There are two types of knowledge and most of us focus on the wrong one. The first type of knowledge focuses on knowing the name of something. The second focuses on knowing something. These are not the same thing. The famous Nobel winning physicist Richard Feynman understood the difference between knowing something and knowing the name of something and it’s one of the most important reasons for his success. In fact, he created a formula for learning that ensured he understood something better than everyone else.
Steve Krug once said: “As a rule, conventions only become conventions if they work,” but I’ve come to realize that this is a somewhat idealistic view. Instead, I would contend conventions become conventions if enough people assumethey work. While many are grounded in thorough research, others are simply based on companies copying a seemingly successful competitor, assuming that whatever they are doing must be the best possible solution — Remington’s sales are skyrocketing, so the QWERTY layout must be the way to go. This halo effect, the tendency for an impression created in one area to influence opinion in another area, is a common cognitive (and design) bias that contributes to the emergence of conventions.
Don’t get me wrong — it’s generally good practice to adhere to conventions in design. They can be incredibly valuable in helping users navigate your product and more often than not, it’s wise to respect them. But there are some cases in which they emerge for the wrong reasons and aren’t backed up by any real evidence.
An interesting article by Jan-Niklas Kokott, Head of User Experience Design at Glossier, about how they changed their mobile navigation and why they abandoned the Hamburger Menu. Challenging conventions, trying out different solutions and testing the results should be a basic part of every design project.
The last days i spent a lot of time reading about and getting my head around SVG, which can be kind of complex and sometimes confusing if you’re just starting out. This talk by Sara Soueidan at Beyond Tellerrand helped me a lot to understand some of the basic concepts behind SVG.
Photographer Andreas Neumann used 100 pinhole cameras to create a “bullet time” shot for his master thesis at Hochschule Mannheim in Germany. You can also find a making of on vimeo.
I really like that special dreamy look of the final video.
There is only one honest measure of web performance: the time from when you click a link to when you’ve finished skipping the last ad.
Everything else is bullshit.
This is probably one of the best and most entertaining articles about web performance i’ve read lately. Go read it, and don’t forget to make performance a priority in 2016!
Last weekend, the first WordCamp US – the biggest WordCamp ever – was held in Philadelphia and of course Matt Mullenweg gave the annual State of the Word Keynote. He talked about a bunch of things including the upcoming version 4.4 (which brings a lot of interesting stuff like term_meta and support for responsive images using srcset) or changes to how translations for plugins and themes in the repository work and he shared some thoughts about the development Calypso, Automattic’s react-based new interface for WordPress.com as well as self-hosted sites with Jetpack enabled. Also, he announced who the lead developers for versions 4.5 (Mike Schroder), 4.6 (Dominik Schilling) and 4.7 (Matt Mullenweg) will be as well as seven new core committers.
Our definition of winning didn’t even include establishing that hallowed sanctity of the natural monopoly! We didn’t win by eradicating the competition. By sabotaging their rides, poaching their employees, or spending the most money in the shortest amount of time… We prospered in an AND world, not an OR world. We could succeed AND others could succeed.
All this may sound soft, like we have a lack of aspiration. I like to call it modest. Realistic. Achievable. It’s a designed experience and a deliberate pursuit that recognizes the extremely diminishing returns of life, love, and meaning beyond a certain level of financial success. In fact, not only diminishing, but negative returns for a lot of people.
A great post by David Heinemeier Hansson. Read it!