Links and Bits for May 31st

A collection of my actions and interactions from around the Net over the last week.

delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)

I love this city. Via @maczter

delicious (feed #10)

This helped solve a really odd overlap issue in IE 7.

delicious (feed #10)

Keynote Kung-Fu: How to wireframe like a ninja »


Video here: http://vimeo.com/15379723

Keynote is a cheap, friction-free tool to create elegant wireframes in a format that’s perfect for presentations, pitches, and hand-offs.

Get the toolkit here: http://keynotekungfu.com

Links and Bits for May 24th

A collection of my actions and interactions from around the Net over the last week.

delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)

Wow, Google is serving up open source fonts for use in Web sites the world over. The implementation looks super simple and compatible with the vast majority of browsers – IE 6+, Safar 3.1+, Firefox 3.5+ and Chrome 4.24+.

"The Google Font Directory lets you browse all the fonts available via the Google Font API. All fonts in the directory are available for use on your website under an open source license and served by Google servers."

"Google’s serving infrastructure takes care of converting the font into a format compatible with any modern browser (including Internet Explorer 6 and up), sends just the styles and weights you select, and the font files and CSS are tuned and optimized for web serving."

delicious (feed #10)
Shared Trick.ly.

"If you want to protect secrets from the "merely curious", Trick.ly lets you put a password on links with clues only your friends would get."

As Seth Godin Noted "Its not secure. Its sort of private."

Apple, Flash and the Web

this whole saga is much more about Apple’s ability to control its own destiny than it is about revenge, cynicism, or pride. Apple nearly died in the 1990s. It was so far gone that it took money from Microsoft and had to pray that second-class ports of Internet Explorer would keep the Mac relevant in an increasingly online world.

Apple is not going to let anything like that happen again.

Matt Drance – Cocoa, Flash, and Safari

Matt’s article Cocoa, Flash, and Safari, provides insight into the current battle pitting Apple against Adobe on the iPhone and iPad. I highly recommend you take two minutes to read the piece to gain an understanding of the present and future of the platform and the business behind it.

Links and Bits for May 17th

A collection of my actions and interactions from around the Net over the last week.

delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)

"allows you to make (link-)elements more dynamic by making an attribute of that element show up on hover"

delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)

A great breakdown of Open Graphs potential impact on the Web and the possibilities available for developers

delicious (feed #10)

A great infographic showing how to "navigate through 50 settings with more than 170 options"

delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)

via @myerman

delicious (feed #10)
flickr (feed #2)
Shared Tea Robot.
pandora (feed #5)
pandora (feed #5)
delicious (feed #10)

Privacy, Facebook and 170 Options

Facebook’s Privacy Policy is 5,830 words long; the United States Constitution, without any of its amendments, is a concise 4,543 words.

Price of Facebook Privacy? Start Clicking

Navigating FB Privacy (Image from the New York Times)

Navigating Facebook's Privacy (Links to NY Times)

Given Facebook’s release of a slew of developer tools and APIs, providing Web sites the world over with the ability to access the user data of Facebook users and the ever (d)evolving changes to Facebook’s privacy settings, it’s no surprise that there’s an outcry from individuals and privacy groups. The New York Times has published a great set of infographics laying out the “50 settings with more than 170 options” that a user has to work with to control how their information is used.

The accompanying article, Price of Facebook Privacy? Start Clicking is well worth a read for anyone unfamiliar with the issues at stake.

The Length of Facebook's Privacy Policy (Image from New York Times)

The Length of Facebook's Privacy Policy (Links to NY Times)

The second infographic illustrates Facebook’s ever-lengthening privacy policy. It’s interesting to note that the policy has grown longer at the same rate that previously private user information has become public.

Additional Resources

Images from the New York Times

Links and Bits for May 10th

A collection of my actions and interactions from around the Net over the last week.

delicious (feed #10)
Shared #grid.

"nserts a layout grid in web pages, allows you to hold it in place, and toggle between displaying it in the foreground or background. "

delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)
Shared jStorage.

"a simple wrapper plugin for Prototype, MooTools and jQuery to cache data on browser side."

delicious (feed #10)

Sketchy Wireframes, the Comic Sans of UX

A Sketchy WireframeSketchy-style wireframes, have wiggled their way into user experience documents the world over. With awesome tools like Balsamiq Mockups and a range of stencil sets to choose from, like as not, when an artifact describing the layout, features and workflows of a site is sent around the office or to a client, it’ll have squiggly lines.

Caveat: This post is about the sketchy style used in wireframes, not sketching in general. Sketching is an important part of the wireframing, workflow and design processes. Many a brilliant idea started life on the back of a napkin.

The reason most so often cited for the use of a sketchy style is that the squiggles convey that the document is still a work in progress. A secondary reason often follows with a claim that the sketch look obviously isn’t the site’s final design.

But sketchy style wireframes inevitably convey the opposite of what is intended, and worse, they come with additional negative implications overlooked by the proponents of the squiggle. In truth, sketchy wireframes imply that you don’t think your client is smart enough to separate crisp lines from a final design.

Simply put, the sketchy style is unprofessional. Yeah, I said it.

Would You Accept a Contract in Comic Sans?

I wouldn’t and I’m willing to bet that you would question any professional who provided you a legal document reminiscent of Garfield and Family Circle.

Wireframes aren’t supposed to be zany – they are supposed to be informative.

While our industry is young, and the tool set, younger still, we have many examples from which to learn. Architects and engineers are expected to deliver crisp lines and readable notes when they produce plans for a new home or skyscraper. The same holds true for engineers of all stripes.

Documents of any importance need to reinforce your experience, your expertise and the decisions you made as you produced them. The sketchy style does quite the opposite.

Sketchy Wireframes Imply a Lack of Importance and Conviction

Just as the final design for the site will convey a certain mood, the visual presentation of the wireframes should reinforce their importance to the success of the project. When you use a sketchy style your documents encourage the client to “fix” them.

Sketchy Wireframes Imply that Your Client Can’t Mentally Separate the Structure of a Site from its Design

While you may think this the case, you are either underestimating your clients, which is condescending or you should search for new ones, as clients who can’t understand the concept of a blueprint will likely struggle in their own endeavors. People are smart, and while you may have to explain the concept of a wireframe to a new client, the concept is easily understood.

Sketchy Wireframes Impede Comprehension

The goal of the document is to demonstrate the hierarchy of information and features and the relationships between those pieces. Wireframes are the blueprints for key business and design decisions. Adding visual clutter in the form of wavy lines, odd angles and handwriting fonts distracts from this singular purpose.

So, for the love of UX, save the sketchy look for the design phase where it belongs. Give your clients what they deserve – professional documents that aid their decisions and reinforce their selection of you for their important projects.

What Do You Think?

Am I wrong? Am I missing a key point? Do you agree with all your heart?

Leave a comment and let me know.

Links and Bits for May 3rd

A collection of my actions and interactions from around the Net over the last week.

delicious (feed #10)
delicious (feed #10)

"trst.me measures user reputation in a way far more robust than counting the number of followers. The basic idea is to look at how many people interact with you and give you their attention, weighted by how many people interact and pay attention to them. The trst.me score is currently based on a scale of 0-10, where 10 is the highest reputation possible."

delicious (feed #10)

"Compatibility tables for features in HTML5, CSS3, SVG and other upcoming web technologies"