Category Archives: Web Dev

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. :)

Coding Horror: The God Login

A must read: Jeff Atwood researches and explains how to make your sign in and register process a smooth user experience

 

Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror writes:

And one of the coolest things my college professor Mr. Pausch ever taught me was to ask this question:

What’s the God algorithm for this?

Well, when sorting a list, obviously God wouldn’t bother with a stupid Bubble Sort or Quick Sort or Shell Sort like us mere mortals, God would just immediately place the items in the correct order. Bam. One step. The ultimate lower bound on computation, O(1). Not just fixed time, either, but literally one instantaneous step, because you’re freakin’ God.

This kind of blew my mind at the time.

So when we set out to build a login dialog for Discourse, I went back to what I learned in my Algorithms class and asked myself:

How would God build this login dialog?

Read more from the source: blog.codinghorror.com