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The Articles

  • Balancing the Scale

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    The culture of a business is closely tied to its size. A small crew with little overhead has flexibility in choosing clients. A big firm offers extensive resources and coworker interaction. Your startup’s character will change as it progresses through these levels too. Knowing what effects come into play during company growth can help you choose the work environment where you’re most comfortable and fulfilled, or give you the ability to control the growth of your own business so you can bring it in at a size that works best for you. In the final part of a four-part series on the money side of the web, Matt Griffin describes the ages and stages of company growth.

  • Singapore, a Hub for Designers?

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    A city with dazzling diversity and a global outlook, Singapore has always been a genial entry point for first-time visitors to Asia. Now the city-state is shaping itself into a center where startups and creative thinking can thrive. Antoine Lefeuvre has traveled there several times. Here he shares his impressions and what he has heard from residents—native Singaporeans and expats—about the business climate transition.

  • From Pages to Patterns: An Exercise for Everyone

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    When people think in terms of pages, it might seem natural for component design and page design to occur in tandem. But this can undermine a team’s ability to name components and build a shared vocabulary. With colleagues at Clearleft, Charlotte Jackson developed an exercise to help everyone adopt pattern thinking. She takes us through the process step by step, encouraging us to get away from our screens and focus first on thinking, language, and approach.

  • How We Hold Our Gadgets

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    Touch adds a new dimension to our designs, and asks us to think not only about the canvas of the screen, but also about how users interact physically with the screen itself. We need to consider the ergonomic needs of holding a smartphone, tablet, or hybrid device—switching hands, swapping grips, and pointing, clicking, and typing. In this excerpt from Chapter 1 of Designing for Touch, Josh Clark examines the role of thumbs in driving our device interactions, no matter the size of the screen.

  • Offering Feedback

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    If you only interact with users when they need support or have a feature request, you’re only interacting with the minority of your customers. The ones who don’t reach out to you may be creating their own workarounds to a problem you’d love to hear about, or they may have a use case that would lead to a brilliant feature. Are you guilty of the same developer shyness? Do you build things to enhance a tool or service for your own use, and assume the developer is too busy to want to hear about it? Don’t wait until there’s a need for support: ask your happy customers what they do with your product, and tell developers how you’re using their product.

  • Object-Oriented UX

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    We know big, monolithic webpages won’t meet the needs of responsive sites and endless screens. But we’re often still quilting together design patterns and content modules, rather than truly thinking in systems. Sophia Voychehovski shows us how defining the objects our users interact with, and the relationships between them, opens doors to more interconnected—and successful—user experiences.

  • Choosing a CMS Your Organization Will Love

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    That never-ending search for the perfect CMS—maybe we’re using the wrong criteria. Too frequently, we approach CMS selection with cost or functionality as our bottom line, leading to solutions that look good, but struggle to adapt to the internal workflow. But finding a tool that matches organizational requirements means shifting focus. Artas Bartas presents three ways of approaching the CMS selection process with your team’s needs and processes top of mind.

  • Groups of Five

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    Technology rests on a discovery of patterns: of behavior, association, energy, thinking. How valuable those patterns are to us is constantly being renegotiated as we experience a series of reveal shots that show us another part of the big picture, and yet another part of the big picture, and so on. To rely on a favorite cliché, it’s turtles all the way down.

  • URLs Beyond the Web

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    As the newest operating systems for Android and iOS enable deep-linking directly into third-party apps, Anthony Colangelo sees an expanding definition of “the web” and an opportunity to better serve our users.