How I became authentically digital, or: what you need to know about the “Metro” design language « UX Australia 2012

Great talk on Microsoft's 'Metro' styling (though they aren't allowed to call it that anymore).

Particularly interesting is the part about how 'digital natives' - folks who've grown up with the Internet and digital being everywhere don't need skeumorphs. E.g. a 10 year old *now* doesn't need or even understand a phone app with an oldschool 'dial' for numbers. If you give it to a great-granny though, it suddenly works.

What We've Learned About Responsive Design - Newfangled

Responsive design is more work. And more expensive. Maybe you don't need it as much as you think you do.

I've run into the idea that since responsive design is a more efficient mobile solution than creating unique mobile sites or alternate page templates, it is therefore going to be cheaper and simpler than what everyone is expecting. Not true. The fact of the matter is that doing responsive design requires work that just wouldn't be done at all if mobile wasn't a consideration. Now, I'm not advocating that we ignore mobile. But in some cases, I'd argue that mobile is probably higher on the priority list than a serious cost/benefit analysis would merit.

Our audience is primarily comprised of people working in the advertising, marketing and design industry. They're people who influence or make decisions about design and development projects. With our audience in mind, if you were to ask me if mobile should be a higher priority I'd say absolutely. I'd think of all of our hip and stylish visitors and how many of them probably already have an iPhone 5. But you know what? In the last month, just under 10% of our website's visitors accessed it with a mobile device. That includes phones and tablets. If I extend my look to the last six months, the mobile population is exactly the same. The last year? It drops to 8%. So, mobile traffic is growing, but not as rapidly as I would have assumed based upon what I think I know about our audience. With those numbers, should mobile be prioritized as much as it has been (we're about to launch a site redesign that makes heavy use of responsive design techniques — more on that later)? With over 90% of our visitors still coming in through a "desktop" computer? Probably not. But for us, there's an additional consideration of needing to demonstrate our capabilities in this area, which pushes the benefits over the cost. For many other businesses, though, that additional benefit doesn't exist.

Very few of our clients have a "money is no object" attitude when it comes to budgeting for a web project. In fact, for many of them, our costs are a bit of a stretch. But they believe in the value of what we offer and trust us to lead them to the best outcomes. It would be wrong for me to push responsive design on all of them, indiscriminate of what they know about their audience, their actual visitor data, and their actual budget. If their money could be better spent in some other way, then it should be.

Superbly practical and down-to-earth article about responsive design.

Too many creative leads (and writers) jump onto the idea of responsive design like it's the next wonderfully shiny new toy that will display their leetness, without regard for whether or not it's actually suited to what they're producing. It's refreshing to see something so logical and well-thought out about the subject.

Great user experience isn't just in the trappings - Kindle vs iPad as dead tree book replacement.

how Kindles replicate physical books is very subtle. Kindles do not rely on material aesthetics in quite the same way many skeuomorphs do. The design is underpinned by typographic and layout conventions (e.g., position of page numbers, chapter name and so on) allowing the aesthetics of the UI page to recede for the reader to become immersed in the author’s word. This is a quality any good book designer will tell you the design of a book should facilitate: uninhabited reading.

Unfortunately, the iPad book app doesn’t achieve this level of sophistication. It’s much more theatrical (as someone probably felt the need to take advantage of that fantastic color screen). The app employs elements like an overly-rendered paper texture and a faux page turn animation, which make it difficult to become quite as immersed in the prose of an author as the Kindle’s eInk design allows.

In many ways, the iPad book app was designed to look like a book, whereas the Kindle was designed to feel like a book.

Very good points that relate to more than just Kindle vs iPad design. Too many 'brilliant' and 'cutting-edge' designs sacrifice users' goals and purposes at the altar of looking good over being good for those using them.

ZOMG, a design brief template that actually makes sense. » Teague

The Liddell Brief

Here’s the big picture[1]: lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. This matters to us as an organization because of our vision to[2] lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. So we’ll know we’re successful if we lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Thus, the single-most-important takeaway our audiences should have from this experience is[3] lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Our competitors will wince at what we’ve created and punch themselves in the face because they’ve been off[4] lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. We all know this will be really difficult because[5] lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua but let’s do it anyway.

The rest of the article is shiny too. ;)

Zooniverse: Bat Detective

Zooniverse has quite a few neat projects using crowdsourcing of interested human brains to help scientists classify data.

They started off with Galaxy Zoo, which basically gets people to help classify what stars, solar systems, etc, and expanded out to quite a few more.

With Bat Detective, you listen to batty squeaks of doom, then help classify them.

All Zooniverse's stuff is really well done, and fun to use, while Contributing To Science at the same time. Give the squee-bats (or the other stuff) a poke, and you'll see!

Rift: Suffice to say, Trion has a really strange idea of 'epic'

Yes, I know there's a wardrobe feature, and no, my mage doesn't usually run around displaying her... epics... because they just look too... epic.

On the other hand, if I had known that this would be what my maxlevel epicced-out mage would look like then... I'm not sure I would have bought / subscribed to this game at all. XD

And that's not even going into the whole Landslide mount thing. OooH that's another good one. The worst part is that Trion tries so hard to make their players happy. They gave Landslide a tail. Just go browse the thread. It has good peektures!