Category Archive for: identity

rfp-robotRFP ROBOT: Website Request for Proposal Generator

The time has come for a new website (or website redesign), which means you need to write a website request for proposal or web RFP. A Google search produces a few examples, but they vary wildly and don’t seem to speak really to your goals for developing or redesigning a new website. You need to write a website RFP that will clearly articulate your needs and generate responses from the best website designers and developers out there. But how?

Have no fear, RFP Robot is here. He will walk you through a step-by-step process to help you work through the details of your project and create a PDF formatted website design RFP that will provide the information vendors need to write an accurate bid. RFP Robot will tell you what info you should include, point out pitfalls, and give examples.

Thinking in Bets

About a month or so ago I wrote a post about Annie Duke and a podcast that I had listened to that had her as a guest; in short, it was so good that I immediately bought her new book, Thinking in Bets, and it really has changed my life, zero hyperbole. It’s been so good that I’ve told a dozen folks about it and the book ranks very high on my must-read list. It has not only changed the way that I think through decisions but it also has changed the very speech and psychological patterns that I’ve developed over many, many years. I don’t want to talk it up too much, but, I did want to capture a few things here on my blog that I want to be able to reference in the future – my blog often times functions as a repository of thoughts (both complete and mostly incomplete) but also…

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“Killing the URL”

It was Safari who first started hiding the complete URL. Here’s what CSS-Tricks looks like even when you’re on an article page by default in Safari: The full URL path is hidden. You can only fix it (YES, FIX IT) by checking “Show full website address” in settings. Preferences > Advanced We’ve already damaged the sanctity of URLs in a way with URL shorteners. Thankfully, those are used less and less with social networks, like Twitter, not counting the URL toward the total tweet character count anymore. Now, Lily Hay Newman reports Chrome sees problems as well: “People have a really hard time understanding URLs,” says Adrienne Porter Felt, Chrome’s engineering manager. “They’re hard to read, it’s hard to know which part of them is supposed to be trusted, and in general I don’t think URLs are working as a good way to convey site identity. So we want to…

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Are These Browsers Going to the Moon?

Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, and (unfortunately) Internet Explorer are the most popular browsers today, and they are great. They have awesome features, sweet add-ons, and most people never give them a second thought. This post is not about those browsers, it’s about the other browsers. Browsers that can help users stay anonymous and protect their identity. Browsers that can eliminate ads and support publishers and content creators through cryptocurrency micropayments. Browsers using new protocols that promise a truly decentralized internet. Browsers that double as cryptocurrency wallets and connect users to what the, perhaps too optimistic call “web 3.0.” Coming up are four browsers that may change the way we think about the internet. Brave Browser: The micropayments experiment The Brave Browser (for Desktop) has a bunch of cool features. Brave is a micropayments platform using their own ERC20 token (BATs), it is an ad blocker, and it allows users to…

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Bing Ads Integrates With LiveRamp to Improve Custom Audiences Targeting by @MattGSouthern

Bing Ads has integrated with LiveRamp, a provider of identity resolution services, to deliver “people-based search capabilities” in Custom Audiences.The post Bing Ads Integrates With LiveRamp to Improve Custom Audiences Targeting by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Source:

Forms, Auth and Serverless Functions on Gatsby and Netlify

Abstracting infrastructure is in our DNA. Roads, schools, water supply networks—you get the idea. Web development is no exception: serverless architectures are a beautiful expression of that phenomenon. Static sites, in particular, are turning into dynamic, rich experiences. Handling static forms, authentication, and backend functions on statically-generated sites is now a thing. Especially with the JAMstack pioneer platform that is Netlify. Recently, they announced support of AWS Lambda functions on front-end-centric sites and apps. I’ve been meaning to dive into their “backend” features since. Today, I’m doing just that, using a static Gatsby site, Netlify’s Forms, Identity, and Functions features. This tutorial will show you how to: Add static forms to your site Add user authentication for password-protected content Create an AWS Lambda function Ready to supercharge a static site with serverless features? Consider checking out Netlify’s React-powered static CMS after this post! And here’s a tutorial on a whole…

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Independent Thinking

I’ve been reminded, viscerally, in the past few weeks that independent thinking is in very, very short supply. As much as we’d like to think that others (and even ourselves) are mature enough to carry our own opinions without submitting ourselves to the whims of others… the mark is missed wildly in reality. My brother and I have been deep into fundraising for our new project and we have encountered many people who cannot seem to make an independent decision. These people are otherwise brilliant (as far as I can tell) but are still subject to the whims and will(s) of others. Which, of course, is sad. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though as it separates the wheat from the chaff and it allows us to partner with truly independent thinkers who see the opportunity plainly and without group-think bias. We’ve ended up saying “Yes” to those types of folks. On…

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Switching Careers: How to Learn Brand Strategy

The Catalyst Let’s say you’re at a great agency and you have a job that you enjoy. Let’s say one day at this agency an opportunity arises for you to help brainstorm with a project team—something you don’t normally get to do. Let’s also say that you get really, way too into it and realize that you might have found your calling. What do you do? Do you just switch jobs? Indeed, you do. It might not be that easy, but it is that simple. This is what happened when an interest I expressed off-hand during a lunch gathering came back to haunt me/throw my career into a tumble dryer. I was faced with the knowledge that I wanted to learn (and do) brand strategy, instead of shepherding in leads and new projects on our Business Development team as I had been. I needed to find a way to make…

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Offering more inclusive user demographic forms

© Open Demographics Initiative’s gender identification questions Last week, Nikki Stevens presented “Other, Please Specify” for TEDx at Arizona State University. In her TED Talk, Nikki shares the story behind the Open Demographics Initiative, which is developing a recommended set of questions that anyone can use to ask online community members about their demographics. Nikki demonstrates how a majority of demographic surveys require users to conform to restrictive identity fields, which can alienate minority or underrepresented groups. The Open Demographics Initiative wants to develop forms that are more inclusive, in addition to giving people more control over the data and information they chose to disclose. Inspired by Nikki’s presentation, I reached out to the engineering team at the Drupal Association to see if there are plans to implement the Open Demographics Initiative’s recommendations on I was happy to learn that they are collaborating with the Open Demographics team to…

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List Rendering and Vue’s v-for Directive

List rendering is one of the most commonly used practices in front-end web development. Dynamic list rendering is often used to present a series of similarly grouped information in a concise and friendly format to the user. In almost every web application we use, we can see lists of content in numerous areas of the app. In this article we’ll gather an understanding of Vue’s v-for directive in generating dynamic lists, as well as go through some examples of why the key attribute should be used when doing so. Since we’ll be explaining things thoroughly as we start to write code, this article assumes you’ll have no or very little knowledge with Vue (and/or other JavaScript frameworks). Case Study: Twitter We’re going to use Twitter as the case study for this article. When logged in and in the main index route of Twitter we’re presented with a view similar to…

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Facebook, Evil.

I wrote my family an email late last night that I wanted to share here. For starters, I try my very best to tread very, very lightly when it comes to prescribing any technological behavior or perspective… mostly because it’s just not worth an argument and I believe that everyone has to come to terms with their own use of things like social media (just as I did myself). But, when something as obviously evil as Facebook comes around and with daily reports on their abuse of power and flippant attitude toward safety and privacy… I really feel like I had to say something. And with recent news of their entire network being compromised (> 2 billion accounts!!!) I felt like I had no choice. Here’s what I shared via email: Facebook is the largest surveillance company on the planet… the thing is that you gave them permission to harvest your…

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Static File Hosting Doesn’t Have To Be So… Static

A huge high-five and welcome to Netlify for the sponsorship this week. If you haven’t heard of Netlify, the big thing you should know is that it’s web hosting, but more than that. It’s web hosting with the developer workflow squarely at heart. You can spin up a site on Netlify in literally seconds. One way is through their robust CLI. Another way, that I find very comfortable (and just did the other day), is to log into the Netlify web interface, create a new site, and connect a Git repo to it. Plus I can give it a command that will run my site’s build process when I push to master. Now anything I push up goes live on my website, which is HTTPS and on a CDN. Uh, wow. Of course, I can also point a custom domain name at Netlify and now we’re cooking with gas. The…

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Experience Express in Austin: Decentralizing the Web at SXSW Interactive

With its flurry of sessions, events, concerts, and exhibitors, it’s a wonder anyone gets any sleep at SXSW, the giant gathering of minds, auteurs, and performers in the capital of Texas. Here in Austin, there’s always a sense that everyone is on the verge of the next big discovery, whether that’s the hottest new cryptocurrency or the finest taco purveyor. During my second year attending SXSW Interactive, I managed to catch a few fascinating sessions that consistently dwelled on the liminal areas of virtual and augmented reality, blockchain technology, and the decentralized web. This year, with the majority of attendees eager for never-before-seen insights, panelists and presenters did not disappoint. The Experience Express made a stop here in Austin for a few days to showcase a few of the sessions that came on Pi Day and to highlight one hot topic — the decentralized web. In this column, we’re in…

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People Writing About Style Guides

Are you thinking about style guides lately? It seems to me it couldn’t be a hotter topic these days. I’m delighted to see it, as someone who was trying to think and build this way when the prevailing wisdom was nice thought, but these never work. I suspect it’s threefold why style guides and design systems have taken off: Component-based front-end architectures becoming very popular Styling philosophies that scope styles becoming very popular A shift in community attitude that style guides work That last one feels akin to cryptocurrency to me. If everyone believes in the value, it works. If people stop believing in the value, it dies. Anyway, in my typical Coffee-and-RSS mornings, I’ve come across quite a few recently written articles on style guides, so I figured I’d round them up for your enjoyment. How to Build a Design System with a Small Team by Naema Baskanderi: As…

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The Real, Inmost Story

Too much to like in this: The Building Blocks of Personhood: Oliver Sacks on Narrative as the Pillar of Identity In particular, this: We have, each of us, a life-story, an inner narrative — whose continuity, whose sense, is our lives. It might be said that each of us constructs and lives, a “narrative,” and that this narrative is us, our identities. If we wish to know about a man, we ask “what is his story — his real, inmost story?” A good question to ask ourselves and one another. The post The Real, Inmost Story appeared first on John Saddington. Source:

The Basecamp 3 refresh is here!

Last month, we shared a sneak peek at some major design improvements we’ve been cooking up for Basecamp 3. Today’s the day — you’ll see those changes in your Basecamp account right now!There are countless little tweaks and improvements throughout the entire app, but here’s quick recap of the most important new stuff.High-level ChangesThe examples we showed in the preview still stand: improved navigation, colors, and typography, better use of space on desktop screens, and more consistent placement for buttons, headers, and menus. These changes apply everywhere.A few examples: Message Board, To-dos, and Docs & FilesNew Comments DesignComments got a big upgrade. We wanted to give comments their own identity and charm, while reducing the metadata noise that had built up around the actual writing. They’re friendly and easier to read, too.Comments get a big bold header, simple shapes, and an all-around cleanup.New Options MenusThere’s a slick new design for the ••• options menus that appear on every…

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Using SVG to Create a Duotone Effect on Images

Anything is possible with SVG, right?! After a year of collaborating with some great designers and experimenting to achieve some pretty cool visual effects, it is beginning to feel like it is. A quick search of “SVG” on CodePen will attest to this. From lettering, shapes, sprites, animations, and image manipulation, everything is better with the aid of SVG. So when a new visual trend hit the web last year, it was no surprise that SVG came to the rescue to allow us to implement it. The spark of a trend Creatives everywhere welcomed the 2016 new year with the spark of a colorizing technique popularized by Spotify’s 2015 Year in Music website (here is last year’s) which introduced bold, duotone images to their brand identity. The Spotify 2015 Year in Music site demonstrates the duotone image technique. This technique is a halftone reproduction of an image by superimposing one…

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A Very Long Break

This post was originally written on August 15, 2014. What’s most unusual is that I didn’t publish it as I typically publish everything that I pen here on this personal blog (and then I promptly forget that I wrote it). For whatever reason, I just felt like I couldn’t and I’m not entirely sure why as I was very comfortable with the idea of taking a very long break from building software. Of course, I was terribly wrong and I haven’t stopped writing software since. In fact, I’m doing more of it than I ever thought I would be doing at this point in my career. I guess I’m just not done… yet. That’s fine. But, I wanted to publish it anyways and I’m going to publish it without a single edit, so, remember… this was more than 3 years ago… Here you go: There’s nothing more scary than making a public…

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Move Slowly and Fix Things

Synoptic Table of Physiognomic TraitsRuminations on the heavy weight of software design in the 21st century.Recently I took a monthlong sabbatical from my job as a designer at Basecamp. (Basecamp is an incredible company that gives us a paid month off every 3 years.)When you take 30 days away from work, you have a lot of time and headspace that’s normally used up. Inevitably you start to reflect on your life.And so, I pondered what the hell I’m doing with mine. What does it mean to be a software designer in 2018, compared to when I first began my weird career in the early 2000s?The answer is weighing on me.As software continues to invade our lives in surreptitious ways, the social and ethical implications are increasingly significant.Our work is HEAVY and it’s getting heavier all the time. I think a lot of designers haven’t deeply considered this, and they don’t appreciate the real-life effects of…

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