The Best of the Internets

Hard Costs of Third-Party Scripts

Dave has an excellent round-up of considerations when looking at your reliance on 3rd party scripts (or any 3rd party resources, for that matter). Most are hidden and all have a serious effect on download performance, UI responsiveness, and, ultimately, user experience.

The Web is an undependable place, so this shouldn’t be very surprising.

Font Style Matcher

If you use web fonts, you’ll want to provide a complementary fallback font that won’t cause text to move around a whole lot when the webfoot is loaded. To help you make an informed decision, you need a good tool to compare your options. In fact, you need this tool.

Thank you Monica!

How to Program Your Job

This is a truly interesting piece about automating your job, looking at it from the perspectives of several developers (and some generalized workers who learned to code) who automated their job’s mundane tasks. There are a lot of big questions here. Perhaps the biggest is What is the true value of work?

Unbuttoning Buttons

This is a deep dive into how to un-style a button. In other words, how to make a button look like a link. It isn’t something you’d want to do all the time, but it does have its usefulness in select situations.

Thanks for putting this together Scott!

All Technology Is Assistive

There is so much to love about this piece, especially this bit:

Honestly — what technology are you using that’s not assistive? Your smartphone? Your eyeglasses? Headphones? And those three examples alone are assisting you in multiple registers: They’re enabling or augmenting a sensory experience, say, or providing navigational information. But they’re also allowing you to decide whether to be available for approach in public, or not; to check out or in on a conversation or meeting in a bunch of subtle ways; to identify, by your choice of brand or look, with one culture group and not another.

Making a persistent, overt distinction about “assistive tech” embodies the second-tier do-gooderism and banality that still dominate design work targeted toward “special needs.” “Assistive technology” implies a separate species of tools designed exclusively for those people with a rather narrow set of diagnostic “impairments” — impairments, in other words, that have been culturally designated as needing special attention, as being particularly, grossly abnormal. But are you sure your phone isn’t a crutch, as it were, for a whole lot of unexamined needs?