The books I have written are created from words invented by others, filled with ideas created by others. Even the few new ideas that are new depend on older ideas to work. What I had to say would probably be said by someone else not long after me. (More probably there have already been said by someone I was not aware of.) I may be the lucky person to claim those rare new ideas, but the worth of my art primarily resides in the great accumulation of the ideas and works of thousands of writers and thinkers before me — what I call the commons. My work was born in the commons, it gets its value by being deeply connected to the commons, and after my brief stewardship of those tiny new bits, it should return to the commons as fast as possible, in as many ways as possible.
A people’s history of copying, from art to software.
Designers copy. We steal like great artists. But when we see a copy of our work, we’re livid.
Considering how much accessibility work happens “under the hood”, it’s interesting that all five of these considerations are visibly testable.
- Think about accessible copy
- Don’t forget about the focus indicator
- Check your colour contrast
- Don’t just use colour to convey meaning
- Design in anticipation of text resizing
A look at the trend towards larger and larger font sizes for body copy on the web, culminating with Resilient Web Design.
There are some good arguments here for the upper limit on the font size there being too high, so I’ve adjusted it slightly. Now on large screens, the body copy on Resilient Web Design is 32px (2 times 1em), down from 40px (2.5 times 1em).
That unusual behaviour I wrote about with the Web Share API in Safari on iOS is now officially a bug—thanks, Tess!
Bruce wonders why Google seems to prefer separate chunks of JSON-LD in web pages instead of interwoven microdata attributes:
I strongly feel that metadata that is separated from the user-visible data associated with it highly susceptible to metadata partial copy-paste necrosis. User-visible text is also developer-visible text. When devs copy/ paste that, it’s very easy to forget to copy any associated metadata that’s not interleaved, leading to errors.
For all your copying and pasting needs:
A delightful reference for HTML Symbols, Entities and ASCII Character Codes
Dan compares the relationship between a designer and developer in the web world to the relationship between an art director and a copywriter in the ad world. He and Brad made a video to demonstrate how they collaborate.
A really interesting and well-executed portfolio site, utterly let down by the tone of this demeaning and insulting piece of copy:
WARNING: Do not proceed if you suffer from vertigo or if you find experimental interfaces offensive.
(Pssst: copy is also interface.)
Jon’s site is very clever …but is it as clever as Joe’s?
According to this, the forthcoming Clearleft redesign will be totally on fleek.
The (literally) hidden dangers of copying code snippets from the web and pasting them into the command line.
This cautionary tale backs up a small tip I heard for getting to understand how found code works: deliberately type it out instead of copying and pasting.
Ever been on one of those websites that doesn’t allow you to paste into the password field? Frustrating, isn’t it? (Especially if you use a password manager.)
It turns out that nobody knows how this ever started. It’s like a cargo cult without any cargo.
Krystal’s excellent annotated collection of onboarding examples.
The newest Kirby Ferguson video looks at remixing through the lens of the newest Star Wars film.
When you’re struggling to write something that sounds clear and sounds human (two of the essential basics of a good blog post, I’d argue), just use the words normal people would use. The best way to find out what those words are is to try talking the thing through to someone who doesn’t know anything about it. Remember what you just said, then write that.
The text of Nicole’s excellent talk on writing helpful, human microcopy.
Slides of really great practical advice on writing clearly.