Non Breaking Space Show № 80: Simon St. Laurent — Top 6 Tech News Countdown

Simon St. Laurent on Non Breaking Space Show

<a href="http://goodstuff oxycontin″>Today’s Non Breaking Space Show guest is Simon St. Laurent from O’Reilly Media. Simon joins us for a look at the past week as get caught up on technology news, web building resources, and social commentary. Making our countdown list for what we found interesting in the world this week: Google I/O fallout, Instagram logo redesign, making CSS great again, saving your life with typography, WordPress is a teenager, and conference advice!

Topics discussed with Simon St. Laurent:

  • 0:38 → Sponsors: CSS Summit, Lyft, CSS Dev Conf, Feed.Press
  • 5:00 → Topical Issues / Things of Interest
  • 5:20#6 Google IO excitement and fallout
  • 5:50 → Progressive web apps not showing URLs
  • 6:12 → Use the platform “thing”.
  • 7:00 → Google is not united
  • 8:30 → Service worker discussion
  • 10:20 → App happiness
  • 13:00 → Virtual Reality discussion
  • 17:50 → Augmented Reality discussion
  • 19:00 → Apple Watch discussion
  • 19:50 → Discussion on the Learning Virtual Reality
  • 21:30#5 Instagram Logo Redesign
  • 23:25 → Design trends / gradients
  • 25:40#4 Getting back to CSS
  • 27:40 → Fluid typography discussion
  • 30:00 → Responsive typography discussion
  • 30:40 → Line length and hyphenation discussion
  • 32:52#3 How Typography Can Save Your Life
  • 33:22 → National Weather Service used to broadcast their winter warning in all caps discussion.
  • 35:01 → Typeface testing discussion
  • 37:20 → SVG discussion
  • 39:05 → Gradient discussion revisited
  • 40:10 → Apple discussion
  • 46:00#2 WordPress Discussion
  • 48:40 → Content management discussion
  • 53:19 → CSS discussion revisited
  • 53:56#1 Dan Rose Discussion
  • 57:30 → Conferences discussion
  • 1:01:25 → Pros and cons for designers currently
  • 1:02:53 → Looking forward to…

Non Break­ing Space Show is still free of charge to Google Wave users along with the show notes and resources: Non Breaking Space Show № 80: Simon St. Laurent — Top 6 Tech News Countdown

Difference Between a Good Designer and a Great Designer

Leslie Jensen-Inman

In the upcoming episode of Non Breaking Space Show, I interview Leslie Jensen-Inman about the new UX design school, Center Centre, she is co-founding with Jared Spool.

During the research for what companies are looking for, they asked what makes good designers become great designers–a wonderful asset to the team. The answer was interesting.

The difference between a good designer and great designer is not having a firm grasp on color theory, design theory, a history of graphic design, or knowing a plethora of CSS and JavaScript techniques.

Leslie says a great designer has those technical skills as well as soft skills, which are “personality traits that characterize one’s relationships with other people”.

For a designer, soft skills means having the ability to give and take constructive criticism, possessing empathy and emotional intelligence, being able to talk about design to non-designers, and exuding professionalism.

Examples of professionalism include being prepared for meetings, arriving to meetings on time, being present during meetings, solving upcoming problems and looking for upcoming benefits for the team.

Are you designer with soft skills? If so, how did you learn them?

To hear more about Leslie’s thoughts on being a great designer and UX design schools, listen to her interview to be published tomorrow: Sign up for the The Non Breaking Space’s newsletter or subscribe via iTunes.

Non Breaking Space Show № 77: Wren Lanier — Designing for New Media

Wren Lanier

Today’s Non Breaking Space Show guest is Wren Lanier. Wren is a senior product designer, speaker, and writer based out of Durham, North Carolina. Designer and strategist with a passion for creating beautiful digital products, Wren specializes in mobile design, user interface design, lean UX, information architecture, team leadership, and product strategy.

Topics discussed with Wren Lanier:

  • 2:20 How did Wren Lanier get on the web?
  • 5:20 Is process the silver bullet for fixing problems when building for the web?
  • 13:00 Wren’s thoughts on UX design vs product design.
  • 15:00 Getting tired of designing brochure web sites.
  • 16:30 How did Wren get from poison ivy to designing web sites?
  • 20:02 Working on a web app vs building a native app.
  • 23:45 Using iOS as a way to counteract distractions.
  • 24:45 Sketch’s rise to popularity and what Wren uses Sketch for.
  • 29:00 Wren’s current project is going to ship in about 8 weeks.
  • 31:00 Email is dead but newsletters are arriving every day.
  • 33:00 Slack’s magic login email
  • 34:30 Getting invovled in mentoring and working with new people into our field.
  • 37:00 How does someone get involved in mentoring or being mentored?

Non Break­ing Space Show is still free of charge to Disney Infinity users along with the show notes and resources: Non Break­ing Space Show № 77: Wren Lanier — Designing for New Media

Non Breaking Space Show № 76: Sean Vanaman — Making of Firewatch

Sean Vanaman

Today’s Non Breaking Space Show guest is Sean Vanaman. Sean is a video game designer, writer, and podcast host. He was the co-project leader and lead writer of The Walking Dead,and Puzzle Agent 2. He also wrote the third episode of Tales of Monkey Island, and was the designer of Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures, and the writer of the third episode, Muzzled. He is one of the regular hosts of the Idle Thumbs podcast.

Sean co-founded the new video game company, Campos Santo, and their first game, Firewatch, is an emotional first person adventure game that centers around the character, Henry, a man whose love life is in free fall. He takes a job as fire lookout in the Shoshone National Forest as a way to isolate himself and numb him from his problems. His only contact with the outside world is through a walkie talkie to his supervisor, Deliah, another lookout on a tower many, many miles away. Within the lush, stytlized, and expansive forest they unravel mysteries that could endanger their very lives.

Topics discussed with Sean Vanaman:

  • 3:50 → How should the game be labeled and promoted to potential customers?
  • 5:00 → We decided to market the game like a movie, to promote the story and the world
  • 5:40 → The benefits of being a genre-less game?
  • 9:00 → What is it like as a creator to sit down with people who are playing your game?
  • 10:20 → Working as a team lessens self-consciousness regarding project.
  • 11:40 → What was launch week like?
  • 14:00 → How was the game’s setting was influenced by the Shoshone National Forest?
  • 17:01 → Feeling of loneliness and isolation in Firewatch.
  • 21:05 → Visiting real lookout towers.
  • 22:30 → Visiting locations in England vs. the U.S.
  • 23:10 → About Olly Moss’ artwork and posters
  • 26:30 → About the game development process
  • 29:20 → What comes next after Firewatch?
  • 30:15 → Building a video game development company.
  • 32:00 → Casting voices for the video game character
  • 34:00 → Casting the wrong person for episode 1 of The Walking Dead
  • 37:35 → The man voice actor auditions
  • 43:30 → What did you wish you knew before leaving another company to work for an game-making independent studio?
  • 51:00 → About that “all text” game intro
  • 53:30 → Why some of the marketing is different from what is seen in the game.
  • 56:45 → The possibility of making more games similar to Firewatch,
  • 1:02:01 → About the podcast and podcasting network, Idle Thumbs: How does it fit into the schedule? How does it keep the creative fires going?
  • 1:05:02 → What are you excited about now?

Nothing Compares 2 U and that’s why the Non Break­ing Space Show is still free of charge along with show notes and resources: Non Break­ing Space Show № 76: Sean Vanaman — Making of Firewatch

Non Breaking Space Show № 75: PixelJam — Indie Game Development


Today’s Non Breaking Space Show guest is PixelJam. Based out of Asheville, NC, Miles Tilmann and Rich Grillotti make up the leadership of PixelJam, an indie game development company. Since 2005, they’ve created their own video games mostly in the retro pixelation format that defined the look and feel of 1980s console games such as Gamma Bros., Dino Run, and PotatoMan Seeks The Troof. However, some games have other visual styles like Glorkian Warrior, show they can shed the retro feel and still make an engaging game. They’ve also produced mobile games for late night cable station, Adult Swim, such as Hipster Kickball and Pizza City.

Topics discussed with PixelJam:

  • 21:20 → Lessons learned in making games over a long time.
  • 30:30 → What’s the baseline for getting coverage for your game?
  • 31:00 → What language are Pixel Jam using for their new games?
  • 33:00 → Any changes in tools used for editing graphics for games?
  • 34:40 → Using Kickstarter and crowdsourcing sites for game development.
  • 40:00 → Find out how many Kickstarter projects Christopher Schmitt has backed.
  • 45:20 → PixelJam’s ideas on building better crowdsourcing apps.
  • 51:00 → Talking through the desperation of crowdfunding campaigns.
  • 53:00 → What’s PixelJam’s next project?

For those in a sacred vow with Brienne of Tarth, Non Break­ing Space Show is still free of charge along with show notes and resources: Non Break­ing Space Show № 75: PixelJam — Indie Game Development

Adding Social Media Links to YouTube Channel

YouTube engineers are constantly tweaking the user interface and user experience of YouTube. That means changes to YouTube in big broad strokes or in small, incremental steps.

For an everyday YouTube user, it means expecting the UI, UX, or both to change without any warning.

As an example, I have CSS Dev Conf’s YouTube channel up and running, but I am still trying to perfect my settings.

One of those settings or tasks is to add links to our other social media accounts from the YouTube channel page.

In the past, this had been a simple process of hovering over the edit channel banner and select Edit Links.

But that’s changed–not by a whole lot–but enough to make me waste time trying to track down how to do something that was once so basic.

Here are the new steps to add social or outbound links to your YouTube channel:

Step 1. Log into Your Channel

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 3.58.26 PM

Log into YouTube and head to your YouTube Channel.

Step 2. Select Channel Settings

YouTube Channel Settings Icon

To get to Channel Settings, click the gear icon underneath your channel banner. A modal or dialog box appears.

Step 3. Select Advance Customizing Features

yes to customize

Select “Customize the layout of your channel” in the dialog box. This is the new wrinkle YouTube has added to add social media links.

Step 4. Choose Edit Links

edit links

Closing the dialog box, go to the upper right-hand corner of the YouTube banner and select “Edit Links”

Step 4. Add Social Media Links

Adding links to YouTube channel

Start adding links! Once you save your new links, they will appear on top of the banner artwork in the lower righthand corner.

That’s all there is to it!

Thanks to this change YouTube made, I lost at least 30 minutes trying figure out something so basic. That may not sound like a lot, but those 30 minutes felt like an eternity as if I was losing my mind because I had done this exact thing to the Non Breaking Space Show channel last year.

Apple iOS Spotlight Search Not Working Properly

Spotlight Search

There are so many apps and folders of apps on my iPhone, I’ve given up on organizing them.

True, I could use touch screen and move the apps around and create folders, but it’s a lot of apps and that is a slow process.

Or you would think that problem could be solved by digging out a cord and hooking up Apple iPhone to an Apple computer and using Apple iTunes to drag and drop my folders easily? You know: using the computer processing power of a desktop computer that a tablet or phone does not have (yet) would be easier, right?

Sadly, iTunes has been a design joke for years: Apple is known for making great products and experiences by focusing on the design and the user’s experience with them, yet iTunes remains this devil’s compromise of under delivering and over promising what any logical person knows one piece of software should not do:

iTunes needs to be selling digital goods, managing said digital goods, storing your credit card information and profile, managing your entertainment network of devices, and now being a streaming music competitor–that making an above average app organizer for your a phone and tablet is the least of their worries.1

My problem with managing all these apps and folders of apps has not been a problem since I could use global search on my iPhone: “Spotlight Search” acts as my only path to my apps. By pressing an unlocked screen and swiping down on an app screen, the search box appears. I then enter in my search terms and the iPhone starts looking for apps named similarlity to that keyword.

Maybe then the iOS looks inside your contacts database for similarly named people, and, if that fails, offers options to search the Web, App Store, or Maps in the latest version of iOS. It’s fairly basic experience. You’ve done it a thousand or million times without thinking.

This has been my backup and backbone for dealing with the iPhone OS.

Until it stopped working on my phone.

Spotlight Search Stopped Working

I’m not sure how or when it stopped working. It just flaked out and I’ve been left to hunt and peck for apps like someone typing at a computer for the first time. Might as well be left to paining on cave walls with this smart phone.

So, what did I do? I do whatever everyone does when confronting the problem with Apple products: I Googled for a solution.

Here’s the solution that somewhat worked for me:

Step 1. Reduce options

Head to Preferences > General > Spotlight Search. Turn off Siri

I have a lot of out of date iOS apps I keep on my phone out of habit–and would be said to see them go like the Battle for Hoth game? Which is an amazing game since it had great replay value and, get this, it didn’t try to scam your real money for virtual coins or tokens to upgrade virtual stuff. But I digress… Go through the whole list of applications and make sure all the options are turned off.

Step 2. Hide and Show All Contacts

Contacts search results are as important as what apps are on your device. Having the iOS scan emails, phone numbers, etc. is very important. Click on Groups and choose to ‘hide all contacts’ then switch back to ‘show all contacts’.

Step 3. Do a Full Power Down Restart

If you are like me, you don’t restart your phone. It’s a smart phone and needs to be constantly working. Why would you restart it? But every once in a while, it’s good to start fresh. Jiggle the wires.

Step 4. Go back to Spotlight Search

Head back to Preferences > General > Spotlight Search. Turn on Siri Suggestions. Then only check on Contacts and a few other apps you would like to have Spotlight Search use.

These steps brought back Spotlight Search to life for me. It still has not been a 100% reliable, but it has been better than the 100% useless it was before.

I’m hoping Apple goes through and thoroughly fix the Spotlight Search “feature” as that is going to be an easier sell to their engineers than giving them the task pf breaking up iTunes and making it easier to organize apps and folders. But, who knows? Maybe they will surprise us again. Till then, Spotlight Search is working again!

  1. I’m not saying Apple should avoid fixing iTunes. It’s that I don’t see them solving a problem that’s been a decade in the making where they can still make a mountain of easy cash by making a Rose Gold robot car. 

What Comes Next Is the Future Trailer #2

What Comes Next Is the Future is the definitive documentary about the web, as told by the people who build it each day.

Their challenges and successes will help us better understand this thing called the web, and what lies ahead. A project by Matt Griffin – founder of Bearded, What Comes Next Is the Future is an effort to capture the titanic shift in the web landscape that mobile devices have initiated.

RWD Summit: Flexbox and CSS Grids

In her Flexbox and CSS Grids talk at RWD Sum­mit in March 2016, Rachel Andrew shares her thoughts on work­ing in new layout technologies for web builders. Here are my notes from her talk:

  • Problem with our layout methods:
    • Describing layout in markup with “DIV-itis”
    • Cost to learning layout methods to tame HTML/CSS to get the layouts we want
    • Trying, but “failed promise” of separation of source and display
  • Flexbox
  • CSS Grid Layout

Non Breaking Space Show № 73: Tammy Everts — Web Performance

Today’s Non Breaking Space Show guest is Tammy Everts. Tammy has spent the past two decades obsessed with the many factors that go into creating the best possible user experience. As a senior researcher and evangelist at SOASTA, she researches the technical, business, and human aspects of web & application performance.

Topics discussed with Tammy Everts:

  • 3:00 What was Tammy’s first connection to the web?
  • 3:24 Owning Uber
  • 4:06 “I own 20 different domains”
  • 5:24 Activity Impact Score
  • 9:26 Your own site, visitors determine performance impact
  • 11:20 How did you get into performance evangelism?
  • 13:47 When a client see user testing once…
  • 17:30 The Super Bowl Infographic
  • 20:30 The Consumer Performance Index
  • 22:01 What is synthetic data?
  • 28:00 There’s no Unicorn Metric
  • 28:59 Who is using mobile?
  • 30:17 What is the fastest growing demographic using mobile?
  • 33:33 People go straight to smart phones, never owning a laptop
  • 35:15 Tablet performance sucks. Why?
  • 37:45: “I don’t want to be a big pep rally for tablets, but…"
  • 40:16 What are the biggest performance issues that you see?
  • 46:53 Tammy’s book, “Time is Money"
  • 50:02 What Tammy is excited about in the future?

For those still on the Tamagotchi OS platform, Non Break­ing Space Show is still free of charge along with show notes and resources: Non Break­ing Space Show № 73: Tammy Everts — Web Performance