Welcome to this week’s edition of our Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.
🤸♀️: Here’s Kristin Wong for the New York Times on the importance of play and channeling your inner kid in your grown-up life. The title of the piece ends with, “…Even Now” but I think it should be more like, “…Especially Now”.
🔎: All those little buttons and icons you interact with on websites and in apps every day are intentional decisions someone had to make, and which you might not think all that much about — which is the point. But for the app/web developer, each of those little decisions could affect whether or not users will understand how to use their product, which could mean the difference between making the sale or not, keeping readers on the page, etc.
Just to give you an example, the Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) did some research on which icon works best for expanding and closing ‘accordion’ menus. Spoiler: They decided that the caret (“
^“) typically performed best. I’m partial to the plus (+) symbol myself.
+ On the subject of icons, Heroicons is a set of over 200 free MIT-licensed high-quality SVG icons for you to use in your web projects. A handy resource, this.
📰: Whereas good iconography is important for user experience and interaction, good typography is critical for the reading experience. Erik D. Kennedy of the Learn UI Design course wrote a detailed guide for beginner designers on pairing fonts together for legibility and proper branding. As he points out, it’s not just about headers and body text, but also bylines, subheadings, navigation menus, and more.
😌💟: “I refuse to let 2020 go down as an unlived year.” Helpful reminder from designer Tina Roth Eisenberg — who runs Tattly and CreativeMornings, among other things — to choose love over fear, and for goodness’ sake, exhale, people!
🔀💭: Lisbon-based (and apparently yellow-obsessed 🟨) artist Matthew Carrozo created a simple tool he calls “LOAF” that lets you write personal-to-you lists under the headers Location, Object, Action, and Feeling, then generates combos of items from those lists for ideation purposes. Pretty basic in practice, but hopefully it’ll spark something in your head that gets your creative juices flowing.
🎧📀: INXS is one of those ’80s bands I’ve always been peripherally aware of, but never paid too much mind to. I mean, I was only two years old when they were peaking in fame, and as I got older, I never found enough reason to go back and hear their catalog…until now. For whatever reason, I recently started diving into their discography and have been obsessively listening to their Shabooh Shoobah and Kick albums in particular. This is such good stuff; I’m slapping myself a little for not doing this sooner.
Want a good introduction to these guys like I needed? Here are some select music videos and live performances to get you started:
“Don’t Change” music video — Great song, love the energy.
“New Sensation” live at Wembley Stadium, 1991 — This whole concert must’ve been an incredible experience for everyone there that night. Iconic.
“Never Tear Us Apart” live in Aspen, 1997 — This one’s a bit bittersweet to watch, knowing that singer Michael Hutchence tragically took his own life later that year. But man, they still had it.
🏫: Now here’s a museum I’d like to walk across the top of (a sentence I never thought I’d write) — the spiral-shaped Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet was designed to mimic the internal mechanisms of a watch. That’s some sweet architecture right there.
🐹: Is it important to know that there’s a tiny record store for mice in Sweden? Maybe not. Am I happy to know it exists? You bet.
As he chased after a never-ending mirage of greater success, music – or the lack thereof – monopolised his life. “I cut out all the normal aspects of my life,” he says, “like travelling for fun, maintaining friendships, watching movies and listening to albums. It was really unhealthy.” He would crush his ideas while they were still in their infancy – everything seemed mediocre in the shadow of what he had himself created. “Every few minutes, I was evaluating what I was writing through the lens of the meanest critic you can possibly imagine,” he explains. “How does music survive in that environment? It can’t.”
Neat Stuff We’ve Published Recently
- Liam Wong’s TO:KY:OO photo book is a cyberpunk-inspired exploration of nocturnal Tokyo.
- Weather Line 2 for iPhone presents your weather forecast in a simple infographic, powered by three of the world’s top weather data sources combined into one hybrid summary.
- Igloo brought their retro “Barrel of Fun” jug back out of the vault, straight outta 1992.
- Going diving or caving anytime soon? Bring a “GLO-TOOB Pro” signal safety light along in case of emergency.
- This espresso portafilter mat is heavy-duty enough for coffee shop usage, so it’s more than sturdy enough for your home espresso setup.
Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.