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Tag Archives: user interface

Creating prototypes with a designated application is something I have not done before. After a day of quickly getting up to speed on our tool of choice Axure, which is astoundingly brilliant, we realised we had bolted before the gate was open and headed back to the trusted pencil and paper method.

It is very easy when you have time constraints to try and skip some of the early steps of spec’ing out a project thinking you will make gains later on, however I think we have learnt that it is often those first few baby steps that shape everything else in the project moving forward.

I’ve also grown the confidence in my convictions and desire to create the best user experience possible by simplifying any action but still retaining the ability to provide further control for anyone seeking it. It is a notion which I think deep down we all want whether it is when you are using a complex program such as Photoshop, or the remote control for your TV.

I headed to my Bible, or .net magazine as it is also known, and grabbed issue 183, 196 and 198 to start sourcing ideas.

After reading a feature with Andy Budd of Clearleft, (I will stop raving about them soon), I have fallen in love with the KJ- Technique. I love the idea of democratic decision making without discussion. The method provides the ability for a group to put their own opinions down relating to a topic without feeling coerced or influenced by stronger personalities within the room.

We’ve stepped past that point this time around, but I am very keen on trying it out the next time around.

This weekend I will be updating on how the final day of prototyping progressed, and whether showing things on paper had a positive impact.


late last year I began experimenting with jQuery and within a couple of hours wanted to make it my wife.

It was as if somebody had looked at me, my little spindly fingers, those tired eyes, sweats of desperation and instantly knew what it was I needed to reduce the level of ‘programming’ required in being a front-end developer and make it more accessible for the punk DIY’ers like myself and essentially re-write javascript to not suck monkey balls.

Several things make jQuery instantly accessible. For me, the main bonus is that its framework allows you to write logical statements. No more getElementById for everything when really all you want to do is change the behaviour of a class, and a whole toolbox of effects, methods and actions to go nuts with.

After running up some very basic prototypes using the demo examples I had put forward the introduction of jQuery into our application. This did provide some initial issues, the main one being that we were not using a doctype of any kind within our application, but this was quickly rectified.


January saw the release of jQuery 1.4 a significant release to the library with both improvements and additions agogo. To celebrate its release the jQuery crew put together what I can only describe as the geekiest of promotional campaigns I have ever witnessed. The 14 Days of jQuery site was created to build up to the final release candidate going public. Each day a new video was posted showing you around some of the new features along with discussions on how these new features could be used.

Despite the announcement that documentation is going to be reviewed and improved, that certain elements look a lot better and that the jQuery-UI library is about to be released to github, there are a few things that have bummed me out about the release and the absolutely stunning 14 days website.

All videos are code-behind
Not so bad, yes we need to know how to write these new functions and features, but by it’s nature jQuery is a visual applicant, if we can’t see what it is doing then how do we know we got it right? I would really like to have seen some actual working examples of how, for example the .live() function works.

Comments on API Docs
I am a huge advocate of comment posts of blogs of any kind, I think they’re invaluable at times and allow for the extension of a debate. But! how will the new comments for API be controlled? It says not to use it for bug tracking, but surely that is what most people will be commenting on? Is it only open for a short period, if so when will comments be closed? They’re already starting to look shabby, take the page for .add() as an example.

Let’s not forget that this is Awesome

Even with just a few bug bears about the release and changes to jQuery UI (although this could see some serious move on the UI tools) the fact is jQuery is still totally amazing and certainly a platform I am going to continue working in for all that little extra flair of interactivity.