Category Archives: Web Dev

The User Is Drunk… dot com

You might think your web site is easy to use, but what if the user is drunk?

 

Richard Littauer will get drunk for you. He says:

Your website should be so simple, a drunk person could use it. But you can’t test that, so I’ll do it for you.

WHAT: I’ll get very drunk, and then review your website. I’ll send you a document outlining where I thought the website needed help, and a screencast of me going over the website.

HOW MUCH: $250 per site.

Hire him at theuserisdrunk.com

The Web’s Grain – A View on Designing for the Web

Step back from web design, art, and visual beauty and journey with Frank Chimero to explore what makes responsive design so unique and powerful

 

Think about it. A web site must look good on many different screen sizes. A simple description of the web as a design medium:

“an edgeless surface of unknown proportions comprised of small, individual, and variable elements from multiple vantages assembled into a readable whole that documents a moment”

Frank Chimero continues: “The size of what we’re making is unknown until we know what we’re putting there. So, it’s better to come up with an arrangement of elements and assign them to a size, rather than the other way around. We need to start drawing, then put the box around it.”

Read more from the source: frankchimero.com

Rubber Duck Problem Solving: “Ask the Duck” is a very powerful problem solving technique

I explained Rubber Duck Programming to some coworkers and loved Jeff Atwood’s article on the subject

 

Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror writes:

I love this particular story because it makes it crystal clear how the critical part of rubber duck problem solving is to totally commit to asking a thorough, detailed question of this imaginary person or inanimate object. Yes, even if you end up throwing the question away because you eventually realize that you made some dumb mistake. The effort of walking an imaginary someone through your problem, step by step and in some detail, is what will often lead you to your answer. If you aren’t willing to put the effort into fully explaining the problem and how you’ve attacked it, you can’t reap the benefits of thinking deeply about your own problem before you ask others to.

Read more from the source: blog.codinghorror.com

Tagging content effectively

It seems like most people don’t understand tags very well. I’m not the best at tagging content effectively, but below¬†are some great principles.

  • The goals of effective content tagging:
    • Allow users to see the subject matter of the post before reading the body (Right Intel doesn’t facilitate this)
    • Allow users and editors to browse and search for content (In Right Intel you can search on the intel tab, email edit screen and story edit screen)
    • Allow search engines to properly index content (Not applicable in Right Intel)
    • Function like an index in the back of a book
  • Some principles of effective tagging
    • A tag should be specific yet likely to be used again
    • A good tag should be short, usually a word or two
    • Use between 2 and 4 tags per article
    • Consider that a tag may be a word that does not appear in the content
    • Use plurals only when appropriate
    • Use only letters, numbers, and spaces
    • Think about what text people might search for
    • Revise and merge your tags periodically
    • Codify tagging guidelines for all editors

Sources: The Next Web, Zemanta, NPR

And ironically, this post is not a great example of tagging because the subject matter is unusual for my blog. :)