Tags: product

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the Origins of Opera and the Future of Programming – The Composition

An interesting piece by Jessica Kerr that draws lessons from the histories of art and science and applies them to software development.

This was an interesting point about the cognitive load of getting your head around an existing system compared to creating your own:

Why are there a thousand JavaScript frameworks out there? because it’s easier to build your own than to gain an understanding of React. Even with hundreds of people contributing to documentation, it’s still more mental effort to form a mental model of an existing system than to construct your own. (I didn’t say it was faster, but less cognitively strenuous.)

And just because I’ve spent most of last year thinking about how to effectively communicate—in book form—relatively complex ideas clearly and simply, this part really stood out for me:

When you do have a decent mental model of a system, sharing that with others is hard. You don’t know how much you know.

Distilling How We Think About Design Systems

Advice on building design systems:

  • If you can avoid being ambiguous, please do.
  • Favor common understanding over dictionary correctness.
  • Make great operations a priority.
  • Don’t get trapped in defining things instead of explaining things.

How to Trick Yourself into Writing a Book in Five Easy Steps

Great advice from Jen on writing a book:

  1. Write emails to Ted. Try to find a little comfort zone inside the larger uncomfortable task.
  2. Don’t write a Book. Write Chapters. Break a large chore into smaller tasks and focus on one at a time.
  3. Trap yourself. Set up a workspace that limits distraction and procrastination.
  4. Don’t despair the zero-word-count days. Give yourself credit for behind-the-scenes work, even self-care.
  5. Get amnesia. Keep your eye on the prize.

Why strong sound design is critical to successful products - O’Reilly Media

From Designing Products with Sound by Amber Case and Aaron Day:

Sound eases cognitive burdens.

Sound is also a powerful brand differentiator.

Sound is emotional.

Finally, sound impacts productivity.

But also:

Not every product needs sound design.

It is as if you were doing work

Stop dilly-dallying and just get this work done, okay?

prettydiff/wisdom: Building better developers by specifying criteria of success

I frequently see web developers struggling to become better, but without a path or any indication of clear direction. This repository is an attempt to sharing my experiences, and any contributions, that can help provide such a direction.

It’s broken down into four parts:

I don’t necessarily agree with everything here (and I really don’t like the “rockstar” labelling), but that’s okay:

Anything written here is open to debate and challenges are encouraged.

The White Site | Digital home of Ben White, designer and tinkerer

Ben has been quietly blogging away, documenting beautiful design.

Productivity in Terrible Times

When a solid 67% of your soul is engaged with battles elsewhere, how do you continue on with our ongoing, non-revolutionary work?

The Future Mundane on Vimeo

Nick Foster has put the audio of his fantastic dConstruct talk together with his slides.

It’s a terrific, thought-provoking presentation, superbly delivered …and it even has some relevance to progressive enhancement! (you’ll know what I mean if you watch/listen to the whole thing)

The Future Mundane

Visual Essentials for Product Design — Cennydd Bowles

This one-day workshop that Cennydd is running in London on July 22nd looks like it’s going to be really good.

What Should I Design? - the design prompt generator

Get your next design game off to a quick start with this handy generator of nonsensical-yet-vaguely-plausible product ideas.

Did Google Shutdown ___________ Yet?

A deathwatch for Google products.

See also Charles Arthur’s historical data on Google shutdowns.

The Virtual Haircut That Could Change the World | Design | WIRED

A nice profile of BERG’s Little Printer. That Matt Webb is a smart cookie. He is also a very thoughtful cookie.

Explorers of the combined territory.

Inspired by dConstruct, Ellen is going to start exploring the world of smart objects.

A Few Notes on the Culture by Iain M Banks

I’ve linked to this before, but with the death of Iain M Banks it’s worth re-reading this fascinating insight into The Culture, one of science fictions’s few realistic utopias.

The brief mention here of The Culture’s attitude to death is apt:

Philosophy, again; death is regarded as part of life, and nothing, including the universe, lasts forever. It is seen as bad manners to try and pretend that death is somehow not natural; instead death is seen as giving shape to life.

The Worst Things For Sale » The Internet’s most horrible items. A daily blog.

These are like chindogu, but they’re all available from Amazon with accompanying reviews.

Dough Globe - Your little living world

My last shipment from the Quaterly contained everything I need to get a sourdough starter going (thanks to Alexis Madrigal). I think I might have to get me one of these cute sourdough globes: “It’s like a Tamagotchi, but actually alive.”

Be sure to check out the the blog documenting the design and development.

Subtraction.com: Built to Not Last

A spot-on analysis by Khoi of the changing perception of the value in product design, as exemplified by Apple.

Incept Dates – Jack Move Magazine

A superb piece of writing from Erin, smashing taboos with the edge of Bladerunner.