The future of interface is getting pretty interesting.
The Best of the Internets
This is a fantastic presentation on progressive enhancement from the one and only Christian Heilmann. See also: His insightful post comparing progressive enhancement to checking in for a flight.
I could not agree more with PPK on this: Native apps and websites shouldn’t be in competition. Each has its pros and cons.
If the user doesn’t want your icon on his home screen, if the user wants a just-in-time interaction, it’s the web they want — not because of any inherent technological superiority, but because it’s hassle-free. Go there, read, forget. No junk left on your phone.
Most businesses don’t stand a chance of ending up on the users’ home screens. So they need the web — but not a web that emulates native to no particular purpose.
Paul Kotler shares some of his struggles as a technology user with both autism and apraxia, including those you may not have considered:
For me, every step forward in making things lighter and smaller is a new obstacle. Often, the buttons I need to hit are too small, the screen too sensitive, or the glare off the screen too distracting to allow me to make use of my device. Updates to operating systems or apps that create slight changes to the size and position of buttons throw me off for days. While these changes might go unnoticed by a typical user, I endure a relearning process that slows me down and makes it more difficult to communicate.
I could not agree more:
This is about getting other web professionals to better understand our field. To be correct in what they say about the past, when trying to educate others. To not make false statements, based on lack of knowledge or direct experience, which lead to wrong assumptions and misinformed decisions about code and architectures.
This project—from a Swedish student—seeks to address the issue of the dominance of “whiteness” online by asking you to share pictures of non-white hands in order to make them more visible in Google Image Search. Admittedly, it’s a drop in the bucket when it comes to increasing the visibility of colored people online, but as Ovid famously said: “Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence” (Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi, sed saepe cadendo).
New research from Columbia University and Mozilla reveals that Firefox’s “Tracking Protection” privacy tech has an added benefit of speeding up the web:
Since Firefox does not download and render content from tracking domains, Tracking Protection also enjoys performance benefits of a 44% median reduction in page load time and 39% reduction in data usage in the Alexa top 200 news sites.
Testing on Windows phones can be tough. Tools like Adobe’s Edge Inspect don’t support it (yet… I hope that changes at some point) and if you aren’t a Visual Studio user, emulating a Windows phone can also be a challenge. Thankfully, Daniel Herken has put together this no-nonsense guide for testing Windows devices.
The brilliant James Edwards recounts the trials and tribulations of trying to make an accessible version of “Show Password” functionality.
Write a web app once, deploy it as a hosted app to Android, iOS, Chrome OS, Firefox OS, and Windows. And it follows the W3C standard for web apps. It’s almost too easy.