Here are some of the articles we’ve been reading around this office this week.
Stop Gratuitous UI Animation – “It’s only natural that designers initially abuse new capabilities before a more sophisticated design language evolves. Anyone who designed for the screen in the late 90s and 2000s (web and CD-ROM) will remember incredibly overwrought designs which featured drop shadows, bevels, lighting effects and of course no consideration for white space. This was all a natural consequence of designers wrestling with a new medium and reveling in the glory of all those pixels!”
Collaborative Overload (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “Consider a typical week in your own organization. How much time do people spend in meetings, on the phone, and responding to e-mails? At many companies the proportion hovers around 80%, leaving employees little time for all the critical work they must complete on their own. Performance suffers as they are buried under an avalanche of requests for input or advice, access to resources, or attendance at a meeting. They take assignments home, and soon, according to a large body of evidence on stress, burnout and turnover become real risks.”
23 Books Mark Zuckerberg Thinks You Should Read – “New father Mark Zuckerberg might not have as much free time for reading at the moment, but that’s OK. Thanks to a public commitment to get through a book every fortnight last year–and a Facebook book club that helped him stick to his resolution–the Facebook founder fed his brain plenty last year.”
Upstart – A Winning Plan (Thanks to Matt Babcock for recommending this article) – “As a developer, I struggled to be consistently productive. When work was exciting with obscure bug fixes or high-impact features, my excitement would provide a burst of energy for weeks. At other times, my desire to contribute would conflict with my inertia and unproductivity. Over the years, I’ve discovered a set of solutions that helped me uncover my “inner beast” at work and help me be reliably effective.”
Unlocking Trapped Engineers – “Millions of software engineers are caged. Their talent remains unseen behind the iron bars of the misconception of a shortage of software engineers. An estimated 1 million technology jobs will go unfilled by 2020, according to a report put forth by Microsoft in 2012. Publications like The Wall Street Journal and even the White House repeatedly cite this projection, ringing a nationwide alarm of a severe shortage in technical talent.”
Why Day 1 Retention Matters (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “Given how few new apps people download on mobile and the steep drop-off within apps, getting Day 1 retention right is critical.”
8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 A.M. – “This article is intended to challenge you to rethink your entire approach to life. The purpose is to help you simplify and get back to the fundamentals. Sadly, most people’s lives are filled to the brim with the nonessential and trivial. They don’t have time to build toward anything meaningful. They are in survival mode. Are you in survival mode? Like Bilbo, most of us are like butter scraped over too much bread. Unfortunately, the bread is not even our own, but someone else’s. Very few have taken the time to take their lives into their own hands.”