Items of Interest

Collecting amazing and interesting things on the web.

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Web vs. native: let’s concede defeat

May 26, 2015

design / mobile / user experience

It’s time to recognise that this is the wrong approach. We shouldn’t try to compete with native apps in terms set by the native apps. Instead, we should concentrate on the unique web selling points: its reach, which, more or less by definition, encompasses all native platforms, URLs, which are fantastically useful and don’t work in a native environment, and its hassle-free quality.

Ultra-Contextual Design

May 6, 2015

design / design research / journey map / user experience / user research

Every experience could blend into the aether and let me get on with life. Instead, video ads auto-play at full volume just when I thought I had my work computer muted, my “smart” coffee maker takes 10 steps to brew a new pot, and every new app download asks for information that I’m not sure I want to give up. I’m constantly bombarded with dumb experiences, but we can make them smarter with ultra-contextual design. Context-aware systems provide information and utilities to people based on the tasks they are trying to accomplish.

A Complete Guide to SVG Fallbacks | CSS-Tricks

May 4, 2015

design / images / svg

Here at CSS-Tricks, there’s a lot of information telling you how wonderful SVG is. And as much as we want to convince you that SVG is for Everybody, SVG isn’t as widely used as we would like. In fact, some people still (literally) don’t get SVG.

1 hour of research saves 10 hours of development time

May 2, 2015

design / design research / user experience

Every feature adds complexity to your product. Even if you hide the new feature on its own tab it is taking up valuable space, not only in the UI but in your user’s heads. You’ve added another option that they now have to decide between. For the first feature added…not a huge effect. Over time, however, enormous. Every subsequent feature adds more and more friction.

It’s not scientific at all but I’m now thinking that:

1 hour of research ~= 10 hours of development time.

What Really Matters: Focusing on Top Tasks · An A List Apart Article

April 23, 2015

a list apart / design / design strategy / user experience

The solution is to make hard choices using Top Tasks Management. Top tasks are the small set of tasks (usually less than 10, often less than five) that matter most to your customers. Make these tasks work well, and you’ll be on the right track. Get them wrong, and chances are you’ll lose the customer.

Top Tasks Management is a model that says: “Focus on what really matters (the top tasks) and defocus on what matters less (the tiny tasks).”

Twitter CFO Anthony Noto privately analyzes Facebook

April 19, 2015

facebook / twitter

I’m surprised that more of the fascinating emails revealed by WikiLeaks about Snapchat have not been publicized. Below is one of my favorites. Twitter’s future CFO Anthony Noto sent a fairly detailed analysis of Facebook’s Q1 2014 earnings to Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel in April, 2014. Noto became Twitter’s CFO two months later.