Friday, October 30, 2009
My response to this post on a friend/colleague's blog got really long-winded, so I'm using it as an opportunity to actually create content on my own site! Yay!
Now go read that article first. I'll wait.
Yes. And I'd like to add that the designer/developer relationship shouldn't be without friction. Without friction, there is no change; there is no innovation. But with too much friction, there is no progress.
Developers these days, particularly UI developers, cannot be the code-monkeys of yesterday who were generally happy building mind-boggling algorithms only to have the results dumped as a stream of ultimately meaningful, but cryptic numbers and letters. These are the devs who need requirements so granular that they actually read like source code, and who more or less disengage when presented with a visual comp.
Today's developer works with UI frameworks that make strong considerations for design, usability, and accessibility. And through better understanding of these frameworks, many developers have grown to understand and empathize with user needs. (These are the ones you need to watch for and hire before someone else does!) These developers understand that requirements and visual comps can only go so far and that communication with designers is crucial.
Likewise, software UX and UI design as a discipline has matured greatly since the days of flinging visual comps at the wall and seeing what sticks. Successful designers and developers will have passionate conversations that consider requirements, user experience, technology, timeline, budget, and where to go for lunch. There will be frustration and compromise, but it should be in the best interest of the user; not the designer; not the developer.
Luckily, I work in an environment that encourages such relationships and pretty much frowns on using our "designer" and "developer" titles for anything but distinguishing our roles in the eyes of the client.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Neato. I like how the portable ID has evolved over the years. The addition of trophies have made it more meaningful for sure... Now what do I do with it? (i.e., It's too wide to fit in the bar to the right.)
Monday, October 19, 2009
Gawd, I'm sick of people complaining about overpriced (i.e., "not free") iPhone apps. They just don't appreciate that quality software takes a huge investment of time and money to design, build, and test. They'll even sit there and write a glowing review and then blast the $.99 price tag. Insane. I, on the other hand, have been very impressed with the overall bang-to-buck ratio of most of the apps I've purchased. I even find it difficult to complain about the occasional steaming pile of an app that I paid a dollar for. Seriously. What should we expect for one dollar these days? Walk into a convenience store with a buck and ask yourself that question again.
These people have probably spent more on a single console game than they have on their entire collection of iPhone apps. They need to get some perspective! Complain about features, write meaningful reviews, then the rest of us can make an informed determination about whether the app is worth the money. Whining about the price just makes them sound like a bunch of cheapskates who wish the App Store would just get hacked already.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I had Win7 installed on my work laptop earlier this week. While I have Vista Ultimate on my HTPC, I can't really draw comparisons between these two OS's since these machines are used in very different ways. However, here are some of my favorite improvements over XP (thus far):
- Taskbar redesign is simple and intuitive, yet rich in features.
- Same goes for the system tray.
- Connecting to my home network used to take seconds, now it takes milliseconds. I hate playing the "refresh" game in my browser, waiting to connect to the Internet.
- Detecting USB devices is now fast and consistent whereas it used to be very hit or miss. By "hit," I mean "slow;" by "miss," I mean "required a reboot."
- The exact same thing goes for external display detection.
- Gesture-based and smart Window management features such as docking and ghosting.
- Aero glass, but snappy and just as responsive as the old opaque XP chrome.
- It's about time Windows shipped with an attractive set of themes, sounds, and wallpapers!
- And best of all, I get all this without switching to a Mac OS!