Recent Links: September 21 to September 28

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

Amazon Windowshop

“We’ve taken out the text and created an immersive experience to help you lose yourself in exploration. Trailers for bestselling movies. Insight into the hottest TV shows and video games. Track samples from Tuesday’s new music releases. Audio reviews of books you should read. Amazon Windowshop lets you get a taste of many titles. They’re here – in one place – and all you have to do is move a few keys to zoom in on whatever flips your switch. “

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Square America Snapshots & Vernacular Photography

“Square America is a site dedicated to preserving and displaying vintage snapshots from the first 3/4s of the 20th Century. Not only do these photographs contain a wealth of primary source information on how life was lived they also constitute a shadow history of photography, one too often ignored by museums and art galleries. Or at least that’s what I tell people- more accurately, the site is a catalog of my obsession with vintage photographs.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

five second test

“The five second test is a simple usability test that helps you measure the effectiveness of your user interfaces. “

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

Collection: [Design Solutions]

A large collection of screen shots taken by user experience designer Gustavo Pimenta.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thoughts on A Complete Experience

I recently posted a quote from Steve Ballmer discussing a key difference between Apple and Microsoft, which I titled A Complete Experience. Having spent a bit more time thinking about it, I thought I would capture some of those thoughts here. This is basically a brain-dump, so it is by no means comprehensive, or for that matter a fluid discussion.

For Ballmer to claim that Microsoft is committed to choice doesn’t match their past business practices. I’d love to see them truly commit to changes that support real user choice and a better end-to-end experience. The subtle knock of Apple (a “narrow” experience) is to be expected, though again it stretches the truth.

OS X, Apple’s computer operating system is not as broad as Windows in terms of configurations and options (six versions of Vista to choose from – two for OS X, one of which is targeted for servers – no confusion there), but that’s a very good thing for the people who buy and use computers. Windows provides every possible configuration option just in case one person out of 10,000 may want it. That’s pretty cool, except for the fact that it often clutters the experience for the other 9,999 folks.

Apple has gone the other route, making a vast majority of decisions for the users – focusing on normal people instead of edge cases. Power users can dive into the command line and utilize the full power of the BSD subsystem. They both have to strike a balance, but have chosen vastly different ways to do it. I’ve come to love Apple’s way of doing it.

If the experience were truly “narrow”, you wouldn’t have the wide swath of user types – students, lawyers, parents, kids, entrepreneurs and hard core developers. That last one is important – many dedicated techies who write programs and Web applications that millions of people use day in and day out switched to the Mac. These are the people most likely to tweak their system, to be that one out of 10,000. They chose the focused end-to-end experience over the bucket of options.

The experience is so much smoother on the Mac and my levels of frustration are amazingly low when I work on my computer. Hell, frustration doesn’t tend to crop up very often. I should say that my level of contentment and the occurrences of elation are rather high compared to any other product or service that I use on a regular basis.

Recent Links: September 14 to September 21

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

Everymoment Now : Obama Vs. McCain : Context and Scope to the 2008 US General Election

Everymoment Now. Exploring news histories and bringing context and scope to the moments shaping our world.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , , ,

pptPlex

pptPlex is a plug-in that explores an alternate method for presenting a PowerPoint slide deck. Using pptPlex, you can present your slides as a tour through a zoomable canvas instead of a series of linear slides.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

Tax Plans (that’s one for you, nineteen for me)

A great visual breakdown of the impact of the tab plans from Senators McCain and Obama.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Schtock – All American

Schtock is the online playground of a pseudo-disgruntled stock photography employee.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , , , ,

MacRabbit – Espresso

“Espresso is not a bunch of apps forcibly smashed together. Instead, we looked at the needs of modern web developers and streamlined their workflow into one focused app. Extremely powerful editing, sleek projects, live preview (we make CSSEdit — did you really expect anything less?), real publishing and extensive synchronization tools. All this, and an amazing extensible core? It’s not too good to be true.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , , , ,

xSort is a free card sorting application for Mac OS X

xSort is a free card sorting application for Mac OS X aimed at user experience professionals and social scientists.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , ,

A Complete Experience

In the competition between PCs and Macs, we outsell Apple 30-to-1. But there is no doubt that Apple is thriving. Why? Because they are good at providing an experience that is narrow but complete, while our commitment to choice often comes with some compromises to the end-to-end experience.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

The quote is from a memo that Mr. Ballmer sent to Microsoft employees this past July outlining the company’s strategy for 2009. Aside from the not-so-subtle “narrow” swipe, it’s a concise summation of why so many of us have switched to Apple products (not just the computer) after years, if not decades using PCs running Windows.

The experience matters.

Recent Links: September 07 to September 14

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

Black Box Voting – America’s Elections Watchdog Group

We want citizens out in the field observing, asking questions, asserting the right to know. We know it will help to have a booklet you can put in your purse or jacket pocket, to remind you of what to look for and what kinds of questions to ask. Therefore, we have also printed booklets.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

Cyclo.ps

“Tired of the cumbersome searches through stock photo sites? See better results with Cyclo.ps. Our monster machine brings the results of the most popular stock sites to one location. Search once. See it all.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , ,

FunctionFlip

“FunctionFlip’s purpose is simply to disable the special features — rewind, play, mute, etc. — on the function keys. For example, if you “flip” F7, F8, and F9, those keys will revert back to normal F keys — without affecting the other functions. Press the fn key with the special key to get the special function back. That is, the “special” and “normal” functions are flipped.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , ,

Data Filtering Using PHP’s Filter Functions – Part one

“Filtering data. We all have to do it. Most, if not all of us, despise doing it. However, unbeknown to most are PHP’s filter_* functions, that allow us to do all sorts of filtering and validation. Using PHP’s filter_* functions, we can validate and sanitize data types, URLs, e-mail addresses, IP addresses, strip bad characters, and more, all with relative ease. This is part one of two, covering filter_var() and the different constants and flags that can be set.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

AppleJack: Mac OS X Troubleshooting Utility

AppleJack is a user friendly troubleshooting assistant for Mac OS X. With AppleJack you can troubleshoot a computer even if you can’t load the GUI, or don’t have a startup CD handy. AppleJack runs in Single User Mode and is menu-based for ease of use.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Recent Links: August 31 to September 07

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

Google Chrome

A comic book introducing the new open source browser, Chrome, Google’s foray into the browser space.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , ,

75 Powerful Adobe Fireworks Extensions

“Anyway here are below the best 75 Adobe Fireworks Extensions (MXP), nearly all are compatabile with Fireworks MX, 8 and CS3 (and quite a few with Fireworks 3 and 4).”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , , ,

Bicycle Sport Shop – Bike sales, service and rentals. Austin, Texas

Bicycle Sport Shop Austin Texas – 517 S. Lamar Blvd. – 512-477-3472 – Austin’s Premier Bike Shop. Featuring Specialized, Trek, Gary Fisher, Salsa, Niner, Co-Motion, Serotta, Santa Cruz , Electra, BMC Bicycles and more! We have great rental bikes and award winning service!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

Performance Bike – Home for all your cycling needs!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

PollTrack : Tracking Elections from the Ground Up

Polltrack gauges the mood of the nation and predicts the outcome of elections from the perspective of where it matters the most: with voters on the ground. Maurice Berger presents a comprehensive, up-to-the-minute picture of what voters are thinking and feeling, with maps and commentary.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , ,

tr.im your URLs and other stuff too

tr.im is for quick, easy, full-featured URL shortening service with integrated posting to social networks such as Twitter, with conversation panels, and a free public API.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , ,

Google Chrome Tips

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , ,

Burning Chrome

Google Chrome Comic

Google Chrome Comic

Google plans to release a new browser soon, based on Webkit, but with a new JavaScript engine, which is expected to be significantly faster than most browsers and will be sandboxed to ensure that a crash in one tab doesn’t take out the rest of the browser.

In addition to the blog post, they’ve created an introduction to the browser in comic book form.

While there are a lot of questions about it and some interesting discussion points, I am curious to see how, or if it changes the way we design and develop Web apps. It will also be interesting to see how they design the interface and flows within the browser, having stated that one major goal is to streamline and simplify the UI. The beta Windows version is to be released today, with Mac and Linux versions coming soon.

I am also very curious about the privacy implications inherent in this release. Google has reached a point where they have an insane level of information about the interests (Google search, AdSense), browsing habits (Google Analytics, DoubleClick), events (Google Calendar), personal and business plans and finances (Google Apps) and personal connections (gMail, gTalk) of nearly everyone who uses the Web. While I love their motto of “Do No Evil”, I can’t bring myself to trust that it will always hold true, whether by internal decisions, or by outside pressure from stock holders or governments (wow, now I’m starting to sound like the other Alex Jones).

I will definitely test the browser, and I look forward to the concepts they are introducing. A shakeup in the market will be useful, even if it reignites the browser wars, and causes consternation amongst those of us who build Web apps and sites. We’re pushing forward, which is a good thing, but we need to temper our excitement (or annoyance) with the impact this will have on the Web and be wary of what we as consumers and users trade for the new browser.

Recent Links: August 24 to August 31

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

DryIcons.com

Free icons and free icon sets, as well as free vector graphics.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: ,

jeresig’s sizzle

A new selector engine that is expected to become the default engine in jQuery.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

Elements of Design: A Web Design Showcase

“A different type of web design showcase focusing on specific aspects of web design.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

Classy Icon Set

Classy free icons set contains 300 free icons available in PNG, ICO and ICNS format for download and preview

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: ,

Tweetrush

“Tweetrush is a service based on our Rush Hour engine that aims to provide estimated stats on Twitter usage over a period of time. Feel free to click on the top graph for more detailed information about Twitter usage for a given date. “

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags:

WordPress Coda Clips Collection

“Panic just released version 1.5 of the popular all-in-one website editor, Coda. Included with this release was the ability to import and export clips into and out of Coda. We took it upon ourselves to add almost every tag on the very useful WordPress function list to Coda and export them as a group for y’all to use.”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,

Unit PNG Fix

A “comprehensive, yet light-weight png fix built in javascript. It’s free to download and use as you like!”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , , , , ,

jParallax

Parallax turns a selected element into a ‘window’, or viewport, and all its children into absolutely positioned layers that can be seen through the viewport. These layers move in response to the mouse, and, depending on their dimensions (and options for layer initialisation), they move by different amounts, in a parallaxy kind of way.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tags: , , ,