This “recent misconduct allegations” section in tech news reports is becoming scary normal to find in articles about tech CEOs and what they get up to. This particular overview is via an Oregonian piece about the recent allegations against Urban Airship CEO Scott Kveton.
Another day, another reminder that emotional labor is severely undervalued in tech.
Kronda breaks down why derailing a social justice conversation with phrases like “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” and “you’re alienating potential allies” are super harmful and their own form of microagression. Definitely keep this link around to send to people you don’t feel like educating about this important part of activism.
Moving the Needle
A few weeks ago popular design magazine A List Apart published “We Have Work to Do: #yesallwomen and the Web”. It wasn’t just a report of the #yesallwomen movement, like some other tech blogs. The ALA was the only tech publication that I saw not only mentioned #yesallwomen (few did even that) but agreed and pledged a new editorial agenda because of it. They are now committed to amplifying the words of people who respect all members of our tech community and to seeking out diverse contributors. And it struck a chord! The comments are full of nice people applauding ALA for publicly supporting diversity. Tech culture win, right?
“Today, only 0.4% of female college freshmen plan to major in CS. This lack of participation in such an important and growing field has serious consequences for the future of technical innovation. If women aren’t represented in technology, their ideas, concerns, and designs won’t be included when we create the cities, cars, infrastructure, medicines, communications, companies, and governments of tomorrow.”
Made with Code is a new initiative from Google that aims to bring more girls into computer science. There are a lot of programs like this, but the Made for Code site seems well put together and thoughtful. There are in-browser projects that new programers can play with, tons of inspirational videos, and links to local events and classes. Also it looks like Google is partnering with a few existing organizations to make this all happen, which is really nice to see. There’s also a thorough overview of why coding is important and empowering for parents that aren’t quite on board. I’m really curious to see how hard Google pushes this. With their resources… well, it would be very exciting to see real change happen in the next few years.
The always exciting WWDC Keynote took place this morning and it was jam packed with stuff! Apple announced software updates for pretty much their entire line up. While there was no hardware news (no iWatch! no retina iMac!) the software updates all look super interesting. Many of the changes feel more like maintenance than innovation, but don’t let that dampen the excitement. OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 both feel like solid iterations on the existing operating systems. Can’t wait to get my hands on the betas!
I’m most excited to explore the update design language in OS X Yosemite, the new email attachment annotation tools in Mail, and the expanded iCloud offering. What new features are you most excited for?
The web is slowly catching up to all the possibilities that typography brings. This great post walks through what small caps and texture figures are, when they are used in typesetting, and how to use them on the web. It’s a great overview for anyone working with front end code or designing for the web.
“A good example of anticipating and preventing unwanted behavior is the leakage prevention on Amazon’s checkout screens. Ever noticed that, when you’re checking out on Amazon, you no longer have a full header or footer? This prevents you from getting halfway through checkout, thinking you want to check on one more thing, wandering away from checkout, and then forgetting to complete the transaction. Once you’ve shown intent to purchase, they get you through the checkout flow with minimal distractions. They’re preventing unwanted behavior.”
This piece by Laura Klein is so on point y’all. She discusses why “mobile first” isn’t always the right way to go. By exploring flow and context designers can better understand what the end user needs at any given moment in your app. It’s good stuff! Go read.
Ever wish you could use a whale emoji to describe how you’re feeling but you aren’t on your phone? Characters is a little menu bar app that gives you access to all sorts of special characters, including everyone’s favorite little emoticons. Unfortunately these cuties won’t actually render when you use them in most places on your mac, but some websites (Twitter!) are starting to support the new unicode specification.