The Hottest of December 2016: The Latest News, Tutorials & Freebies


While you were enjoying the holidays, we were scouring the net to find the most important news, demos, tricks, and freebies to get your new year off to a great start. Here’s what we found.


WordPress and Adobe releases were the big news in December. The other big news was confirmation that Facebook and Google now own the app world. Be sure to check out the implications for 2017.

WordPress Vaughn. WordPress version 4.7 was released in December. Named “Vaughn” in honor of legendary jazz musician Sara Vaughn it is packed with new features like live preview of your theme set-up and thumbnails of your uploaded PDF documents. As always, sites right away.

Adobe Experience Design CC. Creators of Adobe XD know that many of you have been waiting patiently for XD on Windows 10. And they did it! The first public beta release of XD for Windows 10 is now available for download. We bet you can’t miss this one.

Top Mobile Apps. Speaking of mobile apps, Nielsen released the top 10 most popular mobile apps and the list was dominated by apps owned by Google and Facebook. That doesn’t bode well for the future of native apps. For app developers, 2017 looks to be the year of the VR app and Alexa interface apps.


Image source


December was filled with fun demos and animations. Here are the most creative and useful we found.

Interactive Musical Instruments. Beware, not only is this interactive music demo highly inspiring and instructional, it will suck you in, eat up your time, and delight your senses! These musical interactions are powered by MidijJs and the Web Audio API.

Rotate with CSS. Ever wanted to rotate an element in 3D space with just a few lines of JS? Check out this demo by Dudley Storey, CSS animation guru, and learn how to set CSS variables in JavaScript.

CSS Animations. This flip clock counter animation mimics the old mechanical style flip clocks. It was created using pure CSS. The keyframed animation applies rotation transform in 3D space.



From tutorials on pairing fonts to a run down on UX tools, December provided many opportunities to learn.

Adaptive Design. For a look at the current state of adaptive design through the lens of popular design tools, check out this article. Charlie Deets takes a look at what works with responsive design and what doesn’t.

Pairing Fonts. Designing with type usually involves the use of more than one font. Do it right and the result is amazing; do it wrong and it looks like glyphs splashed on a screen and given a stir. Discover how to mix fonts for awesomeness, not awfulness.

UX Tools. This round-up covers the best new UX tools of 2016. Check it out to see if you can add these tools to your arsenal to save you time and effort in design.

Modular Web Design. Looking to take modular web design to the element level? Consider this refreshing comparison of designing elements to building with Legos. Looks like we can all learn from what preschoolers know about building with blocks.



Stretch yourself thin this holiday season? No worries! These goodies are priced right to help you with your designs in the coming weeks. Free is fabulous.

Winter Icons. Christmas is over, but many of these free winter icons can be used all season long. From a flurry of snowflakes to bells, candles, hats, and gloves these icons will “spruce” up and winter design.

Sign Up/Login Screen. The free sign up/login screen makes a clean front door for your next project. Includes a social media login option too!

Mini Wireframes. These mini wireframes are available in dark or light version. Grab this freebie and use for your next presentation.

PSD Template. Why re-invent the wheel if it is round and it rolls? This PSD template is clean and totally responsive. It’s free and ready to roll.


We hope you found this month’s round-up informative, entertaining, and more than a little bit useful. To keep up to date with all the latest news, tools and tuts, simply subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

All posts Back to top