Kevin Kaske

Design, Programming, and other Villainy

Frameworks and Frankenstein

The Codist: Frameworks and Frankenstein:

The most important thing to understand in this decision is that whatever you choose, it becomes a part of what you will be delivering, almost as if you wrote it yourself. The customer won’t care who wrote what or how well it integrates; they only care about how well the end result is. You can’t tell the customer “It’s not our fault, the gadget library was full of bugs.” From their perspective you screwed it up.

This article has so many great points. Picking correctly now will save you headaches down the road.

The Color Purple

The Color Purple:

Rebecca Meyer had a favorite color. It was purple. A color that might be expressed in the hexadecimal language of web design as #663399.

I will always think of the hex number #663399 as “Becca Purple”.

25 pro tips to breathe new life into your CSS

25 pro tips to breathe new life into your CSS:

At some point with any technology, there’s a feeling that pretty much anything that can be done has been done. When something is no longer quite as new and shiny, interest wanes and attention is drawn to the next big thing.

A good look at some unusual uses of CSS. I always love reading these kinds of articles to expand my thoughts of what is possible.

Using Small Caps & Text Figures on the Web

Using Small Caps & Text Figures on the Web:

Typography on the Web is slowly getting better. These days it is not unusual to see custom fonts in use, and oftentimes, though not always, set in comfortable sizes, with enough padding and line spacing to ensure a pleasant reading experience. And yet, some important typographical tools are still being ignored.

Another font post. This one is of more use to me.

Colorful typography on the web: get ready for multicolor fonts – Pixelambacht

Colorful typography on the web: get ready for multicolor fonts – Pixelambacht:

How will multicolor fonts change the face of the web? Will we go crazy with ‘em in our websites, once they’re well supported? Will they make the web better, more beautiful, or will it add bloat and fragmented support? It’s hard to predict, but you can bet we’ll find an excuse to use them.

I am ok with “multi-color” fonts never coming to the web. Of course, I say that now… Might be a bit different when they are here…

Font Awesome 4.1

Font Awesome Icons:

You asked, Font Awesome delivers with 71 shiny new icons in version 4.1.

Yay! Font Awesome 4.1 has new icons. Most are logos for sites that I will never use, but that’s okay. It’s just good to see development still being done.

You’re a designer. Not the CEO.

You’re a designer. Not the CEO.:

And because of this designers have to deal with the fact that others will have opinions. And that’s OK. Opinions of people who have never studied color theory or creative writing or know what kerning is are invaluable to designers (and writers and creatives and artists). Why? Because they force us to face our work and defend it and fight for it.

It’s important to keep things in perspective…

Refactored PHP Engine with Big Performance Improvement

Refactored PHP Engine with Big Performance Improvement:

Now I’m glad to present you a result of our recent four month work. It’s a refactoring of the PHP engine that significantly improves performance, memory usage and builds a foundation for a lot more future performance improvements incl. JIT.

PHP’s future looks bright! Just because HHVM is becoming an option for high performance does not mean that the “standard” option needs to sit back.

Why Developers Need to Learn Design

Why Developers Need to Learn Design:

So go ahead, pick up a book on the principles of design. Sit in on that design panel or workshop at a conference you may have otherwise skipped. Go to meetups for the design community, and strike up conversations. Seek out the designers on your team, and engage with them by asking questions that uncover design intent. And when you do, seek to understand.

A good reminder that programmers should also study design. Programmer designed products usually look like programmer designed products.

What Unsustainable Growth Looks Like

What Unsustainable Growth Looks Like:

One of the most important characteristics of a successful business is that it’s growing. As long as your graph of revenue or users is moving up and to the right, things are probably going well.

Sometimes, however, growth hides the fact that a business is on the verge of failure.

Outlines a few cautionary tales… It’s important to keep an eye on the natural churn that businesses have. Some businesses have higher churn then others.

No New Tools

No New Tools:

Being an early adopter is exhilarating in the same way that riding a rollercoaster can feel like travel. You’re moving, but you’re not actually going anywhere, only devising ever-increasingly complex methods to make yourself feel slightly more barfy. You are in a loop de loop of productivity, changing for change’s sake. I made an agreement with myself in January: no new apps on my phone or computer. Don’t do new stuff. Just do your work.

Text editor, spreadsheet, email, pencil, paper, Photoshop. OK. That’s enough.

Chasing the “shiny new thing” usually is a distraction from getting down what you want done. Pick something that works and make an amazing product. That’s has been my goal for this year.

Single-Field Credit Card Input Pattern

Single-Field Credit Card Input Pattern:

Luke Wroblewski has been talking for a long while now about how input masks make form entry a lot less painful for people. He recently highlighted Square Wallet‘s clever single-field credit card capture pattern.

This is a nice proof of concept. It might be a little too clever for most users. Still… It looks cool.

Letter to a Junior Designer ∙ An A List Apart Column

Letter to a Junior Designer ∙ An A List Apart Column:

Perhaps your teachers exalted The Idea as the gem of creative work; taught you The Idea is the hard part. I disagree. Ideas aren’t to be trusted. They need to be wrung dry, ripped apart. We have the rare luxury that our professional diligence often equates to playfulness: to do our job properly, we must disassemble our promising ideas and make them into something better.

Interesting read…

Improve the payment experience with animations

Improve the payment experience with animations:

It’s easy to see how designing forms can be seen as a chore that detracts from the time that could be spent on more exciting parts. Yet, if you think about it, the payment form is part of the checkout flow, the point at which a user is on the verge of committing to trusting you and your business with their vote of confidence. This experience should really be as great as possible, and using animations correctly can really improve this experience.

Another example of dedication to refining your application showing through to the final product.

Three Things

Three Things:

What three things do you need to do today? You should be able to instantly answer this simple question, each day, every day, for the rest of your life. Without any tools other than the brain you were born with.

Great productivity post…

TurboTax Maker Funnels Millions To Lobby Against Easier Tax Returns

TurboTax Maker Funnels Millions To Lobby Against Easier Tax Returns:

Intuit has spent $11.5 million lobbying the federal government — more than Apple or Amazon. Former California Senator, Tom Campbell, who felt Intuit’s power during his proposal for an easy-file system in California, wrote that he “never saw as clear a case of lobbying power putting private interests first over public benefit.”

For better or worse… Money talks. I think almost everyone can agree that it’s for the worse in this case.

The Heartbleed Logo: How to Get People Talking About Internet Security

The Heartbleed Logo: How to Get People Talking About Internet Security:

If you have an Internet connection and blood flowing through your veins, by now you’ve probably heard of Heartbleed, a bug that’s “as bad as it is possible for a security flaw to be,” which is how Rusty Foster put it. It’s like the lock on the metaphorical back door to a large part of the Internet has been broken for the past two years, and it is unclear whether or not anyone bad has darted in and stolen anything valuable while we were out doing other things.

It’s true… It was a good logo. A good logo is key to a marketing campaign.

The State of In-Car UX

The State of In-Car UX | Teehan+Lax:

We are surrounded by bad design. You witness it when you’re taking cash out of an ATM. You experience it when getting your boarding pass from the airport kiosk. You feel it when setting the clock on your stove. Simply put, bad design is everywhere—especially inside your vehicle.

A good overview of just how bad UI design in cars currently is. Makes sense that companies like Apple and Google are stepping in to help. Anything would be a help at this point.