☰ How to do anything

Justin Kan:

I’ve found that when faced with a set of seemingly insurmountable challenges, the first step towards making it easier is to break things down into as large a set of small individual tasks as possible.

Just in case you didn’t know about the :f1 magical :f2 powers of those little things called “lists”. They’re amazing.

☰ Interview With Dave Rupert

Most of going to college isn’t about the degree. It’s a lot about how to make relationships and teaching yourself to learn. You can learn those outside of college, but higher education creates fertile ground for those kinds of skills.

Dave Rupert in an interview on Martin Wolf’s The Amazing Web.

☰ Gradient maps

For those unfamiliar with Photoshop’s gradient map adjustment layers, here’s how they work: Imagine a photo in greyscale. Being greyscale, it can only contain black pixels, white pixels, or pixels that are shades of grey.
Now imagine that instead of being shades of grey from black to white, the lightest parts of the image are yellow, and the darkest parts are red, with a smooth blend of oranges in between. That’s a gradient map.

I used Photoshop everyday for seven years now and never bothered thinking about what “Gradient Maps” actually are. This article opened my eyes and there is a high possibility that I’m using them a lot in the future.

☰ Interfaces are Stories

Patrick Rogan:

I want to be at the edge of my seat. I want your plot twists to make me have to catch my breath. I want structure, originality, and I want purpose. I want to see color spectrums that I never knew existed. I don’t need happy endings, and maybe I don’t even need endings. I want to hear the beauty in the stories that my community is perpetuating. I want more once upon a times.

Patrick Rogan on interface design and how we shouldn’t try to catch up, but rather try to do something better, something new and something unexpected. It’s not exactly what he’s talking about but once again I got reminded of this beautiful and mind opening article by Paddy Donelly: Life, Below 600px.

☰ How Facebook designed a new News Feed using user feedback

Jane Justice Leibrock:

“My feed is cluttered.” That’s a piece of feedback the News Feed team has heard countless times. An obvious interpretation could be that people think the design of Feed is too busy and want it to be simplified, but stopping at literal interpretations is one of the easiest ways to end up with a product that fails to benefit the people whom it’s built for.

An in-depth look at what it takes to redesign Facebook’s news feed.

☰ UX Myths

UX Myths collects the most frequent user experience misconceptions and explains why they don’t hold true. And you don’t have to take our word for it, we’ll show you a lot of research findings and articles by design and usability gurus.

That will come in very handy at some point.

☰ Tomb Raider Review by Rock, Paper, Shotgun

John Walker:

With the game making every decision for you – and I feel the need to stress this again – even deciding when you run, walk or crawl, some will argue it all allows this rollercoaster ride to be as smooth as possible. It all allows you to be swept along by the experience, to be wowed by the epic scenery and breathtaking destruction. But me – I want to play.

When it let me, I had a really good time. When it didn’t, well, I sat back in my chair and wondered what I was doing here.

Gaming wednesday on UARRR.org. This is exactly what I figured the new Tomb Raider is going to be, and obviously I was right. I wished for something like Hitman Absolution. Just give me some cutscenes between large levels but stop harassing me while I try playing your game.