User Experience News

Here’s a collection of user interface news, as aggregated by AllTop. I take no responsibility for the content, but it’s usually very good.

A Message from Mister Rogers to His Viewers Who Have Grown Up

This brief, heartbreaking video was just released yesterday. Its privacy settings apparently don’t allow it to be embedded, unfortunately. PBS writes: A few months before his death in 2003, Fred Rogers recorded this video message for those who grew up watching ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.’ This message was one of the last things he recorded in…

[Book] Netnography Redefined

netnographyredefinedNetnography Redefined by Robert V Kozinets (York University, Canada) Sage Publications, 288 pages July 2015 Social media and the internet are rich, fertile sources of data for social researchers, though online data offer both opportunities and challenges. In this updated new edition, Robert V. Kozinets explains how to use ‘Netnography’ to study cultures and communities […]

Open Policy Making: A people-centred approach to transform UK local services

Open Policy Making is about recognising that top down thinking and decision making no longer can deliver the range of services that people and communities have come to expect in a connected society, writes William Barker, Head of Technology Strategy and Digital Futures at the UK Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). At its […]

[Book] Doing Sensory Ethnography

senosry_ethnographyDoing Sensory Ethnography by Sarah Pink Sage Publications Paperback, 232 pages Second edition, February 2015 Between 2010 – 2014, a team of UK anthropologists, engineers and designers worked towards a deeper understanding of how energy and media consumption fit in to everyday practices and habits in home life. To learn about energy and media use […]

VIDEO: Did y’all know you can share stuff…

Did y’all know you can share stuff directly to Basecamp from apps like Paper? Resident illustrator, Nate Otto shows it off.

Alto's Adventure

Alto's Adventure is "an endless snowboarding odyssey [for IOS], set against a beautiful and ever changing alpine landscape":

[via kottke.org]

Chronemics

Yet another great animation from Animade:

Beam

Beam is "the smart projector that fits in any light socket":

Behind the scenes: From Herding Cats to Finishing a Project Together

Nate Otto and I made a new Basecamp homepage illustration based on a vector drawing I made in Adobe Illustrator. Initially I didn’t intend it to be hand drawn. I thought I’d refine the vector drawing. Somewhere in the middle it turned into “herding cats”. In the end the spirit of the concept was intact, but the result very different from what I’d envisioned.
Here’s how we got to the final idea: Basecamp helps you wrangle people with different roles, responsibilities, and objectives toward a common goal: Finishing a project together.

First pass: Basecamp is a central hub. All the things going into it are like train lines.

Train lines are pretty boring. What if it was about herding cats? Lemme put some vector cat heads on there.
The vector style doesn’t fit with the rest of the site. I work with Nate on the idea of Basecamp as being the ultimate “cat herder”. Give the cats some human accessories…
Jason Fried is concerned that “herding cats” may come across as insulting. The idea of herding cats may be lost on some potential customers. Maybe we should just be clear.
Final: Let’s add all the people involved in the process.


This process took about one day of back and forth (in Basecamp) between me and Nate. So, that’s how we made the illustration for the idea: Basecamp helps you wrangle people with different roles, responsibilities, and objectives toward a common goal: Finishing a project together.

On Our Radar: Communication Builds Community

This week, we at ALA have been thinking about processes of inclusion—that is, how we communicate with our communities. Who (and what) gets to be included? How do we use vocabularies, fonts, even emojis, to make those choices? And how do those choices create our culture?

Here’s what’s on our radar:

Anna Debenham, technical editor:
The UX team at Salesforce have written about the difficulties they’ve had coming up with color schemes that look good and meet the WCAG2 guidelines on color contrast—so they’ve built a wonderful site called Color Safe that generates color palettes that meet these guidelines. It’s great to see companies release tools like this that help make everyone’s sites more accessible.

Marie Connelly, blog editor:
I really loved this piece over on Hopes & Fears on how the Deaf community is incorporating new terminology (think: selfie, photobomb) into American Sign Language. It touches on so many things I love: words, the subtle complexities of language, and the beautiful messiness of community collaboration. I think the examples of how the Deaf community works through this process offer great food for thought for any of us working on content and communication.

Caren Litherland, editor:
“I’m pretty content,” writes Indra Kupferschmid in a pragmatic survey of the current state of web typography. Almost anything we could ever do in print, we can now do on the web; the web “forces us to think about typography in terms of parameters and to get clear about content versus form.”

Ethan Marcotte, technical editor:
Kathy Sierra’s essay on skater culture is a fascinating, moving look at a once-inclusive industry that, over time, marginalized its female members. It’s also an urgent warning for the digital industry, which faces a similar crisis.

A gif about a music video we are into:

A gif of Tina from Bob's Burgers jumping up and down.
No outline will ever hold us.

What about you?
What stories are drawing your attention? Got any posts, pictures, tools, or code you want to share? (We love sharing!) Tweet us what’s on your radar—and what should be on ours.