A bit of testing, style guides and doping. What more could you wish for in another inspiration blog post?
Icarus on Netflix
A Netflix documentary on how US cyclist and journalist Bryan Fogel gets the help of Russian scientist Grigory Rodchenkov to see the effects of doping and how it increases his performance during cycling. I don’t want to give too much away but the state-sponsored doping scandal to hit Russia comes into it and I was blown away by the scale.
Edit: 27th December 2019
It looks as though the World Anti Doping Agency has just banned Russia for another four years for manipulating doping data.
Automatic collapsing menu’s
Smashing Magazine asked the following question on Twitter…
For a news site navigation, would you automatically collapse an opened section when the user clicks on another section, or would you leave it open?— Smashing Magazine (@smashingmag) November 2, 2018
I was in the process of building a slide-out menu so I was interested in what people on Twitter had to say.
I believe it’s down to the content. If you have many menu options and it’s obvious what will be found beneath, then maybe an automatic collapse functionality is the way to go. But let’s say it isn’t always that obvious. For example, you have an option for Fruit and an option for vegetables and you are trying to find tomatoes. Not everyone knows which category this belongs to and it often divides opinion, so being able to open both and compare options is what I would go for in this situation. If there are too many menu options then I would break them down into further sub-categories.
Interesting that 57% said the menu should collapse.
How much documentation to include in a style guide?
It’s a question I often hear from the design systems teams I work with. The short answer is: include as much or as little documentation as needed. The longer answer is: it depends. Alright, now I’ll quit messing around and explain a bit more.
Ask Tyco anything on Reddit
Electronic music producer Tycho invites Reddit users to take part in a question and answer session. I’m a fan of Tycho’s music and have dabbled at producing electronic music in the past so I thought it was interesting to see what he had to say.
Website dark mode
It’s becoming more popular to let users choose between a light and a dark more for viewing content. For example, Twitter and more recently Instagram have introduced dark mode. Now you can look for ‘prefers-color-scheme’ within your CSS to see what the preferred option is on the users device. See Tom’s blog for more details.
Record puppeteer scripts
I’ve got to admit I don’t spend a lot of time creating test scripts for my sites. Mainly because it takes up a fair bit of time and I find it easier to test manually. Puppeteer recorder looks to be a game-changer though! It records your interactions and saves them as a script. I’ve not used it yet.
Footer links should be divided into distinct semantic sections
A great article on how to display footer content at the bottom of your website. A lot of sites including a few sites that I’ve worked on merely see the footer as a box tick to display a few legal links and copyright text. Generally, it should help users navigate your site or family of sites if they can’t find the information elsewhere on that page.
Visual regression testing in design systems
I’ve recently implemented visual regression testing on a website. I’m not sure why I haven’t done it sooner as I’ve seen the benefits on other projects at work. Definitely recommend using a tool such as PercyScript on your build process. It’s pretty straightforward to get setup and there’s a free account option too. If you’re working in a team then having tools like this running on the build process might save you a lot of time fixing bugs in the long run. Here’s a great article on using Percy for visual testing a design system.
The Price of Football podcast
It’s hard to believe the number of dodgy transactions happen in the world of football. A club selling a stadium to itself to avoid financial fair play rules was a big topic in 2019. In a recent episode, they talk about how West Ham sold their Upton Park ground to a company who had only set themselves up for this one transaction. This company then immediately sell the ground and land to a housing company for £20 million more. The Price of Football podcast has so many interesting stories about money in football, well worth a listen even if you’re not interested in the sport.
Uploading photos to Unsplash, a users experience
I’ve been considering moving away from Instagram as I’m not too happy that Facebook makes money from mine and other peoples uploads after the Cambridge Analytica scandal a couple of years back.
Unsplash is one option so I’ve been doing a little bit of research on the pro’s and con’s. Here are a couple of opinion pieces on using Unsplash to upload photography.
What I’ve learned after sharing my photos for free on Unsplash for 4 years, by Samuel Zeller.
My experience after using Unsplash, by Ryan Winterbotham
Very happy to have a bit of cycling art by Eleni Debo on my kitchen wall.