Labnotes

Weekend Reading — Fitzpatrick Modifiers

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Design Objective

Form Usability: The Pitfalls of Inline Accordion and Tab Designs Multi-part forms have an inherit problem: it's never quite clear what changes are saved when you hit the save button. An exploration of how accordions and tabs confuse people and how to better design complex forms.

Reward My Actions, Please?:

I understand you want me to interact with your product. Then let me interact. Don’t send me down a rabbit hole. Make my clicks count. Then I send you all my love and I am very happy to pay for your products.

Just what is it that you want to do?:

But progressive enhancement is not about offering all functionality; progressive enhancement is about making sure that your core functionality is available to everyone. Everything after that is, well, an enhancement (the clue is in the name). The trick to doing this well is figuring out what is core functionality, and what is an enhancement.

A Brief History of the Hamburger Icon With pictures.

The Good, the “Meh” and the Ugly A designer's look at US state flags: from the ones good enough for an NFL brand, to the ones so bad you don't even remember your state has a flag.

@badaja_:

When you kill a feature... @destraynor #userconf


Tools of the Trade

Six technologies that will change the web platform asm.js, ES6, parallelJS (in ES8?), grid layout, installable apps, and of course web components.

Defonic Pick your background noise by combining wind, rain, night, bike, music, etc.

Problem Details for HTTP APIs "This document defines a "problem detail" as a way to carry machine-readable details of errors in a HTTP response, to avoid the need to invent new error response formats for HTTP APIs."

remarkable 100% Commonmark support, extensions, syntax plugins, high speed.

Swatches for Sketch Plugin for easily creating color palettes.

hget A CLI and an API to convert HTML into plain text. Can be used to fetch a site's HTML version and convert it into plain text, or to deliver plain text versions of your site dynamically.


Lines of Code

Martin Fowler Describes "Sacrificial Architecture":

For many people throwing away a code base is a sign of failure, perhaps understandable given the inherent exploratory nature of software development, but still failure. But often the best code you can write now is code you'll discard in a couple of years time.

Stop Using Constructor Functions in JavaScript I disagree with Eric that constructors violate the open/close principle. Separately, in JavaScript new Foo() can return a new instance of type Bar, so new is in fact a factory pattern. But there's no protection against forgetting the new, other than naming convention and constructor boilerplate, and so I'm also in the camp that advocates limited use of constructors.


Peopleware

Why Monster.com Is Failing And Others Will Follow I'm always skeptical of "why X is failing" articles that reduce complex situations to a single magic bullet. But in markets that succeed on product or service, both high on human touch, this rings true:

Their business was no longer about making people’s lives better; it was about making money, end of story.

The Other Side of Diversity Just. Read it.

Drugs and alcohol. You mean drugs, period. Science Tumbled on the different ways in which alcohol affects our brain and body. Interesting that it affects so many brain paths.

@raganwald:

Douchebag Tech Industry:
“Move fast, break things, ship MVPs, pivot weekly, and never hire anyone with a spelling mistake on their CV.”


Locked Doors

Critics chafe as Macs send sensitive docs to iCloud without warning PSA: Apps like TextEdit and KeyNote auto-save the changes you make (you can turn this feature off), that way you can always restart where you left off. That's awesome feature, but means whatever you write gets uploaded to the cloud, even if it's just a draft. In fact, "Saving a document" is really just giving a name to an already auto-saved file.

Silk Road 2.0, infiltrated from the start, sold $8M per month in drugs FBI runs a long con on Dread Pirate Roberts and Defcon.

How Hackers Reportedly Side-Stepped Google's Two-Factor Authentication TL;DR When two-factor includes sending you an SMS, that SMS is not "something you have", it's more like "something any attacker could have for a moment, just long enough to hack you". Use a 2FA token app instead.

When Can the Police Search Your Phone and Computer? Know your rights.

Secure Messaging Scorecard EFF rates apps by how well they can keep a secret. From security sensitive apps like CryptoCat and Silent Phone, through mainstream apps like FaceBook and Skype, to the "you know these are wholly insecure?" apps like SnapChat and Secret.

Crypto attack that hijacked Windows Update goes mainstream in Amazon Cloud How bad is MD5 as a cryptographic hash? "I found that I was able to run the algorithm in about 10 hours on an AWS large GPU instance bringing it is at about $0.65 plus tax."

@paulwrblanchard:

"Creating a password reminder just keeps getting more and more emotionally draining" - @JamieDMJ


None of the Above

Proposed Changes To Emoji Standard Would Allow For More Diversity, Increased Selection Of Skin Tones Scaling Emoji beyond the Japanese market.

Freemium isn't Free This South Park episodes nails "free" games, in-app purchases and that whole shady business model. So good. Best thing is, you can watch the entire episode for free*.

(* But you have to watch through a hundred ads)

@adventuresofrob:

Kind of amazing that the message of this ad isn't "these vehicles are unsafe for urban streets" but "watch your back"

Booster shots: The accidental advantages of vaccines BCG vaccine may more than just protect against tuberculosis: scientists are looking into other "non-specific effects".

The Trouble with Antibiotics Frontline investigates how the misuse of antibiotics in argiculture is leading to antibotic resistent bacteria that's killing us. Got to wonder, though, if antibiotics are liberally used because they fatten farm animals, what affect does it have on people who eat said animals?

The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare How the government let JPM Chase off the hook with a slap on the wrist and then covered it up.

@emma_c_williams:

Every baby knows the scientific method.