Notes from Putting the Web Together in your Mind

Here are some great notes from Bill Bergmann’s class on modern Web technologies. Really useful pointers! Thanks Bill!

THE MOST USEFUL RESOURCES

The Art of the Start Guy Kawasaki

If you read or watch one thing — watch this

Don’t Make Me Think – Steve Krug 

Huge selling book on usability testing with cheap methods to determine if your usability is what you think it is.

Letting Go of the Words  – Janice (Ginny) Redish

For me this book stands for one important principle — your users are not interested in your novel. They are “satisficing,” getting quick, good-enough answers for what they are trying to do.

Widening your JavaScript Application – Alex McPherson

A talk about what you might be trying to do with your web pages and what javascript methods you might use. I disagree with javascript as the ultimate solution, but I strongly agree with the overall view of what we are asking our web pages to do.

OTHER RESOURCES


BUSINESS

Crossing the Chasm –  Geoffrey A. Moore

A marketing book on how your product relates to the technology adoption cycle. Every product’s market tends to proceed from a small number of sophisticated early adopters to eventual commodity status on main street. The big money lies between those two markets.

Positioning, Marketing Warfare – Al Ries and other

Your product has a position in your customers mind. (Your web app is not facebook.) Understanding what position you have and the leverage you can exert will help you greatly.

Grouped – Paul Adams

presentation UXWeek 2011 Paul Adams

The theory behind social marketing — a strong counter point to the Al Ries books

The E-Myth – Michael E Gerber

Speaking of leverage — if you don’t find a point of making money by what you do without having to work by using some kind of leverage, you will burn out. Don’t burn out. Find some leverage.

Business Model Generation – Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur et al.

A smash hit among the MBA — provides a general template that covers the bases of planning a business.

Unfolding the Napkin – Dan Roam

No matter what you are trying to do, it will come down to who, what, when, where and how. Dan Roams books teach you a visual method for revealing the 4ws and h in a presentation, or to yourself.

DESIGN

The Non-designers Design Book – Robin Williams

Great training wheels for organizing your web pages.

White Space is Not Your Enemy – Kim Golombisky and Rebecca Hagen

A college-level survey of graphics design, deeply and broadly detailed.

CSS and RESPONSIVE DESIGN

Web Form Design Luke Wroblewski

Luke W designed the forms for ebay, and is a prolific designer and speaker. Learn how to avoid stupid form mistakes from him. You can find many other useful things by goggling his name.

Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook Dan Cedarholm

This book is outdated, but extremely useful for learning the most efficient way to create web pages — by hand. I take that back — template are the most efficient way to create web pages, but knowing how to make one by hand will help terrifically in being able to make many pages.

css.maxdesign.com.au/listutorial/

An exceptionally useful tutorial on making all sorts of lists in web pages.

http://www.getskeleton.com/
http://getbootstrap.com/
http://foundation.zurb.com/

The big three in responsive design — don’t even doubt that you have to use responsive design.

webdesign.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-a-responsive-layout-with-skeleton-starting-out–webdesign-6318
designshack.net/articles/css/build-a-responsive-mobile-friendly-web-page-with-skeleton/

Two good tutorials on my favorite: skeleton.

JAVASCRIPT AND JQUERY

A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript – Mark Myers

An excellent introduction to javascript. Worth reading and doing if you are not already an expert.

jQuery Compressed – Jakob Jenkov

A well written primer on using jQuery. You need to learn css to be able to use jquery well. There are other javascript libraries — use jquery.

Learning JQuery – Jonathan Chaffer

Another well-written but much more thorough primer on jquery.

todomvc.com

An intimidating and complex comparison of the different one-page javascript frameworks, but a singularly useful place to see all the latest javascript frameworks compared.

GENERAL WEB REFERENCE

www.w3schools.com/

A general purpose site for looking up that stupid html, css, javascript, sql thing that you forgot.

caniuse.com

Want to use some new html5 feature like canvas? See if your market is using it here. Compatibility tables for support of HTML5, CSS3, SVG and more in desktop and mobile browsers.

www.quirksmode.org/

Detailed discussions of the million details involved in creating a web page.

 

iOS from 0-60mph

 A rare treat! On April 4th, Andrew Stone will be building a simple
iPhone App while you watch. It’ll be a great opportunity to see how
XCode works at simple level. Here’s Andrew’s post about the up and coming event.

In the first half of the class, I’m going to demo a “Building your first app”, maybe a calculator, and do it using XCODE. The goal is to use the visual IDE as much as possible and spark an audience into getting the idea that they too could build an app.

In the second half of the class, John Mierzwa, founder of http://deepdivecoders.com is going to present an update on all the tech stuff happening in EDO and Downtown and some of his ideas on how to make this happen in a collaborative way.

 

Digging into Objective C

Andrew’s presentations are always interesting, but this morning we got a rare treat. We got a deep dive under the surface of Objective C  into the heart of the actual C methods and how to find functionality in classes and frameworks. If you missed the presentation you can pick up a PDF version of his slides, or watch the Keynote slides. You missed lots of looking at actual code and great conversation, but this should give you some things to look into.

 

What happens on Fridays at I&C?

Last Friday, at the iOS developers workshop, we started discussions with looking at a Geiger counter that Andrew had built from a kit. Several groups clustered around iPhones or iPads looking at new apps that are being developed.

Our topic of discussion was the recently open sourced iPhone app called  Brushes, a rich set of drawing tools. One of the really interesting things about looking at this large iPhone application was watching experienced developers dig into it to figure out how it worked. I hadn’t really thought about  the power of the MVC framework that one uses to build iPhone apps, but part of the beauty lies in the separation of presentation, user interaction, and actual application work. The model contains the meat, and starting there one can get to an understanding much more quickly then if the user interaction and layout were embedded in that process.  I was also struck by the generosity of the Open Source community in releasing projects that have taken hundreds of man hours to build.

We capped the meeting with a short puzzle of how the Interface Builder and programmatic style settings can interact badly. Steven shared the process of beating his head against a font change that just wouldn’t happen, and also gave us a glimpse of a beautiful new app he’s working on.

The evolution of a quiet conversation

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 3.20.58 PMIn November I didn’t know anything about Expand Your Horizons, an organization whose mission statement is “Inspiring girls to recognize their potential and pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)”. At the end of January a group of us spent a delightful Saturday morning teaching girls about Scratch, a visual programming language developed by MIT to be a gateway to learning programming. What happened in between is the magic that happens in coworking spaces. Quiet conversations between people who are involved in activities  as diverse as building video courses to teach website design to engineering devices to make life more accessible for the handicapped. Conversations about helping out with a project to give girls exposure to science, technology and more choices in careers. I would never have volunteered on my own, but with a team of three other dynamic women it was a no brainer to do this, and watching bright young minds figure things out was so inspiring. So, thanks coworking! 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 3.21.10 PMYou can read about the conference in the Albuquerque Journal: http://www.abqjournal.com/347367/news/girls-get-exposed-to-science.html Our class was the Game Design Workshop.