Falsehoods programmers believe about… Biometrics

by @edent | # # # # | 9 comments | Read ~6,136 times.
A fingerprint being scanned.

(For the new reader, there is a famous essay called Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names. It has since spawned a long list of Falsehoods Programmers Believe About….) Everyone has fingerprints! The BBC has a grim tale of a family with a genetic mutation which means they have no fingerprints. It details the issues they have…

Continue reading →

A Collection of Imaginary Software

by @edent | # # # | 9 comments | Read ~7,399 times.
Colourful floppy disks in a frame.

I’ve built myself a framed set of imaginary software. This is not available to buy in the shops. Mostly because some of the artwork is not my copyright. All the parts are listed if you want to build it yourself. Parts Floppy Disks Printer Labels Frame Background As part of my Floppy Disk Walkman project,…

Continue reading →

Default Ordering Of Title Options

by @edent | # # # # | 11 comments | Read ~158 times.
An extremely long title list which includes Right Honourable, Wing Comander, Dame, etc.

I was signing up to a website the other day, and it wanted to know my title. Here are the options it offered me: Look, I get it. If I’m ever daft enough to undertake a PhD and masochistic enough to complete it – I am going to demand that everyone addresses me as Doctor…

Continue reading →

Designing for people who don’t want to use your service

by @edent | # # | 5 comments | Read ~351 times.
A government website.

I’ve been building digital products and services since the dial-up era. I spent many years working in the private sector. Good design is seen as a necessity. Customers will switch to another service which is easier to use, has a better app, or offers a nicer experience. I now work in the public sector, where…

Continue reading →

Book Review: Mismatch by Kat Holmes

by @edent | # # #
Book Cover of Mismatch.

In Mismatch, Kat Holmes describes how design can lead to exclusion, and how design can also remedy exclusion. Inclusive design methods—designing objects with rather than for excluded users—can create elegant solutions that work well and benefit all. Holmes tells stories of pioneers of inclusive design, many of whom were drawn to work on inclusion because of their own experiences of exclusion.

Continue reading →

Falsehoods programmers believe about flags

by @edent | # # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~2,351 times.
A dropdown box showing the flag of Canada next to a plus 1.

(For more about the “Falsehoods” meme – read the big list of falsehoods programmers believe.) Do You Want To Phone A Friend? A popular website asked me to confirm my phone number. It “helpfully” pre-filled the country-code with +1. And proudly displayed the Stars and Stripes. Except, of course, the USA isn’t the only country…

Continue reading →

The Myth of the Pixel Perfect Grid

by @edent | # # # # | Read ~4,289 times.
The letter E displayed on various screens. Each renders differently.

If you’ve spent any time with graphic designers, you’ll know that they love spending your money on imperceptible tweaks to your image files. “It must be pixel-perfect!” they cry. When you query why they’ve generated the same icon in multiple sizes, each with subtle variations, they cryptically mention how everything must align with “the grid.”…

Continue reading →

Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Families

by @edent | # # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~5,872 times.

I’ve written before about Solipsist design – those services which have been designed to work only for a very specific type of family. I was taking a look at Google’s “Family” proposition – which allows users to share their purchases with other family members. What I found didn’t impress me. File under "Falsehoods Programmers Believe…

Continue reading →

Headphones displaying album art

by @edent | # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~243 times.
A woman wearing headphones.

Many years ago, when I worked for a mobile phone company, a group of us were encouraged to come up with crazy ideas which the organisation could patent. I had one idea come this close to getting through until someone found an unnervingly similar patent and the whole thing was dropped. Well, it has been…

Continue reading →