The staff of A List Apart presents their biweekly recommended-reading list, chock-full of goodies about progressive enhancement, lettershapes, hamburger menus, and our favorite moving picture (at least until the next cat-squeezed-into-a-tiny-box gif). Read more
15 years ago this month, a plucky ALA staffer wrote “Much Ado About 5K,” an article on a contest created by Stewart Butterfield that challenged web designers and developers to build a complete website using less than 5K of images and code. As one group of modern web makers embraces mobile-first design and performance budgets, while another (the majority) worships at the altar of bigger, fatter, and slower, the 5K contest reminds us that a byte saved is a follower earned.
We talk a lot about having empathy for our users, but what about having empathy for each other? Susan Robertson describes how, as a developer, she practices empathy with her teammates.
Susan, I really appreciate your article. Timeless for certain, but it comes at a time when my group is working to build bridges, improve workflow and explore ways to make our work-life better overall.
The idea of consciously considering, not only the goal of the other disciplines, but the tools, is really important. Understanding what it takes to do _________________ gives me the opportunity to listen with smarter ears when questions come my way.
I think change is especially hard where group-think or process or even plain ol’ laziness is the norm. Change can be slow, but so long as small changes are occurring, it’s progress!
Communicating what the change is, why it is important and how it will affect each person is vital. Buy-in speeds progress.
Great article, thanks!
If you were too buried in work this week to read the internet, don’t worry: the staff of A List Apart read it for you. Catch up with this week’s On Our Radar, featuring our new favorite Instagram account, Mozilla’s latest mission, Twitter bots, and more.
Video game designers start with the story. What would our work look like if we did too? Steph Hay advocates for a content-first approach to design and walks through how to start prototyping your content.
When it comes to new devices, context is everything. Smartphones and tablets gained popularity because they were useful in situations where our laptops weren't. Will smartwatches do the same? Anthony Colangelo looks at the context of these new devices and how they might reach their full potential.
Accepting the “ebb and flow of things” is as challenging today as it was 15 years ago. Susan Robertson explores what it means to accept our lack of control on the web and shares how she acknowledges this in her work—from the CSS she writes, to the conversations she has with team members.
To preprocess or not to preprocess? ALA: On Air will cover just that—live on May 6. Featuring Rachel Andrew, Lyza Danger Gardner, Jeff Lembeck, and Susan Robertson, “Sass Talk” will discuss when, how, and whether to use Sass, taskrunners, and other tools.
Kids these days. When they're not on our lawn, they're using the web in some pretty unique ways. Debra Levin Gelman encourages us to take their needs into account and offers a fresh new method to help us design social tools for kids ages 8–12.
Does the internet ever stop you in your tracks? Does it sometimes make you pause and think about what you’re doing? Andrew Grimes calls such moments meta-moments. He walks us through why meta-moments are occasionally necessary and how we might build them into the experiences we design.
Experience management systems are making it easier than ever to customize content for your visitors—but are you using your newfound personalizing powers for good (or for creepy)? Colin Eagan shows that personalization can be done, thoughtfully, using the same tools you would apply to any content strategy conundrum: by asking why, being deliberate, and putting users first.
For some, Facebook’s Instant Articles is a sign that the traditional web stack is incapable of giving users a first-class reading experience. But the sluggish performance of the web isn’t due to an inherent flaw in the technology. That particular problem originates between the seat and the keyboard, where builders make choices that bloat their sites. For Mark Llobrera, Instant Articles is a sign that we need to prioritize performance like we actually mean it.
Being your own boss is awesome. You’re the sovereign of your fate—and with that autonomy comes responsibility for making your business thrive. Your time management skills are more important than ever as you continue to get your to-dos checked off. The thing is… if you get an unexpected call from a friend, can you get away from that tyrannical boss of yours to do something unplanned? Are you able to schedule time with friends or family without feeling that you’re falling behind on work? If you can’t afford to take time to strengthen your connections with others, you’re at risk of being the monarch (and the serf) of an impoverished kingdom, indeed.