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  1. Mavericks does this thing where:

    1. It tells you about updates that are ready to install (not a fan of the title case there),

    2. Suggests two options: now or tonight,

    3. Gives you the freedom to defer to a later time than suggested.

    I haven’t used a Windows machine in years, but I remember really disliking when my PC restarted to install “updates” whenever it felt like it.

    There’s a subtle balance that needs to be struck when dealing with user control and freedom. How do you prevent the user from deferring to a time that’s too late? Or if the update fixes a security bug? i.e., how do you save the user from themselves?

    Mavericks, for example, gets aggressive if the update is security-related and/or time-sensitive. In that event, it only gives you the option to restart now or in an hour.


  2. Wrote a post about a recent feature launch on the Wave Apps Engineering blog. If you’ve ever wondered what I/UX designers do at work, this is for you.


    Wave exists to make the lives of small business owners easier. This means we often take difficult processes and workflows and simplify them for our users. A great example of this is the much-anticipated and accounting-heavy “bank reconciliation” feature we released a month ago.

    According to Wikipedia


  3. Dashdash is “a cocktail party on the Internet” and has the greatest introductory animation up on their site.

    Using familiar stories and characters is a fantastic way of showing your app’s purpose to users. 


  4. Workflowy asks you to rate their product only after you’ve been using it for a certain period of time and explains why.

    Bonus points for human copy like, “It kinda stinks”


  5. Tracking down noisy tabs

    Google Chrome does this great thing where it displays a sound icon on tabs that are playing sound. You can read more about it on the Chrome blog here.

    So say you have a bajillion tabs open (it’s OK, you can admit this. We’re all adults here.), the tab that is making the noise looks like:


    But let’s take it a step further. What if you have a lot of windows with a lot of tabs? You’d have to go to each window and scan through all your tabs. That’s time consuming.

    What if the “sound” icon was displayed on the Chrome window it was coming from when you were in exposé, like so:


    An obvious downside of this approach is that it’s Mac-only. I haven’t used a PC in a while, so I wouldn’t even know where to begin to approach that on the Windows OS. It also solves a very specific use case:

    1. You’re a Mac user

    2. You open multiple Google Chrome windows

    3. You need to track down noisy tabs

    4. You know/frequently make use of exposé

    But if you qualify, this would be a huge help. I know it would be for me. Maybe there are add-ons out there that do this already, and if you know of one, I’d love to hear about it.


  6. Not the biggest fan of (American) football, but this is awesome.



  7. Rdio unavailability

    Rdio is a subscription-based music streaming web application that seeks to provide you with music that it thinks you’ll like based on artists you like and the people you follow. Sometimes, some songs aren’t available on Rdio. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, Rdio does a good job at telling you what’s up and why.


  8. Currently, the popular Chrome add-on, shows a digital clock when your browser can accommodate for it, and an analog clock otherwise.

    Nicely done.


  9. At the risk of coming off as a total fat-so, I’d like to share this fantastic progress bar on the Dominos website.

    The first step lights up when you place your order, then when someone at the store takes your order and processes it, the tracker tells you that it’s being fired up! It also adds the name of the employee who processed it, to keep things real.

    Each segment/step also pulsates, so it’s never static, which gives the perception that things are moving along (even if they aren’t).


  10. There’s very little James has produced that I don’t totally love. 


    I’m the feature interview in this month’s edition of Adobe Inspire Magazine. They let me design the cover, so I put a panther on it.