The removal of all friction should’t be a goal. Making things easy and making things hard should be a design tool, employed to aid the end user towards their loftiest goals.
When in doubt, label your icons.
When not in doubt, you probably should be.
Spot-on take by Ted Chiang:
I used to find it odd that these hypothetical AIs were supposed to be smart enough to solve problems that no human could, yet they were incapable of doing something most every adult has done: taking a step back and asking whether their current course of action is really a good idea. Then I realized that we are already surrounded by machines that demonstrate a complete lack of insight, we just call them corporations.
Related: if you want to see the paperclip maximiser in action, just look at the humans destroying the planet by mining bitcoin.
Some interesting insights from usability and accessibility testing at the Co-op.
We used ‘nesting’ to reduce the amount of information on the page when the user first reaches it. When the user chooses an option, we ask for any other details at that point rather than having all the questions on the page at once.
Shamefully, I haven’t been doing one-to-ones with my front-end dev colleagues at Clearleft, but I’m planning to change that. This short list of starter questions from Lara will prove very useful indeed.
An excellent rebuttal by Steven Pinker to Nicholas Carr's usual trolling.
Matt gets an opportunity to use the Chernoff effect for visualising school data.
"Nikon, the racist camera" (sing it to the tune of Flight of the Concords' "Albi, the racist dragon").
Like Shazam, but for fonts. Snap a picture of some text on your iPhone and this app will phone home to the WhatTheFont mothership in order to identify it for you.
An interesting look at the way our brains responds to changes in our environment ...with video.
A detailed look at the troubled history of George Lakoff, the father of conceptual metaphor.
I saw Steven Pinker give a talk recently and he spent a fair amount of time talking about swearing. He has written up that part of the talk into an article for the New Republic.
Your brain is hardwired to respond to the shape of a face.
Apparently I look like Lee Harvey Oswald and Keanu Reeves. Whoa! Cameron Adams, on the other hand, looks like a bunch of girls (a bunch of hot girls, admittedly).