Recent posts in my Web Category
January 17, 2013
The Guardian’s website has been no stranger to controversy over the last couple of weeks, and yesterday was no exception, with the decision to have comments open on the live blog of the unfolding reporting of the helicopter crash in London.
January 10, 2013
Rather like grandparents fondly referring to the wireless, my generation are going to carry that word “click” in our vocabulary to describe interactions long after anybody last used a mouse.
January 8, 2013
“Maybe if you’re here, you’re already dead.” - AP’s sponsored tweets and the long slow death of our industry
Is it just me? Or does it sometimes feel like the whole of the internet is screaming at the news industry: “Jeez, you guys really need to innovate more and hurry up and get yourself a new business model”. And then the response to any attempt at a new model is “But not that one.”
January 7, 2013
A very short blog post about women in tech.
January 4, 2013
If my daughter grows up and wants to go into tech, and is still faced with events where organisers think it is OK to have 22 male speakers out of a possible 22 speakers, she’ll be entitled to turn around to me and ask why I didn’t make a fuss when I could.
September 5, 2012
You might have seen an image doing the rounds on the web which appears to be The Sun reporting on the invention of the World Wide Web, and comparing it to the Sinclair C5. Much hilarity ensues. Of course the image is a fake.
August 30, 2012
When I was teaching “So you think you want to be a UXer?” at the Guardian the other day, I gave a list of five websites that I thought were essential regular reading for any budding UXer. I suggested they pop them in their RSS reader to generally blank looks all round. I prompted for a show of hands, and out of a group of 40 people - who were all involved in making the web in one way or another - only a couple put their hands up to admit to using RSS readers.
August 2, 2012
It seems that like most of my Twitter timeline I spent a good deal of last night futilely pounding my fists on my laptop keyboard trying desperately to get any joy out of the London 2012 Olympics ticketing website. After a while, hypnotised by the queue animation graphic, I got into a zen-like state where I began to ponder how you could possibly end up designing a system that worked this way.
June 25, 2012
The Guardian recently published another ebook that I’ve edited for them: “ Battle for the Internet An open democracy or a walled garden?”. As has quickly become a tradition, here are my DVD extra behind-the-scenes thoughts on the editing process.
June 21, 2012
June 13, 2012
The Times new Opinion Tumblr doesn’t signal a retreat from the paywall - if anything, it potentially raises the “value for money” that customers think they are getting.
June 6, 2012
June 1, 2012
Some thoughts on what I’ve been calling the great EU cookie wangdoodle, including how I’d like people to re-think the complexity they are forcing on the user.
May 23, 2012
Three very different things I’ve spotted this week have illustrated a nagging thought in my mind that if you are purely focused on publishing web pages into the desktop environment, you’ve probably taken your eye off the ball.
May 22, 2012
Last week we had the latest London IA evening, featuring a packed programme with an IA Summit theme, as Tim Caynes and Johanna Kollmann reprised their talks from New Orleans, and Giles Colborne provided an overview of the event. As ever, Sense Worldwide were our hosts, and Zebra People our sponsors. Here are my notes from Giles’ talk.
May 17, 2012
May 10, 2012
May 2, 2012
We seem to have matured beyond declaring each year that this is “going to be the internet election” to having campaign web sites and social media as an integral part of the political cycle. Here are some notes I’ve made whilst looking at the sites of the candidates for tomorrow’s London Mayoral elections.
Reading pieces by Eric Jackson and Peter Kirwan yesterday leaves an awkward question hanging in the air. If Google and Facebook are really struggling with the impact of disruption to their business models from changes in trends on the internet, where does that leave media companies, many of whom haven’t really got to grips with web 1.0 yet?
April 30, 2012
You can’t be involved in digital product design and not have heard the buzz-words “responsive design” - building one URL that changes the information and design displayed as you access it with different devices with different screen sizes. The Boston Globe has won awards for doing it in the news space. A key component of a successful “responsive design” has to be a flexible and responsive IA.
April 27, 2012
April 19, 2012
April 17, 2012
Tomorrow you’ll be inundated with articles, blog posts, interactives, TV news packages and special supplements celebrating that it is 100 days until the Olympics start in London. So I thought I’d be different and look back instead - here are some of the web screengrabs I took in 2005 when it was announced that London would be hosting the games.
April 16, 2012
A recent look at how tracking cookies work by the Guardian has had me joining in the comments explaining my position on ad-blocking. I’ve never run ad-blocking software or extensions in my browser, and I never will. Here’s why...
April 11, 2012
If you subscribe to the theory that you should “release early, release often”, and that you want to “fail fast” and learn from those failings, then you end up in a world where you should be regularly testing variations of your digital product on your audience. If you don’t go about it the right way, this can be a bruising experience for all concerned. Today I wanted to outline some thoughts prompted by a recent trial of threaded comments on the guardian.co.uk site that I was involved in.
April 10, 2012
Embedding tweets and Storify in news sites is all the rage to provide a quick snapshot of public opinion. But what are people actually storing in their CMS - and will all this vanish in the future?
March 20, 2012
This week ITV News relaunched with a site that made a radical break with the one they had before, and which frees itself from a lot of the baggage that usually comes when designing a news site. It certainly still has some rough edges, but it is a fascinating approach.
February 27, 2012
This month’s Hacks/Hackers London meet-up had a business theme to it, and the first talk was from Damian Kimmelman about duedil.com. The site - recently shortlisted for a Guardian MEGAS award by a judging panel that I chaired - brings together a host of data sources about businesses into one aggregated service. Here are my notes from the talk.
February 24, 2012
February 19, 2012
I had quite a rude awakening from Twitter on Sunday morning when someone contacted me about John Naughton’s Observer column: “Graphic designers are ruining the web”. The users in the comments have done most of my blogging for me...
February 18, 2012
A quick glimpse into the future and some of the blog posts and stories I expect to see written about Pinterest in the coming weeks and months...
February 14, 2012
As part of news:rewired earlier this month, there were workshop sessions on skills like SEO and datajournalism. Leading one of the sessions was Nicola Hughes, aka DataMinerUK, teaching people how to use social media for search. Here are my notes from a session that raised interesting issues of ethics and security for investigative journalists using social media.
February 13, 2012
François Nel’s talk about media business models at news:rewired drew a massive contrast between the fortunes, financially, of the Mail and the Guardian, and sparked a discussion about the Guardian’s digital strategy which made for some uncomfortable listening for those of us in the audience involved in trying to implement it. Here are my notes from that session - including a big disclaimer reminding you that this is a personal blog...
February 8, 2012
Last week at news:rewired I was talking about the Guardian’s Facebook app. During the Q&A after my talk, the topic of privacy cropped up several times, especially with regard to younger people using the Facebook platform. Here are three important things that I think adults should know about when they are discussing privacy amongst teenagers.
February 7, 2012
Last week the Guardian held one of our regular hack days, where the developers (and other people in the tech department) get to spend two days putting aside their regular work, and instead concentrate on a project of their choosing. Here is what I made.
February 6, 2012
February 3, 2012
At news:rewired today I was part of a panel discussing optimising news sites for social media. I talked about the Guardian’s Facebook app. Here is an essay version of the talks.
January 30, 2012
The release of 60 new apps that employ Facebook’s “frictionless sharing” has sparked another round of internet debate about the value of the functionality. Here’s my take.
January 29, 2012
There’s been quite a fuss around the latest set of usage figures for news websites, with comScore suggesting that Mail Online has overtaken the New York Times as the world’s leading online newspaper. The Times has taken the odd step of both disputing the figures and the relevance - saying the inclusion of thisismoney distorted the number by adding an extra million or so. Spokesperson Eileen Murphy added: “a quick review of our site versus the Daily Mail should indicate quite clearly that they are not in our competitive set.” The grey lady doth protest too much, methinks
January 26, 2012
Last night I went to the Community Managers meet-up in London. Markham Nolan was talking about how Storyful sources social media content from accidental citizen journalists.
January 23, 2012
Today is “Community Manager Appreciation Day”. If you’ve ever taken part in online community, used UGC for research or entertainment, or chased up story leads from comments left across the web, you probably owe it somewhere to an unsung community manager. I’m not normally a big fan of organised recognition, but I believe, especially in the news space, that community management is a dangerously under-valued skill.
January 16, 2012
January 11, 2012
January 10, 2012
An Oregon judge has inadvertently sparked a wider debate about the nature of journalism, as Cleland Thom reported for the Press Gazette. I think a public set of principles is one key way for publishers to set themselves aside from the general hubbub of the internet.
January 9, 2012
Everybody loves a social media story with a happy ending - by which I don’t mean that PR stunt about that other Martin guy. Here are two that have caught my eye over the last few days, involving a student trying to get an internship, and the Muscatine Journal in Iowa.
December 14, 2011
Last night we threw open the Guardian’s door for “UXmas” - a chance to meet people from the UX and design teams, hear a couple of talks, and eat some mince pies before retiring to the pub.
December 9, 2011
I’m hosting December’s “Carnival of journalism” on the Guardian Developer blog, so it would be a bit remiss not to join in myself. As neither a hack nor a hacker, I thought I'd take the liberty of answering both variations of the question...
December 2, 2011
The BBC has been taking a lot pf public stick for their redesign of their web homepage. Here is a quick look behind the scenes at how the design process for the page took place back in 2002.
November 28, 2011
At last week’s Hacks/Hackers London meet-up Dan McQuillan was talking about “Hackovation: how social innovation camps, crisis camps and other hacker movements are trying to go beyond the headlines”. Here are my notes.
November 7, 2011
Here is a miserable set of reading if you: 1. Like the internet. 2. Are a man. 3. Would prefer it if you lived in a society where it wouldn’t be acceptable for someone to threaten your mother, sister or daughter with rape and sexual violence for the dreadful crime of expressing their opinion on the internet.
November 6, 2011
At the weekend the Guardian became the first major publisher to experiment with Scroll, a new tool from a New York based start-up which promises to allow users to build magazine-style layouts for the web without having to know any code at all. Benji Lanyado put together a version of the weekend’s lead travel section article using it, and we published that in our new Guardian beta section, as well as publishing the more conventional version.
November 1, 2011
October 27, 2011
October 24, 2011
Here are my notes from Chris Sumner’s Hacks/Hackers London talk about using tools to map social networks across the web, and what that means for information security and digital journalists.
October 20, 2011
Journalism archaeology of the internet - Wendy Grossman on copyright, Scientology, and a world without search at Hacks/Hackers London
I wasn’t able to make last night’s Hacks/Hackers London, which is a shame, as it is always a great night, I’ve always enjoyed seeing Heather Brooke speak, and it would have been brilliant to catch up with the BBC’s George Wright who I used to work alongside in Bush House many moons ago. George has published his slides about the BBC’s R&D department. Seeing all the tweets reminded me that, for one reason or another, I never got round to posting my notes from last month’s Hacks/Hackers. So here they are...
October 12, 2011
It is just over twenty days since we released the Guardian Facebook app. I’ve been engaged with a lot of conversations with people about it on Twitter over the last couple of weeks, and I thought I might put down a few thoughts on the app, and some of the reaction to it.
October 3, 2011
September 28, 2011
This is my final set of notes from last week’s EuroIA conference in Prague - covering Margaret Hanley’s closing plenary session.
September 27, 2011
I’ve been gradually working through the remaining notes I made on my trip to Prague to speak at this year’s EuroIA. One of my favourite talks was more heavily focussed on software engineering than anything else on the conference programme, which put a big smile on my face. Here are my thoughts on Bob Royce presenting “The Rise and Fall...and Rise Again of Information Architecture.”