Wednesday, January 9th, 2019
Monday, November 26th, 2018
Paul was at the Material conference in Iceland too, and we had some good chats. Here, he speaks his brains with Deep Thoughts prompted by the event.
I really get where he’s coming from when he says that “certain websites feel more ‘webby’ than others”, but it sure is tricky to nail down.
Tuesday, September 25th, 2018
I don’t really understand what this colour tool is doing or what it’s for, but I like it.
Sunday, July 8th, 2018
BBC News has switched to HTTPS—hurrah!
Here, one of the engineers writes on Ev’s blog about the challenges involved. Personally, I think this is far more valuable and inspiring to read than the unempathetic posts claiming that switching to HTTPS is easy.
Tuesday, April 10th, 2018
The transcript of a terrific talk by Paul, calling for a more thoughtful, questioning approach to digital design. It covers the issues I’ve raised about Booking.com’s dark patterns and a post I linked to a while back about the shifting priorities of designers working at scale.
Drawing inspiration from architectural practice, its successes and failures, I question the role of design in a world being eaten by software. When the prevailing technocratic culture permits the creation of products that undermine and exploit users, who will protect citizens within the digital spaces they now inhabit?
Monday, March 5th, 2018
Craig talks about reading, writing, books, publishing, and Amazon:
Kindle and non-Kindle book sales account for less than two percent of Amazon’s market cap. The Kindle could disappear tomorrow, and Amazon would not be materially affected. Even from a branding perspective, I don’t think AMAZON = BOOKS anymore, certainly not to younger consumers. AMAZON = PRIME. PRIME = A 3D PRINTER on a one-day time-delay that deposits anything you can imagine on your doorstep.
There’s also this about the double-edged sword of working at scale:
Does affecting one hundred lives turn you on? A thousand? A million? A billion? Why? What does it mean to have a positive impact on a life? How intimate does that connection need to be? Understanding your scale — the scale that moves you — is critical to understanding with whom and how you should work, how you should live.
Tuesday, November 28th, 2017
Rob walks us through the typographic choices for his recent redesign:
Most of what I design that incorporates type has a typographic scale as its foundation, which informs the typeface choices and layout proportions. The process of creating that scale begins by asking what the type needs to do, and what role contrasting sizes will play in that.
Friday, September 8th, 2017
John makes the point that unless you’re one of the big, big players, your native app is really going to struggle to find an audience. But that’s okay—a progressive web app might be exactly what you need.
In short, using native apps as a path to reaching a large number of potential customers and benefitting from crucial network effects is close to impossible.
But, in the meantime, the Web has responded to the very significant impact that native apps had on user behaviour.
For me, the strength of the web has never been about how it can help big companies—it’s about how it can amplify and connect the niche players.
Monday, April 25th, 2016
Chris’s homage to I, Pencil.
I, Website, am a complex combination of miracles.
Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
Tuesday, March 1st, 2016
Monday, July 27th, 2015
Thursday, March 6th, 2014
A lovely visualisation that combines two of my loves: space, and the correct use of the subjunctive.
Friday, November 2nd, 2012
A really nice piece on scale, ratio and rhythms in web design.
Friday, October 5th, 2012
iOS Six Fix
When the meta viewport tag is set to content=”width=device-width,initial-scale=1”, or any value that allows user-scaling, changing the device to landscape orientation causes the page to scale larger than 1.0. As a result, a portion of the page is cropped off the right, and the user must double-tap (sometimes more than once) to get the page to zoom properly into view.
Yes, it’s the old orientation and scale bug in Mobile Safari.
I’m pleased to report that as of iOS version 6, this bug seems to have finally been squashed. Hallelujah!
Stand down, hackers, stand down. This bug has been taken care of.
Monday, April 23rd, 2012
This really is a ridiculously smart way of keeping third-party videos scalable in responsive layouts. I’ve just implemented it on this year’s dConstruct site.
Sunday, February 26th, 2012
A beautiful reminder from Ben of the scale-free nature of the web.
We must recover our sanity where 100 million users does not represent the goal criteria of every new service. We must recover the mindset where a service used by 10,000 users, or 1,000 users, or 100 users is admired, respected, and praised for its actual success. All of those could be sustainable, profitable ventures. If TechCrunch doesn’t care to write about you, all the better.
If you are fortunate enough to work on your own product, with your own idea, and build it, and ship it, and reach enough people willing to sustain you financially for that immense amount of work, you should be applauded. You have poured in inordinate effort, and succeeded in making something that improved lives.
Saturday, December 24th, 2011
Dear Apple Claus,
I’ve been a very good boy this year so I hope you don’t me asking for a little present. What I’d really like for Christmas is for you to fix that strange orientation scaling bug in Mobile Safari.
Just in case you’ve forgotten about it, my friend Scott—who has been a very, very good boy this year (what with that whole Boston Globe thing)—put together a test page quite a while back to demonstrate the problem.
Basically, if I set
meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0" then it means a pixel should be equal to a pixel: in portrait view, the width should be 320 pixels; in landscape view the width should be 480 pixels. But in Mobile Safari, if I move from portrait to landscape, the width jumps to a value larger than 480 pixels, which means the hapless user must double tap to bring the scale down to 1:1.
Now, admittedly, I could just set
meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width" and leave it at that (or I could additionally declare
minimum-scale=1.0). But then when the user changes from portrait to landscape, although it doesn’t have the same over-zooming behaviour, it does scale up. That means I’m not getting the full 480 pixels (it’s effectively still a 320 pixel wide display, even in landscape).
I could make the bug disappear by adding
user-scaleable=no but that’s the cure that kills the patient. I also did some hacking with Shi Chuan but what we come up with still feels fairly clunky.
So that’s why I’m writing to you, Father Applemas. Won’t you fix this bug for me?
My friend PPK thinks you won’t fix this bug because it would trigger a reflow (and repaint) of the page …but I know that can’t be the reason because the bug doesn’t occur when going from landscape to portrait!
Also—and this is the really strange part—If I’m looking at a web page on my iPhone/Pod in a custom browser (like the Twitter app), rather than using Mobile Safari, then the bug doesn’t occur.
I don’t get, Apple Claus. Why have one behaviour for webviews in other people’s apps and a different behaviour for your own app?
Anyway, if you could see your way to granting this boy’s wish, it would make for a webby Christmas.
Hugs and kisses,
P.S. By this time next year, it would be lovely to have access to the camera (and other device APIs) from the browser …but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Update: the bug has been fixed in iOS 6.
Sunday, December 4th, 2011
Well, this is very intriguing: it turns out that the infamous orientation/scale bug in Mobile Safari isn’t present in in-app browsers (UIWebView). Most odd.
Thursday, November 17th, 2011
I should just have a recurring event in my calendar set for every week that says “Go watch this again to regain your sense of perspective.”