Labnotes

Weekend Reading — K Erning

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jalbertbowdenii "winner of best virginia vanity plate goes to"

Design Objective

Redesigning Overcast’s Apple Watch app
I love Overcast and the redesign kicks ass, because it understands that a watch is not just a smaller smartphone. Watches are different form factor, one-handed use, and shorter interactions, and those are different constraints that must be factored in.

After using my initial app on a real Apple Watch for just one day, I set out to completely rethink and restructure it.

An opinionated, no bullshit guide to the Apple Watch Whether you care about getting the most out of your watch, or designing applications that work well for watch users, this is a good place to start:

The Watch isn’t a consumption device. Use the bigger screen on your phone to read Twitter, catch up on Instapaper, or read your email. The Watch is more of a passive experience with the notifications, and excels most with small tasks that involve 1 or 2 actions when you’re trying to get shit done.

Don’t Count Taps, Count Stresses This is absolutely true. Fingers don't get tired as quickly as our attention does.

But I’d like to posit that “fewer taps” is a poorly stated goal. Our goals for user experience can’t be limited to reducing one specific pain-point. If we do, we run the risk of increasing another pain-point, just to reduce the one we’ve honed in on.

The Engineer’s Lament To build safer cars, we need to solve the leading causes of deaths/injury. That's technical, it's also pyschological: the general public needs to see the problem the way engineers do, engineers need to see the problem the way the general public does.

duckinator

You can draw a design for a house in AutoCAD without using the mouse.

You cannot order pizza online without a mouse.


Tools of the Trade

Deekit Shared whiteboard for remote teams, works in your browser. Going to give this a spin for product/architecture design meetings.

Put a Pseudo-Class On It The lesser known pseudo classes.

Form Inputs: The Browser Support Issue You Didn’t Know You Had On ranges, numbers and telephone dials.

A Complete Guide to SVG Fallbacks All about SVG images, objects, backgrounds and inlines.

Translucify A library for rendering images with transparency against different colored backgrounds.

Katon You can now use Katon together with ngrok to share access to your development web server.

Loading A menubar item for the Mac that works like the iPhone/iPad network activity indicator. Great in combination with …

TripMode For road worriers, a Mac app that restricts Internet usage when using a mobile hotspot, e.g stop Dropbox from eating up your data plan.

quark-shell-mac "Create native-like Mac menubar app using HTML and JavaScript." Based on Atom Shell, and supports keyboard shortcuts, preference pane, and auto update, no Objective-C experience required.

retab Safari extension that adds Chrome's Cmd-Shift-Tab (reopen recently closed tab).

Pushpop + Slack A simple Ruby script to push analytics from Keen.io to Slack.

sadserver

I am literally bolted into this datacenter, what's your excuse for being here?


Lingua Scripta

Exploring ES6 I often link to Axel's blog posts because they're the best way to learn ES6: they're great introduction material for beginners, but also cover advance usage / tricks. Guess what? Axel's book is coming out later this month, go sign up to be notified when it arrives.

ES Feature Tests ES6 feature detection tells you which ES6 features work in your browser right now.

ESDoc Document generator for ES6 that understands ES6 classes and import/export.

Next Chapter TJ Fontaine, project lead on Node.js, leaves. That's pretty much the end of Node, the Joyent project. Meanwhile, io.js rolls full steam ahead, with 2.0 release and plans to join the Node foundation. Long live io.js!

Logical (Or Not) How well do you know JavaScript's logical operators? Test your skills with this fun game.


Lines of Code

Why your code is so hard to understand

Your next step is to form the simplest semantic model possible. This is the second place things can go wrong. If you don’t take the time to really understand the problem you are trying to solve you tend to stumble onto a model as you code. If on the other hand you really think about what you are trying to do you can often come up with a much simpler model that is sufficient to achieve your original intent.

labyrwa

Want to check code quality and documentation? Wait two months and then try to go back and do something

mraleph

No SciFi author foresaw this: we are building clans around languages we speak to the Machine.


Techtopia

Did Facebook’s Big New Study Kill My Filter Bubble Thesis? Social networks, like Facebook, help us live in a bubble of a
a filtered worldview. Some people worry that algorithms will make us more isolated, but from this research it's obvious that the biggest filter is the choice we make in who we friend and let into our social circle.

Reply All New favorite podcast, about Internet culture, technology and us.

azizshamim

OH: SF tech culture is focused on solving one problem: What is my mother no longer doing for me?


Locked Doors

When Security Conflicts With UX, Who Wins? When mobile OAuth would throw you out of the app and onto the browser, it offered added security at the expense of some convenience. More and more apps are switching to native webview, less jarring UX, but you're essentially giving the app your account username/password. This solves for inconvenience at the expense of any security benefits. I think the way forward is app-specific passwords delivered via text.

azonenberg

wordpress is an unauthenticated remote shell that, as a useful side feature, also contains a blog

Stanto "Japanese cola requires root privileges to open"


None of the Above

pickover "All have same mean, variance, correlation, & regression line. Lesson: Always Visualize Data"

One day they’ll understand Apple What most tech-pundits get wrong about Apple:

Apple is actually one of the most consistent companies on earth. When you’re puzzled by its behavior in the present, it can be very clarifying to just look at the past.

brendlewhat

say what you will about albert einstein, but the guy made the time run on trains

Redacted for Mac Launch On launch, Redacted reached 8th top paid in the US App Store, 1st in Graphics category, with 538 upvotes on Product Hunt! And that translated into $452 in sales.

Test drive of a petrol car A Tesla owner takes a petrol car for a test drive, to find what the hype's all about:

So we sat in the car and pressed the START button. The car’s gasoline engine coughed to life and started to operate. One could hear the engine’s sound and the car’s whole body vibrated as if something was broken, but the seller assured us that everything was as it should.

How to play Neko Atsume Addictive. And adorable.