Engineers who care about the open culture of the web should recognize that the threats to that culture come not only from Digital Enclosure by large, private companies of the most important pieces of the web.
They should also recognize the risks of Technical Enclosure, and the non-technical value of the #ViewSource affordance in perpetuating the open culture of web development.
The slides and transcript from a great talk by Maggie Appleton, including this perfect description of the vibes we get from large language models:
It feels like they’re either geniuses playing dumb or dumb machines playing genius, but we don’t know which.
Of course, users can learn over time what prompts work well and which don’t, but the burden to learn what works still lies with every single user. When it could instead be baked into the interface.
Imagine a collaboratively developed, universal content style guide, based on usability evidence.
A very handy guide to considering privacy at all stages of digital product design:
This guidance is written for technology professionals such as product and UX designers, software engineers, QA testers, and product managers.
The primary goals of this strategy are to inform decision-making and enhance the success of accessibility-related activities within the GOV.UK Design System team.
Interestingly, accessibility concerns are put into two categories: theoretical and evidenced (with the evidenced concerns being prioritised):
- Theoretical: A question or statement regarding the accessibility of an implementation within the Design System without evidence of real-world impact.
- Evidenced: Sharing new research, data or evidence showing that an implementation within the Design System could cause barriers for disabled people.
We can’t control systems or figure them out. But we can dance with them!
- Get the beat.
- Listen to the wisdom of the system.
- Expose your mental models to the open air.
- Stay humble. Stay a learner.
- Honor and protect information.
- Locate responsibility in the system.
- Make feedback policies for feedback systems.
- Pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable.
- Go for the good of the whole.
- Expand time horizons.
- Expand thought horizons.
- Expand the boundary of caring.
- Celebrate complexity.
- Hold fast to the goal of goodness.
Flat, minimalist, clean, material - whatever you want to call it - is an annoying antipattern. Computers are here to make life easier for humans. Removing affordances is just a nasty thing to do to your users.
The evolution of affordances on the web:
The URL for a page goes at the top. Text appears in a vertically scrolling column. A dropdown menu has a downward-pointing triangle next to it. Your mouse cursor is a slanted triangle with a tail, and when you hover over a link it looks like Mickey Mouse’s glove.
Most of these affordances don’t have any relationship to the physical characteristics of the interaction they mediate. But remove them from a website, application, or interface, and users get disoriented, frustrated, and unproductive.
Six UX lessons from game design:
- Story vs Narrative (Think in terms of story arcs)
- Games are fractal (Break up the journey from big to small to tiny)
- Learning loop (figure out your core mechanic)
- Affordances (Prompt for known loops)
- Hintiness (Move to new loops)
- Pacing (Be sure to start here)
Bringing gradients back, baby!
This is going to be a handy reference to keep on hand whenever you want a button to actually look like a button.
Some good tips on public speaking from Dan.
Add your moonwalk to the collection.
Here's Dan's latest project (and of course it looks gorgeous). I've been testing it for a while before the official launch and it's really sweet. Best of all, there is no sign up. All the interaction happens through Twitter. Clever.
I can only see the dancer going clockwise. Jessica saw anti-clockwise at first but was then able to change direction. I can't do that.
A nice overview of avoiding clutter in web design. It's not just about whitespace; the number of edges and gradients can also add up to an undifferentiated design.
This looks crazy! Everyone is dancing to the beat of a different drum... I mean, iPod.
Dan has redesigned. Or maybe that should be realigned. Either way, it feels just perfect. Talented bastard.
Based on this sneak peak, it sounds like that Dead Can Dance disc I ordered is going to be very good indeed.