While the content on the conference day was nice, I attended this conference because of the workshops. In fact, if I could have skipped the conference day, I would have. Why? I wanted hands-on, stick-in-my-mind, non-fluff non-excited-for-the-sake-of-being-excited (i.e. the way I assume most conferences are) kind of information.
At a later point, I hope to post specific information from both of these workshops. For now: I could not recommend Forward JS more! (Or the city of San Francisco!)
I think the user should be able to exit out of an experience so immersive. I originally viewed it on a very large monitor, and the experience was ultimately overwhelming. It wasn’t too long before I was wanting controls to be able to view the content in a different format.
Love this as an excellent example of responsive design. Also the particular design elements they chose aren’t obvious, so it’s a nice deviation from the normal (for example, no use of the hamburger icon).
I haven't fully looked into this, or looked at the code much, but the user experience (at least on desktop) is pretty great. This is an example of using some trends – full-screen images, snapping-to, and some animation and video – well. It's easy to use trends/"new exciting things" poorly, but this site is even responsive! And, most importantly, the technology (the trends I listed above) actually fit the content. In other words, the medium fits the message, as opposed to just using a technique because it's cool or flashy. Here, it makes sense that the map is full screen, the images full screen, and they snap into place.
A common problem is refreshing a browser, noticing no change, assuming your code is wrong, attempting to fix it, no worky, and then after a long time realizing that you had simply never saved the file and probably your code was fine the whole time.
In walks Sublime! Go to "Preferences" then "Settings – User" and add the following line:
And you are done! Now every time that file in Sublime no longer has focus, it will automatically save.
I was recently given the task of converting many PDFs to HTML. This is not fun. However, it’s fun if you get to play with the Sublime Text 2 settings/packages/amazing stupedous power. Here’s what I wanted to do:
In Adobe Reader, save PDF as HTML. Against that, do all of the following.
run HTML Tidy
delete doctype tag
delete opening/closing HTML tags, and closing Body tag
unindent two tabs
delete opening Body tag
delete head tag (and all child tags)
delete style blocks
delete all br tags
delete all •
delete all classes
delete all span tags
remove all width and height attributes from image tags
In my typical fashion, I'm going to create a new blog post to retain information that should be managed in a different way in the hopes that someday I add that missing functionality.
Goal (in the far off nebulous but very happy future):
Add a "Who Woulda Known" section to my site to record the quirks and anomolies that drive us nuts. Or at least me. I'm sure others could benefit too. For now, all such content will go below.
In WordPress, if using a child theme and you want to update an include file (from the parent theme) and it just isn't working, then check the path to that file. If it is get_template_directory(), change it to get_stylesheet_directory(). Works like a charm.
I am presenting today at a meetup, JoomlaChicago, on “UX and What It Means For You.” It’s been a great experience to do the research necessary for this presentation. Thanks to JoomlaChicago for inviting me to present!
You may be wondering what OOP means by now. Object Oriented Programming is a relatively new concept, whereas the sum of the parts of a program make up the whole. Think of it this way: you are building a model car. You build the engine first. It can stand alone. It is an engine and everyone can see it's an engine. Next you build the body. It can also stand alone. Finally, you build the interior including the seats, steering wheel, and whatnot. Each, by itself is a object. But it is not a fully functioning car until all the pieces are put together. The sum of the objects (parts) make up the whole.
Continuing with the model car example, when you built the engine, you didn't use any of the parts that would later build the seats (a 350 four-barrel engine with a seat belt sticking out if the piston would look pretty silly). The point is that all the parts that made up the engine were of a certain class of parts. They all went together. Ditto with the body and then the interior.
Until I get time to build a feature into my site which records, categorizes, and displays "inspirations", I'm going to list them here. It will be for both inspiration and reference. Ran into this site today. Pretty cool.
First, I had the issue of a new snippet not appearing when I tried to insert it. And then, the above page not only fixed that but shows how to insert as many cursor insertion points into the code snippet as you would like (to tab through them). I was hoping that could be done, and sure enough it can.
As best as I can tell, there is no way, in the PHP, to reorder all of the fields for comments.php in WordPress. You can reorder some, but you can’t move the textarea above the three primary fields. I ultimately achieved this by “cheating” – a wee bit of jquery. But I would have preferred to do this 1) in the PHP and 2) without modifying core. And, like I said, I see no way to do that. Am I wrong? I’ll post back if I ever find that I am. (And no, I did not modify core. I understand the consequences.)
“Don’t Make Me Think” is a book that takes it’s own medicine. Steve Krug is the author and it is probably the most well known book in the field of Usability. (In the larger field of UX, I imagine the most well known book is “The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman.)
This book is stripped down. Way stripped down. There are no extra words. No extra thoughts. In fact, there is very little content in the book, relatively speaking. It’s an easy read. 185 pages. But if you remove all the graphics and change the line height to 1 instead of 1.5 or 2, I would bet the book is no more than 100 pages.
The reason I’m so impressed with the paired-down copy is that I have read many other UX books and they do not do this. For an author to actually say less, means he has to figure out what he is really saying. That’s hard work. And what is true in copy is also true visually. To pair down means you have to go through the painful process of prioritizing, and then tossing some things. But this creates an excellent user experience. Now the user doesn’t have to wade through your words to figure out what you mean or wade through your visual layout to find out what the page is about. It facilitates a crystal clear experience which in turn requires no thinking.
Here’s what I learned from “Don’t Make Me Think”, which I think is the best usability book I’ve read yet.
Usability is not rocket science.
Usability is so important that it is better to do it “poorly” than not at all.
People don’t use things that are hard.
The first rule of usability is “Don’t make me think”
We don’t read pages. We scan them. Feverishly.
We don’t make optimal choices. We satisfice.
We don’t figure out how things work. We muddle through.
“If your audience is going to act like you’re designing billboards, then design great billboards.”
The second rule of usability is “It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice.”
The third rule of usability is “get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left.”
There’s no substitute for testing.
Testing one user is 100 percent better than testing none.
Testing one user early in the project is better than testing 50 near the end.
The point of testing is not to prove or disprove something. It’s to inform your judgment.
Testing is an iterative process.
Worthwhile testing can be done with just three or four people.
The book then moves into usability testing (it’s relievingly easy/non-stressful) and talks about how to handle internal requests for something that will definitely result in poor usability. Overall, the book provides a way of thinking that is beneficial, attainable, and even reassuringly logical/simple, and then models that thinking in the user experience of the book itself. It was initially written in 2000 – which would usually mean I wouldn’t touch the book – but fortunately, while technology changes at the speed of light, design principles do not.