Erin’s classic book is now available to read online for free!
This is a perceptive overview of three different species of agencies—consulting-led, engineering-led, and design-led. Clearleft fits squarely into that last category …and the weaknesses of that particular flavour of agency ring very true:
Design firms have historically lacked the business strategy chops and pedigree of the consultants.
It will probably come as no surprise that Clearleft has been getting “more strategic” recently.
Design needs more MBAs with C-suite relationships and an almost arrogant assumption that of course they belong there, advising the CEO and truly bringing design thinking to business. It’s time to do strategy for real. The market has never been more receptive to it than it is right now.
A useful design strategy exercise from Marty Neumeier.
The latest video from Patterns Day is up—Ellen’s superb philosophical presentation: Patterns in Language, Language in Patterns.
There’s so much packed into this one, it might take more than one viewing to take it all in.
A transcript of the superb talk that Ellen delivered at Patterns Day. So good!
Ellen goes through the principles behind the tone of voice on the new Clearleft site:
- Our clients are the heroes and heroines, we facilitate their journey.
- Speak as an individual doing whatever it is you love. Expose lovable details.
- Use the imperative, kill the “-ing”.
- Be evocative and paint the picture. Show don’t tell.
- Be a practical friend.
- Be inquisitive. Ask smart questions that need solving.
A practical guide to Progressive Web Apps for organisations who don’t know anything about Progressive Web Apps : Records Sound the Same
Sally gives a really good introduction to using service workers as a progressive enhancement.
The key change in all of this, I think, is that Google has gone from a world of almost perfect clarity - a text search box, a web-link index, a middle-class family’s home - to one of perfect complexity - every possible kind of user, device, access and data type. It’s gone from a firehose to a rain storm. But on the other hand, no-one knows water like Google. No-one else has the same lead in building understanding of how to deal with this. Hence, I think, one should think of every app, service, drive and platform from Google not so much as channels that might conflict but as varying end-points to a unified underlying strategy, which one might characterize as ‘know a lot about how to know a lot’.
The transcript of Mark’s talk from last week’s Handheld conference in Cardiff.
There are mountains.
The title is a bit sensationalist but I agree completely with what Karen is saying:
It’s time we acknowledged that every responsive web design project is also a content strategy project.
Details on how the BBC Responsive News team plan to eventually make their m-dot site scale all the way up to be the default site. This “planting a seed” approach works really well, not least for political reasons.
Trent hammers home the point that the kind of compartmentalisation that’s traditionally been part and parcel of the web dev workflow just won’t cut it anymore.
A damning analysis of the Empire’s military strategy at the battle of Hoth, complete with illustrations. The comments are good too:
Guys, cut Palpatine some slack. He’s still in his first term as Emperor…
A great piece by Jason analysing the ever-blurring lines between device classes.
Mind you, there is one question he doesn’t answer which would help clear up his framing of the situation. That question is:
What’s a web app?
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.
A great article by Karen pointing to the real problem with the mobile strategies of so many companies: they are locked in by their CMS.
BBC News are using the mobile subdomain to plant the seed of responsive design. It’s a smart move that’s been really nicely executed.
A great article from Sara Wachter-Boettcher on crafting future-friendly content. The content prioritisation described here mirrors what I’ve been doing in workshops.
It’s funny and heartbreaking because it’s true.
A great round-up of links and posts relating to the increasingly-important role of content strategy and structured content in our multi-device, responsively-designed online world.