This is the IndieWeb Directory. It is a directory of people with personal websites on the IndieWeb. As well as being a list of wonderful people it also serves as a API in order to help you build nickname caches or other cool tools.
Basecamp’s Michael Berger details how they recently improved the accessibility of their product’s Jump Menu. This is a stellar example of how Web-based tools can be visually attractive, useful, and accessible.
Snips purports to be the “first private by design voice assistant” that you can deploy on your own Raspberry Pi, Android, or Linux device. It’s a compelling concept and there are some intriguing projects over on GitHub.
An open source checklist of resources designed to improve your online privacy and security. Check things off to keep track as you go.
This is a great resource, but it highlights the delicate balance of security and user experience that often tips too far toward security at the expense of usability. For those of us in the software design world, it’s more important now than ever to make these technologies more easily accessible to the masses.
A collection of tools to bring human-centered design into your project.
The team at 18F share their methods for conducting human-centered design research.
Maintained by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Usability.gov contains a wealth of knowledge on topics such as user experience design, content strategy, project management, and visual design.
The intersection of science and design has many beautiful manifestations, from data visualization to nerd tattoos. But hardly does it get more delightful than in these gorgeous vintage science and technology ads from magazines in the 1950s and 1960s, bringing the modernist aesthetic to the atomic and space ages.
One year after the first initial support for PWAs on iOS, Apple released iOS 12.2 for iPhone and iPads with what it seems to be the biggest step forward in the last year, addressing the two most annoying problems we’ve been dealing with PWAs: reload effect and OAuth logins.
Maximiliano Firtman details at great length the updates to Safari available in iOS 12.2. The good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s all covered in this post.
Today, we’re launching U.S. Web Design System 2.0 (USWDS 2.0), a new foundation for the future of our design system. This new version was designed to make it easier for any project to integrate USWDS and use it to support your mission and the needs of your audience.
USWDS is a library of code, tools, and guidance to help government teams design and build fast, accessible, mobile-friendly government websites backed by user research and modern best practices. USWDS 2.0 is an important update to the design system — it introduces a powerful toolkit of new features to help make creating useful, consistent digital services faster, simpler, and more fun.
Two years in the making, version 2.0 of the U.S. Web Design System is now live. This is a tremendous update and will be a boon to anyone building digital services for the American people. Congratulations to Dan, Maya, and the rest of the Technology Transformation Services team!
The late 1960s saw progressive ideas emanate from the countercultural underground and revolutionise society. Challenging oppressive, outdated norms and expectations, a small number of individuals brought about far-reaching changes as they sought to attain a better world. Their idealism and actions helped mobilise a movement which continues to inspire modern activists and shape how we live today.
Stewart Brand was involved in a number of the key revolutionary events of the late 1960s: he co-founded the Trips Festival of 1966, one of the first large-scale hippy gatherings; founded and edited the Whole Earth Catalog, widely considered the pre-cursor to the internet for its user-generated content and knowledge-sharing; and he filmed the “Mother of All Demos” in 1968, where Douglas Englebart presented the first word processing, computer mouse, hyperlinks and video conferencing. Since then, Brand has co-founded the world’s first open virtual community, the WELL, in 1984 and the Long Now Foundation in 1996, which aims to encourage long-term thinking to prompt more responsible human action.
The current generation of technologists could learn quite a bit from Stewart Brand and the historic context surrounding the early days of the tech scene…
(via Stewart Brand talks about the LSD trip that inspired his Whole Earth Catalog on BoingBoing)
Another notable moment is the trio of brazen, rather sweet, strippers (Samara Strauss, Andrea Trent, and Rebecca Kendall) who display the tricks of their trade for Louise in “You Gotta Have a Gimmick.”
“Brazen, rather sweet” is spot on.
This falls under the “at first it seems immoral to do this, but the more I do it, the more I feel this is how the world should be” category.
This is heinous.
Making the internal external.
How to plan, write, and manage content at 18F.
The words we use can make the difference between forging positive connections or creating distance in our personal and professional lives. Particularly in writing, impact is more important than intent.
As we build government services, we want to ensure they are accessible and welcoming to everyone who needs to use them. Inclusive language helps us to be more accurate and build trust with our users.
The web should be a platform that helps people and provides a net positive social benefit. As we continue to evolve the web platform, we must therefore consider the ethical consequences of our work. The following document sets out ethical principles that will drive the TAG’s continuing work in this direction.
The W3C’s Technical Architecture Group lays out their set of ethical design principles as applied to the Web and—surprise—they’re solid:
- There is one web
- The web should not cause harm to society
- The web must support healthy community and debate
- The web is for all people
- Security and privacy are essential
- The web must enable freedom of expression
- The web must make it possible for people to verify the information they see
- The web must enhance individuals’ control and power
- The web must be an environmentally sustainable platform
- The web is transparent
- The web is multi-browser, multi-OS and multi-device
- People should be able to render web content as they want
Chaos Engineering is the discipline of experimenting on a system in order to build confidence in the system’s capability to withstand turbulent conditions in production.
Here are 4 reasons that radiating intent is better than begging forgiveness:
- Radiating intent gives a chance for someone to stop you before you do a thing, in case it’s truly harmful
- Radiating intent gives people who have information, or want to help, an opening to participate
- Radiating intent leaves better evidence of your good will
- Radiating intent shows others that adventurous behavior is acceptable in the org.
Her note on inclusivity is a good reminder for anyone dispensing advice to others:
I also don’t believe that “ask forgiveness” is inclusive advice. If you are from a group who has historically not been granted forgiveness, how is that going to land? Or if you’re in a group with cultural baggage around subversive behavior?
I was pleasantly surprised-not-surprised to see that Elizabeth works at 18F where they continue doing really important work building inclusive government services.
Bob Ross painted more than 1,000 landscapes for his television show—so why are they so hard to find? We solve one of the internet’s favorite little mysteries.
The short film accompanying this New York Times piece is so very delightful. I grew up watching The Joy of Painting with my grandfather (himself a painter in the Ross-ian style), so this one brought back a lot of fond memories.
When you’re done watching the video, consider supporting your local public television station.
The latest in Chris Ashton’s series of “I Used the Web for a Day…” articles is a doozy of a read chock-full of facts, figures, tips, and tricks.
The cost (in dollars) of mobile and broadband data plans globally varies wildly and Chris’ post goes deep on how the cost (in page weight and in dollars) of our work building for the Web impacts users around the world. Chris concludes:
We don’t have the power to change the global cost of data inequality. But we do have the power to lessen its impact, improving the experience for everyone in the process.
A design guide for the flags of the United States.
Lynn Fisher put together this love letter to state flag design. She writes:
I’ve always loved the Arizona flag and consider it one of the best designed. After a visit to the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and seeing all of the state and territory flags hung together in a row, I was eager to learn more about their designs and histories.
The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.
This new project from The New York times is a critical piece of journalism and history that couldn’t have arrived at a more important moment in time. Quoting from the announcement on Twitter:
It’s not just democracy, American capitalism, health care, and music that were shaped by America’s history with slavery. Everything from traffic to the wage gap were affected by the institution as well.
We’re surrounded every single day by the fallout from our forebears’ barbaric treatment of Africans and Native populations. The 1619 Project is a step toward fully acknowledging slavery’s role in our modern world.
“When can I start using CSS grid layout?” “Too bad that it’ll take some more years before we can use grid in production.” “Do I need Modernizr in order to make websites with CSS grid layout?” “If I wanted to use grid today, I’d have to build two to three versions of my website.” The CSS grid layout module is one of the most exciting developments since responsive design. We should try to get the best out of it as soon as possible, if it makes sense for us and our projects.
This 2017 article from Manuel Matuzović goes deep on how to creatively use CSS Grid Layout in a progressively-enhanced manner. Naturally, the baseline techniques we use will change over time, but Manuel’s demo illustrates how you might think about design and layout as experience layers.
Submit a URL to generate a node map of all of the requests on the page. Rapidly identify what third-parties are on your site, where your transmitted bytes are coming from and how slow your domains are!
I can’t believe I haven’t saved this useful website before, but it made its way back into my timeline via Jeffrey’s notes from An Event Apart Chicago. Learn more about Request Map Generator by reading Simon Hearne’s introductory blog post.
User Experience Designer Matthias Ott encouraging a return to personal websites:
There is one alternative to social media sites and publishing platforms that has been around since the early, innocent days of the web. It is an alternative that provides immense freedom and control: The personal website.
2018 is the year of HyperCard.
…and 2020 will be the year of Gopher.
An elegant—though technically complex—solution by Søren Birkemeyer that adds a timeline of changes to the bottom of blog posts.
The other two articles in this series are also quite useful (and equally thorough):
Putting to rest some of the most persistent falsehoods about passwords and what it takes to come up with strong passwords and practice good password security in 2019.
This is a very helpful, easy-to-read guide covering current best practices for keeping your passwords and accounts secure.