19 stories
·
1 follower

Dickbars Don’t Work

1 Comment and 5 Shares

Josh Clark, back in March:

Hey, please, under no circumstances should you pin social buttons to the top or bottom of mobile screens. In an effort to try to boost mobile use of share buttons, About.com experimented with fixing them to screen bottom and separately to screen top, so that the buttons were always visible when scrolling. While this did modestly increase share-button usage, it also caused overall session engagement to go down.

You read that right: adding a locked toolbar to the small-screen experience shortened sessions and reduced page views. The very small increase in share-button usage was far outweighed by reduced site usage. (I can’t explain why this is the case, but I’ve seen it elsewhere with locked toolbars, too. They chase small-screen users away.)

Read the whole article. First, Clark’s advice is based on actual results, not just opinion and hunches (like mine). Second, he doesn’t advise against ever showing custom sharing buttons — but he does say only to show them to visitors coming from social media referrals. And but even then, don’t put them in fixed position dickbars.

As for why dickbars actually decrease site usage, I think the answer is obvious: when people see user-hostile fixed position bars at the top and/or bottom of their display, especially on phones, they’re annoyed, and the easiest way to eliminate the annoyance is to close the fucking tab and move on to something that isn’t annoying.

Read the whole story
tairar
23 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
DaftDoki
28 days ago
reply
I like the term dickbar and hope that it catches on.
Seattle

The neural network has really really bad ideas for paint names.

2 Shares

source: http://lewisandquark.tumblr.com/post...
Read the whole story
tairar
61 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

What did Donald Trump do today?He advised the graduates of Liberty University th...

1 Comment and 3 Shares

What did Donald Trump do today?

He advised the graduates of Liberty University that “nothing is easier—or more pathetic—than being a critic, because they’re people that can’t get the job done.”

Since taking office 114 days ago, and counting only things he has said on his private Twitter account, Donald Trump has criticized protestors, celebrities, CNN, the city of Chicago, Chelsea Manning, Mexico, the New York Times, the Washington Post, "Europe, and, indeed, the world," Sen. John McCain (R-NV) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (jointly), Delta Airlines, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Democrats (collectively), Nancy Pelosi, the Obama administration (collectively), UC-Berkeley, Iran, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the media, the United States (collectively), "this so-called judge" (James Robart), "any negative polls," "the horrible, dangerous and wrong decision" to suspend his Muslim ban, Nordstrom's, the time it took to reach a decision upholding the suspension of his Muslim ban, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Cuomo's interviewing skills, Sen. John McCain (R-NV) (individually), the upholding of the suspension of his Muslim ban, the legal system as a whole, Mark Cuban, leakers, Hillary Clinton, the NSA and the FBI (jointly), the US intelligence community (collectively), the Affordable Care Act, "liberal activists," the FBI (specifically), Barack Obama, "a reporter, who nobody ever heard of" (Trump biography author David Cay Johnston), North Korea, China, Germany, NBC, ABC, the Freedom Caucus, Bill Clinton, John Podesta, Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Raul Labrador (R-ID) (jointly), "Sleepy Eyes" Chuck Todd, Susan Rice (via retweet, then later directly), people asking to see his tax returns, the "super Liberal Democrat in the Georgia Congressiol [sic] race" (Jon Ossoff), Canada, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (but he actually meant a non-appellate judge whose ruling would go to the Ninth Circuit), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (for real this time), whichever president let the Civil War happen, Senate rules, then-FBI Director James Comey, Rexnord Corp., Sally Yates, and his own communications department--most of them more than once.

Why is this a bad thing?

  • Actually, it's good advice.
Read the whole story
tairar
73 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
deezil
73 days ago
reply
!
Louisville, Kentucky

Code Quality 3

1 Share
It's like a half-solved cryptogram where the solution is a piece of FORTH code written by someone who doesn't know FORTH.
Read the whole story
tairar
82 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

The first Kirby game was programmed without a keyboard

1 Share

This was apparently the entirety of the development hardware Masahiro Sakurai used to start programming <em>Kirby's Dream Land</em>.

This was apparently the entirety of the development hardware Masahiro Sakurai used to start programming Kirby's Dream Land. (credit: Source Gaming / Famitsu)

Any programmer of a certain age likely has a horror story about some rinky-dink coding and workflow environment that forced them to hack together a working app under extreme hardware and software constraints. Still, we're pretty sure none of those stories can beat the keyboard-free coding environment that Masahiro Sakurai apparently used to create the first Kirby's Dream Land.

The tidbit comes from a talk Sakurai gave ahead of a Japanese orchestral performance celebrating the 25th anniversary of the original Game Boy release of Kirby's Dream Land in 1992. As reported by Game Watch (and wonderfully translated by the Patreon-supported Source Gaming), Sakurai recalled how HAL Laboratory was using a Twin Famicom as a development kit at the time. Trying to program on the hardware, which combined a cartridge-based Famicom and the disk-based Famicom Disk System, was “like using a lunchbox to make lunch,” Sakurai said.

As if the limited power wasn't bad enough, Sakurai revealed that the Twin Famicom testbed they were using "didn’t even have keyboard support, meaning values had to be input using a trackball and an on-screen keyboard." Those kinds of visual programming languages may be fashionable now, but having a physical keyboard to type in values or edit instruction would have probably still been welcome back in the early '90s.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read the whole story
tairar
91 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

Supercar Designer Gordon Murray Creates Low-Cost, Flatpack Truck for Developing Nations

1 Share

It's incredible to think that Gordon Murray, the man who designed this…

McLaren F1

…has now designed this:

OX

That's the OX, a low-cost vehicle designed to be shipped, flatpack-style, and assembled on-site (with tools included in the kit). 

The target market is the complete opposite of the wealthy McLaren F1 owner; the OX is intended for folks in developing nations for whom motor transport is typically out of reach.

It may not look like much, but it is loaded with clever, utilitarian design:

The tailgate can be detached and used as a loading ramp.

The bench seats in the rear can be used as sand tracks.

The space behind the front bench seat is sized to hold jerry cans, as gas stations in the target countries will be few and far between.

The canopy can be removed and used as a temporary shelter.

The nose and tail of the undercarriage is raked to provide a 42-degree approach/departure angle.

You'll notice it has three separate windshields rather than one. That's because it's easier to replace one small one that sustains a crack rather than an entire regular-size windshield. They're also interchangeable, so that if two of them become damaged en route, the unbroken one can be placed in front of the driver.

Everything on the truck, from the glass to the body panels, is flat to keep costs down. All of the body parts, which are made from "extremely strong and waterproof bonded wood composite" (marine plywood, we're guessing) are interchangeable from left to right—including the doors. This makes it easier to acquire replacement parts.

Also keeping the costs down are the off-the-shelf engine—a 2.2-liter diesel found in Ford's Transit vans—and the fact that four-wheel-drive was eschewed. "Four-wheel drive systems add weight, complexity and cost to a vehicle, reduce ground clearance and increase tyre wear and fuel consumption," the GVT claims. "Through clever and innovative design, the 2-wheel drive OX has most of the attributes of a 4-wheel drive vehicle, without the negative aspects." I'd like to see more detail on this, but none are provided other than that the "weight distribution [is] 71% over the front axle when unloaded and 50% when fully loaded, producing easy handling [either way]."

The OX itself is also meant to serve as a generator. When jacked up, either front wheel can be removed and replaced with an adapter, allowing that wheel to drive a belt connected to whatever the user wishes to power. Additionally, a power socket is provided on the front of the vehicle.

Some compromises had to be made, of course. The steering wheel is in the center of the cab, avoiding commitment to right-hand or left-hand drive, which varies from country to country.

As for why it's designed to be delivered flatpack: Import duties on vehicles are stiff in Africa, making vehicles unaffordable for most. As one example, in Nigeria the duty is 35% to 70% of the vehicle's total cost. But by shipping it as cargo and having it assembled within its country of destination, the tariffs can be avoided, dropping to just 5% in Nigeria. Also, more of the flatpacked OXen can be stuffed into a shipping container than if they were pre-assembled.

"I'm more proud of this than any other vehicle I've done," Murray told Top Gear.

Gordan Murray

Murray was hired to do the design work by Sir Torquil Norman, the philanthropist and "ex-fighter pilot, lawyer, economist, banker and retired toy magnate" who conceived of the project. "It's a crime, almost, that only 20 percent of the world's population has access to a motor vehicle," says Norman. He set up a charitable organization called the Global Vehicle Trust to develop the vehicle and has spent £3 million on development thus far.

Sir Torquil Norman and Gordon Murray

"The most satisfying elements of the project for me are that the OX will make such a difference to so many people and that it has no competitor in any part of the world," says Murray. "It has been a privilege to work alongside Torquil to make his vision a reality."

"Our priority now is to raise the funding to complete the testing and take the project to fruition," Norman reports. "We believe that the OX has huge potential for charities, aid organisations and development programmes. My dream is to one day see an OX in every village in Africa."


Read the whole story
tairar
317 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories