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Four short links: 4 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 4, 2014

UX Fundamentals, Crash Course — 31 posts introducing the fundamental practices and mindsets of UX. Why We Love Persona And You Should Too — Mozilla’s identity system is an interesting offering. Fancy that, you might have single-sign on without Single …

Freud and Ford; listening and uderstanding

By Emerson Niide
January 22, 2014

In research, what really matters is not what people tell you -- but what is behind it

Web Performance Is User Experience

By Lara Swanson
January 14, 2014

Think about how you search for things on the web. How quick are you to close a tab and go to the next search engine result if a site takes too long to load? Now consider doing that on your …

Exploring Proximity with iBeacons

By Hari K Gottipati
January 7, 2014

In the last couple of months, iBeacon is making a lot of noise. iBeacons are small wireless sensors placed inside any physical space that transmit data to your phone using Bluetooth Low Energy (also known as Bluetooth 4.0 and Bluetooth …

Four short links: Jan 1 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 1, 2014

Witrack — tracks the 3D motion of a user from the radio signals reflected off her body. It works even if the person is occluded from the WiTrack device or in a different room. WiTrack does not require the user …

Accessibility: Why I hate checklists

By Katie Cunningham
November 13, 2013

Every time I give a talk about making accessible websites, I get the following question: “What checklist do you use to make sure a site is accessible?” My response always surprises them: “I don’t use a list.” Why not? There …

Knowing and Understanding Your Audience

By Laurie Petrycki
October 18, 2013

I had the opportunity to sit down with Laura Klein (@lauraklein) and talk about the importance of creating effective user experiences. Laura is a UX expert and consultant. She stresses the need to figure out what works by talking to …

Four short links: 17 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 14, 2013

Pencil — An open-source GUI prototyping tool that’s available for ALL platforms. lmctfy — open source version of Google’s container stack, which provides Linux application containers. ASCII WWDC — searchable full-text transcriptions of WWDC sessions. Cryptogeddon — an online infosec …

Four short links: 10 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 10, 2013

ActiveLit — interactive fiction as literacy tool. (via Text Adventures blog) Your Car is About to go Open Source (ComputerWorld) — an open-source IVI operating system would create a reusable platform consisting of core services, middleware and open application layer …

Getting Started with Interactive Data Visualizations

By Laurie Petrycki
October 10, 2013

I recently sat down with Scott Murray (@alignedleft), Assistant Professor of Design at the University of San Francisco and Code Artist, to talk about creating interactive data visualizations. He also author of O’Reilly Media’s Interactive Data Visualization for the Web: …

What Developers Can Learn from healthcare.gov

By James Turner
October 4, 2013

The first highly visible component of the Affordable Health Care Act launched this week, in the form of the healthcare.gov site. Theoretically, it allows citizens, who live in any of the states that have chosen not to implement their own …

Four short links: 19 September 2013

By Nat Torkington
September 19, 2013

How Jim Henson Turned His Art Into a Business (Longreads) — When Henson joined on to the experimental PBS show Sesame Street in 1968, he was underpaid for his services creating Big Bird and Oscar. Yet he spent his free …

Four short links: 9 September 2013

By Nat Torkington
September 8, 2013

How Google’s Defragging Android (Ars Technica) — Android’s becoming a pudgy microkernel for the Google Play Services layer that’s in userland, closed source, and a way to bypass carriers’ lag for upgrades. Booting a Self-Signed Linux Kernel (Greg Kroah-Hartman) — …

Don’t Allow Behaviors. Encourage Them!

By Laura Klein
September 3, 2013

As a consultant, I’ve talked to a lot of startups who have “social” products. You could tell that the products were “social” because they had comment sections and sharing icons that let people post to Pinterest or Facebook. Of course, …

Will Developers Move to Sputnik?

By Meghan Blanchette
August 22, 2013

Barton George (@barton808) is the Director of Development Programs at Dell, and the lead on Project Sputnik—Dell’s Ubuntu-based developer laptop (and its accompanying software). He sat down with me at OSCON to talk about what’s happened in the past year …

Purposeful Design Principles for Behavior Change

By Laurie Petrycki
August 15, 2013

Steve Wendel (@sawendel) is the Principal Scientist at HelloWallet where he develops applications that help users take control of their finances. He’s also currently writing Designing for Behavior Change. I recently sat down to talk with Steve about the importance …

Investigating the state of UX and UI design in tech

By Jenn Webb
August 8, 2013

The last major shift in design arguably occurred in the 90s as print design gave way to web design, and designers suddenly had to deal with web safe colors, alias fonts, and the information design challenges of a non-sequential medium. …

The True Cost of Lemonade

By Alistair Croll
July 30, 2013

One of the things we preach in Lean Analytics is that entrepreneurs should avoid vanity metrics—numbers that make you feel good, but ultimately, don’t change your behavior. Vanity metrics (such as “total visitors”) tend to go “up and to the …

Not Your User’s Problem

By Laura Klein
July 24, 2013

First, let me say that I love all the emphasis on Customer Development, Early User Research, and Product Market Fit that I’ve been seeing these days. What I don’t love is the massive confusion that often comes along with it. …

Four short links: 24 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 24, 2013

What to Look For in Software Dev (Pamela Fox) — It’s important to find a job where you get to work on a product you love or problems that challenge you, but it’s also important to find a job where …

Rotating a UIView in 3D

By Rachel Roumeliotis
July 22, 2013

Jon Manning (@desplesda) and Paris Buttfield-Addison (@parisba) are co-founders of Secret Lab and authors of the forthcoming Learning Cocoa with Objective-C, 3rd Edition. They’ll be speaking at OSCON this week in Portland, OR. Here they explain how to rotate a …

Securing User Content in the JavaScriptable Web

By Sean McGregor
July 22, 2013

Recent work by a W3 Working Group plans to expose many powerful cryptographic operations for web applications. Although the planned API adds much needed functionality to JavaScript, it doesn’t address the JavaScript runtime’s terrible security properties. For instance, any script …

Four short links: 17 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 17, 2013

Hideout — augmented reality books. (via Hacker News) Patterns and Practices for Open Source Software Success (Stephen Walli) — Successful FOSS projects grow their communities outward to drive contribution to the core project. To build that community, a project needs …

Four Qualities of Successful In-House Innovation Teams

By Jeff Gothelf
July 2, 2013

One of the most common questions I get about applying lean ideas to product design and development is, “How can I make this happen in my organization?” Between entrenched corporate silos and existing team management structures, it can seem impossible …

Human-Centered Design May Be What Makes Your App Stand Out

By Rachel Roumeliotis
June 27, 2013

Tony Santos, (@tsmuse) is a User Experience Lead at Mozilla and OSCON 2013 Speaker. We talk about Human-Centered Design and how it can make all the difference. NOTE: If you are interested in attending OSCON to check out Tony’s talk …

Mobile First? Not So Fast!

By Laura Klein
June 19, 2013

Are we done with the Mobile First meme, yet? Can we be? Please? Look, don’t get me wrong. I fundamentally agree with a lot of the thoughts behind the annoying catchphrase “mobile first.” For example, I agree that mobile devices …

Getting to Signature Moments with Microinteractions

By Dan Saffer
June 17, 2013

Microinteractions are the small pieces of functionality that are inside or around features. They are brief, single use-case moments. Turning off the ringer on your phone is one example. While no one buys a phone for the ability to turn …

Four short links: 17 June 2013

By Nat Torkington
June 17, 2013

Weekend Reads on Deep Learning (Alex Dong) — an article and two videos unpacking “deep learning” such as multilayer neural networks. The Internet of Actual Things — “I have 10 reliable activations remaining,” your bulb will report via some ridiculous …

How to Get Fast, Cheap Feedback on Your Product with Tiny Tests

By Laura Klein
June 4, 2013

There’s a lot of advice about how to do great user research. I have some pretty strong opinions about it myself. But, as with exercise, the best kind of research is the kind that you actually DO. So, in the …

Hadoop Training, OpenStreetMap Sprint, MakersFactory Kids’ Programming Camp, and More

By Jenn Webb
June 3, 2013

Each Monday, we round up upcoming event highlights from the programming and technology spaces. Have an event to share? Send us a note. Twisted Python: the engine of your Internet webcast: Jessica McKellar presents an architectural overview of the Python …

Laura Klein’s Six Reasons Founders Should Learn UX Design Now

By Laura Klein
May 28, 2013

I know, I know. Founders and entrepreneurs are already being told that they need to learn how to code, hire, raise money, and get customers. Screw that. What founders and entrepreneurs should really do is learn how to build a …

Tech Events You Don’t Want to Miss

By Jenn Webb
May 13, 2013

Each Monday, we round up upcoming event highlights from the programming and technology spaces. Have an event to share? Send us a note. Kicking up the Dust with NodeJS and a Bunch of Other JavaScript Goodness: Bill Scott talks about …

UX Is about Much More than Making Stuff Look Pretty

By Mary Treseler
May 9, 2013

Travis Lowdermilk (@tlowdermilk) is a software developer who recently joined Microsoft as UX Designer for Visual Studio. He hosts the Windows Developer Show and advocates for User-Centered Design (UCD). Travis is the author of User-Centered Design: A Developer’s Guide to …

Drupal for Designers

By Meghan Blanchette
April 30, 2013

Dani Nordin (@danigrrl) is an O’Reilly author (Drupal for Designers) and UX designer. We sat down recently to catch up on her current projects and her predictions for the future of Drupal design. She shared some best practices for designing, …

Tech events you don’t want to miss

By Jenn Webb
April 29, 2013

Each Monday, we round up upcoming event highlights from the programming and space. Have an event to share? Send us a note. IBM Impact Developer Unconference Date: April 28—May 2 Location: Las Vegas, NV Why you shouldn’t miss it: Tim …

Mobile native publishing: The rise of dynamic content services

By Mark Sigal
March 25, 2013

One reason that industry disruptions prove so vexing to market leaders is that disruptive waves simultaneously barrel through assumptions about customer needs, industry economics and operational best practices. Consider the case of the motion picture business, an industry that was disrupted …

Who's using your API?

By Bruno Pedro
March 10, 2013

"Who's using your API" was the title of my presentation at the API Strategy & Practice Conference that happened on February 21 and 22, 2013 in New York City. One of the conference takeaways was the concern that almost everybody...

…and along with EPUB 3: New CSS!

By Nellie McKesson
February 11, 2013

Hopefully you all read Sanders Kleinfeld’s great writeup about O’Reilly’s move to EPUB 3, and the changes and challenges that brings. Along with updating our toolchain, we also revisited our EPUB design and took a stab at improving the user …

PDF is still “better”

By Nellie McKesson
January 30, 2013

A few weeks ago, I surprised myself. I had decided to learn a new code language, and O’Reilly of course has a great little book about this particular language, so I pulled up the eBook files, and almost without thinking, …

Four short links: 20 December 2012

By Nat Torkington
December 20, 2012

Use The Index, Luke — free ebook on tuning SQL database access. CamanJS — Instagram-like filters in Javascript, permissively-licensed open source. (via VentureBeat) Don’t Stick That There — USB device pretending to be a keyboard. The benefit of this is …

The 7 key features of an online community

By Travis Alber
December 18, 2012

Here’s something about the user experience of online communities that you’ve probably never considered: everyone in an online community is having a unique, individualized experience, even though they’re all doing it together. Think about that for a second. Your activity …

Four short links: 10 December 2012

By Nat Torkington
December 10, 2012

RE2: A Principled Approach to Regular Expressions — a regular expression engine without backtracking, so without the potential for exponential pathological runtimes. Mobile is Entertainment (Luke Wroblewski) — 79% of mobile app time is spent on fun, even as desktop …

Reading experience and mobile design

By Travis Alber
December 5, 2012

It’s all about user experience. Once you get past whether a book is available on a particular reading platform, the experience is the distinguishing factor. How do you jump back to the table of contents? How do you navigate to …

Four short links: 28 September 2012

By Nat Torkington
September 28, 2012

Mobile Content Strategy — Mobile is a catalyst that can help you make your content tighter without loss of clarity or information. If you make your content work well on mobile, it will work everywhere. Excellent presentation, one I want …

Seeking prior art where it most often is found in software

By Andy Oram
August 28, 2012

Patent ambushes are on the rise again, and cases such as Apple/Samsung shows that prior art really has to swing the decision–obviousness or novelty is not a strong enough defense. Obviousness and novelty are subjective decisions made by a patent …

The complexity of designing for everywhere

By Jenn Webb
August 14, 2012

In her new book The Mobile Frontier, author Rachel Hinman (@Hinman) says the mobile design space is a wide-open frontier, much like space exploration or the Wild West, where people have room to “explore and invent new and more human …

The State of Open Source

By Kevin Shockey
June 26, 2012

Look at Pepsi and Coke. Do you think that they are willing to accept a decline in any aspect of their brand? No, they keep pushing, making sure everyone knows what they are drinking. I propose a similar campaign for open source. Let us make sure that users of cloud computing, for example, know what they are using. They are using free and open source software. Google Drive anyone?

Commerce Weekly: Streamlining Facebook's ads

Commerce Weekly: Streamlining Facebook's ads
By Jenn Webb
June 21, 2012

Payvment launches a one-click Facebook ad service, PayPal revamps its website with consumers and mobile in mind, and a Best Buy exec says in-store mobile use has a scale issue. (Commerce Weekly is produced as part of a partnership between O'Reilly and PayPal.)

Three Beeps = Cell Phone Dial Tone

By Peter Drescher
May 16, 2012

"Cell Phone Dial Tone" is an oxymoron, like "jumbo shrimp". Dial tones are analog, cell phones are digital. A dial tone signals an open connection to a landline telephone network. A cell phone sends packets of voice data back and forth via wireless network. The technologies don't intersect ... except in the movies

Commerce Weekly: Mobile payments and the consumer experience

Commerce Weekly: Mobile payments and the consumer experience
By Jenn Webb
May 3, 2012

A real-world account of mobile payments, two new apps point to social as the next big thing for mobile commerce, and NFC finds a new role in the Nook. (Commerce Weekly is produced as part of a partnership between O'Reilly and PayPal.)


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