Archives for December 2012
“A tidy collection of jQuery plugins” via @robertbanh
Aol’s new Alto Web-based email client is beautiful and does a nice job with the presentation of organized mail. The UI is clean and the service feels modern in a way that most Web-based clients don’t. While I’ve tinkered with it, I haven’t really put it through it’s paces quite yet. That said, I noticed an odd interaction flow that seems like a significant mistake for something that has so obviously had a lot of design attention.
In the video below, you can see the issue – in order to act on one or more messages in the sidebar, you click a label titled “Actions” at the top of the screen, which then slides up and causes an action bar to appear at the bottom of the screen – about as far as possible from your current moue position. I reduced the size of my browser for the video, so the distance is much more pronounced in real world scenarios.
My gut reaction is that the action bar should drop in from the top, reducing the distance required to move the mouse, and making the relationship explicit. It is also a clearly established pattern to place controls above lists. Following an existing pattern is by no means required, but breaking it is a very explicit decision. I’m curious about the logic behind that decision.
Pyrrhus invaded Italy at the start of the campaigning season in 280 BC. In two brutal and bloody battles he successfully defeated the Romans. The Greek king, though, having seen so many of his soldiers slaughtered in achieving this success, was said to have remarked, ‘With another victory like this, we will be finished!’ (Hence our modern phrase ‘pyrrhic victory’.)
Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of An Empire by Simon Baker
Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of An Empire is an excellent book for those interested in an introduction to the Roman Empire that goes further than you were taught in school, yet remains readable.
A tool that “allows you to preview any URL on large number of mobile devices simultaneously. Just enter a URL, hit enter, and new URL gets automatically loaded on each device. Remote preview works on platforms like Android, Blackberry, iOS, Maemo, Meego, Symbian, Windows Phone and WebOS.”
Lays “out the most interesting user flows so you can compare them, build your point of view and be inspired.” Handy.