Forms: Labels vs. Placeholders

Nielsen Norman Group: Placeholders in Form Fields Are Harmful

This is a good article to point at when someone is suggesting that placeholders serve as the sole label for input fields. The lack of labels is pervasive on mobile apps and sites. While not having labels conserves space and can make for a cleaner form, it can also make the form much less usable–especially when it comes to accessibility.

There are ways combine the clean look of a form without labels with the usability of clearly displayed labels. The float label pattern is one example. The Polymer framework includes this pattern with the floatingLabel attribute in Paper Elements, although it is turned off by default. It would be wonderful if more mobile interfaces moved away from hiding labels in favor of patterns like the floating label.

Dave Seah’s Printable Productivity Tools

Compact Check Calendar 2014 Dave Seah has created a nice collection of well designed printable productivity tools.

Lifehacker turned me on to his compact calendar back in 2007. For several years I kept one of those calendars in the front of my notebook. That calendar was responsible, at least partially, for introducing a healthy dose of reality at many a project planning meeting.

I also like his Task Order Up! idea. I might try it out soon since I have one of those check minders laying around somewhere.

Photo from

Bill Murray on Being Relaxed

Bill Murray:

I think the only reason I’ve had the career life that I’ve had is that someone told me some secrets early on about living. You can do the very best you can when you’re very, very relaxed, no matter what it is or what your job is, the more relaxed you are the better you are. That’s sort of why I got into acting. I realized the more fun I had, the better I did it. And I thought, that’s a job I could be proud of. It’s changed my life learning that, and it’s made me better at what I do.

via Winnipeg Free Press :: Austin Kleon :: Trent Walton

Simple In/Out Board for Dashing

Dashing In/Out Board ScreenshotI’ve created a Simple In/Out Board Widget for Dashing. It’s quite basic, but it gets the job done. It reads the status information from a text file, so there’s little overhead and no pretty interface, sorry. We keep our text file on Dropbox, so any of us can edit it easily.

Unlike most of the other widgets we’ve created for our Dashing dashboard at the office, this one might be useful for other people. So, I’m sharing it. If you’re interested, you can install from this gist.