Inventing the favicon

Inventing Favicon.ico:

Bharat said, “this is good, right? Check it in?” And I said, “yeah, sure, how does it work?” […]

So there you go, the story of the invention of favicon.ico.

The story of a small and useful feature that was almost cancelled for no good reason.

Sketch 2.3

The biggest new yesterday was not that Microsoft bought Nokia. In fact, it was written on the wall for more than 2 years. And others have blogged better things than I could.

No, it was the release of Sketch 2.3.

There's a lot of things that I like in this new version:

  • Speed. It is incomparable.
  • PDF import. I was looking for that for a long time.
  • Sketch Mirror.

The only downside of this release is when I work with text. It doesn't feel smooth.

Such an awesome piece of software.

Nintendo 2DS

Great article (as usual) by Lukas Mathis:

But the 2DS just isn’t made for people like me. That doesn’t mean it’s going to fail. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad product. It just means it’s not for me.

And this, finally, brings all of this back to the topic of design. If you want to design a successful product, don’t design a product that’s only good for people like you, because most people aren’t like you.

Do not miss the footnotes either.

The gif “video format”

HTML video still can't beat GIF:

Animated GIF, despite having awful compression and terrible quality, is still more useful on the web than any other video format.

In 2013 people still routinely convert YouTube clips to GIF (producing postage-stamp-sized dithered-to-death desaturated blobs that use more bandwidth than a full HD video), because there's still no better way to share a short movie clip on the web.

Sad. Read the whole thing.

Quote — Modern journalism

This tweet could not better describe my feeling:

Quote — Trent Reznor

I'm not saying offering things for free or pay-what-you-can is wrong. I'm saying my personal feeling is that my album's not a dime. It's not a buck. I made it as well as I could, and it costs 10 bucks, or go fuck yourself.

Trent Reznor

(via ParisLemon)

Amazon's new product page

Interesting article on Bokardo about the amazon's "new" product page:

If Amazon were to make a big change, like for example do some actual visual design so everything didn’t have the same visual weight, the mere shock of the change would probably send their revenue downward, at least initially. People dislike change because change is work. They have to figure out what changed, adapt to it, relearn the UI, and still try to get their job done (they one they used to know how to do). So the next time you hear “People hate change” think to yourself “People don’t hate change. They hate the work of change”.

(emphasis mine)

iOS 7 user tracking

iOS Dev Weekly, issue 108:

If your solution to having uniqueIdentifier deprecated was to use the MAC address of the device in some way then you're going to have a bad time in iOS 7.

[…]

The message here is very clear, Apple are not afraid to remove any API that makes tracking users across apps by different vendors possible.

Apple:

If your apps use the MAC address to identify an iOS device, the system will return the same static value for all devices running iOS 7.

It is a bad week for advertisers (see: Google Play new policies).

Google Play new policies

Google’s New Policies: Good for Users, Great for Android Developers and the Ecosystem:

So what does all this mean? It means that Google understands that while open is great, at the end of the day, users would rather have a superior experience both in terms of Google Play as a whole, and apps behavior in particular.

I am really thrilled by the changes, but I can't help smiling. Android might be "open", Google is definitely not.

This makes me wonder…

  • Android was the alternative to iOS because of the lack of policies (at least, by the developers). Google Play is now a lot more similar to the App Store. It is not as strict though.
  • Will Google remove the abusive apps retroactively?
  • China? Google was already out, but this will make the situation worse.

Anyways, the chasm between Play (Google's Android) and Android is getting wider every day.

Update: I couldn't agree more with John Moltz...

I think it’s kind of amusing how quickly the narrative has changed from “Yay, open!” to “I, for one, welcome our closed overlords.”

Team of One

There's no "I/O" in "Team":

When you're a team of one, your I/O bandwidth is almost infinite. It's all in your brain, so you don't have to explain anything, write anything down, have meetings, draw on whiteboards, etc. Your available time to work collapses down to solving specific business problems with every line of code or web page update. Imagine a case where you never have to compromise, argue, make brain dead concessions or spend resources on proving your position. Assuming you are right, and have a good head for business, marketing and writing half-way decent code, you can solve a small problem very efficiently.

Hard but hyper-efficient.

We work a bit like that at Pixelnest. Damien and me have a slightly different skill set, thus we can split the work almost equally. The advantage is that we can discuss together to avoid finishing in a dead end.

Lego Architects

Wired:

Architecture Studio, a new set from Lego, comes with 1,210 white and translucent bricks. More notable is what it lacks: namely, instructions for any single thing you’re supposed to build with it. Instead, the kit is accompanied by a thick, 277-page guidebook filled with architectural concepts and building techniques alongside real world insights from prominent architecture studios from around the globe.

It's a wonderful idea.

(via @molleindustria)

Little tweaks

I just made some modifications to the blog. A bigger font, a whiter background and un-italicized quotations. I also reduced the size of the page by 300px. I've always felt that the page was way too large.

I think that these little tweaks will make the reading experience more enjoyable.

The Lineup of 5

Apple is rumored to announce not one but two new iPhones on september 10. One of them will be the new premium iPhone (5S). The other will be the "cheap" one (5C).1

It will be a big change in the current manufacturing strategy of Apple. Nowadays, there is three iPhones available: the flagship — the iPhone 5 —, and the older and (slightly) cheaper iPhone 4S and 4.

By releasing the 5C, Apple can get rid of the iPhone 4 and 4S once and for all. It means that there will be only the iPhone 5C, the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5S. Doing that was probably not possible for Apple before, without compromising the quality of the cheapest model and at the scale at which Apple operates.

We can infer (if the rumors are true) that Apple has now the production lines to release two new iPhones at the same time.

This has a big impact: In the fall, all the iPhones sold are going to be capable of using every features of the last OS. It's huge. For example, iOS 7 AirDrop only works on one current model: the iPhone 5.2

  • It can put the iPhone way ahead of its competitors that struggle with OSes versions and hardware disparities.

  • It will also unify the lineup around the new lightning connector and the 4 inches screen.

  • It implies that the hardware and the software are going to evolve at the same pace.

The story is the same with the iPads. I am almost certain that the iPad 2 will disappear this year, leaving only the new Mini and classic iPads available.

The next year eventual iPhone five inches will fit perfectly in this new strategy: selling only renewed devices with state of the art hardware and software.

Update: Related, "It’s the Production Line, Stupid".

Update 09/12/2013: Guess I was wrong. The new lineup is made of an iPhone 5C, 5S and the old 4S.


  1. Cheap does not necessarily mean low quality

  2. I take AirDrop as an example because I think that this technology is going to be a decisive advantage for Apple. The fact that it is currently not available on every model is a pain. Hopefully, the new lineup will mitigate the problem a lot. 

iOS 7

Rene Ritchie:

When a company like Apple goes to all the trouble of building a physics and particle engine to support their interface, when they objectify it and gamify it and make it a dynamic, living thing, it opens up a lot of potential. When you add Text Kit to mix, and the design language in general, and when you see what it all looks and feels like on an iPad mini, then the possibilities for a bigger iPhone next year become infinitely more exciting.

Good recap of the real changes brought by iOS 7.

(emphasis mine)

App Store

Truth:

Animations, interactions, transitions

Transitional Interfaces:

It seems crazy to me that more people don’t think about interfaces with respect to the dimension of time. Motion can provide so much information! Maybe the tools to create prototypes are too complicated for most designers?

This is something I always speak about: an interface without motion is nothing. There is no context, no link between different objects.

Windows Phone did a great job to this regard. For example, if you tap a tile on the homescreen, the rest of them move outside the screen before the one you pushed. The system has clearly been created around that, to respond to inputs and act on them.

Motion is clearly a thing that designers tend to forget. Even if an interface is beautiful, it will look dull if nothing reacts to you. The "flat" design movement will exacerbate this. iOS 7 has made depth and context keys citizens of its new UX paradigm.

Tools to simplify this process are now crucial.