We need the Internet of Things to be the next step in the series that began with the general purpose PC and continued with the Internet and general purpose protocols—systems that support personal autonomy and choice. The coming Internet of Things envisions computing devices that will intermediate every aspect of our lives. I strongly believe that this will only provide the envisioned benefits or even be tolerable if we build an Internet of Things rather than a CompuServe of Things.
A superb illustration of why playing the numbers game and dismissing even a small percentage of your potential audience could be disastrous.
I love Lyza’s comment on the par-for-the-course user-agent string of Microsoft’s brand new Spartan browser:
There must be an entire field emerging: UA archaeologist and lore historian. It’s starting to read like the “begats” in the bible. All browsers much connect their lineage to Konqueror or face a lack-of-legitimacy crisis!
One more reason why you should never sniff user-agent strings: Internet Explorer is going to lie some more. Can’t really blame them though—if developers didn’t insist on making spurious conclusions based on information in the user-agent string, then browsers wouldn’t have to lie.
Oh, and Internet Explorer is going to parse -webkit prefixed styles. Again, if developers hadn’t abused vendor prefixes, we wouldn’t be in this mess.
Alas, it turns out that it’s reliant on user-agent string sniffing. I guess that’s to be expected: this isn’t something that can be detected directly. Still, it feels a little fragile: whenever you use any user-agent sniffing tool you are entering an arms race that requires you to keep your code constantly updated.
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.
And this is why user-agent sniffing not a future-friendly technique. A new mobile browser comes along, and it has to spoof a fake UA string to all of these sites.
It’s a Red Queen arms race.
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.
Cennydd’s closing remarks from this year’s IA Summit. Huzzah!
A nice little case study in using Silverback.
A lesson from Google Buzz: a large sampling isn't always a representative sampling.
Hixie has been making changes to microdata in HTML5 based, not on opinion or theory, but on the results of user testing.
Josh is writing another book. Part copywriting manifesto, part psychology handbook, part design manual.
Eric Reiss takes a stab at defining User Experience.
The five second test is a simple usability test that helps you measure the effectiveness of your user interfaces.
Jon's helvetican theme for Google Reader.
A good list of interface guidelines based on real world experience with a mobile phone, an music player and an operating system.
So, so true ...if you design for everyone, you design for no-one.
A wonderful source of data on user behaviour and perceived skill levels online.
Search on Upcoming is borked. Here's my explanation why. I criticize because I care.
Happy Cog redesigns Dictionary.com and its siblings.
Flickr photo set, AIGA card sorting exercise.
Derek hits the nail on the head. User-generated content is such a cold, cold term.