It's true, writing about your work can be tough. Putting your thoughts out there for everyone to see—and comment on—can be intimidating. But, as Susan Robertson shows, it's a great way to clarify your thinking on tough problems, and can lead to new opportunities in the process. Read more
What grabbed our attention this week? We’re glad you asked. We’re digging the new design standards being shared by 18F and USDS; reading up on accessibility in design (and the notorious PDF!); learning to run better meetings; noodling around with responsive typefaces; and championing better ways to read the comments. Also, somebody likes raccoons. We think. We think that's what they meant.
Your team came up with all those great ideas for the website, but how do you sort through them all and decide what to include? Eileen Webb shares her framework for evaluating ideas and encouraging teams to focus on the ideas that actually meet their goals.
That’s dead on what I’m feeling right now. I am trying to update my way of working and I often get stuck on stuff that doesn’t really matter at the beginning, like performance, best practices and architecture. You train your brain to think a certain way during years, but when it is time to change, you shouldn’t rely on it at all because it is still stuck in your old habits. For me, what works best is to let my intuition take the lead and start coding without thinking too much at first. I can review my code later on and refactor it.
What the ALA staff has found around the web lately: how we can support Ahmed Mohamed and other young makers; reading the comments (no, really!) on the Coral Project; a plain-language guide to Amazon developer tools; the life and times of a type design legend; icon fonts vs. SVGs, revisited; learning to think first, challenge later; and a robot riding a unicorn (come on, who doesn’t need to see that?).
The tools we use as designers are changing rapidly. With responses from thousands of designers around the world, Khoi Vinh's recent survey showcases some surprising trends in the new (and old-school) tools we use for brainstorming, interface design, version control, and many other aspects of our work.
Mentorship isn't magic; training doesn't just happen. You need a clear process in place to train junior team members and give them the skills they need to grow. Senongo Akpem shares his process for asking questions and tailoring projects to match a team member's abilities.
On our radar these days: Google rebrands. A web animation expert refuses to speak at your conference if it doesn’t have a code of conduct. Preload hints can help you load your web fonts faster. A new site launches that hopes to bridge the gender gap in communication design. Your weekend reading awaits!
Between bots and blogging, newsrooms are getting into Slack in some very cool ways (take some inspiration and apply for a Knight-Mozilla Fellowship!). Plus more recommended reading: revisiting Cameron’s World; the joy of generalists; the finer points of faving; and one really excellent gif of cats.
Whether you're just getting started on the web, or trying to pick up a new framework, Susan Robertson has a radical idea: build something that interests you. Sure, there are courses and tutorials out there to walk you through it, but a project you're actually excited about will help you solidify those skills and make them easier to recall when you need them most.