Non-linear Scheduling

Muji Chronotebook Non-linear Day Planner
Photo from the Muji Web site

LifeHacker points to the yet-to-be-released Muji Chronotebook Non-linear Day Planner, which provides an interesting way to plan your day. Gone are the normal grids and standard sequence of hours and dates. They have been replaced by pages that display “time on an axis, like an analog clock.” One page is dedicated to the morning and the other to the evening. So you add your events to the AM or PM page, writing your “plans like spokes on a bicycle wheel.”

I don’t think it would work for me (I’m not a heavy user of day planners anyway), but I really love that they are forging a different solution to the problem of planning one’s schedule.

Recent Links: April 16 to April 23

Here are the most recent bookmarks that I have saved to Ma.gnolia.

Austin Tech Events Calendar WordPress Plugin

“The Austin Tech Events Calendar plugin is a “branch” of the wpng-calendar, a WordPress plugin for integrating a Google calendar into your WordPress blog. I’ve customized it to best display events from the door64.com events calendar.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , , ,

Identicons, MonsterID’s, and Wavatars! Oh my!

Information about adding a single parameter to your Gravatar call to have the service provide an ‘identicon’ for people who don’t have Gravatar account, instead of the default Gravatar logo.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

Foxit Software

An alternative to Acrobat Reader, Foxit Reader provides all of the key functionality, in a smaller footprint, plus a few features that would normally require you buy Acrobat Professional. Looks promising.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , ,

13 of the best WordPress plugins

“13 of the best WordPress plugins. Here are the plugins I currently have installed on my WordPress blog. Highly recommended.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

Recent Links: April 09 to April 16

Here are the most recent bookmarks that I have saved to Ma.gnolia.

Fight Thieving Restaurant Servers With Checksum Tips | Punny Money

An easy method to combat the most common type of tip fraud – wait staff changing the amount of tip left on a credit card receipt.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , ,

How to create an interactive PDF prototype in Visio

“Visio users know that it’s pretty easy to create an interactive HTML prototype from a set of wireframes (File>Save as Web Page), but for me, the major drawback to this approach is that the prototype isn’t portable. I need a way to communicate designs via email, and there’s no way I’m emailing a bunch of HTML and GIF files to people (or even a web link, since not everyone has network access).

“PDF is ideal for emailing, but it takes a little work to create a clickable PDF prototype in Visio. Here’s what I discovered.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , ,

Designers Toolbox: OS Form Elements

A very useful set of form elements, providedas PSDs for each of the major browser/platform combinations to be used in comps.

“Need a Windows XP button when you work on a Mac? Or a Mac OS X pulldown menu when you’re on a Windows system? Download our free standard HTML form elements to use in your designs.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , ,

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

Portable Privacy Experiences

When you think about it, online social applications are bad places to put things that are meant to go unseen, and it makes the notion of privacy start to feel like the wrong idea. This brings us back to the words we choose, because I think we interact online not to keep stuff private, but to share it selectively. Setting up a privacy framework works as a force in opposition to the goal of sharing something. If instead we think about streaming shared actions (or gestures, if you like) and content to the right people and less about exception frameworks, things should work more smoothly and, I think, bring us closer to models that can cross networks without exploding.

Todd Sieling: Portable Profiles and Privacy: Choppy Ux Ahead

Todd’s insightful article has me thinking about privacy, expectations of and experience within our social media tools, online and off.

Creative Bridges, Coworking & Communities

This started as a quick comment on Alex Hillman’s post Creative Agency, which quickly grew so long that I realized that I had begun writing a post of my own, so I’ve shifted it to my site so I don’t hijack Alex’s discussion (plus I don’t post often enough).

Please read Alex’s post prior to reading this one.

So, Alex’s ideas set my mind-gears a’spinnin’. He covers several aspects of building a community that is beneficial to its members but also to its clients, uniting several concepts that drive me personally, and I believe drive communities around the globe.

A couple of coworking initiatives (LaunchPad, Conjunctured) are growing here in Central Texas, which I think will mesh well with our various Web and creative groups like Refresh Austin, which in turn play a large part in sharing knowledge and connecting members of the professional creative and Web communities. That said, we’re a disparate community, which can be both good (an abundance of creativity and different perceptions and solutions of challenges) and bad (harder to spread the word and unify), and often times the individuals, whether they work for themselves or sit amongst hundreds in large enterprises aren’t able to rely on each other to augment their strengths.

Some love design, others front-end development, or back-end coding. Some dig deep into the perfect turn of phrase, while others concentrate on the most effective way to monetize a product or service. Some of us like to translate between the various cultures. We’re different, which is very good. But we could do more to help each other.

Alex highlights some of the most glaring gaps amongst our profession:

  • Creatives who don’t take responsibility for “leading the client just as much as we are leading the project and the result that the end user experiences”
  • Independent creatives who may not have the business background, the time or the personality to look out for themselves on the business front

These are large gaps, but they are addressable by the right communities, some of which exist, others of which we need to being forming.

Bridges

So, we need to connect these communities:

  • Independents and corporate designers/developers – it’s amazing how different these experiences can be, and both groups will benefit from the sharing of knowledge
  • Experienced and new professionals – connect the energy, vigor and will-not-stop drive with experience and knowledge (business, and yes some political). We have to tap into the excited professionals – no cynicism
  • Business professionals and creative professionals – business folks would love to tap into the fountain of ideas that make up a creative world and the designers and developers will gain valuable skills from their counterparts making it much easier to navigate the world of contracts, time lines and expectations
  • Open source developers/communities and businesses – As Alex notes, “being an open source software developer does not, and should not, condemn ones self to a life of poverty”, which follows up on Whurley’s Opensville post.

Chief among my questions to the community is to learn what are the first steps we should take to move forward building this new creative agency platform and the other pieces required to move our communities forward? CitizenAgency and Indy Hall have an edge as established, physical spaces with strong communities, but I think Austin is an ideal setting for this as well and could quickly contribute.

So where to?

Recent Links: April 02 to April 09

Here are the most recent bookmarks that I have saved to Ma.gnolia.

Stockvault.net

Stockvault.net is a stock photo sharing website where designers and photographers can meet to share their stock photos and images. All images on Stockvault.net are free for personal and non-commercial usage.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , ,

Syncopation

“Syncopation from Sonzea provides a hands-free solution to keep your iTunes® music collection synchronized across multiple computers running Mac OS X. Once installed on two or more Macs, Syncopation goes to work, finding music that is on one computer but not the others, and automatically transfers the songs between them so that they both contain your complete music collection. Leave it running in the background and it will keep your iTunes libraries up-to-date. When you make changes to your song files on one computer, Syncopation updates your other computers with those changes. If you add files to one of your computers, Syncopation replicates the new songs to your other computers, whether they are iTunes Music Store purchases or tracks ripped from your own CD’s. Syncopation works over your Ethernet or wireless network.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , ,

TypingWeb

“TypingWeb is an online typing test & typing tutor and the only software you’ll ever need to learn to type fast and accurately.

“All skill levels will benefit from TypingWeb’s free typing lessons. Engaging content keeps things interested, including daily News Headline lessons.

“Best of all, TypingWeb’s typing lessons are completely free for individuals!”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: ,

Rands In Repose: The Business

An in-depth and very readable breakdown of how to negotiate when offered a job, breaking it down the practices to implement starting on day one.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , ,

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

Journey To The Center Of Design »

Keynote: Journey to the Center of Design
(I gave this at the IA Summit in 2008 and SxSW in 2009. The recording is from the IA Summit.)

Jared Spool

Saturday April 12 2008, 8:30 – 10:00AM

User-centered design was born in the 1980s, amidst a world filled with frustration with blinking VCR clocks and computer command lines. Up until this time, developers focused on making the devices work, giving little heed to how they’d be used. Terms like "user friendly" and "easy to use," buzzwords for the UCD movement, soon became as common as "new and improved" on laundry soap.

Fast forward 25 years and it now seems the foundations of user- centered design are now disintegrating. Notable community members are suggesting UCD practice is burdensome and returns little value. There’s a growing sentiment that spending limited resources on user research takes away from essential design activities. Previously fundamental techniques, such as usability testing and persona development, are now regularly under attack. And let’s not forget that today’s shining stars, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the iPod, came to their success without UCD practices.

Is it time for user-centered design to evolve into something else? Or is there something else happening in our world of experience design that makes UCD obsolete? Should something else occupy the center of design?

These are just the questions that this year’s keynote presenter, Jared Spool, likes to answer. Especially after a few drinks. And while a Saturday morning keynote may seem early for the kind of heavy drinking these particular questions demand, Jared will have just arrived from Italy, a nation with a long tradition of philosophical intoxication. This will set the perfect stage for an entertaining and insightful presentation to open our conference.

We guarantee a journey that shouldn’t be missed.

Recent Links: March 26 to April 02

Here are the most recent bookmarks that I have saved to Ma.gnolia.

USSR posters – a photoset on Flickr

USSR posters - a photoset on Flickr

An extensive collection of “Russian and/or Soviet propaganda & advert posters [1917-1991]” with translations for many, if not all posters.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , , , ,

WordPress Plug-in: Clean Notifications

WordPress Plug-in: Clean Notifications

The Clean Notifications plugin “reformats the emails WordPress sends you when you get a new comment or ping so that they look nicer and less up less space.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

Web 2.0 Tutorials Round-Up

Web 2.0 Tutorials Round-Up

Over 65 tutorials, references and related resources, which are supposed to help you to create graphics in Web 2.0-Look.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

CSS Compatibility and Internet Explorer

CSS Compatibility and Internet Explorer

“This article provides an at-a-glance look at CSS compliance across recent versions of Internet Explorer, including support in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 for Developers and planned support in the final version of Internet Explorer 8.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , ,

Add Stock Textures to Images for extra ‘Oomph’

Add Stock Textures to Images for extra ‘Oomph’

“In this little Photoshop tutorial we’ll be designing a quick art piece, then we’ll be adding some texture to it, this is to demonstrate the use of texture in artwork, as you may be able to see in works from people such as GoMedia. Obviously this method will work better with some things and not so well with others, so please try to use it in moderation, if you will.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

63 Must Have Grunge Fonts

63 Must Have Grunge Fonts

“Looking for the best free grunge fonts out there? We have found all of them and they are trapped in this post. “

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , ,

Supercharge Your Camera with Open-Source CHDK Firmware

Supercharge Your Camera with Open-Source CHDK Firmware

“Digital cameras have powers beyond what is immediately available to the user. On a standard Canon, for example, the fastest shutter speed option offered is 1/1,600 second, but the hardware can handle much more than that — up to 1/60,000 of a second.

“CHDK, the Canon Hacker’s Development Kit, is an open-source software project that can be loaded on cameras using Canon’s DIGIC II or DIGIC III firmware platforms. It unleashes new features including RAW file format, live histogram display, a battery readout, and the ability to run scripted actions on a camera. “

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , ,

FontStruct | Build, Share, Download Fonts

FontStruct | Build, Share, Download Fonts

FontStruct is a free font-building tool brought to you by the world’s leading retailer of digital type, FontShop.

FontStruct lets you quickly and easily create fonts constructed out of geometrical shapes, which are arranged in a grid pattern, like tiles or bricks.

You create ‘FontStructions’ using the ‘FontStructor’ font editor.

Once you’re done building, FontStruct generates high-quality TrueType fonts, ready to use in any Mac or Windows application.

You can keep your creations to yourself, but we encourage users to share their “FontStructions”. Explore the Gallery of fonts made by other FontStruct users and download them or even copy them and make your own variations.

You can also use the FontStruct widget to show your FontStructions on your own website or blog.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

The Ultimate Guide to the WordPress Loop

The Ultimate Guide to the WordPress Loop

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the Loop, including the basic flow, template tags used within the loop, and what to do after.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , ,

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

Party of One or a Movement?

Movements, from my experience, wouldn’t happen without a whole lot of people moving them forward. If there is only one person responsible, it’s not a movement, it’s a party for one.

Tara Hunt

Tara Hunt hits the nail on the ahead yet again, with her excellent post Heroes Don’t Work Alone. If you aren’t familiar with Tara, you should be as her writing, speaking and day-to-day efforts have a very large impact on the underpinnings of our online social networks, often bridging these networks with offline communities and brands. Her work helping to set up co-working as a viable alternative to large offices, is benefiting countless entrepreneurs and her efforts to boost the presence and influence of women in technology circles is laying the important groundwork needed to ensure we continue our exponential growth in technology and science.

Heroes Don’t Work Alone provides a concise, readable and important view into the shape of our community and the direction we need to move. We all have roles to play, but they aren’t necessarily the same, and in fact they should be different so we can compliment each other’s strengths and move forward together.

The lines aren’t distinctly cut, and in fact they may well vary per project or passion, but recognizing that we need Creators, Catalysts and Champions is the first step towards greatness, whether you are working in a large organization, or forming a group like Refresh Austin.