Tags: devices

The Internet of Things Will Ruin Birthdays — The Message — Medium

A peak at a near-future mundane dystopia from Joanne McNeil that reminds me of Brian’s spime story

UX How-To with Luke Wroblewski - YouTube

A fantastic collection of short videos from Luke on interaction design for devices of all shapes and sizes.

Make yourself a nice cup of tea, hit “Play all”, sit back, relax and learn from the master.

We Work in a World of Assumptions – The Pastry Box Project

Dan Donald gets to the heart of progressive enhancement:

Assumptions in themselves don’t have to be inherently bad but let’s recognise them for what they are. We know very little but that can hopefully enable us to be far more flexible and understanding in what we create.

How to build a device lab | Tutorial by Destiny Montague and Lara Swanson

A set of slides from Destiny Montague and Lara Swanson at Etsy with their advice on setting up a device lab. Lara also wrote about the device lab on the Etsy code blog.

Google’s ‘Nearby’ Lets Your Smartphone Talk to the Internet of Things | Motherboard

An early look at the just-in-time interactions that Scott has been working on:

Nearby works like this. An enabled object broadcasts a short description of itself and a URL to devices nearby listening. Those URLs are grabbed and listed by the app, and tapping on one brings you to the object’s webpage, where you can interact with it—say, tell it to perform a task.

How to build the sensory web by John Allsopp

John peers behind the surface veneer of the web’s current screen-based setting:

The challenge for us as developers and designers for the web becomes less about screens and pixels and buttons and much more about how the web augments our lives, both actively and passively; how it makes us know ourselves and our homes and workplaces and environments better.

DeviceLab | Swapping Device Stands for Lego…

Here’s a nifty way of building stands for your device lab: LEGO!

Instructions included.

New product opportunities for the Internet of Normal Things | Berg Blog

I like Matt’s observation here that the simple combination of a barebones data format like HTML delivered over HTTP is a good-enough low-level API for joining up all kinds of internet-connected things.

In the last 60 years, the biggest software platform for interop and integration – for new products, services, businesses, and value creation – has not been Android, or iOS, or Windows, or the PDP-11. The biggest and best platform has been the web.

One implication is that successful products are not necessarily those with seamless, beautiful, tightly-controlled “experiences”, but rather the ones that are capable of talking to each other.

Small things, loosely joined.

Device-Agnostic by Trent Walton

A terrific post from Trent, touching on all the important facets of building for the web: universality, progressive enhancement, performance …great stuff!

Labcase - Open Device Lab, in a case.

This is a really great idea—a portable open device lab. It’s UK-based and you can hire it out for a few days at a time.

More details here.

Donate Your Dusty Device

Got an old phone lying around that you don’t need any more? Why not donate it to a device lab? You know it makes sense.

Photography, hello — Software ate the camera, but freed the photograph by Craig Mod

Craig recently had a piece published in the New Yorker called Goodbye, Cameras. It’s good …but this follow-on piece on his own site is truly wonderful.

Read. Absorb. Ponder.

Being close to the network does not mean being on Facebook, thought it can mean that, too. It does not mean pushing low-res images to Instagram, although there’s nothing wrong with that. What the network represents, in my mind, is a sort of ledger of humanity. The great shared mind. An image’s distance to it is the difference between contributing or not contributing to that shared ledger.

Building for the device agnostic web | Talks | Decade City

Some excellent practical advice on progressive enhancement.

Unify – Unicode support on browsers and devices

Some excellent research for web developers: find out which unicode characters have the widest support—release useful for choosing icons.

Jeremy Keith – The Power Of Simplicity – border:none

This is the talk I gave at the border:none event in Nuremberg last month. I really enjoyed it. This was a chance to gather together some thoughts I’ve been mulling over for a while about how we approach front-end development today …and tomorrow.

Warning: it does get quite ranty towards the end.

Also: it is only now that the video is released that I see I spent the entire talk looking like a dork with a loop of wire sticking out of the back of my head.

isMobileDevice and the death of innocence

A nice bit of sleuthing to trace the provenance of one piece of ill-advised user-agent sniffing JavaScript code.

Good luck getting that script updated for the thousands of sites and applications, you say to yourself, where it’s laying dormant just waiting to send devices the wrong content based on a UA substring.

Immaterials, dConstruct and Culture Ships on Vimeo

Iain M.Banks and dConstruct, together at last.

Why a New Golden Age for UI Design Is Around the Corner

A state of the connected union address, with soundbites from smart people in the world of ubicomp, internet of things, everyware, or whatever it is we’re calling it now.

Technical Machine

This looks rather exciting: Tessel is Rasperry Pi-like piece of hardware, but running JavaScript (Node.js) by default.

Kids can’t use computers… and this is why it should worry you - Coding 2 Learn

This is a really well-written and worrying piece that pokes at that oft-cited truism about kids today being “digital natives”:

The parents seem to have some vague concept that spending hours each evening on Facebook and YouTube will impart, by some sort of cybernetic osmosis, a knowledge of PHP, HTML, JavaScript and Haskell.

The causes of this lack of digital literacy can be traced back to school:

We’ve mirrored corporate networks, preventing kids and teachers access to system settings, the command line and requiring admin rights to do almost anything. They’re sitting at a general purpose computer without the ability to do any general purpose computing.

Also, this article has the best “TL;DR” description ever.

This Recycling Bin Is Stalking You by Siraj Datoo in The Atlantic Cities

I, for one, welcome our new recycling bin panopticon overlords.

You might want to put your phone’s MAC address into this form.

The Pastry Box Project | 7 August 2013, baked by Karen McGrane

Preach it, Karen!

“Why would someone ever want to do that?” is the wrong question. It doesn’t matter why they want to do it. The fact is that people do. The right question, the one that we all should be asking, is “how can we make a better experience for them?”

Android Fragmentation Report July 2013 - OpenSignal

A look at the degree of diversity in Android devices, complete with pretty pictures. The term “fragmentation” is usually used in a negative way, but there are great points here about the positive effects for web developers and customers.

You say fragmentation, I say diversity.

Crippling the web - TimKadlec.com

A great call-to-arms from Tim, simply asking that we create websites that take advantage of the amazing universality of the web:

The web has the power to go anywhere—any network, any device, any browser. Why not take advantage of that?

Inevitably there is pushback in the comments from developers still in the “denial” stage of coming to terms with what the web is.

The Internet of Actual Things on The Morning News

A vision of neurotic network-enabled objects, as prototyped by dConstruct speaker Simone Rebaudengo.

What’s Holding Up The Internet Of Things

This echoes what Scott Jenson has been saying: the current trend with connected devices is far too reliant on individual proprietary silos instead of communicating with open standards.

So instead of talking directly to one another, devices on today’s nascent Internet of Things now communicate primarily with centralized servers controlled by a related developer or vendor. That works, after a fashion, but it also leads to a bunch of balkanized subnetworks in which devices can communicate perfectly well with each other - but can’t actually talk to devices on any other balkanized subnetwork.

In San Francisco, a house with its own Twitter feed in MIT Technology Review

A profile of Tom’s house.

It’s weird how normal this is.

The $12 Gongkai Phone

A fascinating analysis of a super-cheap phone from another world.

Welcome to the Galapagos of Chinese “open” source. I call it “gongkai” (公开). Gongkai is the transliteration of “open” as applied to “open source”. I feel it deserves a term of its own, as the phenomenon has grown beyond the so-called “shanzhai” (山寨) and is becoming a self-sustaining innovation ecosystem of its own.

Just as the Galapagos Islands is a unique biological ecosystem evolved in the absence of continental species, gongkai is a unique innovation ecosystem evolved with little western influence, thanks to political, language, and cultural isolation.

Ghostlab

This looks like it could be a handy app for synchronising a whole bunch of devices when testing. I’ll have to give it a whirl on the device lab.

Also, it has a perfectly fair one-off price, rather than the Mafia-style protection fee model that Adobe uses for Edge Inspect.

Content Parity on the web

A couple of years ago, the benefits of separate sites were more clear to me. Today, I can’t think of a good reason to maintain a separate mobile site.

Reorganization by Trent Walton

Trent hammers home the point that the kind of compartmentalisation that’s traditionally been part and parcel of the web dev workflow just won’t cut it anymore.

Brett Jankord – Active development on Categorizr has come to an end

I think it’s a bit of a shame that Brett is canning his mobile-first device-detection library, but I totally understand (and agree with) his reasons.

There is a consensual hallucination in the market, that we can silo devices into set categories like mobile, tablet, and desktop, yet the reality is drawing these lines in the sand is not an easy task.

Antiphonal Geometry · Harmony and proportion in responsive web design

This is the full text of Owen’s talk at the Responsive Day Out. It makes for a terrific read!

Antwerp Open Device Lab

Do you know anyone in Antwerp who wants to be part of a communal open device lab? Point them here.

Playing with game console browsers

The slides from Anna’s terrific talk at the Responsive Day Out.

Device lab

These device holders/stands look really nice, and they’d be a real help keeping my spaghetti cables in check.

Izilla Open Device Lab, Newcastle, NSW - Open for Testing!

I believe this may be Australia’s first open device lab. I hope it’s the first of many.

Designing with context : Cennydd Bowles

A great meaty piece from Cennydd, diving deep into the tricky question of context.

Cover-Up’s open device lab

The guys at Cover Up are great: they make accessories for tablets and e-readers, so they have lots of those devices. They’ve made them all available for web developers to test on. Like I said: they’re great!

» Responsive Design for Apps — Part 1 Cloud Four Blog

A great piece by Jason analysing the ever-blurring lines between device classes.

Mind you, there is one question he doesn’t answer which would help clear up his framing of the situation. That question is:

What’s a web app?

Fragmented world: what two years of traffic data teaches you about mobile | Info | guardian.co.uk

A great breakdown of mobile traffic to The Guardian website over time.

Mobile first: the revolution is well under way - Generated Content by David Storey

David takes a look at worldwide trends in web browsing, pointing out where mobile traffic exceeds desktop …and we’re not necessarily talking about smartphones here either.

It would be possible to travel from the Niger Delta on the west coast of Africa, to the horn of Africa on the east coast, without passing through a country where people surf more on desktop than a mobile phone.

Remote Preview

This looks like it could be one alternative to Adobe Shadow or Edge Inspect or whatever they’re calling it now that they’re charging $120 a year for using it.

Device Fatigue | Brad Frost Web

I know how Brad feels. I find it hard to muster any enthusiasm for any specific new device these days. But that’s okay. It’s more important to step back and see the trends and directions instead of getting caught up in the specifics of this particular phone or that particular tablet.

My remedy for device fatigue has been to take a step back and let my eyes go unfocused. Much like a Magic Eye, I can then see the hidden pictures behind the stippled noise that is the device landscape. This remedy helps me cope, gets me to stop caring about things that don’t really matter, and gets me to care about the broader trends the Magic Eye unveils.

New Rule: Every Desktop Design Has To Go Finger-Friendly (Global Moxie)

Josh takes an-depth look at the navigation design implications of touch/keyboard hybrid devices, coming to a similar conclusion as Luke and Jason:

Unfortunately, the top-of-screen navigation and menus of traditional desktop layouts are outright hostile to hybrid ergonomics. Tried-and-true desktop conventions have to change to make room for fingers and thumbs.

Want to test for a hybrid device? Tough luck. Instead, argues Josh, the best you can do is assume that any device visiting your site could be touch-enabled.

Building a device stand

Pictures and plans for building a plywood stand for your device lab. I definitely want one of these for the Clearleft office.

Designing for different devices | Government Digital Service

A behind-the-scenes look at how Gov.uk is handling mobile devices. Spoiler: it’s responsive.

I found this particularly interesting:

When considering the extra requirements users of different devices have we found a lot in common with work already done on accessibility.

LukeW | Responsive Navigation: Optimizing for Touch Across Devices

Luke and Jason have done some excellent research (and put together some demos) into how the placement of navigation could be optimised for touch screens of all sizes. Turns out that the “standard” convention of having navigation along the top is far from ideal on a touch-enabled device.

Building the Happy Cog Test Lab - Cognition: The blog of web design

Ryan describes the research and process behind putting together a device lab for Happy Cog in Austin. Good stuff, with handy links gathered together at the end.

Game Console Browsers

This is an excellent resource from Anna. She’s documenting the browser capabilities of games consoles.

Device Lab / Oktavilla

A communal device lab in Stockholm.

Don’t confuse design testing with device testing — Stuff

Andy makes a good point here, point out the difference between device testing and design testing:

When I’m designing, it’s incredibly important for me to quickly gain an affinity with how my design feels when I hold it in my hands.

These are not device testing issues, they are design questions and there’s a huge difference between how an interface feels to use on a smartphone size display and whether the HTML, CSS and Javascript actually works on any particular make or model.

Establishing An Open Device Lab | Smashing Mobile

A great article that looks at everything you need to know to set up a communal device lab in your town.

Device Lab DC | A (coming soon!) community mobile device testing lab in Washington, DC

There’s an open device lab starting up in Washington DC. If you’re in the area, get in touch and share your devices.

Scott Jenson | Exploring the world beyond mobile

Excellent! Scott has his own URL now. If you haven’t read everything he has written so far, start from the start and read every single post.

Lab Up!

This looks like a great idea: a centralised place for listing open device labs (and hopefully getting some sponsorship from device manufacturers).

CSSquirrel : Game Break | opinions and news on web design by Kyle Weems

Hey look; Anna’s in a CSSquirrel comic! And for good reason: Kyle is as impressed as I am with Anna’s research into browsers on gaming devices.

There’s also a call for more community device labs. I approve.

Community Device Labs - Google Groups

Jason has set up a mailing list for open device labs. If you are running one, or thinking of setting one up, you should sign up to share ideas and knowledge.

Nomad Device Lab

There’s an open device lab in Cape Town now. Excellent!

klick-ass.com » Avoid the Tamagotchis – a list of Open Device Labs

A list of open device labs around the world (mostly Europe).

A List Apart: Articles: Testing Websites in Game Console Browsers

An excellent in-depth article from Anna on the many gaming devices out there that have both an internet connection and a web browser.

Helsinki Open Device Lab

Helsinki now has a communal device lab. It looks great!

Why the Little Printer is good – aka, someone on the internet is wrong, a response. |

Dan makes a very good point about Little Printer: it’s not the “printer” part that matters; it’s the “little”.

The 64 Digital Super dooper device testing station

There’s a communal testing lab just outside London and they’ve got a very nifty set-up for their devices.

Introducing our “Open Test Lab” for mobile device testing - Blog - 80beans

Now Amsterdam has a communal device lab.

A future friendly workflow | Opinion | .net magazine

Some more thoughts on how our workflow needs to adapt to the current ever-changing device landscape.

The Internet of Things - Readlists

Those articles about the “Internet of Things” I linked to? Here they are in handy Readlist form.

» Explaining the iOS and Android mobile browser usage disparity Cloud Four Blog

A really fascinating analysis by Jason into the apparent disparity in web browsing between Android and iOS devices: it turns out that the kind of network connection could be a big factor.

co.up’s new Open Device Lab - co.up

First we take Manhattan…

Berlin now has a communal device lab. Wunderbar!

CamHolder 0.2 for iPhone, Android and other mobile handsets - by Heiko Behrens

I’ve seen Heiko present with this gizmo at Mobilism and it worked a treat. I’m very tempted to get one for future presentations.

London Device Library

London now has its own device lab (at the Mozilla offices).

If you’re in London and you have an old phone you could contribute, please, please add it to the contribution.

We’ll tell you what you really want: Mobile context, top tasks, and organization-centric thinking | Sara Wachter-Boettcher, Content Strategist

An excellent follow-up to the recent posts on the myth of mobile context.

You often hear about cutting content to cut clutter. I support this—if you’re cutting the clutter from everywhere, not just a mobile experience.

Maybe the answer isn’t cutting. Maybe it’s learning better skills for designing and structuring complex information to be usable and enjoyable in small spaces.

Twitter Blog: Overhauling mobile.twitter.com from the ground up

A great behind-the-scenes look at the redesign (and redevelopment) of Twitter’s mobile subdomain silo. Man, I would love to see this progressively enhanced up to the current widescreen view for “desktop” browsers without the need for separate URLs for any class of device.

But I digress …this is good stuff.

Great Works of Fiction Presents: The Mobile Context | The Haystack.

A really great article from Stephen on how we are mistakenly making assumptions about what users want. He means it, man!

Anna Debenham: Using the Nintendo DSi browser

Anna reports on her experience testing on a device we don’t often think about: the Nintendo DS …very popular with the young ‘uns.

modl ∴ Malmö Open Device Lab

Now there’s a communal device testing lab in Malmö, Sweden too.

Setting up a mobile testing suite | words from Cole Henley, @cole007

If you’re based anywhere near Frome in Somerset, get in touch with Cole—he’s putting together a communal device testing lab.

Resizable Displays | Fluid Interfaces

See now, this is why liquid layouts are the way to go.

Deciding what Responsive Breakpoints to use | Tangled in Design

Another call for design-based (rather than device-based) breakpoints in responsive sites.

The Future Friendly Campus // Speaker Deck

It’s great to see the Future Friendly call-to-arms being expanded on. Here it’s university sites that are being looked at through a future-friendly lens.

Mobile Device Testing: The Gear | Bagcheck

An oldie but a goodie: this Bagcheck blog post contains a whole bunch of useful links to lists of mobile device testing suites.

Testing For Dummies | Testing

An in-depth look at the BBC News mobile testing process. I think it’s great that people are sharing this kind of information.

scottjehl/Device-Bugs

Scott has created a one-stop-shop for documenting browser bugs in mobile devices. Feel free to add to it.

Goldilocks and the Three Device Pixel Ratios [Legends of the Sun Pig - Martin Sutherland’s Blog]

A great examination of the default settings for pixel density and how it can effect reported device width values on mobile.

LukeW | Which One: Responsive Design, Device Experiences, or RESS?

Luke outlines three different solutions to delivering a site to multiple devices.

Ringmark

An acid test for mobile browsers. Point your device at rng.io and it will report on how much or little mobile shininess is available.

JoshEmerson.co.uk · Blog · The Responsive Process

Josh goes through the talking points from the recent Responsive Summit he attended. Sounds like it was a great get-together.

Responsive Design: Why You’re Doing It Wrong | Design Shack

A rallying cry for a content-focused—rather than device-focused—approach to responsive design. Despite the awful title and occasionally adversarial tone, this article is making a very good point about being future friendly.

Choosing device sizes to support for your responsive designs | Matt Wilcox .net

Another plea for content-out rather than canvas-in design.

A plea for progressive enhancement | Stephanie Rieger

Yes! Yes! Yes!!!

Progressive enhancement is the only sane approach to today’s massively divergent landscape of devices. It can’t be repeated often enough.

On designing content-out (a response to Zeldman and others) | Stephanie Rieger

Stephanie details all the things we have to know about when designing for today’s broad range of devices: performance, capabilities, form factor, pixel density, and network latency.

These are all good points but I worry that if we just concentrate on the current device landscape, our processes won’t adapt to the future.

The ‘trouble’ with Android | Stephanie Rieger

Stephanie focuses on Android but this is a cautionary tale about trying to impose control over what you’re sending to the multitude of mobile devices out there.

Designing to fixed screen sizes is in fact never a good idea…there is just too much variation, even amongst ‘popular’ devices.

Buxton Collection

Bill Buxton’s collection of input devices going back thirty years.

Mobile HTML5 - compatibility tables for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, iPad and other mobile devices

This just launched at the Breaking Development conference: another site that uses the term HTML5 to include CSS and Ajax. Still, despite its inaccurate nomenclature, it’s a useful compatibility table of device support in mobile browsers.

How Responsive Web Design becomes Responsive Web Publishing - AQ » Blog

Some interesting questions (and one or two answers) about how responsive design affects publishing on the web.

Lightweight Computing – Stuntbox

The class of device formerly known as mobile.

It’s About People, Not Devices | UX Booth

An excellent article from Bryan, hammering home the point that there is no sharp dividing line between desktop and mobile.

Remember as well that the most ubiquitous of technologies, the common thread throughout many connected devices, is the browser. Browser-based experiences may not always be as sexy, but they are often far more capable of adapting to different contexts. In times of rapid change, adaptability—rather than features—may be your product’s greatest ally.

imity

This is really cool: a real-time map of bluetooth devices currently at the Reboot conference.

Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly in Two Minutes

Mike has a really nice stopgap technique for improving your site on mobile devices.