An acquisition, or an aqui-hire, is always a failure. Either the founders failed to achieve their goal, or – far likelier – they failed to dream big enough. The proper ambition for a tech entrepreneur should be to join the ranks of the great tech companies, or, at least, to create a profitable, independent company beloved by employees, customers, and shareholders.
A cute little read-only Twitter client from James that only displays fully-formed tweets: no hashtags, no @-replies.
Want to style those new HTML5 input types? I hope you like vendor prefixes.
Jon gives some insight into how and why we use pattern portfolios as deliverables at Clearleft.
Keep it under your hat, but Paul has soft-launch his Project Portillo. And very nice it is too.
This is wonderful stuff! I’m a big fan of the
datalist element but I hadn’t realised how it could be combined with
input types like
The story of one site’s disgraceful handling of acquisition and shutdown (Punchfork, acquired by Pinterest) and how its owner actively tried to block efforts to preserve user’s data.
Armchair travelling to Ballardian locations.
A collection of those appalling doublespeek announcements that sites and services give when they get acquired. You know the ones: they begin with “We’re excited to announce…” and end with people’s data being flushed down the toilet.
Timoni tackles the tricky topic of teaching taps.
Discoverability can be hard, but that shouldn’t stop us trying out new interactions.
A well-reasoned and excellently hyperlinked piece from Timo pushing back against the calls for “invisible” design.
To be fair, I’ve only ever heard the “no UI” argument in the context of “sometimes the best UI is no UI at all.”
Still, this is a great explanation of why “seamlessness” in design is by no means a desirable attribute.
Dan isn’t keen on the term “natural user interface.” Here’s why.
A nice feature on Seb in the latest issue of Make magazine.
Biting satire that hits its mark superbly. Ouch! Be careful — this is sharp …and funny.
Cennydd uses the word “select” as an input-neutral term for what we might be tempted to call clicks or taps. Personally, I like the term “choose”, although that word might have too much intent bundled with it.
Reviews based entirely on the feel of the knob.
Here are some nice patterns that Paul uses for starting points in his own projects.
I’ve never been a fan of carousels on websites, to put it mildy. It seems I am not alone. And if you doubt the data, ask yourself this: when was the last time you, as a user, interacted with a carousel on any website?
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?
Beautiful thoughtful work from the BERGians.
A short film about interaction design.
A lovely new service from Adrian that allows you to sync up guitar tabs with videos. It’s a very impressive in-browser app.
I concur completely with Luke’s assessment here. Most password-masking on the web is just security theatre. Displaying password inputs by default (but with an option to hide) should be the norm.
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.
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.
The Guardian’s front-end patterns library. The modules section contains their equivalent of a pattern primer. Very nice!
Interaction dissolving into the environment.
CSSquirrel shares my feelings on the email notification anti-pattern.
I like this passwordless log in pattern but only for specific use cases: when you know that the user has access to email, and when you don’t expect repeat “snacking” visits throughout the day.
These short pocketbooks from Five Simple Steps look like they’ll be very handy indeed. Shame they won’t be available in dead-tree format: I bet they’d be really cute.
Chris and Nathan’s book is finally out. I’m going to enjoy reading through this.
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.
The truth about startups. Got a startup? Take the quiz. It’s harsh but fair.
This is an important subject (and one very close to my heart) so I’m very glad to see these data protection guidelines nailed to the wall of the web over at Contents Magazine.
- Treat our data like it matters.
- No upload without download.
- If you close a system, support data rescue.
Here’s a brainbuster for ya: a single file that renders both as HTML and as a JPEG. As an HTML page, it even contains an img element with a src of …itself!
Compare the “view source” output with the generated source output to see it’s being interpreted.
A beautiful short film about The Long Now Foundation’s Rosetta Project.
A fascinating insight into the psychological implications of animated progress indicators.
Some sensible advice from Oliver Reichenstein. Cluttering your social media icons isn’t helping and may actively be hindering your audience.
Paul has open-sourced his front-end style guide and put it up on Github. It’s a very handy starting point for making your own.
See now, this is why liquid layouts are the way to go.
This post by Jason Fried is three years old but it’s more relevant than ever.
What a loss. Is that the best the next generation can do? Become part of the old generation? How about kicking the shit out of the old guys? What ever happened to that?
Just copy and paste.
Dear soon-to-be-former user…
1 2 3
Sneaking in to climb the Shard at night.
In amongst all the shiny demos on this site, this one could actually be useful.
Existential ennui delivered through interface copy.
Emily walks us through a responsive design case study, stressing the importance using percentages for layout.
Anna goes through some of her favourite pattern libraries. It’s really, really great to see this stuff getting documented.
I met one of the guys from the Starbucks team at South by Southwest and he mentioned that they had a markup pattern library. I encouraged them to make it public, and it here it is!
I really hope that more companies and agencies will start sharing stuff like this.
Andy documents the kinds of symbols being used to represent revealable navigation on mobile.
Luke catalogues layout patterns in responsive designs.
A trip to Buzludzha in Bulgaria, a derelict monument to an abandoned ideology.
Prompted by Brad’s recent post, here are some musings on three methods of handling navigation in responsive sites.
Richard gives the lowdown on the new translate attribute in HTML.
A hackweek project from Twitter employees to create the best/worst recruitment video of all time.
Nik demos the neat interactions in Realmac’s latest piece of iOS software in this cute little video.
Harry interviews Glenn about web intents (web actions). Glenn gives a good clear explanation of what they are.
The video of my presentation on digital preservation at last year’s Build conference.
Our communication methods have improved over time, from stone tablets, papyrus, and vellum through to the printing press and the World Wide Web. But while the web has democratised publishing, allowing anyone to share ideas with a global audience, it doesn’t appear to be the best medium for preserving our cultural resources: websites and documents disappear down the digital memory hole every day. This presentation will look at the scale of the problem and propose methods for tackling our collective data loss.
Matt is offering up his space in central Brighton every Wednesday afternoon for free-for-all Arduino tinkering. I should try to get over there.
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.
Maciej delivers a rant worthy of Paul Robert Lloyd.
The process behind the mobile-first responsive design of audiovroom.com.
This looks like a nice progressive enhancement pattern: convert a select element into an auto-completing input element (a country selector in this case).
On the importance of using a fluid grid in responsive design.
Toby’s write-up of the workshop I led for the Build conference. I enjoyed myself so it’s immensely gratifying to know that the attendees did too.
The next time you make a sandwich, pay attention to your hands. Seriously! Notice the myriad little tricks your fingers have for manipulating the ingredients and the utensils and all the other objects involved in this enterprise. Then compare your experience to sliding around Pictures Under Glass.
A framework for banging out ready-made responsive designs.
A visual representation of the design process.
Reminiscences of the BBSs of yesteryear that could in time be applied to the social networking sites of today.
Linguistics and programming collide in this paper from the 18th Workshop of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group, University of Sussex, September 2006: Lakoffian analysis of the mental models of Java programmers.
A set of default styles to get started on a mobile-first responsive design.
A handy set of guidelines from Brad Frost. It’s still a work in progress but it’s got some good tips for mobile design and development.
A nice Huffduffer-style mad libs form gives this registration form a friendly quality.
Bootstrap is Twitter’s CSS and markup style guide—very similar to the pattern portfolios that we often provide as deliverables at Clearleft.
I’m usually not a fan of CSS “frameworks” but I like the thinking that’s gone into this fluid, responsive system. I particularly like this advice:
Take it apart, steal the parts that you like, and adapt them to your own way of working.
A lovely little social experiment: you can buy a Starbucks coffee with Jonathan Stark’s card; you can also top up the card. You can track the card balance on Twitter.
Tantek’s braindump of research he and Erin have been doing on web actions—verbs for the web, specifically interactions across sites: sharing, liking, and so on. I agree with him that this terminology feels better than “web intents.”
Erin documents the next step after web intents.
Brighton hacker Jason Hotchkiss demos his music-generating lava lamps in this promo video for the Brighton Maker Faire taking place the day after dConstruct.
Another browser-based tool for testing your responsive designs at different screen sizes.
On the importance of using fluid grids as part of responsive web design:
We do responsive web design, but we don’t do it for the sake of being trendy. We do it because we believe it’s the way websites should be made. This is an opportunity for us to finally embrace the dynamic medium we build for. The web is not fixed width.
I agree with this. I like it. I plus one it. So to speak.
New Mobile Safari stuff in iOS5: position:fixed, overflow:scroll, new input type support, web workers, ECMAScript 5 | David B. Calhoun – Developer Blog
Use strong, definite language in your writing. Make that sentence your bitch.
This is rather brilliant: recycle your old credit cards into plectrums.
The dominance of the desktop browser is over – the web has become wider. After so long painting in a tiny corner of the canvas, it’s time to broaden our approach.
It’s understandable that the community is somewhat nervous about the changes ahead. So far, we’ve mostly responded by scratching around for device-specific tips, but this isn’t sustainable or scalable. We should transcend “platformism” and instead learn to design for diverse contexts, displays, connectivity, and inputs by breaking devices down into first principles. Instead of the defective dichotomy of the “desktop” and “mobile” web, designers should aim to create great user experiences using the truly fluid nature of the web.
A thoroughly lovely responsive design, very nicely and thoughtfully executed.
It’s funny, I’ve just recently become acutely aware of exactly the problem that Timoni describes here: the inability to filter new uploads by a particular user.
It makes stalking someone that much harder.
More documentation of a responsive redesign, this time from Trent Walton. Be sure to check out the FitText jQuery plug-in that was created as a result.
Documenting the process of switching to a responsive design. I think there’s always insight to be gained from seeing how your peers are approaching these challenges.
A beautiful glossary of typographic terms.
Well, there goes my afternoon: here’s an endless supply of computer interfaces from films.
Clearly my knowledge of cheese and fonts is way worse than I realised.
Match the MacGuffin to the movie. Like Hangman for films.
There are two things I’d like to see after watching this video:
- A slew of parodies to highlight the unintended consequences of this marketeer’s panopticon,
- The Paleofuture blog post in 100 years looking back at this.
An argument against skeuomorphic design. The Windows Mobile 7 design vocabulary is rightly praised for its no-nonsense beauty.
One potential nightmare vision of the future …that looks kind of cool.
The difference between software and hardware; the digital and the instantiated.
Anna’s redesign is beautiful, no matter what browser or device you’re using.