Archive of: 2011
In the last decade, from 2000 through 2009, more than 47,700 pedestrians were killed in the United States, the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of passengers crashing roughly every month. On top of that, more than 688,000 pedestrians were injured over the decade, a number equivalent to a pedestrian being struck by a car or truck every 7 minutes.
From Transportation For America’s Dangerous by Design campaign.
The librarian isn’t a clerk who happens to work at a library. A librarian is a data hound, a guide, a sherpa and a teacher. The librarian is the interface between reams of data and the untrained but motivated user.
We need librarians more than we ever did. What we don’t need are mere clerks who guard dead paper. Librarians are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture. For the right librarian, this is the chance of a lifetime.
Seth Godin on the future of the library.
UX design begins by learning about the business model, doing user research and understanding how a service can fit into the users’ lives in a meaningful way. Thus UX design has a crucial part in defining the business strategy, providing baselines for business decisions with such design deliverables as personas or user stories. A UX-driven process doesn’t end with the UIs either, it’s also about testing with people, supporting development, making ongoing adjustments even after the launch.
UX Myths – Myth #31: UX design is a step in a project.
After two and half years, this is my last week at Torchbox. An announcement tinged with both sadness and excitement.
Sadness because during my time here I’ve had the opportunity to work with an incredibly smart and committed team of people, on very cool projects for organisations as diverse as Greenpeace UK, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and Coeliac UK.
Excitement because of what the future holds.
I’m very proud to announce that from the 7th of March I will be joining the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society as their Head of Online, or as I’m personally going to refer to it, “Chief Geek”.
Grandiose title aside, I’m going to be delving into everything they do online. Their public web presence, educational outreach, social media involvement, research tools, and a whole lot of other things I’m forgetting right now. In short, I have been tasked with turning the WDCS into the exemplar 21st century, web-native, conservation organisation.
It’s going to be one hell of a challenge, but I cannot wait to get stuck in.
That little pencil…the tool aspect…is this little gateway to a million ideas. I think about that kind of stuff with each one I crack into. In a world where things are more and more compacted, complicated, sped up and digitized, a regular old wood pencil is always there for you. Never needing to be recharged, you know?
Today, anything that’s fixed and unresponsive isn’t web design, it’s something else. If you don’t embrace the inherent fluidity of the web, you’re not a web designer, you’re something else.
Web design is responsive design, Responsive Web Design is web design, done right.
Found on Vimeo after joining a group.
It’s unlikely that my definition of “important” will be the same as theirs. Does this mean I’ll get an email every time a video is added to the group? When someone joins or leaves? What about forum postings? There should at least be an explanation of what constitutes “important”.
Ambiguous options kill kittens.
Jeremy Keith on the proliferation of hash-bang URLs and the recent Gawker redesign:
I’m always surprised when I come across as site that deliberately chooses to make its content harder to access.
He links to this great post by Mike Davies on just how badly this new anti-pattern – which was only ever supposed to be a band-aid for sites that ignored best practise and couldn’t get indexed by Googlebot – is breaking the structure of the web, and led directly to the site outage affecting all Gawker properties on Monday.
Speaking of simplicity.
Isaac Hall, co-founder of Dropbox competitor Syncplicity, answered the Quora question “Why is Dropbox more popular than other tools with similar functionality?“
It’s a wonderfully in-depth answer, encompassing PR companies, the press, and how to structure a beta, but despite all of those influences it came down to this:
In the end, it really came down to one incredibly genius idea: Dropbox limited its feature set on purpose. It had one folder and that folder always synced without any issues — it was magic. Syncplicity could sync every folder on your computer until you hit our quota. (Unfortunately, that feature was used to synchronize C:\Windows\ for dozens of users — doh!) Our company had too many features and this created confusion amongst our customer base. This in turn led to enough customer support issues that we couldn’t innovate on the product, we were too busy fixing things.
If you’re starting a new company, the best thing you can do is keep your feature set small and focused. Do one thing as best as you possibly can. Your users will beg and beg for more functionality. They will tell you their problems and ask you to fix it. My philosophy is that they’re right if their feature request is right only if it works for 80% of your customers. Until you have a lot of resources, stay focused on your core competency.