Om Malik is, of course, a legend. One of the first journalists on the “tech beat” in the 1990s, one of the first bloggers to “turn pro,” one of the driving forces behind the Web 2.0 time period, and one of the most trusted analysts of the technology industry in general, today he is a venture capitalist at True Ventures.
Tagged with “web” (624)
047: The Web is Neither Good or Bad…nor is it Neutral. It’s an Amplifier with Jeremy Keith – User Defenders podcast : Inspiring Interviews with UX Superheroes.
Jeremy Keith reveals how the web is neither good or bad, nor neutral, but an amplifier. He inspires us to not let the future be just something that happens to us, but rather something we make with the small things we do today. He encourages us to build software ethically with our users’ psychological vulnerabilities in mind. He motivates us to not build on rented land, but to publish using the superpower of our own URLs. He also shows us how looking to the past is just as important as looking to the future.
Jeremy Keith lives in Brighton, England where he makes websites with the splendid design agency Clearleft. You may know him from such books as DOM Scripting, Bulletproof Ajax, HTML5 For Web Designers, and most recently Resilient Web Design. He curated the dConstruct conference for a number of years as well as Brighton SF, and he organised the world’s first Science Hack Day. He also made the website Huffduffer to allow people to make podcasts of found sounds—it’s like Instapaper for audio files. Hailing from Erin’s green shores, Jeremy maintains his link to Irish traditional music running the community site The Session. He also indulges a darker side of his bouzouki-playing in the band Salter Cane. Jeremy spends most of his time goofing off on the internet, documenting his time-wasting on adactio.com, where he has been writing for over fifteen years. A photograph he took appears in the film Iron Man.
Iron Man Photo Story (4:43)
On Net Neutrality (13:31)
What’s “Adactio”? (20:44)
Is the Internet Good or Evil? (24:41)
Hippocratic Oath for Software Designers (35:51)
Resilient Web Design (49:06)
Why do you Love the Web so Much? (54:26)
The Power and Generosity of the Community (63:05)
What Comes Next? (71:34)
Listener Question? (73:44)
Last Words to the Builders of the Web (74:18)
Contact Info (80:15)
Published Feb 8, 2018
Jeremy is the founder of ClearLeft - a passionate group of UX and digital strategists based in the UK - where Jeremy now heads research and development. He is the author of a number of books on web development, including his latest book, Resilient Web Design, has been seen on stages like An Event Apart and South By South West, and is also the creator of the world’s first Science Hack Day.
Time Stamped Show Notes
1:00 – Jeremy plays in a band in Brighton called Salter Cane. He also enjoys traditional Irish music and goes to Irish music sessions with his mandolin in tow.
1:42 – What excites Jeremy most about development is when he can accomplish something that makes somebody’s life easier and improves their day.
3:11 – Jeremy discusses the difficulties of the contradicting goals among the various parties involved in a web project; namely business, designer, developer, and user goals.
3:37 – Jeremy uses the example of an e-commerce site to demonstrate how tricky it can be to balance competing goals. For example, if the designer only cared about the user’s experience, everything in the store would be free! However, this is obviously not in line with the business goals.
4:51 – Jeremy got to know Andy Budd and Richard Rutter through their blogs and books about web standards. In 2005, the three got together and founded Clearleft.
6:22 – At the time, only a few other companies were focusing on user experience. Adaptive Path in America was one of them.
8:38 – Jeremy thinks design sprints work well. Clearleft blocks out a few days for a group of people to be fully committed to solving a single, defined problem.
9:21 – Clearleft uses roughly the same sprint structure as the five-day model advocated by Jake Knapp and Daniel Burka of Google.
10:56 – Jeremy likes the intensity of a sprint as long as it’s followed by a break. He advises against doing design sprints back to back.
11:16 – Clearleft works with two different development mindsets: a production mindset, and a quality mindset. The production mindest is for transient products like prototypes, whereas the quality mindest is used when creating production-ready code.
12:54 – Don’t get attached to prototypes and never evolve them into the finished product. Throw the prototype away once it has answered the question, “will it work?” From there, build the product from scratch using the quality mindset.
17:38 – It’s easier to write code than it is to convince someone to change their mind. “Computers easy; humans hard.”
18:16 – Jeremy admits to being an awful procrastinator. However, he says it sometimes works in his favour as he often comes across useful content for his blog whilst “goofing off on the internet”.
19:53 – Jeremy has an “inbox zero,” but only because people know not to email him and because he archives his mails!
20:12 – Jeremy mentions Jessica Hische’s term, “procrastiworking”. Jessica believes that, “the work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life”.
21:01 – Jeremy gets frustrated by the sheer number of development tools available. Whereas before you could just open up the text editor, save some html and CSS and build something that works, now you have to set up a build chain, NPM, Webpack, Grunt, Gulp, Unicorn etc.
21:58 – Tools are supposed to help you work faster. If you find yourself spending more time on the tool than actually doing the work, then it’s not really a tool at all.
22:26 – In a talk by Anna Shipman, she suggests thinking of your servers as cattle as opposed to pets. Jeremy likes this advice. Don’t get too attached to your servers or to your tools.
23:03 – Frank Chimero says that working in the web over the past two decades doesn’t feel like twenty years. Instead, it feels like five years done four times over because of how often devs have had to overhaul their way of working.
23:47 – Although tools and approaches in the industry are often transient, Jeremy is convinced that progressive enhancement is here to stay. Persistent principles like this are what get him excited about development.
24:55 – Jeremy is excited about service workers and how they lead to faster sites, offline capabilities, and in turn, an improved user experience.
31:48 – Progressive enhancement starts with the lowest common denominator – the simplest technology to accomplish what the user needs to do. Jeremy says that the trick is not mess it up as you layer elements on top.
35:01 – Although progressive enhancement focuses on technology rather than the user, the result is often a much improved user experience.
35:38 – Best advice about programming
Jeremy agrees with Hemingway’s advice: “write drunk, edit sober,” as well as Anne Lamott’s concept of the “shitty first draft”. When writing, get everything out of your head first, then go back and edit later.
36:49 – Habits for writing better code
Feed your brain effectively and you’ll produce better work.
Although Jeremy believes that “produce more than you consume” is great advice in general, he says it depends on the type of material you expose yourself to.
38:51 – BookThe “A Book Apart” series. Jeremy thinks it’s terrific.
In 2017, Jeremy didn’t read any two fiction, or any two non-fiction books back-to-back. He believes fiction gives you a kind of empathy that non-fiction doesn’t.
“A Dao of Web Design” by John Allsopp. Although it was published in 2000, the ideas in it are still relevant.
41:05 – Inspiring devsHarry Roberts, Sarah Soueidan, Sarah Drasner, Jen Simmons, and Rachel Andrew – not only for the great work they’re doing, but for the fact that they’re sharing it too. To Jeremy, this is what’s great about the spirit of the web.
Alice Boyd-Leslie, Zara Syversen, Amber Wilson, and Cassie Evans for the amazing work they do at CodeBar in Brighton. CodeBar is a great initiative for introducing a more diverse range of people into the world of building for the web.
44:07 – How to learn to code from scratchCodePen, Glitch, GitHub, John Duckett and Shay Howe’s books, CodeBar: Being in the same physical space as somebody sitting down with someone who’s going to show you this stuff is going to help you.
46:32 – How to work smart
Share what you know.
Tools, Tips, and Books Mentioned
Resilient Web Design
An Event Apart
South by Southwest (SXSW)
Science Hack Day
Google Design Sprint
“Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by Anne Lamott
A Book Apart
“A Dao of Web Design” by John Allsopp
Jeffrey Zeldman and Sarah Parmenter’s, “Ask Dr. Web”
A List Apart
John Duckett’s books
Shay Howe’s books
Jeremy’s website: adactio.com
Published Feb 1, 2018
Jake is a developer advocate for Google Chrome where he speaks regularly about Service Worker, application performance, and offline-first apps. Before joining the team at Google, Jake worked at Lanyrd honing his performance skills, and before that worked at the BBC creating an inclusive experience for users with disabilities.
Time Stamped Show Notes
1:15 – Jake’s journey with offline-first applications started when he joined the team at Lanyrd in 2012. One of the reasons the Lanyrd team wanted offline capabilities was to address poor wifi conditions at conferences.
4:04 – Jake is passionate about the web platform. He loves that you can write something once and it runs on OSX, Windows, Android, as well as other obscure operating systems. He likes that someone can experience an app without any kind of install steps or too many compatibility issues.
5:13 – He finds it exciting going to conferences and hearing people talk about progressive web apps. He likes that people are choosing to build PWAs instead of native apps.
7:03 – Jake was in Bangalore a couple of years ago. He found a lot of local dev teams were using Angular 1 to build mobile apps. Angular 1 isn’t suitable to build mobile apps as the framework is really big and slow. It’s especially not suitable for apps in India.
7:54 – He is amazed that in just a short few years dev teams in India are now more focused on performance. Many are using Preact because it’s a smaller library than ReactJs or Angular. It also does server rendering which makes things run much faster.
8:09 – At a conference Jake ran, he did a site clinic where he and some Google team members did a performance audit on the participants’ work. One participant in particular builds sites for the US, however he builds them as if his target market is a village in India. His resulting sites work really fast in the US.
9:04 – Jake feels it would beneficial to bring US and UK dev teams to Bangalore to learn how to better site performance.
9:30 – In promoting offline-first Jake believes more privileged individuals need to be given use cases that are more relatable to their lifestyle. For example expressing that an app should still work when a person is on a plane with no access to data.
10:56 – Jakes says “luck” and “being in the right place at the right time” has helped him get to where he is today.
11:56 – He went to university in Middlesborough where he did a course in multimedia and trained as a Flash developer.
11:40 – In the third year of his course, he had to organise work experience. Jake found a job at Reuters in London where he learnt how to work for a company and communicate with less technically minded people. He was offered a permanent job after graduating.
13:22 – After Reuters Jake went to work for the BBC for four years where he learnt a lot about accessibility.
13:38 – At the BBC Jake got to engage with more developers and also started speaking at small meet ups.
14:41 – The following year, Remy Sharp got Jake to talk at the Full Frontal conference in Brighton. From there he started to do more and more talks.
15:50 – He was then invited to join Lanyrd where Jake learnt about offline-first and web standards.
16:37 – He was contacted by Google to assess and give feedback on the new Chromebook. When giving feedback at the Google offices he met up with some people including Paul Irish and Eric Bidelman. Whilst having dinner with them he was invited to interview with Google.
18:03 – Once he got the job at Google they asked him to work more on offline-first technologies. Jake said “No, I’m just the problems guy, I’m not the solutions guy!”
23:07 – Jake doesn’t feel particularly religious about tooling, although he likes Visual Studio Code.
24:35 – Jake would feel lost without Github. He spends a lot of his day on Github issues. He prefers Github to mailing lists.
25:47 – He feels there is a disconnect between developers and standards authors. He’d like to see this divide removed.
29:12 – At a W3C meeting in late 2017 Ryosuke Niwa from Safari presented an idea called template instantiation. Jake is really excited about it. Template instantiation provides a special way to use mustache-like templating inside a template tag. It takes a lot of cues from hyperHTML and lit-html. It also allows you to make updates without the overhead of “diffing”. Mozilla and Google are also getting involved to improve it.
31:37 – Jake likes to keep up to date with web standards and browser features. He keeps up to date with web standards through @intenttoship, by reviewing issues on the HTML spec and discussions in the YCG.
32:10 – Jake tends to wait until libraries and frameworks are popular before he uses them.
33:25 – The interesting part of ReactJS is the state and props model as well as the lifecycle of components.
33:37 – He likes the single direction data-binding that ReactJS offers.
35:06 – Best advice about programming
Jake’s school art teacher said to him “you get better at painting with every painting you paint”. He believes everything you build, every library you write and every experiment is not wasted time.
35:40 – Habits for writing better code
He thinks coding makes him a “worse human”. He believes if you get trapped in coding, you can end up forgetting the humans behind it.
39:35 – Inspiring devs
Jake admires Remy Sharp due to the amount he has achieved. Domenic Denicola and Anne van Kesteren for their involvement in web standards. He also looks up to Sarah Drasner‘s developer outreach, as well as her creative coding. He also admires Paul Lewis for his ability to design and code.
42:16 – How to learn to code from scratch
44:07 – How to work smart
“Don’t forget the humans”. Think about your users! When using platforms like Twitter, don’t forget you’re communicating with another human.
Ever wanted to quit your job and work for yourself, on projects of your choosing? International speaker, trainer, consultant and front end expert Sara Soueidan joins us to talk about the benefits and challenges of becoming a contractor. We’ll look at contracting advice born of her experiences that you can apply to your escape from the rat race or just to learn more about tech contracting.
Welcome to the Season 2 Finale and special holiday edition of Design Driven. Recording this show was a lot of fun, and you’ll hear why as you get into it.
This episode is great not just because it was recorded in person, but because of who the guests are and the special chemisty we all share.
It was recorded at a villa in the North Georgia mountains during Web Whisky Weekend. A getaway for people who love the web. This kind of conversation was happening the entire weekend, so we decided to capture some of it for you. If you like what you hear, you should consider joining us at the next event.
Details at webwhiskyweekend.com
My guests, Jonathan Snook, Jina Anne, and Greg Storey all have been designing things for the web, and leading the community towards better design for nearly two decades.
Jonathan Snook is well known for his work with CSS. He’s written several books, spoken at literally hundreds of conferences, and helped thousands and thousands of people through his blog posts and generous contributions to many projects. He’s worked at Yahoo, Shopify, Xero, and done private consulting for a lot of other companies you’ve heard of. And being from Canada he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
Jina Anne has been a prolific designer, blogger, and community leader for well over 15 years. She led the Sass project, runs a Design Systems conference called Clarity, and manages the Design System community on Slack. She’s worked at Apple, Salesforce, Github, Amazon, and several other leading tech companies. She’s a world traveller, whisky aficionado, and lover of sushi and robots.
Greg Storey created Airbag Industries, one of the very first websites I ever saw and thought, “wow, websites don’t have to look like crap”. He created a style that you just didn’t see back then, which inspired a lot of people to make their websites look great, too. If that isn’t enough, his writing has always been insightful, entertaining, and a bit provocative in the best possible way. He’s run small agencies like Airbag and Happy Cog, and worked for giants like IBM and USAA. He has a keen understanding of the business side of design, is always generous with his knowledge, and makes one of the best manhattans you’ll ever taste.
Progressive Web Apps with Tara Manicsic on the Hanselminutes Technology Podcast: Fresh Air for Developers
The Hanselminutes Podcast by Scott Hanselman.
Progressive Web Apps are experiences that combine the best of the web and the best of apps! Does your app work offline or in low-bandwidth situations? What are the best practices that you can add in to your existing websites that would progressively turn them into a PWA?
We were thrilled to have Jason Kottke join us on the podcast this week. Jason has been honored by Wired as one of the people who “have shaped the future we live in today,” was the designer of the long-lasting Gawker logo, helped create Buzzfeed, and is currently continuing to blog at the same site he’s been maintaining since 1998, Kottke.org.
Published Nov 30, 2017
Jonathan is the creator of the influential SMACSS methodology for writing scalable and modular C-S-S. He has worked his magic at Xero, Yahoo!, and Shopify, and has appeared on stage at conferences such as Generate, CSSConf, and the Smashing Conference. With 3 highly-acclaimed books, Jonathan has - a - knack for influencing devs around the world and earning the respect of the top people in the industry.
Time Stamped Show Notes
1:56 – Everything feels like an evolution of what came before. Jonathan loves the creativity and design of his work, rather than all the new things that will inevitably come out.
4:48 – Recognising when you’re not behaving ok is the beginning of how to create an environment where everyone can do the best work they can do.
6:04 – Jonathan loves Vim. He mentions that there are editors like Atom or Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code that bring a lot to the table, but Vim is his comfort zone. Likewise, when it comes to using Git, he is most comfortable with the command line.
7:20 – Jonathan likes the ease of use that tools like MAMP being, where running an installer will set up your environment, and there’s very little configuration after that.
8:02 – Procrastination or “busy work” gets in the way of getting work done. Blocking out social media using the Self Control app helps Jonathan to focus and get into a state of flow.
10:03 – Larry mentions that he uses a Chrome extension, Kill News Feed, that blocks his Facebook feed.
10:10 – Jonathan has started reading Deep Work by Cal Newport.
10:49 – Jonathan has written a blog post in which he describes his approach to learning.
First level: just take everything in
Second level: implement an idea that you’ve discovered during a project. If you don’t get the opportunity to try something out on a project, come up with your own project and test out your ideas
Last phase: teach people what you’ve learnt.
Check out the full post here
12:46 – To get to an implementation stage Jonathan will come up with his own projects that take a few hours that allow him to test out one idea and understand things better.
14:44 – Jonathan explains the importance of understanding the basics. Because of all the libraries and frameworks available, people tend to jump into things at a higher abstraction level. Because he learnt to code before those things existed, he was forced to learn the underlying concepts first. He believes he is a better developer for it.
15:05 – Jonathan contrasts his learning experience with devs who start with Rails and the built in ORM – he learned by writing SQL queries directly. Jonathan feels the need to understand datasets, joins, and the underlying concepts about how things are done.
16:09 – Having the underlying knowledge allows Jonathan to write better code
17:16 – Best advice about programming
Understand the basics.
17:29 – Habits for writing better code
Good sleep and proper rest help you write better code.
17:52 – BookScalable and Modular Architecture for CSSDesign Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software by The Gang of Four
18:52 – Inspiring devsChris Coyier. Not only is he a genuinely nice guy, but he also does a lot of great work and pumps out great content.
19:41 – How to learn code from scratch
Jonathan says that the best way for him to learn is to have a project. If he had to learn to program from scratch, he would pick up a project and start with the basics.
20:55 – How to work smart
Stay focused, whether it’s by blocking out social media or using time management tools like the Pomodoro technique.
Tools, Tips, and Books Mentioned
Visual Studio Code
Kill News Feed
Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software
My old friend Dan Cederholm joins the show. His work at Simplebits was profoundly influential in the early web, but he may be best known as the cofounder of Dribbble. We talk about this history of that community as well as what it’s like to build a reputation as a designer today.
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