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Recreating The Verge’s Article Preview Boxes

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The Verge has some colorful boxes that contain a preview of their articles. Basically, they look like this (RIP Robin Williams):

The Verge's Article Titles

We’ll recreate one of those boxes using the following:

Disclaimers

  • I didn’t view the HTML or CSS source of The Verge
  • I recreated it using the visible information with emphasis on the content structure
  • the semantics could be improved by ARIA
  • no information on browser compatibility

TL;DR

This is the final result of the recreation.

See the Pen Recreating The Verge’s Article Preview Boxes by Brian Dys Sahagun (@BrianSahagun) on CodePen.1820

Step 1: Content Structure

Without class attributes and generic elements:

Remember to use the appropriate HTML tag for each content – that’ semantics.

[html]
<article>
<a href="#">
<h1>The Erasherheads Live in London</h1>
<p>by Julie Tearjerky</p>
<p title="22 comments">2comments</p>
</a>
<img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3868/14386991112_e7118cff3b_z.jpg" alt="Eraserheads in London" width="640" height="478" />
</article>
[/html]

We add class attributes and generic elements for the following reasons:

  • to make the elements more semantic (HTML tags alone won’t cut it – we must classify/name the elements)
  • to make it easy to select elements in CSS (the easier you can pinpoint an element, the better)

[html]
<article class="entry">
<div class="entry-cr">
<a class="entry-link" href="#">
<h1 class="entry-title">The Erasherheads Live in London</h1>
<p class="entry-author">by Julie Tearjerky</p>
<p class="entry-comments" title="22 comments"><span class="comment-count">22</span> <span class="comment-label">comments</span></p>
</a>
<img class="entry-cover-image" src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3868/14386991112_e7118cff3b_z.jpg" alt="Eraserheads in London" width="640" height="478" />
</div>
</article>
[/html]

Step 2: Visual Design

Setup the box along with the background image of the band:

[css]
/* The entry box */
.entry-cr {
position: relative;
width: 480px;
height: 320px;
font-family: sans-serif;

/* The background image */
background-image: url( https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3868/14386991112_e7118cff3b_z.jpg );
background-size: cover;
background-position: center center;

overflow: hidden;
}
[/css]

Let a fill-up the whole dimension of the box so that it is link active (clickable):

[css]
/* Making the whole box link active */
.entry-link {
position: relative;
display: block;
padding: 16px;
width: 100%;
height: 100%;
color: #fff;
text-decoration: none;
z-index: 2;
box-sizing: border-box;
}
[/css]

Design and layout the text elements:

[css]
/* The article title */
.entry-title {
margin: auto;
margin-bottom: 16px;
font-family: Georgia;
font-weight: normal;
}

/* The author name */
.entry-author {
float: left;
margin: auto;
padding: 4px 0;
font-size: 14px;
}

/* The comments */
.entry-comments {
float: right;
margin: auto;
}

.comment-count {
display: inline-block;
padding: 4px;
font-size: 14px;
line-height: 1;
color: #222;
background-color: yellow;
vertical-align: middle;
}
.comment-label {
display: none;
}
[/css]

Create the background gradient:

[css]
/* Creating the background cover image via pseudo-element */
.entry-cr:after {
content: ”;
position: absolute;
top: 0;
left; 0;
width: 100%;
height: 100%;
background: #4a762e;

/* The gradient */
background: -moz-linear-gradient(-45deg, #4a762e 0%, #2f7881 50%, #69318d 100%);
background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, right bottom, color-stop(0%,#4a762e), color-stop(50%,#2f7881), color-stop(100%,#69318d));
background: -webkit-linear-gradient(-45deg, #4a762e 0%,#2f7881 50%,#69318d 100%);
background: -o-linear-gradient(-45deg, #4a762e 0%,#2f7881 50%,#69318d 100%);
background: -ms-linear-gradient(-45deg, #4a762e 0%,#2f7881 50%,#69318d 100%);
background: linear-gradient(135deg, #4a762e 0%,#2f7881 50%,#69318d 100%);
filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient( startColorstr=’#4a762e’, endColorstr=’#69318d’,GradientType=1 );

/* The inner-shadow */
box-shadow: 0 0 32px hsla(0, 0%, 0%, .15) inset;

opacity: .85;
transition: opacity .25s ease;
z-index: 1;
}

.entry-cr:hover:after {
opacity: .75;
}
[/css]

Hide the article cover image in img tag:

display: none is a crude approach for this purpose. there is a “visuallyhidden” approach used by HTML5 Boilerplate which is ideal.

[css]
/* Hiding the cover image <img> */
/* This is for fallback purposes. Without CSS, the image <img> will appear */
.entry-cover-image {
display: none;
}
[/css]


That’s it! Always build the content structure (HTML) first before worrying about the visual design (CSS).

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