off big time:
I read that Mozilla offers some great tutorials for those interested in learning more about “the web”, so here are some quicklinks to their free tutorials:
Typography plays a crucial role in design and finding the right font can take a few minutes or a few days. According to Vijay Verma, every font has specific design intent, communicates certain attributes. Fortunately, there are many (free) online libraries to help you these days, such as Google Fonts, MyFonts, Lineto, TypeAtelier, or TypeMates.
Geometric fonts are sans-serif typefaces building on geometric shapes like near-perfect circles and squares.
Today many technology brands currently deploy geometric fonts that represent minimalism, simplicity, and cleanliness, like — Product Sans by Google, Cereal by Airbnb etc.
Design experts argue (here, here) that the geometric fonts below will work very well in modern user interfaces. These fonts are used among others by IKEA, Spotify, NASA, AirBnB, Volkswagen, Apple, Marvel, and Snapchat. Can you guess which is which?
You can click the images to visit the source pages.
Free Geometric Fonts
Although very aesthetically pleasing, some of these fonts can be pretty expensive if you’re just hobbying. While there are many more fonts out there that may be perfectly free.
Do have a look atGoogle Fonts, as they provide nearly a 1000 pretty interesting typefaces, all for free!
One year ago, I registered the domain paulvanderlaken.com with three reasons in mind: (1) I wanted an online environment to store and showcase my pet projects, (2) to share and promote some of the great blogs and research others had been writing, and (3) to show others what I was doing on my path to “data science“. The year has been just amazing. I could not have imagined the amount of positive sentiment I received from friends, family, acquaintances, and old classmates. But, most of all, the nice reactions from complete strangers across the globe! Thank you all so much for the positive response.
To my surprise, some of my stuff actually got read!
In August, I shared my Harry Plotter project and the first blog was read by 5,000 people. The second by another 3,000.
In one year, I wrote 103 blogs which got over 42,000 views by nearly 30,000 visitors. 97.5% of these views occurred in the last six months. Most referrals came via Google (45%), reddit (18%), LinkedIn (8%), Facebook (8%), and Twitter (4%), and my blogs were shared a total of 241 times. Now, 51 people follow my blog, which is best viewed on Tuesdays (31%) and around 15:00h CET (6%).
Although my personal learning is still the main reason I maintain this blog, I am very glad people seem to enjoy tagging along. Hopefully, I can continue to discover and write about data (analysis) during the coming 12 months. For now, I’d want to thank my readers for their continued interest and, in particular, my girlfriend for coping with the numerous evenings and weekend I have wasted on my pet projects. Nonetheless, it was definitely worth the effort!