We were easily distracted this month, until our new Graduate Assistant Jared showed up to get us into shape with his interesting, educational, and useful links. And did we mention we like doughnuts?
- Jason and I were chatting about card sorting, and I couldn’t remember the name of the card-sorting guru I’d seen at an IA Summit several years ago, so when I was able to do a quick search (it was Donna Spencer) I shared this UIE talk. There’s also her card sorting book published by Rosenfeld Media.
- Mira shared the Mobile Design Pattern Gallery that accompanies Theresa Neil’s new book from O’Reilly; the gallery has already been useful on the mobile project I’m working on.
- This article analyzing a design team’s failure on the IA and UX of an iPad magazine app was thought-provoking. I always find it useful to see practical examples of others’ real-world work, whether successes or failures; failures usually come with discussion of what did and didn’t work, and what was changed in order to get to success, and that can be even more helpful.
- New GA Jared burst onto the scene with this awesome conference I can’t believe we missed: the Web Conference at Penn State. I’ve never heard of this but it looks like something we should be paying attention to! This year’s theme was Responsive Design and the Mobile Web, which has been a topic of discussion all over UW-IT recently. As he tends to do, LukeW took some great notes, including Eric Runyon and “Building a University Website with Responsible Web Development” and “The Future-Friendly Campus” from Dave Olsen. Great find.
- We all want this desk that’s made of a giant Post-It note, found by Diego.
- We got a little distracted when Jason mentioned having just re-watched District 9 and we all speculated about whether the forthcoming Elysium is supposed to be a sequel or not. IMDB user-submitted content says no, but … user-submitted content.
- Related to Diego’s recap of the sketchnote session at the IA Summit 2012 (and to mine of “Shut up and Draw” at SxSW), our friend and former colleague Kevin (@KevnTweets) tweeted Veronica Erb’s enjoyable presentation slides from the IA Summit.
- Further distraction ensued with this spinner generator. I made a silly one.
- From UW Today, an article about iSchool students’ smartphone app ideas, including a sleep health tracking app, a Costco warehouse finder, a daily deal site aggregator, and a couple of OneBusAway apps.
- Diego called our attention to the Space Web Service (possibly UW-only link), which was being presented at the the UW Web Council meeting (also possibly a UW-only link) on the 21st. I attended to learn about that (relevant to my current mobile project) as well as the Sass and Compass presentation given by Dale Sande. (More on that in Gavin’s excellent post on LESS.) During the presentation I shared Sass for designers, mentioned by the presenter, and Jared countered with Sass vs LESS, which was useful because Sande’s presentation didn’t really delve into the comparison of the two. It seems like both have their place, and I hope to continue to learn more about both of them.
- Someone brought Top Pot doughnuts to work, but Diego and I were both working from home. Naturally this necessitated a lengthy conversation about whether Diego and I could obtain our own doughnuts, Top Pot or otherwise. I don’t really have access to doughnuts at home (though there is an excellent bakery). Diego has moved back to Montana. I knew that some local Seattle-area Starbucks shops have been carrying Top Pot for a while, but my initial search for starbucks top pot montana strangely led me to an April 2010 article about Top Pot arriving in the Philippines. So we assume Diego can get them in Montana. But apparently as of May 2010, they aren’t labeled as Top Pot anymore, even though they are (technically). From Ammy we learned that local grocery chain QFC also sells Top Pot-branded doughnuts. But is their new ubiquity giving their own product a bad name?
Doughnuts are obviously the most important thing we discussed this month.
- Back on track, Char shared Mobile Considerations in User Experience Design: “Web or Native?”, a chapter of a new book that Smashing Magazine has published. I haven’t gotten all the way through it yet, but it looks like a great discussion that “explores what ‘native’ actually means, what options designers and developers have and gives practical advice on what you need to know when deciding on tools for your next mobile-optimized project.” (from the link)
- Also from Char, some CSS fanciness at Beercamp 2012 and “An explanation of the CSS animation on Apple’s iPhone 4S webpage” (less catchy title, but still cool visually).
- Jared shared Symbolset, semantic symbol fonts that turn specific words into icons and which can be used anywhere OpenType features are supported. The site is fun to play with!
- Jared also found a call for participation for the 2012 Special Interest Group on Design of Communication — the conference will be held in Seattle in October, and they are still accepting submissions for experience reports (see the link for a description of what this means) and research posters. These are due on July 13, though, so if you’re interested you’d better get on it!
- Via this MetaFilter post, I found a blog post (which appears to be down at the moment) describing Brackets, an open-source front-end code editor that claims to … be awesome? I don’t remember the details since the original post is gone. Be warned, the MetaFilter thread turns into an emacs/vi/whatever war extremely quickly.
- Jared (again!) found this cool bamboo whiteboard made by painting bamboo flooring with some stuff that’s used to repair whiteboards. The end result is pretty slick-looking.
- He’s making us all look bad! Usability Testing: How to plan, design and conduct effective tests is a practical guide to doing good usability tests, shared by Jared of course.
- Showing his priorities, Jason responded with a general invitation to Cafe Solstice to try the Elysian’s Split Shot espresso milk stout.
- On the topic of LESS vs Sass, we have Why LESS? by one of the guys who created Twitter Bootstrap. It’s a relatively comprehensive FAQ about — among other things — why they chose LESS and not Sass. Shared by … guess.
- Sergei, Jared, and I attended this Blink UX summer speaker series, put on by Blink and Puget Sound SIGCHI. Perhaps we’ll summarize that in another post …
- Along the lines of Symbolset, linked above, I found FF Chartwell, a typeface that transforms strings of numbers into charts (via MetaFilter again.) It looks pretty cool, though not something I can see us needing at this point.
And what are you eating, drinking, learning about, making, or discovering this month?