As if people need another reason to keep eyes affixed to their phone, Google now has a live view feature. I especially like the on screen safety message warning users to “…keep your phone down while you walk”.
I’m not sure how effective this sort of augmented reality display is if the phone isn’t held up. It seems like it might be even less safe to hold it at waist or chest level. Maybe it’s better to pull over when looking at your phone, even while walking.
Working on a voice app? Check out Dave Rupert’s Anthology of Mute Buttons in Voice Chat Apps and get an excellent overview of all the confusing ways the mute function is presented. Mute has existed for a long time, we all use it, but it is so hard to get right.
He really is on to something with the push to talk idea. That should really be the default for conference calls and group chats.
I was going to use one of the popular frameworks for a very little project when three things conspired to put me on a different path. One was a problem of my own doing: I seemed to have hosed my NPM installation whilst trying to upgrade something. Then I read these two posts, which really came at the right time:
I have a suspicion that there’s a silent majority of developers who are working with “boring” technologies on “boring” products in “boring” industries …you know, healthcare, government, education, and other facets of everyday life that any other industry would value more highly than Uber for dogs.
Anyway, I got an initial version of my tiny project done in a couple hours. I’d still be fighting with the framework if I had continued in the original direction. I’m sure I’ll get my NPM fixed, and I’m sure I’ll use a framework in the future, but I’m glad I gave myself permission to just hack this thing out in very, very basic HTML, CSS and a few lines of JS.
In this video, Martin Fowler sums up my experience with agile throughout the years. In my experience, it ends up being tiny waterfalls that everyone calls sprints. The only reason upper management is willing to give it a go is because when they hear “sprint” think “go fast”.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way, and Fowler touches on some reasons to be optimistic about agile towards the end of his talk.
Nielsen Norman Group’s Top 10 Application-Design Mistakes is a good reminder of common pitfalls when creating complex applications. This is recommended reading for everyone (not just designers) working on these sorts of applications. As they point out, it’s challenging to get this right.