"Some of the best field naturalists I know grew up in working-class rural communities, skipping school like Billy Casper to practise forms of natural history that bent or broke the law: they ferreted rabbits, collected eggs, broke into quarries, kept pigeons, reared finches, climbed fences to poach for fish. Today they can still spot a linnet’s nest in a furze bush at 50 paces and possess fieldcraft skills that would put many a birder to shame. There’s little room for them in today’s culture of nature appreciation and even less so in nature writing, which tends to entrench a sense that the correct relation to the landscape is through walking and distanced looking." From the section on 'Landscape and Englishness', which sounds excellent.
Jessamyn West on the useful things one can do to make one's digital legacy easier on the bereaved. But there's lots more in here too – on how we adopt or inherit both things and identities; on the nonsense some companies expect you to go through; on how history fades in and out as the meaning of 'forever' changes. (Added timeliness: I'm reading Soul of a New Machine at the moment).
A bunch of Packers players are really, really into Catan. It's quite a sweet story, really.
Yeah, this is important: just learning to Do Stuff without reflecting, or exploring the world it fits into, or prior art, isn't necessarily helpful. Papert, Papert: tools to think with, not just tools to program with.
Via Denise. Useful reminders.
That looks like a good overview of flexbox to me.
Darius Kazemi on writing aphorism detection; if nothing, it's a lovely insight into how he thinks about problems, as well as some neat code examples.
Rather wonderful interview with J G Ballard in 1984, in the Paris Review; effusive, head-screwed on, but god, his working process is hardly something you can emulate: such absolute control and certainty!
Nice, clear explanation (as clear as it seems anything involving M4 can be) of this process, which I've used a lot but not thought about that much.
Mike Senior on gain staging, which I'm still terrible at.
Found these useful, just on going from composition to final mix – and a particular simple take on something approaching mastering (or, at least, bus compression). Not just useful for Live, either.
15 January 2015
I was talking to Tom and some other people at Matt’s coffee morning this morning, and I mentioned a tiny piece of interaction design I was fond of (that was pertinent to our conversation). Tom said ‘write that up so I can point to it‘, so that’s what I’m doing.
A long while ago, at an agency job, I was sketching out wireframes and interactions for a web-based feed reader. It was designed for users who possibly weren’t that used to RSS, and so it needed to guide them a bit through the best practices of interactions.
The list of articles looked a bit like this:
Pretty standard, although the important component was the unsubscribe button.
I put an unsubscribe button on every feed item.
I wanted to stress that if you weren’t enjoying a feed, you didn’t have to read it. Just bin it! You’ll be a lot happier. Clicking the unsubscribe button would do something like this:
to indicate the severity of your action. I felt that was reasonable – little button, big confirm dialogue. And then boom: the entire feed is gone.
It’s amazing how often you can mark an item as read, or archive an email, before committing to unsubscribing. I wanted to capture how ephemeral subscriptions could be. They weren’t commitments; they were just things you’re interested in.
I think the me-of-2015 would also ensure that there was a way of triggering this interaction based on patterns of behaviour. For instance, asking the user if they want to unsubscribe from a feed if they’ve marked it as read a surprisingly short time after they looked at it (indicating they hadn’t read an entry). And, similarly, checking a few weeks later that you didn’t want to subscribe back: frequently, I unsubscribe from things just because I need a break, or I don’t have the space – not because I want them gone forever.
It’s very easy to offer final, decisive actions; they’re very native to dialogue boxes, buttons, and digital systems. But some things are ephemeral, and it’s important to stress that in design. Just because I unsubscribe form a feed, or unfollow someone on Twitter, doesn’t mean it’s final: I might want it back one day; I might be taking a break from my higher-traffic friends. I wanted to try encouraging that.
And I wanted to remind users that there was an alternative to ‘inbox overload': you could just have a break.
In these two stills, drawn a bit from memory, there’s a lot of gaps – and I’ve not sketched any of the possible animation or motion that would help convey what was going on. Still, that interaction – offering what feels like the nuclear option front and centre, reminding the user that it isn’t a nuclear option – I quite like that.