If a good employee asks to try remote work, or any choice about work habits they believe will help them perform well, why wouldn’t a manager let them do it on a trial basis? There’s very little risk. If it turns out to be disruptive to the team, or their performance is poor, that’s one thing as there would be an actual problem. But why not allow the employee to try? Allowing employees to try encourages them to look for better ways to work, an asset to any organization. Policies that are outright bans of anything rarely make sense as they prevents employees and managers from experimenting and evaluating actual results. Bans end thinking as people stop thinking for themselves and simply carry out a policy, the birth of bureaucracy.
There’s no doubt about it: trying to apply responsive design to large-scale existing desktop-centric sites is really, really hard. The message I keep repeating in my workshops is that you can’t expect to just sprinkle on some magic media-query fairydust—it just doesn’t work that way. Instead, you’ve got to figure out a way to reframe all your challenges into a mobile-first way of thinking.
Instead of asking “How can I make these patterns (mega-menus, lightboxes, complex data tables) work when the screen size shrinks?”, you need to ask “What’s the problem they’re supposed to be solving, and how would I design a solution for the small screen to start with?” Once you’ve done that, then it becomes a matter of scaling up to the large screen …which is actually a much simpler problem space.
“Just as much as our job is to build something genuinely useful, something which really does make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive, our job is also to understand what people think they want and then translate the value of Slack into their terms.”—
I post this because, frankly, it is an exceptional piece of writing about product making, covering the gamut from core functionality to marketing and positioning and the larger, philosophical motivations behind trying to make something excellent.
I have no counterpoints; I agree with this entire piece. I recommend you read it, too.
I watched the men’s downhill races yesterday. Matthias Mayer won the race. But as I watched the individual runs it was not at all clear that he would be expected to do so. The reason for this was in how the local (United States) network showed the split times as each racer moved down the course. My question then is there an alternative way to present the race that would give the viewing audience a better perspective on how their favorite racer is doing as he progresses through the course?
“Narcissism is a developmental stage, not a symptom of the times. Young adults have been condemned as the “Me Generation” since at least the turn of last century. Then they get older, get appalled by youngsters nowadays, and start the condemning themselves.”—
It may not take $200 million, as it did to create a cable network, or $50 million as a national magazine might require, but creating a digital media company takes years. (And $25 million, give or take.)
With the price for web advertising dropping by the second and new competitors coming out of the screen at a very high rate, it would seem like a terrible time to jump in. But what we are witnessing now is not the formation of a bubble, it is the emergence of a lasting commercial market, a game that has winners and losers, yet is hardly zero sum.
A look at whether the motivation of leakers matters, Israel’s push to ban the word “Nazi,” and new frontiers in child porn law.
This is an excellent episode across a wide range of issues. On The Media’s team dig into the recent Grantland essay and controversy about their overly invasive and uneven treatment of a transgender woman who committed suicide amid the reporting about a golf putter she claimed to have developed. And two pieces about the internet and courts—one about the defense of free-speech rights for the odious blogger Crystal Cox and a second about legal restitution arguments for victims of internet-shared child pornography—are really interesting ongoing legal questions.
I’ve followed the Crystal Cox story for a few years now, as well as the multifaceted angles around Snowden since that story broke. But the child-porn story is new to me and really challenging to consider on a number of levels.
The browser is not an HTML renderer[…], it’s the world’s most ubiquitous, yet capable, runtime. With the amazing capabilities of the modern web platform, it’s to the point where referring to a browser as a document viewer is a insult to the engineers who built it.
And a bit later:
We’ve spent years teaching users that things they use in their web browser simply do not work offline. Users understand (at least at on some unconscious level) that the browser is the native app that gets sites/documents from the Internet. From a user experience standpoint, trying to teach the average user anything different is attempting to roll a quarry full of rocks up a hill.
This is where it starts to become apparent that failing to draw a distinction between a fully client “apps” and a website really starts to become a disservice to all these new capabilities of the web platform. It doesn’t matter how good the web stack becomes, it will never compete with native apps in the “native” space while it stays stuck in the browser.
“[Programmers] like to think we spend most of our time power typing. “Yeah, I’m being productive, I’m writing programs!” But we don’t. We spend most of our time looking into the abyss, saying “My God, what have I done? How am I ever going to make this work?” Once we figure it out, we forget that we did all of that … A normal person, once they’ve looked into the abyss, would say I’m done, this is stupid, I’m going to go do something else. But not us, because there’s something really wrong with us.”—Douglas Crockford (via tracyhinds)
The reality of a remote workplace is that the connections are largely artificial constructs. People can be very, very isolated. A person’s default behavior when they go into a funk is to avoid seeking out interactions, which is effectively the same as actively withdrawing in a remote work environment. It takes a tremendous effort to get on video chats, use our text based communication tools, or even call someone during a dark time.
Torkington/Radar: “Very good to see this addressed in a post about remote work.”
“It would be overly optimistic to think women or any other demographic are the only targets of condescension among developers (reading comments anywhere on Hacker News will back that up), but it’s obviously pretty useless and nasty behavior, especially among colleagues. So I wanted my first thought of the year to be a small, simple idea: Treat your colleagues as though they know everything you do. Wait for them to ask questions if they have them, and if they do, don’t punish them by reverting to a position of condescension. Don’t be the reason someone dreads coming to work, or the reason someone leaves.”—Garann Means for The Pastry Box Project
“The redesign of a major website is an event akin to a new skyscraper going up on the Internet. Something painstakingly designed by a small team of professionals is subjected to the most democratic form of scrutiny: Anyone with eyes can see what’s wrong with the thing. But a Web design sparks debate at a level that a new, controversial building never does. Proposals and criticisms are charged with the urgency of the idea that they could actually be implemented. Web design is less permanent and more responsive than architecture or even print design. From the user’s point of view, a redesign seems like someone flipped a switch, and now a beloved website looks like unreadable trash. It shouldn’t be that hard, then, to flip another switch and fix it.”—New York Times website redesign, reviewed.