State of the Word 2016

Some highlights-of-highlights, based on Brian Krogsgard's post:

  • BuddyPress and bbPress will get new support and engagement over the next year.
  • WordPress 4.6 was available in 50 languages the day it was released.
  • the REST API [endpoints] get included in WordPress 4.7.
  • WordPress.com is now fully on PHP7. WordPress.org will now recommend PHP7 by default.
  • There is some concern about design. "If WordPress doesn’t make changes to the interface and otherwise, [Matt Mullenweg would] expect WordPress marketshare to begin to decline by 2018." and "In the coming releases, he, 'wants to see design leading the way.'"

Web Animation Essentials: CSS Animations and Transitions

A brand new course by Rachel Nabors. There is a lot here: learning the code and learning the tools to help work with the code and make sure you're doing a good job. A couple favorite aspects of the course:

  • Captioned videos you can understand without audio.
  • Convenient CodePen exercises–no code to set up.

;)

Radios and Checkboxes on GOV.UK

An interesting journey of form UX, documented by Tim Paul. It started with browser defaults. It's unclear why that wasn't working. But interestingly, an alteration that included giant label-based click areas in color-offset boxes didn't help. What actually helped was bigger (and custom) radios and checkboxes.

So far they’ve tested really well. In research, people of all confidence levels are clicking these controls quickly and easily.

I used to think the size of SurveyMonkey radios was awkwardly large. Now I think it's probably a smart move.

$1,076,940

High five to Dave Gandy and the Font Awesome team:

The Font Awesome 5 Kickstarter raised $1,076,940 with 35,549 backers, making it the most funded and most backed software Kickstarter of all time.

What's do the funders get? 1,000 more icons, icon font ligatures (a uniquely cool thing fonts can do, like turn "right arrow" into ➡, which can be an accessibility win), and, drum roll please, an SVG framework that will be open sourced.

Loops in CSS Preprocessors

If you've ever watched old sci-fi flicks, you know how powerful loops can be. Feed your robot nemesis an infinite loop, and kaboom. Robo dust.

Preprocessor loops will not cause dramatic explosions in space (I hope), but they are useful for writing DRY CSS. While everyone is talking about pattern libraries and modular design, most of the focus has been on CSS selectors. No matter what acronym drives your selectors (BEM, OOCSS, SMACSS, ETC), loops can help keep your patterns more readable and maintainable, baking them directly into your code.

We'll take a look at what loops can do, and how to use them in the major CSS preprocessors: Sass, Less, and Stylus. Each language provides a unique syntax, but they all get the job done. There's more than one way to loop a cat.

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We Asked 8,500 Internet Commenters Why They Do What They Do

Read Christie Aschwanden's first paragraph. If you've written anything that elicits comments, I'm sure you can relate.

There is plenty of data here to digest, and also further speculation:

I had a hypothesis: Maybe this commenting-without-reading phenomenon represents a variation of the backfire effect, in which a person who receives evidence that their belief is erroneous actually becomes more strongly convinced of the viewpoint they already held. In this case, the reader sees a headline that catches their interest and reminds them of something that they already know, which triggers them to think about their pre-existing knowledge or belief about the subject and then to blast it out to the world. The article they’re reading doesn’t inform them, it just provides an opportunity for them to reinforce (and broadcast) what they already know.

We’re All Frauds

Gina Trapani:

On a daily basis I’m struck by the fact that no number of degrees—or titles, or companies, or years experience, or apps shipped, or books published, or Twitter followers—matter when you’re facing down a situation that’s completely new. You think it through, you consult your trusted advisors, you do your best, and maybe you write down what you learned. That’s just about all you can do. Because you don’t know what you’re doing, and neither does anyone else.

The thing I find funny about Imposter Syndrome is that the symptom is you feeling inadequate, but knowing about the syndrome is a relief.

Input Masking

I don't have any UX research to cite, but anecdotally, I like it when inputs that expect data in a specific format use an input mask. I thought I'd just line up a few demos for really easy reference.

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