Archive for December 2016

AirPods Review: Hearing is believing

If Apple’s strength is integrating various technologies together, it’s also a weakness. In this case, a pretty terrific bit of hardware is let down by a software feature of only middling reliability. Too many of Siri’s commands still seem to direct responses to a screen, which makes it inappropriate for voice-only use.

That’s a mistake, for a few reasons. First, Siri control is only functional when there’s an Internet connection. If you want to adjust the volume of your AirPods when you’re in an area with no service, you’ll need to pull out your phone or launch the Now Playing widget on your Apple Watch to do it. Why Apple doesn’t allow Siri to gracefully degrade to a few basic hardware-oriented commands when there’s no network connectivity is beyond me. The Internet doesn’t need to exist for me to tell my phone to skip to the next track—but that’s how Apple has apparently built this feature.

Source: AirPods Review: Hearing is believing – Six Colors

Don’t Copy the Spotify Model

One of the basic assumptions of Spotify is autonomy. Squads are based on this assumption. They are small, empowered cross functional teams who have full life cycle ownership. Squads make it possible for Spotify to move at much greater speed. They do not rely on other parts of Spotify to achieve their goals and deliver value.

Autonomy is futile without alignment, said Floryan. To achieve autonomy is very hard- there are lots of challenges. For example, trust is important in making autonomy work.

You have to have a purpose in your autonomy to make people do the right thing. People at Spotify found out that the way of thinking and how things are done aligns with the ideas from Daniel Pink on autonomy, mastery and purpose, so they decide to try out other things from Pink’s book Drive. Floryan stated that this again shows that you should not start with a model or a book and try to implement that, but instead look at what you want to reach and use whatever helps you to get there.

Source: Don’t Copy the Spotify Model

How the 404 Error Created the World Wide Web

In a way, the 404 did for hypertext what the zero did for math: It was obvious, but formalizing it and creating a notation revolutionized the rest of the system.

For all its greatness, this new approach also came with some problems, chiefly link rot. Over time, pages move, websites replace their content, and entire sites go offline, stranding the links that point to them. Studies have found that at least 50 percent of published links go stale within five to ten years. At least websites have made some creative attempts to entertain us with custom 404 error pages.

Source: How the 404 Error Created the World Wide Web

Go to The Glass Room. If Black Mirror Had a Showroom, This Would Be It

I want to see The Glass Room everywhere there is an Apple Store. When you sign up for the latest social app, you should have to walk through The Glass Room. Going to SXSW should come with a ticket to a Glass Room exhibit. And anyone founding or working for a tech company should have to prove they’ve gone through this space and understood its meaning.

Source: Go to The Glass Room. If Black Mirror Had a Showroom, This Would Be It

12 Tips for Mobile Design


  1. De-Clutter Your User Interface

  2. Design for Interruption

  3. Make Navigation Self-Evident

  4. Making a Great First Impression

  5. Align with Device Conventions

  6. Design Finger-Friendly Tap-Targets

  7. Design Controls Based on Hand Position

  8. Create a Seamless Experience

  9. Use Subtle Animation and Microinteractions

  10. Focus on Readability

  11. Don’t Interrupt Your Users

  12. Refine Your Design Based on User Testing

Source: XD Essentials: 12 Tips for Mobile Design | Creative Cloud blog by Adobe

How Google Is Challenging AWS – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

Steven Sinofsky is fond of noting that organizations tend to ship their org chart, and while I began by suggesting Amazon was duplicating the AWS model, it turns out that the AWS model was in many respects a representation of Amazon itself (just as the iPhone in many respects reflects Apple’s unitary organization): create a bunch of primitives, get out of the way, and take a nice skim off the top.

Source: How Google Is Challenging AWS – Stratechery by Ben Thompson