What does this have to do with pop music? The Lempel-Ziv algorithm works by exploiting repeated sequences. How efficiently LZ can compress a text is directly related to the number and length of the repeated sections in that text.
Jessica Rosenkrantz of Nervous System design studio:
This puzzle is based on an icosahedral map projection and has the topology of a sphere. This means it has no edges, no North and South, and no fixed shape. Try to get the landmasses together or see how the oceans are connected. Make your own maps of the earth!
“Competing pencil makers colored their pencils yellow and gave them Oriental names to suggest that the graphite they contained was equally good,” Petroski said.
And it worked. An oft-repeated bit of pencil lore tells of an experiment conducted by Faber in the middle of the 20th century. The company distributed 1,000 pencils—half yellow, half green—to a test group. While both sets of pencils were identical apart from their color, the green pencils were returned en masse with complaints about their shoddy quality.
The inability to deal with long strings of text is the most basic and maybe most common way components can fail when coming in contact with real data. You thought the tab would be labelled “Settings”? Well, now it’s called “Application Preferences.” Oh, and the product launches tomorrow.
Mark Brown’s “Designing for Disability” series seems to be very comprehensive and well researched. I’m moderately colorblind and feel very well represented by this video.
It reminded me of the game I most wanted to love but just couldn’t play: Puzzle Bobble. If a level had both blue and purple bubbles, I was toast. Even though each bubble color had a different shape inside, the differentiation wasn’t enough for split second decisions.
Some games are so big, and yet we engage with such a small percentage of their space in a meaningful way. When time isn’t an obstacle, why not have miles and miles of samey fields? “More is better” is such a common characteristic of big budget titles and the result is big spaces, filled with repetitive content and scarcely anything memorable. Our interactions with so many gaming worlds is passive. Even when they’re pretty enough to make us stop and snap a screenshot we’re still not learning them or unravelling them. They just want to get us to the next item on a checklist.
Ken Kocienda recounts the process of designing the iPhone keyboard:
I started to think about improvements, and to help me keep my keyboard goal literally in sight as I sat in my office, I measured and cut out a small piece of paper, about 2 inches wide by 1.3 inches tall, a little smaller than half the size of a credit card turned on end. I pinned up this little slip of paper on the bulletin board next to my desk. I looked at it often. This was all the screen real estate I had available for my keyboard.
Limitation is a fantastic ingredient for creativity. In the early days of video games, you did not have a luxury to use retail fonts on screen and developers had to make their own in a pixel grid of multiples of 4, the most common being 8*8 pixels in monospace letter width.
Brutalist Web Design is honest about what a website is and what it isn’t. A website is not a magazine, though it might have magazine-like articles. A website is not an application, although you might use it to purchase products or interact with other people. A website is not a database, although it might be driven by one.
A website is about giving visitors content to enjoy and ways to interact with you.
I gave a 4-minute talk at @AMazeFest about how making long games is unethical, watch it here
I love this idea:
We should all design our games like bus rides — they should have multiple stops along the way. If someone is happy with your game, they should be able to stop playing at that point. Give your game that ending after two hours. Give it that ending after ten hours for the people who want more of it and want to find all the secrets. Give it, like, the 100-hour ARG with speedrunning, trophy, whatever shit, but let people quit your game in a way that makes them happy.
How can we tell which sites should be faster, and which should be slower? It’s easy. If the content is delivered for the good of the general public, the presentation must facilitate slow, careful reading. If it’s designed to promote our business or help a customer get an answer to her question, it must be designed for speed of relevancy.
Good communication strives for clarity. Design is its most brilliant when it appears most obvious—most simple. The question for web designers should never be how complex can we make it. But that’s what it has become. Just as, in pursuit of “delight,” we forget the true joy reliable, invisible interfaces can bring, so too, in chasing job security, do we pile on the platform requirements, forgetting that design is about solving business and customer problems … and that baseline skills never go out of fashion.