Journal 2919 Links 9708 Articles 82 Notes 6728
Saturday, November 26th, 2022
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a site that’s not run by an amoral billionaire chaos engine, or algorithmically designed to keep you doomscrolling in a state of fear and anger, or is essentially spyware for governments and/or corporations? Wouldn’t it be nice not to have ads shoved in your face every time you open an app to see what your friends are up to? Wouldn’t it be nice to know that when your friends post something, you’ll actually see it without a social media platform deciding whether to shove it down your feed and pump that feed full of stuff you didn’t ask for?
Wouldn’t that be great?
Friday, November 25th, 2022
Almost no-one has given informed constent to being tracked through spy pixels in emails, and yet the practice is endemic. This is wrong. It needs to change.
Tweaking navigation sizing
Top tasks are what matter most to your customers.
Seems pretty obvious, right? But it’s actually pretty rare to see top tasks presented any differently than other options.
Look at the global navigation on most websites. Typically all the options are given equal prominence. Even the semantics under the hood often reflect this egalitarian ideal, with each list in an unordered list. All the navigation options are equal, but I bet that the reality for most websites is that some navigation options are more equal than others.
I’ve been guilty of this on The Session. The site-wide navigation shows a number of options: tunes, events, discussions, etc. Each one is given equal prominence, but I can tell you without even looking at my server logs that 90% of the traffic goes to the tunes section—that’s the beating heart of The Session. That’s why the home page has a search form that defaults to searching for tunes.
I wanted the navigation to reflect the reality of what people are coming to the site for. I decided to make the link to the tunes section more prominent by bumping up the font size a bit.
I was worried about how weird this might look; we’re so used to seeing all navigation items presented equally. But I think it worked out okay (though it might take a bit of getting used to if you’re accustomed to the previous styling). It helps that “tunes” is a nice short word, so bumping up the font size on that word doesn’t jostle everything else around.
I think this adjustment is working well for this situation where there’s one very clear tippy-top task. I wouldn’t want to apply it across the board, making every item in the navigation proportionally bigger or smaller depending on how often it’s used. That would end up looking like a ransom note.
But giving one single item prominence like this tweaks the visual hierarchy just enough to favour the option that’s most likely to be what a visitor wants.
That last bit is crucial. The visual adjustment reflects what visitors want, not what I want. You could adjust the size of a navigation option that you want to drive traffic to, but in the long run, all you’re going to do is train people to trust your design less.
You don’t get to decide what your top task is. The visitors to your website do. Trying to foist an arbitrary option on them would be the tail wagging the dog.
Anway, I’m feeling a lot better about the site-wide navigation on The Session now that it reflects reality a little bit more. Heck, I may even bump that font size up a little more.
Thursday, November 24th, 2022
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022
This is a superb explanation of flexbox—the interactive widgets sprinkled throughout are such a great aid to learning!
A directory of blogs, all nicely categorised:
ooh.directory is a place to find good blogs that interest you.
Phil gave me a sneak peek at this when he was putting it together and asked me what I thought of it. My response was basically “This is great!”
And of course you can suggest a site to add to the directory.
A personal website is a lovely thing. Nobody will buy this platform and use it as their personal plaything. No advertisers will boycott and send me scrambling to produce different content. No seed funding will run out overnight.
Going to Galway. brb
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022
Pour a foundation for your own silo or home.
This resonates with me.