I wish to cover the entire Brighton Pavilion in Bakelite for my own amusement.
Friday, November 30th, 2012
This is my opening talk from Smashing conference a few months back in Freiburg, where I used to live.
I really like these thoughts on the importance of design systems for the web. It’s not about providing a few perfect deliverables that won’t survive once they go live; it’s about designing for the unexpected, the unpredictable:
Design for every state, not the best state.
Monday, November 26th, 2012
A nice Readlist based on that excellent article by Craig on digital publishing:
This reader is made up of Craigmod’s essay “Subcompact Publishing” and essays linked to in the footnotes.
Very smart thinking from Craig about digital publishing.
Marc Thiele, the lovely organiser of the Beyond Tellerand conference, needs our help recovering the video footage from this year’s event:
The HDD with all recordings (16 talks, 2 cameras) crashed. After sending the HDD to a recovery center they sent me a quote about 2832 Euro for the recovery job.
That’s about $4000. So far it’s three quarters of the way there already! Let’s see if we can hit that target.
Friday, November 23rd, 2012
A lovely new service from Mike Stenhouse: install the bookmarklet and then when you come across a website with a nice combination of fonts, you can save a snapshot of the page (and its fonts) for later perusal. You can then browse those fonts on Typekit, Fontdeck, MyFonts or Google Fonts.
Monday, November 19th, 2012
Wondering whether that network-enabled device of yours is worthy of being considered part of the “internet of things?” Just answer these few short questions.
A nice round-up of the most recent Science Hack Day in San Francisco.
Sunday, November 18th, 2012
A nifty little mashup from Music Hack Day London 2012.
Saturday, November 17th, 2012
The fascinating story of how a dream team of geeks helped Obama to victory. Personally, I think it’s all about the facial hair. I mean, how could they lose with Trammell’s beard to guide them?
Friday, November 16th, 2012
A lovely new service from Adrian that allows you to sync up guitar tabs with videos. It’s a very impressive in-browser app.
A great short talk from Clare about Code Club.
Laura explains the problems with hiding content for small screens, and uses this as an opportunity to elucidate why you should blog, even if you’re think that no-one would be interested in what you have to say:
The point I’m trying to make is that we shouldn’t be fearful of writing about what we know. Even if you write from the most basic point of view, about something which has been ‘around for ages’, you’ll likely be saying something new to someone. They might be new to the industry, you might just be filling in the holes in someone’s knowledge.
Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
Just a few hours after launch, here’s the first review of Matter complete with some speculation on where it might go.
I want this USB stick. Zarjaz!
We got a sneak peak of this lovely little Instagram-powered projector from the guys at Mint Digital at last week’s Skillswap. “It’s not a wheel. It’s a carousel.”
Now you can back it on Kickstarter.
I wholeheartedly agree with Christian’s diagnosis of the average web page: it’s overweight to the point of obesity. Fortunately Dr. Heilmann has some remedies.
A terrific write-up of this year’s Full Frontal conference, with a descriptive rundown of each talk.
Man, I just love Scott Jenson.
Our brains have collectively gone startup-crazy, seeing the world through stock option colored glasses, assuming that if there is no money, there is clearly no value. This is madness. I’m so desperately worried that the internet will turn out to be a happy accident.
Turning his focus on “the internet of things” he makes the very good point that what we need isn’t one company or one proprietary service; we need an ecosystem of open standards that will enable companies to build services.
We all have to appreciate how we need a deep, open solution to solve this problem. If we don’t understand, demand even, that hardware devices need to be just as discoverable an open as web servers are today, we’ll never see the internet of things come to pass.
Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
Documenting all the ways you could die in a choose-your-own-adventure book.
Some great thoughts from Mike Davies about the strengths of the web, prompted by some of the more extreme comments made by James Pearce at Full Frontal last week.
I should point out that James was being deliberately provocative in order to foment thought and discussion and, judging from this blog post, he succeeded.
The Web’s independence from the hardware and software platform people use is a feature. It’s better than cross-platform frameworks which are constantly criticised for not producing exact native-feeling apps on the multitude of platforms they run on. The Web is above that pettiness.
Nice notes from a recent talk on ways to approach responsive design.
Monday, November 12th, 2012
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.
Steven Wittens, who gave a terrific talk all about maths at last week’s Full Frontal conference, describes his experience at that most excellent event.
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.
Saturday, November 10th, 2012
A new project from James, keeping track of the sites of illegal drone strikes.
Thursday, November 8th, 2012
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.
And this is why Code Club is such a great initiative.
Oh My Science! It looks like the most recent Science Hack Day in San Francisco was great.
Andrea looks at support for HTML5 input types in IE10 Mobile.
Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
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.
Let’s be polite. Especially when starting relationships.
Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
Nerdgasm! David Braben is bringing Elite back and bringing it up to date. And he’s funding the project on Kickstarter.
Best. Game. Ever!
Here’s a really useful case study for anyone who wants to do “guerrilla” responsive design: when you’re handed a fixed-width mockup but you know that responsive is the way to go:
I started by styling up every element, without layout. The result was a fully elastic layout that effectively served as a mobile, or small screen, layout, which just needed some tweaking of horizontal spacing.
Bingo! And this approach had knock-on benefits as it “supported writing component-based, or modular, CSS”.
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.
Pictures and plans for building a plywood stand for your device lab. I definitely want one of these for the Clearleft office.
Saturday, November 3rd, 2012
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.
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.
Friday, November 2nd, 2012
This is a great free service for generating small subsetted icon fonts. Launch the app and have a play around — you can choose from the icons provided or you can import your own SVG shapes.
Nice touch: you can get the resulting font (mapped to your choice of unicode characters) base-64 encoded for your stylesheet.
A really nice piece on scale, ratio and rhythms in web design.
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
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.
A great in-depth description by Paul of how he optimised his site. More of this please!