• Music was my refuge

    Music was my refuge (151/365)

    Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.

    Maya Angelou

    Tags

  • On writing

    Remember what it is you’re trying to do when writing for a wide audience: communicate an idea clearly and accurately.

    If a reader ends up confused, it’s not their failure as a reader but yours as a writer.


    Alok Jha

  • Wroblewski's Theorem

    Anything that can be connected to the Internet, will be.

    Luke Wroblewski

  • A launch of sorts

    It’s been over a year since I joined WDCS, and to coincide with the 64th International Whaling Commission, you can now see a small piece of what I’ve been working on.

    Say hello to dev.wdcs.org.

    Over the next fortnight, our team will be busy posting news and blog posts from the IWC, offering us a great opportunity to ensure that the structure, work-flow, and multilingual nature of the new site all work as we hope. And in what I think is a brave move by everyone here, we’re doing it in the public eye. If GDS can do it, well so can we (seriously, the GDS team has been, and continues to be, a massive inspiration).

    It’s a bit shabby round the edges: the theme is bland and temporary but hopefully very readable, there are some bugs in the internationalisation framework that I’m still fixing (“Ray, when someone asks you if you want to build a multilingual site, you say ‘NO’!”), and you might find yourself in a bit of a navigation dead-end if you follow the wrong link.

    As I said, it’s a bit shabby, but it’s our shabby.

    If you’re interested in the background of what led us to this point and where we’re going in the future I gave a talk to the Oxford UX group a couple of months ago that fills in some of that.

    Thanks to everyone at WDCS who’s been helping on this project. As a web geek you couldn’t ask for a more passionate and committed bunch to build for.

    And now, some sleep.

  • Paying attention

    Put down your phone every once in a while. Always look up. Follow suspicious signs.

    Dan Eden writing for The Pastry Box Project.

  • Rebuilding from the ground up

    Last Wednesday (25th April) I gave a talk at the UX Oxford Speaker Series about the work I’ve been doing at the WDCS over the past year, and why to my friends it seemed like I had vanished off the face of the earth.

    It’s a wide-ranging talk, looking at the problems with the current site, our initial research and findings, and the the content-out/responsive approach we’ve taken towards the redevelopment.

    The talk itself lasts around a half-hour, with another half-hour Q&A session afterwards.

    The books that I reference during the talk are:


    And the list of useful links and further reading can be found on my Pinboard account under the tag uxoxford2012.

    Thanks to UX Oxford for inviting me to speak, it was great to finally show everyone what I’ve been working on and I really enjoyed the questions after.

    Fingers crossed we’re due to go into public beta sometime in June.

  • Thoughtfulness

    If you can’t draw as well as someone, or use the software as well, or if you do not have as much money to buy supplies, or if you do not have access to the tools they have, beat them by being more thoughtful. Thoughtfulness is free and burns on time and empathy.

    From a wonderful, thought provoking post by Frank Chimero. Read it, absorb it.

  • Egalitarianism and Progressive Enhancement

    Progressive enhancement follows the Golden Rule because it is concerned with the “other”. That’s why accessibility is such a key part of building websites following the progressive enhancement philosophy. It’s about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes—someone whose abilities and situation probably differ from yours. We are a diverse lot after all.

    One hell of a read from Aaron Gustafson on the Golden rule, egalitarianism and the philosophy of progressive enhancement in web design.

  • Done is better than perfect

    Done is better than perfect, or “the best” is the enemy of “the good”. Perfectionism is a form of procrastination. It assumes that time is an infinite resource, that other tasks can wait while you add “just one more touch” and that “perfect” is attainable.

    One of the guiding principles behind Shopify’s apps team. Great advice for any dev team.

  • Communicating with humans

    Take time to think about your own professional communications. Don’t accept biz-speak as the right solution, regardless of how ubiquitous it is. Be human, and engage directly with people – they’ll respect you for it, and be more willing to give your business a chance.

    Matt Gemmell rewrites Adobe’s press release announcing the end of Flash for mobile. It’s like Adobe never read the Cluetrain Manifesto.

Page 2 of 54