Friday reading #29

Martin Belam by Martin Belam, 16 November 2012

Has the week gone by so quickly? I can’t believe it is time for another Friday reading again — my weekly round-up of long(-ish) reads about UX, design, product development, journalism and the media. You can also download the lot handily packaged as a slightly morally dubious ebooky-thing from Readlist.

Friday reading

Whatever happened to natural justice in the age of #bloodlust?” — Nic Newman
“In this context with every move scrutinised, how can sensible long-term decisions be taken? How can politicians, editors, businessman have time to think, time to consider? We are too quick to criticise and too slow to think about how to build constructive change.”
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Startups Shouldn’t Hire User Researchers” — Laura Klein, Users Know
“I see startups do this over and over. They hire a consultant, or even a regular employee, to come in and get to know their users for them. That person goes out and runs a lot of tests and then prepares a report and hands it over to the people in charge of making product decisions. Half the time the product owners ignore the research or fail to understand the real implications of it. And why wouldn’t they? It’s really easy to ignore a bunch of bad things somebody else wrote about your idea in a Powerpoint presentation. It’s a lot harder to ignore half a dozen real users saying those things to your face and showing you problems that they’re having in real life.”
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The Business of Digital Remembering ” — Matthew Shorter, Unthinkable Consulting
“What I think this all adds up to is a challenge to everyone who isn't Facebook to recognise that we all have reasons - from the public good through the need to update our business models and on to our desire to capture and preserve a personal legacy - to think about what time and remembering mean to us in the digital realm - and to get conscious. After all, have any of us in this room yet learned enough about how to do our digital remembering that we could teach it to our children?”[via @JaneDallaway]
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How should we handle responsive images” — Dan Sheerman, Boagworld
“I have one that works for me precisely 98.21% of the time: Don’t bother with ‘responsive images’. Now I’ve lost half the readership, and done ducking under the desk from incoming abuse from the rest, allow me to explain just one of the reasons this actually works perfectly well.”[via @RianVDM]
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Was the Internet just an accident?” — Scott Jenson
“People have forgotten how the internet was made. It wasn’t built by a company trying to get rich quick. It fact, it wasn’t built with any business goal in mind at all. It was built to create a highway of connectedness that morphed and grew over time into something that allows all sorts of companies to make money. Your city’s roads and streets don’t make money but they sure make it easier for FedEx to do so.”
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Conference organisers: a point for your consideration” — Relly Annett-Baker
“It’s a sad but true fact, as a woman I am more vulnerable and have to weigh up the risks and rewards of exploring new areas when traveling alone. I don’t believe there is a rapist hanging around every street corner of every town but I do believe there is one around some corners, and sadly you don’t know which ones. Knowing that organisers have considered the location of their accommodation, planned some things for me to do and spent the time finding the number for a reliable cab firm for me to use, means I am much more likely to say yes if you ask me to speak.”[via @KuraFire]
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Things you may have missed

Nodes, ROI and cake - Content Strategy Lightning Talks part one” — Martin Belam, currybetdotnet
I spent Monday night at the latest Content Strategy Lightning Talks night in London, and here are my notes from talks by Sarah Richards, Adrian Kingwell, Colum McAndrew and Emily Heath.
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Pandas, penguins, video and goddesses - Content Strategy Lightning Talks part two” — Martin Belam, currybetdotnet
A second set of notes from the night, featuring James Perrin, Steve Keenan and Kate Towsey
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Guardian comment system changes: The perils of designing for all users, not just the vocal ones” — Martin Belam, currybetdotnet
“The Guardian are currently trying out some changes to their commenting system. Like most changes to a major website, the backlash amongst some users is very, very vocal, and everybody gets to watch.”
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The how and why of making ebooks out of conferences” — Martin Belam, currybetdotnet
“If you are a regular reader of this blog, or follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed that I’ve recently produced free ebooks of my notes from conferences like EuroIA, UX People, and the WAN-IFRA Tablet and App summit. I thought I’d explain some of the how and why of making them.”
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You can also now download all of my notes from the Frankfurt Tablet and App summit in an ebook for iBooks, for Kindle or as a PDF.

Forthcoming talks and events

I’ll be talking and teaching at the following events over the next couple of months:

Keep up to date on my new blog