Stop Wasting Users’ Time

Our users are precious about their time and we must stop wasting it. On each project ask two questions: “Am I saving myself time at the expense of the user?” and “How can I save the user time here?” What is the single most precious commodity in Western society? Money? Status? I would argue it is time.

Stop Wasting Users' Time

We are protective of our time, and with good reason. There are so many demands on it. We have so much to do. So much pressure. People hate to have their time wasted, especially online. We spend so much of our time online these days, and every interaction demands a slice of our time. One minor inconvenience on a website might not be much, but, accumulated, it is death by a thousand cuts.

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Rebuilding An HTML5 Game In Unity

When our HTML5 game Numolition was nearly done, we decided to throw it all away and rebuild it in Unity. That turned out to be an exciting and valuable experience, and one that I thought would be worth sharing with other Web developers. Come in, the water’s warm!

Why We Rebuilt Our HTML5 Game In Unity

Last year, we released a mobile game named Quento. It was written entirely in HTML5, wrapped in our proprietary PhoneGap alternative and launched in many app stores with mild success. The game caused me to jot down a few spinoff ideas. One that I particularly liked was a game with a stack of numbered tiles in which the player has to clear a level by combining numbers and tapping groups to make them disappear.

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Cache Invalidation Strategies With Varnish Cache

Phil Karlton once said, "There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things." This article is about the harder of these two: cache invalidation. It’s directed at readers who already work with Varnish Cache. To learn more about it, you’ll find background information in “Speed Up Your Mobile Website With Varnish.”

varnish-cache

10 microseconds (or 250 milliseconds): That’s the difference between delivering a cache hit and delivering a cache miss. How often you get the latter will depend on the efficiency of the cache — this is known as the “hit rate.” A cache miss depends on two factors: the volume of traffic and the average time to live (TTL), which is a number indicating how long the cache is allowed to keep an object. As system administrators and developers, we can’t do much about the traffic, but we can influence the TTL.

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Rethinking Mobile Tutorials: Which Patterns Really Work?

Pattern libraries are a great source of inspiration and education for designers. But common practice doesn’t always equal best practice. In this post, we’ll look at why many common tutorial patterns are ineffective and how you can leverage game design principles to increase user engagement.

Rethinking Mobile Tutorials: Which Patterns Really Work?

After the release of the first edition of Mobile Design Pattern Gallery, Intuit asked me to speak with its mobile team. I spoke at a high level about the value of patterns across industries (fashion, architecture, software and others) and how they are a useful teaching tool.

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After Editorially: The Search For Alternative Collaborative Online Writing Tools

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: the best writers, be it your favorite authors or those that write for Smashing Magazine, don’t do it alone. Often, they work with an editor (or two), who will help them coalesce their words into something more compelling or easier to understand.

After Editorially: The Search For Alternative Collaborative Online Writing Tools

Having worked with several editors — and having been a technical editor myself — I’ve really come to appreciate this aspect of the writing process. Refinement is an essential aspect of any creative process. As refactoring code can make a program more logical and efficient, editing a text can allow an underlying idea to be more clearly stated, or make a piece more enjoyable to read.

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What You Need To Know About WordPress 3.9

The latest version of WordPress named "Smith" was released yesterday which brings us another round of core changes. This time, the team worked mainly on the back-end editing and admin functions, such as a big TinyMCE (visual editor) update, gallery previews, media playlists, an improved widget UI and live theme previews (only to mention a few). Here's what you need to know about the major changes in WordPress 3.9.

What You Need To Know About WordPress 3.9

While the old widget interface set the standard for drag and drop UI when it was introduced, it was time for an overhaul. The developer team took the Widget Customizer plugin and essentially built it into the core.

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Understanding CSS Timing Functions

People of the world, strap yourself in and hold on tight, for you are about to experience truly hair-raising excitement as you get to grips with the intricacies of the hugely interesting CSS timing function!

Understanding CSS Timing Functions

OK, so the subject matter of this article probably hasn’t sent your blood racing, but all jokes aside, the timing function is a bit of a hidden gem when it comes to CSS animation, and you could well be surprised by just how much you can do with it.

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