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Bob Dylan - Wisdom is Thrown Into Jail
Bob Dylan: Tempest
Adam West voices the Dark Knight
Apple's Calendar Inconsistency
Is Pono Dead?
Inbox Zero is Old News: Welcome to Inbox Negative One
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Effects Reel
Evolution of Stop Motion Photography
7 Story Cycling Centric Apartments

What Happened to Jai Alai?
Greatest Text Conversation Ever
Quarry Rock in the Rain
Careless Reckless Love
Electricity, Heights and Women
Daniel Lanois and his AC30
How Can You Just Leave Me Standing Alone in a World So Cold
Today Was a Tough Day
The Resonant Frequency of Love - Rocco DeLuca with Daniel Lanois
Dan Mangan - Forgetery
Birch Tree: Toronto, 2016
Japan's Disposable Workers
Jeff Tweedy Plays Charades with Ewan McGregor
Steph Cameron at the Railway Club (February 1, 2016)
Wilco at the CityFolk Festival, Ottawa (September 20, 2015)
Rice Lake, North Vancouver
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Running Away
Stanley Rohatinski: 1925 - 2015
Chewie...we're home!

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your blue hood
Thin Systems
Listen to the Bell, Mr. Premier...It Tolls for Thee
Gordon Campbell Won't Run Again?
Bike Maintenance Lessons: Disc Brake Pads
Cycling is Mainstream Transportation
Brave New World: The Musical
Perennial Also Ran?
Daniel Lanois and his AC30
Dan Mangan - Forgetery

I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
And did you get my message / On the People's Radio? I wrote it in Alberta /Across the prairie spine.
— Rheostatics, Northern Wish
December 28, 2011

Mobile Site Interstitials

With a rapid rise in the user of mobile devices for browsing and a lot of sites publishing their own site specific apps there’s been a trend towards mobile site interstitial pages. Having your own app poses an interesting dilemma for some sites, but these interstitials are just part of a larger trend of problems with browser aware home pages that attempt to serve mobile content.

In the early days of mobile content, a lot of sites would redirect mobile browsers to a mobile specific home page. This may seem sound in theory, but in practice links that are sent out through Twitter and other social media posts were broken: clicking on a link for a specific article would, instead, take you to a home page and you’d have to find your article all over again—if you cared. The Georgia Straight did this for a long time, though I think they’ve since stopped.

Next was the interstitial pleading with you to download a site’s app. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked by IMDB to download their app. I refuse every time, but they keep asking. This is exactly what persistent cookies are for friends: stop pestering me into a form of behaviour I’m not interested in.

The other day I clicked a link and saw the interstitial pages above, with an app download button so large and a continue link so small I couldn’t actually select it. I’m not entirely sure what the point of this sneaky little trick is: downloading the app requires several more steps, so you’re not going to fool me into it. If I can’t click the link I can’t continue and you’ve just lost a page view, and a probably a bunch more from other people in similar situations.

Really though: are there that many people who need to check FailBlog every day that you should even be distributing an app?

Sometimes the land rush to the new mobile world demands a bit of careful consideration, and I don’t think it happened in this case.

Posted by skooter at 8:47 AM This entry is filed under Technology.

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas (soundtrack by Six Shooter Records)

What Child is This by Justin Rutledge and The Beauties

Oh Holy Night by Jenn Grant and The Beauties

Silent Night by The Beauties

Posted by skooter at 10:05 AM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Christmas, Jenn Grant, Justin Rutledge, Six Shooter Records, The Beauties, Videos

December 20, 2011

Millions of Dollars of Usability Research…

…and the crazy kids at Google apparently didn’t think that they needed a selector list that displayed more than three lines when you add a video to your YouTube lists. Go figure.

In general, selector lists should have some relationship to the average length of the list that’s on them and I suspect that most YouTube users don’t even have playlists like this. Of course with a user list that runs in the tens of millions, it’s hard to imagine that most YouTube users share anything in common.

There’s a basic principal of lists like this that they should at the very least provide a reasonably sized view of the list so that it can be scrolled easily. The problem with a three item view is that a small scrolling movement shifts the list entirely and you lose the context of what you’re doing. It’s too easy to get lost.

Five items is a reasonable minimum—this is what Apple uses for the dials that show up when you choose a list like this on your iPhone. Shift the list by one on a five item list and you’ve still got some sense of context.
YouTube Playlist Selector List I’ve said before that I sort of think of Google’s interface design as non-design really. I think they spend so much time not thinking about things that they wind up just deploying a lot of user interface elements that are coded without much thought.

This is all kind of boring, so why don’t we watch the video in the screen shot above instead. It’s the latest from Kendel Carson’s Belle Star project, and it’s pretty awesome.

Posted by skooter at 8:17 PM This entry is filed under Music, Technology.
Tags: Belle Star, Google, Interaction Design, Kendel Carson, Usability

December 15, 2011

Blind Pilot at the Wild Buffalo

A couple of weeks ago, I popped down to the Wild Buffalo to catch Blind Pilot a couple of days ahead of their show in Vancouver. A good time was had by all, and I reviewed the show for No Depression.
Blind Pilot at the Wild BuffaloBlind Pilot at the Wild BuffaloBlind Pilot at the Wild BuffaloBlind Pilot at the Wild BuffaloBlind Pilot at the Wild Buffalo

Posted by skooter at 2:00 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Bellingham, Blind Pilot, No Depression, Wild Buffalo House of Music

December 14, 2011

Kathleen Edwards: Change the Sheets

Despite my best attempts, this space does occasionally seem to slip into being a music blog. When the music concerned is Kathleen Edwards’ new track Change the Sheets is that really a problem?

Voyageur comes out on January 17th. Get it.

Posted by skooter at 9:47 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Kathleen Edwards, Music, Videos, Voyageur

December 12, 2011

Ryan Adams - New York, New York

Posted by skooter at 9:08 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: David Letterman, New York, Ryan Adams, Videos

December 9, 2011

Radio Buttons that do Nothing

Designing interfaces for large software projects isn’t easy. As an interface designer you can paint the broad strokes of button placement, list layouts and the like but when push comes to shove and thousands of pages of code have to be written it comes down to software engineers to implement them consistently and well. This inevitably leads to mistakes and problems that crop up in spots. Many of these are minor and acceptable, others are just weird.

This one falls into the just weird category.

This is a pick list in Salesforce’s admin pages that allows you to select the data type for a new field when you create it. At the very top of the pick list is a radio button that allows you to choose the None Selected option. I was sort of curious what would happen if I chose it, so chose it I did.

An it turns out that—you guessed it—it throws an error every time.

Just weird.

Posted by skooter at 7:02 AM This entry is filed under Technology.
Tags: Interaction Design, Salesforce, Usability

December 8, 2011

My Desk on the Cover of a Nickelback Album

In a moment I can only describe as…exciting might not be quite the right word…my office has made the cover of the new Nickelback album and right there, in the fissure running vertically through the album cover you can see the desk I sit at right now (though that’s likely to change.)

I think if you look closely enough you can see me expressing my thoughts on Nickelback as a band in the window.

Posted by skooter at 8:13 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Chad Kroeger, Gastown, Nickelback, Steam Clock